Search Engine Optimization Guide For Beginners (PART 2)

As I have already discussed about Search Engine Optimization Technique in my first part:  Search Engine Optimization Guide For Beginners (PART 1) .

Lets discuss about Google Guidelines and many more Advance SEO techniques.

google guidlines

 

Google Guidelines

Here are some of the important tips and tricks that can be employed while dealing with Google.

do

  •  A website should have crystal clear hierarchy and links and should preferably be easy to navigate.
  • A site map is required to help the users go around your site and in case the site map has more than 100 links, then it is advisable to break it into several pages to avoid clutter.
  • Come up with essential and precise keywords and make sure that your website features relevant and informative content.
  • The Google crawler will not recognize text hidden in the images, so when describing important names, keywords or links; stick with plain text.
  • The TITLE and ALT tags should be descriptive and accurate and the website should have no broken links or incorrect HTML.
  • Dynamic pages (the URL consisting of a „?‟ character) should be kept to a minimum as not every search engine spider is able to crawl them.
  • The robots.txt file on your web server should be current and should not block the Googlebot crawler. This file tells crawlers which directories can or cannot be crawled.

Not to do

  • When making a site, do not cheat your users, i.e. those people who will surf your website. Do not provide them with irrelevant content or present them with any fraudulent schemes.
  • Avoid tricks or link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking.
  • Do not employ hidden texts or hidden links.
  • Google frowns upon websites using cloaking technique. Hence, it is advisable to avoid that.
  • Automated queries should not be sent to Google.
  • Avoid stuffing pages with irrelevant words and content. Also don’t create multiple pages, sub-domains, or domains with significantly duplicate content.
  • Avoid “doorway” pages created just for search engines or other “cookie cutter” approaches such as affiliate programs with hardly any original content.

Crawler/Spider Considerations

Crawler

Also, consider technical factors. If a site has a slow connection, it might time-out for the crawler. Very complex pages, too, may time out before the crawler can harvest the text.

If you have a hierarchy of directories at your site, put the most important information high, not deep. Some search engines will presume that the higher you placed the information, the more important it is. And crawlers may not venture deeper than three or four or five directory levels.

Above all remember the obvious – full-text search engines such index text. You may well be tempted to use fancy and expensive design techniques that either block search engine crawlers or leave your pages with very little plain text that can be indexed. Don‟t fall prey to that temptation.

Ranking Rules Of Thumb

thumb

The simple rule of thumb is that content counts, and that content near the top of a page counts for more than content at the end. In particular, the HTML title and the first couple lines of text are the most important part of your pages. If the words and phrases that match a query happen to appear in the HTML title or first couple lines of text of one of your pages, chances are very good that that page will appear high in the list of search results.

A crawler/spider search engine can base its ranking on both static factors (a computation of the value of page independent of any particular query) and query-dependent factors.

Values

values

  • Long pages, which are rich in meaningful text (not randomly generated letters and words).
  • Pages that serve as good hubs, with lots of links to pages that that have related content (topic similarity, rather than random meaningless links, such as those generated by link exchange programs or intended to generate a false impression of “popularity”).
  • The connectivity of pages, including not just how many links there are to a page but where the links come from: the number of distinct
    domains and the “quality” ranking of those particular sites. This is calculated for the site and also for individual pages. A site or a page is
    “good” if many pages at many different sites point to it, and especially if many “good” sites point to it.
  • The level of the directory in which the page is found. Higher is considered more important. If a page is buried too deep, the crawler
    simply won’t go that far and will never find it.
  • These static factors are recomputed about once a week, and new good pages slowly percolate upward in the rankings. Note that there are advantages to having a simple address and sticking to it, so others can build links to it, and so you know that it’s in the index

Query-Dependent Factors

google-confused

  • The HTML title.
  • The first lines of text.
  • Query words and phrases appearing early in a page rather than late.
  • Meta tags, which are treated as ordinary words in the text, but like words that appear early in the text (unless the meta tags are patently
    unrelated to the content on the page itself, in which case the page will be penalized)
  • Words mentioned in the “anchor” text associated with hyperlinks to your pages. (E.g., if lots of good sites link to your site with anchor text
    “breast cancer” and the query is “breast cancer,” chances are good that you will appear high in the list of matches.)

