Spring Forward with Your SEO Efforts

spring forwardDaylight saving time – today marks change! Leaping forward one hour brings a sense of freshness that can revitalize your SEO goals and overall strategies for online marketing. As we transition from winter into spring, your business should also embrace this seasonal change and keep moving forward to see how you can improve.

Here are a few resources to inspire you:

For Spring cleaning: Google released 40 search quality highlights. Even though these rolled out late-February, they’re important because the changes are still being seen now, for better or for worse. You can use this list like a check list and take care of the ones relevant to your business.

Schema.org and video marketing: Although it can be time consuming, this code is easy to implement and highly effective. So effective that Google is actually recommending it. So, what are you waiting for?

Re-educating yourself about WordPress and other CMS: This article explains why a Theme could actually your your SEO. As with using any template, you have to make sure that a tag like rel=canonical or duplicate meta information is being applied the same way to every page. Image if the nofollow tag was accidentally applied all over your site without you knowing!

Find out why the iPad will transform web design: This means that you can expect higher quality, faster-loading websites with clean designs and crisp graphics. This means that you (or your designers) will have to work even harder to achieve the desired results!

So, enough about work… don’t forget that this springtime season of change also comes down to your personal life. Don’t forget to stop and enjoy time by yourself and your loved ones. As for me, I’m already looking to warmer weather and more daylight! What are you looking forward to?

Analyzing B2B Marketing Trends

b2b 2012 benchmark findings

There’s been so much interesting analysis and insight in the marketing world that we’ll keep it rolling with some more white paper findings! Today, we’ll take a look at SEO through the B2B lense in MarketingSherpa’s 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report.

Take a look at this graph, as it shows the average allocation of marketing budgets for B2B companies. From these results, we can assume that a higher allocation means a higher perceived result. As you can see, a majority of the B2B respondents invested resources into promoting their business through trade shows. The investment in tradeshows grew from 2010 from 7th most popular to 4th. As an example in the SEO industry, you can see this in marketing summits such as Online Marketing Summit, Search Engine Strategies, BlogWorld and more. At these events, you’ll find many business with booths or keynotes. Of course, the underlying purpose is to promote their own business, while helping those in need of it. Time will tell how successful this tactic is.

On a scarier but realistic note – from 2010 to 2011, B2B marketers felt like the effectiveness of online marketing drastically fell. The top contenders that were losing out on effectiveness include web design/optimization, SEO and email marketing.  A more detailed look at these findings can be found on page 3 of the free marketing report. Some reasons for this decrease in confidence include: economic hardships, fluctuating marketing goals, and the online environment (Panda updates, more competition, etc.)

Some more interesting findings are that 62% of B2B marketers feel like they don’t have enough resources for staffing, budgeting, or managing time. Some other obstacles include lead generation as a high priority and a big challenge. The next biggest priority and challenge is how to convert qualified leads into paying customers. If you’re in the B2B marketing industry, this might not be such new news to you. But seeing these responses put together in a quantified report should make you think about your tactics and strategies for 2012 a bit differently.

The Truth about False SEO Claims

SEO is a powerful tool but that means that there’s a good and bad to it. The search marketing industry is often seen as untrustworthy or spammy because of claims like these. Let’s take a look at two typical claims and see what they really mean:

  • Claim #1: We guarantee your business a #1 ranking in search engine results!
  • Reality: If anyone approaches you with this claim, it’s time to think twice. Make it thrice. What are the keywords, who is searching and how much search volume do they expect? If these questions can’t be answered, it’s time to move on.
  • Additionally: Being #1 doesn’t mean that sales will come pouring in. Is your site well-organized and user-friendly? With the click of the mouse, you’ll be out of sight and out of mind. A #1 ranking means nothing if you can’t meet your customers’ needs.
  • Claim #2: Pay per click ads are expensive and social media is a waste of time. SEO can replace your entire online marketing efforts!
  • Reality: SEO tactics and content can create valuable assets in the long-term. But no matter how you spin it, there are some things that it just can’t do. PPC can help you expand your reach of customers and narrow down your target audience. Social media can help engage customers and create brand buzz.
  • Additionally: It’s difficult to think of a successful business in terms of just one of these marketing strategies. While I like to think of SEO as a starting point of your online marketing campaign, there is room to expand. When you’re successful with SEO, it makes it easier and more effective for other measures, such as PPC and social media, to follow.

Do you have any other SEO claims or myths you’d like to bust?

The 5 P’s that Power Twitter

Emarketed Twitter social media marketing

Looking for some powerful ways to amp up your Twitter or social media campaign? There are many things to consider, so let’s focus on some P words that can help you on your way:

1) Participation – If you’re on Twitter (or any social site for that matter) you can’t expect success without participation. Communication consists of listening and responding, so don’t expect it just to be a one way street.

2) Packed – There’s nothing more inefficient than an inactive Twitter account. You can’t just sit back and expect things to happen. Your Tweets need to be packed with information, resources and tools. Sounds boring? Not really, this translates to: articles, blogs, infographics, etc. People are always looking and sharing helpful things.

3) Persistence
– Depending on your industry/business and the time you put into your Twitter account, it could be taking off slower than you expected. In the end, don’t give up. It pays off to be persistent and it can start with something as small as researching your competitors’ tactics.

4) Pleasant
– Real life is depressing as it is. No one likes a sad sack or creep on Twitter! Be personable and show that you’re a real person. Share something interesting you did over the weekend or a short anecdote.

5) Promotion
– This could be the most difficult P to tackle because it could backfire easily. What’s easier: promoting a new TV show or asking people to vote for a certain candidate? It all depends, so use this P sparingly. But then again, promoting doesn’t just have to relate to yourself. You can tweet about your favorite blogger or share a service that you’re happy about. Who knows, they might even reply or reciprocate. For example, the Salvation Army tweeted us some thanks after this post, which is pretty cool!

Hopefully, these tips will help for more than just your Twitter strategy. What about your blog or email campaigns? Feel free to share other P words!