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2011: The Year of the Online SMB


Image by Getty Images via @daylife. by Frank Reed. Because this is my last post here at Mike's Biznology blog for 2010, I am going to do something that I never ever do—make some predictions for upcoming year. don't usually do this because I am not a fortune teller and I haven't stayed in a Holiday Inn Express in at least the past five years. This year, though, I think it is pretty safe to declare something that is both exciting and hits close to where I like to play in the Internet space. Here goes. Are you ready? For the uninitiated, SMBs are small and medium businesses. Get the hint?


Terms of Engagement for Social Media Marketing


Cover via Amazon. Some books deserve to be read and re-read. Every few years, I crack open Terms of Engagement by Dick Axelrod, to remind me of how to really bring about organizational change. So, I was heartened when I was contacted to receive a copy of the new improved Second Edition published earlier this year. Unsurprisingly, this doesn't work very often. This book explains why.

My CMO doesn't think search marketing is "sexy"


Image by Julia Roy via Flickr. Marketing has a (dated) reputation for being all about flash without any substance. Internet marketing, as a descendant of direct marketing, has let some of the air out of that bloated balloon, but I still occasionally run into pockets of old-speak, where marketing is magical, but actual sales are some kind of dirty business left to others.

Growing your business in a world without Google


Image by PhotoJonny via Flickr. by Tim Peter. How much of your traffic comes from search engines? How much from Google? If you're like most businesses, you probably get a fair bit of your traffic from the Big G. But, what if it all went away? What if you walked in tomorrow and all your search traffic dried up? Can't imagine it? Go where the customers are. Selling business-to-business?

A Content Formula for Complex B2B Organizations

Content Marketing is essential for anyone who wants continued success and growth.

Does Your Marketing Solve Your Customers' Problems?


Image via Wikipedia. I've often counseled that you need to solve your customers' problems to be a successful Internet marketer. For B2B businesses, you might be able to figure out how to do that. But some businesses seem to have a much bigger challenge. mean, what problem can K-mart solve? It would have been easy for them to give up and just push merchandise, but they didn't.

When is social search coming? What? It's here?


Image by bmevans80 via Flickr. Social search" has been discussed for a long time, but in the last couple of months it has sneaked up on some of us. Like Web 2.0, people talked about it a lot for a while, but then they stopped, because Web 2.0 just became what we all know as the Web. Similarly, what we used to talk about as social search has now become just search, because it's here. It's here? ".

On Leaks and Privacy and Social Media


Image via Wikipedia. by Aaron Kim. Last week, we learned more about world leaders and diplomacy than some of us would care to know - with revelations about Gaddafi and his nurse being the front-runner candidate for the most TMZ-like material made available, courtesy of Wikileaks. The picture below was based on that diagram: "A helpful Venn diagram" - derivation work. Paranoia is on the rise.

Location Marketing for the SMB


Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr. Local Internet marketing is getting a fair amount of attention these days, and for good reason. People search for stuff to do, places to go, and things to buy on a local level, and they are increasingly turning to the Internet for the information they need. It can certainly be confusing and daunting even to the most savvy SMB marketer. Confused?

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

25 B2B marketing thought leaders answer the question "What do you expect to B2B marketers to be doing more of or differently in 2016?" The results are amazing insights around content marketing, achieving business results, alignment, employee advocacy, new technologies, customer experience and more.

What if my competitor is fabricating bad reviews?


Image via CrunchBase. made my annual visit to the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business yesterday and presented my talk, " Web Marketing is Marketing " (if you are interested in the slides). What, indeed? It seems like a difficult question. mean, sure we understand that we want to listen to social media and help customers who have had a problem. Most are, but what if some are faked?

Are you making irrational marketing decisions?


Image via Wikipedia. Yesterday, I spent two and a half hours on the train from Washington to Charlottesville, Virginia so I can speak to a class at the Darden School of Business this morning. Normally, I find train rides quite restful--I prefer the "quiet car," but there was none on this trip. How often have you heard that the CMO and the CIO fight like cats and dogs?

Are you counting on magical marketing?


Image via Wikipedia. I'm old enough to remember when all you needed to do to persuade an executive about an issue was to show him some data in a spreadsheet. The computer is always right," they thought, so they went along with whatever you presented. (OK, I am older than dirt.) So, they pick the optimal answer among a number of poor choices. Your m marketing results are at stake.

