Monday, December 6, 2010

Definition of the Day

Digital Nomads
Definition: The ever-expanding group of workers using wireless technology to eliminate the need for an office.


Interesting biz lingo... think I might be a "Digital Nomad" in fact, I'm laying in bed right now, who needs an office?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How to Determine a Marketing Budget for a Small Business – A Groundhog View Out of Thin Air

Okay, so my good friend and colleague Jim Peake of SpeechRep Media, Inc is always talking to me about marketing and how he advises his clients on how to determine their marketing budgets. Our conversations are always full of golden nuggets and really should be published half of the time (good times Jim!) so this time I finally said, "You know what Jim, that's great advice, you should really write a piece About it..." and just like magic, look what popped into my e-mail account this morning:

How to Determine a Marketing Budget for a Small Business – A Groundhog View Out of Thin Air

First I must tell you I usually need a calculator to add 2 + 2, or if I use my fingers that works too.  OK now that I have your attention let’s talk about marketing and figuring out what a marketing budget should be.  I can go and find any financial genius and they can give us all kinds of strategies for coming with the perfect number probably down to the exact penny.

The owner of the business, the CEO usually has the last say in what gets approved and nixed.  So let’s say we have a services business, a hair salon, a consulting firm, an accounting firm, law offices or a graphic designer or you name it, pick the SIC code we want to figure out what it will take to market our business and do so profitability so we can continue to stay ahead of the curve.

Marketing is the Engine that Pulls the Train

Let’s face it, marketing is the engine that pulls the train and sales is the conductor.  Without profits we are screwed unless you are Rudi Dekkers.  (Google him up if you don’t know who he is).   So in my world our revenues must exceed our expenses.  If that is not the case we are bleeding red ink and if we bleed red ink we probably don’t have a license to print money or make new dollar digits.  So as a benchmark I have come up with a minimum starting percentage.  

Side note on sales, these sales guys get really expensive really fast and only about 5% will generate about 80% of your profits another number I pulled out of thin air, maybe you can confirm it.  They drive expensive cars, eat at expensive restaurants and love racking their expense accounts to the max because they deserve it and are entitled, or at least some think so.  My point here is marketing should be giving these guys high quality leads ALL the time so we can boost the 5% to a more acceptable number, however in my experience accounting is always trying to “cut expenses in sales” via marketing and they wind up sucking wind in the long run.  I know this first hand because I lived it.
This percentage is based on my experience and NOTHING else.  So I am pulling this number out of thin air, however it seems to work well for a starting point.  We need to spend at least 20% of our monthly revenue on marketing if we are going to get any real measurable results in the first 3-4 months.  This includes marketing assistants, VP’s, 800’s, web designers, ad agencies, market research, social media, SEO, link building PPC, article writing you name it.

If after spending 20% you are getting too much business start to spend less.  On the other hand if you are not making a profit with a 20% marketing budget it is time to do two things, either spend more so you do get enough business to make a decent profit or stop what you are doing and change fast, for example hire a website consultant or a competent internet marketing consultant and start to test other methods of getting revenue going where your expenses do not exceed your revenue.

This is where the rubber meets the road

OK, so some dude who wrote this on the internet says 20% is the good starting number what the hell does he know?  He knows very little, but has 30 years experience in business.  However what he does know is if you spend for instance $10,000 per week on marketing and you can generate $40,000 per week in revenue that is called a 4:1 MER or media efficiency ratio.    So what happens when we increase that weekly spend to $100,000?  It should generate $400,000 in weekly revenue.  Depending on your profit margin this is either a good ratio or a bad ratio.  Hopefully you have enough margin it is a “good ratio.”

If you are spending 5% of your monthly revenue on marketing and not getting your results, but the marketing you are doing is working why not spend more?  Oh, the CFO says we have to “cut back.”  Well let’s cut back and we can cut ourselves out of a job too.  I will also tell that CFO he is not in business to make money and this thing he calls “work” is something of just a “pet hobby” and not a business and he is sucking others into his “pet hobby.”  If we operate out of fear of failure chances are we will get there, it’s happened to this search marketing consultant, I speak of experience.

On the other hand, if we boost the 5% monthly marketing budget to 20% and start to get the results and the profits then let’s do more of it and refine the marketing efforts even more.  Test different offers, different calls to action, different media….testing……testing…..testing…..success…..roll out baby!  I know this is an over simplification rant of sorts but if we are “going to play it safe” let’s do that in shuffle board and curling, if want to play it safe let’s play it safe when we retire.

