Online Marketing Blog – TopRank® http://www.toprankblog.com Wed, 18 Jul 2018 10:35:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 Internet Marketing Conference Tips: Chris Sherman Third Door Media http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/08/internet-marketing-conference-tips-chris-sherman-third-door-media/ Wed, 20 Aug 2008 13:28:17 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=2690 Figuring out how to get the most out of internet marketing conferences takes experience with plenty of conferences, including events like Search Engine Strategies happening in San Jose this week. So it seems fitting to follow up on Danny Sullivan’s advice with the insight of fellow Minnesotan, Chris Sherman. Chris is co-founder of Third Door [...]

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Figuring out how to get the most out of internet marketing conferences takes experience with plenty of conferences, including events like Search Engine Strategies happening in San Jose this week. So it seems fitting to follow up on Danny Sullivan’s advice with the insight of fellow Minnesotan, Chris Sherman.

Chris is co-founder of Third Door Media as well as the SMX conferences, has a search marketing consulting business and has been as involved with the details of conference programming, moderating and speaking as anyone you can find.

When torn between going to one session over another, go to the one that has fewest attendees. With so many people live blogging conferences these days, the odds are good that someone (or many) will be covering the popular session, so you’ll effectively get a two-fer even without personally attending both.

Offer feedback! If you really like (or really dislike) something at a conference, let the organizers know. We are total feedback junkies and really value input from attendees. Some of the best ideas for new content or different ways of doing things at SMX have come from attendees. And we’re also happy to answer questions or offer suggestions to anyone – all you need to do is ask!

Conference blogging plus Powerpoint decks may not be as good as the live session, but can offer great insight when combined. Feedback is especially important for conferences to improve their programming and meet the needs of attendees. Well said Chris, thanks.

The next tipster for internet marketing conferences is anther experienced conference programmer, David Berkowitz, who is Director of Emerging Media & Client Strategy at 360i and Programming Chair of MediaPost’s Search Insider Summit

Do you have conference tips to share? What advice can you give to help others get more out of attending internet marketing conferences?


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Internet Marketing Conference Tips: Danny Sullivan Third Door Media http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/08/internet-marketing-conference-tips-danny-sullivan/ Tue, 19 Aug 2008 18:01:51 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=2683 What better follow up to our impressive list of internet marketing conference tipsters during SES San Jose than sage advice from one of the most visible people in the search marketing industry, Danny Sullivan. As co-founder of Third Door Media, parent to Search Engine Land, Search Marketing Now and the Search Marketing Expo series of [...]

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What better follow up to our impressive list of internet marketing conference tipsters during SES San Jose than sage advice from one of the most visible people in the search marketing industry, Danny Sullivan. As co-founder of Third Door Media, parent to Search Engine Land, Search Marketing Now and the Search Marketing Expo series of conferences, Danny Sullivan is one of the most often quoted experts in the search engine industry.

Online marketing Blog readers may remember this interview with Danny Sullivan and Neil Patel before a SMX Social Media Conference. You can also find him on Twitter and his personal blog, Daggle

Take the time to actually read the program. Look at the descriptions, who is speaking and understand what the session proposes to be about. If you’ve still got questions, seek out a conference organizer at the show. While I’m always busy at a show, I still love to take a few seconds to give an attendee some more guidance about what to go to.

In a multi-track conference, don’t stress or worry about trying to go to everything. It’s like going to a buffet. You can’t eat it all. Multiple tracks aren’t offered to overwhelm an attendee. They’re designed to give more choice to a wide variety of attendees. One great strategy is to make a friend or have several people from your company go to a show. Divide and conquer!

If you really did want to get to a session, remember that slides are often available along with live blogging. It’s not as good as being there, but it can help.

Danny’s advice is consistent with the theme that’s emerging with this series of taking the time to plan as well as great advice to not avoid being overwhelmed.

Up next we have one of Danny Sullivan’s partners in crime, Chris Sherman, also co-founder of Third Door Media and the Search Marketing Expo conferences.

Many readers of Online Marketing Blog also attend conferences. What insights can you share? What tips help you get more out of attending internet marketing conferences? One great tip might be all it takes to get someone’s boss to agree to send them to the next SES, SMX, Pubcon or one of the many regional and niche workshops popping up. Share your internet marketing conference tips and save an industry peer from sheer boredome and lack of new knowedge!


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Getting the Most Out of Internet Marketing Conferences http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/08/getting-the-most-out-of-internet-marketing-conferences/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/08/getting-the-most-out-of-internet-marketing-conferences/#comments Sun, 17 Aug 2008 15:52:42 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=2612 With Search Engine Strategies San Jose just around the corner, I thought it timely and appropriate to share insights on how you can get the most out of marketing conferences. TopRank is very active attending, speaking and blogging a variety of internet marketing events, conferences and workshops. These aren’t the only reasons to attend a [...]

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Josh Bernoff & Charleni Li @ Web 2.0 Expo

With Search Engine Strategies San Jose just around the corner, I thought it timely and appropriate to share insights on how you can get the most out of marketing conferences.

TopRank is very active attending, speaking and blogging a variety of internet marketing events, conferences and workshops. These aren’t the only reasons to attend a marketing conference though and the next 9 posts will offer some excellent insights from TopRank as well as a incredible mix of industry thought leaders that may just compound the value of your staff already attending plus motivate you to send more.

Recession or not, look no further than the headlines in any business publication and you’ll see increasing numbers of articles offering advice on how companies can best deal with tighter marketing budgets.

Combine the need to generate more marketing performance with fewer resources, continuous changes in the online marketing industry and increasing numbers of companies bringing search marketing functions in house, and you have a formidable training challenge.

There are many options for companies to train their new internet marketing staff and to keep tenured employees up to date. Conferences such as: ad:tech, Search Engine Strategies, Search Marketing Expo, DMA conferences, numerous regional events and an increasing number of web based offerings including SEMPO Institute and the DMA Search Engine Marketing Certification program provide a wealth of training opportunities.

However, conferences are not inexpensive. Add travel, hotel, pre/post training and conference fees as well as meals and incidentals and companies are paying $2500 – $5000 per employee per conference. Plus there is the cost of time away from the office not performing billable work. Such costs in a budget conscious marketing environment make it even more important for companies and individuals to get the most out of their educational investments.

