Posts Tagged ‘B2B content’
Independent Retailer July 20, 2011 by Amy Munice, ALM Communications
Independent retailers are at the mercy of the web designers and search engine optimization (SEO) consultants they hire. Why do I say this? As someone who has extensively studied SEO methods and attempts to stay up-to-date on how the Internet is changing, I must report that there is a lot of hot air posing as know how. Are you falling for this hot air and is it setting you back in your SEO efforts?
Below are the top 10 warning signs indicating that you have fallen victim to out-of-date or poor SEO technique:
1) Your web designer presents you with a turnkey site that he or she has created and declared as “optimized for search engines.” Then they give you no means to add to or change the site.
2) The “SEO Expert” advising you puts great emphasis on your website’s keyword or description meta tags, neither of which have figured into SEO for many years.
3) Your SEO consultant tells you, rightfully so, that keywords and keyphrases are very important. Then, they politely ask you what your keywords are without suggesting that they will do keyword research to augment and strategize your site’s keywords throughout the site.
4) If they do provide keyword research and they show you the Google keyword tool, they are giving you no advantage over your competitors who are using the same research tools.
5) They then proceed to put the same keywords on every page of your site, i.e., a long list of keywords that read identical on every page.
6) When you ask your SEO consultant what their support will include, they show you the free Google reports that are readily available, perhaps packaged with their SEO company’s logo. Then, they put a high price tag on what are essentially one-click reports.
7) When you ask, the SEO consultant cannot tell you how localized search, personalized search, social media, or mobile devices should figure into your website design or verbiage. Instead, they state that they will get you ranked on page one.
8 ) Your SEO consultant says that inbound links are important and when you ask for further detail, he or she says there is no such thing as a “bad” inbound link.
9) Your SEO consultant measures your site’s keyword density and tells you to beef up your copy’s keyphrase density first and foremost because they say that is always the most important factor. Or they say that ANY SEO factor such as outbound link count, title keyword, etc., is always the most important for every site.
10) You measure your site about six months after it is up and you find that your site has less than 50 percent visibility on the Internet. Since you always have a 50-50 chance of being above the curve that means you got nowhere.
More tips? Call Amy Munice, ALM Communications, 773-862-6800.
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MedTech Insider – UK
October 18, 2011 – 9:29 am
Guest blogger Amy Munice from ALM Communications writes:
To recap part one of this article—localised search affects your company one way or another. If you are building a medical device in Minnesota or Boston, you may be better served by the features of a data logger you can purchase in Italy or Taiwan but you may find it difficult to find one via the web. And if you are marketing a device such as a drug-eluting stent made in Grenoble or Baden Württemberg, you certainly want to be able to reach people in Minnesota or Boston, not to mention globally, but it’s an up-hill climb, because of the local search algorithm.
How to sell online? It is not impossible. Rather, you just need to know how the World Wide Web works circa 2011/2012: the rules have changed for businesses that want to sell online beyond their hometown. Some of the new rules that affect your ability to source or sell products and services include:
1. Now, your competitors are favoured for top search engine rankings in their locale. Depending on the nature of your business, where your competitors—and you—are located could impact your Internet marketing efforts a little or a lot.
2. There is a wild card factor in that search engine algorithms seem to vary in their ability to sort out which business-to-business products and services are truly and best sourced on a global basis.
3. Many large multinational companies are able to get around this invisible-to-many-but-real barrier on the Internet by having multiple offices in locations around the globe and, in some cases, using country-specific URLs.
Obviously, global sourcing and trade continues despite this new wrinkle introduced by localised search algorithms. But your lead generation efforts will be better served if you take the gauge of how much or how little localised search is affecting your company—in both sourcing and selling onand off line.
For example, if you are a supplier to medical device companies, your best advertising spend may very well be for a directory listing in the likes of Qmed, which brings together global suppliers with key people in the global industry. Similarly, while an SEO expert might tell you to go hog wild building links in the blogosphere to raise your site’s profile, free Google Analytics tools will predictably show you that your best leads come from reputable trade media such as EMDT,which any experienced marketer could tell you are widely regarded sources of trustworthy information.
