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Archive for June, 2010


Lee Odden

3 Essential Small Business Search Marketing Trends

Lee Odden on Jun 30th, 2010     Online Marketing, Search Marketing, SEO, Small Business

search marketing trends“Qualified”, “showing intent to buy”, “high conversion rate” and many other phrases are used to describe search engine marketing.  As a $16 billion industry, Search Marketing including SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC ads (pay per click) represent a substantial opportunity for small businesses to connect with customers at the moment they are looking for products and services to buy.

Even though Search Marketing presents an attractive opportunity to grow online sales, many businesses are too busy running their companies to stay on top of future trends. To that end, here are three search marketing trends worth paying attention to:

TopRank Online Marketing

10 Reasons Why Your Analytics Are Failing & 13 Tools To Help

TopRank Online Marketing on Jun 29th, 2010     Google, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Other Events, Web Analytics

Fail Whale AnalyticsWeb Analytics are a key indicator to the health and performance of any website, but online marketers often get lost in the complexities and details, forgetting how important analytics actually are and why.

Analytics can provide a wealth of information but marketers often look at high level indicators such as: top content, bounce rates, entrance sources and keywords without tying it all together. In most cases, there is a tremendous amount of insight that can be used to make smarter marketing decisions, but most companies barley scratch the surface. At the OMS Minneapolis event last week  Adam Proehl gave an excellent presentation on analytics failures and successes. I’ve taken my notes from that presentation and combined them with my own opinions to create this list.

TopRank Online Marketing

Lee Odden On SEO And The Social Web – OMS Minneapolis Keynote

TopRank Online Marketing on Jun 25th, 2010     Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, SEO, Social Media

Lee Odden, TopRank Online Marketing CEO gave the opening keynote of Online Marketing Summit Minneapolis.  Lee spoke on the intersection of SEO and social media and provided key takeaways for companies on achieving success.

As the social web and search engines integrate and innovate tighter, the intersection between search and social is growing more meaningful daily.  Following is a summation of this info-packed presentation:

What would happen if your Google traffic disappeared tomorrow?  What impact would that have on your marketing and your business?  For many, this could be disastrous.  This highlights the importance of diversifying your brand’s referring sources and share of voice around the web.

Search and social are intersecting in many ways:  when you look at a comparison of the top search engines, more and more of the engines themselves are on social platforms, and more of the results on the big engines are social.

Lee Odden

Thank You To Our Web Hosting Sponsor VISI

Lee Odden on Jun 24th, 2010     Online Marketing, TopRank Agency News

For the past 3 plus years, TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog has been hosted by Minneapolis based website hosting provider, VISI.  When our past host shut us down without warning for getting too much traffic, VISI and Online Marketing Blog connected and worked out a sponsorship. VISI is the only company with an ongoing “ad” on this blog.

Uptime for Online Marketing Blog has been amazing since we moved to VISI and customer service has been exceptional. With web site hosting, the ideal situation is to forget about them, to not even know they are there because things are working so smoothly.

But when situations arise, and a site goes down, you remember pretty quickly who your hosting company is. VISI was good about working with us when we had a major problem earlier this year and get the right equipment to meet our needs. As our traffic has increased, there hasn’t been a blip of downtime.

Lee Odden

Win a Free Pass to Online Marketing Summit Minneapolis

Lee Odden on Jun 23rd, 2010     Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Other Events

It’s that time of year again and the ClickZ Online Marketing Summit will arrive shortly to the Minneapple, Friday June 25th. The conference organizer has generously donated a free pass to the 1 day workshop for us to give away here on Online Marketing Blog.

The agenda covers everything from Social to SEO to B2B Blogging to Email Marketing. You’ll be able to learn from a mix of client side marketers and agency subject matter experts on cutting edge strategies for more successful online marketing programs.

Companies presenting include HubSpot, Cargill, Exact Target and many others. I’ll be giving the opening keynote presentation on SEO and the Social Web:

Lee Odden

Content Curation Definitions & Context for Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Jun 22nd, 2010     B2B, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

content curationCompanies are realizing the value in “brands as publishers” and are making real commitments to the creation of content in their online marketing mix. It’s no longer enough to provide fundamental features and benefits information about products and services to succeed competitively online. Consumers and of course, business buyers, seek additional information, resources and others to connect with on the topics of interest to them.  Some companies choose a pure creation strategy and find it to be a formidable undertaking, especially creating unique and valuable content over a long period of time.

Within the field of content marketing, curation is becoming a popular topic of discussion. Blending a mix of new content with the filtering and management of other useful information streams is a productive and manageable solution for providing prospective customers a steady stream of high quality and relevant content.  Pure creation is demanding. Pure automation doesn’t engage. Curating content can provide the best of both.

