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About This Methodology

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Category
Digital Marketing
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Endo
Year
2006

Introduction

Takeaway Message

Coming soon!

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Ideas, Comments, Questions?

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you think I could add value to your next project/venture in some form or fashion. Send a quick note here :)

Details

Category
Digital Marketing
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Endo
Year
2007

Introduction

In Part 1 of my methodology entitled Achieving Clarity, you'll get your bearings and understand what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about, learn of its value and importance, and weave it into the fabric of your business. You'll be clear on what is deemed to be ethical, white hat SEO in contrast to unethical, black hat SEO. We'll then turn to the core of your money-making engine, your business model, and assess its viability and help you make adjustments where appropriate. Subsequently, you'll proceed to structure and set measurable goals for your business and connect these goals to your SEO & SEM campaigns. Lastly, it's important to draw from the digital marketing experiences you've had across multiple channels, learn from them, and move forward with a fresh set of strategies and a well-rounded knowledge base. In short, you'll be assembling a collective skill set that'll secure the present and future profitability of your business.


*Nota bene: The following sequence of steps ONLY include brief, opening stretches of training content. To access not just the entirety of Part 1 but also all 2,000+ pages of the ten parts of this optimization methodology, drop me a note and I'd be happy to chat with you about any info you're interested in.

Sequence of Steps in Part 1

Step 1 — Intro to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Welcome to the super-competitive world of SEO where search engine robots and algorithms frequently change and others put their businesses at great risk every day, intentionally or inadvertently, by doing unethical black hat SEO all for one overriding purpose → to rank on the first page of Google. A few quick terms to discuss right out of the gates. People often refer to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and this may be confusing to some. I believe that it is necessary to draw a distinction between these two terms right here at the outset. SEO is Non-Paid search whereas SEM is Paid Search. Non-Paid Search: This is where you'll leverage this methodology to improve your site rankings in the organic search results. SEO also helps to make your links, appearing the search results, more relevant and "clickable." You can write pithy marketing messages, include them in your page titles and descriptions just below them, in order to attract targeted traffic. Paid Search: If you run a Google AdWords PPC campaign, then your ads will appear in the Sponsored Links section. Your positioning in Google's Paid Search section depends on factors such as what you bid per click, your ad's Quality Score, the advertising competition for a given keyword, etc. Paid Search is an effective way to drive even more relevant traffic to your optimized landing pages. However, with more of your pages highly ranked through SEO, you'll be able to lower your dependence on Paid Search and get the quality traffic you're seeking primarily from top organic positioning [continued…]
Step 2 — The Hats of SEO
Do not get carried away with your competitiveness and eagerness to dominate the rankings by entertaining ideas of performing questionable or unethical SEO methods. There is everything to lose and only little, if anything, to gain in the short-term by doing gray or black hat SEO. Within the past few years, the white, gray, and black hat terms have come about to describe the ethics underlying SEO techniques. Some methods are definitively black hat while professionals in the SEO community dispute over what is actually gray. Do only white hat SEO and you're in the clear. The overarching aim of the white hat approach is to feed search engine robots high quality, relevant, optimized text on the front-end and back-end so that both site visitors and search engines benefit. It is noteworthy to mention that white hat SEO is a gradual, fluid, and ongoing process that preserves the integrity of your business brand and website in both the short and long term [continued…]
Step 3 — Business Model Keys
A business model brings clarity to your thoughts. This directly affects what kind of content you'll have on your site. You should fully understand the unique aspects and competitive advantages of your business model; your optimized site should be a reflection of these strengths. Here are the Six Keys to a Viable Business Model: (1) Leadership - It begins and ends with the person who is the visionary for the business. This leader is the engine that reliably and consistently drives the business forward through market highs and lows. Great leaders have a thirst for knowledge, welcome competitive challenges, ultimately and sincerely believe in their strategies, motivate others to follow and contribute, and realize the inherent value in satisfying customers; (2) Value to the customer - You will attract high impact customers by delivering value to them. A high impact customer is one who can be easily found and will buy your products or services at a profitable price. A customer is not only the person who uses your product or service but also can be your distributor or retailer. You need to understand what makes your target audience click (no pun intended :) After all, marketing is an exercise in psychology. It is imperative that you know what, when, how, and why your customers will decide to purchase your products or services. The value you offer should include your unique, distinguishing factors that set your business apart from the others. Your customer should be able to clearly recognize the value and advantage you have so that he or she will buy from you and not your competitors. Better value to the customer can also be extended to things like forming partnerships with other companies to deliver improved products/services, more efficient distribution, or just simply giving your customers more options to select from; (3) High profit margins - Earn high profit margins when selling your products and/or services. The Web has brought about unforeseen online business opportunities that can haul in the profits with low overhead. For example, online communities using a SaaS model or advertising model, or combination thereof, are very profitable if set up properly and cleverly. (4) Customer satisfaction - The crux of the matter is how easy it will be for you to satisfy your customers once they buy from you. If customer satisfaction is really difficult to achieve, for whatever the reason, it could seriously cut into your profits. Quality customer service is about forming and caring for the healthy relationship between your business and the customer. This helps you get referrals, improves your company brand and reputation, and will only drive your business further into the realm of success. (5) Funding and ROI - Overhead, start-up expenses, operating capital, and staff. Sure, these are all valid points of concern but the central matter is whether your business will flourish without having to make new, substantial investments. Do the best you can to ensure a high ROI (Return On Investment) by rounding up and hiring reliable, productive personnel from the get go. (6) Stabilized market position - Just as you should optimize your site based on the strong suits of your business, you must also create and seize opportunities to further bolster your market position. A useful strategy is to commit your resources toward making your already great products or services even better. Grow and expand upon your stronger areas to stabilize your market position, and then go to work on shoring up weaknesses. Your aim should be to convert any perceived negatives into positives [continued…]
Step 4 — Business Model Eval
Pick the tool of your choice to swiftly analyze your business model. Congruent with one of my guiding principles (Occam's Razor), I highly recommend Ash Maurya's Lean Canvas. Drafting business plans can be a painstaking, lengthy process and others will probably not read it anyway. Lean Canvas is a simple 1-page business model that should help clarify your thinking and solidify my "Six Keys to a Viable Business Model" mentioned in Step 3 [continued…]
Step 5 — Goal Setting
Create short- and long-term business goals. We will cover specific site goals, i.e. conversions, later in this methodology. Let us now talk about some examples regarding the types of goals you will be setting and then review the implications of achieving them. Your attention is to be placed on the following two types of goals: central and peripheral. If your business is a membership model, you might set your central short-term goal at enrolling 500 members. A central long-term goal might then be 5,000 members. Irrespective of your business model, the goal should be concrete and quantifiable. Now, one of your peripheral goals might be aiming to get 33% of your members to actively participate in your affiliate program. In brief, reaching both of these measurable goals will ensure success and growth of your business. Through attaining your central goals, your business will have a stabilized market position and be viable. Through achieving both central and peripheral goals, you will capture a larger market share and have a highly profitable enterprise. If you accomplish your central goals and gradually reach more and more of your peripheral goals over time, then your business will consistently profit and thrive within your particular industry and niche [continued…]
Step 6 — Your SEO & SEM Experience
This step elucidates the past, present, and future of your SEO and Paid Search marketing experiences. If you're a novice in SEO and you've never run a PPC campaign, then just fill out the applicable fields. The main purpose of this exercise is to help you identify the internal needs of your business to successfully carry out SEO and Paid Search campaigns so that you can vastly improve your search engine visibility and increase ROI from search [continued…]

Takeaway Message

Get your bearings in the world of search, explore the strengths and weaknesses of your business model, set measurable short and long term business goals, describe your past digital marketing experiences, and aggregate all of this to devise your own formula for online success.

Portfolio snapshot

Ideas, Comments, Questions?

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you think I could add value to your next project/venture in some form or fashion. Send a quick note here :)

Details

Category
Digital Marketing
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Endo
Year
2007

Introduction

In Part 2 of my methodology entitled Dominate With Keywords, you'll learn the basics of how search engines work, hit up stats on the major search engines, and review the science behind how people search. You'll see that our mini SEO case studies, snapshots, and diagrams are arranged in a specific manner to enhance your understanding of organic and paid search. This part also helps you identify the specific terms that people commonly use when they search for your site. These terms are called keywords, and we show you which keyword research tools are the best to use when building the foundation for your SEO campaign. Through sharing insider knowledge and keyword strategies, we're also sharpening your ability to swiftly and effectively size up your competition. The remainder of Part 2 revolves around doing the keyword research and then assembling your keyword portfolio.


*Nota bene: The following sequence of steps ONLY include brief, opening stretches of training content. To access not just the entirety of Part 2 but also all 2,000+ pages of the ten parts of this optimization methodology, drop me a note and I'd be happy to chat with you about any info you're interested in.

Sequence of Steps in Part 2

Step 1 — Search Engine Rankings
How can I get my site ranked at the top of search results? This is the essential question amongst people/companies all over the world who have a site and care about the strength of their digital presence. The answer is that high rankings are NOT about tricking the search engines or lucking out, it is about hard work and know-how. There is no secret SEO formula and anyone can do it if they choose to invest the time and energy. It is a simple and straightforward deal if you keep the following in mind: [a] research and identify the right keywords for your site, [b] create relevant content surrounding your target keywords, [c] get quality sites to link to you, and [d] do what is best for both site users and search engines. The great news is that you now have an affordable way to get your site optimized but you, or someone within your organization, has to be ready and willing to learn and work on it consistently. It all starts with having a rudimentary understanding of how a search engine works. Skim or skip this part altogether and you will have virtually no shot at getting high rankings. A Search Engine Simplified: At the most fundamental level of a search engine, you have two components — hardware and software. From a hardware standpoint, you need a massive assemblage of computers, of sufficient processing power and capacity, with backup systems and data centers all set up to offer the dual advantages of reliable performance and quick results. But more germane to the realm of SEO is the software that comprises a search engine. By knowing the very basics of how the software works, you will be well on your way to getting top positioning in organic search results. You have crawling software, indexing software, and searching software. A search engine uses these three types of software in this specific order: 1. Crawling → 2. Indexing → 3. Searching Now, we will define these new terms and add them to your growing digital marketing vocab [continued…]
Step 2 — Importance of Keywords
Which keywords do people use to find your site? We will direct you to the best keyword research tools that will not only tell you which keywords your target audience uses most frequently but also will give you an estimation of how difficult it will be to rank for that keyword. Your proficiency at keyword research is one skill, as part of this entire optimization skill set, which will pay huge dividends for you. Most people guess at which keywords to use, do some cursory inspection, and do not even know much about the actual keyword tool(s) they are using. If you are looking for below-average to average results, then you will get just that when you do keyword research in this manner. But for high rankings, more conversions, and increased ROI, it begins and ends with your ability to pinpoint the right keywords and leverage them wisely throughout your entire Multi-Channel Digital Marketing Campaign. To illustrate the importance of your keywords to SEO [continued…]
Step 3 — Scan the Competition
Here are a few fast and qualitative ways to evaluate your competition to just get a feel for what is out there. We hope that this step provides greater focus to your keyword research, and we know that it'll help shape your keyword portfolio into a more polished form. Tips for deducing competitor keyword strategies on the front-end: Which topics on the site appear to be high-yield (show up frequently)? How many of your target keywords appear on their home page and throughout other pages of their site? Which keywords are used in their internal links (to pages within their site)? Do you see which keywords are used in their external links (to other pages on the Web)? What about keywords in their Sitemap? Tips for evaluating keyword strategies on the back-end: Identify keywords in the page titles. Which keywords appear in your competitor's meta description tags? Find keywords in the meta keywords tags [continued…]
Step 4 — Keyword Research
Short tail keywords are broad and more competitive. Long tail keywords (term coined by Chris Anderson) are specific and less competitive; they're also called niche keywords. An example of a short tail keyword is "candles" whereas a long tail keyword would be something like "palm wax candles." As we'll discuss later, it is imperative to have a balanced keyword portfolio of long and short tail keywords. Why? Because it's easier to get high rankings for long tail keywords at the outset and as you continue your SEO campaign, you'll eventually grab top positioning for the more challenging short tail keywords. Reality Check: Keyword research should not be construed as a mere mechanical exercise where you punch in terms and get an output of keywords, where you then rush to optimize your site. It is a continual, thought-provoking process that incorporates the psychology of buying and involves predicting what your target audience wants and needs. Moreover, it is a melding of data analysis with human intelligence that leads to great results. You will accomplish vastly more in keyword research when you care about the tools you are using and when you think carefully about what they inform you about your prospective customers [continued…]
Step 5 — Your Keyword Portfolio
This optimization methodology is predicated upon your thoughts, your goals, and how YOU ultimately choose to market your site on the Web. We mentioned back in Part 1 that just as you decide on the level of risk of your personal investment portfolio, so you should determine how aggressively you want to pursue a given set of keywords. We call this set your keyword portfolio. With all of these new terms and strategies tossed at you throughout these first two parts, let us put this know-how to work. Your task is to do the research and assemble a balanced list of 10 - 15 active keywords to use across the multiple channels of your Digital Marketing campaign [continued…]

