Archive for March, 2010

PostHeaderIcon ProBlogger Acquired by Google

Press Release: For Immediate Release
1 April 2010

MELBOURNE, Australia. (April 1, 2010) – ProBlogger, the web’s #1 Blog Tips site, today announced that it has been acquired by Google.

This acquisition will be a part of Googles extension of the ‘Blogger’ brand and a precursor to their new professional blogging suite of applications – ProBlogger.

“Blogging continues to grow in popularity, not only for personal use but by entrepreneurs and businesses around the world. Once seen as a ‘fools game’ – blogging has now grown up.” said a Google representative today. “Google’s new professional blogging suite, ProBlogger, will put an amazing array of tools into the hands those wanting to take their blogging to the next level.” said a Google representative today.

“What better brand to align these new tools with than ProBlogger, a blog that has consistently produced blog tips for professional bloggers for just under six years.”

“Some have called me a ‘fool’ for even considering selling ProBlogger,” said founder of ProBlogger Darren Rowse, “but I’d be a fool not to allow the ProBlogger brand to be developed by one of the world’s most innovative companies. I’m excited to see where Google will take ProBlogger going forward.”

The acquisition of ProBlogger will allow Darren to concentrate on his other projects including his main site – Digital Photography School – and an upcoming project – FoolsMedia.

Darren Rowse will remain a part of ProBlogger over the next 331 days where he plans to to begin a series of posts entitled ‘331 days to Build an Even Better Blog’ – a follow up to the successful 31 Days to Build a Better Blog.

About ProBlogger

ProBlogger is a blog about blogging. Kinda sad really but not as sad as having a blog about Tweeting… or a book about blogging… that’d be sadder! ProBlogger was founded by Darren Rowse on September 23 2004. Since that time Darren has published 5,356 posts and the blog has received 178,448 comments. A Foolish endeavour? Maybe – but perhaps not as foolish as this press release!


Post from: Blog Tips at ProBlogger.


ProBlogger Acquired by Google

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PostHeaderIcon The Secret Life of Testimonials

image of woman in a mask

You’ve seen résumés, haven’t you?

What’s common to all the résumés on the planet?

Yup, they’re all created to make the candidate look wonderful. So what’s the first thing a company does when you present them with a résumé?

They go back and do some digging. They check the details. The smarter the company, and the more important the job, the more the company digs.

So you have to ask yourself: Why does the company check back on the résumé? And the obvious answer is: Because they want to see the complete picture. They don’t want the one-sided résumé view.

Testimonials are like résumés: One-sided

Most testimonials resemble résumés. They’re sugary. They’re stuffed with wonderful adjectives and powerful verbs. Every testimonial seems to talk about the “magnificent, outstanding, and amazing” qualities of the product or service.

After you’ve read a couple of those icky-sweet testimonials, you feel like you’ve had quite enough. If you had a big dose of wonderful testimonials, you start feeling a little sick.

And there’s a reason why.

You’re getting a massive overdose of “sugar.” Those testimonials are so sucrose-laden that there’s no way on earth that you’re going to believe in them.

So what would it take to make a testimonial believable?

Just like a résumé needs both sides of the picture, so does a testimonial.

When we’re considering a purchase, we feel out of our depth. We feel we somehow need some reassurance. And testimonials, sugary as they are, reassure us somewhat.

But what if you had a more believable testimonial? A testimonial that not only shows us the “after” scenario, but reveals the “before” as well?

A testimonial with the complete picture.

Presenting the “reverse testimonial”

So what’s a reverse testimonial? A reverse testimonial is simply a testimonial that starts off in reverse.

Traditional testimonials start off with praise, then continue with even more praise.

A reverse testimonial talks about doubt. It starts with the skepticism first. It describes the fear or uncertainty racing through the customer’s mind at the point of purchase.

A reverse testimonial works because it speaks to us in the way we speak to each other. When we’re recommending a restaurant or a movie to a friend, we naturally lace our recommendations with doubt.

We say things like: “You know that seedy-looking restaurant, and how you don’t really feel like going inside? They’ve actually got the most amazing food.”

Or we say things like: “You know that fancy looking restaurant that you think may be over-priced? Well we went there last night, and we had the most delicious food, and the bill was far less than we expected.”

