When Viral Videos Don’t "Blend" As Planned

By Ryan Douglas

This week a team from our company went to Internet Retailer conference as did many of you who read this. We (and I say we because everyone in this company contributed in one way or another) were very proud of our own Tim Jackson and his first speaking engagement at the conference session. Our team had a great time and became well informed of new e-commerce topics, networked with many, and probably partied it up too (the real reason people go to these conferences). But enough of the shameless self plug…

In a previous post this week Greg Howlett brought up the topic of Blendtec and their popular viral marketing videos “Will it Blend?”. The effectiveness, positive or negative, of viral marketing has become increasingly more popular over the last few years. It seems like everyone remembers at least one silly commercial during a Super Bowl halftime, but don’t’ recall what the actual product or service was. We likely told all of our friends about this funny commercial, probably found it online and emailed it to several others, thus completing the viral marketer’s ultimate goal. Blendtec’s success with some home made videos from their test labs worked extremely well for them, did not cost much to produce at all, and seems to really have influenced people to purchase their products; way to go! Now we have videos of users at home blending up all sorts of items (much to Blendtec’s disclaimer not to) and I can watch everything from a Wii remote to operating systems (on cd) get blended up.

Want Google to Optimize Your AdWords Campaign For You? Trash Talk Them!

By Ryan Douglas

I was shocked to read that a small, top online retailer of jewelry had badmouthed the performance of Google’s AdWords program. Google responded by sending a team out to offer services to assist the displeased retailer.

Google AdWords, for many retailers, is a valuable tool that drives millions and millions of dollars in revenue for a whole host of businesses ranging from extremely small one-man-shop’s to behemoth sized organizations looking to advertise on the web. Advertisers are able to control their budgets, measure key performance indicators like ad click through rates, conversion rates and more, using Google Analytics. While it is not easy to advertise all industries on the web and some are more difficult than others there definitely are some very tough industries to advertise for on the web, most retailers are seeing good results. Good results are okay, but great results are even better so it is not unusual for retailers to be constantly vying for top performing ad spots and keywords, while trying to control exponentially growing advertising costs.

Why Will the SEO Industry Change In 2 months? Niche SEO

By Ahmed Bilal.

If you are an SEO consultant, or if you are responsible for purchasing SEO services for your organization, the ideas discussed here may be the most important ideas you read this year.

In a nutshell – the SEO industry is changing. We have integrated link baiting and social media marketing into our SEO toolkits, but now it’s time (and space) for the “step”.

It’s also an end to a cycle – we know (to a great extent) what search engines want and how to give that to them.

But as search marketers, do we know what our clients want?

And as media buyers hiring SEO firms, do we know what options we have?

Free Link Love – To Get It, Give It Up!

By Mary Bowling.

Those of us who have been in the SEO biz for a while tend to want to direct and manipulate the PageRank on our sites. You know the tricks. However, things are very different with blogs and, if you want yours to rank well, you need to let go of that concept.

Blogs are all about linking freely, not just to other posts and pages within your own site, but also out to other websites and blogs.

Blogs are about sharing information and insight. They are about relationships and communities. None of these can spawn or thrive without interaction. Links are their conduit to interaction and to get links, you have to give links. Here’s how and why:

Link out

People usually find out when you link to them, especially other bloggers. This often prompts them come to your blog to find out who you are and what you said about them or about what they said. They may then comment on your blog, link back to you and/or become a member of your community. Using good keywords in your outbound link text will also help to theme your pages.

Comment on other blogs

Because of comment spam, many blogs use no-followed links. Do not let this deter you from commenting. In the sea of spam, intelligent, thought-provoking commentary really stands out and it encourages the blogger and his or her readers to not only respond to your thoughts, but to visit your website, leave their own comments and to link to you.

Use a blogroll

Find and read other blogs on your topic. Then, point links at those you respect with your blogroll. Those bloggers will be alerted to your interest and may respond in kind. There’s also been talk lately, notably by Bill Slawski of SEO by the Sea, that Google may somewhat reward blogs using blogrolls.

Use trackbacks

Where enabled, trackbacks allow you to go to other blogs and link back to posts on your blog as related stories. They essentially say, “If this post interests you, you might like this one, too”. These links are valuable, even if they are no-followed, because they may draw the blogger and his readership to your blog and into your community. This may result in links and traffic.

Do follow

Some blog platforms come standard with “no follow” tags on links in the comments. While leaving these enabled does deter some spammers, it will not keep most of them away. I prefer to reward readers who leave good comments with a link, so they will return and become part of my blog community and, perhaps, link to me. If your blog links are no-followed by default, search for appropriate “do follow” plugins to disable this feature.

Use good internal linking strategies

Links between your own posts and pages should use good keywords to lead the search engines to related posts within your blog. Placing your posts into proper categories also helps to theme your post pages and your links. As your pages gain PageRank, they then share it with other pages on your blog using good link reputation.

Spread your link love around and it will come back to you. Now, get out there and give it up!

Dominating the Long Tail of Local Search with Databases

By Ben Fremer.

These are some of my best trade secrets. Please only use them for Good.

This article will show you little-known techniques on how to dominate the search engine results pages for local searches–searches which are “service name” + “city name”. Whether you are a local realtor, accountant or home builder, or a national services provider, this article will show you how to greatly improve the results of your current search engine marketing campaigns.