Meta Tags (Ask.Com As An Example)

Though Meta tags are indexed and considered to be regular text, Ask.com claims it doesn’t give them priority over HTML titles and other text. Though you should use meta tags in all your pages, some webmasters claim their doorway pages for Ask.com rank better when they don’t
use them. If you do use Meta tags, make your description tag no more than 150 characters and your keywords tag no more than 1,024 characters long.

Keywords In The URL And File Names

It’s generally believed that Ask.com gives some weight to keywords in filenames and URL names. If you’re creating a file, try to name it with
keywords.

Keywords In The ALT Tags

Ask.com indexes ALT tags, so if you use images on your site, make sure to add them. ALT tags should contain more than the image’s description. They should include keywords, especially if the image is at the top of the page. ALT tags are explained later.

Page Length

There’s been some debate about how long doorway pages for AltaVista should be. Some webmasters say short pages rank higher, while others argue that long pages are the way to go. According to AltaVista’s help section, it prefers long and informative pages. We’ve found that pages with
600-900 words are most likely to rank well.

In case for any queries feel free to comment.

Canned Social Media Marketing in an Hour Per Day

Can-of-Social-Media

 

Under normal circumstance, I do not like the types of social media strategies that try to can them into basic processes with time limits. Sure, it’s good to have guidelines, but I find that they’re normally too limiting to allow people to make the right decisions. This infographic is somewhat like that, but it’s design is just too cool in its simplicity to ignore it altogether.

The concepts are actually pretty strong, but unfortunately they’re not realistic in many ways. Spending 15 minutes on content curation and 15 minutes on blog writing, for example, are both potentially unrealistic for all but those who have their processes down (and have the ability to type really, really quickly). It also seems to be giving too much time to everything else other than Facebook which requires much more than 10 minutes a day for it to be effective.

Those disagreements aside, the aesthetic of the infographic is still quite awesome. In a world of complex infographics, having something this simple is refreshing. Is it possible to get social media done in an hour a day? Yes. Is it easy? Yes. Does it take practice and strong strategies? Absolutely.

Social-Media-Hour-Infographic

 

Infographic via Dendrite Park.

How to Know in 30 Seconds if Your Facebook Presence is Working

 

Investigating

Over the last couple of weeks, my exploration into the world of effective automotive social media has turned more towards pitches and consultations. We’ve spent 9 months now digging deeper than ever before into what constitutes success and we’ve come to the conclusion that it’s pretty simple – if you aren’t selling cars and driving business to the service drive through social media, you’re not doing it right.

The posting strategies that have proven to be successful are a whole other topic that couldn’t fit into a single blog post, so for now I just want to explore the quick and easy methods that I’ve used to tell if a Facebook page is working or not. It comes down to reach, which means that the answer has absolutely, positively nothing to do with fans. I’ll demonstrate that in a moment.

First, let’s take a look at what you want to see on your page or other pages to determine if they’re posts are actually being seen and having an influence on local people on Facebook.

Low-Engagement-Ratio

 

All of the examples above have varying levels of likes, many of which are higher than most dealers. This is used to grade how well a page is doing, but it’s a false positive. The real number to look at rather than likes is the number to the right – “talking about this.” You can determine how many people are actually being reached based upon this number. For example, look at the second example from the top. It has a ton of fans so it must be doing well, right? Wrong. With only 67 people talking about it, that means that the vast majority of the “fans” are not seeing the posts at all in their news feeds.

Keep in mind that it’s a small ration of reach. In other words, the bottom example that has 70 people talking about this is reaching much more than the one above it that has 14 people talking about it. As a rough estimate, you can multiple the number of people talking about it by 20 and that’s approximately the number of people being reached by the page in a given week. In other words, the bottom example is reaching around 1400 people per week and the one above it is reaching around 380 per week.

