Tag Archives: online marketing

Is search engine optimization recession proof?

There has been a great deal of discussion to determine if SEO is recession proof. Will SEO firms survive the recession? Will SEO services deliver enough ROI to avoid budget cuts? I would argue that it is with a qualified yes, affordable search engine optimization that directly targets return on investment is nearly 100% recession proof.

Initially, bargain shoppers will look online over bricks and mortar establishments this holiday season and into 2008 to save money in this cash strapped economy. Seth Besmertnik points out in a recent I Media Connection:

Meanwhile, 65 percent of online shoppers said they felt shopping online saved them money and 55 percent of all U.S. consumers believed that people using online services for shopping were likely to be enjoying retail savings.

Second, search engine optimization with the right SEO company can be a low cost marketing expenditure and requires very minimum investment. Third, you have a significant advantage over your competitors in the search engines, which get millions of searches monthly for e-commerce traffic. Fourth, you can add on a pay per click campaign to make your efforts even more air tight and recession proof.

So is SEO recession proof?

Creative Fusion Media provides social media consulting services and ethical and affordable search engine optimization solutions to innovative companies and forward thinking non-profits.

Silence is NOT golden | You Decide…

When Websites Fall on Deaf Ears:

In a day an age filled with so much media, the ability to take a walk among nature or along the beach is certainly something to be cherished.

Alternatively, when it comes to your corporate and entrepreneurial ventures, silence is not golden, particularly when comes to web communications.

Conversation Trumps Silence:
Social media and blogs offer an opportunity to open up conversation. To create a websites thats actually useful and engaging for potential customers, rather than just bumper stickers and brochures filled with marketing speak.

For instance, at Creative Fusion Media I try to be an advocate for the entrepreneur and small business who needs to increase their search rankings in order to get traffic. I try to be an advocate for those who want their time spent blogging to mean something, to connect to users, and to have a tangible monetary return on investment.

We believe our blog serves as an outlet for communication as well as a virtual living room in which people can exchange ideas and resources. We hope our readers and customers are better able to easily tweak their efforts. And we hope that when they have a online marketing problem, they will come to us.

How can we be of better service to you? How can we serve your needs? How can we help create solutions for you?

Creative Fusion Media provides social media consulting services and ethical and affordable search engine optimization solutions to innovative companies and forward thinking non-profits. Nathan Ketsdever is the chief internet marketing and online pr strategist at Creative Fusion, which is located in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Six Reasons Social Media Marketing will Slowly Kill Traditional Marketing

I recently ran across a great comparison between traditional and social media marketing. It provided six criteria, on which to compare and evaluate the inevitable social media marketing vs. traditional methods of marketing:

Source

Social media is produced through self-publishing and user-generated content vs. the professional media outlets such as television, radio, newspapers and magazines used in traditional media.

Marketing

Social media leverages pull marketing while traditional media relies on push marketing strategies.

Cost

Social media requires a far smaller monetary investment than traditional media usually does.

Market/Audience

Social media typically reaches and influences a highly targeted or niche market vs. traditional media which often reaches a broader audience.

Messages

Social media messages come directly from individual consumers while traditional media messages most often come from the company behind them.

Interactivity

Social media is highly interactive generating ongoing conversations between multiple individuals while traditional media provides one-sided messages in a passive format.

Thoughts?

What is the life blood of the social web?

The Building Blocks of Internet Life:
“What is the currency of the web? What do some web projects fail and others succeed?” While I was brushing my teeth this fine evening at 1:34 am, I contemplated such things. I guess anyone who wants to succeed should ask this fundamental question. So, what’s your answer? What do you think makes the digital world go ’round?

To me, successful online business gets back to three basic things:
• (Interesting and/or engaging and audience-centric) Content
• Links (or hyperlinks if you want to turn back the clock)
• And finally relationships. In other words, creating, building, and nurturing relationships.

