Search Marketing Events to Look Forward to

WhatSearch Marketing Expo – SMX West (San Jose)
Highlights – Whether you’re a beginner or expert, this expo is perfect for you. It will feature 50 sessions on SEO, PPC, social media marketing, local/mobile search, landing page conversions and much more.
When – March 11-13, 2013

WhatSouth by Southwest
Highlights – Although this is typically known as a huge music and entertainment event, this has changed in the past few years. This year’s schedule includes: “Awe-Inspiring Web Typography You Can Do Now”, “How to Rank Better in Google & Bing”, “The Learn to Code Movement” and more.
When – March 8-17, 2013

WhatPubCon New Orleans 2013
Highlights – Located in the Big Easy this year’s con will feature “top speakers, cutting-edge sessions, and social media nightlife, featuring a vast variety of tracks and strong lineup of major industry exhibitors.”
When – April 22 – 25, 2013

WhatBlueGlass X in Los Angeles
Highlights – This very limited engagement of only 175 attendees will include speakers like: Andrew Shotland, Brian Clark, Ian Lurie, Neil Patel, and Joanna Lord… to name a few!
When – May 21 – 22, 2013


What - The Internship
Highlights - Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson star as two unemployed salesmen who are able to score a coveted internship at Google.
When - June 7, 2013

What - Content Marketing World 2013
Highlights - Speakers include: Jonathan Mildenhall (VP, Global Advertising Strategy and Content Excellence at The Coca-Cola Company) and Jay Baer.
When - September 9 – 12, 2013

What - Conversion Conference Boston 2013
Highlights – 2 whole days focused on website optimization, digital marketing and analytics, with sessions on: website usability and design conversion across different platforms and more.
When - September 30 – October 1, 2013

What search marketing related events are you attending or looking forward to this year?

Waiting Around for Panda 3.9?

Have you seen any fluctuations in your search results lately? There’s some speculation that another Google Panda update has hit or that’s coming very soon. The last confirmed refresh was on June 28 and it’s not unusual for updates to occur within as little as 2 weeks from the previous one.

It’s important to keep an eye on: website traffic, impressions, calls, and even number of contact forms received. Looking at trends will help you diagnose the problem if something has gone terribly wrong. For example, a website with a weak backlink profile can go from 1st page rankings and tank to 10th + page after an algorithm update. Without regularly monitoring your website, it would be difficult to tell until it’s too late. Summer months tend to be slower (depending on your industry), so it can also be a seasonal factor and not a Google update. Nowadays, people are too quick to jump the gun and blame everything on Google when there is a bigger picture.

Prevention is the key to being flagged by Panda or Penguin updates. But what about the paranoia that your site could be penalized? Some website owners admit to making SEO content updates so frequently that they can’t tell if the results they get are from their own handy work or from Google updates. In fact, that’s the last thing you want to do – make random changes, change loads of anchor text, add or remove tons of links. This isn’t helpful if the end result is good or bad if you don’t know what lead you there.

“Slow and steady wins the race”. In this case, it could pay off to wait and see what changes need to be made and how to recover instead of digging yourself into a deeper hole. Even if it’s out of fear of being nabbed by Google’s updates, it will help if you constantly monitor your website and make additions that will help it become more effective and user friendly.

What Highlander Can Teach You About Online Marketing

By some inexplicable feat, Highlander has become a cult classic. The 1986 has been deemed a “confusing movie that makes no sense” by some and “a top 10 fantasy film” by others. Regardless of your opinion, there are important things this film can teach you about online organic marketing. Let’s take a look:

“There can only be one” – This catch phrase is repeated throughout the movie, especially when one “immortal” is about to be killed. This memorable quote has stuck by the movie for over 25 years. Now, that’s branding! Take this into account with your own brand message or mission statement. It’s important that this message accurately represents your business and is something that you can relate to for years to come. And remember, some of the most famous taglines are the most simple.

Attract attention in the right ways – What makes sense about having a Frenchman (Christopher Lambert) playing a Scottish warrior? Or having a Scottish man (Sean Connery) play a Spaniard? These bizarre casting choices brought Highlander attention, which has earned its place in cinematic history. If the internet and memes existed back then, you bet that bloggers would be all over this film! Attracting attention is important and sometimes, it doesn’t entirely make sense. Viral videos, anyone? The point is, these precise choices were made to raise awareness and interest in the film.