Despite these costs, TopRank’s agency’s conference involvement is very active involving speaking, blogging and attending as a delegate 12-15 search marketing, public relations and interactive marketing events per year. The experience from promoting, attending and liveblogging numerous marketing conferences has resulted in a valuable collection of insights that have enabled a substantial return.

Whether the investment in attending a conference is on the company’s dime or the individual, it’s important that conference attendees get the most out of their time at events by setting goals. Managers sending individuals to conferences should be clear about expectations. Company staff should be sure to talk with others within the organization or teams that have attended the same or similar events to gain their insight.

Depending on the purpose for attending a conference, goals may vary. Here are some common goals that TopRank has identified based on the various reasons for attending any kind of marketing conference:

  • Networking – how many qualified prospects, marketing partners, vendors to outsource to and job candidates will you meeting? Each day, tally them up and plan how you will follow up.
  • Knowledge – how many sessions will you attend and how will you capture the information? Notes, photos, video (where allowed) When meeting new people, discuss the sessions with them. Compare notes – it’s a great way to network and to get other opinions. Before the conference, make a grid or a plan for which specific sessions you’ll be attending. Often times, there is not much time between sessions and the difference between getting a good seat and standing room only can be a matter of minutes.
  • Content – how will you leverage your conference experience to create new content for your company blog, articles, or process documentation? Set goals for how many you’ll create each day. The content you capture and create can supply a company blog with numerous posts and show clients, staff and prospective clients that you are on top of what’s happening in the industry. At TopRank, our staff is required to publish at least 3 blog posts for each day of conference attended. Set goals for how many blog posts, articles or other types of content will be created each day of the conference. It doesn’t have to be all text – take photos of people, and presentation slides. Take videos where allowed.
  • Knowledge Transfer – How will you pass on the information you’ve acquired to the rest of the team? TopRank staff take the highlights and any specific tactics of use and create presentations which they share with the rest of the TopRank team. Knowing you will be required to present the information you are gaining with the team back at the office helps focus on takeaways and practical interpretations of the new information.
  • Socialize – Where there’s a conference, there’s a party. After hours events are exceptional opportunities for conference attendees to relax, network and share information. Make no mistake, post session networking can be an art form. Make a point to relax and have fun, but be clear about objectives and make a goal of attending a dinner each night of the event if possible. Some dinners are a tradition amongst long time friends, some are sponsored by vendors and some are at hoc events that occur as a result of likeminded individuals wanting to continue the day’s discussion.

As you can see, there are many more opportunities to get value from marketing conference participation than keeping up to date with an industry. Pre conference goal setting and planning, well defined processes as well as follow up and post event knowledge sharing can all multiple the value organizations realize by sending employees to educational events.

Not all organizations are positioned to take full advantage of these insights, but through simple analysis, it can become clear pretty quickly how much is being left on the table or to competitors who are sending the same numbers of people and incurring the same costs.

Understand the conference offerings, set goals and make the time to pre-plan conference involvement. Leverage content creation, networking, recruiting, competitive intelligence as well as prospecting opportunities and industry conferences can move pretty quickly from an expense with an uncertain effect to an investment with multiples of return.

So what do other conference organizers, programmers, speakers and attendees have to say? Watch for the next in our series of posts on getting the most out of internet marketing conferences from Brad Berens, Kevin Ryan, Rebecca Lieb, Robert Scoble, Danny Sullivan, Chris Sherman, David Berkowitz, Heather Lloyd Martin and Michael Brito.

What are your best tips on getting more out of conferences, workshops and training seminars? Please share and we’ll pick the best suggestions for something pretty cool from TopRank.

(This post is a version of a TopRank article that ran at iMedia Connection “Get better returns on your conference investment“.)

Make sure you check Online Marketing Blog this week for live conference coverage with 5 bloggers: (Thomas, Dana, Jessica, Ashley and Lee) covering the event in posts, images and video.



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SMX Advanced 2008 Wrap Up http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/06/smx-advanced-2008-wrap-up/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/06/smx-advanced-2008-wrap-up/#comments Thu, 05 Jun 2008 01:05:57 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=2449 With all the sessions, speakers, networking and photo-snapping going on in the last 2 days at SMX Advanced in Seattle, it’s surprising any attendee got anything else completed at all. While I didn’t attend every session (can’t be in three places at once – just not possible for this girl :)) I managed to get [...]

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Working hard at SMX Advanced

With all the sessions, speakers, networking and photo-snapping going on in the last 2 days at SMX Advanced in Seattle, it’s surprising any attendee got anything else completed at all.

While I didn’t attend every session (can’t be in three places at once – just not possible for this girl :)) I managed to get to quite a few where I learned a lot of valuable information and got a feel for what everyone was talking about.

The main theme I noticed in Seattle this week was the idea of value, and how to increase value. With the idea of the recession looming over our heads like a dark cloud, there are many people who want to see their dollar going as far as it can.

Search Marketing and Surviving a Recession this morning talked mentioned the idea of getting the biggest bang for your buck; the highest value for your marketing dollars. The session Building Value for your SEM Business focused on how to increase this value for your clients so the clients feel they are getting the most out of what they are paying the SEM agency. By involving the client in training and execution and giving something unique back to the client, the agency is increasing their sense of value to the client.

Assigning value to the services performed by any company – and then delivering well beyond those services to increase that value – can help the company move well through this economic downturn and grow in the future.

And check out a couple more pictures from SMX today! It was a great conference, and I look forward to upcoming SMX events!

International SEO

International SEO panel

Morning time in the conference center

SMX Advanced attendees working hard, blogging and Twittering between sessions…

Work work work

…and blogging and Twittering during sessions

SMX Advanced Expo Hall

A final visit to the Expo Hall

I had a great picture of myself Twittering the conference, but my camera died before I could upload it. I’ll get it online soon, so follow me @dlarson15 for updates!


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SMX Advanced: Search Marketing and Surviving a Recession http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/06/smx-advanced-search-marketing-and-surviving-a-recession/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/06/smx-advanced-search-marketing-and-surviving-a-recession/#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2008 19:45:55 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=2448 While there is still a debate over the effect of the recession we are in, or even if we are in a recession at all, it seems most companies and individuals are preparing for it the best they can. Talks of budget cuts and conserving resources are on everyone’s minds these days. So where does [...]

