Search Engine Marketing

Mike Moran

Site search: Too many results and not enough

I often work with clients in an area that gets very little love, yet is critical for your website: Your own site's search function. We love to talk about Google and search engine optimization, but most of us spend almost no time optimizing our own site search. So few companies work on this capability that we are in danger of teaching visitors not to even bother using our site search. That's bad, because their alternative is to go back to Google and find someone else's site. One of the things that kills us over website search is that if we...

Mike Moran

How do you break into SEO?

If you are in this business long enough, someone will come up and ask the question. To some of them, it is the most important question in their lives: "How do I break into SEO?" I honestly get this question several times a month.  And each person that asks me is ready for my answer. Some seem ready to take notes. They expect that I am going to rattle off some kind of canned answer that will unlock the secret to their future career. But I don't, because it isn't that easy......

Mike Moran

Does Internet Marketing need a business case?

Don't give me that look. Depending on where you work, that might sound like a silly question. Everything needs a business case in some places. And I understand that. I used to work for IBM, which is one of those places in love with justifications for how you spend money before you drop a dime. And you can put together business cases for Internet marketing projects, but there is another way, too. In fact, I actually started the IBM search marketing program without any business case at all. You might be able to follow my lead where you work, not...

Mike Fleming

A Simple Overview of AdWords Enhanced Campaigns

The advancement of internet usability on mobile devices, combined with more people getting their hands on them, has led to rapid growth of mobile search usage. When you factor in technology like AdWords, you can see how advertisers have more opportunity to deliver--and consumers to receive--targeted advertising messages that are relevant for more specific devices, times and locations than ever before.Yet, not many advertisers were creating AdWords campaigns for mobile devices, simply because the campaign structure was difficult to discern and hard to manage. This, of course, was costing Google money in ad clicks and costing advertisers conversions from prospects...

Mike Moran

Does an In-House SEO Have a Fool for a Client?

As a long-time in-house SEO, you'd probably expect that I did not consider myself a fool at the time I was doing that. But I have recently gotten that question from a lawyer who wonders if he should do his own SEO, which reminds me of the old joke that a lawyers who represents himself has a fool for a client. But is it a bad idea to do your SEO in-house? I think it depends on how you go about it. If you think you'll pick up everything you don't know without any help, you're probably looking at...

Mike Moran

In Search Marketing, Focus on What's Important

Search marketing seems like it changes every minute, and it's hard to blame anyone who is worried about falling behind. With big news such as Google Instant seemingly coming every instant, anyone might be concerned that their SEO knowledge is becoming outdated and that their search rankings will be the next thing to drop. I got a Facebook message from someone in just such a predicament and I decided to share my answer to him with you all....

Chris Warden

Your Guide to Local SEO 2013

"What is Local SEO? Why is it important? What can it do for my business?" This guide will provide you with steps and knowledge you can use to improve the visibility of your business with local traffic. Get yourself started in this fast-growing field and make yourself more recognizable than your competitors....

Mike Fleming

Why Communicating What a Customer Is Losing Works

There's an old adage that says "The pain of losing is twice as strong as the joy of winning."This principle can help your business if you use it wisely.  Even the threat of potential loss creates agitation in people that plays a powerful role in their decision making.  Psychologists call this the principle of scarcity.  It says that humans hold more appeal for things that they perceive will become less available in the future.  This is why you see scarce items get valued at ridiculous prices.  For example, a baseball card might be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars simply...

Nick Stamoulis

3 Tips for Selling B2B SEO to Your Boss

I came across this great article on Search Engine Watch a while back and I was blown away by this statistic; "While a mere 8 percent of search engine clicks come from paid search, 89 percent of the search budget is invested in search engine marketing. Conversely, while 92 percent of search engine clicks are organic in origin, a mere 11 percent of the search engine budget is invested in organic search." I couldn't believe that such a small percentage of a brand's budget would be invested back into SEO when the numbers clearly showed that it was by far...

Jayson DeMers

The Definitive Guide to Google Analytics for SEO Professionals

Google Analytics makes it possible to track SEO efforts, and has been used by businesses the world over to track ROI on internet marketing. The new Google Analytics platform has been a steep learning curve for some SEO professionals, especially those who were accustomed to the classic layout. However, the "new" analytics comes with more than just a confusing layout. It also has additional features that make it easier than ever to track ROI from internet marketing and SEO efforts....

Mike Moran

Selling Search to the C-Suite

Some of you have probably tried to sell your C-level executives on the importance of search marketing. You started out all excited about keywords and rankings and page views and bids and copy and then...you are greeted by that fantastic blank stare that suggests what your exec is really thinking about: "When can I get back to what I care about?" You might be wondering why how someone as successful as your CEO could NOT be interested in search. So I am sorry to break it to you, but that blank stare really does say it all. Your CEO couldn't...

Mike Moran

Hey, marketers: What if there was no Google?

I once attended a talk entitled, "What if there was no Google?"  The presenter worked through a number of different alternatives for how to cope with a marketing program where you could not put any of your spending in Google's pocket--you just drew a line through that Google row in your spreadsheet. The speaker made a lot of good points and really helped the audience. But I want to take the question that he asked and think about it a different way. What if there were no search engines?...

Nick Stamoulis

Investing in a Pre-Existing Domain? Be Sure to Look Under the Hood!

I've spoken with several site owners over the years that purchased a pre-existing domain they thought was a "sure thing" only to have it bite them in the you-know-what shortly thereafter. If you are thinking about buying a pre-existing domain (either taking over the brand completely or leveraging the SEO value of that site in some other way) there are a few things you need to double check before signing on the dotted line....

Mike Fleming

Search Retargeting: Grow Search Marketing Beyond Search Engines

In my last post, I talked about why people who search on your site keywords but don't visit your website aren't necessarily lost forever.  It is possible to have a second chance to make your first impression by doing search retargeting and showing display ads to those users after they have searched.  This is huge because, even if you rank first and/or have multiple listings (organic, PPC, shopping, etc.), only a small portion of those searchers make it to your site.  This is a huge pool of prospects that you can re-engage....

Mike Moran

Internet Marketers Must Listen Before They Speak

As marketers, we spend a lot of time thinking about our message, as well we should. Our job is to tell prospective customers how we can help them, so we focus on what we say. The Internet has turned the tables on marketers, however. Time was that marketing messages were conceived by extremely creative people to get attention for products, but now, listening to what customers say and do are just as important as creativity. Old-time marketers have always listened to a few customers in focus groups, so you can think of the Internet is the biggest focus group of...

Stoney deGeyter

How to Find Core Keywords For Effective Online Marketing

There are many angles and avenues for researching keywords for your online marketing efforts. Some people focus on numbers such as search volume or keyword competition. Others might focus on the tools you use to dig up obscure keywords to target. While these may be good keyword metrics to consider, focusing on the keywords themselves should be the most important focus...

Mike Fleming

Redeeming Customers that Bypassed Your Search Results

First, I'll state the obvious... You do search engine marketing because 80% of web activity starts with a search.  You know the more you can appear in front of your target audience based on the search query they perform, the more customers you will acquire (assuming your company and website do their jobs).You also know the higher you rank for those search queries, the more you will show up, as searchers typically aren't patient enough or don't have the time to deep dive with search engine results.  Even if you are the best solution out there, if you don't show...

Mike Moran

The Danger of Internet Marketing Autopilot

One of my kids approached me, book in hand, asking, "What's the difference between a possum and an opossum?" I was busy doing something else, so I languidly replied, "They are the same, but opossums are Irish." Yes, I could have Googled it to find out. I could have told him I didn't know and told him to look it up. I could have at least engaged. But I was too distracted or too lazy to do it. It was autopilot parenting. Luckily, my son shook his head and went off to figure it out on his own (because he...

Mike Moran

Search Marketing Is Like Dating

From across the room, you see...THE ONE. Wow. Your heart goes pit-a-pat at the sight. Immediately, your thoughts start racing. You are ready to do anything, be anything to be attractive to that one person you are fixated on. Is that the right approach? You probably know that it's not the right approach in dating, but did you know that it fails in search marketing, too?...

Stoney deGeyter

What the Old Testament Teaches Me about Web Marketing

Since the Bible is the best selling book of all time, I figured I might be able to find some indispensable wisdom for the Internet age. Who knew the Bible could provide us with sage advice for SEO and Internet marketing!

Mike Fleming

Things Your PPC Manager Shouldn't Say

When it comes to online marketing, I see and hear about way too many companies that don't take the paid traffic channel seriously enough. They either don't do it (huge mistake), or they do a less-than-professional job of it. Maybe they do it in-house. Or, they have an agency do it, but one that doesn't have a dedicated paid traffic specialist. While Google, Bing and others continuously refine their systems to make campaign management "easier" than ever, many changes that are made to make management "easier" come at the sacrifice of ROI.  Also, there are strategies that professionals use that...

Todd Bailey

Keeping Your Audience Engaged

When it comes to optimizing one's site for the major search engines, it's tempting to believe that there is some magical formula that will guarantee increased traffic and lead to conversions. We often get bogged down in the technical side of the SEO process. How can we increase the load speed of the homepage? Are we getting maximum use out of the site's meta data? While these are certainly all important things to keep in mind during an SEO campaign, ultimately it is user satisfaction that will ensure your site sees steady traffic and an increase in links....

Mike Fleming

Going Beyond Yourself to Optimize Online Messaging

I recently answered a question on LinkedIn with an ultra-cool strategy that we've recently implemented for our client's PPC ads that you may be able to benefit from.  Here's the question and my answer....

Mike Moran

No more SEO worries for dynamic content?

If you care about how your site is found in organic search, you must spend some of your time thinking about search engine optimization (SEO). In the olden days (2005), certain kinds of content had no shot of showing up in the search index (and thus, could never be found). But in recent years, more and more dynamic content is showing up in Google's search index, as Google makes its spider smarter and smarter.  So, now there's nothing to worry about with dynamic content, right? Not quite....

Todd Bailey

State Taxes Affiliated with Brick-and-Mortar

Why would FatWallet, a company with a reported-2010 revenue of $12 million, readily accept a $100,000 moving cost, changing locales from a $5 million, custom-built office a year later?  No, the move was not due to online motions but offline ones, associated to state taxes as relayed in the New York Times....

Stoney deGeyter

Forget the Sale. Focus on the Customer

There are a lot of phases to the buying cycle. Searchers begin with a thought and then start researching answers via their favorite search engine. As they learn more about their query, they move into shopping and buying modes that hopefully lead them to a satisfied purchase.

Dave Cosper

Google Places Reviews: Getting Offline Online

For most business categories, Google uses customer reviews as a critical metric, among other things, to influence how listings rank in Maps -- essentially determining how locally "prominent" the business is. There is also rising importance of Google's own Places reviews as a ranking factor. Coincidentally, as review citations from third party sites have recently become less visibly significant. The challenge is putting in place a practical system that works; turning your offline customer interactions into online evangelism with as little friction as possible. Enter QR Codes....

Stoney deGeyter

Want Conversions? Give a Little to Get a Little

Sometimes getting conversions is like trying to capture mist in a jar or water with your fingers. No matter how hard you try, you just can't seem to get a secure hold on them.

Stoney deGeyter

SEO is Like [Insert Analogy Here]

SEO is like a cat. Just because you optimized your site to call traffic to you doesn't mean the search engines will comply. SEO is like food. Quick, cheap SEO and has little long-term value, while healthy SEO costs more but has a better long-term effect. SEO is like Anthony Weiner...

Stoney deGeyter

Q&A: With Online Marketing, Should I Start with SEO or PPC?

Got questions about SEO and PPC? We've got answers!

