Lee Odden

Reader’s Choice Search Marketing Resources

Lee Odden     Online Marketing, Reader Polls

reader poll

It’s been a while since we’ve done a Reader Poll Roundup, so today I’m listing a summary first and then the day’s poll in a separate post. With the polls we’ve been running just about every Wednesday on Online Marketing Blog, the voting turnouts and selections have been interesting but the commentary has been even better.

Whether it’s deciding what the best sources of information on search marketing are to the most important skills for practicing search engine optimization, these polls offer a glimpse of what’s on the minds of our appreciated readers and possibly the search marketing industry at large.

The format is pretty straightforward and along with the sum and distribution of votes, I’ve also added the number of comments for each as I think they are a very important indication of how relevant the topic is.

What do you do when you can’t think of something or you’re not motivated to blog? – (90 votes – 19 comments)

What blogger hasn’t run into this situation? I think once it’s happened quite a few times, you just deal with it or quit. There’s some good advice in the comments on this one.

  • Just don’t blog (51%)
  • Repost news of the day with your commentary (21%)
  • Avoid the situation by scheduling content in advance (pre-write posts) (13%)
  • Run a poll about how to deal with blogger’s block (10%)
  • Ask a co-worker to write a post (2%)
  • Repost links to popular posts (2%)

What kind of social media do you personally use most often? – (74 votes – 11 comments)

This one was interesting to me because of all the buzz around social media and reading a lot of opinion but not much indication of actual social media use. Social news and bookmarking were the tops for me too.

  • Social Bookmarking / Tagging (del.icio.us) (34%)
  • Social News Sites (digg, newsvine) (24%)
  • Social Networking (LinkedIn, MySpace) (12%)
  • Wiki (Wikipedia) (11%)
  • Video Sharing (YouTube) (8%)
  • Podcast (iTunes) (7%)
  • Image Sharing (Flickr) (4%)

What conference has been the best for gaining “how to” SEO/SEM knowledge? – (88 votes – 5 comments)

I’ll be curious to run this one again after a few of the regional events have taken place as well as Danny Sullivan’s Search Marketing Expo. While SES won out over Pubcon in this poll, I’m not so sure that will be the case this December when both events are scheduled at pretty much the same time.

  • Search Engine Strategies (50%)
  • WebmasterWorld Pubcon (31%)
  • High Rankings SEM Seminar (8%)
  • ad:tech (3%)
  • eTail (3%)
  • Mediapost Search Insider (1%)
  • DMA Annual Conference (1%)
  • DM Days (1%)
  • ACCM (1%)
  • Emarketing Association (0%)
  • Affiliate Summit (0%)
  • eComXpo (0%)

What is your favorite SEO/PPC Forum? – (155 votes – 64 comments)

A big oops on my part with this one for not including Cre8asite Forums, which were the first forums I started reading as a SEO noob. We love ya Kim! There was also a bit of a rally between the various forums, which explains the high voter turnout.

  • WebProWorld (24%)
  • High Rankings (18%)
  • WebmasterWorld (17%)
  • Cre8asite Forums (12%) tallied from write-in votes
  • Digital Point (11%)
  • Search Engine Watch (5%)
  • SEO Chat (5%)
  • Search Engine Roundtable (4%)
  • Syndk8 (3%)
  • V7 Network (1%)

Which is the most useful online marketing discussion list? – (64 votes – 12 comments)

LED Digest simply dominated this poll and for good reason. Adam Audette does a fantastic job and there’s always something interesting and useful.

  • LED Digest (83%)
  • Google’s Discussion Group For Webmasters (6%)
  • Search Return (5%)
  • Some blackhat thread we don’t know about (5%)
  • SEM 2.0 (2%)
  • Online Advertising Digest (0%)

Name your top non-standard search engine online marketing channel – (78 votes – 14 comments)

All the hoopapla about search is getting old when many search marketers are increasingly in the position of integrating their efforts with other online marketing channels. Email and RSS are the big dogs and neither is going away anytime soon, unlike some social news sites which are at their half-life right now. A good voter turnout on this one and some commentary to match.