When it goes wrong – Change Thinking

When we are spending as much as we can let’s say 40% of our monthly revenue and we can’t keep our customers and we can’t make a profit it is time to reevaluate the whole business situation.  Ask why?  How can we do it better?  Are we going after the right customer?  As Einstein said, "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."  So do something, pick up the phone and call a website consultant or a internet marketing consultant, or do nothing and “play it safe.”

About the Author: 
Jim Peake is a website consultant, internet marketing and management consultant with special focus on healthcare marketing in the behavioral health and addiction treatment industry. He helps businesses improve their identities, branding, web presence, traffic generation, lead generation, SEO, PPC, online as well as offline, video production, video optimization and syndication. He uses advanced direct response advertising techniques; Jim also helps sellers meet buyers of businesses and is active in social media marketing.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Working from Home

Okay, so about a year ago I left corporate hell and started working for myself. Naturally I don't have an office (yet) and immediately turned my dining room into an office I now spend all day and night in... It's kinda become a joke that I went from wearing make-up and heels everyday to slummin it in my PJ's virtually 24/7... so, when I ran across this today I laughed my ass off!!!

Why working at home is both awesome and horrible


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Update: Jenny's SEO Slang

Soooo, I updated my page called: Jenny's SEO Slang

I think there are probably 1,000 more to add... send me an e-mail or comment here with terms that you think I should add so together we can create the largest list of "SEO Slang" anywhere :-)


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Top 10 Best Practices for Landing Page Conversion Optimization

What is a “Landing Page”?

Although often times a landing page is referred to as the page a user lands on after clicking on a Pay Per Click (PPC) ad, landing pages are really any page, HomePage (HP) or SubPage (SP), within a particular website that a potential client will land on after clicking on an add, an organic result in the search engines, e-mail marketing campaign or even an article or Press Release.

Best Practices for Website Landing Pages – AKA – Conversion Rate Optimization:

Below is a list of the top ten best practices for landing pages. The list encourages companies to make smart marketing choices, which will not only engage the user but be able to show higher return on investment(ROI).

1. Unify the Intent – Landing pages perform best when the content is promotion-based. With this type of landing page, the content is concise and focused on one appealing message. Even the most brand-focused company ("we're not promotional, we're all about brand") engages in some sort of promotional activity.

2. Visually Engage the User – Tell a story or sell a product using impactful imagery rather than simply explaining the purpose with lengthy copy. (Think short attention pans, we are on the internet after all).

3. Focus the User Experience – Feature clean navigation and succinct calls to action. Landing pages should be used as a teaser to easily point the customer to the desired action. (Call now!)

4. Use a Direct Headline – Making a good first impression is just as important online as it is in the real world. A clear and direct headline should be the first thing the user notices upon viewing the page. Make sure the headline is a direct and simple statement of what the page visitor is trying to accomplish.

5. Leave Plenty of Whitespace — Visitors don’t read, they scan the text to determine if the page is relevant to their goal or not. Clean use of space allows visitors to scan and understand key messages.

6. Deliver a Clear Value Proposition – Answer any potential “whys?” with value propositions. Keep them limited to three or four bullet points and don’t mince words. This is no time to get cute – if visitors can’t quickly and easily understand the benefits of your product or service, they will leave.

7. Amplify Buttons – Attracting attention is what the main action buttons are all about. Make users notice where the button is upon landing. Odd button shapes work well. Also, don’t skimp on button size. *I personally think there should always be a big “Contact” button or a quick form on each page. You don`t need people to read your site once they get there, you just want them to take an action.

8. Convey Trust and Security - Branding, trust/security icons and assurances, as well as testimonials provide credibility and give confidence to the visitor that can have a positive impact on conversion. *I suggest trust icons such as the BBB, Mcafee, etc. and always place them above the fold. You might put “Our Returns Policy,” “Member of the Better Business Bureau,” “As Seen in Architectural Record,” “Company Information” and more to remove fear and build confidence.

9. Provide a Compelling Message — Every good salesperson says something to persuade prospects who are on the fence. Think of your landing page as your online salesperson. Make sure you have one compelling message directly above the call to action. “Bandwagon messages,” such as “Join thousands of people that use…” can also improve visitor confidence and increase conversion.

