Some highlights from the report (no surprises really) SERP listings #1-3 Click-Through Rate is 36 percent on average. The correlation for links remains high, but links’ importance may be dropping. All of the top 100 domains have a mobile friendly versions. Lower ranked pages have mobile friendly version around 78% HTTPS/SSL is present for just under 50% […]
Scott Clark of BuzzMaven, Inc. has been granted the elite “Google Partner Specialist” status by the Mountain View, CA-based online marketing giant. The program required completion of rigorous exams in Google’s Search, Display, Mobile, Video and Shopping ad networks as well as demonstrated high levels of client historical performance. Google considers the Specialist Partner status […]
GIF files can seriously increase engagement with a Tweet, with minimal effort, especially when they’re right for your audience and relevant to the post that lies beyond. Here are the basics for how to create a GIF file that you can add to your tweets from your source videos. It takes a bit of […]
I was honored to be part of a LocalU Hangout with some of the web’s leaders in local SEO: Andrew Shotland & Dan Leibson of LocalSEOGuide, Alexis Gui of Sim Partners, Tim Grant of Gamma Partners, Rory Scherer ofDAC Group, and Mike Blumenthal. This recording (and transcript) includes a lot of tips related to guidelines, obstacles […]
I agree with David Meerman Scott most white papers are pretty lame. I think if most companies looked at analytics for these they’d see few actually reading what they poured hours of work into. The content is too generic and too unfocused on the buyer’s needs. Research has shown that building content and service bundles […]
From the “Millions of dollars down the toilet” department: I Came across some statistics today related to ecommerce and shopping habits, specifically related to user experience in ecommerce search situations. Behold: 16% of ecommerce websites do not support searching by product name or model number , despite those details appearing on the product page. An […]
I’ve been running some Call Only campaigns for a service industry site. Like many I’m hearing from, the performance of these campaigns is not what was expected. While it is believed that a full 20% (on in five!!) of calls from mobile phones are abandoned, we should look how this affects abandonment patterns for call-only […]
“Let’s Talk Local Search: Super Therapy Session for Advanced Local Marketers (#smx #24D)” Local search is like a problem child. One day all’s well. The next you’re facing a new crisis that threatens to complicate your relationship with clients or management. Need to talk? Join our panel of all–star local search pros for this group […]
The recent Google update (nicknamed “Pigeon” by the search community) for local results has impacted many.. but service area businesses are thus far seemingly getting the brunt of the changes, dropping off of the local packs in search results. The question (to be determined as of this writing) is if changing these results to standard organic […]
When blogging for a hurried, distracted audience, you must keep in mind that the competition for attention is ruthless. More distraction, mobile device habits and shorter attention spans force us to adapt our inbound techniques accordingly. New bloggers frequently write from the old-fashioned research paper or book report format, saving conclusions and critical points to well after the reader has departed. Graphics, images, captions and other proven eye-fixation techniques are poorly employed as well.
I am proud and humbled by coverage in Lexington Herald Leader’s Business Section where we discuss ideas for breaking into social media marketing. A huge thanks to Tom Martin for the outstanding questions and giving me the opportunity to offer a bit of advice in my home city! Here are some of the questions answered: […]
A large building is being constructed nearby my office downtown. A construction fence is erected beneath a sign featuring a rendering of the gleaming skyscraper to come. But to the lay observer, there’s little visible evidence of progress, just noise, traffic diversions and dust. Before long, letters to the editor will show up in the […]
After reading the article “The Death of Expertise” by Tom Nichols as reminded of an old parable. The Graybeard engineer retired and a few weeks later the Big Machine broke down, which was essential to the company’s revenue. The Manager couldn’t get the machine to work again so the company called in Graybeard as an independent […]
Happy new year to everyone! I wanted to share Google’s latest infographic, which looks back to the transformational year where online marketing’s platforms, demands and outcomes outpaced even the most optimistic projections. As the customer continues to increase their skills in avoiding low quality content, and as search engines continue their embrace of […]
It feels right to once again remind my site visitors and valued clients of what’s happening with the Google search results (at an ever increasing pace.) I’m seeing social media engagement being used more often to vet sites for their appropriateness at the top of search engines. Brands that are not bothering with social signals […]
Sometimes I’m forced to do a brain dump about the most important, cannot-skip, essential information about SEO in an incredibly short amount of time. I need to use that limited time to simultaneously myth-bust and set the stage for future-proof programs.. It happens fairly often… an rarely sighted executive will “pop in” to a meeting, someone will […]
This visualization shows the world using the web, over a 24 hour period. Dayparting of paid search ads is the process where we find the best day of the wee and time of day to run your ads, or switch ads. The full report is here
Many franchises are operating their online marketing programs in a manner that gets them into trouble as they grow, or when they have turnover in franchisees. The old franchise marketing programs designed for the Internet as it was in 2005 are no longer effective. Not only have users changed, but search engines and […]
This is a throwback post I published in early 2005 about blogging. It was fun to dig it up and see how it’s holding up. Pretty well, I think! It felt a little like 1995. But instead of textual websites on our just-installed Mosaic browser we’re watching large scale social change. No longer held back with […]
Google rolled out their answer to Facebook Groups yesterday, it’s called Google Community. It’s full of the slick, modern and mobile friendly features that Google+ has. I’m into metal detecting, and most metal detecting forums are created with 10-year-old software and frankly are a bit clunky. Not only did the Google community set up […]
It appears that Facebook is now attempting to do duplicate detection on pages and merge them via a redirect. Clicking on this “The Galt House” link takes me to the page, after a redirect: I cannot find the page “The Galt House” so it appears that Facebook has removed or merged it into this new […]
The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance – Eric Schmidt – Former Google CEO The search industry is all abuzz about the concepts around authorship markup (see postscript) and its effect on search results and content marketing. Authorship markup, introduced in 2011 and has been getting regular improvements since. Mostly applied to blog and news […]
Content marketing is the new SEO. It is centered on irresistible content and amplified by social media. It includes blog posts, articles, white papers, videos, podcasts, and infographics. 87% of marketers use social media to distribute the content. Search engines use hundreds of signals to decide who ranks for a given query. The most important […]
The blog question always comes up early in any meeting about Search with a new client. Why? Should? How? Who? An awkward moment. Everyone in the conversation is trying to imagine a blog about work, or they’re thinking of recent roadblocks. We make aluminum horse trailers. We make medical packaging. We sell accounting software. […]
I thought today I’d address those so-called content farms that are employed by many service industry sites around the country. In these cases, a small business, such as an auto repair business, will launch a site and subscribe to a content feed which updates their site every week or so. The promise is that this […]
We are a nation that carries tasks from screen to screen, using desktop PCs, laptops, TV, smartphones and tablets. According to new research from Google, 90% of people move between devices to accomplish a goal. Google’s research set out to understand this inter-device reltionship. There are 2 primary ways we “Multi Screen” “Sequential screening” […]
Have spent this week perfecting my new “PowerLink” reports system which will provide “at-a-glance” information about clients’ organic link situation, as well as that of a few select competitors. This information can help to find new opportunities and even notice when a link has been removed so we can act quickly to resolve it. SEO […]
Where’s your share-worthy web content come from? Take a look around your company… busy people, lots of jobs, already overloaded. But they are the ones who must do the work. To say you cannot get involved in producing good content is your right… but don’t expect to compete well online with modern search engines. If […]
Most businesses I talk to have no idea that Facebook scrubs content. In fact, on average, only 16% of fans ever see posts made by brands “for various reasons, like the number of times you log on and the number of people and brands in your network” according to Facebook. This sums up this post […]
I recently presented a concept called “Future Proof SEO” in Lexington which compared how well the typical website are servicing the needs of link builders and social media marketers who are trying to address major ranking factors, and wanted to post the highlights here. First, I used my minivan example again. Most websites are like […]
Just got this new study which discusses link building outreach with some very interesting take-aways. I liked this because it aligned with much advice I give my clients on internal link building activity. The key takeaways from this study are: Social-based Link Building has yet to be largely adopted and therefore continues to be […]
Today I saw an article on ReadWrite that caught my attention…”Blogging declines across Inc 500” which referred to a study from Umass called “Blogging declines as newer tools rule.” The number dropped from 50% to 37% of companies maintaining corporate blog. Facebook and Twitter, in the meantime continue to grow. This stands to reason […]
Previously, I had posted about the lack of multiple managers for Google Plus pages, a fact that made creation and delegation of such pages awkward in the real world. Well, I can say now that the feature is available. (h/t/ Impulse Webdesign for emailing me about it while I was on holiday.) I am looking forward […]
(New! Google has fast-tracked this fix….and it is now available!!) I wanted to put up a quick post to express my disappointment that Google has not made even the most basic administrative feature for the real world available in its launch of Google+ Pages. This is a continuation of its previous omission from allowing multiple […]
For businesses who have been “riding the wave” of 3rd party reviews on their highly-visible Google Place page, you’ll want to pay attention to this, and act to shore up your listings. I personally observed this morning a business go from 63 reviews (with 4/5 stars) to 5 reviews (with 2/5 stars) If your business […]
Today on the Facebook and Journalism page, a really great note was released aimed at helping news organizations optimize the effectiveness of their Facebook Pages. I found that the information was probably applicable to any sort of published content, whether or not you are a news organization. I quote heavily: “Top Stories: Readers are reacting […]
I’ve heard today that Google may be planning a Quora-like Q/A service (possibly named “Google Expert”) that leverages their acquisition of Aardvark and integrates with Google Plus (or Google+, however you like it.) This model of finding answers by humans fits nicely into the new social search model that seems to be making its way […]
From the excellent SEOMOZ ranking factors slide deck, a striking aggregate comparison of new influences and distribution of factors. Who said SEO is getting easier?
I receive a dozen or so inquiries for services a week. Around 10-15% of those calls are made while the person is driving. Of those, only a small percent end up being effective conversations. In the study referenced in the link, drivers but not passengers in a “moving” simulator retold a smaller number of central […]
Those of us working in the tech / web / social media industry would like to extend a huge welcome to the Color management team this weekend to Lexington for the big final-four game and (hopefully) victory party. Thanks to the outreach (and ass-busting work) of Wes Brooks, president of the University of Kentucky Entrepreneurs […]
As the LinkedIn network’s capability grows in both popularity and capability, I’ve been helping more companies than ever understand the potential it offers. This cheat sheet has been the outcome, as well as the LinkedIn Lead Generation Tips “Ninja” guide, This is distinctly from an SEO point of view – you’ll notice I’ve woven in […]
As you know, search engines (especially Google and Bing) are taking Social Rank into account more than ever. Those who take the time to share awesome content and build up a reputation will have an ever-increasing influence over the SERPs in the coming years. So it pays dividends to tilt the social sharing benefit in […]
Have you taken the time to consider the “reality” of your B2B customer? They are not making buying decisions on the spot – they are gathering information for meetings – and they want to look good. So how can you help them achieve this?
Other than Mobile and Local SEO explosions, Social Rank is a biggie. So many companies are still saying they have no time for “Social Media” unless it can show an immediate ROI. So, it’s been hard to explain the benefits to many because of the abstract concept – but now the reality is hitting home […]
So at the end of 2010, here are some of the things that changed for BuzzMaven in the midst of economic changes for my clients. I did a substantial shift to social and content marketing as the core of all programs. This is yet another step away from the old-style technical SEO which has become […]
I recommend you watch this full-screen, in HD. A great video about your product or service doesn’t have to be insanely complex. Check this out. Espresso, Intelligentsia from The D4D on Vimeo.
Another area where Google wedges itself into a high-payout, comparison industry is the Credit Card Comparison world, as shown by this sequence of images taken live in the USA . Last year, Google began comparison ads for mortgages and now, after a UK trial, has moved into credit cards. Query “Credit Cards”: A comparison ad […]
I don’t care if you sell laxatives and paper towels – your customers are gamers. And they’re hard to reach by any other means. Down the hall from my offices resides Wes Keltner – who’s started GUN – a Video Game Advertising Consultancy. If you are thinking banners and billboards in race games – you […]
Well, I am now officially re-certified as a Google AdWords Certified Partner. The program replaced the Google Adwords Qualified Professional program that I’ve been in for years. It’s always nice to have third party verification of my skills in the exam. I found the exam to be a lot harder than before – more focused […]
So, Gap borked the new logo launch and now asking for spec submissions. Designers world wide are raising eyebrows or facepalming. Now’s the time for them to turn this publicity to their advantage and make friends with the design community. Doing a “spec work” design contest will backfire I think. How about taking design submissions […]
Before we get started, here’s what the view outside one of my office windows looked like last week. This was the cool Windstream pickup truck on a huge banner downtown . I think the banner had been there since around 2002 – and when it was first put up, it looked pretty sweet with bright […]
As most of you know, split testing your ad text – not just for click throughs but for conversions – is one of the most important pre-click optimizations you can do with Google Adwords. Ad text optimization is an iterative process where we run experiments on different approaches to headlines, description text and display URLs. […]
When verifying a Google Place page, Google assumes that you’re a little Mom and Pop location where your friendly postman stops by to hand you your mail and sip coffee for a few minutes. Or they assume that you can teach a low-paid receptionist to listen for a special Google Places validation robot to call […]
In all the banter and confusion about the positives and negatives about Google Instant, there is at least one common thread that is good for the SEO industry itself: Snake Oil SEO won’t cut it in this new world. Delivering traffic via the instant interface is going to be more challenging, whether you are working […]
Google Instant changes behaviors in search, and thus SEO can change as well. Originally, I posted a list like this in 2008 about Google Suggest – and it is revised here. We May See More Traffic to Regional Sites. People regularly enter “cheap gas” and “best dentist” in search engines – without qualifying the searches […]
While presenting on Social Media this week, the question about Blogger writers’ block came up again, and I realized I didn’t have a post to refer them to – so here are some quick tips if you should find yourself in that uncomfortable situation. Start out creating a Frequently Asked Questions list (FAQ.) Base the […]
Responding to reviews should be done with care, however. Here are some tips for businesses who are going to begin responding to these reviews so you can avoid embarrassment and maximize the positive effect on your brand. Never be defensive about negative reviews. Even if the reviewer was completely wrong and is acting like a […]
The whole reason I took the time to write this post is to share some thoughts – perhaps with the 37 signals team and others out there working on products like this. It also could be that I have simply not yet found the right tool, so this might prompt someone to offer an alternative! […]
Disqus is used by a huge number of blogs thanks to its impressive set of discussion features, including threaded discussions, cache-friendliness, viral spread through Facebook connect and Twitter, email replies features and universal install-ability. But there were some significant weakness for SEOs – and Andy wrote up a few of them earlier. But he left […]
I am moving my offices to downtown Lexington. Please update your contact information when you get a chance. BuzzMaven, Inc. 163 Main Street, 3rd Floor Lexington, KY 40507 Phone number stays the same.
