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>> Improving AdWords ROI, p.

39

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SEO Plugins for WordPress, p.38

The New Content Experience
>> Reverse Engineering Reputation Management >> Writing Enticing Product Descriptions >> Foursquare for Business
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Cover Story

The New Content Experience
Driving Engagement for Profit
With more content on the Internet being delivered to consumers faster and in more ways than ever, Web marketers may have to reconfigure certain aspects of their business plans to create an entirely new user experience.

12 Rethinking Reputation Management
The impact of social media has changed the way small businesses should go about their online reputation management.

Departments
6 ‘Net Briefs: Google’s Caffeine Boost, YouTube’s Video Editor, Bing’s First Year, Social Uprising, Security and Privacy, Prime Time Video, Twitter’s Bombshell Mobile Minute: iPhone 4, Social to Go, AdMob is Banned

32 Link Buyer Beware
Buying links can be an effective part of your SEO strategy — if you play by the rules.

34 ASP Meets PHP
An impressive group of solutions written in ASP are heating up the open-source software battle.

9

35 Business Marketing with Foursquare
With more than 700,000 “check-ins” taking place every day on the social network, there’s no reason why more users shouldn’t be checking out your business.

16 Top 50: Ad Networks to Explore 18 SEO Corner: Step-by-Step Search (a three-part series) 20 Conversion Cache: Best of Landing Page Optimization 22 Findability Makeover: I’m on Twitter...Now What? 47 Website Magazine Success Corner 48 Commentary: Your Business in 2020

36 SEO Shift Happens
The basic concepts of search engine optimization are still essential in today’s changing landscape, just not by themselves anymore.

38 Easy SEO for WordPress
Along with writing great content, consider these five very useful WordPress plugins to enhance your blog’s SEO efforts.

39 Improving Your AdWords ROI
If you are convinced that AdWords is overpriced and ineffective, that could be the symptom of a bigger problem.

41 Seven Steps to Enticing Product Descriptions
This simple process will help you master the art of e-commerce copywriting that will drive sales and boost search positioning.

38
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43 Google Rich Snippets
As structured data becomes more widespread on the Web, knowing how to present this information gives marketers and publishers more control over their search results.

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Enjoy this issue of Website Magazine and remember that you can share your stories of ’Net success with our editors online at WebsiteMagazine.ly/bPw0nG Search Engine Strategies August 16-20 San Francisco.com Kelly Springer kspringer@websitemagazine. provide education or entertainment. Inc. Website Magazine readers.com CRM Evolution 2010 August 2-4 New York.. Our regular columns Conversion Cache. content is your most valuable asset — you just need to know how to invest your time and money wisely in its production. we’re going to show you how to thrive in the new content experience. but how you go about doing that is another story entirely. You will then be able to scan the barcodes and access the resources. It does not take much brain power to realize that you need to produce content for prospects to consume. To scan the 2D barcodes you encounter in the magazine.com to download the barcode reader to your mobile device. In today’s information-heavy economy.com.. July. *The opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of WebsiteMagazine. August and November with 8 special issues (January. Have no fear. All rights reserved. Des Plaines. Touhy Ave. and generate profit. Touhy Ave. For reprints of any article.com Website Magazine.com Peter Prestipino — Editor-in-Chief. (ISSN# 1942-0633) is published 4 times per year in February. March. IL 60018. September. IL 60018 Toll Free: 1. MI iue2010.grafikadesign. Website Magazine’s feature article this month focuses on The New Content Experience.com Troy Pickett troy@websitemagazine. readers are able to scan two-dimensional barcodes (also known as QR — quick response — codes) and access information directly from their smartphones. MD http://bit. 999 E.net BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT/ADVERTISING: Visit these upcoming industry trade shows: IUE2010 (Internet User Experience) July 24-28 Ann Arbor. Volume 5. October and December) by Website Services. May.websitemagazine. IL and at additional mailing offices.com | | AUG UST 2010 . contact the editor. and a special piece on Foursquare for business by Senior Editor Mike Phillips.817 . Tim Seward on the cost of online advertising and more. IL 60018. August 2010.800. simply visit GetScanLife. The Magazine for Website Success 999 E.. and addresses how to simultaneously drive awareness. Yahoo’s announcement in mid-May that it would acquire Associated Content for $100 million has substantial ramifications for the Web — such is the world when you have 380. Canada Post: Please send undeliverable items to: 2835 Kew Drive.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Peter Prestipino peter@websitemagazine. Des Plaines. Pierre Zarokian on the current strategy shifts in SEO.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Linc Wonham linc@websitemagazine.1518 International: 1-773-628-2779 Fax: 1-773-272-0920 PUBLISHER: Susan Whitehurst susan@websitemagazine. 999 E. April. SEO Corner and Findability Makeover are not to be missed.com *CONTRIBUTORS: Tim Ash Bruce Clay Josh Ewin Heather Lutze Timothy Seward Nick Stamoulis Karon Thackston Pierre Zarokian ART DIRECTOR: Jesse Erbach jesse@websitemagazine. Touhy Ave. www. rich snippets. The month’s editorial lineup also includes Karon Thackston on writing e-commerce product descriptions. Standing out in a hyper-competitive. NY http://bit. Periodicals Postage Paid at Bolingbrook.com PRODUCTION MANAGER: Janet Crouch www. Website Magazine Peter@WebsiteMagazine.✐ 4 F R O M T H E E D I TO R With Peter Prestipino Inside the Online World For many Internet professionals.com An Event Apart July 25-26 Minneapolis. This issue of Website Magazine also includes several thought-provoking.. Best Web Wishes. including reputation management. informative articles on important trends and techniques to help ensure your Web success. MN aneventapart. N8T 3B7 Copyright 2010 by Website Magazine.com SENIOR EDITOR: Mike Phillips mike@websitemagazine. saturated content market is no easy task and is once more complicated by evolving business models that trade content as a commodity.ly/cANbO6 Etail East August 9-12 Baltimore. “content” is an enigma wrapped in a riddle. June. Materials may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Website Magazine.000 print and multimedia contributors pumping out content for profit and exposure. Windsor ON. CA searchenginestrategies. Want more? Scan That Throughout Website Magazine. Des Plaines.

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the last data for Microsoft’s search product before it was re-launched under the Bing brand. While in itself a significant development. audio and reviews) is available and it is intersecting with real-time search in a prominent way. Google claims Web search listings are now 50 percent fresher as Caffeine enables index updates on a continuous basis rather than every few weeks. and it has maintained steady if not spectacular growth since being launched last June. 6 | | AUG UST 2010 . Both figures.43 percent. Web marketers and content publishers can now build a library of online videos and increase opportunities for brand exposure at the same destination. however. are considerably higher than the numbers posted in May.S. while Hitwise has a slightly more modest number of 9. YouTube users have the capability to cut from videos. Internet searches in the most recent monthly data. The result is an environment where more universally accessible content (video. The new index will force Web professionals to step up content development creation and their social media creativity to stay ahead of the competition and relevant to consumers.8 percent of U. Make no mistake – the impact on Internet businesses will be substantial moving forward. Now Playing On YouTube Creating videos to market your products and services became much simpler thanks to the introduction of a new set of cloudbased video editing tools from YouTube. Caffeine. create montages of different clips and add or change accompanying music using YouTube’s commercial library of licensed songs. 2009. should come when the Microsoft-Yahoo! search deal is implemented later this year. Google’s Caffeine Boost Consumers are encountering a much different search results page thanks to Google’s new Web indexing system. ComScore has it accounting for 11.HAPPY BING-DAY! Microsoft’s search engine Bing recently turned one year old. The real opportunity for small business advertisers hoping to increase their ROI with Bing. there’s also the possibility that the new video editor may be integrated into Google’s Chrome operating system to provide a completely Web-based tool for businesses looking to expand their use of YouTube. image. however.

But research firm comScore reports that Facebook gained more than 8. and numerous Internet security companies have subsequently come out with their own support for the Windows operating systems. social networks (11. A week later. security has not been far behind as the most hotly debated Web topic in recent weeks. Not Just for Daytime Anymore The demand continues to grow for online video. rendering the estimated 30. who watched Internet video during television viewing hours rose 14 percent in the last year. pseudo-apologetic stage appearance by Zuckerberg.. Microsoft launched a timely series of television commercials touting the primary features of Internet Explorer 8: security and privacy. Mark Zuckerberg. indicating that a companywide migration to Mac. According to a recent published report. Microsoft almost immediately responded with a post on its Windows blog that vigorously defended the product. all of which resulted in a Quit Facebook Day grassroots movement scheduled for the last day of the month. An outpouring of criticism over the social network’s privacy policies was followed by a sweat-soaked. and they are increasingly watching a broader range of content. In the U.tv and their advertisers. Numerous Google employees were recently anonymously quoted as pointing to breaches in the Microsoft Windows operating system as the cause for attacks from Chinese hackers back in January.SOCIAL UPRISING May was a telling month about the global power of social media.S.88%) gained a higher percentage of Internet traffic in May than search engines (11. That figure is now at around 65 million viewers tuned in to their computers and mobile devices instead of their televisions in the evenings during the week.33%) for the first time in history — all indications that social may be on the way to overtaking search as the smart choice for advertising spend from marketers around the world.000 defections irrelevant. A U GU ST 2010 | | 7 .K. HOT-BUTTON ISSUES While Facebook has brought privacy to the forefront of Internet users’ minds. Content then becomes the key piece to the puzzle as advertisers position themselves for the launch of Google TV and other platforms that will allow consumers to view virtually anything on a single device. the number of people in the U.5 million unique monthly visitors in May. which is great news for providers like Hulu and Blip. Linux or Google’s own Chrome OS was forthcoming. but it didn’t start out particularly well for category leader Facebook and its CEO.

T witter’s Bombshell Better Days Ahead? According to forecasting and analysis firm MagnaGlobal.The Whole Package Cisco Systems is trying to make it a little easier for small businesses to meet their growing IT demands in the face of over-extended budgets. the new NSS 300 Series Smart Storage systems can include a Web server. The projection for 2011 is another 11..4 percent higher than their 2009 totals. Twitter dropped a bomb on the real-time search and social media community with the introduction of its T. Twitter users may continue to use alternate URL shorteners.7-percent rise since 2009.tl URL. FTP server. The channels that make up the remaining 51 percent of the 2010 totals will constitute an 8. but they were previously wrapped with a twt. Executives recently announced that Cisco is turning its small-business storage platforms into multipurpose devices with several features geared toward companies with less than 100 employees. In addition to hard drives and backup and encryption capabilities. projected to reach $13 billion. but the company plans to wrap all shortened links that are submitted. When the new T.7-percent rise. Paid search is expected to account for 49 percent of the world’s total online ad spending in 2010. paid search will represent 48 percent of the 2010 revenue.S. In the U. with growth leveling off at 11 percent for the next three years and global online ad spending to reach $103 billion in 2015.CO URL shortening service. worldwide online advertising revenues in 2010 are predicted to grow 12. In one fell swoop.CO service launches for all tweets later this summer. Twitter may have single-handedly squashed all URL shortening services. Cisco said it believes that many small businesses don’t have these types of servers and will welcome the ability to implement them without having to buy and deploy a separate hardware platform. Since the micro-blogging service will be routing links through their own analytics system to gather metrics.5 percent from last year. its recently announced Promoted Tweets advertising platform cannot be too far behind. users will have a way to automatically shorten URLs when posted directly through Twitter. up 16. 8 | | AUG UST 2010 . RADIUS authentication server and other free features if customers choose to turn them on. Twitter has been routing links within Direct Messages through its own link shortening service for security measures for several months. e-mail server.