Stoney deGeyter

Is SEO a Long-Term or a Quick Fix Issue?

There is an unfortunate mindset when it comes to SEO and SEM. Instead of looking at them as an investment that will grow their businesses, owners hope that both SEO and SEM can provide quick-fix solutions that will bring an influx of new customers and soaring profits. And somehow, magically, that influx is expected to stay strong, even without any ongoing marketing efforts.

Stoney deGeyter

How Much ROI Will SEO Bring? How Much You Got?

With SEO, and a good business model, a seemingly sizable cost will often multiply itself into a considerable profit in just a few years, if not sooner. Don't look at the costs involved; look at the return your investment will bring.

Miriam Ellis

Will Think For Cold, Hard Cash

How niceness + smarts = your daily bread, and mine....

Mike Fleming

Paid Search is Customer Service, Not Advertising

What I'm about to tell you will totally revolutionize your PPC campaigns and make you A LOT more money.  It's simple, but not well known and not widely practiced.  Most of your competition isn't doing it.  This is why you should be.  Really, I should not be telling you this.  I should really keep it to myself.  Maybe I'll just write about organizing your campaigns or how you shouldn't run search and content ads in the same campaign.  Been there, done that.  Shoot.  Then again, it should be ok.  Most of you will follow the principle anyway, so I should...

Stoney deGeyter

Optimizing Your Online PR Strategy for Search & Social, Part 4a: Crafting the Story p1

When taking your public relations strategy online, there are some similarities to the "traditional" way of doing things, but there are also a lot of differences. Going online opens up a whole new world of opportunities that, if leveraged properly, can make your PR campaign far more successful than the old-school ways of doing things.

Mike Fleming

PPC News - Advertisers Can No Longer Hide Behind the Click

Until now, the only information a user had on a search results page to decide where to click was the 135 characters in the ads.  This led to many advertisers getting away with bad post-click marketing as long as they wrote great ads.  Not any more.  Advertisers can no longer hide behind the click. Now, users can hover over an ad and see a preview of the landing page with snippets of real text to see how closely it relates to what they're looking for....

Stoney deGeyter

Optimizing Your Online PR Strategy for Search & Social, Part 2: Goals of Online PR

Content just for the sake of being read is nothing more than a bunch of words on the page. Every piece of content should speak to your potential customers, encourage them to engage, and ultimately lead them to that conversion point.

Stoney deGeyter

Optimizing Your Online PR Strategy for Search & Social, Part 1: Print Vs. Web

There is a big difference between reading things online versus offline. We often want to think that reading is reading is reading. But reading here isn't the same as reading there. The mindset between on- and offline is vast.

Stoney deGeyter

Good SEO Starts with Smart Purchasing Decisions

When it comes to purchasing an SEO or SEM strategy for your online business, there are two things to consider: How many hours does it take to meet your expectations, and how much are you willing to pay for each hour that goes into meeting those expectations?

Stoney deGeyter

Hurry Up and Wait: SEO is About Quick Action and Patient Results

The process of search engine marketing can be defined as a strategic game of quickly implementing strategies that will increase your site's exposure and conversion rates, while also patiently waiting for the fruits of your efforts to bear out. Sometimes you're doing one or the other, but most often you're doing both at the same time.

Stoney deGeyter

Where SEO Stops, Persuasion Begins

SEO can only take you so far in achieving new business. In fact, it can really only get people in the door and help with the online persuasion process. But, you still have to do the heavy lifting, making sure your site meets visitor expectations, gives them the information they are looking for and walks them to the conversion goals.

Mike Fleming

Dynamic Keyword Research - Don't Optimize Campaigns on Sinking Sand

Marketing on the web is demand-driven.  Searchers are looking for answers.  The best way to dominate the game is to become the best answer to their questions. This is why it's important to do dynamic keyword research instead of static keyword research.  It's also why you don't copy and paste the same ads into all of your ad groups talking about yourself and what makes you great....

Mike Moran

Digital marketing success: Do you have the one thing?

Here at Search Engine Guide, we talk a lot about search engine marketing (no, really!) but we don't have our heads in the sand. Search marketing only matters in the context of succeeding in your overall digital marketing. So we spend lots of time discussing social media, conversions, and lots of other things related to search marketing. And all of those topics were on my mind yesterday when I taught a class yesterday at Rutgers University as part of the Mini-MBA in digital marketing. I have taught this class several times and I always enjoy it because of the interesting...

Stoney deGeyter

The Dirty Little Secret of Conversions, Part 3: Give Customers What They Need

While it's great to know what people want, when you give them what they want, you only give them a partial solution. The want is the symptom. But, when you address the need, you are addressing the underlying problem and providing a much more holistic solution.

Mike Fleming

Dynamic Keyword Research - Keeping Your Online Marketing Aligned With the Rest of the World

Last time, we talked about a revolutionary tool in keyword research called Google Insights for Search that allows you to gain competitive advantages by doing dynamic keyword research instead of static keyword research. Static keyword research is using a keyword tool to get volume "numbers" at one point in time and then using that data to perform long-term marketing campaigns. The problem? Things change. Therefore, we need to incorporate dynamic keyword research to keep our campaigns aligned with what's actually happening on the web....

Stoney deGeyter

The Dirty Little Secret of Conversions, Part 2: Understand Your Customer's Wants

Business building is about relationship building. In order to get and keep customers, you must be able to build some kind of relationship with them. After all, you want to be different than the 100's or 1000's of others all selling the same product or service. Once you open up the door to relationships with your customers, you create a comfort level and familiarity that continues to bring people back.

Mike Moran

What's keeping Google up at night?

Some of you might read the title of this story and ask, "How could anything be keeping Google up at night? They are literally making billions." And you have a point. But ask yourself something. Can you remember when you were making half what you are making now? Some of us lucky people can remember when we were making one-tenth of what we make now. But do you feel comfortable now? Nothing worries you? Just sailing along, happy with your success? Nope. You might want more or you might be afraid of losing what you have, but you are worried...

Mike Fleming

Dynamic Keyword Research - Stay in Front of Your Competition

Google has this tool called Insights for Search.  At first glance, it looks like a pretty simple, fairly unsophisticated tool that just tells you if search volume is going up or down for a particular keyword or group of keywords.  Not many insights there, right?  I mean, all you really have to do for search engine marketing is keyword research with one of the many tools available to you out there and you can easily line up the keywords that you want to go after by search intent and volume, right?...

Stoney deGeyter

Dear Client: I Love You, But Will You PLEASE Stop Obsessing Over Your Search Engine Rankings?

I get it, you hired me to perform Search Engine Optimization on your website. Why do we optimize for search engines? For rankings, right? Well, no, not anymore. It's been almost a decade since the SEO industry began it's turn toward a fuller website marking experience, looking beyond search engine rankings as a metric of success, and instead looking at business growth, conversion rates, and return on investment.

Stoney deGeyter

Why Small Minded and Small Marketed SEO Doesn't Work

It's nearly impossible to analyze the quality of the results of an SEO campaign without factoring in the budget. That's not to say you can't analyze work that has been done, you can. But, you can't give an opinion as to how much SEO, Link Building, Social Media, etc. has been implemented unless you consider the monthly investment.

Stoney deGeyter

Who Needs Profits...When You've Got Good Rankings?!!

Search engine marketing is an intense game of strategy, analysis, and patience. But, it's also a game with multiple, sometimes even conflicting, goals. Depending on who you talk to you, some will tell you SEO is about rankings, while others will tell you it's about conversions. It's a classic political struggle trying to answer the question, "what will bring in the greatest profits?"

Stoney deGeyter

Why You Should Never Duplicate Your Competitor's SEO Strategies

It's not too difficult to be so inundated with info. that you get information overload or conflicting advice. That leads to decision paralysis. You don't know the right course of action to take, or you can wind up using good information to make bad judgment calls.

Mike Fleming

Telling the Story of Your PPC Ad Tests With Time

Chad Summerhill wrote a nice post recently about something you should be doing if you manage your own PPC account and something you should be showing your clients if you manage accounts for others - visual statistically significant ad test results by time period.  Check out the "how-to" in that post....

Mike Fleming

PPC News and Notes - Twitter's New Ad Platform

Although in beta and only open to VIP advertisers that are invited, Twitter has finally released their ad platform called Promoted Tweets.  The general format is that you can use tweets you've created or that have been retweeted by someone else as "ads" that are promoted in certain environments.  The way the ads are served are analogous to both search and contextual advertising in AdWords, where you pick keywords that are searched on to have your tweet shown or it is matched to a stream of tweets given the contextual nature that you choose in your account.  You pay on...

Stone Reuning

Dig a Little Deeper in your Keyword Research to Really Learn What Your Prospects Are Looking For

We all can get a little lazy sometimes - web writers are no different.When researching keywords, it's natural to just want to grab some keywords in high demand and put those into our copy. But you have to think about those who have no idea what you do or offer. With this in mind, web writers need to better study keywords and use others that may not look like they're in high demand but would be something a total novice might think of.Not digging deeper into your keyword research could hinder your website's potential and not attract the best leads....

Mike Fleming

Using Paid Search Campaigns Correctly to Build Your Online Business

Last week, we talked about PPC trick #1 to building your online business for the long-term - using keywords correctly.  This week, let's talk about another "trick of the trade" that will also help on the way to this goal.As the number of targeting options for PPC increases, so do the creative ways in which you can organize your campaigns to get the maximum effectiveness out of them.  As I mentioned last week, for example, you can create a "fishing" campaign and a "bucket" campaign in order to separately control budgeting, bidding and other targeting options to focus your efforts...

Mike Fleming

Using Paid Search Keywords Correctly to Build Your Online Business

In my last post, I shared using a fishing metaphor to talk about stepping your PPC game up to the point where you know how to use it to build your online business for the long haul.  So, let's start looking at some of the "tricks of the trade" to do just that....

Stoney deGeyter

Are You Preaching to the Converted?

In the service industry, once you've got a client, he or she is yours to lose. That means that, unless you screw something up, they'll often continue to be a client for as long as there is a need for your services. But, it's your job to continue to sell them on the quality of what you provide by giving the best service possible, and making sure the results are more than merely satisfactory.

Stoney deGeyter

Don't Let Duplicate Pages and Bad URLs Destroy Your SEO: Kill It Dead! (Part 3 of 3)

This series is pulled from a presentation given at SMX East. Part I of this series covered the problems duplicate content creates. Part II covered some of the causes of duplicate content. This post covers some of the solutions that will help you fix your duplicate content problems.

Mike Fleming

PPC Advertiser News - 1/31/11

Apparently, Google is going to start putting Description Line 1 of a typical PPC ad in the headline of the Top 3 ads positions as long as the line ends with a punctuation mark.  If they roll this out, it's likely that competition for top position ads will grow and it will also affect ad copy strategies.  It is not recommended that you merge the headline and description line as there will be a dash placed between the two in the first line of the ad....

Mike Fleming

PPC for a Day or For a Lifetime?

One of the great things about PPC advertising is its immediacy.  You can start running ads right now and see almost instantaneous results; whether good, bad or just ok.  But, the trap that we don't want to fall into when running our accounts is limiting our thinking just to what can be gained right now.  The fact is, PPC is a great way to help build all areas of your online business long-term.  And with the continuous expansion of features and avenues being offered in this channel today, the possibilities continue to grow....

Stoney deGeyter

Don't Let Duplicate Pages and Bad URLs Destroy Your SEO: Kill It Dead!

Duplicate content is like a virus. When a virus enters your system, it begins to replicate itself until it is ready to be released and cause all kinds of nasty havoc within your body. On the web, a little duplicate content isn't a huge problem, but the more it replicates itself, the bigger the problem you're going to have. Too much duplicate content and your website will come down with some serious health issues.

