Wednesday, May 14, 2008

SEO Truth is that Blogs drive content and SEO

I have not been blogging much lately, I was too busy finishing up our book, and publishing it. This is what I wrote on our free blog platform at Mytypes.com yesterday. The introduction to our Marketing book is included below, enjoy:

Sidney Poitier Writes a book, “Life beyond Measure”, one of my favorite actors, and he is on Larry King Live at this exact moment, wow.

We all love National Geographic in our family, and we just finished watching the special “Battle of Kruger”. This was the video of the Calf escaping the jaws of a crocodile and 6 lions. Type in “Battle of Kruger” in YouTube and you could watch the 8 minute video. It’s all about “No Buffalo left Behind” the mentality of the buffalo herd, incredible video of showcasing the Buffalo will”. Well that is what the narrator said on the NatGeo channel, said and of course we say “No Blogger Left Behind”, I had to mention this on our blogs. I also wanted to plug-in our newest SEO Services client, ArtworksDesign.com, and our self. The premier “web design St. Louis” firm, has already started to refer client to Bennett, our SEO Services sales expert. Obviously they are very happy that we got them ranked #5 on Google (for the keyword “Web Design St. Louis” ) within days of providing SEO Services, how did we do it so fast you say? You have to read the marketing book, and you can buy it on Amazon’s kindle. The paper back copy will be available soon.

Why NASCAR again, you ask? Well, I watched my second Nascar race this weekend, and my favorite driver one this one too. It was my kids favorite M & M Car, owned by favorite ex-NFL coach Joe Gibbs, and Kyle Busch, is the driver. Nascar is fun to watch, but it really is an example of how marketing and advertising are hammered home on every inch of the car, the hat(helmet) of the driver, and even their driving suit.

So that is my report, I am still in the final revisions of the marketing book. It did get done last week, but we have some time before the first copy gets finalized to ship. Well update for you I am writing this blog mainly because we published the marketing book, and our proof copy is on it’s way. Here is the Final Introduction, in case you want to read it:-). We are obviously very excited about it.

Introduction: Marketing is a CONTACT sport

Introduction:
Why Blogs, Search and Social Marketing
Good advertising does not just circulate information. It penetrates the public mind with desires and belief.
- Leo Burnett

I am surprised that most people don’t know about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), search engine marketing, and Internet Marketing. But, they all know about Google, Yahoo, and MSN, right? These terms and others like “Keyword” and “Adword” need to be defined for the ordinary individual, which we will do in the course of this book, but that is just the beginning of understanding the revolution that is taking place right under our keyboard. The field of Internet marketing has changed dramatically in the Web 2.0 era, and I wanted to write a book that would serve to bring people up to date on the subject.

This proved a challenge in itself though as things are changing so rapidly. In the short time I have been working on this manuscript I have had to revise as well as add significant things because of the rapid rate of change. This is why I realized that I would have to name the book version 2008.01, like a software release that is intended from the start to be updated. I saw that I had to make this book more interactive. I’ll keep it updated via my blog and then when enough material accumulates, or a really big event changes the landscape in a major way, I’ll release the next version, say v2008.02 or v2008.03. And, yes, I’ll also continue to re-write the existing work in order to sharpen and clarify it.

Beyond just keeping up to date though, there is a second, and more important aim of this book. Yes, I wanted to highlight the major trends such as blogs, SEO, Search and Social Networking, but I did not want to create a book just on the latest information on SEO, Blogs, or Social media. I saw the need for something beyond that. I wanted to show the comprehensive nature of the shift that is taking place on the Internet Marketing landscape. I call it Internet Marketing 2.0. Truly, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Only by understanding all these elements individually, and, more importantly, how all these elements interact to form something larger, can one begin to grasp the immensity of the shift that is Internet Marketing 2.0.

Let’s take a step back to how we got here. It’s been a struggle to name the book, as it can be for any author. In the first working title of the book, I tried to use the word “Secret” as in, “The Secret to your success”. I pictured using a beautiful woman in a veil on the cover. However, the word Secret has been over used a lot lately, and while I do love the movie, “The Secret”, my intent was not to play on it’s message. The idea behind using the word “Secret” had less to do with the movie than with the fact that the people in the Search Marketing and SEO worlds are very very, secretive. They always talk about SEO secrets, and the secrets of Google rankings etc. etc.

The truth is that these hidden secrets for attaining high Google rankings, overall search rankings and effective search marketing are simple, though the SEO guru’s want you to think otherwise. They’d much rather have you believe that it’s too technical for you to master with out them. It’s really not that hard though, and it’s time the secrets were unveiled! Read on!

