SEO: How to Drive More Traffic to Your Website

Image of green chairGoogle may not be the only way to drive traffic, but it’s definitely the biggest. Like it or not, your site is affected by Google’s updates or algorithm refreshes, the most recent being Panda 3.0.

If you’re like me, you’re eager to learn as much as possible about SEO in order to drive more traffic to your site.

That’s why I’m thrilled to announce Camp Tech is returning to Ottawa with a new workshop on SEO and we’re giving away a free seat!

You may remember last year, Camp Tech made its inaugural visit to Ottawa with their  WordPress for Beginners training workshop. In an action- packed day, participants learned all about how to customize and maintain their own WordPress site, from pages to posts & widgets to plugins. They’re back on Wednesday November 19, 2014 for another full day of WordPress goodness at the Hub Ottawa.

They have also added a new session: SEO: How to Drive More Traffic to Your Website, a 3 hour training session on the evening of Tuesday November 18th from 6:00 – 9:00 pm. They’ll be covering topics such as how to target keywords, what to include in your content, how to elevate your social media SEO, and how to create content so you can be found online.

Learn about SEO without spending a dime!

As business owners, our ultimate goal is to drive more traffic to our website in order to create opportunities and generate sales. Knowing SEO tactics is one of the few marketing tools you can implement without having to spend money.

Now, with a chance to win free seat to Camp Tech’s SEO: How to Drive More Traffic to Your Website, you can learn how without spending a dime!

Tweet for a seat.

To earn a free seat, simply tweet:

“I want a seat at @CampTechCo #SEO workshop #Ottawa Nov 18 via @storylinePR http://tinyurl.com/psnhyfd 

Your name will be automatically entered into a draw for your chance to win your Camp Tech seat for the SEO: How to Drive More Traffic to Your Website training session at The HUB Ottawa on November 18th, 2014, compliments of storylinePR!

You can enter as many times as you’d like by tweeting between now and November 15th. We’ll announce the winner right here on our blog on November 17th. So mark your calendar, (just in case you are our lucky winner), and good luck!

PS – If you can’t use the free seat, pay it forward by telling a friend who could. Check out the Camp Tech site and details of this session as well as the WordPress for Beginners training workshop on Wednesday November 19th.

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About the Author
Deanna White has always been passionate about marketing and public relations. Owner of storylinePR, Deanna is best known for taking it beyond the pitch. For building brands & bottom lines with the right channels to share your story. http://www.storylinepr.ca.

Forced to unplug and re-connect

Image of cracked iPhone screenToday marks day number three without my iPhone. I’ve read about others who have unplugged by choice and remember thinking to myself that was something I doubt I could adapt to easily.

I’m first to admit I have an unhealthy relationship with my phone. I’m constantly checking email, reading news stories and dabbling in my social media accounts.  My out-of-office message even says that although I’m on vacation, I’m still available. That’s telling. But when you have an accident like I did, cracking the face of my iPhone that renders it unusable, you have no choice but to unplug… and you know what? It wasn’t so bad. In fact, I would go as far to say it was freeing.

My connection to the world had collapsed

Sure, it helped that I was in holiday mode and my days were action packed. Had I not been on vacation in a remote town with no access to solutions, I’m sure I would have handled the situation quite differently. I know for a fact I would not have been as calm, thinking my connection to the world had collapsed and I assure you, I would not have been going on a fourth day without my phone.

Don’t get me wrong, I completely panicked at the sight of my phone – now shards of a glass held only together by its’ sturdy  protective cover. I started exploring options right away from a land line, but after the initial shock, I was forced to accept this unfortunate mishap and I had to remind myself I was on vacation after all – which by definition is: relaxing, enjoying, and kicking back. I decided I was going to take it in stride and enjoy  what was left of it.

