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What can Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield teach you about Internet marketing? No joke. How’s this for a lesson:

    Laugh at the past and use it in the present to build your future with viral video.

That’s a mouthful, and if you’re wondering what I’m talking about, read this article at WebProNews. It seems that these once bitter foes have become friends and now are joking about the incident years ago when Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear during a fight – not once, but twice. Tyson lost the match by default. Now they’re laughing about it and it seems they’re laughing their way to the bank.

Evander Holyfield, like George Foreman, has turned his boxing fame into an entrepreneur’s dream. He has his own line of BBQ sauce. Mike Tyson tweeted, “.@holyfield’s ear would’ve been much better with his new BBQ sauce. check it out realdealbbqsauce.com #TGIF.”

Doesn’t that just make you want to go out and buy Evander’s BBQ sauce?

It actually is brilliant marketing. The tweet is getting millions of views and the BBQ sauce is gaining more market share.

If you’ve got an incident in the past that you can use to poke fun of in the name of your business, why not capture it on video? Use it. Your life can be your message.

Spammers got the idea that cookie-cutter SEO practices might work because at one time they did. In the beginning were keywords and the keywords were little gods that webmasters could insert pretty much anywhere – on the page, behind the scenes, in the code, in the metatags – and expect that those keywords would help them rise in the rankings. And that’s precisely what happened.

But over time the search engines became more and more sophisticated. While there are still spammers slaving away at getting their web pages to rank better, the search engines have gotten a lot better at detecting it.

In fact, last year, Google made history when it targeted content farms with an update called Panda. A lot of websites that were following Google’s own guidelines took a big hit. Some of them were hit unfairly and Google made some adjustments. But a lot of it was justified too.

This gets to the heart of the issue. If you are still married to cookie-cutter SEO practices, you’d better get with the program. Every website is different and has different needs – even when it comes to SEO.

Make your content unique. Make your SEO just as unique. Don’t cut cookies. That doesn’t work any more.

Rumors have been flying that Google was about to introduce a new tablet to compete with the Kindle Fire. Well, I’ll kill the rumors right now. It’s happened.

But what does this mean for content creators?

For starters, if you write e-books, then there’s one more readership market for you. I expect the Google Nexus 7 to grow into one of the top 3 tablets on the market – right next to the Kindle Fire and Apple’s iPad. The price is right in line with the Kindle Fire at $199, which means that the Nexus 7 is competing directly against Amazon’s tablet and less so against Apple’s.

But a tablet is more than just an e-reader. You can also watch videos, listen to music, and play games on it. And with Google Play providing the content, consumers have access to everything their counterpart consumers with competitors have.

So Is This A Marketing Opportunity For You?

I see every new technology and device as a marketing opportunity. You should too.

I think it will prove to be a great opportunity for video marketers. Videos are some of the most enjoyed content on tablets and since Google owns YouTube you’ll no doubt see a lot of that on the Nexus 7. In fact, the Nexus 7 comes equipped with all of your favorite apps including YouTube, Chrome, Google+, and Gmail.

Blekko, many people don’t know, is a search engine. Granted, it doesn’t have the popularity of Google or Bing in its favor, but it’s still a search engine worth noting.

One thing you should definitely know about Blekko and how useful it can be for you as a webmaster is that you can garner specific SEO data from Blekko. Some of that data you can’t get anywhere else, or you’ll have a hard time finding it if you try.

Here are two specific pieces of SEO data you can get from Blekko. Note, you have to sign up for a Blekko account to get the information.

  • Inbound links – Blekko isn’t the only place you can get a list of your inbound links. But the data it does have on your link graph is pure gold – and it’s free. If you want to analyze your backlinks, I’d consider using Blekko.
  • Site hosting neighbors – If you pay for shared hosting, then you have other websites on the same server as yours. What do you know about them? Just as in real life, you should get to know your neighbors. Blekko can help. The search engine will tell you who your neighbors are, then you can do a little digging and learn whether they are spammers or not. If you don’t like what you see, ask your host to move you to a new server.