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Search Marketing and Surviving a Recession

While there is still a debate over the effect of the recession we are in, or even if we are in a recession at all, it seems most companies and individuals are preparing for it the best they can. Talks of budget cuts and conserving resources are on everyone’s minds these days.

So where does search marketing fit in to all of this?

Our expert panel this morning at SMX Advanced – consisting of Jon Miller from Marketo (a TopRank client), Russ Mann of Covario , Dave Davies of Beanstalk Search Engine Positioning and Andrew Beckman of Location3 Media – gave great advice and opinions in how to come out of this recession thriving.

Search Marketing and Surviving a Recession consisted of prepared and audience-asked questions to the panel about what we can do as an industry to make it through this economic downturn.

Glass Half Empty or Glass Half Full?

An audience poll revealed that many more audience members feel their business will be positively affected by the recession rather than negatively affected. Russ Mann agrees whole-heartedly, saying that the glass is overflowing. He is seeing a major turn from his clients and other large companies spending more money for online marketing and cutting back on their offline marketing. The rest of the panelists follow this same optimistic train of though, though Jon Miller stated that he is being a bit of a realist, and knows that he needs to watch what is happening with his company very closely.

What Worries You?

Jon started off with saying the biggest concern is that advertising and marketing dollars get cut during a recession. While this worries him, he says to make sure that any marketing efforts completed are measurable and that the marketer can prove the results or their activity. As long as every dollar is accounted for and ROI is proven, marketing should fare pretty well. Russ agrees, saying that since the CEOs and CFOs are tightening the purse strings, it is important to show results and prove the value of the marketing dollars being spent. Dave builds off of this, stating that search marketing is one of the most provable forms of marketing. All we have to do is look at analytics, rankings, clicks, leads and conversions and we know exactly which campaign drove those results.

How Should the First Marketing Dollar be Spent?

The panel was across the board on this question. Andrew Beckman began by stating that the first marketing dollar needs to be spent on getting back to basics. There are many companies, he says, who are so excited to get to the online promotions aspects that they forget the foundation of SEO is choosing the correct keyword phrases and optimizing title tags and meta descriptions. Dave said to use that first dollar and take a good long look at your website and find out how to make it work for the company’s target customers. Users are getting more internet savvy and they know a bad website when they see one. Keeping your website above the competition can definitely benefit your company. Russ Mann went along with this idea saying that the first dollar should be spent on customer research.

It is possible that search is not the best marketing channel for certain companies, but in order to make that decision, you need to do a lot of research first. Rounding up this question, Jon stated that with budgets getting tight, it is important to get the most out of those clicks you are acquiring from your paid campaigns. Test and retest to find what works and make sure you are best spending that first dollar.

Tips for Convincing Clients to Keep Dollars in Search?

Andrew opened this question up by saying that while it takes time to get a search program up and running smoothly, the longer it takes the company to get in the game, the longer it will take for them to see the return on their search marketing investment. Search marketing has the opportunity to be both a direct marketing and a brand vehicle at the same time, so show the client the results you are giving them and how people are finding their products and services. This identifies benefits to the client from your consultation and helps the client focus on how to get the best results.

Where are Businesses Wasting Their Money?

While we all waste our money in many different ways, from getting Caribou every morning on the way to work to washing our cars every other day, this question pertains specifically to marketers. Russ jumped in right away and said that he sees the biggest waste of money happening when the bigwigs in the business aren’t on the same page. CFOs may want to increase revenue while CEOs may want to increase brand awareness. By understanding the desires of the company rather than wasting time and money trying to come to one decision, the marketer can begin showing results faster. Jon says there is a lot of money being wasted by marketers shouting to everyone around them rather than focusing on the pull-marketing of search. Take the time to find and pull in the searchers at the end of their buying cycle rather than trying to push your message on most people who aren’t interested.

The overall theme here was the idea that we need to be held accountable for all of our activities. In the past, SEOs were more laid back when it came to reporting results. Now we need to make sure all clients’ marketing dollars are going toward the best results, which in turn makes us better as well. By following the tips offered by the panel and managing finances a little more closely than usual, we SEOs will escape on the other end of this recession stronger, with a better skill set, and ready to attack the world again.


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SMX Advanced: Day 1 in Photos http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/06/smx-advanced-day-1-in-photos/ Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:06:32 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=2446 Day 1 at SMX Advanced has wrapped up quite nicely. Below are some of the session highlights and the gorgeous Bell Harbor Conference Center. Danny Sullivan opening the show this morning in Seattle. Everyone milling around, getting ready for the first of this mornings sessions Blow Your Mind Linkbuilding Tactics panel this morning Building Value [...]

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SMX Advanced at a glance

Day 1 at SMX Advanced has wrapped up quite nicely. Below are some of the session highlights and the gorgeous Bell Harbor Conference Center.

Danny Sullivan welcoming us all

Danny Sullivan opening the show this morning in Seattle.

Blow Your Mind Linkbuilding Tactics

Everyone milling around, getting ready for the first of this mornings sessions

Blow Your Mind Linkbuilding Tactics

Blow Your Mind Linkbuilding Tactics panel this morning

Building Value for your SEM Business

Building Value for your SEO Business session, where we learned that we must invest in our clients and employees to increase the value of the company

Buying Sites for SEO

Buying Sites for SEO panel, featuring Shoemoney in a fantastic video. You can view his SMX Advanced video here.

Danny and Matt
Danny and Matt, dressed as twins, during You & A with Matt Cutts to close the conference today.


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SMX Advanced: You and A With Matt Cutts http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/06/smx-advanced-you-and-a-with-matt-cutts/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/06/smx-advanced-you-and-a-with-matt-cutts/#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2008 13:50:18 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=2445 Watch out link-and site-buyers alike! Matt Cutts is in town! For those of you know don’t know (is there anyone out there who doesn’t?), Matt Cutts is the head of Google’s web spam team; which means any secret we are hearing at SMX Advanced, Matt is making sure the shady tactics aren’t working anymore next [...]

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Danny and Matt

Watch out link-and site-buyers alike! Matt Cutts is in town!

