Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Google Pulls The Plug On Yahoo Advertising Deal

After vowing repeatedly to go through with its search advertising deal with Yahoo no matter what the Justice Department does, Google reversed course today and pulled the plug on the deal.All I can say is WHEW! Not sure this was a good thing anyway!

read more | digg story

Friday, October 31, 2008

Google Tweaks AdWords To Reward “Quality” (And Juice Revenue)

Google is ready to make some more changes to way they are currently ranking Adwords ads. What does this mean for advertisers? It means you really need to be sure your keywords in ad groups are very relevant, along with your ads and landing pages. We know that is important but now it is crucial that you ensure your keywords are grouped together as tightly as possible so that your ads become that much more relevant!

read more | digg story

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Marketing Through Tough Economic Times

Typically the first reaction to a market trending downward is to cut marketing spend. In these tough economic times savvy brand, and search marketers alike are seeing this time as an advantageous opportunity. Well how can THAT be, you ask!?

When things get quiet in the world of our competitors opportunities may present themselves in a way you have not thought about. Think about it, if you are considering cutting back on marketing spend what do you think your competitor is thinking, potentially the same thing, right? Therefore, continuing your marketing efforts as you were, or even increasing your spend, to gain more exposure can open a door of opportunity to increased brand awareness and higher profits in the end when all is said and done. As a business owner you just need to be wise in how you spend those marketing dollars. Tune into your customer base and present a message that will stick as well as make sense in these tough economic times.

Now you might ask yourself, well what do you mean by “stick” or “make sense”? If you are running a Paid Search Campaign in Google, Yahoo! or MSN, now is the time to be creative and test new ad copy that could have a positive affect on your traffic and overall sales. Change your call to action to something like, “Shop Online Now” vs. “Buy Now,” if you are running a special promotion try, “Save Now,” instead of “Shop Now.” Get it? You can also call more attention to your products or services by stating they are more “efficient” or “provide a better value.” These slight variations can really hit home with what consumers “want” to hear instead of what you want to tell them.

The bottom line is to be innovative, don’t be afraid to try new things, stand strong through tough times. Tailoring your message to consumers can really grab their attention and make a difference in your success. This is the time to be more visible, and emerge with a stronger brand when things get back to normal. Spending money wisely is the key, and focusing more on your consumers needs is crucial. But please be careful when you begin to ask untrained employees to make critical decisions for your business just to save a buck. Be smart, yes these are tough economic times but that does not mean you need to lose sight of your business goals. Plan ahead with thoughts to replace companies that probably won’t survive this economy, this should make your pain a bit more manageable don’t you think?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The 10 Truths Every CMO Should Know About Search Marketing

Last week I attended Search Engine Land’s SMX East show in New York City. What a great time of year to be in New York. My first day there I attended a couple of seminars, day one was not the best for me, but the one that really stood out to me was The 10 Truths Every CMO Must Know About Search Marketing.....
What amazed me about this track was how trivial it was...if you are a CMO, Chief Marketing Officer, I would think you should already know what those 10 truths are.
1 - SEO is an ongoing process – as an executive in a company please don’t ask for miracles, you cannot just optimize your meta tags and think everything is “A OK,” now where are our rankings!!!???
2- The #1 position is not always everything and sometimes not even possible--- NO KIDDING!!! Multiple positions can and should be a blessing...
3 - The long tail is your friend --- if you are a CMO and do not know what the long tail is and that it can bring in extremely qualified traffic then maybe you should not be a CMO! Sorry just my opinion.
4 - Both paid and natural search are equally important. Ask yourself, do you want to increase brand awareness??? Well being seen more often will allow that and then some....
5 - Customers -- hear “their" language not "yours" -- yes by golly darn you betcha -- you should be speaking to your customers telling them what they WANT to hear not what YOU want to say!!
**SIGH** half way through what a CMO should already know!!
6 - Web pages are not the ONLY assets you need to optimize -- come on folks there are Press Releases, blogs, articles so much MORE than just the web pages which should be optimized and even bidded on at times in paid search arenas.
7 - Integration is a must! -- if you are NOT sending the same message in print, that you are on the web there is a serious issue, get it together!
8 - Tools simplify everything -- well I was hoping to get some golden nugget from this statement, and well I didn't, yes tools simplify everything and yes you should be using them to make your life easier, but is there a new one, a better one????? I didn't get anything from this one other than if you are able to utilize tools to make your life easier and it does not have a negative affect on your consumer then good for you ... I already knew that – **SIGH**
9 - Bid on brand terms - if you are not doing this you are completely missing the boat ....enough said..
FINALLY – Number 10!!!
10 - Set goals -- ya think??? All CMO’s should know that goals need to be set, but you need to understand what you are trying to accomplish before you set those goals, be clear, and don’t be unrealistic, please!
Someone told me there were 11 things a CMO should know but I didn't buy it, this pretty much covers it unless someone else can think of something I might have missed. If so, please do chime in!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Google Says, Don't Rewrite Dynamic URLs To Static URLs

