Blogging

Moving Day. Come with Me and Come Back.

Posted on November 14, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Business Strategy, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Online Marketing, Small Business | Tags: , , , , , , |

This Blog is Moving. Come With Me and Subscribe

This Blog is Moving and Will Now Be Known as 'the inbound-i blog'. Click the link and come subscribe for uninterrupted service. I'll miss you if you don't!

Dear Subscribers,

Today is moving day. I’m launching a new blog called ‘the inbound-i blog’. It’s a continuation and evolution of New PR Words and Music, which will remain here so that you can come back and access the 110 posts created here. When you click on the link to the new blog and read the first post, you’ll understand why I’m making the change.

While you’re there, please subscribe by email or RSS feed so that you receive the latest information, ideas and intelligence about inbound marketing without interruption.

The new blog is a result of the evolution of online marketing and my own business focus. In explaining why the new blog, there’s also some good information for you about the importance of tailoring your online marketing to maximize the use of inbound marketing analytics.

Come with me to the new blog for future posts and come back here as often as you like to re-read and to re-listen to your musical favorites.

I will, too.

The moving image is from the Flickr photostream of aldenjewell under Creative Commons license.

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Proof: Hot Topics Can Get Posts to Google Page 1

Posted on November 9, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Communications, Google, Inbound Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Online Marketing, Search | Tags: , , , , , |

Kardashian Post Makes Google Page 1

A search for Kim Kardashian Divorce PR Strategy got my post to Google Page 1 Positions 2 and 3

My last post has made it to Google Page 1 for searches related to the Kim Kardashian divorce – the intended point of an experiment I conducted with it. See above and below for the proof.

The post contended that including hot and trending topics in your blog posts can boost your traffic by getting your post to come up in more searches. As an experiment I created an Inbound Marketing metaphor to the Kim Kardashian Kris Humphries Divorce.

The post also referenced Siri, which had brought another of my posts to Google Page 1 for sumerous searches and led to the topic of the last post and the Kardashian experiment. Here are more results.

Kardashian Experiment on Google Page 1

A search on Kim Kardashian Siri brought my post to Google Page 1 Position 2

The searches are actual searches that got people to my blog. Note that the first Page 1 positions were out of 165,000,000 results and the second was out of 7,030,000 results. Case made. Hot topics can get you visibility you’d never get otherwise!

What trending topics and current events will you tie your next post to?

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Boost Your Blog Traffic: Post About Current Events & Hot Topics

Posted on November 3, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Communications, Content, Entertainment, Marketing Strategy, SEO, Technology, Website Design | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Kim Kardashian Kris Humphries Wedding

Don't be like Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries. Choose Web Technology that will last more than 72 days.

Can Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries push this blog post to Page One of Google? Let’s find out.

This post is actually a follow-on to one I wrote at the end of October about the keywords people search on that bring our posts up on Page One of search engine results pages (SERPs). One of the examples was a post I wrote about Apple’s new SiRi app for the iPhone 4s and IBMs artificial intelligence counterpart Watson.

Comparing the two turned out to be a very hot search topic and sent scads of traffic to my blog that might not have found it otherwise. Some of those seekers subscribed and are now part of my blog community. Since the flow of hits from Siri Watson searches hasn’t yet ebbed, I suppose that this post will come up, too.

This has led me to think about how useful posting about news events and hot topics can be to building blog traffic. A precept of inbound Marketing is that people are already online searching for the information we provide and all we have to is to help them to find us.

Think ‘news you can use’. What’s going on today that you can write about – that either falls into your area of expertise, or that you can use as a metaphor for something that does?

As an experiment, I’m going to use the next couple of paragraphs to compare the Kim Kardashian Kris Humphries divorce to what can happen if you happen to choose the wrong website designer and technology platform in a web 2.0 world.

Like Kardashian and Humphries you may be dazzled by a package that promises a fairy tale online future – a beautiful website with great design, lots of pictures, built with dazzling Flash technology that animates the whole shebang. While the price tag might not be $15 million, it’s still a pretty penny, but, you feel, worth every shekel.

Fast forward to 72 days after the launch. You wonder why you’re not getting any leads from the new site. The title tag announces your company name, after all. Great if anyone is searching for you specifically. Lousy if they’re searching generically for what you do.

You complain to a friend who explains that Flash is basically invisible to search engines and not supported by the Apple OS. And by the way, why don’t you have key words and search terms in your title tag before your company name – SEO best practices?