Moving Forward. If you get those three issues right, you can have an amazingly successful online campaign. What do you think is the lifeblood or currency of the web? What is your strategy doing to galvanize all three of these verticals? Whats the best way to get there?

Social Media Batting Practice: Grocery Store Chain

Online Brand Engagement via Social Media Communities:

What would you do if you were a grocery store chain to create a social media campaign? Whether they were a high-end niche boutique or a mass market grocery store, some of the key aspects of the campaign.

• Create an online show like Winelibrary TV for cooking and dietary needs. Allow host interaction and questions.
• Aggregate dietary information
• Aggregate recipes.
• Create a social network for dietary info and recipes. Make is super easy and social bookmark recipes on your profile.
• Easy to create shopping lists based on recipes
• Allow shoppers to buy online and pick food up for an reasonable fee
• Aggregate local community news and events
• Feature video and transcribed interviews with dietary and food experts.
• Encourage user created and recommended recipes. Add a digg-like ranking feature or thumbs up, thumbs down, or 5 stars rubric for enhanced user engagement.
• Encourage user created photos of recipes.
• Create a budgeting feature
• Include online only discounts, coupons, and specials
• Collaborate with affiliates who already had some of the above content and web applications
• Include a web based call to action on in store flyers and receipts
• Mobile announcement of weekly specials + when the online show goes live.
• Include twitter and a customer service platform as part of the online brand strategy.
• New feature roll out via corporate blog, blogger relations to targeted and influential blogs, and online public relations
• Roll out niche features and that cater to shopping dads, shopping moms, and the Gen X/Gen Y audience segment.
• Optional: create affiliate based advertising with current clients within the scope of the current corporate branding strategy.
• Optional: Easy to use and access Facebook application for ordering online

A strategy that engaged in three or more of the above would also have the byproduct of enhancing the search engine optimization of your website, both in relation to local events and happenings as well in relation to a host of food related queries online.

35 Ways Digital Can Help You Thrive in a Recession

Marketing Rules for Surviving and Winning in Wake of a Financial Crisis:

With all the fear on Wall Street and spread by the mainstream media, its easy to lose focus and miss this unique opportunity for business success. Companies should increasingly look past the frenetic fluctuations of stock and commodity prices and focus on 1) what they can actually change 2) where they need to be in six months 3) Focusing on strategies which leverage Google. Social media strategies which merely aim at short term traffic and views to the neglect of more sustainable search engine rankings will prove to have little or no return on investment and may risk elimination. Warren Buffet emphasized this strategy in a recent New York Times article when he pointed to the success of hockey great Wayne Gretsky who pointed out, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.” Its important for business executives and entrepreneurs to seize these days as an opportunity, rather than fall for paralyzing siren calls.

Chris Brogan has a great post about 25 Ways social media can help you thrive in a recession. Here are the first 10:

First: Be Proactive

In a situation where everyone’s repeating the gloomy news, I advocate that you put your house in order. Other, much better websites will give you the how-to for your financials. I’m thinking about you, your career, and the face you show the world on the web.

Google yourself and see what shows up. If it’s not what you WANT to have show up, start building up a main site, and pointing to it using outposts.

Tidy up your LinkedIn profile. I’ve shown you before how to improve your LinkedIn Profile and how to make your LinkedIn profile for your future. Get cracking.

Get on Twitter. Make sure you have a nice avatar, and easy to remember name. (Amazing how some folks don’t do this.)

Then, start using Twitter Search intelligently. Look for search terms that make sense for you. (Try this query as an example.)

Make your blog ready for business. Or, make your blog a business unto itself.

Pick up great financial advice from trusted sources, so that you can live within your means.
Look for discounts, like 50% off attending a great conference (email me to see if I have more tickets left – cbrogan at crosstechmedia dot com). – Plug for my conference, but hey. Financial in nature.

Build conversational relationships with other business people in similar roles at other organizations on Facebook, on LinkedIn, and elsewhere AHEAD of needing the job.

