Archive for October, 2011

Every Page Needs to Be Optimized

Every Page Needs to Be Optimized

For smaller site owners, this isn’t a terrifying prospect. While the entire optimization process can take a while from start to finish, a website that only has 50-100 pages isn’t going to have to spend the next month implementing changes. That may not be the case for much larger sites and their owners. For a site with 1,000+ pages, on-site optimization is going to take much longer and will have to be implemented over time.

Here are a few tips for making sure that every page gets optimized:

1. Check out what pages Google has indexed

You can either use the site operator search right in the Google search or (for more accurate results) check out your Google Webmaster Tools account. You want to get it from the horse’s mouth and find out exactly what pages of your site Google has indexed. Every and all pages indexed by Google need to be properly optimized.

This is also a good time to make sure that your site has been properly indexed by Google. Did you add any new pages recently that aren’t showing up in your reports? Your might need to resubmit a new XML sitemap.

2. Create a spreadsheet

Using an XML sitemap tool you should create a text file of all the pages on your website. It will put your website into a Notepad document, which you can then transfer to an Excel document with each URL in its own line. As you go through your site you can check off each URL when you finish optimizing it. This will help ensure you don’t accidentally skip or miss any pages.

3. Weigh time vs. return

This is for the actual optimization process. When it comes to deciding which pages you are going to optimize first, it’s important to weigh time versus return and identify which pages of your site are the most valuable to your company. For instance, an e-commerce site would need to identify which product pages generate the most revenue for the company. These pages have the highest conversion rate or might be some of the more products on your site. These are the pages you want to optimize first and get live as soon as possible. Then you can roll the rest of your site out in batches.

It’s important to remember when optimizing your site that you don’t just focus on the product pages or homepage. Many companies often forget about their Contact Us page or About Us page and so forth. While these pages may not get the traffic that other pages on your site gets, they are a great place to go after branded keywords.

 

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy. Through Internet Marketing he places his name on great search engine like-GOOGLE who is also called as Innovator, Investor, Internet Marketing Guru and Entrepreneur. For more updates don’t go away, please stay with us.

Pick a winner

How to pick a winner

I’ve been picking a lot of winners lately. I helped pick our next Forrester book from eight candidates. I helped pick the winning entries in the Forrester Groundswell Awards. And within Forrester, we’re running an idea contest for improvements to our business on our sharing site, the HERO Platform.

I’ve learned a little about what works well and what doesn’t with all these contests. If you have to run a contest, maybe this can help you. What I learned can be broken down into before, during and after:

Before the entries come in

  • Know why you’re doing this. We do the Forrester Groundswell Awards to showcase excellence in social applications, strengthen relationships with people who create it, and generate fantastic case studies. We solicit ideas for Forrester’s business not just to improve the business, but to help employees feel they can create positive change. Knowing your objectives will help you make decisions about how to run your contest.

 

  • Set the rules carefully up front and publish them. Your entrants will need to know how you’re judging — and so will your judges. Write it down. Post it. Think of what could be misinterpreted and clarify. Fairness is important; so is clarity, if you want good entries.

 

  • Plan to promote. How will people find out about this contest? There are so many awards and contests, yours has to stand out. That means you need to promote it — and spreading the word through social is a powerful technique. For the Forrester Groundswell Awards, in addition to a blog post, we and our account folks contacted many technology vendors and agencies who are motivated to participate.

 

During the entry period

  • Get the entries posted in a public place. It generates a lot of interest to allow people to view the entries — in all three of these contests; the entries went up where people could see them, either on the open Internet or on our internal sharing system. We encouraged people to vote on, rate, and comment on the entries. This makes the entrants your publicists — they’ll drive people to the site for you. I saw lots of tweets about the Forrester Groundswell Awards entries, for example.

 

  • Panic effectively. Based on only a few dozen entries coming in with a week to go, we got worried. I did videos and we did a bunch of other things to beat the bushes. Maybe it wasn’t needed — we got 204 entries, of which more than half showed up on the last day. This right-at-deadline activity seems to get worse every year. All I can tell you is, if you have only a few entries and there’s a week to go, there’s no way to know if they’ll all come flooding in late . . . or not at all.

 

  • Don’t shift the deadline. It’s a sure sign that your contest is in trouble, and moving the deadline later doesn’t tend to generate more quality entries. What it does do is invalidate the effort of the people who did meet the deadline. I got many pleas to move the deadline on the awards — but keeping in mind the other entrants, I turned them all down.