Last Summer, Feedburner began counting Friendfeed stats in their statistics, and the follower count for many Feedburner users shot up as suddenly as their Twitter followers and other Friendfeed “subscribers” began to count. According to chicklets across the web, thousands of instant Social Media rockstars were born. Or so it seemed. But this is truly […]
The Creative Cities Summit was a fabulous 2 1/2 day event held here in Lexington Kentucky last week. Most of it was TED-quality, including the hallway networking. The conference rooms were filled with “Linchpins” – people literally changing the world right now (and, I believe, some that are about to.) The event was not opened […]
Well, this morning I’m licking my wounds after initiating in Pecha Kucha – the rapid-fire presentation style where 20 slides are presented in 20 seconds. I was honored to have been invited by Adam Martin and Kent Lewis to speak and it was truly a learning/growing experience. Social Media Club Lexington and Pecha-Kucha Lexington took […]
I’ve written many times about mobile marketing, and even (along with others, I’m sure) predicted foursquare-type business marketing many years ago. Does anyone remember my “senseweb” idea? Probably not, it was pretty far out at the time… But in the past two years, having met with many clients and associates, I realize that almost none […]
If you’re a business blogger, the followers you have are usually doing so because of the niche topical space you’re occupying. This is why they followed you in the first place. They signed up for the tour. You’re the authority with the plan. Show Me The Good Stuff Think about a museum tour guide. They […]
Bring Google fiber optic trial to Lexington KY on Facebook Lexingtonians, I encourage you to become a fan of our page and to nominate Lexington for this (though I’m not sure if our city is too large.) Still, if we can get Google to think about Kentucky, we’ll all win too. “Google is planning to […]
When searching for airport electric outlets, have you ever felt that there was a secret evil plot to foil business travelers? Could there be a resistance working to stop this? I pause in respect.
A practical look at ways you can obtain positive reviews from happy customers with minimal effort and cost using a simple rate-us page and a $25 deck of cards.
With competitors like these, I was truly honored to have won a 2010 SEMMY award for Local Search today. Here are the other competitors, and you should grab those articles and subscribe to their blogs to connect with some of the best in the world.
Eric Karjaluoto, and dozens of commenters, have once again raised the very real issue of designer spec work on his blog. I thought about the issue again when I read that Tim Ferriss had chosen to go this way for his book cover. Eric’s post is a well articulated but well-worn argument about the […]
To those subscribing to the blog for SEO/PPC reasons, this is slightly off-topic – but thanks for the indulgence. I’ll be back to the “big picture” stuff in my next post…. Howard Stovall runs Signs Now- a full-service sign company in Lexington, and is a major advocate for local business. Recently he posted a well-articulated […]
Today I went to the Google Caffeine sandbox and discovered a message that it was taken down, and that Google will be rolling out their new search infrastructure to one data center shortly. Which data center is still unknown, but it should become pretty obvious. We appreciate all the feedback from people who searched on […]
If you’re using Google Voice, you may be one of those who wants to block calls after hours, but allow SMS messages to flow. Well, you can’t do that with Google Voice, but here’s a work-around that I’ve found to be very reliable.
Many company legal names are vastly different than their published names. A DBA/Assumed Name lets you operate your business under multiple names without going through the extensive paperwork of creating a new corporate entity. This can be in order to choose a memorable name that is “current” with your customers’ mindset. Now, there’s a […]
The full keynote of the BMA 2009 National Conference with David Meerman Scott – An hour well spent.
Ideas relating to the how the social groundswell, user-centric design and increasing expectations by constituents on municipal websites and blogs are presented in my guest article for the GMAnet.
Local TV ads seem to do very little to link the awareness-generating power of television with the engagement opportunities of the web. Local businesses would do well to stop depending on TV scripts from the 1960s and begin to entice customers to company-owned, information-rich resources that save them time and worry.
Google is now showing forum postings from formerly “walled garden” discussion groups. Since many customers use these forums to complaint about brands, this could become the next ORM warzone.
Google Side Wiki is a new Google Toolbar Feature has launched today. This feature looks to be their latest attempt to build communities around web sites in their index , perhaps as a way to better utilize social signals for ranking both web pages and social media profiles. Will Google’s new tool make headway? If […]
Google’s Local Business Listing verification process causes problems for many small businesses. I’d like to propose an improvement that could really improve things.
Google has finally connected Google Local Business Center and Street View to help people identify businesses by location and photograph. This is just another step along the way to full augmented reality using digital compass, GPS and camera applications. This, combined with the new Picassa photographs on Street View (cool as hell) and we’ll finally […]
I don’t know why it’s so hard for many businesses to realize that they must change not just their website, but their entire business culture to prepare for the Social Media revolution. This video does a great job of putting the “A-ha moments” in your face. Here are 5 of the (dozens) of stats presented […]
Care about the impact of Social Media on your company? Chris Bogan’s “Trust Agents” is a book worth buying for your whole team today.
Google has released a series of lessons for educators who are teaching students about searching. I’m quite glad to see them do this.
Google’s New Checkout Widget entered Google Labs today and immediately I thought of a few Wordpress sites I could use it on. Also, many product blogs may have a need to add simple ecommerce to their blog, and Google Checkout has a lot going for it. So here are the steps to add the widget to your Wordpress blog.
Jason Falls and I will be presenting to the National League of Cities on “Social Media as an Integral Part of Communications” on Thursday. I always look forward to presenting with Jason and am certain there will be some good information moving around on this. The organization is all about communications. Municipalities need to learn […]
If you’re at all concerned about your personal or business brand, you should consider the issues that the new Facebook Custom Usernames/URLs have brought to the surface. I have run through these from an ORM (Online Reputation Management) perspective and asked a few important questions.
If you’re looking to do SEO with a Wordpress blog, then these slides from Matt Cutts at Google will be of interest.
Have you ever faced a really tough SEM project? I have. And I looked to the real world for inspiration to get perspective on how to make things better. Here are my thoughts.
Innovative Lead Generation using the Web was held on May 5th at Awesome, Inc. We talked about lead generation optimization, social media, SEO, and more
The unauthorized use of photography is a major concern for photographers who license their images for use on the web. Technologies such as PictScout Image Tracker are used by stock photography companies to scour the web looking for unauthorized uses of their photographs by websites and blogs have been around for a while. Now, Google has released a beta version of Similar Image search. Will this change the landscape?
Here is my take on the biggest mistakes made by start-ups when it comes to web marketing. If start-up companies would take the time to address some basics, their long term success online could be dramatically influenced
It’s easy to get comfortable with one’s branding and marketing plans. Slide decks presented at the sales meeting look great. Branding exercises give the executives a warm-fuzzy. Advertising and PR schedules are polished to a shine. But all it takes is one small leak, possibly in the form of two bored employees with a flip […]
In the past few years there have been examples of how companies have take advantage of the web to steal thunder from ad campaigns, such as the Pontiac vs. Mazda fiasco from a few years ago. But it’s not often you see it happen in such a large scale in the physical world: BMW […]
Like a cancer that’s growing in twitter search, the tweetbots arrive. Dumb ones that aimlessly tweet every post on a forum to those that just retweet everything that anyone says about a topic. It seems that every time I go to search twitter, I get a never ending stream of tweet bot output. It’s like […]
Making the move from the Silicon Valley to a smaller city can definitely reduce expenses, but be ready for some culture shock.
Well, I started my old site ‘Sitecreations.com” over 10 years ago, so wrapping that up has been a real challenge. I found over 1000 pages of contents that needed redirected and reorganized and it will surely take a while to finish. As my business shifted to Search Engine Marketing (SEM) there was a slowly increasing […]
Lexington has chosen a pretty unique identity program to use for the upcoming Equestrian Games – and it got me thinking immediately about Seth Godin’s Purple Cow. Did they get it right?
Confused by the Google Adwords ranking algorithm? Google chief economist Hal Varian does the best job ever explaining the Google Adwords Auctions, AdRank, Quality Score and more.
Big Ass Fans, one serious success story from Lexington is expanding. It’s a story worth telling – so have a look.
If you’d like an example of why you need to mater video production and editing at your company as a part of your SEO efforts, this post tells all.
In today’s small business world, accountability for marketing spends is critical – and tracking incoming telephone calls has been quite underutilized. Well, Google Analytics has integrated a new phone number allocation and tracking service that initiates page views and therefore is measurable in your reports.
News website usability, design, SEO, and mobile-readiness is really in the dumps as far as I can tell. I have made a short list of issues that might help improve things for TV Stations hoping to capture the millennials and web savvy viewers who are typically abandoning TV news broadcasts in droves.
Ice storms stress me out. But through leeched wi-fi running on batteries, here is some stuff that I’ve experienced in the past 24 hours.
My buddy and fellow Yahoo! Store Marketer Rob Snell has posted one of the best presentations on Yahoo Merchant Solutions that I’ve seen.
An example of a failed effort to get a business to business sign up for digital services – leaving the customer to figure out how to sign up for a given service.
Highly ranked in search engine results, job listings are usually written in a dispassionate and utilitarian voice and do little to advance the image of your company to potential investors, partners and customers. Why not take the time to let your listings do double-duty as tools and another place to tell the company’s story?
Since I coordinate much of my family life via Text, it was terrific to see that Google Labs has rolled out SMS for Google Talk to everyone in Google Labs.
If you’re thinking of cutting PPC costs, hold the sword. Taking a few minutes to prioritize and strategize can keep your account performing highly on your best phrases.
I have tried for years to teach clients what a bad idea it is to add a “Splash” screen to their websites. But many web designers keep pitching them (why I do not understand.) But now Google has given such things a warning shot across the bow by testing a “skip intro” link on search results.
I have enjoyed being a member of Triibes, a community set up by Seth Godin after the release of his book of the same name. The ebook was set up by volunteers in the community – and was really well done. Highly recommended. [ Triiibes EBook] – PDF file
Google Adwords wants you to use broad match – after all, 20% of all queries have not been seen in the previous 90 days. But should you really do this? I say, possibly. Read more inside.
Mobile restaurant guides and ratings could become the method of choice for consumers to voice their dissatisfaction with poor service, especially in the age of “mandatory tips” from even lower-end restaurants.
If you’re just getting started in Social Media and want to learn more about Social Media Marketing, grab this MP3 file and take a listen. Jason Falls, Nick Huhn, and Scott Clark discuss.
Smart businesses recognize economic slowdowns as opportunity to move forward relative to competition. As any house painter will tell you, rainy weather is the time to clean brushes, repair ladders and secure the shop.
Shoppers are going to be hunting like hounds for good deals this season. I’ve gathered together a set of statistics and surveys that put some numbers to the predictions.
On Thursday, November 6th in Lexington we’ll be discussing emerging media trends and what’s next for the Internet including social media strategies, Web 2.0, and online marketing approaches.
How is web marketing changing as communities organize themselves, and how do consultants help clients become aware of the leverage available to them without seeming like troublemakers.
Sweat Equity usually means trading work or expertise for a good or service. If you are an expert in your domain, and willing to listen, there are many opportunities online to grow your business just by participating. This post offers a technological boost to the idea to streamline the process, minimizing the time you must spend and letting you focus your energy where it counts.
Today the Google Webmaster Team used Google Moderator links to a great set of Google questions as voted by webmasters today with good responses from the Google Webmaster Central team.
SEO, Blogging, and PPC are at the top of marketer’s priorities for the next 6 months hinting that companies are becoming more familiar and comfortable with new media as a prime directive. In addition a shrinking emphasis on the corporate brochure site provides hope that reaching out to the customer has finally arrived as a marketing technique.
Yahoo! Store and Yahoo! Merchant Solutions customers will be able to gain new insights into the behavior of their customers’ actions, refine their stores, and improve profitability using the power of the new Yahoo! Web Analytics system – rolling out in Beta.
Just in case you thought that citizen-created journalism was going to remain on the edges, Google now has connected its powerful blog search to a sort of meme-counter to help gauge the importance of a given story. It’ll be interesting to see how this changes the traffic picture for bloggers. I predict that there will […]
A new study of over 1000 Americans reveals that 93% believe a company should have a presence in social media, and that Social Media is a major shortcut to hard-to-reach demographics. So why do companies still avoid social media participation?
With the launch of the question-crowdsourcing Google Moderate, I’ve offered up 7 possible uses for the service, with some words of caution as well as some possible opportunity.
I preach it. Clients ignore it (well, sometimes) I am posting this so I can refer people to this post when they call me… and I get around 7-10 calls daily for sites from people who want every bell and whistle they can think of on the site. From the start. Without any budget or […]
If Local SEO is your goal, then BOTW Local looks like some premium link juice is coming and you do not want to wait.
Google Suggest, long a staple of Google Labs is now working its way to the main Google Home page. So what does this mean for SEO/PPC/SEM activity and the future of how we market websites? Here are 9 ideas.
If you want to see what happens when authentic, greed-free media meets talent in the real world, there is no better example than Woodsongs, now about to have their 500th show.
Lee Odden hit a nerve with his last post. “The [seo] challenge comes from a combination of: The need to create new content that travels and that others are motivated to link to Convincing web site owners that they need to create and promote content on an ongoing basis outside of their brochureware corporate site […]
It can be hard to come up with a social media best practices document to use in your organization, but the reasons to do so are compelling. The Blog Council has published the first version of an evolving document that can really help you get started.
I’ve been asked lately for some examples of link bait headlines. Well, a quick scan of WebMD’s “most popular” stories should give you a good hint about the types of headlines and articles that work. People ‘voted’ these up honestly, without an agenda… and there are insights here… Web MD Most Popular Stories 41 Ways […]
Google has improved the precision and convenience in content network advertising with the introduction of placement-targeted-keywords. There are several advantages to consider.
A textbook case of damage control after a negative blog post, deconstructed in a non-scientific, but novel way that attempts to show the effects of intervention by savvy brand managers familiar with social media.
My new friend and fellow Yahoo! Store Developer Rob Snell was invited by a director at Yahoo! Small Business to testify in front of Congress at a hearing of the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Small Business about Online Advertising. His preperation and written testimony was easy-to-read and Rob published it here at Search […]
Scott Clark will speak at Lexington Ad Club July 16th on Social Media in a presentation called ‘Conversations, Control and Calamity” – details inside
Matthew Daines, lead developer for Twellow.com about what’s going on and a bit about the plans for the future. He graciously offered some of his time and gives some insights into the future of what appears to be a great new tool for the twitterarti!