We tend to coat our testimony with at least a little bit of doubt

When a testimonial highlights these doubts first — yes, first — they make the testimonial real. And believable. They give the testimonial power and depth. They make it less like a bunch of words strung together, and more like a story.

But stories don’t just fall into place. Stories have to be constructed.

So while you’ve probably got quite a few testimonials from your customers in the past, you’ve probably never “constructed” a testimonial before.

Instead of “getting a testimonial,” it’s important to “construct a testimonial.”

What does “construction of a testimonial” mean?

It doesn’t mean fabrication. It doesn’t mean you’re going to make up some fake testimonials.

Construction means you’re using structure to get your testimonial. When you use structure, you don’t get random testimonials, but instead get testimonials that are specific and story-like.

How on earth are you going to create testimonials that have specific details and read like stories? In the past, you’ve tried to get testimonials from clients, but it always seems like they’re procrastinating.

The reason why clients promise to write you a testimonial and don’t is because they’re at a loss for words.

They don’t have specific parameters. And so when they sit down to write, they stare at a blank screen. And then they either write something that’s kind of boring, or it’s sugary, or they just put off the writing for another day.

There’s a second reason, too. Often, we ask for testimonials days, weeks, sometimes even months after the client has made the purchase. This time delay makes it harder for a client to recall facts and results.

We have to make it easier for a client to give us a testimonial. And easily the best way to get a pretty detailed testimonial is to ask six core questions.

What are those six core questions?

I’ll tell you all about the six questions, what they are and how they work, next week in the Part Two of “The Secret Life of Testimonials.”

About the Author: Sean D’Souza offers a free report on ‘Why Headlines Fail’ when you subscribe to his Psychotactics Newsletter. Be sure to check out his blog, too.

Scribe for SEO Copywriting

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PostHeaderIcon Can Social Media Help Small Business Overtake Corporate America?

A movement is brewing across the internet. The hard costs of marketing are plummeting. Money’s role in marketing success, while still important, is now secondary to time, expertise and agility.  To succeed, companies able to make quick decisions, share openly and create remarkable content fast will win, regardless of size. 

Perception is Reality – Can Social Media make your Business Stand Taller?

Before the internet leveled the playing field for marketers, targeted marketing and advertising were the realm of large companies with big budgets.  Brand and reach were the metrics that marketers cared about.  Then the internet came along.  Initially it was still the realm of big companies who were willing to spend a lot on flashy websites and paid banner campaigns.  The advent of inbound and social media marketing have exposed new levers in the still young internet marketing industry.

In the wild of nature, many animals use spines, Peacockfur and feathers to create the optical illusion of size and ferocity.  In the internet wild, small companies have so many new tools available to them to put a face forward that is professional and fierce.  I was reminded of this during a weekend walk in my Austin neighborhood where a small colony of wild peacocks lives.  An albino peacock thought I was a threat and went from petite to grandiose in a matter of seconds!

What does this have to do with social media?

That peacock brought to mind the concept of leverage and how the internet provides small businesses an amazing tool to leverage the assets they have to play with the big boys. 

Truly, as a small business with limited budget, what non-monetary assets do you have? 

What are the conceptual feathers you’ve got that can help you get more attention on the web?

  • Agility and willingness to learn
  • Industry specific know-how & skills
  • Industry and local relationships

You’d be surprised at how much you can do with those assets.

Many big businesses just aren’t fast enough to listen to and act upon what the market is telling them.  Your small business should be listening to the social media mentions related to your industry to find out what pain points aren’t being addressed, engage with the community and collaborate on ways to solve those problems.

You are a source of knowledge in your space where inevitably, someone is looking for answers.  Be among the earliest to share your knowledge freely and develop a devoted following of potential customers who will eventually look to you for not only answers, but also products and services.

Take your existing relationships online.  If your industry isn’t at the forefront of internet technology, that’s ok.  Start small and be the one to start that innovation; you might find others looking to you for advice as an entire generation grows up online and will expect every industry there in the future.

Marketing Sherpa Chart of the Week

According to social media marketing best practices research done by Marketing Sherpa you aren’t too late.  Across businesses of all sizes, less than 30% have a formal process around any aspect of social media marketing.  Embrace your size and agility to make 2010 the year you compete with the big boys just like Orchestra LLC, a software and services company that embraced inbound marketing just last year.

