Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk

Jab Jab Jab Right Hook

It’s been a while since I’ve done a book review here, but I’m bringing it back with the best marketing book I read in 2013: Jab, Jab, Right Hook (affiliate link to Amazon, if you wanna buy it). It’s amazingly well written and manages to not only educate but inspire. Gary convinces you “this shit is important” and has lots of colorful examples that make you laugh, but also effectively drive his points home. It builds upon his previous books, all of which I’ve enjoyed, with the final component which is how to make the sale from social media – which I think is very important, as social media sells when done right.

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10 New Year’s Resolutions for Internet Marketing Gurus

As a self-proclaimed internet marketing guru, I have made a list of suggested New Year’s resolutions for other self-proclaimed gurus to live by. This post was inspired by the countless hundreds of similar posts from otherwise decent internet marketing blogs I subscribe to that published pure garbage advice in the last few days – but unlike those posts, this one has some decent advice (I hope):

  1. Stop tweeting a Paper.li every day…or ever again…
  2. Stop making list-icles (except this one). Publish content that does more than just aggregate and rehash topics already beaten to death elsewhere.
  3. Stop making up random hashtags that no one has ever tweeted before, or will ever tweet again #youdontgetit
  4. Gretchen, stop trying to make Fetch Vine happen. It’s not going to happen (we have Instagram Video now).
  5. Stop syncing your Twitter feed with Facebook posts, they’re entirely different networks and all your really publishing is “I don’t know what I’m doing here” to those of us who do 😉
  6. Stop tweeting about how many followers/fans you have – aside from you, I can assure you that no one cares (and you really shouldn’t either, but that’s another post).
  7. Stop “birdie-bragging” (Hat tip to @garyvee for coining this phrase, see here for more info: http://www.slideshare.net/vaynerchuk/being-human-ontwitterslidesharev3)
  8. Stop: confusing a large number of followers/fans with self-worth or real-world importance #youarenotinternetfamous #imalreadybreakingrule3
  9. Do: Test a new channel, network, or media this year (note: testing requires collecting and analyzing data, not just publishing!)
  10. Do: Understand the business goals you are trying to support

Thank you for reading!


I’m Speaking! BOLO 2013 October 14-15 in Scottsdale, AZ

BOLO 2013

Update: my session went great! My takeaways and slides can be found over on the Covario blog here: http://www.covario.com/2013/10/ten-big-ideas-marketers-bolo2013/

I had an AMAZING time speaking at and attending BOLO 2012 last year, and apparently the feeling was mutual as I’ve been invited back as a speaker for 2013!

The conference will once again be held at the Hotel Valley Ho in Old Town Scottsdale and have a similar focus to last year – focusing on helping agencies and consultants succeed and encouraging collaboration in the field. I encourage you to attend if you work in any form of digital marketing, especially those in smaller-to-midsize agencies looking for the best ways to scale and grow your business, as if last year’s conference was any indication, this conference delivers a huge amount of value in that regard.

I’m incredibly honored to be asked as a speaker, as you’ll see the Speaker list is jammed packed full of big name speakers and agencies including HUGE LA, comScore, Microsoft, SapientNitro, GS&P, Mashable, Buzzfeed, and many others.

My session description is posted along with the full schedule on the BOLO website. Based on what I have ready so far, the content should follow this roadmap/description fairly closely:

SEO: The Good, the Bad, and How To Get More Out of It
Presented by: Nick Roshon, Covario

SEO as a marketing channel has a horrible name – many clients have either had a bad experience, or neglected the channel completely in favor of more established and predictable channels such as PPC, Radio, Print or TV. From encounters with snake oil salesman and spammy $5/hour link builders to so-called experts claiming “SEO is Dead” every time Google rolls out an update, it’s no wonder clients are cautious and budgets are small relative to other channels.

This session seeks to demonstrate how agencies can provide more value and transparency with SEO engagements, as well as how clients can get more ROI from their agency relationships. From a clear understanding of expectations and costs, to understanding what tactics and strategies do and don’t work, agencies can better sell their work and clients can better implement their recommendations, creating a win-win environment for all involved. Insights and recommendations are based on the speaker’s experience working on large, complex SEO engagements with Fortune 500 brands ranging from FedEx to Kelly Blue Book from an operational, client services, and sales perspective.

You can check out my presentation from last year here: http://nickroshon.com/speaking-gigs/im-speaking-at-bolo-2012-in-scottsdale-az, and stay tuned for this year’s deck to be posted on Slideshare after the conference as well!

