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Best of 2007: Articles and Blog Posts on SEO (Part 2)


Following up on my last post, there were just too many excellent newsletter articles and blog posts on SEO last year to fit them all into one post, so here are more of the best bits of SEO guidance from 2007.

5 Rules of Social Media Optimization (SMO) by Buzz Marketing for Technology

Über-blogger and podcaster Paul Dunay provides five unconventional tactics for improving search engine rank, such as adding social bookmark site buttons to web pages, making content portable (e.g. video, audio files and PDFs) and encouraging mashups.


Traits of a Great SEO Client: Commitment by Small Business SEM

Marchex SEO pro Scott McGee writes about the client side of the SEO relationship, list the traits that help a client work successfully with an outside SEO firm, starting with commitment—the willingness to be fully involved in the entire process.


The Alternative Search Engine of the Year, 2007!
by Alt Search Engines

Blogger Charles Knight rates the top 10 alternatives to G-Y-M on several factors including popularity, innovation, leadership and attitude, before finally revealing that the number one alternative search engine for 2007 is...read his post!


10 questions you should ask before doing SEO in house (from an ex-in house SEO) by Seer Interactive SEO Blog

Wil Reynolds (whose name is harder to find on this blog than it should be) offers a detailed essay on 10 questions a company should ask when considering in-house SEO, including consideration of availability of talent, the need for maintenance, and costs. This is an excellent summary, though Wil's advice is clearly targeted at larger companies—a $5K-$15K SEO project is pretty sizable in my world.


Reviews Can Improve Your Local Search Rankings - SEO Tip Week 34 by Big Oak SEO Blog

Search pro Shell Harris details how online reviews can help small businesses improve their organic position in local search results.


Don’t Forget… Business Reviews Are Searchable by Convert Offline / Local Search Hound

This post expands on the ideas presented in the post above by detailing a strategy to obtain customer reviews that can improve a small business's rank in local search results.


SEO Styles make the Fight - 10 Deadly SEO Techniques to Avoid by SEO Design Solutions Blog

Jeffrey Smith writes an excellent post warning against over-doing SEO efforts and risking search engine obscurity through the excessive use of 10 popular SEO techniques. My favorite is #7: "The Keyword Stuffing Pipes in the Title SEO technique - Keyword Stuffing | Even more Keywords | Even more Ridiculous Stuffing | Company | Services | City | State | Birth Date | SSN | Address | Location of First Kiss with Girlfriend|, etc. you get the point so stop it already."


12 Basic On-Site SEO Tactics for Optimized Results by Search Engine Journal

Author Miles Price details 12 essential on-page SEO techniques to optimize search rankings. It's all fundamentals, but that's often what SEO comes down to.


17 Search Engine Reputation Management Optimization Tips by MediaPost Search Insider

Rob Garner provides 17 tips ranging from using social networking sites and writing thought-leadership content to strategic linking and interviews to optimize your personal "brand name."


Search Engine Optimization Basics by TopRank SEO Blog

Search expert Lee Odden provides an excellent SEO primer on on-site techniques, link-building, and tactics to avoid.


Get To The First Page Of Google: The 4 Essentials Of Ranking A LinkLess Small Business Website by Convert Offline / Local Search Hound

A post detailing four tips that will help any website rank better, including optimizing for unique (but likely to be searched) keywords and phrases with the proper density and proximity.


The Dark Art Of Search Engine Optimization by Internet Search Engine Database

In this article, Dave Davies writes not about "black-hat search engine optimization tactics" (which should be avoided), but rather about "the hidden aspects of SEO that are often overlooked." He details techniques for creating a "sticky" site, attracting site visitors with short, well-crafted page title and descriptions, and generating external links.


A Search Column About Search Columns by MediaPost Search Insider

Must-see SEO—Rob Garner supplies an excellent list of the most helpful search engine blogs, from Matt Cutts and Search Engine Land to Bill Slawski's SEO By The Sea and Lee Odden's Online Marketing Blog.


