• Optimizing Local SMB Listings
    Create city or neighborhood-specific content on your Web site, register a P.O. Box in the local area you serve, and claim your profile on local portals or data providers. These are among the takeaways David Mihm provides from Greg Sterling's panel and others at SMX West. Mihm sums up topics that range from local search to buzz on blogs, all geared toward medium and small businesses. For instance, Mihm points to Will Scott's "Barnacle SEO" strategy. It suggests "linking to your various local profiles from your own content, as well as building links to these profiles through external …
  • Identifying High-Value Pages
    Tweaking content on your Web site can influence consumer behavior, writes Edward Jackson. So, marketers should become aware of the pages that need revisions. Testing pages could prove the best way to determine the ones that have a negative or a positive impact on site visitors. But with so many pages on the site, which are the best to test? Website Optimizer could help. Jackson shows marketers how to identify the highest traffic landing pages through data found in the content section of the "Top Landing Pages" report. The report also identifies high bounce rates. He also suggests …
  • Search Tool Mines Personal Relationships
    At Microsoft's annual TechFest, researchers are given the opportunity to show off their lab projects in a science fair setting. Zaiqing Nie of the Web Search & Mining Group at Microsoft Research Asia demonstrated a project called EntityCube, an English-language version of a popular Chinese project called Renlifang, writes Rob Knies. The tool collects data and summarizes search queries, information about people, places, products and online tasks. In this case Nie has summarized the search results for Bill Gates.
  • Seth's Two-Sided Coin: Is Marketing Evil?
    Contemplating whether you made the correct career choice to become a marketer? Seth Godin gives you something to think about. Yes, the blog begins by musing whether marketing works, but transitions into a debate on whether "marketing is evil." "Are marketers evil? Based on a long career in the business, I'd have to answer 'some of them,'" Godin notes. He continues,"I've got a lot of nerve telling you that what you do might be immoral. It's immoral to rob someone's house and burn it to the ground, but is it immoral to market them into foreclosure?" Yes, according …
  • Paid Search Data-Driven Decisions
    Data drives decision in paid search, so more data means more options (and hopefully better decisions), according to Kevin Lee. But how much data is too much? Lee explains studies differ on how many marketers use analytics to measure results of campaigns. Lee provides insight into when data might become most useful and what data to consider, especially what you have overlooked in the past. "Consider also moving beyond the "convert/don't convert data and look into variable data" such as revenue, net immediate profit, and lead score data.
  • Ask.com Joins Canonical Party
    Ask.com has joined Google, Microsoft and Yahoo search engines in their quest to reduce duplicate URL clutter by supporting the canonical URL tag. The tag tells search engines the preferred location of the URL to index when more than one site page has the same content. Canonicals operate similarly to redirects for all URLs displaying pages with this tag. Site designers thus have more control to decide the pages search engines pick up, represent and index. Yufan Hu calls the move a "timely, relevant, and positive partnership between major search engines."
  • Do Paid Search Ads Add Up?
    Reports may suggest paid search produces between 25% and 30% of clicks generated, but a recently study, "Investigating customer click through behavior with integrated sponsored and nosponsored results," that appeared in the "International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising" throws these numbers into question, writes Patricio Robles. A proponent of "organic SERPS," too, Robles summarizes the findings and makes the argument "why organic SEO and PPC aren't an either-or proposition when it comes to success." She writes that those who don't invest in search engine optimization leave lots of clicks and money behind.
  • Maximizing Limited AdWords Budgets
    Budgets shouldn't determine the success or failure of a pay-per-click campaign. ClickEquations Founder and PPC expert Craig Danuloff gives Chris Crum advice on how marketers can get the most from campaigns on a limited budget in a Q&A interview. Danuloff describes key points on topics like broad matching, phrase matching, and automatic matching. For instance, using "phrase match" effectively might require marketers to use phrases that are at least two words, but preferably three or more. The post also provides tips on finding coupons for $50-$100 in AdWords credits.
  • Building Google Maps Citations
    Mentions or citations on a Web page can help draw attention to your business. "It has become obvious to those who specialize in local search that these citations are a powerful factor in the algorithm of Google Maps and in the 10 pack of local listings that often appear above the universal results in Google search," writes Mary Bowling. Bowling tells marketers what makes a great citation, as well as how to increase them and provide cites to others. Think of building citations as like building links. "The age, trust, and authority of the page and the Web …
  • Twoogle From Google On Twitter
    Google begin using its Twitter account (Twitter.com/Google) because it needed to manage a reputation blunder after an email outage left many of its users in the dark Monday night/early Tuesday morning, according to Loren Baker. As of 8:40 PST on Thursday it had 15,182 followers. Baker tells us its first tweet (twoogle) was a binary message. Perhaps this could become the way to tweet updates to followers in real time. During the recent Gmail outage, the buzz about Gmail was nearly twice as much as when President Obama addressed the nation. Baker believes Google's twoogles validate Twitters's "dominance …
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