Mobile Marketing – An Hour a Day by Rachel Pasqua and Noah Elkin

Mobile Marketing An Hour A DayI recently got a copy of Mobile Marketing: An Hour a Day by Rachel Pasqua and Noah Elkin and have been excitedly reading it over the past week or so and wanted to share a few thoughts here on why this book deserves space on your bookshelf (or Kindle/iPad/Mobile Reading Device). The book starts by painting a clear picture of the current mobile landscape and helps marketers brainstorm the questions they need to answer in order to devise a mobile strategy for their brand or website. After these introductory chapters, the book then dives into plenty of detail on various topics including mobile web design, apps, SMS, mobile SEM, mobile social, and so much more, with each topic being a new chapter. The book is very comprehensive yet very accessible, making it a great “go-to” resource for anyone who is interested mobile, no matter what skill level or training you currently posses. It is also a great book as it can be read cover to cover for those who want to learn it all, or just picked up from time-to-time and explored as needed as each chapter could be read as a standalone guide on the topic it covers.

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Speaking at AMA Phoenix on Google Analytics

I’m really excited to have been asked to speak at the American Marketing Association (AMA) of Phoenix’s Special Interest Group meeting on Digital Marketing. I’ll be presenting all-new material on Google Analytics and how to get the most out of your setup, configuration & reporting through Google’s free offerings. The presentation will be on November 29th from 3-5pm and includes sometime before and after for networking and Q&A.

I’ll be updating this post with a link to the presentation on SlideShare, but you’ll have to wait until the presentation is over to get that. In the meantime, here is a sneakpeak of some of the actionable takeaways you’ll be getting if you come: http://nickroshon.com/internet-advertising/awesome-custom-reports-for-google-analytics

Event Info:

When: November 29th (Thursday) from 3-5 PM

Where: Flemings Steakhouse in Scottsdale, AZ

Cost: AMA Members $20; Non-Members $35

Registration Link: http://www.cvent.com/d/ncqwpb/4W

Phoenix area folks – I hope to see you there!

The Art of Client Service

The Art of Client Service

I finished reading “The Art of Client Service” by Robert Solomon over the weekend, and really enjoyed it. It’s a good, quick read (I finished in about 2-3 hours) that’s great for anyone in advertising, although especially useful for Account Managers/Directors and other frequently client-facing folks. Unfortunately it is not available in Kindle Edition, so I had to resort to reading a hardcover, something that I do so infrequently it felt foreign to me – but I digress…

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Awesome Custom Reports & Dashboards for Google Analytics

Google Analytics Custom Reports

I’m doing research for an upcoming presentation, and the topic is Google Analytics. I’m loving working on this deck, as it’s forcing me to spend some time getting my hands VERY dirty in Google Analytics. Most specifically, I’m finding tons of really awesome Custom Reports – these are all awesome, and can be applied to anyone’s account instantly, so I’m going to make this post as a future reference for myself, my clients, and anyone else who happens to be looking for a list of awesome custom reports. Best of all, they’re free…

More to come…

How Search Can Help You Build a Global Brand

In my final post on the iCrossing Great Finds blog (I start a new job with a new agency next week – more on that later…), I write on the topic of Global Search and Global SEO. After spending the past year or so working on the SEO strategy of a global luxury hotel client, I’ve learned a lot about the nuances of optimizing across 7 ccTLds, 5 languages, and four continents. It’s certainly not easy to pull of this kind of global SEO campaign, and even more so difficult as Google continues to raise the bar for global brands in terms of expecting unique, localized content & properly built & tagged websites. I hope my thoughts are useful to marketers looking to understand how search engines and global brands can work together to create connected experiences:

In the digital age, you don’t build a connected brand at the global level by duplicating and translating your website in different languages. You need to understand the nuances of how people search for what they want online and then customize your content to their behaviors. This post discusses how marketing executives can leverage search to create enchanting experiences across languages and countries.

Search Connects Global Audiences to Localized Content

The most important role search engines play in helping global brands build audience relationships is by facilitating the delivery of localized, in-language content for people based on their location.

For instance, let’s take the hypothetical case of a German-speaking tourist from Munich who is on vacation in Madrid. While in Madrid, she might conduct a Google search for “restaurants.” Google knows to return results that are in the searcher’s preferred language, German. Google also knows to return names of restaurants near where the searcher is currently located (in this case, Madrid) rather than her hometown of Munich. Brands can take advantage of the powerful personalization that search engines provide simply by creating localized content (by region, country, or language) and following search engine optimization best practices so that search engines can quickly an easily decipher what content is intended for which audiences.

I recommend the following for scaling your brand’s website on a global level:

Read the rest on Great Finds…


Search and Social – The Definitive Guide to Real-Time Content Marketing

Search and Social - The Definitive Guide to Real-Time Content Marketing

The book, Search and Social – The Definitive Guide to Real-Time Content Marketing, is now out in book stores and shipping from Amazon. I have had the privilege of working with Rob Garner, the author, for four years here at iCrossing, and honored to serve as his technical editor for the book. The book serves as a go-to guide for marketers looking to get the most out of their content through real-time SEO and social media marketing. It’s a great playbook full of ideas and explaining how search engines and social media work hand in hand to propel content and dissemination messages to your audiences. It has a ton of actionable tips, so it’s a great read from anyone from a novice to an advanced internet marketer looking to hone their skills, audit their strategies, or come up with new ideas to bring to the table.

