Google has announced that it plans to add 100 new channels to YouTube. This looks like it could be a great new marketing opportunity for small business advertisers. Forget about channels themselves as the media.
Of course, you’ll likely still be able to add your own channel. I’m not saying that. But these channels will be Google-guided, which means that they will be a top-down production. Some of the channels will be produced by high octane talent such as Ashton Kutcher, Jay-Z, Shaquille O’Neal, and CSI creator Antony Zuiker. They will, of course, need sponsors.
So how will this sponsorship work? I’m guessing that it could be similar to TV sponsorship. But I could be wrong.
Currently, you see PPC ads show up on the bottom of your screen when you view YouTube videos. That could continue with these new channels and if it does, great. But you could also see featured productions preceded by a sponsored video. If that happens, look for a great opportunity for advertisers.
Also, look for TV advertising to begin its decline. I’m not saying it will come to a crashing halt. But it could fall of if YouTube channel advertisers start to see positive results and make the shift from TV to YouTube advertising.
Do you know your authority rank? How about your popularity rank? They aren’t the same thing, you know.
There are plenty of ways online you can measure your popularity. Alexa ranking is based, in part, on a measure of popularity. Klout scores are somewhat based on popularity. And even your search rankings are partly based on a now antiquated model of popularity – link popularity, a special brand of popularity, at best.
Authority is a different matter. While popularity can be informative about whether or not a person is trusted. It doesn’t say anything about whether or not a person should be trusted.
When a person becomes a model of authority, he or she is respected for their knowledge in a certain subject area, which is often based on some or all of the following characteristics:
Education level obtained
Extent of knowledge
Track record of successes
Respect among peers, especially those with high authority ratings themselves
Search engines have been real adept at measuring popularity over the years. More and more, they are beginning to measure authority. Google has ways to determine whether particular web pages are based on authority, and the search engine is getting better at doing this.
The future of search marketing will be based largely on one’s authority rank as opposed to one’s popularity rank. Have you started building your authority yet? If not, you should get on the ball.
For starters, PPC allows you to get instant results. Write your ad and get it live today, you can actually see click throughs today and marry those up with conversions. No other online marketing strategy has that potential. If you build a website, you’ll have to get it indexed. There’s no guarantee that will happen in one day.
Social media can be effective marketing, but it likely will take you some time since you have to build up a following, build trust, and develop a track record. That takes time.
Video marketing can also be effective. Again, the chances that you can produce a video, get it online, and see results in one day are pretty phenomenal. It can happen, but not likely.
Other online marketing strategies show similar potential. You may get better results long term from SEO, social media and video marketing, but only PPC promises same-day results. And that’s just one reason PPC is king. There are others.
Social networking has become a big part of a lot of people’s day-to-day activities. The latest social network to hit the scene is Google+ and they’ve just added a couple of new features that make social networking even better. One of those features is called Ripples.
Ripples allows you to see what the share trail of a particular item is. You can see who all has shared the post. If you shared a blog post from your own blog and several of your circle friends shared it, then a few of their circle friends shared it, Ripples allows you to see which Google+ users have shared the post.
So why would you want to do that?
First, you can see at a glance, with a graphical representation, just how many shares your post has. But you can also find those Google+ profiles and find new connections. Sharers who are not in your circles can become a part of your circles. I think that’s pretty nifty.
Social networking is not all about linear connections. I think Google understands that more than any other company – even Facebook.
So which social network do you think is stretching the limits on social sharing? Is it Facebook, Twitter, or Google+?
There’s a lot to be said for online reputation management. I mean, using articles, blog posts, social media, etc. to management your reputation online. But can you use off line material? Can print publications be used for online reputation management?
Absolutely. But I’m not talking about replacement here. I’m talking about enhancement.
You still want to use traditional online marketing resources to manage your reputation online, but writing articles for print publications, networking at physical events, and writing and publishing a book in print can do wonders for your online reputation as well.
The big thing to keep in mind is using online and off line resources for an integrative approach to marketing. That’s where print comes into play with online reputation management.
When you write articles for print publications, do you add your web address to your bio? Do you let people know where to find you online? You should. And that’s a part of your overall reputation management plan, or should be.
You can do this simple thing every time you engage with an audience off line. Direct them back to where they can find you online. Every time you do that, it helps your online reputation. And that will replicate the more you do it.