Takeaway Message

Accrue basic knowledge of how search engines work, select your keyword research tools, determine the specific keywords that people commonly use when they search for your site, see what your competitors are doing in terms of SEO, and then begin to assemble your portfolio of target keywords.

Portfolio snapshot

Ideas, Comments, Questions?

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you think I could add value to your next project/venture in some form or fashion. Send a quick note here :)

Details

Category
Digital Marketing
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Endo
Year
2007

Introduction

In Part 3 of my methodology entitled Understanding Your Site, we'll delineate the boundary between static and dynamic sites and discuss the implications of having a dynamic site. We'll cover things like controlling access to certain pages of your site, generating more clickable URLs, and handling Flash or Ajax technologies so that your pages will be better positioned in organic search listings. This part also dials in to traffic sources to landing pages and how to get people to take certain actions on your site. Your ability to predict and measure the impact of your landing pages is critical to getting more conversions and bringing in more revenue. Finally, you'll revisit your central and peripheral business goals and match these to your website mapping activities. The success of your SEO campaign depends on how well you set up, develop, and finely tune your landing pages.


*Nota bene: The following sequence of steps ONLY include brief, opening stretches of training content. To access not just the entirety of Part 3 but also all 2,000+ pages of the ten parts of this optimization methodology, drop me a note and I'd be happy to chat with you about any info you're interested in.

Sequence of Steps in Part 3

Step 1 — Static or Dynamic?
Your primary website is either static or dynamic. Static sites display the same information to all users in response to all download requests. In contrast, dynamic sites can show different information to users, in various contexts, giving you far more flexibility and control. Although pages within static sites load faster and lead to better server performance under stress, you may be too restricted when it comes to building and managing your site. If that is the case, a dynamic site is preferred. It is recommended that you create a decision tree to discern if static or dynamic is right for your online goals and objectives. Top 5 Reasons to have a Dynamic Site include (1) It can be managed by a person with virtually no web design experience whatsoever; (2) It is easy to update and frequently change the content on your site such as text, images, videos, etc.; (3) You have the option to hide sensitive content or content that is under construction; (4) It is great for mapping out the architecture of a site; (5) You have the capability to assign roles to different types of users, e.g. subscribers, members, affiliates, etc. A user-friendly CMS makes life much easier while static sites lack flexibility, efficiency when building pages, and require more technical know-how. The various ways in which you are even able to control and update your information in a dynamic site is through a content management system (CMS). This is simply a computer application used to create, edit, find, manage, and publish various types of electronic text and digital media. Server side languages such as ASP-, PHP-, and JSP-powered sites make such dynamic content creation possible. Imagine if your site has thousands of products or pages...you would then need to write or update each and every static page by hand - it is just not efficient. From an SEO standpoint, a dynamic site helps you to efficiently add content to enhance the value and experience for your end users, but also fresh material accomplishes the all-important task of feeding search engine spiders the HTML text and links they are seeking. In the past, dynamic content used to pose problems for search engine indexing but robots have evolved and are now more than equipped to index your pages. Still, you should pay heed to the following SEO guidelines for dynamic sites [continued…]
Step 2 — Landing Pages & Conversions
In order to rank highly for your target keywords in organic search, they must have corresponding landing pages. Actually, each and every one of your site pages indexed by search engines is a potential landing page. These landing pages stem from sound strategy, careful planning, and execution. In an effort to better understand this new concept, let us first think about keywords and high rankings along the lines of building a solid foundation at home. Your target keywords require close attention and they need a nice, stable living situation. Your website is analogous to a home and each landing page is a room within your house. Through planning out and constructing optimized landing pages, you are taking great care of your keywords and providing them with the best living conditions possible. Achieving a high ranking for each keyword is a picture of well-being, growth, and development. Your aim is to build a large, beautiful home with ample space and plenty of rooms so that your keywords can live large! Starting out, we will look at two kinds of landing pages: resource-oriented and action-oriented. (1) A resource-oriented landing page provides useful info that the visitor wants and needs. This type of page is all about being a relevant resource that informs the visitor. It has nothing to do with bombarding the reader with selling points. Instead, it is a collection of pertinent content (text, image, or video) that contains links to other useful resources within a similar subject area. Publishers can generate a significant stream of advertising revenue from resource-oriented landing pages. (2) An action-oriented landing page aims to engage the visitor right from the get-go. This call to action may come in the form of interactive ads, buttons leading to subscriptions, filling out contact forms, etc. At a minimum, an action-oriented page should capture customer information like a name and e-mail address. It's all about conversions. Your main objective is to impress and persuade the visitor to buy your products or services in a tactful, well thought out manner. When a visitor takes the desired action on one of your landing pages, it is called a conversion. As you will see, digital marketing is all about getting conversions and increasing your conversion rate, a metric that considers the effectiveness of your landing pages and factors in the specific site goals you've set. The Trail from Landing Pages to Sales: When someone searches with a particular keyword, sees a relevant organic or paid search result and clicks on it, he or she will arrive at your landing page. And on this landing page, you have judiciously incorporated your important short and long tail keywords for your visitors to see and made a clean-looking, attractive, and logically organized page. Implicitly, visitors should find that this landing page is totally relevant, providing them with the quality content they were seeking thereby satisfying their needs. If you consider that your search engine listing or PPC ad is the first time you have met a new customer, then the landing page is simply an extension of your first impression and initial dialogue. Here are examples of high performance landing pages [continued…]
Step 3 — Website Mapping
In this discussion of mapping tips, we are assuming that you have a site where you have the ability to control access to particular pages and the flexibility to make as many changes as necessary to your page names, page content, and so on. The aim of website mapping is to prime your site for optimization. Here are the objectives for this step: (1) Organize your site in a logical manner with intuitive navigation; (2) Set up your landing pages around your active keywords; (3) Assign roles to your users and figure out who sees what; (4) Define your conversions and identify your conversion pages. Planning for SEO growth: Revisit your business goals that you set back in Part 1, Be sure that your website mapping efforts connect to your business goals, Remember that this is just a rough draft of your site, a flow of ideas that will change and develop into a polished form. Optimize your URLs: Use keywords in your site navigation only if it makes sense to the reader. Sometimes you have to just put Products or Services in your menu because inserting a keyword in this location may only detract from the overall clean, tightly organized look of your site. If your website is about your radiology medical practice, and you have a blog, do not just put Blog in your navigation. Instead, use one of your keywords and call it a Radiology Blog or Neuroimaging Blog (again, if it still looks good). As we talked about earlier in Part 3, pay attention to how your dynamic site generates URLs as you create new landing pages. The great benefit of optimized URLs is when people link to your site using the full URL as the link anchor text. If keywords are included in your URL, this will boost your rankings for these keywords; moreover, the appearance of the URL appears even more relevant and clickable [continued…]

Takeaway Message

Discern the strong suits and limitations of your site, assess where your site currently stands, set concrete site goals, define what conversions are for your business, conceive of ideas for your web pages, and gear up to implement the plan of attack with your new understanding, direction, and knowledge.

Portfolio snapshot

Ideas, Comments, Questions?

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you think I could add value to your next project/venture in some form or fashion. Send a quick note here :)

Details

Category
Digital Marketing
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Endo
Year
2007

Introduction

In Part 4 of my methodology entitled Front-end Optimization, the real hands-on optimization for each of your landing pages begins. This means taking the raw content of your landing pages and molding it into an attractive and marketable package. Our strategies will help you keep the content of those landing pages relevant and consistent throughout your site, including avoiding cloned material and drawing worthy inlinks. The steps taken in Part 4 will influence your visitors first impressions of your business and, therefore, increase the probability of generating conversions. You will quickly see that when it comes to site authority, some sites are leaders and some are followers. Do not settle for over-stuffed or watered-down page titles, feeble calls to action, or third-rate external links. Adhere to the highest standards for internal and external valued linking. Learn about the importance of tone and language used to call your customers to action.


*Nota bene: The following sequence of steps ONLY include brief, opening stretches of training content. To access not just the entirety of Part 4 but also all 2,000+ pages of the ten parts of this optimization methodology, drop me a note and I'd be happy to chat with you about any info you're interested in.