As I noted earlier, I served as the Technical Editor for this book. This entailed reviewing each chapter to check technical accuracy, suggest enhancements, or provide technical feedback as it relates to SEO, Social Media, Web Dev., etc. It was really fun, and mind-blowing to watch Rob crank out chapter after chapter of work. Rob is an encyclopedia of knowledge, and knows the history and the people of search marketing better than anyone I know. It was very cool to work with him and see him put together such a comprehensive and excellent book that sums up the philosphy & approach we at iCrossing have been executing on for years. It was also fun to work with the Wiley/Sybex team and learn the book publishing & editing process – there is a TON of work that goes into creating a book, in case you were wondering. Again, a lot of props to Rob who worked through all of the writing and editing, and took all of the feedback we could throw at him with grace too 🙂

I won’t write a full book review as obviously I’m terribly biased here, but I do recommend you pick up a copy. Buy it here on Amazon; Search and Social – The Definitive Guide to Real-Time Content Marketing.


Book Review: Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion

Influence - the psychology of persuasion

The following is a review of the book Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini, PhD. 

I recently picked this book up for two reasons: firstly, I found out that the author, Dr. Robert Cialdini, was going to be the keynote speaker at Pubcon this year, and although I was unable to attend Pubcon, I knew that if he were selected as the keynote he must be really, really good.

Secondly, he’s a distinguished professor at Arizona State, right in my backyard, and has a grant for ASU students that my lovely fiance was awarded this year for work on her dissertation on Clinical Psychology.

It was as if the universe was telling me to read this book, so I complied…and I’m super glad I did. I definitely recommend you pick up a copy (feel free to click one of the links in this post to do so – full disclosure though, they’re affiliate links).

The book is based on Dr. Cialdini’s research into how effective sales people are able to influence/persuade people to buy things they may not have necessarily wanted. He spent years infiltrating and studying the minds of used car salesman, tupperware parties, boiler room stock traders, waitresses, you name it.

These studies, along with other scientific research & tests, were able to draw some commonalities on different “weapons of influence” that these salespeople will use. These weapons are all based on “shortcuts” that humans rely on to make quick decisions when they don’t have time to fully analyze a decision – for instance, this brand of ketchup is very popular, therefore it must be good, so I’ll buy it. These shortcuts are a necessity of life – without them, we’d have to carefully analyze every purchase decision, which would make routine tasks like grocery shopping take forever – but unfortunately, many less-than-scrupulous salesman (or “compliance professionals” as Dr Cialdini calls them) have found ways to take advantage of these shortcuts and exploit them.

The weapons of influenced outlined in the book are:

  1. Reciprocation – I give you something (like a free sample) and you feel compelled to return the favor (by buying a whole box)
  2. Commitment & Consistency – I get you to publicly admit you believe in something (like a political cause), then you’ll feel compelled to take an action to be consistent with that declaration (by donating to PAC in support of that cause)
  3. Social Proof – if other people like something (this is our most popular model!), you’ll want it more
  4. Liking – if the salesperson is likable/relatable, you’re more likely to purchase from them
  5. Authority – if an authority figure tells you to do something, you’re more likely to do what they’ve asked
  6. Scarcity – items marketed as “for a limited time only” are especially likely to result in an impulse buy, especially if there is competition perceived for the time (think of the Black Friday sales for the first 50 shoppers)

Cialdini rightly points out that these shortcuts can be reliable indicators of quality & desirability to guide our purchase decisions, and that he’s not advocating we ignore these shortcuts altogether. Instead, we should be weary of those who try to exploit these shortcuts through fraudulent or misleading tactics.

As a marketer, the weapons of influence seem like very effective tools to help be more persuasive when explaining recommendations to clients, or helping them market their products better. But like Cialdini, I agree that these weapons should only be used benevolently – when the claims being made are truthful and sincere.

As a consumer, I’ve definitely fallen into many of the traps by so-called compliance professionals, and will definitely try harder to identify these sales-traps as they occur, analyze the decision more clearly, and walk away from products/deals that I only want because of an artificial trigger being manipulated by a salesperson.

Editors Note: I’ve been doing a lot of reading, and am going to try to do “book reviews” on my blog to both share those books I really enjoyed and also help process & retain the information I picked up in each book. It’ll also force me to update this blog more, which would be nice. This is the first one of hopefully many more to come…

I’m speaking at BOLO 2012 in Scottsdale, AZ

Update 10/8 – thanks to everyone that came, tweeted, asked questions or even just nodded in agreement! I had a great time presenting and it was an honor to be part of the outstanding speakers & presenters at BOLO this year.