  • Email (21%)
  • RSS (18%)
  • Social News (Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit) (10%)
  • Social Networks (9%)
  • Offline Advertising or Promotion (8%)
  • Web Site Links (free) (8%)
  • Press Releases (5%)
  • Online Advertising (not PPC) (5%)
  • Syndicated Articles (4%)
  • Directories (4%)
  • Forums (4%)
  • Web Site Links (paid) (3%)
  • Social Media (Video, Images, Audio) (3%)

What is the most popular non-SEO service you provide to SEO clients? – (45 votes – 9 comments)

Another dip into the non-search marketing well of opinion to see what our search marketing consulting readers are offering clients besides SEO. Usability was overwhelmingly the popular one in this poll and I have to agree. Building a ton of traffic to a site that can’t convert visitors is a waste of everyone’s time.

  • Usability (33%)
  • Management Consulting/OD (13%)
  • Hosting (13%)
  • Email Marketing (11%)
  • Advertising (9%)
  • Sales Process Development (7%)
  • Offline Public Relations (4%)
  • IT Consulting/Network (2%)
  • Direct Mail (2%)
  • Interactive & New Media (2%)
  • Word of Mouth / Buzz (2%)
  • Application Development (0%)
  • Media Planning & Buying (0%)

What type of SEO skill is most important? – (101 votes – 29 comments)

Getting back to our roots as well as an indication of how SEO is changing, our readers chose copywriting as the most important skill. I don’t necessarily disagree, but I thought link building would be a very close second if not in the top spot. We love the links!

  • Copywriting (28%)
  • Keyword analysis (14%)
  • Marketing strategy (11%)
  • Web analytics (11%)
  • Traditional link building (8%)
  • Online research and search (7%)
  • Account management (4%)
  • Social media for SEO (4%)
  • Online PR for SEO (4%)
  • Creative and design (3%)
  • Coding (3%)
  • Blog marketing (1%)
  • Sales process consulting (1%)
  • Media and link buying (1%)
  • Blackhat skillz (1%)
  • Server side issues (0%)

Which Print Magazine Covers Search Marketing the Best? – (35 votes – 5 comments)

What’s old is new with both discussion threads and print magazines. When SMS was getting ready to launch, I know there was a bit of skepticism about a print publication covering search because information can get outdated so quickly. Boris, Eugene and Andrey have done a fantastic job and the reader poll shows the recognition.

  • Search Marketing Standard (60%)
  • Internet Retailer (9%)
  • Website Magazine (9%)
  • Practical eCommerce Magazine (6%)
  • Direct – Search Web Marketing (6%)
  • BtoB – Search Marketing (6%)
  • DM News – Search Marketing (6%)
  • AdWeek – IQ Interactive (0%)
  • Target Marketing (0%)
  • Multi Channel Merchant – Web Channel (0%)

I’ve noticed a big drop in votes since we started showing an excerpt of posts rather than the full post on the home page. That might also be due to the topic, it’s too soon to really tell. I’ll be posting the next Reader Poll later today.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Hey, Lee, I thought you said you’ll count the votes in comments, when you asked for feedback on forums 🙂

    You could’ve easily dissolved the matter of forgetting Cre8 by including it in this post with the vote count from the comments.

    I am sure Kim loves you regardless, though.

  2. You’ve done a good job lee by putting all those effort for us. Thanks.

  3. I doubt I said I’d modify the original poll Yuri, but for this post it does make sense to me to tally up the votes in the comments.

    Although, those comments that mentioned more than one forum won’t be counted at all since the poll is designed to allow one vote per visitor. Thank you for pointing that out.

  4. While it was indeed a shame Cre8asiteforums was left out, it gave the cre8tive community a chance to show their loyalty and fondness for the forums. I felt badly for those who work so hard there. As for me, as a general rule of thumb, I never stay mad at tall, handsome, smart guys, like Lee 🙂

  5. You were mad? 🙂

  6. Nope. Just joshin’ ya 🙂

  7. Well, it appears

    I’ve limited the choices so you can list your favorite forums in the comments.

    may mean different things to different people. So much for the online communication.

  8. What about favorite audio podcast Lee? *wink*

  9. Good suggestion Cindy! I actually have that in my queue. 🙂


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