Ashley Zeckman

4 Blogging Basics For Online Retailers

Ashley Zeckman     Blogging, Online Marketing

Blogging Online RetailRetail websites are flush with product information, specs, and images of items available for purchase.  However, it may be difficult to find a way to provide detailed and engaging content for customers visiting a website when they’re just looking to purchase.

Starting a company blog provides a good opportunity to attract new customers and engage current customers with content about your products and other topics that are of importance to them.  It doesn’t matter if the items being sold are car parts, clothing, electronics or furniture, there is an opportunity to help solve pain points and arm your customers with information that encourages engagement and purchasing decisions.

Ashley Zeckman

7 Ways To Spice Up Your Online Marketing Using Photography with C.C. Chapman

Believe it or not an image can help make or break a piece of content, once your visitors reach the page.  C.C. Chapman (@cc_chapman) shared sound advice and lots of laughs with his opening session on day one of the New Media Expo with a session entitled “How To Add Photography Into Your Marketing Mix”.

Whether you’re sprinkling your content marketing with imagery or looking to make it a larger part of your strategy, C.C. suggests some best practices for letting your images shine.

#1 – Always Create An Emotional Response
When someone looks at the images that you use to help tell the story of your content, it should illicit a response or reaction.  If a follower takes a look at your photo and then stifles a yawn it’s time to go back to the camera lens and find another image that is more suited.

Lee Odden

Happy New Year! 11 Lessons Learned After 9 Years of Business Blogging

Lee Odden     Blogging

blogging lessons learnedHappy New Year and Welcome 2013!

Also, Happy Birthday to TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog!

A little over 9 years ago I started this blog as a way to save and share links to industry news. Over the years it has evolved in many ways thanks to our community and our team at TopRank.

Since 2003 Online Marketing Blog has generously shared thousands of posts, reaching millions of online marketers all over the world. Every time I speak at a conference, whether it’s in New York or Sydney or London, multiple people approach me with thanks for our blog’s contribution of insight, tips and useful information. That feedback is priceless and very much appreciated.

Now for some thanks back:

Lee Odden

What’s the ROI of Corporate Blogging?

business blogging ROIIn a few weeks this business blog will be 9 years old.  That’s 3,145 posts overall, of which I have written 2,537 myself.

If someone would have suggested to me 9 years ago that I should write 1.2 million words as a key component of my agency’s online marketing strategy, I would have dismissed them as crazy. And yet here we are.

I know a lot of companies have dabbled in blogging with mixed results and many are considering either starting a blog or scaling their blogging efforts. There are reasonable questions about how a business blog will add value to the bottom line. How will a corporate blog contribute to leads and sales? What is the ROI of blogging for each quater, month, week, day, hour and dollar invested? Those are great questions.

Lee Odden

Secrets of Content Marketing World: Agent Jason Falls, Social Media Explorer

Jason Falls Content Marketing Secret Agent There’s a lot of power in words and even more in secret words. This week we’ve been leaking content marketing secrets all over the web and hopefully you’ve been paying attention. In particular, you’ll want to tune in to the no-nonsense approach from this special agent of content marketing, Jason Falls, the CEO of Social Media Explorer.

Jason has been a vocal advocate of practical online marketing and PR for years and his experience with blogging and blog consulting may very well be the one thing you need to experience to justify your own secret mission to Columbus next week for Content Marketing World. For a sneak peek at Jason’s business blogging and content marketing secrets, check out the following interview.

Lee Odden

21 Essential Gadgets to Boost Conference Content Creation & Travel Productivity

gadgets accessories travel content marketingThis week I’m in San Francisco for the SES conference. I’m really looking forward to this event because TopRank has a great team in attendance with my Marketing Manager @azeckman, Account Manager @Alexis5484 and Senior Technical SEO @thomcraver who will be speaking on Deep Dive Analytics.

If you’ve read our blog for any period of time, you know I attend a lot of conferences. I couldn’t or wouldn’t do that if it wasn’t productive and in the past I’ve shared many ways to get more value from attending conferences and events. But that’s not all there is.

Lee Odden

GeekBeat.TV Interview: Optimizing the Customer to Content Connection

At BlogWorld New Media Expo in New York, John P. and Cali Lewis had me on their GeekBeat.tv show where we talked about a mix of digital marketing topics including “walk the talk” marketing consulting, the power of word of mouth, the value of influence, common marketing challenges for companies, ROI vs. the promise of ROI, budget limitations vs. culture, the “must do” of getting started with social media.