10. Soften the Call to Action – Direct words like “Buy,” “Add to Cart” or “Subscribe” indicate a commitment that the visitor may not be ready to make and can lower conversion rates. A softer call to action like "Try it Now" can drive users deeper into the funnel and result in higher conversions. The best calls to action are written in plain English with no more than 7-12 words.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Advanced Geo Targeted PPC Advertising Methods

My good friend John Pfeiffer wrote this piece.... thought I'd share:

Advanced Geo Targeted PPC Advertising Methods

Geographically focusing your paid search engine advertising to specific locations within your Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft’s adCenter (Bing) campaigns is one of the simplest and most important direct marketing tools to effectively drive qualified traffic to your small business website.  But on more than one occasion, small business owners create ads with their city mentioned in the headline and then display these ads nationally!  (i.e. I live in “Colorado” but I’ve seen ads for “Boston Chiropractors” while searching from my local office).  This is a good example of very bad geo targeted PPC advertising and complete waste of marketing dollars in geographies where your customers do not live.

Instead, I suggest that PPC advertisers take the following steps to ensure your geo targeted PPC advertising is done properly and seen by the most “relevant” number of potential customers as possible.
  1. First, look at your customer database, web logs and/or billing addresses to determine where most of your customers live.  This will give you the first sphere of geographical focus for which to display your advertising
  2. If you are seeking to expand your geographical reach in search of new potential customers, consider “like” areas throughout the state, region, country or world for your next target focus.  For example, if you are selling “golf clubs”, look for cities, states or areas where golf courses exist (i.e. Alaska may not be a best place to start, but Florida is probably a good bet).
  3. Advertise in areas of the smallest increments.  For example, if you are currently set your geo targeted PPC advertising for the entire U.S., consider lowering the target areas to all states or even metro areas.  This trick will give you another line of copy on your Google advertisements and can separate your ad from the competition.
  4. When targeting small areas within a state or region, I recommend to use both the custom geo-targeting map AND the city/state selections.  By including both the names of the cites/states along with a circle radius or polygon around your business location, you will be able to show your ads more frequently to more potential customers while still gaining the advantage of the 5th line of copy underneath your ads (i.e. your business name, address and phone).
  5. Select negative geo targeted PPC advertising locations where appropriate to avoid unwanted clicks from strange countries, states or areas where you are prohibited to advertise or not licensed to do business in that particular area (e.g. lawyers, real estate agents, and mortgage brokers).  This may be especially true if you live near a state, county or country line.
  6. Remember that some internet service provides (ISPs) reside in areas that may not be located in your target market region.  Since the search engines usually segment the geo-targeting by the physical location of the ISP address, you may need to add these regions to capture your entire target market audience.

By using some of these advanced geo targeted PPC advertising techniques for your next pay-per-click campaign, you should be able to raise your click-through rates (CTRs), increase your Quality Scores (which lends itself to lower bids for less expensive clicks), and ultimately, acquire more customers within your desired market area.

About the Author: John Pfeiffer helps small business owners succeed online against big budget advertisers with affordable pay per click advertising management services.  He is also the author of numerous articles and white papers on affordable PPC advertising and search engine marketing.  John can be reached at © 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

Follow Up Post: Dear Spammers

So, chances are the majority of the Chinese spam comments I'm getting are from some automated script OR maybe even just mindless blog spammers who can't even read English. Either way, no one has stepped up yet and submitted a legitimate blog post, even after I agreed to FREELY link out if they did so (See my original blog: Dear Spammers). *sigh*

Don't worry, I'm aware that probably no one is reading this in the first place, so I'm not completely oblivious to the fact that the real reason no one has submitted a legitimate post is more likely because NO ONE is reading my blog....  but still.... I had an idea.

Today I created a new blog called: Comment Love

So, dear Spammers, if you are reading this, please feel free to Blog Spam away.... Just click here:
Bring on the Comment Spam!

As for the rest of you, you might find this little experiment interesting. Why not help me out by leaving a totally mindless comment (on my Comment Love blog) with a link back to yourself.... you might even get a good link out of it! :-)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

SEO Definition of the Day: URL Canonicalization

Question: What is URL canonicalization or a canonical URL?

