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Showing posts from 2009

SEO Tool Review: Take your Efforts to the Next Level with SEMRush

SEMRush offers a powerful suite of SEO and search marketing tools, particularly for those who've already done the basic SEO work and perhaps have an AdWords program running, but want to take efforts to the next level.

The suite includes tools for:
Google Keywords (shows what terms a site shows up for on Google, along with search position, search volume, AdWords CPC cost for those terms and other stats)AdWords Keywords (for sites already running SEM campaigns)Competitors in Google (helpful for finding potential link partners and online advertising opportunities)Competitors in AdWordsPotential Ad Buyers (for sites that sell advertising space)Potential Ad Sellers One particularly helpful report for SEO purposes is the Google Keywords report. In this example (with only identifying information removed), notice that this particular site is showing up on page two of Google for a number of key terms. It's great to be able to identify such terms; with a bit more onsite optimization and …

Twin Cities Top 10 Titans in Social Media Announced

Judy Grundstrom at the Just JudyJudyJudy blog yesterday announced the Twin Cities Top Ten Titans In Social Media 2009, chosen by a distinguished group of judges.

It's a very interesting list. The winners come from a variety of backgrounds, including politics (Dusty Trice), broadcast media (Jason Matheson and Alexis Thompson of FM 107.1, Jason DeRusha of WCCO TV), the arts (Kate Iverson), corporate marketing (Kelly Groehler of Best Buy), and PR agencies (Blois Olson and David Erickson from Tunheim, the brilliant Jennifer Kane, and, um...me), among others.

You can find details of the top five and 6-10 winners on Judy's blog. It's quite an honor to be named to this list, and it helped me pick up a bunch of cool new local Twitter friends (I still don't like the term "followers," sounds too Kool-Aid-drinking cultish) like Aimee Cheek, Allison Janney, Tara Olson and Morsekode.

Judy also discussed some of the winners on the December 9 Jason & Alexis show on FM 107.…

137 Twitter Marketing Tips for Small Business Trying To Go Big

In case you missed it (as I did), Anita Campbell a few months ago published 137 Twitter Tips: How Small Businesses Get the Most from Twitter, based on input from the readers of Small Business Trends.

This report provides a treasure trove of guidance for marketers who seek to increase their brand awareness, credibility and business results using Twitter. The tips are categorized into six sections. Among the recommendations provided, by section:

Getting Started
Matt McGee provides tools (such as Tweepz) and other methods for finding local Tweeters to follow, and getting them to follow back.Joseph Manna notes the importance of commitment, and recommends spending at least a half hour per day discovering and Tweeting.John Joyce and Becky McCray offer guidance on useful tools (e.g., Twitter search and Twellow) for finding local or industry-relevant people to follow.Staci J. Shelton advises following people who retweet your content in order to build relationships with people who value what you…

Social Media, Cell Phones, Online Shopping and Big Brother

Is Big Brother watching you? Books like George Orwell's classic 1984 and films such as Minority Report and Eagle Eye present a nightmarish vision of an omniscient government watching our every move. The reality is far different story, paranoia about the Patriot Act notwithstanding. As recently as 2004, FBI agents still used laptops with Intel 286 processors.

But is it possible that the government simply doesn't need hidden cameras, high-tech listening devices and secret agents everywhere in order to know the intimate details of our lives—that we're doing it for them?

Consider a few technologies that have become part of daily life:

Cell Phones: these can not only be used to take pictures virtually anywhere—and instantaneously upload them to the Internet—with GPS tracking, they can also be used to record our every move and pinpoint our current location.

Credit Cards: the credit card companies, and services they report data to, know what you buy, when, where, and how much. If g…

Which is Better for Capturing B2B Blog Traffic - Twitter or LinkedIn?

I recently did a little test to determine whether Twitter or LinkedIn was more effective at driving traffic to a few specific posts on this blog. While the results aren't scientific by any means, they are enlightening.

Various posts were promoted on Twitter (with retweeting encouraged) and to three relevant and popular LinkedIn Groups focused on social media, PR and b2b lead generation.

The results? For a minimally retweeted post, Twitter drove about twice the traffic of LinkedIn. For a heavily retweeted post, Twitter provided six times the traffic of the LinkedIn groups. More specifically, on the day this article was posted, Twitter accounted for 60% of the total blog traffic, LinkedIn about 10% (the remaining 30% was mostly Google search plus a few miscellaneous referring sites).

Of course, your mileage may vary based on factors such as the specific LinkedIn groups utilized, the number of Twitter followers you have, and the influence of those retweeting the post. Still, the magni…

Mastering SEO for Product Pages That Produce Profit

It seems like so much of what is written about search engine optimization (SEO) assumes that you're writing a blog post, or a news story, or the next great "how to" article that's going to be syndicated far and wide on article marketing sites.

Sometimes that is what you're doing, but often writing for the web—and SEO—involves less glamorous pages like product or service descriptions. Of course, such pages are critical: no one will buy anything from you if they don't understand what you offer. It's just that, no matter how creatively written and carefully optimized, your "About Our Widgets" page is never going to make it to the first page of Digg. It simply can't compete with the latest Britney-Spears-abducted-by-a-three-armed-alien type story.

So how do you add life, and SEO value, to a product page? Here are four complementary techniques:

1) Use the words your prospects use. It doesn't matter if your product is technically more of a thi…

Top Marketing Budget Priorities for 2017

Given the continued high unemployment rate and uncertain prospects for economic recovery, marketing budgets will be tight heading into the new year. Most B2B marketers are likely to find themselves with fewer dollars to spend but more pressure to spend them carefully.

In this environment, what are the three or four areas where marketers should focus scare resources? One area clearly is organic search engine optimization (SEO). While it isn't necessarily cheap, it's inexpensive in comparison to most other types of online marketing and advertising programs, and nothing is more effective at drawing targeted website traffic at the time prospects are looking.

According to eMarketer, SEO tops the list of effective web lead generation methods, as "Forty-eight percent of marketers (in a 2009 study by Forbes) said that SEO was the best method for generating conversions online." In addition, a 2009 SEMPO study found that SEO was second only to paid placement at producing the be…

3 Reasons it's Tough to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Social media marketing is a hot topic, with 75% of marketers planning to initiate or increase social media use next year. With larger budgets and more time devoted to social media will come increased pressure to demonstrate ROI.

While it's not necessarily difficult to show an ROI from social media, accurately measuring the return on investment is challenging for at least three reasons. First is the problem of "last click attribution." A recent study found a 50% CTR increase in paid search when consumers were exposed to both social media and paid search for a brand, but if the actual click comes from AdWords, good luck convincing your executives that social media efforts led to that click. Similarly, a click-through from Twitter or Facebook may have been influenced by any variety of other online and offline marketing efforts, so giving 100% credit to social media for lead may be overstating the case.

For the complete story, read Three Challenges in Measuring B2B Social Medi…

A Unique Approach to Integrated Advertising Campaigns: Nabbit

In March of last year, I highlighted Nabbit as a cool online tool for tagging songs on the radio using your cell phone. It still is, though there are now competing technologies available.

But what sets Nabbit apart, and makes it interesting to both b2b and b2c marketing professionals, is the tool's ability to serve as a platform for integrated advertising campaigns.

To learn more, I spoke with John Freund, CEO of Jump Technologies, Inc. (JumpTech), the creator of Nabbit and Nabbit Ads. Here's our discussion.

WebMarketCentral (WMC): What exactly is Nabbit Ads, and how does it work?

John Freund (JF): Nabbit Ads® allows advertisers to create integrated radio, tv, outdoor, print, mobile, digital and social network advertising campaigns. For example, a listener on the radio hears an ad from a coffee vendor (lets call it “Joe’s Java”) that says to text in the word “coffee” and receive a coupon on your phone good for a free cup of coffee today. When the listener sends in the text, an…

Best of 2009 (So Far): SEO Guidance, Part 1

SEO Rant: The Insidious Nofollow Tag

How to Use Social Media to Leverage the Power of Google

Note: This is a guest post written by Christopher Angus, an award winning Internet Marketer.

While Google and social media are two separate entities, they are closely intertwined. Google ranks its results based on several hundred quality signals. These range from website backlinks to the actual words on a particular page and whether a website has trust and / or authority. Many a SEO Company has tried to manipulate the results to their benefit. This is largely based on the fact that Google is a “backlink-based algorithm” and people would simply buy or find other means of artificially inflating their number of links. Of course, Google combats paid links or other “unnatural” links with its algorithm or in extreme cases penalising a website.

As Google’s algorithm advances it has become far more difficult for business owners or SEO professionals to “game” the system and Google will continue to use other signals outside the normal margins to determine the quality and where a website should …

7 Essential Techniques for Advanced SEO Link Building

Basic link building involves getting your website listed on partner sites, quality online directories and do-follow social bookmarking / social networking sites. Depending upon your industry and the keywords you are trying to rank for, those efforts may be enough to get you a top spot on Google and the other major search engines.

But if you've taken care of the "low hanging fruit" with regard to links and your site still isn't ranking well, you may need to try some more advanced link building techniques. Here are a half-dozen+1 more tactics to generate high-quality external links to your site.

1. Link bait. Produce "linkable" content that others will be happy to link to. A page that's little more than an online marketing brochure is unlikely to attract many links independently. However, bloggers and other site owners will happily link to quality content such as helpful how-to articles, original research, resources such as useful lists, and cool online t…

5 Painfully Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid For Better Results

Every company wants their website to show up well in search engines, and their marketing teams understand the importance of search engine optimization. And after the thousands of articles and blog posts written about search engine optimization, SEO is no longer the black art it once was. It's still a blend of art and science, but the basics should be well understood at this point by web marketers and designers. To their credit, many have integrated this basic knowledge.

Yet there are still a surprising number of sites that violate some of the most basic principles of SEO, and pay a penalty in poor search position. Here are a few still-common mistakes that are easy to avoid.

Header Tag Abuse: Although header tags have declined somewhat in SEO importance, they still have somewhat of an impact on rankings—and they are an easy thing to get right. Sites that use words and phrases like "Overview," "About Us" and "Our Services" in their h1, h2 and h3 headers …