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” He added. The same study found that mobile application usage overall increased 28 percent. In the history of technology and innovation. Mobile visitors to social networking sites via browsers grew 90 percent. Apple will use iAd. founder of AdMob. to 30 million users. stall technological progress. including apps. including iPhone and iPad.wm mobile [minute ] Social to New data from comScore shows that mobile usage of social networking applications is exploding — to the tune of a 240 percent increase from April of this year. including news apps (124%). it does hint at some potential problems. in the long run. “…we’ll be speaking to Apple to express our concerns about the impact of these terms. HD video recording. had this to say on his blog: “This change is not in the best interests of users or developers.” A U GU ST 2010 | | 9 . ADMOB IS BANNED FROM THE PREMISES Apple’s proposed new developer terms would prohibit any apps that include AdMob mobile ads from all of Apple’s mobile devices. This data points to the importance of a social and mobile strategy for businesses. sports information (113%) and online banking (near double usage). it’s clear that competition delivers the best outcome. iPhone 4 Perhaps Apple’s worst-kept secret was officially let loose in June. While not directly linked to AT&T’s notorious call-dropping reputation.and rear-facing cameras and the new FaceTime app. Among the most progressive changes in the device are multitasking. Omar Hamoui. compared to April. 2009. During Steve Jobs’ unveiling. with the announcement of iPhone 4. its own advertising platform. including the notion that multitasking could choke an already-burdened network. Instead. on-the-fly video editing and the ability to video chat with both front. a crowded Wi-Fi connection kept the device from showing its stuff on several occasions. Who doesn’t have this problem? Android — due to the fact that its network is spread among several carriers. Artificial barriers to competition hurt users and developers and.

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Reputation Management in Reverse It’s time to rethink reputation management solutions as they have been offered in the past. SuperMedia’s SuperPages will make available the Yext reputation management tool to its advertisers over the next few months. As such. Here are a few to help you rethink reputation management. and businesses are buying in. enter search terms representative of your business and make notes of those vendors found most often. increasing the likelihood of awareness. A business and personal reputation is measured by your consumers’ perception of the brand’s products and services. even by search.” The impact of social media on today’s Web is unmatched. “Social media remains one of the fastest growing vehicles for online branding and engaging in consumer conversations. very vocal detractors along the way — such is business on the Web. commercial reputation management and monitoring solutions provide the deepest insight. so much focus is spent looking inward that we often miss all the activity going on elsewhere — the origin of many. When it comes to “going social” with our websites and business there are as many benefits as there are drawbacks. Along with the multitude of brand advocates you will acquire. What’s more. Track: To locate competitors. reducing the reach and potential damage that disgruntled consumers. among dozens of other perfectly suitable vendors clamoring for your attention. “A solid and well-optimized presence on Facebook. however. These are just two examples of noteworthy happenings in the reputation management space. if not most opportunities and threats. using reputation management solutions and services that accurately and affordably help manage brand equity and awareness is a wise investment. the social Web moves fast — much faster than any one person can keep up with. make those search terms and phrases the ones to track. vice president of SEO and feeds at Performics.” says Eric Papczun. this keeps positive brand content on higher ranking positions and pages. dare I say. Twitter and other social networks can help a brand own more of the search engine results page (SERP) real estate. Accordingly. too (take a detour to LinkedIn to find them). head straight to the search engines. and their corresponding websites and social media properties. The Marchex Reputation Management platform was named a finalist in the American Business Awards’ New Product or Service of the Year category. Continued on page 14 12 | | AUG UST 2010 . you are sure to encounter more than a few. a practice that has not gone unnoticed by businesses both large and small. Identifying the companies you are actively competing against should be the first step. Spend time noting not just the website URL. for one. Online reputation management software is the new must-have solution. Ask yourself: How closely am I looking at my competition’s reputation? The likelihood that it’s only in a cursory fashion is quite good. Papczun went on to address how online reputation management is not only about proactively highlighting social commentary but balancing negative and positive opinions. Enter reputation management. Keep in mind that while you can set up an ad-hoc solution on your own. unfavorable media sites and other negative content can impose on a brand. Editor-in-Chief Working Together Why the busy intersection at the corner of social media marketing and search engine optimization (SEO)? Learning how to work together pays dividends. but there are several others. Once the list is complete. The results of a balanced approach to social media participation and SEO in a ‘fresher is better’ content landscape is that more information will be exposed.Website Magazine’s Small Business Lab Rethinking Reputation Management By Peter Prestipino. but the company name and the names of their products and employees. But what of those without an existing reputation? Most small businesses have not nearly enough brand equity to consider investing in a solution that monitors what their few customers and prospects have to say about their business. However.

Website Magazine Does Live Chat Work? Survey of more than 1.com/resources. but there is no guarantee they will share their personal information. specifics. Sponsored by Turnkey Internet A U G U S T 2010 | . and metrics to help you make decisions for website success. website. Partners also receive 24x7x365 live support. These trust-building best practices are essential for Web marketing and e-commerce professionals. migration support. Sponsored by Bold Software How to Capture Clean Data on Web Forms: 1-2-3 You spend time and money enticing prospects to fill out your Web forms. Sponsored by VeriSign Driving and Converting the Right Traffic for Online Sales Discover how to boost sales with marketing. Use these proven ingredients to increase customer confidence and generate more sales.>>>Resource Center FINELY-FOCUSED INFORMATION FROM INDUSTRY SPONSORS Website Magazine’s Resource Center presents white papers and videos from our sponsors that provide information. Sponsored by Verio Evaluating Web Hosting If you manage websites for a growing business. trouble-free fit. and shopping cart design. Download free at www. but are you capturing too much bad data along with the good? Learn three ways to improve the quality and cost of B2B and B2C leads. so you can achieve the best. dedicated sales & marketing support. Increasing Sales Consumers may have found your website. Sponsored by Melissa Data Creating Consumer Confidence. qualified lead passes. evaluate your hosting needs and the options available from Web host providers. Included are data by retailer type and five bottom-line conclusions for e-commerce sites.com | 13 .000 regular Internet shoppers presents the effects of live chat on online purchasing. Sponsored by TRUSTe Business Referred To You “Sell It Once and Earn for Life” with up to 45% margins or commission for life.WebsiteMagazine.

Then. customers can post reviews. Within seconds. It is not an uncommon practice for heavy social media users of Twitter to set up an autoresponder to greet and reply to a new follower — another opportunity to communicate with a new prospect. Engage: Posting user-generated content online today is easier than ever. etc.g. which the merchant can instruct MyRepMan to track. Yahoo! Local.” Once the merchant has a good overview of its online presence. consider sending that group a note (perhaps with a coupon included) inviting them to your restaurant. For example. Most reputation management services provide sentiment analysis to provide insights into the mood and tone of comments and conversations you have successfully stirred up. Engaging consumers in context.0. “What we are showing users are places they can control and extend the brand. Active Social Marketing in Practice: Let’s say your restaurant and a neighborhood competitor share Twitter followers. comments and complaints directly from their mobile devices and applications to any number of sites. Myriad social tools online offer the ability to interact with followers and competitors. it makes sense to constantly interact with your existing audience and look to expand your social network when opportunities present themselves. kudos. mentions through blogs. If you notice on Twitter that a group of fans was meeting for lunch at the competitor’s place. Director of Research and Development at Moon Valley Software. Using them means gaining valuable insights about the competing business and provides a chance to make informed choices when it comes to developing strategies to increase market share.New Kid on the Reputation Management Block MyRepMan from Moon Valley Software uses an interesting two-sided approach to monitoring and managing a merchant’s online reputation. and captures reviews from sources that provide them (e. You will need to constantly monitor the real-time universe for reaction but good opportunities are present. 14 | | AUG UST 2010 . follow their core audience and engage them them. send a direct message announcing who you are. news sites and tweets. Yelp. and your intentions. consider sending that group a note (perhaps with a coupon included) inviting them to your restaurant. "There are many other existing services but they are more focused on what others are saying on social networks. it has been proven time and again that knowing what customers and prospects are saying and feeling about your business is of importance — the same holds true for what is being said about the competition. after a week or so. Track new competitors and their followers. Monitor: Once you identify the competition. Consider today the first day of Reputation Management 2. If you notice on Twitter that a group of fans was meeting for lunch at the competitor’s place. based on their current feelings or interactions with your brand is the only way to build mind share and loyal customers. IYPs. You will need to constantly monitor the real-time universe for reaction but good opportunities are present. If so. check to see if any of those individuals have followed you back. Continued from page 12 Follow: Should the competition already have an established audience on social media. why you chose to follow them. so watch intently and tread carefully. taking note of those accounts. the service goes to work by amplifying that presence — submitting business profiles to sites based on their predetermined priority and providing monthly progress reports to keep the merchant informed along the way. Users of the platform can also run a comparative report that identifies competitors and measures your reputation against theirs.) and paid-placement advertising.” says Damian Rollison. The final step? Repeat the process. Since most content is consumed right away. A detailed report of the merchant’s current standing online includes listings across more than 50 local search sites. category-specific sites. engaging that audience frequently and building your social network with one competitor’s downfall after the next. Active Social Marketing in Practice: Let’s say your restaurant and a neighborhood competitor share Twitter followers. most of the legwork is already done. Whether you have brand equity and brand awareness or not. it’s time to monitor the reaction. follow some of the competition’s followers on Twitter.

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com).com specificmedia. the IAB and PWC highlighted yearover-year gains (Q1 2009 vs Q1 2010) and they were actually quite impressive — a 7.com Jumptap. By all accounts it was a bad year. President and CEO of IAB. 38.com millennialmedia.com brightroll. if the Fox Audience Network is included) are hundreds of micro-advertising and vertical networks that offer Web marketers and advertisers an opportunity to supplement traffic and drive awareness for their websites and brands.com). 13. 9. 42.com bluestreak.com bidvertiser. 3.com adify. including display (TribalFusion.50 TO P AD NETWORKS TO EXPLORE AdMob. 25. “The year-over-year growth we are seeing reflects marketers’ confidence in the value and effectiveness of interactive advertising. making formal comparisons and talking to existing clients and users before making any purchase decision is always recommended. 7. Internet advertising statistics in October.com When the economy stumbled. 31.com traveladnetwork.com encirclemedia. Many of these networks are specialists. 30.com undertone. 8.com and Yume.com spotxchange. 22.com clickbooth.com casalemedia. 18. 28. so did the The Interactive Advertising online advertising market. 16.com adready. 23. 24. 29. Because of their agility in their area of specialty they are able to innovate and bring something quite unique to the advertising market — a viable alternative to the big four.com centro. 32.com premiumnetwork.com targetspot.com (travel.com clicksor.S.com WEBSITES 1. 5.” said Randall Rothenberg.com Jumptap. 49. 12. 43. social (Adknowledge.com AdMob.com cpxinteractive. Outside of the big four in online advertising (Google.com mobclix.com audiencescience. 37.com chitika.com 247realmedia.com fastclick.com azoogleads.com adconion.com contextweb. But the tide has perhaps turned. 27. 15. 20.com (sports) and TravelAdNetwork.com tribalfusion. Microsoft and AOL — five. adbrite.com 16 | | AUG UST 2010 .5-percent increase.com collective. 41.com).com marchex. 19. 47. 45.com eyeblaster.com tremormedia.com pulse360.com buysellads. These networks and the others in August’s Top 50 continue to thrive thanks to innovation and expertise in their niches and can provide great value to forward-thinking advertisers. 11. 17. Video has formally made its way into the Internet advertisers’ toolbox and there are networks to satisfy those needs. Those seeking specific verticals will not be disappointed with the inclusion of networks such as SportGenic.com vibrantmedia.4-percent decline from the same period in 2008. 4. including SpotXChange.com.com kontera. 6. 35.com).com sportgenic. 10.com yume. as reported by multiple data sources. 40. 34. Conducting research. 14. 48.) Perhaps most interesting on this list is the introduction of mobile and video advertising networks — two growing markets. 44. behavioral (Collective. In mid-May of this year.com valueclickmedia.com burstmedia.net greystripe. 26.com zestadz. 33. 50. 21. 39.com tattomedia.com trafficmarketplace.com adknowledge. The website with the highest combination of factors is ranked in the first position. 2. This month’s Top 50 includes those advertising networks that continued to provide an effective means to grow traffic and build brand awareness during some tough times — perhaps because advertisers sought out cost-effective alternatives and innovators. clicksor. 2009 for the first half of that year revealing a 5. ABOUT THIS RANKED DATA Website Magazine’s Top 50 Rankings are measures of a website’s popularity. Yahoo!.com 7search.com’s Cubics offering) or affiliate-friendly solutions (Chitika. PPC (7Search.com advertising.com QuattroWireless. 46.com 7search.com spotxchange. Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) released U. 36. Ranks are calculated using a proprietary method that focuses on average daily unique visits and page views over a specified period of time.