Answer: Canonicalization is the strange word Google uses to describe the process of picking the best URL when they see more than one choice (example below). According to Matt Cutts it usually refers to the URL choices of the home page. For example, although a lot of people would consider these the same URL`s:


…they are all technically different URL`s (intended to all point to the HP). Because they are unique, a web server can return different content, images, etc for all the URL`s above. When Google "canonicalizes" a URL, they go through the process of picking one URL, generally the one that makes the most sense for the site.

To help Google pick the one you want, decide on the best suited URL for internal linking and use that format consistently throughout the site. Beyond consistency in the internal linking structure, you should also do a permanent 301 redirect from any other formats to the desired URL. Doing this helps Google better understand which URL you prefer to be canonical.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dear Spammers

I understand you are spamming my blog for the link juice... I would LOVE to publish your comments, but they are spammy as all hell and I just can`t bring myself to do it. So, I have an idea:

If any of you have something REAL to say on the subjects of:

Online Marketing
SEO (Search  Engine Optimization)
SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
Social Media
Link Building
PPC (Pay Per Click)
LPO (Landing Page Optimization)
Web Design

or anything else you think would be useful to readers of this blog.... send it to:

Let me know that you would like me to publish your comments as a guest blogger and what KW`s you`d like me to link out to and where. If what you send is worth publishing, I`d be happy to link to you!

P.S. This goes for anyone reading this - not just the spammers :-)

Come on writers, show me what ya got ;-)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Article Marketing for Drug Addiction Treatment:

This piece was written by a good friend and Internet Marketing and Management Consultant, Jim Peake. Jim and I work in a similar space (treatment centers) and agree on the article marketing strategies outlined below.

Happy reading!


Article Marketing for Drug Addiction Treatment: 

As with any internet marketing for drug addiction treatment centers, therapists and behavioral health counselors or any other industry, it is all incremental. There is no one silver bullet, except maybe Oprah, and that only lasts a day unless you can find another way to get some more mileage out of it. So, in the absence of a silver bullet, let's look at several methods in getting qualified traffic to your site.

Article marketing is one of the most cost effective ways to drive traffic. It allows you to get essentially "free" targeted traffic to your website by writing articles and uploading them to article directories, which serve a couple of functions:

  • Distribution/Syndication: Many article directories rank well and since they have search engine visibility, it is very possible your article will get the same visibility and therefore end up ranking naturally in Google's organic results.
    • A word about anchor text links* — Article directories allow you to place one to four hyperlinks within your article. The value of these links is what you get in exchange for the article directory receiving your free content.
  • Sites Seeking Relevant Content: Other webmasters look to article directories for relevant articles to use as content on their own websites. While they are supposed to give you credit for your article and a link back, oftentimes this is not the case. But if they do link back, it can be very helpful from an SEO standpoint as you will get "free" links.
A closer look at SEO

In order to understand why article marketing is so effective, we need to understand a little bit about SEO. What is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Using both on and off-page SEO, you can increase your organic placement and therefore traffic volumes from the search engine result pages.

Ideally with more traffic coming into your site, the greater the odds for a more significant increase in conversions. The first order of business is becoming more familiar with some of the "on page" items that the search engines care about.

  • Title tag usage — code that shows up in the Google search results
  • Body text — text of the article itself
  • H1 tags — headline on the Web page
  • Domain names — is a domain name
  • Meta usage — title, description, keyword, alt, image tags etc.
These code changes contribute to better ranking and are taken into account by the search engines on page.

Since on-page and content are almost exactly the same, what deciding factor do search engines use to rank one listing over another? What drives organic website rank in the SERP's (Search Engine Results Pages)? Google is looking at what sites are the most referenced, and who has the most incoming links, particularly via relevant content. Writing great articles and content can attract more people who in turn may naturally link to you. Once a site achieves more inbound links, it will naturally get pushed up the Google search ranks. And the site who has the most links and the highest quality links wins.

Let's take a look at this in more detail. SEO has to be structured around keywords, i.e. keyword specific links. But just having links is not enough. Google also looks at the following attributes in a site's link portfolio:

  • Link popularity — the popularity of the hosting site
  • Link age — older is better as it shows more trust
  • Link topic — such as Article Marketing Drug Addiction Treatment (Relevancy has a lot of weight)
  • Link authority — whether or not the hosting site ranks, the number of links, etc
  • Link reputation — whether or not the hosting site is trusted in Google
  • Link growth rates — you want a natural trend for quicker trust
  • Linking with a community on niche — this is absolutely critical
  • Link anchor text – keyword specific (see below for the code example and an actual clickable link)
An example of a clickable anchor text/link text is: Drug Rehab

Google looks at these links and how the hosting sites are looking at you. The site with the most anchor text keywords and the absolute best incoming links stands the best chance of ranking for specific keywords. For instance, if you want to rank for "Pet Friendly Women Only Drug Addiction Treatment in Florida" you will have a much easier time of it than if you are trying to rank for "Drug Rehab in Florida".

