Search Engine Guide
Search Engine Marketing News

Week of 2008-07-16

Hi Everyone,

The newsletter is packed this week. Enjoy!

Rachel Phillips
Check out our Small Business Newsletter

Stepforth

How to Optimize for Google :: A New 10 Page White Paper from StepForth Web Marketing

StepForth Web Marketing has created a free 10 page white paper on how to optimize a website on Google the right way - so the website succeeds. Learn from a company that has been providing web marketing services for over 10 years and are recommended by leaders of the SEO industry.

Go to the Free Download Page

From Our Writers
Jennifer Laycock Stoney de Geyter Diane Aull Debra Mastaler Paul Jahn Manoj Jasra David Wallace Sage Lewis Mack Collier Karri Flatla Jackie Baker Ross Dunn Scott Allen Diana Adams Mike Moran

Featuring: Jennifer Laycock, Stoney deGeyter, Diane Aull, Debra Mastaler, Paul Jahn, Manoj Jasra, David Wallace, Sage Lewis, Mack Collier, Karri Flatla, Jackie Baker, Ross Dunn, Scott Allen, Diana Adams and Mike Moran.

Why the Social Media World NEEDS to Understand SEO

by Jennifer Laycock

As I find myself drifting further and further from my search engine optimization roots to focus more time and effort on exploring the worlds of social media, blogging and viral marketing, I'm sometimes astonished at the misunderstandings between these two worlds. Search engine marketers look to social media as a vast expanse of link opportunities, almost completely missing the true potential of social media. On the other hand, social media types tend to look at SEO as some type of dirty game of tricks and scams that would tarnish the pure image they hope to build in their social media utopia.

Does Your Company Name Really Belong In Your Title Tag?

by Stoney deGeyter

When I only have about 65 characters to work with in a title tag (that which is visible on the search engine results pages), should I use any of that valuable real estate to display my company name?

SEO is an Orchestra, Not an Instrument

by Stoney deGeyter

While back I wrote an article about how having a search engine friendly website does not make it search engine optimized. The article discussed how many web developers promise to "search engine optimize" the websites they develop. While I don't mean to discount the value of a good web developer (I rely on them heavily) many developers really know no more about SEO than than they do about pluming. Sure, they can plunge a blocked toilet, or write some decent titles and meta descriptions, but there is so much more to SEO (and plumbing) than that.

If a Ranking Falls on the First Page, But There is Nobody Around to See it, Does it Still Make Any Difference?

by Stoney deGeyter

I think I stress too much about our clients' performance of their optimization campaigns. Or perhaps I just create too much work for myself. See, all these years I've been working 10-12 hour days to help my clients increase their exposure in the search engines for some pretty important phrases. But just recently I found out that I've been targeting all the wrong keywords!

Blogging Case Study: Newcastle Square Realty

by Mack Collier

Perhaps the most important area of a business blog, is its content. How you position your blog's content can greatly determine how successful it will be, and this is a lesson that hasn't been lost on Newcastle Square Realty.

Site Clinic: You've Got Great Usability, Now Start Optimizing.

by Jackie Baker

Before search engine optimization can be successful in driving conversions, not just rankings, you first need to ensure that your site is usable and compelling. Dynamic-Living.com has done a great job of creating a clean, simple, well-organized website and their visitors will have no trouble finding the products they want and getting through the checkout process. With a website in good shape, their next step is to perform optimization so that they start ranking for relevant keywords....

Destination Search Engine Marketing, Part I: Do you Deserve Top Search Rankings?

by Stoney deGeyter

Search engine optimization should be about how helping businesses succeed online with search engine exposure being a component to achieve success, but not the measure of success itself. But where SEO and other forms of offline advertising differ is that SEO cannot stand alone from the core business. It is intertwined. The "rankings at all cost" mentality needs to be thrown out like last month's leftovers that's made its way to the back of the fridge. It's a stale and moldy strategy that simply stinks up the web.

Destination Search Engine Marketing, Part II: What Would Sudden Exposure Get You

by Stoney deGeyter

SEO isn't about "getting" top rankings. Getting rankings leaves open the implication that you're achieving a result that you don't necessarily deserve. Destination SEM focuses on building a website that is truly exceptional in meeting your audience's needs and actually earns top search engine positions.

Hard (but Important) Lessons About Viral Marketing

by Jennifer Laycock

Viral marketing may be one of the most misunderstood forms of marketing. This gets proven to me over and over when some company calls (or emails) and tells me "we've just created X and we need you to make it go viral." While it's flattering to have people think I'm THAT good at what I do, each and every one of these companies tends to get the same response. "Thanks, but next time you need to call me before you create X." Not long after, I find myself thinking about what makes up a good viral campaign and just how much of that is misunderstood by companies.

What Saturday Afternoon at the Mall Taught Me About Web Sites

by Jennifer Laycock

As the kids splashed around and I sat on a park bench in the shade with my husband and in-laws, I found myself thinking. We'd come for the free fountains, but had already dropped $75 on lunch at the mall. As I took in the environment and noticed the little "extras" the team at Easton had added to make the fountains more appealing for families, I couldn't help but draw an analogy between what Easton Towne Center was doing and what Web 2.0 allows online businesses to do.