Here are some examples of what pages should look like after a few months or even weeks of doing the right things on their page:

High-Engagement-Ratio

 

As you can see, the engagement ratios (determined by dividing the number talking about this with the total number of likes) are much higher in this batch. Even the page at the bottom with a mere 267 likes is talked about by nearly three times as many people as the page above with over 73K fans. The number of people reached by the dealerships’ messages through use Facebook news feeds is much, much higher for these properly managed pages.

It’s not just about how many people you’re reaching. It’s also about where the people you’re reaching live.

Here’s an example of a page that is reaching a lot of people:

Wrong-Area

 

As you can see, they have 2,769 people talking about the posts. They have a good engagement ratio relative to their fans and they’re growing nicely. They are very popular in New York City and reaching more 18-24 year olds than any other demographic. You can easily tell when they started targeting more people with Facebook ads based upon the graph.

It all looks great, right? Well, considering this is a dealership in California, it’s likely that they’re focused on getting nationwide popularity. This is a very bad idea.

I went through 74 people who had liked, shared, or commented on their posts. I could not find a single person engaging with the dealership that was within 30 miles of the store. You cannot easily sell cars to people when you’re targeting the whole country. Is it possible? Sure. Is it much less likely than if you maintain a strong local following and target the people who can actually drive to the dealership and buy a car or get their transmission serviced.

In thirty seconds and two clicks of the button, you can tell very quickly if your Facebook presence is working even without seeing the Facebook Insights. I’ve shown dealers how to dig deeper into their insights to prove it even further, but these two telltale signs are very clear indicators of a page’s presence and how well it is working.

Facebook should be localized. The number of fans is a much less important indicator than the number of people who are actually seeing your posts. The sooner you understand the way that Facebook marketing truly works, the easier it will be for you to find success and start selling cars as a result.

The Actions Needed to Build True Brand Ambassadors

Happy-Customer

You’ve gone through all the steps. You knew that we were going to be talking about brand ambassadors. You learned why they’re important. We showed you how to identify them, then we discussed how to approach them. Now, it’s time to wrap it up with the hardest part of them all. We’re going to talk about how to sustain them as true brand ambassadors.

 

There’s a difference between a person who leaves a nice comment on Facebook and someone who actually tells people they know about you. It’s important to get that person to tell about their experience at your store on Facebook. It’s amazing to make sure that that person is proactive in the future. If they were happy buying a car at your dealership today, we want them mentioning you when they see their friend three months from now saying on Facebook that they need a new car. That’s the type of brand ambassadors that we want talking about us on social media.

 

It isn’t easy. It requires a subtle approach, a light touch, but a persistent one. Here are three things you can do to take that happy customer who posted about you on Facebook to the next level.

 

 

 

Show Your Appreciation

 

No, I don’t mean going on their Facebook post about you and saying “thanks!” You have to show true appreciation for their effort. You have to stand out above and beyond anything any other company has ever done for them.

 

There’s a fine line between being appreciative and being an annoying stalker. This is why it’s important to interact with a purpose. It should never be random. Show your appreciation at times when they least expect it, when you’re not at the top of their mind, and in ways that require real effort and/or money.

 

One way to show appreciation is with a quick giftcard sent on a handwritten envelope with a handwritten note inside.

 

“Hi Bob. I just wanted to check in on you to make sure you’re enjoying your car and that you’re still getting compliments from your friends. We appreciate that you posted on Facebook last month when you purchased it and we wanted to send you this $10 Starbucks gift card as a small token of our appreciation.”

 

This can get them to post again about the gesture, but more importantly it reminds them of the over-the-top experience they received at the store. When their friends and family are looking, you want them to mention your store by name.

 

 

 

Let Them Know it Worked

 

Here’s the thing, and it’s arguably the hardest truth to convince businesses of until they see it for themselves. If an average Facebook user promotes your product, their message was seen and heeded by their friends and family. There is a good chance every single time you’re mentioned on Facebook as giving someone an exceptional experience that someone amongst their friends and family will see this and act upon it.

