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Showing posts from September, 2008

Best of 2008 (So Far) - SEO Link Building

Looking for creative ways to go beyond "standard" link building practices? Want to figure out which linking strategies your competitors are using? What's the proper balance between link acquisition and link baiting activities? How can you get links from high-authority sites? Need to build up some external links quickly for a new or redesigned website?

Discover all of this and more in these blog posts and articles, some of the best so far in 2008 on link building strategies and tactics.

Building Links with Big Brand Websites, Part 2 by Find Resolution

Search marketer Dave McAnally explains five link-building tactics useful for big brand websites, though some of these—integrating SEO with PR efforts and leveraging all of your digital assets, for example—are smart moves for any size company.

Analyzing Your Competitor’s Backlinking Strategies by Search Engine Journal

The brilliant Ann Smarty shows how to evaluate your competition's niche link-building strategy, their deep lin…

How To not Preform A PR Outreach

Despite the fact that several smart PR bloggers, including Cece Lee, Laura Moncur and Elge Premeau have written about what works in blogger outreach for PR, there are still a lot of agencies and PR people who just don't get it. Their efforts at appealing to bloggers are awkward at best, counterproductive at worst.

Want bloggers to write nice things about your product, service or company? First, it helps to understand how to get bloggers to write about you. Second, here are 6 practices to avoid.

1. Just send a press release.

This is likely to do your company or your client more harm than good. There is an extremely low chance that a blogger will write about you based on getting press release, but a pretty darn good chance that he/she will view you as a spammer and ignore any subsequent emails you send.

Imagine it's a phone call instead of an email. And imagine you're on the phone with a really influential blogger, like...Seth Godin. Seth answers the phone, you introduce your…

Best of 2008 (So Far) - Website Design, Part 1

Why do some websites fail to achieve objectives? How can you whip an underperforming website into shape? Which elements are the most critical when initiating a website redesign project? How can small businesses cost-effectively add sophisticated capabilities like custom search and social networking features to their sites? What separates effective navigation from poor design?

Learn the answers to these questions and more in some of the best blog posts and articles on website design published so far in 2008.

A Small Business Year-End Web Site Checklist by Search Engine Land

Search marketer Matt McGee provides an outstanding 10-point checklist of items that site owners should check (at least) annually, including domain registration, contact form operation, autoresponders and outbound links.

15 Ways to Get Your Website in Gear by iMedia Connection

Lisa Wehr, CEO and founder of Oneupweb, writes that if your online marketing efforts are coming up short, it may be a good time to take "a sys…

Here Are Your Answers To The 15 Most FAQ By Sherpa

MarketingSherpa yesterday published an article titled Long-Tail Keywords Dead? We Answer This Question and 14 Others on SEO (open access on their site until September 25). Without summarizing the entire 5-page (at 9-point font size!) article, here are a few highlights and observations:

Paid vs. Organic Search

The article states that 95% of search clicks go to organic results, and only 5% to paid links. While there's no question that organic search results get more clicks than the associated ads, the contrast isn't quite that extreme. Lee Odden puts this breakout at closer to 60/40, HubSpot has it at 75/25, and Dynamic Digital says...a lot of things, but basically that organic results get 70-80% while paid links receive 20-30%.

Because organic links perform better, Sherpa advises focusing on SEO, then "only when you see natural search traffic going down should you look to paid search links to supplement that organic traffic." That's just plain wrong!

The first ques…

Perfecting The Social Media Email Signature

In the old days, email signatures pretty much just mirrored business card information: name, company, title, phone, fax (gotta love that 80's technology still hanging on!) and email address. For most people, that's still the only information their email signature provides.

A growing number of Web 2.0-savvy executives, however, are breaking out of the old mold and creatively integrating social networking into their email sign-off. After all, the two purposes of an email signature are to tell the recipient a little about yourself (e.g., your title, company and location) and to give them different ways to contact you. Social networking sites are simply an extension of those two functions, giving other people more information about yourself and additional ways to interact.

Based on my informal research, here are the most popular social media elements people are adding to their Web 2.0 email signatures:

Twitter page, LinkedIn profile and blog link: these are the most popular social …

Average CTR for Banner Ads - New Data

MarketingSherpa just published a short article, Banner Ad Size and Click Rate: Bigger a Bit Better, But It’s Clicks that Count, that includes this chart:

Three observations stand out:

1) The data haven't changed much since last year, when it was reported here that "The average CTR for banner ads is roughly 0.25%, with a reported range of 0.17% to 0.40%."

2) Click-through rates are pathetic regardless of ad size, so don't use CTR as the primary metric for evaluating banner advertising. In the words of MarketingSherpa, "Online ads are branding tools. Direct clicks are simply a happy byproduct." Banner advertising is most commonly sold on a CPM basis (and with CTR's like that, it's no wonder). CPMs on B2B publisher sites typically range anywhere from $30 t0 $120, meaning that a banner advertiser is paying $15-$60 per click based on the average CTR of 0.21%.

3) The best response rates come from 300x250 ads, which are typically positioned in the top righ…

The Best Web Marketing of 2008

Which types of online advertising provide the highest ROI? Who's really clicking on your PPC ads? Why do PPC costs keep rising? How can you convert more clickers into buyers? Are Web 2.0 technologies now mainstream?

Learn these answers and more from this collection of blog posts and articles, some of the best reporting on online research topics so far this year.

Online Marketers See High ROI from SEO by Marketing Pilgrim

Blogger, SEO expert and PR pro Janet Meiners reports on an MarketingSherpa study detailing the growth in paid search and organic search engine optimization. Read her post to discover which types of online advertising get a thumbs up—and which are losing favor with interactive marketers.

Who's really clicking? by iMedia Connection

Sandeep Krishnamurthy, Professor of Marketing and E-Commerce at the University of Washington, paints a bleak picture of the future of PPC advertising—then gets blasted for it in the Comments by some fairly high-profile sources. My take i…

Where Savvy Marketers Go to Become Savvier

Note: this is the first of two guest-posts from customer loyalty expert Nisha Prasad at IQPC. Read on to find out how you can get special pricing for IPQC's upcoming customer engagement and loyalty event.

You’re a marketing star. You have more creativity than Jeff Koons, your plans are impeccable and your campaigns are the stuff of marketing Hall of Fame.

But are you hitting the mark where it counts? That is, are you engaging and retaining your customers, as well as marketing to them?

We all know the positive business impact of keeping our customers loyal but its often difficult to implement and execute a customer-oriented marketing plan that a) wins C Level Support b) is compatible with current business processes and c) uses financial resources wisely.

IQPC has put together the Customer Engagement and Loyalty Summit (November 17-19, 2008, Hilton Miami, FL) to address these real marketing issues. The two-day conference brings together successful business oriented leaders to share th…

How To Use the Tools of Social Media Optimization

The term "social media" encompasses several different types of sites, and it's important to use all of them properly in order to really be effective at social media optimization (SMO). Blogs are of course one of the most common forms of social media, and there are significant benefits to having your own blog as well as building name recognition and credibility for your company through other industry blogs.

But what separates SMO from SEO is that search engine optimization is about owning a top spot in the search engines for your website on a specific term, while social media optimization is about owning the entire first page of the search engines for multiple sites that point back to you for a specific term. So, here are some tips for using different types of social media sites for SMO.

Discussion Forums

These are a place to showcase your expertise in a non-promotional way. For example, in an SEO forum, telling everyone how great your agency is at SEO is suicide; but disp…