TopRank Online Marketing

Thinking Critically About Web Video

TopRank Online Marketing on Jun 21st, 2010     Interactive Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media

web videoWeb video is hot. Some say your chance to be a pioneer.

How hot, and how much of an opportunity? Recent reports from comScore, consistently say more than 80% of the total U.S. Internet audience views online video in a given month. YouTube’s fact sheet states every minute, 24 hours of video is uploaded to the network and 2 billion videos are being watched per day.

All this popularity has of course been driving a trend with marketers: the desire to create video as part of their digital marketing mix. Except sadly, it’s almost never approached strategically.

Agency-side marketing/PR/digital pros: how many times have you had a client approach you after creating a web video and said “hey, we made this video, now make it go viral!”

Lee Odden

3 Things To Do Before Upgrading to WordPress 3.0

Lee Odden on Jun 18th, 2010     Blogging
Don't Update WordPress

Upgrade? Don't Upgrade?

Yes, WordPress 3.0 is now available, but it may not be a good idea to upgrade to it just yet.

Here are 3 things you need to complete before you upgrade.

1) Do you really need to update now?
WordPress 3.0 is a big update and it’s been under construction for quite a while now. Yes it’s good, but sometimes there are security holes or bugs that the developers didn’t see in the testing environment. You never know what kinds of things people find until you release it. So it may be a good idea to wait a few days, or even a week or two, to ensure that no big issues get uncovered. Or, if they do come up, WordPress can fix them with a security update.

Lee Odden

2011 Digital Marketing Poll

Lee Odden on Jun 17th, 2010     Online Marketing, Reader Polls

digital marketingIt’s safe to say 2009 and 2010 were breakout years for social media. Our last Digital Marketing poll showed 6 of the top 10 tactics as social media complemented by search engine marketing and email.  Slimmer marketing budgets and mass media attention have inspired a rush to many types social media marketing tactics bringing a certain over-optimism about what the social web can do for a company’s bottom line.

With the economy recovering slowly, what will 2011 bring? Are social media and content marketing the glue that brings multi channel marketing together? Is 2011 finally the year for mobile? Will companies focus on more holistic online marketing?

We’d love to hear your opinions in the 2011 TopRank Digital Marketing Poll.  Please take the poll here and share it, post it, bookmark it and help us reach over 200 responses:

Lee Odden

The Power of Blogs & Social Media in B2B Marketing

Lee Odden on Jun 16th, 2010     B2B, Blog Marketing

B2B Social Media Marketing54 Million.

That’s what Forrester Research predicts for US B2B Social Media Marketing spending by 2014.

As a living example of a B2B company that fully leverages blogging and social media in our online marketing, TopRank Marketing has a lot of first-hand insight that we can share with clients. I know there are many B2B marketers that are uncertain about their place on the social web and over 6 1/2 years of B2B blogging experience can provide the companies we work with a unique perspective.

Working smarter with developing and implementing blogging strategy, content planning, promotion, SEO and the intersection with other online communications channels such as PR and social networking saves time, resources and improves results.

Lee Odden

5 Ways to Kill Your Search Rankings & Their Solutions

Lee Odden on Jun 15th, 2010     Online Marketing, SEO, SEO Tips

search engine ranking dead One of the biggest fears for web site owners that have long relied on search traffic for new business is a sudden drop in search engine rankings.  Some webmasters are experiencing this very situation as a result of Google’s recent Mayday update (Matt Cutts video).

In most cases, it takes a lot for a tenured web site to mess up it’s search visibility.  In other situations, it doesn’t take much at all. Avoiding mistakes that result in exclusion, penalties and more often confusion for search engines are often overlooked.  Don’t fall victim to carelessness and ignorance when it comes to maintaining the search visibility achieved from years of content and online marketing by avoiding these common mistakes:

Lee Odden

Blogs Are Like Cupcakes…

Lee Odden on Jun 11th, 2010     Blogging

Do you like cupcakes? Who doesn’t? But what is it about a cupcake that makes you love it? And how do cupcakes relate to blogs?

Presentation

Fancy Cupcake

Lets start with the presentation. Most cupcakes catch your eye because of how they look. Maybe it’s the coloring of frosting or the overall design. This is the first impression and it’s important that the cupcake speaks to the right audience.

Now when you have a blog, the same holds true. When someone visits a blog, the first reaction is on the look and feel, the colors, the layout. Is it visually appealing?

Sure, cupcakes and blogs are about more than just the look and feel, but sometimes people can’t get past an ugly one.

Satisfaction

Chocolate Cupcakes

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