Stoney deGeyter

SEO First, Web Development Second

The success of a website's online marketing efforts can make or break many businesses. It no longer makes sense to hire your SEO only after a website has been developed. That's like doing demographic research after you have already chosen your store's location and invested thousands of dollars in setting up shop.

Stone Reuning

Building Web Content vs. Traditional Advertising - How to Explain to Your Boss or Prospective Client(s)

How can you convince skeptics of the value of building web content over traditional advertising? While the answer may seem obvious to you, many others still cling (...perhaps stubbornly) to advertising - whether it's PPC or traditional. See how you can convince your boss or prospective client of the long-term benefits web content provides....

Stoney deGeyter

Can't Afford SEO? Can't Afford NOT to SEO!

One of the questions that I keep hearing from small business owners every year is this: How can a small business like me afford SEO/SEM? It's a fair question coming from budget-conscious business owners. Not everybody can afford SEO. But, nobody can afford NOT to SEO.

Stone Reuning

Can I Use Frames on My Site and Still Have High Rankings?

Any experienced search engine marketer knows that Frames spell doom for your site in terms of search engine rankings. What's the point of all those pretty flash graphics if they can't be found? But don't remiss - there's a way you can safely use Flash and still get the content crawled and indexed by the search engines. Continue reading for more.......

Stoney deGeyter

What I Want for Christmas from the Search Engines: The Franchise!

Here we are again, two years after "What I Want for Christmas from the Search Engines: The Sequel" and eight years since the original, "What I Want for Christmas from the Search Engines." I'm back with a new Christmas wish list. I smell a franchise opportunity here!

Stone Reuning

Use a "Breath" Test to Determine Proper Length for Headlines

Any online writer struggles to determine how long, or short, their headlines should be. Check out this easy test from Copyblogger that helps easily pinpoint the proper length and structure for your headline....

Stoney deGeyter

Everything I Know About SEO I Learned in the 80's

There was no commercial internet in the 80's, but that doesn't mean that we can't reach into the recesses of our past to see that, everything we know now about SEO, we already knew back then. How? From the greatest, most magical music of all time: 80's hair band glam rock!

Stoney deGeyter

Try a Little SEO Romance

Love at first site is very rare. In many cases even "like" at first sight is rare. Build a good site, and Google gets interested. But, you'll still have a lot of romancing to do to get them to really like you. And, you have to commit to get them to love you. If you're not willing to commit to the process, then maybe you're just not worthy of Google's love.

Stoney deGeyter

What Can Brick and Mortar Teach You About SEO?

Operating an online business has a lot of advantages over brick and mortar shops. But, contrary to what many believe, being online is not the holy grail of business success. Brick and mortar stores have been successful, to varying degrees, for millennia. Comparatively, the web is barely a twinkly in Al Gore's eye.

Stoney deGeyter

The 12-Step Program for Online Marketing

The 12-Step Program, developed by AA, has been used by countless individuals and copied by many organizations to help people get their lives on track. Here, we present the 12-Step Program for business owners when dealing with their online marketing campaigns.

Stone Reuning

Know your Page's Goal or Purpose before Writing

Know why you're really writing that webpage before you even write (...or type) the first word. Web pages are not just about keywords and social media. Learn about a critical step many web copywriters unfortunately fail to overlook. Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}...

Stoney deGeyter

You WANT Rankings, But What Do You Really NEED?

If you're in the market for a (quality) SEO, you're going to find providers that go well beyond services aimed at achieving top search engine rankings. In fact, if your SEO only knows how to throw keywords you want to rank for onto your site pages, I can tell you that you're NOT getting your money's worth (even if you are only paying a few hundred dollars a month).

Stone Reuning

Effectively Dealing with Google's New Instant Features

Google's newest feature, known as Instant, has many SEOs and web marketers scratching their heads. Some go as far to say the SEO craft is totally dead. Get the low-down on Instant, how it's affecting search traffic and how you can handle any changes you may see in your search engine rankings and referrals....

Stoney deGeyter

What Do You Want From Me?!! (Setting Proper Client Expectations)

Setting client expectations isn't easy. We live in a sales oriented world and people want to hear how you're going to bring them vast sums of wealth with the magical arts of SEO. Unfortunately, it's never that easy.

Stoney deGeyter

Image (Not Rankings) Matter in SEO

Many approach SEO as an effort to build rankings. But, really, it's about building an image through the search engines. People may find you by your ranking in the search results and click through your site because they are attracted by the products or services you offer, but unless you build an image of quality and customer service, all the rankings in the world won't bring them back.

Stoney deGeyter

Why You Need To Invest More In Your SEO Campaign NOW.

Online marketing is no Little League game. This is the Big Leagues. Whether it's SEO, PPC, or Social Media, you can't play T-ball when you are trying to compete in the Majors. If you're lucky, holding back on your online marketing investments can prevent you from building up the momentum you need to overcome your competition. If you're not lucky, it's gonna cost you a lot more money to fix it later than to do it right to begin with... right NOW.

Stoney deGeyter

Is Your Online Marketing the Camry or the BMW? Probably Neither.

Online marketing, like many other things in life, has several levels of, um... let's call it "luxury", for lack of a better word. You go from your basic model online marketing campaign (which is often someone who simply knows you have to edit some meta tags) all the way through to the most luxurious, no-holds-barred, damn-the-torpedoes, throw-everything-at-it-regardless-of-cost marketing that has everything you need (plus a lot of stuff you don't). The question is... what kind of marketing campaign is right for you?

Stone Reuning

How you Can Use Static FBML Language to Customize your Facebook Page and Drive More Leads

Easily create your custom Facebook profile by using static FBML language and maximize the value of your social networking efforts. With its ever-increasing number of users and sheer magnitude of its future plans, you can't afford to ignore this dominant social network. Static FBML language is a powerful tool to help you get even more benefits out of being on Facebook....

Mike Fleming

Testing What the Competition is Missing in Your PPC Ads

There's a lot more leverage in writing and testing great ads than a lot of the activities that PPC managers can spend their time on.  For those using AdWords, testing is the answer to almost everything.  But, testing works better if you're able to test things that matter. People get caught testing things like switching lines around or replacing colons with semicolons and they end up creating basically similar ads. In this episode of PPC Rockstars, David and Howie explained the coined "Checkmate Method" to their listeners that focuses in on a more intense way to write and test your...

Stoney deGeyter

Using Your Competition to Establish Online Marketing Goals

Most business owners start with a pretty good idea of who they are competing against before they even set up shop. This is valuable information that can help you overcome a deficit of knowledge that you may not even know you have. Just as competitor knowledge is valuable for offline businesses, a business owner must also have intimate knowledge of those who they are competing against online as well.

Mike Fleming

Discover Proven Money-Making Results for PPC Text Ads...Guaranteed

I've started powering through David Szetela and Joe Kerschbaum's new PPC book called Pay-Per-Click Search Engine Marketing: An Hour a Day and I really like this PDF they made available online to their readers.  Although it's about classified ads, you can pull direct correlations to apply to your PPC text ads when advertising on search engines.  Really, search engine results pages (SERPs) are just like classified ads except the page is digital instead of paper....

Stoney deGeyter

What Does Your Competition Know That You Don't?

Your competition should play an important role in your research before you move forward with any SEO, PPC, or online marketing campaign. In fact, it's generally a good idea to do a fair amount of competitive research before you build a website or even decide what industry or niche to focus your efforts on.

Stoney deGeyter

Be Remarkable: Take That Idea and Own It!

Many businesses start an online business because they can. They fail to look at what they can do that is different or remarkable from the ten other guys doing it. This makes for bad business. Who cares if you can do it well! If you can't do it better or more creatively, you might as well get out of the game right now.

Stoney deGeyter

Silos, Architecture, and Linking...Oh My!

The optimal time to start consulting with the SEO on a new website is at the very beginning. And, I mean the VERY beginning... when the website is just a sparkle in it's dreamer's eye.

Mike Fleming

Double Your Paid Search Clicks Without Raising Your Budget

The keyword phrases to use for your PPC account aren't always obvious.  A key to great ROI and customer loyalty is to have customers think that you're the only viable solution to their problem at a given time.  Therefore, the challenge in keyword research is not coming up with keywords.  That's the easy part.  You just scan the website and use the product names and there you go...a keyword list.The challenge is in exploiting markets that become successful that competitors may not have thought of.  That's why it's important to always be practicing keyword discovery and exploring phrases that might...

Stoney deGeyter

Google Instant Isn't Instant Gratification

Over the past few days, I've been playing around with Google Instant and reading a lot about it. There is a pretty broad range of opinion, and I've been drawing some of my own conclusions. Will Google Instant change the face of SEO or PPC? Will it save us time searching? Will people adopt or reject it? Anybody offering opinions on these questions is merely speculating. I've got my own speculations, and I'll share them here.

Mike Fleming

Smart Web Business Decisions Made Easier

Here is an absolutely delightful new little (but really huge!) feature in Google Analytics that should make anyone interested in improving their web business results smile from ear to ear.  It's called Weighted Sort.The problem:You want to find out how your keywords are performing for a particular metric, say bounce rate, because you want to improve the relevance of the visitors to your site.  You jump into analytics to take a look at the Keyword Report, click on the bounce rate heading to sort bounce rates from worst to best, and you find this......

Mike Fleming

Google Improves Control of PPC Exposure With Modified Broad Match

If you manage a PPC account, you know that for several years now AdWords has had three match types: exact, phrase, and broad.  You also know what they mean and how your keywords are matched to search queries.  Up until a couple of years ago, broad match meant that the keywords in your phrase were matched to queries that had all of your words in any order. Then, broad match became "expanded broad match" where Google's algorithm was given free reign to decide if search queries were a close enough match in search intent to show your ad.  Many of...

Mike Fleming

PPC Testing Made Easier with AdWords Campaign Experiments

If you take your PPC campaigns seriously (why wouldn't you?), you're always testing.  Always.  It's the only way to accomplish long-term growth and gain insights that will translate into all of your other marketing channels.  One problem that has been inherent since the beginning of PPC is the inability to do true A/B split-testing with variables like keywords, bids, ad text, ad groups, match types, dynamic keyword insertion, etc....

Mike Fleming

Take Your Online Business to New Heights With the Display Network - Part 5

Google's Display Network has two types of targeting options.  The first, automatic placements, we've talked about already.  This is where you create keyword-themed ad groups and Google makes your ads eligible to appear on web pages whose content theme matches the theme of the keywords in your ad group.  Now, we'll talk about the second - managed placements....

Mike Fleming

Take Your Online Business to New Heights with the Display Network - Part 4

Now that you've created your keyword-themed ad groups and masterfully rolled out your display ads for those ad groups, your ads are running and collecting impressions, clicks and conversions.  The next step is to allow a fair amount of data to collect so that you can then analyze how different sites are performing for you....

Stone Reuning

11 Ways you Can Maximize Keyword Exposure without Sacrificing your Content

Following these steps will go a long way toward maximizing the amount of keywords on your page without creating copy that's repetitive, boring and gets you penalized by the search engines....

Stoney deGeyter

How Using Lots of Keywords Can Help You Focus On One Keyword

If you have ever spent any amount of time doing keyword research you can walk away amazed (or even frustrated) about the sheer volume of ways people search for what is essentially the same thing.

Mike Fleming

Take Your Online Business to New Heights with the Display Network - Part 3

Now that you've chosen your keywords to create ad group themes, you want to have ads that will move targeted users from whatever they're doing online to being aware and interested in your product or service. Remember, since the Display Network operates by completely different rules and the users are in a completely different state of mind, the ads should be different than Search Network ads. ...