Discover the ‘Net’ popularity of the top 1 million websites with Ranking. Review traffic history. detailed website information and search by country.com to check out YOUR website ranking Research websites by country.com today! Visit Ranking. language and category absolutely FREE. What possibilities does your website have? Visit Ranking.com and leverage one of the largest databases of FREE Web metrics available. language & category FREE ranking report by e-mail Access full website details such as phone number & address View website trust scores from TrustGuageTM Submit and modify your website’s listing anytime .

Site owners. a word about how search engines see themes and related site content is in order.” The term comes from the grain silos you might see on a farm — they can be seen from far away and contain a single content (i. Getting relevant. What’s more. articles and other content all related to sports cars.com. tend to want to rank for everything. Inc.e. if I have a website about cars. Focusing on one keyword phrase per page gives search robots a strong indication toward the content of that page. But if I add a section for blue houses and 40 other colors. rather than help: “I have a site that is all about white houses.or two-word queries (i.com. we can organize our keyword list into themes of related keywords. Throughout Mr.SEO CORNER With Josh Ewin STEP-BY -STEP SEARCH PART II. visit bruceclay. Here's a good trick: If you have very high-query words with very low click-throughs. Achieving rankings for one. it dilutes the meaning of the site. For example. Bruce Clay of BruceClay. he has assisted hundreds of companies with search engine optimization. So. Search algomarketing campaign. that is again a clear indication to search engines of that site’s importance in that industry. By collecting my content into themed silos. rithms place emphasis on the “authority” that a page or domain builds over time through linking — if other sites link to a particular site. I might start with “luxury 18 | | AUG UST 2010 .com. website optimization and affiliate program management Bruce Clay has been a recognized leader in the search marketing arena since 1996 when. combining these two. I can direct Page Rank and improve rankings due to the relationship between my pages. So how exactly do you silo your website to improve site visibility with the search engines? According to Clay. As you build out related keywords based on their relationships.e. A TIP FROM BRUCE CLAY In this installment of the series. Any page with authority can also impart authority — both to other sites and to other pages within the same website. Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) is an indexing method that identifies patterns in the relationships between terms and concepts. "cars" has a very high number of queries. but you really generate clicks and sales from three. we can concentrate that authority on particular pages. ‘online dating’. Clay gives us a great example about how this tendency can harm. I might have a category called “sports cars” that would contain pages. however. themed content. On your website.e. SITE STRUCTURE In Part I of this StepBy-Step Search series. a managed dedicated hosting provider and co-founder of HostingArmor. like Google’s Wonderwheel. For more information about Bruce Clay. he launched one of the first consulting firms devoted to search engine optimization (SEO). Wonderwheel will show related keyword phrases that can be used to build subpages within each of your categories. I should rank well for white houses. you will end up with many long-tail keyword phrases. wheat grain. as opposed to "Mustang" which has a high clickthrough rate. if shopping for a new car. that becomes a clarification word. the name Bruce Clay has become synonymous with search engine optimization. but low clicks. “Keyword selection should be the start of the siloing process because you can align the right visitors with the right keywords. ‘Web hosting’.e. Page rank flows like a river. we will be learning from none other than Bruce Clay.to five-word long-tail queries has its benefits. corn. you can cover the query Mustang and Car and Mustang Car in multiple query scenarios. ‘Jewish singles Washington DC’). ‘sports car’ and ‘Audi R8’) have a relationship. this is a clear indication to the search engines of that site’s importance. But what might even be more important is what you do with that authority once established. From those themes. a website security scanning service. creative planning. By sculpting where it flows. Using that relationship. we must underany search engine stand Page Rank. rank for nothing.” Since we’ve introduced the concept of theming. Site traffic can increase several times over just as a result of using the site siloing method properly. improving search traffic as a result. For example. There are tools to help derive keyword relationships.e. reduce bounce rate and increase conversions. but low query volume. as a user gets further into the sales cycle.to five-word queries (i. Siloing and Theming Several years ago. we took keyword research to the next level with Derek Vaughan and learned Josh Ewin is Director of Marketing for DedicatedNOW. our site structure begins to emerge. Additionally.” Targeting three. available on the left side of Google search results.com developed a strategy known as “site siloing. Ewin’s 12-year career in online marketing. and as a result. how to conduct comprehensive keyword research — a vital component to Part II – Site Structure To understand why site structure (i. For example. after a long career as a technical executive with leading Silicon Valley companies. With a laundry list of awards over the past 14 years. incoming links is important. if several sites in a particular niche or industry link to another site. market research and analytics. ‘Blackberry’) are important. content development. “silos” are groups of pages that contain similar. They are less competitive and easier to rank for as a result. Words used within the same context (i. etc). his queries become increasingly specific. navigation and linking) is so important.

Figure A CATEGORY 1 CATEGORY 1 CATEGORY 1 CATEGORY 1 CATEGORY 1 Save time and money. “Mercedes” would be my category or “silo landing page” and I could have sub-pages within this category. if you have pages that you need to link to from a subpage for usability and conversions. each page will receive one-third of that page rank. one for each of the terms “CLS”. we’re driving authority and relevance to that main silo page. the user can be captured deeper in the sales cycle when they are more likely to buy. point-of-entry data quality Web services.</title> <META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOINDEX "> </head> This structure is a rule of thumb. Notice how the homepage only links to the main silo landing pages. the search engines don’t need it. There is a hierarchy here. we’ll take the next step in our campaign and begin driving targeted backlinks to our website with the help of Rand Fishkin. don’t feel constrained by this structure. our subpages should link to the main silo landing page only. if I have a page rank value of X for any given page. By doing this. A M e l i s s a D a t a W h i t e Pa p e r FREE Whitepaper How to Capture Clean Data on Web Forms: 1-2-3 Creating a Data Quality Firewall Learn how to optimize your Web forms to improve lead quality and protect your CRM database. More important is how we point our links and distribute page rank throughout the silo and the site as a whole. as seen in figure A. “CLS”. While directory structure is important for site usability.com/forms or call us at 1-800-MELISSA (635-4772) A U GU ST 2010 | | 19 . Mercedes sedans. I’m ready to build my silo. a popular provider of SEO software. each linked page receives a much smaller portion of that authority. Empower your Web forms with WebSmart. If I’m linking to 30 pages. Remember.sedan. links relevant to our theme) within the theme.e. As a result. if you look closely. If you have pages that you need to link to but do not want to pass page rank to. Let’s take an example of a single category. So. In the next part in our series on. If I have in-bound links from CATEGORY 1 CATEGORY 1 another site to one of my CATEGORY 1 CATEGORY 1 subpages. I might search for “Mercedes CLS55. “S Class”. Page rank can flow anywhere. page rank is focused on those pages only. We want to keep related page rank (i.. I may come up with the keywords “Mercedes”.” So. “SL500” and “CLS55 AMG”. any authority on CATEGORY 1 CATEGORY 1 that subpage gets passed to CATEGORY 1 CATEGORY 1 my main silo landing page. “AMG”. “S Class”. “SL500” and “CLS55 AMG”. CATEGORY 1 CATEGORY 1 And. co-founder of SEOMoz. If I’m targeting the Mercedes line of sedans. you can use the no-index tag to keep the page you’re linking to from being indexed and receiving that page rank: <html> <head> <title>. where authority goes rankings follow. “AMG”. Download our free white paper and get a free trial at MelissaData. So. if I am linking to three pages. but try to keep linking to unrelated pages at a minimum.” As I get further along in my search and have a better understanding of what I want. the collective page rank I’m passing to all of my pages is X. by targeting that long-tail keyword.. With this hierarchy. Notice how HOME the subpages only link to the main silo page.

therefore. UserTesting. SiteTuners’ interactive Express Reviews of a landing page can quickly identify major conversion issues. • Useful in low-traffic situations — If your landing page only has a few conversions per day. You may have even had a hand in their creation. To ignore any of the available tools or approaches would be like playing golf with only a single club in your bag — and just as unlikely to produce a good outcome. using well-known best practices can quickly eliminate the most glaring problems. You can even work with a hand-drawn wireframe or post-it note prototype. CrazyEgg. Split tests have several advantages: • Ease of design — Simply decide how many versions you want to test. The recording can be shared and circulated to others on your team. SiteTuners offers an inexpensive live interactive Express Review of your site via an online meeting. Simply sit three to five people in front of your page and ask them to speak out loud while trying to accomplish a pre-defined task. arguments over the of knowledge about what is wrong. but have not bothered to do anything about it. Testing Not everything should be tested.com visual attention prediction tool. They come in many variations including usability. a landing page optimization firm that offers conversion consulting. Once you can get past those issues and are ready to roll up your sleeves. Multivariate testing has its own advantages: • Ability to try large number of unique pages — Some systems allow you to test millions of page versions if you have enough traffic. Since you are very familiar with the page.CONVERSION CACHE With Tim Ash Blenders and Brilliance I often hear heated Tim Ash is CEO of SiteTuners. They include ClickTale. The recommendations can be put into practice immediately and will often result in a double-digit percentage improvement in conversion rates.com. embarrassed about creating the problem in the first place. graphic design. Some people claim that the ease of split testing makes it much more likely to be frequently used and. more valuable. and is also the author of the bestselling book “Landing Page Optimization. • Using tools to find problems — Sometimes you might not even be aware of the problems with your landing page. and then split the available traffic evenly among them.” Many conversion consultants brush aside multivariate testing as akin to simply mixing merits of various testing up the features of a landing approaches and page in a blender and seeing what combination works best. Tools like Loop11. There is an explosion of new tools available to help diagnose problems. • Ease of explanation — No complicated analyses or charts are needed to present results to others. you cannot see it from the perspective of a new or casual visitor. A-B Split Testing Battles fought over which is the best landing page testing approach can be heated and passionate. There are many obvious elements (or at least commonly understood things in the conversion improvement community) that should immediately be changed about a landing page.com. He is a contributing columnist to several industry publications and websites. Others swear by the advantages of large-scale multivariate testing. CrossBrowserTesting. or too familiar with the page to see it clearly.com.com will quickly and inexpensively recruit people and record their sessions for your review. Most know it is common sense. trust and credibility. In reality the matter is much more nuanced.com. So get over the arguments and the posturing and get to work! Thinking vs. the only reason you can’t find problems is that you are too close to them. • Using people to find problems — Many times. full-service guaranteed-improvement tests. Multivariate Testing vs. • Taking context into account — Some multivariate tools take context (variable interactions) into account and consider how well combinations of your page elements play together. and our own AttentionWizard. Ash is a frequent speaker at Internet marketing conferences. there are several avenues you can pursue to dramatically improve critical landing pages: • Best practices reviews — Often. Take a holistic approach and use a bit of brilliance combined with occasional blending to get the best results out of your landing page optimization program. value proposition. The most common reasons for ignoring known landing page problems are that you are too busy.com can be used to recruit online participants and design tests. • Ease of implementation — Many content management and software packages support simple split tests. Conducting some informal user testing will provide a wealth 20 | | AUG UST 2010 . • Speed of data collection — Running a multivariate test is much faster than running a comparable number of split tests back-to-back. They insist that multivariate testing requires little thought and is unlikely to produce good results. you simply cannot use more advanced tuning methods. consulting practices. Most of these tools are free or very inexpensive. and tools to improve conversion. They stress their own brilliant breakthrough ideas as being at the heart of any significant increase in conversion. copywriting and messaging.

