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Sunday, September 22, 2013

5 Ways the Personal Revolution is Rocking the SEM World

5 Ways the Personal Revolution is Rocking the SEM World

by , Sep 18, 2013, 5:15 PM
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At the K8 Summit last week, Sir Michael Moritz, chairman of Sequoia Capital, gave a compelling keynote on what he calls “The Personal Revolution.”
Essentially, his thesis is that the transformation brought about by the acceleration of bandwidth, storage, and computation over the past 30 years is having a profound impact on an individual’s ability to generate income.
For perspective, Moritz shared that it would have cost $33 million in 1973 to generate the computational power available today in the Samsung Galaxy S4. Think about that for a minute. We’re walking around with $33 million machines in our pockets. Talk about power to the people!
At the center of the personal revolution is “The Data Factory,” a phrase which Moritz uses to describe the wide array of tools available for free (or next-to-free) for people to jumpstart their business endeavors. Examples include LinkedIn and Craigslist for labor, Kickstarter and Indiegogo for money, as well as Amazon and Twitter for global reach.
For the duration of his presentation, Moritz shared example after example of individuals who are capitalizing on the Personal Revolution to build meaningful businesses and generate significant income.
I highly encourage you to review the deck (video will be posted soon!) and get inspired by what’s happening and what’s possible.
In the meantime, here are 5 ways the Personal Revolution is rocking the SEM World:
1. More business competition.
Think about whom your company, or your client’s company, competes with. Now rethink it. Your endemic competitors are no longer the only ones you have to worry about chipping away at your market share.
Moritz provided some great examples of this phenomenon…
Every person with a credit card can create a website similar to yours through Weebly or Amazon Web Services. Every person with an Internet connection can sell products similar to yours through eBay or Etsy. Every person with a manuscript can publish a book through Amazon KDP. Every person with an apartment can accommodate travelers through Airbnb. Every person with an iPhone can collect credit card payments through Square. Every person with a car can be a cabbie thru Uber.
Put simply, you are now competing against every person!
The ramifications of this on your search program are innumerable. How do you select keywords that will associate your brand with the right offerings? How do you write ad copy and create landing pages that will convey your unique selling proposition? I don’t have all the answers but one thing’s for sure… you have to stay nimble and agile. Test and iterate. Test and iterate.
2. More bidding competition.
More business competition means more bidding competition. A new search advertiser is born every minute. For today’s small business, Google is the first dollar spent. And the Yahoo Bing Network is not far behind.
The result is cost-per-click inflation that can only be mitigated by advanced bid optimization and quality score management. Leverage automated search technology platforms to deploy portfolio optimization across your campaigns to achieve business goals independent of one-off keyword rates. Leverage creative optimization partners to improve your ad copy and give yourself a chance to continue competing on the SERPs without raising your bids. Leverage landing page optimization tools to increase relevancy and drive higher conversion metrics.
3. More ways to prove value.
Speaking of conversions, the Personal Revolution gives search marketers a whole new set of activities that can be measured and attributed to define campaign success.
Beyond clicks and sales, we have calls, check-ins, app installs, and many other metrics that are indicative of real business value being created following engagement with search listings. The key for SEM’ers is to track and optimize against these KPIs in the context of overall business goals.
4. Rapid global expansion.
Moritz observed that the Personal Revolution is exploding in regions outside the U.S. Specifically, Russia, Korea, China, and Japan are producing companies that are delivering technological breakthroughs and innovating at a rapid clip.
For search marketers, the imperative to expand internationally and reach connected consumers with serious buying power has never been stronger. Fortunately, the means by which search marketers can expand their programs and reach these buyers has never been stronger. Regional search engines like Yandex, Naver, Baidu and Yahoo! Japan offer great opportunities to penetrate local markets. And advanced SEM technology platforms enable tracking and optimization across these properties.
5. New channels and content opportunities.
In his presentation, Moritz noted that Android now has more than 1 million apps and Apple has more than 900k. Compare that to the IBM 360 that ran 244 applications or the Apple II that did 490. Mobile devices have given marketers tools to connect with customers in myriad ways and locations. Savvy SEM pros know that app usage is just another way that consumers express intent and, therefore, a critical aperture for brand engagement.
Consider YouTube that, per Moritz, generated $4B in advertising in 2012 on the backs of 1-million+ “professional” content creators. Now add in Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Pinterest, Tumblr, and other social networks and content platforms. For SEO ninjas, each of these platforms represents opportunities to seed brand assets and generate visibility.
It’s a brave new world out there and, nothing personal, but everything’s personal now!

Read more: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/209458/5-ways-the-personal-revolution-is-rocking-the-sem.html?edition=64880#ixzz2fdkyGGQX

Monday, September 9, 2013

4 Reasons to Spend More on SEO

4 Reasons to Spend More on SEO

SEO Evolution: Sell, Discover, Deliver & Report on Highly Converting Keywords by Krista LaRiviere, gShift Labs
ROI Return on Investment
Google has made dramatic changes in 2013, with the May 22 Penguin update having the biggest impact for small business websites. After some severe reductions in traffic, some webmasters are at least seeing traffic increases in August due, in part, to a Panda softening from Google.
In response, many webmasters are making big shifts in SEO tactics. While long overdue, this is the right move.
Few businesses are looking to move to lower quality SEO services as they now fear Google more than ever. But small businesses run very close to the margin and traditionally resist increasing the SEO budget, regardless of the consequences. Here are four reasons why small business owners should reconsider.

