Archives for July 2007

ad:tech Chicago – Keys to Removing Creativity Roadblocks

Note from Editor: This week, TopRank Account Manager, Jolina Pettice is attending the ad:tech conference in Chicago. Along with her formidable knowledge gathering and networking duties, Jolina is also providing blog coverage of several sessions. Enjoy!

This morning I attended an absolutely fantastic session entitled: Aha! How to Ignite a Creative Spark at your Next Brainstorming Session presented by Jordan Ayan, CEO & Founder of SubscriberMail, LLC.

Creativity and the ability to be creative is a topic we have been discussing at TopRank quite a bit lately in order to provide the most effective campaigns and tactics for our clients.

However, we all run into creative roadblocks now and again. A common roadblock to creativity is what Ayan refers to as “Mental Models” and “Patterned Thinking”.

ad:tech Chicago – Failure is the New Success, Chris Anderson

Note from Editor: This week, TopRank Account Manager, Jolina Pettice is attending the ad:tech conference in Chicago. Along with her formidable knowledge gathering and networking duties, Jolina is also providing blog coverage of several sessions. Enjoy!

Ad:Tech Chicago kicked off this morning with a key note speech from Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired Magazine and author of The Long Tail.

A great session, Chris highlighted the shift in the marketplace away from the “One Size Fits All” mentality of decades past. According to Chris, the age of the blockbuster album, movie or product just might be over.

Is Google Analytics Installed? – GA? Bookmarklet

GA? IconHave you ever had to install Google Analytics on each page of a website manually and wondered if you got every page? Or wondered if a new client’s site already had Google Analytics running? If you are a developer, than you know a quick peek at the source and you’ll know in no time. But for those that don’t know what to look for, you can install the GA? bookmarklet and it’ll do the checking for you and report back.

The GA? bookmarklet code is a small piece of JavaScript that simply checks to see if Google Analytics is installed on the page you have loaded in your browser. If it is, it’ll return “Yes, Google Analytics is installed on this page” if not, it’ll say “No, Google Analytics is not installed on this page.”

Reader Poll: Tools for Networking Online

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Some of the best advice I ever received starting out in the business world concerned the value of networking. Online communication tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter as well as mainstays like IM and email make it easier than ever (sometimes too easy) to network with other like-minded individuals.

Search marketers tend to be a tech savvy lot so I suspect many Online Marketing Blog readers are likely users of these online communications and networking tools. But which ones? Which are most productive? That leads us to this weeks Reader Poll question:

What is your top online communication and networking tool?

  • Email (31%, 17 Votes)
  • Social Networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace) (27%, 15 Votes)
  • Blogs (15%, 8 Votes)
  • Instant Messaging (9%, 5 Votes)

New TopRank Site Designs

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Layout 2

Our emphasis on TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog has meant less attention to our company web site. However, as much of an asset the blog is, we simply could not go on any longer with a company web site designed by a non-designer (me) six years ago. I’m surprised more people have not made fun of how bad our current site is.

After careful consideration of our company goals, objectives, messaging and target audience, we’ve finally initiated a new site for TopRank Online Marketing. This site not only presents a new design, but an up to date perspective on TopRank’s holistic approach to marketing online combining SEO, paid search, social media, email marketing and social media. Other content and features include: videos, a small number of podcasts, a blog powered media room, articles, site search, email newsletter, white papers and case studies as well a significantly improved site architecture for improved user and search engine interaction.

Social Media Will Elect The Next President

Social Media VoteBelieve it or not, social media just may be what elects our next president into office. From Obama’s Girl to Giuliani’s Girl and now Hillary’s Girl, YouTube and other social media outlets will have a much larger impact on the younger voters than anything else.

Lets face it, watching a presidential debate is not high on many people’s list. It may have worked back in the day, but now more and more people are turning to the Internet for news and filtering out what they don’t want. Included in the filtering process will more than likely be campaign speeches, debates and candidates views. Instead, much of America will wait until someone spins it on MySpace, Facebook or YouTube before they really start paying attention. They won’t stop to fact check, they’ll just believe in it. That’s the way social media works though, if your friends say it’s true, it must be.

