Archives for October 2008

DMA08 Las Vegas Internet Marketing Roundup

TopRank Marketing has been fortunate to present at the Direct Marketing Association annual conference for 4 years in a row and a 5th appearance several years before that. (See photos from DMA07 here) Over 10,000 marketers attend the DMA show making it the largest marketing conference in the world and with this year’s show being held in Las Vegas, it should be another great event.

The DMA has traditionally been known as an organization steadfast in marketing principles and rooted in traditional marketing education but has made quite a bit of progress in the online marketing space with it’s Search Engine Marketing Certification program and upcoming attention to social media.  In fact, this year’s DMA08 show includes online marketing sessions on:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Consumer generated content

Wish List for Twitter

Microblogging is hot with the shiny new object set and as the practice of Twittering extends beyond early adopters and gets more mainstream media coverage, the crowd will get hungrier for more functionality. I don’t know about you, but I’m hungry for more Twitter functionality now. Check me out onTwitter here.

Whether the enhancements come from all the amazing third party Twitter applications or from Twitter itself, I really hope many of these updates happen soon.  Here are a few items on my Twitter wish list:

  • Ability to categorize and tag people so you can interact with each group individually (read and post) as well as to the entire group of followers

SEO Basics: Are Directory Submissions Still Worthwhile?

Here’s another search engine optimization Q/A on on the topic of web site marketing via directories compared to search engines plus a bonus on the value of meta search engines.

These are real questions from a web site owner and due to the vintage nature of the topics, reflect the need for ongoing education and updates necessary for anyone involved in marketing through search.

What is the audience of the directories compared to the search engines? What is the benefit of being included in directories ?  What if I only submit my website to algorithmic search engines and not directories: Does it really matter ?

Directories like Yahoo’s Directory and DMOZ.org have been cited by several search engines as logical places for inclusion as part of an effort to acquire inbound links. However, as of October 2nd, 2008 Google no longer includes this recommendation in their Webmaster Guidelines.

WordPress Updates: Is there to much of a good thing?

It seems that WordPress updates come down the line quite often.  So often, that if you manage quite a few WordPress blogs, you seem to always be updating them.  Is there to much of a good thing here?

So far there have been seven WordPress updates in 2008 with at least one more major update, and an unknown number of minor updates, due later this year.

  • v2.6.2 Released: 9/8/08
  • v2.6.1 Released: 8/15/08
  • v2.6 Released: 7/15/08
  • v2.5.1 Released: 4/25/08
  • v2.5 Released: 3/29/08
  • v2.3.3 Released: 2/5/08

Updating blog or two isn’t an issue, it’s when you have 15+ blogs to update each time.  Not only do you need to update the software, but also keep in mind backups, plugin compatibility research and plug-in updates.  It can keep a person quite busy.

SEO Basics: Ensure Your Site is Crawlable

Online Marketing Blog has always been about more than search engine optimization, covering digital public relations, social media marketing and plenty of other internet marketing topics. And yet, SEO is a core component of nearly every thing we do in our consulting practice.

For the web site owners  and marketers fairly new to the site optimization game, we like to offer tips based on common questions overheard in the course of providing SEO and internet marketing services.

Question: “Ensure your site is crawlable”  What would be, in your opinion, the basic conditions that need to be reunited for a website to be crawled?”

Monday Links: Greeking, Linking, Fishing, Social, Mobile & Engagement

1. Geeking with Jonathan, no wait, “Greek-ing with Jonathan Mendez with the speaker, the listener and the argument in “Lessons in Ad Persuasion from Aristotle“.

2. Proactive Profile Linking. Social profiles and profiles of any kind can provide benefits as part of a Search Engine Reputation Management effort since they can rank well on brand and company names. Profiles can also provide a source of crawlable links. It may serve a company well to secure the profile names before the competition does. Two tools that will quickly check user names at multiple sites include: usernamecheck.com and the social media keyword check tool from Solo SEO.

BIGLIST SEO Blogs Update 100208

SEO Blogs

Admit it. You’ve missed the BIGLIST. Well, we have a nice bundle of SEO and paid search blog reviews for you to snuggle up to. Fire up your feed reader and grab a hot cup of joe.