Twellow, the categorized and sorted directory of Twitter social network users is launched.
Remember Summer Camp? We all got nicknames for the week we were there, some flattering, some not so much. But once they got started, we were stuck. This is how social media works with branding… bird legs.
Jane Goodall has terrific lessons for how we might integrate into the social communities of customers through her groundbreaking research with Gombe chimps. Go slow, learn the culture, and never betray the trust.
The North American SEM industry grew from $9.4 billion in 2006 to $12.2 billion in 2007, exceeding earlier projections of $11.5 billion for 2007 and marketers are finding more search dollars by poaching budget from print magazine spending, website development, direct mail and other marketing programs. The SEMPO study released today offered some good news […]
Lexington, KY, along with a ton of new cities and parks are now covered by Street View, you can drive around town with your mouse and save gas!
Creating a stripped down version of emotional marketing text can serve as a vehicle for moving to a new destination language by freeing it from the burden of carrying nuance during translation.
I saw this today on Google. It is for a Google Adwords keyword in a hypercompetitive marketplace… with a $12.56 average CPC (cost per click). The advertiser was hoping to use dynamic keyword insertion. Instead they did dynamic money wastin’ ad this can definitely affect their Quality Score. The business cash advance industry has some […]
LifeLock’s Todd Davis learns the danger of bold marketing and betting against laziness in unregulated industries as his identity is stolen by a Ft. Worth check cashing shop.
I twittered Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, suggesting that if he was going to get his photo made with Bill Gates today that he should put up bunny ears behind Bill’s head. I told him if he did it, I’d link to it. Well you can kinda see that he was trying, so, he kept […]
Mike Dorausch (aka @chiropractic) drives home the point of local reviews being a huge deal for local businesses on today’s USA today. Congrats Mike on the front page of USA Today.
While every web professional has skills that matter, I am pretty sure that SEM is the most important single skill needed to grow a web business – and it is a specialty that you must focus on. I thought Mark Jackson’s two articles from the past week or so were absolutely brilliant in this vein, and wanted to call attention to them.
I was amazed when I read that Google was rolling out Automatic Match Adwords on May 20th. This system goes against every methodology I’ve developed to help clients with Adwords and I fear it will pray upon the uninformed advertiser’s budget.
I’m a big Yahoo! fan and an easy going guy, but their recent refusal to tell me what directory-submit URL the charge on my credit card was for really ticked me off. I cannot tell which client I should talk to, whether to keep it going or to shut it off.
If you want to see a company who knows how to work the blogosphere, it doesn’t get any better than what I’ve been seeing over here at Vinny Carpenter’s blog.
Internet Marketing can make us all crazy – and this question on Yahoo! Answers says it all.
A lion. In a sidecar. Pulling 4G’s with some real entertainers. Not a warning sign in sight. Now that’s entertainment. Line forms to the left. Stay fast. Stay focused.
Heidi Adams Cool at Case Western produced a terrific introduction to the world of social media. Written with clarity for the beginner, I highly recommend checking it out no matter what your level of experience. Insight: “Of course the trick with this is the same as it always has been; word-of-mouth referrals are driven by […]
While Seth Godin discusses noisy “silly” traffic that comes from Digg or Stumbleupon, I offer these thoughts about link building, conversions, influencers and how such waves are interesting because of their long-term effects.
Ok, it’s the middle of the night and I’m sitting in a rock hard airport chair, but my mind is on the takeaways that I have from the SMX Social Media conference. Much of this I knew, but it was heavily re-enforced. The bigest benefit, as with most of these small shows, is the contacts […]
Are posted on flickr. Enjoy
When you’re converging on a venue for a conference (like SMX Social Media) it’s always nice to make contact with the group in attendence. Twitter is good, but if you’re not following the new folks showing up it’s not that helpful. But combining Twitter, Summize’s new Twitter search, and your mobile RSS reader can help you tap the public tweetstream to find others who will be coming and make new friends the whole way.
I will be heading out to SMX Social Media and SMX Advanced this year, and would love to catch up. I will not be liveblogging, rather will be hoping to gather ideas from those of you in the business. I will not be waring my hat. But come shake my hand – meeting folks is […]
This was a lot of fun this week, and I was thrilled to be chatting (yelling – the bar was a bit noisy) with folks about blogging, social media and search at Social Media Club Louisville. This group was especially (and refreshingly) straightforward about what works – no bull. It gets tiresome hearing blog-cheerleaders go […]
In the fast paced world of technical support ticket systems, the goal is to get your issue through the system as fast as possible – but never forget that this is a marketing exercise, and those sending the support tickets are busy human beings who require you to be remarkable every time.
The expansions continue at Google Transit with the addition of several more cities. USA Davis, CA – Unitrans (and their wonderful double-deck buses) Rio Vista CA – Rio Vista Delta Breeze Lubbock TX – CitiBus Walla Walla WA – Valley Transit and Grapevine Los Angeles, CA – coming soon! France: Bordeaux, France – Tram et […]
I just put together a new business card for this years’ conference season. I stuck with the steam-theme this time, but made it feel more like an antique club card. They’re nice and glossy. I hope they’re here by SMX Social Media. If not my old card will do, and Sphinncon or SMX Advanced will […]
No wonder we’re a tired nation. It takes 5 minutes to read a no-parking sign. I came across this sign today, and thought it was kind of pathetic. 65 words to say “15 minute parking” .. nuts. Where will it end. By 2028, the sign will reach the ground and you’ll have to check a […]
A discussion about whether Google Adwords should prevent dynamic keyword insertion for phrase and broad match adwords setups. Should Google only do DKI for exact match? How will advertisers defend themselves when keyphrases are trademarks? Please comment.
A short break from search and social media marketing to brag a bit about the Lexington area’s latest good news. I left the Silicon Valley for Lexington in 1997, many of you know, and some of my Silicon Valley cohorts considered it career suicide. But it wasn’t. Forbes has rated Lexington #5 of all metro areas for jobs and doing business.
I was really surprised by the new study by Arbitron, called “Infinite Dial 2008: Radio’s Digital Platforms” showing 33 million Americans age 12 and older listen to web radio, a growth of 14% over 29m last year. Thirteen percent of Americans age 12 or older (an estimated 33 million people) listened to online radio in […]
Jakob Nielsen’s latest Alertbox post “Bridging the Designer-User Gap” is almost a follow up to the “Myth of the Genius Designer” which I consider one of my favorites from him. Red emphasis mine. ….There’s a big gap between designers and the majority of users. …. Generally, if you’re a member of a design team, you […]
Starting with a blog and Twitter presence, Arenas and Live Venues have started to embrace authentic, participatory media as a way to get closer to fans. But challenges, some unique to this business, will face them as the staff must respect the protocol of promotion, licensing, and tour managers. Several people chime in on this, and I invite you to as well.
>>Special Thanks to Brennan White for this answer: Brennan is Founder of Pandemic Labs and writes the Pandemic Blog which brings knowledge of social media marketing, experience with social networks and experience with professional media creation together for clients. Scott Clark asked Me The Following Question: “Malcolm Gladwell, Elihu Katz, Paul Lazarsfeld, Ed Keller and […]
Lighting Store in the Dark About True Cost of Arcane Policies I recently went to get my hair cut at one of the most Mayberry-like barber shops you’ve ever seen. It’s the Facebook of the 1950s, stuck in time, the chairs are original. The smiles are authentic. Conversations filled the air. It was a pretty […]
Sometimes, to become remarkable, you have to ruffle some feathers. And if you’re like these guys, you do it with gigantic fans – both the (slowly) spinning metal kind and the send-me-all-your-schwag kind.
They say playing the lottery is a “special tax” for the “math challenged.” I think that’s true. In the search world Google’s new Automatic Matching setup is a special tax on the uninformed advertiser. What I’m hearing about the new Google Automatic Matching beta is that they will look at unspent funds in your account, […]
Offering to answer any reasonable question telephoned to its office, a firm dealing in general information has been set up in New York City.
I have six professional heroes presently – and I don’t mind sharing. In random order, they are: Seth Godin – For telling me to quit dead ends and focus on being the best. Edward Tufte – Guided me into information design, recognizing and avoiding chartjunk, and telling stories visually. Jakob Nielson – For telling it […]
We can draw a parallel between SEO advice and building permitting. Pressures placed on any web development project can cause marketing goals to be conveniently ignored, just like marketing goals, building codes and standards. Paid search ends up the beneficiary when an “un-optimizable” site results.
With increased Internet use and widespread broadband connectivity, the shift from old to new media is influencing the way people participate in elections, according to a recent report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Not since John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon debated in front of 70 million new television watchers in 1960 have we seen such a change in political media. A wave of changes brought on by Web sites, blogs and social media is being led by the 18- to 30-year-old demographic and is spreading to reach Americans of all ages and backgrounds.
When the going gets tough, do the tough go online? Last year, according to the Interactive Avertising Bureau, Online advertising in the US grew 25% (17% not including search) during Q1-Q3 of last year over 2006. Currently the web accounts for less than 10% of all advertising spend but nearly a quarter of the time […]
Today I checked out Google Alternative Views, which includes the ability to choose between several types of views – and significantly alters the search engine results pages.
Whoops! I hate when that happens. We’re just all so busy around here getting our MP3 store ready.
Trademark/Brands are protected from confusingly similar derivatives in the real world. I don’t expect Google to become an arbiter of trademarks, but this case (it is a real case, just as absurd) they should consider the spirit of trademark law especially considering how their match types work.
Former Technorati CEO David Sifry has launched Web Hot or Not?, a Hot or Not site for websites. It’s fun-cool, and has been done before, but it spooks me out in the world of multivariate testing and conversions optimization. What’s hot: Studies have shown that sites get only 50 milliseconds to give an impression to […]
Despite legislation introductions to prevent it, New York continues to this through a nasty telecommuter “double-taxing system” through its state tax code and it has people up-in-arms. Cali Williams Yost recently posted on FastCompany’s expert blogs area “Work/Life: NYC Versus Kentucky—One Resists Flexibility, the Other Embraces It. Who Wins?” which compared the approaches between New York and Kentucky – places most would find more different than night and day.
I must admit, Donato’s franchise has great pizza. But when it comes to trusting their online ordering environment, their email security practices leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
One thing that gets me flamed inside is to see perfectly able-bodied people using disabled parking spots without the right. When I see it, it’s all I can do to not say something. This idea of a sticker struck me as a good one. Probably wouldn’t do any good. If you truly need a permit […]
Omnistar Tell-a-Friend’s hosted services have page not found problems. No problem. When I point it out through their support system, they send me to fill out forms. Reminds me of lost luggage booths at airports. “Our system is broken, but you still have to pay the price.”
When you take pride in your work, it shows. Sometimes, it’s downright artistic. These guys take pride in the work. What’s more, almost nobody will ever see it. This is behind the scenes cabling that makes things like this website work. Anyone can pull wire, but only certain people can make it look like a […]
A little Lexington news here: Hewlett-Packard Co. said Tuesday it has agreed to buy American Capital Strategies Ltd.’s (NASDAQ:ACAS) Exstream Software LLC for an undisclosed amount.
Rand Fishkin of SEOMOZ gives a well-articulated list of advice for start-up CEOs. I think it applies to all types of CEOs, team leaders, and in some cases consultants. Go read the list…. which includes: You need: A Voracious Appetite for Knowledge Seeing the Good in Everyone Caring About More than Money And some specific […]
There is plenty of buzz out there about how the economy is slowing. Companies will begin pulling back on expenses and unfortunately cut on staff, too, if it gets worse. But smart companies know that there is no better time to surge forward and leave competition wondering what happened. Social marketing, with authentic messages, is […]
Just a short post to voice my disatisfaction with Flickr Uploadr. The tool is infuriating. Despite my Flickr Pro status and ultra-solid Internet Connection it never, ever works the first time. In the meantime Picasa uploads without a hitch. Not once, but every damn time.
I saw this myspace-promotion for the first time on a site-placement campaign, and if you click, it auto-adds myspace to your sites list for that campaign or you can look at myspace placements. I guess not enough people were advertising on myspace or perhaps it was just getting lost in the mix? I’m pretty sure […]
Kentucky political blogger and founder of award-winning blog bluegrassreport.org Mark Nickolas is joining former CNET founder and CEO Shelby Bonnie in the formation of politicalbase.com. The site, which is open to all political affiliations, looks to have a lot of very Web 2.0 features.
In my mailbox today Re: [url] To whom it may concern: We’d appreciate your forwarding this to the appropriate contact at [url] ….. we have noticed that you have blocked the Ask.com agent from crawling your site in the robots.txt file. We definitely understand that granting our crawler access to your site is an act […]
With the release of Samsung’s RSS-enabled televisions at CES, new thoughts emerge about how the RSS standard, overlayed on the HDTV space could change the way we watch TV and surf the web. Could this mechanism be the saving grace for advertisers wanting to reach the dwindling audience with relevant, custom-tuned screen overlays that learn as you use them?
Why don’t companies identify themselves with Caller ID? Why keep customers guessing?
Today the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce released the “New Agenda” list today: “100 of the most compelling suggestions to share with the state and its elected leaders. The selections were made based on viability, financial feasibility, the time needed to implement, innovation and vision, and impact.” I’m wondering where the Creative Class fits into it all, and if anyone has thought about how important that is.
There’s a buzz today about domain name kiting (tasting) – the practice of snagging names (for whatever reason) but putting them “back” before you have to pay for them. It’s not new, but to my blog readers it might be. Domain Names are serious business. And where there’s serious money, there are some shady operations.
Bill Dotson called out a great article about professional service firms. It’s spot on about how such firms approach their website. They want the partners in the firm to like it – after all, partners agree on the marketing budget, so why not get them involved in the design? Surely someone who works day-in and […]
McAfee tells a story with it’s “HackerSafe” designation and choice of words – it needs to continue the story in its response. To customers, “safe is safe” not “safe is mostly safe.” The story is broken. Three things are wrong with the Hackersafe / Scanalert situation.
MSNBC/BusinessWeek recently published Gene Marks’ Tech ‘Solutions’ Your Small Biz Can’t Use where he seems to dismiss “all things internet” and debunks “highfalutin software and gadgets aim to help you run your company.” The comments shred the article, and are very interesting to read.
A great website cannot save a poor/ordinary/boring product or idea. And great SEO/SEM cannot save a poorly done website. If you have an ordinary commodity product, stop.
Even in our time-shifted, portable entertainment-craving society, podcasts have not made much headway. Has the public lost interest because of any one reason? Has iTunes helped or hurt the podcasting community. Where’s Google in all of this?