Meta Tag Optimization: Baloney or Good SEO?

While perusing a new social network for the advertising industry, I noticed an interesting question posted regarding whether meta tags were relevant to search engine optimization. With all the hype about subjects like Google Universal search, personalization and social media, it’s fun to revisit some of the basic “textbook SEO” topics like meta tags.

As long as SEO experts have been publishing advice about things like meta tags, it was interesting to see perceptions of proper meta tag use were as varied as the respondents.

It’s sort of like asking how to treat the symptoms of the common cold. Ask 100 people that question and you’ll get a wide variety of responses ranging from chicken soup to Sudafed. Which one is the right answer? Which advice is obscure, unfounded home remedy? (Not that all home remedies are obscure and unfounded) 🙂

Winner of the TopRank Challenge

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I am happy to announce the winner of last week’s TopRank Challenge blog post contest with his nod to Stephen Colbert, “Fish Wavers & Bridge Namers – How the  Greatest Living American Reaches Unique Groups by Creating Unique Groups“. Congratulations goes to Mike with over 55% of the vote!

Mike’s winnings include a small cash award as well as his choice of upcoming Search Engine Strategies conferences.

Great job Mike for making the cut and thank you to all the TopRank team members that submitted articles to the contest.

Three Erics, Two Daves a Drew and a Barry

Eric Enge says Link Building is a Permanent Investment and I wholeheartedly agree

Another Eric (Holter) has posted his Websmart Newsletter in video format and provides a nice introductory explanation of web analytics (Urchin and Google Analytics) and how you can use that information for site SEO.

Yet another Eric (Marcoullier) says goodbye to MyBlogLog. Congrats on your success Eric and enjoy your family!

David Wilson of Braveheart Design posts a great interview with Rohit Bhagava on social media optimization.

Dave Winer argues that Feedburner is trouble because of their dominant position in the feed management space and I agree with his point that it would be ideal if there were more choices, if there was any kind of competition. Although, I think it matters more what Google does with acquired companies rather than their previous market position.

Linkbait. It’s About The WOW.

Link Bait MiiWhen trying to describe link bait to someone outside the industry, it’s a bit hard to get the idea across. The problem is that link bait can be funny, sad, shocking, amazing and a bunch of other adjectives. Really, it’s not necessarily about what you create, it’s about the WOW factor.

The WOW factor is measured by your readers and how good they feel the story is. There is no way to know exactly how the public will react, even though sometimes you can estimate pretty well.

Think of it like the news. Millions of news events happen all the time, but how many do you actually see on TV? The big ones of course show up. With link bait, this is like taking someone that’s tops in your industry and having them do anything. More than likely, they’ll get lots of links out of it no matter how great it was. They have the following and so the WOW factor was imminent.

Cast Your Vote – TopRank Challenge Contest

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The time has come dear OMB readers, to cast your vote for the best article in the TopRank Challenge contest. Participants were tasked with writing a post on a topic related to their area of responsibility and/or interest. I can assure you, cutting the selection to just three articles was not easy. Considerations included: relevancy to audience, content and style.
Please take a moment to read each of the posts below and vote for your favorite!

Which is the best article in the TopRank Challenge?

Sphinn Bookmarklet

Yesterday I gave out the Sphinn buttons, today you get a bookmarklet!

Sphinn This

To use the bookmarklet right click on the link above and bookmark the link. If you are in Firefox or Safari, you can also just drag it to your bookmarks bar. Then, when you are on a site with a great SEO/social media story, simply go to your bookmarks and hit the ‘Sphinn This’ button. You’ll then be sent to Sphinn.com’s submit page with the URL automagically inserted.

Enjoy!

[tags]Sphinn,Social-Media,bookmarklet[/tags]