Are You Ready for Auto SEO?


Image by K. Todd Storch via Flickr. There's lots of talk about mobile marketing, and rightly so. Although we see some use of the term mobile marketing for things that aren't mobile , we are still seeing tremendous increases in usage. And some businesses benefit from that mobile usage more than others.


Get your CEO to say Y-E-S to SEO


Image by oooh.oooh via Flickr. by Tim Peter. So, you're trying to finish up your budget for next year and, just like last year, you're trying to get funding for much-needed SEO work on your site. For whatever reason, you've never been able to persuade your CEO of the importance of organic search. Oh, he says that he gets it, but it never seems to make the cut when the final budgets are approved.

The Rise of the Customer Marketer

Explore the changes taking place in customer marketing from the perspective of customer marketers themselves.

Search Goes Social--Where Should You Go?


Image via Wikipedia. It's been about a month since Facebook and Microsoft hooked up to talk about how Bing will be using Facebook data in its search rankings. It caused quite a stir, for about ten minutes, and then everyone moved on. We went back to asking what Google will do next and we are missing the big picture. It's not about what the search engines announce they are doing. Or Google Toolbar.

Singular and Plural Keywords Are Not Always the Same for SEO


Image by Tamar Weinberg via Flickr. You probably don't think much about whether you enter singular or plural versions of your keywords into the search box, but we're starting to see reasons why search marketers should care what searchers do. In the old days, both forms of keywords usually yielded the same search results, but not any more.

Should SMBs care about Yahoo Local and Bing Local?


Image by renaissancechambara via Flickr. by Frank Reed. As the local component of the online space continues to heat up, it is starting to get very crowded. There is Google, Facebook, Groupon, foursquare, Gowalla, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, IYP, YellowBook, Merchant Circle, InsiderPages etc, etc., —the list goes on and on. On one side you have local services. They are not and they never will be.


What's the next shoe to drop from Google?


Image by circulating via Flickr. An entire cottage industry has arisen that does nothing but track Google's movements, and I am as guilty of this obsessive Google watching as everyone else. But is reacting to Google's every move the path to success? I am reminded of hockey great Wayne Gretsky, who always explained his uncanny ability as "skating to where the puck is going to be."

Six Key Steps to Successful Marketing Automation Adoption

Selecting a Marketing Automation platform can be a daunting task. With so many options out there, your success with Marketing Automation depends on selecting the platform that best fits your needs.

Conquer CyberOverload


Image by cackhanded via Flickr. Because I am a household name (at least in my own household), sometimes I am sent books to review for this blog. Once in a while, I actually read them and review them, such as today, for the Joanne Cantor book Conquer CyberOverload. So, every few minutes, I put down the book and drove to the next neighborhood, then picked up where I left off.

SEO Grows Up


Image by IvanClow via Flickr. If you've worked in Search Engine Optimization for a long time, as I have, you've watched it grow from a baby into its awkward teenage years, but you know that there is still a lot of growth to go. Recently, I was interviewed along with a few other folks for an article for 1to1 Marketing that looks at what's happening now in search, as well as where things are going.

Is digital marketing becoming location, location, location?


Image by Joshua Kaufman via Flickr. by Frank Reed. Everywhere you turn these days, the news is about location-based services in the online space—and how to get deals as a result of this location craze. Now, however, location is a very different game and it's much more dense. Notice I didn't say complicated. It really isn't. Or, gee whiz, do I do all of the above just to cover all of my bases?

Are you keeping up with Google?


Image by stevegarfield via Flickr. Is your head spinning? Between Google Instant, Google Preview, and other changes, Google seems to change the organic marketing game on poor SEOs every month.

8 Ways to Create More Effective Lead Generation Programs

Explore key areas you should focus on with your content syndication strategy in order to help you get the attention of your target audience and build trust.

Who's Boss Tweet? Twitter dominates election politics


Image by National Library NZ on The Commons via Flickr. by Aaron Kim. Back in the summer, I wrote a pair of posts about Social Media and the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, and Mike Moran talked about reaching your audience during that big event. If you want to know which heads of state are using Twitter, how active they are and their following/follower patterns, you came to the right place.