Re-work and re-write for remakes – Audiences love remakes and reboots, so it only makes sense that Highlander is slated to be restarted with Ryan Reynolds. What better way to get the public interested in an old franchise than with a handsome, young star? If you apply this strategy to your content, it only makes sense. It can be difficult to decide whether to trash a page that doesn’t rank well or to try and fix it by re-working it. As we know the value of older domains, it’s helpful to keep strong, SEO-friendly URLs whenever possible. Instead of starting over completely, you can use the page/topic as a starting point to come up with something newer and more relevant to your customers.

Sometimes, we can find inspiration in the strangest places. Let us know what you think about Highlander and all things internet marketing!

While You Were Busy Complaining That SEO Is Dead…

Will marketing firms be gone before we know it? HOLD ON. Before you go on about how “SEO is dead”, here are 3 aspects of internet marketing that you should really be focused on:

Local CitationsGetlisted.org recently posted a tool showing the best citation sources by city. Interesting how this stuff all works! Besides the major ones, you’d better be familiar with: Manta, Citysearch, Superpages, and the LA Times if your business is in or near Los Angeles. Other credible citation sources include Dex Knows and Augusta.com. If you don’t think these sites are important, it’s time to seriously reconsider as Google takes signals from these major sites and takes them into account when ranking.

Social Signals – As SEO is no longer about “pleasing” search engines, SEO content has to be aimed at helping people. In fact, this has been the primary goal of search marketing for a long while now.  But it’s not just about coming up with useful content, which is why viral campaigns, infographics and video are being lauded for their share ability. The easier content can be shared, the more your business can benefit from social sites.

SEO Growth – The bottom line is that SEO is growing and becoming more integrated with other marketing strategies. Check out this infographic by Blue Caribu which shows that:
– There are roughly 863 million Google results for SEO, while social media has about 385 million.
– 2.24 million Americans search for SEO every month.
– Every second, 3.5 people look up SEO on Google.

If you aren’t entirely convinced, don’t look at it as if SEO is a dying breed (which it isn’t)… but as a segment of marketing that is ready to transform.

Quick… Think Links!

link buildingGoogle algorithm updates are currently putting links in the hot spot, but there is good reason to always be thinking about them instead of just sometimes. In the world of SEO, link building is becoming more complex and can’t just be an automated after thought. That is, unless you want to get nailed by the reoccurring Panda and Penguin updates!

Theories about link building can be confusing and it’s hard to keep up with current and outdated strategies. Here’s a quick refresher on 4 common linking topics:

Diversity as a Goal: Automated link submissions are seen as spammy because you can easily create hundreds of the same links. Not only is this not helpful for user experience, but it also makes your link profile look suspicious. Manual link building is encouraged because you can achieve a diverse portfolio of links. But here’s where the “catch” comes in, as Google is cracking down and devaluing or even penalizing links that look unnatural in their eyes.

What’s Your Anchor Text?: Exact match anchor text is also being devalued because it’s not natural to gather a lot of those links. Relying on these types of links can quickly get you penalized for over optimization. Instead, it’s natural and more likely to have partial match keywords as well as a good percentage of anchor text such as: your company name, your site’s URL, and generic words like “home and “click here”. These linking practices are undesirable from an SEO standpoint, but it’s still good nowadays to have a few thrown into the mix.

Don’t Forget About Images: Whether you want to call it hesitation, paranoia or even fear over anchor text, you can integrate the use of linking images. This is a good time to think outside of the box and broaden your SEO assets so that you’re not just counting on text links. Check out this article on Pinterest optimization that is also extremely helpful for optimizing pictures in general.

Deep Links: Here we go again – always linking to your home page might sound like the best and most convenient strategy, but it’s really just a bad habit. As we all know, bad habits are hard to break. Depending on your anchor text, you’ll want that link to point to the specific page of content on your site The goal is to connect your inside pages together and show that the related pages are relevant. This can help improving indexing of new pages and increase click through rates.

Using effective online organic strategies to create links is so important because they are what is pointing back to your website. A diverse and reliable link profile will strengthen your web site’s reputation, while sporadic and shoddy links create a weak foundation. This is why negative SEO is such a scary thought because bad links can literally destroy your visibility in search engine results. Do you have any other thoughts on link building?