12.28.2005

E-Marketing Top 10 New Years Resolutions

The e-marketing newsletter HotelMarketing.com had an article last year on a Hotelier’s 2005 top ten Internet strategy resolutions. They all still hold true for this year and don’t just necessarily apply to the hospitality industry. Here they are in no particular order with some editing.

1. I will make this year the “Year of Building Interactive relationships” with my customers. I want to own my customers, give them a site that they will come back to again and again.
2. I will make Brand Building on the web a focus of my marketing efforts.
3. I will make Direct-to Consumer Online Distribution the centerpiece of my Internet Strategy. For both hospitality and online stores this means best Internet rate guarantee, website optimization, pay-per-click marketing and among others link creation.
4. I will adopt an ongoing Website Optimization Strategy and turn it into top priority.
5. I will deploy a robust Internet Marketing strategy and turn marketing of my optimized site into a top priority.
6. I will perform a comprehensive Search Engine Marketing Strategy because search engines are an essential component of the online marketing strategy.
7. I will carry out a comprehensive Product Web Strategy to leverage the popularity of my product by making my site the most knowledgeable on the web.
8. I will use competitive intelligence to continually evaluate how my comp is set using the Internet and Direct vs. Indirect Online Channels.
9. I will launch a blog on my site that will allow me to keep my information up to date and relevant to the current news for my industry.
10. To achieve the all of the above I will create a relationship with an experienced Internet distribution and marketing consultant to help me achieve these goals.

12.23.2005

HAVE A MERRY GOOGLE CHRISTMAS

To get in the spirit of the holiday season, check these out:

A Google Christmas Carol

An original poem by Kalena Jordan celebrates some of the “gifts” Google has given to webmasters and internet users in 2005. She even provides a link to music to accompany you. Google Christmas Carol

Decorated Adwords

Do a Google search for candy canes, hanukkah, christmas lights, kwanzaa, christmas or santa and see sponsored ads that have been customized by Google to spice up the page. I’d bet there are some others out there. as well. Can you find them?

Google Holiday Logos

Those who use Google regularly are often gifted with special Google logos. Go to this link to see the official holiday logos that have been used in the past: Holiday logos


Be certain to keep an eye out through the holidays for new surprises.

More Fun with Google Logos

Here are some logos that fans have suggested to Google: Custom Logos

And here is an entire website devoted to Google logos of all types. The unofficial logos are guaranteed to bring a chuckle. LoGoogle

Images in Adsense

John Battelle over at Battellmedia has great post about the images that are showing up in adesense. It could be a trend but for now its very much in the Holiday spirit.

UPDATE
It looks like Google is doing a progressive Christmas logo. I can't recall ever seeing them do a storyline doodle before. If you have missed the last few days go over to the story doodle to see the last 3 days of the logo.

12.20.2005

Just a little fun

Enough seriousness. I found this and had to share. Enjoy.


The Stupid Quiz said I am "Pretty Smart!" How stupid are you? Click here to find out!

12.13.2005

How a blog can help

Elleyne VanBryce has great article about how blogs and RSS feeds can help you websites page rank. While page rank is not the end all of SEO, it is one aspect. More important than page rank though is your location in the SERPs. Most of the reasons she states can also help you in the SERPs as long as the link text you have is optimized for the keywords you want. One of the key Issues the Elleyne brings up is;
"A few months into search engine optimization and you’ll get to realize the value of having your link appear in as many places as possible in the World Wide Web."


If you use trackbacks you can start to get links all over the web. (See our articles on "Best Practices for Trackbacks", "Understanding Trackbacks" and of course "Trackback Explained" With the addidtion of an RSS that gets picked up and displayed on a website you can start getting a lot of tlinks fairly quickly. Of course you must be doing things the right way or you will not get the benefit of a blog.

Another point that she makes that is a bit misleading is;
"Blogs are free. Whether you decide to use a web account, like the aforementioned www.blogger.com , or a movable type program which you could upload on your own server under your own domain name, like www.wordpress.com , blogs won’t require any financial burden."


While some blogs are free, if you want a blog that is designed properly you will have to pay for it unless you know how to use HTML andpossibly PHP. There are many different layouts that you can choose from but to make it your individual blog you have to really go in and change the code.

Another problem is hosting. While blogger is free, you gt what you pay for. There is not much in the way choices. The same goes for Movable Type or Wordpress. To get a blog that is truly your own you will need to have it hosted elsewhere. There are companies out there that will design your blog and host it. One that I am most familiar with is Blizzard Internet Marketing which sells all inclusive packages for new blogs.

12.12.2005

Five Things That Can Maximize Your Blog Exposure

Five quick points to remember to help maximize your blog exposure online:

  1. Keep each post to one topic – it helps the search engines categorize the post. If you have more than one thing to talk about make a second entry.

  2. Make your post about 250 words. Less and the search engines can’t really figure out what is going on, there are not enough keywords. More and you will probably loose your reader. Think small but substantial bites. Can’t make it to 250 words. Then bench the idea and come back to it later when you have more subject matter.

  3. Spend about one third of your time on posting well formatted and thought out posts and spend the other two thirds researching other blogs in your space and use their comments to interact with other bloggers, linking back to your own blog – it helps greatly with link building.

  4. Post regularly and consistently, keep the crawlers coming back to see what is updated.

  5. Use categories for different topics. If one topic becomes too big, maybe look into creating another blog specifically for that category. Three months since the last post in one category? Then maybe look at how you can incorporate that category into another and get rid of it, visitors won’t be too impressed if the last post was 4 months ago.



Thanks to industry guru Dave Taylor for these great ideas, just some of the things I learned in his recent Denver seminar on The Case for Business Blogging.

12.08.2005

Using a Blog for Marketing

Garrett French has a great article Adding a Blog to you Article Marketing Strategy. While he talks about mainly using a blog to link to an article on a website he has some great tips for general use.

Personally I think that one of his best points is;

Discuss responses to your article, whether good or bad in blog posts. Show the impact your articles have had on your readers. Show, more importantly, that you're engaged with them.


Many large sites have done this with great response. Many of the auto dealers have done this and it works. Basically you need to make an attempt to engage everyone sho posts a comment on your blog. Bad comments can be even more beneficial than good ones because you can quickly address the problem. If done correctly you cna make a person who is upset much happier. Automatically deleting bad comments and leaving only the good makes your business to good to be true. Of course though abusive comments need to be deleted so that it does not taint the experience of your users.

Why use blogs Part 2

The Chain of Blogs

Blogs are a powerful tool. They are powerful for the average person who wants to create a website but does not have any HTML experience. They can give the average person a place to speak out in a world dominated by large news companies. They can be a social gathering place for people to talk about things that are important to them. Most importantly though they an extend a conversation from a one blog to many blogs spread throughout the world.

Trackbacks

The real power behind a blog is trackbacks. We have talked about them in the past with our Trackback Tips post and our Trackbacks Explained post. We really have not gone into why to use a trackback though and what they do for your blog.

Extended converstations that can occur on blogs are started mainly by trackbacks. A trackback is a way for a blogger to talk about someone elses post on their own blog. The blogger then can easily and quickly post a comment to the first blog with a link to their own site. This means that the blogger, simply by talking about the same topic and linking to the original post, can gain a link back to their blog. As we all know a quality link is worth its weight in gold.

Of course though spammers know this too. Whenever you do a trackback you need to talk about the same topic and make an addition to the conversation. Bloggers hate to see trackbacks done for no other purpose than a link. If you anger a blogger there is a good chance that you will bring the wrath of the entire blogging community down on you.