Archives for July 2009

BIGLIST Marketing Blog Reviews Summer Edition 073109


Here in Minnesota it’s been a roller coaster summer with hot smacking up against cold in the blink of an eye. The irony of that observation is that our BIGLIST of online marketing blogs has been cold for about 4 months, but just like a Minnesota summer, we’re going to smack that BIGLIST with some hot. Hot SEO/SEM/Social blogs that is. Enjoy:

  • B2B Online Marketing Blog – The folks at have put together a fine resource for B2B businesses and marketers with a problem/solution format that includes case studies, conference coverage and insights on search, social media and a few product posts from time to time.
  • Adam Sherk Blog – Adam Sherk works as a Search/PR Strategist for Define Search Strategies, part of The New York Times Company and writes about the publishing industry, enterprise SEO and social media.

How To Make Your 404 Error Page More User Friendly

It’s never any fun to follow a link just to find out the page you were looking for can’t be found. Chances are, the user may spend a few seconds trying to find the correct page or just bail on the site. To ensure that visitors stay on your site, site owners should ensure that the 404 error page is friendly and helpful.

I did some research in the WordPress plug-in directory and came up with many plug-ins to enhance the default WordPress error page. However there were only two plug-ins that I could get to work and liked. The fist is Dunstan-style Error Page.

Dunstan-style Error Page

Dunstin-Style Error Page

The Dunstan-style Error Page has a really nice layout that includes recent posts, a quick error report button, and a feedback form. It’s all built into the plug-in and there is nothing that needs to be configured.

It’s a Deal: Q&A from Microsoft Yahoo! Call

microsoft yahoo

Amid all the speculation this week, it’s official that Microsoft and Yahoo! have made a deal:  “Microsoft will now power Yahoo! search while Yahoo! will become the exclusive worldwide relationship sales force for both companies’ premium search advertisers.”

The Search Marketing Industry news sites have covered this completely and a joint web site has been setup my Microsoft Yahoo. I also took a little time to listen in on the investor relations conference call with Steve Ballmer of Microsoft and Carol Bartz of Yahoo! and live tweeted some of the Q and A:

MSFT YAHOO conf call Q: Why no display ad component to the deal? Bartz: To keep the deal straightforward as possible

What is Digital Asset Optimization?

digital asset optimizationIt’s likely you’ve heard plenty about search engine optimization but what about “Digital Asset Optimization”?

Many companies that have applied basic SEO principles to standard web site content see substantial benefits. Adding new content and attracting links help maintain search marketing performance but is that all you can do to be competitive with SEO? No.

A natural progression of SEO is a holistic approach that considers all of a company’s searchable assets that can be keyword optimized and promoted online. Standard optimization of content in the form of web page SEO is a starting point that can be extended to various media types that are increasingly prominent in both standard search as well as media specific search such as images, video (see below for 5 video DAO tips) and audio. Digital Asset Optimization (DAO) can be applied to various document/file formats such as RSS, MS Office, Flash, PDF, etc as well.

45 Creative, Clever And Effective Blog Taglines

blog-taglinesTaglines are perhaps the most underrated and underused elements of personal and business blogs, yet they serve a huge function.

The social web has conditioned us to move through content-based sites quickly, and if we reach a site with an unclear thesis we’re likely to click to the next thing.  You also can’t count on visitors to read your “about” page.  In a world that increasingly moves at 140 characters or less, having a hook such as a clever tagline can make all the difference.

Taglines are your brand’s elevator pitch and help people get a quick snapshot of who you are. It’s your opportunity to be descriptive, catchy, memorable and create a unique brand for your blog.  They also present a great opportunity for keyword inclusion, but not at the sacrifice of stickiness.  Ideally you can combine something catchy and SEO friendly.

50 Ways to FAIL On Twitter

twitter tipsLike many others, I scoffed at Twitter when I first heard of it. What use could sending short messages to people I don’t know be?  The mental leap from IM and Facebook status updates to Twitter makes it easier, but business use seemed pointless at first.  As I noticed more of my Search, Social and PR industry peers using Twitter, it seemed a good idea to test out.

While I don’t have a million followers, or even 100,000, I’ve found out that for my purposes, quality is the key and the 13k or so followers I am lucky to be associated with are appreciated a lot more. Being strategically useful and helpful builds trust, attracts influential followers (vs bots and spammers) and results in a new channel for social networking.  Individual tweets may or may not be useful, but when you add them up over time, a bigger picture emerges.

5 Ways to Repair a Broken WordPress Installation

Broken WordPressWordPress, like any software, has the ability to break and that then can cause a blog owner quite a bit of anxiety. This can be caused by plugins not working properly, file corruption, database problems, or many other things. Even though your data is usually just fine, having a blog down is not what a blog owner wants.

Here are 5 things you can do to try to fix a broken WordPress Install.

Before trying to fix any issues, make sure to back up your blog! The fixes below should not cause any harm, but it’s always better to have a backup you don’t need than not to have a backup when you need it.

Items to back up:

  • Your /wp-content/ folder

Intersection of Search and Social Media AdWeekMedia Connect

This afternoon I did a live chat with AdWeekMedia Connect, a social network for the ad agency set on the intersection of search and social media. Embedded below is the recorded chat stream:

Here are a few resources on the topic:

“Let’s Go” of the Social Web: The New Community Rules

marketing on the social web

How to be successful on the social web? Be useful and helpful to others. Few people epitomize this principle better than veteran internet marketer, Tamar Weinberg.

Tamar Weinberg & Lee OddenI remember some of my first interactions with Tamar years ago, involving her making sure I had all my questions answered about something I posted on IM.  Tamar has blogged about search and social media marketing at 10e20, Search Engine Roundtable, Mashable and many other high profile web sites. A prolific and extremely hard working blogger, social media marketer and techie at heart, Tamar is also a “super user” of the social web. That firsthand knowledge of how to listen, engage and promote is clearly evident in her new book, The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web“, published by O’Reilly.

Web Community Building: Making It Thrive

web communityLast week we discussed some of the reasons subscribers are vital for an online marketing growth strategy. Those reasons included:

  • The ~11% of web users who know to use RSS include the users savvy enough to be web publishers
  • You’ll become a go-to area to link to
  • Subscribers are your sneezers
  • A base of well-connected fans could very well be the cornerstone of your social media marketing strategy
  • Community is what makes sites worth visiting
  • Subscribers will motivate you to create better content
  • A consolidated network presence is the most effective
  • Social proofing benefits
  • Subscribers and a fan base make you less reliant on push PR

Poll: Levels of Corporate Social Media Engagement

babushkaThe notion of social web and how companies can engage is as multi-faceted as anything I’ve seen in my 12+years of marketing online. The many ways for companies to involve themselves using social technologies are as varied as the reasons they may do so. Whether it’s to better connect with customers, attract more media attention or crowdsource product ideas, social web participation can offer many benefits.

This understanding of different perspectives and methods leads us to a new TopRank Reader Poll that considers the many different approaches companies may take towards social media. As a poll, it’s only a snapshot in time, but the results will be of great interest to all who participate.   Please select up to 1 “best” answer:

Please select the social media marketing tactics below that you consider "black hat".

Direct Marketing Getting Social

DMA Social Media Smarts NYC Class June 2009

DMA Social Media Smarts NYC Class June 2009 - Photo credit Scott Plumptree

In a past career of mine where the nature of the business required educating and evangelizing as a sales process, a colleague related a “vintage” story to me about phases in which new ideas or concepts are adopted by mass markets. It involved the introduction of the refrigerator in a time when ice boxes were the norm for keeping food cold.  The idea was to show how not everyone “gets” a new product because of how they make decisions, biases and fundamental resistance to change.

The story went something like this. Representatives from a refrigerator company made appointments with consumers and presented a compelling offer: swap the ice box for a refrigerator and make payments no more than what was being paid to the ice delivery man.