Sequence of Steps in Part 4

Step 1 — Content Strategies
Before we delve into actual content strategies, let us quickly discuss something that stems from great content and quality links to your site. It is called site authority. Domains that have been around longer can gain high rankings more easily than new domains and it is not just because a domain has been in existence for a while. Getting to the bottom of Site Authority: Since we are not privy to the algorithms of search engines, we surmise that established domains attain better positioning through lots of quality inlinks and a steady stream of traffic over time; this is essentially what site authority is all about. In order to build site authority and rank higher, you must create a site that directly addresses the needs of your target audience and you must add useful, relevant content on a consistent basis. By doing so, your site will get inlinks based on its own merit and it will be recommended and included in conversations regarding your specific area of the market. This methodology for high search engine rankings is based on three simple concepts. What this all boils down to is hard work, efficiency, and knowing what you can and cannot directly control: (1) You have complete control over the keywords you research; (2) You have full control over the useful content you write and share with your target audience; (3) You still have control over how you spread the word and create a buzz about your site. However, you have less control over how people respond to your site and whether other quality sites will link to you (inlinks). The objective of this section is to cover a slew of strategies that will help you control what you can, put your website mapping to great use, and ultimately develop killer content that hauls in the traffic. When the rubber meets the road, your content is all that matters. It is what will either drive you forward or leave you idle. Content Strategies for Higher Rankings: Theme your content. Think about your site content one or two years down the line. Will you have hundreds or even thousands of loosely built pages with aging links or will your site be a tightly organized, finely tuned machine that maximizes the potential of its keyword portfolio and links? You should construct a well-rounded base of information, using both your active and potential keywords, within a specific subject area. Put your website mapping to use and begin organizing by themes. Next, you should [continued…]
Step 2 — Compact to Impact Titles
HTML Page Titles: As alluded to earlier, people are searching for the most relevant, appropriate-looking listing they come across and it only takes a few seconds before they decide to click on a result. The way in which your page title is written and appears will definitely influence this quick decision. Now, go ahead and google "untitled document" (with quotation marks) and you will see that many millions of pages have no page title. Seriously? Do not be lumped into this crowd. Differentiate your site from the multitude of sites out there! Use sound strategy to compose your page titles so that your site WILL rank higher. QA for Optimizing Page Titles: What? Within the HTML code for a given page, your page title is one of the most important areas that you MUST carefully optimize. Why? First and foremost, you need keyword optimized page titles to compete well and rank highly. For individual pages, the HTML page title tag is similar to your domain name in terms of how it affects the way people link to you. When creating a link to your useful page or article (called "Awesome Page") many will use "Awesome Page" as the anchor text; thus, it is an added bonus when each and every one of your page titles contains at least one target keyword. The words drawn from your title tag are also used when someone bookmarks your page or subscribes to your feed. When? Every single time you create a new page on your site with a fresh blog entry, images, video, or whatever...you ARE building a landing page. It will be very tough for people to even find and land on your page if you do not optimize your page title. How much? Whatever you do, do NOT stuff keywords into your page titles. It is blatantly obvious that you are doing black hat and it is a myopic approach to SEO. Though it varies with each search engine, do not exceed the maximum character limit of 70 for each page title (this includes spaces). Try to use between 50 to 70 characters. How? My mantra for writing HTML Page Titles is Compact to Impact, so your page title should [a] be brief and relevant to the content on your page; [b] incorporate your active keywords; [c]include your most important keyword at the beginning; [d] have supplemental terms to bolster your active keywords; [e] use the plural form where appropriate; [f] have the first letter capitalized so that the listing is more clickable; [g] be unique so that your site will differentiate itself from the competition; [h] make sense to the reader and form a complete thought. Optimized page titles are an integral piece of the SEO puzzle. Leverage these tips to ensure higher rankings and drive more visitors to your site, i.e. the impact you are looking to create. Your impact is taken deeper once someone gets to your landing page chock full of useful content including, of course, your targeted active keywords in the body of that given page. And, remember to always [continued…]
Step 3 — Develop Your Content
What you need: Always have your keyword portfolio at hand when building landing pages. Also, grab your website mapping notes. What is the main goal for building landing pages?: The main goal is to use your active keywords in the following locations: HTML page title, heading, linking text, and body of the landing page. Start simple by trying to optimize for only two active keywords for a given page. One core objective per landing page: To maintain focus, jot down your core objective for each landing page. Think about what it means for your visitors if you successfully reach this objective. Be sure to relate all of your individual page elements to this one objective. Organize your thoughts: Compose a compact to impact page title (not to exceed 70 characters) using both of your active keywords (use only one keyword if it reads better that way). Outline the topics and key points you want to cover on this page such as headings, sub-headings, bullet points, etc. Direct your visitors: Think about where you will insert a clear call to action. For instance, you may have a sign up now button or get started link. Irrespective of what you use, your goal is guide your visitors and tell them where to go. You will certainly need at least one strong call to action on a short page and up to four on a relatively long page. Keep the page clean so as not to distract or overwhelm the visitor with clutter and excessive visuals. The harmony of your page layout, calls to action, persuasive writing...all serves to boost your conversion rate. Maintain consistent phrasing: People are "landing" on this page and looking for relevance, so be sure that your headline matches the description your visitor just saw. Try to be exact. For instance, the title of your PPC ad is "Popular Science Videos." Someone clicks on it and is then taken to your landing page with the following headline: "Popular Science Videos to Enrich Learning." It would be a mistake to switch up the order and write something like "Popular Science Learning Videos." Decide on a particular phrase and form for each landing page and stick with it. Be aware of how your tone will affect your visitors: Remember, speak on the level of your typical customer. Are your customers mostly detail-oriented/analytical or big picture/bottom line? Be persuasive but also transparent with your motives. Write in the second person. People like to read "your options..." and "you make the decision..." People care about how things affect them and not at all about how it benefits your company. Start with a clear summary: In the appropriate tone, your first paragraph should summarize what your landing page is all about. Include your two active keywords in this paragraph plus any relevant supplemental terms. Build the body: Develop the body of this piece and use sensible keyword repetition so that the copy reads well. If your page is indeed well optimized, omitting any particular term or phrase shouldn't totally lose the reader, it should just make it a little more difficult to read. Recall this methodology for high search engine rankings: Incorporate keywords into your site and create useful content that will attract quality inlinks. Most people will skim: Visitors are most likely to read beginnings and ends before they read the middle of each paragraph. With this being said, insert your most cogent points in these areas of your copy and do not digress from these key ideas. Do just enough to get the conversion: Depending on what your goals are for each particular landing page, do not slam your visitors with a barrage of selling points. Use tact and be judicious with your keywords. It is all about efficiency and doing only what is necessary to get the visitor to take the desired action. How you link is very important: Create internal links (to pages within your site), with your active keywords. Do not forget to use keywords in your external links (to other sites). There is more on linking in the next step...Get empirical evidence: As you develop your content, see what works and toss out what does not. We will talk later about how to use Google Analytics and Google Website Optimizer to track the performance of each of your landing pages. In summary, your landing page is where you atPortfolio snapshott to generate a lead or get your visitor to buy something outright. Yes, it may be overwhelming and seem very difficult to satisfy all of the aforementioned conditions for a killer landing page. The reality is that we have set the bar very high so that even if you fall short, you will still have a page that ranks highly, yields a solid conversion rate, and gets your visitors to trust what you are saying [continued…]
Step 4 — Create Valued Links
What is a valued link? We use the term valued link to describe a hyperlink that meets a high standard and serves to increase your organic search positioning. We will focus on the following two types of valued links as they pertain to developing your content: (1) internal, when you link to other pages within your site and (2) external, when you link to pages on other sites. Here are tips for creating valued internal links within your all-important landing pages and sending valued external links to other places on the Web. A valued link...is structurally and functionally sound, is created with purpose and strategy, do not link just for the heck of it or be lazy and create links that say "click here for more", insert meaningful text within the link that adds to the consistent flow of your content, is highly relevant and sensible to the user, is in the proper format where spiders can easily index it, search engine spiders love HTML text links, spiders do not index every single web page from a given site; thus, you need to feed them links to your landing pages. Additional linking tips include: should be surrounded by a relevant context, directs users to other landing pages and eventually conversion pages, valued links from your home page are super important because they establish a higher priority for particular landing pages and tell search engines "index me first!", inform visitors about your key landing pages, direct new and returning visitors to your landing and conversion pages, connects to other pages with high link power, i.e. a page that's received a lot of quality inlinks, points to the same URL version, decide if you want all of your internal links to contain the www or if you want to omit it, choose the canonical URL and have a preferred version and stick with it throughout your site. So much emphasis is placed on the SEO value of inbound links (also known as inlinks or backlinks) these days that it is often easy to neglect the importance of external links coming from your site. Since your external links (also called outbound links) direct traffic away from your site, you should make sure that these links are keyword optimized, relevant links that your users will find useful. Remember, each external link counts as a vote for another site and these votes are trackable. Search engines scrutinize your external links to make sure that you are not linking to harmful places like link farms [continued…]
Step 5 — Avoid Duplicate Content
Be careful not to put the exact same content on different pages. Duplicate content is a very common issue for website developers. Search engines do not like duplicate content and your rankings could take a hit if you either knowingly or inadvertently created a substantial amount of duplicate content. Duplicate content is considered to be the exact same or even similar on-page elements that display on multiple URLs. Every web page has its own name and address (this is the URL) and so it only makes sense to make the content on each of these unique pages totally different. You actually reduce the authority and link power of a landing page if it is spread out over duplicate pages. If your site has multiple pages with the same content, either through a content management system that creates duplicate content or through separate navigation, you may be hurting those pages, diminishing the effect of good anchor text and reducing the chances of ranking well. What do search engine robots do in the face of duplicate content? When crawling your site, they will likely select a particular page out of the identical copies and remove the others from the index. However, a massive amount of duplicate content could seriously inhibit the crawling process. Remember, an integral part of professional SEO is making it easy for robots to feed on your unique, relevant, clean-coded HTML content. Keep in mind that only if duplicate content is running rampant throughout your site, then this issue becomes urgent. With a few pages of duplicate content here and there, you simply need to tidy up and refine your site. Quick ways to handle duplicate content issues: (1) Check to see that your shopping cart software is not generating different URLs for the same product; (2) Remove past versions of web pages that reside at old URLs; (3) Web pages with various tracking tag add-ons should be removed from the search engine index altogether; (4) Use the robots.txt file or a robots meta tag to remove multiple pages that display identical content; (5) Be sure to [continued…]

Takeaway Message

Tapping into the keyword portfolio you have compiled, judiciously incorporate these keywords in the appropriate places throughout your site, weave a beautiful pattern of relevant content for your users, speak directly to your target audience through your copywriting, and amplify your brand awareness.

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Ideas, Comments, Questions?

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you think I could add value to your next project/venture in some form or fashion. Send a quick note here :)

Details

Category
Digital Marketing
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Endo
Year
2007

Introduction

In Part 5 of my methodology entitled Back-end Optimization, you will reinforce the front-end work of Part 4 with "invisible" text hidden in the code of your pages which specify your soon-to-be fully optimized landing pages. By strategically adjusting the back end of your content, you will make your search engine listings appear more relevant and clickable. Remember, just like an audience sitting in a Broadway theater, your visitors will never "see" much of the work you put in "behind the curtain," but hard work backstage can take a show from respectable to unbeatable. Back-end tasks include perfecting your meta description and keywords tags as well as your Sitemap, but we don't stop there. We will show you many other ways to seriously enhance your site, from image and javascript compression techniques, content delivery networks, mobile site optimization and more.


*Nota bene: The following sequence of steps ONLY include brief, opening stretches of training content. To access not just the entirety of Part 5 but also all 2,000+ pages of the ten parts of this optimization methodology, drop me a note and I'd be happy to chat with you about any info you're interested in.

