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.

What Makes a Top SEO Blog?

So much information, so little time. Between IM, RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Sphinn, blogging and work, it’s amazing there’s any time left for “old school” activities like email.

The beauty of RSS is that you can subscribe to a pretty good list of search marketing blogs and stay up to date on industry news as well as emerging trends. In the course of daily business, I am often asked, “Which SEO blogs should you subscribe to?”

One of the most common ways people find new blogs is through links on blogs they already know about. Below is a collection of links to various rankings of the top blogs on topics related to search engine optimization and marketing online. I have no problem disclosing that Online Marketing Blog is on these lists or had a hand in their creation.

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.”

10 Secret Benefits of Attending SEM Conferences. Shhh.

In the past I’ve written about the benefits of attending Search Engine Strategies conferences with tips on gaining knowledge, finding new clients and employees, networking with others and even as a resource for generating content.

However, there are even more benefits you can gain from going to conferences like Search Engine Strategies, Pucon and SMX that you may want to consider, albeit with your humor hat on:

  1. Competitive intelligence – As you play the meet and greet game, you’ll undoubtedly run into employees from competing firms. Be sure to ask lots of questions. Smile, be friendly and engaging. Remember how important it is to be a great listener and remember: Loose lips sink ships! Also be sure to get PPTs from direct competitors, especially from their “new” speakers, who tend to want to impress and often include more information than they should. Also, some speakers don’t provide the conference organizer with copies of their PPTs. Don’t let that stop you! What do you think that pocket camera is for?

BIGLIST Search Marketing Blogs Update 072707

SEO Blogs

Even though we’re doing the “RV vacation” thing starting today, we have a nice list of search marketing blogs for you in this week’s update to the BIGLIST of SEM and SEM and SEO blogs. Enjoy!

  • Internet Marketing Monitor – A paid staff of writers at IMM pull internet marketing industry stories of the day as well as case studies and add commentary.
  • KoMarketing Associates SEM Blog – A group/company blog covering SEO, PPC, events, industry news/trends, tips and a lot of personal insight. These folks are clearly involved in, and have an opinion on, what goes on in the industry.
  • Clix Marketing Blog – PPC Expert David Szetela has lots of speaking gigs. I just wish he’d post more often on industry news and tips on paid search advertising.

Interviews with Search Marketers

Our plan is to bring multiple TopRank team members to SES San Jose next month and each will be blogging different sessions. This will free me up significantly to do video interviews, take photos and other more creative conference coverage. Everything will be posted here at Online Marketing Blog so be sure to tune in August 20-23rd if you’re unable to attend SES San Jose.

So, my question to you dear Online Marketing Blog readers, is what search marketers would you like to see text and/or video interviews with? What are the top 2-3 questions you’d like asked?

We’d really like to get an idea of who you’re most interested in hearing about. Here are links to previous interviews with search marketers we’ve done here at OMB to give you an idea what to expect.

Reader Poll: Tools for Networking Online

reader poll
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 SEM Magazine – Visibility


Apologies for the image quality as I forgot my camera at home and had to take this with my KRZR.

A new search marketing print publication has hit the mailboxes this week called Visibility. Backed by the company that publishes the popular internet marketing services site,, this first issue includes a mix of articles as well as the current month’s rankings of top internet marketing services.

The first impression you get when picking it up is the beautiful image and design of the front cover. The paper quality is also very impressive. Open it up and you see great looking ads, similar to other SEM publications.

New TopRank Site Designs

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) 🙂