Archives for June 2007

SEM Blogs Update and Blogging Tips 062207

SEO Blogs

What a week! With most of my time spent at the DM Days conference or sitting in a plane (not flying of course, just sitting on the runway waiting for the stars to line up or whatever control towers are using these days to give the OK for takeoff) I had little time to poke around for new SEM and SEO blogs for our list.

Regardless, we have six additions for this week’s update including two from the UK, two from my home state of Minnesota and one from Massachusetts:

  • RKG Blog – Alan Rimm-Kaufman of the Rimm-Kaufman Group blogs about various online marketing news items and tips along with his own commentary.

Safari 3 Brings WYSIWYG Editing for Mac and Windows

Safari 3, now for Mac and PC, recently came out in beta form. Included in this release was the ability for users to use visual editors also know as WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editors. No longer do Safari users have to know code to make basic formatting in blog posts.

Safari WYSIWYG Editor
Safari 3.0.1 Beta on Windows XP

I’ve tested it in WordPress 2.2 and it works great.* As far as I understand, previous versions of WordPress don’t support Safari’s rich text editing. Testing it out under 2.0.10 confirms this.

I also tested out Blogger and had no issues. They seem to be on board with the Safari 3 crowd too.

TypePad however didn’t seem to support rich text editing with Safari yet.

Reader Poll: Best City for Conferences

reader poll

Since attending, blogging and speaking at industry conferences is a big part of my own search marketing agency’s marketing, I get to attend a good number of events in a variety of cities. One of the nice things about having events in the same city is that you get to know the city better each time. For example, you can never go to New York City too many times (as far as I’m concerned).

The venue for a conference certainly matters but so does the city and that leads me to this week’s reader poll about favorite cities for conferences. The list of cities is based on places I’ve been to personally for conferences as well as a few locations that have held search conferences, but I did not attend.

DM Days Final and Dinner with Jim Boykin

I was able to sit in on a DM Days site review clinic yesterday with Detlev Johnson and Amanda Watlington who provided great advice to the few audience members. The site owners literally received multiples of their conference admission price in consulting advice. One site had thousands of pages hiding content from the search engines (unintentionally) because of JavaScript. Another was submitting an incomplete sitemap file to Google.

Interviews with DMA Search Marketing Council

Here is a collection of short video interviews taken during day one of the DM Days conference in New York. The Direct Marketing Association has a variety of special interest groups called “councils”. One of them is focused on search marketing and appropriately named, the Search Engine Marketing Council, or SEMC.

I serve on the operating committee of that organization as does Heather Lloyd Martin of SuccessWorks, Mike Moran of IBM, Andy Wetzler of More Visibility, Jeanette Kocsis of Harte Hanks, Amanda Watlington of Searching for Profit, Doug Garfinkel from Epsilon, Detlev Johnson of Position Technologies and Lisa Merizio Smith from the DMA.

To give direct marketers who read Online Marketing Blog a sense of what the SEMC is up to in regards to SEO and social media education opportunities, I decided to do a few interviews with those opcom members that I could find at the conference on day one.

DM Days Keynote on Social Media

John Greco Keynote
The DM Days 2007 conference kicked off with a keynote presentation starting with DMA President and CEO, John Greco. The keynote was titled, “Next Gen Interactive: How Marketers are Optimizing the Power of Social Media to Connect and Deliver Results”.

With technology evolving, customer preferences changing and competition that is sharper than ever, the focus of this year’s DM Days event was on “What’s Next?”

Greco sees direct marketing as more than an industry, as a core process. Rather than “direct marketing” he sees it as “marketing directly”, which is the ability to engage individual customers with relevant and timely interactions that provide the information and offers they want using any of a variety of channels.

Make Contact with cforms

Contact BubbleIf you’ve ever wanted to add a contact form on your blog, but didn’t know how or thought it was to much work, then cforms is exactly what you need.

cforms is a WordPress plugin that allows you to easily create contact forms on your blog. This is important as you want your users to be able to interact with you. This will help make the blog more personalble and friendly plus give your users the ability to contact you with items you may be interested in, problems they come across or inquire about your services.

cforms features include:

  • Supports multiple forms.
  • Customize each form with it’s own fields and receiver or recievers.
  • No HTML knowledge required.
  • CSS Themes.

DM Days New York 2007

dmdays07.gif

After a few days home in Minnesota I’ve gone on the road again to the DM Days conference in New York. Just two hours sitting on the tarmac this time. 🙂

The DMA Search Engine Marketing Council has quite a bit going on between sessions on search marketing, informational events and there will be presentations on the DMA search marketing certification program as well by the coordinator of that program, Dr. Amanda Whatlington. There’s also a one day seminar here in NYC after the DM Days event, “Search Engine Marketing – The Basics” on June 27th from 9-3:30.

Search Marketing Blogs Reviewed on WDFM

Larry Chase of Web Digest for Marketers, a newsletter that’s been published since 1995 and has over 40,000 subscribers, asked me recently to do reviews on a list of 15 or so search marketing blogs. Larry only has guest writers 2-3 times a year, so I was very honored to say yes.

Some of the blogs on the list I read daily and some once every few days. It was fun digging deep into each blog because it really gave me a chance to weigh a variety of factors ranging from content, frequency, freshness, usability, design and overall personality.

One of my biggest complaints about many search marketing blogs is that they don’t promote RSS subscription information prominently and they don’t offer multiple ways to access archived content. Search Engine Land does a super job of making it easy to find past content which is a big plus.

Reader Poll: Best Keyword Research Tools

reader poll

With any kind of online marketing you need a place to start. Find out what kinds of search queries people are typing into the search box and you’ll know what kind of content to optimize, create and get links to.

For the most part, keyword research software and tools fall into a handful of categories. Paid and free are two as well as those that are specific to SEO or for PPC. There are a few dominant players in each category but with some interesting innovations in the past year or so it’s worth re-visiting what’s out there and which tools our dear Online Marketing Blog readers prefer.

What is Your Favorite Keyword Research Tool?

  • Keyword Discovery (18%, 28 Votes)
  • Wordtracker (18%, 27 Votes)

Domain Name Integrity for Blogs and RSS URLs

rssicon-med.jpg

We started Online Marketing Blog in December 2003 using Blogger and the feed was run through Feedburner. Recently we had that old RSS feed redirected to the current blog running on WordPress. This redirection through Feedburner of the old feed to the new feed only works for 30 days and then the old feed dies.

Just in case there are some long time Online Marketing Blog RSS subscribers from 2003-2004 that have not updated which RSS feed they subscribe to, be sure to use:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/onlinemarketingseoblog

This is yet another example of why you should use your own domain name for both the blog and the RSS feed from day one. Doing so gives you control over whether you want to change hosting or blogging software platforms in a way that is fairly transparent to readers. Otherwise, you’re stuck doing what we have to do here, and ask readers to make the change instead of the change happening in the background.

High Rankings Seminar Denver

Minneapolis High Rankings Seminar
The High Rankings Seminar is going to be in Denver June 28 & 29. If you’re anywhere in that part of the country and want to get a good, hands on and practical guide to search engine optimization and paid search, the High Rankings seminar is a good fit.

When this event came to Minneapolis Jill asked me to do a session related to social media and other indirect ways to drive traffic to web sites. I had the opportunity to see Jill, Christine Churchill, Karon Thackston, Scottie Claiborne and Matt Bailey do a super job of engaging the audience with their hard won wisdom and answering very specific questions. I had another invite for Denver, but two events in one month are enough for me.