Sequence of Steps in Part 5

Step 1 — Optimize Your Meta Tags
Why optimize my meta tags? Your HTML page title and meta description tag serve as the first impression your site makes on a prospective customer in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Meta tags give you the opportunity to better position and describe your landing pages in the search engines; however, even perfectly constructed meta tags are not sufficient by themselves to rank highly. Optimized HTML page title tags carry more weight than meta tags in the ranking process of major search engines. Nonetheless, it is the cumulative effect of all optimization strategies and techniques that yields top organic positioning for your target keywords. What are meta tags? Meta tags consist of info inserted into the "HEAD" section of your web pages. Meta tags fall under the rubric of meta elements (HTML or XHTML), and there is a lot of details about meta stuff that you need not worry about. For optimization purposes, we will concern ourselves with only meta tags specifying a page description and a list of keywords. These are called the meta description tag and meta keywords tag, respectively. Of these two types, the meta description tag is definitely more important. The meta keywords tag, once widely used by search engines, is now less significant because it is the easiest to spam and manipulate. Actually, only a couple of major crawler-based search engines even support the meta keywords tag (more on this later). Tips for optimizing your meta description tags: (1) Your primary goal is to differentiate your site from the competition in the search results; (2) Your secondary goal is to draw in visitors and attract more clicks with these unique descriptions; (3) Make a solid first impression and speak directly to your target audience; (4) Let this description complement your compact to impact title; (5) Never copy and paste your exact page title into the description; (6) Keep it pithy, specifically, less than 160 total characters; (7) We have found that the range of 15 to 25 words (within the character limit) works best for all major search engines; (8) Active keywords should appear at least once but not more than three times; (9) Change up the order of these keywords in your description; (10) Again, avoid repeating exact terms and phrases as shown in your page title; (11) Use both the singular and plural forms; (12) If your page title displays an acronym, then write out the full version in your description; (13) Add supplemental terms to form long tail keywords; (14) Your description should be informative and relevant to your landing page; (15) Each description should be unique for each and every landing page; (16) If possible, include a call to action. Snippets: Unfortunately, you cannot entirely control where or when your meta description tags will appear in some search engines. You will notice that for some pages indexed you will see what is called a snippet. This occurs when a search engine crawler bypasses your meta description tag and instead, shows a brief stretch or stretches of content taken from that particular landing page. If you do not have a meta description tag or if your description is irrelevant to the search query, crawlers will create a snippet and that will serve as part of your listing. If you do not like the snippet currently showing for one of your listings, you can change it by implementing [continued…]
Step 2 — Create a Sitemap
A sitemap (also spelled site map) graphically displays the architecture of your website. It can inform your site visitors as well as search engine crawlers about all of the great landing pages you have within your site. Now, there are two types of sitemaps, HTML and XML. An HTML sitemap is, simply put, a list of text links constructed on the front end and organized like a "table of contents" to help you users navigate your site. On the other hand, an XML Sitemap is meta code created and loaded on the back end, seen only by search crawlers and not by front-end users. For this step, we will be focusing on the XML Sitemap (the capital "S" means that it is XML and that it is supported by the official Sitemaps Protocol). A Sitemap tells crawlers, of all major search engines, things like how often your pages change, precisely when they are updated, and how valuable a given landing page is in relation to your other pages. Here are the Top 7 Reasons to have a Sitemap: (1) Helps get more of your landing pages indexed; (2) Gets crawlers to follow more of your page links; (3) Assists visitors in finding your content more efficiently; (4) Works extremely well for sites with fewer standard HTML links, e.g. sites using lots of Flash, Ajax, or JavaScript menus; (5) Great for large, dynamic websites; (6) Useful for new sites that do not have that many links; (7) You are able to incorporate your target keywords, and keyword relatives, in the hyperlinks of your Sitemap. Major Search Engines Support Sitemaps: Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Ask all support the same Sitemaps protocol. The same goes for the new Schema protocol which is all about [continued…]
Step 3 — Other Back-end Tasks
This is the last step before you submit your URL to search engines and directories. In your digital marketing journey up until this point, we have emphasized the importance of doing what is best for both site visitors and search engine spiders. With that in mind, realize that Google is now placing a premium on two areas of site optimization which include (1) performance and (2) mobile. You should be familiar with image compression, CSS compression, and Javascript compression techniques. Moreover, to increase performance you should seriously consider a content delivery network powered by services like Net DNA or MaxCDN. With respect to mobile, you need to decide if you are going to do custom mobile development or if using a mobile site builder such as Mobify.com or MoFuse makes good sense. You can use the following criteria to decide whether [continued…]

Takeaway Message

Do behind-the-scenes optimization work that will surely improve your search engine rankings, follow clearly spelled out and straightforward methods, and forge ahead in this new territory with confidence and security in knowing that this methodology adds value to your processes every step along the way.

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Ideas, Comments, Questions?

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you think I could add value to your next project/venture in some form or fashion. Send a quick note here :)

Details

Category
Digital Marketing
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Endo
Year
2007

Introduction

In Part 6 of my methodology entitled Gaining Site Visibility, you begin distributing your site to the masses through a diverse network of digital channels. Whether your business is locally-based or global in scope, we present the techniques to realistically haul in hundreds of thousands of viewers from organic search results, prominent web directories, and targeted Paid Search campaigns. Along with mapping out your course of action, we will explain how and why these strategies will help you claim your territory in the virtual world. Specifically, we will only acquaint you with the search engines and quality directories that will deliver ROI. Next, we will delve deeper into the concept of SEO-Paid Search Mutualism and give you the need-to-know strategies for setting up your Google AdWords campaign. We will even break it down visually, showing you the step-by-step techniques used to ensure the highest levels of Paid Search performance. Do not get lost in the streets of search. Get found and strengthen your market position.


*Nota bene: The following sequence of steps ONLY include brief, opening stretches of training content. To access not just the entirety of Part 6 but also all 2,000+ pages of the ten parts of this optimization methodology, drop me a note and I'd be happy to chat with you about any info you're interested in.

Sequence of Steps in Part 6

Step 1 — Submit to Search Engines
In our discussion of search engine software back in Part 1, we talked about getting your pages successfully crawled and then indexed in the search results. You will recall that search engine spiders crave and gobble up HTML text links. They actually go to work and crawl sites (metaphorically speaking) all over the Web prior to you even submitting your URL to the search engines. Since you have already done the work up through Part 5, you can now search for your own site, observe your current listings, and you will likely see that a snippets come up, sitelinks are not showing though you desperately want them to OR something else you want to tweak. But why submit if my site has already been crawled and indexed? (1) Ensure that the changes you have made take place faster; (2) Inform spiders to revisit your site now and more frequently in the future; (3) Direct spiders to your Sitemap so that they can index even more of your landing pages; (4) You are implementing the Schema protocol which [continued…]
Step 2 — Submit to Quality Directories
What is a directory? The type of directory we are concerned with here is one which categorizes clusters of website links by subject matter. Since a web directory is not a search engine, it does not go through the crawling and indexing process based on algorithms that we discussed back in Part 2. Rather, directories allow you to submit your site for inclusion in a relevant category (or categories) and editors will review your listing to ensure that all guidelines have been followed. Here is a quick look at the types of web directories out there: [a] Free directory - there is no charge for site submission, review, and listing of the site; [b] Paid directory - a one-time or recurring fee is assessed for review and listing; [c] Reciprocal directory - a link back to the directory is required for your site to get listed; ignore reciprocal directories because they actually do little to nothing for your positioning; [d] Bid for position directory - the placement of your site link is based on how much you bid; [e] Featured listing - your website link is given a premium position in a category (or categories) within the directory. Why submit to a "quality" directory? One reason is to jumpstart your organic positioning with some inlinks. You will recall that this optimization methodology for high search engine rankings is based upon the following Venn diagram [continued…]
Step 3 — Local Search Exposure
While it is certainly advantageous that the Internet opens up your business to a global audience, your business model may target a specific local area or set of areas. If this is the case, then your mission is twofold: (1) Let Google be your buddy and (2) Win the battle of local links. Consider geographic targeting with AdWords. You have been inundated with reasons and strategies for using Google AdWords. When applying these AdWords techniques, you will get your ads to show up in only the geographical locations that you specify. Evaluate your current customer base and pinpoint areas where you consistently generate new and repeat business. Make it your long term objective to dominate these hotspots organically and with Paid Search. Map out areas of expansion and adjust your digital marketing initiatives accordingly such as Facebook, Foursquare, [continued…]
Step 4 — Paid Search vs. SEO
We already know that SEO wins in a battle against Paid Search...so why even broach the subject? The reason is that businesses with new websites can benefit tremendously from a blend of Paid Search and SEO - the two digital marketing techniques are mutually beneficial (more on this in a bit). Existing websites that heavily rely upon Paid Search as their primary traffic source must eventually make the transition to higher organic positioning to improve ROI. Though we have already drawn the distinction between Paid and Non-Paid Search back in Part 1, let us recapitulate a few key points to jog your memory. Paid Search refers to running Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads or displaying Sponsored Links. You have seen them, clicked on them, but maybe never really thought about them much until now. Every time someone clicks on your PPC ad, you must pay the search engine for that click. If you run a Google AdWords PPC campaign, then your ads will appear in the Sponsored Links section. Your placement in Google Paid Search depends on factors such as what you bid per click, your ad quality score, the advertising competition for a given keyword, etc. Paid Search is an effective way to drive relevant traffic to your landing pages; however, with more of your pages ranked through SEO, you will be able to lower your dependence on Paid Search and get the quality traffic that you are seeking from top organic positioning. Here is a graph that undergirds this very point as well as the statement about SEO winning out over Paid Search in the long run [continued…]
Step 5 — Paid Search Strategies
We could write a discourse on the history, development, and significance of Paid Search...but we will not because you only require the need-to-know tips at this point. The objective of this step is to draw your attention to the manifold options that you have when building and managing your own Paid Search campaign. By running your Paid Search ads, you will get highly useful, instantaneous feedback and have an amazing degree of control over your campaign. You can easily (1) manage your ad spending, (2) pinpoint your ads to only show in certain geographical locations, (3) do demographic targeting, (4) get your ads to show only when searchers use particular keywords that you specify, (5) monitor the all-important conversion rate for your site, (6) observe visitor engagement trends for your website through Google Analytics, (7) compare ROI on a keyword by keyword basis in the context of a split a/b testing experiment of one of your landing pages and more! A carefully managed PPC ad campaign is far more effective AND far less expensive on a per-visit basis in comparison to any form of print advertising or offline marketing. Here is a behemoth of a list of Paid Search Tips you should leverage to [continued…]
Step 6 — AdWords Setup
The forthcoming strategies and info apply to the Standard Edition of Google AdWords. You can learn a ton about Google AdWords in their Learning Center but the key to dominating your niche in Paid Search is experience and learning from your experimentation. Ads and Ad Groups: The way in which you arrange your ad groups will determine, in large part, if you are able to drive the peak level of traffic to your site. The unfortunate scenario you will encounter is a decision to make your campaign either (1) simple to manage and less economical or (2) more challenging to manage and much more cost-efficient. What is the ideal range of Ad Groups? 15 to 25 Ad Groups should suffice for most businesses. What if you take this to the extreme and assign an Ad Group to each and every keyword? Well, if you have 1,000 keywords, then you will have 1,000 Ad Groups...you can see how this is ridiculous and not realistically manageable. What this does is it mixes your highly competitive, short tail keywords with your less competitive, niche keywords. What will this do? You will have too few ads, your minimum bid for each click will be higher, and your clickthrough rate (CTR) will be lower. All of this translates to minimal traffic exposure, substantial advertising dollars wasted...this is what newbies run into with AdWords. SEARCH HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH RELEVANCE: An ad performs best when it is customized for a specific keyword phrase that is being directed to a relevant page. This is a critical criterion for gaining a high Quality Score from Google. How does Google measure relevance and quality? It is measured by a good old metric called the clickthrough rate (CTR). Google evaluates the CTR of each of your ads as well as your overall campaign CTR. What does a high CTR mean? Firstly, it is a great accomplishment once you get there. If you have a higher CTR in relation to your competitors, you will see a marked increase in traffic flow. This is because Google will run your high performance ads, with higher CTRs, more often than your competition even if you bid the exact same amount for a keyword as your competitor. Furthermore, a higher CTR means that your ad will expand its extent of exposure and your ad placement will improve. In addition to a high CTR, Google created the Quality Score. A low Quality Score can cost you anywhere from $2.00 to $20.00 minimum bid per click whereas a solid Quality Score of 7 or higher can drastically reduce your minimum bid per click to around $0.05! But the critical question is how to ensure a high degree of relevance with your PPC ads? Let us home in on what we need to do by reviewing our relevance checklist. Relevance Check: (1) Pick your end point - select a particular landing page on your site to which you will direct your ad; (2) Review the active keywords included in the HTML page titles and meta description tag of this landing page; (3) Observe which keywords you have interwoven throughout the body of your landing page; (4) Look at keywords used in your anchor text, i.e. within the hyperlinks; (5) Now, organize this into a "keyword concept" - this is your Ad Group Name; (6) Use all of this info to write your ad (which is your starting point) within a specific ad group; (7) Match your starting point [ad] to your end point [landing page] to ensure a high degree of relevance. Vastly Extend the Reach of Your Keywords: Tap into your potential keywords from your keyword portfolio and fit these into the appropriate Ad Groups. Now, all of the keywords you currently have will be used as root keywords to generate a massive list. Use multiple keyword tools to expand this list to over 1,000 separate terms. Tips for Composing STELLAR AD COPY: [a] Match your ad copy to the appropriate customer mode or intention (i.e., surfer, shopper, buyer, etc.); [b] Use specific keyword phrases within your ad title and avoid keywords that are altogether too broad; [c] Speak on the level of your customers, avoid technical jargon, and target the right language for your region; [d] Use action words, like enhance, get, and receive, and attention grabbers like new, free, and improved; [e] Cut the fluff... avoid superlatives (best, #1, greatest) and have a call to action (like Join now or Learn more); [f] Never make false claims. This will only embitter your visitors and may Portfolio snapshott Google to kill your ad; [g] Evaluate advertising ideas from leading companies in different industries and consider re-packaging them for your ads; [h] Always keep your ads relevant and up-to-date and of course [continued…]
Step 7 — Negative Matching
If we were to pinpoint a single technique that will significantly lower your advertising expenses, while simultaneously boosting your conversion rate, it would no doubt be negative matching. Here are three kinds of negative matches: (1) Negative Exact Match, (2) Negative Broad Match, and (3) Negative Phrase Match. We will show you how to use each of these techniques; however, the negative exact match will be the mandatory one that you must implement. To demonstrate, we will use a fictitious business to perform negative matches. The following examples are noteworthy because [continued…]
Step 8 — Managing AdWords
Heed the following essential tips for Managing AdWords and then, and only then, start managing AdWords: (1) Link your AdWords account to your Google Analytics account; (2) You MUST enable conversion tracking so that you are not flying blind; (3) What is the avg. CTR for your campaign? It is the percentage of people who see your ads and click on them. The higher the CTR, the better!; (4) What is your avg. conversion rate and cost per conversion? How does this correlate with actual sales?; (5) What are the Quality Scores for the ads that show for your selected keywords?; (6) Look at the total amount spent over a period of one month. What is the average daily cost of your campaign? Are you getting the maximum amount of ad impressions for your budget? Google will automatically notify you if your campaign is not getting the most ad impressions possible; (7) Check that your budget cap exceeds the Google recommended daily amount so that your ads show as frequently as possible; (8) Lower your bid for each click and try to get your ads to show around position 7 for short tail keywords; (9) Adjust your bid per click and get your ads to appear between positions 2 to 3 for long tail keywords; (10) Import Adwords data into Excel and chart things like Avg. position vs. CTR. Do it for your active keywords because it may get unwieldy for the multitude of keywords you have; (11) Perform a relevance audit by reviewing each ad (starting point) plus the landing page URL, page titles, and meta description tags for each corresponding end point (landing page); (12) Then, improve your ad copy for higher relevance and weed out unprofitable keywords, those which are too broad with very low CTRs or keywords that are not highly relevant to your business; (13) Type in your target keywords into the Google query box, look for your ad, and see which position it is in. Compare it to other ad competitors. Will your ad evoke a response, i.e. a click?; (14) What differentiates your ad copy from the others? Do all that you can to make it a cleverly conceived, well-received, clickworthy ad by following our tips in the last step; (15) Have a systematic way of monitoring your campaign stats, analyze your campaign performance at the end of each week, and never check it just once per month; (16) Remember to utilize negative matching techniques to remove unwanted impressions and clicks; (17) Dig up more niche keywords and delve deep into traffic sources that your competitors are not getting; (18) Continue to adjust individual keyword bids over time and eliminate unprofitable keywords; (19) Further optimize and refine your site by getting more quality inlinks and generate even more landing pages; (20) Assume nothing, test everything, and never stop trying to improve your digital marketing ROI [continued…]

