Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Great Line from Nick Robalik from Digital Soapbox

"You should know better - what a horrible way to look at
yourself! "What's my ROI?" People are NOT an investment - ESPECIALLY
Designers - in the sense that you're speaking of.

Let me put it this way: people aren't investments. We're
assets, and we can go where we'll be appreciated, as opposed to used."

Now with niche markets taking over, people need to realize where they stand in relation to their skillset and their confidence.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Urchin Web Analytics Acquired By Google

I'd like to address the following alert I just received

Just An Online Minute for Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Urchin Web Analytics increasingly irrelevant..? Are you kidding me? Just because a couple firms put out whitepapers highlighting cookie usage and deletion based on their own customers or a sample portion of the entire web community. "On a typical day at the end of 2004, some 70 million American adults logged onto the Internet to use email, get news, access government information, check out health and medical information, participate in auctions, book travel reservations, research their genealogy, gamble, seek out romantic partners, and engage in countless other activities." (Pew Internet) Web analytics tools are the radar detector on our online customers. Beep, Beep...shift marketing dollars into these keyword clusters, higher converions...Beep, Beep...need usability study of our online reservation process, customers dropping off at step 3. The irrelevancy should be highlighted when there is no one at the Search Engine Strategies Conference in New York city next year to present one of their great case studies on how they improved ROI and conversions for their Fortune 500 clients. Yet, I am hoping that something good comes of this acquisition in terms of reporting on Google's side. I'll always be a fan of Urchin web analytics tool.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Happy Easter or Happy Sunday Dinner!

Here is an interesting way to get inbound links, noted by an associate of mine.

Herbal Teas

They could really benefit from a usability study of their website and checkout process. Too many clicks and unless you know to click down the left secondary navigation, you might think they are out of all their stock.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Mobile Marketing Potentials and the Data to Support It

In its inaugural Benchmark Report, M:Metrics reveals that the market for mobile content and applications, while still young, includes the mainstream of mobile subscribers and spans gender and age groups. 58 percent of mobile subscribers use their handsets for something other than making phone calls.

Results from this primary research include additional demographic information:

31 percent of female subscribers and 34 percent of male subscribers report having played a mobile game in the previous month.

Men are 60 percent more likely to download a game than women. Seamus McAteer, M:Metrics co-founder and chief product architect, said "…Too many of the titles available for sale are action/adventure and sports games-- genres that our data demonstrate are more likely to appeal to men."
The majority of ringtones were downloaded by subscribers age 13-24, and more than 62 percent of those consumers downloaded more than one ringtone in the previous month.
52 percent of subscribers age 25-34 sent or received text messages in the previous month, while 37 percent of those age 35-44 communicated via text.

68 percent of those age 18-24 sent and received text messages.
More than 60 percent of subscribers who took a picture with their camera phone also sent a photo message to another phone or email address in the previous month. The overall penetration of photo messaging is 7 percent.
13 percent of mobile subscribers reported accessing news and information via a mobile browser in the previous month. Marked gender difference characterized mobile browsing with 17 percent of men subscribers and 9 percent of women subscribers using their mobile phones.
57 percent of all browsers sought weather information; 41 percent accessed maps and directions, 44 percent sports scores, sports news and national news, and 40 percent movie and entertainment listings.

Everyday we are seeing the emergence of new technologies whether Blackberry's, PDA applications, Rich Media that reaches out and touches you and even large corporations offering mobile phone screensavers, background images, etc. How is mobile search going to affect search marketing in 2005? Is this the year, Johnny's Pizza Shop goes mobile and advertises based on the person's location, noted by a satellite? Who knows, but the possibilities are exciting and you need to be on top of what is hot and what is going to affect your business in the long run. Plan for these types of advancements by seeking out a consultant or just reading articles on the web. Stay tuned for some news on email marketing pains in 2005

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

So I guess I've been slacking a little bit, but this article will redeem me with my readers.

Top 14 Search Engine Marketing Mistakes Etailers Should Avoid

If you're not an etailer, these still can provide some insight into how your search engine marketing firm is servicing you or not.

Search Engine Marketing Article

13. Giving SEO Precedence Over the User Experience - All too often, companies become so obsessed with garnering top natural search engine rankings that they end up converting their web site into something garish-looking, poorly navigatable or functional, and with no clear marketing message. The end result is that they may have great rankings but lousy sales - don't make this mistake!!

