Effective Solutions to In-House SEO, PPC and Campaigns

@LauraLippay (works @ Yahoo!)

2/3 of online search users are driven to perform searches as a result of exposure to some offline channel

$13 Million Hyundai Super Bowl Ad

Hot Trends in Google Search.

During the Super Bowl -‘edit your own” and ‘hyundai’ were “hot trends” – if you did a Google search for Edit your Own the ad nor Hyundai site showed up. Missed opportunity

We are still not connecting offline with online.

SEO as a marketing channel like Television, Direct Mail, Print, Internet, Radio, and Outdoor

SEO has rich web development background.

What can I do?

Integrating search into marketing campaigns. Hasn’t been able to find good examples of this integration. Some aspects of SEO and SEM has to connect with marketing.

Campaign strategy meetings – your SEO can tell you, if there is opportunity in search for this – there is no target market or there is opportunity.

Organic ranking for external advertising

Marketing

PPC <—-SEO Strategy

Engineering

Technical SEO

Agency

SEM needs to be recognized as an integrated marketing channel

SEO/M needs to be looped into campaign strategy meetings for clients

SEM can determine search marketing cost and opportunity

An SEO’s Tale @alli12
Allison Fabella

Launches a site, traffic goes up – Rock Star

Then traffic went down – not a Rock Star anymore

Common Offenders:

Flash

Good Solution: Speak Geek
Speak Money (competitors are getting organic search results)

Solutions: Include All Stakeholder in the discussion

Hit them in the wallet

Suggest Actionable Alternative

Robots.txt

Canonical Tags
Site Map (what can go wrong)
Incorrect Url
Incorrect sitemap protocol
Invalid date, tags, URL
Incorrect sitemap type in GWT

Be the detective

Solutions

Regular meetings with stakeholders:
-Daily or weekly
-Review upcoming & completed changes
-Carefully review code BEFORE launch

Topher Kohan

(does SEO for CNN & Turner Broadcasting)

Build evangelist

ID your support staff

Company
Division
Team

Outside:

Agencies
Contacts
Friends

Build a support network

Evangelize for SEO within the organization

They
Get it?
Wants to get it?
Gets excited by it?
Embraces it?

Find the Evangelist

Treat them as a Team
Conversations on what works and what doesn’t work

Never Stop:

Building them Up
Training Them
Improving the work flow
ID Problems
Getting help

 

Link value degradation

 

PubCon 2010 (LiveBlogging Intro)

November 9, 10 and 11 I will be LiveBlogging from the PubCon conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. PubCon is an Internet Marketing conference that features sessions led by industry experts in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Pay Per Click (PPC), internet marketing and website operation. All of these topics are extremely interesting to me and are part of my daily responsibilities at my day job.

I live in Henderson and work in downtown Las Vegas so this isn’t an out-of-town “trip” for me. I’m really excited anyway. I’ll get to meet some of the SEO/SEM and Social Media bloggers whose informative posts I’ve read, printed and utilized in my job as Webmaster. My job involves both organic search engine optimization and ppc (as well as the usual webmastery stuff like coding and design)

That said there are the sessions I’m planning on attending (this could change depending on how fast I am and how fast the sessions fill up).

1. Hardcore PPC Tactics
2. The Best Tactics in Landing Page Optimization
3. Effective Solutions to In-House SEO, PPC and Campaigns
4.  Enterprise Level Bid Management
5. Top Shelf SEO: Hot Topics and Trends

 

1. Local Search and Mobile Optimization
2. Keyword Research, Selection and Optimization
3. Social Media, Press Relations & Brand Management
4. Super Session: Search Engines and Webmasters

1. Convergence of Online Marketing and Analytics
2. Real World Low-Risk High-Reward Link Building
3. SEO 2010
4. Interactive Site Reviews: Focus on Organic
5. Advanced PPC and other Paid Online Media Strategies

I’ll be blogging from my recently acquired pink Sony Vaio 🙂

Follow twitter.com/snowwrite for blog posting updates

Or facebook.com/snowwrite

Losing Face: Is Facebook the next AOL?

The glass is half-full, yes that is my motto. Optimism is my middle name. That is until I talk to my significant other about Facebook. Oh and then all hell breaks loose and I sit patiently listening to all his rants about how Facebook is the next AOL. What will be the rage, next year? he asks. I shrug and say, “Does it matter?” He says,”Yeah but look at what happened with MySpace” he’ll retort. Not having much to say in response I stay quiet, but start to think about how the web has changed over my adulthood. There was no web as we know it when I was young (yeah yeah I know, I walked both ways to school, barefoot, in the snow and I was grateful)

There is something new and social every day. Our entrepreneurs (especially the highly technical ones) are holding hackathons and spitting out a new app virtually every weekend. Applications so you can shop with your friends online (Plurchase) or tell people where you are (Four Square) built with smart phones and mobility in mind.