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Whether it’s cash business. (4) Tweet Twice Per Day. (3) Set Up a Measurement System Choosing a measurement system will depend on the goals you have set for your Twitter account.com) and incentivizing with articles and giveaways. in Patricia’s case. Problem: Patricia Fripp has a large and growing following with lackluster business results. I recommend a few free tools — Ping. Check The Fundamentals First 2. Patricia’s main objective for Twitter is to get leads. 57 visits to her website from Twitter ii Average time-on-site from Twitter visitors is 1 minute. but I recommend she update it with a call-to-action. taking an hour to program 30 tweets for the next month can save several hours of social media updating in the future. But the effort is not matching the results. we have a solid foundation. 2009. (2) Time Management Tools are a Must! Set up a tool for monitoring and conversation management. and a prominent phone number and website address. SocialOomph and Hootsuite. Average visitor sees at least 2 pages iv. Remember.” — Patricia Fripp This Findability Makeover is about taking Twitter efforts and turning them into real results. For this type of measurement Google Analytics is the best tool. from a Findability/Twitter standpoint — if you search using search. 26 seconds iii. I assume keyword-rich tweets are not going to hurt but I am not aware of any booked business from Twitter. 60 percent are first-time visitors Of course.. sale leads. 2010. She is diligently tweeting and doing everything right. It is very important to try different tactics (calls-to-action. keywords. “I have bursts of enthusiasm about social media. etc. statements of clear benefits of working with her. one of the pieces of information missing in this data is conversions –— how many people who visited Patricia’s website took action (filled out a form or made a purchase)? By tracking conversions.com for tools and resources to increase your site’s findability. In addition to setting up tracking codes for each link. Think of a Twitter Step 2: Analyze and Make it Better Now that Patricia has been tweeting for a while. Testing Calls-to-Action. In Patricia’s case.twitter. She is the author of “The Findability Formula: The Easy. since grown her “followers” to more than 3. Keywords and Links Every Twitter follower wants different information. In March.. NonTechnical Approach to Search Engine Marketing. Check these fundamental elements of your Twitter account first.) to determine what your target audience wants the most. on the social media profile page as a mini website — a professional look with calls-to-action are very important.F I N DA B I L I T Y M A K E O V E R With Heather Lutze I’M ON TWITTER. 22 | | AUG UST 2010 . How does she turn this community of “followers” into new clients? Twitter Action Plan: 1. as a business you cannot just throw yourself into social media without understanding the end game. Patricia will be able to start measuring what tweets were more likely to drive converting traffic. Patricia Fripp. extensive amounts of data can be collected and measured. it’s time to start analyzing what updates are the most successful. testing different looks and feels can go a long way in this forum. yet her selfidentified success metric with Twitter seems to be re-tweets. links. a well-known speaker and executive speech bandwagon but have coach is asking herself this very question. she found: i. Analyze and Make it Better Step 1: Check the Fundamental Elements of Your Twitter Account Before looking ahead.fm.Fripp. Hook users in and keep them hungry for more Patricia Fripp insights. (1) Professional-looking Background Patricia’s background was great a year ago. A big reason her enthusiasm may wane with Twitter is because her updates are optimized for re-tweets instead of bottom-line results. this means driving traffic to her website then converting those visitors into leads.NOW WHAT? More and more of my clients have jumped Heather Lutze has spent the last 10 years helping business owners get their enterprises noticed on the Web by their target audiences. networking or just fun.800 as of June. For example. Objective: Get more clients from Twitter by driving traffic to the main website (www. no idea what they Patricia decided to join the should be expecting Twitter community and has from their efforts.” Visit FindabilityFormula. Also.com you will see her using her main keyword “executive speech coach” in her tweets.

it’s very important to determine the metrics that demonstrate success of the business goal.com. it is important to note that Hootsuite only measures clicks. Linking Text to Revenue Let us turn your delicious content into money Infolinks In Text advertising is a great way for you to monetize your website or blog. Being able to connect meaningfully with your audience by producing targeted. but drive conversions. In this instance. Use Popular Keywords: “Marketing for Speakers. write “Website Magazine” in the comment box. b.com website to determine their success in driving traffic to the main website. We recommend using them more.infolinks. Join today and get the industry’s highest revenue share . consider building specific landing pages for Twitter clicks based on the tweet.” “Speaking Skills” and “Speaking School” seem to be very effective Twitter keywords for Patricia’s audience. Findability is about being present when the community searches for you.e. based on traffic sent to Fripp.” check for an associated hashtag (i. unique visitors and conversion metrics (if a visit resulted in a sale or lead). and get a $40 credit to your new account! A U GU ST 2010 | | 23 . Don’t be Too Sale-zy: Try a softer sales approach.guaranteed! www. #NSA10.Before analyzing an account. but it also means giving them a valuable interaction once they click. a few more calls-to-action or even a free giveaway. This will provide insight into how to optimize the account for better business results. Refine Subject Matter: “NSA” (National Speakers Association) is included in each of the tweets that generated zero clicks. a. we are measuring the tweets that included a link to the Fripp. If you are tweeting for a specific event such as “National Speakers Association Winter Conference. Based on clicks. Include Links as Much as Possible: The best way to track success is by measuring the next step people take after seeing a tweet — accomplished by including links and tracking user clicks. well-crafted updates is the best way to optimize your Twitter account to not only attract followers. we want to measure traffic received from Twitter to Fripp. Also.com Special offer: Sign up with Infolinks.com (as tracked by Google Analytics) instead odd re-tweets. (1) Measure for the Right Results Hootsuite will measure the number of clicks you receive on links in tweets. Tracking and market intelligence can go a long way in delivering your target audience the information they find meaningful in your Twitter account. As such. whereas Google Analytics can measure a great deal more — pages per visit. as Twittersavvy event attendees knew to look for that hashtag for information about the event. d. (2) Analyze Updates to Take Tweeting to the Next Level Let’s take a look at the most successful Tweets in Patricia’s account. Based on click counts and the content in these tweets we can determine successful elements to continue incorporating.) It is possible more clicks could have been generated. c. However. 12 free podcasts is much more compelling to this audience then a direct speaking pitch.

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and the search engine is now showing 50-percent fresher results from its largest collection of information ever assembled.. video. research papers. But what is “content”? On today’s fast-paced Web. If this were a pile of paper it would grow three miles taller every second. Editor-in-Chief Content: It’s what we consume — sometimes intentionally. every second. But we are inundated with it every minute in today’s information economy. it’s increasingly taking center stage. 2009 (see page 6).THE NEW CONTENT EXPERIENCE Driving awareness. Google formally rolled out its new Caffeine index in early June. At the Caffeine launch.. other times subliminally. product descriptions and consumer reviews — it’s all content.” 26 | | AUG UST 2010 . “. And. Google stated that. content arrives in many forms and through many channels — audio. providing entertainment and generating profit By Peter Prestipino. Caffeine processes hundreds of thousands of pages in parallel. images.

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at best. there is more content available on the Web than ever before. their projected opportunities and the defensive matchups they will face throughout the season (as seen below). The same holds true today. Of course. actionable ways to create content that engages. and it’s being delivered to consumers at blinding speeds. Information. What follows are practical. One of the best is Tableau Public (tableausoftware. this might require reconfiguring some aspects of your business and marketing plans but you will find that content is the best means to accomplish any number of critical tasks. CBS Sports. was that the value to the bottom line brought by the use of images (one medium in the new age of universal. maps and lists. diagrams. USEFUL INFOGRAPHICS The value infographics bring to Web professionals is the ability to present dry. And the single best way to accomplish that is to create not just content but content that offers a Infographics for Entertainment and Education Several years ago when search engines feverishly began indexing images and displaying them on search results. In other words. and consumers were intrigued by the more engaging. and they will look to you or your competitors for that information. like me. The possibilities were endless for Web professionals interested in grabbing additional reach on search engine results pages (SERPs). data or knowledge. entertains and educates. you groan at every mention of “produce quality content”. and the fact that it is ideal for summarizing reams of statistical information in an appealing and easy-to-digest way. Making an infographic such an inviting item of content are its various forms. Enter infographics — visual representations of information. and outright messy and confusing at their worst. however. When used properly. a free software that can be downloaded to create some amazingly intense visualizations of data. big-profit world. In many respects it was a precursor to the real-time index so closely examined today. 28 | | AUG UST 2010 . illustrated graphics to show relationships between sets of data. To make your content stand out in a saturated market (and ensure that it ultimately influences sales and conversions). for example. or even something as simple as a flowchart to signify progress. particularly in the knowledge economy. infographics can provide a new way for users to process information that you want to convey in a convincing manner — that connecting with your brand is the right thing to do. They want insights and answers. Infographics can be diagrams to show how a system works.COMPELLING. immersive experience that resulted. A gallery is available on the site and it accurately demonstrates the variety of infographics complete and immersive experience. You will quickly discover that meaningful results come not from simply pumping out an endless stream of content but by producing content that entertains or educates (or both at the same time). analysis and techniques. No more. Visitors are able to identify the best running backs by comparing players. a new category of “universal” search engine optimization (SEO) emerged. including charts.com). is complicated to express quickly or clearly as concepts can often be unwieldy. Instead of turning over stacks of raw data to your designer and asking them to work their magic. you will need to rethink content as an asset — then retool for the new content experience. and brings consumer awareness to your business and its brand for the purpose of profiting. What many quickly discovered. In today’s fast-paced. you will want to keep reading. easy-to-use and interactive block of content. know there are a few tools available that make creating your own infographics a fast. user-generated content) was minimal. developed an interactive visualization using Tableau Software to aid its fantasy football enthusiasts in selecting the best running back for the 2009 season. tables. If. Consumers increasingly want to feel connected. unless it connected users to a deeper brand experience. if not fun undertaking for content developers. consumers want opinions. This infographic crunches vast amounts of data into one. from sales to support. statistical content in a compelling format.

ly/bMbA0M). But data isn’t just for geeks. trends and technologies are the ideal audience for a content marketing strategy. It may be time to add the medium to your content strategy when you see the likes of The New York Times Visualization Lab (a Web-based tool that uses Many Eyes technology from IBM Research — bit. in marketing.ly/bHli8S) enabling its users to create their own visualizations using data from multiple news sources. Writers and content development teams must tailor content to a specific audience. and it was interactive. to boot.com. The answer.MOBILE CONTENT USAGE Nielsen’s recently launched “App Playbook” report revealed that of the application categories used in the past 30 days. Access the June issue on mobile applications at WebsiteMagazine. Google Maps because they don’t want to get lost. with a little creative thinking you can provide a unique experience to your users that is immersive White Papers and Thought Leadership Those seeking information on solutions. are no more complicated to create and distribute than any other medium. according to Nielsen) so they know when to bring their umbrellas. There are many others. A U GU ST 2010 | | 29 . But subtlety is of paramount importance. however. should always be the end game. And. is white papers. Website Magazine’s June 2010 issue “Mobile Apps: The Gold Rush is On”. when all is said and done. CBS Sports used Tableau to create an infographic to help fantasy football enthusiasts select the best running back for the 2009 season (bit. What this reveals is that while games. the growth will continue. While you might not create an application that meets or exceeds the utility of the most popular applications. communication apps were used by 31 percent. Content developers must be able to and profitable for all. social networking and weather apps dominate. Think of white papers as nothing more than a highly strategic means to persuade a consumer to make a purchase (albeit subtly). illustrations and infographics are but a few powerful opportunities available to help develop a more immersive content experience.ly/a553V9). addressing their concerns and satisfying their interests if greater brand engagement and helping that prospect move down the sales funnel is the aim — which. the Weather Channel (the most-used app cross-platform. productivity apps were used by 30 percent of smartphone users. or a straightforward manner to propose a solution to a problem. have gained mainstream adoption. White papers. This is. Infographics. Remember that images. For example. argued that the best applications are those that provide utility for users — people use iTunes or Pandora because they entertain. Our question throughout is not just what kind of content to create but what format will resonate best. where most content publishers get stuck. and shopping/retail apps were used by 29 percent. Stephen McDaniel of Freakalytics used the software to display complex relationships between multiple metrics looking at stock market patterns relative to economic conditions from 1901-2008 (bit. video/movie apps were used by 25 percent. there is substantial usage currently in other areas. for the most part. that can be created. particularly for those in business-to-business industries.