Or, If you are a medical device manufacturer trying to reach physicians worldwide, perhaps you should take note of the Dr. Alistair Lindsay (cardiologist and member of the editorial board of Heart, a leading cardiovascular journal) who finds that one of his best time management methods for staying up-to-date on new drug and device developments is to religiously follow tweets with the hash tags of stent, carotid, atherosclerosis, PCI and MRI.
At the same time, take note that some of your prospects might strictly use mobile devices to find what they seek while others are not connected to the Internet in any manner whatsoever for a wide range of reasons, none of which fall under the heading of Neanderthal.
In the next column we’ll delve into another devil in the details of how today’s web really works—personalised search algorithms. If you would like more information on localised search and how it affects strategising the best spend for your marketing dollars, please write to alm@almcommunications.
— Amy Munice, ALM Communications
Localised Search Is Not Necessarily Your Friend – Part 1
September 29, 2011 – 10:07 am Guest blogger Amy Munice from ALM Communications writes:
Is today’s Internet your friend?
Alas, for the typical EMDT reader, I have a mixed answer. Google At about the same time as the first stirrings of the worldwide recession, the world’s search engines began to start favouring local companies. Localised search algorithms (among other changes) are a predominant part of the 200+ factors that affect a web page’s so-called ranking. (In subsequent columns, I will explain why I qualify the word ranking in the way that I do.) These algorithms assume that a searcher (i.e., your prospect) is more interested in finding local sources for whatever he or she is seeking. Are search engines capable of sorting out the things you want to source on a global basis from what you want to source on the nearest corner? Based on repeated Googling experiments, I conclude, not necessarily.
For example, let’s say you are doing R&D for a new drug-eluting stent. For that, you may want to source a temperature and humidity data logger, a technology with which I am very familiar. I have worked with two data logger manufacturers—one with a good-enough low-priced offering; the other with units priced above what the market typically will bear and achieving a level of accuracy exceeding the requirements of most applications. I have also talked with most data logger manufacturers worldwide, with technologies at various points between the aforementioned extremes. My curiosity about the search key phrase data logger was first piqued about four years ago. An editor of a high-profile health informatics publication had gushed on the phone to me about a very cool ultracompact data logger. The maker of this device was in Europe. Knowing that the services my 20+-year-old PR firm provides are key to worldwide lead generation, I decided to call this manufacturer and see if there was any interest in our services. During the course of my conversation with the company’s very capable VP of Marketing, she mentioned, as an aside, that they had absolutely no need for any services—PR or otherwise—to help in their search engine rankings because they were “always number one.” As we continued talking, I Googled the term data logger and its permutations. This company did not appear on page one, two or three—where the average Googler would give up—or beyond. I mentioned this to her but she was adamant: “we are always number one!” Hmmm… My experiments continued. (For those in the know about personalised search, please note that my experiments were done from the same laptop without any cookie cleaning in between experiments.)
I have now Googled data logger in the following locales: Chicago, London, Oxford, Paris, near Scotland, Bogota, Recife, New Orleans, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, San Francisco, Fresno, someplace in the redwood forests where connections were spotty, and along roads between X and Y. What I get when I Google changes. Yes, these are not clean experiments as they are not done at the same time but, rather, are stretched over time, but . . . That said, Google (or Baidu, Bing Yahoo and so forth) do have localised search algorithms that work wonderfully for my local grocer, but not so well for anyone selling or sourcing more technical products online. How to sell online? Look for some beginning answers in part two of this article next week. Sneak preview: Directories such as Qmed count for a lot more than you might initially think. — Amy Munice, ALM Communications
Internet Retailer magazine June 21, 2011 by Amy Munice, ALM Communications
Filed under Marketing, Web Marketing
Every week I speak with a company president, VP of Marketing or some equivalent, who assures me that they have absolutely no need to focus on web marketing, “because we are already number one.” How do they know this? One thing is for certain, they aren’t using artificial intelligence tools for search engine optimization to receive accurate information on their company’s unique competitive position on the web. Rather, they type their main keyword into Google, and consistently find themselves at the top of the page or very near it. But what is wrong with that, you might ask.
How Do Search Engines Work?
Simply stated, that is not how search engines work anymore. In fact, they haven’t worked that way for quite some time. This isn’t just Google; this is also true of Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, etc. Search engines now serve you up what they think you are looking for. They know who you are, and more importantly, who your customers are. They know how you are looking for things, as well as how your customers search for news, companies, products, etc. Plus, they know the zip code and the local geography where each user is located. Search engines are getting better and smarter at knowing YOU and each of your customers, as well as what’s what in your micro-locale every day. A quick type into Google, and you are being fed an illusion.
Personalized Search Algorithms
To the more technically inclined, it takes more than cleaning cookies or turning off personalized search in Chrome to get to the “truth.” Even if YOU turn off personalized search (which is more difficult than an on-off switch in a Chrome browser), you have to ask yourself, “Are my customers doing the same?” With more than 99.99 percent certitude, you can assume that they are NOT. Without math-based search engine optimizer tools, you and your site will remain victim to algorithms that “personalize” search. Simply stated, you are leaving it all to fate, or more accurately, to any/all competitors who do get wind of math-based search engine optimizer tools, that can help transform personalized search algorithms from obstacles to advantages.
Think of it this way: site ranking, an objective site ranking, really only means that you are part of a deck of cards that gets dealt to any prospect seeking out the keyword for which your web page is optimized. If it’s a 50-card deck, the way in which one prospect searches may put your site at the top, and the way another searches, at the bottom, or anywhere in between.
In my next column, we’ll discuss in more detail about ways that search engines work (a.k.a. “search algorithms”) that make it impossible for you to get a good read on your site ranking by simply Googling.
Amy Munice is president of ALM Communications, 773-862-6800.
from New Media Knowledge Magazine, UK
— What Localized Search Algorithms Mean to Your Global Business
Author- Amy Munice, President ALM Communications A self-described “formerly wounded web copywriter”, Ms. Munice is on a mission to clear up widespread misunderstandings of how worldwide search engines work that affect her 20+ year PR firm’s clientele and similar companies that sell services and products worldwide. About the company: ALM Communications — –serves B2B companies that sell math, science, engineering or other technical products or services worldwide. ALM is the first and only global PR company that both gives guarantees on numbers of published articles and other communication tools for lead generation.
Relevant links– internet marketing , lead generation , search engine optimization
Let’s play the game—“Look at How Localized Search is Changing the Global Landscape!”.
It’s really an easy game to learn and here is one way to play it… Do as I just did and log nearly 3,000 miles on a road trip in the Eastern half of the United States (or just driving east to west in UK, would suffice, or France, etc.). Bring along your handy dandy wireless device so you can keep Googling in the car. Pick something you’d like to find—for me, every morning, that first priority is without doubt ESPRESSO. Every half hour or so, re-do your search. Different results, aren’t they? (Note: yes, your GPS will show the same thing, but that’s not the point of this article, this “game”.)
Now, repeat the same experiment, but do so with some item you really wouldn’t think or want to source so locally. Let’s use for example “laser cutting machine” . You may need to drive further for this one. But in the REAL world, if you are fabricating something that needs cutting precision +/-0.1 mm you would NOT look for the local shop down the corner, or probably even look for the machine in your country. This is an example of a widget that is truly sourced globally, for those who do their due diligence to find the best-in-class technology. It’s likely this is not a keyphrase you’ve ever paid attention to. I have. It’s one I’ve googled in Paris, in North Carolina (US) and Chicago (US) and my search results –mine, with personalized search intact as explained in my last New Media Knowledge article “Is Site Ranking Real or Relevant? “—are DIFFERENT in each place, and even as I drive back from NC to Illinois. It’s a peak into “localized search algorithms” and how the way today’s web works poses quite a challenge to the online marketing and search engine optimization for global B2B and B2C companies alike. From the point of view of this self-described “formerly wounded web copywriter”, it’s also a reason why SEO professionals should add some humble pie to their diet.
Yes, you can use advanced mathematics for superior KEI (keyword effectiveness indices) for search engine optimization .