Influence is a measure of your ability to affect others, either for the positive or the ill. Klout is a social media metrics company that attempts to measure influence across a broad range of social media. They’ve recently announced a change in how they measure influence.
The question, are these changes good or bad?
Some people are reporting a drop in Klout score. These are usually social media marketers who started with a high score – in the 70s or 80s. Other social media marketers – mostly those with lower scores – are reporting an increase in their influence. Klout is claiming the changes make its scoring more accurate.
I guess time will tell whether that’s true or not. In the mean time, do you know your Klout score?
I’ve been pretty impressed by Klout. It determines a score of influence based on the number of people you reach, how much you influence them to take actions such as Liking, retweeting, and sharing, and how influential the people you influence are. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a darn sight better than most other social media metrics I’ve seen.
It makes me wonder, though, will we soon be making decisions about who we follow on social media based on their influence scores? I hope not.
Since the inception of Google+, Google has been saying that it plans to integrate all of the Google services with the new social networking service Google+. That’s a lot of services.
Google+ started out with Picasa integration. YouTube integration was minimal, but the service has had video support. Slowly, Google is integrating its other services. Recently, they’ve announced that Blogger integration is happening right now.
This is good news for bloggers who use Google’s own blogging platform.
While we’re big components of WordPress uploaded to your own domain name, there’s a pretty good chance that if you’re stuck on Blogger, then this integration will only boost your small business blog’s presence online. Historically, Blogger has not ranked well despite being owned by Google. But this integration could change that.
If it doesn’t, then there are still other reasons to continue using Blogger.
One reason is because it will be easy to share your blog posts through Google+. I also believe that using Blogger will increase your Google profile’s presence in the search engines making Blogger a great reputation management tool. Already, Google+ is causing that to happen. By using your Google+ profile for your Blogger account, that will make your reputation management efforts even better.
Traditionally, content referred specifically to your on-page content – keywords, text, images, etc. But the broader view is that content is anything you produce that is tangible in an online environment and that produces intangible results. In essence, content is both on page and off page. It includes links, videos, and might even in some situation refer to code.
Content moves beyond design elements. Simply having a website with a pretty header and a nice layout is not content. Filling it with images that pop, content that sells, and videos that rip roar and demand attention, that’s count. Writing articles and guest blog posts for other Web properties that link back to yours and drive steady traffic to your site, that’s content too. Bookmarking your pages and networking with others through Facebook and LinkedIn, that’s content too. And content IS king.
It’s important that webmasters not get too wrapped up in definitions, but you should take a broader view of content. And crown the king.
If you are an author, artist, performer, or other creative business person who uses pseudonyms in your business for legitimate purposes, then you might be interested to know that you can now use Google+ as your alter ego.
This is a new development for Google+, however, Vic Gundotra, head of Google+, makes it sound like they’ve planned this all along. Maybe they have.
Google+ users have been asking for the ability to use fake names for some time. Now they’ve got their wish. But how does this benefit you?
Anyone who uses a pseudonym for normal business (for instance, Samuel Clemens used the name of Mark Twain), then you can have a Google+. Before now, if your public persona was wrapped up in a pseudonym, then you couldn’t use Google+. You had to use your real name.
This brings up the question, how will Google be able to tell the difference between a legitimate pseudonym and a fake name used for spam? That’s a good question. I suspect that Google has it figured out. If not, we can all expect an onslaught of fake spam accounts to hit our Google+ streams soon.
Business accounts haven’t been rolled out yet on Google+, but Google says they’re coming. When they do, that should boost your social networking abilities.
If you’ve had one eye on Gogole+ and the other trying to figure out why you’d try it, let me give you 11 reasons why you should try it. You don’t have to leave Facebook and Twitter behind, and you don’t have to spend all your time on Google+ checking out your friends. But if you run a business, Google+ can be your friend.
11 reasons to try Google+ now:
Every time you use Google+ your Google profile rises in search. Give yourself more search prominence.
Because Google+ is owned by the largest search engine online you can bet there will be search benefits in some fashion.
There is a built in local component with the tie-in between Google Maps and Google Places and Google+
You can use your Circles for better targeting of your prospects.
Google+ business accounts are soon on the way.
Sharing YouTube videos is much easier through Google+
Google Picasa allows you to share photos easier through Google+ and you have unlimited photo storage.
Google+ allows you to add hundreds of new people to network with one click through Circle sharing.