Puppy's Picks - 07/11/08

by Jennifer Laycock

I scan a few hundred feeds and read dozens of articles a day so you don't have to. From measuring the effectiveness of social media to hiring a search engine optimization firm to getting in the video game, check out a roundup of half a dozen posts I classify as "must-read" for the day.

SEM Bootcamp: Five Steps to Organic Success

by Jennifer Laycock

If you're just getting started with search engine optimization, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the information and all the details getting thrown around on blogs and discussion forums around the web. While good optimization skills take time to build, it's quite simple to get started.

Puppy's Picks - 07/10/08

by Jennifer Laycock

A round up of what Jennifer read and found interesting today on the web. From how questions about Yahoo and Google's algorithms to dropping Technorati rankings to an impressive roundup of thoughts on what makes a social media marketer, check out five posts Jen thought you need to read.

5 Big Issues in an Organization's Analytics Process

by Manoj Jasra

In organizations where priorities are constantly changing and everyone has a very tight deadline, there are many issues surrounding web analytics that can arise. I will mention some of these issues in a moment but the key to web analytics in a corporate culture is evangelizing it....

Puppy's Picks - 07/09/08

by Jennifer Laycock

A round up of what Jennifer read and found interesting today on the web. From how Google ranks sites to writing effective blog posts to Twitter Zombie attacks, check out half a dozen posts Jen thought you need to read.

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

by Todd Mintz

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.

Search Marketing Is a Roller Coaster

by Mike Moran

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....

SEO Bonus Night: Keyword Research Just Got a Little Bit Easier (and Cheaper)

by Karri Flatla

Have you ever been walking down the street just sort of minding your own business, staring at the cracks in the sidewalk, when you suddenly spot a fiver just laying there on the pavement?  My fiver on the sidewalk of search engine marketing was NUMBERS. Yes, Google showed me numbers, glorious numbers. Not just the "1 through 4" types either. Big ones and little ones. Odd ones and even ones. It was neat. It wasn't Bob Barker calling my name or anything. But it was neat....

Is Your Website FUBAR in the "Other" Browser?

by Stoney deGeyter

When making changes to my website I always take the time to view them live on the web before closing up my editing software and patting myself on the back in self-satisfaction of a job well done. Even with minor changes, I like to view them one last time to make sure my changes didn't cause any shifts in on-page display, or I didn't inadvertently create an error somewhere that inadvertently jacked everything up (believe me, it's happened more times than I can count!) But regardless of how careful I am to double check my work, there is one thing I almost always overlook; verifying that my site looks good in the "other" browser.

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Video Cast

Sage Lewis

Groundswell: The Ultimate Social Media Resource for Businesses?

by Sage Lewis

Social media is all the rage, and it's here to stay, but it's hard for businesses to know what to do with it and how to do it. Sage encourages both believers and skeptics to check out the book Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, citing it as one of the best social media resources from the business perspective. As an aside, our very own Jennifer Laycock is mentioned on page eight!...

Great Suffering Provides Great Opportunity

by Sage Lewis

Sage touches on some of the sadder aspects of our economy and world, broaching the greatly suffering real estate and energy industries. He believes people currently in these fields have wonderful opportunities to reach out to people and make a difference. A call to action is issued, encouraging these people to share their stories on the web, using blogs and Youtube as their platform....

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Readers Respond

In response to... Why the Social Media World NEEDS to Understand SEO

Jennifer, this was an excellent and comprehensive review that deepened my understanding of SEO. It is always helpful to look at real world examples and learn what opportunities could have been maximized. I also applaud Esteban for taking the feedback in the manner intended and participating in the discussion. Thank you so much for this post!

Karen Swim
Words For Hire
Insights and inspiration for life, career and business.



In response to... Why the Social Media World NEEDS to Understand SEO

Your analysis of the need for understanding SEO and Social Media are so spot on!! The lines between the disciplines are becoming blurred. Having recently re-entered the consulting space, I considered a title of "SEO Gone Social" for business cards.

Your website review also shows a required understanding of usability and conversion. Thanks for such a detailed, educational review that many of us can use as a case study.

SEO & SEM? Dana Larson of Top Rank came up with an idea for National Search Engine Optimizers Day. She and I have been collaborating and want to celebrate online disciplines and raise awareness with topics and best practices like this post. Our flag is a take on the Olympics with 3 rings for SEO, SEM, SMO. (Site isn't ready for "prime time," but there are too many coincidences with the timing of your post.) This will be one of the first "best practices" we discuss and link to and would love to have you contribute. Awesome work!

Dana Lookadoo
Pixel Position
Conversational SEO Strategies build position, brand and relationships.



In response to... SEO is an Orchestra, Not an Instrument

AWESOME title!

You make some excellent points. I agree with your assertion that many SEO's have the technical skills too. I designed web sites for 10 years, and although I don't know development, the skills I have help me a lot in making sure a site is properly optimized.

When it's a team effort, everyone benefits.

SEO Diva
SEO Advice and Tips



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How to Optimize for Google :: A New 10 Page White Paper from StepForth Web Marketing

StepForth Web Marketing has created a free 10 page white paper on how to optimize a website on Google the right way - so the website succeeds. Learn from a company that has been providing web marketing services for over 10 years and are recommended by leaders of the SEO industry.

Go to the Free Download Page

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