Posts Tagged ‘B2B PR’

Think global, search local
 – UK publication, e-business catalogue

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By Amy Munice | Publication date: 06/10/2011 | Category: Tactics > International 

It’s 2011, and now the local search algorithm in all the world’s search engines is one of the most important factors affecting your website success “on both sides of the pond”.
At this time, the way in which search engines now favour “local search” will often make it difficult for your long-distance prospects doing research to find a business like yours actually see your pages in their search results—unless they happen to be very local. Outside your locale, you are to a greater or lesser extent climbing a hill. Best case scenario—your prospect is so local that they will easily find you on the Google maps page for the keywords you seek. Worst case scenario—your fiercest competitor’s home office is in your prospect’s location and that competitor’s site, reviews of its business, and many local search listings in its area are referencing it. Minimally, all that eats up key real estate on the top of the search page or pages for the prime keywords you concentrate your SEO efforts on.

A huge mistake that many make is to think that whatever they Google and find is what their prospects find too. First, even if you clean your cookies every day, personalised search algorithms—a subject for another day—are serving you up a solipsistic misperception. You can actually get a view of local search if you take some time on your next business or leisure trip to do some tests. Better yet, if you travel a lot do the same tests again and again.

Good news—there is a solution, or more accurately, several ways to address the local search algorithms at work—that will get you into every market you seek. Here are three tips to solving the local search algorithm challenge.

1. Get found on online publications that are in the market/s you seek
With all the fuss about social media and friend networks via the likes of Google+,  the role of “traditional” global public relations for lead generation is being undervalued by many. For starters, an article or news release in a local journal or magazine will help your customer in that locale find you. Better yet, online publications that target a specific locale will not only get you on the radar of your long-distance customer but also build in links that may help your “ranking” for keywords your SEO work targets. 
“Traditional” PR does not mean out-of-date PR approaches. Rather, you need to be programming your PR work to be in sync with how the web works and how online publications are facing the same SEO challenges you do. Consider this—online publications also need to add fresh content constantly so that their domain will be found in organic searches, and also to state their readers’ interest in changing information. Online publications are competing for attention on the web. Often this means that their ends and your ends are potentially one and the same—as long as you provide good content (read: heavy on information and not overbearingly commercial) for publications’ posts or blogging to keep their content fresh in between issue dates.

2. Figure out the best way to promote your videos 
Think beyond your website to your Youtube or equivalent channels. Learn how videos need to be posted for optimal boost to your web marketing efforts and learn how to best title them for local pickup in ALL the local places that you want to reach.

3. Pay-per-click advertising
Google advertising, display networks, ads in online publications that link to your site—all of these can be locally targeted to whatever distance arc you specify.
The downside, of course, is that pay-per-click advertising can bankrupt you very quickly. There are so many shifting developments in online advertising opportunities that the old thinking that AdWords only take do-it-yourself knowhow is no longer true. Or, all those “free” and easy services that search engines now provide to create no-muss-no-fuss ad campaigns for you? Well, the story of the fox guarding the hen house should come to mind. Nothing is easy about online advertising. Yes, anyone can set up an ad in mere minutes. Getting a high return-on-investment for your efforts is quite another matter.

As a general rule, if your company spends more than $1,500 (approximately £973) for online advertising, it’s well worth your expense to bring outside experts who spend their time keeping up-to-date with daily changes in online advertising opportunities and trends. Even an in-house appointed “expert” will be at a disadvantage because they will have to attempt to do the work that online advertising agencies share as a team. 

In part two of this article we will consider paid listings in directories, the best use of Google Analytics and email marketing. 
Amy Munice is president of ALM Communications Inc., a global public relations firm. 

Localised Search Is Not Necessarily Your Friend – Part 2

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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 – EMDT, UK

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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.

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!”
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


Web Wisdom: Personalized Search Algorithms

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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.

Global Lead Generation Challenge

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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.

Everything you need to know about reverse engineering Google algorithms

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New Media Knowledge magazine Created on: August 8th, 2011

If you understand how search engines work you KNOW that there is nothing to know about how to reverse engineer a search engine’s algorithms. It is impossible to do and a total waste of time and money. More importantly, wasting time on such fruitless tasks keeps you from doing the things that WILL make you competitive on the web. By Amy Munice.

EVERYTHING (!) you need to know about reverse engineering Google Algorithms?
Yes—In this short article you will truly learn “EVERYTHING” you need to know about reverse engineering Google algorithms.

In fact, this could be an extremely short article, because “EVERYTHING” you need to know about reverse engineering Google algorithms–or any search engine’s algorithms, for that matter– is NOTHING.

Please allow me to de-code this statement for you so that it sounds less like a Zen logic enigma.
Search engines are changing ALL THE TIME. Every time you or I or your colleague, your competitor, your uncle or your aunt goes to the search bar and seeks information they are CHANGING the database that web crawlers feed upon. These web crawlers, or more accurately the engineers who design them, just want to find out how people (all of us and each of us) are seeking things and what they seek.
That ever-expanding knowledgebase helps them get smarter. By “smarter” I mean it gives potential to change the algorithms at work to help speed searchers along the road to find what they seek. It’s a big communal effort—we each pave the way for the next searcher. So if you are trying to “reverse engineer” Google algorithms, ask yourself first—which ones? Today’s algorithms, yesterday’s algorithms, or tomorrow’s algorithms, or the day after that and so on. The World Wide Web is a very dynamic place— constant only in that it is constantly changing. Or, as the oft-quoted Ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus is said to have put it, “ cannot step in the same river twice.”

If you concentrate on trying to reverse engineer Google algorithms for search engine optimization—whether you call it that or not—you are simply wasting your time, and/or someone’s money.
“But wait!” you say. “I have followed the suggested course SEO professionals have prescribed (e.g. increase phrase depth, add to page count, etc.) and we have gotten documented improvements in our traffic. How do you explain that?”
That in fact should be the case half of the time even if the SEO consultant advising you or you are flying blind. In other words, half are going to be lucky—predictably.
Why do I say “half”? Because on the web, your page or site is ALWAYS graded on a curve. Moreover, this “curve” is only in the wee part of the WORLD WIDE WEB where you truly compete. If you are selling tires the requisite inbound link text or keyword text proximity or ANY on-page or off-page factor is bound to be in quite a different mix than the web page that is trying to sell mobile phones. The suggestion that there is some elusive magic formula for mixing on-page and off-page SEO factors that works for everyone should go where the pseudo-science of alchemy went.
If this sounds facile to you may I respectfully suggest that it might be timely for you to learn about natural language processing and update your search engine optimizationknowledgebase.

Amy 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 B2B services and products worldwide.

ALM Communications Inc. · 1714 North Honore, Suite 3 · Chicago, Illinois U.S.A.