Stoney deGeyter

Guilt by Association: Do You Really Know Who You Are Linking To, Parts 1-12

A lot of people subscribe to the "Guilt by Association" theory in online marketing. This theory suggests that you are who you associate with. I agree there is some definite truth to this mindset, but, like a lot of things, it can also be taken to a paranoid extreme. This fear leads some people into a paralysis that ultimately hinders their online marketing efforts rather than helping them.

Mike Fleming

Take Your Online Business to New Heights with the Display Network - Part 2

Man, getting traffic can be so easy.... and dangerous to your bottom line. The truth is, there is an art and science to getting traffic just like any other vocation. It takes skill and knowledge to be successful. So, when it comes to utilizing the Display Network, you need to gather the knowledge that is going to enable you to use the tool correctly to accomplish your goals....

Mike Fleming

Take Your Online Business to New Heights with the Display Network - Intro

If you are only using the Search Network of Google AdWords to reach customers for your website, you are limiting your online advertising reach big time.  On the Search Network, your ads only show when people are looking for what you offer, which is typically in the later stages of the shopping funnel.  But, that's a very small sample compared to the number of targeted online users that could benefit from your products or services.  With the Display Network option in your AdWords account, you can reach a much larger group of internet users who could receive the benefits of...

Stoney deGeyter

How to Make Your Content Trusted Content

I was talking with a client the other day about how to optimize their content. They kept saying, in a way of trying to understand what they need to do to improve their website, that what they need to do is to create a bunch of content and keep using their keywords over and over. Uh... no.

Mike Fleming

Use Ad Testing to Help Reach Your PPC Marketing Goals - Part 3

First, we took a look at types of ads that you can test and then we look at how to analyze the results of your tests and set up new ones.  But, one more thing we must know is when to consider a test complete and ready to be analyzed. If you consider a test complete before you have statistically significant results that prove with great confidence that what you observe is actually true, you may find yourself making conclusions that simply are not.  Therefore, you need to know when you have enough data for this to be the case....

Stoney deGeyter

All Good Content Starts Here: Keyword Research

One of the great things about developing content for your website is that, with a little research, you can know exactly who your target audience is and how create content to meet their needs. Spending a few minutes before setting pen-to-paper, or fingers-to-keys, can tell you just about everything you need to know about what types of things people are searching for on the web. From that, you can determine what kind of content you need to reach your audience.

Mike Fleming

Use Ad Testing to Help Reach Your PPC Marketing Goals - Part 2

OK, so you get this previous post about ad testing and you set up some tests... now what?  How do you measure the results?  One of the cool features of AdWords is the ability to make a report to observe almost anything about your account.  In the case of measuring ad performance, you can create an (that's right, you guessed it) Ad Performance Report.  ...

Mike Fleming

Use Ad Testing to Help Reach Your PPC Marketing Goals

Once a PPC account is set up and running, a good account manager is always looking for ways to improve results to better reach the account's marketing goals.  One such way is to test different types of ad messages to gain insights into what attracts your industry's customers to your products/services so that you can better understand and communicate with them....

Mike Fleming

Using AdWords Bidding Options to Spend PPC Dollars More Intelligently

The guide for what bidding options to use in your PPC campaigns is the same for any other option - your marketing goals.  What are you trying to accomplish with this campaign? Once you figure that out, then knowing the options available and which goals that fit well will help you more intelligently reach those goals....

Mike Fleming

Using Account Organization to Spend PPC Dollars More Effectively - Part 2

In my last post, we took a look at a good reason for an account manager to make separate campaigns in an AdWords account.  If you have a similar product with different profit margins and total profit, then you want to control how much you're spending on each.  In this post, we'll explore more of the reasons to separate campaigns....

Mike Fleming

Using Account Organization to Spend PPC Dollars More Intelligently - Part 1

Most of the PPC accounts I look at do not take advantage of all of the different options that AdWords offers to organize your account for maximum success.  Most of them simply organize their campaigns based upon keywords.  They'll separate keywords into separate campaigns just because they're different keywords.  Or, they'll keep all different kinds of keywords for all different kinds of products with all different kinds of marketing goals in the same campaign.  But, AdWords has given us the flexibility to have much more control over how we are spending our money so that every dollar can be maximized....

Mike Fleming

Stop Wasting PPC Clicks and Start Saving $$$ - Part 2

Once again, we've eliminated more wasted clicks from the mix.  Therefore, we should see our conversion rate and cost per conversion metrics in these ad groups improve as we continue to focus on getting only the most relevant visitors to our website and more intelligently spending our precious PPC budget....

Stone Reuning

A Brief Intro to Link Building for Small Business Owners

Linking is the mechanism that connects all the pages on the Internet. You've got links throughout your web site to let people navigate their way around your own site. You may have links going out to other web sites that you think will be useful for your visitors. And hopefully you have links coming into your web site from independent sources.

Dave Cosper

Google Places Now Allows Custom Links to be Displayed in Profiles

Google has begun to allow custom links to be added to a business's profile in Google Places. Up until now, only a single website link was permitted. Google's initial stance was this single link provided should be the best online representation of that company....

Stone Reuning

Use Site Search to Boost your Online Marketing

Today's websites are more complex than ever before. Many contain a wealth of information visitors can use to answer their questions and learn what they need to know before contacting a company or making a purchase online. But with all the information and features packed into many of today's websites, it can also be more difficult for site visitors to first of all determine whether or not a website will contain the information they need and then find it on the website. Installing a site search box can offer several advantages to help your site visitors--and also benefit your marketing...

Sage Lewis

Tim Ash's Upcoming Conversion Conference

ConversionConference.com is a very cool new conference being put on by Tim Ash. It's May 4 & 5, 2010 in San Jose. If you are looking to get the most out of your traffic you need to seriously consider this conference....

Mike Moran

Stop Selling Your Products!

No, I don't mean to take them off the shelves, or rip up your catalog. Yes, I know that if we don't sell things, we cease to make a living. I'm talking about a style of marketing that seems focused on nothing but the final sale, while missing all of the other steps of the process. You need to end this maniacal focus on the sale as being the only way you interact with your customers. Too many people have gotten the idea that search marketing is great for sales, but have forgotten everything else about search marketing, and maybe...

Sage Lewis

Best Keyword Ranking Tools for SEO by WordStream

Wordstream did a nice job showing us some of the free and paid search engine rank checking tools out there. If you haven't updated your rank checking tool recently (or in the past several years) you should check out what is out there now....

Scott Buresh

The Fallacy of Search Engine Marketing Only

There has been much debate over the years in the search engine marketing community about whether it is proper or even hypocritical for a search engine marketing company to use other forms of advertising unrelated to internet marketing. The naysayers generally have a common argument: a quality search engine marketing company "shouldn't need" to engage in any forms of offline marketing.  I don't buy it....

Sage Lewis

Google Giving Small Businesses a Cheap Advertising Option

Google is doing a test in the Houston market that is allowing small businesses to affordably stand out from their competition. Watch this video to learn how you could benefit from this....

Sage Lewis

Fortune 500 Can't Do Search Engine Optimization

Marketing Pilgrim reported on a Conductor study that basically said that most Fortune 500 companies are not ranking in the natural search results. I talk about why that is and why this is a huge opportunity for you....

Scott Buresh

Search Engine Optimization and Paid Search: What Should Your Philosophy Be?

As a search engine marketing company, we are often asked by clients and prospects if there's a basic philosophy when it comes to organic search engine optimization and paid search advertising. Without a hard look at your company's goals and unique situation, there really isn't a concrete answer to these questions.

Sage Lewis

Social Media Training and Education

This is an interesting study that says the #2 reason people don't do social media is because they don't have the staff. This is a huge opportunity for many people. Watch this video to find out why....

Sage Lewis

The Google Webmaster Quiz

These are the answers to the quiz that Google put out. Reviewing this is a handy way to see what Google suggests are the appropriate ways of handling the architecture of your site....

Sage Lewis

Real Time Search - What It Means To You

Real time search is the hippest topic on the search marketing landscape right now. Here's a rundown of what it is and how you potentially could use it for your business....

Sage Lewis

Have You Heard Of The Product Launch Formula

If you haven't maybe you should. It's a distinctly different way of going about marketing. Understanding the concepts of this could significantly change how you think about marketing your products or services....

Charles Lumpkin

Beginning with Paid Search

Sure we all want to dive right into keywords, but perhaps you should start your SEO strategy with research using paid search techniques. In this video, Charles Lumpkin tells you why and how....

Mike Moran

Is your site ready for search marketing?

I realize that to some, this is a dumb question. I mean, if you have a Web site, why would you NOT optimize it for search? Organic search is the cheapest way to bring people to your site and paid search is the easiest, so it's a no-brainer for you to recommend that every blessed Web site on the Internet dive right into search marketing, right? Wrong....

Mike Moran

Are you just following your competitors?

I know that it's hard to be creative. I know that it's hard to be unique. Get over it. On the Internet, merely copying your competitors works far less well than it does in offline marketing. Unfortunately, Google bares all. If you do the same stuff as everyone else, count on the ones who did it before you to reap the benefits, with your results bringing up the rear....

Jeff Howard

When Should I Build a New Website & Invest In SEO

The Holidays are no further than one week away, and on the other side of everyone going bonkers is a new year. Chances are at this juncture new budgets will be set, taxes paid, and 2010 business goals established. If you're on the fence about SEO, or whether or not to build a new website here are objective methods packed into two PDF guides that can assist in the decision making process....

Stoney deGeyter

Outfox, Outsmart and Outgrow Your Big-Business Competition

If you don't want to be a mom and pop operation, or you want to be more than the small business you are, then it's time to start thinking not like the small business you are but like the bigger business you want to be.

Mike Moran

Deciding What to Ignore in Internet Marketing

I'm often asked by small business owners (and folks in larger businesses, too) how they can keep up with all the new things going on in social media, search, and everything else on the Internet. It's hard for them to hear sometimes, but I keep trying to tell them that is the wrong question. What they need to do instead is to simply decide what to ignore....

Mike Moran

The All-Time Top-Secret Search Marketing Trick

Sometimes I can tell just by the way they sidle up to me at a conference. They look around to make sure no one is watching, and then they half-whisper to me out of the side of their mouths, "Just between you and me, what is the trick to search marketing?"...

Scott Buresh

Adding Search to Your Marketing Mix, Part II

Achieving internal buy-in, leveraging your existing assets, and understanding the unique challenges of outsourcing to a search engine optimization company....

Eric Brown

Focus on Your Core Community

So, You have a Company Blog, are your getting the results you expected? And, what about when your company blog is NOT about your core product. Perhaps a company blog that has nothing to do with your Core Product, but everything to do with your Core Community is the best choice....

Scott Buresh

Adding Search to Your Marketing Mix

Achieving internal buy-in, leveraging your existing assets, and understanding the unique challenges of outsourcing to a search engine optimization company....

Robert Clough

Search Marketing Certification Courses

We are happy to announce that Search Engine Guide is now offering search marketing certification courses in partnership with Market Motive....

David Carberry

What Is On the Search Radar for 2010 and Beyond?

Where to Next? A brief summary from SES, the panel topic was the future of search.  Anne Kennedy from Beyond Ink moderated the session with a group of prognosticators on what they believe we will see on the horizon for search marketing....

Sage Lewis

Digg CPC Ads

Digg is rolling out a beta program of a new ad platform. The ads will appear along with submitted content, except they will clearly be marked as sponsored advertising. The more an ad is voted up, the lower cost-per-click (CPC) the ad will enjoy. The more the ad is buried, the higher CPC....

