Search Engine Guide
Search Engine Marketing News

2008-10-30

Hi Everyone!

For all you ghouls and goblins out there, make sure you have a safe and fun Halloween. Eat lots of candy so you're wide awake to implement all our writers' wonderful ideas!

Have a great week!

Rachel Phillips
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From Our Writers
Jennifer Laycock

The Choice of a Social Media Generation

by Jennifer Laycock

I've been watching with interest as some of my blogging buddies posted their reactions to the blogger outreach campaign Edelman is running for Pepsi. The crew behind the outreach program picked twenty five social media and marketer influencers and sent them a preview of the new Pepsi cans. They also opened up a room in Friendfeed to foster discussion about the brand changes.

Mack Collier

Social Media Can Be Cheap, But Its Not Free

by Mack Collier

One of the big reasons why social media can be so appealing to small businesses is because many of these tools/sites are free or very cheap to use. Which is perfect for small businesses that probably have very little in the way of a marketing budget to begin with. But there are still costs to consider when launching a social media strategy.

Diane Aull

Marketing in Hard Times: Pricing

by Diane Aull

Is it a good idea to cut your prices when times get tough? When money's tight, it might seem that lowering prices would be the thing to do to stimulate more sales. But it's not always that simple - sometimes cutting prices can do more harm than good....

Jennifer Laycock

Getting Your SEO Campaign Off to a Great Start

by Jennifer Laycock

Whether you're getting ready to overhaul your site in-house to improve your organic search rankings, or you're planning on hiring the process out to a consultant or agency, you need to have a grasp on the fundamental steps of a search engine optimization campaign. Otherwise, you're bound to get most of the way through the process only to find you are missing vital information. Worse, you could end up with a projected that is completed, but severely lacking.

Jennifer Laycock

LinkedIn Gets even More Useful with the Addition of Apps

by Jennifer Laycock

If you're anything like me, you like to be able to customize things. You like a little extra juice on top of the standard options. You like to let your personality show through and you like to see a little personality from others. It's one of the reasons I reluctantly joined Facebook, though LinkedIn is the social network I find to be more practical. That's why I was so happy to hear the news about LinkedIn applications.

Jennifer Laycock

Leverage Information from Google to Lower the Cost of Your PPC Bids

by Jennifer Laycock

One of the nice things about Google's somewhat complicated paid search advertising system is that as time passes, they give advertisers more and more information about their campaigns. While it takes time to learn how to read and interpret this information, doing so can go a long way toward helping you maximize your campaign performance while minimizing the amount of money you spend on it.

Manoj Jasra

5 Tips to Help Drive Search Marketing Strategies

by Manoj Jasra

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

Six Keys to a Viral Message that Sticks - Part Two: Deliver the Unexpected

by Jennifer Laycock

If there's one thing people are used to doing today, it's ignoring advertising messages. We switch the radio station when songs give way to commercials, we TIVO our favorite shows and play them back later without the commercials. We surf the web with "banner blindness" and we flip past the first twenty pages of a thick magazine because we know it's all ads.

Jennifer Laycock

Six Keys to a Viral Message that Sticks - Part Three: Be Concrete

by Jennifer Laycock

When it comes to getting your point across in a marketing or viral message, there's no room to be vague. You have to focus in on your message and deliver it in a way that's crystal clear. Unfortunately, many companies fall into the trap of speaking in generalities. Why? Because it's easy. Companies tout lines like "we do the right thing" or "we have the lowest prices" and fail to get specific enough to differentiate themselves from the dozens (or hundreds) of other companies touting the exact same thing.

Mack Collier

Are You Putting Your Best Blog Posts on Display?

by Mack Collier

I talked to a blogger last week who explained that he had written a blog post last year that still gets traffic referrals. Which is great, but this blogger had his post buried in the archives of his blog. Instead, why not put the spotlight on your best posts?

Stoney deGeyter

Comprehensive Guide to Keyword Research, Selection & Organization, Part VIII

by Stoney deGeyter

After having researched through your relevant core terms and search phrases, it's time to start the process of looking more closely at each phrase. What you want to do is separate the good keywords from the not-so good. You need to find the search phrases that will ultimately provide you with the greatest benefit in your marketing campaigns, and eliminating or sidelining the rest.

Stoney deGeyter

Comprehensive Guide to Keyword Research, Selection & Organization, Part IX

by Stoney deGeyter

As you sort through your lists of keywords, you want to be sure to eliminate phrases that won't deliver converting traffic. Whatever keywords that you keep for optimization, you want each to be able to drive the most qualified traffic, giving you visitors that are most likely to buy your product or services.

Stoney deGeyter

Comprehensive Guide to Keyword Research, Selection & Organization, Part X

by Stoney deGeyter

The most important aspect of analyzing and eliminating keywords is to fully understand what the customer is looking for. We often see keywords through our own lens of understanding. You think about things a certain way because you are educated and trained that way. But the customer may not be educated in the same way, or at all, in terms of industry related jargon. So you have to step outside of your own thought processes and learn to look through the lens of searchers who think differently from the way you do.

Jennifer Laycock

Pictures Catch the Eye and Allow Your Words to Catch the Mind

by Jennifer Laycock

One of my biggest struggle as a writer is finding a way to spin a tale or present an idea that captivates the mind long enough to keep someone reading to the end of my piece. A great way to do this is to captivate the eyes with images. It gives readers a break from all those words and it gives their mind a pleasant distraction that's brief enough to make them happy without getting them off track.

Mike Moran

Free Pictures Done Right

by Mike Moran

You're constantly getting advice, from me and all the Internet marketing gurus, that you need great content to succeed in search marketing (and lots of other Internet marketing techniques, too). And we all assume that you'll write this wonderful content yourself, because, God bless us, if you can write e-mail you can probably write a blog post or a Web article. But, if you're like me, you really want to include a picture. And if you're really like me, you couldn't take a decent picture if your life depended on it. And if you're a carbon copy of me, you...

Karri Flatla

How to Grow Your Twitter Following (Even if You're Not a Marketer)

by Karri Flatla

I'm not ready to talk about how Twitter has benefited me or my business yet--we have a complicated relationship. But I think it goes without saying that a lot of people (or should I say "peeps") would like to grow their Twitter following, and I think I've cracked the code. Whatever your social networking goals are, the following tactics will not only increase the number of people following you, but you will begin to experience that old fashioned thing called "community" right from your desktop....

Mack Collier

You Can't Control the Conversation, But You CAN Change it!

by Mack Collier

One of the biggest concerns I hear from companies and small businesses about blogging is 'what if someone says something negative about us?' Unfortunately, having a blog won't automatically mean that no one will ever say anything negative about your business.

Jennifer Laycock

Social Media is Not an Excuse to Stay Home

by Jennifer Laycock

Here's the funny thing about social media. It's all talk. It's a wonderful, amazing, effective way to get to know people...but it's all about the talk and not the action. It's a great starting point, but you really need to "seal the deal" with offline interaction as well. It's a point Mack Collier did a nice job of making over The Viral Garden this past weekend.

Paul Jahn

Using Twitter for Customer Service

by Paul Jahn

In the last year, Twitter has been quite the buzz for online marketers. We use it in different ways. It could be for pimping out events, linking to different blog posts, or just random tweets about our pet peeves, what we're eating tonight, or the status from the latest "your-favorite-team" game. It's been a marketing tool, but it can be a better customer service tool (I'm a big fan of customer service), especially if you have an e-commerce site.

Jennifer Laycock

Stick and Stones May Break Your Bones, and What You Say CAN Hurt You

by Jennifer Laycock

I've written about the need to understand how "public" our thoughts, ideas and conversations are these days. Hundreds, no thousands of others have issued the same warnings. I think most people still figure we're talking about what you post online, but if you think about it, it's really not the case.

Jennifer Laycock

Dear Miss Social Media Manners...

by Jennifer Laycock

If you've ever read a Miss Manners column (or stepped foot outside your house) you're well aware of the sheer number of people who simply have no concept of proper etiquette. If you've set foot on a social network like Twitter, Facebook or MySpace, you've probably learned this lesson a second time. While there is no Miss Social Media Manners to turn to with your questions on the best way to interact with folks online, you can rely on good old fashioned common sense to guide you.