 

When someone comes in and say, “I heard my cousin Bob that you guys took great care of him,” you have to let Bob know. If you have a referral program, this is a no-brainer. If you don’t have a referral program, refer back up to showing appreciation and reword the note that you send with the gift card.

 

Don’t forget, it’s not just about your business. People like helping their friends and family. Bob didn’t just help you to make another sale. He helped his cousin Sally have the same great experience he had. Sally may or may not let him know, but either way you definitely want to let him know. Validate that he’s an influencer and that he’s important to his friends, family, and your business.

 

 

 

Highlight Them

 

This is optional and requires some work, but it’s very useful when done right. On your website or through social media, take your brand ambassadors who have posted about you on Facebook and highlight their posts. This is best done in a group setting – individual highlights can be a bit creepy.

 

At whatever frequency is appropriate, post screenshots of all of your positive mentions. Make certain that there is text with the person’s name if their name and posts are public on Facebook. If they aren’t public, you don’t want to mention their name.

 

Again, this is optional. In a way, it’s a bit risky, but it’s also a way to let people know on your website and Facebook page that you have a strong commitment to customer service.

 

* * *

 

It’s not what you say about yourself on social media that matters. It’s what others are saying about you. This is where the value is. This is how to move the needle.

 

 

Turn Social Media into a Brand Ambassador Factory

Factory

 

It isn’t what you’re saying on social media that has the biggest effect on your business. It’s what others are saying about you that makes the true impact.

I’ve used those words in various forms since 2008. It’s become a cliche in my own mind because I have to say it so often; many businesses we talk to haven’t gained that understanding by the time we have our consultation even today in 2013. It’s not their fault. The social media marketing industry is challenged with laziness in many ways. Building brand ambassadors is hard work so many “gurus” prefer to stick with what they can do easily, namely posting random things and pushing for likes, retweets, +1s, repins, and other components of social media promotions that are useful but that aren’t as important as they lead their clients to believe.

There are three truths that need to be understood about social media marketing:

  • It’s a communication tool more than it’s a broadcasting tool.
  • Getting others to talk about your business in a positive manner is the most powerful thing that can happen to influence your business through social media.
  • It isn’t as hard as most think but it takes more effort than most are willing to allocate.

The easy road is to post interesting or entertaining images, text, video, or links. The more fulfilling road is to play outside of your own profiles, to make your social profiles a conduit rather than a hub, and to do the things that encourage the customers or clients who love your products, services, or ways of doing business to advocate for you online.

It’s about building ambassadors, and as inhumane as this may sound, you should be building a brand ambassador factory. Sounds creepy. Almost makes it seem like an allusion to Soylent Green. Thankfully, we don’t have to turn our customers into feed in order to make this work. We simply have to make them happy and give them the opportunities and prompting to tell the world that they love you.

The processes to do this differ from business to business. There are too many moving parts from one industry to another and from one store to another within the same industry to be able to post a roadmap or guide that would do justice to the topic, but over the next week I will be posting articles that give some general concepts to help you develop your own plan.

More to come on this important topic very soon…

What’s Your Blog Saying? (One Quick Trick to Find Out!)

blog

 

How do you tell what your blog is about? Sure, you have ideas in your head and dreams in your heart, but it can be difficult to take a step back and look at what you REALLY are saying every day. With Facebook and Twitter Marketing, it’s easy to scroll back through your old posts and get an idea of your voice in a glance. It’s much harder with blogs, because it would take you hours to read through everything you post in a month. There is an interesting way to get a quick snapshot though.  Let us share our technique.

We suggest making a tag cloud. It’s not scientific, but it’s a great way to see your most commonly used words, which will give you a feel for the overall message of your blog.

I created one for Wikimotive.net above. It’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect it to be. This is Wikimotive’s marketing blog, and right in the middle you have “Wikimotive” followed by “Marketing”. Just by glancing at this tag cloud, you can clearly see what my blog is about. The bigger words are the core themes of the blog, so you’ll see the major social networks, SEO and other search terms, and plenty of things related to digital marketing. What’s just as interesting is the smaller terms, the mortar holding the whole cloud together. Here we see lesser used themes, but we also see hints of the writing style. Words like “simply” and “knowledge” aren’t the main story in and of themselves, but they help you deduce the flavor of the blog.

