Social media is about the hottest topic there is right now in the online marketing world. Search marketers and traditional marketers are both obsessed with finding ways to drive interest and traffic using this new medium. But how many of them are actually investing in social media marketing and how many are simply offering up half hearted efforts? Drew McLellan posts today to ask if social media marketing is still more hype than reality. Drew points to a new survey from Coremetrics that shows a mismatch between supposed interest levels and marketing investment. The survey reveals 78% of marketers feel social media marketing will give them a leg up on their competitors. But Drew writes: They talk a good game, but they're not really putting their money where their mouth is. Just 7.7 percent of their total online marketing spend was allocated to it compared to 33 percent to online advertising and 28 percent on online promotion design and implementation. The biggest issue seems to be … [Read more...] about How Do You Value Social Media?
How do you blog
If you are in this business long enough, someone will come up and ask the question. To some of them, it is the most important question in their lives: "How do I break into SEO?" I honestly get this question several times a month. And each person that asks me is ready for my answer. Some seem ready to take notes. They expect that I am going to rattle off some kind of canned answer that will unlock the secret to their future career. But I don't, because it isn't that easy.Some people readily accept that it isn't that easy. If it were easy, they wouldn't need to ask.In fact many folks ask a longer question. "How do I break into SEO, because I don't have..."...a technical background. This is one of the most common worries. People believe that they need to know how to program or at least code HTML or else they are doomed....a marketing background. Yeah, people who actually have a technical background worry that they need something else.The truth is that almost no one breaks into … [Read more...] about How do you break into SEO?
You've heard the hype about social media for years now. Everyone is talking about it, and companies of all sizes are launching blogs and Facebook pages, and joining Twitter. You've heard enough and are ready to take the plunge into the social media waters. But there's one question left to answer; How do you know that social media is right for YOUR business?Unfortunately, this is the question that many businesses aren't asking before they decide to start their blog or join Twitter. So what's the best way for the average business to decide if they should be using social media? The logical first step is to start monitoring what your current and potential customers are saying NOW, and track WHERE they are saying it. Launching a blog might seem like a great idea, but what if none of your customers are reading blogs? That Facebook fan page might seem like a no-brainer, unless all your customers are instead on Twitter.But by doing some very simple … [Read more...] about How Do You Decide If Social Media is Right For Your Business?
One of my colleagues calls me "committed." Others think I should be committed. But one way or the other, I post an entry to my blog every work day. How do I do it? Often, it's a labor of love, but sometimes it feels like a chore. I find something I think is worth saying every day, but I admit that it is not always easy. Today, it was easy, because I can tell you all of the things that I do to post every day. First, I cheat by asking other people to post to my blog. It might strike you as the easiest way to fill the days, and in some ways it is. We have a great staff of Biznology bloggers, including Chris Abraham, our most prolific blogger, who posts every Tuesday. But it took a few years to create a popular enough blog for others to want to contribute. And I still must be constantly talking to bloggers and getting new ones or cajoling veterans for another post. It's important, but it isn't always easy. Despite these great contributions from others, I still write more of … [Read more...] about How do you post to your blog every day?
One of the benefits to spending time on Twitter is that it's a great way to network. But if you are new to Twitter, it can seem difficult to find people that are in your industry or that share your interests. Here are some tips to help get you started meeting new friends on Twitter!Al left a comment to my post on Monday that I'm sure many of you that are new to Twitter can sympathize with: "Okay, I got an account on Twitter and I've hit a blank wall, literally. I can't seem to get out of my little box. Perhaps Direct is having the same problem. There doesn't seem to be any way to "find" anyone unless you already know them from somewhere else. How do you make new acquaintances with similar interests? What's the point in marketing via Twitter if you can't figure out how to get heard?" This is a real concern, but thankfully there are several resources that can help you expand your network of friends on Twitter. First, start on Twitter itself. At the top right of your Twitter homepage you … [Read more...] about So How Do You Find People on Twitter?