In my 20’s and 30’s it took months to launch a new company. Now, it takes a weekend. Business plan? pshaw. Social network has become what the content management system(cms) became to web design. You don’t build a site without cms capabilities. You don’t build a site without social networking aspects. It’s expected.

So how does this relate to Facebook and AOL? Our experience in this digital world is much less solid than it was when our options were limited. It takes a heartbeat to encourage migration to a brand spanking new technology. No barrier to entry for anyone, so we can explore all the options. The problem is that without that barrier there is no loyalty, no investment in one application over another. I can setup a network over at Ning and tell all my friends to post and engage over there. What do I need Facebook for other than the mini-games? Alternatively I can setup a PLIGG site and do exactly the same type of thing that Facebook does, without the games. That isn’t the draw though is it? The ability to connect through various features on a site is not what draws us but the access to so many other people that are utilizing the same site. How flawed is this though? I’ve received notes from people telling me I’m triple posting because I make a comment on Twitter and it goes to both FriendFeed and Facebook (as well as Twitter). They follow me on all so they get to hear what I have to say in stereo. I enjoy Facebook because my adult children and friends are on there. Would I move to another social network if they did? Yep. Would I miss Facebook? probably not. I don’t care about the application I’m using as much as the people who are in the network. I’ve had a LinkedIn account since Beta and use it solely for business connections. There have been multiple “business network” sites that have come and gone since. Most of my connections are on LinkedIn no matter where else they are connected (Plaxo for example).

So what draws us to Facebook? Mass appeal. Johnny and Susie are on Facebook as are all my friends in my Book of the Month Club and my mom and my kids and so on and so on. That’s where the biggest similarity lies between Facebook & AOL, the mass appeal. Millions of people are on Facebook, millions of people were using AOL. It’s easy, it’s standard, it’s no fuss. Does that mean it’ll win over any other up-and-coming potential Facebook buster? If there is no barrier to entry, then no, Facebook could be the next AOL.

It’s eerie, I remember the sound of dial-up as I connected to AOL to check my email. The excitement of logging into a chat room on CompuServ to talk to my “friends” and finding myself there for hours and hours (sleep, who needs sleep?) and racking up my dial-up bill! We logged on, downloaded our email and read it offline (so we didn’t run up extra charges). Life online was limited by our budget. We couldn’t run down to the local coffee shop and access the web with our laptop.

Our lives on the web are changing at a breakneck speed. Where we spend our time online is getting more and more important as we are presented with more options. Facebook may be here today, but I’ll guarantee you it’ll be gone day after tomorrow. I’d love to see Facebook prove me wrong.

That’s not to say I don’t love Facebook myself, but I just don’t see how it’s going to hold up and remain ever vigilant once the honeymoon is over.

Interesting articles about Facebook and AOL.

Will Facebook be the next AOL?

The Problem with Facebook for Marketers – nice article on being cautious with the company page on Facebook.

Is Facebook todays Internet

What do you think? How is Facebook going to keep us all in the future?

Does your subclassed Plone product have metatype issues?

(dedicated to davisagli on Plone irc for taking the time to teach this old lady a new trick!)

Integrators are a special breed (if I do say so myself). Especially small-business-owning integrators who wear multiple hats, sometimes begrudgingly. One of those hats is troubleshooting issues that the client feels is important. The developers job is done and an issue has come up that was caused by a small change or request by the client, unrelated or a distant relation to the original specs for the project. It’s not really scope creep but it’s enough of an annoyance to the client that we as integrators are compelled to take care of it. We didn’t write the original product, maybe we hired someone or we are using a third-party product. Sometimes the actual solution is outside of our realm of knowledge so we seek out our peers to help us resolve it.

In this case we had a product called CaseStudy for a university. The CaseStudy product was subclassed from another content type (the File content type). The CaseStudy type was basically a file and a few fields so it made sense to subclass from that content type.

The product was installed and testing began. As part of the process a custom view would be implemented for the CaseStudy collection and for the CaseStudy project page. These were not an issue, views were created and added (I’ll write a post on how to add a custom view to your product and how to deal with multiple views).

There was one issue, when you clicked on an item (the link to open the CaseStudy project page) a download box would pop up. The expected result when clicking on the CaseStudy project page link was to go to the CaseStudy project page.