To gain access to this data you have to login to Blekko and perform a search for www.mywebsite.com/seo. Blekko will give you the SEO data you are looking for.

Video marketing has been hot for at least three years now. YouTube is still less than a decade old, but the opportunities for small and medium businesses to take advantage of the video marketing benefits are growing more and more every day.

In fact, a recent article at Marketing Pilgrim illustrates this truth very well. Here’s a little snippet from the article.

Whether your business is large or small people want to know what you do in the quickest and easiest format for them. So what if you feel that video is too expensive? So is losing business to lesser competitors because you are counting the wrong things as important in your business.

I couldn’t agree more.

YouTube’s video channels are becoming more and more popular all the time. I’m not saying you necessarily need a video channel, but if it is feasible for your industry, why not start a channel that depicts an entertaining and informative news format for your niche?

Online marketing in general is becoming more and more competitive. Video marketing is just one piece of the pie. But it’s a piece that does not deserve to be ignored. It’s becoming more important every day.

Have you thought about how you can incorporate video marketing into your marketing plan? What have you come up with?

One of the most important steps in the search engine optimization process is keyword research. The keywords you choose for a particular project can make or break the project. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the keywords you select can mean the difference between a profit or no-profit situation.

This is true whether you’re talking about organic SEO, pay per click advertising, or even a social media campaign. Keywords are the nuts and bolts of your marketing plan.

What You Need To Know About Keywords

In just about every niche online there is considerable competition for the most popular keywords. Why go after the same keywords that everyone else is going after?

Instead, try going after those keyword phrases that are not so popular. Often, you can find very profitable keywords that few people are bothering to chase in the search engine rankings. Ideally, that is where you should spend your time.

What you want are keywords that have a low CPC and a high conversion rate. If they have low competition, even better.

A low CPC means that your cost per click prices will be low so your investment in those keywords are minimal. But a high conversion rate means that the keyword delivers targeted traffic that takes action. Low competition means you’ll have a lot of maneuver room as you jockey for position for that low-investment high-opportunity keyword phrase.

Don’t just take our word for it. Test it for yourself.

It’s possible to spend too much time on social media promotion. But it’s not because you’ve spent X number of hours sending out links. If sending out self-promotional links is all you do, then it could be that your social media is simply ineffective. Rather, I want to talk about the time factor.

Social media is a lot of fun and you can get caught up in the fun and forget about your business. Don’t forget why you are there.

The best way to determine if you are spending too much time on social media is to note how much business you are getting in return for your efforts. You could be spending 1 hour a day on social media and that might be too much time if you aren’t getting any results. So what’s happening?

On the other hand, you could justify spending 3 hours a day on social media if you’re getting the business.

It’s possible that you are spending too much time on the wrong social media. Maybe you spend 2-3 hours a day on Facebook and you don’t get anything out of it but spend 30 minutes a day on LinkedIn and get at least one new customer per month. In that case I’d say scale back on the time you spend on Facebook and increase your time on LinkedIn.

Most businesses can get a decent return on their social media efforts just by spending 30 minutes to 1 hour per day. I’m sure you can too.

 

I was talking to a client the other day and he mentioned that he’d been following a certain marketer who swore up and down that guest blogging was THE marketing tool of the century. In fact, the client went so far as to say that his guru had told him not to worry about SEO. After all, SEO is hard work and takes too long. So you should hang your hat on guest blogging, right?

My jaw dropped.

I have nothing against guest blogging. It’s a good way to draw additional attention to your own blog and website, drive new traffic, and even perform some extra search engine optimization. What caused my draw to job was two things.

  1. I can’t believe an Internet marketer (a successful one at that) would say that you shouldn’t worry about SEO;
  2. and I’m a bit befuddled that a successful marketer would suggest that it is wise to hang one’s hat on one single marketing technique.