Scott Buresh

Why It's Vitally Important to Trust Your Search Engine Marketing Company in a Down Economy

Although the budget you allocate for a search engine marketing company and its services may be fixed, it's likely that many of your competitors have lost their budgets, opening up the playing field and potentially allowing you to garner more of the business that's still out there....

Stoney deGeyter

Choosing a Web Host Provider That Won't Jack Your Rankings

You may not be concerned about your web hosting package today, but I guarantee you that you'll be thinking about it the minute your site goes down or you are unable to send or receive email.

Mike Moran

Google Suffering from Big Company Disease

Google has arguably been a big company for many years now, but it did better than most not to act like one. Big companies run by the whims of its shareholders and creditors, but Sergey and Larry have taken pains to run the company their way and have precious little debt. Big companies suffer from top-down planning, but Google allows employees to spend 20% of their time on personally-selected projects. Big companies begin hiring mediocre employees as they rapidly expand, but the founders have made a personal focus on high standards pay off. But I see a tell-tale sign of...

Sage Lewis

Search Plus Display Is One Hot Combo

SearchEngineWatch.com reports on some comScore data that show the power of using search and display advertising together. Check out the video for some other interesting finds....

Stoney deGeyter

Make Money Giving Things Away For Free

The era of "there's no such thing as a free ride" is coming to an end. So many things are free now days I often wonder how anybody makes money anymore, especially competitors trying to sell what someone else gives away. But free works. This has been true long before the web was invented.

Mike Moran

Why shouldn't I do my search work in-house?

As someone who has helped search marketers build up their in-house search resources for years, you might think that there are never any reasons that I'd recommend using an agency. But you'd be wrong. There are always situations that require a different approach, and in most cases the right answer is a hybrid approach to search. Read on for why you might not want to do everything in house....

Sage Lewis

The Theme of SESNY 2009

The theme of this year's Search Engine Strategies New York I feel is: Transition....

Mike Moran

Does Search Marketing Belong in Marketing or Sales?

A client asked me this very question recently and it got me to thinking about what's wrong with the way a lot of us think about search marketing. The major concept behind successful search marketing (and indeed all of Internet marketing) is direct marketing. And the more you know about direct marketing, the less this question makes sense....

Scott Allen

Search Engine Strategies New York - Small Business Case Studies

Live blogging coverage of SES NY session: "Small Business Case Studies".

Scott Allen

Search Engine Strategies New York - Small Voices, Big Impact: Social Media for the Little Guy

Live blogging coverage of the SES NY session: "Small Voices, Big Impact: Social Media for the Little Guy".

Ross Dunn

Google's Latitude Has Vast Mobile Marketing Potential

Google upgraded its Mobile Maps application this week to enable location-awareness. Called Google Latitude, this upgrade is not ground breaking but it does signal a change for the mobile landscape now that Google has put another foot in that arena. So where could this technology lead with Google at the helm? I put a few ideas together that seem entirely plausible and totally within the realm of Google's current capabilities....

Scott Allen

In Tough Economic Times, We All Can Get By With a Little Help From Our Friends

When the economy is recessed, it's easy to go into self-preservation mode (both personally and in our businesses). Thinking about others can easily get put on the back burner. However, when times are tough, it's more important than ever that we work together and help each other out. To borrow a concept from the Beatles, we all can get by with a little help from our friends. If we all do this, we can make it through tough times, together.

Brian Cooper

Google Street View Continues to Raise Privacy Concerns

Google Street View, a Google Maps feature that lets users see images of streets and the surrounding areas, continues to generate controversy. Since its launch in May 2007, the feature has prompted questions about whether it constitutes an invasion of privacy, complaints about inappropriate images, and even a lawsuit.

Jennifer Laycock

Cast Your Vote for the Best Online Marketing Articles

It's that time of year again. Matt McGee and a team of volunteer judges have put together one of the most comprehensive lists of great online marketing articles around. Matt divided the articles up into topical categories earlier this month and the judges have just finished narrowing them down to the final contenders. Now it's up to the online community to cast their vote and determine who goes home with a 2009 SEMMY award.

Jennifer Laycock

Check Out Market Motive's Live Graduation Ceremony

Remember back in the day when graduation was all about sitting in a stuffy auditorium while some Ben Stein clone in a robe read off a list of a few hundred (or worse, a few thousand) names? Booooooooooooring. These days, Web 2.0 has kicked it up a bit and made things more interesting. At least that's what the team over at Market Motive is telling me in regards to the upcoming graduation ceremonies for their first class of Master Level Consultants.

Stoney deGeyter

I'm a Google Convert But I Still Want to See Competition in Search

Google got to where it is because it earned it. None of the other engines seem to be able to dent that and are losing market share to Google each month. However, I'd be surprised if anybody would notice if Google's results were swapped with MSN's for a week.

Scott Buresh

How Yahoo! Walked Away from $44.6 Billion

When we last left Yahoo!, Jerry Yang (CEO) and the rest of the board had just spurned Microsoft's $44.6 billion takeover bid for the supposedly greener pastures of potential deals with AOL, News Corporation, and/or Google. The rejection of Microsoft's bid also put the current board on a collision course with Carl Icahn in what looked to be a battle for control of Yahoo!'s board of directors.

Jennifer Laycock

Knowing Your SEO Certification Options

On a fairly regular basis, I get emails from readers asking me about SEO Training and SEO certification. While there's no shortage of options out there for in-person training, (including our own SBMU conferences) it can be difficult to get yourself or your team to the right place at the right time. Thankfully, quite a few options are springing up for people who are looking to expand their knowledge without leaving their office.

Mack Collier

Wal-Mart Says No to Black Friday Ads on Internet, Goes After Sites and Search Engines

Failing to get the memo that it's 2008, Wal-Mart has decided to get even more aggressive in battling the 'pre-mature' leakage of their Black Friday circular ads.  The Bentonville, AR retailer is not only going after the sites that post the circulars, but the search engines that link to and index the sites....

Debra Mastaler

Guilty (in a good way) By Link Association

If you're looking for ways to increase the visibility of your small business and build links, submitting videos to your local government cable channel may be an option.  Local cable as well as network television affiliates look for content filler at certain times.  Here's a couple of ways you may be able to take advantage of those needs and expand the reach of your small business!...

Manoj Jasra

5 Tips to Help Drive Search Marketing Strategies

Whether you are an in-house search marketing strategist or you work for an SEM agency, there is a common barrier that you will consistently come across: Establishing priority for search marketing in conjunction with getting buy-in from required stake holders. Below I have outlined 5 ways you can push search marketing strategies along more effectively...

Jennifer Laycock

Trio of Internet Marketers Launch New Video Portal

Everyone learns in different ways. Some of us embrace articles, some adore podcasts. Some prefer to learn by doing and some prefer to learn by watching. It's this last group of people that's been targeted by a new site called IMBroadcast.com. Launched by Search & Social's Dave Snyder, Jordan Kasteler and Search Engine Journal's Loren Baker, the site aims to pool internet videos put together by online marketers into an easy to access social community.

Stoney deGeyter

What Should You Expect From Your SEO?

Keeping the client's expectations is no longer the job of the salesman but instead becomes the job of the project manager and/or SEO. And it has to be done throughout the life of the optimization campaign. No matter how many times an SEO tries to keep the client's expectation in order there are always clients want and expect more than they are currently getting.

Stoney deGeyter

A Case Study of SEM Campaign Failure and Client Refunds

I ran into a couple of unique situations a few months that really challenged me. Both had to do with unsatisfied customers demanding that we give them money back. Each situation was different and therefore handled differently with a different result. In one case, money was returned, in another it wasn't.

Scott Buresh

The Evolution of Online Advertising Technology - More Targeting, Less Privacy (Part One)

Please bear with me as I go through a brief history of basic online advertising. The evolution of targeted online advertising is interesting, because I believe the perceived harmlessness of early advertising technology and targeting tactics lulled many people into a sense of complacency or perhaps even false security.

David Wallace

Free and Low Cost Tools to Get the Job Done - SBM Unleashed

As a small business owner you may not always have the money to invest in the tools you really need. That's ok. You might actually be surprised to learn how just how many great low cost and even free tools there are to help you improve your online marketing. In this workshop, Matt McGee of Small Business Search Marketing walks attendees through a variety of tools that handle all sorts of marketing related tasks. He'll also provides some insight into which tools are worth paying for and how you can start cheap and work your way toward investing in higher...

Scott Allen

Usability and Conversion Workshop - SBM Unleashed

Matt Bailey discusses the foundational elements of creating a user-friendly site that will encourage users to convert. If you weren't here you missed out! It was jam-packed with info on making an intelligent site that leads users down the right path.

Diane Aull

Drive Business Without Driving Yourself Crazy - SBM Unleashed

Anita offers ten tips for small business success based on her own experiences. Learn realistic and practicals ideas on how to make the best use of your time, leverage partnerships and maintain the kind of focus that leads to business success....

Stoney deGeyter

The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist for Website Design Considerations

The site design is essentially the first impression that someone gets when they land on your site. You may have all your usability and SEO elements in place, but if the design is lacking then your visitor's impression of you will be lacking as well. A visually appealing site can not only bolster trust and credibility, but it can make you stand out among other less-appealing sites in your industry.

Stoney deGeyter

The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!

My master website marketing checklist covering over 400 specific items through 23 topics. These topics include things such as website development, SEO, usability, accessibility, etc. This list doesn't cover any "how tos," which are an essential ingredient to successful online marketing, but sometimes you need to first know what to do so you can then discover how to do it.

Ross Dunn

10 Tips to Improve Ad Quality Score - Notes from SES San Jose

Last week I was fortunate to enjoy the tutelage and company of some talented web marketers at the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose. After attending the informative session "Ads in a Quality Score World" I decided to compile the 10 top tips I noted from the presenters on improving and managing quality score....

Jackie Baker

Site Clinic: Incorporating A Blog On Your Company Website

Blogging for business is huge these days. When done well, it's a great tactic for engaging your visitors, facilitating conversation with your audience, attracting links, and getting more pages to rank in the search engines for relevant terms. But there are some key functionality areas you need to address when incorporating a blog with your main website....

Stoney deGeyter

Why I Won't Grab Any Schwag from SES

My list of reasons why I won't be bringing home any schwag from Search Engine Strategies.

Stoney deGeyter

Why I Think SERPs Should Go Beyond 10 Results

It seems to me that if the search engines are confident that they are providing strong, relevant results to a query, that they would want to provide more results than just 10 to each searcher.

Sage Lewis

Cartier Goes Slumming While Google Adds Insights

What do Google, SERPs and Cartier all have in common? They are all "In the News" this week. Sage encourages us to check out Google's new tool Google Insights as well as Cartier's My Space page. Google Insights allows you to search for what people are well, searching for and then see both a geographic breakdown and time line of of popularity by percentage. Cartier's appearance on My Space adds credibility to an online community that was previously viewed as the "slums." Sage also highlights several SERP-related studies and articles, discussing the importance of being in the top ten while...

Debra Mastaler

I'll Take Links And 11 Gold Medals Please

Do you do any link building planning?  Planning as in mapping out locations you want to get links from and developing strategies around upcoming events? If you're not, you may want to take a look at what one company has done to capitalize on anticipation.  The goodwill, media attention and inbound links they generated from one small commercial is priceless and worth it's weight in gold....

Sage Lewis

The End Is Here! No More SERP Reports?

Stoney deGeyter is in the hot seat this week with his article "An End To Ranking Reports Is An End To Analysis." Stoney discusses the pros and cons of Google's ban on Web Position Gold's SERP reports....

