Nearly three years have passed since Thomas Publishing Co. migrated its Thomas Register directory from a more static print product into ThomasNet.com, an online, interactive resource for engineers, purchasing managers and other industrial professionals. In that time, the ThomasNet.com team has developed a host of online marketing and educational communication vehicles to engage its target audience, including a blog, e-mail newsletters and an Internet newsroom. And since no direct marketer makes big, or even little, changes without testing, the online publisher also has been fine-tuning its process of site optimization. This week, Target Marketing Tipline talks to Brad Mehl, vice president, marketing, about ThomasNet.com’s online
Search Engine Marketing
Like a trendy nightclub, social media is all about who and what is scene-worthy. But instead of one bouncer to get past, social bookmarking and news sites, such as Digg and de.licio.us, are based on the collective user group voting your content up, down or out. To make it past the velvet ropes—and not get tossed out on your keester for bad behavior—Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, a search engine optimization firm in Minneapolis, advises marketers to mind their online manners. Odden took part in the panel session, Popularity Online: Winning Search and the Social Media Contest, at last week’s DM Days NY Conference
Blogs, press releases, podcasts, video and other types of new media offer some sexy ways to leverage your site’s natural search page rankings, but make sure you’ve already got one of the most basic and effective SEO tactics mastered first: page titles. Heather Lloyd-Martin, CEO of Oregon-based SEO consultancy firm SuccessWorks, directed attendees of her ACCM 2007 session, “Free Clicks and Hot Conversions: Secrets of SEO Copywriting,” to apply these five tactics to their page titles to get better exposure on search engine results pages (SERPs). Tactic #1: Your title should read like a compelling headline. For example, a search on MSN for “radar detector sale”
“Most Internet advertising campaigns are based on hunches and guesswork, not on the endless amounts of research that show what really brings great results in online advertising,” says Joe Plummer of The Advertising Research Foundation and co-author, with Steve Rappaport, Taddy Hall and Robert Barocci, of “The Online Advertising Playbook: Proven Strategies and Tested Tactics from the Advertising Research Foundation.” What do we really know about using the Internet to advertise effectively? More to the point, what should we know? 1. Target the right consumers. Online, you can locate precise groups of consumers, whether current customers or attractive prospects. You do it by targeting,
What’s the top secret to developing a winning blog, one that draws an audience, grows your brand and improves your products sales? For former teacher Steve Spangler, it’s learning from others who have achieved some success with this tool. Spangler is the founder and CEO of Steve Spangler Science, a multichannel firm that sells science education toys while offering kids, teachers and parents a host of free science experiments and projects. He launched his blog in 2004, giving him the perfect forum through which to share his passion for science, connect with others who are similarly inspired and promote his business, all at once.
When considering natural search optimization, it’s important to remember to build your site for your user first, and for the search engines second. What search engines ultimately want is to serve results that users will find helpful and relevant—subsequently, users and spiders seek good content and helpful links, both properly formatted. Here are two things to consider when formatting online copy: • Order your information properly. When you optimize content for your users, think prominence and focus. Use techniques such as writing in a journalist’s inverted-pyramid style, with the most important information at the top of the piece. • Make your headline stand out.
Challenge: Increase brand awareness and drive sales through creative affiliate marketing solutions. Solution: Develop relationships with bloggers and other online influencers, using product education and incentive plans to generate word-of-mouth buzz. Results: Sales for Q4 2006 increased 10 times over same-quarter sales in 2005. For Dean Rist’s money, few channels deliver ROI like affiliate marketing. Which is why one of the first things he did two years ago after being named the director of direct marketing at iRobot, a Burlington, Mass.-based manufacturer of robotics for consumer and military activities, was to start planning an affiliate marketing strategy. One of the challenges facing iRobot, says Rist, was that its
With 14 percent of the U.S. adult population being Latino and about half of this group going online, your company very well could have a Hispanic following without actively seeking it out. According to a study, “Conexion Cultural/Connected Culture,” released in March by Yahoo! Telemundo and Experian Simmons Research, Spanish-dominant survey participants reported they consume two-thirds of their online content in English due to a lack of Spanish-language alternatives. In a March report, “Latinos Online,” researchers from the Pew Hispanic Center and Pew Internet Project noted that just one in three Latinos who speaks only Spanish goes online; that rate is three times higher
Day by day, the Web is shifting from a text-dominated culture to one populated by video and audio messaging. The popularity of video sharing sites such as YouTube and iFilm along with the increasing use of video on mainstream media firms’ sites is propelling marketers to become part of this online video revolution. But, as with any content posted on the Web, you first have to let people know it’s there to get significant viewership. To help marketers with this challenge, video search engine firm blinkx has developed a whitepaper and wiki (which is an open-access Web site that allows visitors to edit information presented
When it comes to the information that search engines prefer and rank highly, well-run blogs have it in spades, says MoreVisibility, a search engine marketing firm in Boca Raton, Fla. In its whitepaper, “Blogs—Learn How and Why They Fit Into Your Search Engine Marketing & Optimization Campaigns,” the firm explains that blogs with rich and frequently updated content, keyword links, and unique and popular content offer up just the precise blend of relevance and recency that search engines desire for their top search results listings. To help your blog meet the above criteria as well as be easily scannable by both readers and search engine