TopRank Online Marketing

Lee Odden

2010 MarketingSherpa Social Media Marketing Guide

Lee Odden on Feb 3rd, 2010     Book Reviews, Online Marketing, Social Media

One of the most trusted sources of marketing research and information is MarketingSherpa. I’ve been a subscriber for many years and always look forward to the reports on Search Marketing, Email Marketing and B2B Marketing. Last year MarketingSherpa started conducting research and publishing a Benchmark Report on social media marketing.

The new Social Media Marketing Benchmark Report (affiliate link) was recently released and I’ve had a few days to take a look and will provide a review for our readers.

As you can expect, this guide is a “meaty” 250 plus pages of research, charts & tables, examples and well written advice. Over 2,000 marketers participated in the survey covering a myriad of topics ranging from strategy to forecasting & budgeting to integration with other marketing channels to specific research on social applications such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs.

Lee Odden

2009 Search Marketing Benchmark Guide

Lee Odden on Jul 14th, 2008     Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing, Search Marketing, SEO

MarketingSherpa 2008 SEM Benchmark Guide

For the 5th year in a row, MarketingSherpa has published their Search Marketing Benchmark Guide which has been completely re-written and edited including results from the Marketing Sherpa members search marketing survey, other studies performed over the last 12 months and “best of” research provided by over 50 respected sources.

The SEM Benchmark Guide is helpful for marketers looking to get a handle on the state of the SEM industry, trends, strategies and tactics.

If you’re a data enthusiast, there are 215 charts, tables and eyetracking heatmaps to help illustrate what’s happening in search marketing and what companies need to be paying attention to. There are also several good case studies. This particular edition is formatted into 5 sections:

Lee Odden

Marketing Sherpa Email Summit

Lee Odden on Dec 11th, 2007     Email Marketing, Marketing Industry News

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This announcement might be a bit early, but I think the last Marketing Sherpa Email Summit sold out pretty quickly. This is an event (in Miami February 24th-26th) that’s near and dear to TopRank’s marketing consulting services which are made up of: search, PR and email marketing. Out of those three “legs”, email marketing is by far the most productive in terms of ROI and conversion rates.

What’s great about this conference is that it’s all about email and nothing else. Sliced and diced into 3 tracks (BtoB, Advanced BtoC and Operations) as well as 5 general and 36 breakout sessions, there’s “something for everyone”, as they say. There’s also an opportunity to get “certified” as an email marketing expert through a package that includes both the Summit and an online course.

Lee Odden

Are Your Landing Pages Lean, Mean Conversion Machines?

Lee Odden on Nov 26th, 2007     Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing, Search Marketing

According to ComScore, more than $9.3 billion has been spent online during the season-to-date, marking a 17-percent gain versus the corresponding days last year. Online retail spending was strong on both Thanksgiving Day (up 29 percent to $272 million) and “Black Friday” (up 22 percent to $531 million), outpacing the season-to-date growth rate.

With all that holiday spending online, ecommerce web sites had better make sure their landing pages are lean, mean converting machines. That’s why it may make sense to attend an upcoming teleseminar from Marketing Sherpa and Marketo (a M&O client) on  Wednesday, December 12, 2007, 2-3pm Eastern, 11-12pm Pacific “New Research: Practical Tips on How to Lift Conversion Response” on landing page best practices. The event is free and you can sign up here.

Lee Odden

Raise Conversions By 55% Or More

Lee Odden on Nov 5th, 2007     Online Marketing, Search Marketing, SEO, SEO Tools, Web Analytics

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Raise conversions by 55% you say? That’s what Marketing Sherpa says in the promo copy for their new Landing Page Handbook. One of the most popular posts we’ve ever had on Online Marketing Blog was the 10 Landing Page Tips by Jon Miller of Marketo. That’s why I think this new report from Marketing Sherpa may be of interest.

You can spend a lot of time testing and fine tuning landing pages on your own from scratch, but in many cases, it makes a lot of sense to get a bit of a head start. This guide is about both the art and science of landing page creation and optimization.

Lee Odden

2008 Search Marketing Benchmark Guide

Lee Odden on Oct 1st, 2007     Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing

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Marketing Sherpa has formally announced their latest Search Marketing Benchmark Guide for 2008 with over 270 pages of fact filled goodness. For both in-house marketers and SEM agencies alike, this guide provides up to date insight into essential search marketing industry trends. Of particular interest to me was the special report on the challenges of bringing SEM in house. The trend is to continue using outsourced help with search marketing for part, not all of campaign implementation.