You also soon learn that if your site had a connected blog, you could drive lots of traffic to it. If it had a conversion form and you had the ability to add a piece of content on a hot topic for visitors to download in exchange for providing their email addresses, you could start to build a nice list of leads who you could then nurture with more useful information and who would likely become customers.

But you can’t do that because you built a beautiful online brochure not made for an interactive internet environment. Just like Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, you accept the fact that you and your new site have irreconcilable differences and you kiss it all goodbye – including the cost of development.

Maybe you should have looked a little bit closer before taking the plunge. The dream dashed, like Kim, you’d might as well head off to Australia to pitch your business there and start anew.

OK. I’m going to tag this post with all of the hot topic names and let’s see if Kim and Kris followers bring us up to the top of the Google world! I’ll let you know – or try googling some of the keywords in the tags and see if you find New PR Words and Music. Let me know, ok??

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Keywords: Take Your SEO Clues From Reality

Posted on October 24, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Inbound Marketing, Search, SEO | Tags: , , , , , , , |

 
Siri vs Watson Jeopardy Page One SERP

A Search for Siri vs Watson & Jeopardy Brought My Post to Google Page One

What really brings us up on page one of Google search results? I just took a look at my blog analytics. As I frequently am, I was surprised at what people typed into the Google search field that brought my blog up on page one – out of hundreds of thousands to millions of results. For almost none of these specific search terms did I set out to optimize my posts. But, nonetheless, they came up.

The lesson is that no matter how hard we work on our SEO, the people searching will determine by their searches if they land on our pages. The further reality is that we may or may not ultimately be relevant to what they’re looking for – but we never know.

It’s just a good thing to temper our SEO efforts with an understanding that there are infinite queries that can bring us to someone’s attention. This to me is what’s so exciting about marketing online!!! It’s the ultimate in interactivity with our audiences, and the possibilities are endless.

Here are the searches that brought me up on page one today–  plus the url’s for the actual posts that came up with the search results. How relevant do you think my posts might have been to the queries?

  • siri Watson    http://bit.ly/rMKrdw (same for all of the Watson siri queries)
  • siri vs Watson
  • watson vs siri jeopardy
  • watson siri
  • siri versus Watson
  • how are apple’s siri and ibm’s watson the same and different?
  • siri vs. Watson
  • how to identify key messages          http://bit.ly/slp4f7
  • respect and listening lessons         http://bit.ly/swDGrt
  • jazz manager ken Blanchard            http://bit.ly/vXTYyP
  • emily post etiquette social networking tips        http://bit.ly/srjnwa
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Blogging: Why Wouldn’t You Do Something That Works?

Posted on October 5, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Business Strategy, Content, Marketing Strategy, Small Business, Social Media, Writing | Tags: , , , , , |

Blogging Opens Doors

Blogging Opens Doors

Why would you not do something guaranteed to bring people to your website and introduce your company’s expertise and offerings? There are so many marketing efforts people chase that cost time and money with no guarantee that they’ll yield anything. So, I ask again…Why wouldn’t you spend a few hours a week on an activity guaranteed to pay off?

I’m talking about blogging. I guarantee you that when I write and publish this post today, I will get traffic. And I’ll get more traffic than yesterday when I didn’t post. I get traffic to my blog every day when I’m posting at least three times a week.

Some of it comes from publicizing the posts on social media. But lots of it comes from organic search – people searching online for topics represented in keywords contained in the posts — and they find me.

I almost talked myself out of posting today in favor of other things that require my attention. But I prioritized getting a post out – regardless of how short. Because I know it will get results. It will provide opportunities for new relationships and potential business.

That feels great to me and I hope that sharing this with you will be motivating and helpful. Success feels great. Blog for success!

 

Image from Ben Zvan under Creative Commons license.

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Social Media Does Not Equal Inbound Marketing

Posted on September 30, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Business Strategy, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Small Business, Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , |

 
Welcome to Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing is a bigger, more strategic concept than Social Media

When someone asks me what I do for a living and I say, “I’m an Inbound Marketing consultant and they get that blank stare, I try to help them by saying, “Online Marketing,” as a potentially more understandable explanation. Almost inevitably, they then say, “Oh. Social Media. We’re doing that.”