We all know that one of the keys to great SEO is making sure you keep your website updated, new and fresh. Whether you do this with a blog, or you change your homepage with new offers, coupons or new products, it serves to show Google that your site is “alive.” For many small businesses in particular, this is a real challenge. So you already have great, fresh content on your site—what’s next? Do you know what is coming that may benefit your small business? Have you heard of QR codes yet? Here is a quick introduction: What Are QR codes? They look like this: They come to us from Japan where they are very common. QR is short for Quick Response (they can be read quickly by a cell phone). They are used to take a piece of information from a transitory media and put it in to your cell phone. You may soon see QR Codes in a magazine advert, on a billboard, a web page or even on someone’s t-shirt. Once it is in your cell phone, it may give you details about that … [Read more...] about What Is A QR Code And Why Do You Need One?
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is no longer a “nice to have” for businesses, but rather a “must have.” This wasn’t the case 10 years ago, when SEM got dumped into the “test budget” if there was any money left over after TV, radio, print, out-of-home, display, email, SEO, PR and sponsorships. It turns out, however, that simply having room in the marketing budget does not mean that SEM is truly valued by C-level executives — or often, even by the VP of Marketing. Broadly speaking, I’ve found that there are two types of companies: companies where SEM is core to their business, and companies where SEM is just a checkbox. The category your company falls into will vastly impact your ability to secure resources, take risks, and get budget. Let’s break down the categories and what they mean. Core SEM — You Matter! Let’s start by talking about the easier category: “core” SEM. Core SEM companies depend on SEM as … [Read more...] about How & When You Can Turn SEM From A Checkbox To A Core Business Component
I recently acquired a new client that is a competitor of a site to which I’m personally loyal. At a neighborhood party, I overheard someone mention this new client, so I asked if he’d ever been to the other site (the one I’m so personally loyal to), and he had never heard of them. Conflicted, I started telling him why I was loyal to my non-client site, and he explained why he was loyal to my client site. I realized that they both offered a unique service that wasn’t found elsewhere (as far as I can tell) and those offerings were very different from each other. They are equally awesome in their own way and appealed to us because of what we wanted out of the sites. I usually go for convenience over price, but he’s just the opposite. I’m sure that if we polled the other guests at the party (which would be absurdly annoying, yet enlightening), we’d get even more variations about what would make one loyal to a site. Over the years, we’ve … [Read more...] about How Do You Differentiate Yourself From Your Competitors?
For an industry that’s only been viable for about 15 years, search engine marketing has provided a strong career option for many of us — most of whom (like myself) have literally fallen into the field. I remember working for one of the first large search agencies in 2006 and asking my colleagues their backgrounds. Surprisingly, very few of us had marketing degrees. My peers majored in things like English, philosophy, journalism, communications, engineering, law, and even in film (me). One of my brothers-in-law is an architect. The other is a doctor. Careers like those have fairly clear paths from start to finish, but in a nascent industry such as search marketing, there has yet to even be a retirement class to follow. For those of you reading this today: What’s your path in this industry? How do you plan to grow your career? Following are seven potential paths for your search marketing career. Staying A Practitioner Hey, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix … [Read more...] about Where Do You Go From Here? 7 Career Paths For The Search Engine Marketer
Today, let’s talk about reporting local SEO results — specifically, reporting them with the tools Google provides. While proving the value of your work has always been a thing, it seems that lately, more and more businesses are looking for ways to justify their local SEO spend. One of the challenges is that most of the time, particularly with multi-location brands, making sense of the internal and external data can be nearly impossible. My thinking about this topic started off with one of our clients expressing recently that while we appeared to be hitting our organic traffic goals, their boss wasn’t seeing it. Most of their conversions happened over the phone, but thanks to [insert favorite corporate complexities here], they couldn’t tie organic traffic back to phone leads. And so, our client’s boss was looking at Google Analytics and Google Search Console data and not really getting the whole story, even when we took pains to tell it in a very simple … [Read more...] about How do you deal with local SEO KPIs that don’t pass the smell test?