Ashley Zeckman

Innovative Search Features Drive Engagement – Paul Vallez #OMS12

"Google taught us how to search." - Paul Vallez

Paul Vallez admits that when he started at HP less than a year ago he had just come from Ask.com and was pretty cocky about what he knew.  Vallez also shares that he wasn’t very open to new ideas and wanted to step into his new position at a big brand and immediately demonstrate value. What was his approach?

  • 75% Cocky
  • 25% Open to new ideas

In Vallez’s presentation he identified what he called “3 Key Learnings” that he shared with the audience for improving the way that your search strategy is implemented for improved engagement.

Lee Odden

Google+ Optimization vs. Community Building: Pros & Cons of Google SPYW

Google+ Optimization

Google+ Optimization or Community Building?

Initially I looked at Google+ the same as other Google social projects like Wave and Orkut. But the more I use Google+ the more I like it. Maybe it’s the network effect because others are using it more too. I often find content and insights shared on G+ that I don’t find elsewhere.

While the addition of Google Search Plus Your World (SPYW) has made a big splash in the digital community, I actually think G+ is far more useful (from a personal perspective) as a social network than it is as an augmentation of search on Google.com. When I put my Marketer’s hat on, of course it doesn’t matter what I think of G+ – the task is to figure out how to optimize opportunities to gain an advantage.

Ashley Zeckman

Online Marketing News: Women Dominate Community Management, Google Privacy, FBI Social, Twitter Censorship, McD Hashtag Gone Wrong

Social Media Community Managers

The 2012 Community Manager Report

Community Manager is an essential, yet still uncharted territory for many companies that are expanding their presence on the social web.  What should you know about the current state of this position?

  • 67% of Community Managers work for a brand
  • The most popular city for Community Managers is New York
  • 65% of Community Managers are Female

Be sure to check out the rest of this report presented by Social Fresh.

Google & FBI: All Your Social Data Are Belong to Us

For non-geeks, here’s the reference (Zero Wing video)

Ashley Zeckman

Google+ for Business: 5 Things Marketing Professionals Should Know About Google+

Chris Brogan Google+ for BusinessGoogle+ has been on the lips of every online marketing professional since early 2011.  With a base that has now passed 62 million users and the integration of Google+ into Google search, it has become clear that Google+ is here to stay.

As this new social platform continues to evolve it may be difficult to keep up with the latest trends, changes, and tactics for creating an optimized and influential Google+ profile for you and your business.  With recent events and the release of Chris Brogan’s new book “Google+ for Business: How Google’s Social Network Changes Everything” Lee and I thought it seemed a good time to compile some helpful tips of our own and some from Chris’s new book to help professionals take some of the fear and uncertainty out of using Google+.

Ashley Zeckman

Online Marketing News: Google+ Search, $10 per Twitter Follower, Facebook 1 Billion Users, Foursquare Search Engine, Social ROI: No, Really!

Search, plus Your World

The big news this week centers around the changes that Google has rolled out related to Google+ integration with search, which as the tech press buzzing.  Google is aiming to bring users additional search functionality that is incorporated with their Google+ profiles.   The official Google blog states that “you should be able to find your own stuff on the web, the people you know and things they’ve shared with you, as well as the people you don’t know but might want to… all from one search box.” Industry observers are saying it’s too much Google+, all the time.

Regardless, it’s a new dimension on the face of search and that spells opportunity (for those optimists among us) to Optimize. Here are a few tips on Google+ optimization. Be sure to add TopRank to your Google+ circles!

Lee Odden

What Google Personalized Search plus Your World Means for Marketing – SEO Tips

Lee Odden     Google, Online Marketing
Google Plus Your World

Screenshot from Google's promo video

Google Personalized Search rolled out yesterday revealing a change as significant as Universal Search in 2007. Unlike the major change that brought images, video thumbnails, news and blog posts within search results for all, the Google plus Your World changes are only visibile when logged into Google.

There are many stories to be told here, from Google as a social network to the tit for tat statements Google and Twitter are making. From an online marketing perspective and more specifically, search marketing, the introduction of more Google features only available when logged in will arguably increase the number of searches done when user search terms are encrypted and not available for website owners in their web analytics. The “Unknown” category of keyword referrer for this blog has risen dramatically, which isn’t helpful for future content refinement or optimization.

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

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.

Jolina Pettice

SEO Considerations in a Connected Consumer World

Mike Grehan On a sunny, warm day in Minneapolis, marketers gathered near one of the city’s best attractions – LakeCalhoun – to learn about “Search and the Connected Consumer”, a view of how people retrieve information online and what that means for the future online and search engine marketing.

Hosted by MIMA, the event featured Mike Grehan, Global VP Content, Search Engine Watch, ClickZ & Search Engine Strategies.

Mike started by educating the audience on the history of the World Wide Web and the Internet (note: they are not one in the same).

Jolina Pettice

SES New York 2011 Roundup

The SES New York 2011 conference wrapped up last week on the heels of one of the biggest Google updates in recent years.

And although there was enough Panda talk to make a passerby think we might all be zookeepers, there were other themes running through the conference as well including content, paid strategies and tools, tools, tools.

Here’s a quick recap:

Panda: The Aftermath, as it was called essentially recapped what TopRank and other content advocates have been saying along.

Create unique, quality content that is written first for the target audience and second for the search engines. It’s those who have been living dangerously – or maybe just naively – creating what’s now referred to as shallow content who likely got hit the worst.

Lee Odden

5 Instant Search Engines & the Mash-up

instant searchImitation is the sincerest form of flattery and on the social web, that flattery goes one step further, often in the form of a mash-up. Google has launched a variety of services to much fanfare by the media and yawns from the masses (Google Wave, Buzz).

However, the recent implementation of Google Instant has resulted in a number of “instant” implementations on other types of search. Twitter has tempted us with the promise of real-time, all the time and Google’s effort at real-time results has resonated with a number of developers. How much it has resonated with the searching public at large, is not yet being disclosed.

Check out the following Instant Search applications and see which you like best:

TopRank Marketing Editor

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

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.