178 million U. Sales cycles can be exceedingly long in some cases. So. The distribution of audio and video need not be restricted to those destinations you do not control. case studies or expert testimonials.tv is a perfect example of a niche video portal with a loyal and engaged audience. Should your content be news-worthy or data-driven. Only when the time is right will all that sophisticated. while the number of video viewers slipped slightly month-over-month (perhaps due to the start of summer). White papers can and should be distributed anywhere your audience is visiting. particularly for those selling higher-priced items. User commenting is on the rise. Find websites where executives and decision-makers gather for your industry and offer your expertise directly. Google sites such as YouTube will give you the best opportunity for exposure but there are many others in a variety of categories. showcase testimonials or provide how-to guides are underuti- 30 | | AUG UST 2010 . health and hospitality vendors to access their primary audience. often done through media and press centers.com and SlideShare. The user-generated content (UGC) site is growing quickly as a destination (increasing visits and unique visitors by 50 percent in April 2010.com). if not hundreds of user comments. Deploying a media center on your website to provide additional details. Thanks to white papers’ ease of dissemination it is optimal to keep the complexity to a minimum. white papers and even entertaining images is growing. Internet users watched online video during the month.S. even invite their friends to join the conversation. they provide material that gives that busy executive a reason to jump to the end paragraphs and conclusion where you are able to describe how your product resolves the problem at hand — ideally with empirical evidence. However. Soliciting comments can be challenging. To do this effectively. but aided by contests. For some.tv. however. however. More importantly. simply setting up a profile and feeding it blog posts will not provide an immersive experience. The goal should be that when consumers think of a product or a solution they will recall your white paper and turn to you for more answers to their problems. focus on interaction through user comments. But where should white papers be distributed and what should you expect from their consumption? White papers are powerful tools to build your brand and express knowledge and expertise but don’t expect them to be a source of high-quality leads — at least at the outset of their distribution. demonstrate their knowledge and emphasize the uniqueness and advantages of one solution over another in a gentle yet convincing manner — the reader must receive an education first and be convinced of the right solution underneath. consumers of white papers simply look for explanations and perhaps even ideas. This can also provide valuable research by discovering ways to better refine your products to fit consumer needs. This drives engagement and branding and can be one of the best ways to utilize social media — by encouraging users to be truly social. And. ask your consumers about ways they use your product — you might find some interesting insights. Each of these services enables you to upload your documents and embed them on your own site. providing succinct and useful information and solutions can provide a tremendous lift and secure long-term brand equity and provide lifetime value to consumers. tempering your expectations and planning marketing campaigns accordingly is the best course of action. you need to understand the target audience and consider the time and method of reading such papers. In this case. Summaries and abstracts work well and can be used in a variety of other content marketing campaigns.com are some of the most popular resources. There are many other destinations that follow the same UGC model as iFood. Have a look at popular social updates and it’s not uncommon to see dozens. succinct overviews. however. When users comment on a story they will return to see how others react to their opinions. subliminal branding come into play. making it an ideal target for home. as can be seen in the continued use of audio and video. Industry jargon and strange acronyms alienate prospects and can inflict long-term damage to a brand. For example. white papers tend to be overly exhaustive reviews of some trend or another that can be more confusing than useful.com. text product reviews. according to Compete. consumer opinions or testimonials. then making an approach for editorial coverage from a news or media portal is optimal. The key to any social commenting initiative is to help users provide value to each other. Over 30 billion videos were watched in April and Google Sites represented 43. However. Because the documents are actually hosted by their sites. Communities such as Scribd. turning to topically focused Web destinations with established audiences is perhaps the most viable opportunity to distribute content. much like other content development processes.SOLICITING SOCIAL COMMENTS Making a convincing argument for building a social media presence is not difficult — consumers are using social networking sites en masse. consumers can educate each other on the many benefits of your product beyond its initial purpose. That’s easier said than done. You might even consider running contests or giveaways based on usersubmitted comments.2 percent of all videos viewed online. More often than not. it’s an ongoing experience. Comscore’s April 2010 video metrics revealed that. Look around and you might be surprised at the number available. Rethinking Video as an Immersive Experience Consumers’ affinity for content outside of articles. Instead. bandwidth consumption is reduced and you get a leg up when building your website’s online media center. The way to counteract this malignant practice is to provide engaging. There are also a variety of Web destinations where your content can be freely shared. Community-driven food portal iFood. Perhaps the optimal location is on your own website. Doing so lets you control what information is collected and easily gauge buying intent versus browsing behavior. submitting polls or asking open questions about popular industry news items. Docstoc. Often.

and products can be sold — because the vendor has taken time to consider the audience’s preferred method of content consumption. improves the likelihood that you can even charge a premium for content. catalogs and more. prompting users to spend more time with the application. iUniverse’s marketing services are probably its strong suit. Whether that comes in the form of offering both free and paid applications (the higher-level providing additional features) or simply adding video or audio into your applications. the user’s conversion path. want to be entertained. you might consider providing YouTube with short. So. Instructional content provider HowCast merges these two worlds near perfectly. at one point in time in the users’ buying cycle. The portal’s iPhone application has been downloaded over one million times and its new application for the Android promises even greater exposure. The generous 80/20-revenue split also empowers authors to profit from their work. Keep in mind that the end goal for our businesses is to drive users back to our websites — where we control the message and. The way to achieve that in today’s hypercompetitive mobile landscape is to add another dimension to mobile applications. Issuu’s Pro Solution starts at $19 per month. Issuu is an e-publishing platform that enhances and customizes digital editions of your content that can be marketed and sold to target audiences. authors. ideally. They want an experience not found anywhere else and you want to hold their attention. authors format and upload their own digital content and then take advantage of Lulu’s global marketplace. whether you are a small to medium-sized business owner or part of a global corporation. ultimately. brands can be built through entertaining or educating an audience. While this company offers a range of professional editorial and self-publishing tools that authors would expect from a traditional publisher. free customized online stores and retail listings on Amazon. above all else. The rise of e-books and e-readers opens new doors for potential business-to-business authors. No longer are you as a Web marketer or Internet professional forced to create content in one way. Barnes & Noble and many more. sell and share content. publish. attracting one type of audience in the process. buy. This is both a digital publishing library and marketplace where users can read. particularly content that increases the amount of usage. The YUDU Plus and Pro products are the professional self-publishing options for writers. your brand. Below are some e-book publishers. A U GU ST 2010 | | 31 . Lulu is one of the first places you should investigate. businesses and marketers. Consumers. innovative and immersive ways. Using simple publishing tools. social networking and author services. Dominate Daily The challenges are many for content developers. document marketplaces and digital libraries where buyers and sellers exchange B-to-B content. but can also increase the depth of a user’s interaction with that application and. Today. it can do a world of wonder for the popularity and usage of the applications you build for your business. Your business documents are made available through one source on this site and indexed by Google and Bing. today the king has many faces. e-books. then shared through over 200 of the largest Web services to increase the visibility of your work and your company. Used by some of the top publishing companies and other brands looking to reach new audiences for their digital business content. One can self-publish their own e-book and sell it online or market the business documents they’ve worked so hard to create — the opportunities are limitless. AppMakr makes it easy to integrate audio and video feeds into the applications that users of their system create and upload to iTunes. More content. Automated iPhone application platforms are well aware that more content (and multi-media content) not only aids in the acceptance of your app by Apple. Their special recognition and awards programs are designed to create more opportunities for retail presentation and placement that goes well beyond the Internet. teaser segments and then direct users to your website for the conclusion of a video series for deeper brand engagement.SELLING eBOOKS lized but available opportunities for creating a richer level of user engagement. Another option to consider is using video in mobile applications. Anyone can publish in a range of formats including reports and presentations. Edocr ensures that any document uploaded has a greater return on the investment of producing it. If you are looking to publish and sell that business e-book. While content remains king. ideas can be expressed in unique.

Building quality links to your site requires many long hours that will pay off in the long run — despite the fact that it doesn’t always feel that way. and how moderation. “they have to do it in conjunction with other link-building tactics. the Best of the Web directory and the Business. associates and general networking. and the same goes for Shuey and anyone else wanting to maintain their good standing in SEO circles. Google’s endorsement for buying links ends there. “I just listened to Google’s Matt Cutts explaining the reason why these sites aren’t penalized. The first category is the relevance of the content on the website providing the link to the content on your own site. “The only three links we would ever buy for our clients or recommend that they buy are the Yahoo! directory. If it’s the only thing they do. directories are still among the safest and best resources for establishing a site’s reputation with the search engines. By Linc Wonham. while extremely tedious work. it is of vital importance for a paid link. and a paid link should rate favorably in all of them even to be considered. But it is by no means the end of the conversation. There are five categories to examine. the conversation starts with directory links. But this particular discussion will focus on link buying. followed by the SERP ranking of the site providing the link. and possibly on its blacklist. As it always has. However. the second point is also indisputable. Although some of today’s SEO’s might consider them somewhat antiquated.” The criteria. and 2) Link buying is not a viable alternative to traditional link building.” Shuey warns. The key to making it a legitimate component of your link-building strategy is doing it sparingly — and knowing when a link is worth the cost and the risk involved. Associate Editor There is no sense disputing the first point. they’re going to be toast. for any link that justifies spending your money and risking your online reputation should be considerably harder to meet than links obtained traditionally. which is because of their ‘strict editorial processes.” Not surprisingly.’ Each one of these links will really help build a site’s credibility for about $300 a year. as high search rankings do not always guarantee that a site is LINK BUYER 32 | | AUG UST 2010 .com. discretion and a few important tips can help you effectively incorporate this controversial tactic into your overall link-building strategy.” says Greg Shuey. Buying Links Can Become an Effective Part of Your Overall SEO Strategy Attend any SEO industry conference and you will hear two things: 1) Link building. as are very high rankings in search results.com directory. as anyone who buys links to avoid the hard work of painstakingly building a portfolio will wind up on Google’s radar. The third area to explore is the amount of monthly unique visitors that go to the site providing the link. Director of Off Page Optimization for SEO. there are certainly some suggestions we can provide that will eliminate a small measure of the tedium from traditional link building. Technically. “If someone is going to purchase links. which can be found in the sidebar to this article.BEWARE If You Know What to Look for. is essential to moving your website up the SERPs. then. as link buying and selling has grown into an industry all its own. Where relevance is less of an issue for the links you get through friends.

