Sunday, April 29, 2007

Web 2.0 Social Tagging Sites, Part 1: Alexa Rankings


Here are the rankings for 42 Web 2.0 social tagging sites, according to Alexa. Although Alexa is notorious for its lack of precision, as documented by GigaOM, SEO Book, BloggingStocks and others, it's still useful as a rough guide to website popularity. A site ranked at 20,000 may not really be more popular than the site at spot 25,000, but it certainly gets more traffic than a site ranked at 200,000. As pointed out at PaulStamatiou.com, "While you shouldn’t quote Alexa rankings as ultimate truth, Alexa data is useful for comparing website to website, especially when those websites are in the same market (ie: Digg.com vs. Reddit.com)."

Furthermore, as WebKEW, Robin Good and others have noted, "Alexa's rankings tend to be extremely accurate, especially for the top 10,000 sites." 15 of the sites listed here fall into that group. Robin Good actually places the number at as many as 50,000, which encompasses 29 of these Web 2.0 social tagging sites.

So, take these with a grain (or two) of salt, but here are the current rankings:

Social Bookmarking Sites in Top 10,000:

Yahoo! MyWeb
Alexa Rank: 1
An anomaly right off the bat -- this reflects Yahoo's ranking as whole, not specifically MyWeb. Fortunately, the rest of the sites listed here are focused on Web 2.0 social tagging, so the comparisons get more apples-to-apples.

Digg
Alexa Rank: 88

del.icio.us
Alexa Rank: 184

Techorati
Alexa Rank: 204

StumbleUpon
Alexa Rank: 325

eSnips
Alexa Rank: 654

Squidoo
Alexa Rank: 706

Reddit
Alexa Rank: 860

Fark.com
Alexa Rank: 1,483

blinklist
Alexa Rank: 3,578

Furl
Alexa Rank: 3,807

Newsvine
Alexa Rank: 3,903

Clipmarks
Alexa Rank: 5,035

Blogmarks
Alexa Rank: 6,430

Ma.gnolia
Alexa Rank: 7,374

Social Bookmarking Sites in Top 50,000:

Simpy
Alexa Rank: 11,232

Blue Dot
Alexa Rank: 11,392

NowPublic
Alexa Rank: 11,807

Spurl
Alexa Rank: 13,222

Netvouz
Alexa Rank: 16,133

Zimbio (one of my personal favorites)
Alexa Rank: 17,403

Diigo
Alexa Rank: 22,866

Listible
Alexa Rank: 24,680

Shadows
Alexa Rank: 25,923

Backflip
Alexa Rank: 25,968

RawSugar
Alexa Rank: 27,184

Searchles (another favorite)
Alexa Rank: 27,519

BibSonomy
Alexa Rank: 49,670

Social Bookmarking Sites in Top 100,000:

MarkaBoo
Alexa Rank: 59,835

BuddyMarks
Alexa Rank: 84,699

ClipClip
Alexa Rank: 89,964

i89.us
Alexa Rank: 95,202

Social Bookmarking Sites in Top 1,000,000:

ButterFly
Alexa Rank: 131,054

Complore
Alexa Rank: 144,213

BmAccess
Alexa Rank: 144,275

30daytags
Alexa Rank: 194,976

WireFan
Alexa Rank: 239,602

Linkatopia
Alexa Rank: 239,613

Social Bookmarking
Alexa Rank: 240,461

SyncOne
Alexa Rank: 335,532

URLex
Alexa Rank: 335,952

ListerLister
Alexa Rank: 861,766

Two other sites -- Gabbr and Mister Wong -- are still in beta and not currently allowing registrations, but have the potential to be interesting players in this space.

As the title indicates, this is the first of a series of posts on the Web 2.0 social tagging phenomenon, so if this topic is of interest to you, you won't want to miss this blog over the next few weeks.

*****

Terms: Web 2.0 social tagging, social bookmarking, Alexa rank, rankings, listing, directory, Robin Good, Digg, del.icio.us, Technorati, StumbleUpon, Squidoo

Find top marketing books and other web marketing resources: WebMarketCentral.com

The only Minnesota-based marketing agency focused exclusively on B2B IT PR and marketing: KC Associates

Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentral.com

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

7 Essential Tools for Business Blogs

There are several ways your business can benefit from blogging short of starting your own blog, from simply identifying and monitoring the most influential blogs in your industry, to asking bloggers to write about interesting developments at your company, to guest-blogging. But once you've made the commitment to writing your own blog, here are seven essential tools—beyond the blogging platform itself (Blogger, TypePad, WordPress, Moveable Type, etc.)—to help promote your business blog and make it successful.