 

During and after the judging

  • Recruit and manage a judging team. The time to recruit a team is well ahead of the judging, not after. Get the judges together, virtually or in a meeting, and make sure the criteria are clear. We have different judging teams on different divisions of the Forrester Groundswell Awards, but a few of us review everything to ensure consistency. I scored the book candidates on various criteria and together with Forrester management, we made the decision. And I have a set of Forrester managers lined up to judge the business innovations. If the team knows the criteria, they typically do a good job. If you have too few people, not only will they be overworked, but they won’t benefit from a diverse set of viewpoints.

 

  • Keep track on a shared site. The Forrester Groundswell Awards judging, the book selection, and the idea contest are all on our HERO platform. This works way better than emailing stuff around, and it’s crucial to keep everything organized for the next stage.

 

  • Allow time between selecting the winners and announcing. For an external, you’ll want to inform the winners and give them time to prepare. We give winners about three weeks notice. Longer and you risk leaks. Shorter and it’s not fair to expect them to react appropriately and come to the event where the winners are announced.

 

 

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy. Through Internet Marketing he places his name on great search engine like-GOOGLE who is also called as Innovator, Investor, Internet Marketing Guru and Entrepreneur. For more updates don’t go away, please stay with us.

keywords

Utilizing the Modified Broad Match Keyword Type

Sometimes, it takes a different type of text to get your message across, notably on search engines. But what if it is not enough to draw in the clicks that you need? Maybe it would help if you had a search function that would locate your term at the soonest and make you more accessible to your prospective clients. In this regard, making use of the modified broad match option for Google AdWords could come in handy.

First, you have to understand the modifier. The plus sign would be the symbol for modified search. To make clear on this, to use this type properly, you just type in a keyword or keyword string with “+” before the keywords you would like to change. Afterwards, the match type you would input in the Adwords interface would be “broad”. Now, for the different match types, here they are:

1)Fully Modified Broad Match Keyword – this would mean a + modifier right before every word in the keyword string. As long as all words in the term appear in the client’s search, they will generate the said ads. For example, your broad match pairing would be for the keyword “racing sports magazine”. When added with a modifier in Google Adwords, it appears as “+racing+sports+magazine”.The keyword the client will use to generate the ad should have all the terms racing sports magazine in it, no matter what the order. Example of valid terms include: fast racing sports magazine, sports magazine for racing, recent magazine about racing sports, etc.

2)Dual Anchor Modified Broad Match Keyword – such a match would have two words that will appear in the complete keyword and leave out one that can be not included in any valid query. Say we apply the match type sports magazine just to those two last words. Thus, the format “racing+sports+magazine” when creating the broad match, with only the word racing not having the plus sign before it. While racing is still in the match type, it does not necessarily have to be included to trigger the ads, unlike the two aforementioned terms. For the example above, it would be monthly sports magazine, sports magazine for bikers, etc.

 

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy. Through Internet Marketing he places his name on great search engine like-GOOGLE who is also called as Innovator, Investor, Internet Marketing Guru and Entrepreneur. For more updates don’t go away, please stay with us.

nicrosoft

Microsoft Advertising creativity, relevance and connection at SPIKES Asia

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a month since SPIKES. I look forward to SPIKES every year having so many creative, bright, and well, quirky minds in the same convention hall always makes for an interesting week and this year was no exception.

This year, we focused on creativity and the art of storytelling. It’s true: any good story will immediately spark our interest and attention. But only some are told in a way that lets them stand out. Some stories not only communicate, but resonate. Not only impart, but inspire. Not only are told, but retold – over and over – reaching millions.

We put a chalkboard in our Digital Lounge where people could post notes, messages, and phone numbers during their own bursts of creativity. Like the messages on the chalkboard, the stories we share, even brief, define who we are as individuals, institutions, movements and cultures. A fundamental part of how we come to understand ourselves and the world around us, great storytelling provides us with entertainment, enlightenment and inspiration.

And to explain the concept of storytelling, we had the pleasure of having some brilliant advertising and creative minds join us including:

· Stephen Kim, General Manager for Microsoft’s Global Creative Solutions

· Richard Dunmall, Microsoft Advertising Global Accounts & Agencies

· Jason Scott, General Manager, Microsoft Advertising Asia

· Natasha Hritzuk, Director for Microsoft Advertising Insights

Each year, SPIKES produces funny, intelligent, emotional, genuine, witty, embarrassing, and human stories. Here is my list of the best this year:

· Microsoft’s APAC Marketing Lead, Frederique Covington-Corbett hosts a panel with marketing heads from Coca Cola, Diageo, e Yeka and Draft FCB, to ask: ‘Is tomorrow’s agency the consumer?’