Also of interest was that the PPC and SEO disparity in budgets continues: Search marketers are spending about one-fifth as much on their SEO efforts compared to paid search

Other nuggets you’ll find in this year’s report include:

  • Expected Search Spending for 2008 – It’s going up but not for the reasons you’d expect
Lee Odden

Bye Bye Marketing Sherpa’s SEO-SEM Buyer’s Guide

Lee Odden on Jul 2nd, 2007     Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing


For the past 5 years or so, Marketing Sherpa has published a buyer’s guide for SEO and recently, SEO/SEM firms. The initial guide ranked the search marketing companies which caused a bit of a stir, since it’s hardly a consistent industry to measure. What followed was a report that was less of a guide to SEO and SEM firms per se and more of a guide about the industry and tips for choosing an agency. The listings for each SEO/SEM firm were self reported.

Mike Murray recently wrote on the Fathom SEO blog that he thought there won’t be any future guides being published. I emailed Anne Holland and she confirmed this was true, saying that Marketing Sherpa will be focusing their efforts on the Benchmark Guides and because of the inherent difficulty in providing qualitative evaluations of each SEO and SEM service.
She also commented on the Fathom blog:

Lee Odden

Marketing Wisdom for 2007

Lee Odden on Jan 9th, 2007     Online Marketing

Marketing Sherpa published their “Marketing Wisdom” report for 2007 today. 110 marketers and agencies contributed nuggets of marketing wisdom which were compiled into the report.

Every time I get the pitch from Marketing Sherpa to suggest a marketing tip, I save the email for later and by the time I’m ready to reply they’ve published the guide. I guess I’ll have to speed up my response time.

There are a variety of marketing topics and tips including: email, blogs and RSS, social media, search marketing and more.  Download the pdf here.

Lee Odden

Friday Marketing and SEO Links

Lee Odden on Nov 3rd, 2006     Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing, SEO

Marketing Sherpa Gets Acquired by MEC Labs Group (Marketing Experiments)

Quintura LSI Keyword Research Tool Updated – SEOBook
The Digg Algorithm – Unofficial FAQ – Cristian Mezei
Transcribing Matt Cutts’ Videos: One through Fourteen РPeter T. Davis
Elite Retreat – Learn to optimize your business with Dave Taylor, Shoemoney, Aaron Wall and Lee Dodd

Lee Odden

Search Marketing Links 101706

Lee Odden on Oct 17th, 2006     Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing

ClickZ is taking nominations for their 2006 Marketing Excellence Awards. Please consider toprankblog.com for the Marketing Blog category.

Larry Chase does it again with 11 excellent tips on increasing site traffic.

Windows Live Search adds Linkfromdomain operator.

Audio presentation: “Top 5 Search Marketing Opportunities for 2007: Real-Life Data from 3,944 Marketers”

Rand presents his summary of the Google ranking algorithm. You could also call this Google ranking factors. Nice.

Lee Odden

Marketing Sherpa Search Benchmark Guide

Lee Odden on Oct 8th, 2006     Blog Marketing, Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing, Press Release Optimization, Search Marketing, SEO


The 2007 report from Marketing Sherpa is out on search marketing benchmarks. Last year’s edition showed that SEO agencies beat in-house SEO by 300%. The new edition provides information from 3,944 marketers, agencies, and affiliates on PPC and SEO campaigns as well as eyetracking “heatmaps” to better understand how users view search results pages and ads.

The guide also includes five special reports:

  • Search & Shopping
  • Search Marketing & Public Relations
  • Vertical, Second Tier, Local, and Pay Per Call Search
  • Click Fraud — Perception versus Reality
  • Search Eyetracking Study Year Two

Overall this is a hefty report with plenty of data to help you make search marketing decisions as well as a tool help sell search marketing upstream to your management team for expanded budgets or the reallocation of budget to things like  natural search optimizaiton, press release optimization and/or blog marketing.

Lee Odden

Marketing Sherpa 2007 SEM SEO Firm Buyers Guide

Lee Odden on Sep 13th, 2006     Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing, Search Marketing, SEO

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Marketing Sherpa has released their 5th annual Buyer’s Guide to SEO and PPC agencies. The new report includes:

  • In-depth profiles of 62 PPC agencies and 104 SEO firms include honest notes on which types of clients each works best with — and who should *not* hire them.
  • Practical 80-page Shopping Overviews guide you through the budgeting, decision-making and RFP process.
  • Easy Scan Charts let you compare-and-contrast dozens of search marketing firms at a glance. Includes factoids on pricing, staffing, and specialization. Great for creating your short-list.

There were 104 SEO companies and 62 PPC agencies profiled. You can buy the guides individually at $199 each or as a bundle for $249. Also, you get both a PDF version immediatley for download and a print copy is mailed to you within 24 hours.

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