Then I say to myself, “There’s still so much education necessary to help people understand that:

  • Inbound Marketing is a total process for growing business online
  • Social media engagement is one important part of implementing Inbound Marketing, but to really make social media pay off, you first have to understand its purpose in the big picture.

 Here’s a list of what Social Media is good for:

  • Identifying people online who can buy your products/services or refer others who can.
  • Cultivating relationships with those individuals.
  • Publicizing your website, blog posts and other valuable original content to drive traffic.
  • Providing outposts for your company other than your website to engage with audiences in different ways.

This is all great and these activities can stand on their own to a point. But Inbound Marketing as an overall approach:

  • Originates from a more strategic than tactical mindset.
  • Looks at marketing as a driver of growth and takes business objectives and metrics into consideration.
  • Is concerned with not only creating online traffic but converting it to sales.
  • Tailors tactics to address a prospect’s progress in the purchase cycle.
  • Incorporates analytics to measure success and set productive marketing directions.
  • Offers ROI proofs.

So if your company has a Facebook page, a Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Google+ account – even if you’re blogging like crazy in addition to your social media efforts – and you’re not sure what it’s actually contributing to the bottom line, it’s time to graduate to the next level of online marketing. Start thinking and implementing like an Inbound Marketer.

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A Marketing View: 20 Steps to a Website that Maximizes Business Growth

Posted on September 26, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Business Strategy, Human Business, Inbound Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Online Marketing, Small Business, Website Design | Tags: , , , , , |

Grow Your Business Online

Marketing Strategy is the First Step to Growing Business Online

In the past, if you wanted a new website – or to redesign an existing one – the first step was to find a web design firm. This was fine when your website was an online brochure.

Today, if you make your first concern the design and look/feel of your site, you’re missing valuable opportunities to use the web project to refine or redefine your business focus, to add new business lines – and to get found.

A marketing/business consultant is well suited to help you in this effort and is a prudent first stop. Getting an outside eye on your business and online marketing can yield fresh ideas about how you can use your web presence to grow.

Then find a good design/web development firm capable of implementing your brand identity and web strategy, offering technical advice, and organizing your content for usability. Your marketing consultant will undoubtedly be able to help you source the right partner.

Here are 20 steps to structuring a website project to maximize business growth:

1. Review and audit your current marketing, as well as new marketing approaches you’d like to add.

2. Be able to articulate, “What’s our business?”

3. Do a lot of competitive research. Look at other sites. See what your competitors are doing or not doing. A good consultant will come up with ways that you can leap-frog them with your expanded web presence. (Tip: SEO utilizing current best practices provides fertile soil for growth. Most businesses simply aren’t doing it, or doing it right.)

4. Be sure to answer the question: “Are there any new products, services or offerings related to our core business that we can and should add?”

5. Make sure you’re focused on the right customer.

6. Identify your market positioning.

7. Think out of the box to identify all stakeholders and key influencers.

8. Interview a few of them

9. Develop your key messages – the most important ideas you want to convey consistently to your audiences.

10. Do your keyword research – identify the words/phrases people are actually using to search on line for products/services like yours. (Hint: Not necessarily the words you’d use to search for them).

11. Organize your site by developing a sample navigation. Be sure to include a blog if you want to drive maximum traffic to your site. Have your consultant recommend internal linking strategies to help users work efficiently through your site.

12. Decide: What existing content can be re-used? What content should be scrapped? What new pages do you need to develop?

13. Determine the level of control you want or need to have over your website. What edits do you want to be able to make in-house without tech assistance. We recommend having as much control as possible if you want to use your website to help grow your business.

14. Source a web designer/developer who works in technology platforms that will accommodate the level of control you desire.

15. Provide the navigation and all the guidance you’ve developed in completing the steps above to your web developer. It will help them prepare a realistic budget.

16. Write/develop the content for all of your pages – including all SEO information for each page, any photos, videos and other media you’ll want to use – and provide the content to the web developer.

17. Get into the design process and have fun with the visual.

18. Code the site in accordance with the provided SEO, content and linking strategies. In the case of website re-do’s, make sure to properly re-direct existing pages and to retain important backlinks to the site.

19. Test and tweak for usability.

20. LAUNCH!!

Emphasizing business and marketing strategy first in the web development process has never failed to yield new directions for our clients’ businesses.

The illustration “Dollar Sign in Space” is by DonkeyHotey under Creative Commons license.

