Category Archives: Marketing

marketing

Social Media Etiquette

Being an SEO and Social Media Consultant is like being a doctor – whenever you go to a party people pull you aside and ask you how to cure their ills.  It is “the Wild West” out there right now – a lot of “snake oil salesmen” profess to be experts and make promises that can not be fulfilled.

SEO and Social Media are the physical fitness regimens of your corporate marketing body.  You can’t get off your couch after years of inactivity and run a marathon.  You can’t magically start an SEO and Social Media Strategy and jump to #1 on all the search engines.

Let me give a quick overall answer to one of the questions I am asked most often – “What do I say on the Social Networks?”

Here’s is what happens:
Imagine the Social Media world as a big high school reunion/family reunion/neighborhood block party.  What would you think of someone who went around interrupting every conversation trying to sell anyone who would listen a “super magic drink?” People would tune them out and then before long run away whenever that person approached.

Social Media is like that.  If you are constantly trying to sell to anyone/everyone who might be reached by your Twitter Feeds, Facebook updates or blog, people will tune you out!

Here’s the general rule of thumb:
90% of your Tweets and updates should be informative and/or conversational – 10% should be self promoting.  Go back to the reunion/party theme: if you have interesting stories and helpful ideas people will engage you in conversation – your social networking is working.  If you ONLY talk about yourself you become a pariah.

You might ask – “What do I say? How often do I say it? I don’t know where to start!”  Like a doctor would say, “Stop by my office for an exam and we will run some tests. I’m sure you will be fine.”

So go to my contact page and it will send me an email OR call me – my phone number is right there at the top of the page.  Relax, now you have a professional “captain” to help you navigate the choppy seas of social media.

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Testing Your PPC Advertising

I wanted to share a powerful marketing tip with you today.  This is something that when done properly, can improve your results and increase your sales WITHOUT adding a single penny to your costs.

This may sound simple – but it is very important for your integrated marketing activities. Test, Test and Re-test!

Here is a simple example:

You run a PPC campaign on Google AdWords and you have one ad running. Let’s say you sell shoes, and here is the ad you were running.

Designer Shoes are Affordable
Women’s Designer Shoes
Big names, great prices

Now, let’s say your click through rate (number of people that click on your ad) is 4.2%.  You are happy, because that’s better than you’ve ever done before. What most people do is keep running with that ad.  What we want you to remember to do is Split Test.

All that means is create a second version of your ad, to compete against your first version and see who wins.

So, now look at version 2:

Designer Shoes are Affordable
Lady’s Designer Shoes
Big names, great prices

Do you see the difference?  Only one word (more about that in a minute).  In the first ad we have

Women’s Designer Shoes and in the second ad we have Lady’s Designer Shoes.

So, let’s look at the results.

Ad 1 – 4.2 click through rate
Ad 2 – 5.1 click through rate!

You just increased your response rate by 21.4%!  No extra costs, simply changing one word and getting an improved response.

Why did more people click on Lady’s than Women’s?  We don’t know, we may never know, but we also don’t care.  All we know is have now improved our click through rate!

Now are we done?  Not even close.  Now we take Ad 2, and create another ad to split test against Ad 2.  You can constantly test 2 ads against each other and incrementally increase your response rates.

What can you test?  Anything and everything!  Test your ads, test headlines on your site, test your pricing.

Test, test and re-test.

There’s so much more about testing that I could go into, but we’ll have to save that for another time.  For now, just remember these 2 important points…

1. Test EVERYTHING!

2. Only make one change in each test for accurate results.  If you were to change the headline and the middle text on Ad 2, you wouldn’t know which was the cause of the higher response.  So, take one thing at a time and test, test, test.

By the way, Google has a great tool (that is available at no cost) that allows you to set up these split tests easily.  Check out Google Website Optimizer!

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Ethical SEO

SEO is complex.  SEO is maddening.  SEO is confusing.  But more than anything  SEO is EFFECTIVE.

It is unanimously agreed that SEO is the top source of driving targeted traffic to sites. Everyone wants top SEO rankings.  The problem is, you look at the SERPs (search engine results pages) and you find sites there that you don’t expect to.  You see sites that are filled with spam, you see sites with no content, you see sites with no inbound links.

And worst of all is what you don’t see – YOUR site.

It makes no sense – you’ve done everything you can, followed all the rules and still your site is no where.  How are these other sites that don’t belong there holding on to your coveted spot?

The truth is, as smart as the engines are, they don’t catch all the garbage sites out there as quickly as we would like them to.  There are 2 things we can do to help eradicate this problem.

1.  Report any and all spam and garbage sites to Google (and the other engines you use).  This is not being a tattle tale, this is not going out for revenge.  This is simply asking Google to uphold the rules that they are asking you to follow.  It is saying, “I’m playing fair here, so level the playing field so my competitors that are “less-than ethical” don’t rule the SERPs”.  To notify

Google of a spam site, click here:
http://www.google.com/contact/spamreport.html

2.  The second thing you can do is follow best practices 100%.  Be aggressive, be proactive, but be ethical.  The more people insist on “black hat” tactics, the more sites we’ll see that are sneaking by Google.   Know that with active efforts Google is making daily to weed out spam – you have everything to gain by patiently, aggressively and ethically optimizing your site.

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SEO Training at eWomen Network

On July 16th I had the opportunity to teach SEO at the 10th Annual International Convention and Business Expo of the eWomen Network.  It was a great crowd with attendees of all expereince levels.  I was surprised at how many of them handled their own site’s Seach Engine Optimization.

I reiterated the most important aspects of SEO.
1) Page titles – you have about a 66 character limit for your page title.
2) Meta Description – This is your “billboard” on Google and other search engines. You have about 155 characters for this section.
3) Meta Keywords – whereas most search engines have started to ignore these they are still somewhat important.
4) Body copy – be sure to incorporate your keywords into your body copy.

For more information contact Clint Hughes at clint@clinthughes.com.

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“The Social Network” Movie Brings Facebook Origins to Big Screen

Based on Ben Mezrich’s recent best-selling book, The Social Network traces real life story of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the origin of the social media phenomenon he’s created. Directed by David Fincher, and adapted to the screen by Aaron Sorkin the film promises quality dialog, suspense, and plenty of intrigue.

Apparently Zuckerberg was not involved in the project, although facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, was a consultant on the book.

High expectations on this one… Will you “like” it?

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