net. especially since you control the direction of the content on your own blog. Some are better than others at helping find natural-looking.ly/b3Fc7I. LinkWorth and LinkMarket.” says CEO Troy Ireland. A number of networks have emerged to help find links for sale. is the price of the link. and a good rule of thumb is to avoid the more suspiciously viewed sidebar and footer links in favor of links on the homepage or another page where the content is most relevant to your own. often leading to increased traffic and possibly valuable links for your website. Another company with an impressive multifaceted link-building approach is TextLinkBrokers.ly/abYKX6. “Buying links is a must if you’re going to be profitable online. You should be purchasing one link at a time and no more often than one per week. For some helpful tools and resources for building links through forums.ly/9ZXcDH. There’s No Substitute for Hard Work Buying links can be an effective supplemental strategy in a link-building campaign if it is done cautiously and sparingly. “but we focus on planning and coordinating the best overall strategies for our clients.ly/9kKZpd. both great ways to build your business’ reputation. of course. undetectable paid links. and only you can determine its relative value for your own budget. Find out more about writing and distributing press releases at http://bit. but if a pattern of buying is detected by the search engines your website can be penalized or even banned from results pages. heavily trafficked. Other companies worth exploring include LinkAdage. To find out more. but there may not be a better way to gain favor with the search engines today than through building great links across the many social media channels. visit http://bit.In Link Building. Fourth is the placement of the link.” A U GU ST 2010 | | 33 . We offer such a variety of different ways to get links that the goal is to find out what Google wants and to deliver it realistically and ethically. Social Bookmarking Social bookmarking takes a lot of time. and where to find more information on each one of them at WebsiteMagazine. no method of building links should dominate the overall effort. as the best way to appease the search engines is with a portfolio of high-quality links obtained through as many different means as possible. Another general rule. and we give our clients higher rankings faster and for longer periods of time. Read the comments about the value of blog content for building new links at http://bit. Nonprofit Organizations Nonprofit and charity organizations are excellent vehicles for building inroads into your local community and beyond.com. One way to initiate a relationship is by offering your services for free or by making a donation. Community Forums Posting on forums and discussion boards is well worth the effort it takes to find the communities that are going to be most interested in your products and services. LinkMetro. All of these strategies require long hours of hard work. read the section on generating links at http://bit. Featuring compelling guest bloggers is also a very effective way of expanding your audience and gaining highquality links. anyway. There are numerous free sites online to help facilitate the process. Below are just some of the proven methods of building links. go to http://bit. is to avoid discounts on dozens or more links at once — which is simply inviting trouble from Google. but it’s also not a bad idea to get acquainted with your own local media resources. For other ideas. In fact. but they also come free of the financial cost and professional risk of link buying: Press Releases/News Outlets Sending out press releases to news organizations and PR sites is a great way to attract visitors to your site and to build new links. The final factor to look at.ly/9SkfWt. Link popularity is 85 percent of the battle in SEO. Blogs Blogs are another great way to get the relevant links you need. but one network with a good track record of meeting the basic criteria is TextLinkAds. however.

NET. DotNetNuke is powering some 500. NopCommerce is an open source e-commerce solution that is ASP . E-Commerce: The open-source options are even fewer for Internet retailers but arguably no less robust when it comes to ASP . in Magento and nopCommerce. so understanding what they are (the programmer or designer never learned PHP or .ASP meets PHP An open-source software battle If you are looking to test the efficacy of a particular market sub-category or even a total strategy shift for your business. Another respected option is Umbraco. For this reason. the rest is up to you. Should the software system you select meet those requirements. By Peter Prestipino. The software is fast and flexible and has established its own rather active community and following. mix entirely. 34 | | AUG UST 2010 . The winner here is WordPress. Check out the general similarities in the front ends of two popular open source e-commerce solutions. There are limitations in every organization.info).NET platform. Weblogs: Everybody knows that WordPress is now “the” standard of PHP-scripted weblogs and. In addition to being an attractive solution from front-to-back. only winners (that means you). historically. efficient and extensible — that it’s easy to manage for your needs. right? Not so.000 sites in production. The winner here is everyone — as there are hundreds of solutions on the market (just check out CMSmatrix. standards compliant and extensible content management system that can run anything from personal blogs to websites on a far larger scale. according to the company. fewer and certainly less well known — but not by much. is coded properly with minimal bugs (and secure) and that new functionality is continually adopted through the use of plugins or add-on modules. Editor-in-Chief CMS: There are hundreds of solutions to help manage content assets scripted in PHP but the open-source options in ASP are far .5-based with a MS SQL 2005 (or higher) backend database.NET 2. why not look toward an open-source software solution written in ASP? For one. shopping carts and order fulfillment mechanisms.000 merchants using its software.NET open source ecommerce application that offers all the standard features such as product catalogs. Selecting the right software that balances marketing objectives with business limitations is the best way to take a measured response to testing out software for your business. but despite their strong track records are not extraordinary enough on their own to warrant an entire shift in platform. CMS systems too. you understand that the core functionality remains pretty much the same across platforms. and is one of the leading Web CMS and app development platforms for Microsoft . E-Commerce Software in Action Open-Source Style If you have worked with different e-commerce systems. Another open-source blogging platform for ASP . Below are a few of the top open-source ASP solutions (and a few of their PHP counterparts) to reveal the depth of the software and the activity of communities that support them. you might argue that the best and most popular software tends to be scripted in PHP leaving those restricted to using ASP out of the . in some instances. 2010.org) written in both PHP and ASP . using file-based content management instead. the business requires a Windows Server over Linux) is of paramount importance to your success.0 is dasBlog (dasblog. There are no losers in this software battle. but Magento is an up-and-comer that is certainly making waves. keep in mind that the “right” software solution for you is the one that is intuitive.NET 3. OsCommerce and Zen Cart are but two of the most popular. But what about those requiring an ASP format? Oxite is an open-source. the software maker currently had over 60. dasBlog requires no database. a CMS written in c# on the Microsoft . As of March. Joomla and Drupal are powerful content management platforms for those requiring PHP with active communities. thanks to an impressive standard feature set that grows quickly and volumes of plugins to satisfy any functionality request. DashCommerce is another leading ASP .

When a user clicks the button. the popular social networking and activity application. ultimately. then check out. The goal of every Foursquare user is to become Mayor of their favorite local businesses — restaurants. with the top point-getter being crowned “Mayor. Twitter Places Launches T witter has announced the release of Twitter Places — the ability to geo-tag tweets on the fly and from a browser. So. Foursquare helps drive foot traffic.. the user must check in from the location itself. Foursquare can bring a significant increase in traffic and. remember the Mayor.” What this does is create a community — an active and competitive community — around the business itself. In the end. Foursquare works like this: Consumers launch the app from their phones (or via SMS for non-smartphones). night clubs. along with a tip written by a WSJ editor and link to the original article. wouldn’t you want to reach out to that person and make absolutely sure that they kept coming back? With Foursqaure. encouraging repeat business. this is even more reason for businesses to get busy with Foursqaure. get started setting up your specials for users. In June. That’s a lot of activity and it’s all centered on businesses and brands — an opportunity not to be missed. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination and perhaps your budget. recently announced that more than 700. they might not think of themselves that way — in their minds they are satisfying their own egos. T witter is releasing API functionality that lets developers integrate Places into their applications. but also create a competitive spirit around the title. the service offers a built-in community that is eager to engage. Business owners can also promote their Foursquare presence in-store — the website offers downloadable PDFs and can send official window clings for display (above). a restaurant can offer a free cocktail every time a user checks in. perhaps the free cocktail is offered after every fifth visit. Points are accumulated and badges earned. But that satisfaction is derived vis-avis the business being patronized. the venue mentioned in the article is added to a to-do list on the user’s Foursquare account.. The Wall Street Journal started providing “add-to-Foursquare” buttons at the bottom of restaurant reviews and other cultural coverage. It’s a safe bet to assume that WSJ will not be the last major media outlet to promote the service. just about anything. Senior Editor The Foursquare Community Foursquare users are brand advocates by their very nature. It might just start some rivalries where the only way to get ahead is to frequent your business. 2010. Also. Of course. A U GU ST 2010 | | 35 . And that’s where the businesses come into play. sales to any brick-and-mortar business. and how can it help your business? In its simplest form. Users are engaged and encouraged to visit the location time and again. branding and create consumer advocates.com to find out. then check in to a business when they arrive. You will find a link to “claim” your venue. Of course. By Mike Phillips. share and discover insider tips about the location and earn points.000 “check-ins” are taking place every day. delivered right through the app. So. consumers can see if any of their connected friends are at the same location or nearby. the more they frequent a business. Also. what is Foursquare. if you click on a Twitter Place you will also see check-ins. To do this. there are other reasons for people to use Foursquare and make a run at Mayor other than simple ego stroking. Considering T witter’s massive audience. Or. From there. so search on Foursquare. Foursquare for Business If you knew that a certain person was a fan of your business and was perfectly willing to encourage his friends to become fans too. In addition.BUSINESS MARKETING WITH FOURSQUARE Foursquare. the better chance they have to become Mayor. this is precisely what you can do. Not only will this encourage advocacy. By checking in. For example. Be sure to offer the best deals to that individual. So. Your business might already have a Foursquare presence. Foursquare and Gowalla users can integrate their accounts with T witter Places. then used to assign a status for the individual. One of the most popular and effective ways for businesses to use Foursquare is to offer real-world rewards to their business’ Mayors and other frequent patrons. Help your customers check in. Essentially. And Foursquare is about to reach even more users. golf courses .

giving your site credibility and respect. one truth is everlasting: The landscape is continually changing. And often. Link building — inbound and outbound — adds strength to your site in the eyes of search engines. Reaching these people can be a critical component of any successful online marketing campaign. For an example of search’s ever-changing environment. the resulting shift in rankings can be seismic. in many ways. no shift in search is more important or prevalent than social media. including news. Social and SEO As it stands today. Site structure is also important — if it’s easy for search engines to index your content.Shift Happens: SEO Alone is not Enough By Pierre Zarokian When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). including user updates from Twitter. 36 | | AUG UST 2010 . every social media strategy needs to be more sophisticated than simply starting a Twitter page and posting your company’s latest specials. However. The new partnership between Microsoft Bing and Yahoo! aims to provide a long-term competitor to Google and will impact search results across many major Web properties. Search Basics Several factors have traditionally produced consistent SEO results. shopping feeds and social media results. millions of people communicate with social media tools like Facebook and Twitter. Google’s announcement of Caffeine (see page 6) is one example. rankings are not only more easily achieved but longevity can result. Search for “Xbox 360” and you will see more than just organic results from websites that mention those keywords. too. when it changes. Every day. paid advertising. This means that publishers and merchants need to concentrate on more than just increasing organic search placement for an Internet marketing plan to succeed. look no further than a popular search on Google. Content is still king. A broad range of content appears. Compelling content with proper keyword density and keywords highlighted in titles and meta tags remains very valuable to improving search engine rankings.

it might make sense to have offices (or even phone numbers) in different parts of the country or world to help improve search results in localized searches. just not by themselves. Getting Personal. The reality is that. You might build a microsite for teens. Localized search results have become increasingly expected by users in recent years. press releases. Because of concepts like personalized searches. your profile will appear in results. search engines are continually looking for ways to drill down searches with results as individualized as possible.com/). build friends and followers by being involved in communities with similar interests. A high-quality social media campaign that is interactive and engages audiences can improve search engine rankings on two fronts — both in organic listings and as a source of inbound links. the less room for your competition. This includes RSS feeds with the latest company news. Pierre Zarokian is founder and CEO of Submit Express (http://www. Not only are search engines taking factors such as location into account when delivering results. demographics or geographic regions are one way to do this. Even as a small business. Microsites that are targeted to specific areas of interest. Since acquiring YouTube. when a user searches for your brand. It’s also important to be active on your chosen social media sites. applying smart SEO practices to social media content — such as keyword-rich updates — will increase the reach and visibility of your social media campaign. Social bookmarking tools like Digg and Delicious will help promote your own activities along with helping you share useful information with your followers.submitexpress. A relatively new concept is video SEO. they are also considering previous search history and other sites users have visited in the past. These sites also give places to post fresh content on a weekly or even daily basis — something that search engines like to see. At the same time. The bottom line is that basic SEO concepts are still critical. blog posts or social media updates. This way.Social media and SEO marketing programs can strengthen each other. Beyond localized searches. as they seek information relevant to their specific geographic area. it’s important to feature customized content. He was also honored by the San Fernando Business Journal as one of the publication’s “Forty under 40”— entrepreneurs and other business professionals who have made significant contributions to their industries at an early age. it’s very important to think about your target audience when designing an SEO campaign and how and where you can most effectively reach them. and Local Search engines are constantly looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the competition. The new Google Personalized Search is just one example of this. Google presents many video results in regular searches. often on the first page. or city and state pages for different parts of the country. As with any marketing campaign. It is important to use your social profiles as a way to attract attention by making sure that the right keywords are highlighted within them. Along with making your own posts. which has been at the forefront of SEO tactics for more than a decade. in many cases. In order for SEO campaigns to be truly effective they need to be paired with smart marketing campaigns that involve every aspect of a company’s online brand. A U GU ST 2010 | | 37 . Applying SEO concepts to videos can not only increase their placement in various searches but also improve the overall ranking of an entire website. no two searches will produce exactly the same results. A nice side effect is that the more results containing your brand. It can also include product feeds — another reason why it’s important that your products and shopping carts can be easily indexed by search engines. Video and Feeds Feeds have also become a valuable tool in the new SEO landscape. One way has been attempting to deliver individual users with as much personalized content as possible. business or industry.