Google says that it's better to leave the dynamic urls as they are, than to rewrite them to look static, So now Google says do not rewrite dynamic URLs, they can crawl them just fine?? Well I tend to think that it would be easier to index, as well as being more user friendly, like this:

Who knows maybe this is a good thing for all those who do not know much about this, it will keep them from doing it incorrectly and could save a lot of headache. I am anxious to hear more about this at SMX-East!

read more | digg story

Monday, July 14, 2008

Google Releases Keyword Search Numbers

Keywords. It is always the hot subject of every online marketing campaign. How do I find them? What is the best tool to use? Can you tell me how many people search for this phrase or that phrase! There was a time when Yahoo offered up tons of information with their keyword selector tool. But alas that tool is old and not updated. Sure there are others out there, like SeoBook keyword suggestion tool, keyword discovery, wordtracker and even SpyFu although it does not really provide search volume data it does provide some very useful keyword information and I was quite upset when they started to charge a membership fee for their keyword data services.

So what is the hype about Keyword Data? Well I was happy to hear that Google FINALLY released keyword search data after years and years and years of advertisers waiting for the information we have wanted to know for so long. Is it good information? Of course! Do I think it is accurate? I am sure it is somewhat accurate, but Google has been so evasive when it comes to releasing data that will "really" help online marketers, but it is helpful and also a great gauge for keyword research. So, now if you need to determine how many searches were done per month for a specific keyword on the Google Search Engine, have at it, the new and improved Google Keyword Tool will give you that data and all I can say is it’s about time!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Brand new Google Reader for iPhone

As if the Google Reader on the IPhone wasnt already awesome they just made that much better.

read more | digg story

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Internet Marketing Tools - Assisting Small Business Owners

These days it seems that everyone claims to be some sort of Internet expert. I have quite a few years of experience and have been lucky enough to work with and be mentored by some pretty talented folks. However, I am always learning more and I try to stay abreast of as much as I can with regard to Internet search and search marketing in general. With my own busy schedule I know how hard it is for me, based on that, I know it must be even harder for small and mid-sized business owners who are at a loss for information I may be privy to, just simply because they are caught up in everyday life of managing their business while I am immersed in finding the next best solution as an Internet Marketing Executive. I am always looking to help business owners with their Internet strategies, so I thought it would be fitting to offer some easy to use tools that will assist business owners as they try to wrap their heads around the idea of marketing their website online with little or no help.

Check for Rankings:

SEO Digger -Just plug in your URL and see what turns up.

Google Webmaster Tools - Gain insight into rankings, keywords, indexed pages (how many pages of your site are in the search engine database) and much more.

Research Keywords:

WordTracker’s Free Keyword Tool

Google Free Keyword Tool

Keyword Spy -Check out information related to your competitors and find out what keywords are important to them.