Stacy Williams

Surprising Branding Benefits of Search

One of the great benefits of search engine marketing is that it's more measurable than most other forms of advertising and marketing. But are we missing half the picture by focusing on conversions? Just because we can easily measure conversions, does that cause us to focus solely on this single metric and ignore other, harder-to-track benefits of search engine marketing?

Jackie Baker

Site Clinic: No Good Web Design Idea is Original, So Use It!

Today we're taking a look at a stock photography website selling the rights to gorgeous photos in a niche topic. The website has a great product to sell, and a decent process for doing it. However, the site design and usability could use a little work prior to taking the next step in online marketing. When you are offering a niche product in a common area, IE stock photography, it's helpful to take some cues from other successful industry websites....

Scott Allen

Conversion Optimization Part of Internet Marketing? If Not, It Should Be!

I'll be willing to bet that when you hear internet marketing related terms like SEO, SEM, PPC, etc, you don't think of conversion optimization. And vice versa, when you hear talk of e-commerce conversion improvements, you may not think of internet marketing. If you do, then bravo!...you're ahead of the pack. If not, that's ok, but you may want to read on for some reasons why you should be integrating them.

Diane Aull

Bad Advice and Leaky Pipes

Want a sure-fire way to get terrible advice? Ask the right question... to the wrong person....

Mike Moran

Why Search Marketers Can Safely Ignore Cuil

Several people wrote to me asking me to review Cuil, the hot new search engine that everyone is talking about. Except me. I've explained in the past that I am not expecting any new search engine to come along to dethrone Google. But people persisted, "This one is really different!" So I looked and I listened and I read, and I'm sorry folks, but I don't know what all the fuss is about....

Jackie Baker

Site Clinic: Fresh Eyes Often Find Unmet Expectations

It's easy to get so wrapped up in our websites that we don't always realize how they are perceived by our visitors. We know them so intimately that the gap between whether or not our sites live up to visitor expectations isn't obvious at all. That's where fresh eyes can come in really handy. This is certainly the case with this week's site clinic subject Tony Winyard, a disc jockey in London, and his website Streetlife....

Mike Moran

Small Businesses Need the Internet

Frank Reed had an interesting post on his Frank Thinking blog, lamenting how small businesses seem to avoid search marketing. They spend their money on Yellow Pages ads and other older forms of marketing that might not bring the best return on their investment. So, with the U.S. economy focusing every small business on making more from less, why is it that Internet marketing, and search marketing in particular is so scary? What can we do to help small businesses take advantage of the Internet?...

Todd Mintz

Adding Value To The Search Community: My Interview With Adam Audette

I met Adam at Pubcon 2007 when I randomly sat at the same lunch table as him. I had absolutely no idea who he was but his nametag said he was from Bend, Oregon (I'm from Beaverton) and he seemed like a nice guy, so we exchanged cards. Adam absolutely qualifies as an SEO thought-leader and is absolutely one of the nicest people in this industry.

Mike Moran

Search Marketing Is a Roller Coaster

We all want to be in control, but search marketing is a roller coaster ride, where you really need to let go for it to be a worthwhile experience. If you've always had trouble letting go of control, perhaps that's what preventing you from really succeeding at search marketing....

Stoney deGeyter

Directory Links = Paid Links. Or do they?

One of the areas of confusion that many have regarding paid links is knowing when a paid link is really a paid link, and when is a paid link penalized. in their attempt to eliminate all forms of paid links from affecting their natural algorithmic search results Google has left one giant loophole in the paid link witch hunt: paid directory links.

Scott Allen

SEO is a Fusion of Relevance and Authority

With all the hot topics in SEO these days, it's easy for newcomers to miss out on the basics, or for those more experienced to forget about them. As long as there is a need for search engine optimization, the core elements will always be Relevance and Authority, and it's important for us to understand what these mean.

Mike Moran

Is Web Design the Next Search Marketing Battleground?

I'm old, so I have seen many different battlegrounds come and go in search marketing. Keywords, Links, Content. Multi-media is the one raging now. But which one is next? It could be personalization. It could be mobile. It could also be design....

Stoney deGeyter

Website Architecture Questions Answered, Part III

More website architecture questions answered including questions on website submission, viral marketing, content and moving a website.

Karri Flatla

Has the Internet Made a Believer Out of You? Maybe This Will Rock Your Religion

Let's get one thing straight: much as we like to play God, Internet marketers are not the omnipotent beings some people think we are. The Earthly truth is that we're just some really driven people with a lot of knowledge about working the web to your advantage. And most would agree that this knowledge, when put into action, is worth a few bucks. Of course, it's easier to continue believing in the omnipotent marketer. As in, if you pay someone enough money to market your business for you, then that person is accountable for your business' failure to turn a...

Stoney deGeyter

Website Architecture Questions Answered, Part II

Last week I answered some questions related to my Website Architecture webinar that I'll be conducting today. More questions were submitted in the last week and I've provided my answers to a few here.

Todd Mintz

Interview with Search Marketing Recruiter Anna Martin

The word “recruiter” tends to polarize people in the search marketing industry. However, recruiters serve a necessary function in finding “hard to find” talent for companies and so long as there is a massive shortage of qualified SEM employees available for companies to hire, professional SEM recruiters will do an excellent business.

Stoney deGeyter

How to Create Printer Friendly Pages Without Creating Duplicate Content

When it comes to issues of duplicate content, one of the most frequent offenders is the "printer friendly" page. Just about any kind of site can benefit from creating printer friendly versions of their pages, but improper implementation of these pages can wreak duplicate content havoc on your site.

Jackie Baker

Site Clinic: Easy to Navigate Equals Easy To Buy

This week we're looking at an e-commerce website for educational toys, Brainwaves Toys. The current Brainwaves site has done many things well, especially usability of the shopping cart and checkout process. However, it needs a little help with design and navigation to get visitors to that point....

Debra Mastaler

Bee's Do It. NonProfits Do It. Let's Do It, Let's Fall In Link Love

There are parallels between traditional linking and social media promotion. While I agree the two entities are different animals and call for seperate strategies, the bottom line is the same for both... to increase traffic and inbound links. With some people holding SEO to the fire for exploiting social media, I thought it might be interesting to focus on those parallels and look for common ground....

Stoney deGeyter

Why Session ID's And Search Engines Don't Get Along (Hint: It's a Duplicate Content Thing)

There is no better way to create an infinite amount of duplicate content on your site than to force session IDs onto each visitor (and search engine). Typically, session IDs are used for tracking a single visitor's navigation path through the site, including the adding or removing products from the shopping cart. They are great for tracking purposes, but really, really bad for search engines and inbound linking.

Jackie Baker

Site Clinic: Content Is Key To Attracting Customers

Today we begin the first installment of a weekly site clinic column, where small businesses are invited to submit their websites for review. Can't beat a little free advice, right? I'll be looking at the design, copy, usability, SEO, marketing, and any technical issues that may prevent websites from drawing loyal, active visitors and meeting goals. Each week, I'll give the top five issues the website owner/manager can address to significantly improve performance. ...

Stoney deGeyter

How Poor Product Categorization Creates Duplicate Content and Frustrates Your Shoppers

Product categorization can play a significant role in how both search engines and users are able to access your products. There are two important things to consider when determining how to categorize your products. 1) Is each product assigned to the most appropriate category or categories? and 2) is multiple categorization creating duplicate content? The first issue frustrates your users and the second the search engines.

Debra Mastaler

Dull, Boring And Cheap Means No Links For You

Have you tried to hire an SEO professional or a link builder and been turned down repeatedly? Is your site not performing to your expectations? Do you like the color beige? If you answered yes to any of these questions read on....

Jennifer Laycock

Small Business Marketing Unleashed, We Miss You

The first ever Small Business Marketing Unleashed conference has come and gone and I've had a full week to unwind and decompress. When we first announced our conference last fall, I had more than one person drop me an email asking if I knew what I was getting us into. I didn't, but I'm glad. If I had, we never would have done it. For those who joined us in Houston, thank you! It was a true pleasure getting to know you last week. For those who didn't make it, read on for a recap of the show.

Jennifer Laycock

Focus on Ranking Improvement, Not Domination

Last week at the Small Business Marketing Unleashed conference, small business owners (and a handful of marketers) came from around the world (literally) to learn more about marketing themselves online. We decided to open the show with a tag-team panel approach aimed at helping attendees go into the show sessions with the right perspective. Search engine marketing, blogging and social media are wonderful; but if you're a small business doing it all yourself, you need to approach things from a unique angle.

Jennifer Laycock

Last Call for Small Business Marketing Unleashed

There's just a handful of days left before the Search Engine Guide team takes to the stage in Houston, Texas for our first ever Small Business Marketing Unleashed conference. Our staff and speakers have been busy finishing up last minute details, putting the finishing touches on presentations and getting ready to load tons of great worksheets and guides onto the flash drives we'll be sending attendees home with. If you haven't signed up yet, it's not too late.

Manoj Jasra

3 Steps to a Stronger SEM Training Program

Recently I have been involved in creating a search marketing training program which some very clear objectives: help new search marketing strategists get up to speed quicker, allow them to work on billable client work sooner/more efficiently and get them prepared to participate in high-level brainstorming strategies. As much as I can teach the new strategists, I have learned it's as important to learn from them to continually tweak and improve the program. Below I have outlined 3 steps to creating a stronger search marketing training program....

Sage Lewis

Video: Debunking Google News Myths and Debating SEO Standardization

Google News bloggers debunk myths about how to get your article submitted to Google News; myths include examples such as having a picture next to your piece increases your rankings. Blogging continues to gain popularity, but according to MediaPost.com, only 23% of people who read blogs are more likely to go out and buy those bloggers suggested products. Also, the debate is heated on the Search Engine Watch forums about whether or not SEO should be standardized....

Todd Mintz

Ask SEMpdx: In-house or Outhouse? What Criteria Should a Company Use to Decide How to Handle its Search Marketing Needs?

How should a company handle its search marketing needs? Companies frequently make a choice based upon incomplete / incorrect information and end up with unsatisfactory results. Todd Mintz asks several members of SEMpdx about the factors they'd look at when deciding whether to take SEM on in-house or through a third party vendor.  

Debra Mastaler

Use What's In Front Of You To Attract Links

If you have an offline store supporting an online presence or even if you exist only online, it makes sense to expose your URL's and special promotions at every opportunity. Doing so helps to build credibility and natural inbound links.

Manoj Jasra

8 Factors to Cover in a Competitive Analysis

The main purpose of a competitive analysis should be to gain awareness of the competitive factors analyzed and to leverage the client's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) to their advantage. So what kind of factors should be included in an online competitive analysis...

Jennifer Laycock

A Simple Reminder of Why Alexa is Useless

While catching up on my RSS feeds today, I came across a post at Matt McGee's Small Business SEM that's a few days old, but well worth mentioning. The post dives into the issue of Alexa rankings and explains why they should not be used as a gauge of how successful a web site is.

Jennifer Laycock

Missed the Early Bird Price on Unleashed? No Worries!

No doubt some of you looked at your calendars last week and realized you'd missed the $850 early bird price for our upcoming Small Business Marketing Unleashed conference in Houston. Don't sweat it, we've got you covered. We've spent the last six months building the perfect conference for you. We know how busy you are. Do you think we'd let you miss out on this great show just because you forget to set an alert on your calendar?

Paul Jahn

Presenting Search Marketing Results for Large Clients

A long time ago search marketing was mainly a vehicle for small businesses to compete with the big boys. For the many Fortune 500 companies that now outsource at least some sort of search marketing, presenting results whether it's through analytics, lead generation, or sales can be tricky yet still highly effective.

