Posts Tagged ‘ Agencies

10 Things I Learned at OMS Phoenix Yesterday

Online Marketing Summit Phoenix

I attended the Online Marketing Summit in Phoenix yesterday, and wanted to share a few insights & tips I learned. It was a great conference and it was nice to see a lot of familiar faces and learn some new things. Thanks to everyone that made it possible! We covered a wide range of topics including SEO, Social Media, Conversion Optimization, Content Strategy, and everything in between. In no particular order, here were my favorite takeaways:

#10: Create a Search & Social Media Center for Excellence: Create a central repository for best practices, keywords, social media engagement guidelines, etc, for all employees. This will benefit everyone involved by:

  • Leveraging synergies across all of your digital channels – search, social, PR, web development, email marketing, and display.
  • Getting PR & Social Media people the proper URLs and anchor text for Press Releases & Social Media messaging, as well as tips for optimal distribution
  • Allowing more people to get involved with responding to complaints or questions via twitter & message boards by posting engagement guidelines. Phone support people can respond to complaints on twitter during downtime if they have training & knowledge base.

#9: A Cheaper Press Release – WebWire.com

  • I submit a ton of online press releases for clients through PRNewswire, Marketwire, and PRWeb – but they cost several hundred bucks a pop. It doesn’t look like the distribution network is as robust for Webwire, but for $20, that’s a cheap backlink at the very least…thanks @fionnd of Elixir for this tip!
Adwords Suggestions for the brand iCrossing

Adwords Tool Keyword Suggestions for the query iCrossing

#8: Search your brand & competitors & Adwords Tool – See what suggestions Google has for your brand name, and your competitors brand names in the Google Keyword Tool and Google Search Suggest.

  • This can be helpful to: find interesting keyword ideas for brand pages, find new content ideas & content gaps, and discover reputation management issues. Check out the image to the right for suggestions google had for the word “icrossing” – very on target!

#7: Some Cool Stats & Quotes

  • #1 position on SERP gets 43% of the clicks – Arnie K of Vertical Measures, a link building company
  • “Rankings are something you can influence, not something you can control” – Arnie K – good perspective
  • If you have a website, you are a publisher – Mike Corak
  • .The BEST time to post a blog is Tuesday morning, while the WORST is Friday afternoon. – Dan Tyre  of hubspot
  • “Brands must behave and enage like people do…” ~Brian Haven of iCrossing
  • Blogs are the unsung heroes of SEO
  • Do not neglect your blog child
  • If you talk to people the way advertising talked to people they’d punch you in the face – Steve Groves

#6: Check out your backlink diversity – diversity of backlinks has increased in importance in the past year or so – those with unnatural backlink profiles do not get the same benefits they used to. Don’t overdo one method of link building (e.g. directory submissions) if you’re not going to do others.

#5: Use Social Media Profile Pages for Quick & Free Backlinks – it’s easy to get links on many social networking sites, and even if they’re nofollowed, it’s still a great tool for reputation management and probably still pass along some SEO value as well. Examples: Naymz, 123People, BusinessWeek.com, Google Profiles, LinkedIn…

#4: The Real SEO Value of a No Follow Link? There was some discussion that a rel=nofollow link has been shown to influence rankings and has SEO value. Something to consider – don’t dismiss a link just because it’s nofollowed! In my personal experience I’ve seen evidence that there is some SEO value here as well, although I haven’t seen any conclusive case studies to prove it.

The last three tips were from Jeff Eisenberg, a famous conversion optimization expert who wrote “A Call to Action” along with his brother Bryan. This was the best presentation of the whole summit in my opinion, the whole presentation was captivating and inspiring – check him and his brother out at: http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/

#3: Analyze Every Word & Image on your Money Pages

  • When Dell changed “Learn More” to “Help Me Choose” on the computer configuration page, they saw an increase of MILLIONS of dollars. Why? When customers are ready to check out, they don’t want education (Learn More), but they do want help making sure they picked the right accessories & upgrades (Help Me Choose).
  • Another Example: Overstock.com had horrible conversions on their DVD page, something that should sell well. Turns out an image talking about Childrens Movies turned off users, thinking they were on the wrong page. They changed the image to something generic, and generated a $25m sales jump
  • The takeway? Understand the mindset of the customer, and talk in their language.

#2: Make your forms & check-out pages warm & fuzzy

  • Filing in Credit Card info is the scariest moment for the consumer, and where abandonment most commonly occurs.
  • Post your return policy, quality guarantees, etc, on this page and make the customer feel warm and fuzzy
  • Examples – adding customer testimonials on check-out page, always display savings (if applicable), show quality/product guarantees
  • Warren Buffet’s shoe company added a “Return-O-Meter” to their check out page showing how often a shoe is returned, and why (e.g. too wide, too small, etc). The result? Lower abandonment rate (higher confidence in purchase) plus fewer returns.

#1: Leverage Your Reviews!

  • The Eisenberg Brothers have been very successful using reviews to increase conversions.
  • With internal search on a website, allow users to search by Best Reviews/Most Reviews. When Customers Sort this way, there is a huge increase in conversions
  • Run promotions like Top Reviewed under $50. These types of categories convert much higher.
  • Another example: Vitacost – after a customer purchases something, Vitacost thanks them for the order and asks them to review – the result? Customers would go to Vitacost.com, review the product, and actually buy more products during that session!
  • Reviews have the ability to turn worthless customer (who buys very little, very infrequently, usually on sale, but leaves a review) into a very valuable customer, as their review may sway the big buyers.