Do you know how to listen in social media?


Image via Wikipedia. I am a member of the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG) and I usually do a free speech there once a year--my way of giving back some of the value that organization has to me. spoke to the New Jersey chapter on Friday and thought it would be good to share my slides with you, too.

Google Place Pages: Beyond the Ranking


Image via Wikipedia by Frank Reed. In the Internet marketing world, we tend to get hung up on rankings and pure numbers. Of course, that is one of the beauties of the Internet in that it can all be measured. Oftentimes though, we get hung up in the numbers and forget the business application of certain aspects of the Internet marketing fabric. I am seeing this with Google's Place Pages. See below.

Can search marketing lower my conversion rate?


Image via Wikipedia. I got just that question from someone the other day, and it made me realize what a lousy job we marketing "gurus" are doing in explaining what is important to people. wonder if we have so emphasized the tools of the trade that we have forgotten what we are actually making with those tools. So, if you already know the answer to this question, then you can skip today's post.

A Blueprint for Content Marketing Success

84% of marketers plan to increase their content marketing spend over the next 5 years but less than half have any real confidence such content investments are paying off, based on a recent CEB survey.

How do you give Google what it wants?


Image by kirainet via Flickr. If you've been doing search marketing for a long enough time, eventually the day arrives where it doesn't seem fun anymore. In fact, it seems downright frustrating. Despite your trying to have the best attitude and knowing that SEO is hard, at a certain point we all run into a wall where it just seems like nothing improves no matter what we do.

Ours Go to Eleven! Truth in Social Media Monitoring


Image by Fräulein Schiller via Flickr. I'm not sure how many of you have been looking at social media monitoring, but the list of you is growing rapidly. What's growing even faster is the list of vendors entering this space and the claims they make as to how well their monitoring tools work. Truth in Social Media Monitoring."

Is the mobile activity you are counting really mobile?


Image via Wikipedia. We're all spending a lot more time thinking about mobile marketing these days, but the statistics that we use to track it aren't keeping up. It was so easy not so long ago, when mobile phones were the only way to be online while on the go. Confused? I'll be happy to explain. So, if someone hits a Web site using an iPhone, that is counted as a mobile use of the site.

The Importance of Google Place Pages in the B2B Space


Image by Steve Wilhelm via Flickr. by Frank Reed. In recent months, there's been no shortage of attention heaped upon the importance of local advertising online. Mobile marketing is starting to blossom, allowing people to look for services in ways they never could before. Powerful stuff. But this powerful new local marketing wave is yet to wash over a huge segment of marketers—B2B marketers.

Why B2B Content Strategies Are Paramount for Generating Quality Leads

Generating demand and ensuring the consistent flow of high-quality, actionable leads is what makes B2B marketers successful.

Does an In-House SEO Have a Fool for a Client?


Image via Wikipedia. As a long-time in-house SEO, you'd probably expect that I did not consider myself a fool at the time I was doing that. But I have recently gotten that question from a lawyer who wonders if he should do his own SEO, which reminds me of the old joke that a lawyers who represents himself has a fool for a client. But is it a bad idea to do your SEO in-house?

Can the Yellow Pages Beat Google?


Image via Wikipedia. After reading that headline, you'll be forgiven if you think that I've finally gone off the deep end (and I am not a particularly strong swimmer). But the venerable old Yellow Pages does have some distinct advantages over Google that have not been exploited, which I've shared with several regional Yellow Pages companies over the years. And this isn't a new trend.

How to Run a Webinar


Image via Wikipedia. I do a lot of Webinars--some of them public and many private--and I've found a wide range in terms of how well they come off. I am always brilliant, thoroughly professional, and modest to a fault, but the way the Webinar is organized means a lot for the participants. If you have to run a Webinar, it might be worth a read. Don't make that mistake with your event.

Will the visual design of your pages help your SEO?


Image via Wikipedia. If you have worked on SEO over the years, you know that a lot of different factors lead to your organic search success, but the visual appearance of your pages hasn't been one of them. Those days might be coming to a close, however, as Google has been spotted testing a page preview function that might give an advantage to cooler-looking pages over more boring ones.

The B2B Marketer's Field Guide To Customer Engagement

Leverage customer engagement and advocacy to drive brand, demand and profitable growth.