Social Media Leverage in Action – Plumage in Real Life

A combination of industry knowledge, social media engagement and a bit of serendipity let Brad Windecker and the team at Orchestra LLC take advantage of this optical illusion. 

The Orchestra team had been blogging, tweeting and interacting on industry specific forums where potential customers and peers congregate.  One of Orchestra’s tweets was re-tweeted by someone at a big software company and eventually got picked up by the editor of an influential industry newsletter.  That editor reached out to Orchestra to find out if they could republish the small company’s content in their newsletter.  Inclusion in a newsletter that was typically full of content from big companies, this small software and services player looked like a major player. 

While that’s nice, the real upshot of that serendipitous newsletter inclusion is that Orchestra scored a lot of new site visitors, blog readers, and several leads that have led to the final stages of a deal that would pay for their inbound marketing efforts for months over.

Social Media & Inbound Marketing Level the Playing Field

Now, after less than a year of inbound marketing, Orchestra has amassed more than 20,000 YouTube views, 30,000 views on Ulitzer/SYSCON and 1,000+ content tweets. 

That is a lot by many big company standards. 

Brad, Orchestra’s CEO, is getting invited to industry events and conferences to talk about his use of social media and the company’s best practices in software consulting.  These events help Orchestra continue to portray a larger than life image just as they grow and build the business to compete in an arena oft-dominated by big corporations.  These are the types of opportunities that were reserved for an inner circle before social media and inbound marketing on the web leveled the playing field.

How can you use your knowledge and creativity to power inbound marketing initiatives that will let you compete with the big names in your space?  Do you have what it takes to walk big and bold like a peacock?

Find out if how Brad and the Orchestra team made it happen during the free HubSpot Case Study Webinar: Orchestra Delivers New Sales with Social Media next Friday, April 9th at 12PM EST.

Connect with HubSpot:

HubSpot on Twitter HubSpot on Facebook HubSpot on LinkedIn HubSpot on Google Buzz 


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PostHeaderIcon Three Problems With Facebook’s New Conversion Tracking Feature

Facebook Conversion Tracking Tool FeatureLast week Facebook’s Ads Newsletter officially announced the availability of their new Conversion Tracking feature which they launched in beta earlier this year.

The concept is very simple, and very similar to how conversion tracking is done in Google AdWords. You create a unique tracking tag for your ad in Facebook and embed the javascript it generates to the landing page on your site.

It is also possible to insert the javascript on your thank you page. This is the page that people reach after filling out a form on your landing page. This combination allows you to get some really slick reporting as seen below.  

Facebook Conversion Tracking Feature Tool

Not only do you get the normal ad performance metrics such as impressions, click and click thru rate, but you also see the number of leads you converted and conversion rate which is the holy grail of advertising – determining the ROI of your spend! Right?

Well, here is the problem with Facebook Conversion Tracking:

1. You’re collecting information outside of your system

Marketers beware! While the conversion tracking dashboard provides a lot of great intel, that information is outside your systems.  Good luck trying to tie it to all your other marketing efforts unless you use their API to import all that information to your system. The average Joe or Jane marketer is probably not going to do that!

2. More invasive code to your site

So do you really want Facebook to know what visitors are doing on your site by placing their code on your pages?  Will you follow suit if Twitter offers the same service?  How much 3rd party code will you keep stuffing into your pages, giving companies your data for free while paying them for theirs?  You are after all paying them to understand how your visitors are doing on their site while they are getting to learn about their visitors on your site for free!

3.  It’s another dashboard to worry about

How many tools do you use to check your email? One, perhaps two because you separated your personal email from work email.  So how  many tools will you log into to understand your marketing? Google? Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn? YouTube? With the need to spread your activity amongst social sites you will need to track them all, but could managing so many tools spread you too thin? 

All social sites should aspire to provide the level of insight that Facebook is providing.  It is critical for marketers to understand how their time and dollars spent is yielding results.  At the same time there is a need to simplify and centralize to make our lives easier!

Have you used Facebook conversion tracking or have you thought about it?  Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Photo credit: Marco Bellucci

Live Webinar: Social Media Optimization Is The New SEO With Brian Solis

Social Media Optimization Is The New SEO

New Media thought leader, Brian Solis, will share how to implement and manage a Social Media Optimization (SMO) program.