  • SearchEngineWorld – One of several sister sites to WebmasterWorld, this long time search marketing site has been reinvented and active in the past few months featuring news posts by Lane R. Ellis as well as conference coverage and video posts with Brett Tabke and Vanessa Zamora.
  • PPC Blog – Giovanna Wall publishes this self titled sister site to Aaron Wall’s SEO Book site covering all things pay per click including each major ad platform, affiliate, contextual and local search. There’s also a nice collection of PPC focused tools.

Wrap Up of MIMA Summit 2008

Great Hall at MIMA Summit
The dust has settled, mountains of email have been sorted through and most of this year’s attendees of MIMA’s Summit, branded “FEED” are back into the swing of things.

As you can tell from the photo above, it was a sold out event and a very big venue. Both keynotes were informative and entertaining. Rebecca Lieb’s presentation was covered by TopRank’s Jolina Pettice and while we didn’t post on Ze Frank’s amazingly entertaining presentation, you can pretty much get a feel for it from his presentations at SXSW last year and from what he’s presented at the TED conference.

Those whose interactive marketing interests extend to the boob and penis humor category were likely satisfied by both keynotes as they touched on everything from jiggly French Maid “how to” videos to crowdsourcing creative phallic drawings.

Corporate Bloggers: Angels or Demons?

Incorporating a company blog into your social media and marketing mix can be a tug of war, finding both supporters and defeaters within the organization.

At the MIMA Summit (Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association) this afternoon, I attended a session discussing the pros and cons, along with the challenges a corporate blogger must overcome to represent the company and still make a connection with the blogging community.

Valeria Maltoni is a blogger at Conversation Agent and Director of Marketing Communications for SunGard. Valeria kicked off the session with a discussion around how an organization can get started with social media and a company blog.

As a business and marketing professional, we are tasked to find different ways to make a profit, find new customers, and build the company brand.

The Changing Face of Email Marketing – MIMA Summit

I must say, of all breakout sessions at the MIMA event today, “The Changing Face of Email” session was the one I was most excited to attend as it ties into what I love to do – email marketing. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait long to dive right in as it was part of the Summit Kick-Off Breakout session: Deep Dive Discussion Series.

Jamie Schissler, Strategy Director at Avenue A – Razorfish, the presenter for “The Changing Face of Email” session shared with the MIMA audience that as the role of email evolves, so too will its impact.

So why will the email marketing strategies of yesterday not work for email marketing success today?

Storytelling, Advertising and Content – Rebecca Lieb at MIMA

Rebecca Lieb Keynote MIMA Summit

The annual MIMA (Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association) event kicked off this morning with Rebecca Lieb as the opening keynote.

In a nutshell, the sessio

n was funny, insightful and not without the inevitable internet issues which seem to plague all search conferences (ironic, yes?).

Rebecca got Minnesota online marketers thinking about the following 3 items:
1. Informative (be the content)
2. Entertaining (let people play)
3. Viral (make something people want to share)

From Jerry Seinfeld to French maids to Sarah Silverman’s video about Obama, everything Rebecca shared with the audience centered on the above 3 items.

The first is be the content. It isn’t enough, and hasn’t been for awhile, to publish product or service content. Rather, content that is compelling to your audience needs to be created for them.
No one wants to read standard brochure information. No one.

MIMA Summit Marketing Mix Challenge

The Marketing Mix Challenge session promises to answer the question: “If you’re going to launch a new product, how do you formulate the marketing mix – in this economic climate?”

The panel included a mix of in-house marketers and agencies: Luba Smulka from General Mills (Cheerios), Eric Boyles from Medtronic, Ron Corbisier from Cadria (agency) and Patty Henderson from Colle+McVoy. The Moderator is Jeffrey Gorder from ideapark.

The product to be rolled out in a 3 month trial with a $500,00 budget is a yogurt based vitamin drink: Edge-Y.

First up is Luba Smulka, Consumer Insights Manager from General Mills. The challenge is to determine whether there’s viability for a national roll out. To do that, you’ve got to test it.