The quick & dirty Zope Management Interface fix was the following:

  1. Go to the ZMI
  2. Find portal_properties/site_properties
  3. find typesUseViewActionInListings field
  4. Add your content type – ours was CaseStudy
  5. Save changes

Now when we clicked on the link for our CaseStudy it went to the right view.

If you want to move this to your product so that the next time you install your product this will work correctly, do the following.

  1. In your ZMI go to portal_setup
  2. Click on the export tab
  3. Find Plone Properties (#15 on my setup)
  4. Click the checkbox next to Plone Properties
  5. Scroll down and select “Export Selected Steps”
  6. Save the file to your desktop
  7. Unpack the zip file and save the file (propertiestool.xml) to your desktop
    It will look like this:

So now you have something that looks like this, scary isn’t it?

For your own product you don’t have to include the entire base file from Plone’s propertiestool as long as you include purge=false within the property tag. The purge=false acts as a way to attach this new property name to the original properties file. If you don’t add purge=false you will break your properties because it will only use what you have included in your xml file.

Our propertiestools.xml file (in /profiles/default) looks like this:

I hope this helps someone. I’ll be making changes to this as I learn more about Generic Setup and using it to export/import steps.
Rather than adding your file to /profiles/default on your file system you can also import the propertiestool.xml file using the import tab in portal_setup.
I haven’t done that yet. I’ll add that direction once I have.

Self-employed during Depression 2.0: 6 ways to cut costs

We little guys struggle here amidst a tough economy just as much as the big guys. It’s time to look at our spending habits (if you haven’t already) and determine how we can cut costs and still get things done (whatever that means to your business).

1. Hardware – Save the earth and save some cash by purchasing second-hand computer bits. My favorite place to shop is Weird Stuff in Sunnyvale (they do ship some stuff). I’d be willing to bet there is a place like Weird Stuff in your area or in your nearest Metropolitan area. Especially now with so many companies going out of business there is a lot more selection and hardware that is only a generation or so behind. We’ve purchased at least a dozen servers at Weird Stuff and optimized them ourselves with bits we found at Weird Stuff and online. Solid machines at a budget price! Still going strong.

2. Office Space – If you need to work away from home due to the distractions of daily life then consider sharing an office with someone else. Office share can be beneficial in a few ways. Running our own business can be isolating and having someone to share ideas with or just split the cost on office sundries can help us feel a bit more connected to the outside world. Sharing an office also reduces overall cost. Look on craigslist.org or in local newspaper ads under real estate or rental. Have an office already and struggling to pay the monthly rent? Consider extending use of your office for a few hours a week to those who work-at-home so they can meet with clients in a professional setting.

3. Business Cards – one word – VistaPrint. I don’t hand out very many business cards these days because most of my dealings are via internet or smart phone. That said, it is essential for you, as a business owner, to carry some sort of contact information to hand to someone who may not be as tech-savvy. VistaPrint is inexpensive but I’ve found the quality is excellent. Don’t get fancy with your cards, save the money for online advertising.

4. Great customer service – Keeping clients happy is the most cost-effective way to promote your business. They say “word-of-mouth” is cheap but in all honesty you have to work hard to generate that buzz you need to elevate your business in the minds of your clients. A happy customer will tell one person and unhappy customer will tell ten people. Look at ways you can improve customer service (make an extra phone call, respond to email quickly or just make sure your customer knows that you care)

5. Start a cooperative – Do you know other business owners who are struggling? Can you get together and share costs and leads? Although cooperatives have been around for years there is a renewed interest in this business model. Depending on how the cooperative is setup they can share advertising costs, marketing costs and the cost of doing business on a daily basis. Not only does this reduce stress on the individual owners but it also encourages some really interesting collaboration.

6. Use Open Source – Do you really need that $2000.00 Adobe package? Shelling out another $300 to upgrade to the newest Windows OS? Try Open Source and you’ll see that you can still get the job done and save yourself $100’s a year in software costs. Don’t know of an Open Source alternative to your favorite program? Ask around, there are 1000’s of applications out there free to use that will meet your needs. Here is a great site to get started Open Source Alternatives. Take a look at distrowatch for the 100’s of linux distros currently available, find one that’ll meet your daily business needs. You can try them out using either VMWare or VirtualBox (I personally prefer VirtualBox). See my post about the Top five Open Source projects for daily use and the one I wrote about VirtualBox . Think outside the box and you can improve your small business chance at success.

Small business really took a hit when the economy tanked but that doesn’t mean it needs to stay down. Take a look at your current costs and you can find ways to weed out the deadwood and keep your business alive.

Please add your own suggestions for cost-cutting in your small business.