TopRank Online Marketing

Archive for June, 2009


Lee Odden

Search Better From Your Blog’s Search Box.

Lee Odden on Jun 29th, 2009     Blogging

Custom Search Engine OptionsIt seems that that there could be a lot more done with WordPress’ internal search. More results, better options, filters, or something to make the user experience better. So I started looking for options.

One option I found was Lijit. Lijit offers the ability to allow your users to search your blog, bookmarks, photos, videos, social networks such as Twitter, and other sites from one search box on your site. It seemed like what I was looking for, so I installed it.

The downside to Lijit is that it can give other sites more visibility via advertising or the web searches tab. And taking traffic off your site isn’t always a good idea. The upsides though are that you can include many blogs, social networks and all sorts of different things into your search results. Lijit makes it all about your network of sites, not just about one blog.

TopRank Online Marketing

7 Ways To Develop A Unique Brand For Your Blog

TopRank Online Marketing on Jun 29th, 2009     Blog Marketing, Blogging

different-fishWith the blogosphere churning out nearly 1 million posts every 24 hours, an unstoppable river of content flows over the web daily. It’s daunting, especially if you’re new to online publishing.  The good news is it’s still very possible to succeed, even if you’re just starting out today.

Developing affinity with a group of readers who will actually take the time to link, comment and share your material requires a commitment of both resources and creativity – this is common knowledge.

But all other things being equal, you can and should give yourself an extra advantage by developing a unique brand for your blog. This is beyond being organized and having a plan, this is about standing out in a world of infinite choice.

Lee Odden

Intersection of Search and Social Media

Lee Odden on Jun 26th, 2009     Online Marketing, SEO, Social Media

search pr socialEarlier this week I gave a presentation on the intersection of SEO, online PR and social media to a great mix of people (mostly agencies) at a SEMPO Arizona event. The SEO/PR/Social topic is an interesting mix due to the convergence that’s been happening over the past 2-3 years and of course, because it’s the essence of what we’ve been doing at TopRank.

Forward thinking companies are investing in social media for a variety of reasons, including gaining a competitive advantage through building relationships, creating content and capturing mindshare.  I think it’s safe to say that companies making investments in better connecting with their customers now, will have a distinct advantage over those that are resolved to “wait and see” with this social web thing.

Lee Odden

3 Alternative Ways To Post To WordPress

Lee Odden on Jun 24th, 2009     Blogging

Did you know that you can post to a WordPress blog in a number of different ways? Here are 3 alternatives to create content in WordPress other than logging into the blog admin using the built-in editor.

Post via Email

Built into WordPress is the ability for the software to check an email account and post each message it finds to a blog. This serves as a quick and easy way to send an email message and publish new content.

To set this feature up, the fist thing you’ll need is a custom, secret, email account. Since WordPress posts everything that goes to this account, it can’t be one that serves more than one purpose, or that gets spam.

Lee Odden

How Direct is Social Media Marketing?

Lee Odden on Jun 23rd, 2009     Online Marketing, Social Media

direct marketing social media I had nice back and forth with Brian Clark of copyblogger on Twitter last week about direct marketing and social media.  Ultimately it was more an issue of perspective and semantics but there were some great points about the intersection of direct marketing on the social web. I’ve been an advocate for several years as have others in the social media consulting space, that the social web is not a place for direct marketing. In the past I’ve even posted a fairly good comparison of the difference between direct marketing and social media marketing.

Brian’s position via our Twitter discussion was that social media is exactly that, marketing directly to consumers – a great point. My perspective is that social media is no place for direct marketing messages.

TopRank Online Marketing

Influencing The Social Web: Agility Is A Factor

TopRank Online Marketing on Jun 22nd, 2009     Online PR, Social Media

clock-stockphotoHow agile is your marketing?  Do you have layer upon layer of approval processes, committees, lawyers, and executives who need to sign off on every piece of external communication before it goes out?

If yes, your business is structured for a pre-Internet world, and unfortunately this means you will always be at a disadvantage compared to agile competitors designed to take advantage of a connected society.  An inescapable truth is the web rewards companies (and people) that are nimble.

People interact deepest with thoughts and ideas that have character and personality.  And if there is one thing that removes this, it is the superfluous layers that design by committee creates.  It rips the personality from content piece by piece as it passes though each filter, and is the antithesis of agility and what makes for compelling communications.

