Ashley Zeckman

Ashley Zeckman

5 Press Release SEO Posts & 10 Bonus Tips for Better Google Rankings

Press Release SEO has been one of the most popular topics to attract Google search traffic here on Online Marketing Blog.  We’ve seen the ups and downs in the Public Relations industry over the years and have helped inform many Public Relations professionals on the finer arts of SEO by speaking at events like PRSA, providing training for PR agencies and corporate communications departments and writing about the topic here.

After seeing the nice write up by Adam Sherk on Ragan on how to write press releases Google will love, I decided to curate a list of our own Press Release Optimization tips and share them with you. Plus Lee’s added a few more at the end of this post.

Ashley Zeckman

5 Essential Tips on Content Marketing & Optimization #SESCHI

Content Marketing OptimizationAs SES Chicago reaches its final sessions the audience is still alert and ready to learn at TopRank CEO Lee Odden’s afternoon presentation on “Content Marketing & Optimization.”  According to Google’s Eric Schmidt, every 2 days we create as much information as we did from the dawn of time to the year 2003.  With so much information being shared what can we do as marketers to make our content easy to spot and easy to consume?

Can Customers Find Your Content?

Content creation is so much more than marketing, it is a way of engaging and enticing potential customers to take action.  Optimized content can make sure that customers interact with your brand.  There are many types of content that companies publish and many different audiences that a company should interact with.  Content creation is one of the most effective form of online marketing, it also happens to be the most difficult.

Ashley Zeckman

Hello Local, Meet Social – Learning the Basics at SES Chicago

Proper execution of a local and social media strategy is still a head scratcher for many internet marketers.  The session on “Local + Social: the Future of Promotion” featuring Gregg Stewart and Benu Aggarwal at SES Chicago was a must see to answer several important questions.

A Best Practices Approach with Gregg Stewart

Did you know that roughly 20% of all Google searches have local intent?  When you look at mobile data that number is even higher.  These statistics alone should show us as marketers how important a online local strategy is for improving engagement.

Checking the Box Won’t Work

While website All Facebook says that 96% of small businesses are on Facebook, Mashable.com says that 64% of small businesses think that social media is unnecessary.  Part of what this data tells us that many companies are simply checking the box, but aren’t sure how to properly utilize social media marketing channels.

Ashley Zeckman

Search, Social, & Content Work Together at SES Chicago 2011

Wednesday morning’s panel discussion on search, social, and content was flush with information that was easy to digest and provided helpful tips for implementation. The session was moderated by Anne Kennedy from the SES Advisory board and featured speakers:

• Aaron Kahlow, Chairman & Founder, Online Marketing Summit & SES Advisory Board (@omconnect)
• Arnie Kuenn, President, Vertical Measures (@arniek)
• Lee Odden, SES Advisory Board & CEO, TopRank Online Marketing & SES Advisory Board (@leeodden)

Kahlow Presents the What, Why, How, and Who of Search, Social, and Content

Aaron Kahlow focused on some very basic but essential areas that all marketers should focus on when creating a campaign either online or offline. In regards to search, social, and content he had this to share:

Ashley Zeckman

7 Principles for User Generated Content: Michael DeHaven SES Chicago 2011

SES-Chicago-Michael-DeHavenMichael DeHaven’s presentation at SES Chicago on “User Generated SEO” started with some actual user generated content from the audience. Before the session DeHaven gave 5 volunteers a bite sized Ghirardelli chocolate bar. In exchange for the treat he asked that each of the volunteers write a review of the chocolate and then share it with the rest of the audience.

What Was the Response?
The chocolate was called everything from waxy, to too sweet, messy, and melt in your mouth goodness. In contrast the packaging created by the Ghirardelli marketers was quite different, “take time to slow down and feel yourself melt with each bite.” As you can see the professional marketers took a much different approach than the consumers.

Ashley Zeckman

Are You A Guilty Marketer? Opening Keynote at #SESCHI by Mikel Chertudi of Adobe

mikel chertudi keynote SES ChicagoMikel Chertudi, Senior Director, Global Media & Demand Marketing at Adobe Systems, presented Tuesday morning’s opening keynote at SES Chicago. The goal of his presentation was to take a deep dive into:

  • How the value of what marketers do is often viewed incorrectly
  • Mistakes that many marketers are guilty of
  • What questions marketers should ask themselves in order to invest marketing dollars appropriately

Changing the Marketing Conversation
Often times, as marketers we talk too tactically

Many marketers today still refer to marketing dollars as “spend”, “budgets”, or “cost centers”. One of the things that Chertudi urges online marketers to do is change the conversation. What does this mean?  Organizations should begin considering marketing costs as an investment and not just a cost. Instead of focusing on the “burn rate” we are urged to focus on determining if our investment is large enough to fuel the growth of the company. This will enable marketing to be properly viewed as a means of growing the organization instead of being perceived as a cost center.

