Do you need SEO or a copywriter?...

So I’m still considering what the biggest news of the year is on the Marketing front (specifically, tactics). Boldly claiming the death of SEO, I have to admit it’s more of a “SEO is Dead, Long Live SEO”. The game is changing from cheap tricks over to master copywriting and this requires a different set of people with different talents. It’s amazing when I talk to people who are trying to make headway in search results and they don’t even realize that their keyword density is zero. Kind of hard to rank for a term that’s not even on your site… A lot of this also leads into another theory I am working on about how the best products really require very little marketing as they tend to spread rapidly on their own. You could argue that the best Martketeers are those who are successfully selling products that are excruciatingly boring commodities. Sometimes the marketeer can be the completely uncoordinated kid and still end up on the World Champion Little League team. Sometimes they can lead the team there. I’m not really sure where I’m going with this besides trying to rationalize why I haven’t retired already after some viral campaign that I made go...

Still off the grid

Home inspection tomorrow so things are still moving. Some quick things you may be interested in: Google is cracking down on search arbitrage I was unable to hit the WebInno event yesterday so I’m looking for a good writeup on what I missed. Some rumors about Google acquiring Salesforce.com but I think those are just rumors. A new Marketing Over Coffee will be out...

Advanced Kung-Fu Blog Techniques...

Eric Schwartzman, Sam Whitmore and Jason Calacanis Jason Calacanis delivered a great lunch keynote today. I enjoy the mix of straight talk mixed and the understanding of showmanship. I had a brain buster today when everything snapped into focus – he mentioned that you should keep watching his blog for something big regarding the death of SEO. If you read his stuff there’s been a ongoing thread about SEO being legitimate business or just another shady tactic like junk bond arbitrage and tax evasion. So perhaps something big is coming and guess who’s had a corner on the best SEO chatter (Google juice anyone?) for the past 3...

The Latest M Show and Super SEO Juice...

Get your latest dose of 10 minutes of News, Talk, and Entertainment in the Audio Form from the newest episode of The M Show, the Best Business Podcast. In other good news David Meerman Scott’s new book is coming out, here’s the all-star list of new media folks that he’s thanked. Plenty of great reading in this list: Robert Scoble Scobleizer Adele Revella Buyer Persona Blog Joe Wikert Publishing 2020 blog Steve Johnson David McInnis Mark Levy David Hamm Mike Levin Colin Delaney epolitics Steve Goldstein Alacrablog Todd Van Hoosear George L Smyth Eclectic Mix Mark Effinger Michelle Manafy EContent magazine Kevin Rose Diggnation Grub Street Writers Dave Armon Britton Manasco Jordan Behan Nettie Hartsock John Havens John Blossom ContentBlogger Larry Schwartz Newstex Steve Smith Melanie Surplice Nate Wilcox Ian Wilker Cody Baker Dianna Huff Brian Carroll Ken Doctor Jonathan Kranz Barry Graubart Steve O’Keefe Ted Demopoulos Debbie Weil Paul Gillin Matt Lohman Seth Godin Rob O’ Regan Steve Rubel Micro Persuasion Paul Gillin Joan Stewart The Publicity Hound Glenn Nicholas Small Business Inspiration Mac MacIntosh The B2B Sales Lead Expert Jill Konrath Selling to Big Companies Guy Kawasaki How to Change the World Court Bovée and John Thill Business Communication Headline News Grant D. Griffiths Kansas Family Law Blog Robin Crumby The Melcrum Blog Jim Peake My Success Gateway Eli Singer Refreshing the Daily Grind Duane Brown Imagination+Innovation Scott Monty The Social Media Marketing Blog Ian Lamont Blog Campaigning Rich at Copywrite Ink John Lustina SEO Speedwagon Adam Tinworth OneMan+HisBlog Scott Clark Finding the Sweet Spot Amanda Chapel Strumpette Jennifer Veitenheimer reinventjen Morty Schiller Wordrider Matthias Hoffmann the power of news Erin Caldwell’s PRblog Ferrell Kramer Talking Communications Anita Campbell Selling to Small Businesses Rugjeff Karl Ribas’ Search Engine Marketing Blog Tony D....

Getting Started With Google AdWords...

