Despite its strange name, Squidoo is a very useful tool for online marketers and website publishers. It falls under the umbrella of social media, but there’s much more to it than simply bookmarking or blogging. In fact, Squidoo makes use of several other forms of social media applications, packaging its myriad parts up as an interactive lens which can be as simple or as advanced as the owner desires.
As a knowledge-sharing platform, Squidoo can play a central role in any social media marketing, brand reputation, or search engine optimization campaign. From a business perspective, creating and maintaining a lens offers an opportunity to reach out to your target market on an informal level, sharing tips, knowledge, and advice about company products and services.
Squidoo is very well rated by the most popular search engines and is rapidly becoming too good an SEO opportunity to pass up. Within the lens you can add links back to your own website, so an authority lens can make a big contribution to better site rankings overall.
Get the basics out of the way – create a user account, log in, and familiarize yourself with the easy-to-use dashboard. Click the ‘create a lens’ button and then decide on a name. At this point, you must keep basic SEO principles in mind. Your Squidoo lens is a chance to take up another spot on the search engine results pages, so you’ll want to include your product name, company name, and priority keywords if possible. Keep the title short and catchy.
Squidoo allows you to rate the lens in much the same way as films are rated – most will be suitable for all audiences, but take time to read the other options just in case some material is unsuitable for certain audiences. At this second stage you’re also invited to choose your own Squidoo URL. Again, keep in mind optimization principles and branding considerations to give visibility a helping hand.
With the lens now named, you can start to add keywords. Although you’re limited to three initially, you can add more later, so choose the most relevant three for the moment.
When you complete the set-up process, you’re presented with the basics of a good lens. Among the choices when you first begin to add content to your new Squidoo page are welcome text, Flickr photos, YouTube videos, a guestbook, Google Blog search, and Amazon voting.
You probably won’t be able to complete each of the modules straight off (you may need to enlist the help of other departments or hunt down relevant pictures for example), but make an appointment to start populating the modules you don’t complete at this first pass. A good Squidoo lens will take a lot of time and work to create and maintain, but it’s worth putting in the extra effort to give your page a chance of appearing in the SERPs. There are millions of mediocre lenses, just as there are millions of blogs and community pages that were left to fade into obscurity after the first flush of enthusiasm. A mediocre page won’t contribute to your ranking positions or drive significant traffic to your website though, so do try and keep to a realistic update schedule.
Regular updates are essential, but that doesn’t mean that you have to write reams and reams of text. Of course, if you have white papers or insights into any aspect of your industry or product use, it pays to add them to your lens but if you’re short on time, you can get creative with the pre-loaded modules that Squidoo offers. A great way to ensure cohesion of message is to link your Squidoo lens to your other social media outlets – you can do this by going to Add Modules at the top of the dashboard and then selecting the new content type you would like to load in.
The best lenses blend a variety of modules to create a useful, informative page that visitors will return to time and time again. Link to your eBay shop to generate additional revenue, add Twitter Follow or Lists to increase your Twitter followers, add Wikipedia knowledge, slideshare, even videos from Saturday Night Live.
Whatever kind of content you add, make sure to always include relevant tags for the post and link back to your own website where appropriate. You can use HTML code within text modules, so choose anchor text wisely and try other optimization tips such as the use of H2 and H3 tags for longer chunks of text. Remember, you want to apply as many SEO techniques as possible to make your lens stand out in the SERPS. This will ultimately drive more traffic and brand awareness your way.