Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best of 2009 (So Far): Social Media Marketing, Part 4

This content has been moved to Best of 2009: Social Media Marketing, Part 1 on the Webbiquity blog.

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Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Best of 2009 (So Far): SEO Guidance, Part 4

This content has been moved to Best of 2009: SEO Tips, Part 1 on the Webbiquity blog.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Best of 2009 (So Far): Twitter Tips and Tactics, Part 2

This content has been moved to Best Twitter Tips, Tools and Tactics of 2009, Part 1 on the Webbiquity blog.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Best of 2009 (So Far): Blogging for Business, Part 2

This content has been moved to Best Business Blogging Tips of 2009, Part 1 on the Webbiquity blog.

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Monday, December 21, 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 AdWords
  • Potential 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 link-building, the site could be moved up to the first page on Google and get a significant traffic bump.

SEO-Google-Keywords-Report
In another example of the same report, this site shows up very well for a number of key phrases, though again there are page two opportunities identified. Identifying all of the page one terms can also spark ideas for additional key words and phrases to target with SEO and SEM efforts.

SEO-Google-Keywords-Report
The tool also provides a "related keyword report." So, if you have one particular key phrase that is central to your website, business service management in this case, SEMRush will supply data on similar terms to prioritize for targeting.

SEO-Google-Keywords-Report
The companion SEOPivot tool identifies additional potential high-traffic keywords for a domain, along with the current Google position of the site, average search volume and expected traffic.

SEO-Google-Keywords-Report
All reports can be exported to Excel for further sorting and analysis.

The SEMRush tools provide value for almost any website that gets 1,000+ visits per month (lower-traffic sites may not be in the tool's database). For consultants or agencies managing multiple sites, the cost is easy to justify by spreading it over several clients.

The free version of the tool has extremely limited functionality, but at the very least it gives webmasters an idea of the depth of data the tool will be able to provide for their website(s). For the fee-based versions, pricing ranges from about $200 per year for the light (organic search data only) to $500 for the Pro (includes AdWords information) offering.

Bottom line: the SEMRush suite is a valuable toolkit to help SEOs and search marketers identify new keywords, advertising and optimization opportunities they may not otherwise discover.

FTC Disclosure Notice: The SEMRush tools were provided free of charge for 60 days to facilitate this analysis and review. There was no other exchange of value.

*****


Contact Mike Bannan: Mike@digitalrdm.com

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Best of 2009 (So Far): SEO Guidance, Part 3

This content has been moved to Best of 2009: SEO Tips, Part 1 on the Webbiquity blog.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

How to Suck at Twitter (And Still Look Successful)

This content has been moved to How to Suck at Twitter (And Still Appear Successful) on the Webbiquity B2B marketing blog.

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Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

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 107.1.

If you live in the Minneapolis - St. Paul area, want to make some connections here, or just want to keep up through social media on what's happening here in frozen tundra, the Top 10 Titans list is a great place to start. Thanks Judy!

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Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Best of 2009 (So Far): Social Media Marketing, Part 3

This content has been moved to Best of 2009: Social Media Marketing, Part 1 on the Webbiquity blog.

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Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom

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Monday, December 07, 2009

137 Twitter Marketing Tips for Small Business Trying To Make It 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 share.
Smart Marketing
  • Travis Campbell recommends finding a valuable blog post referenced on Twitter, leaving a comment on the blog, then retweeting it. "This further endears you to the author, while making a more meaningful connection with your followers."
  • Joel Libava suggests tweeting one of your recent press releases or blog posts daily, mixed in with other links to useful and relevant articles and blog postings.
  • Rick L'Amie helpfully advises creating a strategy before jumping into Twitter. What do you want to accomplish? Who do you want to reach? Lack of a strategy is one factor leading to high abandonment on Twitter; you'll never achieve your goals if you haven't defined what they are.
  • Another contributor notes the value of participating in #followfriday, but explaining why each person you recommend is worth following rather than just listing other Tweeters.
Observing Etiquette
  • I couldn't agree more with this one from Robert Brady: "Automated DMs aren't worth sending. If you won't invest a few seconds to compose a 140-character message, I don't want to invest 5 seconds reading it."
  • Tim Milburn has a clever formula for crafting a worthwhile T.W.E.E.T: "Timely, Worth reading, Educational, Entertaining, and Tweople-connecting."
  • Jonathan Bacon of The Betty Factor advises trying to create real conversations, and remembering that everything you do on Twitter represents your brand.
Spreading Your Message
  • Vicky of Remarkable Parents writes that when asking for a retweet, leave at least 15 characters free so others can RT your message without having to shorten it.
  • Anita Cohen-Williams and others note that best way to get retweeted is to post content that has value, such as useful blog post.
  • Maria Marsala suggests putting "Pls RT" at the end of tweets, asking others explicitly for what you want. Interestingly, Anita Cohen-Williams advises specifically against doing this—if your tweets are interesting, others will retweet on their own. Who's right? Every group of Twitter followers is different, so TEST this with your followers to see what works best for you.
Time Management
  • Twitter can be a big time sink. To avoid spending too much time with it, Lisa Picarille recommends checking Twitter first thing in the morning, then spending about 10 minutes on it at two hour intervals to keep up with the most important tweets.
  • Echoing Lisa's advice, Sharon Trombly suggests tweeting periodically throughout the day, such as with your morning coffee, at lunch, at the end of the work day, and in the evening.
Advanced Strategies
  • TJ McCue recommends using TwitterBar, a tool that allows you to tweet directly from the address bar in your browser.
  • Michael Hartzell suggests creating a unique landing page to link to from your Twitter profile with a greeting and introduction that is a "secret page" only for your Twitter followers.
  • Gil Yehuda advises setting up several free listening services to determine who is talking about you and where so you can participate in the conversations. Among the tools he cites are Tweetbeep, Techrigy SM2, and BackTweets, which is great for finding links to your blog or website that don't include your name.
  • Desiree Scales and several other contributors recommend using HootSuite, which allows you to manage multiple Twitter profiles through a single interface and provides metrics showing the results of activities in Twitter.
There's lots more. This guide is not only an invaluable resource to those just getting started with Twitter, but will inspire new ideas for experienced Tweeters as well.

*****

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Best of 2009 (So Far): Search Engine Marketing

This content has been moved to Best Search Engine Marketing Tips of 2009, Part 1 on the Webbiquity blog.

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Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom

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