If your job is location-specific, start a local community blog targeted for business types in your area. Make it about the community at large, but feature prominently in it. Share this information with local news sources, local press, on Craigslist, etc.

Take new photos of yourself and upload to Flickr, nicely labeled with who you are, your blog’s URL, etc, so that people might find you and your likeness easily when Googling.

Check out Chris Brogan’s 15 other suggestions.

Resources Update: You may also want to check out Ryan Moede’s post which aggregates several social media for the recession together.

For other reading check out 20 reasons social media can help your small business.

Creating a Simple Blogging Schedule

Getting Started Blogging the Successful Way:

Creating a blogging schedule can be an important part of your social media experience. One of the key differences between having an effective strategy and just spinning your wheels. If you’re like every other businessperson your time is precious and you want the best ROI for the time you invest in business ventures. Here are three easy to adapt and use examples of possible blogging schedules:

Option One:
Tuesday: Create pillar blog content (:45 min)
Wednesday: Answer Interview Questions (:25 min)
Thursday: Create pillar blog content (:45 min)

Option Two:
Writing when you’re most inspired + free. In other words, squeezing time in when its available

Option Three:
Blocking of time (2-2:30 hours) to write 2 to 4 posts.

Option Four:
Create alternative method or form of content.

Its all about adapting your strengths as a person and business, your time, and your brand to business blogging. I hope you find one that works well for you. What’s your blogging schedule? What works best for you? What tips or advice do you have for others?

Launching a New Blog and Need Search Engine Optimization Services?

Pre-Blog Launch Stage One:
Of course you want to think of URL Name, your content strategy, and your promotion strategy.

Pre-Blog Launch Stage Two:
Of course one part of that promotion strategy should probably be search engine optimization, social media marketing, or search engine marketing. Of course you may feel that you need social media training to navigate the rapidly changing world of online communication or may want to outsource using a social media specialist or a search engine optimization.

Pre-Blog Launch Stage Three:
Creating quality and link worthy content for your customers and potential customers. Additional,
Google just redesigned some of its services and offers this submit your content resource specifically targeted at the small business owner. Enjoy!

Link building for Local Search Engine Optimization

Local Small Business Search Engine Optimization and Marketing Strategy:

One of the great advantages of search engine optimization for small business is that it allows local niche businesses to market to their target audience very easily and at a low cost. In addition, they get to market to them at a time when they are searching for product information, reviews, or perhaps someone to buy from. SEOmoz has a great explanation of linkbuilding for local seo. Here is a list of 16 questions to ask yourself or your client that help shape your online strategy:

Professional

What regulatory bodies monitor your industry?

What business groups do you belong to?

Who refers business to you?

Who do you refer business to?

Do you know your regular clients or customers?

Who provides complementary services to you?

Who are the key manufacturers that you deal with?

Who are your key suppliers?

Do you know any contemporaries that you don’t compete with because they are in a different geographical location?

Personal

Do any of your relatives and friends run businesses?

What professional groups do you belong to?

What local businesses do you have more than casual acquaintances with?

Are there any websites that you visit frequently as a contributor?

Are there any hobbies or activities that you excel in or are known for?

Do you belong to any community projects or do any charity work?

Do you have a web profile anywhere?

Nathan Ketsdever is a Nashville New Media Marketing and Business Blog Consultant

Former Spam King Must Pay MySpace $6 Million: Proves Black Hat SEO Doesn’t Pay

Like Nancy Reagan: Just Say No To Black Hat Search Engine Optimization

Not unlike Star Wars, every career has good and bad seeds. Hiring ethically principled companies (commonly called: white hat search engine optimization services) makes sense for your brand, your bottom line, and your organization’s soul. Yahoo News highlights a recent black hat court judgement involving spamming on MySpace:

Scott Richter of Westminster, Colorado, must pay MySpace $4.8 million in damages and $1.2 million in legal fees, a court-appointed arbitrator ruled on Thursday.

Richter, who was once accused of pumping out more than 100 million spam messages per day, had been sued by MySpace in January 2007 in connection with an August 2006 campaign in which MySpace members were hit with unsolicited messages promoting a Web site called Consumerpromotionscenter.com. The messages were sent from phished MySpace accounts, according to the findings of Philip Boesch, the court-appointed arbitrator in the case.

Lesson Learned from the MySpace Black Hat Court Debacle:

First, don’t do black hat and unethical SEO and don’t hire black hats.

Second, seek out ethically guided SEO to ensure your marketing dollar is maximized, your customers are happy, and your brand isn’t ruined.

Thoughts?

Introductory Guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO 101, 201, 301 and 401)

Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO):


(above: Search engine traffic according to Compete / image credit: Search Engine Land)

What Search Engine Optimization is and How to Get Started:
Here’s a very basic explanation of what search engine optimization is and a handful of fundamental seo concepts (aka SEO 101).


Lessons Learned for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Campaigns:

What was your takeaway from this search marketing introduction? My takeaway was that links into your website are critical to your success with search engines. So thus, the goal of many an strategic SEO campaign manager is to go about the business of link building. How can you boost your link building with credible sites to rank near the top of Google?

Four other helpful search engine optimization tips for business and marketing bloggers from Marketing Vox:

Place relevant keywords in the title tag so search spiders will know what your page is about. The title tag is the text that appears at the top of the browser when a webpage loads. MarketingVOX’s title tag is “MarketingVOX – The voice of online marketing.”

Avoid stuffing the title tag with too many keywords, or making it too long. A good rule of thumb: ensure title tag text also appears in the body of the page.

Use your archives. When you update your site, link back to relevant stories from the past, using equally relevant anchor text. Don’t go overboard; the trick is to give users more information, not overwhelm them with hyperlinks.

Anchor text — the hyperlinked words that point to another page — are a way of telling search engines that page is about those words. The more relevant words point to a page, the more likely that page is to appear in search results when users run a query with those terms.

Cultivate relationships with quality websites in your industry. When well-ranked websites link to you (with hopefully relevant anchor text!), this tells spiders your page is important to users seeking information about your area of expertise.

SEO 301 Bonus Resource:

Some SEO friendly tips from Aaron Wall on Problogger to help you get your blog started.

SEO 401 Bonus Resource:

If you’re ready for the next level of complexity, search engine ranking factors from SEOMoz to help guide SEO strategy management.

Connie Bensen on Branding with Social Media, Blogging, and Web 2.0

Best Practices for Online Branding and Community Building:

Community guru Connie Bensen just wrote a fantastic piece on online communication and branding. Here is a summary snippet for you of her instructive article:

My goal is that these ideas will help guide you through the wilderness of exploration and provide some practical steps to assist you in building your unique brand. It truly is a journey.
The nice thing is that a brand evolves. That takes the stress off. No one wakes up & says, ‘I am…’. That would be too contrived. It’s a periodic review of:

Who are you?

What makes you unique?

Your differentiating qualities & skills are what makes you valuable.

What’s your message?

What are your goals?

Who is your audience?

What experiences do you have to share with others?

How can you help others? What value do bring to them?

Tip: After you’ve been blogging for a bit ask others for feedback. What may not be apparent to you usually is to others.

I had my personal blog up for 3 months & expressed to Anna Farmery that I thought my topics of social media were too broad. She immediately told me that my focus was on Community Building. And so it was!

Connie is correct to emphasize that it online branding and community cultivation all gets back to identity: your identity, your organization’s identity, and your customer and communities’ identity. Next, she seems to suggest wrapping your web communications strategy around the identity–and to give it a unique, living, breathing existence on the web.

You can read the rest of Connie’s guest post here or her best resource posts.
Or if are interested in guidelines for implementing the above read this great piece about best practices and principles for social media optimization with web 2.0 tools.