Technorati

Like a set of power tools for bloggers, Technorati lets you claim your blog, add tags to make it easier for people to find it, monitor your blog's popularity, place an "Add this to my Technorati favorites" Web 2.0 social tagging button, install a toolbar plug-in to tag your favorite sites/blogs, and more.

Feedburner

The easiest way to produce and promote an RSS feed for your blog so your fans can add your feed to their favorite RSS newsreader, MyYahoo, NetVibes or other desktop tool.

eXTReMe Tracker

A free, easy-to-add traffic-tracking tool for your blog, that shows you traffic by day, week and month as well as where your readers are coming from.

Zimbio

Web 2.0 social tagging service where you can submit your blog, post articles, tag your favorite sites, and add a "My Zimbio" tagging button to make it easy for your readers to tag your blog posts.

Digg

Another social tagging site that provides a free "Digg It" button for your blog to let readers easily tag your posts for increased visibility. Digg is monitored by Google Alerts, which further increases your blog's exposure.

the truth laid bear

Like Technorati, TTLB lets you claim your blog and monitor its popularity, although in this case based on how many other blogs link to yours. It's also helpful for finding the most popular blogs in your subject area.

Pingoat

Each time you add a new post, use Pingoat to easily and automatically ping the most popular syndication services (including Technorati, FeedBurner, Moreover and IceRocket) to let them know you've added new content.

*****

Terms: Technorati, FeedBurner, Zimbio, Extreme Tracker, Digg, The Truth Laid Bear, Pingoat, IceRocket, blogger tools, Web 2.0 social tagging

The web marketing books, how-to guides and resources directory: WebMarketCentral.com

Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentral.com

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

WMC Interviews: Lee Smith


I recently caught up with Lee Smith, CEO of web marketing services firm Persuasive Brands, to talk about his views on what works in web marketing. Persuasive Brands provides web development, SEO, branding and online advertising services from the New Jersey-New York-Philadelphia area.

WebMarketCentral (WMC): What did you do before Persuasive Brands?

Lee Smith (LS): Prior to starting Persuasive Brands, I was the founder, President, COO and acting CEO of a leading online market research firm. In this capacity, I helped clients across all industries address their business and marketing challenges using information to help shape winning strategies and supporting tactics. I adopted this approach based upon my experience as a marketer myself developing, launching and managing international products. Many years earlier, I expanded my software development skills by attending Carnegie Mellon’s graduate business school—which was a tremendously enriching experience.


WMC: How did you get started in this business?

LS: I began Persuasive Brands to help clients fully leverage the marketing and awareness-raising power of the online environment. I was inspired by colleagues who were struggling with marketing challenges that could easily be overcome through marketing online. I demonstrated that with a comprehensive marketing plan that effectively differentiates a company’s offerings and uses search engine marketing, innovative online advertising campaigns and custom website development, firms can quickly and efficiently generate awareness, induce trial and drive sales.

When properly leveraged, the Internet is a tremendous “equalizer.” Never before have companies with highly targeted audiences or limited marketing resources been able to compete with large, well funded companies.

From these experiences and based upon the growing power of online marketing, Persuasive Brands was established.


WMC: Who is your ideal or typical client?

LS: While we work with firms across all industries and of all sizes, firms currently experiencing limited online success or those entirely new to the online environment tend to experience the greatest “Wow!” factor.

Within a few days after Persuasive Brands is engaged, our client has a better understanding of their business, the marketplace and how they compete. Within a month, the client has a marketing plan that includes compelling differentiating factors and a roadmap for success. And by the end of the second month, our clients experience increased inbound sales activity driven by organic search results, placement within leading directories, links from relevant websites, an integrated online advertising campaign and a new or substantially revised website.


WMC: What sets you apart from your competition?

LS: We bring a uniquely emotional approach to online marketing. We emphatically believe that awareness, trial and sales are driven, first and foremost, by a company’s message and supporting imagery. We work incessantly to ensure our client’s message instantly resonates with their target market and is promoted online using integrated and economical awareness raising methods.


WMC: How do you market and promote your business?

LS: Of course, we market and promote our services online. We have built our initial success by harnessing organic search results with highly targeted online advertising. Interestingly, referrals and expanding client relationships are increasingly fueling our business. While this is and should be the goal of every business, we are always exploring and developing new online approaches to grow our business—and, most importantly, that of our clients.


WMC: What's the biggest or most important marketing lesson you've learned since you started Persuasive Brands?