What topics should I write about in drug Addiction treatment?

One way to deliver customer that answers they're looking for is to record your admissions phone calls. You will begin to see a pattern of similar questions being asked by clients before they even consider entering a treatment center. Chose a popular question as the topic of an article. Make sure you really are as thorough as possible in answering ALL of the questions surrounding this one particular topic when writing your piece. For example, if you chose, "What is your aftercare program like after I leave the treatment center?" start by rewriting that question into a generic topic for an article such as, "What are the best drug addiction treatment center aftercare programs like?" Remember you are NOT advertising your treatment center. With article marketing, you are only providing information and a reference source.

Look closely at the leaders in your niche, visit their websites and Twitter profiles. Find out what people are asking them. You will begin to see patterns. Make sure that you are covering some of those same topics and do it more thoroughly. The you more you write, the more likely you will be viewed as an authority — so give it all away! Yes, give the readers your absolute best information. You can't give away a lifetime of professional work in one article or 100 articles. Instead, if you do give the user your best information you might be perceived as the industry expert since many others are just giving away superfluous and redundant generic information.

Syndicate drug addiction treatment articles

Not only is using article marketing directories a great place to distribute your information, you also can connect with aggregators like and to simultaneously distribute your content to many of the social media sites. This saves a lot of time in manual distribution. You can also use article syndication tools like

Google doesn't actually tell us, but many authority SEOs think Google`s algorithm determines organic placement — 20-30 percent on-page factors (metas, content, etc) and 70-80 percent off-page factors (links). In other words, LINKS MATTER MORE! Your links will determine how successful your rankings are.

In order to get your articles distributed, article marketing directories are the best place to start. A site like Ezine Articles gets some 15 Million readers per month. Just make sure that if you are using article directories (especially if you are manually submitting the content) that they are passing page rank. Don't know how to check? Just use the list below and add at least one article to four or five of the article directories every week, if possible.

Start writing for other websites and Blogs

Writing for the article directories is one way to connect with your target audience. However, there are many other ways to get your messages out there. I would focus on the drug treatment industry publishers in order to get relevant, powerful back links from trusted websites. For instance, take this article on Behavioral Health Central. By writing for BHC, this article not only winds up in the Google news, it also gets picked up by other websites and repurposed. You can also write for other drug addiction treatment topics on sites like, and many others. Just contact the publisher to learn about their guidelines and see if your expertise is required.

Show me the money! Or where's the beef?!

The "beef" is in the links of the articles. So what is the best way to go about getting these inbound links to your site? Just building content is not enough; it is a failed strategy. Reciprocal links are not good enough and actually don't hold much weight unless they are in your own niche. So if you have a drug addiction treatment center and you have incoming reciprocal links with a rental car company, for example, Google does not care too much about that link(s). Here are a few ways to get incoming links:

  • Make sales calls to get links
  • Write for other publishers
  • Distribute press releases
  • Purchase links and advertisements
  • Start blog commenting "with follow links"
  • Write blogs
  • Use authority directory submissions listings
    • (industry relevancy first)
    • Best of the web
  • Use Q&A sites, like Yahoo Answers
  • Use social media sites, like LinkedIn, Twitter etc.
  • Drug addiction treatment article components
To help your article generate maximum value, consider these components of article marketing articles:

  • Title should include your key phrase
  • Body should be 400-600 words max
  • Reading should be easy and allow the user to skip, skim and scan
  • Keyword should have focus and density
  • Author box should have links coming back to your site (many times you can prepare multiple author profiles)
Hand submit to the article directories and remember, more is not always better. You want sites that are both SEO friendly (for the search engine value) and that also achieve high traffic volumes (for potential direct clicks). Your site has a set link build rate according to Google. They know if you got two links per week for the last year. To make your efforts appear natural, you want to vary your anchor text and your destination pages. You don't want to always link to the home page. This looks unnatural. Do not over optimize one keyword or one page. Products like SEO Elite will help you with back link anchor text.