Update 10/12 – my presentation made it to the “featured” section of the Slideshare homepage – very cool!

I’m very excited to have been invited to speak at the BOLO (Be On the Look Out) Conference here in Scottsdale, AZ. I’ll be presenting on “Agile SEO – Optimizing in Real-Time” providing insights for agencies and companies on how they can integrate SEO into their organization and start treating it as PART of the process, rather than an afterthought that comes after the process is complete. It’s an all-new presentation I’ve never given before, and I’m super excited about it – it’s a bit of a manifesto on how I think companies should be treating SEO and looking at it within their organization. It’s also got a few stories/examples and of course a healthy dose of humor to not lose the audience 🙂

I’ll update this post with a link to Slideshare once I’ve given the presentation and uploaded it for public view. In the meantime, you can read about BOLO here, and you can use the BOLO Discount Code “NRoshon” to save 20% off of registration if you’re interested in attending!

Here is my official session description:

Agile SEO – Optimizing in Real-Time
Presented by: Nick Roshon, iCrossing

Learn how and why your organization should stop treating SEO as an afterthought and start optimizing content on a more agile, real-time basis. Optimizing content like blog posts, videos, product pages and even tweets as they’re written must become the new norm for you to get the most out of your digital marketing efforts – and best of all, it’s relatively easy to implement with the right people, processes and training in place. Organizations that leverage agile SEO as part of their marketing process will see benefits across their interactive marketing including social, paid search, and even email as their content connects with users (and search engines!) in a more effective way.

Stay tuned for more!

Why I bid on myself in AdWords

Nick Roshon Vanity Search PPC Ad + Knowledge Graph

As an SEO, I’ve always felt it was important to have my own website(s) and actually implement the same kind of advice I communicate to my clients on a regular basis…eating my own dogfood, as it were. I’ve set up this blog (along with a car blog and travel blog) to experiment with various SEO tactics, content strategies, social media promotions and even some forms of monetization, and I’ve found  that these sites to be extremely helpful in my development as a marketer & SEO strategist.

I’ve decided to take my expirementing one step further by bidding on my own name [nick roshon] in Google AdWords. At first this may sound silly – I already rank #1 organically for this right? Now raise your hand if you’ve heard a client tell you this and you advise why it’s still a good idea. Like I said before, dogfooding.

Why should you bid on your own name in AdWords?

Cool data

Nick Roshon's AdWords Performance

I get to see the number of impressions for my name – aka the EXACT number of times someone has searched for name in Google. While that’s a bit of a vanity metric, it’s a cool stat that can maybe help me judge how I’m doing at building my own brand. While Google Webmaster Tools gives some approximate impression data, only AdWords can tell me exactly how many people have searched for me recently. I can use this data for other things – judging CTR, assessing the impact of keyword [not provided], etc. As of this post there have only been 25 people in the last 30 days searching for me in Google, so maybe at the very least this is also a good metric to keep my big head in check and realize I’ll never be as famous as the “leave Britney alone” guy.

It’s free (or free-ish)

Not only do I get the cool data above, but I pay virtually nothing for it. No one seems to be clicking my ads, but they keep showing up since my landing page is super relevant and my minimum bid is sufficiently high enough. As a result, I get free ads in Google. If someone does happen to click for whatever reason, I’m only out a few dimes in cost at the most.

It’s good practice

As an SEO I interface with PPC managers on a regular basis, and understand the strategy of PCC fairly well and how SEO and PPC can work together. However, I don’t get my hands dirty in PPC a lot (the PPC managers typically handle the day-t0-day bidding and adjustments). As such, it’s a good idea to get your hands dirty every once in a while by bidding on things, writing ad copy, structuring campaigns, etc.

Targeted messaging

I can play around with ad copy messaging depending on my goals, especially when I anticipate someone may search for me. For instance, if I’m speaking at a conference, I may change my ad copy to “Hear him present at SES on Key Metrics for SEO” or something along those lines, and I can really target this copy to promote whatever I’m currently working on that I think is noteworthy. I can also change landing pages to maybe highlight a recent blog post I wrote, an article I contributed to, a Slideshare deck I created, etc. With organic the homepage of NickRoshon.com and a fairly bland meta description is going to show, with PPC I can more-or-less have whatever I want pop up.

It’s a fun conversation piece

At the very least, people seem to notice this and ask about it. Some folks think it’s a cool idea and want to emulate it, other folks may think it’s stupid, and then we can engage in a fun debate as to the pros & cons of this strategy. Either way, it’s a good way to start a dialogue or have a healthy debate on the pros & cons of bidding on branded terms.

At the very least, it demonstrates a willingness to learn and experiment, something I find critical in field of digital marketing. What are your thoughts? Stupid or a good use of a ~$1.00 per month or less?