Feb 03 2014

Does Google Know What’s Authoritative To A Human?

Category: generalTom Shivers

An interesting question was posed on Webmaster World last summer that got lots of attention, comments and suggestions – Authority and quality: Google definitions vs common sense

I’ve summarized the main points of the thread below in this poll. Go ahead and vote for up to 3 items:

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Nov 06 2012

Caution: Heavy Traffic Ahead – How to Prepare your Site for a Visitor Spike

Category: generalGuest Author

A surge in visitor traffic is the dream of every website. Heavy traffic means that your online marketing campaign is paying off, and there are plenty opportunities to turn site traffic into revenue.

But while a surge in visitors is every web marketer’s dream, it can quickly turn into a nightmare if you aren’t prepared. Traffic spikes are like hosting a huge party: you have to make sure that you can accommodate everyone well before the event.

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Sep 24 2012

7 Steps to Plan a Cash Mob [Infographic]

Category: generalGuest Author

You’ve seen a flash mob, where groups of people spontaneously break out in song and/or dance. You may have even heard about flash robs, cat mobs and other types of mobs around the country. By now, hopefully you have also heard of a cash mob – the grassroots, community-led movement targeting locally-owned businesses and want to learn how to plan a cash mob.

Planning a cash mob in your area is a fun and simple way to stimulate the local economy, raise awareness about locally–owned businesses and inspire others. While it may seem like a big time commitment, following these easy steps on how to plan a cash mob ensures that your first event is a success in your community.

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Mar 19 2012

Web Design Trends of Late

Category: generalGuest Author

It has just been a couple months since the 2012 marker, and some patterns have made themselves very obvious with the way designers have planned their work. Indeed, many of them are just like the previous year, so it seems like 2011 and 2012 may not be too different. Of course, there are still some small changes to be seen.

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Aug 10 2011

How Do B2B Companies Use White Papers?

Category: generalGuest Author

White Papers are commonly used as marketing material by B2B companies. They are normally used earlier in the sales cycle to convince clients to use their services.

White papers are a cross between a magazine article and a brochure. The white paper normally starts off with a problem that is affecting the reader, after this the solution to the problem is provided. This is the magazine article section. At the end of the white paper the service provided by your company and product or service is written. This is the brochure section. The service provided by your company should provide the same solutions that were described earlier in the white paper.

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Jan 20 2011

Forecast For Global Ecommerce: Growth

Category: generalTom Shivers

global ecommerce

Although the US and Canada lead the world in ecommerce spending, other countries are increasingly shopping online. By 2014, global ecommerce spending is projected to increase more than 90 percent. A sizable portion of that growth is expected to come from Latin America, where the amount spent online is projected to more than double.

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Nov 11 2010

How to Track PayPal Transaction Data in Google Analytics Ecommerce – Sample Code

Category: generalYulia Solodky

(Warning: highly technical post, but highly useful for ecommerce sites!)

Although Google Analytics is free, it can be tricky getting the Ecommerce section to provide you with the kind of data you need to track specific transactions. As you may know, when Ecommerce analytics work you can see things like:

  • Products purchased
  • Price
  • Quantity
  • Tax
  • Shipping
  • Location
  • Order ID
  • SKU

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Jul 05 2010

Was the Direct Mailer, TV/Radio/Newspaper Ad Campaign Worth It? Consult Your Web Analytics

Category: generalJon Davis

Chances are that your company markets itself through a number of different channels.  Whether it is through traditional advertising methods we are all familiar with like radio, television, newspapers, magazines, direct mailing, billboards, etc. or from more modern efforts like search engine marketing, you need to be able to quantitatively determine if your strategy is driving business.

Do you currently have measurement tools in place?  Are you paying a firm a lot of money to track the results and give opinions on your campaigns?  Are you just using the same advertising strategies your company has used for the last 10 years?  Are you able to tell definitively what is working and what isn’t?

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Jul 09 2009

Everyone likes to buy…

Category: generalAl Simon

But nobody wants to be sold!

The room was thick with tension. The salesperson looked each of us in the eye as he asked his rehearsed series of questions designed to lead us all down the inevitable path of ordering his wares.

The evening started out innocently enough: Dinner at my son’s apartment, prepared by a cookware company’s sales representatives. My daughter and son-in-law were there, along with my son’s fiancee and my wife and me. We watched with smiles as the salesperson/chef demonstrated the features and benefits of the cookware and the kitchen filled with the wonderful aromas of chicken, mashed potatoes and vegetables. We ate the dinner while enjoying light chatter and pleasant stories as the company’s rep cleaned the kitchen and cookware.