As far as we know in the SEO space, duplicate content filters do not exist for articles. Competition is what separates the wheat from the chafe. While several sites might republish the same article, Google will analyze which is the best optimized page and which is the best hosting site. Google will then remove the article on lower valued site(s) from their index.

A short list of benefits with article marketing

Keep a daily look out in your Google Analytics of where your referral sites are coming in from. You should begin to see some patterns. You can even have these reports automated to you and sent in an e-mail (Google Alerts). With very little effort, you can get some serious benefits from article marketing.

  • Article marketing gets your name and business "syndication".
  • Article marketing runs in the background and work for you while you are sleeping.
  • Article marketing does not require ongoing administration.
  • Article marketing is scalable.
  • Article marketing is trackable.
  • Article marketing is not advertising, it is information distribution.
  • *Article marketing lets you embed up to four links per article for links back to your website(s).
In summary, if you aren't doing article marketing right now, you need to start. It should be a key component of your off-page SEO strategy to help generate organic traffic to your website. You can either do it yourself by following some of the guidelines above, or hire an Internet Marketing Consultant to do it for you. You might want to consider drug addiction treatment article marketing as 10-25 percent of your SEO strategy…because it works!


Jim Peake is an internet marketing and management consultant with special focus on addiction treatment in the behavioral health industry. He helps treatment centers improve their web presence and lead generation, online as well as offline. He uses advanced SEO and PPC direct response advertising for addiction treatment search engine marketing. Jim also helps sellers meet buyers of treatment centers, and is active in social media marketing.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Big Thank You to my Voters!

Hey Guys,

I know it was a simple task, but 14 of you chose to help me out and take my poll. Gee, thanks guys!

Now I`m going to collect my data and I`ll update you once my conclusions have been made.


Jenny Stradling

Monday, April 5, 2010

Please Take My Poll

Hi World...! Or should I say the few of you kind people who may stumble across this post.... Can you do me a favor and take my poll... right over there:

I`m doing an experiment. Thanks! 

Monday, March 29, 2010

SEO Definition of the Day: KEI

Since someone asked me "What is a KEI?" today, I thought I`d share the answer with all of you:

Depending on who you ask, KEI stands for Keyword Effectiveness Indicator or Keyword Efficiency Index

According to a popular tool used for keyword research - Trellion:

"KEI is designed to measure the effectiveness, or the value of a given search term. KEI is a value between 0 and 10.

The value of each keyword is calculated by correlating a number of factors including the popularity of the keyword and the number of pages on which it occurs. The most effective keywords will be those with a high KEI value. Such terms are typically searched for often, but appear on a small number of pages, and are therefore less competitive."

My 2 cents:

Although I use several tools to determine target keyword terms, whether you are referencing KEI, allintitle/allinanchor, difficulty or the competitiveness of any particular key phrase - less is always more! The higher the level of difficulty/KEI, generally speaking, the harder it will be to rank for that specific keyword term. However, don`t ever rely on one number to give you the data you need when selecting your key phrases - especially if you are actually investing into a link building campaign! Remember, it`s not just how MUCH competition you have but WHAT the competition is doing. KEI should help you narrow down a large list of possibilities, but the ultimate decision should be based off of taking a look at who is already ranking for the desired keyword. When looking at the competition, ask yourself if the efforts you are about to put forth can realistically outdo these guys.

If the KEI is low, but the "other guys" have a large amount of indexed backlinks and pages, it may be best to look for similar term that the competition hasn`t already worked so hard on - unless, of course, you have a large amount of money to invest and a lot of patience.

Anyone else have a question?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Conan O'Brien - The New Face of Social Media?

So, I just ran across this article: Social Media and Conan O'Brien on Since I`m a huge fan of Conan and have closely followed the controversy around the whole Late Night fiasco between Conan, Jay Leno and of course NBC, the title caught my eye and I couldn`t help but read the whole piece... 

So, what does Conan have to do with Social Media and viral marketing? The article says:

"I sincerely believe that Conan knew exactly what was going to happen, and used the internet to his advantage. Many of his writers and publicity team are very young, having grown up on the internet. They knew that if they needed good publicity they would only have to turn to the internet in order to get the point across.