All too often this is the case and I've been getting requests for website reviews from businesses that have focused so much on their SEO that their site isn't usable. Just because someone can find the WaWa (East Coast reference), doesn't mean putting the price tags behind the merchandise is going to help. At least stop giving pickles for change.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Laundry Media: Mobile Search Web Site is Live

I setup our first mobile search accessible web site at

Laundry Media Mobile URL

Yahoo Introduces RSS to Mobile Internet

Yahoo will let consumers receive their personalized My Yahoo headlines, including RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and Atom feeds, through its Yahoo Mobile Internet service, the company said. Yahoo becomes one of the first online services to introduce RSS on mobile devices as well as capitalize on the power of syndicated content. Yahoo users will be able to track the latest news from any Web site that offers a syndicated feed, ranging from traditional news sources to the plethora of blogs. The functionality is available on major wireless carriers, including Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint/Nextel and Cingular/AT&T. Carrier fees apply.

Search Engine Marketers take note...opportunities to arise.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

How Do I Put an RSS Feed on My Website

Search Engine Marketers: How Do I Put an RSS Feed on My Website

“RSS is the TiVo for the net”(I heard Nan Dawkins of Redboots Consulting reference this at SES in NYC, originated from...?)

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a lightweight XML format designed for sharing headlines and other Web content. RSS is a special internet tool that gets your content delivered directly to your recipients, without any spam filters to get in the way.

RSS Syntax

RSS defines an XML grammar (a set of HTML-like tags) for sharing news. Each RSS text file contains both static information about your site, plus dynamic information about your new stories, all surrounded by matching start and end tags.

Each story is defined by an tag, which contains a headline TITLE, URL, and DESCRIPTION. Here's an example:


RSS Resources
Defined in XML, the Rich Site Summary (RSS) format has
quietly become a dominant format for distributing headlines on the Web.
Our list of links gives you the tools, tips and tutorials you need to get
started using RSS. 0323

Resouce: How Do I Put an RSS Feed on My Website

Syndication Options

How does RSS syndication work? Say you publish a new web page about a particular topic. You want others interested in that topic to know about it. By listing the page as an "item" in your RSS file, you can have the page appear in front of those who read information using RSS readers or "news aggregators."

Publishing your RSS feed is just the beginning. RSS, a mini database containing headlines and descriptions of what's new on your site, is a natural for layering on additional services. In addition to displaying your news on other sites and headline readers, RSS data can flow into other products and services like PDA's, cell phones, email ticklers. and even voice updates. Email newsletters can easily be automated with RSS.

Tips For Implementing Your RSS Feeds

Tell user what RSS is, give them a link to download an RSS reader and place a link/button to your RSS feed. Turn PDFs’, emails into RSS, Podcast your RSS feeds too. RSS feeds can deliver blogs, articles, forums, schedules, discounts, specials and products.

Companies Already Using RSS Feeds, Increasing Business Success

• MarketingVOX is using RSS to deliver internet marketing news to their readers as it becomes available. Instead of having to wait to receive all the news in a single e-mail newsletter, RSS users get them as soon as they are ready.
• is using RSS to announce their bestsellers and to help their users keep track of releases they are most interested in.
• uses RSS to deliver savings coupons and related information.
• Microsoft is about to launch a new version of the Internet Explorer in a few months, and it is believed the new version will include RSS support. Once that happens, the number of RSS users could more than triple in just a few days. And a few weeks after that almost "every" marketer and publisher will have his own RSS feed.
• is using RSS to deliver news for each of their sections featuring health, fitness, recipes, food, healthy kids, motivation and nutrition.

If this isn't part of your Search Engine Marketing tools then it should be. Even MSN is jumping on the RSS feed wagon,1759,1776122,00.asp

Microsoft to Sell Search Engine Advertising

Featured article on states: Microsoft Corp., which runs the No. 3 U.S. Internet search engine, plans to start a service where clients will pay to be listed alongside its MSN search results, people familiar with the plans said.

The service will be similar to competing programs from Google Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. Microsoft will announce a pilot program March 16

MSN has a contract to use Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo's paid search service through June 2006.

MSN no longer using Yahoo Search Marketing Solutions or Overture...breach of contract?