Takeaway Message

With the overriding purpose of making your site easily findable in search engine results, follow the simple steps we have laid out for you to submit your site to all major search engines, submit to quality directories that will actually have a palpable impact on your site visibility, learn how to write extremely effective ads for your paid search campaigns, and commit to this methodology for the betterment of your site.

Portfolio snapshot

Ideas, Comments, Questions?

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you think I could add value to your next project/venture in some form or fashion. Send a quick note here :)

Details

Category
Digital Marketing
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Endo
Year
2007

Introduction

In Part 7 of my methodology entitled Traffic & Conversion Tracking, there will be many marks and variables that you can observe to measure the effectiveness of the work you have done in the previous six parts. Whether you need the numbers to make a critical marketing decision or you are merely interested in knowing the potency of your new search campaign, you must start with web analytics. Trace the steps of each visitor from keyword searched to string of pages viewed to products purchased. Specifically, we will introduce you to the technology that records visitor tendencies on your site, such as page views, which landing pages draw the most traffic, and time spent browsing your site. Then, we will discuss the formulas for key statistics you will need to know, like conversion rates, bounce rates, and cost per sale. Monitoring your traffic trends will keep you in lock step with customer wants and needs.


*Nota bene: The following sequence of steps ONLY include brief, opening stretches of training content. To access not just the entirety of Part 7 but also all 2,000+ pages of the ten parts of this optimization methodology, drop me a note and I'd be happy to chat with you about any info you're interested in.

Sequence of Steps in Part 7

Step 1 — Intro to Web Analytics
Why fly blind? Web Analytics refers to technology that allows you to track visitor trends and behavior on your site. It functions as your radar so that you will no longer fly blind when it comes to knowing where your new business comes from across the multitude of channels on the Web. Why you need analytics: With Web Analytics, you can know if Google is bringing you more traffic than Yahoo, if your Facebook campaign is delivering traffic with low or high bounce rates, how many visits each directory listing brings to your site, which keywords people use to arrive at one of your landing pages, your most popular content, the time they have spent on your site, conversion rate, percentage of visits from mobile, which mobile devices were used to access your site and vastly more! You can start with Google Analytics (free), KissMetrics, Chartbeat or roll with enterprise tools like Omniture. We will show you how to wield Google Analytics and teach you only what is necessary to track and evaluate ROI from your multi-channel digital marketing efforts. [continued…]
Step 2 — Quick Marketing Metrics
Using your analytics weapon of choice, locate the number of sales transactions during a given period and divide that by the number of unique visitors during the same period. Multiply by this figure by 100% and your purchase conversion rate will read as a percentage. If your purchase conversion rate is currently lower than 2%, then there is ample room to grow your business. Increase your transactions by just one percentage point and watch your business prosper. Let us do a quick sample CONVERSION RATE calculation: Our site attracts 8,000 unique visitors each month; Sales numbers are at 80 transactions per month (this is 1%); The average sale for product x is $115. Now, if we increase our transactions by just 1%, then we will get an additional $110,400 in revenue for the year. By optimizing and fine-tuning our site, we then boost our conversion rate up to 4% which translates to $441,600 in annual sales! You can see why it behooves you to keep a watchful eye on your purchase conversion rate and to constantly figure out ways of further enhancing your site. LOWER YOUR BOUNCE RATE: How many people arrive at your landing page and then just bounce to somewhere else on the Web? As you already know, you have a very small window of opportunity to capture and maintain visitor attention. A low bounce rate is what you are after when evaluating your landing pages. Our research has shown that roughly 10% of visitors are not qualified, i.e. not relevant to your site content. They likely stumbled across your site or accidentally clicked on your PPC ad and did not find what they were searching for...so, they bounced. It is imperative that you repeatedly test, measure, and fine-tune your site through a testing platform like Google Website Optimizer or Visual Website Optimizer. Both are mighty weapons to add to your digital marketing arsenal in your quest to dominate. COST PER SALE: Here is another metric to be aware of when assessing the performance of your overall digital marketing campaign. How much is your average cost per sale? Let us do a quick sample calculation to better understand average cost per sale: We typically spend $1,800 per month with our Google AdWords campaign; Our avg. cost-per-click (CPC) is $0.30; This means that we pay for 6,000 visitors to reach our site each month. When considering the 10% unqualified clicks, that drops us down from 6,000 to 5,400 unique visitors each month from Paid Search alone. What we then know is that there are 2,600 other unique visitors each month who came to our site from Google, Twitter, Facebook, a directory listing, affiliate link, or some other referral source [2,600 + 5,400 = 8,000 total unique visitors per month]. Now, since the only advertising costs we have are with Google AdWords, then we take this number and divide it by the amount of sales transactions that occurred (let us say that number is 54 on average): Note that the other 26 transactions came from organic positioning or other traffic sources. Well, you might ask "what is a good average cost per sale?" Honestly, there is not any special number to shoot for. A good average cost per sale depends on your business model and how much each customer is worth to you. Consider [a] How much will you earn from a single transaction? [b] What kind repeat business to you anticipate from each customer? [c] Would you consider taking a loss to secure the new customer if you knew that his business would generate much more money for your company in the long term? [d] As soon as you can successfully handle the cost-per-sale up front, you can bank on high ROI [continued…]
Step 3 — Conversion Tracking
Define your conversions. Plain and simple. Web analytics programs typically consider a conversion to have taken place when a specific page on your site is reached. You MUST decide on the particular pages in your site that signify when a conversion has taken place. Let us say that your main conversion is getting someone to buy a product in your online store. Well, you would want to track how many people viewed shopping cart pages and then compare it with how many actually completed transactions. So, you would insert a tracking script on a shopping cart product page and on a payment confirmation page. You can define a conversion to be whatever you want. For instance, it can be when a visitor reaches any of the following: (1) Thank you page, (2) Download confirmation page, (3) Checkout completion page, (4) Registration completion page, (5) Form submission page, (6) Feedback completion page, etc. You may have a new PR initiative for which you would like to raise awareness. If this is the case, create a landing page about it and tag this page with a conversion tracking script. Get creative with conversion tracking! You can even extend your tracking to things like undesired conversion pages from your Paid Search campaigns to analyze PPC spending. Let us say that you have an "Advertise With Us" page where other businesses contact you but you are more concerned about following a different segment of traffic from your ongoing Paid Search campaigns. Define this "Advertise With Us" page as a conversion page and you will get an idea of how much you are spending on this type of traffic. Identify which keywords drive conversions. Remember, you need to be locked in to a scientific, analytical mode when evaluating the quality and relevance of traffic flowing to and from your site. Track how many conversions your site is getting from each sponsored keyword if you are doing Paid Search. The core focus of your mission is to pinpoint your most profitable keywords and discard the keywords that only drive up your PPC costs. Up until this point, all that we have discussed pertains to online conversion tracking. You have the most information and control over this aspect of your marketing campaign. But what if you want to get an idea about your offline marketing conversions? The reality is that you have far less control over this aspect of your company but you need to devise creative solutions for offline conversion tracking. For instance, you can offer promotional codes on your site and then [continued…]

Takeaway Message

Learn the fundamentals of Web Analytics, know which terms and metrics to pay attention to when assessing your site's inbound and outbound traffic, see the progress you have made in increasing your conversion rate, and use these data to pinpoint the areas of your site where it is critical to make changes to boost your ROI.