Manoj Jasra

SEMPO: SEM Increasing at the Expense of Traditional Marketing

SEMPO, today released the results of its annual State of the Market Survey and the results indicate that the search marketing industry has exceeded the project spending allocations that were expected in 2007 and that the overall consensus from marketers it that the industry will continue to positive growth....

Scott Buresh

Sam's Club Wants to Be Your Search Engine Optimization Company - Should You Let It?

If the buzz is to be believed, Sam's Club is now a search engine optimization company that is targeting the local search market aggressively. The fact is, this isn't something new; it's just recently come to the forefront. Sam's Club has partnered with a company called Innuity to offer a program that is primarily targeted at small businesses looking to get noticed in the local search results....

Sage Lewis

Video: Ask and Ye Shall Receive, Except on Flickr

This week's "In the News" brings disappointment to the SEO world as Flickr goes Nofollow with its links, preventing the use of Flickr for personal link gain. Ask.com uses Compete to add new pop up stats when you roll over the binoculars on their website, and now you can ward away boredom by watching other peoples' lives at Play.blogger.com....

Sage Lewis

Video: And the Award Goes to. . . Analytics and Rand Fishkin

Analytics are everywhere this week with the release of Google's Urchin 6.0 and the entry of analytics player Crazy Egg. Urchin 6.0 is expensive for the average user at $2,995 after beta and geared more towards large companies that are protective of their analytics data; Crazy Egg offers some standard features but is trying to capitalize on their "visualize your visitors" approach, in which their Heat Map allows you to see where people are clicking on your site. Last but definitely not least, are the SEMMY Awards, where Rand Fishkin walks away with the big win for his SEO article, "Search Engine Rankings Factors 2.0."

Sage Lewis

Video: Diversify or Die - Reasons to Invest in Multiple Marketing Venues

Sage details an article by David Wallace, "Why You Should Not Place All Your Eggs in One Basket," in which David uses IncrediMail as an example of why it is important for small businesses to invest in multiple forms of marketing. He lists six different opportunities to project your business, including paid search, blogging, social media, web forums, word of mouth referrals, and even traditional marketing.

David Wallace

Why You Should Not Place All Your Eggs in One Basket

IncrediMail, an Israeli based a company that develops software to customize e-mails, has provided business owners an incredible lesson as to why you should not place all your eggs in one basket. Last week, they discovered that their Google AdSense privileges had been banned. This resulted in their stock dropping over 45% to a new year low. While IncrediMail does claim to generate revenue by selling software products, offering subscriptions to their content database, and by selling paid advertising on their Web site and e-mail client, they did admit that search revenues powered by Google's AdSense program made a significant...

Jennifer Laycock

Three Key Points for SEM Success

Every now and then you have to get back to the basics. You may be learning the ropes and turning in some pretty good results with your search engine marketing efforts. You might be seeing higher rankings, more traffic and tons of links. Of course you might not be seeing an increase in sales. If that's the case, there's a good chance you've made one of three common mistakes with your search marketing campaign.

Stoney deGeyter

Four Quick Ways to Improve Your HELP and FAQ Pages

Depending on the nature of your site, Help and FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions) can span a few or many pages. Building up these sections of your site can greatly enhance your visitor's experience with your website. These pages are often sought out by shoppers who are looking for just a bit more information to help them feel confident about their purchase. Building comprehensive Help and FAQ pages gives your visitors confidence that you're there to provide them the information and help they need to be comfortable purchasing from you. Solidly built pages can often reduce visitor confusion, lessen support call frequency, and create higher conversion rates as more shoppers are satisfied and confident that you can meet their needs.

Jennifer Laycock

Discount Subscription to Search Marketing Standard

It's hard to believe it's been two years since Boris Mordkovich and his team launched the print Search Marketing Standard magazine to help educate folks about the search marketing industry. I remember back when I first posted about the magazine's launch. At the time, I was pretty skeptical. After all, the industry moves at a blogger's pace, not a publisher's pace. It just didn't seem like a print magazine had a chance. I'm happy to say I was wrong.

Patrick Schaber

AdWords Local PlusBox A Great Addition

The announcement of the new Local PlusBox by Google Adwords which places geographical information in the top paid search location changes the PPC strategy for those using more local targeting. The new expandable feature allows advertisers to bid to the top spot in an effort to have the opportunity to display such valuable information as a map, address, driving instructions, and phone number, in addition to the location name that appears beneath the last line of ad.

Debra Mastaler

Building Links By Making Videos

According to a recent survey, people are planning to turn to the Internet for content as a way to keep themselves entertained during the writers strike. If there was ever a time to create a library of videos and publicize the heck out of them as a way to attract more inbound links, it's now!

Debra Mastaler

Here's Why I Won't Quit My Link Building Job

Are you thinking about outsourcing your link building work or do you prefer to keep everything in-house? There's been a lot of discussion on this issue lately, let's take a look at the pro's and con's of each.

Manoj Jasra

Google Indexing Even Faster?

Over the last year I have really noticed a decrease in the time it takes Google to index pages, specifically articles and blog posts.  Pages being indexed used to take days and then hours and now I am noticing minutes.  This is without being logged into my Google Account....

Jennifer Laycock

Search Engine Spam - What You Don't Know Can Hurt You

If you are a small business owner, you may have spent a fair amount of time learning about the generally accepted ways to improve your search rankings. What you probably glossed over or skipped all together was reading about the tactics used to game or "cheat" your way up the search engines. You may be thinking "but I'm not planning to spam the search engines!" That's great, but are you absolutely positive the SEM firm you're thinking about hiring feels the same way? If you know nothing about those tactics, how can you be certain your company or your SEM firm aren't using them.

Jennifer Laycock

Around the Industry in 50 Posts

The year is coming to a close and it's time for "best of 2007" lists to start popping up in your feed reader. While there are some great ones out there, I wanted to make sure to draw your attention to Evan Carmichael's "Top 50 SEO Posts of the Year." Evan has put together one of the most comprehensive lists of great posts you'll see this year. In fact, he's done it without any writer overlap. That means he's offering up fifty articles from fifty different writers.

Liana Evans

Craig Newmark of Craig's List at Pubcon - Webmaster World

Craig Newmark was a keynote address at Pubcon on the first day of Pubcon. Learn where he came from and where Craig's List is going in the future.

Scott Buresh

A Slippery Slope: Google Owns a Search Engine Optimization Company

What many people failed to realize was that when Google purchased DoubleClick, it now was also the owner of a very large search engine optimization company called Performics, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of DoubleClick. This fact is of course raising some eyebrows in the industry.

Todd Mintz

SEO Spam Solicitation Stripped

I'm guessing that most everyone reading this article has received SEO spam and regular readers of Search Engine Guide know enough about the SEO process not to be suckered into believing the sorts of claims made in SEO service spam emails. However, as a public service to all, I am going to deconstruct the latest example to arrive in my inbox.

Simon Heseltine

Search Marketing for Retail - SMX-London

Last week I attended and presented at SMX-London. It was a great chance to meet with British search Marketers that don't get to make it out to the US conferences, and to hear a different perspective on familiar topics from mostly British presenters. Friday saw the "Search Marketing for Retail" seminar, which was moderated by Rob Kerry of Ayima.com.

Simon Heseltine

Search Marketing for Retail - SMX-London

Last week I attended and presented at SMX-London. It was a great chance to meet with British search Marketers that don't get to make it out to the US conferences, and to hear a different perspective on familiar topics from mostly British presenters. Friday saw the "Search Marketing for Retail" seminar, which was moderated by Rob Kerry of Ayima.com.

Jennifer Laycock

The Accidental Lessons of Life in the Search Industry

I missed a great post last week by Matt McGee, so I'm blogging it now. Titled "Eight Things the Search Industry Can Teach Small Businesses," the post offers up several great examples of how to market yourself online from people in the industry who were simply going about their business. From networking to staying visible to finding your niche, it's a great little set of tips and examples worth reading through.

Jennifer Laycock

Mark Your Calendars for SMX West

If you've been thinking about attending one of the major search marketing conferences, you might want to check out the newly posted agenda for SMX West. Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman will be offering up more than 50 sessions on February 26-28, 2008 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I won't be able to make it, as I'll be at another conference in London, but so far, it's shaping up to be a great looking show.

Jennifer Laycock

Designing the Perfect Small Business Marketing Conference (Houston, Texas 2008)

In the last five years, I've attended dozens of marketing conferences, events and seminars. During each of those shows, I've spent time talking to the small business owners who've come to try and learn a little more about how to market their business online. Time and time again, the message I hear is the same. "The information is incredible, but I have no idea where to start!" It was that line that caused Robert and I to sit down several months ago and brainstorm all the things we'd do if we were planning a marketing conference for small business owners. It was Stoney deGeyter who said "so why don't you do it?"

Scott Buresh

Google's Paid Search vs. Organic Results - A Rickety Wall of Separation

The good people at Google have long maintained that there is a Chinese Wall between paid search results and organic results - that is, the department responsible for advertising is completely separate from the department responsible for organic search engine placement. The company insists that Google Adwords is a completely separate entity than the Google search engine, and never the twain shall meet. This all sounds very good, in theory.

Stoney deGeyter

Big Picture SEO vs Small Detail Obsessions

While looking at every last minute detail of SEO is advantageous, it is effective only to a point. One can't get mired into trying to get every last little detail right all of the time. To do so often comes at the expense other important things. Instead of focusing on the big picture, you're mired in the little things that don't provide the return you may have imagined.

Stoney deGeyter

The Great SEO Lie Exposed

I had an alternate title for this post: "Ask not what Google can do for you, but what you can do for Google". We're moving into a new age where we have to pay closer attention what Google does -- despite what Google says.

Debra Mastaler

A Step by Step Plan on How to Market Your Site on Facebook

If you've heard about Facebook and understand it can help grow your business but aren't sure how to get started, read on. This article is a step-by-step outline on how to market yourself on Facebook.

Jennifer Laycock

Still Intimidated by Online Marketing?

Something I hear now and then from small business owners and small business in-house marketers is that they aren't afraid of marketing. They're just afraid of internet marketing. After all, most people have a general understanding of how things like the yellow pages and newspaper spots work. Even if they don't run good campaigns, they probably can't end up doing a lot of damage. To them, the internet moves at lightening speed and a bad campaign can turn into a true disaster. While these are valid concerns, they shouldn't be enough to scare you off.

Debra Mastaler

Ramblings of a Directory Groupie & Some Directory Freebies

Using directories in your link building efforts is still a viable option from several standpoints. Here's my thoughts on the subject plus a roster of the directories we use and a list of discount promotion codes. Get some links, save some money. Cool.

Stoney deGeyter

An Amazingly Detailed Post on Why PageRank Should Be Ignored

These figures can't (or can, depending on how you look at it) be ignored.

Patrick Schaber

Beginner's Guide to Google Adwords Settings

Have you ever wondered what all those setting are in your Google AdWords campaign? Well, don't feel bad if you don't know. I've come across more than a few people who have campaigns up and running that haven't gone through and made sure they understood the nitty-gritty details of their paid search campaign. I can't think of a better way for small business marketers to throw away advertising dollars. Let's take a look at a few of those settings that play a large role in your campaigns success.

Jennifer Laycock

14 Days to a Better Website Seminar in Cleveland

If you've been looking to attend an online marketing seminar and live within driving distance of Cleveland, Ohio, you might want to check out the 14 Days to a Better Website Seminar being put on by Site Logic Marketing's Matt Bailey next month. I'll be joining Matt for the seminar and we're looking forward to the chance to help some small businesses get their marketing plans off on the right foot.