XML Sitemap Generator - When you create an XML Sitemap,this file resides in the root directory of your website. It helps to inform the search engines of the pages within your website. This tool can also assist you with creating an HTML sitemap which should reside on your website as a content page, it serves as a table of contents for your visitors and search engines as well.

Links are the backbone of the web

Free Backlink Checker -This tool will not only tell you how many web pages link back to you, but it also shows you the detail so you can visit the page. You can also use this tool to research links for your competitors.

Xenu’s Broken Link Checker - This requires you to download the software, but provides a very easy to read report.

Bad Neighborhood Links - Looks for sites you are linking to and find sites that are linking to you. Remember that you can never control who links to you but you can make sure you are aware of who you link to.

These are just a few helpful tools to start you on your way. Ensuring your website is visible online can ultimately be the turning point for the success, or lack of success, for your online business. Be sure you have educated yourself thoroughly regarding what it takes to gain more exposure online. If you decide that it is too overwhelming and you would rather talk with someone who has the experience to assist you, research and find the right person who understands your individual needs as it relates to your business’ Internet marketing strategies.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

ComScore Releases U.S. Share of Searches

ComScore has released its U.S. share of searches for March 2008. Google Sites extended its share of core searches to 59.8 percent, up from 59.2 percent the previous month. Yahoo! Sites ranked second with 21.3 percent - no surprise there, followed by Microsoft Sites 9.4%, AOL LLC 4.8%, and the Ask Network 4.7%.
What does all this mean? Well it is pretty obvious that Google owns the majority of the market as it relates to search traffic so it is important to ensure that your Internet Strategies are in place with regard to your website. You not only need to penetrate Google search results but you cannot loose site of those prospective clients who are lurking in Yahoo!, MSN(, AOL and Ask!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Small Business Owners - Trust Your SEO Professional

Small businesses are always challenged by finding the right folks to help them improve their search engine visibility. Most small business are starting off with limited capital and therefore are challenged by the price tag that comes along with either hiring an SEO professional or outsourcing a reputable SEO professional who can assist them. What often happens is they end up finding someone who will “cut them a deal” and sometimes you get what you pay for. So what is a small business supposed to do? If you are a small business owner you need to get educated. Try reading some blogs from places like, search engine land to get up to speed, or sign up for Mediapost to read articles related to building an internet strategy. But most of all if you hire a consultant make sure they have not told you any of the following will help to increase your ranking in the search engines.

Here are a few SEO “I Don’t Think So’s”:

You Must Submit Your URL to Google, Yahoo!, and MSN On a Monthly Basis
While that might have been the case many years ago it is definitely not the case now. Once you register your domain name these search engines will find you. So don’t let someone tell you that you need to submit to over 5,000 search engines and directories just stop right there and say, No Thank You!

Organic Rankings Are Affected by Pay Per Click Campaigns with Google Adwords
This one always makes me laugh, but quite honestly there are many people out there who actually believe that if they run a pay per click campaign with Adwords they will get organic benefits from it, and believe it or not I actually spoke with someone who even thought that when they stopped running their pay per click campaigns with Google that their natural search results would disappear. Now come on, this is just simply not true. Paid search campaigns are an absolute benefit for many types of businesses, it helps to expand your exposure online and increases the chances of getting that prospect to your website where you can convince them to become a customer, but in no way will a paid search campaign positively or negatively influence your organic positioning.

Update Your Website’s Content Regularly to Gain Higher Rankings
While I am not against updating website content/copy and keeping it fresh this does not mean you need to go in every month and add a word or two, it simply is not going to affect your overall ranking the search engines. The only time you should update your content is when you have something of value to add that not only your potential customers will benefit from but also the search engines. Think about becoming a resource to your customers and a source of relevant information for the search engines to index and you will find that the spiders will crawl your site more often, but still no guarantee here on higher ranking.