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Ideas, Comments, Questions?

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you think I could add value to your next project/venture in some form or fashion. Send a quick note here :)

Details

Category
Digital Marketing
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Endo
Year
2007

Introduction

In Part 8 of my methodology entitled Generate a Buzz, imagine your site is a real person, with personality, character, and a voice all its own. Out on the social web, there are infinite sites talking to one another, sharing information, influencing the rest of the web every day. For you to make an impact online, your business needs to have a voice that resonates. Connecting to other sites through ethical link-building campaigns will not only create many more avenues for people to find your business but also bolster your site credibility and authority. Once other sites start "spreading the word" about your internet presence, you will see a definite increase in your traffic flow. Link building involves content development, targeted communication, and proactive techniques for making sure you network with only credible and relevant sites. Learning to evaluate the quality of inbound links is key. In this part, we will help you explore blogging, video submission, article marketing, and other options for contributing to the social web. Ultimately, you will see why everybody is obsessed with social.


*Nota bene: The following sequence of steps ONLY include brief, opening stretches of training content. To access not just the entirety of Part 8 but also all 2,000+ pages of the ten parts of this optimization methodology, drop me a note and I'd be happy to chat with you about any info you're interested in.

Sequence of Steps in Part 8

Step 1 — Ethical Link Building
Ethical link building is a systematic approach to getting other quality websites to link to your site without engaging in any form of linking schemes. Accruing a vast collection of quality, one-way inlinks is one of the most effective ways to improve your organic positioning. Search engine algorithms consider an inlink to be a vote of confidence for your site. Only a one-way, quality inlink significantly improves your search engine rankings. Top 5 Factors When Evaluating Inlinks: Again, when another site links to your site, you have received an inlink (also called an inbound link or backlink). Inlinks are indicative of your site authority and popularity on the Web. The key factors that determine the weight and impact of an inlink are as follows: (1) Quality - we have already discussed listing your site in reputable directories and local search sites. But to assess the quality of an inlink, first perform a general evaluation of the site. Is it a thin, low-grade affiliate site that is replete with ads? Does the site require that you link back to it as a result of receiving the link? If the answer is yes to either of the first two questions, then you can safely conclude that it is NOT a quality source for inlinks. Another quick way to check quality is by looking at the Google PageRank. A more in-depth way of evaluating the quality of a site is using OpenSiteExplorer.org check out inlinks. Be aware of the fact that a site can have tens of thousands of inlinks but if they are not of appreciable quality, then it does not really matter. However, if your inlinks come from .edu or .gov sites, for instance, then you are poised to see a boost in rankings. (2) Link anchor text - again, this is nothing new as we discussed it in Step 4 - Create Valued Links (of Part 4). Essentially, your goal is to get an inlink which contains your target keywords. If another site links here with the anchor text "digital marketing consultant," then search engine spiders will conclude that ThinkMatty.com has something to do with offering digital marketing for its site users. Anchor text is so important that even a flash-laden site can rank highly just because of the keywords used in the anchor text of its inlinks. For the different inlinks you will receive, vary them to appear that people are linking to you in a natural manner. Receiving lots of inlinks with the exact same anchor text is suspicious in the metaphorical eyes of search engine robots. (3) Relevant context - from the first step in Part 4, we learned a bunch of content strategies. And all of these tips and techniques revolve around relevance. Getting a link from a quality site with a relevant context, using keywords in its anchor text, will certainly improve your organic positioning. (4) Link origin - in addition to the inlink coming from a relevant place, it also matters which page it comes from, i.e. its origin. An inlink sent from a site home page carries more weight than a link coming from a loosely constructed page buried deep within your site. If the inlink is not coming from a home page, then you need to ask yourself..."does this page have authority or link popularity to pass on to my site?" (5) One-way - as shown above, only one-way quality inlinks really have an impact on your organic rankings. There are many gray and black hat linking tactics out there such as buying links from link farms, reciprocal linking, and even three-way linking. Do not buy into the hype about automated link building software either. If all you care about is getting inbound links from anyone and everyone, then you are not seeing the whole picture. Remember our mantra from back in the first part..."do what is best for users and search engines." So, how can I start link building? Ethical link building can be divided up into the following three areas: (1) Content development is an internal activity which pertains to creating material on your own site. Clearly, you have the most control over this facet of your link building campaign. (2) In contrast, targeted communication is an external endeavor whereby you identify relevant, prospective sources and request links to your site. The multiple variables that come into play with targeted communication make it the most difficult to control. (3) Finally, proactive techniques exist somewhere in the middle as you can plan and direct the actions you take but the outcomes are not totally within your control. The common thread between the aforementioned three sections is strategic research. A business that targets its most profitable keywords, digs up competitive intelligence, consistently tests and measures its campaign performance, identifies viable inlink sources and effectively communicates with them, and proactively pinpoints other sites that offer a platform for boosting brand awareness WILL THRIVE without question. All of this is ethical link building in a nutshell. It will come easy to you IF you [a] are passionate about the material on your site, [b] care about improving your business for your customers, [c] are willing to learn and adapt to technology, and [d] are patient when it comes to handling elements beyond your locus of control. Always go back to your keyword portfolio. Use your active keywords, i.e. your starting lineup, for your initial link building campaign. Anything that you do that is related to your digital marketing campaign, internal or external, within or beyond your control, will involve your keyword portfolio. You can leverage the following [continued…]
Step 2 — Proactive Techniques
Picking up from the last step about strategic research and link building, you should not expect your site to immediately prosper and grow exponentially just because it is live on the Web or maybe because you have done some initial SEO work. Building links is a sincere commitment that you must make to improve your business now and well into the future. The path to grabbing a larger market share is through being totally proactive with your digital marketing campaign; however, you still must make informed decisions, sound judgments, and carefully lay out your strategies for the short and long term. One viable strategy is to optimize for current popular subjects and trends. In your blog posts, tweets, videos, and press releases, you MUST connect your target keywords to hot news topics and buzz terms. This will greatly improve the chances of your proactive work being noticed and picked up by blog search engines, bloggers, and journalists. Try to dig up more relevant keywords that are likely to be tracked by lots of people. Get your ideas from following the news closely through your subscriptions to RSS feeds using Google Reader and of course from any real-time social platform like Twitter. Be on the lookout for media coverage of issues that involve your niche of the market. Add something valuable to conversations, open up dialogue with a new angle, and make observations about trends in your industry. This is yet another way to distinguish yourself as a thought leader and expert in your own right. Bonus Proactive tips: (1) Create an e-newsletter with a solution like AWeber or MailChimp and regularly e-mail your subscribers on a weekly basis. Build up credibility, share knowledge, tips, and updates. E-newsletters should not be used to overwhelm your subscribers with a barrage of selling points. (2) Write reviews, recommendations, and testimonials for other products and services. (3) Get quotes, testimonials, and endorsements from respected figures in your industry. (4) Use credibility seals and logos and do not be afraid to showcase your credentials, e.g. certified member of some professional organization. (5) Strategically create a marketing mechanism (e-book pdf, software, video, etc. ) to go "viral." Viral marketing involves offering some free element or material that gets passed along from person to person and grows exponentially in visibility and popularity. (6) Consider sharing your presentations or webinars at slideshare.net. (7) Use LiveShare real-time photo streams or Flickr to share digital photos of your products or facilities and reach a multitude of prospects in your target market. (8) Grab your link building sheet, make note of the proactive efforts you have made, and track the results obtained from them with your analytics tool of choice while you also [continued…]
Step 3 — Social Web in a Nutshell
An increasingly popular and highly effective way of boosting site visibility on the Web is through social media sites; however, it can be quite overwhelming to undertake and challenging to manage unless you have the know-how and tools to do so. Making your business profitable on the Social Web has everything to do with (1) Researching and participating in a community; (2) Gaining trust from others through your commentary and contributions; (3) Being transparent in your efforts; (4) Tracking and measuring your progress. Sounds interesting but WHEN do I begin? Dive into social media sites [a] ONLY after you have researched different communities and decided on where to participate and [b] ONLY when you have the resources to do so. Many companies are designating substantial time and human resources exclusively to improve their online visibility, reputation, and customer service through social media sites. For example, customer service via Twitter allows businesses to immediately resolve issues, address questions, and be totally transparent while showing that they care about customer concerns. Search for the right fit: This is the time that you will set aside to scan the different communities out there to see which ones work for you. Social media sites have great potential to promote your content. The operative term here is potential and so you MUST NOT jump right in and start promoting your business. This could only tarnish your reputation if you do not tread these unfamiliar waters carefully at the outset. There are hundreds of social media sites out there with different flavors and each with a particular type of crowd. Instead of joining every single one out there, patiently get to know one community at a time and think of it as an evaluation period or even a courtship, if you will. After you feel comfortable and have a working knowledge of the norms of a particular social community, then you can actualize the potential and begin to share and promote your content. What do you share? Anything that adds value such as (1) Blog posts (2) White Papers (3) Tutorials or presentations on a site like slideshare.net (4) Videos from YouTube, Vimeo or Screenr (5) Top lists [best tools, tips, resources] (6) Company News. In your quest to disseminate socially-oriented content, you should always be thinking of ways to create new and interesting material. Do some research and make observations of trends in your industry. Interview experts in a particular subject area and add these quotes to your content to boost credibility. Engender healthy debates about important issues and compose compelling stories with matching catchy headlines that will captivate your viewer attention. Generate unique content, openly share it, and watch it gain traction as you [continued…]
Step 4 — Getting into the Social Mix
In this step, we will do some review but our main objective is to give you a structured course of action for getting your business into the social mix. We will start by discussing seven simple guidelines that you must follow if you are serious about properly leveraging the social web. 7 Guidelines of Social Media Marketing: (1) Research - explore communities and find the right fit; (2) Patience - get involved with just one social site at a time; (3) Participation - contribute, add value to the community, and gain trust from others; (4) Reputation - build up your profile, make friends, be transparent, and strengthen your reputation over time; (5) Strategy - think about how you can most effectively promote your content within each specific community; (6) Content Sharing - decide on the content that you would like to share and distribute it effectively but carefully; (7) Measurement - gather and process qualitative and quantitative data to finely tune your campaign. Now, it is time for you to systematically make your way through each of the following items to jumpstart your real-time, social campaign: [continued…]

Takeaway Message

Jump on the social web bandwagon and learn how to effectively engage multiple social media channels, make your site buzzworthy, get high quality one-way links to your site, and watch your site's overall visibility and conversion rate greatly improve.

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Ideas, Comments, Questions?