Date and time: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 12:30pm EST 

Reserve your spot now to increase your visibility in social media!

Connect with HubSpot:

HubSpot on Twitter HubSpot on Facebook HubSpot on LinkedIn HubSpot on Google Buzz 


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PostHeaderIcon New Chart: 83% of Websites Influence Lead Generation for Small Businesses

websites generate leads

When it comes to lead generation for your services, your website may impact your ability to generate new leads more than you think. Of the more than 200 buyers surveyed—from companies of all sizes—83% report that a service provider’s website holds at least “some influence” over their decision to engage in initial discussions.

The survey was conducted by and included more than 200 buyers responsible for more than $1.7 billion in professional services purchased, such as accounting and financial services; architecture, engineering, and construction services; human resources consulting; IT consulting and services; legal services; management consulting; marketing, advertising, and public relations; and training services.

According to the survey, this is a significant increase compared to 2005, when 69% of buyers assigned websites at least “some influence” over this decision. Furthermore, the number of people who say websites have “a great deal of influence” rose to 28% compared with 16% in 2005.

Think of your website as the hub for your marketing and thought leadership activities. No matter what lead generation tactics you employ, the first stop a prospect is going to make is your website. It is the place they go to learn about your services, register for events, read articles and blog posts, sign up for a newsletter, download a white paper, etc. It is where they go to form an initial impression of you.

What does your website say about you? Will prospects like what they see and be interested enough to contact you and start a discussion? Or, will they move on to your competitor’s site and offerings? 

Free Webinar: Website Redesign for 2010

website redesign webinar Learn how to redesign your website with an internet marketing strategy in mind with Mike Volpe, HubSpot’s VP of Marketing.

Download the Webinar Now and learn how to turn your website into an internet marketing machine.

Connect with HubSpot:

HubSpot on Twitter HubSpot on Facebook HubSpot on LinkedIn HubSpot on Google Buzz 


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PostHeaderIcon 6 Steps To More Engaging Copy That Sells

Post image for 6 Steps To More Engaging Copy That Sells

Good copywriting does more than just explain the details of a website’s products or services. Copywriting that sells has to come off as more than informative. It needs to speak to a person on an emotional level, giving them hope while getting the point across fast. It also needs to compel a person to take action.

The biggest weakness of the average website today is its copywriting. Getting an awesome design is the easy part of having an online presence; saying your piece – intelligently – is much more challenging. Yet that’s what makes sales

This post looks at three internet marketing websites with exceptionally engaging copy. They lay out what they do in a conversational and clear manner, striking a chord with visitors that solves their problem and compels them to buy.

Traffic Geyser – The Power of Social Proof

In their video sales letter, Traffic Geyser does a great job of speaking to listeners as if he or she is a friend just hanging out right there with Mike Koenigs, Co-Founder of Traffic Geyser. While this video sales letter provides a little more hype than Infusionsoft’s does, it still offers friendly, informative, smart copy that includes success stories in an uncomplicated format that leaves readers wanting to learn more.

Take Aways:

• Write conversational copy that sounds like it’s from a friend who really wants to help the reader achieve their goals instead of strictly providing information.

• When the goal is lead generation, always leave readers wanting more and provide an easy sign up form so they can get more.

Infusionsoft – Genuine Personalization

If there’s one website that gives serious internet entrepreneurs hope for turning their business around to really start making a profit, it’s Infusionsoft. Through their engaging, yet informative content, Infusionsoft shows how they relate to businesses that may not be doing well by giving their problem a name, ‘follow up failure.’

Going the extra step by having Infusionsoft CEO and Co-Founder Clate Mask speak the sales copy via video on the homepage, really takes the copy a step further in personally addressing the needs of entrepreneurs.

The true desire to help an entrepreneur that comes through in the video copy is enhanced by the professional and genuine nature of Clate Mask.

He’s believable, personable, and inspires trust while the straightforward, down to earth copywriting does an excellent job of compelling visitors to learn more.

Take Aways:

• Solve the reader’s problem in your copywriting by giving the problem a name and showing how your product or service can help.

• Choosing the right speaker for a video sales letter is crucial to its success, regardless of how compelling the copy is.