Why Wouldn’t You Consider SEO?

On the SEO question, considering that SEO takes up no more time than writing content itself takes, why not consider it? I mean, you’re writing content anyway. So why not SEO it? You get all the benefits with none of the drawbacks.

SEO does take time. There’s no doubt about that. You have to give it time to work. But don’t throw it out. The search engines are still the biggest driver of traffic online, so I say think about search engine optimization.

Diversify Your Marketing

I would never rely on just one method of marketing, no matter what that method is. If it’s guest blogging, it should be in addition to everything else. If it’s SEO, it should be a primary marketing concern, but not your only marketing concern.

A sure way to kill your online marketing is to base it only one marketing concept. Don’t do that. Diversify.

Popular social media website Pinterest has captured a lot of attention from people all over the web by allowing users to “pin” images on their pinboards. It’s popular because of its graphic nature and the simplicity in design. But it’s also been good for traffic for a lot of websites, which is why the site has continued to grow.

Recently, however,  Pinterest entered into a partnership with YouTube that allows users to pin videos on their pinboards.

This will only serve to make the site even more popular. If you thought that pinning images was fun and exciting, then wait until you see your friends’ videos. You can see the popularity of videos as people share them on Facebook and Google+. Now, you can see your friends post them to Pinterest – and you can as well.

I’m curious to know. Do you use Pinterest? If so, do you post videos to your pinboard? How often do you use Pinterest? And have you seen an increase to your website’s traffic since you started?

It’s just a matter of time, I think, before Pinterest positions itself as one of the top 5 most popular social media sites. So far, it’s Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn. When do you think Pinterest will move up into the top 5 and who will it knock out?

If you want a solid SEO plan for building back links to your website and taking over the SERPs within your niche, here’s a little secret: Try Squidoo, Facebook, and YouTube.

No, seriously.

Let’s discuss this one-third of the triad at a time:

YouTube

Let’s start with YouTube. Set up a YouTube channel using your primary keyword in the channel’s title. Then start producing videos. Make them short videos and give each video a unique title that uses the keyword you want to target in the search engines. Post them as often as you can. Post to YouTube at least once a week. Every day is better.

Squidoo

Build a Squidoo Lens around your keyword. Again, title your Squidoo Lens using the keyword you are targeting. Build great content around that keyword using a variety of modules. Include some of your YouTube videos.

Facebook

Build a Facebook fan page. Again, make sure your keyword is in the title of your fan page. Post your YouTube videos to your fan page. Link to your Squidoo Lens on your Facebook fan page. And link to your Facebook fan page from your Squidoo Lens. Your triad should be completely linked together.

Your Triad Should Rule

If you do this correctly, you should see yourself rising in the SERPs and taking them over. You can move your website to the top of the SERPs by linking to it from each of your triad accounts. Get aggressive, but be smart.

Compelling content gets a lot more traction than generic content. Just ask anyone who has converted from generic to name brand content – what is really “unique” and “original” content. Your content.

The big question for most online content providers today is, How do you make your content more compelling? It’s a good question and one that deserves an answer. Here are three ways Reciprocal Consulting has identified to make your online content more compelling.

  1. Address the deepest needs of your audience – Find out what your audience needs and wants the most, then give it to them. That might require some research. There’s nothing wrong with a little competitive intelligence to see what the marketplace needs as long as you follow that up with a dynamite plan.
  2. Be different – In other words, discover your Unique Selling Proposition. What sets you apart from your competition? Find that out and exploit it.
  3. Drive hard and fast to the COA – COA stands for Call to Action. Your readers won’t respond to you if you don’t ask them to. Write great content and end it with a strong call to action. Get your readers to respond to you by ending your content with a link, a buy now button, or anything that requires that they take action. Make it enticing.

Your online content must stand out from the pack or it will go unnoticed. Be compelling, be strong, be engaging.

