Category Archives: SEO

Five Must Consider Marketing Strategies for 2011

Whether your organization is “flying high” or “getting by,” it is unquestionably in your best interest to always evaluate minimum-investment, maximum-return marketing strategies as key components of your marketing plan. Following are Sweeney’s Top 5 “Must Consider” strategies for 2011 – strategies we believe cannot be overlooked and whose value should not be underestimated:

Publicity & Media Relations. Though a standard in the world of public relations, publicity and media relations have never held more potential for organizations seeking to increase awareness through traditional and online media outlets. Publicity and media relations 2.0 allow you to secure print, broadcast and online media coverage to reach target audiences with both company and product information in a cost-efficient manner. In the process you are also creating valuable content that can be used to enhance your web site and enhance your search ranking.

Online Advertising. As an addition or alternative to traditional print and broadcast advertising, online advertising (both display and PPC) can help you will build awareness while also driving traffic to your web site – traffic that you can monitor and evaluate. You can control costs, messaging and placement in both a test and campaign environment.

E-mail Marketing. The regular distribution of email to existing or rented databases is an effective, fast and efficient strategy for staying in front of and engaging target audiences (customers, prospects, distributors, retailers, etc.). E-mail marketing allows you to monitor, measure, evaluate and respond to recipient actions almost immediately.

Social Media Marketing. The use of social networks, online communities, blogs, wikis or any other online collaborative media – allows you to produce and share content, generate and participate in conversations and establish a trusted presence among target audiences. As with the other strategies, you can manage your involvement and costs while achieving desired results.

Creative. The difference between a good and great campaign is often determined by the creative. The ad that gets responses, the brochure that gets read, the business card that elicits calls, the e-mail that gets opened and clicked… they all have one thing in common – an impactful creative design and compelling creative message. This is one corner you don’t want to cut.

Need help implementing these marketing and public relations strategies or others?  Contact me at jennifer at sweeneypr.com or 910.772.1688.

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Beware of SEO Hijacking

I received an email from a source I don’t know telling me a link was broken on my website and recommended we link to a new site. What is this all about?

By Jennifer Manocchio

We highly recommend you do your homework first and don’t automatically change the link to the site the email is recommending. This is a very clever SEO approach that is on the rise, according to SEO expert and co-founder of diabetesdaily.com David Edelman.

There are tools available on the web that SEO experts can use to find broken links, like a link checker or broken link tool. The SEO expert identifies a reputable website he or she wants linking to their site (or a client’s site), finds a broken link and recommends their site (or client’s website) to help increase their organic search engine rankings.

Edelman provided a good example to highlight how this approach is working. “A reputable site like Harvard changes its site structure and breaks some old incoming links. A clever SEO expert searches for all high-quality sites linking to that page and emails them: Hey, your page has a broken link. Here’s the updated URL. They provide a link to their client’s site (or their own), which is hardly as credible as Harvard. This is a great way to get links from reputable sites.”

This is just one clever approach SEO experts are using to increase website rankings. Simply being aware of these approaches will help ensure you don’t fall for the trap.

10 Ways to Increase Online Video Views

We recently shot short educational videos on a hot topic in our industry. How can we utilize these videos online?

By Jennifer Manocchio

Online video is a great marketing tool and has many benefits from search engine optimization to brand building and increasing sales. However, “if you build it they will come” isn’t necessarily true for online video. You need to drive traffic to the video in order to achieve results.

Assuming your video has good, relevant content, following are 10 ways to increase traffic to your video online.

• Post the video on video sharing sites and your website. Ensure the video is optimized so it has the potential to start appearing in search results. Inc. magazine has a good article about optimizing video. You can find it here: http://www.inc.com/guides/2010/05/search-engine-optimization-for-video.html
• If you can determine a news angle for your video, develop a news release about the video or a news release where the video can support the content (e.g. product instructions, product performance tips) and distribute the release and video through news distribution channels like Business Wire or PR Newswire. If the video is non-promotional, send the news release with the video link to your media list and encourage media to use the video.
• Post the video on your blog. If you have multiple videos, post one video per week.
• Post the video on your Facebook page. If you have multiple videos, post one video per week.
• Post a link on Twitter to your Facbook page, blog, website or YouTube Channel promoting the video. Again, post one per week if you have multiple videos.
• Incorporate the video into current or new email marketing campaigns (promotional emails, e-newsletters, etc.).
• Share the video with your sales force and all employees.
• Share the video with bloggers.
• If the video content correlates with speaking engagements, use it to promote speaking opportunities. If you receive the attendee list for a trade show or conference, you can email a link of a video to increase attendance at the presentation.
• If the video content correlates with sales or educational presentations, include the video in the presentations and provide a website address where the audience can find more relevant videos.

Have video and want to promote it or would like to start using video as a marketing strategy? Contact me at jennifer at sweeneypr.com or 910.772.1688.

Mobile Web Sites

Should I optimize my web site for mobile devises?

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By Jennifer Manocchio

There are 42.7 million smart phone users in the United States and 98 percent of them are accessing their favorite web site on their mobile phone according to Information Week. Based on these statistics, developing a web site that is viewable on mobile devises is a good investment if your target audience – consumer or business-to-business – is using smart phones.

Accomplishing the task of creating a mobile site is not as complicated as it sounds.  If you have an internal IT department or dedicated web site developer, you can discuss with him or her about creating a sub-domain or a .mobi.  A sub-domain or .mobi will be the best option if you want to create a custom mobile site.

A sub-domain is fairly easy to implement and can be added to your current content management system.  Or you can develop a .mobi, which is developed specifically for a mobile platform.  According to dotMobi, search engine optimization is a key benefit of using a .mobil domain.

“Every .mobi domain registered gets its own entry in the Internet Zone File — the files that search engines use to start their crawls — your site will automatically perform better than any other naming convention. Additionally, search engines detect when searches are being made from mobile devices and prioritize their results accordingly. Because .mobi sites are high quality and made for mobile, they are automatically brought to the top of the mobile search results.”

If you are not familiar with code or simply want to make your current site mobile friendly, a second option is to use a third-party code translator.  There are a number of free and paid sites that allow you to simply copy and paste content from your current site into a mobile version.  Following are a few options:  MoFuse, Mippin, Mobilize by Mippin and Wirenode.

You can always opt to develop your mobile site using a third-party translator and monitor your web site analytics to see if your web traffic using mobile devises increases.  If so, you can always take the next step to develop a custom mobile web site.

Looking to create a mobile version of your site and not sure where to start?  Contact me at jennifer at sweeneypr.com or 910.772.1688.

Importance of Web Landing Pages

Why are web site landing pages important, and when do I need to create one?

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By Jennifer Manocchio

By definition, a landing page is a web site that a visitor “lands” on when he or she clicks on an online banner advertisement, a search-engine result, an email or a pay-per-click advertisement.  The purpose is threefold.

First, the landing page is logical content that is an extension of the ad, email or search-engine result that keeps the visitor engaged.  For example, if a person sees a banner ad for a new cookie and clicks it, he or she expects to see a page about that specific cookie and perhaps a coupon that encourages a purchase, not the manufacturer’s home page.

Second, a landing page allows a company or individual to track the results of a specific campaign.  This allows you to see how many people clicked through the ad or email and what they did when they arrived at the landing page.  Based on the traffic patterns, the landing page can be improved to enhance the results.  For example, if visitors are going to the landing page and immediately leaving or are not taking the desired action (e.g. completing a form, purchasing a product, downloading a coupon, etc.), there is a problem that must be addressed.

Finally, you can also create several landing pages for an advertising or email campaign to see which landing page achieves the best results.

Each time you conduct an online banner ad campaign, pay-per-click campaign, organic search engine optimization or email campaign, you should consider if a landing page needs to be created.  Sometimes a page on the existing web site might already be relevant, and there is no need to create a new landing page.

For example, if you are promoting a special Valentine’s Day cookie and there is a web page already created that provides information on this special cookie and allows visitors to order it, a landing page might not be a worthwhile investment.  However, if this is a seasonal cookie and your web site doesn’t include a specific page about it, a landing page will be necessary.  You never want to drive potential customer to a generic page, or even worse, your homepage.  You will likely achieve a high bounce rate if consumers have to search for information that should be immediately available.

Ask yourself this question:  Will a landing page help explain the content in the advertisement or email better, and does it have the potential to increase conversions?  If yes, then create a landing page.  If you are already investing in an advertising, search engine optimization or an email campaign, why fall short and risk below average results?

Need to create a landing page or want to learn more about the benefits, please contact me at jennifer at sweeneypr.com or 910.772.1688.

Publicity & Media Relations Support Organic SEO

Do publicity and media relations tactics like news releases and media coverage support organic search engine optimization?

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By Jennifer Manocchio

Publicity and media relations do support organic search engine optimization.  In fact, it is very beneficial for the public relations team to be working hand-in-hand with the search engine optimization team.  This will help ensure keywords are being used throughout press materials and media interviews, and the publicity and media relations tactics being implemented support organic SEO to the best of their ability.

Below are a few tips on how to ensure your publicity and media relations efforts also benefit organic SEO.

News Releases: The first priority of a news release is to get the media’s interest and result in a news story. Therefore, a news release should be written for the media first.  However, once you write a news release and distribute it to the media, revise the release for redistribution on the web.  Ask the SEO team for keywords and optimize the news release with 1-3 of those keywords.  Post the web release on free and paid distribution sites and on your web site’s media room.  This increases the likelihood your news release will return on search engine results for those particular keywords.

Media Coverage: Media coverage not only builds brand, but can also help support organic SEO.  Often, media will include a link to your web site in a story.  This creates links to your site that are seen as more credible by search engines.

Also, frequent use of your keywords used throughout the media story can help the story appear on search engine results for those particular keywords.  For this reason, it is beneficial to train your spokesperson to use your identified keywords during interviews. which increases exposure of the story to the right audiences.

Media Rooms: Because content and, more specifically, new content is king when it comes to organic SEO, continuing to update your media room will help support SEO.  It will also provide the media with more relevant content and fodder for news stories.

Want to know more about how publicity and media relations can build brands and support SEO? Need help establishing your media room? Contact me at jennifer at sweeneypr.com or 910-772-1688.