Butterfly Marketing – Selling Through Telling

Mike Filsaime’s website, Butterfly Marketing, opens with headlines that grab your attention before the sales copy takes you straight into the many incredible success stories of internet entrepreneurs using the Butterfly Marketing product. In fact, you don’t get to the actual sales letter until after reading a whopping 22 success stories, many featuring proof and audio testimonials.

The strength of this lengthy sales letter comes in knowing how to tell a story using testimonials, which builds trust. The length of this sales letter doesn’t detract from its success because it flows very naturally and is engaging, friendly, conversational, clear, and compelling. As you read the sales copy, it draws you in and makes you want to read more as it provides a ‘you can do it too’ attitude.

Take Aways:

• Create a collection of success stories from your clients. If you don’t have any on hand, create a campaign to build an arsenal of success stories that you can use to prove success, rather than just promise it.

• Short and to the point is not necessarily better when it comes to copywriting. Lengthy sales letters tend to outperform short letters that just get straight to the point.

Take Action:

To recap, here are six strategies you can apply to increase the muscle of your sales copy:

• Solve the reader’s problem and give the problem a name.

• Choose the speaker for a video sales letter carefully to ensure putting forth the right image for your product or service.

• Write friendly, motivational copy instead of stiff, strictly informative sales letters.

• When your copywriting is to generate leads, leave readers wanting more and you’ll get the lead.

• Build an arsenal of success stories instead of just promising success.

• Write long sales letters with headlines that interrupt [in the sense of grabbing people] and copy that engages and educates before making an offer.

Gab Goldenberg wrote this for Ireland’s luckiest internet marketing company, Red Fly Marketing. (Luckiest – I mean, they’re Irish and they’re working with me… how much better can it get ;) ) Red Fly’s fine lads, in addition to sipping Guinness, also run a search optimisation outfit (though not simultaneously…usually) and a web design company.
Creative Commons License photo credit: Valeriana Solaris

This post originally came from Michael Gray who is an SEO Consultant. Be sure not to miss the Thesis WordPress Theme review.

6 Steps To More Engaging Copy That Sells

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PostHeaderIcon Win a $3500 Online Marketing Scholarship from MarketMotive (and Help a Non-Profit to Boot)

by Jennifer Laycock

If you’re looking to further your education in online marketing or know of a non-profit that could use an educational boost of their own, you’re going to be interested in hearing about MarketMotive’s spring scholarship contest. The team at MarketMotive is generously allowing each faculty member to award a scholarship to one of their readers.

The contest is simple…just write up a brief social media marketing plan for your favorite non-profit and you’ll have a chance to earn a free scholarship (valued at $3500) for the Master Certification class of your choice in MarketMotive’s spring quarter. You can choose to publish the proposal on your site and e-mail me the link, or you can e-mail it directly to me for review. I’ll pick my three favorites and will post them here on Search Engine Guide next week. My readers will vote on their favorite and the winner will be awarded the scholarship.

If you’re already a social media whiz, that’s fantastic…use the scholarship to sign up for one of our other courses. (Or, give it away to someone else!)

View image

You can choose from quite a few different options:

Not familiar with MarketMotive? That’s ok…check out the program and watch a brief video explaining how it all works.

Rules: Submitting a plan means contestants agree that their plan may be be posted (with attribution) and/or sent to the charity. Plans may be edited before being posted at blog owner’s discretion. Winning plan (s)will be selected at the discretion of MarketMotive faculty chairs. All entries must be submitted before 12:01 am EST on April 4th, 2010, and the finalists will be announced the week of April 5th.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

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PostHeaderIcon Common B2B SEO Mistakes and How to Solve Them

Working with a variety of companies large and small, local and international, B2B and B2C, on SEO projects over the past 12 years has revealed a variety of common obstacles to success.  For many reasons, B2B marketers often lag behind B2C in terms of tactics and adoption of new marketing technologies.  The customer acquisition and buying cycle are very different for business to business than consumer oriented products and services.

Since SEO presents the biggest opportunity to generate a high quantity and quality of B2B leads, more B2B marketers are speeding up their ability to test innovative search engine optimization programs. Unfortunately, there are a mix of common mistakes that persist.  Here are 5 common mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Using Keywords More Important to You Than Your Customers

It’s pretty common for some B2B web sites, especially those in the technology space, to over emphasize nomenclature, specifications and in some cases, cleverly named products or categories as attempts to stand out.