Those companies that take the time to understand who their audiences and influencers are can dig into optimal means of information discovery, what target audience preferences are for media type and format, and how to inspire action whether it’s a referral or a sale.  With that insight, marketers can work to develop a plan to continuously optimize the brand’s effectivenss at connecting content with customers all across the lifecycle: awareness, interest, consideration, purchase, retention, advocacy.

Lee Odden

Top Marketing & Public Relations Blogs Are Influential, But Are They Optimized?

Lee Odden     Blogging, Online Marketing

PR BlogsCision recently published a list of top PR & Marketing blogs which is timely, because having worked in both worlds for 11 years plus, I’ve seen the convergence accelerated by shifts in technology and consumer behaviors. In the list, Cision published an influence score to sort the blogs (TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog is sandwiched at #2 between Chris Brogan and Jason Falls) and it made me wonder about their influence when it comes to search.

Most bloggers say they know what SEO is and some even profess to engage in SEO best practices, but I thought it would be interesting to do a simple analysis of the top 10 on the list to see what their referring organic keyword and inbound link profiles looked like. Arguably, if a blog is optimized, it will attract traffic through search with phrases that represent the topics the blogger wants to be known for.

Ashley Zeckman

Stand Out Above the Noise – Blogging Tips From Chris Brogan #BWENY

Ashley Zeckman     Blog Marketing, Blogging, Online Marketing

"There are plenty of crappy photographers out there, that is why they invented Instagram." - Chris Brogan (touche Mr. Brogan)

I must say the pre-keynote presentation was hilarious.  Tom Webster (@webby2001) from Edison Research shared some “feedback” his company had received from the post-session surveys that were sent out for evaluation of the speakers.  The comments were those that many bloggers experience on a daily basis: Poorly written, irrelevant, spam on your painstakingly written blog post.

Tom’s commentary was the perfect seguay into Chris Brogan’s (@chrisbrogan) keynote presentation.  First off, Chris is hilarious, second of all he is not afraid to poke fun at himself.  This wasn’t the sort of presentation that is easy to live blog (plus there was zero Internet connection) so I decided to share the information like I consumed it.  In bite sized chunks that are easy to consume and easy to share.

Lee Odden

A Recipe for Better Blogging: Optimize & Socialize #bweny

better bloggingOn Saturday I participated on a SEO panel at the first Minneapolis TECHmunch food blogger conference put on by Babette Pepaj with the help of local foodies like Stephanie A. Meyer. As prep for the event, I outlined a few things that I thought food bloggers might find useful for helping to improve organic search traffic to their content. Of course these tips aren’t limited in their usefulness to food bloggers, they apply to anyone interested in creating awareness, attention, interest and engagement with themselves or their brand.

I will be giving a track keynote at BlogWorld this week on Thursday morning (9am) covering bigger picture topics and specific tactics to help attendees to better use blogs as content marketing tools. Here’s the presentation info:

Lee Odden

5 of the Most Important Content & Social Media Tips For A Successful Business Blog

Lee Odden     Blogging, Online Marketing

business bloggingThe tendency for corporate marketers and their agencies to chase shiny social objects seems to be manifesting as conflicting trends in the usefulness of social media for business. Companies that execute their social media marketing tactics poorly often conclude the channel doesn’t work. A good example is the “corporate blogging is dying” story which contrasts with a study that shows blogging is the second most effective B2B lead generation tactic.

I’ve always said that tools are only as good as the skills of the people using them and the moving target of social savvy customers along with a rapidly evolving social web make social media marketing skills acquisition a bit tricky. I think part of the answer to the distracted approach to social media marketing efforts like corporate blogging could be arrested by mastering these basics.

Lee Odden

12 Timeless Link Building Tips for Business Blogs

link building

Link Building for Business Blogs Doesn’t Need to Be Risky

As a key component of a hub and spoke online marketing strategy, blogs can be very effective for social media network engagement, online PR, customer service, and as search engine optimization assets. While there are numerous cases studies of business blogs (I like to think Online Marketing Blog is one) providing tremendous value, blogs are simply software tools and what you get out of them is in proportion to how well you know how to use them.  One of the common areas of lost opportunity with business blogs is link building.