They used social media to secretly create "I'm with CoCo" groups while at the same time constantly making sure there was new "buzz" to pass around on twitter. From posts on Craigslist of Conan selling himself to the highest bidder for favors to late night tweets from the writing staff to their fan base, they knew that they could always win the war with an audience - that frankly is a lot more internet savvy than the Leno fan base.

Anyone engaged in social media marketing, needs to look closely at how Conan did this, how he made it seem to be organic and natural and then allowed it to seemingly take its own course. He knew how to create buzz, but more importantly content for internet buzz fodder. He knew that the one-liners that could be posted on Twitter were a thousand times more powerful than any ten minute monologue that could be spoken by ...urhmm... that other guy."

This definitely got me thinking... When it comes to viral marketing and link bait, let us all take a note from CoCo.... 

Controversy creates buzz... buzz generates traffic, increased followers and even free links...  I`m not saying you should get yourself into a mess for some free links, but if your subject is, shall we say, not that exciting, you might want to think about putting a unique spin on it. Funny, controversial, risky, taboo, outlandish and over the top videos, articles, blog posts and websites get a lot more traffic and free links than "the other stuff". 

Just look at the Conan bandwagon results: 

Type "I`m with CoCo" in your Google search bar, 27,400,000 results! (That`s almost double the results you`ll return if you just search his name, "Conan O'Brien")

Check out his new Twitter account:  created just 2 days ago, and only 2 tweets later, 374,482 followers! 

I can`t login to Twitter, Facebook, Tublr and now even the popular SEM sites without seeing something about Coco.

Maybe you should think twice about going viral and what social media really means to your brand....

Nutshell: If you aren`t participating in social media and using humor, controversy or unique concepts in your marketing efforts, you`re missing out on a bigger audience!

P.S. Go team Coco!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How to Check Indexed Backlinks

So, earlier today I ran across a blog where the blogger told his readers he was unsure how to check indexed backlinks. He said he "Googled it" and found I used to use that tool as well, but now they spammed it out (I HATE pop up ads) and they don`t give you the option of exporting the results! What`s up with that?

So, for you newbie’s who need a few shortcuts, here they are:

If you haven`t downloaded the Google Toolbar, go do it! Be sure to check the box that displays PageRank (PR). Once you have this installed, click on the PageRank button, it should give you options:

Google Links
Google Cache

By selecting "Google Links" you are giving Google a command to display all indexed link to that page ONLY. So, if you are on the homepage (HP) then you are only going to see the indexed link to the HP, not the entire site!

This same command can be manually done by simply going to and typing in the following:

links:_____________________(Domain URL here)

No spaces.

Let`s try it together using

Ask Google:

I get: Results 1 - 10 of about 3,830,000 for links:

That tells me 3,830,000 links are indexed to the HP -

WOW! That is a lot! But how do you know how many the entire site has? Good question. By installing and using the Google webmaster tools, for your own site, you can see quite a bit more.... but for the public, short of literally doing that link command on each page of the site, there is no way to ask Google for a list of all indexed backlinks.

So, now what? Why not try Yahoo! They allow the same commands, but it`s easier to follow these instructions:

Go to
Type in site:_____________________(Domain URL here)
Again, no spaces.

You have now asked Yahoo to explore that domain. Google allows a site command as well, so if you are curious how many pages are indexed in a site URL with Google, simply use the site: command in Google instead of Yahoo (this works for Bing too)... but, the Yahoo site explorer functionality is going to make this task a LOT easier...

So, let`s do it together again:

Ask Yahoo:

You should land on the default page that shows you a number of indexed pages:

I see 22,114 indexed pages. Next to the pages button you should see InLinks, click on it. I see 698,853 indexed links.... but wait! These numbers include ALL links, which means I`m getting the internal links, and, if you look to the right, we are only looking at THIS URL. So, again, we haven`t asked Yahoo to give us the indexed links to the entire site, but only to this specific page. However, Yahoo, unlike Google, gives us the option to select all pages! YAY! Be careful though, if you are looking for unique links only, you should also select "except from this domain" in the next drop down, otherwise you will be getting all of the internal links as well.

So, let`s try this again. We are already on

No, to the right of the InLinks button, you`ll see two drop down options, for the first one:

Show Inlinks: select "except from this domain"

For the second one:

to: select "entire site"

Now what do you see? I see:

1,409,131 other pages are linking to according to Yahoo! WOW!