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you think I could add value to your next project/venture in some form or fashion. Send a quick note here :)

Details

Category
Digital Marketing
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Endo
Year
2007

Introduction

In Part 9 of my methodology entitled Campaign Performance, evaluation is the operative term to remember. For a moment, think of your SEO and Paid Search campaigns as calculated experiments, using controlled conditions and formulas, with your business goals acting as hypotheses. Through the lens of empirical vision, you basically have two main steps left to complete; (1) compare your findings to your original predictions and then (2) tune your model, where appropriate, for maximum results. Here, we will help you explore, as if through a magnifying glass, the performance of your campaign so far and search for clues that will lead to campaign enhancement. In addition, we will help you diagnose search engine robot and ranking issues, including ways to control access to search crawlers. Finally, you will capture a vivid picture of your site ROI; we call it "Your Optimization Snapshot."


*Nota bene: The following sequence of steps ONLY include brief, opening stretches of training content. To access not just the entirety of Part 9 but also all 2,000+ pages of the ten parts of this optimization methodology, drop me a note and I'd be happy to chat with you about any info you're interested in.

Sequence of Steps in Part 9

Step 1 — Campaign Rundown
What we are after in a Campaign Rundown is having an efficient way of evaluating growth and progress in your overall digital marketing campaign. The overarching aim is clearly to generate the highest ROI possible from each and every channel. You have implemented the strategies and techniques discussed up through Part 8. By this time, you already have quantitative data from your web analytics tool as well as qualitative data from surveys and other customer feedback mechanisms, you have an idea of how your pages are ranking in the major search engines, you have been running an economical paid search campaign, and are also leveraging social media sites. This step addresses how to process and centralize this information in a quick Campaign Rundown. We will first start with the following sections: (a) Non-Paid Search [SEO] and (b) Paid Search [PPC Advertising]. Here are some important points of consideration for both sections of your overall digital marketing campaign. Non-Paid Search Campaign Performance: (1) Check rankings for the active list in your keyword portfolio in Google, Yahoo, Bing (2)Keep an eye out for atypical results like a competitor doing blatant black hat SEO (3) Click on your search results and make sure that they are not broken links (4) Add new keywords to your potential list if you come across relevant terms you are not currently going after (5) Check how many total pages you have indexed in Google, Yahoo, and Bing (6) If one of your landing pages does not appear, copy the full URL and paste it into the query box to see if it is listed (7) Find out how many other sites are linking to you (8) Leverage best-in-class tools to automate your marketing processes such as [continued…]
Step 2 — Robots & Ranking Issues
You have looked at key performance indicators across your digital marketing campaign in the previous step. Now, we will just focus on issues and potential problems relating to your organic search rankings. It is possible, though unlikely, that Google or another major search engine has seriously penalized your site for violating their guidelines; perhaps a noticeable drop in rankings for some of your target keywords. Quick Check to Confirm Site Indexing: (1) Type your entire URL into the Google query box: www.yourURLhere.com; If Google does not return any pages from your site, it is likely that your entire site has been dropped. (2) Grab a unique section of text from your site (like a sentence containing one of your products or services), put it in quotes, and search for it. If Google displays the page from your site that contains this text, then your site is still included in their index. Insight into Why Your Rankings Have Dropped: [a] Web hosting issue? It is possible that search robots crawled your site when your server was down. In this instance, there was nothing there to spider momentarily. Hang tight and wait until the bots visit again and your positioning should be fine. You should consider a service like Pingdom.com to monitor your server. [b] Something may have been radically altered on your site. What if you wanted to update the HTML page title on only one of your landing pages but you accidentally replaced all of your page titles with this same phrase? [c] Did you mess something up? Remember to periodically check that your site is structurally intact. If there is a major or minor problem, get it fixed immediately. [d] Your competition has become more sophisticated and is working diligently on their search optimization. This could drop your rankings but not considerably. If your positioning drops by more than 50 spots it is probably not due to competitors taking it up a notch all at the same time. [e] A huge decrease in rankings could be attributed to some form of spamming, whether it be purposive or inadvertent. Your site may be found culpable of spamming, even if you had nothing to do with it or if it happened inadvertently. Typically, only ridiculously obvious black hat tactics lead to precipitous drops in rankings or bans. [f] You hired a black hat SEO company that did work (unethical work) for your site for a period of time. [g] Programs that automatically scrape content from your site and republish it repeatedly can get your site in trouble along with the losers who stole your work. Again place unique sections of text from your site within quotation marks and perform searches to see who comes up in the results. [h] Your external links may be pointing to link farms or spammy sites. You may have linked to a site last year that seemed fine but it has since been commandeered by a spammer. Check who you are linking to and make sure you are uplinking to reputable sites. [i] The newness of your site may come into play. It can burst onto the scene with high rankings for some long tail keywords but then drops out of the running and stays there for months. Just work on ethical link building, publish more quality landing pages, and you will climb back up soon. If none of the aforementioned possibilities apply, you might simply be placing too many restrictions on the spiders that [continued…]
Step 3 — Your Optimization Snapshot
You need a simple yet meaningful way to communicate the current status of your digital marketing campaign to a partner or colleague within your organization. You need to make it quick and painless to discuss results. What you will share is "Your Optimization Snapshot." As you put it all together, consider the following questions: (1) How many of your business goals have been achieved thus far? (2) How many new leads is your site generating each month? (3) What percentage of these leads convert into new customers? (4) What is your monthly sales revenue (pre- and post-SEO)? (5) What your average cost per sale? (6) Calculate your Digital Marketing ROI, i.e. gather data across every marketing channel and synthesize. Evaluate ROI from SEO, Paid Search, Twitter, Facebook, Press Releases, Webinars, Email Newsletters, YouTube, etc. If you are not hitting your target numbers, then identify potential problems and challenges facing your company. Are you a few tools away from increasing ROI or is it much more than that? Adapt and make adjustments where appropriate. Also, be sure that you communicate clearly and often with your colleagues and/or superiors about noteworthy improvements in performance. Finally, be mindful of the fact that Digital Marketing is a gradual, fluid and ongoing process that requires increasing knowledge and continual optimization to yield the best possible results. You are on the path to [continued…]

Takeaway Message

Evaluate the progress of your ongoing digital marketing campaign, read tips about how to diagnose ranking issues, continue to build upon a growing list of quality sites that link to you, see if and how your competitors are adjusting their digital marketing strategies, and use this collective intelligence about your campaign performance, whether it be positive or negative, to motivate you even further and drive your site forward no matter the circumstances.

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Ideas, Comments, Questions?

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you think I could add value to your next project/venture in some form or fashion. Send a quick note here :)

Details

Category
Digital Marketing
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Endo
Year
2007

Introduction

In Part 10 of my methodology entitled Fine-tuning Your Model, you will reach the apex of your digital marketing efforts, though this should never lead to complaceny. Once you have reached the top, you must continue to be creative, innovative, and hard-working in order to stay there. After we introduce you to the Conversion Snowball, we will make sure you have the tools strategies to boost your website momentum and tune the mechanism to perfection. Find out what what we mean by "website momentum", and see how a quantitative approach can add balance to your pages. Using split and multivariate testing, simultaneously compare the effectiveness of different page layouts, sales pitches, and much more. And because you should never stop growing, learning, and adapting with all things tech, consider our section called Testing, Measuring, Tuning as final tips for ongoing evaluation and success.


*Nota bene: The following sequence of steps ONLY include brief, opening stretches of training content. To access not just the entirety of Part 10 but also all 2,000+ pages of the ten parts of this optimization methodology, drop me a note and I'd be happy to chat with you about any info you're interested in.

Sequence of Steps in Part 10

Step 1 — The Conversion Snowball
It is time to review what you have already accomplished on the micro level and where you are going in terms of a macro, big-picture perspective. After we show you where SEO fits into the Conversion Snowball, we will underscore the importance of testing and what it truly means for digital marketing ROI. As mentioned way back in Part 1, SEO is a fluid and ongoing process that never stops no matter how many first page rankings you have already secured. Let us review the three facets of our model for top rankings: (1) Keyword research - continue to expand your list of relevant, profitable keywords and keep a watchful eye on current and upcoming competitors; (2) Useful content - increase the value of your site and create more avenues for incoming traffic through building more landing pages chock full of fresh, useful content; (3) Quality inlinks - prove to each of the major search engine crawlers that your site is extremely valuable to users, overtake top competitors, and dominate your niche through getting high quality unlinks. SEO lays out an elaborate system to bring in targeted traffic from all over the hyperconnected Web. It is then up to your site copy and overall design to do the job of persuading visitors, generating leads, and increasing sales. High search engine rankings, plus a finely-tuned website, are perfect conditions for creating what we call the Conversion Snowball™. The snowball effect concept comes from the physical quantity of momentum. We have created a simple formula using variables from your web analytics data which result in the largest website momentum, i.e a massive, high-velocity snowball. Our definition is as follows and here is how to use it [continued…]
Step 2 — Google Website Optimizer
Through testing you are able to compare different versions of a page within your site or in a PPC campaign to figure out which page layout or headline works best over time. The one that wins out will effectively convince your visitors to take an action that you specify, i.e. conversion. Keep in mind that you can have hundreds of first page rankings, thousands of quality inlinks, a million followers on Twitter, many millions of Facebook like, and an AdWords campaign with a super high CTR running 24/7; but it is all for nothing if your website does not yield a high conversion rate. Take a few minutes to go through our Quick Marketing Metrics discussion from Part 7 to review how your purchase conversion rate is calculated. Then, consider the following Top 7 Reasons to Test Your Site with Google Website Optimizer: (1) It is free to use and quick to set up tests; (2) A/B and Multivariate testing allows you to design experiments for small content sections within your site or entire landing pages; (3) Deep support in the form of tutorials, discussion groups, webinars, etc. assist you in doing everything properly; (4) You can test some or all of the incoming traffic to your site, irrespective of where it comes from; (5) Streamlined reporting with a user-friendly interface that allows for easy interpretation of results; (6) Testing will NOT affect your search engine rankings since JavaScript tags are used to transmit content; (7) Higher conversion rates and improvements that can be dramatic when you know how and what to test; (8) Higher ROI, plain and simple. An important caveat is that our job is to underscore the importance of testing with Website Optimizer and to introduce you to the basics so that you can take the first baby step and begin testing. This specific step is not, by any stretch whatsoever, a complete guide to using Website Optimizer. Do not forget that you are in the process of learning and trying to understand how you can leverage this specific tool to increase marketing ROI for your business. Although Website Optimizer allows you to perform simple to complex tests, works the numbers for you, and displays which things you have tested perform better, it will NOT be the brains behind your testing. It is incumbent upon you or someone within your organization to take on the role of scientist - one who knows the what, when, how, and why of testing. Here are the vocab terms we commonly use within our testing framework to ensure that we understand and communicate clearly about testing design and interpretation of [continued…]
Step 3 — Testing, Measuring, Tuning
Every successful business has its own model and set of strategies in place that are used to improve market position. What works very effectively for one business could be completely unsuccessful for another. TESTING: It is the only way to uncover which web strategies actually improve your ROI. Any sort of testing is cheap when you compare it to the lost opportunity expense of doing nothing at all. You do not have to test your whole site, you can just test one of your key landing pages with simple A/B experiments that we talked about in the last step. As you become more proficient at testing, you can create more in-depth, sophisticated experiments. Testing basically lets your visitors and returning customers design your site. By tracking their click-through behavior, you have given them a way to communicate their likes and dislikes to you. The degree of success you will ultimately achieve stems from customer satisfaction. You will no longer have unfruitful debates about important or insignificant parts of your site when you repeat the Testing, Measuring, Tuning (TMT) mantra. How great is it to replace opinions with empirical evidence? :) MEASURING: Through measuring, you are able to track visitor behavior and trends. You can drill down to the keyword each person found when arriving at one of your landing pages and if she found you by clicking on your organic search result, PPC ad, directory listing, etc and see which mobile device was used. Without any sort of tracking or measuring tools, you are just flying blind and leaning on guesswork and intuition. You will not know if people arrive at your subscription landing page and immediately leave (increasing your bounce rate). Or will visitors love this very same page and consequently read many other pages? You will never know which pages build more momentum, adding to the conversion snowball that you are aiming to create. In the absence of analytics data, you will never have concrete evidence to substantiate your claims that the blue button generates more sales, the contact form should include only three fields, the headline should include your most recent promotional offer, etc. You get the idea. TUNING: With the findings from your tests, you have information to act upon. Tuning is the process of taking specific actions to boost your conversion rate. In this seemingly mechanical process, it is important that you never lose sight of your customers and the importance of speaking in a tone and manner that reaches them on logical and emotional levels. Tuning is scientific but also includes the art of persuasion. How can you possibly persuade an audience if you are either insulting their intelligence or talking over their heads? As with many things in life, balance is key. [a] Ask questions [b] Set up tests to find answers [c] Use empirical proof to guide your decision-making process [d] And piece it all together with a human touch. Through TMT (Testing, Measuring, Tuning), you are in the midst of building and tweaking the most efficient system imaginable for YOUR company. Your commitment to TMT means that your customers will reap tremendous benefits and your business will thrive irrespective of [continued…]