What has caused companies to embrace the myth of the superstar web designer or the fire and forget web marketing program? Unless you intimately know the market designing “from the hip” is an irresponsible way to spend clients’ money.
Up from 30th, nice to see. An interesting study comes from CCSU Drawing from a variety of available data resources, the America’s Most Literate Cities study ranks the 69 largest cities (population 250,000 and above) in the United States. This study focuses on six key indicators of literacy: newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, […]
100%. That’s how many of my comments have been censored by local Lexington TV Stations, dropping any credibility for a real attempt to build a community online. I wonder….If you have something “thoughtful” to say, perhaps not jibing with the bible-beltish, hyper-conservative viewpoints, would it ever be published? From what I can tell, the only […]
If I email you and don’t get a response on December 24th, I’m not going to sit around wondering why and think you’re a lazy son-of-a-bitch. Autoreplies are evil, and serve little purpose except in mission-critical solve-it-now roles like doctors, lawyers involved in litigation, and IT professionals running high TOS systems. Not you. Turn it off :-)
I think I need to spring for a faster wireless network or I’ll definitely be dead before these files get copied.
Amazon Prime – This returned probably 500%+ ROI. Worth every dime. EndPCNoise Workstation – the sweetest Windows XP machine I’ve owned. Spooky quiet. Fujitsu ScanSnap – This was the year I went digital on just about everything. This was the reason. Simulscribe – My voice mails, transcribed, and emailed to me. (I don’t know why […]
I thought about how ridiculous this product was. It was a good idea to get all the charge-ables together in a single place. It was not a good idea to do it all on paper and never test the feasibility. But it clearly doesn’t work in the real world. The solution? Shall we redesign it […]
Here’s my top stories of 2007 round-up of stories that continued to make working on the web an interesting experience. See what you think, and add your own ideas!
I would probably have just turned my back, but this blog is owned by Jupiter Media, a NASDAQ-listed company led by Alan Meckler which is in the business of legally licensing content to others. Something definitely amiss here. What do you think?
In a shortly to be released study by B2B, web marketers, web developers, videographers and supporting technologists may want to consider preparing for a busy 2008. Some hilights: 60.1% of all marketers plan to increase their 2008 budgets. 79.1% plan to increase their online budgets (last year was 75.6%) Web Site Development will be increased […]
The consumer electronics store will run store-closing sales during the holidays to get rid of inventory. It’s too bad, too, because Lexington needs a large computer store, and I hope someone will come in their place.
One of the most difficult challenges is tracking paid search performance via telephone calls for the small business. While a few will spring for a new 800 number or IVR system to get some of that information and train phone staff in its use, many cannot due to the workaday reality. Often the busy office environment means metrics go out the window in favor of just getting the order out, so the company continues to guess.
I dislike Volusion for many reasons, but this one stands out. Searching their owners manual gives results, but you must bang through each to find anything. So far, everything in Volusion takes 5x more steps than I think it should. Anyhow, no time to write that book… here’s an example of a useless SERP typical […]
The weather was crappy this last weekend, we were all a bit under the weather, and I wanted to leave the TV and video games turned off. So headed into the electronics graveyard and pulled some CDROM drives. And the fun begins.
I was emailed this long list of coupon codes that I though I’d share with you. I cleaned up the re-direct to avoid the pop-up-windows that were happening. No affiliate codes – just a gift to you. Good luck!
Credit card companies go to desperate means to get you to use their cards. And as the holidays approach, I’m sure they fool a lot of people with this letter.
The small transit operator Fredericton Transit Division had their routes added to Google Transit tonight for the Fredericton (85k) area, adding yet another Canadian location for the terrific trip planning service. The University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University students in the area will surely benefit from this trip-planning service.
Unlike search ads that are triggered by keywords a potential customer enters, content ads are triggered by certain words in articles or Web content. If you are bidding on those words, your ad might be displayed somewhere on the page.
In 1860 in California (and elsewhere) there was a huge locust storm and someone created this to remember it. Quite effective I think. If they’d made a chart out of the locusts, even Mr. Tufte would like it. This kind of thing sticks in your mind more than a book about locusts, or about their […]
In the past few months’ time I’ve spent more than my usual amount of time watching others surf the web. I am always astonished by how poor people are at knowing where to type searches, or web addresses, or login information. When I ask someone to go to a website, there is genuine confusion about […]
I Snapped this From a T-Shirt shop in Gatlinburg, TN, smack dab in the Bible Belt. Tolerated, I suppose by legal departments of real brands. I can’t imagine they have permission. Protected as a parody? Hyper tacky IMO.
The J Peterman catalog was one of my first stops because their coolest stuff sells out. And it turns out they have some stuff still available that I consider some of the most amazing gift items on the web.
I thought I’d look at buying some shelves. But when I looked at how many pages this site had, I was suddenly feeling pretty exhausted. By page 16, I think I’ll need a nap. Oh, in case you’re wondering, searching didn’t help, you had to know the SKU. Advice: You should improve your server […]
We are all busy, but most of us love blogs. Finding, filtering, and selecting blogs is something that must be done by hand. because it requires that we personally evaluate an author’s efforts and give them enough time to show their stuff. It’s my blog audition, borne from necessity. At one point I had 1400 […]
I wonder if the blur between “hidden” SPAM filters, such as those offered by ISPs causes people to hold off on genuinely good spam filtering (yes, that you buy) because they think they “already have a filter” and are just resigning themselves to cleaning the crap out of their in-box each day?
For those of you saying “this is old news” keep in mind that this is a new, bigger 8″ 800×600 eStarling, not the low-res little one that Gizmodo reviewed back in May. So here it is, on my desk, sending me Tagged images from Flickr. Updated Post.
In the spirit of the Google Adwords Individual and Yahoo Search Ambassador, Microsoft has started handing out invitations to join the AdExcellence accreditation program. “Upon passing the exam, you’ll become a Microsoft adExcellence Member. As a Member, you’ll receive permission to exhibit the official adExcellence logo on your website and be included in our adExcellence […]
These may be good for the newbies to learn more about what a keyword list looks like. The lists are in a near-ready-to-import Excel spreadsheet set up for Microsoft Adcenter.
Kentucky News: Nicholasville, a part of the Lexington KY Metro Service Area, is now covered with 3G technology from Verizon.
If you’re thinking a blog is too much work for your marketing efforts, check this out…. More than 8 of 10 business journalists (84%) say they have used or would use blogs as primary or secondary sources for articles. This from the 2007 Arketi Web Watch Survey: Inside B-to-B Media Usage of Web 2.0 One-quarter […]
Since my blog has a mix of seo and non seo posts, and I still want to post the Sphinn plug in button on them, I did a quick mod that only shows the “Sphinn It” button in the case where you’ve put the tag “Sphinn” in your Wordpress 2.3+ tags list. Feedback welcome.
On my pay per click campaign summary I see this: I’m not sure but this seems like the first time they’ve made specific traffic increase predictions. Here, they point out Daily budget of $100.00 met on 13 of the last 15 days. Increasing your budget to the recommended amount would allow your ads to show […]
As the Holidays approach, shutters are going to be ‘a clickin’. Being able to spread smiles digitally is truly a magical use of web technology. Grandmas and Grandpas, Aunts and Uncles can all keep track of family members’ special moments effortlessly via RSS and a few new tools, displaying photos on the new RSS-enabled photo frames or any one of screensavers.
In today’s New York Times, a fabulous piece gives the account of Steven Kurutz and his friend Chris’ slow, musical meanderings through Kentucky’s bourbon heaven and should not be missed. While I don’t drink much, I’m a big fan of Woodford Reserve, which is very close to Lexington and the only bourbon distillery I’ve visited. […]
I’m proposing a system for improving the quality, fairness, and understanding during due diligence as it relates to business model franchises.
The Logo From Google India – I’d never seen this before. I’d only seen this one after finding it on pulse2.0
To those of you who’ve followed up without a reply, so sorry. I have every one of those messages here and will do my best to contact you… if not today, soon.
Weather, Newspaper, TV Stations, and other news-specific blogs should have “full posts” selected in their RSS feed settings. No exception. This way people can actually keep up-to-date via non-broadband devices. If you are publishing such a blog: It is ridiculous to use exerpt-posting for these types of weblogs. It undermines your reputation as a news […]
My blog has a mix of topics, all generally related to web business consulting. But I also put a few humorous topics as well as a few relevant (business web) posts about Lexington, KY. I receive casual comments all the time about people saying they like it, but my subscriber counts are stuck and often […]
An example of user interface overload that is not so different than some of the websites I’ve evaluated lately.
Completely off topic from anything search, the new Poop Swoop provides insight into the daily lives of dog owners and the crap they put up with.
Dear Retailer. When I snap a photo of something, I’m not here to scam you. I’m not the front for a big Chinese manufacturer who is about to knock off your stuff and put you out of business. I’m not planning out an elaborate “Mission Impossible”-style robbery. I’m using my phone to shop. You need to get ready for this, and embrace it.
A terrific brain trust of folks answered great questions that I’ve tried to aggregate into an organized list you may find very helpful. Enjoy! The Q/A was especially helpful and added a lot to the session. Moderators: Chris Sherman, Executive Editor, Search Engine Land Greg Sterling, Founding Principal, Sterling Market Intelligence TIP: See the end […]
Mobile Search: Beyond 10 Blue Links Fascinating presentation at SMX Local Mobile. Mobile searchers don’t want lists of web pages – they want answers or fast ways to take action. Mobile search providers are increasingly experimenting with alternative interfaces, such as location-aware browsing, voice recognition, text messaging and other innovative approaches. Learn about these new […]
Show Me the Money! So there are Billions out there. But who’s making money now. How will SEMs place bets now to ensure their success? Show me the money! Moderator: Greg Sterling Speakers: Ian White, CEO, Urban Mapping Shawn Riegsecker, Chairman & CEO, Centro Justin Sanger, CEO, LocalLaunch Alfred Chow, Head, Yellowbook Lots of […]
Local businesses want leads and customers, not clicks. Although pay-per-click and pay-per-call are the two prevalent ad models to reach local searchers, will other models like CPA/PPA ultimately be more effective? (Partial Liveblogging – other presenters not blogged… couldn’t get a coherant flow going :-P) Steven Chuck, Director of Strategic Alliances, Yahoo!
Moderator: Greg Sterling, Founding Principal, Sterling Market Intelligence Marc Barach, CMO, Ingenio joined for the Q&A Throughout this writup: PPC = pay per click.� Don’t confuse it with PPcall Lots more after the jump…
This is a liveblogging entry from SMX Local/Mobile – a conference I’m attending in Denver, CO. This was the best session I’ve attended yet at the conference. Lots of great information and engaging speakers. Good questions from the room and highly relevant content. Bravo! Moderator: Chris Sherman, Executive Editor, Search Engine Land Speakers: Alex Porter, […]
A really good session covering some tips and tricks related to local search. I picked up on some things I’d not known before, and it sounds like I should get kicking on some hcard and address tagging of some clients. After Chris Sherman did introductions, these are the folks who did presentations. The presentations went […]
SMX Local / Mobile – Managing Local Search Campaigns
Early photos from SMX Local / Mobile (SMXLoco)
Well, getting ready to head out tommorrow for SMX Local/Mobile conference in Denver, and looking forward to seeing friends in the search marketing world again I’ve not seen since SMX Advanced in Seattle. Look Me Up, I hope to see you there.
It was nice to hear people excited about what’s happening at WiMax World Week in Chicago, which had attendance has almost doubled. WiMax (802.16) is a technology that works a lot like Wi-Fi Wireless Networks but has much greater range. It sounds like spectrum and backhaul issues are getting solved and that many of us will be WiMaxing at 4Mbit/sec before 2009.
I found this on JonathanFields.com, and it resonated. Some people thrive on the energy of a constant battle. On how badly they can take those around them. Not me. It kills me. And, at least for me, I discovered there is a much better way to launch and grow your small business or reinvigorate your […]
To all the restaurants offering free Wi-Fi, I say THANK YOU. I love it. Panera Bread led the pack, and more are offering it. But for those of us who are popping in for a quick lunch by ourselves, laptop in tow, what if we need to leave the table for a few minutes – […]
Make sure you realize that the only way to benefit from today’s latest New Media revolution is through full integration within your organization, not by hiring someone to doll it out in sugary snacks in the breakroom.
As part of what Wal-Mart is calling its “Customer Contact Reduction” program, by next week, Walmart.com, the company’s online arm, will no longer give customers a toll-free phone number to call–or any phone number, for that matter
Godaddy backorders can seem like a romance. On again, off again. Well, the lesson here is to keep your backorder in place for a while – they may come home after all.
My duct tape fix suggestions for our propane-leaking 12-year old grill have not gone over well, but my trip to a local patio store for a new grill went even worse when they tried to shaft me with a $50 local delivery charge to drop a box less than 2 miles from their shop. Latest in my “Retail Gaffes” series.
In an article in this week’s Wall Street Journal (subscription, for now), Miriam Jordan writes of Louisville’s progressive stance on immigration and diversity. While Nashville and others have been drafting anti-immigration ordinances or vetoing those which help immigrants, she writes of Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson’s very visible position towards welcoming individuals from all nationalities into the Louisville economy:
With competition from inexpensive stock photography shops and changing patterns in image purchasing, Getty is offering its collection of photography with $49 licensing for web use on blogs, email, and sites. But photographer groups are ruffled, and lines are being drawn.
Google’s Expected to roll out their “PowerPoint” killer soon, if not today. Even though I was one of the engineers on Harvard Graphics (PowerPoint was called the “Harvard Graphics Killer”) I am really a advocate leaving slide shows out of meetings. It’s far too easy to create slides. You need people staring at you at a table giving you feedback with their body language, good and bad. You need to know that you got through to them. Will Google’s “PowerPoint” just make more awful presentations for us all to sit through?
My long term e-commerce and SEO client RVSani-Con recently sold to Thetford Corporation, an Ann Arbor Based RV Parts Supplier. RV Sani-Con makes waste management systems for RVs – a product you will appreciate in an increasing amount proportional to the amount of time you spend with your rig. “The acquisition supports our long-term strategies […]
A brand is a person’s gut feeling, because brands are defined by individuals, not companies, markets, or crowds because people are emotional, intuitive beings. Great slide deck, nicely done.
People using content management systems need to educate all users of what will go out not only on the browser, but on the RSS feed, as shown in this example where the tragedy of flight 5191 was sent out as a NEW news story from WTVQ’s RSS feed a year later.