 

A few days ago we discussed tablets and how they’ve grown into one huge market on their own. Well, a new study confirms that finding and enhances it.

Tablet users now make up 31% of the market. That’s huge penetration and phenomenal growth since last year. What’s more, they are huge content consumers.

In fact, tablet users will pay for content and they will respond favorably to ads within that content. That might be a first.

How The Tablet Could Revolutionize Video Content

As previously mentioned, tablet owners can do all sorts of things on their devices including:

  • Read blogs, magazines, and newspapers,
  • Browse the web
  • Read e-books
  • Watch videos
  • Listen to the radio
  • Download apps
  • Play games

But what are they doing the most? Accessing content and watching videos.

94% of tablet users access content through their tablet weekly while 54% watch videos. When it comes to watching videos, the most popular types of videos accessed are short-form news and entertainment (92%). After that, it’s user generated content such as what you’d find on YouTube (64%).

So does this spell opportunity for video content producers? You bet it does. In fact, it spells sterling opportunity.

With tablet usage expected to grow beyond the current numbers, you could consider this moment in history an awesome opportunity for content creators of all kinds. If you are a content producer and you want to know where to capitalize next, consider the tablet. It’s got open arms.

One thing I’ve often wished that Google’s keyword research tool could do better was produce local keywords for better geo-targeting. While this is a weakness of Google’s tool, I’ve found another keyword research tool that specifically is useful for geo-targeting. It’s called Local Keyword Research Tool.

At first glance, the keyword tool should come in handy. You enter your ZIP code and a radius up to 100 miles (it is currently only useful in the U.S. and Canada). If you want to focus your efforts on a state-wide or regional geo-targeting campaign, then you can leave ZIP code and radius blank. That’s a nice feature.

Next, you’ll see check boxes with the following options:

  • Include Cities in Results
  • Include Cities + State Abbreviations in Results
  • Include Cities + State Names in Results
  • Include Zip Codes in Results
  • Include `Location Keyword` & `Keyword Location` in Results
  • Include all State Names in Locations
  • Include all State Abbreviations in Locations

Here’s my biggest beef with keyword research tools in general and this keyword research tool specifically. Why do you need “location keyword” and “keyword location” in your list? Organically, there’s very little difference. Technically, yes. But the spam effect of people who use keywords that way is tragic. Many of the permutations you receive through that kind of keyword generation are senseless. If you use that tool, then you’ll have to go through your keyword list manually and scratch out the gobbledy-gook. I’d like to see separate check boxes for those two options so you can choose one or the other, or neither.

After that you have a text box where you can enter your keywords one per line. I’d be careful with adding too many keywords. I’d suggest using maybe 5 or 10 and exporting the CSV file for each one. After all of your CSV files have been downloaded, then you can consolidate them.

The advance filtering options are stellar. You can delete cities you don’t want to target, remove ZIP codes, and add additional locations and/or permutations of your keywords. Another useful feature is the Reporting Options feature, which allows you to add wrapping, prefixes, and suffixes to your keywords list.

All in all, I’d say the Local Keyword Research Tool is a useful tool for the local SEO or the Internet marketer who targets local geo-targeted markets.

If you use Facebook to post messages about your business, you might be interested to know that you can schedule them in advance. This is a relatively recent addition to Facebook, so not everyone knows about it. It is particularly useful to businesses, however.

Here’s what you do:

  • Login to your Facebook account
  • Switch over to using Facebook as your business page
  • At the bottom of your Status post you’ll see a small link labeled “Add year.” Click on that.
  • Choose the year. If you want to post your message to a specific time in the past, choose a year. Otherwise, choose the current year.
  • After you choose the year you want your post to appear, you’ll see another dropdown box for the month. Choose your month.
  • Another dropdown box will appear for the day of the month. Choose the date you want your post to be scheduled for.
  • You’ll see a dropdown box for the time of the day. Select the time of the day you want your post to appear.
  • Create your post and click Schedule

It’s fairly simple, but this Facebook feature allows you to create posts for the future as you get the information. It’s a great time management tool. So, for instance, if you are having a seminar and you’d like to promote your seminar a couple of times a day in advance, then you can create your seminar promotion posts in Facebook all the way up to the day of the event. Then you don’t have to think about it again.

