Friday, July 31, 2009

Video In Press Release

With more and more people watching videos, think about including video’s into your press release. According to a new study that was published by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, “the share of online adults who watch videos on video-sharing sites has nearly doubled since 2006. Fully 62% of adult internet users have watched video on these sites, up from just 33% who reported this in December 2006.” Many press release service allow you to embed the video into the release. You can upload the video file itself or embed a link from a YouTube channel. With today’s press releases, you should be offering your reader the news they want, how they want to read or watch it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Lawsuit for an Opinionated Tweet

Recently, a Chicago based realty group sued a Twitter user for $50,000 for a single tweet, a tweet about her opinion about their apartments. Now to me, I think this kind of action is pretty serious yet the Twitter user, @abonnen (who’s account is no longer up) only had 20 followers. The message probably didn’t go too far. With this whole lawsuit emerging, the company now has an even more damaging reputation – being a company who are a “sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization. (as quoted by Jeffrey Michael from Horizon Realty Group in the Chicago Sun Times)

The tweet read as follows –

This whole situation had gotten me thinking about the countless tweets I’ve made complaining about companies. I’ve seen other people do it, and gotten responses from the company personally asking if there was something they could help them with to make their experience with the company better. Horizon could have simply told the Twitter user to remove the tweet before going off and suing her, but they didn’t.

I’m all about good reputation management, but I think this situation has gone a bit too far. When it comes to apartments there is always going to be someone saying something bad, so I think the only thing that could be done is to handle the situation on a one on one basis.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Who, When and How often do you Twitter?

I recently used a Twitter Application called TweetStats to diagnose my Twitter habits (addiction?).

This first chart shows my Twitter history, I started on Twitter in March 2007, I really started Tweeting in March 2009. I think this likely coincides with using TweetDeck, a great application for managing who you follow and easily ReTweeting great tweets by others.

These charts show the day of the week (Wednesday) and the hour I tweet the most (11PM). I'm not sure what this tells us, except that I should probably get to bed earlier.

This final chart shows the Twitter personalities that I have 'ReTweeted' the most. Iconic88 is my favorite ReTweet, he is is an amazing, positive uplifting twitterer. I love to spread his positive messages. I even interviewed him on a recent Ten Golden Rules Internet Marketing Podcast . Some other great folks to follow include Mashable (from the leading blog), Facebook Goddess Mari Smith and Help A Reporter founder Peter Shankman's @Skydiver handle.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Building Natural Looking Links

When building links for search engine optimization purposes, the best thing you can do is to make your links look natural. If you are actively building links to your website, you want to make these links look like people just decided to link to your website because it has good content. Since search engines increase your rankings for having natural links while they can penalize you if you are buying/selling links, it is important to cover your tracks.

One of the most common mistakes when building links unnaturally is to use exactly the same anchor text, for example a keyword phrase you are targeting, for a large number of links. If your links are natural, there is a very slim chance that everyone that links to you will use identical anchor text, and the search engines know this. If you use variations in your anchor text, your links will look more natural. For example, if you are targeting the phrase “internet marketing consultant”, when choosing anchor text for new links, sometimes use “internet marketing consulting” or “consulting for internet marketing” and other variations.

Another issue is your link growth. If your site has never generated more than five links in a month, then all of a sudden it generates 200 links in a month, this can look very unnatural to the search engines. If you are starting a linkbuilding campaign, start slow. Each month, try to get a few more backlinks than the previous month.

The key to a successful linkbuilding campaign is making the links appear to be natural. If you can accomplish this, you will see much better ranking results.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Should You Use A Free Press Release Distribution Service?

Free press release sites are great in your overall SEO campaign. There are something’s to consider when using them that you have to be conscious of. For instance, when you post for free, does it get syndicated to other sites, or does it just sit on that one site with no links? At we use them strategically and have found many advantages to the services they provide.

1. Free - You can push news out at zero cost
2. Fast – You can have a press release live within minutes of submitting it
3. More opportunity – Creates another opportunity for you to have your information on the web that is keyword optimized
4. Links – If accepted, this is a great tactic to build links to your website

1. Reporting – Slim to non-existent
2. Upgrades – Cost money
3. Ads – These websites need to make money too
4. Ranking – The search engines give priority to established newswire services

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Importance of Optimizing Image Size for the Web

Webmasters often forget about the size of an image on their webpage. Depending on the computer and internet speed, an image may load faster on one browser than another. By keeping in mind image file size, you can make your pages load faster and accessible, and increase page crawl rate. The faster your images load, the less people are likely leave that page. Nobody likes a slow website!

Usually when I resize photos for the web, I do use Adobe Photoshop, and make sure that I save the image as “Save for Web.” This way, you will get the best quality looking image and a reasonable file size too.

There are image optimizers that you can also use that are web based and free. Online Image Optimizer allows you to either enter the URL of the image or upload one from your computer. You can then choose the file type to get the best optimized image size for the web.

Another website is Free Image Optimizer which lets you upload the image you want to resize. is also another resource that lets you upload an image that is already on the web.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Test Your Business Plan in AdWords

Thinking about starting a business? A great way to test your business model and get some quick data is through Google Adwords. Using the AdWords Keyword Suggestion tool, you will be able to see how competitive the phrases related to your business are, and how much it will cost to generate traffic from them. For example, let's say you were interested in starting a search engine optimization company. Using Google’s Keyword Suggestion tool, you would know that the phrase “search engine optimization company” would cost you about $11.69 per click, there is a high amount of advertiser competition, and the phrase is searched about 27,100 times per month. You will be able to find all of this data before you spend any advertising money.

By running some small test campaigns with conversion tracking, you will quickly be able to see the return on investment of bidding on keywords. This is also a great way to test your creative, including ad copy and landing pages, because you can control your budget.

In addition, research has shown that of pay per click traffic in general, 80-90% of the visits are new visits. This indicates that there is little overlap with other advertising channels so you will be bringing in a high percentage of fresh leads.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

"What can you do to market with Social Media in emerging countries?"

I am often asked "What can you do to market with Social Media in emerging countries?"

A number of tools are available for emerging countries. First of all, while Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are not not as developed as they are in the United States, other social networks like Google's Okrut and (amazing number 35 site in the world on Alexa!) and are all in the top 200 websites in the world according to Alexa and they are incredibly popular in different regions!

Another opportunity is mobile. While computer access at home and work is not as prevalent, the mobile phone is fast becoming the common access point for many people in emerging regions.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chicken and Egg Scenario - What comes first the job or the experience?

I am often asked "How do I get into Internet Marketing?"

It is a classic Chicken and Egg Scenario. What comes first - experience in the field or a job to get the experience??

The good news is that there are several ways to get experience today that didn't exist in the past.

The best way to get experience is to do it yourself. There is no cost for putting up your own website or blog and generating some revenue through affiliate marketing, by selling info products or through AdSense. If you can show a potential client or employer that you know how to make money online - for real- you are way more employable than other candidates.

Freelance work is another great way to get relevant experience. Websites such as and are sites that connect companies looking for specialists with freelence specialists. We have used them for overflow situations and I have been very pleased with the quality of individuals we were able to hire.

Another great way to get practical experience is by volunteering. Volunteer for your local interactive marketing association or a local charity. I sit on the Board of several of these groups and we are always looking for people to build websites, post blogs, do web PR etc.

Good luck cracking the egg!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Where can you get Links TO your website?

I am often asked where can you get Local links TO your website? Links help make your website more important in the eyes of the search engines. Here are some great ways to get links from local companies to your website:

Local associations. Local suppliers. Local business partners. Local media. Local charities that you support. Your Local associations that you are a member of. And the best type of links are natural links to your content. Write some great free guides that will draw links from media, local associations, blogs etc.

Free Workbook for AdWords Beginners

For those of you who are new to Google AdWords, there is a free workbook that will help you get started using the AdWords interface and creating pay per click advertising campaigns. The free downloadable pdf file is a bit lengthy, but provides some great insight into the basic steps of using AdWords.

The main topics covered in the workbook are organizing campaigns, picking the right keywords, writing targeted ads, and putting it all together. Each topic is complete with definitions, tips, and screen shots.

The workbook is by no means your answer to getting the most out of your advertising, but it is a good way to get started if you have a small budget and are doing things on your own. For a more in depth strategic guide to online marketing, try the Ten Golden Rules of Online Marketing Book.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Best Practices for Corporate Blogs and The Three E's of Social Media

I often answer questions from business people who are hesitant to start blogging due to fears about comments on their blog that they can't control and negative reaction to their content.

First of all, you can set your blog to moderate comments and approve them before they go live. We LOVE to get comments (please comment below!) but we do not publish comments that don't 'comment' on the blog and are merely promoting an agenda.

If your organization is sensitive to the messages being posted in blogs , you will need a policy for internal folks who have access to your blog. Set up a review and approval process before blog posts can go live. This removes the risk of something unacceptable being posted.

So what content should go on your blog?

I recently coined a strategic approach to Social Media Messaging called The Three E's of Social Media.

Educate. Show your customers how to do things. Answer their questions. Be helpful. This can only build your credibility and build links to the posts which will improve search engine results!

Engage. Engage customers in a 2 way dialogue. Ask them questions. Run polls. Offer special contests and delight them with surprises for visiting the blog such as chances to win or links to free stuff.