There is no reason, you should have to pay thousands of dollars to techies and search marketing guru’s to do something you can do for your self. It’s as easy as blogging with the right keywords every day, though you do have to be willing to learn and implement the simple strategies on a regular basis. And therein lies a key secret: No discipline, no results. Another important area I wanted to help people to understand is that traditional marketing is not dead, but now that the new media of Internet Marketing and web 2.0 is not a pipe dream any more, traditional marketing must be understood differently. As you will later see that traditional brand building exercises such as Press Releases and write ups in major magazines and newspapers, can actually help with the best Internet Marketing 2.0 strategies. So really, it is not just the interaction between all the elements of Internet marketing 2.0, but also how they interact with traditional marketing. With out understanding all these in their combined synergy and power you can’t begin to grasp what is going on much less be an effective player in an emerging and rapidly changing field.

The biggest most powerful tool of Internet marketing is no longer email, it’s not the web 2.0 or social media marketing, and it’s not just blogs or websites either. If we keep it as simple and direct as possible, one thing stands above all else as the biggest marketing catalyst of today, that is: ”The Google Effect”. Search engine optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Internet Marketing in that order are subsets of each other. These will be the new measuring sticks and metrics of measurement used for every marketing campaign, and every marketing initiative.

But, wait Live Search from Microsoft and Yahoo got a big leg up this week! Well not really, their numbers are only getting smaller. But even if they do improve, they are just riding on the coat tails of the big G. Eventually Microsoft will likely come back. At present they are trying to buy Yahoo, and MS Live recently signed deals with Digg.com and Facebook.com, which are two of the top 5 leaders in the Social media giants of the internet.

While the world of marketing has changed dramatically due to Google and other search engines, the most important driver of change at present are blogs, which have changed the news landscape. Seattle Times the biggest paper in Seattle just announced that they are laying off 165 people this week. But changes like that are peripheral. Blogs and Social Media are going to make a much bigger shift. Watch as the multi-media convergence reaches into mobile phones with the iPhone and more. Consider live interactions that are not just one to one but one to many. Imagine getting your news, blogs, videos, audios, from other people down the street, not just CNN. All this will be have a huge impact through Google. Call it the “Exponential Google Effect”.

At a more fundamental level, Google is the great equalizer. The biggest change in the world of advertising has been Google’s Adwords, it has actually turned the world of advertising upside down, not just impacted online advertising. Adwords, or pay per click, allow anyone to target a specific search term for their advertising dollars. When that term is searched for, two types of links come up on the page. One is the “Natural” ranking. These are not paid for directly but come up as the most valuable sites

according to the Google algorithms. This natural rankings is what SEO (Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing) is all about. It might as well stand for Search Engine “Ranking” Optimization, which is what it really means.

The same results page for a specific search will however also include paid for links on the top banner and along the side bar. These paid for ads incur charges from Google for each and every time someone clicks on those links. Hence pay per click (or PPC) advertising and Search Engine Marketing.

What adwords does is make it easier for small business to buy keywords to market it’s products to people searching for contextual information and products. And contextual ads being mapped to search results is the magic formula that makes everyone happy. Never has it been so easy for small businesses to target global markets, and that is the true power of Search Engine marketing.

However just because Google is the first to give the small business a chance by it’s adwords product, does not mean it will be the best. Ebay and Amazon have initiatives that are very successful for small businesses to market their products on their Mega Marketplaces. Ebay haa a great social shopping community, and Amazon has gone much further than just book reviews by it’s shoppers. Shopping is a social activity and you will see major players such as FaceBook and Craigslist, impact the Internet Marketing in a bigger way than most of your biggest traditional marketing investments. Think of shopping as a natural extension of social networking. Think of the highly coveted youth demographic, they go to the mall as much to socialize as to

shop. It’s a natural fit. Imagine even today, a Craigslist ad gets ranked higher for a specific product search than a major merchant or your own website. Why is that? We will explain all of this, but back to Google for now.

When an individual, a potential consumer, is looking for information and the search engine (Google or otherwise) provides it, that search engine helps by providing the right information. But it is also delivering highly targeted advertising to exactly the right customer.

Can you imagine how much cheaper and how much more accountable and measurable this is compared to TV and radio. Essentially the advertising is going to people who are asking for it! Traditional advertising is crude in comparison. People are less and less willing to have advertisements pushed down their throat or into their eyes, or their ears. People prefer to look for information, when they want it and if the advertising fills their need, they will voluntarily go for it. Deep down, we are all treasure hunters and want to find the most unique and personally appropriate stuff. And this is where Google made the search results better and created this huge adwords industry out of Search Marketing.

