SEO Audit in 20 Minutes [Infographic]

InMotion Hosting has put together an infographic that tackles one of the most necessary yet under-utilized aspects of Internet marketing: the SEO audit. It’s under-utilized for the simple reason that many people don’t understand the importance of taking this step before moving forward with any SEO activities. Oh and they don’t want to spend the money to have it done, either.

The trouble is that if you don’t invest to know what’s working or not for your SEO efforts then you may end up “fixing” something in the process that was actually working.

SEO’s face this dilemma with clients all the time because they are fighting uphill in many cases due to the wonderful reputation the SEO industry enjoys amongst the uninitiated. Of course, some of that skepticism is well deserved but let’s not nit-pick!

Now doing all of this in 20 minutes if you don’t know what you are looking for? Not likely but, hey, it sounds nice. Click through to check this out.

Google Enables Showtime for Quite A Cast of Characters [Opinion]

The Google goes to Washington show has kicked up plenty of dirt, exposed the shortcomings of a huge organization and shown just how power and control can corrupt. And that’s just on the government’s side!

I have watched and listened to some of the activity from yesterday that allowed public officials to get some air time. I watched NexTag take full advantage of this free advertising to remind everyone that they still exist. I also watched Yelp’s Jeremy Stoppleman complain about the unfair treatment his poor company has received from the entity that props up Yelp through the search engine traffic it provides his neglected and abused company.

10 Things I learned at Affiliate Summit East

Amid metropolis shaking earthquakes and looming hurricanes, I survived Affiliate Summit East in New York not long ago. I staggered from NYC with tattered remains of notebook paper littered with choice bits I picked up to bring to you, the Pilgrim readers.

While the actual experience was more like an earthquake I didn’t feel and a hurricane I narrowly missed, I am glad to have survived ASE to bring you these highlights.

1. Coupon Poaching

A merchant’s pain and an affiliate’s worst nightmare is coupon poaching. Basically, a visitor lands on your checkout page staring at a coupon code field mocking them with the promise of additional discounts.

Whipping out Google faster than a New York hot dog vendor can ask for your order, these already converted visitors search for your brand name plus the word “coupon code”.

AOL Adds E-Commerce to Project Devil

AOL’s Project Devil was supposed to be the key to the company’s future financial success but things haven’t gone as well as they’d hoped. Everyone likes the bold, interactive ad units but not everyone is in a position to fork over the kind of cash it takes to run one.

The big boys like Ford, Coca-Cola and Campbell’s are using the program, and AOL’s Tim Armstrong says that the response to the ads themselves has been good. He says folks stay on Project Devil ads almost four times longer than the industry average. In this case, time really is money, because longer engagement times usually result in conversions and better brand recognition.

Facebook Ad Revenue to Top 3.8 Billion in 2011

According to eMarketer, 2011 will be a banner year for Facebook with ad revenues rising 104% to 3.8 billion. And though this seems like an excellent achievement, it’s actually lower than the 4.05 they originally predicted at the start of the year.

Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer principal analyst would like to note that, “This slight revision downward for 2011 should not be taken as a sign that Facebook’s overall business is losing momentum.”

Because by 2013, they’re expecting Facebook to pull in 7.0 billion. I imagine no one over there is weeping over the balance sheet.

This ad portion only represents part of Facebook’s income. When you add in Facebook credits and other sources, the 2011 number climbs to double what it was last year.

Google Places: Lots of Hype But What About the Clicks?

Reading through the responses that Google compiled to some of the claims being made against the company by the likes of Yelp, NexTag, FairSearch and more there was one piece of information that jumped out at me with a claim and Google’s response.

CLAIM: “Is a consumer (or a small business, for that matter) well served when Google artificially promotes its own properties regardless of merit? This has nothing to do with helping consumers get to the best information; it has everything to do with generating more revenue.”

RESPONSE: In fact, most of the click traffic (roughly two-thirds of clicks) from our local search result pages goes directly to small business websites, and review sites make up the next largest percentage (about a quarter of clicks). Less than 10% of clicks from our local results page go to Google Place Pages.

Google+: It’s A Matter of Trust

This post was written prior to yesterday’s announcement regarding Google+ being open to everyone. Whether this changes Mike’s outlook remains to be seen :-).

I was in Denmark (among other places) the last couple of weeks and I had a chance to sit down with an old friend from IBM, who once wrote a comment on one of my blog posts that reminded me of something that I sometimes forget. Trust is relative. Trusting someone to answer a question isn’t the same as trusting him to watch your two-year-old. In marketing, we talk a lot about gaining customer trust, but it isn’t a blanket thing. For some purchases (buying a car), we need a lot of trust and for others (buying a coffee), not so much.