Entertain. A blog (and all social media) should be social. Put a smile on their face. Shoot a funny video prior to the holidays. Shoot a video of your senior executive team doing karaoke. Post outtakes from your commercial shoot or a podcast or video cast.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Preview What Your Google Web Result Will Look Like

Here's a pretty nifty search engine results tool that allows you to preview what your Google web result would look like, even before it goes live. The tool allows you to see if your title, meta description and web URL will all show up. Although it is not guaranteed that your meta description will show up in the search engine result, the tool can give you an idea of how long the search engine result description will be. The tool also allows you to bold certain keywords, as well as save the result as a link.

I think this tool will help show if you have too long of a title tag or meta description (should Google use that as their output, instead of copy on the page).

Here is an example using Ten Golden Rules. As you can see, the meta description used does not show up in the current search for comparison result in Google.

Google Continues To Compete With Microsoft

Google announced that it is developing an operating system for the PC. Google Chrome Operating System will initially be for the netbooks but believes the software will be able to power a full-size PC as well.
Releasing later this year, under an open-source license, will allow programmers to modify it. In fact, they are already asking for help from developers in the open-source community to help make this a great product. Look for the netbooks to have Google Chrome Operating System Fall 2010.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Google Offering New Blog Search Tools

In response to the laundry list of requests by users, the new Google Blog Search has implemented some cool new features.

RSS and Atom feeds are now available by clicking on the respective left hand column links of the Blog Search. By clicking these links, you are able to subscribe to the topic you searched in your preferred feed reader.

For those of you who do not use feed readers, Google also released an iGoogle gadget that embeds the blog search front page inside your iGoogle page. This widget allows you to choose which topics you are interested in following.

Google Blog Search is also helping you keep up with the trends with a “Hot Queries” list. This will list the most popular topics being discussed online.

I Love podcasts - Here are my favorites, what do you listen to?

I love podcasts! They are free and very easy to download on any computer and then you can take them with you on a mobile device or burn a CD for your car. There are podcasts on almost any topic and if the subject matter is something you are passionate about they are very entertaining.

The best way to listen to podcasts is for FREE by downloading iTunes. Go to and download the software. YOU DON'T NEED A MAC AND YOU DON'T NEED AN iPOD TO LISTEN TO PODCASTS. Just search for the name of a podcast in the iTunes store - here's some great internet marketing podcasts that I listen to:

Marketing Over Coffee Christopher S. Penn and John Wall break down interactive marketing strategies over a Dunkin Donuts coffee.

For Immediate Release Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson cover new marketing from the public relations perspective 2 times each week!

Ten Golden Rules Internet Marketing Podcast Recent winner of a SOFIE Award for Best Use of New and Emerging Media! The team at Ten Golden Rules shares the latest strategies and tactics for internet marketing and advertising. Some Amazing Interviews with Social Media Superstars including Google's Matt Cutts, Pandora Founder Tim Westergren, the Facebook Goddess Mari Smith and Steve Krug Author of Don't Make Me Think.

Internet Business Mastery how to create a revenue producing website from the do-it-yourself website masters.

That Affiliate Thing The latest from the important field of affiliate marketing. Commentary, interviews, and various segments hosted by Lisa Picarille and Shawn Collins

Jaffe Juice Author and Social Medialite Joseph Jaffe covers the latest in new media and he recently moved his great audio show to video and the results...hmmm we're not quite sold on the new format.

6 Pixels of Separation Mitch Joel, with his audio community, is warm and engaging as he covers the latest new media and connectivity tools

Diva Marketing Talks from Social Media Guru Toby Bloomberg.

The Engaging Brand - A great show from Anna Farmery in Britain.

Cliff Ravenscraft does 15+ Podcasts Per Week! AMAZING. I love the Lost Podcast and the Podcast Answer Man a Podcast about podcasts!

Susan Bratton does a great job with Dishy Mix podcasts part of the Real Life Media Podcast family.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Three Small Changes to Add To Your Blog Today

Have a blog and unsure about how to make it better? We all know that by doing at least 1 change a day, you’re one step away from greatness. Here are some easy to implement tips you can add to your blog today.

Add images to your blog posts. Adding images that are relevant to your content will definitely give your blog post some personality, and will illustrate your message a lot more clearly to the reader. Find some free stock photos at

Keep your readers up to date. Make sure you give your readers a way to keep them up to date with your content. Give them an option to subscribe to your blog through RSS or email updates. Feedburner is a great tool for this and is free.

Have an “About” page. Make sure if you don’t have an “About” page you should consider creating one. Readers will appreciate your blog more if you do include this, even if the “About” page is only a paragraph.