These product and service references are accurate to someone, but often not the buyer. In many B2B SEO programs, one of the most frequent exercises is developing insight into what customers actually think about an industry or a company’s products and services. What a customer might type into a search box on Google, Yahoo or Bing  may very well be different than the language the company uses in it’s own marketing and advertising content.

Here are a few tips on researching the keywords your customers use to find your products/service:

  • Brainstorm based on solutions & customer needs
  • Identify what concepts are most relevant according to where the customer is in the buying cycle
  • Conduct interviews or survey customers
  • Review current web analytics for referring search traffic
  • Poll sales & customer service staff for phrases used by customers
  • Leverage social media monitoring tools for tags and phrases
  • Review competitor web site content

Once you’ve created a glossary of key terms, you can organize them by category of the site and add metrics for Popularity, Competition and Relevance to guide in their use for optimizing existing pages and creation of future pages.  A Standard Keyword Glossary can be created based on input to tools like Wordtracker or Keyword Discovery. A Social Keyword Glossary can be created using social media monitoring tools that aggregate keyword clusters.  Looking at both types of glossaries allows SEOs to find Cross-Over Phrases for social media optimization as well as standard SEO.

2. Content is Not Reachable by Search Bots

We’ve learned from persona experience and heard from people like Vanessa Fox, creator of Google’s Webmaster Tools, that one of the most common issues with web sites performing poorly in search results has to do with barriers to getting crawled by search engines. Crawling of course, means the process of discovering links and content and then copying that content. If a search engine cannot follow links to your web pages or follow the links between web pages of your site, then it will be difficult for crawlers to find your content.  No content means no presence in the search results.

Many B2B web sites are created with technological and design prowess that offer a good user experience and even better tools to manage content. But they often ignore the need for search engines to interact with content.  We’ve run into situations where title tags are hard coded exactly the same for all pages of a site, or Ajax or Flash are used to create navigation elements within product categories that are seen as one web page vs 5 or 6. Multiply those missing 5 pages across hundreds of products and that’s a very large portion of content not being able to attract new customers.

Here are a few ways to avoid crawling issues:

  • Avoid unnecessarily complex URLs & using session ids
  • Do not publish multiple URLs to duplicate content
  • Rather than use temporary redirects (302 or JavaScript) use a 301 redirect to point old pages to new pages
  • Understand that if you site navigation relies on Ajax, Flash or JavaScript, you’ll want to provide an alternative text link navigation method.

Use Google’s Webmaster Tools or even those offered by Bing to see how their respective bots are interacting with your site. If there are crawling errors, they will be reported along with broken links and a variety of other useful feedback that you can use as a basis for implementing fixes.

3. Lack of New Content

If you read Online Marketing Blog with any frequency (and we hope you do) then you’ll know how we feel about content for marketing B2B companies. A longer buying cycle for most B2B products and services requires more content to educate customers, help them evaluate their options, consider choices and ultimately, make purchasing decisions.   Many B2B SEO efforts focus on optimizing existing content without a content marketing strategy that defines and editorial calendar for producing new content.   Blogs have been our tool of choice for managing and promoting B2B marketing content to attract customers via search, links and mentions within social media and networking sites.

Along with the creation of new content is the issue of site architecture. Managing content along with the interlinking of keywords to pages helps search engines find pages and infer meaning. Fresh, themed content along with a logical site structure using  categories, sub-categories and appropriate links between them can make a tremendous impact on search engine driven customers to a B2B web site.

Each new web page, or digital asset for that matter, that is optimized, published and included in a search engine’s index can serve as a potential entry point for prospects, customers and even journalists and potential employees.   Many companies in the business to business category publish large numbers of documents in PDF format. Those can be optimized with keywords and links just like any other document. The same goes for whitepapers, archived newsletters, press releases, past webinars, case studies and content used to describe online demos.

However, do not create and publish content just for the sake of adding more “hooks in the water”. Pages and media should have a purpose and should be mapped out in the keyword glossary and managed with a content editorial guide.  Search performance is greatest when you optimize content for customers first, search engines second.

4. Keywords Missing in Content and Text Links

Content alone does not solve SEO challenges, since customers search using keyword phrases. The keyword research conducted in the first recommendation should be used to “optimize” web page content and any other file formats (PDF, DOC, PPT) or media (images, video, audio) that can be found in a search engine. A general guide is to optimize for 1-2 phrases per web page, document or digital asset.

