Archive for February, 2011

List of Brand-Side Corporate Social Strategists: Twitter Edition

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Jeremiah Owyang recently published a fantastic List of Corporate Social Strategists for 2011 (Buyer/Brand Side), an impressive compilation of  individuals either holding the title or performing the role of corporate social strategist, defined by Jeremiah as “the business decision maker for social media programs – who provides leadership, roadmap definition, and governance; and directly influences the spending on technology vendors and service agencies.”

It’s an outstanding list, categorized by industry including Automotive, Chemicals, Electronics, Telecommunications, and a dozen other sectors, but all of the names were linked to the individuals’ LinkedIn profiles—no Twitter links! You can follow Marshall Kirkpatrick’s entire Social Strategists list, based on Jeremiah’s list, here, but what if you want to get a bit more granular and be a bit more selective in your following?

Here you go. This list is a tad shorter than Jeremiah’s original as some of these strategists appeared not to have Twitter accounts (an odd omission for a “Corporate Social Strategist,” or possibly just inadequate searching on my part) and includes only the Twitter accounts I could fairly confidently match up with these names, that tweeted in English, and that did not use “protected tweets.” (If your title includes “social media,” why on earth would you have a Twitter account but protect your tweets? Serious disconnect there.)

Followers range from less than 10 (no, that’s not a typo) to more than 10,000. It is somewhat surprising how many have only a few hundred followers, despite being social media managers, practitioners and strategists at large corporations. Not that number of followers means everything, of course, and those few hundred followers may be really highly engaged. It’s also possible there may be errors in my list; please let me know in the comments or through my Twitter if you find any, and I will correct them. Anyway, on to the list!

List of Corporate Social Strategists for 2011

Airline

• Morgan Johnston – Manager Corporate Communication at JetBlue Airways

• Bowen Payson – Manager of Online and Digital Marketing at Virgin America

Automotive

• Kim Snedaker – Social Media Manager at AAA Mid-Atlantic

• Christopher Barger – Director, Global Social Media at General Motors

• Scott Monty – Digital & Multimedia Communications Manager at Ford Motor Company

Business Services

• Matt Anchin – Senior Vice President, Digital Communications at The Nielsen Company

• Collin Douma – Vice President Social Media at Proximity Worldwide (CAN)

• Debbie Curtis-Magley – Public Relations Manager at UPS

• Aneta Hall – Social Media Marketer at Pitney Bowes

• Jaimee Clements – Senior Online Product Manager, eBusiness at AAA NCNU

• Kenny Lauer – Vice President, Digital Experience at George P Johnson

• Rick Mans – Social Media Strategist, Capgemini

• Jodi Gersh – Manager, Social Media, Gannett

• Stephanie Gaspary – Director, Social Strategy and Creative Services, CareerBuilder.com

• Niall Cook – Worldwide Director of Marketing Technology at Hill & Knowlton

• Yianni Garcia – Digital Marketing & Community Manager, The McGraw-Hill Companies

Chemicals

• Kristina Bobrowski – Social Media Manager, Dow Corning

• Alison Buckley – Social Media Manager, Dow Corning

Consumer Product Goods

• Matt Ceniceros – Director, Global Media Relations at Applied Materials

• Philippe Borremans – Chief Social Media Officer at Van Marcke Group

• Jordan Williams – Manager of Digital Engagement at REI

• Bonin Bough – Global Director of Digital and Social Media at PepsiCo

• Michael Donnelly – Group Director, Worldwide Interactive Marketing at The Coca-Cola Company

• Jennifer Cisney – Chief Blogger and Social Media Manager at Eastman Kodak

• Jim Deitzel Sr. eMarketing Manager at Newell Rubbermaid

• Bert DuMars – Vice President E-Business & Interactive Marketing at Newell Rubbermaid

• Marisa Thalberg – VP, Global Digital Marketing at The Estee Lauder

• Gareth Hornberger, Digital Marketing Manager at Levi Strauss & Co.

• Brian Snyder – Senior Manager, Interactive Communications and Knowledge Management at Whirlpool Corporation

• Andrew D. Nystrom – Digital Marketing Manager – Social Media, Red Bull

• Debbie Weinstein – Senior Director, Global Media, Unilever

Educational Services

• Mike Rivera -New Media Strategist, University of Denver

Electronics, Devices, Mobile

• Jussi-Pekka Erkkola – Digital Marketing Manager at Nokia

• Marcy Cohen – Sr. Manager at Sony Electronics

• Ray Haddow – Senior Manager at Nokia

• Ian Kennedy – Head of Service Innovation at Nokia

• Esteban Contreras – Social Media Manager at Samsung

• Dan Anderson – Emerging Media Manager at T-Mobile

• Christopher Baccus – Executive Director of Digital and Social Media at AT&T

• Michelle Kostya – Social Media Support Program Manager, Research in Motion

• Baldev Solanki – Manager, Self Service, Research in Motion

• Angela Losasso – Director, Social Media, Research in Motion

• Felix Leander – Senior Social Media Marketing Manager, Research In Motion

• John Pope – Senior Communications Manager, Nokia

Energy

• Maria Amezaga, Global Social Media Advisor, Shell

• Lanie James – Social Media Specialist, Chesapeake Energy

Financial Services

• Ken Hittel – Vice President, Corporate Internet Dept. at New York Life Insurance Co.