· Steak sandwiches at Morton’s. No other words needed.

· Stephen Kim talks the talk during his session on storytelling by showing examples from Fresh Perspectives, Creators Project (Intel), Bing geo location, video video ads, Hero player, connected panoramas and the latest gaming ad formats using Natural User Interface (NUI) on Xbox Kinect. There is more to the story, and Stephen Kim is the man to show you just how much.

· Getting a workout walking across Suntec Convention Center. Really, it’s raining outside? I feel like I haven’t seen the sun in days.

· Natasha Hritzuk, along with BBDO, uses archetypes to explain the different relationship consumers have with various devices and why that matters to advertisers. TV as the Everyman, PC as the Sage, Tablets as the Wizard and smart phones as the Lover now we know why we don’t leave home without our phones.

· Microsoft Advertising and MEC take marketers into the minds of the Asian bachelor and discovered how young men spend their time and money, what media platforms and channels they value, and their aspirations in today’s digital world.

 

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy. Through Internet Marketing he places his name on great search engine like-GOOGLE who is also called as Innovator, Investor, Internet Marketing Guru and Entrepreneur. For more updates don’t go away, please stay with us.

aol

AOL Radio

AOL Radio relaunched today with new features, easier navigation, and 50% less commercials.

Bloomberg reports that AOL is cutting back to 3 minutes of commercials per hour. If they were previously running 6 minutes per hour, it’s no wonder they had trouble keeping listeners tuned in.

AOL Radio’s General Manager Lisa Namerow says that too many ads was the most common complaint among listeners. Not surprising, as we’ve learned that consumers have very different feelings about ads in different formats.

For example, TV watchers tolerate, and sometimes even enjoy, the commercials that run during their favorite shows. But surveys have shown that people don’t like seeing ads when they watch those same shows online. Maybe it’s simply a case of not knowing how to complain when it’s a TV or radio ad. With online, it’s easy to hit that contact us button and grouse.

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy. Through Internet Marketing he places his name on great search engine like-GOOGLE who is also called as Innovator, Investor, Internet Marketing Guru and Entrepreneur. For more updates don’t go away, please stay with us.

gmail

Gmail Update: Details about the New Product Update

Yesterday, Gmail, which has over 260 million people using the free email service worldwide, accidentally released a video that details upcoming product changes. Although the original YouTube video is no longer viewable, a copy of the video has been uploaded.  Jason Cornwell, a user experience designer for Google, says the following in the video:

“We’ve been hard at work to update Gmail with a new look. We’ve completely redesigned the look and feel of Gmail to make it as clean, simple and intuitive as possible.”The video revealed that the new features include: high definition themes, automatic resizing based on browser size, revamped email thread display, redesigned conversations, and advanced search features.

The video showed a selection of “high-definition themes,” which will allow users to customize the appearance of Gmail using high definition imagery. In addition to choosing one of the default themes, several experts are speculating that users will be able to upload their own photos to further customize the Gmail experience.

In addition to the new themes, Gmail will automatically adjust its size to fit within a browser window and has four display densities that users can choose from. The new version of the conversation view, which looks quite similar to Facebook Messages, displays profile photos of each person in the conversation and will be easier to read.

Currently, users have to manually type out advanced search operators or click the “show search options” link to use the advanced search feature. After the update, a user will automatically see the targeted search features every time they click “search”; in addition, users can also easily create new search filters.

When Mashable contacted Google regarding the leaked video, Andrea Freund, a Gmail representative told them:“Oops, you weren’t supposed to see that. Stay tuned, we’ll be sharing more info on Gmail’s new look soon.”

In addition to revamping Gmail, Google is also rolling out new user interfaces for Google Calendar and Google Docs that focuses on usability and removing clutter. The Gmail product update is expected to be rolled out in the next several weeks.

