While a lot of businesses have heard about Twitter, they’re confused about how to best leverage it for their own businesses – or they don’t think it’s applicable to their business model at all. To clear up some of the confusion and help you understand how your company can utilize Twitter, we’re going to a short series on Twitter as a marketing channel for businesses. This first part of the series is just going to provide a breakdown of the basics before we delve into the nitty gritty.

What Is Twitter?

Started in 2007, Twitter has experienced exponential growth over the last few years and has created a new way in which businesses can reach out to current and potential customers. Like most social medial platforms, Twitter is composed of user-generated content. Users can post text messages that are 140 characters or fewer. Each of these text messages is called a tweet. Tweets can be seen by a group of interested recipients known as followers. Every account has a username, which is also called a Twitter handle. All Twitter handles are denoted by the @ symbol. For example, our Twitter handle is @digitaldogsaz.

Twitter Lingo

There are a lot of new terms that come with any new technology. Part of what keeps some companies from using Twitter is simple confusion as to what these terms mean. Here, we define the most commonly used phrases.

Tweet: A message of up to 140 characters sent via Twitter. You can use the word tweet as a noun, such as “I sent a tweet about our new product line this morning,” or as a verb, such as “I tweeted about our March promotion.” You can also refer to a tweet as a post, message, or an update.

Hashtag #: A hashtag is the # symbol that’s followed by a phrase that describes the topic of the tweet. For instance, if you were tweeting about the 2012 Olympics, you would incorporate a hashtag such as #london2012 or #olympics. Using a hashtag helps users understand that your message is about the same topic as other tweets that contain the hashtag. Users can search for specific hashtags and see a list of all related posts. Companies can use hashtags for new product launches (e.g., #GiletteMach3) or for conferences and events.

Following/Followers: You receive messages on Twitter by following people or companies in which you’re interested. Once you start following someone, their messages will appear in your incoming timeline on your Twitter homepage. Likewise, to get your tweets seen by other people, you have to garner followers to your account.

Direct Message: Direct Messages, also known as DMs, are messages sent through Twitter’s private messaging channel. These tweets will appear under the “Messages” tab on your homepage. If you have email notifications turned on, you’ll also receive an email message when someone sends you a DM. Only you can see DMs sent to you – they don’t appear in search results or in your public timeline. You can only send DMs to people who are following you (and, conversely, you can only receive DMs from people you follow). There are a couple of ways you can send DMs. You can go to your “Messages” tab, use the pull-down menu to select a recipient, and start typing your tweet. You can also send DMs from your Twitter homepage by typing “d username” and then your message. For example, if you wanted to contact us, you would type, “d digitaldogsaz I have a question about using Twitter.”

ReTweet (RT): You can quickly share other people’s ideas or praise someone’s work on Twitter by reposting their tweets and giving them credit. Known as “retweeting” (RT), it typically looks like this: RT @Username: Original message (often with a link.” Retweeting occurs commonly on Twitter, and it provides an effective way for quickly spreading messages and ideas.

With retweets, your company’s message can quickly spread to a new audience.

Twitter Handle: The username for your Twitter account. Twitter handles are denoted by the @ symbol, so they appear like this: @digitaldogsaz.

In the next part of our series, how Twitter can be used in the business world and why it might (or might not) be a good fit for your company’s marketing efforts.

Have any questions? Let us know in the comment section below.

Read More

Yesterday, we posted about a guide in which Google explains how the search engine works. We’re going to follow a similar theme today, providing you with a guide to Google Analytics. This guide is easy-to-follow and takes you through the process of setting up Google Analytics and then configuring it to provide meaningful data for your small business.

We help our clients with Google Analytics all the time. It’s an amazing tool that can help you pinpoint areas in which you can improve your site’s performance. However, if you’re managing your company’s Analytics all on your own, sometimes the capabilities of the tool can be overwhelming. This guide breaks it down for small business owners who want to more effectively leverage the tool for their companies. Of course, if you still have questions after going through the guide, you can always contact us for help with your site’s Analytics. Give us a call at 480-451-3647 or leave us a comment below.

Read More

On Friday, Google announced an interactive infograph, called “How Search Works.” The title pretty much explains it all.

Google breaks the infograph into three parts:

  1. Crawling and Indexing
  2. Algorithms
  3. Fighting Spam

Crawling and Indexing

Here Google explains how they find and organize all the information out there on the World Wide Web.


In this section, Google explains what the algorithms are and how they determine which websites rank.

Fighting Spam

Finally, Google tells how they try to provide the best results possible by fighting against spam.

Overall, the infograph provides a simple, straightforward explanation of how THE search engine of all search engines work. As you scroll through the infograph, there are several images, typically circles, that you can hover over to get more information. Of course, the best way to understand how it works is to visit it yourself.

What do you think of the infograph? Does it help clarify how the search engines work to you? Leave us your comments below!

Read More

At Digital Dogs, we offer a whole schmear of website services – web design, web development, and all kinds of online marketing (SEO, PPC, social media). However, some clients come to us looking for a specific service. Perhaps they already have a great web design, and they just want to increase online visibility, so they sign up for SEO and PPC. Sometime, people don’t have a website at all, and they come to us just wanting some web design and development services. We ALWAYS encourage these individuals to include SEO services with their web design project. Many see the value and sign up.

Others do not.

And then they come to us – sometimes the DAY after the site has launched – and they ask us why they aren’t ranking #1 in Google. So I send them this lovely SEO meme:

Not really, though that’s what I want to do. Instead, I’ll send an email or we’ll schedule a phone call so I can explain some of the different factors that contribute to a strong online presence. By the end of the conversation, the client typically understands that one does not simply get to the top of Google.

Do you wonder why your website isn’t showing up in search results? Leave a comment or contact us at 480-451-3647. We can conduct an analysis of your website and break down the steps you need to take in order to achieve a more prominent online presence.

Read More