I had a question come in today about some best practices for Google Adwords so here’s some basics that I follow, I’d be interested in anything that people have to add. For those who have no knowledge of this you should swing over to the official google adwords blog and check out their learning center. For selecting keywords start with the logs for the client’s website, you should have a nice assortment of keyphrases there to begin working with. The key is to have as many variations as possible, without any duplicates. In all of my testing google gets angry at duplicates and leaves you out in the dust. The real gold lies is phrases of 3 words or more, you should be able to get these at much cheaper prices than single or two word phrases. Don’t be afraid to go 6 words or more, the more specific and relevant you get, the better your odds at highly qualified traffic at very low prices. Adwords has its own keyword generator to help you find related phrases. You should leverage that. There are some other paid services I’ve used but keep in mind that the algorithms used by google’s keyword generator are probably very close to the same logic used in the engine. Or to put it a better way – all other keyword generators want you to pay for the service they provide, google is giving you the service so you will do more business with them – who’s got the inside track? I think this will be one of the critical value-adds you can give to your client. You should even interview the client’s customers to try and get the language as accurate as possible. You have 2 options – spend 100...

Pay Per Click vs Pay Per Action...

Will Herman sent in a comment on my post bemoaning the end of the pay per click advertising (PPC) gold rush and asked if Pay per Action will replace Pay per Click. There’s been a lot of hype in the past couple of weeks and Google recently moved in that direction by allowing PPC in their content network as opposed to pay per thousand impressions (CPM). My thoughts here are still evolving, but here’s the best I have so far: Good question… my only answer so far is… maybe. It’s getting more complex across the board. On one hand you have the advertiser that would love pay-per-action, and on the other side the media property that would prefer to get paid per thousand impressions and leave the risk of ads being relevant or not to the advertiser. Clicks have been a happy medium, with click fraud only being a minor concern. Paying for conversion shifts more of the risk to the media property – if my advertisers have terrible landing pages I’m not going to get anything – worse yet, they get the impact of their brand on my page for free. These types of affiliate deals are fairly common already, but because of the “free rider” branding most pubs have been very picky about who they will allow to ride side-by-side with their brand. Most of the current deals like the one described above is a variation though – the affiliate is doing the advertising on behalf of the brand that is selling and the affiliate gets paid when they bring in deals – basically outsourcing a portion of the marketing function. I guess you could say the with a google pay-per-action campaign the marketing is now coming through the source rather than...

Paid Search=3 second spot...

I reached a tipping point with a number of paid search campaigns over the past month. More than one client has thrown in the towel at click prices that have increased 100x in the past year. This made me think more about relevancy – the old model was to cover as many keywords as possible. The new price points make that no longer feasible. At 5 cents a click you can deal with a 1% conversion rate. At $5 a click your expense has gone from $5 to $500 per lead (and that’s assuming a 1% conversion rate, which is well targeted, all those marginal ones down at 0.5% are now edging into $1000). Unless you are selling medical devices or airplanes it’s time to start looking at blogs, vertical publications, or just about anything else. So does this mean that paid search has hit it’s peak? Unless newer customers come in with a higher threshold for pain than mine, there’s no more money to...

IT’S ALIVE! and Google too....

After literally months of struggling we finally managed to get the SalesForce.com / Google integration going. I’m definitely geeking out, but how cool is it to look at a closed deal and say “one year ago you searched for this specific term, we paid $2.75 for that click and it turned into a 6-figure deal”. Lots of cool stuff, now all we need is for some data to pile up. In other Google news I was invited to take part in a beta for cost per click (CPC) ads in the content network. Up until now you could only pay cost per click for Google search results, not their affiliate sites. There’s also supposed to be some way to choose which sites in the content network you want to be featured on. I couldn’t find these features, but it’s not the first time I’ve been unable to find stuff in Adwords (and I’m not alone). And finally, I’ll be rolling some site upgrades out in the next 24...

SEO is Dead

Last week I had heard some rumblings about Google continuing to use individual search history to influence results. There are differing opinions on this but I am all for it. If, after months of searching, Google realizes that I can’t speak spanish, then it would be great if I never had to see any results in spanish. But this begs the question: What will SEO vendors do when there are no consistent results? At first I thought they would become some sort of modified copywriters, a few best practices, but mainly focused on writing quality content. Now I’m thinking it may even go beyond that – who’s willing to tie conversion results to the work they...

SEO is Dead

Bryper threw a question to the CAPOW group about Google serving up different search results pages depending on whether or not a use is logged in. Is this a problem for companies that you pay to get you to score well in Google? I had a related discussion at the MIT event last week – I’ve heard from many people that are using Search Engine Optimization services that it is common to plateau – you get the advantage of all the tricks the vendor has but then that’s it, you move no further. I’ve even heard of others who have ridden this curve two or three times. Another thing that concerns me is that as search algorithms continue to get more sophisticated (such as identifying common phrases as opposed to indivdual words), copy writing is now more critical than ever – and something you can’t farm out to an agency who is unable to write about your business in its own language. I’m willing to ride the plateau as long as possible but I have the feeling that the days of easy money as an SEO specialist may be fading into the horizon. Just like all the web designers of the bubble, or the day-traders of the early 90’s, the day of reckoning is on its...