SEO Scoop now has its own toolbar that you can download for free. It looks like this (shrunken down to fit within this post):
Now, honestly, I don't expect many of my readers to download what I call "yet another toolbar". After all, most of us web-savvy folks have more toolbars than we reasonably have screen real estate to spare. So, I will first tell you the advantages of downloading the SEO Scoop toolbar, and then describe why you should create your own toolbar for your site.
What does the SEO Scoop toolbar let you do?
- Instant access to SEO Scoop from any site on the web
- Keep up with the latest SEO Scoop posts
- Get instant access to useful SEO related links
- Chat with other users who have the toolbar installed
Ok, those are pretty decent reasons to download the toolbar, but I still don't expect that many people will. So, why then did I create the toolbar, and more importantly, why should you create one? I mainly created the SEO Scoop toolbar to see what benefits, if any, having one's own toolbar would provide, and how difficult it would be to set one up. I will answer the second part of that first.
How difficult was it to create my toolbar? It was ridiculously easy. I used the tool by EffectiveBrand which is just a simple step-by-step wizard that walks you through the process of creating a toolbar. It is completely free, and contains no nasty spyware or adware, nor does it violate user privacy or create any security holes. I had the entire toolbar set up in about 10 minutes (and most of that time was just me thinking about what to put on the toolbar). If I had already decided what to put on it, it probably would have taken about 2 minutes.
So what are the benefits of having your own toolbar? Ah, now, this is what you came here to read. There are actually lots of benefits, and with the ease of creating one, and the price (free), you should make your own today! Ok, on to the benefits from an SEO / Web marketing point of view.
Branding and Return Customers - For a long time now, search engines have been scrambling to be the one that owns the toolbar in your browser. According to one of the marketing researchers at the latest SES New York conference, 1 in 3 use a search engine toolbar on their browser. The search engine that owns the majority of those toolbars have their brand in the face of those users the entire time that the user is online. Get your toolbar in the face of your users, and you've got a user who will be returning to your site over and over again. Even if your rankings in the search engines drop, and new users become scarce, your existing client base will be reminded of your site on a daily basis.
Another Distribution Point for Your RSS Feed - If you already have an RSS feed (and you should), it will be displayed right on the toolbar. If you don't yet have an RSS feed, you can create one just for the toolbar that is hosted on EffectiveBrand's site. They take care of the technicalities of sending the messages to your users. All you have to do is fill in the message you want them to see and they send it out to the toolbars for you. RSS feeds are hot, and more and more people are subscribing to feeds that interest them. If someone is interested in the information you have to give, and that information is right there on their toolbar, they will be more likely to visit your site - no more "out of sight, out of mind" problems.
Announce your Specials, Events and Products of The Day! - Imagine this. You can put your online specials, product of the day, or anything else right there on the toolbar, giving users a new reason each and every day to come to your site. And any time you add a new "daily special" button, your users will see the new look instantaneously.
Building a Community - The buzz these days is on Building Communities. It is what is currently driving the frenzy behind blogs, forums, chat rooms, etc. You get your own chat room for all users who have your toolbar installed. They can click on the little chat icon and immediately chat with you or other users within your toolbar community. To quote my favorite TV chef, Rachel Ray, "How cool is that?"
Instill Trust - Your users will soon think you of as their trustworthy source of information for your topic of interest. In addition, since the toolbar does NOT spy on users, does NOT launch pop-ups, does NOT "hijack" users' searches, and does NOT create security holes, your trustworthiness is further established in their minds.
Provide A Unique Search Experience - One of the coolest features is the use of Effective Results technology. EffectiveBrand is the only toolbar with Effective Results technology, which understands what users are looking for and offers them related links and resources. The toolbar understands your users' specific searches or the page they are on and presents relevant messages from you. The toolbar also shows quality websites related to the current page or the current search, which are extremely useful for users, as they point to relevant websites that they would not otherwise find. This makes it more likely that users will enjoy and continue using your toolbar - building customer loyalty and a positive perception of your brand, in context of the user's online activities. What's more, when a user clicks an Effective Results category, the top three entries are sponsored links. You can ensure that your link gets the top spot - at no charge - and for as many keywords as you like. By using the right keywords and the right categories, you can place your brand in context of what the user is actually looking for. Finally, you can even block competitor's links from appearing, and block adult content as well.
Make Money! - In addition to all the ways mentioned above that will increase your revenues (brand loyalty, return visits from existing clients, establishing trust, getting special promotions and rss feeds into the face of your users), you can also earn money from the toolbar itself! If you have a SearchFeed ID, you can embed that ID into the toolbar. Whenever your users click on any of the sponsored links in your toolbar's Effective Results you get paid by SearchFeed! If you don't yet have a SearchFeed ID, you can get one here. Also, if you have buttons on your toolbar that lead to other sites, you can embed your affiliate url right into it. If your user goes to that site, they do so via your affiliate ID.
Let's face it. If we rely entirely on our search engine rankings, then we are doomed to waking up one morning to discover all of our hard work has gone down the drain with the latest search engine algorithm update. Smart SEOs know that we must utilize every possible method of obtaining and keeping site visitors. Having your own toolbar is just one more weapon in your arsenal of SEO and Web Marketing tools. SEO Scoop may not get many toolbar downloads, but I intend to create toolbars for many of my other sites - and I will market them heavily to those users!