You can set the privacy for each component of your Google+ profile.
It’s easy to use.
So how many more reasons do you need? Google+ offers you the best in search and social. Try it.
And I mean this with regard to the nuts and bolts of SEO – keywords, links, etc.
Doing Too Much
SEOs who do too much usually end up stuffing their content with keywords or going hog wild in building links. If they would just spend some time writing natural language content, they wouldn’t have to worry about stuffing their content with keywords and links. Nothing beats good SEO like saying what you intended to say and just getting on with it.
That said, it’s important to pay attention to your keywords. Would you write about rotating your tires without using phrases like “tire rotation” and “wheel?” Of course not.
Use the language you would normally use and your SEO should be fine.
Doing Too Little
On the flip side, I think you can do too little. That is, you don’t employ any keyword usage at all. Why would you do that?
If you’re afraid of being tagged as a spammer, it’s probably because you’ve been tagged as a spammer before. Don’t worry about it. Just write good content that answers people’s questions. When you do that, be sure you write in the language of your audience. That’s the best SEO you’ll ever employ.
In the world of search engine optimization, the robot can be good to you or it can diss you something fierce. The human reviewer, however, is more likely to kick you square in the big one. And it could hurt.
As Jennifer Ledbetter explains, you’ll only be reviewed by human eyeballs when you hit a respectable ranking on Google.
What that really means is you did a spectacular job with your SEO. Now you have to convince the human reviewer you deserve the spot you’ve worked so hard for. How do you do that?
The first thing you should keep in mind is that searchers are doing the same thing. The difference is that the searcher can’t ruin your day by knocking you down to page 10. But you know they’d like to. If only they could.
If you don’t want that big drop to happen, then you need to learn what those human reviewers are looking for. One thing that could make you fall in the rankings is obvious spam. Just don’t do it. You’ll pay for it.
What they are really looking for, however, is something positive. Is your page relevant for a search query? If so, you likely have nothing to fear.
It’s funny, but if you go to many marketing conferences or read marketing blogs, then you’ll soon find out there is no real consensus among online marketers about what makes for a good social media metric. Some marketers talk about “return on influence” while others talk about “reach.” And others don’t have a clue. But what’s really important?
Should you measure how many Likes you have? What about Retweets? Is it important to keep an eye on the number of shares or followers you’ve acquired?
While it might be nice to see that you have ten thousand followers, it doesn’t really make much sense to pat yourself on the back if none of those followers translate into sales. The only real metric you should be concerned about is what affects your bottom line. Are your social media efforts leading to an increase in business?
Contrary to what some social media marketers teach, you can measure your effectiveness. But you’ll never figure it out by counting your followers and fans or your retweets. Instead, set concrete goals for your social media marketing and measure your results according to those goals.
For instance, set up a landing page just for your social media marketing efforts and measure how much traffic you drive to that landing page through social media, then see how many conversions you get.
Video marketing is one of the 21st century’s most powerful vehicles for branding and small business marketing. You can produce powerful videos that stay live on the Web for a lot less than you can spend on TV or radio advertising – vehicles with a limited shelf life.
Still, ineffective video marketing can cost more than effective marketing in other media. Make sure you are doing it well.
Here are 5 things to keep in mind about video marketing as you strive to get your business in the minds of consumers:
Shorter videos do better – Don’t go for the 2-hour documentary or 10-minute infomercial. Instead, go for the 30-second or 1-minute quickie. You’ll be a lot more effective.
You don’t have to hire actors – You want to keep your video budget down. Use a slideshow or voice over artist. A full scale production isn’t necessary.
Distribute widely – Don’t just distribute your video through one channel. Go as wide as possible.
Promote through social media – “Push out” your videos through social media in order to “draw in” your prospects.
Drive traffic to your website – Use videos to drive traffic to your website, then close the sale.
There’s no secret recipe to video marketing. There are good sound principles that are still in development. No one owns the best practices monopoly. Be creative, experiment, and make your message strong.
It might seem strange for an SEO company to mention anything that is more important than SEO, but the truth is there are things that are more important. We’ve identified 5 very important things about online marketing that are much more important than SEO.
Reputation Management – Without a good reputation, all the SEO in the world is for naught. Good products and services, customer service, and the ability to solve your customer’s needs are the building blocks to good reputation management.
Conversion Optimization – Bottom line, if you aren’t closing sales, then nothing else matters. Drive traffic and convert it – by any means possible.