I like this Facebook feature. How about you?

According to one projection, there will be 133.5 million tablet users by 2015. There are 69.6 million now.

Just in case you haven’t figured that out, that’s more than 100% growth in three years. That sounds like a market, doesn’t it?

So how can you tap into the tablet market and get your products and services in front of them? Well, let’s take a look at some of the things you can do with a tablet:

  • Browse the Web
  • Watch videos
  • Read e-books
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Download apps

Pretty much anything you can do with a PC you can also do with a tablet. But the difference is that tablet owners can do it from anywhere in the world. Kind of like cell phone users. A tablet is like a handheld computer.

So what marketing methods can you use to reach tablet owners? Let’s take a look:

  • Article marketing
  • Blogs and website design
  • PPC
  • Social media
  • Videos
  • E-books
  • Apps

Again, pretty much any way that you can market to a person on a PC or a laptop computer can also be used to market to tablet owners.

That might sound like “no change” to you, but not really. Keep in mind that most people who log on to these devices today do so from the comfort of their homes. They are PC users. When they leave the house they are off line. Their tablet keeps them connected even while they are away. They’ll still be able to check their e-mail, their Facebook, their Twitter, and search using Google.

So, your market is expanding. Go after it.

Both Google and Bing have a product called Trends. It seems like a search engine-y thing to do. But these services really just convey information about what searches are popular right now. They measure what people are searching for on the respective search engine for the moment. If you’re signed into your Google+ account, then you can see that information for Google+.

Until now, Twitter has been showing users what topics are trending, but those topics may or may not have any particular interest for you. They’ve been fairly generic.

Recently, however, Twitter has announced that it will soon be rolling out a “tailored trends” service. Sounds unique doesn’t it?

Actually, it is. Twitter is saying that users will be able to select the trends they see based on their own location and who they are following. In other words, if you follow a lot of celebrities, then you’ll be able to see trending topics related to celebrities. If you are in the U.S., then the trending topics you see will be related to the geographic area in which you live.

This could actually be a useful service. It certainly will be unique. But will it be enough to make Twitter competitive?

What do you think? Can Twitter compete with Google+ and Facebook or is it a social media has-been trying to be relevant again?

It’s pretty well established by now that long tail keyword phrases have value in and of themselves. But what constitutes the long tail?

Generally, the long tail is defined by those keywords that are less competitive than the broad search term. For instance, “website design” would be considered a broad search term. As of this writing, there are 1.79 billion results in Google for that search phrase. But we can narrow the search field by narrowing the scope of our search. Let’s try “website design for churches.” Barely more than 5 million search results.

OK, so now let’s put our keyword phrase in quotes and search. Just 11,200 results for the exact search phrase “website design for churches.” There’s your long tail.

What Long Tail Keywords Can Do For Your Business

If you were to target that keyword phrase, you wouldn’t get a lot of traffic. But if you do website design for churches, then it’s a targeted keyword phrase that would be easier to exploit for traffic purposes and you stand a much better chance at getting on page 1 for your search engine optimization efforts.

The long tail represents opportunities for you to capitalize on less often search terms that could still be profitable for your business. Think about this hypothetical-but-realistic scenario:

  • The most popular search phrase in your industry delivers 10,000 unique website visitors to the website in the No. 1 position in Google. It’s not you. In fact, as a new business, you are down somewhere on page 100 of the search results. You get no traffic from that phrase.
  • One long tail keyword phrase delivers 50 unique website visitors to the website in the No. 1 position in Google for that phrase. You’re No. 3 and get 10 uniques a month from that phrase.
  • You target 100 long tail keyword phrases and get an average of 25 unique visitors each month from those keyword phrases – a total of 2,500 unique visitors.