Stoney deGeyter

Where Does the Responsibility of the SEO End and the Client's Begin?

Last week, as I recounted my story of a troubled client, I got to thinking about this question. In the world of SEO, where do the lines of responsibility fall? When is the SEO responsible for failure and when is it the client's fault? Or can lines be drawn between them so easily?...

Diane Aull

Imitation: it may be sincere, but it isn't always smart

It's true, you can learn a lot about web marketing and merchandising by looking at what the “big boys” do. But it might not be such a good idea to simply imitate everything they do......

Manoj Jasra

SEMPO Releases In House SEM Salary Survey

The Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), www.sempo.org, today announced it is launching its first ever salary survey of in-house search engine marketing professionals. The survey is open to all in-house SEM professionals whether or not they are currently SEMPO members. Organic and/or paid-search, in-house professionals are all invited to take the survey....

David Wallace

Search Engine Marketing and Garage Sales

I just survived another garage sale that my wife, Irma, has put on. That's three in the last six years. While I absolutely hate them, I do enjoy the end result which is some cash in her pocket (or purse) and a house that is less cluttered. During this one (which I hope is out last), I started to think how a successful garage sale is a lot like a successful search marketing effort. Likewise a garage sale that performs poorly can be compared to a search marketing effort that delivers a poor ROI....

Ross Dunn

Keyword Research for PPC

Although researching keywords for SEO is similar to that for PPC there still are many core differences. In many cases using the generic targets with high searches can be very costly in the world of PPC. While they can offer a good return, often long tailed, very specific phrases can offer more qualified traffic at a lower price

Stoney deGeyter

The Best Damn On-Page Optimization Process Checklist, Period

I like to create systems for everything that I do and SEO is no exception. While not every aspect of search engine marketing can be programmed, categorized or easily referenced, (I have a mighty team to handle that stuff!) the bulk of the work can at least be outlined into a handy check list.

Jennifer Laycock

Picking the Size of Your Pond

Whether you're talking about search marketing, blog marketing or any other form of online marketing, small businesses often find themselves competing as a little fish in a big pond. That can be frustrating when your time and your finances are limited. Sometimes those limitations mean you need to start looking for a pond that better fits the size of your marketing budget. I ran across a small business marketing column in the Roseville and Rocklin Today asking "How Big is Your Pond?"

Manoj Jasra

MarketingSherpa Guide Reveals 38% Growth in SEM

MarketingSherpa today released the fourth annual edition of its Search Marketing Benchmark Guide. The search marketing industry is still expanding rapidly - as much as 31% in the United States and 39% globally for 2007....

Jennifer Laycock

5 Tips for Seasonal Search Marketing Success

The Yahoo Search Marketing team has a post up this week reminding site owners that online holiday shopping increases pretty much every year. In fact, more than 80% of shoppers bought at least one thing online last holiday season. With the holiday sales cycle already gearing up, it's a good idea to start fine tuning your site and campaigns to drive more business. While most of the five tips Yahoo has to offer are a recap of the fundamentals of good online marketing, they're still worth reading and putting into action.

Jennifer Laycock

If At First You Don't Convert, Try, Try Again

Earlier this week in my article about aiming for less competitive phrases in the early days of your SEO attempts, I mentioned the fact that most searchers conduct several queries and visit several sites before making a purchase. This action mimics offline sales patterns as well. Research has shown over and over again that it takes multiple exposures to a product before a consumer is ready to buy. Yesterday, Patrick Schaber over at The Lonely Marketer drew a simple, but pointed analogy on this concept.

Ross Dunn

How Search Integrates as a Brand Vehicle

I attended an interesting seminar at Search Engine Strategies San Jose that discussed how search can be used to aid in branding instead of just as a direct response sales vehicle. Each point, stat or anecdote is in itself intriguing but overall add up to a helpful overview of how to use search to brand.

David Wallace

Increase The Visibility of Your Small Business Web Site on a Shoestring Budget

Search marketing has become an expensive endeavor. This is especially true if you are in any kind of a competitive industry. Good search engine optimization can be pricey (we charge $200 an hour). As pay per click advertising continues to attract more and more advertisers, the cost of bidding on keywords will continue to rise as well. Most web directories and other web site listing services now charge for inclusion where it used to be free. The list goes on and on. So how does a company with practically no budget compete in an online world?

Diane Aull

Online? Offline? Integrate!

Does your business market offline as well as online? Do you take your offline marketing campaigns into account when deciding what terms to target for search engine optimization? If not, you might want to think again......

Paul Jahn

Searching Online, Buying Offline?

It's arguably the premise of local search, and a comScore study with Yahoo gives some interesting insight to the "search online, buy offline" behavior. They examined five major retailers, including JC Penney, national department and apparel stores, and a major office supplies outlet....

Liana Evans

SES Latino 2007 in Miami Wrap Up

Miami was the place to be this past Monday and Tuesday (June 18th, 19th 2007) if you wanted to get the scoop on search marketing for the Latin American market. Nacho Hernandez, of iHispanic, headed up a great 2-day conference by Search Engine Strategies at the Inter-Continental Hotel. Conference goers from all over Latin America, the United States and Canada spent the time in sessions that covered the basics of keyword research and linking dealing with Spanish and Portuguese languages to broader site issues such as whether to create original content or just translate existing content....

Diane Aull

It Ain't Just About Traffic

Many site owners seem to focus on increasing traffic to their site as a goal. More traffic is generally a good thing, but it isn't a cure-all. Are you doing everything you can to make the most of the traffic you get now?...

Stoney deGeyter

Don't Hide All Your Easter Eggs All In One Place

Right now Google is the 900 pound basket delivering a sizeable chunk of traffic (eggs?) to businesses on the web. That's fine and all but what happens when you lose your Google rankings for a day, month, year?...

Stoney deGeyter

Achieving “Outsider” Status

Have you tried to break into the SEO elite and found it somewhat cliquish? You're not the only one. Aaron Pratt talks about the circular linking patterns of the SEO elites....

Eric Lander

The Search Industry's Most Influential Events of 2006

It's common to look back upon the past year and reflect upon all that has changed through twelve short months. For an industry as dynamic as that of search engine marketing -- that's certainly true. While I'm a few weeks late on my own schedule, I still wanted to share what I saw as the five most influential changes of 2006 for those in the SEM game....

Stoney deGeyter

Ignorance: The Downside of Social Marketing

The ignorance of the Wikipedia community in regards to SEO is, well, interesting. There is an internal debate as to whether or not Matt Cutts is noteworthy for his own Wikipedia page. Huh? Really?...

Scott Buresh

Organic SEO or Pay-Per-Click Advertising - Which Should You Choose?

When people hear about online marketing, they often think of two of the more popular methods that a company can use to enhance its visibility on the Web: organic search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising. In an ideal world, you would use both strategically to maximize your site's profile. However, budgetary constraints often make this impossible, and trying to do both on a limited budget or with minimal resources can result in neither campaign producing ideal results....

Jim Hedger

Search Marketing and Social Media

The ultimate goal of any marketing campaign is to put products or services in front of as many interested eyeballs as possible. Where the public leads, marketers, by necessity, must follow and if those eyeballs begin to congregate over there as well as over here, many marketers feel the need to move. Online marketers looking for another winning venue are therefore turning to social media spaces as social marketing tools....

Daniel Jupp

Tips from the Top: Search Engine Marketing On A Small Budget

Although more and more big name brands are snapping up bundles of cyber real estate each day, a well-ordered and concise pay per click campaign is actually an ideal marketing solution for businesses operating with modest financial resources because costs are strictly controlled and adverts precisely targeted....

Robin Nobles

Walking in the Search Engine's Shoes

Suffice it to say that spam is a major issue with the search engines in terms of time, resources, and ultimately money. New filters are added by the engines to combat spam, and the Web community finds new ways to cheat their way to the top....

Jennifer Laycock

Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and 30 Days - Day 14 - Jagger is Not My Friend, CSSAnnoys and I Experience CafePress as a Customer

I don't suppose I can really complain. After two solid weeks of surprising productivity, day fourteen actually delivered a fair share of frustration to make up for the supposed ease with which things had launched. That said, I still managed to get quite a bit done and I was encouraged to see that the search marketing world had finally started to buzz about the project as well....

Scott Buresh

Professional SEO in Your Marketing Mix - Convincing Your Company

As many companies are discovering, professional SEO is an incredibly powerful and cost-effective addition to the existing marketing mix....

Paul Bruemmer

Search Marketing - Then and Now

Search Marketing was once a cottage industry without certification, licensing or even a professional organization. We've come a long way since, as Search Engine Marketing has expanded its services to include paid inclusion and paid placement....

David Wallace

Avoiding Search Engine Penalties or Getting Out From Under Them

There are times when a web site has indeed come under some kind of penalty or has been completely removed from a search index for one reason or another. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid such penalties as well as ways to redeem yourself if you have experienced this misfortune....

Matt Bailey

Keyword Strategies - The Long Tail

In most cases, the top 10 terms provide a lot of traffic, but not nearly as much as the total terms after the top 10 or 20 most popular. Add up the terms that refer 1-3 visits during the month, and chances are, they will add up to more total visitors than the top terms....

Stoney deGeyter

Allocating Your Web Site's Budget Properly

What is the goal of getting your site optimized? Is it top rankings? Sadly, for many, this is still the case. In the strictest sense, SEO is just about achieving top rankings, but that mindset is also changing....

David Wallace

The Continual Evolution of Search Engine Marketing

While these are still essentials of SEM, marketing one's site via the search engines is a much more involved process these days....

Jill Whalen

Black Hat/White Hat Search Engine Optimization

What those guys do as SEOs really has nothing to do with what I do as an SEO. Sure, we're all trying to bring targeted search engine visitors to our sites, but that's where the similarities end. I don't have to keep up with every tiny algorithm shift, or the latest technique that the engines haven't caught onto yet. It's completely irrelevant to what I do....

Jennifer Laycock

Reflections on SEMPO

Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch provides some excellent commentary on SEMPO's activities for the past year....

David Wallace

Look Before You Leap - What to Look For and Look Out For When Choosing an SEO/SEM Firm

As a company looking to hire a SEO firm to improve your web site visibility in the search engines, as well as increase traffic and conversions, what positives do you look for? What negatives do you need to watch out for? We will explore some of the major issues related to this question....

Jennifer Laycock

SEMPO - A Year Later

SEMPO, the Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization will be celebrating its one year anniversary next week in San Jose, but some wonder what they'll have to show for a year of work....

Robert Clough

Work at Home Mom Is Acclaimed Search Engine Optimization Expert

I'm sure it looks like a huge accomplishment to those on the outside, I really believe that anyone who's fairly intelligent and who has the time to spend, can make themselves well known on the Internet. Even today, it's still doable if you work hard at it....

Daria Goetsch

Improve Search Engine Ranking With Topical Articles

A key factor in ranking high in search engine results is link popularity. But, building link popularity is hard work. You've searched endlessly. You've sent every reciprocal link email you can think of. What else can you do? Surprisingly, writing articles on your topic can lead you to a wealth of link popularity....

Daria Goetsch

Low Cost Search Engine Marketing for Small Businesses

Promoting your small business website in the search engines can be a daunting task. Use of free submissions and link popularity is a good starting point for your website promotion campaign....

Andrew Gerhart

Understanding and Building Google PageRank

For those who are not familiar with Google's Page Rank, which is commonly known as PR, it is Google's calculation or score of a web page based on external and internal linking of a site, as well as on-page criteria of the web page being linked to as well as the web page being linked from....