It is a little known fact that traffic from extremely uncompetitive local search terms can add up to big traffic and sales if you can cover them comprehensively. For this, I am going to share two methods (one is an easy pay-per-click tactic, and the other is a very advanced organic tactic) of using publicly available databases of world / national cities to totally dominate the search engine results pages where people are searching locally, but where most marketers haven’t spread their proverbial net far enough to reach.

The first method is very straightforward. You simply need a to get one of the available databases and do the spreadsheet-multiply-cities-by-services function to generate all of the keywords that you want to show up for. Simply copy the counties you want to show up in, and you suddenly have the names of all of the theoretical 1,000 cities you serve without having to waste time trying to think them out. You should also be sure to multiply your service keywords by the ‘ “city” + “state name” ‘ combination, as well as by the ‘ “city” + “state abbreviation” ‘ combination as these are commonly looked for in the long tail. You may now have over 20,000 keywords if you cover just one metropolitan area, or hundreds of thousands if you cover the whole United States. Simply put all of these keywords into your ad campaigns, and now you are at least showing up on practically all of the SERP’s in the long tail of your local keyword universe. If you have hundreds of thousands of keywords to input, you may be well advised to contact a sponsored search representative for bulk-uploading your keywords.

This next method for dominating the natural search listings (where people are more likely to see and click your listing) requires a working knowledge of a scripting language and MySQL, to take to its full potential. For our example, we will be using PHP. This could otherwise be tediously done by manually generating static pages.

On a side note, it should be noted that this method should only be used to show up for cities that you actually serve and for services that you actually offer! There is unfortunately potential for blackhat abuse here.

Basically, we will be making a directory of the cities we serve with each city page optimized and skillfully interlinked. Here is an example url of a client website that is currently using this technique: http://www.daspc.com/Accounting-Services.php?city=Troy&state=Michigan . Some quick searching on Google shows that not only does the client show up well for “Troy, Michigan Accountant”, but they also show up right near the top for EVERY SUBURB OF DETROIT! — whether you are looking for an accountant, a certified public accountant, or a cpa firm. This works for companies that serve clients in cities across the entire United States, too!

As you can see, this site uses dynamic variables in the URL. Mod ReWrite can get you even more on-page points by making your pages look like .html files. The script also dynamically generates optimized internal anchor text, and can link to all of the nearest cities by pulling in dynamic latitude and longitude. I will spare the underlying programming, suffice to say reading 300 pages of an O’Reilly PHP / MySQL book can teach you how to do it.

The main thing to be concerned about is the difficulty in getting these pages indexed and ranking well. To help, I am going to share my equation for my simple theory of website rankings on search engines—drawn from hundreds of hours of studying SERP’s – this is so simple, I’m surprised I haven’t seen it before:

A page’s rank = on page optimization (varies by search engine) * Page rank (varies by search engine) + value of link juice pointing directly at the page (varies by search engine) * anchor text distribution of those links

The important point to make here is that these high rankings with the city pages are not achieved by link building to the individual pages, but by passing page rank through to the highly on-page-optimized pages over time (see page rank to understand passing of page rank). The pages will probably be originally indexed into Google’s supplementary index and not rank well, but depending on the PR of the pages on your site linking into your city pages (the higher PR the better), and the length of time the links to your city pages have been in place passing page rank on to your city pages, your site may come out sooner than later. You should be out by the next page rank update – so about a maximum of three months – if you do it right.

Here is another useful relationship equation.

Time in Supplemental Results = the Number of City Pages / Page Rank Value being Passed on to City Pages .

What this means is that you are not going to dominate all the global SERPs for a a competitive keyword ( a few million city pages required) if your own website is a low page rank site, so it would be best not to over-stretch your ambitions.

Well, that is all. This is an extremely powerful tactic for picking up the long tail, especially when coupled with the database and service name multiplication for service and product names. If you would like to utilize our services, please feel free to contact us.

AIDS Clickathon – A Viral Marketing Strategy to Fight the HIV/AIDS Virus in Africa

By Paul Steinbrueck.

There are many Internet marketing strategies these days, but by far the most powerful and explosive is viral marketing.

What is Viral Marketing?
Viral marketing, also sometimes referred to as buzz marketing or word of mouth marketing, is a category of marketing where the strategy is to spread the message by word of mouth, so awareness spreads exponentially like a virus. People tell their friends, who tell their friends, who tell their friends, and so on. While viral marketing has existed for decades, the Internet has expanded the reach and rate a viral campaign can spread, and Web 2.0 technologies like blogs, MySpace, YouTube, and Digg have taken viral marketing to a whole new level.

Linkbait 2.0: The Soul of Linkbait (Part 2)

By Todd Mintz.

Heard it from a friend who…heard it from a friend who…heard it from another…” REO Speedwagon

Part 1 Can Be Found Here (and Part 2 won´t make much sense if you haven´t read Part 1).

Part 1 chronicled my “failed” attempt to linkbait my personal reminiscence of Marvin Gaye´s 1983 NBA All-Star Game National Anthem . At the end of that story, I wrote that I vowed to start the linkbaiting process anew…to use different forms of social media to gain attention for what I´ve written. I´d like to report on the progress that I´ve made: