Website Technical Optimization – Basic Stuff, High Rewards

1 10 2009

Original post – on Atomic Ideas

When I sit with clients, prospects and colleagues, I try to spend the time both teaching and learning. In particular, when I coach many of the smart people that I am thankful to work with, on a variety of digital marketing and social media business strategies, I have a tendency to often lose them. This is most likely because of the speed that I explain things.

I have a bad habit of assuming that people know what I am talking about because I get very passionate about sharing my experiences and knowledge. Ask my wife and she will not only agree but laugh that I am stating this fact.

The critical focal point in the first sentence above, however, is learning. I have found that as I am teaching others, I can actually learn more than I am teaching in many cases. For example, (take a social assessment and strategy development for a B2B company) – I’ve consulted with some very intelligent and savvy business people in the B2B arena on social assessment projects – but I’ve learned to become a better listener. Which, ( …BTW) – allows me to be a better learner and ultimately a better teacher.

Outside of an extremely detailed assessment ( among other deliverables) – including “listening” to the social landscape of:

* Brand mentions

* Competitors

* Customers, across several industries

* Service offerings/products

Prior to developing a strategy – the recommendation to begin improving their web sites is sometimes needed first and foremost. As my colleague Shauna Nicholson states, “It’s like dressing up before you go out to a business event.” However, what if your client really likes their current site? (Even if it has not been updated since 2001) Feeling that there is nothing needed for improvement. In fact, they feel that:

* The creative is great. (In reality: It looks like 1998 is calling!)

* It has functionality and conversions are great. (In reality: They don’t know the potential that they are missing.)

* It must be optimized correctly, right? Just leave it and let’s move forward with Twitter and Facebook, right?

How do we explain this most basic step? Putting your clothes on before you go out… a small (but very important) part of the overall strategy, without irritating or losing a client? Here are some slivers of the website technical optimization pie that can hit a cord with a President of a large B2B organization.

Let’s say that Google, Yahoo and Bing are the hosts of a major trade show in your industry. Anybody that you ever dreamed of getting in front of is your audience – and they are at this trade show, which gives you many opportunities to tell them all who you are and what you do. You go outside of your booth passing out some really great items to draw them to your booth (as well as having the opportunity for your hosts to draw traffic to your booth…) But, what happens when they get there?

Let’s look at what you are telling your hosts first:

Page Title - Does your page title (or tradeshow banner) effectively tell Google (or your trade show host) who they should recommend visiting your booth? Title
(Is it relevant and descriptive to the industry you serve?

Meta Description – Does your meta description effectively tell Yahoo what you do? Description
(Does it match the visible text?)

Meta Keywords – Are your keyword effective and relevant? Keywords
(Are they consistent with the content page by page? (Each page individually optimized?))

Then… there is your audience (what if they come):
They're Heeere! - Poltergeist They’re Heeere! Once your users show up, is your website clear, consistent and easy to navigate? Or is it cold, gloomy and/or hard to understand? I’ve personally spent more time at trade show booths that have occupied my attention (without overwhelming me) and offered great information. The same goes for websites. So, you have a 24-7 (365 days a year) trade show going on and your okay with a dingy booth with incomplete messages and no one hanging around, eh?

Driving traffic to a site can be the easy part – in some cases, outside of the fact that we want to get relevant traffic – we want to look the part. Do we have a nice outfit on, have our hair combed, teeth brushed and flossed with a smile on ready to do some business?





Think INSIDE The Box – Invest in Your Employees, Sell More Stuff.

25 08 2009

Think INSIDE The Box – Invest in Your Employees, Sell More Stuff.

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I recently posted a comment on this blog post by Russ Tate. Cheers to those employers who empower employees with mutual respect and satisfaction.





Increasing Relevance to Improve Ranking

31 07 2009

I can’t stress the importance of research, strategy and planning (enough) in any good marketing strategy. I attempted to describe this in my post from this April titled: Moving the Needle with “New Media” – Technically Speaking (under the subheading: Finally, don’t just throw your time or budget away!) A solid digital business strategy will ensure that the work done has an incremental and long-term value for years to come. Is this branding at its best?

Yesterday, I was training a small group on best blogging practices. Good thing, I’m able to use my own blog as an example of how content marketing has a “shelf life of years.”

I have started several blogs over the years either for friends, clients and even myself – all with a variety of different purposes or strategies. This very blog (http://www.freshmenz.wordpress.com) (originally) started in May of 2008 to discuss products that my family uses in our home.

In May of this year, I started using this blog to discuss topics of interest to share certain passions, experiences and stories in my life. Thus, I began writing somewhat regularly on this blog. As it began to pick up popularity with my content on social media and digital marketing, this caused some confusion with some of my audience.

For example, I had a Michigan business coach tell me that he loves my blog but “what is up with Freshmenz Enterprises offering UV air purifiers, laundry products, UV water purifiers, etc?” Although he knows why, I understood what he meant. It is confusing to a user searching for this information (potentially looking for air and water purification products) and end up coming to a blog (mostly talking about digital media and social strategies.)

Back in 2007, I had started an e-commerce website (using the domain http://www.freshmenz.com) and set up a low budget website with a shopping cart to sell these products directly. I mass distributed a press release and was also very active in social communities engaging people with similar interests, sharing and collaborating on information about the green technologies that I was passionate about, used in my home and offered via my e-commerce website.

Content Marketing Relevancy

Content Marketing Relevancy


I originally intended for people to find me and ask me how these products have helped my family. At that time, I found how to becoming a valuable resource for people online (rather than trying to sell directly to them) results in developing many great relationships. I developed a nice customer base with customers all over the United States because they found my content useful and/or informative (via various locations on the Internet.)

Today, I use this domain for my blog yet this content still exists on hundreds of web sites driving traffic to this property. Although, I am still a resource for these products the user experience may be confusing for those who click through looking ti find information on how to clean their clothes without using laundry detergent (e.g. LaundryPure). That is… unless they find this specific post (or some other specific previous post), it is easy to understand how they could easily be lost, confused and annoyed. The fact that this content has a shelf life for many years is exactly why you want to have a solid strategy in place first (and foremost.)

I’ve worked with small brands (e.g. Freshmenz Enterprises), medium brands and large International brands on digital marketing efforts that use content to become an authority in a variety of different areas. Whether you are a major automotive supplier, a non-profit organization, a small business or a professional blogger… your Internet presence needs a strategy for long-term success.

I apologize for (originally) not having a specific plan in how I would use this domain and this blog. However, it has been a great example to show friends, colleagues, prospects and clients. Does your brand have a long-term digital strategy?





Content Marketing Tool Tip – Building Powerful Online Visibility

16 07 2009

PRWeb Webinar: How to Use Your News to Bring Customers Straight to Your Door

Today, a free, one-hour Webinar hosted by PRWeb’s Jiyan Wei ( @PRWeb – at Twitter) taught participants how to use news releases online to build an your brands authority via the power of the Internet, attracting customers to your website.

Featured co-presenters included:

Janet Driscoll Miller – President and CEO for SEO firm, Search Mojo
Stacey Wells Justice – Director of Corporate Communications for Vocus

Among the topic on using online digital press release services like PRWeb, Miller described that “Links pointing to your website from other websites, inbound links, are the most important element in Google’s ranking algorithm. Links are treated like a vote of popularity for a website about a particular subject.” Press releases (a.k.a. web releases) are a great part of a robust content marketing strategy to build inbound links.

How PRWeb Changed the Press Release

This Webinar was a perfect opportunity for our interns, prospects and current clients to learn how and why we integrate these functions and get results.

For more information please visit: PRWeb Webinar: How to Use Your News to Bring Customers Straight to Your Door

Click Here To View PowerPoint: Use News to Bring Customers to Your Door( PRWeb) Webinar

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You’re never too young to learn on a PC!

11 06 2009

I’m a finalist in the Microsoft Brickfish contest.

Submitted for: Windows® Brand Ambassador — Semi-Finals

You're never too young to learn on a PC.





That was then… This is NOW!

20 05 2009

The past several posts have focused on philosophical approaches to our universe that we all share and in particular how New Media is evolving. How businesses, brands and individuals can adapt. Our world is forever changed (and continually changing) – how we view and live through the changes is critical to how we advance. As Ayn Rand stated, “Morality is the judgment to distinguish right and wrong, vision to see the truth, courage to act upon it, dedication to that which is good, integrity to stand by the good at any price.”

No matter what you believe or how many philosophies we study. I believe that my parents and grandparents taught me the value and romance of what really matters in life. I am very lucky for that! Feel the L-O-V-E . A few years ago, I wrote the following poem:

Memo To Society

My sweet society, I can’t comprehend you and your ways.
The years go by, trends forever changing, with formidable,
impressions you leave in our minds, innocent yet cruel at times,
manifesting each generation as cohorts of idiosyncratic identities.

What troubles you so? Is it the mass media showering your
vitality with an irresistible craving for lust and ferocity,
bringing an infinite quest for every conceivable desire, leaving
the need for willpower damaged as debris from an imploded building?

Where did you lose your innocence and romance? I’ve heard it was
seen in a time when my grandparents were young, singing seducing
sweet melodies to be enjoyed by all audible ears, gently whisking
worries to a place of happiness and family.

Society where are you going now? Love quickly turns to hate
in the absence of selflessness and respect, bringing us to a place
where children grow up too fast and parents can’t validate values
for living lavishly while being humble to understand basic needs.

Society you now own instant gratification beyond the wildest
imagination. Today, with so many time saving devices and no time,
I want it all and I want it now, thank you for being a raging river.
I’ll be a cork, take me downstream, how you want to control!

Today, our world has been turned upside down. Many still don’t know where they are going. Are you fighting it or being a cork? – as Dr. Andrew Barclay at M.S.U. would put it.

Success is measured by our authenticity, transparency and accepting the responsibility – keeping our integrity along the way no matter what! From a business stance, how do we collectively navigate through the aftershocks from the earthquakes that left our world fragile. “That was then…. This is NOW!” is a movement to consider being driven by Agency17. Collectively – can good people start to clear the dust from this turmoil to begin moving forward?

Agency17 and The NOW! project is leading this very movement.

Todd Smith from Agency17 discusses “that was then, this is NOW”.
Source: agency17 (Viddler)

Can an agency foster the collaboration, synergy and harmony working as something bigger and greater than itself?





Science, Spirituality, Miracles and Social Media

9 05 2009

“]"Miracles do not 'happen...' Miracles are made." - Dr. Paul Pearsall [Photo Credit: MSD Photography]Modern Technology with Faith

Earlier this week, I read in AdAge about a catholic cardinal (in Ireland) who stated: “Make someone the gift of a prayer through text, Twitter or e-mail every day. Such a sea of prayer is sure to strengthen our sense of solidarity with one another.”

In this post, Simon Dumenco focused on the mass volume this tool endures vs. how it can be monetized, a serious topic in itself. Heck, maybe Twitter will receive a large donation from the anonymous donor surprising colleges (or some other divine intervention.)

The notion that social media can strengthen “our sense of solidarity” is an interesting thought to ponder. Could this violate the sanctity of prayer? Perhaps. Does Twitter help bind groups together? Potentially

Social media continues to be analyzed from psychographic segmentation to simple do’s and don’ts. For example, I enjoyed a great post this past February on Mashable from Sarah Evans who stated, “It doesn’t matter if you’re on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr; your online personality is not only part of your overall brand, it becomes an interactive experience for you and your business.”

No matter who you are or what you represent – remember everybody can see you. In Dr. Paul Pearsall’s book Miracle in Maui, the second general theory from new (cosmic and quantum) science teaches us that we create our own reality by our own point of view. Can we apply this theory to social media today? What do others say about you – your brand – your company? And most importantly, do you listen to them? Take the time to listen. I recall professor Pearsall telling us, we have so many “time saving devices today but no time for anything.” Taking the time to listen is critical.

The Ten Sacred Secrets of Science Applied to Social Media

To Doug - Aloha - Paul Pearsall (March, 1997)

To Doug - Aloha - Paul Pearsall (March, 1997)


Obviously, Pearsall’s teachings inspired me (among many others, I have observed.) At times controversial, Pearsall was able to bridge science and spirituality. In Miracle in Maui, he shares ten secrets of science for the “making of miracles.” Although his teachings are at a “higher spiritual level”; looking at these complex theories – Can individuals, brands and organizations apply these theories to social media? – Can we learn how to use the tools productively?

First General Theory – Nonlocality
We’re everywhere. Are my actions on line faithful, genuine and truthful?

Second General Theory – Observer Participantcy
Reality is created by our own observations. How do I observe the world? How do others observe me?

Third General Theory – Uncertainty Principle
There is a constant state of flux in the universe. But according to Pearsall, “one thing is certain in the world: Relationships are everlasting.” Do I value all relationships?

Fourth General Theory – Complementarity Principle
There are two opposing states (e.g. energy and mass or positive and negative) Am I positive? How do I handle negativity?

Fifth Scientific Principle – Oneness
We’re all number one – everything is connected. Can I influence others? Can others influence me?

Sixth Scientific Principle – Levels of Reality
Transcending our local see-and-touch world. Do I dare to dream big? Wonder + Imagination = Miracles

Seventh Scientific Principle – Relative Timelessness
Time doesn’t tick. Can I have an “Aha!” moment?

Eighth Scientific Principle – Growth Energy Fields
Influence development of all living things. “Sudden coincidences are the pulls and pushes from these growth energy templates.” Can my tweeting inspire growth?

Ninth Scientific Principle – Entropy
Derived from the Second Law of Thermodynamics – We are all falling apart. Do I learn from mistakes to promote continued development?

Tenth Scientific Principle – Chaology
The study of Chaos. Do I fear the chaotic social web or look within it rather than away from it for clues?

The Power Of Everyone

This all may sound redundant or even a little crazy. But to summarize, I have learned from many great people in my past. From professor Pearsall who shared his knowledge of making miracles to entrepreneurial people like William “Bud” Brian who had passion about his business, his brand but also (most importantly) the people he worked with and his relationships. There are many other great colleagues and team members and even a few not so great ones who have inspired me. Now, the Internet is more of a social medium than we have ever seen in our modern day. As part of a “nonlocal” and connected universe  I look forward to continued learning and growth. And potentially teaching or inspiring others too – building many great relationships!

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