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Tuesday Tweets for August 30, 2011

Posted on August 30, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Business Strategy, Communications, Content, Marketing, Small Business, Social Media, Twitter, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Twitter Tweet Reviews

Reviews of Tweets from My Twitter Timeline

Welcome to Tuesday Tweets for August 30, 2011 — where we take a look at tweets from my Twitter feed for do’s, don’ts, best practices – and sometimes just for fun. Keep in mind that what we examine here is in no way personal. We’re all learning about building audiences online. In that spirit, if you disagree with my assessments, let me have it! I’m learning, too!

This week we’re adding an extra special treat – a musical accompaniment to your read. Be sure to hit the play button if you’d like to smile.

The most frequent comment I hear when I broach the topic of adding Twitter to the social media mix is, “We have an account, but have no idea what to do with it.” So I decided that it might be useful to use this week’s Tuesday Tweets to show how a number of businesses and organizations are using Twitter to move toward their objectives.

@NewsTimes It should read $15,000. Good catch! #correction RT @JackBouffard @NewsTimes $1,500 or $15,000?

Here’s a daily newspaper using Twitter to interact with a reader to flag and quickly correct an error in its reporting. This is the kind of nimble use of social media that might help traditional media evolve and survive.

@TheArtsCenterNY  Red Cross is here until 5:30PM accepting blood donations! By taking a short time to donate blood, you can save lives.

This arts center is using Twitter for real time promotion of a Red Cross blood drive – a nonprofit boosting another nonprofit’s mission, helping its community and boosting its own engagement and value at the same time

@dancommator Social Media Check-In Promos Reward Frequent Branch Visits http://t.co/EJ… via @FinancialBrand #financialservices #banking #sociallmedia

Can you believe that a few banks are reversing the trend of pushing customers from bank branches to online banking, and are using social media check-ins to encourage branch visits – and human contact! This retweet could be a harbinger of a new era of bank service. One can hope!

@ScottMonty RT @ThePeoplesFleet : Help @abetterla win $5K by simply watching a video! Check it out here: http://t.co/Ic… #tpfla

Another smart nonprofit is using Twitter to boost its chances to win a $5000 grant from Ford by asking folks on Twitter to vote for them. Using the hashtag gets them beyond their own followers.

@AMAnet New programs added to the AMA’s upcoming events calendar — Webcasts are FREE! —http://t.co/6t…

The American Management Association is using Twitter to get the word out about a new free Webinar series, a great way to develop its membership.

@1day1brand  Are you ready for a bold new brand? Complete our assessment below, and we’ll email you the results right away – http://ow.ly/6…

@1Day1Brand used this Tweet to recruit participants to take a survey that was designed to subtly (sort of) educate about its brand building seminars and generate leads. A bit obvious, but not bad.

@MichelleDamico Change supply parents into demand parents. I tell principals: parents yelling at u are engaging. #CPS #Brizzard #chicagoPublicSchools

Thanks to live tweeting, an address by the Chicago Public Schools Superintendent gets wider attention. You can get similar visibility and leverage for your organization’s spokesperson and amplify public speaking engagements.

@HourWestport Connecticut Humane Society is having an emergency Cat Adoption Event. Locally try theWestport location:455 Post Road East, 203-227-4137

Another local newspaper is using its Twitter bully pulpit to get out community news that it probably doesn’t have room for in the print edition.

@SierraSez  It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a bus? More details coming soon…you won’t want to miss out on this.

An enterprising tweet creates anticipation for one that’s yet to come. I’ll put up a Twitter search for @SierraSez so that I’m sure not to miss whatever it is. Curiosity is a powerful motivator! ;-}

@MagicSauceMedia Looking 4 SRProduct & Co Evangelist 4start-up in search,aggregation,content & semantic search space. Loc: San Fran or NYC.Email me w/leads

And we’ll end with a highly practical – and hopeful – tweet. Here’s a company using its Twitter updates to seek and hire a new employee.

It would be great if you’d share the creative ways your business or organization is using Twitter.

The Tuesday Tweets graphic is from Freshalex Online under Creative Commons license.

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Have Fun with Content: No Telling Where It Will Go

Posted on August 15, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Communications, Content, Inbound Marketing, Small Business, Twitter | Tags: , , , , , |

Content Creation Offers Big Possibilities

Creating Great Content Opens Endless Possibilities

I’ve written before about the sense of possibility I feel every time I tweet a link or hit ‘publish’ on my blog. Get that content out on the Internet and no telling where it will go, who will read it, who will connect with us as a result.