Google Will Ban My Website if I Buy Paid Links!
You know this one is the worst, in my opinion. Not only is it not true but I am quite annoyed by this comment. Part of building a good solid online strategy may include at times purchasing paid link to increase traffic flow to your website. Google will not “ban” your site, if they feel the links are not relevant to your website’s content they may “discount” those links but they certainly will not “ban” your website, that’s just silly. Now I will say that when purchasing links one should absolutely be cautious of those strategies and ensure they will benefit your website’s overall website traffic. You will also need to be sure the site linking to you provides relevant information related to what your website offers, and finally try to stay away from those sites that are obviously adding tons of outbound links from their website. Just be smart about it and stop worrying everything will be ok.

Now I can probably go on forever here but I won’t. Here are a couple more thoughts:

Use of the Meta Keywords Tag for Higher Ranking
Do you need it? Well some might yes, and some might say no. Google does not really pay attention to it but it does not hurt you to have it, as long as you do not over do it. Keep it to about 5-7 relevant keywords and leave it alone.

Adding a Google XML Sitemap for Higher Ranking
The idea of adding the good ole Google XML site map is to let Google know about pages within your site that it may not have recognized already. Go ahead and create it you can easily do so by using a tool like XML Site Maps, and make sure you do not forget to add to Google's Webmaster Tools. While you are at it you can also submit it to Yahoo! Site Explorer and check out the Webmaster Tools as well - although the one is still in beta but worth a shot.

To wrap things up let me just quickly remind you not to use submission tools, and never believe an SEO “professional” who tells you they will guarantee you top listings in Google because to be real honest NO ONE can, how could they, even their top Web Spam Strategist Matt Cutts says you can never guarantee a #1 position in Google.

There are many consultants out there and some are willing to train you instead of tell you what they think you need to do. If you decide to hire an Internet Marketing Executive who can help with your internet strategies try to choose one that will not only be honest but one who is willing to share their strategies that will help you succeed online.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Google Health To Lauch Soon

Google to Offer Health Records on the Web? What is next for search engine giant?

Yes, it's true, a company known for broadcasting information through its search engine has launched a new Web service called Google Health. Currently in its initial rollout phase, the service will store patients' personal health data and medical records and be viewed online by doctors and other medical personnel.

Read more about the implications this new Google project can have on your personal health information, from experts in the Health Insurance industry.

digg story

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Website Grader Gives Out Free SEO Tips

Every once in a while I come across a good tool that catches my eye. Well this particular tool is a Website Grader essentially. It will ask you a few questions and spider your site to access some key information related to how the site has been optimized for search engines and spits out a report fairly quickly to review. You will even get a competitive analysis! This is a great way to initiate any SEO project to get preliminary data on a website. The only thing it did not pick up was my blog which is odd because my blog has been up longer than Marketing is Essential.

Try it out, just type in your Website address, and watch it spit out a report detailing what you can do to boost your site’s SEO juice. Pay attention to your grade as you adjust your website to meet your goals this report should be updating your initial grade!!

Good luck!

read more digg story

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Catchy Linkbait Is Worthless Without Really Good Content

Recently I read an article that came from Search Engine Land regarding LinkBait. What is linkbait? The best definition I could find on linkbaiting was written in a blog by a man named Stuart Brown -- ahhh the love of blogs ** sigh ** Linkbaiting is essentially a piece of content placed on a web page - whether it's an article, blog post, picture, or any other section of cyberspace - that is designed for the specific intention of gathering links from as many different sources as possible. Does it work? It can if it is done the right way but it should not be considered as a sole source of long term traffic. Check out this post from Digg which basically says the best way to handle Linkbait is with really good quality content. Getting to the top spot on Social Network's doesn't mean you will automatically get the inbound links you really want....

read more digg story

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Vocus and Hostway Corporation Announce New SEO

Vocus, Inc (NASDAQ: VOCS), a leading provider of on-demand software for public relations management, and Hostway Corporation, the global hosting and web services leader, announced today that they will enable Hostway's customers to distribute press releases via Vocus' PRWeb.