1. Google Asked You To

While many will dismiss this as PR, Google has clearly communicated that they no longer will tolerate SEO tactics that used to work in 2008. Article spinning, keyword stuffing, excessive bookmarks, reborn domains, paid links, thin content, and duplicate content are all not OK.
Even if you haven't received an unnatural link warning, the writing is on the wall. Quality must increase for continued success in SEO. While this message is clearly self-serving for Google, it's important to respect their power in the industry.

2. Recovering From Google Updates is Expensive

There are plenty of websites that have partially recovered from Penguin downgrades, but each case is different. The level of returning traffic varies.
Technical issues on-site are the easiest to fix and should be addressed quickly using Webmaster Tools as the guide. Duplicate content needs to be removed immediately.
Keyword-stuffed titles need to be edited. Thin content, a favorite among many, should be replaced with real content marketing.
Off-site issues, such as bad link building, are particularly hard to fix. It is very ironic that firms now exist to send "link removal request" emails to other firms who were previously retained to build those links.
Small business needs to stop doing bad link building and embrace content marketing. They need to get creative and experiment with newsjacking.
All of these activities cost money. Smart business owners are thinking toward the future and deciding to spend more on SEO now (via higher quality services) to avoid repeating this activity in 2014.

3. SEO Has Merged With Marketing

Many small business webmasters were using a "set-it-and-forget-it" SEO strategy, believing that they need not worry about SEO after hiring a firm. This violates one of the major tenets of business process outsourcing, which is to outsource process and execution, but maintain strict performance monitoring and accountability.
It isn't surprising that many small businesses are feeling buyer's remorse, wishing they had done greater due-diligence in the vendor selection process and better understood the risks associated with SEO.
It should be clear at this point that SEO is no longer a technical exercise and is rapidly merging with marketing and public relations. Smart CEOs recognize the strategic importance of SEO in our digital world. For this reason, they find ways to amplify SEO in allmarketing activities. Ironically, many companies have SEO opportunities they don't harness.
For example, every employee should maintain a "work" Twitter account and share industry news, blog posts and company specials to help spread content. This type of integrated SEO marketing execution is the future, and will draw more budget dollars.

4. SEO ROI Remains High

The data suggests that SEO is still a great investment. This means that small business shouldn't necessarily shop for the cheapest SEO vendor, but consider the return they can make on their money if they spend more:
  • SEO remains a very high ROI activity.
  • The cost-per-lead for SEO is still very attractive.
  • Google has significantly tightened the requirements for high-quality SEO.
  • Integrated marketing strategies have big efficiencies.


All technologies and industries mature, and price-points typically change dramatically along the way. SEO is following the same playbook as most other young industries.
In the last few years we have seen SEO move from infancy to adolescence, with the Google algorithm updates as mileposts. While SEO will become more difficult and expensive to execute, the return on investment remains high for small business. In the end, ROI is more important than the absolute number of a budget line item.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Facing Dead Whale Or Lost Cargo, Maersk Line Turns to Social Media

If you don't believe it's time for your company to get on board with social media you should read this:
September 03, 2013

Facing Dead Whale Or Lost Cargo, Maersk Line Turns to Social Media

Who would have thought a container shipping firm could rally as many Facebook "likes" as a big brewer, find lost cargoes via Instagram or use Pinterest to limit the public relations setback of accidentally killing a whale?

Maersk Line is doing just that and the Danish company says its embrace of social media - more usual in consumer-oriented sectors like cars or fashion - has given it an edge in the normally low-profile business-to-business shipping sector.

The world's biggest container shipping company - part of A.P. Moller-Maersk - sees the Internet as a cheap way to boost its profile, making it a more likely choice for freight forwarders.

"There is a lot to gain from it, such as better press coverage, higher employee engagement and better brand awareness," said Jonathan Wichmann, its head of social media.

The strategy proved its worth when the ship Maersk Norwich hit a whale and arrived in Rotterdam harbour in June last year with the 12-metre animal lying dead across its bulbous bow.

Rather than play down the incident, Maersk posted pictures on Facebook and created an album "In Memory of the Maersk Norwich Whale" on Pinterest. Both were widely shared and the company says comments were mostly positive.

Maersk Line's new ships all have have a Web page and Maersk is present on most social media, including Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Vimeo, Flickr and Tumblr.

Its social media crew covered the two-year construction of its $185 million, "Triple E" container ship - the world's biggest vessel - and its arrival in Europe last month.

Maersk Line's corporate Facebook page has more than one million "likes". While that is far less than the 11 million likes accumulated by Daimler's Mercedes brand, it is in the same league as consumer brands such as Danish brewer Carlsberg's 1.3 million and more than Swedish carmaker Volvo's 675,000.

Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Company, the second-biggest container shipper, has just 4,500 "likes". The third-biggest, France's CMA CGM, has about 11,000.


"Maersk Line has been the first social media mover within the shipping industry. I'm convinced others will follow," said Frederik Preisler, partner at Danish advertising company Mensch.

Wichmann said that when Maersk Line publishes news on social media, it is often re-tweeted or shared, while fewer people take notice of its traditional advertising.

The company launched its social media strategy in October 2011 and spent around $100,000 in the first year - compared with millions needed for traditional media advertising. Wichmann declined to disclose the company's spending on advertising.

Now it plans to use social media to recruit help in tracking down lost containers. Its 550 ships on average lose some 18 containers a year and finding them is tough.

The project will allow people to photograph a container on a beach and upload the picture and serial number to Facebook or Instagram so that Maersk can retrieve it.