Saw this in the checkout line at Kroger grocery store. They say never go grocery shopping hungry. You probably shouldn’t go shopping broke, either. Too much temptation. Actually what you see here is evidence of a slow, but important change in the retail and banking industry. Â Kroger already owns a mortgage company, so that’s […]
It’s the era of user-created content. Is there a minefield being laid by more and more sophisticated crawling tools employed by the stock agencies, the increase in user-created media, and the pinch felt by artists as microstock and low-cost stock shops grow. For those of us managing dozens or even hundreds of sites, it is very, very easy for an unauthorized image or illustration to make its way into a website. And then the fur will fly.
It seems everyone’s bending over backwards to optimize my pay-per-click campaigns for free these days. Google did it a couple of weeks ago, and now Microsoft Adcenter has chimed in. Can the PPC campaigns really offer good value to customers without conflict-of-interest becoming a problem? Or is it a “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” issue?
Retail stores don’t seem to realize the importance of customer touch points. That phone call ringing in the background is not as important as customers already in the building. If that phone rings a few times, both the receptionist and the salespeople need to have confidence it will then ring to someone else for handling or to a well designed voice mail solution. Leaving a customer during the sales process is simply throwing away the entire process people have worked hard on up to that point.
I think, starting today, the “Worlds Biggest Web Host” , 1&1, now offers built-in Google Site Map Tools in their Package-level domain lists, making it extremely easy to create a sitemap for any domain hosted with their services. Too Damn Easy. Using Google Sitemaps in such a casual way is a lazy way to deal with crawling your site, and actually hides problems on your site that you NEED TO FIX with thoughtful internal link design.
You know, sometimes business secrets don’t require much effort to find. The fruits of dozens of locations, millions of dollars in training development, and years of experience can focus on a single experience that’s presented right in front of you to observe. You don’t have to copy any one system, but you need a system, with rewards and consequences for your staff. PF Changs’ Chinese Bistro is one such example of a system that makes a place remarkable that all restaurateurs should take note of.
It would seem ludicrous to even consider SEO services that send garbage SPAM, but amazingly I talk to people at least once per week who have “gave them a shot” because it “surely can’t hurt anything.” In fact, it can hurt a LOT of things. Here’s a deconstruction of the spam itself.
Is it constitutional for a government agency to keep a criminal history public indefinitely crawlable on Google, arguably providing, through its results pages, a public criminal history without a statute of limitations of any type? What if expungement is impractical due to the indexing activity of search spiders? Are we forever locking past mistakes in the strata of the web?
I was really happy to find Pamela Slim’s article “I’m just not into you” – Kicking lukewarm passions to the curb” in her ezine. It’s really a good read – and can help clarify some thinking if you find yourself muddled in luke-warm pseudo-projects that are weighing down your dreams.
I noticed that Google is starting to estimate your likelihood of display for site-selection ads. Trouble is, anyone who does any level of CPM tuning will have different bids on every one, and the estimate only seems to apply to the default. If they showed the estimate for individual sites, that might be useful.
Often, a passive approach will leave you high and dry, while a little effort can bathe you in success.
When you look at your web pages you focus like nobody else in the world. You look at each part of it thinking about the effort that went into the design. You might feel proud or relieved it is done. You know the reasons you put certain text in certain places, or remember the steps […]
Jakob Nielson’s latest Alertbox is the longest-read enewsletter in my list. In the latest Alertbox, he points out “designers can get so caught up in their own theories about how users ought to behave that they forget to test for cases in which people behave differently” Could it be that the mechanics of setting up multivariate testing neutralizes this “worry”? Should variable definition be more of a part of the web design process?
So as I work on some Yahoo Search Marketing campaigns this weekend I was thinking about Yahoo!’s woes and come to think of three features that might help Panama for advanced PPC campaign managers, ground level. These ideas would all play into the “improved performance/sales per search” effort, which in turn gets search marketers to spend more of their clients money in the channel.
I really do not like these rebate cards that everyone is sending out. At first blush they would seem to be a good idea (you don’t need to deposit a check) but I think they’re just another way to punish us for using the rebate in the first place.
Franchises need to toot their own horns. A lot. The press release engine needs fuel. And a plethora of magazines with glossy covers are ready and waiting to stroke their collective egos in front of entrepreneurs craving an escape from the 9 to 5. But with the possible exception of Entrepreneur magazine, most would do well to ignore these publications completely and do their own research.
The Flickr Version was a little dark… A Zoomable/Pannable version coming as soon as (if) photographer sends me the high-res version. For now… click to zoom Search Engine Land has a SMX page with tons of links to other blogs related to the conference.
Having a focused, promise-keeping landing page is a concept that experienced Pay Per Click advertisers know well. Often learning this truism happens the hard way – after spending thousands of wasted dollars. One of the most important design lessons that I’ve learned when it comes to any sort of web page is this: The Landing […]
Wouldn’t Google Street View be more interesting if Immersive told us when and where they were doing the photos? If you have a dark colored VW bug, you can have great fun right now.
In your web project, do you have parts that dead-end, with little chance of making you the best in your industry? Are there areas you should focus on in hopes of reaching the other side of the dip, joining the elite players of your business? Are you ready to sort those out, focus on the ones that matter and discard the rest?
If you’re presenting at a conference and using a powerpoint deck or some illustrations, don’t post a URL for your stuff to be downloaded. This is a blind method that will not provide you with valuable information about the people who came to retrieve it.
My Pals up the street at WebProNews have assembled a great set of SMX videos that everyone should take a look at.
Okay just a short wrap up post here. SMX advanced was terrific. I’m walking away with a notebook full of tips, a bunch of new friends, and a great first experience. I look forward to the Local/Mobile conference in Denver.
Pumpin up your paid search session at SMX — live blogging the presentation.
To anyone at the show right now reading over this….. thanks for making a first-timer feel so welcome – it’s been awesome. I’ve met some folks who not only were very approachable but ready and enthusiastic about conversations with a first-timer. I definitely try not to be the “interruption guy” but have managed to at least chat with some who I’ve wanted to meet for a long time and had extended conversation with many who I respect in the industry.
While on my cross-country ride to SMX, I had the urge to list some of the things to look out for (and hopefully produce good reactions to) as one starts a new web development or search marketing project.
I have never looked forward to a conference like I have for SMX. Here are a few reasons that this conference could be a steering point for my business, my career, and possibly even my life.
I rarely post in my blog just because someone else posted something in theirs, or because of a great new newsletter entry, but this has to be an exception – it hit home so well. Jakob Nielsen’s latest Alertbox, titled “The Myth of the Genius Designer” nailed it
I was tagged in a challenge meme to determine the level of nerdiness. This one has been around a while, but it’s still fun. Enjoy and answer honestly.
I received probably the worst designed informational postcard ever in the mail today. Here it is, with a small suggested revision.
I’m ashamed to be in the same state as this. At least this snafu provides a sliver of comic relief.
This list of 43 web design mistakes to avoid is very good.. a strong recommended read. Of the rules, I disagree somewhat with these – so let me ruffle it a bit. 27. Do not use FrontPage… >> Okay.. I don’t use it for site development anymore, but for some customers it’s a perfect way […]
Picasa has released a great little embeddable Flash slideshow capability so everyone can add slideshows to their Blog, website, myspace page and so forth. Here’s tips on getting your Picasa slide show going in a sidebar of Wordpress using the Side Bar Widgets
It’s important that you design your advertising “funnel” to retain the confidence of the searcher from first click through ordering. I thought I’d show you a few tricks that have proven themselves over the years, starting with the most basic – the Google Keyword Insertion method, then talking about Dynamic Landing pages, and ultimately specialized product linkages from ads.
I was thrilled to be listed with some of the writers and bloggers I most admire. and impressed with David Meerman Scott’s method for getting everyone in a linking frenzy. I’m quite looking forward to the book. I’ve alreardy learned a good trick from this guy.
CNN’s headline reads “Geek Squad picks unlikely place for PC-hospital” … because it’s in Hillview Kentucky. But there’s nothing slighly “unlikely” about it, given the presence of the UPS air hub, a pool of tech workers, and a high quality of life. One wonders if CNN ever looks at the world through anything but 8″ monitors.
I’m psyched to be going out to the Search Marketing Expo in Seattle. It’s nuts that I’ve not been to any search marketing conference before. There are good reasons… cost, cost, and…cost. But when I heard about SMX, I was going to do whatever it took to go.
Google Calendar has recently taken a few important steps forward, and with them come my list of 10 reasons that I think many schools should begin to use it for managing information flow starting next year.
I think we all can agree that the lifespan of a twitter should be about, oh, 2 minutes. But now they live on, cached even, in Google Search Engine Results pages.
Would a Microsoft and Yahoo! merger be the opportunity that Ask.com has been waiting for? Would a major distraction for the #2 and #3 search players be just what they need to get their innovation and sharp focus into the spotlight?
I thought it was really nice to get a mention by Elizabeth Holmes in her article “Going Online Isn’t a ‘Must’ Move For All Entrepreneurs in the Wall Street Journal last week. I believe that many companies definitely jump in the wrong end of the pool sometimes.
I’m thinking I missed the point of Google Gadget Maker.Â Last night I had my hopes up, but tried it this morning and was really underwhelmed.Â Does it suprise anyone else, for example, that the the photo frame gadget requires you to change the photo manually rather than, say, plug it into tags on picasawebÂ […]
I was hoping that Google Gadget Maker would offer someting more akin to Yahoo Pipes, but it’s much lighter than that. Still, it brings focus back to personalized Google search results and what that means for search optimization.
As Google begins to work with State Governments to encourage the indexing of public records, information hidden below the surface will suddenly be visible, and sleuths and mashups may have a field day. Dust off those boxes, Uncle Sam, let’s see what you have in there!
Ebay shows us that usability improvements can make a big difference in profits – even when traffic levels remain flat. It’s a textbook case of reduced abandonment bringing staggering profits. Perhaps having your brother-in-law design your site isn’t such a great idea after all.
Are billboards encouraging you to take digital photographs as you drive by a good idea? Well, it’s innovative at least. But this busy roadside billboard seems a little silly.
If you’re a local business, and you’re not in Google Local now, I must admit, possibly living in denial.Â Google 411 (1-800-GOOG411) is amazing, and I am just blown away that so many businesses haven’t taken the time to insert their company into the Google Local Business Center.Â We couldn’t find our favorite pizza restaurant […]
Lexmark finally went public about their new wireless inkjets. What a huge difference (see inset) The designs hit a “cool” nerve with me – like an iPod or a G4 Macintosh. In fact, I see a big influence from Frog Design’s work and the Lexmark stuff.From the first time I saw one, they’ve reminded me […]
Seth Godin, my favorite author by far, just published a list of quitters (people who have quit one path and shifted to another, and found even more success) that includes people you’ll recognize, such as Jeff Foxworthy, Tom Peters, Bill Gates, me. What? Read more inside….
I’ve often been annoyed to see people holding cell phones while driving in tricky driving situations, and even more so when the other hand holds a cigarette or other item. But it’s never been more than an annoyance. I shake my head and wonder what could possibly be so important to talk about that it […]
If we want to look up data, enter data, and use communications tools, why don’t we all take a lesson or two from Edward Tufte or Jakob Nielson and create an efficient, fast, textually driven site appropriate to the purpose. I hate to see government sites where loose-canon web designers are set free with no regard for the real needs of users.
Who knows if the aquisition of DoubleClickÂ is a good economic move for Google, but I think it’s a bit like capturing a multi-billion dollar “specimen” to examine under the microscope while they perfect CPA models.Â We as search marketers need to get used to the whole CPA solution that Google is brewing, and those […]
There are two types of franchises. Brand franchises and Business Model Franchises. When you buy a business model franchise, you are saying that you believe in their mode of operation. But more and more franchisees are doing a pick-and-choose approach to the franchises models, and I think it’s damaging entire franchise systems. Franchises aren’t designed for the independent-minded. They depend on a by-the-book execution of a business plan, adherence to time-tested systems and a willingness to follow directions.
If you tweak your ads a lot in Google, Yahoo or other PPC tools, you probably find it hard to keep track of what you’ve done unless you have a meticulous notebook/spreadsheet. I’d love to see some form of built in “notes” area connected to adgroups and campaigns to aid us in this kind of record-keeping.
My sharp-eyed accountant pointed out that Google seems to have filed 1099 MISC files without payee tax id numbers (at least on mine) which would essentially make the entire claim invalid.Â Since I claimed Adsense income as taxable income, this could flag tax trouble for Google…. does anyone else have blank tax IDs on 1099 […]
I’m confused.Â I thought the point of the “.GOV” Top Level Domain (TLD) was to give citizens some assurance that they were dealing with a credible government entity.Â Trust, right? So why then is the EFTPS (Electronic Federal Tax Payment System) now changing from “eftps.gov” to “eftps.com”?Â Â Â I can see that one might […]
A much cleaner interface for Adwords Campaign Summary showed up tonight.Â Cross channel on the bottom, and Adwords campaigns on top.Â Tidy!
Effective June 1st, Microsoft’s List Builder, which has had aÂ steadily degrading level of service, willÂ end and they will migrate services to Constant Contact.Â Â The biggest change for most customers is going to be in the pocketbook.Â Listbuilder used to deliver 10,000 emails for around $30/month.Â Â Constant Contact charges $75/month for the […]
South Andros Bahamas Travel Tips after our first week on this rural paradise. If you want a quiet hideaway, check South Andros. A few Bahamian travel tips for families might help.
South Andros and Congo Town are full of friendly, basic people who live live to the fullest. My three-post travelogue of our April 2007 journey.
My three-post travelogue of our April 2007 journey to South Andros, Bahamas.
Changes in Googles Adwords algorithm have had a major impact in the ability to use this tool for affordable testing of highly focused landing pages. There is a correlation in my experience between volume of content and cost of bids. So “pure” landing page design “labs” have really become a challenge of late. What was […]
Podcasting for Churches, class lectures, and recorded histories are more amazing applications for this highly portable digital recording tool.
The Public Radio Talent Quest, a search for the Next Great Host. Itâ??s open to all comers; it has cash awards, more than $70,000 courtesy of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; and offers the chance, if you have what it takes, to be a public radio star.Â Â Also, learn about it on Youtube.“To enter […]
iWOZ – the autobiography of Steve Wozniac. A treasure trove of grins for geeks everywhere in this new book. Highly recommended.
