Archives for November 2007

Bulldog Reporter Advanced PR Technology in Practice

The Bulldog Reporter Advanced PR Technology in Practice in San Francisco wrapped up and here are a few photos. One thing is for sure, I need to buy a new camera. Another thing is that the event started out with lots of conversation about using SEO to drive “pull” PR efforts and ended heavy on the social media. It was a great match for TopRank: SEO and social media for public relations.

Advanced PR Technology in Practice
A modest sized audience, but engaged and plenty of questions.

Jim Sinkinson, Publisher Bulldog Reporter
Jim Sinkinson, Publisher of Bulldog Reporter

Lee Odden
One of my presentations: “Optimizing Press Releases for Search Engines (SEO) and Using RSS to Distribute Releases”.

Bill Barnes Enquiro
My co-panelist Bill Barnes of Enquiro on our panel about driving traffic to corporate web sites and optimizing PR content.

SES Chicago Interview: Kevin Ryan and Kevin Heisler

Spotlight on Search: Interview with Kevin Ryan and Kevin Heisler

What we have for you today is a double scoop, double feature and two times our regular interview spunk involving Kevin Ryan, Global Content Director for Search Engine Strategies and Search Engine Watch and Kevin Heisler, Executive Editor of Search Engine Watch. I’ll have to say, there are a few gems in this one, so read on:

kevin-ryan.jpg kevin-heisler1.jpg
(Heisler photo credit, Christine Churchill)

Let’s cut to the chase on SES Chicago and Pubcon happening at the same time this year. I am not sure most people realize it was not intended to happen that way. Do you anticipate there being much of an effect on attendance? How different are the audiences these two events are attempting to attract?

7 ways to get people to find your blog posts.

Internet CityA reader asked me a question that I found quite intriguing, “How do I get people to find my blog posts?

There are a number of ways that people can come across you and your blog posts. Here are just a few.

  1. Search Engines – Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask are constantly looking for new content to crawl and rank. Ensure your site is search friendly and submit an XML sitemap for faster indexing. Before you know it, the search engines will start bringing traffic.
  2. Tagging Engines – Sites like Technorati have blog searches that focus on serving up content based on what categories and/or tags you’ve used with your post. Ensure you’re using good categories and tags for additional exposure in tagging sites.

The Currency of Social Networks

kid-money.jpg

About 2-3 times a day a pitch comes in via email, Facebook message or other means asking for a mention or a link. Some are cut and paste pitches from PR reps, some are from companies trying to promote their own message and some are from industry associates that feel they have something special to share.

Even when an announcement seems interesting, more often than not a post won’t be created for it since Online Marketing Blog doesn’t really cover industry news. Unless it’s a topic that’s spot on and can help fortify a post that’s already in the works, there’s little if any chance of getting covered. As much as I’d like to give a mention and a link, I normally don’t. However if it’s really good, I do something much better.

Are Your Landing Pages Lean, Mean Conversion Machines?

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.

Happy Thanksgiving

With a coat of fresh snow last night it’s looking like the season should (finally) here in Minnesota. The offices are closed today and Friday for Thanksgiving but you know us, there will be at least some checking of emails, voice messages and maybe some IM during that time.

TopRank is very fortunate for the great team of marketing professionals that are helping us to serve our community, clients and continuing the strong company growth that’s happened this year including Michelle, our newest addition to the team who starts on Monday.

The entire M&O – TopRank staff wish all our clients, friends in the industry and readers of Online Marketing Blog a very Happy Holiday!

Reader Poll: Social Media Marketing Analytics Tools

reader poll

With our involvement in the PR, search and direct marketing industries through consulting and speaking at conferences, we’ve seen a huge boost in resources allocated to understanding and implementing various social media marketing tactics.

Despite that, the meaning of social media as a marketing/PR channel doesn’t seem to extend outside personal universes of interest. ie, search marketers often look at social media as using tools like Digg or StumbleUpon to drive web site traffic. PR practitioners often see social media as a branding tool using sites like YouTube & Facebook.

Regardless of the intent, social media marketing efforts are moot unless methods of measurement are in place. Which leads me to the Reader Poll Question:

What tools do you use to measure social media marketing efforts?

Guide to Twitter as a Tool for Marketing and PR

twitter-bird.gif

In a previous post on MyBlogLog tips, I had mentioned a series of social media marketing posts Online Marketing Blog will be publishing where many of the tips will actually come from the community they’re about. Our next post in that series is about micro blogging phenomenon, Twitter.

At first I balked at the idea of Twittering like many others but eventually signed up (leeodden) and have been tuned in ever since. Like blogging, there are many mis perceptions about the productivity potential for Twitter. Those unfamiliar will often say, What’s up with: “My flight is leaving”. “We landed”. “Getting in cab. Etc?”. Trust me, there is a method to the MicroMedia madness as both an individual and a commercial communications tool.

Recommended Online Marketing and PR Reading List

At ad:tech last week, fellow PR/new media marketing practitioner and blogger, Rohit Bhargava and I were talking about his new book, “Personality Not Included – Why Brands Lose Their Authenticity and How Great Companies Get it Back”, and he mentioned that I should send him a list of recommended reading for a new bookstore feature he’s adding to his blog.

I thought that was a great idea and with so many smart marketers reading Online Marketing Blog, I’d like to invite you to share a few of your favorite books on the subjects of marketing online, social media and new media public relations.

I’ll start with the list I sent Rohit which includes a few books that are several years old but most are fairly new or soon to be released:

ShareThis – An Expansive Social Media Tool

Social media optimization is a big right now. There are a lot of sites that want to be featured on Digg, Del.icio.us, Facebook or one of the many other social networks. However, getting there isn’t always that easy. The first steps though is ensuring you have social media links on your blog to make sharing that content easy. My favorite tool of the moment for this is ShareThis.

ShareThis LogoShareThis use to be a plugin for Wordpres that injected social media icons, and an email this, link into your posts. It worked very well but was WordPress only until recently. It’s since been re-launched as a service that’ll work across any blogging platform or website.

Speaking Publicly About Online Marketing

They say you should face your greatest fears head on and public speaking has been one of mine since I was a kid. Being shy didn’t help during those school speech assignments one bit. Anyone with me on that one?

Having worked in the search marketing/web dev business since 1997, it was only 2 years ago or so that I began to speak at events about SEO, marketing with blogs and online public relations. I think there were 3 speaking events that first year. This year it looks like 16 and there are already 8 events booked for 2008. Things can change quickly in internet time.

Working at Microsoft – An adCenter Story from Europe

Editor’s note: On occasion we reach out to people in the search marketing industry we’ve come to know and respect with a request to contribute. Today’s contribution comes from Microsoft’s adCenter Community Manager – Europe, Mel Carson. Mel’s job is to support, educate & evangelize through the adCenter Blog, industry forums, and to speak about adCenter at conferences such as SMX, SES, Pubcon and others. Mel writes his own blog at DigiTales & Other Stories.

mel-carson.jpg

This post tells a personal tale of getting involved with Microsoft at the beginning of adCenter’s deployment to the paid search marketing world along with some good examples of unique adCenter features and why Mel thinks it’s great working for Microsoft.