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Archive for June, 2009

SEO shortlist: 10 search optimization sites and resources

June 24th, 2009 10 comments

If you’re joining us for this afternoon’s SEO live optimization web clinic, you already know the topic is way too broad for one hour.

Learning the fundamentals of search engine optimization is only step one. Keeping up with the frequent changes, learning and testing the latest best practices, and steering clear of the mountains of misinformation? That’s a full-time effort.

If you’ve been around the block with SEO, you’re already a regular reader of the following sites and tools. Still, when it comes to reliable SEO info, these resources consistently rise to the top of my shortlist.

10 SEO resources you’ll want to bookmark

That’s it? Why not an exhaustive list of 400+ SEO sites?

A few reasons: First, TopRank already has a megalist; it’s right up there (thanks, Lee!). Second, from the sources above, you can branch out to any number of free and paid tools and augment your own list based on your experience level, needs, and preferences. And third, if you really have time to regularly read more than a dozen sites on SEO, more power to you and your Google Reader and/or RSS feeds.

Feel free to add your own favorite SEO resources in the comments section.

And check back with the blog as we’ll be following up today’s SEO clinic with responses to the live audience Q&A, additional resources and specific articles, plus our clinic contest winners — some lucky marketers will not only have their pages optimized, they’ll also win seats at our Landing Page Optimization Training Tour.

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The Twitter #webclinic that broke the interwebs — now with Q&A

June 16th, 2009 No comments

With our June 10 web clinic, Twitter Experiments: Getting beyond the “now what?” featuring special guests Jason Breed and Marc Meyer, we knew we had a full house going into the session.

But we never expected to break into Twitter’s top 10 trending topics by taking down a chunk of the interwebs.

What our crew and 1,001 clinic participants also didn’t expect was that the webinar hosting service would go down three times due to a “service disruption … a result of unscheduled maintenance in our network.” Nice.

Despite all that, we managed to plow through the webinar and we’d like to send a special thank you to the 862 folks who stayed with us. This post includes some answers to your questions from the web clinic.

You can now access the presentation: Twitter Experiments: Getting beyond the “now what?”

clinic-2009-06-10-twitter-550w


Pamela Jesseau
, our razor-sharp new content queen, tackled the following clinic questions to help you set up your Twitter account, build your following, and expand your business. (Also check out her post: Twitter for businesses: 7 articles + tools you don’t want to miss.)


Q: How do I search Twitter for mentions of my company? What do I do with the results?

The simplest way is to use the search box in the right-hand sidebar of your Twitter page, or Twitter’s search page at search.twitter.com.  These will find mentions of your keyword within all Tweets.

One tool that was featured in the web clinic is Twazzup, a third-party application that can help you track mentions of your brand. Just enter your company name or search string to find out who is Tweeting about you. For example, the image below shows a search for a company that was recently in the news in North Florida.

twazzup-landmar-news

You can also set up a search string within an application like TweetDeck, which will alert you when someone sends a Tweet with your name. Then what? Listen to what they are saying, address their concerns, thank them for their feedback, and follow them to engage the conversation and build your community.


Q: What if your company name is too long for a good Twitter name?

Twitter only allows 15-character usernames, so there are many companies which have to improvise. We ran into this issue ourselves and abbreviated MarketingExperiments to @MktgExperiments.

Your Twitter handle should still make sense and be fairly easy for people to remember.  Other examples of organizations that got around this issue using abbreviations, shortened forms, or acronyms include:


Q: If you are not tweeting with a big following, what is the point?

Everyone has to start somewhere.  You can build on a small following by first engaging and bringing value to those that do follow you.

Add yourself to the user-generated Twitter directory WeFollow and choose three tags that describe your business and industry — such as marketing, SEO, and software for example.  Others with similar profiles will find you when they are looking to expand their networks.  In turn, take the time to search for people in your target group and follow them.  But don’t stop there — start a conversation.  Retweet an article you found valuable, or start a discussion on a topic relevant to your sector.

Fridays provide the opportunity for you to recommend a colleague or partner by Tweeting their name to others and tag it with #followfriday. Some may return the favor, or at least tweet a thanks with your name to their followers. (Learn more about #followfriday and other hashtags at … wait for it … Mashable.)

Build and nurture your following, the same way you might do with other leads. You wouldn’t try to hard sell a new prospect in person, would you? So don’t do it on Twitter. Build the relationship, get your brand and yourself out there, and be there to respond to feedback.


Q: I understand why someone would have a lot of followers. But how can you follow thousands of people? It’s not manageable. It doesn’t make sense to me. Any advice on this would be great.

One of the most valuable tools that we have found for smart Twittering is TweetDeck. As mentioned above, this free application allows you to manage the tweets you receive with columns of separate, customizable feeds and filters.

You can group certain people, and create search strings to monitor mentions of your company, industry and even competitors. That way you can skip all the weather updates and lunch reports, without missing the feedback on your product, or opportunities to connect.


Q: Any results on running price specials via Twitter?