For those of you know don’t know (is there anyone out there who doesn’t?), Matt Cutts is the head of Google’s web spam team; which means any secret we are hearing at SMX Advanced, Matt is making sure the shady tactics aren’t working anymore next week.

Beginning with a pop culture comparison, Matt states that risky link building behavior is a lot like Milli Vanilli. If you do something that will benefit your site right away, like lip synching your way to a Grammy, you will get caught and it wont benefit your company in the future. You will be stripped of your Grammy and acquire a drug problem. And your site will be banned. 🙂

So… what should we do? Matt answers some great questions from the audience.

Linkbait vs. Widgetbait – Linkbait – content you place on your site to earn inbound links – is good. Widgetbait – creating a widget in order to gain inbound links to your site when users install the widget on their site – is debatable. Matt says that the widgets that fully disclose “by installing this widget you will be placing an outbound link on your site to X site” are more acceptable than not telling users and placing spammy outbound links within the widget.

Google Penalties – While Matt wouldn’t come right out and say what the Google penalties are, it is certain that there are penalties. Some vary from where you should be ranking (page 1 versus page 8) and there are some that can get your site booted out of the Google index. If you think you have a penalty – especially after you’ve implemented something new for your site, such as a shady link exchange – change it. Fix it. The power is in your hands. Then monitor the rankings and see if your site’s rankings going back up.

Natural links vs. Paid links – A common theme here are SMX Advanced is talking more and more about buying links. What is bad and what is okay? Since we are all here at SMX Advanced, buying links is considered an advanced link building tactics, meaning it is very high risk. Matt and Google both state that editorial, natural links are better, and whenever Google gets a paid link reports they find it and take action. Google is willing to do algorithmic work and manual work to identify and penalize these paid links, and they use the manual methods to improve their algorithm to sniff out the paid links faster.

Matt Cutts-Law of SEO – Matt stated that, while he is seen as the moral compass for SEO, he feels everyone knows what is right and what is wrong. We are all smart people and who know what the risky behavior is. All you need to do is think for a minute: “what is best for users?” “what is best for the site?” “what is best for the company?” and you will come up with the right answer without having to consult Matt on every turn.

Matt also gave us an example of the ultimate risky behavior in terms of acquiring links: Contacting Google itself and requesting a link exchange.

“Dear webmaster of Google.com, Your site looks reputable and authoritative. Would you mind linking to our website, and we will return the favor for you?”

Great session used to end Day 1 of SMX Advanced 2008. Looking forward to SMX After Dark tonight and Day 2 tomorrow!


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SMX Advanced: Blow Your Mind Link Building Tactics http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/06/smx-advanced-blow-your-mind-link-building-tactics/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/06/smx-advanced-blow-your-mind-link-building-tactics/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2008 20:10:52 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=2444 Technical issues flavored the beginning of this session at SMX Advanced in Seattle. However, "oopsies" notwithstanding, Blow Your Mind Linkbuilding Tactics was informative with plenty of advice for gaining the authoritative inbound links web sites need to rank well in the search engines. The session was packed with link builders looking for new and cutting [...]

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Blow Your Mind Linkbuilding Tactics

Technical issues flavored the beginning of this session at SMX Advanced in Seattle. However, "oopsies" notwithstanding, Blow Your Mind Linkbuilding Tactics was informative with plenty of advice for gaining the authoritative inbound links web sites need to rank well in the search engines.

The session was packed with link builders looking for new and cutting edge linking information. While we listened, Greg Boser, Roger Montti, Jay Young, Stephan Spencer and Todd Friesen did their best to share with the audience how to get the best links. Their tips included:

  • Gain .edu links – The need for .edu inbound links is not a new idea, but we heard a couple new ways to gain these .edu links for your website. One of them was finding the heavy hitters in a certain industry and reaching out to those .edu sites linking to them. The idea here is that if this .edu site is linking to a competitor or an industry-relevant site, they are possibly open to linking to the other players in this market.
  • Directories – Every link building campaign should start with directory submissions. And while there are many, many, many directories out there that are crap, there are quite a few that are still reputable and still send great link juice to the website. Most of those are paid directories, such as the Yahoo! directory or Best of the Web directory, but the links you get from them are fantastic.
  • Research the high PageRank links – The value of PageRank as a way to qualify link sources is under speculation, but it can be a useful guide, which can mean a link means more coming from a PR9 page than a PR2 page. Spend time and find those relevant pages with high PR so what you have to do to get on those pages.
  • Charities and Non-Profit sponsorships – Become a sponsor of a charity or organization that means something to you or your company and donate to them. The donation is tax deductible and you could get a permanent link to your site from the charity itself.
  • Blogger Relations – Do you have a blog? Create relationships with other bloggers in your industry. Engage in their conversations on social networks, comment on a couple relevant blog posts, even READ their blog to find out their writing style. Then offer them something of interest to them and see if you can’t get a link out of it.
  • Link Bait – If you’ve got a genius idea, implement it and earn those links. Create a tool, game, video, set of tips, etc. and promote it. Interested parties will see it and you can earn those links from those relevant sites. These earned links are invaluable.

Ongoing link building takes a lot of time and dedication, but the benefits can send both traffic and provide a competitive advantage for increased search engine rankings.


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SMX Advanced 2008 Preview http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/05/smx-advanced-2008-preview/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/05/smx-advanced-2008-preview/#comments Tue, 27 May 2008 16:44:49 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=2433 SMX Advanced is less than a week away, and let me tell you, I am excited. Not only is Seattle one of my favorite cities in the country, but the agenda for the 2 day long search marketing event looks outstanding. Along with the keynote speakers – Kevin Johnson and Matt Cutts – here are [...]

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SMX Advanced Logo

SMX Advanced is less than a week away, and let me tell you, I am excited. Not only is Seattle one of my favorite cities in the country, but the agenda for the 2 day long search marketing event looks outstanding.

Along with the keynote speakers – Kevin Johnson and Matt Cutts – here are a few other sessions I am really looking forward to.