In fact, according to SEMPO.org the industry size is supposed to be at $7.8Billion dollars. We are not a member of Sempo, but we support its mission. SEMPO’s Mission: SEMPO is a global non-profit organization serving the search engine marketing industry and marketing professionals engaged in it.

So how do you have eSuccess in search marketing results? Well, you have to read the whole book first. Oh, all right, not really . Here are some quick and very powerful tips.

Search Engines want to provide the best contextual related results to consumers, so should you. They target news related websites first, and blogs are considered news. Blogs are considered news because (well you already know this, right?), each blog post has a time stamp on it, just like a news release. And you have heard CNN mention the word Blogosphere how many times a day? So for a blog to be found as a search result, it has to be written with the proper keywords that are being searched for. But, how do you write unless you know the targeted keywords? Well, that is easy once you know the “secret”.

What is the most important market research data you will ever want and need? You have to go back to the Search engines and start with what people are searching for. Go to Google Adwords to find out. Find their “Traffic Estimator” within their tools section, which will give you the forecasted clicks for those key search terms, also known as keywords. So it’s a full circle, search engines provide the information you most need to be an effective marketing savvy blogger in their keyword analysis tools.

Why do they do this? Because they want you to advertise and generate sales for your business, the better they do this, the more people click on your ads and the more you will pay them. Who does this better than all the rest? Who else? Google, of course. But you knew that, because now you are getting it!

But this is just one of the many tools required for your eSuccess via Search marketing and for Internet marketing. The tool sets as a whole are referred to as SEO and SEM tools. This is what the professionals use, and you as a small business can learn these too, especially for free SEO tools site such as our LinkMint.com, SEOMoz.org, and others such as Word tracker. We have a commercial site, and actually built our own SEO Tools last year, they have always been free, and will continue to be. Visit mytypes.com!

But remember the most important SEO tools you have are tools that help you generate custom content such as blogs, videos by YouTube, photos by Flickr, profiles at FaceBook, LinkedIn, and MySpace. As important or more so is to combine these with Social media sites such as Digg, Technorati, Delicious, and others which are essential to you promoting your content at the same time you are promoting them.

I have been studying search marketing and SEO since 2003, and have been blogging steadily since the same time. Why did I continue to blog, even though I had nothing to write. Because I knew the “secret” (here’s another one!) and that is that it’s easy to get over looked.

Blogging is the best way to SEO and search market for your products and services. So this makes Blogging the best SEO tool on the market, And to do it right, you have to blog often and with the proper keywords. Most people don’t know how to blog properly. We will help you write the best blogs and promote your blogs in this book.

Social Networking is a hot topic in the last 12 months due to the popularity of FaceBook. In the business social networking world, the leader is LinkedIn. Believe it or not MySpace has one of the biggest business groups, and it’s marketing power is certainly hot when targeting teens and the entertainment business. There are also other important social media sites, that have communities of their own, and are a subset of social networking such as Digg, Technorati, Mashup.com and Ning.

I joined my first Social Networking site called Tribe.net back in 2004, I actually got a couple of editors from the site to help me with this book. I have experienced the benefit of Social networking first hand. Social Networking as a whole is one of the biggest drivers of Web 2.0, and the degree to which it will help you grow you business is still unfolding.

But the most important thing is, that Social Networks will help you make friends, influence people and connect with prospects and customers. We believe blogs are at the heart of helping you develop community via content and helping you promote your business. And, Social networking sites are a great way to help you promote your blogs. Word of mouth, in the modern era is much more powerful and faster via these social networks, and we discuss “How to win friends and influence people” with the classic proven methods of Dale Carnegie, the author who first published a book on the subject. That book was required reading in my business school, and I recommend that you pick up that book, as the age old principles still apply and are just as important as ever.

That’s SEO, SEM, and IM in a nutshell, but we will go a step further. What you don’t remember those acronyms? SEO is Search Engine Optimization, which targets your ranking on the Organic (or Natural) Search Results and has nothing to do with ads. SEM is Search Engine Marketing, which includes pay per click advertisements such as Google’s Adwords. IM is Internet Marketing, and for our purposes it includes blogs, blogging, and promotion of your blogs and profiles on social networking and social media sites such as Digg, Facebook, and others. We close the book with the big Why? Marketing is really about motivation, motivating your clients to act on your proposition and to buy your products and services. We also talk about our motivation of why we wrote the book, to help you motivate yourself to achieve your dreams through the power of Marketing.

So, in summary, you need to know the particulars of how each of these aspects works and we will show you that in this book. But more importantly, you will learn what you really need to understand: the why and the HOW of making all these pieces fit together for the business and life altering marketing results you are after!

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