Dell Computer made news earlier this year when it revealed that $1 million in sales could be attributed to their Twitter feeds. Dell has several feeds, each targeting different segments. As we discussed in the web clinic, the company used @DellOutlet to Tweet discounts with a link to purchase the product from the Outlet Store. Shortly afterward, Dell started to offer exclusive deals to its followers. Twitter is still an emerging channel, but results like these show it does have real value for businesses.


Twitter training: Putting practical know-how into action to drive business results

In addition to the questions above, the live audience polls from our web clinic indicated that many marketers still aren’t sure how to use Twitter to improve their bottom line.

That’s why we are pleased to be able to team up again with Jason Breed, Senior Director of Business Development of Neighborhood America, and Marc Meyer, CEO of Digital Response Marketing Group, for a new training eWorkshop on using Twitter to boost your business results.

While our free web clinics provide new research findings, case studies and actionable ideas, our training eWorkshops are designed to help you advance from the “what” and “why” to the “how” and “how-to” with detailed, hands-on guidance and tools.

In this interactive eWorkshop, you’ll learn specifics on:

  • Where to start (or restart) and how to map out your Twitter presence/s
  • How to develop the most effective Twitter business strategy for your organization
  • Ways to build and engage a following that’s more than just a numbers game
  • Tools that will help you save time and maximize your efforts

eWorkshop: How to use Twitter to boost your business results
Tuesday, June 30
4:00 to 5:00 p.m. EDT
Training session: $129

Join us if you want to accelerate your knowledge, cut down on the learning curve, and start using Twitter to drive revenue, build equity and decrease costs.

Twitter web clinic attendees can save $30 on this eWorkshop when registering with the special savings code. Please check your clinic follow-up email for the code and secure your spot for this special training eWorkshop. (We’ll keep the interwebs intact this time.)

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Twitter for businesses: 7 articles + tools you don’t want to miss

June 10th, 2009 3 comments

With hundreds of lists of Twitter tips and tools, and dozens more popping up each day, it’s getting impossible to keep up unless you work for Mashable.

So in advance of today’s Twitter Experiments: Getting beyond the “now what?” web clinic, we wanted to share some of our favorite tips, tools and articles related to the business side of Twitter. Instead of a laundry list of 87 tools or 143 people to follow, here are seven of the most valuable articles and resources we’ve seen lately. Enjoy …

  • 10 ways Twitter will change American business: A look at how businesses can drive hyper-local marketing, conduct marketing research, and charge for goods and services on the large independent economy that will emerge on Twitter.

We hope you’ll find this list particularly useful because you can skim all the articles fairly quickly.

Let us know what you think in the comments field — or @MktgExperiments — add your own favorite articles, and Tweet this post yourself. Then join us for today’s free Twitter Experiments web clinic and look for a special announcement.

UPDATE– Follow-up Twitter eWorkshop on June 30:

Due to the overwhelming response to our Twitter Experiments web clinic [and the ensuing system crashes with the free clinic] we are pleased to announce that we’ll be conducting a special eWorkshop: How to use Twitter to boost your business results.

We’re teaming up again with our featured presenters, Jason Breed and Marc Meyer, to help you get from the “why” to the “how” with hands-on guidance on using Twitter to drive revenue, build equity and decrease costs. Join us on Tuesday, June 30 for this virtual training session.

In this interactive Twitter for business eWorkshop, you’ll learn:

  • Where to start (or restart) and how to plan your Twitter presence
  • How to develop the right strategy for your organization
  • Ways to build and engage a following that’s more than just numbers
  • Which tools can help you maximize your efforts

Take advantage of this opportunity to accelerate your knowledge, reduce the learning curve, and capitalize on this rapidly expanding business community. (Attendees from today’s web clinic will receive a special code to save $30 off this eWorkshop. Today’s clinic will be freely available on our site, as always.)

Note: This eWorkshop is limited to 400 participants, and spaces will fill up quickly, so register today and secure your spot for this special eWorkshop.

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Ecommerce optimization research brief, web clinic contest winners

June 5th, 2009 No comments

I guess it was bound to happen. For last Wednesday’s web clinic — Optimizing Your Ecommerce Site — we packed in a bunch of research, special guest Stefan Tornquist from MarketingSherpa, and two new case studies with gains of up to 56%.

We had a great crowd, lots of live Q&A, a cool contest — and, sadly, a vaporized recording. So you can now access the presentation in our standard research brief format (with all the charts, key points and takeaways from the session); however, the flash version is in the ether. Sorry about that.

Back to some good news, eh?

The five clinic participants who will receive a free copy of the 2009 MarketingSherpa Ecommerce Benchmark Guide are:

  1. Cathryn Foster of Dot Zinc
  2. Amy Wang of JPMorgan Chase
  3. Richard Flaherty of CambridgeSoft Corporation
  4. Bethany Siegler of UniqueThink
  5. Tom Gray of Gray eMarketing

More good news?

Thanks to your feedback, we’re expanding our web clinics in several new ways, including: teaming up with more featured guests, pulling in more case studies and research from our community of marketers, and tackling some new topics.

A perfect example is our free web clinic next Wednesday, June 10: Twitter Experiments: Getting beyond the “now what?”

Sign up for the free Twitter clinic, join the @MktgExperiments team, and keep an eye on the hashtag #webclinic in the days to come. Oh, and please share with your tweeps, too.

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