SMX Advanced Day 1

  • Blow your Mind Link Building Techniques – Want to learn how to build a database of high-value link acquisition targets? Want to know how to get on the radar of nonprofits, government and university departments and compel them to give you some of that sweet, authoritative link love? Want to learn the most coveted secrets to “buying” the links the engines would never consider a “paid link?” This, along with non-traditional link sources, linking strategies and nofollow PageRank “scuplting” or “siloing” are covered in the session.
  • Creating Value in your SEM Businesses – Hanging out your shingle is not building a business. Creating value that others will recognize and ultimately pay to own (read “buy”) takes vision, planning and execution. In this session, you’ll hear case studies from SEM business executives who have conceptualized and implemented strategies and tactics that make their companies intrinsically valuable.
  • Buying Sites for SEO – Forget the debate over buying links. How about buying entire web sites to gain success in search. This session looks at how to find the gems out there, criteria to consider, ways to negotiate and how to best leverage your new purchase. Tips, tricks, success stories, and painful lessons learned will be shared.

SMX Advanced Day 2

  • Search Marketing and Surviving a Recession – Many expect a recession to hit and no one knows how search will weather it. This session looks at strategies and tactics for those who want to prepare in advance for a worse case scenario.
  • What You Should be Measuring – But Aren’t! – CPA, ROI, CTR, ROAS — these are metrics commonly used to assess the success of a paid search campaign, but are they the right ones? This session looks at other metrics to also consider, along with some things to track that you might be overlooking.
  • Analytics Every SEO Needs to Know – It’s more than just rankings and traffic reports to measure the health of SEO efforts. This session focuses on analytics that SEOs should be considering.
  • Give It Up! – No more secrets time. In this session, our panel of noted SEOs all share some of their favorite and largely overlooked SEO tips. Then we turn to the audience for more sharing. **We won’t be blogging this session, as all attendees agree to a 30-day waiting period before acting on these secrets, but it will definitely be exciting to see.

For a full agenda of the event, please visit the SMX Advanced 2008 page. Here you can see information regarding the SMX After Dark networking event I will be attending, as well as see pictures of the beautiful conference hall we will be in.

To those not attending SMX Advanced next week, I hope you follow our blog to read up on the conference and see a lot of pictures from the event.

And to those who will be in Seattle next week – see you there!


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How Many Conferences Can You Attend in 30 Days? http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/05/how-many-conferences-can-you-attend-in-30-days/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/05/how-many-conferences-can-you-attend-in-30-days/#comments Tue, 13 May 2008 15:42:07 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=2417 Conferences are a big part of TopRank’s marketing and content promotion strategy and it looks like a busy summer is ahead of us. Numerous events are coming up quickly – enough to make your head spin. Here is a summary of our involvement with PRSA, DMA, PUSH, SIS, SES and SMX events over the next [...]

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Audience

Conferences are a big part of TopRank’s marketing and content promotion strategy and it looks like a busy summer is ahead of us. Numerous events are coming up quickly – enough to make your head spin. Here is a summary of our involvement with PRSA, DMA, PUSH, SIS, SES and SMX events over the next 30 days:

05/14/08 – MIMA: Duality Reality – Who Controls Social Media in the Enterprise?
The local interactive marketing association along with inspiration and motivation from Doug Pollei, there will be a very interesting panel of in-house Interactives discussing how large companies (General Mills, Best Buy, Target, Fingerhut and OptumHealth) are adopting and measuring social media programs. If you’re in the Twin Cities this week and involved with social marketing now or in the future, this is a MUST ATTEND event.

05/15/08 – Teleseminar: Reputation Management in a Google World
Crisis communications PR pal Kami Watson Huyse and I will be doing this PRSA Teleseminar for PR professionals that are still trying to make sense out of SEO and search engines as PR tools. More info is available on the PRSA web site

05/18/08 – Search Insider Summit
On beautiful Captiva Island in Florida, MediaPost is holding another strategic, networking focused conference with TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog as a media sponsor. The SIS event is hands down one of my favorite conferences. It’s small, exclusive, high level and full of networking with senior agencies and brands. Visit the SIS site for more info.

05/19/08 – ACCM: Reputation Management – Protecting Your Brand in the Search Engines
The DMA is holding it’s annual ACCM conference in Orlando, FL and together with Heather Lloyd-Martin of SuccessWorks and Rob Key of Converseon, we’ll be explaining the intricacies of online reputation management to the direct marketing crowd. More info on the session page.

06/03/08 – SMX Advanced
Of all the SMX conferences I’d like to attend, this is the one I look forward to most. Due to conflicts, Dana Larson from TopRank will be attending and blogging in my place. This SMX event promises high level content for those already fluent in SEM. More info here.

06/09/08 – PRSA Digital Impact Conference: SEO for News Content
For the PRSA I am presenting a session in NYC for PR practitioners on how to make the most of optimizing the digital assets they have access to. Optimizing news content leads to more effective discovery by journalists researching topics/experts online. Find the 2 day conference schedule here.

06/15/08 – PUSH: The Fertile Delta
PUSH is an annual executive conference for innovators on topics including Economics, Religion, Politics and Technology held by the PUSH Institute in Minneapolis. I’ve heard buzz about this event for several years and am now finally going to attend. Here’s more about the PUSH experience.

06/17/08 – SES Toronto: Twitter – Ultimate Time Waster or Great Tool?
Clearly the writer of this session title has some bias. David Snyder of JRDunn, Chris Winfield of 10e20 and myself will effectively clarify what Twitter is good for and what it is not. I will be presenting results of our Twitter survey as well as a case study and 3rd party tools. Session info here.

If you are attending any of these events, be sure to say so in the comments!

For our coverage of conferences ranging from PR to direct marketing to search marketing, visit our Marketing PR Conferences category.


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What Conferences Are You Attending? http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/04/what-conferences-are-you-attending/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/04/what-conferences-are-you-attending/#comments Tue, 29 Apr 2008 12:58:32 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/04/what-conferences-are-you-attending/ Jeremiah Owyang posted recently asking his readers what conferences they would be attending in the coming months and I thought that would be a great question for Online Marketing Blog readers as well. Over the past 3 years we’ve been focused on search marketing conferences but have expanded more into direct marketing, interactive and PR. [...]

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Facebook Marketing Panel Web 2.0 Expo

Jeremiah Owyang posted recently asking his readers what conferences they would be attending in the coming months and I thought that would be a great question for Online Marketing Blog readers as well.

Over the past 3 years we’ve been focused on search marketing conferences but have expanded more into direct marketing, interactive and PR. We’ll continue that trend the rest of this year but with more conferences outside of search as our online marketing agency evolves.