PS If I mentioned something you said and didn’t properly attribute it back to you, please leave a comment and let me know and I’ll be happy to include a link back to your website or twitter profile! I was scribbling furiously on a notepad and some of the details got lost or mixed up…

My Interview With Target Marketing Mag & the AdAge Agency Report

I’m really excited about a recent interview I had for an article in Target Marketing Magazine on how to create well optimized Page Titles. As many of you know, Page Titles are pretty important for on-page optimization, yet there is an art involved with crafting them to be user friendly and encourage click-throughs as well. I think we had a great conversation and the article is a really useful piece for those interested in SEO. Check out the interview here or read the transcript below.

Secondly, I’m happy to report AdAge has recognized iCrossing’s continued industry leadership in Search. In the latest Agency Report, iCrossing was named the number one search marketing agency, number 12 digital agency, and 48th largest agency in the world. That’s quite the feat! This was our second consecutive year of being named the top search marketing agency by AdAge, and I’m proud to be a part of this company.

Target Marketing

7 Page Title Best Practices

April 21, 2010 By Heather Fletcher

Home. The word evokes feelings of warmth and comfort—a place to belong. It doesn’t necessarily bring to mind the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Yet that’s the page title the religious institution chose for its homepage.

By contrast, the page title for the green American Express card’s main page is far better: “American Express Green Charge Card—Travel, Shopping, Dining and Entertainment Rewards.”

While the page title for the Archdiocese of San Francisco could clearly use some work, the AmEx one isn’t perfect, either. This is the advice from Jeff Jones, senior product manager for Barrie, Ont.-based search engine optimization firm gShift Labs. AmEx, for instance, might want to move its branding to the end of the page title, he says.

“Titles are really simple, right?” he asks. “I mean, right off the bat, that’s your most important on-page factor.”

Below, Jones and Nick Roshon, natural search analyst for Scottsdale, Ariz.-based digital marketing agency iCrossing, advocate best practices for improving page titles and thereby aiding search marketing efforts.

1. Describe. “Think of a page title like the title of a book chapter,” Roshon says. “Your titles should be descriptive of the page’s content and communicate to users what the page is all about.”

But there’s no need to make the page title and content identical. “When writing a blog post or article, your page title does not have to match your article/post headline exactly; however, both should contain the keywords or phrases you are optimizing for,” he says. “If you are writing a post on ‘Tips for Writing SEO Friendly Page Titles,’ you will want to reuse those keywords you are targeting in the page title, such as: ‘SEO Optimized Page Titles|How to Write SEO Friendly Page Titles’ for your page title.

“Typically, you can be more aggressive with inserting the keywords in the page title than the article headline, as the article headline should focus more on grabbing the reader’s attention and convincing them to read the article once they’re already at your website, whereas the page title is simply trying to get users to visit your website in the first place,” Roshon continues. “It is very common for article headlines to be coded in an

tag, and words within an

tag are given greater importance by search engines. So having your keywords appear somewhere in the article headline will be beneficial to SEO.”

2. Keep it unique. If marketers create duplicate titles, “basically, you’re competing with yourself” for search ranking, Jones says. There’s already enough competition, so why add to it?

3. Put the most important words/phrases in front, in order of importance. “Google will only index up to 80 characters,” Roshon says. “So if you have multiple keywords you are targeting on a page and they can’t all fit within 80 characters, give some consideration to which keywords are most important to you and which keywords need the most help to rank better, and insert the keywords that best align with your objectives.”

For example, an iCrossing travel and hospitality client might use the following on a category level page featuring travel deals: “Vacation Packages, Hotel Deals & Last Minute Travel Deals | Brandname.com.” Roshon says the page title that comes in at 72 characters leaves out “some higher value keywords, like hotel specials, weekend getaways, vacation discounts, etc.,” in order to stay within that 80 character limit.

Next comes the keyword and keyphrase order. Roshon says: “The keywords that should come first should be your most competitive keywords that best describe the content of the page. In the above example, ‘Vacation Packages’ was determined to be the most important and competitive keyword, followed by ‘Hotel Deals.’ ”

4. Keep it short. Roshon mentions above that Google indexes 80 characters. Jones says page titles that long will be truncated on the search engine results page (SERP). So both suggest that marketers consider short titles. “Google will only display up to 64 characters of your page title in the search engine results page,” Roshon says. Marketers should only add characters if they “have a compelling reason to do so,” he says.

For instance, Roshon cites, the travel and hospitality client’s page title may truncate as so: “Vacation Packages, Hotel Deals & Last Minute Travel Deals …” (As a sidenote, the AmEx page title truncates on the SERP this way: “American Express Green Charge Card—Travel, Shopping, Dining and …”)

5. Leave brand words at the end. Jones says marketers are always going to rank OK for their brand names and company names. Roshon agrees, but adds: “A notable exception would be if your brand name is competitive or you have reputation management issues. So be aware of any downsides of this tactic before implementing.”

6. Keep formatting consistent. “If you capitalize every word on one page, and separate keywords with a ‘|’ symbol, then be sure your other page titles also capitalize every word and use a ‘|’ to separate keyword phrases,” Roshon says. “Consider creating a style guide with preferred formatting and tone for page titles if multiple people are writing titles, or you have a lot of titles to write.”

7. Pay attention to the analytics. Search ranking is great, but what if no one clicks through? “While it’s tempting to stuff your title with as many keywords as possible, users may be turned off when they see your page title returned in the search results if it is too keyword-rich and spammy sounding,” Roshon says. “Having nicely formatted, well-presented page titles with your keywords gently and appropriately placed will provide both SEO benefits (better rankings) as well as increased visitors (users actually [wanting] to click on your high rankings).”