Archives for June 2007

TopRank Team at the Lake

One of the cool things about working for TopRank is that during the summer, we operate on “summer hours”, which means the Friday work day ends (supposed to) at noon. Most of our team takes advantage of this but it’s pretty common to see the Account Managers sticking around a bit longer. I guess we’ll need to work on that. 🙂

We also hold an all hands meeting every two weeks to do in-house training, discuss certain strategic information and for Account Teams to report on clients and demonstrate new tactics. We hold these meetings at our office on Lake Minnetonka but today we’re starting a tradition and having the bi-weekly meeting literally ON the lake.

Friday Links 072907

iContact, formerly IntelliContact, secures $5.35 million in funding. iContact is a tool to create, send, and track email newsletters, surveys, and RSS feeds. Congratulations Ryan Allis!

Louise Rijk posts a great article on Social Media Marketing over at the Yahoo Publisher Network blog.

Todd Malicoat is at it again with 8 Simple Rules for Social Media Marketing in Business to Business Markets.

Gord Hotchkiss shares more wisdom in his Search Engine Land column with a post on, “The Slums of Search“. I think it’s safe to say you can count on one hand (after a serious shark bite) the number of people in our industry with Gord’s level of understanding about search engines and searchers.

Upcoming Search Engine Strategies events include:

  • SES Travel in Seattle, July 26 & 27.

Yahoo Panama Recent Upgrades

Yahoo Panama is on the upgrade path today with several new features to help advertisers streamline account management:

Move/copy keywords: You can now move and copy keywords from one ad group to another without doing the copy/paste/delete thing. On the Ad Group page under the Campaigns tab, you’ll now see a Move button which will allow you to move or copy keywords from one ad group to another ad group. Note that there is still a 1000 keyword limit per ad group.

Streamline keyword selector tool: Yahoo now provides an estimate of the monthly searches on each keyword suggested. This provides more detailed information on the traffic that this keyword may be able to generate. As before, you can select the keywords you wish to add by clicking the box next to the suggestions and clicking Add Keywords.

Reader Poll: Best Blog Content

reader poll

If you’re a regular reader of Online Marketing Blog, you’ll know we like to tweak things on a pretty regular basis. I send such refinement requests to Thomas, my blogmaster, just about every day. “Make this bigger, make that smaller, add xyz plug-in or check on something with our host VISI”. I’m sure it’s annoying but it’s what he gets paid for. 🙂

Like many bloggers I look at stats pretty often and since we started using the most recent version of Google Analytics, I’ve been able to get a better handle on what kind of content generates the most interest (and inquiries) as well as traffic sources, etc. In fact, I just checked this morning and see for April to June 28, 2007 the 5 most popular resource pages (in terms of traffic) were:

Optimize FeedBurner Emails

One nice option that FeedBurner offers is the ability to send out blog updates via email. This is a vital option as there are many more people that understand email but don’t understand feeds.

Just turning on email subscriptions is a good start. Customizing the email that goes out is even better. FeedBurner allows you to edit the subject, fonts, sizes, colors, message and add your own logo. There are really only a few options, but you can better brand your emails with the options available.

To customize your FeedBurner emails, log into your FeedBurner account and click on your feed. Then click on the Publicize tab and then Email Subscriptions in the left column. If this option is not activated, do so now.

Future of Online PR and Reputation Management

For this post I am using for inspiration (with attribution) a recent post headline from Steve Rubel, “The Future of PR is Participation, Not Pitching“. As with most “this tactic is dead” posts, I think the reality is that while pitching the media as we know it today is in decline, it will always provide value as a method of communicating story ideas to journalists. It’s the method or technology that will change such as pitching with Del.icio.us or RSS rather than a phone call.

After speaking about various aspects of marketing and PR through social media at a search marketing, public relations and a direct marketing conference in the past 2 months, I can see there’s no doubt the “participatory web” is hot on the minds of many company marketers, agencies and vendors that serve this market.

BloggerDeisgn 1st Birthday & Theme Refresh

BloggerDesign LogoIt’s been about one year since BloggerDesign launched and today we are celebrating with a brand new design & logo.

The new design is aimed at showcasing the content and cleaning up the interface a bit. This is especially noticeable on individual post pages. Overall we’ve gone from a three column to a two column design and have added more options in the same, if not less, space.

Design is always fun in the fact that getting all browsers to show the same thing isn’t that easy. However, the only area I’m seeing minor issues in is IE6 which only about 15% of the visitors use. I’ll continue to dig into IE6’s issues, but since it wasn’t a big one, I wasn’t going to hold up the launch.

Safari 3 Brings WYSIWYG Editing for Mac and Windows

Safari 3, now for Mac and PC, recently came out in beta form. Included in this release was the ability for users to use visual editors also know as WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editors. No longer do Safari users have to know code to make basic formatting in blog posts.

Safari WYSIWYG Editor
Safari 3.0.1 Beta on Windows XP

I’ve tested it in WordPress 2.2 and it works great.* As far as I understand, previous versions of WordPress don’t support Safari’s rich text editing. Testing it out under 2.0.10 confirms this.

I also tested out Blogger and had no issues. They seem to be on board with the Safari 3 crowd too.

TypePad however didn’t seem to support rich text editing with Safari yet.

Reader Poll: Best City for Conferences

reader poll

Since attending, blogging and speaking at industry conferences is a big part of my own search marketing agency’s marketing, I get to attend a good number of events in a variety of cities. One of the nice things about having events in the same city is that you get to know the city better each time. For example, you can never go to New York City too many times (as far as I’m concerned).

The venue for a conference certainly matters but so does the city and that leads me to this week’s reader poll about favorite cities for conferences. The list of cities is based on places I’ve been to personally for conferences as well as a few locations that have held search conferences, but I did not attend.

DM Days Final and Dinner with Jim Boykin

I was able to sit in on a DM Days site review clinic yesterday with Detlev Johnson and Amanda Watlington who provided great advice to the few audience members. The site owners literally received multiples of their conference admission price in consulting advice. One site had thousands of pages hiding content from the search engines (unintentionally) because of JavaScript. Another was submitting an incomplete sitemap file to Google.

DM Days Keynote on Social Media

John Greco Keynote
The DM Days 2007 conference kicked off with a keynote presentation starting with DMA President and CEO, John Greco. The keynote was titled, “Next Gen Interactive: How Marketers are Optimizing the Power of Social Media to Connect and Deliver Results”.

With technology evolving, customer preferences changing and competition that is sharper than ever, the focus of this year’s DM Days event was on “What’s Next?”

Greco sees direct marketing as more than an industry, as a core process. Rather than “direct marketing” he sees it as “marketing directly”, which is the ability to engage individual customers with relevant and timely interactions that provide the information and offers they want using any of a variety of channels.

Make Contact with cforms

Contact BubbleIf you’ve ever wanted to add a contact form on your blog, but didn’t know how or thought it was to much work, then cforms is exactly what you need.

cforms is a WordPress plugin that allows you to easily create contact forms on your blog. This is important as you want your users to be able to interact with you. This will help make the blog more personalble and friendly plus give your users the ability to contact you with items you may be interested in, problems they come across or inquire about your services.

cforms features include:

  • Supports multiple forms.
  • Customize each form with it’s own fields and receiver or recievers.
  • No HTML knowledge required.
  • CSS Themes.