But then there is also this very real phenomenon of localized search algorithms—not just in Google – but in all the major search engines in the world. Localized search algorithms are great if you want to find a cup of espresso or sell one. But if you are an espresso fanatic even sourcing the best espresso pot you really want to know how to turn localized search algorithms off. AND, if you are selling said espresso pot to a worldwide audience that in all likelihood does not include those technically able to bypass localized search or with the patience of Buddha to scroll beyond page 10 of search results, you need something more. What to do?
Conventional SEO tools will now help you generate 100s of “articles” in the blogosphere. That will certainly help your “ranking” (sic) but will be hit or miss in regards to localized search. Pay per click experts will help you set up high return-on-invest google advertising campaigns that help you reach targeted geographies. By my lights, it’s also one of the best reasons why what some think of as “traditional PR” should be added to any global marketer’s toolkit for lead generation –and especially by riding the wave of worldwide publications now grappling with their own search engine optimization efforts.
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Getting up to speed with search engines from European Cleaning Journal
25th of November 2011
In the first article of a new series written exclusively for ECJ, Amy Munice of ALM Communications in the USA offers advice for businesses on making the most of their internet activity. Here, she focuses on marketing and search engine optimisation.
You own or manage a business devoted to cleaning or cleaning supplies. Your task list to manage the business is already miles long. Do you really need to think about web marketing? After all, it’s not your area of expertise and your business success has been largely based in hiring reliable staff and/or outside consultants who do know what they are doing. Why wouldn’t web marketing be in the same category?
Don’t kill the messenger, but the sad news I have to deliver is that web marketing is in a different category for two main reasons.
•Businesses – all businesses – now will live and die in large part by how well they tame the internet to their business needs. In the old days, poor decisions on where you placed advertising would impact your bottom line, but rarely did they deal a death knell. In contrast, web advertising done the wrong way can quickly bankrupt your company. Similarly, search engine optimisation and website development pursued blindly or worse can be an enormous drain on
time resources – above and beyond the financial toll.
•Sourcing web marketing talent has become more difficult because there is a lot of hot air posing as know-how. And if you choose to go down the route of building in-house web marketing staff you need to know that the universe of information and best practices they need to remain current in is constantly growing and changing. This usually means that it is only the largest companies that can afford to keep such an in-house team of web ‘experts’ up-to-date as required.
Actually this brings up what could be called the third ‘reason’ on why you need to know a bit about the web so you can hire and manage talent wisely. First and foremost you need to know enough about the web and how it works today to also know what it cannot do for your type of business—a subject that web marketing experts rarely bring to the table.
Source up-to-date talent
For the lion’s share of companies in the cleaning industry, the answer is to invest in bringing the internet knowledge base of those sourcing talent up-to-date so they can not only source intelligently but manage the team they have enlisted with the modicum of web knowledge required.
Without doubt, the single largest problem when it comes to search engine optimisation is that out of date search engine optimisation (SEO) practices are widespread and accepted as conventional wisdom.
Let’s take the example of the subject line of most of what I call ‘SEO spam’. Because I am on the other side of the pond where online marketing had become a major factor a bit earlier and because I sign up for web marketing courses, etc to keep in the loop, I probably receive more of such SEO email spam than you or most. But perhaps you too have received an email with a subject line (and usually the body of the email itself) that promises you, as it does me, ‘top search engine rankings’.
“What’s wrong with that?” you say. “That’s exactly what we want, isn’t it?”
The problem is that ‘top search engine ranking’ is more or less fiction. The way today’s internet works (to use the geeky terms – ‘personalised search algorithms’, ‘local search algorithms’, weight of social media rankings, etc) means that the search results your universe of prospects will see when they ‘Google’ (or whatever search engine they use) will vary. What one prospect’s search page number one returns to them will predictably vary from what another prospect’s results will return.
Let’s call that example red flag number one of out-of-date search engine knowledge.
Red flag number two of out-of-date SEO is probably ‘keyword metatags’. Take a look at the page source of your company web site and that of all your top-of-mind competitors.