Conferences that I’m attending in the coming months include:

Personally, I try my best to limit conferences to one per month and those I am speaking at. The above list is not comprehensive for the TopRank team of course, since we do typically blog most SES and SMX conferences. We’ll definitely be at SMX Advanced this year as well as SES Chicago in December. It just won’t be me that attends. There are several other events that I may attend or speak at, I’m just not confirmed that far out.

There are many other great conferences with programming that touches on search, social, interactive and PR the rest of this year. What conferences are you attending in the coming months and remainder of 2008?


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Industrial Strength SEO: Enterprise Do’s and Don’ts http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/enterprise-seo-dos-and-donts/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/enterprise-seo-dos-and-donts/#comments Thu, 28 Feb 2008 23:31:17 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/enterprise-seo-dos-and-donts/ [Note from Lee: This is a perfect session for Jolina because she manages one of the largest enterprise SEO projects for any agency our size – over 2o different business units for a Fortune 20 company.] SEO for the enterprise requires a very different approach, than SEO for an small or medium business (SMB). Deploying [...]

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[Note from Lee: This is a perfect session for Jolina because she manages one of the largest enterprise SEO projects for any agency our size – over 2o different business units for a Fortune 20 company.]

dsc00478.JPG SEO for the enterprise requires a very different approach, than SEO for an small or medium business (SMB).

Deploying the same approach at the enterprise level, as you would for an SMB, would be like trying to clean a wine spill with Windex. You’ll end up making a bigger mess.

The Enterprise SEO panel at SMX moderated by Detlev Johnson of SearchReturn and Matt McGee of Marchex provided excellent insights into what you should and should not do with these types of search marketing projects.

Speakers for the session included:
Martin Laetsch, Senior Director of Search Strategy, SEM Director, Inc
David Roth, Director of Search Engine Marketing, Yahoo!, Inc
Marshall D. Simmonds, VP of Enterprise Search Marketing, The New York Times

dsc00475.JPGHere are the Do’s for Enterprise SEO:

Cover the SEO Basics

Covering the basics is important, but don’t think because these are the basics of SEO that they will be easy to implement. In my experience, they aren’t.

Here are few the panel referenced:

  • Template Optimization
  • Fix broken links
  • Crosslink between business segments

Be ready with the business benefit of each and solid work arounds in case you run into snags.

As well, spend some time getting to know the CMS system the company uses. More often than not the CMS will be limiting in its SEO-friendliness.

Manage Until You Can’t Manage Anymore

The bigger the company/project the more it needs to be managed both in detail and in planning. Make sure to manage both the people and the work to reach the program goals.

Try these tips for making sure nothing falls through the cracks:

  • Document everything
  • Create a monthly audit schedule
  • Monitor pages for specific keyword phrases
  • Build checklists for team members to follow (before content can go live)

In addition, be sure to spend a good amount of time training groups on both the benefits of SEO and how to integrate best practices into daily content creation.

Create easy-to-use reference tools you can lessen the time spent fielding the same questions over and over.

Communication Loudly & Proudly

Communication is key across a large organization and it’s incredibly important to communicate frequently.

Be sure to repeat messages over and over to ensure groups are buying into the program. Get them saying the right things about search and they’ll become internal advocates for you.

The best advice I can give to someone managing SEO at the enterprise level is to identify a key contact, get he/she evangelizing your message and do everything you can to make he/she look like a rock star.

As well, make sure to spotlight results and accomplishments. It’s not bragging, rather it’s making sure the company understands the value you bring to the organization. If they don’t value the program from its inception, you will have an uphill battle the rest of the way.

Tips from the panel, which really do work, include:

  • Monthly communications to all stakeholders
  • Continually craft messages that stakeholders can use within their own circles
  • Keep the team up to date with the latest industry news

Here are the don’ts of Enterprise SEO

Do not assume that because a company is engaged in SEO, that everyone is bought into it as a strategic business decision.

Reiterate the benefits often and to everyone you come across to ensure SEO isn’t a blip on the radar that eventually fades.

The IT guys need to be as bought in as the marketers.

Other Don’ts include:

  • Under communicate success
  • Not checking in with design/IT/production/ad sales

I love Enterprise SEO and the tips above are those which implement, refine and execute every day. If you take nothing else away from this post, then at least take this:

Do make SEO education a staple of the program mix
Don’t be afraid to create training, processes and content just for enterprise clients. That’s what it takes.

If you would like more tips on Enterprise SEO, check out my previous blog post on the topic.


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SMX Session: Branding and the 4 Types of Searchers to Target http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/4-types-of-searchers/ Thu, 28 Feb 2008 20:02:19 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/4-types-of-searchers/ Just as with Leverage Your Brand Lovers, the “Branding and Search” session gave the SMX West audience much to think about. Bob Tripathi, Search Marketing Specialist at Discover Financial, reinforced the need to understand your brand as it relates to SEO/SEM. Brand Recognition: Do searchers recognize your brand? –ex. McDonalds’ arches are recognized worldwide Brand [...]

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dsc00447.JPGJust as with Leverage Your Brand Lovers, the “Branding and Search” session gave the SMX West audience much to think about.

Bob Tripathi, Search Marketing Specialist at Discover Financial, reinforced the need to understand your brand as it relates to SEO/SEM.

Brand Recognition: Do searchers recognize your brand?
–ex. McDonalds’ arches are recognized worldwide

Brand Perception: Do searchers know what you do?
–ex. Discover Financial doesn’t just offer credit cards, but they offer a slew of other financial services

Brand Loyalty: Are searchers loyal to your brand?
–ex. Google and its VERY loyal followers

Brand Affinity: Are searchers aspiring to be part of your brand and culture?
–ex. Mercedes and the status associated with the brand

Not every searcher will know your brand, be loyal to it or want to be part of it. But you have a better chance of influencing how prospects and customers view your brand by ensuring you target the different types of searchers.

Bob introduced the audience to 4 Types of Searchers that should be targeted using Discover as an example to show the types of searches they have a chance to engage with if they are found for the correct types of keyword phrases:

Type of Searcher & Example Keyword Phrases
1. Searcher: Research
–Keyword: no annual fee credit card

2. Searcher:  Purchase-Oriented
–Kewyord: credit card application

3. Searcher:  Brand
–Kewyord: Discover credit card

4. Searcher:  Generic
–Kewyord: credit card

Are your keywords currently taking into account these 4 search groups (research, purchase, brand, generic) ?