 

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy. Through Internet Marketing he places his name on great search engine like-GOOGLE who is also called as Innovator, Investor, Internet Marketing Guru and Entrepreneur. For more updates don’t go away, please stay with us.

seo

You Can’t Win the SEO Race if You Don’t Try

For site owners, there is little more frustrating than feeling like you are doing everything with your SEO and search marketing right and finding that the competition is still two steps ahead of you. Even worse is when it looks like the competition is using black hat SEO to dominate the SERPs. You might think to yourself, “What’s the point of my SEO anymore? It’s not working!” Before you throw your hands up in the air and walk away from SEO forever, remember these 3 things:

Your competition earned it

Your top competitors (providing they used white hate link building techniques) have earned the right to be ranking well in the search engines. They may have been at SEO for a year before they really started seeing any value from their efforts, but they never stopped trying. They produce a great blog, are active in social networks, have carefully selected the right keywords based on months of data, fine tuned the usability of their site and much more. Their SEO success didn’t happen overnight and neither will yours. Don’t get mad at your competition for outperforming your site—they’ve earned it! You can earn it too.

SEO is incredibly competitive

There is only one spot in Bing and Google and hundreds of thousands of sites are vying for that prestigious placement. Big brands have the budget and manpower to fight for broad and highly competitive keywords (shoes, furniture, software, etc) which means smaller brands and websites have to target long tail and niche keywords in order to build their online presence. Everyone knows just enough SEO to make their site a viable competitor for the keywords you are targeting, making it that much harder to reach.

Innovation will always lead somewhere

The world of SEM is full of copycats. One site launches a successful SEM campaign and a dozen sites soon follow with a strikingly similar campaign. That is no way to win the SEM race. Before you declare your SEM a failure, take an honest look at your campaign. What have you done to differentiate yourself from the pack? Did you target keywords you actually had a chance of dominating or did you put yourself against the “big boys” in your industry that aren’t going to be moved for anything? Are you finding new ways to connect with your target audience or just going everywhere the competition is? What kind of content have you been creating? You should strive to be better with your SEM, not just a copy of the competition. That is the only way you are going to get ahead.

Above all, remember that SEO and SEM are incredibly long term. It’s easy to lose hope after 3 months, but you haven’t given your campaign enough time to really get rolling. Stick with it and sooner or later you’ll start to see the improvement and results you’re looking for.

 

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy. Through Internet Marketing he places his name on great search engine like-GOOGLE who is also called as Innovator, Investor, Internet Marketing Guru and Entrepreneur. For more updates don’t go away, please stay with us.

content writing

How Much Should Content Writing Cost?

Many businesses don’t have the internal resources to fully commit to content marketing, so they look to hire a freelance copywriter to shoulder most of the work. If you don’t have the writing skills or time to devote to content marketing, this is a great idea! A good professional copywriter has the skills and know-how to craft great content for your website or blog and capture the attention of your target audience to get your brand noticed. But hiring a freelance SEO copywriter to handle your content writing begs the question, “How much should I be paying for my outsourced content?”

There really is no “right” answer for how much it costs to outsource your content. Factors like the length of the post, amount of research needed, the writer’s experience and skill level and deadlines all play a part in how much you could end up paying. In my experience, most companies should expect to be paying anywhere from $50 to $200 per article.

Now, $200 an article might be a little much if you’re looking to outsource your business blog entirely. At one post a day that’s $1000 a week just to keep your blog supplied with fresh content! If you have $1000 a week to throw at your business blog, by all means do so! If you’re operating on a smaller budget, I’d recommend taking that $1000 and hiring an SEO firm to handle your content marketing as well as the rest of your SEO. You can stretch that budget a lot farther and get more bang for your buck. For instance, not only would the SEO firm provide the content, but they would also handle the content promotion aspect to get more exposure for your content and drive links.

You could also take that $1000 (which is $4000 a month!) and hire a full-time employee with the writing skills and experience you’re looking for. You could also invest in a few writing courses to enhance your own writing skills. The point I’m trying to make is that you don’t have to be shelling out the big bucks for great content if you can’t afford to do so.

A few things to remember about outsourcing your content:
1. You never want to send your content overseas . It may be the cheaper option now, but it’s very unlikely you’ll get great content that can actually provide value for your brand and your readers.

2. Don’t rely on interns to write your content. They don’t have the in-depth knowledge about your business and industry to produce quality content. A professional copywriter will immerse themselves in your business until they know just as much as the rest of your employees.

3. You get what you pay for! A $5 article is a $5 article. How much effort would you put into something if you were only getting $5 for it?