Here are some basic on-page content optimization tips to guide the usage of keywords:

  • Title tags
  • Headings
  • Paragraph titles
  • Keywords in body copy
  • Anchor text in links
  • Image alt text

Ideally, the content management system would be modified to prompt users to use keywords in these areas when new pages are being created. Dynamic keyword insertion tactics can also be used to help automate keyword placement in Title tags and the alt text of images, for example.

We’ve worked with many B2B web sites that have great content, but are missing keywords where customers and search engines need them – especially in links between pages.  Adding keywords to the link tells both web site visitors and search engines the topic of the page being linked to.

Not good: Click Here for more information.
Better: Visit our CRM Software Resource Guide for more information.

As far as links go, one of the most often missed opportunities is to encourage keywords in links from other web sites to B2B content. Many marketers complain that they don’t know where to get incoming links for B2B pages outside of paid directories, link swaps and social news/bookmarking/profile sites.  Basic backlink analysis on sites with active PR, Advertising and Marketing programs will frequently reveal anchor text of incoming links to be the company name.

The core strategy that we follow whether the site is focused on B2C or B2B customers is to create, package and promote content that’s worth linking to.  However, no one will know to link to great content unless you promote it. One of the most effective ways to do that is by developing social distribution channels.

Here are a few examples:

  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • Facebook & LinkedIn status
  • Facebook & LinkedIn groups
  • Social News, Networks & Media: Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Flickr, YouTube

One of the best ways to acquire keyword rich links from other relevant web sites to B2B content is to ask!  For example, when Public Relations staff coordinate the publishing of a contributed article or have secured a media placement mentioning the company, they can also remember to ask the journalist to link back to the company site. The worst the editor can say is no, it’s not our policy to link out.  Press releases are common link building tactics as are guest posts on other industry blogs.  The other best way to acquire B2B links is to create unique and often humorous or compelling content that gets shared and linked to by others.

Check out this post on the TopRank Marketing site for even more link building ideas, 43 actually!

5. Not Monitoring KPIs and Ongoing Optimization of Content Marketing

Each phase in the buying cycle presents different needs for the buyer that’s using search to find information and solutions.  Monitoring key data and interactions that are not necessarily conversion or sales focused can provide helpful insight into what content or link sources are helping to move the needle in the right direction.  Meeting the needs of searchers with the right content can be measured in a variety of ways according to what’s being offered.

A few KPIs to pay attention to include:

  • Keyword sourced traffic
  • Branded vs non-branded keyword traffic
  • Pages indexed, popular entry pages
  • Crawling errors & Webmaster Tools Reports
  • Rankings relative to your own site over time
  • Inbound links: quantity, quality, longevity
  • Link traffic
  • Social media citations & traffic

Of course, reaching goal pages & conversions are part of the B2B search marketing feedback loop to guide future optimization as well.  For one of the best resources on the web for measuring web site performance, read Avinash Kaushik’s Web Analytics Blog.

Through ongoing monitoring, keyword performance trends, cyclicality and new opportunities will be revealed. Adjusting certain optimization and linking efforts can improve performance and provide new channels of search traffic.

For an experienced search marketer, these mistakes are very simple and fundamental. In fact, they’re really the tip of the iceberg. However, our agency receives multiple inquiries every day from companies that suffer from these core SEO issues. Every day, week, month and year that goes by presents the same types of issues and until their solutions become as common as the need for a contact form and a home page on a web site, they will continue.  No matter how long that takes, TopRank Marketing is happy to be of help!

If you’re a business marketer, what are some of the common SEO issues you’ve experienced with B2B web sites?

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Common B2B SEO Mistakes and How to Solve Them |
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PostHeaderIcon Patrick Curl – The Social Media Idiot

Meet Patrick Curl. Patrick is a self proclaimed Social Media Expert from Dayton Ohio.

Meet Patrick Curl

For a while this “Social Media Guru” named Patrick Curl has been going around commenting on websites that talk about the ShoeMoney System. He makes up various claims libeling me and my products…. like this one:

“I personally wouldn’t touch anything of Shoemoney’s with a ten foot pole.”