If not, it might be time to take another pass at the list. 🙂


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SMX Sesion: 8 Tips to More Effective Blogging http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/8-tips-to-blogging/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/8-tips-to-blogging/#comments Thu, 28 Feb 2008 19:00:26 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/8-tips-to-blogging/ The Wonder Twins Track at SMX West: SEO and Blogging, provided the audience with information on how to best launch and promote a blog. Here are 8 tips, from Aaron Wall of SEOBook, on how to gain traction for your blog. Own a Niche Owning a smaller niche is an easy way to starting building [...]

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dsc00450.JPGThe Wonder Twins Track at SMX West: SEO and Blogging, provided the audience with information on how to best launch and promote a blog.

Here are 8 tips, from Aaron Wall of SEOBook, on how to gain traction for your blog.

Own a Niche

  • Owning a smaller niche is an easy way to starting building personal brand
  • #1 player gets more play in the media

Make Formatting a Priority

  • Ensure you have a clean appealing design
  • Highlight best practices
  • Include an “About Us” page
  • Make it easy for press to contact
  • Leverage pictures/video/sketchcasting

Write clearly

  • Write headlines like a wire service writer
  • Use simple words and short sentences
  • Use bulleted lists/headers/sub-headers

Filter

  • Create Google news alerts
  • Custom RSS feeds
  • Save drafts and refine before publishing

Social interaction

  • Comment and link out
  • Create community based ideas
  • Ask for feedback BEFORE launching
  • Actively solicit feedback and reply to comments
  • Write for others
  • Network offline
  • Don’t be afraid of controversy
  • Get people to talk about you

Regularity

  • Pre-write draft posts for future ideas
  • Offer tools or bolt on community stuff like job boards and forums
  • Encourage contribution from others
  • Highlight best contributors

Monetize a new blog

  • No AdSense above your content
  • Sell branded ads or co-brand affiliate offers
  • Create your own products

Leverage Push Marketing

  • Build links
  • Buy AdWords and AdsSense ads, blog ads
  • Sponsor other related sites
  • Syndicate your content

Aaron provided a great list of tips for anyone considering/launching a blog.  You might also want to avoid these 3 blog mistakes and follow these 25 blog marketing tips.


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Live from SMX: Tips on Social Media Marketing http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/social-media-tips/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/social-media-tips/#comments Wed, 27 Feb 2008 23:37:11 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/social-media-tips/ Sitting in the SEO & Social Media session, Barbara Boser the Social Media Director for 3 Dog Media, shared some great tips on marketing with social media: Be prepared & Commit to Social Media Know that it is time consuming Read and learn what is popular Look for tools you can use on the sites [...]

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Sitting in the SEO & Social Media session, Barbara Boser the Social Media Director for 3 Dog Media, shared some great tips on marketing with social media:

Be prepared & Commit to Social Media

  • Know that it is time consuming
  • Read and learn what is popular
  • Look for tools you can use on the sites and on the web

Your Profile

  • Research to be sure that your profile isn’t the same as any of the other top users on the site
  • Be anonymous if you’re promoting your own site
  • Choose a unique name
  • Choose an avatar that’s memorable
  • Get a gmail account
  • Get an IM that goes w/ your user name
  • Use the same username on all sites, so you can build ‘profile recognition’

Adding Friends

  • Identify top profiles (25,000+ digs)
  • Add people to your IM

Voting

  • Be one of the first to vote, people will see your icon first
  • Leave comments
  • Vote every chance you get
  • Stumble while you vote (multi task!)

Submitting

  • Leverage best practices for writing titles/intros
  • Don’t submit more than 2-3 per day
  • Submit from a variety of sources
  • Share your stories with others who have shared with you
  • Don’t get offended if in the beginning people steal your content

Networking

  • Profiles should include all the sites you are a part of

WHAT NOT TO DO

  • Create multiple accounts under one IP
  • Ask people, who you don’t know, to submit for you

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SMX Session: Leveraging Brand-Lovers http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/brand-lovers/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/brand-lovers/#comments Wed, 27 Feb 2008 22:52:13 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/brand-lovers/ In the Branding & Search session today at SMX West, panelists gave the audience many, many items to consider regarding their own brand or their client’s brand. Let’s start by discussing the people that the brand is ultimately trying to influence. Edwin Wong, Director of Customer Insights Organization – Yahoo!, touched on this by explaining [...]

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dsc00440.JPGIn the Branding & Search session today at SMX West, panelists gave the audience many, many items to consider regarding their own brand or their client’s brand.

Let’s start by discussing the people that the brand is ultimately trying to influence.

Edwin Wong, Director of Customer Insights Organization – Yahoo!, touched on this by explaining that people love brands that love what they love. A mouthful right?

He labeled these folks, “Passionistas”.

Let’s use me as an example. I love food and cooking, so I love the Food Network because they share my passion. The theory holds true so far.

More interesting, is that Passionistas search 184% more than others. (No surprise here, but I’m in the search industry so we’ll move past me as the example on this one. :))

In addition, this group is often more likely to engage with your brand by:

  • requesting more content, i.e. signing up for a newsletter
  • trusting brand recommendations i.e. buying branded products or in our example Food Network dishtowels

Perhaps most important of all, the “Passionistas” are your brand’s best marketers. These are the folks who are going to refer friends and family to the brand.

In our example, I constantly have friends ask me where I get recipes and I tell them to check out foodnetwork.com.

Take advantage of your brand advocates and empower them to share your message.

You can get started by:

  • Identifying who your “Passionistas” are
  • Creating consistent messages about the shared passion
  • Giving them content they identify with /trust and therefore will pass along

As stated above the panel gave the audience much to think about, so look for more info coming out of this session on the other blogs covering SMX West.


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SMX West Expo Hall Sneak Peak http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/smx-west-expo-hall/ Wed, 27 Feb 2008 20:49:01 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/smx-west-expo-hall/ The Expo Hall at SMX West opened today. Take a peak. Strolling the floor Folks chatting with Google Folks chatting with Live More SMXers Check out all of the photos at TopRank’s SMX West Flickr set. Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to theTopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter. © Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2008. | [...]