If you want to know if a particular link is indexed in Google, find out what page it points to and give Google a link command to that specific page. Concerned you don`t see your link? Worried this means your links aren`t "working".... well, before you get too worked up, a couple of things to know:

Google NEVER displays 100% of any sites indexed backlinks (they can`t give away all their secrets!)

It takes Google 3-6 months and often times much, much longer to fully index a link, so check for the frequency of the cache instead (cache:_____________________(Domain URL here)). If the page is caching, your link is getting seen!

If you really want to get a particular link seen, link to the page that is linking to you! This ensures the spider will crawl the page and boosts the authority of the site hosting your link as well!

The Nutshell:

If you want to know something, ask the engine! Just remember these commands:

site:_____________________(Domain URL here)
links:_____________________(Domain URL here)
cache:_____________________(Domain URL here)

Questions? Need help? Ask me!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Top Video Sites for Businesses

If you have a video, what are you doing with it??

Get yourself into as many of the top 50 video sites as you can:

According to:

Here`s a few you should check out:
Video Sharing Site Page Rank
Google Video 9
BrightCove 8
PhotoBucket 8
YouTube 8
DailyMotion 7
iFilm 7
Myspace 7
Vimeo 7
BuzzNet 6
Flixya 6
GoFish 6
Kwego 6
Lulu 6
MyHeavy 6
PutFile 6
StupidVideos 6
Vmix 6
ZippyVideos 6
CastPost 5
Dotv 5
Famster 5
MeraVideo 5
Porkolt 5
VideoWebTown 5
Vidmax 4

I personally recommend:

Google Video
Yahoo Video
MSN Video
MySpace Videos
AOL Media
Daily Motion

Do yourself a favor and think about your Title, Description and Tags. Each one is an opportunity to not only capture an audience, but drop keywords and links! Simply write about your favorite keywords, the ones you want to come up in Google for! This is a free and easy way to optimize your videos and ensure that you get the kind of traffic that converts! Always include a call to action....

Promote! Yes, you can build links to a video! Yes you can get your friends and family to comment, review, view, subscribe! I`m just sayin...

The more activity on your video, the more of an authority it becomes to Google.

In a Nutshell:

My Business SEO tip of the day:

Get a video, submit it to every video site you can, optimize it and help make it popular! Think about your audience and base your video from that!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


So some terrible Chinese spammers left a comment on my blog - all in Chinese. So, Google placed Chinese Ads in my GoogleAds on my HP, here.... I guess they think the Chinese that my spam commenter garbled into at lest 20 different hyperlinks, was more relevant to my users than the subjects in my actual blog content! Haha.... Oh Google, you don`t know me or my user at all! Who is trying to make money here?

Would you pay someone to place comment links on blogs for you, knowing that they are probably 95% not relevant and so spammy looking that they would likely get deleted?

Would the owner of the site the paid Google ads are linking to (in Chinese) really want their "paid clicks" to end up on a page where the only person who would even click on them is probably just a Chinese link spammer?

I mean, really! Who is managing this stuff?

Or is the web just going to hell?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

SEO 101:

  • Pick your keywords (if you don`t know how to do this, hire a pro - trust me, it`s worth it).
  • Make your top keyword your first Title Tag, Meta tags, Content and even your URL where possible.
  • Make your site ALL ABOUT your keywords - this is all Google knows about you.
  • Content is KING! Write, write, write!
  • Don`t over stuff.... that is so 1990... now only spammers do that!
  • Update your site frequently. If your site becomes stagnate, what reason do you give Google - or your readers/customers - to keep coming back? GIVE THEM A REASON AND THEY WILL!
  • Focus on what sets you part from your competition! Why should I buy from you instead of the other 1 billion results Google, Yahoo and Bing returned?
  • Consider descriptions your 2 sec. opportunity to catch your next client... Quick, you have 2 sec. what makes you so special? (Price, timely deliver, 100% money back guarantee, custom solutions, specialized counseling, insider info, legitimacy - think BBB, certifications, etc.)
Now, take a look at your site. Make sure your site set up to please your client first, the search engine second!

Now, go get some links! You need lots of links, from different places. You need relevant links, quality, volume, variety.. but you need links! If you have a site and it`s not ranking, it`s because your competition has more links than you! It`s really is simple as that!

Nutshell: GOOGLE want 2 things: Content and (you guessed it) LINKS!

P.S. If you have no idea what I`m talking about - hire a professional! Be good at your business, let us be good at ours :-)