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Going Beyond Yourself to Optimize Online Messaging

I recently answered a question on LinkedIn with an ultra-cool strategy that we’ve recently implemented for client PPC ads that you may be able to benefit from.  Here’s the question and my answer.

Q: How do you test and optimize PPC ads?

A: Here’s sort of a “different” answer…I have my co-workers write ads to test. I give them the parameters and the ammunition (landing pages, features, benefits and other good stuff for ads) and run a little contest with a prize for the winner. What’s the point? Many times “professionals” and those closely associated with marketing can get too “markety.” We start using fancy words and lose sight that there’s a real person searching with questions they want answered. Involving others who don’t know so much about the campaign can lead to some great ads, as they use different language and come at the problem and solution from different angles. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!
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You Know Your SEO Provider Sucks When…

How to find out if your SEO provider sucksHe doesn’t know a thing about conversions or usability.

He thinks his way is the only way to do SEO.

Recommendations for your meta keyword tags are considered “critical.”

When all your competitors are buying links but your SEO recommends “playing fair.” (via chrisfaron)

You can’t get them to return your calls or emails, but they are burning up twitter with status updates.

When your 404 error log is bigger than your referral log. (via @btabke)

Foursquare says they checked in at the beach when they should be checking on your account.

Your SEO firm boasts you get a dedicated SEO Strategist, PPC Strategies, Link Strategist, Analytic Strategist, Social Media Strategist and Copywriter. But it’s all the same person.

Your home page title tag still reads, “home page” (via Matt_Siltala)

They spend more time on Google+ and tweeting about it than they do on your site and fixing it.

The person in charge of SEO scratches their head and asks “What is SEO?” (via @Trinity_IT)

They provide ranking guarantees based on #1 rankings for AltaVista.

They provide ranking guarantees based on #1 rankings for VERY long-tail keywords

Your first paragraph lists your city 5 times. (via @ACTeeple)

He believes everything Matt Cutts says.

They claim to have a “special” relationship with Google.

Follow at @StoneyD, and @PolePositionMkg.


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SEO is Like [Insert Analogy Here]

SEO comparisons

SEO is like a car. You can’t just ask “how much does SEO cost?”

SEO is like food. Quick, cheap SEO and has little long-term value, while healthy SEO costs more but has a better long-term effect.

SEO is like a chair. It’s something you don’t want to collapse underneath you. (via @mflem25)

SEO is like ice cream. There are a lot of different flavors of SEO strategies that bring satisfaction, and you usually want to try more than one.

SEO is like music. The foundation hasn’t changed since the beginning, but the application of SEO evolves with time.

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An SEO’s Bill of Rights

In an effort to provide clarity between SEOs and their clients, I created a bill of rights for SEO clients. This post covers the bill of rights for the SEOs.

The rights of the SEO client

 

The SEO has a right to…

I.
Receive payment from the client for entire amount contracted.

A contract is a contract. If you change your business model, rethink SEO or decide to invest in other marketing avenues, you still have an obligation to fulfill your end of the SEO agreement. If you really want out, talk to your SEO about a proper buyout of your SEO contract.
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Is SEO a Long-Term or a Quick Fix Issue?

How fast can SEO work for my small business?Question: Is SEO a long-term process or can there be a quick fix solution?

Before all you SEOs raise your hand with the answer, lets take a minute to analyze the basis of the question for all the small business owners out there.

A lot of businesses are looking for ways to grow their companies without increasing long-term costs. They want profits, and in order to be (and remain) profitable, they have to keep expenses down to a minimum as much as possible. After all, the more you spend, the less profits you have in your pocket, right?

This is an unfortunate mindset when it comes to SEO and SEM. Instead of looking at them as an investment that will grow their businesses, owners hope that both SEO and SEM can provide quick-fix solutions that will bring an influx of new customers and soaring profits. And somehow, magically, that influx is expected to stay strong, even without any ongoing marketing efforts.

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Paid Search is Customer Service, Not Advertising: Part 2

In part one of Paid Search is Customer Service, Not Advertising, I shared a tip about your target audience.  They’re lazy.  We’re all lazy.  Most shoppers/searchers follow what is called “The Principle of Least Effort.” Here’s an excerpt about this principle from Wikipedia…

This principle states that an information seeking client will tend to use the most convenient search method in the least exacting mode available. Information-seeking behavior stops as soon as minimally acceptable results are found.

So, how does this knowledge affect how you should run your PPC campaigns?Continue Reading


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13 Quick and Easy Ways (Even You) Can Screw Up Your SEO Campaign

SEO is like a complex machine. When all the gears are greased and everything is in place, all is well with the world (and your search engine rankings). But sometimes all it takes is one little snafu to bring your entire SEO campaign crashing down around you. There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning to find that Google has forgotten who you are and kicked you to the curb like a drunken date the morning after.

Since 13 is your lucky number, I’ve compiled a list of 13 ways that (yes!) even you can screw up your SEO campaign! I think the correct term for this is: FUBAR!

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