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The Expo Hall at SMX West opened today. Take a peak.

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Strolling the floor

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Folks chatting with Google

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Folks chatting with Live

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More SMXers

Check out all of the photos at TopRank’s SMX West Flickr set.


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SMX Search Bowl Photos http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/smx-search-bowl/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/smx-search-bowl/#comments Wed, 27 Feb 2008 19:39:56 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/smx-search-bowl/ Day 1 of SMX West wrapped up with a tailgating party and the SMX Search Bowl which pinned the search engines, the search marketers and Microsoft against one another in a game of industry-related trivia. Tailgating party at SMX West More tailgating and more tailgating, but this time people were paying attention 🙂 The SMX [...]

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Day 1 of SMX West wrapped up with a tailgating party and the SMX Search Bowl which pinned the search engines, the search marketers and Microsoft against one another in a game of industry-related trivia.

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Tailgating party at SMX West

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More tailgating

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and more tailgating, but this time people were paying attention 🙂

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The SMX Search Bowl contestants, with host Danny Sullivan

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Matt Cutts getting ready to play

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A packed house for ‘kick off’

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Look – I’m one of the contestants!!!….sort of

Check out all of the photos at TopRank’s SMX West Flickr set.


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Session: Search Marketing and Persona Models http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/smx-persona-models/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/smx-persona-models/#comments Wed, 27 Feb 2008 04:29:35 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/smx-persona-models/ The personas session, today at SMX, reminded me so much of psychology classes in college. A large group of people discussing why other people behave the way they do. Gord Hotchkiss, President and CEO of Enquiro, kicked things off by helping the audience understand the factors impacting how humans make decisions, including: explicit, implicit memories [...]

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dsc00394.JPGThe personas session, today at SMX, reminded me so much of psychology classes in college. A large group of people discussing why other people behave the way they do.

Gord Hotchkiss, President and CEO of Enquiro, kicked things off by helping the audience understand the factors impacting how humans make decisions, including:

  • explicit, implicit memories
  • past interactions with a brand
  • current interactions with the brand
  • emotions

Additional panelists included:
Brian Bond, VP Marketing and Products, Future Now, Inc
Ian Lurie, President, Portent Interactive

As Ian put it, personas are our brand’s imaginary friends.

I think the advantage of personas is really in the research it takes to get there. In order to develop personas, you must dive deeply into what’s behind prospects’ decision making, something that companies may not always invest the time in understanding.

Understand your prospects and customers (remember, they are your former prospects), what makes them tick and why they chose you.

If you decide to use personas to help understand your business, don’t forget the following:
Existing Resources
Leverage sales teams and customer service reps as these folks have the best information about who you are targeting.

Human Hardware Hurdles

  • Channel Capacity – Humans can only retain 4 or 5 chunks of information at a timeMen vs Women’s Brain in Decision Making - SMX West
  • Bounded Rationality – The use of heuristics to narrow down the list to a manageable amount of options
  • Subconscious triggers – Experiences with the brand, sales reps etc
  • Men vs Women – In addition, men and women are different, physiologically, in how they make decisions.Women use twice as much of their brain when making a decision. (I’ll pass by the obvious jokes here) 🙂

Emotions
Emotions will always trump all other decision-making factors

Empathy
It’s difficult, if not damn near impossible, to market to a group you don’t understand and/or care about

Qualitative Information
The information derived from a persona initiative will never be based solely in numbers (read analytics). Rather its subjective decisions about the persona you have created and how to best get people to take the action you want. If you’re looking for clear cut data in an excel grid, this isn’t it.

If the considerations above make sense, you may be ready to leverage personas to understand your prospects and grow your business.

A great point this group made, and I think will stick with me, is this:

It’s about what you could have sold and what people are not doing. What analytics data shows you is the people who did what you’re tracking.

Perhaps what we should be asking is this: Do we know what our visitors are not doing – and why they’re not doing it?


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SMX West Keynote: Level Set on Search 3.0, 4.0 and More http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/smx-search-30/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/smx-search-30/#comments Tue, 26 Feb 2008 20:11:46 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/02/smx-search-30/ SMX West, in Santa Clara, kicked off today with a keynote from Danny Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Land. Danny started off the conference by talking about the different generations of search, of which many of us have experienced, the generation we’re in now and where he thinks the industry might go next. Here’s a [...]

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SMX West - Danny SullivanSMX West, in Santa Clara, kicked off today with a keynote from Danny Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Land.

Danny started off the conference by talking about the different generations of search, of which many of us have experienced, the generation we’re in now and where he thinks the industry might go next.

Here’s a quick rundown:

Search 1.0 – Keywords – All about the keywords on the page and what ended up as keyword stuffing for the large part.

Search 2.0 – Links – Search results followed the democratic process and ranked websites based on the number of links (votes) the website was receiving.

Search 3.0 – All content is good content – Universal/Blended search is where we are today. This is the search engines’ integration of news results, images, videos, etc into the search results.

Search 3.0 provides a great opportunity for companies to own more real estate on the first page of the search engine results, if they are willing to leverage additional online channels, or sites, by executing:

–Image Sharing
–Video Sharing
–Social Networking

Search 4.0 – Personal Means Perfect? – Coming next, and by next I mean right now and in coming months, is Search 4.0 or Personalized Search.

The search engines, particularly Google, are shaping search results based on:

–What you personally do or visit
–What others you know do or visit
–What people in aggregate do or visit

A good example of this is one often used by the TopRank team. For example, you may search for ‘Mustang’ in the search engines. Do you want information on the car or the horse?

The search engines are now using past search history to determine what types of results to display. If you had been researching cars online, specifically the Ford Mustang, the search engines would then display car results.

Danny talked briefly about Search 5.0. One topic he touched on is the impact human refinement may have on search. Search sites like mahalo.com (humanly edited) and hakia.com (not humanly edited, but still leveraging “make sense” categories) may gain popularity. We’ll see!

Next up is the Track about Blended Search aka Universal Search, obviously a hot topic at SMX West.

SMX West Keynote: Level Set on Search 3.0, 4.0 and More” was originally published at Online Marketing Blog.


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