Category Archives: SEO

Getting Google to Know You

Jennifer Tanzi

Jennifer Tanzi

Here is a helpful article for novice small business operators looking to understand the impact of SEO on their sales as written by my guest, Jennifer Tanzi of Buydomains.com:

Using SEO to Court Search Engines

Ever since Google became a verb, small business owners have wondered about guaranteeing prime placement when prospective clients go a-typing in their search engines. Times have changed since you simply added “AAA” to your business name and scored first place in the yellow page listings. Marketing yourself is more complicated in the digital age, but with a little bit of insight and a few simple steps, you can catch the eyes of those search engines, and propel your businesses name up those prospective clients’ lists of results.

You know how people use name repetition (sometimes relentlessly) to remember yours? (“Hi, Sandra, so good to meet you, Sandra. Can I get you a beverage, Sandra? Sandra, let me take your coat.”) Search Engine Optimization — SEO — works kind of the same way. Repeating key phrases in your domain name and throughout your website pages makes your business more appealing to the search engines. Once they find you, so will all those new clients. You just need to put some thought into choosing the right keywords, and some craft into your copy so your message sounds fresh, and not repetitive.

First, figure out your key keywords. Let’s say you sell organic lavender, tended and harvested on your own pristine acres of New England farmland. You’ve done your homework on choosing domain names that attract type-in traffic and landed one that screams “organic lavender” right there in the URL. Now, how can you ensure that every person looking for your product sees your business name in lights when they go Metacrawling?

Perhaps your website boasts glorious photos of lavender plants so vivid you can smell them through the screen, and describes memorably the many attributes of your farm — the perfectly tended soil, the soothing scents of the lavender as you coax the shoots from the earth. But when Elinor the Florist needs a supplier for her tremendously successful hand-tied organic bouquets, what words will she type into her search engine? Organic lavender. And, since she wants to go local, maybe also, “New England.”

So there you have ‘em. New England. Organic. Lavender.

Your new SEO keywords, New England organic lavender, should appear five or six times on each page of 500 – 600 words of copy. So your site needs to describe the perfectly tended soil of your New England organic lavender farm, the soothing scents of your New England organic lavender plants as you coax the shoots from the soil. Placement of the keywords is critical, too. You should include them in <H1> header tags, in your first paragraph and in links throughout the site.

As you master SEO, there are a few pitfalls you’ll want to avoid. Vary the titles and meta data of your pages, so that if several different pages of your site pop up in the search results, customers see difference slices of information about your business from your site.
When you’ve mastered the SEO strategies, test your efforts. Cruise the web yourself to see which sites your keywords bring up, and what your competitors are doing differently to place high in the results. And be sure to use web analytics on your site so you know exactly how your visitors are finding you.

To small business owners, those search engines might at first seem a fickle bunch. But once they get to know you — through SEO — they are really going to love you.

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Filed under SEO, Small Business Marketing

Exactfactor, Another Cool Free SEO Tool

exactfactorIdan Factor of Exactfactor sent me their cool free SEO tool that his company offers. I’ve tested it out and found it to be easy to use and more importantly, useful in checking your position in search engines against your competitors. You can also get regular email alerts and weekly reports. There is a full online presentation on the service that you can review. Very nice! Have a try and see for yourself. Thanks for sharing, Idan.

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Filed under Business, Google, Internet, Online marketing tactics, Search Engine Marketing, SEO

Free SEO Tool Ranks Your Website Against Competitors

reviewmyweb_logoI get a lot of emails asking me to post, discuss or review a service and rarely have I found one worth sharing. This is one of those rare moments. Sam Cabal asked me to take a look at his free search engine optimization (SEO) tool called reviewmyweb.com that provides a fairly detailed report of how well your website ranks against your competition. Simply submit your website URL, along with up to two of your competitors, and within minutes a report is emailed back to you. It takes into account Google page ranks, backlinks coverage, site content, and blog coverage. I just tried it and found it very impressive. So much so, I’ve just sent a copy of my report to my Senior Web Developer as we’re in the midst of optimizing our new PEER 1 website which went live a few days ago. This is a handy tool for web marketers that I encourage you to try out… and the price is right. Sam, thanks for sharing and good luck.

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Filed under Google, Internet, marketing, Marketing Research, Online marketing tactics, Search Engine Marketing, SEO, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, Web Sites

Internet Marketing Key to Obama Win

Barack Obama wins Democratic nominationParticularly interesting post on the Wired blog that illustrates how Barack Obama’s branding and marketing campaign usage of the Internet played a key role in propelling him victory of the Democrat nomination. Below is an excerpt with a link to the original post:

“It’s impossible to imagine Barack Obama’s rise without the modern methods that his campaign used to organize itself, particularly around the internet,” says Simon Rosenberg, president and founder of the nonprofit think tank the New Democratic Network. “This really was the most successful campaign of the 21st century.”

“This is what happens when you have a charismatic candidate, and you organize on a scale not seen before,” he adds. “Literally, the size and scale of this is unprecedented in American political history, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the money, and passion, and support of millions of American people.”

The campaign came up with a number of innovations on the internet. It used wikis — online collaborative software — to coordinate and churn out precinct captains in both California and Texas. And it created a counter-viral e-mail campaign to combat the anonymous e-mail smears that question his religious faith and patriotism. It set up policy pages that solicited ideas from supporters, and at one point, the campaign solicited letters from supporters over the internet to lobby the undecided superdelegates.

And Obama’s campaign constantly updated its YouTube channel to keep its supporters around the country up to speed on his latest speeches.

Read full story

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Filed under advertising, Barack Obama, Blogging, Branding, Communications, Internet, marketing, Online marketing tactics, Public Relations, Search Engine Marketing, SEO, Social Media, social network, Technology, Viral, Web 2.0, Web Sites, Word-of-Mouth, youtube

Interview in Ping! Zine Magazine – Blogging for Business

Blogging for Business in 2008I was recently interviewed by Dave Young for an article entitled “Blogging for Business in 2008” that appears in the latest edition of Ping! Zine Web Hosting Magazine. Below is an excerpt along with a link to the pdf:

I studied their products and services, their corporate websites, but the real studying was done by reading their blog posts. Three of my personal favorite blogs belong to PEER 1, Mailtrust, and MailChimp, names you may already be familiar with if you pay attention to what’s going on in the hosting and software industries.

Okay, so you are probably asking “what’s so great about these companies and their blogs?” I took the time to interview the people behind these successful blogs. The responses I received are quite intriguing. Rajan Sodhi, VP of Marketing and Communications at PEER 1, started “Big Marketing for Small Businesses” and has been posting to his blog (bigmarketing.wordpress.com) since august 2006. Sodhi said, “My blog has been successful in giving me an opportunity to discuss, share and engage with others about my favorite topic – marketing.”

Sodhi enjoys discussing ideas and concepts in marketing on his personal blog. However, blogs are able to do more than just communicate your personal thoughts on whatever interests you the most. For example, Pat Matthews, president of Mailtrust, a Rackspace company, said, “My blog has helped us generate business as well as recruit more effectively.” Matthews has been posting in his “Small Town, Big ideas” blog (patsweblog.com) for over 2.5 years. He believes potential customers and employees like to read about the company they are going to do business with or work for in the future. Matthews added, “My blog has made a big impact on both levels.” Sodhi and Matthews’ blogs are independent of their company’s websites and still help them build business. What happens when you fully integrate your blog within your corporate website?

Download article (pdf): Blogging for Business in 2008

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Filed under Blogging, Branding, Business, Communications, Hosting, Internet, Managed Hosting, marketing, Online marketing tactics, PEER 1, Search Engine Marketing, SEO, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, social network, Technology, Web 2.0

Techcrunch Guest Writer gets Blasted for Shady Marketing Tactics

An incredible post regarding how to make your videos get viral attention on sites like YouTube appears on Techcrunch. The guest writer, Dan Ackerman Greenberg, co-founder of viral video marketing company The Comotion Group, has taken quite a beating. Most of it is quite deserving as his original post seems to not only endorse, but to provide detailed shady step-by-step tactics on ‘gaming’ sites like YouTube. This is definitely worth a read along with the 400+ comments. If you can sift past the belligerent commentators – I can’t stand it when people can only find their boldness while hiding behind the veil of anonymity – there is a very worthwhile debate going on here about what are morally acceptable online marketing practices. Read more

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Filed under advertising, Internet, marketing, Online marketing tactics, Referrals, Search Engine Marketing, SEO, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, social network, video, Viral, Web 2.0, youtube

Adtech New York, NewTeeVee San Francisco

Rupert Jee at the Hello Deli

Just got back into town from attending Adtech in New York and NewTeeVee
in San Francisco. Both were great events. This is my third Adtech (first time in New York) and I always find it to be very informative for digital marketers. There were a lot more ad agency types in the audience than the Adtech events in San Francisco, and as such, many of the discussions centered around the impact user generated content, mashups and customer ownership of the brand is having on ad agencies who are beginning to feel the pinch, not unlike music execs. It was pretty clear that agencies are starting to fear their hefty fees for delivering creativity that doesn’t deliver a whole lot of sales is in jeopardy as more customers opt to filter out traditional advertising in favor of user generated material passed on by friends. I strongly believe agencies who can’t find a way to adapt will be gone in short order. This is a cultural shift they can’t fight and possibly win. Just like music moguls trying to sue their customers for downloading and distributing music for free online. Can’t think of a better way to piss off your audience. Even if these guys can’t get with the program, there will be a lot of new agencies and music labels pop up with a business model that embraces what’s happening online. It’s already happening. And what can I say about New York… other than I think I’m in love. My first time in this unbelievable city and will definitely be back for a personal trip. Wow, my kind of town and judging by the number of people packing the streets, obviously I’m not the only one. The conference was a couple of blocks away from the Late Show with David Letterman building. My colleague Jose and I slipped into the Hello Deli to grab a sandwich and were greeted by Rupert Jee. Letterman fans know he is. As we waited in line, Letterman himself stepped out from the backdoor of the building just a few steps behind us and slipped into a car. Very cool. And one of the nights, Jose got caught up in the filming of an episode of Law and Order in Time Square and got his picture taken with Vincent D’Onofrio (Detective Robert Goren), a favorite TV actor of mine.

Steve Chen, Youtube   Ask A Ninja    Om Malik

Om Malik’s NewTeeVee conference was a one-day event packed full of the who’s-who in the web 2.0 space. I REALLY enjoyed this event. Got a chance to connect with Matt and Barry of WordPress who are about to embark on an insane road trip from San Francisco, CA to San Antonio, TX. Good luck guys! Had a chance to also meet Steve Chen, founder of YouTube who mused about his appearance on Oprah last week and hanging out in the green room with actor Patrick Swayze. I think he still find all the attention a little overwhelming. Steve hosted YouTube at ServerBeach from the beginning, so we were lucky to get a first-hand look at their extraordinary growth. We plan on sending him the very first server he used to host YouTube. After speaking with him, I get the sense he’ll proudly place it on his mantle at home. Om, thanks for putting together a first-class event in a great facility. I’m looking forward to our partnership with the GigaOm network.

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Filed under advertising, Blogging, Business, David Letterman, Hosting, innovation, Internet, marketing, Matt Mullenweg, Om Malik, SaaS, Search Engine Marketing, SEO, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, social network, Technology