Let’s stop there. With 100 long tail keyword phrases you are able to capture 2,500 very well targeted website visitors each month, and let’s say you convert 10% of them into sales. That’s 250 new customers per month. If your average sale is $30, that represents an income of $7,500 per month. Would you rather have that or 0% of 10,000?

Long tail keywords are great opportunities for new businesses online. In time, you can turn long tail keywords into broad search income. But it takes time. Be patient.

Evergreen content is content that never goes out of date. In other words, the information remains the same over time. The information that is available on a particular topic will be the same information next year, five years from now, and thirty years from now.

It’s evergreen.

So what steps should you take to create content that will be useful to people no matter when they search for it?

For starters, start thinking about what type of information related to your business remains static. For instance, if you are in the car repair business, you’d say changing a car tire. No matter what kind of car it is, what model or make, or how old the car is, how someone would change a tire is pretty much the same. Some tires have four lug nuts and others have five, but the process doesn’t change. So you could add a page to your website about how to change a car tire and make that content evergreen.

After you’ve come up with a list of topics, order your topics by which ones you think would be most popular. Do some research if you have to. You can find out how many searches a particular keyword produces each month on Google by using their free keyword research tool.

By the way, while performing the above step, be sure to research which keywords are most searched for related to each of your topics.

After you’ve done your keyword research, write an article on the most popular keyword that people search for related to your business. Optimize it for web traffic, build some links to it, promote it through social media and watch the traffic flock to your page to learn from your evergreen content.

Usually, when Google makes a change to its search algorithm, particularly a huge change, SEOs start debating strategy. Google recently announced three new ways it is looking at page title tags. And now the debate begins.

Mike Blumenthal has some thoughts on what this means. For the most part, I agree, particularly this sentence:

Takeaway: Google is pretty much gonna do whatever the heck it wants with your title tag.

Of course that has always been the case, but until recently I’d say Google didn’t change too many title tags just because. In fact, they kept title tags intact even if they were too long and that led to lower click through rates for a lot of web pages. But Google’s primary interest has always been what is best for the searcher.

In terms of title tags, I’d say you still need to optimize for a particular keyword despite the observation that your web page could rank for a variation of it that is not in the title tag.

I’d also recommend keeping them short. Go with 60 characters or less to be safe. We’ve always said that at Reciprocal Consulting.

You don’t have to put your keyword at the beginning of the title tag. I don’t think you ever really did. It might have helped in 2006 to have your primary keyword lead the page title, but only for SEO reasons. Today, that SEO value has diminished and you should still think of your human readers, who are going to want a title tag that sparks their interests.

What happens if you link out to a website that is irrelevant to your topic? Will Google penalize you for posting irrelevant links? Will it hurt you or help you? What do you think will happen?

Is there even an SEO benefit to outbound links?

Let’s start with the last question. Yes, you can benefit from out links.

That’s contrary to what most SEOs will tell you. They’ll say you want all inbound links and that outbound links will kill your SEO. It’s not true. Links serve one useful purpose to search engines – to let them know what a page is about. If you create an outbound link with the right anchor text and within the context of your on-page content, Google will understand what the other page is about before it gets there. So what?

You might be writing about dog biscuits and you compare them to nutritional human food. So you link out to your favorite energy bar website. That has nothing to do with dog biscuits, right? Right. But Google doesn’t care.

SEOs like to spend all their time worrying about relevant links. Sure, relevant links might produce a greater benefit in terms of link relevance than irrelevant links, but I’ve seen a lot of irrelevant links count and pass solid link juice. It happens. And the reason it happens is because those links are natural.

Quite trying to appear like you are linking naturally and actually do it.