For those of you that don't know Vocus acquired PRWeb in August of 2006. The acquisition of PRWeb positions Vocus as a very large player in the world of online Public Relations. The partnership between PRWeb/Vocus and Hostway is an interesting one and has been long awaited, as it was heavily pursued by the FORMER EXECUTIVE TEAM of Affinity Internet, mainly by William Toll previous Director of Product Management, PRIOR to the acquisition of Affinity Internet by Hostway in April 2007.

I am glad to see that my previous employer was finally able to make this partnership work. Their clients will be pleasantly surprised by how well this can work for their search engine optimization efforts. It's too bad that the Press Release they created to announce the program was not optimized as well as it could have been for keywords that should have linked to their SEO Services, such as, SEO, Search Engine Optimization Services or SEO Consulting, just my opinion.

Check out the story anyway it was a good read and the service is definitely one that everyone should incorporate in their strategic internet initiatives.

read more digg story

Monday, January 7, 2008

Favorite Pay Per Click (PPC) Blogs

Recently I came across an article regarding, Top Blogs Focusing on PPC (pay-per-click, or paid search advertising) for Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, Microsoft adCenter, etc. I felt compelled to share this information that I learned from Clix Marketing. The list is pretty extensive, if you feel the urge to add to this list please feel free to do so.

Sneak Peak:

PPC Super Affiliate
PPC Think
RedFly Marketing
SEM Geek
The AdWords Addict
The PPC Book

read more digg story

Friday, January 4, 2008

U.S. Album Sales Fell 9.5% in 2007 - Online sales up 45%

Album sales in the United States plunged 9.5 percent last year from 2006, as the recording industry had another weak year despite a 45 percent surge in the sale of digital tracks, according to figures released Thursday.

This is a online sales continue to climb large and small businesses alike have to remember to think of the future and their Online Marketing Strategies.

read more | digg story

Whopper Freakout Commercial VIDEO

What would you do if you entered your favorite local Burger King all set to order your favorite Whopper meal and the employee behind the counter said, “I’m sorry but we no longer serve Whopper’s. Burger King’s marketing group staged the publicity stunt in order to capture the reaction of their customers.

read more | digg story

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Blogging is a Powerful Online Marketing Tool

Recently I posted a blog about how my daughter and I were having problems accessing her favorite website “webkinz”. Their website was having some serious issues with uptime and the volume of traffic was extremely high on Christmas Day so virtually nobody was able to login and adopt their pets.

In my total frustration I posted a blog about our webkinz problems. Low and behold there were many others who were feeling the exact same way we did. To my surprise my blog popped up in the SERPS (search engine results pages) the same day I had posted it and the traffic to my blog soared. Although I did not realize it until almost 5 days later when went back to check my traffic stats.

Knowing this it seems like a no brainer to continue to blog in this fashion attempting to drive more and more traffic to my blog which can hopefully find its way back to my website. The point I am trying to make is blogging has been said to be a very powerful and FREE Online Marketing Tool that many small business owners are not wrapping their hands around just yet and they seriously need to. So don’t wait any longer, start a blog today.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Whopper Freakout is Brilliant Branding Offline and Online

The last month or so I have been seeing the commercial about Whopper Freakout, and I have to say those commercials crack me up. They took me back to those candid camera days, are you old enough to remember those? Allen Funt hosted the shows and basically pulled pranks on everyday people. What a great concept.

Well with Burger King they were out to make a point, that the Whopper is King – America’s favorite burger! So what would happen if they just removed it from their menu, well the commercials show snippets of actual events that took place real emotions from customers. One person even said “So what are you going to put on the logo now? Home of the, whatever we got?” They even showed two guys who looked like they were straight out of the 70’s saying, “Burger King without the Whopper? You may as well call it Burger Clean!” They even brought in the King to break the good news to their customers, that is was just a joke. All I can say is this is brilliant branding once again by Burger King’s marketing team.

Burger King has brought out some of the most interesting online marketing ideas such as the subservient chicken, simpsonizeme, and now the Whopper Freakout. If you have not gone to their website to check out all of the footage do so soon because it is funny and well worth the 7 minutes.