Lee Odden

Strategic Link Building for SEO

Lee Odden on Jun 18th, 2009     Link Building, Online Marketing, SEO

link buildingNot many in the Search Engine Optimization game would argue that link building isn’t tactical. The problem is, approaching link building as an end goal and tactically, is very much like a hamster running in it’s cage.  That’s what many mechanical SEO consultants do: Chase links one by one or get creative with link bait to attract an influx of links from blogs that write about the kinds of things other blogs do for link bait. I should know, in the past 12 years of providing SEO services, there have been many opportunities to do just that. It’s not scalable, not sustainable and certainly not strategic.

Lee Odden

TopRank BIGLIST: Interactive Marketing Associations

Lee Odden on Jun 12th, 2009     Interactive Marketing, Online Marketing

Interactive Marketing AssociationsThe digital and interactive marketing space moves fast and as both companies and individuals scramble to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage, it can be a challenge to find resources and likeminded individuals to help make that happen. Associations offer education, networking and in some cases, advocacy for members and sponsoring companies. The question is, where can you find interactive marketing associations are in your area?

We’ve listed regional Interactive Marketing Associations in the past and thought it would be time for an update. This post will be a work in progress, so please share in the comments the name and working URL of other interactive marketing associations that we’ve missed.  We decided not to include groups and meetups that are primarily dedicated to SEO/SEM or social media.  You can find a list of local Social Media Club chapters here and a list of Social Media Breakfast cities here.  You can find abundant internet professional meetups here.

Lee Odden

Why Blogs Preform Better in Search

Lee Odden on Jun 10th, 2009     Blogging

blog blog blogThere are a lot of people that will tell you that you need a blog because it’ll perform better in search engines and gain more traffic. This is not completely false, but it’s not exactly true either.

Blogs tend to perform better because of the abundance of content. Blogs empower users to create content in a way that is easy and fun. By doing so, users are creating content on a daily, or weekly, basis.

More content means more traffic and links. This is more for search engines to index, more for users to link to, and more to share with their friends and co-workers.

More visitors can then lead to more sales and conversions. The more eyeballs that are in front of your content, the better the opportunity to turn them into your customer.

TopRank Online Marketing

Content Marketing Strategy with a Side of Social

TopRank Online Marketing on Jun 9th, 2009     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media

content marketing strategyDevelopment of a content marketing strategy that speaks to the target audience plays a key role in successful execution of an overall online marketing program. Companies that embrace the social web as part of their marketing mix need to consider the content created within social media channels just as much as corporate web site content.

Whether you communicate to your audience via a blog, Twitter or social networking sites like Facebook, the only true way to build relationships with a growing network is to listen, engage and provide content they find valuable.

When developing a social media content strategy, start by asking questions like: “What does my network find valuable?”.

Lee Odden

TopRank Digital Marketing Talent Pool Grows with Adam Singer

Lee Odden on Jun 9th, 2009     Online Marketing, TopRank Agency News

[Note from Lee:] What do you get when you mix two parts “practice what you preach” with a focus on clients and a passion for the digital marketing industry? New clients, renewals and expansion of many client online marketing programs. Working with a great mix of clients is complimented by a fantastic team at TopRank which we’re continuing to grow.

I’m happy to announce that Adam Singer has joined TopRank as an Account Manager.  At Adam’s previous position as a Digital Strategist with a PR firm in FL, he championed many social media, SEO and online PR programs providing client executives with strategic guidance on their digital strategy. Adam is a savvy blogger at FutureBuzz and we’re looking forward to his social media smarts as a welcome addition to the TopRank Online Marketing team. Please read Adam’s first post and welcome him. Watch for his regular contributions to Online Marketing Blog in the weeks and months ahead.

Lee Odden

Jumping off the Social Media Cliff

Lee Odden on Jun 8th, 2009     Online Marketing, Social Media
susanica

Photo credit: Susanica

Of those that reach out to our agency at TopRank, most of the companies I talk to are intrigued and even excited about social media. The challenge for organizations is that they’re often not exactly sure where to start or what will happen if they do.

For many companies, kicking off a social media effort is like jumping off a cliff. The question to consider, as asked at last week’s OMS event, is whether your company is jumping as a base jumper or a Lemming?

What I mean by that is a question as to whether your organization is following others blindly into the chasm of social web participation or are planning and preperations being made first? Are the right people being educated and given the proper tools? Is there a plan with a specific objective?

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