Head to a free site like Wordle or Tagxedo and create one for your blog today. You may be surprised to see what you had to say.

Original post about Tag Cloud Blogging can be found on Wikimotive’s blog titled, “What’s Your Blog Saying? (A Quick Trick to Find Out!)

4 Secrets For Using LinkedIn to Land a Job

LinkedIn

 

Your job search on the Internet is most likely fragmented. There’s a multitude of job boards, portals for sending applications and places to network in your specific industry. Yet, one service remains the de facto destination across the social web for describing your experience and showcasing your professional skills.

It’s the largest and most popular social networking platform on the web for professionals, but can LinkedIn really land you a job? The short answer is yes. It can definitely help your chances, especially when used correctly. In fact, take a look at the following tips that can give job seekers an edge when using the site.

1. Create a keyword-heavy profile title: Use keywords that support the type of work you do or want to be doing — and stay on target. Trying to be creative or incredibly unique will prevent your name from coming up in search results. For example, “writer” is better than “wordsmith”.

2. Join your college alumni groups: Use the fact that you have something in common to network within those groups. Some groups will be more active than others, but even so, starting a conversation can introduce your name to relevant contacts.

3. Never send LinkedIn invites unedited: Always customize the invite, unless it’s someone you know really well who will let it slide. Include basic info, such as where you met them, what you have in common you might like to discuss or a specific question you’re hoping to get in touch about.

4. Do “small goods” for your LinkedIn contacts: Consider congratulating them on accomplishments or commenting on articles they post. It’s a great way to stay current and supportive, and will help encourage others to do the same for you.

After following the above tips, check out who you might know from your college alumni group and reach out. Also, when you find a job you want to apply for, do a quick search of your LinkedIn contacts to see if you have any connections who might be able to help you land the interview with a personal introduction, or at the very least, fill you in on the company culture. Speaking of which, be sure to check out the company’s LinkedIn page to which you are applying, so you can have the edge when interviewing by demonstrating how you fit into that company’s corporate culture.

Are you on LinkedIn? Do you plan to try the above tips? Let us know in the comments

How to Take the Perfect Profile Picture

Photographer

 

You never get a second chance at a first impression. The Internet has changed many things, but not that old bit of wisdom. First impressions can be as indelible when made online as in real life, and in the era of social media, profile photos can play a major role in making them.

Having a great profile photo on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Twitter may impress the social media friends you already know, but it can be even more important for your flagship shot to make the right impression on ones you don’t know yet — especially when they might be deciding whether to hire you.

We asked Marjorie Kase, a solutions consultant at Adobe Social, and Tony Gale, a New York-based commercial photographer, for some pointers on how to create a profile photo that presents you in just the right light.

1. Use a Recent Photo of Yourself

This may seem like a basic point, but we all have social media friends whose profile photos are clearly not shots of them or are childhood photos. Both Gale and Kase advised against that approach. “I understand that you like your kid or your dog or your favorite beer,” said Gale, “but it’s not you, and your profile picture should be you.” Kase suggested using secondary profile images, like the cover photo on Facebook, for family photos and other shots that shed light on your interests.

There are practical reasons for using a current photo of yourself, too. As Kase pointed out, “If people are looking to connect with you and your name is very common, in a search they’re not going to be able to identify you with your picture.”

2. Find Someone to Photograph You

It may take a little more effort, but you’re likely to get the best results if someone else photographs you. When you’re interacting with another person, your expression is likely to look more natural and engaging. “I try to have a conversation with the person,” said Gale, who has taken portraits of many of the people he’s connected to online as part of his ongoing Facebook Friends project.