 

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy. Through Internet Marketing he places his name on great search engine like-GOOGLE who is also called as Innovator, Investor, Internet Marketing Guru and Entrepreneur. For more updates don’t go away, please stay with us.

website

Keyword Basics for Website Success

Successful sports teams have engrained in their heads the fundamentals of their sports. Business leaders and coaches alike who dwell on the fundamentals usually have the most successful outcomes. Failure is almost always rooted in a deviation from the fundamentals. So if your website is not delivering clients, perhaps you’re missing the fundamentals.

Part of the answer is no one actually taught you the fundamentals of website success. Most businesses understand the need for a website, few understand the fundamentals. Getting your website to deliver clients is an exercise in fundamentals. First and foremost is a back to basics, grass roots understandng of your market, website style.

Keyword research is the first thing every website owner should have done but most didn’t. With respect to your online business, keyword research equals market research. The coolest thing about being online is that you can absolutely KNOW your market, understand their interests and create an online business and marketing plan relative to your market and their needs.

There are probably hundreds of keyword research tools online that can help you do research. Our advice is to seek out an expert. Getting the data is one thing. Knowing what to do with it is quite a different thing.

KEYWORD STRATEGY
The first thing that has to go is the ego of the site and/or business owner. Unless you show up in the first page of the search engine results, you’re NOBODY! Worse, you can’t push your way through the crowd to get to the top of the SERPS. You can get there by Google sponsored ads – Adwords guarantee your visibility on the SERPS. But still the point is, you’ll pay.

Let’s consider three strategies for beating your competition relative to the search engine results.

DIRECT STRATEGY
Choose the same keywords that your competition is ranking for and go head to head. If they are doing pay-per-click, you do it too. In this scenario, you’ll end up spending a lot of money to achieve and maintain top SERPS positions. If your competition is ranking on good, high traffic terms, plan on spending time, money and resources to get to the same position it may have taken them years to achieve. A direct strategy can get bloody. Ultimately, it is the most obvious choice, the least creative and the stupidest.

INDIRECT STRATEGY
Choose keywords that your competitors didn’t even think of! An indirect strategy is often associated with cross marketing and selling through an indirect channel. If you sell a service or product that your competitors don’t have, you channel your efforts through that market knowing there’s some pull-through relative to your other products and services. Very often you could be sucking business right out from under your competition’ s nose and they don’t even see it!

DIVISIONAL STRATEGY
Find out what keywords your competition is NOT ranking for in the same keyword set and go after them. The divisional strategy is the primary marketing method of niche marketers. Most business owners will equate the word “niche” with the word “small”. On the web, niche site owners are millionaires! Get rid of your pre-conceptions. The web is huge.

 

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy. Through Internet Marketing he places his name on great search engine like-GOOGLE who is also called as Innovator, Investor, Internet Marketing Guru and Entrepreneur. For more updates don’t go away, please stay with us.

Google news

NEW THIS WEEK WITH GOOGLE:

A fall sweep 

We aspire to build great products that really change people’s lives, products they use two or three times a day. To succeed you need real focus and thought—thought about what you work on and, just as important, what you don’t work on. It’s why we recently decided to shut down some products, and turn others into features of existing products.

Here’s the latest update on what’s happening:

  • Code Search, which was designed to help people search for open source code all over the web, will be shut down along with the Code Search API on January 15, 2012.

 

  • In a few weeks we’ll shut down Google Buzz and the Buzz API, and focus instead on Google+. While people obviously won’t be able to create new posts after that, they will be able to view their existing content on their Google Profile, and download it using Google.

 

  • Jaiku, a product we acquired in 2007 that let users send updates to friends, will shut down on January 15, 2012. We’ll be working to enable users to export their data from Jaiku.

 

  • Several years ago, we gave people the ability to interact socially on iGoogle. With our new focus on Google+, we will remove iGoogle’s social features on January 15, 2012. iGoogle itself, and non-social iGoogle applications, will stay as they are.

 

  • The University Research Program for Google Search, which provides API access to our search results for a small number of approved academic researchers, will close on January 15, 2012.

 

In addition, later today the Google Labs site will shut down, and as previously announced, Boutiques.com and the former Like.com websites will be replaced by Google Product Search.

Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the past. We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+. Our users expect great things from us; today’s announcements let us focus even more on giving them something truly awesome.

 

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy. Through Internet Marketing he places his name on great search engine like-GOOGLE who is also called as Innovator, Investor, Internet Marketing Guru and Entrepreneur. For more updates don’t go away, please stay with us.