Extreme makeover: Five tips for organic search rankings after a site redesign by DMNews

Critical information for any new website launch or makeover, this article explains five common SEO-related mistakes organizations make when working on new sites, including lost optimization work (such as title, meta tags and headlines), lost content, and orphaned pages resulting in 404 errors.


Brand New Websites: A Search Engine Optimization Company Perspective by Search Engine Guide

Writer Scott Buresh begins by noting that "brand new websites have a more difficult time achieving search engine success for competitive phrases than their older counterparts, particularly on Google. However...a good search engine optimization company should be able to effectively work with a new website; setting the foundation for a remarkable success story while still achieving steadily increasing short-term benefit," then proceeds to detail several strategies for gradually improving the search position of new sites, including offering informational content, building links, and carefully choosing high-potential search phrases.

Previous articles in this series:

Best of 2007: SEO Analysis Tools
Best of 2007: SEO Keyword Research Tools
Best of 2007: News Articles on Social Media Marketing
Best of 2007: Blog Posts on Social Media Marketing
Best of 2007: Articles and Blog Posts on SEM
Best of 2007: Articles and Blog Posts on Google AdWords
Best of 2007: Articles and Blog Posts on SEO (Part 1)

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Email Campaign, Newsletter and Banner Ad Click-Through Rates (CTR)

When planning online advertising and email promotion budgets, it's critical to calculate the likely ROI upfront whenever possible, as well as to establish campaign benchmarks. The first step is understanding the average and likely range of CTRs for various programs. The growth in online advertising, the proliferation of enewsletters, the emergence of new forms of information delivery such as RSS and the emergence of social media sites have all affected CTR, so planning based on current data is crucial.

It can be challenging to find current statistics, but based on several studies, these are typical CTR ranges for email newsletter ads, email campaigns (blasts or internally-produced enewsletters), and banner ads.

Email newsletter advertisements
Open rates range from 28-40%, with an average of about 33%—meaning that roughly one-third of the subscriber base is likely to see your ad. The Advertising Is Good For You blog tracks these statistics from DoubleClick.
The average CTR for indust…

Twitter Twaddle, Part 2: Best Practices, Tools and The Future of Twitter

This is the second of a two-part series. Part one covered what Twitter is and why it's cool; this post discusses Twitter etiquette, tools, and speculation about its future.

How to Twitter Properly

Like any other social setting, Twitter has its own etiquette. This can be confusing to new users. (And, as you can see by spending more than a few minutes on Twitter, it's apparently elusive to many long-time users as well.) Margaret Mason has written an outstanding primer on Twitter etiquette, offering advice such as watch your ratio ("If only a few people follow you, but you follow a thousand or more, many people will assume you’re a spammer. That’s because you probably are. Go away, spammer."); never Twitter if you're drunk or high; and most importantly, "remember that everyone can hear you."

The brilliant Mike Volpe of HubSpot takes a different approach to offering his advice in 5 Things On Twitter That Annoy the Crap Out of Me. His practices-to-avoid incl…

How to Use SEO: Leverage SEO To Be Found Online and Boost Your Online Marketing

All businesses that want to attract customers online, no matter the business size or age, have few options other than Search Engine Optimization (SEO). 
There are roughly 1.8 billion websites online, and basic SEO allows Google to find and index or catalog your webpages. 
After that, Google serves you up to searchers in the organic section. The question remains: where they list your site, on page one or page 22 or further back? SEO controls your positioning.
Do you want to be found online or not?
If your business is online or you want your product or service to be found online, then Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a must, and knowing how to use SEO to leverage the power of the internet is vital.
Arguably, an effective SEO strategy gets you on the organic results section of the search engine results pages (SERP). Organic traffic is highly valuable and requires high-quality SEO. But even businesses that use limited or basic SEO techniques will benefit. 
It doesn’t matter if your business …

Twitter Twaddle, Part 1: What Twitter Is and Why It's Cool

Most Web 2.0 sites fall into one of a few increasingly well-defined categories, such as social bookmarking (Digg, del.icio.us, Searchles), social networking (LinkedIn, Facebook) or file sharing (YouTube, Flickr, podOmatic). Twitter, however, stands alone. (Okay, there's also Pownce, but Twitter is better.)