Jennifer Laycock

When is Hiring an SEO a Bad Idea?

by Jennifer Laycock

I've been reading a lot of posts lately from small business owners and search engine optimization companies talking about the push toward organic search during a bad economy. After all, good organic search campaigns tend to deliver some of the most effective (and least expensive) traffic your site is likely to see. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. In fact, there are some instances in which you'd do best to focus your limited marketing dollars elsewhere.

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Video Cast

Sage Lewis

Sage Lewis

Make Yourself Untouchable!

by Sage Lewis

On the surface, the story of the week appears to be about an Emetrics survey on Search Engine Watch talking about how "60% of marketing budgets remain unchanged by the economy." If you dig a little deeper though, Sage puts emphasis on a different statistic found in the survey, that 80.4% of marketers say interest in web analytics by senior management is rising. By using analytics to your full advantage, you can "make yourself untouchable," as Sage says. Use the power of numbers to prove why upper management should stretch the budget for you....

Sage Lewis

Ads and Analytics All Round

by Sage Lewis

Most of our big stories this week revolve around ads and analytics. Search Engine Land talks about how Google's AdWords now integrates images into search results; the example used is products from Blue Nile. According to Yahoo!'s blog, you are now able to geotarget your Yahoo ads by country, city or zip code, and Search Engine Roundtable announces the integration of AdSense with Google Analytics. Plus, Google analytics has added new features like advanced segmentation, customer reports, motion charts and more. Check out the video for information on Microsoft's LiveSearch Webmaster Central forum and the importance of online reviews....

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Readers Respond

In response to... Social Media Can Be Cheap, But Its Not Free

Really good post. Craig's List is a very effective advertising venue for our business, and lots of other apartment folks use it too. The listing is free, however it is far form free. In order to have successful ads, there must be good copy and content, and many folks aren't very good at that. There must be great photography, which doesn't just happen. A strange point here is, a marketing executive in our industry doesn't blink an eye at spending a lot of dough on prints ads and rental classified ads, (that don't really work, but are easy to do by calling the agency) but will have the property manager, who has no experience at writing copy or taking photos place the Craig's list ads, because those are free.

I think Social Media is much like that as well. If you can't expend the resources, the result will be reflective of that.

Eric Brown
Apartment Veteran
Break From Apartment Commodity



In response to... Six Keys to a Viral Message that Sticks - Part One

Excellent article on viral marketing. Most owners just don't understand viral marketing or how to implement it.

Probably the biggest mistake I see business owners make when using viral marketing is where they place the Send To A Friend form.

I have seen some owners place this form on their landing page. That is a big mistake. Why would you ask someone to refer a friend to your product when they haven't even tried it yet?

Some owners place this form on their download page which is a mistake. All your new customer wants is to download your offer to fix their current problem. They don't want to spend any extra time doing anything else but consuming what they just bought.

The ideal placement of the viral Send To A Friend form is on the return URL that you put into Paypal, also known as the "success" or "thank you for ordering" web page. But you can't just slap it there, here's a marketing trick that will increase the use of your form 50% or more.

Put in a time delay on when you deliver the customer the product they just purchased if it is digital in nature. For example let's say you email your customers a link to download what they just purchased. On the "thank you for ordering" web page add something like, "You will receive an email that contains the URL to download xxxxx within 20 minutes." Immediately under this message, place your Send To A Friend form. It is amazing how well this works. The psychology of why it works is that you are forcing a time-out on your customer. Your customer can go take a smoke break, grab a bite to eat, or fill out your Send To A Friend form while she waits for her email to arrive.

Complexity is the enemy of viral marketing. Always strive to present only one option for your customer to take at every step in the sales and viral marketing process. In the case above, she has already purchased, there is nothing more for her to do but wait 20 minutes for her email to arrive. You present her with only one option while she waits, to fill out your viral Send To A Friend form.

Lance Jepsen
Author of Internet Marketing



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