Ashley Zeckman

What Chicago’s Best Restaurants Can Teach Us About Search & Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing Tips for Chicago Restaurants

I’m going to be visiting the windy city for SES Chicago this week and have been trying to figure out where to explore if I can find some time while I’m there. I always enjoy a great meal so turning to search engines and social media platforms was an obvious answer for me to find great restaurants.

Understanding how end consumers use search and social to find and discuss your business online is key in creating an effective online marketing strategy.  The more that you study and adapt your strategy to positively impact new customers, the more successful your social media strategy will be.

Ashley Zeckman

Is it Time to Make Google+ Your Plus One? 5 Key Problems Solved by Google+ Pages @adtech NY Keynote with Christian Oestlien

Christian OestlienThe closing keynote on Wednesday at ad:tech New York was presented by Christian Oestlien the Head of Social Advertising Products at Google.  The opening of Oestlien’s presentation featured an example of Google+’s new Hangout feature shot live at a Black Eyed Peas Concert.  Fans were given an opportunity to interact with the music sensations in real time.  Black Eyed Pea’s frontman will.i.am is noted as saying “This isn’t behind the music, this will become the music.”

Since launching in June, Google+ has already acquired over 40 million active users.  Users have also uploaded over 3.5 billion photos in those short months.  According to Oestlien the goal of Google+ for enable marketers to interact with their fan base in a way that they never have before.  When developing Google+ the team set out to see how they could influence and impact as well as improve that way that marketers are utilizing Online Marketing today.

Ashley Zeckman

6 Essential Community Management Tips from #SMBMSP40

October 28, 2011 marked my first attendance at the Minneapolis chapter of Social Media Breakfast (#SMBMSP).  I arrived at 514 Studios around 7:45am and to be honest, I was surprised at the number of people already in the audience.  I grabbed my seat in the second row and had an opportunity to to meet the featured speakers Lisa Grimm and Meg Knodl right before they took their seats at the front of the room.

Did You Know?

  • There are 46 SMB chapters nationwide
  • #SMBMSP has officially consumed 3,751 pieces of bacon
  • October 28, 2011 marked the 40th SMB for the MSP chapter
  • MSP is the largest chapter (and according to SMBMSP Director Mykl Roventine, the Twin Cities has the most attractive members)

#SMBMSP40 Speakers

Ashley Zeckman

Grab Your Jacket – The Windy City Blows In Big Talent For SES Chicago 2011

With over 70 sessions SES Chicago running November 14-18, 2011 is a virtual smorgasbord of information for Marketing and SEO professionals alike.  Many topics will be covered including: PPC, keyword research, SEO, social media, local marketing, mobile marketing, link building, content, optimization, usability, and so much more.  With so many sessions to choose from where should you begin?  Below are a list of ‘must see’ sessions that I will be sure to check out while I’m there.

#1 – Winning! Measuring Social Media Success

While I doubt that Eli Goodman and Tami Dalley will be channelling Charlie Sheen I am still very interested to hear their take on measuring the success of social campaigns.  I would recommend having your social media metrics handy if possible ( I know I will), so that you can apply the speakers instruction on estimating the value of your fans and followers in real time.  Who knows, we may find that we score better than anticipated.

Ashley Zeckman

6 Tips For More Effective Email Marketing Campaigns

Does Your Inbox Look Like This?

We’ve all received them and we’ve all sent them. They can be given but they can’t be taken back. It’s a single action that can cause people to unfriend, unfollow, or unsubscribe.  What are they?  Emails!  Emails can inspire, engage, or excite your prospects or customers but can have the opposite effect of what you were aiming for if you don’t follow some simple rules.

Creating an effective email marketing campaign is not always an easy task.  However, there are a few things to keep in mind that may help take some of the fear out of launching your own campaign.  Not every campaign will be successful but if you’re good about analyzing results, admitting shortcomings and making changes, who says you can’t learn from your mistakes?

Ashley Zeckman

4 B2B Social Media & SEO Blunders to Avoid

B2B Social Media BlundersThere are some things that you can’t take back: including what you release on the Internet.  With over 93% of B2B marketers using social media, online sales has very much become a social business. As marketers we need to do our best to present as well online as we do in person (if not better).  Creating an effective online marketing plan amongst all the changes on the social web isn’t easy, but here are a few things you may want to avoid.

#1: Flying By the Seat of Your Pants

A “lets throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks” approach will only take you so far in social media.  Consider your internet marketing plan to be just as essential as your traditional sales and marketing plans.  Below are some questions you may want to ask yourself when creating your social content marketing strategy: