Monday, 28 February 2011

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Google Loses Gmail Users' Email, Says It Will Be Back in Hours
Google Apps Users Get New Gmail Contacts Features - Google announced that it's rolling out an updated version of Gma...
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Augmented Reality + Location = The Holy Grail for Marketers?
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Tips and Must-Haves for your eCommerce Platform (SEOmoz Daily SEO Blog)

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Ten Reasons Why Good Link Builders Fail - A good website builder knows that solid links mean solid rankings, but it'...
Google Algorithm Update Helps (Not Hurts) eHow - Google's recent algorithm update aimed at content farms appears to ...
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Saturday, 26 February 2011

I Disagree with Fred; Marketing is for Companies that Have Great Products (SEOmoz Daily SEO Blog)
Get £5.00 credit when you sign up to blinkbox:
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Your Customer's PIR: Price Investment Ratio - Have you ever really considered how price affects your customer with r...

Friday, 25 February 2011

Groupon's CEO Pegs 2010 Revenue At $760 Million - When Groupon was said to have turned down a $6 billion acquisition...
Facebook Picks Up New Employees From Pursuit - Pursuit, a small startup designed to connect employers with job candi...
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Did Google's Algorithm Update Go Far Enough on Content Farms?
Samsung Named As Possible Google TV Partner - Google TV got off to a rough start, but its fortunes may soon improve ...
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Latest Articles from SEO



The Joys of a Scott Richter Moment

Posted: 24 Feb 2011 03:10 PM PST

When I went to sleep last night all was well. When I woke up my inbox was exploded with angry emails about people getting dozens and dozens of emails from some cases perhaps almost 100. Since we put the new design live on the site I think people are more receptive to it. And there are not many Drupal websites which have more registered users than our site does. The combination of improved usability (in some areas, still working on others), better design, and a fairly strong rate of growth in popularity have caused us to hit a bit of a breaking point.

Some of the plugins for Drupal work solidly up to a point. But everything has limits. Servers, software, etc.

When you use technology sometimes it breaks. And never at a good time!

We were getting ready to fully launch our membership site publicly, but we just had a bit of a meltdown.

I think what happened was that our autoresponder was emailing the first x people & then it would reset without ticking that the day was done and those same people would get pounded with the same exact emails again. That cycle sorta looked like this

We are still troubleshooting the autoresponder issue to fix it, but while we are troubleshooting it of course we have to turn it off. (The first step to fixing any problem is to stop digging & stop making it worse)!

But while the autoresponder is turned off, it breaks the autoresponder unsubscribe links.

So it is a pretty crappy deal no matter what we do. Even if we used something like Mailchimp going forward, it still wouldn't fix the issue from yesterday.

Lose/lose, so you get to see the rudest behavior in the world and chastised. Fun stuff. If a person is intentionally sending email spam of course they would vary the message, not do it from an account that they actually answer replies on, etc. But people assume the worst because most people get burned by scammy get-rich-quick stuff before they find their way to quality SEO information.

Anyhow, the autoresponder is off until we troubleshoot it. Sorry about the bulk emails. And I can only imagine what Scott Richter's inbox must look like! Lucky for him he doesn't actually read it. ;)

We run a fairly lean business & rely on giving away a ton of stuff to do our marketing for us to attract customers. Rather than bulking up on sales staff we decided to be lean and efficient. If a person wants a sales call to try to squeeze a free consult we say no thanks. This model has worked decently well for us, but whenever anything breaks it sucks because we don't have tons of slack built into our business.

The bright side of the issue is this: even though a minority of people who responded cursed, most people were actually surprisingly polite given how annoying that autoresponder repeat was. And while there are all sorts of food riots in the Middle East & countries collapsing, I feel a bit lucky to have myself as my biggest problem & to be able to run a site with so many great members who give us the benefit of the doubt when I shoot myself (and everyone else) in the foot. ;)

Thanks guys!


Test, Test, Test

Posted: 24 Feb 2011 12:25 PM PST

I'm going to borrow this quote from Seth Godin, who borrowed it from Kevin, who borrowed it from The Count Of Monte Cristo:

"I have been told," said the count, "that you do not always yourselves understand the signals you repeat."

"That is true, sir, and that is what I like best," said the man, smiling.

"Why do you like that best?"

"Because then I have no responsibility. I am a machine then, and nothing else, and so long as I work, nothing more is required of me."

In SEO, what do people say works vs what actually works?

Filthy Linking Rich

If you haven't already seen it, check out Mike Grehan's Filthy Linking Rich from 2004. It's as relevant today as when it was written. Mike makes the point those who are already rich, tend to get richer. Those sites that have the most links, tend to get more, because those sites have the wealth of exposure already.

This is why it can be tough to get a new site ranked.

Those sites that are link poor, no matter how great they are, will struggle to be found in the search engines. "If you're great, people will link to you" is not necessarily true because a link-poor site is unlikely to show up in the search results in the first place. Initial discovery will likely happen via other means.

Search Engines Don't Care About "Great"

The search engines don't reward information that is great. The search engines reward information that is popular, or appears on a site that is deemed popular.

If your aim is high rankings, then it could be argued it is better to focus on being popular, than it is to focus on creating quality. Look at a lot of the content on mainstream media news sites. Is such content really of higher quality than other sources, or does it just happen to appear on the right domain? If such content wasn't published on a popular domain, and was published on a brand new site instead, would it ever see the light of day?

When it comes to search engines, it really does matter who, not what, you know.

Test, Test, Test

People often repeat what they've heard.

I'd urge you to test, if only to be aware of the level of misinformation you're may be getting from SEO forums and blogs. There is a lot of "thuthiness" bouncing around the SEO echo chamber. But how much of it is based on evidence?

Challenge SEO punditry. By testing.

Search on a keyword phrase. If you search on a high volume phrase, chances are you'll see a page ranked at the top based largely on the link profile of the *site* on which it appears. The site will have many links, and this link value filters down through the pages. A few positions down the SERP, you'll likely see pages based on their inbound links, even if the site on which they appear doesn't have many links.

Take a look at the back-links.

How many of the sites you're seeing have backlinks that are clearly autogen? Blog spam, forum spam, etc?

Chances are, you might find quite a few.

I'm looking at a product-oriented serp right now that has Wikipedia at the top, followed by the brand holder of this product, followed by a site that has tens of thousands of auto-gen inbound links in position three. I kept scanning through the links until I found what I considered to be a great match to my query.

On page five.

Now, what I judge to be good might not be objectively great, of course. I've made a subjective judgement, just as Google has made a subjective judgement. Try it out yourself. Rather than rephrasing a query, scan through the pages until you find a page that does answer your query.

Then evaluate the sites above it. What, exactly, are they doing? How many of them are doing anything more complicated than "getting a lot of links"?

For all the fluff about 100's of ranking signals, it still appears that mass link bombing, from rubbish sites, works a treat.

Simple Testing

Am I talking nonsense?

One way to find out.

For those new to SEO, be wary of what you read. A lot of it is conjecture. What the old skool SEO's used to do, and the more serious SEO's still do today, is test for themselves, as opposed to relying on the pundits.

Testing can be done with existing tools, like the SEO Toolbar - and the tool set for members. Little plug there ;) There are a huge number of tools around, but one of the most important is a tool that will allow you to analyze link structures.

Grab one of these tools and go through the sites you're competing with, and pay close attention to the backlink profile of both the root domain and the page that is ranking well. Make a note of what is working, without making a moral judgement about the validity of the techniques being used.

You can also test with throwaway domains. Register a new domain, for an obscure keyword within your niche, and try and isolate the effects. Point one link at the domain, see what happens. Point ten links at it. What happens? Point links from a variety of domains. What happens? Change the link text. What happens?

Simple stuff, right. But simple stuff that will teach you much more about SEO than reading the pundits blogs and tweets today.

Including mine :)



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Thursday, 24 February 2011

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Wednesday, 23 February 2011

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How to Sell Digital Marketing to the C-Suite


How to Sell Digital Marketing to the C-Suite

Link to Marketo B2B Marketing and Sales Blogs

How to Sell Digital Marketing to the C-Suite

Posted: 22 Feb 2011 08:45 AM PST

by Maria Pergolino

Selling digital marketing to executives

Evolving your B2B marketing mix is becoming more of a requirement than a nice-to-have in today's changing business climate. With the need to reach more prospects in varying channels, it's imperative to have commitment from company stakeholders and decision makers. Without their stamp of approval, the long-term nature of some digital marketing will likely erode confidence and can lead to program funding cuts.

So, how do you go about convincing the C-suite as to the advantages of moving beyond traditional methods and embracing the non-traditional? To move your B2B marketing forward and convince your executive team to sign-off, consider the following ways to sell digital marketing to the C-suite:

1. Align with company goals

By aligning digital marketing efforts with company goals, you force the marketing team to develop campaigns that will deliver to metrics important to the C-suite.

While digital marketing efforts in social channels, for example, won't immediately tie to ROI you can show correlation between social statistics such as 'Likes' and increased traffic to the website from Facebook.

Next, dive into analytics to determine what visitors from Facebook are doing on your website. i.e. downloading a white paper, therefore becoming an inquiry.

Increasing inquiries on the site and prospects in the pipeline for the sales team is something to which most C-Suites will positively respond.

Since the majority of the C-suite always keeps an eye out for industry proof, consider including industry reports, white papers, case studies and other elements to resonate the value of long-term digital marketing to your organization, while working to create your own proof points.

2. Reference competitor's success

Keeping with the angle of industry proof, one effective method to sell digital marketing includes showing competitor success.

If a competitor is utilizing successfully specific digital channel well, add this to your presentation to executives.  For example, proof that competitors are actively engaged in Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn is often very compelling.

However, before showing this to the executive team, dig into each channel and make sure it's not an employee-centric destination.

Not many executives will turn a blind eye to even the most non-traditional methods if competitors appear to have an upper hand.

3. Emphasize marketing analytics

Although you can sell the need of digital marketing to your C-suite, remember to include which methods are available to create measurable, consistent statistics based on the performance of your digital marketing campaigns.

Without proper measurement and data, stakeholders will become reluctant to continue efforts once the excitement around launching a new campaign begins to wear off.

To measure success of digital marketing, ensure you have marketing analytics in place  capable of assessing each area from milestones to inquiries and eventually to sale.

To learn more about how digital marketing boosts B2B marketing ROI, subscribe to the Modern B2B marketing Blog RSS feed or follow Marketo on Twitter.

How to Sell Digital Marketing to the C-Suite was posted at Modern B2B Marketing - Marketo Best Practices Blog. |


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Tuesday, 22 February 2011

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Modern B2B Marketing: Lead Scoring Best Practices



Modern B2B Marketing:

Lead Scoring Best Practices


Dear Stephen,

Improving Lead Scoring
is the focus this week in the Modern B2B Marketing best practices series. BtoB, the magazine for marketing strategists, asked the following question in their recent Lead Generation Guide:

How does one best track lead behavior to achieve the best results in an e-marketing campaign?

In his answer, Marketo's VP of Marketing Jon Miller delves into how to develop more accurate and actionable lead scores including:

  • Understand where demographic data and BANT criteria fall short.
  • Track and score a lead's behavior so you can measure their interest and engagement in your solution.
  • Measure total level of engagement for an organization.
  • Develop "fast tracks" — specific behavior paths that indicate a lead should be contacted immediately regardless of score.

Read the full BtoB magazine article "Behavior key when scoring online leads" now and get more insights into optimizing your lead scoring.

Happy Marketing,

Michael Hogan
Sales Development Representative, Marketo

P.S. Learn about Vindicia's success with Marketo in this case study.

Follow us: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

Marketo, Inc. 901 Mariners Island Blvd. Ste 200, San Mateo, CA 94404 +1.877.260.MKTO (6586)

Monday, 21 February 2011

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Sunday, 20 February 2011

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Saturday, 19 February 2011

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Friday, 18 February 2011

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How to Optimize Your B2B Marketing and Sales with Online Video


How to Optimize Your B2B Marketing and Sales with Online Video

Link to Marketo B2B Marketing and Sales Blogs

How to Optimize Your B2B Marketing and Sales with Online Video

Posted: 17 Feb 2011 09:12 AM PST

by Jon Miller

Movie Icon: Play

Online video is exploding.  Any B2B marketer concerned with marketing ROI and sales enablement needs to know how and when to use it.

Take YouTube, for example. Second only to Google, YouTube has rapidly emerged as an easy-to-use and reliable search tool; it overtook Yahoo as the second largest search engine in 2008 and is now the fastest-growing media platform in history.  In fact, this month the Volkswagon Darth Vader ad attracted 20% of the record-breaking viewership for the entire SuperBowl XLV in just 36 hours.

Remember how much of a game-changer television ads were to print and radio? Just imagine what happens when online video does the same thing to internet advertising.

The appeal of the play button

Visual learners comprise 65% of the public, and auditory learners make up another 30%, so it's no wonder video is the way people learn best.  Conveniently for us B2B marketers, video also conveys more information per minute than any other media platform.

According to a Universal McCann study cited by Brightcove, people find product information and research most compelling when delivered in video format.  MarketingSherpa claims that online video is a close second to word-of-mouth communication when it comes to influencing key decisions.  No other media channel communicates a deeper, richer message or leaves a more lasting impression than video.

The world, at your 'tech and call'

I believe we are on the cusp of yet another revolution in online video.  In recent history, watching online video meant sitting at our desks in a "lean forward" mode.

But today, there is a proliferation of technology that pushes videos to internet-enabled TV's and a mushrooming market of mobile devices.  Online video is now available to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Now, we can watch video in line at Starbucks, or surf through videos while leaning back on our couches at home.

Plus, this technology allows users to create their own highly personalized mix of channels – which brings online even more into our lives.  For example, I'm a huge fan of the Flipboard app on the iPad, which converts RSS feeds and Twitter lists into a highly customized and personalized online magazine. Now, when I'm in "relaxation" mode, I find that I am as likely to read my "B2B Marketing" magazine on the Flipboard as I am to read the Economist or my latest book on the Kindle. Imagine what will happen when we have the same ability to create a highly customized and curated channel of online video that we can watch on the go or on our couch? Interested in demand generation best practices and Napa Valley wineries?  No problem.  One mouse click creates a channel for you – and you may find yourself watching it instead of the latest episode of House.

Such personalization and accessibility are especially important to B2B marketers who know that buyers are extremely adept at filtering out unwanted marketing messages.  A marketer may not be able to reach a prospect through e-mail or phone, but once a video gets into a customized feed that reflects the prospect's exact personal interests, the video will stimulate action.

How video engages prospects throughout the buying cycle

Video has become a demand generation strategy your business cannot afford to ignore, and effective B2B marketers match video content to reflect the interest levels of their audience.  Here are my recommendations:

Early Stage: Generate high interest by sharing viral videos.  Repurpose webinars and establish thought leadership.  Position yourself as the go-to source for stimulating research, insight and interpretation of the latest news and trends.

Mid Stage: Begin to concentrate more exclusively on your brand, and evangelize your value propositions with basic company introductions, product demo overviews and short customer testimonials.  Convert casual interest into product curiosity to narrow your funnel and qualify your leads.

Late Stage: Once you've built trust, offer detailed case studies and longer videos,  begin to capture vital customer information.

Top 10 online video promotion strategies

Here are my top 10 recommendations to promote your online videos.

1.    Search optimize your video with text summary. Today, your SEO strategy for YouTube is as important as your Google strategy.  Create a text summary, and use compelling copy and keywords to summarize your subject matter and main points, and include your URL.  Not only have you created a cheat sheet for those unable to watch the clip; you've enabled search engines to better locate and categorize your videos.

2.    Replace static ads with viral pay-per-click (PPC) displays. There was never a happier marriage in outbound marketing than that between online advertising and rich media.  Whereas traditional online advertising conveys a one-dimensional brand message, video-based advertising captivates viewers by fusing entertainment with information about your business.  Embed video "teasers" into banner ads across the Web to redirect engaged prospects to your homepage and correlating case studies, customer testimonials, brand overviews, etc.

3.    Capture sales leads with longer form video. Someone who is willing to watch a 10-minute product demo is more likely to provide his contact information.  Place landing pages before offering your in-depth videos.  You may also take things to the next level with emerging interactive video technologies such as VeepleTV.

4.    Bolster conversion with YouTube promotion and Call-To-Action overlays. YouTube promoted videos let you expand your marketing funnel with a simple video upload and specification of preferred keywords, and Call-To-Action overlays (semi-transparent ads that pop up during your video) route potential qualified leads back to your site.  Either way, you'll improve your marketing ROI because you pay only when people click your video, not when they see your promotion.

5.    Integrate video into your email marketing. Effective lead nurturing is all about keeping prospective buyers emotionally loyal to you.  To develop rapport with your sales leads, use online video to deliver information directly to their inboxes that is relevant to who they are and where they are in the buying process.  Some statistics show email conversion rates increase up to 300% when video is included.

6.    Increase downloads of marketing collateral with a video-enabled landing page. Landing pages include speaker photos and a topic summary, so why not employ a high-quality video instead, as we did to promote our webinar: The Secret Sauce To Sales And Marketing Alignment. Often, you can increase your call-to-action response by as much as 46%.

7.    Leverage social media. Promote your online videos across all marketing channels – on social media sites, your blog, as well as personal and corporate profiles.  To grow your online community, you need to market your videos as aggressively as any other new content.

8.    Feature videos on your website. does a great job of creating its own video network, but why not take it even further and organize your site into subject-specific channels?  Also, consider how to promote videos throughout the site and on the home page.

9.    It's all about control… and a consistent brand. Remember that your videos represent the heart and soul of your company.  Anyone can embed your clips anywhere on the web, so cover your bases with short intros and outros on either end of your segments. This way, your videos will enhance your brand and link to your site no matter where they appear.

10. Create sales videos to engage and qualify buyers. The use of video should not be limited to marketers.  For example, IBM sales managers send out a short personalized video introduction a few days before they meet a prospect for the first time.  This enhances the quality of the relationship prior to the visit and personalizes the buying experience.  After the call, the sales manager sends a brief video that thanks the prospect for his time and provides a summary of action steps.


Throughout your online video outreach, don't forget prospects are listening even if you don't have their contact information.  This is the nature of seed nurturing.  If done poorly, you'll squander potential profits and line the pockets of your more attentive competitors.  Or, you'll create a continuous stream of highly qualified leads.

Here is the final fact: Salesforce's YouTube videos churn out as many leads per day as 46 hyper efficient sales reps.  What's not to like about that?

How to Optimize Your B2B Marketing and Sales with Online Video was posted at Modern B2B Marketing - Marketo Best Practices Blog. |


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Mobile Email Marketing – What You Need To Know


Mobile Email Marketing – What You Need To Know

Link to Marketo B2B Marketing and Sales Blogs

Mobile Email Marketing – What You Need To Know

Posted: 16 Feb 2011 08:30 AM PST

by Maria Pergolino

Mobile marketing

Originally thought to be more effective for B2C markets, mobile email marketing is fast becoming an effective way to communicate with B2B prospects and boost lead generation. To truly become effective, marketers must understand and implement best practices for mobile marketing to produce quantifiable results.

According to a report from comScore, 60.7 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in October.  With this type of stellar growth, B2B marketers need to understand how and why an effective mobile marketing message works and make it a top priority.

For companies already testing the waters in mobile marketing and looking for ways to improve their results, and those who are just starting to consider this option, let's consider the following best practices for mobile targeted email marketing:

§ Subject and from lines – The first clues leveraged by the reader in determining whether or not to open an email are the subject and from lines. In order to pass the credibility test  B2B marketers need to ensure email marketing messages use a consistent and trusted name in the 'from line'. For example, it's often best to avoid marketing messages coming from an account such as For the subject line, consider keeping the length to 15 characters or less to ensure the subject is viewable on a mobile device. If a longer subject line is required, keep the most relevant information at the beginning instead of the end.

§ Formatting – Although most devices enable html email viewing, it is best to send critical email marketing messages as text instead of html allowing the email to be readable on any mobile email client. For added compatibility, consider sending emails in multi-part MIME format. This allows equal viewing on both mobile and computer email clients.To find the optimal formatting for email marketing, dig into analytics to determine what mobile devices are accessing the site most often over an extended period of time.

§ Message – A recipient's inbox is a privileged destination and they would rather keep it clear of non-relevant email. To achieve effective open and read rates, marketers need to keep messages relevant to the reader, or risk having the message deleted. This includes keeping the subject line and body of the email relevant and useful to the recipient. It also involves keeping the message shorter as most readers would rather not scroll on their mobile device and find a call to action quickly within the copy. 

§ Design – A key element to recipients opening mobile emails is the design. If the design of an email is set beyond the screen size or includes heavy graphics, most mobile email recipients will simply delete the message. To ensure optimal viewing, keep email message's width between 500-600px.  Ensure any links added are after the main body of the message and break up paragraphs for easier viewing.

Understanding how key elements of mobile email marketing help deliver messages gives marketers the edge needed for effective and relevant communication on mobile devices. With Android and iPhone claiming almost 500,000 activations a day, the market only stands to increase offering subsequent opportunities to augment traditional lead generation activities by connecting with prospects while they are on-the-go.

To learn more about mobile email marketing, subscribe to the Modern B2B marketing Blog RSS feed or follow Marketo on Twitter.

Mobile Email Marketing – What You Need To Know was posted at Modern B2B Marketing - Marketo Best Practices Blog. |


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Wednesday, 16 February 2011

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