I think that the Windstream Support Ticket Autoresponder / CRM was designed by someone who used to work at a music on hold company. At first I thought it was a glitch, but it’s designed to work this way it seemsÂ Rather than re-assuring people, I think it would serve only to make people think […]
While I was out, it seems techdirt had this story about a restauranteur who was concerned his business was being affected by a murder story coming up in the organic search results when his restaurant’s name, Cer….no’s Restaurant, was entered into Google. I’ve left out part here so as to not add to the mess. […]
Hey! Another timesaver… the Adwords interface now sports a link to the Google Website Optimizer. Nice! Oh wait. You can’t use it if you’re logged in via the MCC. There goes the time savings. Oh, well, easy come, easy go.
Doh!Â Â They don’t bother to think about the title tag or meta description on the temporary page (and no description tag on the REAL page) so I guess few expect them to be found in the search results pages.Â Brand Nirvana.Â Not having to care about petty things. Â
I’ve been having a heck of a time with my IP address and Google. While Lauren does a terrific job over at Google tracking down that problem, I thought it might be a good time to run over the use of the Google Ad Preview tool, a savior for times like these. The parameter that […]
It looks like the US Patent Office will begin to post patent applications and allow for a Wiki/Digg-style system for sorting out comments/objections in a pilot program.Â This means that aÂ reviewed sort of system could help the patent office sort out the signal from the noise.Â We’ll see if any of the gaming that […]
Would you like to give instructions to your visitors about how to white list your domain name when they sign up for your email list? Get tired of keeping up with the latest instructions? Well fret no longer, just point your visitors to my free whitelist generator, which will produce a custom white list instruction […]
Beware of the Ides of March! Okay, we don’t need to get astrological on this, and after all, it was just a graph that cause the technical problem, but try telling that to the average identity-theft-security-paranoid-id customer who logs on to these major financial sites.Â (Click thumbnail to zoom JP Morgan’s screen shot)
The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has has published a decision on Internet radio royalties, adopting the “per play” rate that SoundExchange had promoted. The rates that the Board has decided on, effective retroactively through the beginning of 2006. I’ve created a spreadsheet to calculate the reality of all of this. Excel Worksheet: Internet Radio Profits/Loss […]
Danny Sullivan while on with Alex Bennert on the Daily Searchast Podcast recently wondered… “what is the equivalent to the cross or garlic ’round the neck to a vampire for SEO?” Well, Danny, here’s my list. The Sandbox, or lack thereof, or derivative thereof. Paid Search Editorial Reviews by clueless editors. Presenting kickass SEO results […]
I was working on a client project when suddenly I noticed that all of the results were from New Zealand. I checked my settings – yes, I’m signed in and my home country is set to the US. So I wiped my cookies and even tried another computer. Google is pretty confused who I am. […]
Pro Quality for under $1000 – Now, about that content. Well, my audio editing guru Jerome has helped put together a selection of equipment to record telephone interviews for podcasts using standard telephones. We want to make it easyto interview someone without having to worry about the technology, letting them concentrate on the content. The […]
To those of you with Adcenter master accounts which contain multiple “sub accounts” you should know aboutÂ a glitch that can put you in a pinch with all of your accounts off-line – and YOU in a financial pinch. If any one of your sub-accounts’ credit cards expire or get declined they’ll all be putÂ […]
Superpages.com is rolling out a new system that is supposed to improve relevance.Â It’s the latest in pay-per-click systems to move from the highest-bidder-highest-position and include other aspects of the ad.Â While it’s not entirely clear what those “multiple facets of your ad” are it stands to reason that factors similar to other pay-per-click engines […]
WLEX News (our NBC affiliate) will go High Definition http://www.vimeo.com/user/confirm?code=e781acb529f976152ea5f41131ff32fa this Spring, making it one of the first mid-sized markets to broadcast news in HD. About 30 stations nationwide broadcast news in High Definition. It stands to reason, as many of the news stories feature our georgous landscape around Lexington – and it will look […]
Rustybrick at SEOroundtable has drawn attention to a very interesting thread which should make those in charge of client webservers prick up their ears. I encounter resistance from some clients when I suggest a hosting change once I see they’re using a cut-rate provider. DNS changes, server switch-overs, and broken 404 pages are all major […]
David Meerman Scott recently posted a very well thought out post “How to Pitch the Media” which rang true as I purged at least 10 unsolictied pitches for irrelevant stories from my inbox for Business Lexington this morning. The pitches were ridiculous – general, poorly written, disorganized, and time consuming to read. Honestly, I just […]
IÂ multi-task a bit too much for the new animated avatars and their little digital timers.Â They areÂ leftÂ wondering why I haven’t clicked on them in the past “x”Â seconds and start their banterÂ “I can’t help butÂ notice that you’ve not clicked on anything yet.” says the guy from theÂ UPS Whiteboard site.Â […]
I’m setting up a list of feeds created as output from Yahoo Pipes. Have you managed to make it do some great tricks? Got a collection of awesome feeds that do something special? Let me know and you can be included! No adult, hate, etc. etc. feeds. Once I have a decent set, I’ll publish […]
How’d you like to see just about every smart Internet marketing blogger that exists in one great list?Â Well, just fire up the over 300 blogs on the Search Marketing Blogs list at TopRank Marketing and you’ll give your RSS reader a real workout.Â I’ve found a mixed bag of content, but overall, pretty damn […]
Google’s just announced that they are starting testing site-targeted pay-per-click. Currently that is available only as CPM (cost per thousand.) It’s pretty clear that Google stands to make more money from a CPC model using site targeting as advertisers will be able to become extremely precise in their placements. It will change the way I […]
I blogged about this over a year ago, but the latest debate has taken on a life of its own. I guess it can be healthy for the industry to have debate – because there are so many in our business who shouldn’t be there. Danny Sullivan has certainly posted fluently about the topic and […]
Yahoo Pipes (beta) is a kind of RSS feed aggregator mixer board for creating mashups.Â It has debugging helper tools, great filtering, and then you can publish the feed to use in your favorite feed reader. I’ve long used Geckotribe’s CARP and GROUPER to do RSS mashups, and always found there to be tremendous power […]
Alas… You can now manage your comments properly in mybloglog.Â This addresses some of the complaints and a few of the wish-list items that others have had about MyBlogLog.Â Mine gets so few comments – but those it gets are sooo sweet – that this isn’t a real issue.Â
Last June, I ribbed Lexmark about their slogan, “We’re Always Working.” Now they’ve decided to see if it is really the case, and if productivity has climbed over the last 5 years. So, they asked Ipsos to interview 711 knowledge workers between Oct. 10 and 24, 2006 as a part of a survey of knowledge […]
Websites have many interests represented. I.T., Marketing, Sales, and other departments have opinions and needs for the company website, so the last thing that they need in this case is a search expert coming in from the outside and tweaking pages – saying “just trust me.” For this reason, off-site-testing is an ideal way to […]
I’m all Giddy over the new downtown Lexington plan posted at the The Lexington Downtown Development Authority’s website. It’s absolutely georgous. If deployed, it would take this city from where it is to a brand new level. Harold Tate, Penny Ebel, Ayers/Saint/Gross and everyone – thank you. The plan is radical as it sets to […]
Well, today’s the day. Time to shut down my old bid management software for the last time and embrace the new quality score driven solution on Yahoo Search Marketing, which is being turned on today. I took the Yahoo Ambassador exam last week and have been preparing for what I think will be a strong […]
If you’re tasked with building a portal for a franchise, where franchisees will share ideas and information through online collaboration tools, here are five tips to make your deployment smooth and effective. It doesn’t matter which platform you’re using, or if you’re building it from scratch, a franchise portal can be one of the most […]
I had fun with the animated avatar – it was like adding a little personality to the mybloglog gadgets, but today I saw the first signs of abuse – and it felt like a banner ad. So I’m back to my standard mug. And little kitten will have to dance here in my blog instead.
At least 10 times weekly I receive a reply to an email to an AOL user sent perhaps 10-12 days ago (around 1100 emails ago for me.) The reply will go something like this: To: scott Fr: email@example.com Subject: RE: Website ———————— That will be fine! thanks! John (end of message) AGGGHHH!!! AOL has now […]
You can now post your latest Flickr images on your MyBlogLog photos (but not your avatar, yet) – but at the same time, the service as creeped to a near halt. Growing pains?
This is not from a small-time shop, but from a prominent freelance service – and this is on the page where consumers will feel anxiety (money$$). Think nobody reads the title tags? Think again.
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research conducted a phone survey with 121 of Inc. Magazine’s “Inc. 500” to see if there have been changes in the awareness and use of Social Media techniques (social networking, blogging, message boards, online video, wikis, and podcasting.) It doesn’t say which of the 121 were surveyed. […]
My 3rd grade daughter offered some good advice the other day when I asked her about school. She’s learning (mastered) to play the recorder in music class. I asked her what she found to be the hardest thing to play and she told me this advice: “The hardest thing about playing the recorder in music […]
I was sad to see that EW James & Sons decided to pull out of the Lexington market. There weren’t any stores convenient to our part of town, so I wasn’t a customer, but I like to go anti-chain when I can. In California, my favorite store was Cosentino’s on Homestead Ave in Santa Clara. […]
The first (and only) time I met Steve Wozniak was in a little laser tag arena in San Jose. He was there with what seemed to be a group of 20 kids, his Mercedes parked out side (license: “WOZ”) and everyone seemed to be having a hoot. We were all waiting our turn to go […]
I can remember seeing “powers of 10” as a kid on PBS. It started at the atomic level and ended up at the intergalactic scales. I even have one of the original books. This shockwave tool instantly caught my eye. While this works with a pre-set grouping of photos, I would LOVE to see it […]
Here’s the thing. I’ve seen people run into objects trying to dial their mobile phone. So it’s hard for me to imagine millions of people suddenly typing in query after query into mobiles in a crowded airport trying to find the lowest price on rental cars. Now I admit that I’m in the United States, […]
Business Lexington reports that outgoing LFUCG administration of Mayor Teresa Isaac may have let an old Peoplesoft problem languish since mid-2006, preventing key financial reports and possibly losing data about spent by the departments. Mayor Newberry has put a team on it, but if it’s like many other similar problems, the longer you wait, the […]
If you want to create a bit of a stir, open up your digital billboard to the masses (may not be SFW) and let them post what they like. Better yet, post 20 of these on your wall. Grab flickr feeds and give each table in your restaurant a unique theme, or pop them up […]
While I built my first few portals in the late 1990s (Lotus Domino!) , I’ve found myself doing a fair amount of work on news portals – and love it. It’s a purists playground with priorities to remove friction from the enterprise before anything. There’s a real rush in building a system that takes advantage […]
A collection of steampunk, retro-tech, and technogothic sites that stir the imagination to consider what things would be like if the Victorian era had continued to include more high-tech gadgets. Includes links to design work influenced by the micro-genre.
Everyone’s chiming in with CES predictions and mine will be that one of the small LCD partnership companies will introduce a sleek, beautiful WI-FI and Bluetooth enabled digital photo frame that we’ll be proud to hang on our wall for under $500. Phillips? Apple? Sony? A Wifi digital photo frame does not seem to be […]
Here is the toy to have in 2010. We’ll all be doing dogfights, chasing birds, chasing criminals, buzzing the annoying old man down the street and more. I want one. Now. personalpost
Small Business TV Advertising still vital when these numbers are considered Hey, The Census Bureau just put out a snapshot of how Americans are using media in the Statistical Abstract of the United States, Here are a few hilights… 41 days listening to radio.. okay, multitasking is good. 7 days using the Internet (email and […]
Testing emails is not an expense. It pays. Your email list and your brand have real value, and every time you screw up, you are spending real money. Use a spreadsheet and make sure you’ve tested your software and your methods out well before you send – test on 4-5 major email clients, text and […]
Having a well-executed and simple website can be a great, low-cost extension of your non-profit – or a huge waste of time. As many charities increase their visibility during the holidays, I’m struck by how many have churned away obvious hours into sites that offer little that would help them move towards their stated organizational […]
Santa brought my kids each an Airzooka for Christmas. We had fun playing with it, and housecats all across Kentucky now understand it’s time to duck for cover when this big honkin’ thing comes out. But my youngest daughters’ Airzooka had a broken handle right from the box. We taped it together and I sent […]
I’m sitting here wondering if anyone in Lexington is watching the activity over in the Triad in North Carolina. They’re bending over backwards to lure Google to locate a big server farm to Caldwell County – most recently in the form of a $4.8m grant from their Job Development Investment fund. Google (via Madras Integration, […]
Warning – geeky post. I had been putting off setting up an apache test server (Apache 2.2 with PHP 5.5) here in the “lab” until this week and allowed about 30 minutes to set it up. Two hours later I was still mucking about. The Apache service kept colliding with another service on Port 80 […]
Hacker, Spammer, and Virus Writers’ Motivations Shifting A troubling shift was noted by computer security companies. Motivations for hackers and virus authors shifted from ego to cash, leading to recruitment of a new breed of talented, socially-aware programmers. With money on the line, the sloppy “fire and forget” mentality of previous virus creators is being […]
Timberland.com has worked hard on adding lots of features to their website. Lots of neato ajax and drag and drop coolness. It’s such a shame that the entire event can be ruined by a single little 180×120 pixel gray box continually popping up when all I want to do is buy some presents. Object Error. […]
I’m truly hopeful that this gentleman finds someone to help him with what looks to be a very ambitious web project. But what I wanted to point out is how they are probably excluding the cream of the crop by their contact technique: using blind carbon copy and a mass-email to god-knows-how-many web firms. This […]
I’ll be updating my blog to WordPress over the holiday, so probably not posting much in terms of real content. If anyone out there has tips (thanks for yours, Andy) I’m always happy to hear them.