If you do end up going the self-portrait route, follow Gale’s advice and don’t take pictures in the mirror. Use the self-timer on your camera and set it up on a tripod or another support. If you have a camera that’s compatible with a remote viewfinder app, that will help you get the focus and composition right. Gale recommended working through a series of expressions to achieve a natural look. “Start with no smile, then a little bit of a smile, then a bigger smile,” he advised. “Once you know that half smile is the ‘perfect me,’ you can try several of those, changing the angle a little.”

3. Be Consistent and Professional to Promote Your “Brand”

Social media can be an important avenue for promoting yourself as a professional, especially if you’re an independent contractor or small business owner. As Kase said, “You’re always sort of in the market for a new job in this economy, because you never know.”

To promote yourself effectively, Kase recommended approaching profile photos as part of a personal “brand.” Use the same image of yourself on every site where you have an account in order to create a consistent, distinctive social media presence, and make sure your look is appropriate for the field you work in (or want to).

“You want to maintain a level of professionalism,” Kase said. “Make yourself look like you would on the way to a job interview.” She also emphasized that business acquaintances might run across social media material intended for a personal audience, especially with sites’ constantly changing privacy settings. Often, Kase said, “We think we’re in a walled garden with our own personal friends and family, but really the whole world is watching.”

4. Keep the Focus on Your Face

A profile photo should communicate who you are, and the best way to do that is to fill most of the frame with your face. Keep the composition simple, and don’t include more of yourself than your head and shoulders. Avoid busy backgrounds and distracting clothing and jewelry, and make sure your eyes are in focus. Kase recommended using a background that reflects the field you work in. Creative professionals, for example, might opt for more vibrant colors or scenes.

Even if you choose an interesting background, you don’t want it to be more interesting than you. Gale recommended standing at least five feet in front of background elements and using a relatively shallow depth of field to blur the background. If you have a camera that lets you select the f-stop, you can choose a lower f-stop to limit the depth of field — Gale recommended f/4.0 or f/5.6 — and many snapshot cameras have automatic portrait modes that will achieve the same effect.

5. Don’t be Too Sexy for Your Boss

One of the most frequent mistakes made with profile photos is overposing. “You see a lot of people using different angles and facial expressions because they think it’s attractive,” Kase said. But they often miss their mark. Kase emphasized that there are always potential employers and clients looking at social media photos. “You want to ensure that whatever image you’re putting out into the world, you’re ready for your boss to see,” she advised. (Not to put too fine a point on it: Skip the sexy duck lips.)

Shooting from a slightly high angle is an effective way to hide a double chin, but using a very high angle while gazing up at the camera can evoke a media genre that you probably don’t want your colleagues to envision you starring in. A natural smile is usually the best expression for a profile photo, and a head-level or slightly high camera angle keeps the shot both flattering and professional.

6. Find Flattering Light

If you’re shooting outside, avoid direct sunlight. Inside, avoid overhead light. Both can create harsh shadows.

“When you get shadows under the eyes and nose, it’s not very flattering,” Gale explained. “It tends to make people’s eyes look too deep. In a good picture of someone, the eyes are very important. It’s a very expressive part of the portrait, and if that gets lost because of shadows, it just doesn’t feel like that person.”

Window light and the light from a lamp that illuminates you from a slightly high angle on the side are good light sources for portraits. If the light is too strong, use a translucent, neutral-colored curtain or shade to diffuse it.

It’s important for your skin tone to look natural in a profile photo, so whatever light source you use, make sure your camera’s white balance setting matches it. Gale pointed out that artificial lighting often throws off automatic white balance systems, and Kase ruled out one kind of camera altogether because of color issues: “I’m not a fan of the camera phone picture,” she said, “because the colors can be off.”

7. Choose the Right Focal Length

If you have a choice of lens or a zoom lens, opt for a focal length somewhere in the normal to telephoto range. “Somewhere between 70 and 135 millimeters is generally the most flattering focal length for a portrait,” Gale said. “If you go wider, you get a little distortion. People’s noses look a little big.”

Camera phone lenses tend to distort faces as well — another reason why your phone is not the best option for a profile photo shoot. However, if you don’t have an alternative and your camera phone lens is distorting your face, try holding the device farther away to reduce the distortion and then cropping the image for a tighter composition.

