Online Marketing Newsletter from TopRank Marketing

online marketing newsletterBeing the good content marketers that we are, you may have noticed that TopRank Marketing has recently been publishing a monthly Online Marketing Newsletter called “Tips from the Top”. While we haven’t done a lot to promote, thousands of subscribers have joined in a pretty short period of time.

I’ve started newsletters several times in the 10 or so years we’ve had this agency but it’s the most recent effort that has really resonated with readers. We’re learning as we go and fine tuning to make it better.

The editorial mix is currently a collection of:

  • Industry News to Know – This usually follows a theme and for October, it’s “Social Commerce“.
  • Digital Marketing Tips – A collection of timely “how to” articles from across the web.

Viva Las Vegas Pubcon 2010

Las Vegas I’ve been attending WebmasterWorld’s Pubcon conference in Las Vegas for at least 6 years although I didn’t liveblog that first one for some reason. In fact I first interviewed Pubcon founder, Brett Tabke, in 2005.  By no means am I an “old timer” since the show has been running for a lot longer than I’ve been attending but I do have some history with it.

When people ask me about great conference options to learn practical SEO and PPC, Pubcon is always included in my recommendations.  Being held in Las Vegas lends a certain flavor to the event, as in there are plenty of after-event networking opportunities.  Sessions are great, but its the in person connections you make and develop that yield tips, tactics that aren’t always forthcoming during the day.

Social Media Marketing Checklist

Social Media Marketing

While putting together a presentation recently, I assembled a simple check list of considerations for a social media marketing effort.  We’ve written quite a bit about developing a social media roadmap, strategy and measurement in the past, but there are some important questions to answer when it comes to realizing what’s involved.  Companies can test and run tactics in silos but eventually, there will come a time when efforts need to be coordinated.

You  may notice that this checklist isn’t that concerned with SEO. Don’t take that to mean Search Engine Optimization isn’t to be heavily considered with a social media marketing effort.  At the same time, not all social media efforts need to be SEO focused.

Organization

checkbox
Assess the human resources and internal political situation

SEO for Blogs & Feeds – SES Chicago

Blog & Feed SEOMy final liveblogg session of SES Chicago is all about SEO for Blogs and Feeds aka blog optimization. This is a session I know a little something about, having presented on it at SES 4-5 times over the years.

Moderated by Adam Audette, the speakers included Sally Falkow and Michael Gray.

Sally opened things up to talk about Feeds. All blog platforms come with Feeds but there are many other things you can do with feeds. There are many types of feeds including a feed specifically for video. Sally says it’s pretty straightforward to create a RSS feed.

Duplicate Content and Multiple Sites – SES Chicago

susan moskwa googleThe second session on my liveblogging hitllist for SES Chicago is the “Duplicate Content and Multiple Sites” moderated by Adam Audette. Unfortunatley, Michael Gray was not able to be there, so things started up with Susan Moskwa, Webmaster Trends Analyst from Google, and Shari Thurow was added on the fly.

What is duplicate content? Identical or substantially similar content. Also multiple URLs with the same content. Google realizes that duplication can be deliberate or accidental.

Basically, duplicate content in the context of a search engine is publishing different URLs that present the same content. (My Example:)

www.domainname.com
domainname.com
www.domainname.com/index.php
www.domainname.com/index.php?sid=123

Why does Google care about duplicate content? Users don’t like to see 10 nearly identical results. Also, there’s no benefit in crawling multiple urls with the same content. It’s a waste of resources for Googlebot to do that.

Advanced Keyword Research – SES Chicago

Advanced Keyword ResearchMy first liveblog for SES Chicago didn’t happen until day three. The lucky topic? Advanced Keyword Research presented by Ron Jones CEO of Symetri Internet Marketing. Ron and I are mutual retweet friends and while I’ve read many of his articles on ClickZ, I hadn’t seen him speak before.

Ron started things out by taking a poll to qualify the audience (smart) to see how many have done keyword research before. Most have.