Takeaway Message

Expand your digital marketing campaign across more channels, make adjustments where you need to, extend your brand to new and exciting areas, seek greater understanding, AND take this skill set you've cultivated throughout the 10 Parts of this methodology, and do good things for your customers and everyone else who has and continues to help you with your business.

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Digital Marketing Arsenal

Details

Category
Digital Marketing
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Endo
Year
2007

Introduction

In partnership with TNX, we illustrated how best-in-class companies develop a team approach with business, technical, sourcing and legal resources working together with vendors from the inception of a project to assure that all fundamental deal parameters are optimized throughout the lifecycle and provide feedback for future sourcing transactions. This methodology has been implemented in sourcing deals spanning more than half of the Fortune 100.

Takeaway Message

Each of these themes applies throughout the lifecycle of all applications and the management of all IT and outsourcing. The more you know about each, and the sooner you know it, the better the results you will obtain — every time, everywhere.

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Tool Selection Criteria

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Tools
Web or Brain?
Web
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Yours Truly
Year
2012

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Google Apps

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Tools
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Web
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Yours Truly
Year
2010

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Web
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2012

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Typography

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Web
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2012

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Collaborative Software

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Web
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2012

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Project Management

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Web
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2012

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Git Repository

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Tools
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Web
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2012

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Outsourcing

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Web
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2012

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Reporting

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Web
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2012

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2012

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Lifecycle Marketing

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Tools
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Web
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2012

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Mobile Site Development

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2012

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Mobile App Builders

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2012

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Search Engine Optimization

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2012

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Email Marketing

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Web
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2012

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Website Performance

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2012

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Paid Search Management

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Web
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2012

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Online Brand Monitoring

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Web
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2012

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Heatmapping

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Web
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2012

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Qualitative Customer Insights

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Web
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Year
2012

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Live Chat

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Tools
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Web
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Yours Truly
Year
2012

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Social Conversion Bars

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Web
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Year
2012

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Brainstorming

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Tools
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Web
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Year
2012

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Year
2012

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2012

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Webmaster Tools

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Tools
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Web
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Year
2012

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2012

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Application Monitoring

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Web
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Year
2012

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Content Management Systems

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Web
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Year
2012

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Enterprise Wiki

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Tools
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Web
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Yours Truly
Year
2012

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Guiding Principles

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Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Yours Truly
Year
2012

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Marketing ROI Suite

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Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Endo
Year
2007

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Patriots Mobility Solution

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Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
New England Patriots
Year
2011

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Target Keyword Analysis

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Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
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Confidential
Year
2011

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Featured Speaking Topics

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Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Both
Company/Organization Name
Yours Truly
Year
2011

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Lower Customer Acq Cost

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Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
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Confidential
Year
2011

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AdWords Revenue for Conversion

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Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
MyWebSchool
Year
2010

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Mobile App Delivery Model

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Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
University of Pittsburgh
Year
2012

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Top Organic Search Placement

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Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
DataMax
Year
2007

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LabCorp Software Dev

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Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
LabCorp
Year
2005

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C-Suite App Prototyping

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Web or Brain?
Web
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MagellanApps
Year
2012

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Content Engineering Process

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2012

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Indie Artist Marketing

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Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Colby Miller Music
Year
2008

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The Golden Triangle

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Web or Brain?
Web
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Endo
Year
2007

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PROmorfable Social Technology

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Web or Brain?
Web
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TNX
Year
2011

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OnMessage Viral

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Web or Brain?
Web
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OnMessage Media
Year
2008

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Cross-Platform Med Apps

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Web or Brain?
Web
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MagellanApps
Year
2012

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OA Implementation

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Web
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Budget Living
Year
2010

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Mobile Search Pathway

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MyWebSchool
Year
2010

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Sourcing Data Collection

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Web or Brain?
Web
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TNX
Year
2011

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Physician Web Strategy

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Laparoscopic Urology AU
Year
2010

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Twitter for Tourism Businesses

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Web
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UntangleMyWeb
Year
2010

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Green Homes Branding

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Web or Brain?
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Budget Living
Year
2010

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2020 Marketing Objective

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Web or Brain?
Web
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Yours Truly
Year
2009

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CSuite Portal

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Web
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Confidential
Year
2012

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Broncos Mobile Solution

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Web
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Denver Broncos
Year
2011

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Trifecta Analytics Report

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Web
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MyWebSchool
Year
2010

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Social Media and SEO Synergy

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Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Endo
Year
2010

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Unique Visitors Data Trend

Details

Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Lost Golf Balls
Year
2008

Introduction

Takeaway Message

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MIT Forum

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Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
MIT
Year
2011

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Benchmark

Details

Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Benchmark Equity
Year
2011

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Discovery Health

Details

Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Discovery Communications
Year
2010

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Takeaway Message

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Useful or Useless Content

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Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Ace Hardware
Year
2008

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Mini-MBA Training

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Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Nokia Siemens
Year
2011

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Keyword Visualization

Details

Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Confidential
Year
2011

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Sensors Hardware

Details

Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Confidential
Year
2012

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BestCare Organic Search

Details

Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
BestCare Lab
Year
2008

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On Main Street

Details

Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Main Street Crossing
Year
2010

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Losing Trust on Facebook

Details

Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
MyWebSchool
Year
2010

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Compass LMS

Details

Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
GSFS Group
Year
2009

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Serving the Fortune 100

Details

Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
TNX
Year
2011

Introduction

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NJS Group

Details

Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
NJS Group
Year
2011

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Dirty Mouth

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Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Dirty Mouth
Year
2009

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Island Destination Marketing

Details

Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
Confidential
Year
2009

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High AdWords CTR

Details

Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
MyWebSchool
Year
2010

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MyWebSchool Tutorials

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Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
MyWebSchool
Year
2010

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Mobile Enterprise App Platform

Details

Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Web
Company/Organization Name
MagellanApps
Year
2012

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NIH FAES Grad School

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Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Brain
Company/Organization Name
Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences
Year
2004

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Imaging Neurological Disease

Details

Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Brain
Company/Organization Name
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Year
2003

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Stereotaxic Neurosurgery

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Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Brain
Company/Organization Name
MSM University
Year
2001

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C-11 Rolipram Discovery

Details

Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Brain
Company/Organization Name
NIH Molecular Imaging Branch
Year
2004

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Microdialysis Experiments

Details

Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Brain
Company/Organization Name
University of Illinois
Year
2001

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Princeton Review Lectures

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Category
Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Both
Company/Organization Name
Princeton Review
Year
2005

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Bilingual Brain Research

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Deliverables
Web or Brain?
Brain
Company/Organization Name
MSM University
Year
2002

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About Me

Introduction

Hey there, I am Matty Crescenzo. Not a fan of fancy titles, and I try to avoid being boxed in to a specific IT / Marketing specialty. But you're here reading my bio, so let me quickly break down my circuitous, rather unconventional path to the present into two logical streams.

Stream #1 = BRAIN: Earned a BS in Neuroscience from Mt. St. Mary’s University and was awarded neuroscience and biophysics research fellowships at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), University of Texas, University of Houston Texas Center for Superconductivity. Most notably, served as an intramural research scientist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the Molecular Imaging Branch of the NIMH performing small animal neurosurgeries and using brain imaging modalities such as PET, SPECT and MRI. Also, served as a Master Instructor in the pure and applied sciences at Princeton Review for the Medical College Admissions Test delivering 250+ classroom lectures.

Stream #2 = WEB: Authored Web Marketing ROI materials that have been used to train and deliver results for 3,000+ companies on the scientific, measurable aspects of digital marketing and search. Created a robust Search Engine Optimization methodology which led to the development and sale of a best-selling SEO software suite on Microsoft’s largest open source platform. Soon after, began working for an enterprise consulting firm that delivers integrated business and tech services to over 70% of the Fortune 100. Contributed significantly to patented mobility technologies: morfable™, MEDmorfable™ and PROmorfable™ superapps for iOS, Windows and Android smartphones, tablets and desktop devices. In parallel, delivered on-site and virtual training across a variety of areas in digital marketing and IT.

My current research foci are as follows: Digital Marketing, Content Intelligence, Mobility Strategy, Mobile SEO, Real-Time Text Analytics, Split A/B and Multivariate Testing, and Integrating Semantic Search Technologies with Enterprise Portal Architectures. I am fascinated by cognitive sciences and the future of business communications and technology. The need to know fuels my efforts.

I grok brain, business and web like no other. Below you'll find an approximation of my "Skill Set" (please allow some latitude) because of the rate at which I absorb, test and implement new technologies, combined with "jerk" (rate of acceleration of tech change) - the numbers may increase daily and new skills are being added quite frequently. I don't have time to be OCD about this part of my site but I certainly care about giving a representative sample of my knowledge base and capabilities.

I appreciate you stopping by. Please don't hesitate to reach out and let me know if you think I could add value to your next project / venture. Say hello. Would love to hear from you!

My Skill Set

Digital Marketing
99
SEO
97
Paid Search
90
Semantic Search
88
Landing Page Dev
85
Split A/B Testing
80
Enterprise Mobility
84
Web Analytics
90
ROI Optimization
87
WordPress
93
DotNetNuke
90
SharePoint
84
Liferay
75
Joomla
81
Drupal
72
Atlassian Suite
83
LMS Systems
80
Sitemaps Protocol
89
Schema Protocol
83
Photoshop
80
JavaScript
70
CSS
78
HTML
92
M.R.I.
70
P.E.T.
78
S.P.E.C.T.
73
Stereotaxic Surgery
86
Microdialysis
81
Statistical Modeling
86
BP Mapping
78
Data Visualization
82
Experimental Design
80
Human Psychology
89
Researcher
97
Web Evangelist
98
Educator
99
Openness to Learning
100

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Contact Me

Contact Information

Phone
936.689.1297 → Call or email. Look forward to hearing from you!
http://g.co/maps/avpj8
Matty Crescenzo | Digital Marketer 4747 Research Forest Drive, Suite 180 The Woodlands, TX 77381

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