Free QR Code Generators for Ecommerce Business Owners

Smartphones and tablets are boosting the popularity of these small 2D barcodes. Here are 5 free online services to create your own QR Codes for ecommerce marketing.

qr-code

 

As the number of consumers wielding a camera-enabled smartphone increases, so do the number of QR Codes in online and print advertising. A QR Code (quick response code) is a type of 2D barcode that can be read using special barcode readers or a camera-enabled smartphone loaded with QR reader software.

QR Codes: A Bit of History

QR codes are not a new technology. They actually date back to the 1990’s but have only become a popular marketing tool recently, due to the explosion of smartphone use. If you didn’t know, QR Code is actually a registered trademark of Denso Wave Incorporated, and it’s an ISO standard. The company has made the specification for QR Code available for use by any person or organization, so you can use the QR codes without a license or paying a fee.

QR Codes for Online Marketing

For marketing, the big deal about a QR Code is that it can be embedded with information such as a URL, SMS message, email or plain text. Businesses can code these to do any number of different things when a customer scans it — like display text, provide contact data or even open a Web page in the browser on the smartphone.  Small business ecommerce site owners can use QR codes to let customers quickly opt-in to an email marketing list or to open a special product page with a discount offer.

If you’re thinking about incorporating QR Codes in to your online marketing strategy, here are five free online services to help you create a QR code.

Five Free QR Code Generators

1.  QR Stuff is free to use and you have unlimited use of the QR codes. With this service you can have a “Free User” account and generate as many QR codes as you like. Subscribers (those with a paid subscription fee, starting at $3.95/month) get analytics and dynamic QR code editing when using the QR Stuff URL shortener, along with other features not available in Free User mode.

QR Stuff supports the following data types: Website URLs (including YouTube Video, Google Maps Location, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, FourSquare and iTunes Link), plain text, telephone number, SMS message, email address, email message, contact details, calendar event and a PayPal Buy Now link.

2.  The ZXing (short for zebra crossing) Project offers a quick and easy online QR Code generator. The project is an open-source, multi-format 1D/2D barcode image processing library implemented in Java, with ports to other languages.  The ZXing Project QR Code generator supports contact information, calendar event, email address, phone number, SMS message, plain text, URL or Wi-Fi network and Geo location data type.

3.  The QR Code Generator by Delivr lets you create QR Codes and download them in PNG, EPS, or SVG formats. You can also register on the site to access editing features, location via device GPS and QR Code tracking. Delivr’s QR Code Generator supports URLs, tweets, Foursquare check-ins, iPhone App Store downloads, Android Market downloads, Google Analytics campaigns, Coremetrics campaigns, and more.

4. The Quikqr free QR Code generator lets you create, save, print, email or share the QR Code. The free service does not require you to create an account to use Quikqr. Quikqr has partnered with Moo and Zazzle so you can easily create QR Code t-shirts and Moo cards. Quikqr supports URL and plain text data.

5.  Another option for URL data is to create and share QR Codes with Google’s URL Shortener service (goo.gl). If you often use a URL shortener, then you can try Google’s goo.gl service, which automatically generates a QR Code. Simply enter a URL to shorten, then view “details” to the right of your new short URL link. This will provide you with a QR Code to the URL you just shortened. You can right-click on the QR Code image to save and share it with others.

Around the World in Social Networking

Core

When we hear about how social media is growing, we often look at the rest of the world. Americans are all on social media, right? Not so fast.

In this infographic, we highlight the way that social media is consumed on a global basis. It shows some good and bad trends from a pure business perspective in America – on one hand, there is still an amazing upside to social in the states with more potential popping up left and right. On the other hand, the biggest cities and fastest growing countries on social media are not in North America, making it even more important for businesses in the US to be mindful of who they follow, who is following them, and how the content interacts with the world. It’s not that we want to shut out the world. It’s that we have to stay focused on the local benefits even if the rest of the world is starting to catch on quickly.

Coree