The reason I’m writing about this again is to drum up deserved enthusiasm for the content creation that’s a required element of today’s marketing. We tend to do what’s pleasurable and I want to convince you that creating content and getting it out into the world can provide you with surprising results that feel very good.

Why am I sitting here writing this post before having dinner? It’s because I’ll feel so good tomorrow when it drives new eyeballs to my blog, website, Twitter timeline, LinkedIn profile, and when it leads new and old friends to interact with me online.

Here’s what motivated me to write this. I don’t always check my @mentions on Twitter, but I did today. This shows me who has mentioned me on Twitter. I found that three times last week, a blog post I’d written was incorporated in followers’ paper.li.

What’s that? If you’re unfamiliar, paper.li is a Twitter curation software. Register on paper.li and in a minute or two you can create a newspaper format piece of content that pulls from the links tweeted each day by the people you follow on Twitter. You can focus your paper’s content by indicating a topic, hashtag or Twitter list as the source of your paper’s content. The content is culled from your Twitter timeline via an algorithm + content you refer specifically – a recent improvement.

Paper.li papers can be shared with anyone. And the creator’s followers can subscribe to them. It all adds up to expanded reach for your content. All you have to do is publicize it on Twitter. Use hashtags to help assure your content will come up for paper.li keywords.

All you have to do to take advantage of this extended distribution is to create interesting and useful content. Let me tell you that I got a kick out of discovering that my content was useful enough to be featured beyond my blog. All of this happened without anything but  my initial effort to produce the content and publicize it on Twitter.

Paper.li is only one of many ways that your content can proliferate around the Internet. Make it as good as you can and open the door to opportunity.

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Tuesday Tweets

Posted on August 2, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Inbound Marketing, Social Media, Twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Learn About Twitter

Twitter Is Still So Interesting. Love It!!

Welcome to Tuesday Tweets for August 2, 2011 — where we take a look at tweets from my Twitter feed for do’s, don’ts, best practices – and sometimes just for fun. Keep in mind that what we examine here is in no way personal. We’re all learning about building audiences online. In that spirit, if you disagree with my assessments, let me have it! I’m learning, too!

@dragonblogger Justin Germino #Nothing_Changes: #Random_Twitter_Poem for Aug 2nd http://bit.ly/mOyJer

This tweet comes under the, “Why Twitter is fascinating” heading. Any day on Twitter can take you to a place you’ve never been before. This tweet introduced me to crowd-sourced poetry. It comes right out of the moment and the news. The link takes you to a poem using keywords sourced from the poet’s Twitter stream about the U.S default crisis, which has been a trending topic on Twitter for awhile. Regardless of political point of view or quality of poetry it shows the creative uses people are making of Twitter.

@techsrus TechsRUs … http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-20087115-266/broadband-subscribers-mostly-get-what-they-pay-for/?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20

This tweet makes me scratch my head. It’s brilliantly lazy. Someone bothered to do a word count on this url – which contains a description of the subject matter shared by the link. It’s 139 characters so they didn’t have to shorten the link or write tweet content. First time I’ve ever seen this.

@petershankman Peter Shankman #NASA Administrator Bolden just told us whyAmerica is still HUGELY involved in space. I’ll break down his answers into 140 chars soon.

Here’s a tweet from Peter Shankman who founded and sold HARO (Help a Reporter Out) a service that connects journalists to expert sources. Peter started tweeting under the handle @skydiver. The fact that he now has his own name as a handle makes a statement about how Twitter has evolved into a serious business tool. This is an in-the-moment tweet Peter put out from an event he’s attending. As the social media guru that he is, Peter used the tweet to share a piece of info while publicizing future tweets he’ll put out to share more info from the event. I’m interested in the future of NASA and especially any positive news about our involvement in space – so I’ll be looking for Peter’s additional info.

@CTBites RT @omnomct: You know anybody who might be interested in trying out for next Food Network Star? This Friday, 8/5: http://t.co/9FJEafX

I clicked on this because as a foodie and home cook I’ve always had a fantasy about being a Food Network star – and I’m also getting a little hungry. I’d propose a show about five-minute meals you can put together between writing blog posts and feeding cats. More tweets next Tuesday!!!!

Aren’t you even tempted to share a tweet or two of your own in the comments?

 

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