WP-DB-Backup Nothing will kill your SEO efforts faster than losing all of that informative content. Readers now have the potential to stick around longer and read other areas of your website. take the next step to ensure all of your hard work is rewarded: Focus on the search engine optimization (SEO) aspects of your blog. if you are lucky enough that a poorly-written article generates search engine rankings.Easy SEO for WordPress Once you make the commitment to blog on a regular basis. a shared goal should be attracting as many targeted visitors as possible from search engines. Contextual Related Posts This plugin will display a series of related blog posts at the end of each published post by seeking those with relevant tags. Nick Stamoulis is the President and Founder of the full service SEO and SEM company. WordPress users can take advantage of these plugins to get a head-start with a successful SEO campaign. what good has come of it? In all likelihood you have done more damage with indecipherable content than reaped rewards with a high ranking. please call Nick Stamoulis at (781) 350-4365 or e-mail nick@brickmarketing. Stamoulis also writes daily in his SEO blog the Search Engine Optimization Journal. SEO Smart Links will interlink your posts and pages as you write and publish them. In this era of sharing content through social media sites and other venues. and therefore visitors.com In my opinion. you want to let Google know about your sitemap changes. WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms on the Internet largely because of its thousands of available plugins — a handful of which are built to aid in SEO. This plugin will allow you to write custom meta information for all your posts and pages. but those visitors leave immediately because the blog post was written exclusively for search engines. proven tactics (such as link building) must not be ignored. The way I see it. Google will then quickly index new content as it becomes available. This plugin will update your sitemap automatically as you build onto your website. SEO Smart Links Interlinking your posts is a great way to strengthen the SEO elements of your WordPress website. All in One SEO Pack One of the best plugins and with nearly five million downloads. for that matter) is the most important part of your SEO efforts. Google XML Sitemaps When you add new posts and pages to your website every day. also an industry standard. For questions. 3. And while other. Whether your intent is to communicate information to existing customers or to build relationships with new prospects. This is a great little tool that can have a major impact on your blog’s search engine rankings. 5. consider these five very useful plugins for your blog. Write content for humans first — your visitors — never just for search engines. Successful SEO starts with producing top-quality content but it doesn’t stop there — it is an ongoing process incorporating many different strategies. By Nick Stamoulis 2. 4. They can all be found at WordPress. This not only helps with internal link building but the user experience is also enhanced. Always think of your visitors and readers first and the search engines a very distant last place. useful. the content or articles that you write for your WordPress blog (or any blog. Brick Marketing. This should be one of the very first plug-ins you install when starting a WordPress blog. 38 | | AUG UST 2010 .org/extend or in your WordPress dashboard. Along with writing superb content. 1. well-written content will rank highly on its own merit. This tool will e-mail a file of your entire database whenever you want — so if something should happen and things go downhill you can quickly get everything back up and running as soon as possible.

This is particularly true A U GU ST 2010 | | 39 . A business model that can do just fine locally will get annihilated nationally. or are only dipping their little toes in the water. AdWords is overpriced for those with inadequate business models. with the Internet. you may be losing with AdWords due to an unrealistically conservative cash flow. It would be wonderful if you could pay $100 today and get $200 of profit tomorrow. A business model is loosely defined as the way your business goes about making money. AdWords is a rough scorecard of the strength of your business and marketing model. It might take 6-12 months before recouping the initial advertising investment. take note of possible holes in your own marketing funnel. In other words. There I meet a surprising number of people who have tried AdWords and given up. Keep in mind that. Even if you are presently successful with your AdWords ROI.ADWORDS ROI The plain truth is that AdWords is indeed overpriced — if you aren’t doing it right. But it doesn’t stop there. There are five common characteristics of advertisers we see fail — AdWords will always be too expensive for them. You need an Olympian-level business model if you are going to be one of the top five companies in your industry nationwide. This requires tremendous work to constantly refine your product offerings and backend systems. Even if you have the strongest business model in the game. Because Google pits you directly against your competitors in a war for clicks. This encompasses everything from product offerings and IMPROVING By Timothy Seward As the CEO of an online marketing agency. And the reason I hear most is that Google AdWords is overpriced. many advertisers must be willing to go negative on their ad spend while waiting for the customer lifetime value to catch up. I’ve highlighted the reasons below. A lack of AdWords success could be a symptom of a greater problem. Successful advertisers are willing to break even or lose money on the initial product because their backend marketing system is so reliable that they multiply the revenue from every customer over the subsequent 12-24 months. there’s probably some room for improvement. holds 66 percent of the worldwide search market share and reaches 80 percent of global Internet users through their content network. everyone gets to compete on a national or even international scale. pricing to follow-up marketing and customer service. this is a war you cannot afford to lose. For some advertisers with one-time transaction products. If you can't consistently afford the firstpage spots for your core keywords — and your competitors can — you are losing key battles. However. While reviewing these. Google processes more than two billion searches per day. I attend quite a few marketing conferences each year. AdWords is overpriced for those with poor cash flow. this can be the case.

There is no feeling like seeing your ad above the competition — and knowing you can afford to be there. As training strengthens the athelete. managing your AdWords account effectively is the easy part. Learn more about ROI Revolution’s paid search management services and request a free strategy session at www. So. The good news is that if you have taken care of all the above. Success is a moving target with the changing competitive landscape. the secret is. This requires conversion tracking back to every keyword and ad group. given your cash flow and margin constraints. 40 | | AUG UST 2010 . There are dozens of errors that novices make. so does testing improve marketing. Tools are readily available for straightforward datadriven tests. ego can take over — leading to crazy bids to stay on top. You need to be data-driven at every level and set up your marketing funnel for maximum success. many other competencies are required for running an effective AdWords account. They just have more cash flow than you. Needless to say. they can’t — at least not initially. Poor account structure is at the top of the list. Magazines certainly don’t give you a price break if more people call your 800 number. pay only what you can afford to pay.com/websitemagazine.” you might show up for “one night stands. Plenty of free training can be found online and there is no shortage of agencies that would be happy to take the burden off your hands. you should be testing ads and landing pages. Structure your account so that you can display the most relevant ad for every keyword search. AdWords success is often a cash flow game where the best funded get the upper hand. a group that probably includes many of your competitors. At every point along your continuum of AdWords success. A good account structure with frequent ad split testing will enable you to have the most relevant ads possible for each keyword. Negative keywords act as filters on your standard keyword list to block unwanted traffic. sometimes businesses can’t afford what they’re paying for AdWords traffic. Once a winner is discovered. Let’s assume you have a proven business model with strong cash flow and have experienced success with other forms of advertising.) AdWords is overpriced for those who don’t test. (It may also be that they are flat-out losing money. Use AdWords as your own scorecard of success. Advertisers can typically cut costs by 20 percent with a thorough list of negative keywords. Testing is a continuous process. but Google does. This means ad groups are all comprised of tightly related keywords. This is sometimes referred to as “ego bidding. high-volume markets without being at the top of your game. The key is to not give up on this traffic source. if you are advertising on “night stands. There is no other way to determine profitability. as the “losing” landing page might actually work better for some of your traffic. AdWords is a unique beast in that prices will go down as your campaigns are increasingly well managed. All of your top traffic ad groups and/or traffic sources deserve their own unique tests. Bidding wars at the top can drive prices to unreasonable levels. you will never compete in crowded. At a bare minimum. As stated earlier. the solution is simple: use AdWords better. They want their users to have a good experience (and to keep clicking ads). Negative keywords also play an important part in keeping costs down.” Simply add “one” as a negative keyword to filter out this unwanted (and non-converting) traffic. In this case. AdWords is overpriced for those with poor account structure. That’s an amateur’s approach. Inc. While you can certainly get started with zero experience with AdWords. It may be that the click cost for the number one position is higher than any business in the market can profitably afford. so they reward you with lower click costs if your ads are relevant. finesse and experience. So.roirevolution. when wondering how competitors can afford to pay those “ridiculous” prices in AdWords.for businesses with a long sales cycle or subscription billing products. Be aware that you are not simply testing one ad or landing page against another. Timothy Seward is the CEO & Founder of ROI Revolution. AdWords is overpriced for those battling for top position.” Who wouldn’t want to be at the top? When companies are not tracking their return on ad spend. so there’s no time like the present. another test should be soon to launch. We’ll get into that later. Success with paid search marketing requires a good deal of training. Any inadequacy can be overcome through rigorous testing.

you will find that gluten-free items are some of the most sought-after. high-quality nuts. up-and-coming grocery products. By doing a little research. Using the following simple. Health-Conscious — Organic ingredients. try writing e-commerce product descriptions. most people completely ignore their target customer when writing product descriptions.SEVEN STEPS By Karon Thackston to Writing Enticing Product Descriptions audience consists of — in part or in whole — those seeking gluten-free treats? Added ingredients in gourmet chocolates may cause problems for those with celiac disease. seven-step process will help you quickly master the art of e-commerce copywriting. the site visitor is the key to shaping copy. List the Biggest Benefits The steps in this process are progressive. For example. How do the pros do it? We understand that balance and organization are vital. premium dark chocolate. you must concisely convey the benefits and selling points of your product while including search engine keyphrases that engage your target audience . These consumers are regularly forced to stick with ordinary. vegan and kosher. the quality of the ingredients or perhaps the luxurious texture. plain chocolate candies due to their condition. 2. Special Dietary Needs — Gluten-free. However. You may want to include various segments in your list.. all while working within the constraints of your content management system (CMS). you will then be able to generate enticing copy that drives sales and boosts search engine positioning.. But what if your target ported from across the globe. vegetarian. Get Familiar with the Target Audience Amazingly. Gourmet Chocolate Lovers — Distinctive ingredients im- 1. So. Once you do. Continuing with the example above. make a list of the benefits that are most important to your customers. Knowing your audience as a whole and understanding each segment within that audience is imperative to creating e-commerce copy that hits the mark every time. let’s create a mini-list for a boxed collection of international chocolates. Other collections avail- able might include sugar-free. if your target audience consists of gourmet chocolate lovers. you will want to focus on the distinctiveness of your products’ flavors. while keeping your target audience and its needs in mind. If you want a challenge. You will want to make certain this segment of your gourmet site visitors understands that you have products that meet their dietary needs. the tone it takes and which angle is used to communicate the benefits. A U GU ST 2010 | | 41 . Within a typical 60 to 70 words.