I think it was Dilbert who said “Gift Certificates are like cash, only less useful.” It’s true! I honestly don’t “get” gift cards as a consumer, but I do understand their commercial appeal. Especially around this time of year. The National Retailers Federation says that $25 billion (5%) of all retail purchases will be gift […]
Another tacky blow-up decoration hits the dust. And the guy was slashing with such vigor (joy?)… Frosty just keeps on smiling. “So many decorations, so little time.” The guy’s mugshot is priceless – he can’t even hide his smile. Video Included. personalpost
I’ve been subscribing to RSS product feeds this year and watching them with amusement as the deadlines for holiday shipping arrive. Procastinators must surely feel the pressure as these warnings cross their screens. **HURRY, TIMES RUNNING OUT** **Dont’ Delay – It’s TIME TO BUY!!** You Must Hurry – We are ready to ship Order before […]
I would say absolutely NOT. I’ve never, ever seen a good one. Recent MEC tests show founder video on a subscription product actually can hurt conversions! They found that the person sometimes couldn’t see or hear the video for technical reasons, and that this would hurt the chances of conversion. Now, we didn’t see what […]
I’ve been impressed with the improvements lately in digital billboards. They’re very bright and are begining to rival their rolled-on competitors in daylight. Of course at night they have no rival. Lamar has a video out showing off their technology, and it’s pretty impressive. The Outdoor Advertising Association of America estimates there are 500 digital […]
And now, brought to you by Google Patents… I present a new twist … (music, please) On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…… Twelve drummers drumming, (US Patent 361606)Eleven pipers piping, (US Patent 3151517)Ten lords a-leaping, ( US Patent 1513338 ) …(helmet recommended)Nine ladies dancing, (US patent 1374840) …(can you […]
Homer Ledford was truly one of a kind. From the foothills he mastered the craft of building instruments (more than 6000 Dulcimers) that are cherished by musicians worldwide. I had the pleasure of enjoying his music (and his old-fashioned, wholesome jokes) in small picnic concerts in the parks near my home in Lexington. Homer passed […]
In high school, I had one of the cooler jobs. I did darkroom and printing work at Silkworm Screenprinting in Murphysboro, IL. I worked with some rabid entrepreneurs including artist/entrepreneur Bob Cambers and photographer/entrepreneur Craig Williams. Bob now runs Silkworm, and Craig runs CommunityLink Publications creating various branding materials that promote local communities. These were […]
You don’t need an invitation to get a gmail account now in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Egypt . If you Google “RIP Gmail” you’ll see my previous post about how incoming spam killed my Gmail Account. And now, with unchecked outbound spam, Gmail is about to become the next hotmail. Seth Godin’s point about […]
It’s that time of year again – the Internet Registry & Optimization Bureau is coming to town! Trouble… right here in river city! They’ve bothered three of my already-busy clients with this crap, so I thought I’d shove a post up the Google tree and tell them to FK themselves on behalf of everyone. If […]
Promoting cybermonday.com as the place where big merchants post their wares for the big day may have got just a bit ahead of their ability to fetch images and style sheets. Ouch.
Starting in around 2002, I began suggesting to Kentucky companies that they find a blogger to serve as their voice in the blogosphere. I also wrote about it, twice, as have every major business journal available, but it seems few around me have given it much effort. A couple of my clients wanted to send […]
Postcript: 9/6/07: eStarling has re-introduced their product, and I’ve posted about it again.
Before you start that Christmas Card list, you might want to think about grabbing your cards from these awesome world-class designers here in Kentucky. Three patients at UK Health Care’s Kentucky Children’s Hospital have created artwork for limited-edition holiday cards, which are now on sale. Click on the images to see full-sized PDFs. Kentucky Children’s […]
What if you could capture the energy of earlier search successes and share it with later ones? If an expert in a field has found results that relate to what you’re seeking and posted them, why would you want to repeat the work? I often find that the information you get from a search engine […]
Blogger is so slow that I have been unable to post all day. I’m only able to take time to put my thoughts down a few times each week, so when I do, I really need my blogging software to work. So I’m installing wordpress today. Excited.
What would be the worst day in the year to send a toilet tissue campaign? I mean, when would you NOT send 100,000 rolls of free toilet tissue to the doorsteps of homes nationwide for rotton little ones to wrap ’round trees. But I kids you not. Today, October 31st, in the mail comes a […]
If you want to check out how well your anger-management therapy is working, sign up for Microsoft’s bCentral listbuilder program. And then try to get support for it. I have tens of thousands of subscribers on the system and it’s going to be huge pain to move but they’re not getting another dime from me. […]
bluppet [bluhp-it] -noun 1. a person, goup, government, etc. whose blog, wiki, forum or website whose postings are encourage, prompted or controlled by a commercial or political interest without making said sponsorship immediately clear. Use: “Wal-Mart hired a bluppet for their Public Relations campaign.” “I unsubscribed from his blog, he’s just a Bluppet for that […]
Allume System gets It – When you want off of an email list, you just want the he** off. Allume makes great software but I’m getting too much email. So I decided to unsubscribe from their announcements. To my delight, they didn’t require me to do much. They just gave me a button. Click. I’m […]
Are you tired of all of those little blue flashing lights on headsets hanging on the ears of everyone you try to talk with? Are you tired of wondering if they are suffering from schizophrenia or on the phone? No more mucking about. When I’m on the phone in my car or in a meeting, […]
As you can see (blogroll below) I’ve added a rare entry to the Sweet Spot blogroll for the new Yahoo Search Marketing blog. Steve Mitgang – Senior VP at Yahoo is apparantly going to steer the gig. Steve is a frequent speaker and drives Yahoo’s advertising products, and has been involved in many top brands […]
If you received SPAM postal mail from listingcorp.com, please don’t send a check unless you contacted them first. They are contacting clients with invoices for “Website Listing Service” invoices of $65.00. Yeah Right. Please hire a reputable SEO/SEM firm for your business by checking in one of the SEO/SEM directories on-line. Naturally I’d like you […]
Wal-Mart has began to phase out its smiley face on walmart.com in order to become more Trendy. Perhaps they’re grumpy because many say they got caught red-handed sponsoring bloggers who (true or not) weren’t believed to be real people (I call them bluppets.) The word “flog” is now becoming a household phrase for the practice. […]
Adwords and other Pay per click ads make a promise that the landing page needs to keep. We all see the ads for spammy sites on a regular basis. We know how to skip them. Google’s system just raises their minimum bids until they go away. Others have found many more examples. But the type […]
I have to admit, even as a Gen-X’r I love 50’s diners. I grew up in a small town where I caught the “tail end” of the diner era, just before fast food killed them. We used to have one on Richmond Road called Rockabilly Cafe and were regulars. It’s a simpler food, and, the […]
Thought I’d show off the Riders in the Sky email poster I put together for their email campaign. They are incredibly entertaining and deserve something special to advertise the show. Photo is from Riders in the Sky.
I have been looking at the Omakase links that Amazon Associates (Affiliate) program is putting on the left side of my blog entries (upd: have removed) and trying to figure out how they’ve decided what books to put on. Some of them are no-brainers. Others are a bit more clever… Here’s a snapshot of a […]
A rather simple post this time. I have a new kitten and thought I’d post some photos to share with someon on Flickr. Eazy enuf. Well, it was anyhow. In my head was the way flickr used to work: Before Yahoo After Yahoo and I never did get logged in… as you can see this […]
You can add keywords to your pay per click campaign in bulk instead of one at a time. It’s easier to tweak keyword base bids and customer targeting options and to watch historical performance of a given keyword. Dynamic text has supposedly been improved, though I’ve not tried out any new pay per click ads […]
When it comes to tech government, Kentucky ranks #8 in the nation according to Digital Government’s 2006 Digital States Survey. The survey considers factors such as best practices, policies and progress in the use of digital technologies and the delivery of technology-related government services to citizens. Top 10 Digital States from the “2006 Digital States […]
I don’t hate CompUSA – I have no grudge against the chain. I was really happy when they opened their store, and I’m happy they are here. I don’t need the staff. I use the web to find what I want, check inventory at their store, and go straight to the product. To me, they […]
All Kentucky State Park resorts have received a two-diamond rating from the American Automobile Association. According to AAA’s Web site, www.aaa.com, two-diamond properties “appeal to the traveler seeking more than basic accommodations. They provide modest enhancements to the overall physical attributes, design elements and amenities of the facility, typically at a moderate price.” AAA has […]
Another example of “Flash gone amuk” — Too much time spent making too many perty flash animations without thinking very hard about how your site will appear in the search engine results pages. Someday perhaps Paul Frank will call me and I can give them a few pointers – they are a very cool company. […]
I was in my local warehouse club today and came across what is easily the tackiest holiday yard product I’ve ever seen in my life. It was more than 10′ long, and entirely inflatable. In the display, it was partially deflated, cocked to one side, looking miserably… well… words are failing me. It played loud, […]
Here’s a quick way to sink a full hour with zero output on Yahoo Search Marketing. Sign a client up for a new program. Fill in 40 new listings with seperate headlines and carefully researched ads. Decide on the last page that you want to tweak one of the previous ads. Click on the ‘back’ […]
After using Gmail forever (I was one of the first) my account has now been completely run over by SPAM. It is totally useless to me. RIP Gmail.
MSN Groups – 404 errors around every corner bCentral – 404 errors around every corner Listbuilder – 404 errors around every corner …. I can’t get any freaking work done!
There are several consumer concepts that drive the success of every SEM activity I do. 1) Perceived Value. 2) Perceived Ease of Use. 3) Perceived Future Peril When a visitor searches for an item, and they see a search result or a sponsored link, they run through these concepts in a fraction of a second. […]
My office mate Chester tries to cover the screen every time I visit Search Engine Watch… what is up with that? What is he hiding? Is he a spy for my SEO / SEM competition? Does he want me to miss all of the great tips that cross the SEW blog every day? Is he […]
In the Wednesday August 30 edition of the Lexington Herald Leader, owned by McClatchy Newspapers, full page ads meant for families of Comair Flight 5191 were placed by attorneys. Without question, it was the most offensive single marketing piece I’ve ever seen in my career. The Kentucky Bar Association named a special task force to […]
The brainiest cities in the United StatesTop 25 cities with more than 250,000 population, ranked by percentage of bachelor’s degrees among residents 25 and older Seattle – 52.7% San Francisco – 50.1% Raleigh – 50.1% Washington – 45.3% Austin – 44.1% Minneapolis – 43.2% Atlanta – 42.4% Boston – 40.9% San Diego – 40.4% Lexington […]
All of us here in Lexington are shaken by what transpired in our city Sunday morning. A small jet carrying 50 people crashed into the same fields we all admire when we fly in or out – taking all but one of their lives. Even in a community this large, we are a community that […]
Every week I see it, an individual and a company facing off – or one business toe-to-toe with another – over domain names. And it always happens when one or another of them are faced with pressures of site deadlines, launch dates, or other critical in-house problems. The pressures makes everyone grumpy, and what otherwise […]
If you’ve bought an airline ticket in the past few years, you’ll find using this site a simple matter. RedRoller.com offers comparison shipping options for small business who aren’t married to one particular vendor. It’s slick – and may save folks thousands. Smart people and another great idea. Small Business Shipping with RedRoller Links and […]
I’m confused about why it is that Apple doesn’t release a version of iTunes with a built-in RSS feed generator and validator? (see below for a creaky one.) I’m fairly XML savvy and I still miss syntax issues sometimes – even using feedforall or other tools. It would seem that Apple could make the iTunes […]
If you want to fill up a disk or Ipod with the best collection of music and conversation ever – the miles will fly by if you listen to the Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour Podcast. The reviews on iTunes say it all, but it never gets boring – every artist has variety, and the […]
I have now been using Writely for 6 months and still love it. Google Spreadsheets have become a core tool of my business for communicating tabular data to my clients. These “lightweight” apps are better than I ever expected. I am updating my Writely – A Web Word Processor document as things progress. It looks […]
Another winner from Network Solutions. In the Address above, 53rd Street has a space at the end. Good Lord. That’s worse than “the number you are dialing doesn’t require a 1 and area code….” Let the computer do the work, not me!
Are you making bad assumptions about products? traffic? conversion? These questions, asked early and pursued relentlessly, could save many website projects. Unfortunately, many projects don’t slow down enough to ask these questions – and so the project stalls after much energy and time has been invested. The concept of testing (split testing to be exact) […]
I’ve got my RSS Bandit set up nicely now. It’s categorized by lots of things such as SEO, PPC, and such. It’s a terrific RSS reader and I highly recommend it. I’ve been using 4-5 other rss tools and this is my effort at consolidating them. It looks to be worth the effort, especially for […]
Ecommerce/Ebay Customers and Shippers like: Fast Cheap Reliable Saturday Delivery Anywhere-in-the-country So, USPS and DHL have a program called DHL@Home that banks on both carriers’ strengths to provide shippers a faster, less expensive method for sending packages. But there’s a catch…. you had to ship a lot of packages to get involved – 200-500 a […]
One of the companies I admire most, Adobe, let me down today. Do you guys ever really “use” the updates you send out? Have you considered that we’re not all sitting in little cubies in Mountain View when we do our updates? In a standard security update for Acrobat Standard 6.0, you get stuck in […]
If Time Warner continues down the path of ad-supported services, there could be a major impact to those sending and receiving AOL email. The ads that are inserted within emails will almost surely cause SPAM filters to begin to trigger based on the sponsored content at the bottom of the messages without modifications to some […]
Could someone help me understand the following habit at big box retailers? I buy item x. Item x is defective, I find, after I’ve returned home. I return item x, with my receipt, expecting an exchange (a trade) (item x is still tag-attached, brand new, never used) Merchant requires me to fill in a form. […]
I found this video to be one of the best explanations of a confusing topic for small businesses that I’ve yet seen. Sometimes it’s better to show it with metaphors, and this video makes great use of them. Enjoy
I had the pleasure of visiting Gaithrsburg, MD Thursday, and got the chance to walk down the “streets” of Washingtonian Center, one of the nicest mall concepts I’ve ever seen. The entire thing is set up like a small town. You have streetlamps, park benches, sidewalk cafes, and storefronts. But behind this inviting setup are […]
Pay per Action is being tested on the Google Adsense network. “We are currently testing a cost-per-action pricing model to give advertisers more flexibility and provide publishers another way to earn revenue through AdSense,” Google said. “We’re pleased with how the test is progressing and will continue to gather feedback from advertisers and publishers.” We’ve […]
Craig Aaron, Directory of Communciations of Free Press and Save The Internet a media watchdog group, says big telecom companies have declared open season on ‘Net neutrality.’ He’s afraid these companies will dictate how we use the Internet, and I had the pleasure of speaking with him today and thought I’d put a few hilights […]
A cool new feature offered by Google Calendar allows you to send a text message to 48368 (GVENT) after verifying your phone number initially. It’ll send you what’s coming up – as long as what’s coming up is in your “main” calendar. Send “next” to get the next event. Send “day” for things on your […]
Tonight I was at a Lexington Legends baseball game, enjoying watching them trounce the Greensboro Grasshoppers (really, that’s their name) …just looking for a little R&R with the wife, kids, peanuts and beer after a tough week in the office. Around the third inning, I looked up to see the new Lexmark infield banner that […]
Aggghh…FAILURE… again. As I try and try and try to send a clean business locations file to Googlebase, I sit here wishing that Googlebase and Google Spreadsheets would simply get together. Hit the pub and buy each other a pint why don’t you. If the Google Spreadsheet tool had a button “Send to Googlebase” I […]
click to zoom I was toying with some ideas related to the sensing internet, and thought of a customizable wall-mounted device for small businesses. This little device would be given away to the merchants. They would be custom configuered with 20-30 specials that the merchant agrees to – like a set of coupon templates they […]
We need some new carpet for our Sienna so I popped online and found an ad that looked pretty good…. and what do you know, blog material! Here, a classic case of broad match and a lack of negative keywords. This merchant has put up a shotgun toyota parts campaign – but doesn’t sell interior […]
I like trees. I use the web (like nearly 70% of All Americans) I don’t want printed phone books. Today, a loud thunk on the front porch signaled the start of a very efficient, yet wasteful process that I suspect is repeated in households and businesses across the nation. Phone book arrived on my porch. […]
I’ve been meaning to post about this for a while, but the ZDNET At The Whiteboard page is probably one of the coolest, geekiest marketing ideas I’ve seen in a while. I found myself chomping to figure out how I might be able to use it someday. Why I like it? a) it’s all content. […]
When my daughter was in a car seat as an infant and we drove our car through town in the Summer, other drivers would roll up their windows because of the piercing noise of her screams. Well-fed, changed, and gently coddled in the softest blanket, her protests mocked it all. I took to keeping a […]
Microsoft’s new Live Local Preview lets you drive around downtown Seattle in a virtual race car looking at buildings, businesses and more. Check it out. Using digital photographs of the area, combined with Areal views, you can look at building fronts. Right down to the signs on their doors.
Ok, this shouldn’t have suprised me. Plenty of people call me telling me how Verizon superpages.com are wasting their money, so what’s a few fire-and-forget Adwords campaigns? Clickz reports that Superpages salespeople will begin selling Adwords based on a new agreement signed this week. C’mon folks, there’s so much more to building a profitable Adwords […]
One of the most important priorities in my life is to, um, have a life. As far as I can tell, most entrepreneurs also have this on their goal-sheet, possibly as their top goal for going into business on their own. So why is it that even the simplest technologies don’t support this? Take soho […]
I wish I could give presentations about stuff like you find in this blog. I love it. I’m passionate about my work, and love to share it. It’s great to get people laughing and to make folks think a bit. But I had quite possibly my worst presentation ever a few weeks back. The room […]
Go visit a few sites. When you enter those sites, do you know what in the heck they want you to do? Or is is a gray fog of intent – where they expect you to be so compelled by your experience that you start sending them checks. I’ve been guilty of it too. I’m […]
I think every web designer should have a great setup of monitors. So, even though I’m often ribbed about my bank of three monitors in my office. Now I have a new setup in mind. Wow. This setup rocks 24″ high-resolution screens; industry’s top-quality LCD panels24″ super-premium Samsung LCD panels 5760 by 2400 resolution (6X […]
A month or so ago I was asked to review an application that would be used on a website for signing up to a seminar. It was DENSE. I had all kinds of little nit-picky items like may we contact you using the phone? may we contact you using email? may we call you by […]
Does anyone have any idea how mad vanity phone numbers make customers when you put them on printed material without their numeric equivalent? I wasn’t totally aware of this until the past six months, [large company here] began publishing their vanity customer service number on emails sent to clients from their billing department. Instead of […]
David Rittenhouse at Clickz recently published “Behavioral Targeting Is Starting to Look Better” which includes some interesting information nicely summarized from the eye-tracking study done by TACODA with Next Century Media. There are lots of interesting bits in the article, as David points out, but one thing that struck me was the reports reference to […]
I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how much energy and money has been wasted on “fruify” web development and clueless SEO efforts. Thousands of companies have spent endless dollars on tag-tweaking “search experts” and pixel-tweaking flash animators without a Key Performance Indicator in sight! Countless thousands of amateur web designers have sold […]
One of the most difficult barriers to overcome in beginning a relationship with a new organic search optimization client is the need to face up to the reality of a broken website. “Broken” doesn’t always mean page-not-found errors or web servers going down. Gorgeous, 100% uptime sites with the latest bells and whistles can be […]
I’ve encountered quite a number of potential website development clients this week who’ve sent emails to me that cover 10-12 topics per message in a frantic, nearly desperate fact finding activity. I usually have no idea how to answer their questions. Stop. Slow down. Breathe. Categorize your website marketing ideas and thoughts before you call […]
Ask yourself this question: “Within 15 seconds of visiting my site, does the visitor unambiguously head towards the goal(s) I need them to accomplish for my website to be profitable?” If you’re like many, the answer is “not even close.” Over time, websites evolve until they’re blurry. They lose their focus as demands of new […]
This, I admit is a pet peeve. You’ll be looking at an ad, magazine, newspaper, or some other printed medium, and at the bottom of the page will be the following: visit our website http://www.notarealsite.com My response to this is… no… I’ve got better things to do and while you feel your company should be […]
Clickz pointed me to the test being done in NY for hotels in Manhattan. This is expected, and not a huge shock, but what will be important for the future is the use of LOGOS in the details area. Oddly, in the test, the little details page that pops up did not link the URL […]
Hotstop is a map site with subway and bus directions in New York, Boston and Washington DC, but it brings some innovation to the table that pushes forward the public transportation and local advertising paradigm a few notches. First, Hotstop gives you transfer information for public transit that you can put on your mobile phone, […]
Idea 1: Imagine if you will a podcast widget. This little box looks like a tape recorder. It has a play, record, rewind, ff, and pause button, all large and friendly. It has a small (gasp) speaker. When you want to record, you treat it just like an old fashioned tape recorder. But there’s a […]
I know how to save the US economy hundreds of millions of dollars a year. No really. Have physicians and medical offices post their “medical records update” online as a PDF file that you can fill in at home the night before! You only have to post it ONCE (when it changes) and then it […]
Top Reasons For Abandonment: 56% – shipping costs too high 41% – item unavailable. 29% – site difficult to use. 21% – order wouldn’t go through. Source: Yankee Group Other factors 55% would revisit a site often if free shipping 46% consider shipping costs a major on-line shopping issue. Source: Ernst & Young Reducing Abandoned […]
This blog entry moved to my articles page. writing for the web in an age of hummingbirds.
I also finally learned Carp and Grouper XML/Atom translation techniques for dynamic page generation and blog publishing. I took this and created a second tab on my home page that will hold my blog entries. Cool software – it has lit my idea light a bit on how my clients might be able to utilize […]
I’ve been experimenting on a new side project (like I have time) that will use the WikiMedia software to allow visitors to Kentucky State Parks build their own park descriptions as they visit the parks. This will let those who know the parks up and down provide details and updates that we could never expect […]
I saw this on Seth Godin’s blog today and really enjoyed it. It’s a terrific example of how fast you can react in today’s advertising world. It doesn’t require that you bring America’s largest city to a standstill, many smaller events and news items warrant adjustment of your Adwords campaign. You just have to think […]
I write for Business Lexington and am starting to think about my 2006 articles. Much will be written about Search, but I’m also interested in other SMB web techniques and ideas out there, especially from firms in Kentucky. If you have interest in this, send me a short idea list and we’ll chat. The site […]
With the release of Windows Live Local, we all need to start thinking about how our businesses appear from the air. 1. Text, Fonts, and Character Counts. With bold, florescent colors, businesses can draw customers to their busineses with phrases like “Good Pizza” or “”Divorce $199.” But with the size required (around 8×10′) you’ll have […]
Well, my posts have become a little rarer as I have had my head down mostly for retail clients needing last minute help on Pay per click and other site issues. It’s great to hear people say sales are up 30% or more this season, but it gets pretty challenging to keep the support queue […]
You know how food critics never show their faces in their articles? Well, imagine every blogger a critic. I just saw this article, and I think it’s just the beginning of a new wave of shake ups in crappy businesses – and it’s a good thing. Let’s just hope that those with good experiences sing […]
Wow, been doing 14 hours a day lately. Writing, researching, SEOing, designing, reporting, analyzing, critiquing, marketing, emailing, blogging, RSSing, podcasting. Whew! It was nice to learn that Matt Cutts, Google Celeb is from my home state of Kentucky. That’s kinda cool. Sometimes it’s hard to hook up with other SEO/Web Marketing folks who grew up […]
Little ALT tags (those little text pop ups you get when you roll your mouse over graphics on well designed sites) can save the day, you know. Take Amazon’s change card info page: Midway through the checkout process on amazon, I try to change my card to use for payment…and a big WTF. I cannot […]
I highly recommend R. Nichols for your Christmas Cards this sesason. He’s giving 25% of his sales proceeds on holiday cards to the humane society. Not only is he a nice guy, but his designs are wonderful! PS: Yeah, he’s the guy who illustrated “French Women don’t Get Fat”.
Finally back from a wonderful family visit, I started doing a bit of holiday shopping this morning online. As I search, I am distracted by the horrible Adwords advertisements that are being run, no doubt at extremely high costs. If anything can be read into them it’s desperation. I thought it might be good to […]
I subscribed to a very interesting feed the other day. This feed is the “What’s New on Yahoo” news. I watch items pop through there apparantly as Yahoo approves new directory entries. (at $299/pop) . It’s somewhat representative of new sites, or at least sites willing to spend money on their marketing. But, sadly many […]
Only 10 years ago, conversations on the phone or in the hallways were forgotten quickly, introducing reasonable doubt if ever questioned in a legal context. But now these conversations, conducted electronically, are woven into the history of a company via electronic logging and backups.
I was living in the Silicon Valley when I first read the term “telework.” It was printed in a brochure from a Pacific Bell trade show table at the San Jose Convention Center. Pac Bell was starting to push ISDN “high” speed Internet in northern California. After hearing about this stuff, your mind would wander […]
This article originally appeared in Business Lexington Magazine. You’re on a mission, there’s a deadline, it’s Friday night, and well, we’ve all been there. It’s times like these that the Web sites I’ve built into my list of “most useful” really shine. I tried to find destinations that are useful for small and large firms, […]
This post was moved to my articles hub Local Web Marketing Grows Up
Gosh, if I had even half of the wasted Adwords and Yahoo Search Marketing money flowing each day I’d be blogging from some exotic locale in the sun! I think that just having someone LOOK at your PPC campaign for an hour is probably one of the best-spent consulting values out there. Trouble is, few […]
Web site marketing work is like scaffolding. You can skip it, but every effort you undertake after that will require much more effort. Savings are an illusion. As anyone in the construction trade will tell you, scaffolding is essential. It costs time and money to erect, rent or buy, and disassemble. But once it is […]
Learned something enormously important for Clicktracks Pro users who are trying to track “goal pages” which are the “thank you” pages of forms submitted using Frontpage Web Components. Clicktracks can’t see the thank you page. So a good way to handle this is to set up an inline frame on the site (tiny ok) that […]
Aggg… it’s maddening. Everything about the Adwords interface is creeping, it seems to be getting worse from day to day. Page changes take a minute (I’m on a T1 line)… please Google, help us – we’re trying to get work done here!
Embracing the web in a proactive way is critical to success. It’s not possible to just sit back and let a website do the work. You have to get involved. So get out there and mingle. Learn how to blog. Build your web business by word of mouth. Search Engines can only go so far. […]
I just finished my latest article for Business Lexington “The bloggers will see you now” and the research for it helped me to remember why I’m in this business – it’s exciting and ever-changing! I wanted to interview bloggers from Lexington, but had a real hard time getting in touch with any. I will try […]
The Webtrends Enterprise test with Ecometry is going pretty well. I have accurate page names showing in flow funnels and the data all looks about right. The next phase is to get it to feed the subtotal data (ecommerce) into the tags the way WT demands. Kevin Pahl has been very helpful in arranging me […]
I’m thinking about the new GoToMyMeeting service. I am constantly in the need for screen share and presentations, and this may be the thing. But when to have time to run a test. Aggghhh. This service outperforms Yugma in a big way. I tried using Yugma for months. It’s awful. Click to check it out.
What a great weekend. Spent lots of time on the porch writing about blogging for the new BizLex article. It’s hard to write about blogging – I mean it’s hard to write about something changing so fast. You know that as soon as you’re published, it’s old – done, passe. I just hope I have […]
I love, really love, web analytics. I live and breath it. In fact, I show some signs of being addicted to learning more about the why’s of web user patterns, deeper, more more. Why upon why upon why. So I was totally absorbed by Malcom Gladwell’s latest book, Blink. I finished it in a single […]
I’ve been having great fun looking at the new interactive maps available on-line. Google’s satellite images on Google Earth (formerly Keyhole) is lots of fun, and the detail on terraserver blows me away. One of the coolest new developments is Amazon’s A9.com “views” idea. On this map they show you what it would look like […]
RSS is the future for content delivery. Microsoft just announced that IE 7 will contain built in RSS discovery features, which will mean the number of web users with an aggregator will go from 10% to some number very much larger. But keep in mind that you will need to be using XP SP2 or […]
How much time do you waste on-line looking for something? If you’re like me, a huge amount. RSS and delivered headlines/feeds have really helped, but what would you pay for a “cleaned” version of what’s out there? $0.05/page? $0.10/site? Well, it’s no accident that Google is building its own wallet system. While clearly there is […]
Whoo hoo! I just passed the Google Adwords Professional Exam. That test was kinda nasty. Wow, glad to have that one behind. I admit, however, I do know a LOT more about Adwords best practices than I did. The eye opener is that most folks do it *wrong* and there must be tens of millions […]
Flash was originally known as “Future Splash Animator” by FutureWave, Macromedia Flash 1.0 was introduced in 1996 shortly after the purchase of FutureWave. Not much later came: http://www.skipintro.nl/skipintro/skipintro98.htm (I’m still laughing) Well, I propose that we make August 1 “National Skip Intro Day” To celebrate, how about picking up one of my shirts: http://www.zazzle.com/products/product/product.asp?product%5Fid=235812948985762947
RSS is an acronym for “Real Simple Syndication” and is simply a way for you to get highly-compatible blobs of data out to the public in a format that many systems can read, XML. One of the methods of using “incoming” RSS is to send out news snippits. Those on the receiving end can pick […]
In many broad metropolitan areas, when dialing a number, a “1” is required for some areas, and not for another when making a call. Today, I went to call a client in Paris, KY, and heard that amazingly annoying message “The number you have reached doesn’t require a 1, please check the number and try […]
When attempting to set up my Yahoo Local Search setup, I used terms such as “website marketing” and “marketing consultant” to which Yahoo’s editorial gods said: “Yahoo! Search Marketing has decided that it does not wish to be associated with certain types of behavior and products in its Local Sponsored Search product. This includes, but […]
This is the real world, sites change hands, businesses are sold, and nobody can predict it. So when a store owning two Yahoo! stores with the same Yahoo IDs needs to sell one of the stores to someone else (with a different Yahoo! Id) it would seem to be a simple matter. Well, it’s not. […]