Relationships – Business is all about building relationships. Maintain good, solid relations with your prospects and you’ll take care of #1.
Targeted Marketing – Who do you serve? The best marketing in the world reaches out to the market you serve and let’s everyone else go.
If you want to build a solid online business, make sure you focus on these 5 key areas. To the degree that you succeed at these and that your search engine optimization efforts support them, you’ll do well online. Forget these and it won’t matter how good you can optimize a web page.
Ask any Web marketer and they’ll tell you 100% growth in one year is fantastic. Ask them if 100% growth for a website that already has 10 million users is fantastic and they’ll tell you it’s phenomenal. This is the boat StumbleUpon is in. The site has reached the 20 million user mark.
So what’s that mean for you?
If you haven’t started using StumbleUpon yet, then now may be a good time. And I don’t mean just as a user. I also mean as a Web marketer.
Share your content, discover other people’s content, and give a big thumbs up to the content that you like. That’s how StumbleUpon works. It’s simple, it’s streamlined, and many people are finding it to be fun. I think you will too.
If you do use StumbleUpon, keep in mind why you are there. Don’t get lost in the shuffle of great websites. Spend a few minutes each day making friends, sharing content, stumbling sites, and thumbing up what you like. But don’t go overboard. You do have a business to run, you know.
I’d say add StumbleUpon to your regular routine of bookmarking sites to visit on a regular basis. It now is one of the most trafficked websites online.
It’s pretty much agreed upon by all web designers today that social share buttons are a necessity on your web pages. What we might disagree on are how many and which ones are necessary. But there are three that most of us would agree are essential.
Facebook Like – Facebook is the most trafficked website online. Chances are, you’re using it and your friends are using it. That alone is reason enough to have a Like button on every page of your website no matter what niche you serve.
Tweet/Retweet – While Twitter isn’t as popular as Facebook, and may never be, it’s still popular enough that you should consider a tweet/retweet button for every page of content you create.
LinkedIn – Again, LinkedIn isn’t Twitter or Facebook, but if you are business that serves other businesses, then you should consider a LinkedIn button for your website.
Another up and coming social service that bears looking at is Google+. With rapid growth, Google+ looks promising, though the jury is still out which niches might benefit most from the service.
Other social share buttons might be helpful for your site as well. If you run a technology website, look for services with a high level of technology sector participation. The same goes for whatever niche you serve. Look for social media sites where people in your niche tend to hangout.
Whatever your niche, social media is in. Make sure you encourage sharing by adding those buttons to your website.
The key to a successful PPC campaign is in your landing page. That’s true whether you are talking about driving traffic to increase your e-mail subscriptions or to sell your downloads. Pay-per-click advertising is only successful if you can get traffic to your landing page and then convert that traffic with a good call to action.
The components to a successful PPC campaign are:
Your PPC ad headline
Your PPC ad text
Your landing page
All three of these components have to add up and when they do you’ll see your conversions increase.
Let’s start with your ad’s headline. It’s got to be an attention grabber. Optimize it with the correct keyword so that it appears on the correct search results page, then make sure it gets the attention of your prospect.
The ad text itself is what will get your prospect to click through to your landing.
But it’s the landing page itself that will close the sale, or get the subscription. It doesn’t have to be long. Sell the benefits, not the features. In other words, include your opt-in box in a prominent location on the page and tell your reader concisely why they should opt in to your newsletter or e-mail list.
When it comes to PPC advertising, sell the benefits and you’ll see your conversions increase.
What does it take to be good at SEO? Can you do it overnight? Is it a long-term strategy or a short-term strategy?
There is actually a lot of debate about this in SEO circles. Some SEOs are content to go on responding to Google’s frequent algorithm updates in hopes that they might figure out the secret to high rankings. Some SEOs will spend hours, days, and weeks “studying” the search engine algorithms hoping to learn how best to rank well for specific key phrases.
Is it possible? Can you study the search engines and learn the secret to rankings? Many SEOs stake their reputations on it.
The fact of the matter is that learning “the secret” to high rankings is a never-ending struggle. The best that any SEO can do is maintain a posture of good, solid content creation over time. While you might lucky and achieve excellent search engine results over the short term, the real SEO success formula is a long-term strategy. You are building websites and creating content for next decade as much as next year.
Instead of chasing algorithms, you’d do well to simply create great content and let the search engines do their thing.