Quite a bit of variety last week on our sister site, Sphinn. The most popular stories ranged from things like white hat SEO examples to tools that help you make infographics to a discussion on the necessity of having a website.
The latter was the topic of our Discussion of the Week. We asked a simple question: Does Every Business Need a Website? The general consensus so far is that, yes, all businesses need a website — although a couple commenters preferred to say they “should” have a website, instead. Our favorite comment came from Sphinn member Rob Croll of Marlannah Internet Marketing, who said:
Yes, you might be able to get your Facebook Fan Page to rank, but what happens when Facebook changes the rules? You might just disappear from the SERPs altogether. And, while I’m a big believer that local search should be one of the tactics most SMBs implement, that’s still too fraught with problems for me to trust in it 100% as my only online presence. Having your own website as the hub for other places your business is online seems the best short- and long-term strategy to me.
Other popular stories last week on Sphinn included a list of tools to help create infographics, a story showing examples that white hat SEO isn’t dead and more. Here’s the full recap of activity last week on Sphinn.
- Discussion: Does Every Business Need a Website? – A few recent studies have suggested that many small businesses are skipping websites and just using Facebook for their online presence. There are also many local businesses that don't have websites, but still have online visibility through Google Places, Bing/Yahoo Local, or even Yelp. For our "Discussion of the Week," we want to know … does every business really need a website? Or is it okay for some to use social/local business pages and nothing else? The floor is open!
- 2011: The Year the Check-in Died – This post tackles the subject that many are wondering… are location based check-ins services just a fad that is going to die?
- The Complete Guide to Bing’s New Local Business Portal – Bing’s local search tools and features don’t get a lot of airplay compared to Google, but that could – and should — change after today’s launch of an entirely new local listings tool for business owners. It’s called the Bing Business Portal and it has some features that should make Google Places green with envy…
Most Tweeted (not already listed above)
- 10 Awesome Free Tools To Make Infographics – Good resources for helping to understand and create infographics.
- 7 Steps to an Even Better Business Blog – Says Hubspot's Mike Volpe: "The next level of business blogging is really about doing what may seem simple but exercises a major impact on your business blogging success."
- 15 Things I Hate About the New Google Analytics – From The Article: "We’ve been testing the new Google Analytics for some time now. I have a separate list of shiny new functions that I’m enjoying, but wanted to share the areas I’m running into difficulties with the new Google Analytics."
- Three Essential Google Analytics PPC Hacks – Excellent tips that address common PPC analytics issues.
Most Liked (not already listed above)
- White Hat SEO: It Fishkin Works – SEOmoz's Rand Fishkin responds to Kris Roadruck's earlier blog post, "White Hat SEO is a Joke." Naturally, Rand offers up a strong defense of white hat SEO.
- DIY Guide to Successful Infographic Production – Infographics are really hot right now, especially ones that are really high quality and are useful or educational. Creating a really awesome infographic isn't easy, so we've outlined our process and explained a bit about what it takes. Look for a follow up to come on promoting high quality graphic content.
- 9 Tips For Using Product Listing Ads – A great introduction on how to use AdWords Product Listing Ads effectively.
Hot On Sphinn: April 11 to April 17, 2011
- Just What User Behavior Data Does Google Use to Influence Search Rankings? – Uber-search-patent-geek Bill Slawski looks through some of Google's patents to see what they had to say about how Google might incorporate user behavior data into panda driven search results.
- Special Characters In Meta Descriptions – The Beboisation Of Google? – The practice of optimising search results to maximise click-through-rate is not a new one and has been used in PPC advertising to good effect for years, but where PPC ads have to go through an approval process (where many techniques are outlawed) meta descriptions and organic results do not, so boundaries can be pushed much further.
- 99 Comparison Points Between Google and Bing Webmaster Tools – Annie Cushing provides a comprehensive comparison of Google and Bing Webmaster Tools — 99 comparison points to be exact.
- Drugs, Milk, and Money: 3 Ways to Do Social Media in Regulated Industries – In a highly regulated industry? Don't let it paralyze your social media efforts. Here are 3 tips on making the most out of what you CAN do.
- My Top 5 Excel Tips for PPC Managers – Pay Per Click marketers will find these 5 excel tips very useful for managing PPC accounts.
- How Social Media Affects Paid Search – An in-depth post on social influences and pay per click advertising.
- The internet marketer's guide to the apocalypse – Ian Lurie's humorous (yet true) take on how some marketers are specializing themselves to death, and that those who know how to sell stories and products, not catch phrases and recycled concepts will survive in the end.
- How to Build the Perfect Facebook Fan Page, 2011 Edition – With Facebook’s recent changes to the layout of fan pages (aka business pages, aka brand pages), has come the opportunity for those with creativity to design a much more compelling and fully branded page.
- How to turn a boring FAQ page into a sales star – Take a few minutes and learn how to transform those typically dry, administrative-dull FAQ pages into web copy that both sings to your reader and calls to the search engines:
- How to Build an Effective Startup Press Kit – A press kit is so integral for a website at launch – it can make or break whether media, key people in your industry and your consumers get the full story about what you do.
- 3 White Hat Ideas To Optimize Google Suggest Results – Novel ideas that, if implemented properly, could influence Google Suggest.
- 4 Powerful Strategies for Managing Your Online Reputation – The internet is filled with stories of companies and individuals whose reputations have been in ruins overnight. Honest businesses fall prey to manipulating competitors out to ruin them and steal market share in return. Many businesses have experienced, through no fault of their own, scheming competitors bad mouthing and spreading false rumors about them through social media. These days, the means to spread rumors about a business are many and as a result, it is imperative for businesses to proactively manage their online reputation.
This is the latest in a weekly look at the stories that were “hot” on Sphinn in the past week. We’ll post these recaps every week.