Self-described as simply a real-time short messaging service and often referred to a microblogging platform, to those new to it, Twitter resembles nothing so much as a giant cocktail party where everyone talks at once and hopes others listen. You can tell who's important by how many "followers" that person has, though that's no guarantee anyone is really paying attention. People (or rather, Tweeple in the Twitter lexicon) can come and go without really being noticed, just like at a real (very, very large) gathering.

Twitter can be difficult to explain to those unfamiliar with it. Jennifer Laycock writes that Twitter is like Post-It notes; lots of them and in mu…

SEO Link Spam - What Is It and Who's to Blame?

Over the years, unscrupulous black hat SEO scammers have used a variety of tricks—keyword stuffing, link farms, white text and others—to try to manipulate search results, and the algorithms used by Google, Yahoo and the other search engines have evolved to identify and squelch the effectiveness of such nefarious tactics.

A more vexing issue for the search engines is dealing with link spam, not only because it is difficult to detect and address algorithmically, but because there isn't even a clear definition. As a website owner, the term represents emails like this:


Dear webmaster,

As a part of ongoing campaign to increase the Link Popularity of My website I am looking for some good potential sites like yours. I review your site and find that, in SEO perspective your site is Perfect. Also, this would be a great resource for my visitors too.

I would request you to consider listing my site.

Title:- My Spammy Website
URL:- http://www.indiaspamforyou.com
Description:- miracle weight…

Google and the Parable of the Turkey

In The Black Swan, Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes about the life of the turkey: for 100 days, the turkey is sheltered, fed and cared for by the farmer. The turkey grows to trust the farmer completely, even perhaps developing a fondness for the farmer (and of course the feed). Then, on the 101st day (with Thanksgiving quickly approaching), the relationship between the turkey and the farmer changes abruptly and permanently. The rationale behind the farmer's apparent benevolence become clear in a final flash before the turkey takes the necessary step preceding de-feathering, vacuum-packing, freezing and shipping off to the market.

Taleb's lesson for us from this: don't be a turkey. More succinctly, don't assume that the future will resemble the past, or, in the words of mutual fund prospectuses, "past performance is no guarantee of future results." Also, remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Of course, that doesn't take into account the perspec…

WMC Interviews: Albert Maruggi

This week, I had the chance to sit down with Albert Maruggi, principal of St. Paul-based marketing agency Provident Partners (and huge baseball fan). His agency assists companies in a variety of industries in all areas of marketing, with particular expertise in PR, events management, integrated marketing and podcasting.

WebMarketCentral (WMC): What did you do before founding Provident Partners?

Albert Maruggi (AM): Worked in radio for a number of years. I was a television reporter and anchor. I also shot and edited video for news stations. I was a political reporter who made the jump to being a press secretary for a Member of Congress. From there I became Press Secretary for the Republican National Committee and then held public affairs management positions in the Bush '41 Administration.

WMC: How, when and why did Provident Partners get started?

AM: When I could not get my flight from LA to MN on September 11, 2001 I drove back home. I did a lot of thinking on that trip and I made tw…

Email Click Rates Stable in Q3 2017; Open Rates Decline

Email click rates in North America have failed to increase on a year-over-year basis for 18 consecutive quarters, per Epsilon’s latest quarterly review [download page] of client activity. The Q3 2017 report shows the average click-through rate at 3.1%, consistent with the year-earlier period. That in itself could be considered a success: click rates had been trending down for several years, with each passing quarter seemingly registering a drop from the preceding year’s rate. But if – and it’s a big if – click rates are stabilizing, that doesn’t mean marketers are out of the woods yet. Now it looks like open rates are a concern: the average open rate of 31.2% in Q3 2017 was down from 34.1% during the year-earlier period, and marked the third consecutive quarter featuring a year-over-year decrease. That comes after a sustained period of growth in open rates. Clearly these are aggregate trends – and individual results vary – but they’re nonetheless instructive in understanding overall …