Whenever I do sampling, at least at the time of this writing, my sampling shows me again and again that more than half go to great pains to list ‘keyword metatags’.
“What’s wrong with that?” you ask, as I was recently by a highly paid SEO advisor. Firstly, Google’s official spokesperson, Matt Cutts, tells you not to use keyword metatags. He did so in 2009 – and those who watch Google closely will tell you that when such announcements are made the changes have been in existence for quite some time.
Then I ask: what’s with the laundry lists of unrelated keyword metatags – all the same on every web page – with few of them having anything to do or being mentioned once in the body of the web page? You find words like ‘sale’ or ‘service’ or ‘reliable’. These are tell-tale signs that understanding is lacking – even pre-2009 – on what keywords were and are. Did somebody really think that a person would go to his or her search bar and type in ‘service’ to find their company’s offerings? That is what a ‘keyword’ is – the word or phrase you expect someone to type into their search bar to find you.
The bigger problem – and a topic to be elaborated on in great detail in a later article – is that these listings of keyword metatags, while at best doing nothing for your search engine optimisation efforts, are like a poker player showing their hand to all opponents at the table.
While keyword metatags do not ‘count’ in helping your site be found on search engines they do tell a savvy competitor a lot about what your business is up to. Doing anything that aids your competitors’ abilities in web competitive analysis are the absolute last things you want to do because web competitive analysis is the main thing that does matter on today’s web.
Some other tell-tale giveaways of out-of-date knowledge on search engine optimisation to be heeded by those sourcing SEO help…
•Continuing with keywords. What does it mean when your SEO consultant tells you, rightfully so, that keywords and key phrases are very important? Then they politely ask you what your keywords are without suggesting that they will do keyword research to augment and strategise your site’s keywords throughout the site.
To me it means that they have absolutely no idea that choosing the best keywords today depends on having the best maths-based search engine optimisation tools at your disposal that will identify these best keywords.
Fresh content critical
Call it out of date, call it clueless – it will not help your business get ahead.
Red flag number three – your web designer presents you with a turnkey site that he or she has created and declared as ‘optimised for search engines’. Then they give you no means to add to or change the site.
It is true now and has been true for quite some time that adding fresh content and having the means to do so is critical to any search engine optimisation strategy. Giving you a static non-expandable website is delivering to you a product that is obsolete upon the day of delivery.
Red flag number four – when you ask your SEO consultant what their support will include, they show you the free Google reports that are readily available, perhaps packaged with their SEO company’s logo. Then, they put a high price tag on what are essentially one-click reports.
You can pay them to do so, but why? As a business person, do you think it is a sign of integrity to take advantage of someone’s ignorance by giving them an item freely available and charging them a small fortune for it? This is obviously a rhetorical question but I believe it’s a very necessary one.
Red flag number five – when you ask, the SEO consultant cannot tell you how the local search algorithm, personalised search, social media, or mobile devices should figure into your website design or verbiage, and they more or less avoid the question. And in fact, the usual way to avoid this question is to give blanket assurances that they will get you ‘ranked number one’.
There are many more red flags of out-of -date SEO knowledge. Knowing what not to purchase does not tell you what to look for. That will be the subject of the next article in this series.
•Amy Munice is the founder of ALM Communications.
08 July 2011
Over the last decade, it has become clear that for nearly every business of any size and type – be it business-to-business (B2B), business-to-customer (B2C), global or local – internet marketing is likely to be its most critical IT investment.
Whether you keep internet marketing in-house or outsource it in toto or something in between, your business survival is closely intertwined with your internet marketing programmes. A business owner can no longer afford to remain illiterate about how today’s search engines really work. In my experience, here is where people go wrong:
Every week I seem to speak to one or more business owners or marketing
directors who tell me that their business does very well in search engine rankings – they check by ”googling” their keywords and invariably find their company on the first page.
These business owners or marketing people are making a big mistake. They fail to realise that the search engines learn your personal preferences (personalized search ) and they try to display your preferred sites on the first page of what you seek.
The search engines also favour local companies (localized search), so you are far more likely to find your company on that first page than a key competitor from afar.
–by Amy Munice, President, ALM Communications Inc.