Then came the high-pressure closing tactics. As we sat in a circle in the living room, he passed around pictures of the different packages and asked his questions in the classic Socratic manner:

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Aug 26 2008

Use Twitter for Customer Service

Category: general,social mediaJon Davis

In our first post about Twitter we looked at how Whole Foods is using Twitter to run promotions.  Now we will look at some companies that are using Twitter as another means of customer service.  The interesting part is people are finding that often Twitter is the best way to communicate with large companies whose customer service tends to lack at times.  Comcast for instance has found Twitter to be a great way to better address their customers concerns and issues.  The most famous situation involving customer service and Twitter involves Comcast and TechCrunch blogger Michael Arrington.  Frustrated that his service had been out for hours Arrington eventually lost his cool and began angrily Twittering his frustrations.  Within 20 minutes of his Twitter activity he was contacted by a Comcast executive and his problem was resolved.  It is true that Arrington is an influential person and this could have helped his cause but everyday Comcast is helping plenty of lesser known customers as well.  According to Comcast they receive millions of calls a day from customers looking for help.  Conversely, the Comcast team of around 10 that manages Twitter and other social networks helps just about 100 customers a day.  The Comcast representatives managing the Comcast Twitter account are consequently better able to address the problem as well as give a quick solution.

Many other large companies have also begun to use Twitter as a means of addressing customer service.  Southwest Air, Home Depot, and Dell are just a few.  Are your customers on Twitter?  If you operate on the West Coast the chances are yes.  If not, to find out simply use the Twitter search tool and type in your company’s name and products.  Maybe even some potential customers are out there.  Try searching for some of the services you provide.  If you find some people out in the Twitter universe talking about your company or services, join the conversation and just watch how much they appreciate the personal contact.

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Jul 10 2008

13 Foolish Assumptions About Internet Marketing

Category: general,internet marketingTom Shivers

Interesting, quirky, who told you that and sometimes funny comments we’ve heard…

“All I need is more clicks to get more biz”

“We expect SEO to get us top rankings for our full range of over 200 products”

“Our CEO (or HiPPO, highest paid person’s opinion) makes the final decision about which design is best for our online audience”

“My web designer can handle SEO”

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Jul 03 2008

Dwight from “The Office” vs. The Company Website

Category: generalJon Davis

What does a salesman do when his company sets up a new, well-designed, user friendly website that allows their customers to bypass the sales department and order products all by themselves? Well, if you are Dwight from the popular NBC show The Office you “carb-up”, fight back and challenge the website to a contest to sell the most products.

This episode hilariously illustrates the results that implementing a website as a selling entity can yield. Dwight is forced to overcome the many inherit advantages that a website possess over the traditional method of selling. The website can serve multiple people at the same time, it can serve people coast-to-coast or even globally, can give the consumer every bit of information about every product, the website never needs to take a break, etc.

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Jun 26 2008

Recognizing the Value Beyond the Click to Conversion

Category: conversion rate optimization,generalJon Davis

The Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association (AiMA) held their monthly meeting last night. The topic of the night: recognize the value of online marketing efforts beyond the simple click to conversion metrics that are so common in our industry. The truth of the matter is search is responsible for much more business than it gets credit for in traditional models, it’s extremely important as a branding tool and it can be used as a powerful tool to track offline marketing efforts.

For instance, when someone performs a search and finds a product they would like to purchase they may not necessarily purchase the product online, they may actually go to the store and buy the product but the search they performed online does not get credit for the sale. The importance of leveraging search engines for branding is also something that is very difficult to measure but has a major impact on how people view a company’s product. Seeing a company at the top of the search results creates a trust for the brand. Also, analyzing website statistics can be a great way to test whether or not an offline mailing, radio ad, TV commercial, etc. was effective at driving traffic to the site and increasing purchases.

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Jun 19 2008

Not so Dynamic Insertion

Category: general,pay-per-click advertisingJon Davis

The dynamic keyword insertion tool for adwords is a great tool for managing large amounts of diverse keywords within an adgroup. For those of you who are not familiar the keyword insertion tool allows you to place a code combined with a generic keyword into your ads. This combination results in the actual keyword the searcher was searching for appearing in the ad. This has been proven to help with click-through-rates because searchers respond more to seeing the exact phrase or word that they typed in.

So, say you sell sporting goods and have targeted the keywords “soccer balls”, “footballs” and “golf balls”. An example of the way you would write your ad using dynamic insertion would be:
Title: {Keyword:Sport}
Description line #1: {Keyword:Sport} for Sale
Description line #2: Name Brands at Great Prices

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Jun 04 2008

In-Demand Content and Top Search Engine Placement

Category: general,organic seo,social mediaTom Shivers

Part 1: User-Generated Content

The seminar was coming to a close and the speaker opened the mic to the crowd of about 200 for questions. The questions were excellent, forcing the presenter to clarify his point as it related to specific situations, and uncovering details that were touched on from a high level. No one left their seat as questions kept coming, and then the moderator abruptly ended one of the best Q&A sessions I’ve experienced.

That speaker has what most business websites lack: in-demand content.

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Apr 21 2008

The Tipping Point: When Organic Traffic Surpasses Paid Search Traffic

Category: generalTom Shivers

So you have a new business and, to keep expenses down and ROI up, you use the Internet to find new customers or clients. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the best investment, but it normally takes 3 to 6 months to see top rankings. Since you must have customers to stay afloat, you want immediate and qualified prospects to come to your site. So what you need right now is paid search (pay-per-click advertising). And implementing both SEO and paid search simultaneously can give your business an irresistible one-two advantage.

When paid search is the main source of new customers, you have to maximize the ROI from your immediate – yet pricey – web visitors. How? By clearly communicating with the most desired prospect whose problem you can solve, and who is willing, able and ready to engage now.

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