The importance of keyword research:
Is keyword research strategic or tactical? When we use keywords we reinforce searcher expectations. As marketers, then we have the responsibility to deliver on that expectation. Picking the right keywords plus having relevant content to match equals conversion. As a result, the use of keywords and keyword research is a strategic function.

Three Signs Your Software Company Needs a PR Firm

pr firmMany companies develop products and services relying on their networks and various types of “do it yourself” marketing to get the word out. As companies grow, especially in the software and tech business, subject matter expertise in technology can only go so far when it comes to building a brand, creating influence and inspiring the kind of word of mouth that boosts sales.

While the founders might be great at developing their product and evangelizing it, they rarely have the experience or resources to amplify marketing beyond their first hand experience. Without a plan for engaging the media or understanding how the world of print, digital and social media work, efforts by founders often fall flat, are inefficient uses of their time or result in the opposite of intended outcomes.

10 Questions for Social Media Measurement Success

social media measurementIn order for companies to realize the maximum benefit and impact from social media marketing, the pre requisite for goal setting must be a certain level of understanding about the nature of online communities, social media sharing web sites and applications.  Unrealistic expectations based on a lack of knowledge about the social web is far too expensive to ignore.

At Search Marketing conferences, you’ll hear a lot about driving website traffic and links through social media linkbait – a SEO tactic that is distinctly different than what goes into building customer relationships. Companies like Proctor & Gamble are paying for engagement, not eyeballs.

Companies that want to take full advantage of better customer engagement, online word of mouth and influence on sales should ask themselves a few key measurement and related questions while developing a social media strategy:

Forget about backing up your blog, automate it.

When’s the last time you backed up your blog? A few weeks ago? Months? Never!?

I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve never backed up your blog as it’s not something people often think about doing. However, it’s very important, and it can be automated so that you don’t have to think about it.

Here are just a few of the many tools that keep things backed up without having you lift a finger.

WP-DB-Backup

WP-DB-Backup

WP-DB-Backup

This is a must have plugin for me and I’m surprised it’s not integrated into WordPress yet.

WP-DB-Backup automatically schedule backups of your WordPress database and then emails them to you. I set all blogs I manage to email backups to me once a week. That way, if anything ever happened, I’d still have a copy of all the content, comments and anything saved in the database.

Social Media Optimization for Public Relations

social media optimizationI’m here at the PRSA International conference in Washington D.C. and the conversations about social media are to be found everywhere. The halls, the exhibit floor, sessions and even at the fantastic dinner hosted by Shonali Burke last night.

Yesterday I gave a 4 hour workshop or, “SEO Bootcamp for Communicators” as it was titled.  I polled the attendees who came from a variety of companies and organizations ranging from a for profit private school to the Veteran’s Administration, on what their questions were about SEO. Most revolved around getting to understand how PR can get up to speed on the value of SEO and incorporate it into what they’re doing as Marketing has done.

Essential Tips for Social Media & Content Marketing

marketo user summitContent marketing is essential for B2B businesses providing both qualitative and quantitative returns.  And while 6 in 10 marketers are planning to increase content marketing spends this year, success-rates still vary greatly as it’s a new concept for most.

Maria Pergolino, director of marketing for Marketo (a TopRank Online Marketing client) shared a presentation at the Marketo User Summit on getting the message out, focused on social media and content marketing tips/tricks.

How do you succeed in content marketing?

  • Create content that sells
  • Create a content map
  • Optimize content for search
  • Repurpose content
  • Learn to succeed even in situations with little or no content

How Salesforce.com Aligns Marketing and Sales

Todd ForsythTodd Forsyth, Vice President of Global Campaigns, Salesforce.com gave an energetic presentation at the Marketo 2010 User Summit (Marketo is a TopRank Online Marketing client) on how Salesforce aligns marketing and sales.  Following is a summary of the highlights of his presentation – which includes key takeaways for B2B marketing and sales teams:

Sales and marketing alignment are second nature at Salesforce.  Today, we’ll explore how as a brand, Salesforce integrates sales and marketing throughout all of our tactics and why this is also vital for your B2B brand.

Thriving in a rapidly shifting media landscape