) Tour the World with International Gourmet Chocolates Do a little culinary globetrotting with our collection of gourmet chocolates. Change a word or two in the headline or alter the focus to one particular segment of your audience. end results and keyphrase. take out one instance of your keyphrase. Knowing what obstacles and limitations must be overcome will make the process of writing copy much easier. Once you understand the components of good product copy. Incorporate Search Engine Keyphrases Depending on your site design and your CMS. available in September. There is always room for improvement. This assists your visitors with learning about your product and gives a little nudge to your rankings. Combine everything you have to create a compelling product description that will capture plenty of clicks. the end result for those purchasing for themselves might be breathing a sigh of satisfaction as these divine confections melt in their mouths.All Customers — 100-percent pure ingredients. A few common areas to check include: • Maximum word or character count in the product copy field • Additional fields below the fold (i. page name in the navigational structure. product copy automatically fed to category pages. This assortment of 16 truffles is gluten-free. • Product Image Captions — Too many e-commerce sites simply shove “Product #12345” below graphics. Australian macadamia nuts and other exceptional treats blend with the richest dark cocoa from West Africa for distinctive gourmet chocolates that truly indulge the senses. description meta tag. Others force the headline by pulling information from the product specifications. This is an alltoo-often skipped step that — when done correctly — frequently results in tremendous gains.e. • Product Copy — Even within 60 – 80 words you should be able to comfortably include your best search term at least two or perhaps three times. it is important to give your site visitors a glimpse into the future so they can see how purchasing from your company will improve their lives. Test & Track Satisfied? You shouldn’t be. 42 | | AUG UST 2010 . While there are dozens of ways to write copy for any given product. Before you set out to write product copy 150 words long with a catchy headline. For example. Whatever the end result. Instead. 5. T weak. We have our target customer base. Gift-Givers — Attractive. Start with the framework of your page including the title tag. you are most likely looking at around 60 – 80 words. 4. Organic Hawaiian coconut. Gradually make small tweaks to your product descriptions and test them against the original version of the copy. you will want to verify what can and cannot be accomplished in your system. provided it does- Karon Thackston is author of the forthcoming e-book. product descriptions could conceivably be hundreds of words long. It is usually very simple to incorporate a keyphrase into a headline. breadcrumb trail. boutique-style gift boxes wrapped in a silk bow. Keep this simple outline handy and you will quickly gain speed when writing high-converting e-commerce copy. 3. After the customer purchases this product. A style(s) appropriate for both personal and business gifting. Gift card included at no additional cost. Some have limited room in the copy field. underneath the hero shot of your product enter a short. Start by reviewing the previous five steps. file name. 7. but — if for some reason it just doesn’t flow — leave it out. how will his or her life be different or better? What will be the specific end result of a purchase? In the case of gourmet chocolates. If it sounds redundant. Our keyphrase is [gourmet chocolates]. no artificial colors. etc. you can add a link for ‘more information’ that drops the reader to a space further down the page) • Forced information (headlines that are automatically inserted. 6. forced page headline and other elements. make a point to include your keyphrase. Write the Copy It’s time to put all the pieces together. 2010. and wrapped with a silk bow. I recommend sticking to one keyphrase for short product descriptions. Only 100% pure ingredients from across the globe are used. Use search phrases in: • Headlines — If your headline is not forced by your CMS. n’t detract from the message. Wordtracker Masterclass: Ecommerce Copywritiing. the headline on each product page might be automatically fed from the title of the product. here is one version of sample copy for our gourmet chocolate product. Predict the Future Good copywriters look past the buying experience toward the future. the end result could be a positive impression on the recipients (whether business or personal) with a truly distinctive collection unlike any they have ever received. it’s easier than you think to put together descriptions that garner more sales. However. For gift-givers. if you run out of space in the product copy field. keyword-rich sentence that briefly describes the item. flavors or additives. While longer Web pages benefit from the use of multiple search terms. Then move on to the content. elegantly packaged for personal or business gifting. Proven Strategies for Boosting Sales & Search Rankings. Track your results in order to gain the best conversion ratio possible. Read the text out loud. That doesn’t leave much room to incorporate keyphrases. benefits. Know the Limits of Your CMS Content management systems (CMS) can be frustrating.

too) that will help users find your page(s) by showing them a sample of the content — a “snippet.” if you will — on the search result pages. Website Magazine has put together a guide to working with these various markup formats for the various rich snippet categories. title and address. you can — with Google’s Rich Snippets. Each individual can have a number of properties to associate data with. structuring data with semantic markup makes the Web a better. And these snippets are very important.Google Rich Snippets Representing Content the “New” Right Way By Peter Prestipino. Visit http://bit. microdata and RDFa) that can be added to most Web pages. then move to providing additional information for review data and event data. Editor-in-Chief Artificial intelligence may evolve to a point where computers understand meaning. it only makes sense to start here.com To display Rich Snippets. you not only make your structured data available for Google’s search results. Think of the summarized information as a new presentation model that applies Google’s algorithms to highlight structured data embedded in your Web pages. In some cases. including name. it's as quick as wrapping the existing data on your pages with a few additional tags. Internet marketer or webmaster in general. As an SEO. Google looks for markup formats (microformats. Rich Snippets for People The most exciting use is associating data with people. but also for any service or tool that supports the same standard. But for now. smarter place. So can you influence what Google displays in these snippets? Yes. While you may have an intimate understanding of your Web pages and the content they represent. Focus initially on providing semantic markup (rich snippets) for people data featured on your website. as they are a major factor in whether or not a user clicks on the result. but WebsiteMagazine.ly/dzSdlO for more information A U GU ST 2010 | | 43 . you can influence the results by annotating your pages with structured data in a standard format. By incorporating some standard annotations in your pages. Since most websites feature some information about key employees or stakeholders. it is Google (and other search engines.

For those who are thinking to include both. In fact. but websites displaying events should consider adding the snippet to their pages. prep time. such as recipes. Rich Snippets for Events Receiving exposure on event information is a great reason to use Rich Snippets. only the aggregate markup data will be displayed. a telephone number and the specific geographic coordinates can be included. at this point. Google’s Rich Snippet feature has been rolled out gradually over the past year (initial release was on May 12. URL.properties such as street address. An image link. Google has provided some guidance on this — http://bit. the date the item was reviewed and a description and summary. in some instances it might prove useful to show the aggregate number or reviews whereas others might be more interested in showing an editor’s rating or review of a particular product or location.ly/9kFtlp). contact and acquaintance properties).Review sites and social networking sites (Yelp was one of the original adopters during an initial rollout) are those that will benefit the most by using Google’s Rich Snippets for reviews. Those wishing to profile aggregate review data on the SERPs can include the item being reviewed. nutrition and even instructions are just some of the properties that can be included and displayed on the search result pages. Google recommends choosing one format. Google has provided the Rich Snippets Testing Tool to help webmasters check their markup — making sure the structured data can be extracted from the page. Information such as an event's title. For example. being prepared will pay significant dividends. Individual reviews can receive the Rich Snippet treatment with properties such as the name of the item being reviewed. region. there is much more valuable data that can be shared. postal code and country name). There are several other event fields to include. Rich Snippets for Recipes Don’t think of Rich Snippets as exclusive to B2B industries. such as geographic coordinates. address (including sub. Rich Snippets for Business and Organizations Another content type to append with semantic markup is the information for your business or organization. Rich Snippets for Reviews One of the most interesting aspects of using Rich Snippets on review content is that both individual reviews and review information in aggregate can be marked up. The properties that can be added to rich snippets for recipes are some of the most extensive and detailed. Information such as the type or recipe. votes and a summary. a rating. the person’s role (not just the title). Name. Finally. Rich Snippets offers a way for marketers and publishers to extend some level of control and customization on search results pages. duration and even an image or photo. its rating (due to the many possible ways to indicate ratings. If a page contains both individual and aggregate review data. social relationships can also be identified. thanks to Google’s ability to recognize XFN properties (friend. The tool displays the markup found on a specific Web page and a preview of how that page might appear in search results. cook time. As structured data becomes more widespread on the Web and on Google. it is time now to get excited about the possibilities and get started marking up your pages. the reviewer or author. but all signs point to Google extending to additional areas in the future. a Web page link and even affiliations are all candidates. When that happens. date and venue can help a listing stand out in the search results. 2009) but sparks little conversation across the industry. Google currently uses the data only for pages containing collections of events. event type (festival. Also. concert or lecture). Google supports Rich Snippets for B2C too. 44 | | AUG UST 2010 . total number of reviews for the item. And any edge on Google SERPs is a significant one.

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What’s more. encouraging readers to submit their own news stories. the expectations we have for “mobile devices” is much higher. Before it. greatest trend and technology hacked together by every college dropout and supported by over-eager venture capitalists. Amazon. Think about the leap the iPhone made. Can you do this? Of course you can. Start by looking inside your industry. Stay sharp. watching The Jetsons.W E B C O M M E N TA R Y With Mike Phillips. But how often do you sit down and think of the future of your business and your industry? Once a year? Once a month? How about every day? Steve Jobs and Apple have experienced wild success — and massive profits — because of a keen eye on the future. In fact. and those who wonder what happened. That got me thinking. You might never come close to the success of these two enterprises but there is much to be learned from them.com might seem light years ahead. Senior Editor YOUR BUSINESS IN 2020 In June. Just as important as it is to dream big is to know what’s attainable and realistic. he mentioned a memory of his childhood.com. They are empowered more than any other consumer generation prior. They launched iReport several years ago. But it doesn’t have to be. help us preserve our precious memories with photos and video. phones were just phones. But they are proven leaders in the online retail industry. this is your business. We all dream of the future. he said. Remember. We expect them to help us communicate. Subscribe to your competitors’ RSS feeds and check in once every day to see if any innovation is bubbling up. while deciding the future. And now.” Take advantage of that. videos and photos. You might be surprised how often what seems to be a complex innovation can be adapted to your business and website. locate information quickly and efficiently. This. If you pay close attention to the business of the Web (and by reading Website Magazine. so will your consumers. He dreamed of technology like the iPhone 4 that would allow us to video chat in the palm of our hands. They could play a significant role but might there be more pressing issues? Is there room for innovation outside of these areas? Of course — there always is. During his presentation of the new device's video chat function. those who make it happen. CNN. You know your industry better than anyone else.” — John M. Just because mobile or the social Web is discussed ad nauseam by the “thought leaders” of the Web doesn’t mean they are the future of your business. as a small business you often have the luxury of innovating at a much faster pace than “big business. These expectations are real — and so are consumers’ expectations of your business. there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen.com and eBay are not likely your closest competitors. We live in fast times. “If you build it they will come” works sometimes but not every time. was what he envisioned the future to be like. Usually these dreams are fantastic visions of flying cars and Rosey the Robot. What we need is a plan — a method to keep things in perspective while focusing one eye on the future. But one thing is for certain — the future is right around the corner. But don’t stop there. So. It can feel overwhelming to try to stay one step ahead. it's a reality. “When it comes to the future. you could have done this before CNN. But look at a couple of their “revolutionary” ideas. As an online retailer. Steve Jobs introduced the latest version of the iPhone. and keep us connected with the physical world around us. But let’s take a step back. look in the present and listen to what consumers are saying. What will your business look like in 2020? That’s up to you and your consumers. 2010. Richardson | | 48 AUG UST 2010 . But remember. I can only assume that you do) it can be very easy to get swept up in every latest. You will help decide the future of the industry. As a publisher or online news source. Now.

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