LS: I’ve learned two very important lessons since starting Persuasive Brands and during my 20+ years in marketing. First, develop a solid marketing strategy, but be open-minded. The online environment is dynamic but do not allow this to alter your business/marketing objectives and strategies for success. Stay the course but realize tactics that worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. Second, everyone should learn something new every day—and a strong client relationship enables all parties to be both teacher and student. What could be more enjoyable!


WMC: Anything else you'd like to add?

LS: Good marketing begins with defining and communicating your advantages. Focusing and building upon your strengths will, more than anything, contribute to your long term success. Then, it’s all about driving awareness.

*****

Terms: Lee Smith, Persuasive Brands, online advertising, search engine marketing, online advertising, marketing strategy

The web marketing resources and tools site: WebMarketCentral.com

Web marketing, search engine optimization and B2B lead gen for tech companies: KC Associates

Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentral.com

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Looking Back at 100: Top 10 Posts

On the occasion of the 101st post to this blog, here's a brief look back at the ten most trafficked posts to this point:

10) Business Blogs: PR Tool or Marketing Tool? (Nov. 30, 2006)
In which the question is asked (and answered), what is the fundamental purpose of blogging for business?

9) More of the Best Website Marketing Tools (Jan. 15, 2007)
More helpful tools for SEO, marketing research and blogging reviewed.

8) Backflip: A Dot-Com Survivor Story (June 29, 2005)
A fascinating true-life story of Internet riches-to-rags-to-rebirth, complete with millionaires and rock stars.

7) WMC Interviews: Mike Schultz (Apr. 1, 2006)
Marketing wisdom from the founder of the Wellesley-Hills Group and publisher of the RainToday professional services marketing newsletter.

6) "Guaranteed Web Traffic" - Really? (Oct. 3, 2006)
The true value of "guaranteed website traffic" services exposed. (This post tells you how to effectively do it.)

5) Web Conferencing Services Reviewed (Aug. 7, 2006)
A look at the pros and cons of six popular webinar production and web presentation services.

4) Two New Web Marketing Concepts (Jan. 22, 2007)
A quick look at browser branding and geo-targeted web marketing.

3) The Age of the Micromarket? (Jan. 21, 2006)
A discursive on teen cliques, alternative computer operating systems, Pink Floyd -- and the importance of carefully targeting your marketing messages.

2) Selecting an Advertising Agency (June 7, 2005)
Guidance on writing an effective RFP that will help you choose the right marketing agency to meet your needs.

And the most popular post to date on the WMC blog...

1) Top Internet Advertising Networks (Jan. 29, 2007)
Web-based advertising services to consider when you're ready to move beyond Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing.

*****

Terms: business blogs, web marketing tools, web conferencing services, choosing an ad agency, Mike Schultz, internet advertising networks, generating website traffic, Backflip

The web marketing news, books and resources portal: WebMarketCentral.com

Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentral.com

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

4 Ways to Improve Email Deliverability


Other than overflowing email inboxes, the biggest challenge for email marketers is deliverability. While ISP blocking and corporate email filters have gotten much more effective at keeping garbage about cheap pharmaceuticals, p*rn and miracle weight-loss plans out of our mailboxes (which is good), they also often over zealously block legitimate marketing emails (which is not). Here are four tips to improve the deliverability of your legitimate, opt-in email marketing newsletters and campaign blasts.

1) Run a spam check on your content before sending. There are a number of helpful, free online spam-checking tools available including tools from Lyris and Sitesell. Both give you a score and rationale for the "spamminess" of your message.

2) Be careful with subject lines and content. Spam blocking filters hate the word "free" (which is too bad because real people love it; try "no cost," "no obligation" or something similar instead) and exclamation points. TheyREALLY hate multiple exclamation points!!! So avoid these, as well as references to prescription medications (easy for most of us, though not always for healthcare organizations) or young Hollywood starlets.

For the benefit of human readers, make sure the subject line addresses WIIFM (What's in it for me) rather than being focused on your new product or service. The Email Insider blog has an excellent post the topic.

3) As I've written previously, use a hosted email service for sending out your newsletters and blasts. They automatically ensure CAN-SPAM compliance, are white-listed by major ISPs, provide complete statistics on opens and click-throughs as well as message delivery, and automate list management tasks. There are a number of feature-rich, reasonably-priced hosted email services available.

4) Read Chris Baggott's Email Marketing Best Practices blog. It's one of the best resources available for guidance on deliverability, branding and other email marketing topics.

*****

Terms: email marketing, spam filters, email deliverability, spam check tools, Lyris, Sitesell, Chris Baggott

The web marketing tools and services portal: WebMarketCentral.com

The B2B techn0logy public relations and lead generation specialists: KC Associates

Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentral.com

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