So, I guess THIS is what being unplugged is all about

From this experience I was forced to slow down. I convinced to myself, (and possibly out loud), ‘So, I guess THIS is what being unplugged is all about’.  I’ve made a pact to myself; and that is to check my phone less frequently – and more so off hours; to not be slave to every ding or ring I hear and each push notification I see. I am going to focus on the things that are most important to me beyond my electronic world – and just turn the damn thing off. Other than self-admitting my addiction, here are a few things I’ve come to realize as a result of being forced to unplug:

1. Pen to paper.
I started writing this blog post by hand. With a pen and paper  – remember those things? I actually got writing cramps and finger calluses (also known as writers bumps).  I started itemizing the balance of my vacation plans on said paper and making to-do lists. I actually connected my random (and sometimes convoluted) thoughts, instantly feeling more organized. I documented action items to cross off, instead of relying on the ding of my auto reminders – like a microwave announcing dinner is ready. These things are in a paper book that I now carry with me and add to frequently, by writing them down – things I can’t so easily dismiss. It also inspired me to start a personal journal again.

2. Me-time.
Being without my phone, I was a lot more relaxed. It had me reading complete novels in a matter of days, something that would have taken me weeks with the constant distraction of my phone. I realized how much I missed reading. I broke in a new pair of running shoes and went for brisk walks (sans phone) and stopped thinking of where I was going to get my next Wi-Fi connection along the way. More me-time is definitely on the top of my to do list!

3. Real connections.
Most importantly, this experience has me wanting to connect in person; to have face to face meetings and lunches with cherished colleagues and friends. Something I mistakenly confused with a ‘like’ or ‘comment’ to a post as a sufficient way of staying connected. Wrong on so many levels!

When I came home to the city, I wasn’t as frantic to get in touch with the repair shop like I initially wanted to. I’m told that when I do finally take my phone in to be fixed,  it could be another few days before I get it back, and you know what?  That’s perfectly fine.

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About the Author
Deanna White has always been passionate about marketing and public relations. Owner of storylinePR, Deanna is best known for taking it beyond the pitch. For building brands & bottom lines with the right channels to share your story. http://www.storylinepr.ca.

PR in the high school cafeteria

This is the best description of PR we’ve read in a long time and one we can all relate to…

“Think back to high school. For most of us, high school was full of painful moments of awkwardness, rejection and alienation… like the cafeteria during lunch when you were trying to find a place to sit.

Image of high school cafeteria

Photo Credit: http://www.cbc.ca

PR is a lot like navigating that cafeteria minefield… but instead of trying to find a seat at the “cool kids’ lunch table” for ourselves, we’re trying to help a client find a seat where their customers are.

In the business world, it’s the equivalent of representing the mathletes or the theater geeks. In other cases its working with the new kids – companies getting started – but most of the time, we’re helping the shy quiet kid with little or no reputation at all – get some well-deserved recognition and their time in the sun.” – Ed Zitron.

BTW: Ed wrote this book, which is a fabulous read. We highly recommend it for someone starting out in PR.

About the Author
Deanna White has always been passionate about marketing and public relations. Owner of storylinePR, Deanna is best known for taking it beyond the pitch. For building brands & bottom lines with the right channels to share your story. http://www.storylinepr.ca.

how technology has changed how we tell brand stories

Who remembers this? It was similar to our first home PC, bulky equipment that required you to dial into a modem number and attach the phone receiver to a coupling device.

Image of old home PC technologyI also remember our first home PC game, it was a text based treasure hunt where you mapped out the adventure in your mind.

My, how times have changed.

My daughter now uses skype to show her friends her latest craft project and connects with her grandparents 8 hours away to help her with her homework. She uses her laptop to find answers to questions and as a science lover, discovers new and exciting creatures that live half way across the globe through Google images.

I remember watching this commercial and thinking this was sci-fi stuff and how I would never see these things happen in my life time.


That was about 20 years ago. If you think back to vintage commercials, you will find companies like this one ahead of their time in creative storytelling. Funny how advertising has gone full circle to storytelling through content marketing.

Are you telling your brand story?

With social media, we now have so many options to tell our brand stories. Video is great for doing so and up until now, it has been price prohibitive for small business to get in the game. I stumbled across this entrepreneur.com article that provides a few options for affordable, online video-production services. There are many others – but the key is in the concept and delivery.  Perhaps it’s time to get out a pen and paper and start drafting an old-fashioned story board to get the creative juices flowing.

What’s your favourite storytelling video of today or yesterday? There’s no shortage of inspiration out there!

