CategoryMarketing Stuff

Free Marketing Tip for NGOs – Only Use Email Communication For Online Donors

Every once in a while I donate a small amount of money to a few organizations whose mission I agree with. In order to avoid coming across as arrogant or somehow holier-than-thou, let me say right now that I’m not much of a donor. I give when it crosses my mind.

Guess what ALL of these organizations have in common: I gave all of them money online, yet they all send me physical mail and/or call me asking for more money. While I understand the need to raise more funds, I think it’s incredibly dumb to call or mail an online donor to do it. Here’s why: Continue reading

Huffington Post Leverages SEO, Sells For $315 Million

To me, the idea that search engine optimization (SEO) is a profitable and worthwhile endeavor is logical prima facie. Even if I were not an SEO consultant, I would like to think that the idea of “being found on Google” (or Bing) would be something that I understand and value.

However, a recent news story reminds me that the value of SEO isn’t nearly as obvious as I think. Last week, the NY Times reported that “The Huffington Post’s skill at using [SEO] to increase readership and revenue was one of the ways it made itself worth $315 million” (link).

The fact that this is news demonstrates that the value of SEO isn’t universally understood. Here’s how SEO helped the Huffington Post, and why SEO can help almost any business with a website.

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7 Quick Reputation Management Tips for Individuals

First, a quick note: Did you know that the name Jason Lancaster is used by:

  • A popular musician
  • A possible felon in Arizona
  • A Tennessee teacher who was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student

Exciting, huh? Imagine if the next time I went to get a client, they searched for my name and found arrest records, sordid tales, or a scathing review of my latest album.

Which brings me to my point today: “Reputation management” is jargon in the search engine optimization (SEO) community for raising your online profile. According to this blog post from Dream Systems Media, reputation management is:

The act of monitoring, addressing or mitigating undesirable search engine results or mentions in online media for a company or product

While I have no issue with this definition – it’s perfectly correct – I think that it’s limited. Everyone can benefit from a little rep management for their name – even my little old grandmother. Here’s why anyone can benefit from some individual reputation management and how you go about it:

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SEO Review – Pine Tree Paradise

As part of our sponsorship of the 2010 Wordcount Blogathon, we were happy to give away a free SEO review to one Blogathon participant. The winner, Charles Newbery, has a fun blog about his life raising a family as a work-at-home American dad who just happens to be living in Argentina!

The blog is called Pine Tree Paradise, and aside from the excellent writing quality, the hand-drawn pictures created by the kids are excellent.

On to the SEO review and tips. Continue reading

5 Quick Twitter Tricks

Are you on Twitter? Have you read my post describing “How I Use Twitter?” Are you still interested in Twitter tips?

Fine. Here are five little Twitter tricks I’ll share: Continue reading Suspicious Sales Practices

Update #1: I was contacted by Matt at today (three days after this post went live) and he informed me that first, they didn’t obtain my client’s info from her domain registration. Second, he said that this was a good post to checkup on his sales team. Finally, he said that the info about “monthly submissions” is dated. He also explained to me that they are a big company and that things like this happen sometime.

Matt seemed to be fair, and he agreed that the monthly submissions information is incorrect. As I said in the post below, I still don’t like the unsolicited contact offering SEO services to someone who already has an optimized site, but I suppose that’s a relatively minor thing. The “Google certified editor” business is a little sketchy as well, but as Matt said this could be the verbiage of one rogue salesperson and not the company as a whole.

My thanks to for contacting me to discuss this post.

Original Post:

Far be it for me to be a consumer watch dog, but one of my pet peeves is companies that rely upon consumer ignorance of SEO to market their products. I think it’s bad form to leverage ignorance to sell something, but I’m not a boy scout – I realize the world works this way.

Still, a recent email from one of my clients about has me concerned. Here’s what happened in my client’s own words:

…got a call from Michelle at who got my contact info from my domain registration. She spent a lot of time telling me about how my site needed additional keyword work (using their certified google editors), some changes to the structure of my website, and an analysis of how many links go TO my website. She’s just certain this would increase my visibility on-line…I felt like I was being shammed!

While I doubt Michelle at has any malicious intent here, based on this description and the accompanying sales materials I find the following items objectionable: Continue reading

And Then There Were Two…

I’m not a big expert on the history of search engines (if you’re looking for a nice little snapshot, check out this “History of Search” graphic). However, I DO remember using Google all the way back when it first came online in 97’…and as a user I haven’t looked back since. I’ve tried to use Yahoo and MSN/LIVE/Bing over the years, but Google has always been my first choice.

As a marketer, Google has been very big for me as well. I’ve found that pay-per-click ads on Yahoo and MSN offer slightly lower costs and similar quality to Google, but unfortunately only a small fraction of the traffic.

In terms of SEO, Google simply dwarfs traffic from Yahoo or Bing – heck, even Google image search dwarfs traffic from Yahoo or Bing. I’ve found that Yahoo is bigger than Bing, and that – at best – Yahoo can send about 1/6th the traffic that Google can send. Bing? About a tenth.

While it’s never OK to ignore a potential source of traffic like Bing or Yahoo, it’s been pretty easy to forget about them…until now. Continue reading

What’s A Domain Name REALLY Worth?

While recently trying to purchase a domain I had an interest in developing, I received a very dumb email from the broker I was negotiating with. He said that “domain appraisals are only for accountants” and that a domain was worth whatever two parties agreed upon.

No – really?

Of course a domain is worth what whatever two parties can agree upon. However, an independent appraisal should always be the starting point for a negotiation. Otherwise, one of the parties is getting taken advantage of. Continue reading

Marketing Inspiration From An Ohio Strip Club

I love marketing that’s not too complicated – if it makes sense in 2 seconds, it’s probably a good idea. One of the oldest marketing gimmicks is to attach a pretty face to a product or service, and frankly it works really well. Everyone likes beautiful people (consciously or otherwise), so we tend to gravitate towards attractive imagery.

Another old trick is to leverage a social or charitable cause to help generate business. It’s a time-honored tradition, and despite the blatant capitalism implicit in this sort of tactic, people tend to receive it pretty well.

But what about a mashup? Is it possible to combine these two tricks to form some sort of “super trick?” In a word, yes. Continue reading

007 Things James Bond Can Teach Us About SEO

James Bond movies are a guilty pleasure of mine. They’re really pretty poorly written (SO predictable), the “romance” is terribly corny, and the puns can be just terrible…but what can I say? It’s fun.

James Bond Can Teach Some SEO Lessons

The 007 logo image above is a trademark of MGM

In honor of my appreciation for 007, I’ve come up with a list of seven things James Bond can teach all of us about SEO: Continue reading