Day 4: SXSW Wrap Up, Ashton Kutcher, and The New York Times

OK, I know, we didn’t get a chance to update you on Day 3.  SXSW is intense on your time and by the end of the festival half the people have lost their voice and the other half are completely sleep deprived.  It’s tough because the best networking happens at 2 am at the various sponsored parties around downtown Austin.  Companies from Microsoft to Mashable throw parties that attract the social media glitterati in attendance at SXSW.  Of course, most of these people are completely irrelevant to our business.  But that doesn’t mean the networking isn’t valuable for us.

Monday night we attended one of the best parties of all, the Foursquare/Brizzly party at the Cedar Street Courtyard.  We managed to skip the long line and attend the VIP portion of the party thanks to college friends who were actually SXSW VIPs (thanks Caroline and Jon!).  To make a long story short, Ashton Kutcher dropped by and interviewed one of our team members for his uStream channel.  We’ll share that when we find it online.

We were also interviewed by Technorati and The New York Times’ VentureBeat at SXSW (link coming soon for the latter).  Check ’em out!  You can also see our last official video entry here and us celebrating the end of a very successful SXSW by riding Austin’s famed G’Raj Mahal snake.

This is a picture of one of the balloons we wore around every day at SXSW.  It was a great way to attract attention.

In the end we did not win the Accelerator competition but we can’t complain because the field of competitors was stacked with much larger, better-funded companies.  The winner, Siri, just completed a $24M Series B round.  Yeah, $24M.  So we’re pretty excited we were even selected as finalists to compete with such incredible companies!

Til next time…

Day 2: SXSW is Tiring and Our Presentation is Monday!

Day 2 has worn our bodies down.  We ended up taking a quick nap on the floor of the convention center.  But we haven’t failed you – we filmed three mini-updates.  This video and its counterpart show you the Social Media Clubhouse where the Root Orange team sat down for an interview with TechZulu.  There’s a third video of Frank getting interviewed by AOL’s Download Squad but YouTube is being glitchy – we’ll post it as soon as the kinks get worked out (update: it’s working now, check out the link).  Tonight we attended the Twitter and Mashable parties but the latter was the best hands down.  Can’t beat a good DJ!

In the meantime, enjoy the beautiful views of the lake (and a very nice infinity pool) in Austin in the videos above.  Tomorrow (Monday) we present at the Accelerator competition, watch us LIVE at 1:30 EST.  The pitches are limited to 2 minutes but the Q&A lasts for 10 minutes.

SXSW Day 1

After a night of parties, we hit the panels today in full force.  Aside from a panel moderated by Paul Carr of TechCrunch, most panels weren’t life shattering.  The parties seem to be the best place to meet and network with people.  Here’s our first video update!

Guidelines for Success with Google’s Organic Search

By Aparna Agarwal

With increasing competition among local businesses, every entrepreneur is struggling with ways to ensure that their website shows up as the top search result in Google.  Getting the best results from Google search does not necessarily entail a technical understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  There are several ways to ensure success, based on the some basic principles used by Google while looking up pages.

In order to have your website listed in as many searches as possible, you need to assimilate a “big picture” view of your business. You need to understand what the popular phrases and words are that people use to look up information on the web and design your website to cater to the most frequently used items. You can test various terms using tools such as Google’s Keyword Tool and Insights for Search.  You can then include these words or phrases in your website content.  These keywords should especially be included in page titles, section headings, and the domain name(s).     Although it is always a good idea to upload images on your website, you must also include text with the images since the Googlebot does not read images.

Another principle that determines rankings in Google’s search results is the number and quality of other websites that link to your content.  You must make sure you are aware of your competition and their web presence. If there are related businesses or customers, you can ask them to link their content to your site.  You can also set up blogs or Twitter feeds to regularly put more information out there about your website.

There is a lot to learn about SEO which can greatly impact your web presence and help your business grow rapidly.  You can access various guides online that can help you navigate through the process, but most often, a few key simple steps can take you a long way.