About the Author
Deanna White has always been passionate about marketing and public relations. Owner of storylinePR, Deanna is best known for taking it beyond the pitch. For building brands & bottom lines with the right channels to share your story. http://www.storylinepr.ca.

 

How many twitter accounts do you manage?

Image of multiple twitter iconesI used to have two twitter accounts. One for my business dedicated to PR tweets and a personal account where I tweeted daily quips and shared content derived from followers with similar interests.  I learned very quickly that the two  were not mutually exclusive.

I deleted my personal account with thousands of followers and invited  them to follow me @storylinePR.  I wanted my customers and online friends to get to know me on both a professional and personal level. Why? Because building personal relationships for business is a good thing.

My advice? Stop.
If you find yourself a switching between personal and business accounts to tweet, Stop. Stop trying to appeal to different audiences. Stop trying to play Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – I mean really, who has the time?

Ditch your stuffy business persona on Twitter and let your personality shine through with one account. You’ll end up cultivating an engaged  audience you can really connect with and that’s what social media is all about.

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About the Author
Deanna White has always been passionate about marketing and public relations. Owner of storylinePR, Deanna is best known for taking it beyond the pitch. For building brands & bottom lines with the right channels to share your story. http://www.storylinepr.ca.

More on creating brand stories

Image of saying... You need to tell your story and stand out in the marketSome of the largest and savviest organizations are using “brand stories” and content marketing as a core foundation of their marketing efforts and are discovering that storytelling is very powerful in the world PR.  I share the concept of creating content to tell brand stories in a guest blog post on Lola Design’s branding site.

Rather than tug on the sleeves of the media and beg for mentions, why not tell your brand story with valuable content journalists, your customers and prospects will want to share?

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About the Author
Deanna White has always been passionate about marketing and public relations. Owner of storylinePR, Deanna is best known for taking it beyond the pitch. For building brands & bottom lines with the right channels to share your story. http://www.storylinepr.ca.

WordPress training giveaway!

UPDATE – March 17th, 2014
Congratulations to our winner @DaveAuten – Dave tweeted his way to a free seat  to Camp Tech’s  ‘WordPress for Beginners’ Ottawa Edition

Thank you to all those who entered and to those who helped spread the message about Camp Tech coming to  Ottawa on March 20th at the HUB. Ticket information for  the ‘WordPress for Beginners’ workshop can be found here: ‘WordPress for Beginners’ Ottawa Edition!

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We love WordPress. This blog and our website was created in it. We started back in 2007, (wow, time flies when you’re having fun), but it wasn’t much fun at the very beginning for us. We didn’t get the benefit of hands-on training and developed our blog, website and following by trial and error.  Believe us when we say… It’s the hard way.

That’s why we were thrilled to learn Toronto’s Camp Tech is coming to Ottawa this month with their very first Ottawa Edition of ‘WordPress for Beginners’ workshop. They’ll teach you how to build a WordPress website from scratch and storylinePR is giving away a free seat!

Why?

Because we believe in giving back to the Ottawa community that has given us so much over the years and as an Ottawa small business ourselves, we understand the challenges of finding the time. Just because we struggled to learn how to use WordPress, doesn’t mean you have to.

Image of Camp Tech logo

Our lucky winner will get a chance to learn what took us months to master in just one day with lunch (valued at $149).

Tweet your way to a free seat!

To enter, simply copy and paste the following tweet and tweet it!

Hey @storylinePR – I’d love a free seat @camptechco ‘WordPress for Beginners’ #Ottawa Edition http://tinyurl.com/a3vcwf8

Your name will be automatically entered into a draw for your chance to win your Camp Tech seat at The HUB Ottawa on March 20th, 2014, compliments of storylinePR!

You can enter as many times as you’d like by tweeting between now and March 15th.  We’ll announce the winner right here on our blog on March 17th. Good luck!

PS – If you can’t use the free seat, pay it forward by telling a friend who could. Check out the Camp Tech site and the details of the inaugural Ottawa workshop.

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About the Author
Deanna White has always been passionate about marketing and public relations. Owner of storylinePR, Deanna is best known for taking it beyond the pitch. For building brands & bottom lines with the right channels to share your story. http://www.storylinepr.ca.