“This guy has made most of his money selling products that teach you how to make money.”

Ok, jackass… Really?

Let’s look at exactly what I have done and how I have made money.

1 – 2003 I created the largest mobile website on the planet which turned out to be quite profitable… with a lot of hard work. Google called me in 2005 and thought I could make some money with their new product called “AdSense”. I tried it and made this check shortly after. From there I followed the money and learned about affiliate marketing, subscriptions, donations and even selling my own products. I built a multi-million dollar website and shared everything I was learning along the way as a newbie.

2 – 2003/2004 I created (originally a blog where I talked about my life in general but also talked about all the things I was learning. The blog is 100% free to read and I never made any money from advertisers until 2007. In 2009 the blog brought in around 1 million dollars in various forms of revenue.

3 – 2006 3 other people and myself (Aaron Wall, Lee Dodd, and Dave Taylor) started a conference called the Elite Retreat. It was limited to only 30 people and cost $5,000.00 a person. In 5 events over 4 years it has sold out every event and I have never heard anyone say a bad thing about it.

4 – 2007 Created my own Advertising network called AuctionAds.  That service made a lot of people a lot of money. I risked a ton of my own money to start this network and never made a dime off of it until we sold it to Media Whiz. The network at the time of sale had over 25,000 active publishers doing over $2,000,000 a month in revenue. Only 4 months after it launched.

5 – 2007 Purchased domain and developed a MMA news site…. a mistake I would like to forget about ;)

6 – 2008 Launched ShoeMoney Tools – An awesome suite of PPC and SEO tools that thousands of people use everyday.

7 – 2008 Launched a 100% free (and just reopened) 12 week course on internet marketing.

8 – 2009 Launched ShoeMoney System. A step by step guide on basically making money every which way on the internet. It comes with a no risk 60 day money back guarantee.

So there it is… all of my stuff I have worked on laid out from the last 8 years.

The FACT is the Shoemoney System,  being my first product that teaches people how to make money online, is only in it’s 3rd month and makes up very little of my net worth.

So lets look at the facts on you, Patrick Curl, self proclaimed Social Media Expert.

On twitter you follow 14,000 people but only 13,000 follow you. Is this autofollow policy what you advise your clients? How the hell can you follow 14,000 people and possibly have a clue what they are saying? Is this some special ninja social media technique that I don’t about?

On your badass Facebook Fanpage (Social Media Maven? ) you have a total of 72 fans. Nice work. I am sure your phone is burning up with clients calling.

Maybe you should focus on yourself and your business a little more and spend less time trying to get attention libeling me? Just a thought?

P.S. Obviously Patrick has a weight problem.  I know sometimes my commentators can be quite vicious,  so from someone who used to be very overweight myself,  I am asking you nicely to please refrain from making fun of Patrick’s health.

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Patrick Curl – The Social Media Idiot

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PostHeaderIcon How To Create Your Own eBook – The eCover

My eCover Maker

I’m going to be doing a two part post on how to create your own eBook. You can consider this an extension of my post on how to really make money with Clickbank. In that post, I said the most effective way to get people to give them your email address is by offering them an eBook for free. The first step in making the eBook is making the cover.

My last few eBook covers were designed for me by Unique Blog Designs and I highly recommend them if that’s the route you want to go. However, you have to be prepared to pay for a professional design that can run into the hundreds of dollars. If you’re on a limited budget, then I recommend My Ecover Maker. This service allows you to create a professional looking 3D eBook cover in just a few minutes.

The price for My Ecover Maker range from free for limited access to $9 a month ($90 a year) for standard access. The service is fully functional without having to sign up. You can test it out by making a cover right now. The standard access allows you to generate and download up to 100 Ecovers per month. Here’s a cover I made while fooling around with it.

My eCover Maker

I’m sure I can get it looking really good by spending more time on it. There are hundreds of graphics and font styles to choose from. The tool is very easy to use and you should be able to blast out your first eBook cover with a few minutes of using it. Give it a try and see what you can come up with. Next time, I’ll show you how to turn your work of art eBook into a nice PDF file.

My Ecover Maker – Online 3D eBook and eCover Generator

Discover the SECRETS I’ve Learned to go from zero a month to over $40,000 a month from blogging. Download Make Money Online with John Chow dot Com for FREE!

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