I guess that means I have another engine to manage advertising on for 40-50 clients. I wonder ho wlong it will take the ppc bid management software solutions to pick up the new MSN Paid Search Ads as their bundled partners?

Plenty of Room

Yahoo has known that Microsoft was working on a competing product. Chief Executive Officer Terry Semel said at an investor conference in Palm Beach, Florida, March 1 that Microsoft may start its own paid-search advertising business.

``My guess is that at some moment in time there will likely be three networks instead of two,'' Semel said. ``There's plenty of room for three players in search.''

MSN already sells some slots in its search results to companies that advertise elsewhere on its Web sites. The company pays Overture to auction off the right to be listed when a certain keyword is searched. MSN's new service will be similar.

MSN also will provide tools to advertisers to help them determine what search keywords to purchase and what type of ads are best for targeting their customers, one person said. The company wants to be able to sell a variety of different ads and services to customers, the person said.
At the bottom of all this MSN content, there is an ad for:
"Advertisement: Where will the US Dollar go? Special Report From"

What does the US Dollar have to do with MSN search engine advertising? I think the connection is a bit far-fetched, give me something relevant, content-target me!

MSN Search Launches Viral Campaign Find MSN here

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

General Adspend up 10 Percent in 2004

9 Mar 2005

BtoB Online reports that TNS Media Intelligence released figures showing that marketers spent $141.1 billion in the U.S. in 2004, up 9.8 percent over the previous year. The internet grew the fastest, as is customary, it's growth rate reaching 21.4 percent. Outdoor advertising came a very close second, growing 20.1 percent, followed by syndication (up 15.8 percent) and cable (up 13.8 percent). Procter & Gamble and General Motors again topped the list of spending marketers, approaching $3 billion each. Time Warner came in a distant third, although its media properties typically book a great deal of barter between themselves, making that company's true expenditures harder to calculate.

If adspend is up, I would be interested in seeing what the channel breakdown was in terms of source; ppc, banner, etc.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

San Diego Search Marketer in Dallas, TX

Thankfully, I am in Dallad right now, waiting out for my flight back to San Diego. It's nice to be headed home after enduring the weather of New York City without a winter coat. If you saw someone wearing just a button down in the blistering winds of Manhattan, that was me. I should be updating my blog with some notes and articles about the conference. I will not be straight posting any information because of the coverage by SERoundtable. Here is a little excerpt from a document I am putting together:

All of the sessions seemed to have this theme of track everything and measure. Define your goals from the beginning, plan for the long term and test. If it's as simple as these three things then creating an online marketing strategy for your business should be just that, simple.
Yet there are a lot of nuances in each vertical within each business. Are you B2B, B2C or do you really know what your unique selling point is? One of the important things to remember when deciding on how to handle your overall searchmarketing budget is not to see each component as that, separate. Not only can you find data in your PPC campaigns to help refocus your organic seo efforts, but shifting dollars to support the method that is converting for you is the key. And doing it at the right time, whether seasonal or promotional. It's not a matter of spend a % of this on that and a % of that on this, but a cohesive set of tools to strengthen your search marketing strategy.
Lee Odden, from Top Rank, had these thoughts following the conference: Online Marketing Blog: SES NYC post mortem

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

So I've been missing out on posting on the daily nuances of the SES in NYC. I swear the wireless connection at the Hilton is horrible. I am paying $9.95 a day for a connection that haven't had until now...I will be super-posting my notes from the sessions I attended chock full of little comments of my own. There has really been this buzz of unintentional viral marketing going on in each session. Think about it, you develop a tool that is used by a marketer in the Search industry,if it's useful and they are using it; you can guarantee they are mentioning it in their Powerpoints or during the Q&A part of the sessions. There are so many levels of marketing and advertising going on, it's overwhelming. If you are a business owner contemplating jumping on the Search wagon, you should be here. The networking opportunities are endless as well as the insurmountable stack of business cards you will have acquired by the end of the day on thursday. I've been exchanging cards with so many business owners, analytics firms, other SEMs', independent link developers; needless to say my stack is growing. That stack could potentially include a strategic partner, client or just a lot of great contacts. There still is some power in print advertising or if you're really cool plastic advertising collateral. Tonight is the MSN party and if it is anything like the Yahoo party or better yet, Avenue A/Razorfish was very well done. I'm off to network and get a bite to eat and later tonight I will post session notes/feedback.