• Allan Schoenberg – Director, Corporate Communications at CME Group

• Ed Terpening – VP Social Network Marketing at Wells Fargo

• Betsy Flanagan, Social Media Strategist, Wells Fargo Bank

• Christine Morrison Roszak – Social Media Marketing Manager at Intuit

• Annalie Killian – Director Innovation, Communication, & Collaboration at AMP Ltd

• Shawn Morton – Director of Mobile, Social and Emerging Media at Nationwide Insurance

• Zena Weist – Director of Social Media at H&R Block

• Stacy Gratz – Social Media Marketing Manager at American Express

• Steve Furman – Director, Design, Customer Experience and Social Media at Discover Financial Services

• David Meiselman, Director of Digital/Web Strategy, The Hanover Insurance Group

• Jennefer Meyer – VP Social Media Strategies at BBVA Compass

• Suzanne Stull – Social Media & Brand Manager, E-Business at Discover Financial Services

• Michael Rubin – Social Media Strategist at Fifth Third Bank

• Kimberly Mahan – Director of Emerging Technologies, Genworth Financial

• Ryon Harms – Director of Social Media, Farmers Insurance

• Jim Rosenberg- Head of Social Media, The World Bank

• April Hammons – Social Media Manager at Bank of Oklahoma

• Jason Diperstein – Online Channel Coordinator at Aetna

Health and Life Sciences

• Jessica Soulliere – Social Media Communications Coordinator at University of Michigan Health System

• Ryan Squire – Social Media Program Director at The Ohio State University Medical Center

• Bob Stanke – Community Manager, Interactive Community Manager | Social Marketing Strategist at Life Time Fitness

• Shwen Gwee, Lead New Media Communications, Vertex Pharmaceuticals

• Charlie Schick, Sr Media Producer, Children’s Hospital Boston

• Lee Aase – Syndication and Social Media Manager at Mayo Clinic

• Holly Potter – VP Public Relations at Kaiser Permanente

• Vince Golla – Director, Digital Media and Syndication at Kaiser Permanente

• Erin Macartney – Public Affairs Specialist/Social Media at Palo Alto Medical Foundation

• Nick Dawson – Director of Communications & Community Engagement at Bon Secours Health System

• Jamey Shiels – Director Social Media and Digital Communications at Aurora Health Care

Hospitality, Food Service

• Vanessa Sain-Dieguez – Social Media Strategists at Hilton

• Virginia Suliman -Vice President – Websites at Hilton

• Kara Imai – Senior Director, Online Marketing at Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau

• Shannon McDowell – Director, Website Management & Communication at Hilton Worldwide

• Diana Plazas – Director, Doubletree Online Marketing at Hilton Hotels Corporation

• Scott Gulbransen, Director of Social Media & Digital Marketing at Applebee’s

• Nick Ayres – Social Marketing Manager at IHG

• Rick Wion – Director of Social Media, McDonald’s Corporation

• Eric Schechter – Social Media Manager, Carnival Cruise Lines

• Joe Curry, Social Media Manager, Global Web Communications at McDonald’s Corporation

Government, Armed Services, Education

• Christina Whitlock – Social Media Management, Supervisor at Marine Corps Recruiting

• Kevin Jones – Social Media Manager at NASA / SAIC

• Scott McIlnay – Director, Emerging Media Integration, Dept. of the Navy, Office of Information at U.S. Navy

• Paul Bove – Social Media Strategist/Web Developer at Air Force Public Affairs Agency

• Mike Boehmer – Senior Public Relations Specialist at Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services

• Sonny Gill – Online Marketing and Social Media Strategist at DeVry University

Media and Entertainment

• Brett Rudy – Director, Strategic Consulting at Epsilon

• Charles Miller Director – Digital Care/Social Media Strategy at DIRECTV, Inc.

• Michael Hall – Director of NESN.com at New England Sports Network

• Amy Worley – Vice President of Marketing at Andrews McMeel Publishing

• Robert Michael Murray – Vice President, Social Media at National Geographic Society

• Kelly Owen – Social Media Manager and Strategist at SPEED Channel, Inc., Fox Entertainment Group

• Tom Fishman – Manager, Social Media & Community at MTV Networks

• Kate Farber Gold – Social Media Director at Scripps Networks

• Ryan Osborn – Director of Social Media at NBC News

• Matthew Milner – VP, Social Media, Hearst Magazines Digital Media

• Gayle Weiswasser -Vice President, Social Media Communications, Discovery

Retail

• Winnie Hsia – Social Media Specialist at Whole Foods Market

• Tracy Benson – Digital / Interactive & Emerging Technologies at Best Buy

• Gary Koelling – Director Emerging Media Technology at Best Buy

• Vanina Delobelle – Manager, eCommerce Product Management at Sears Holdings Corporation

• Alexandra Wheeler – Digital Strategy at Starbucks Coffee Company

• Sarah Molinari – Senior Manager, Social Media, The Home Depot

• Dan Beranek – Social Business Strategy Leader, Target

• Daniel B. Honigman – Social Media Manager at Sears Holdings Corporation

Technology: Hardware, Networking, Component, Computer, Devices

• Bill Johnston, Head of Global Community at Dell

• Todd Shimizu – Director of Communities at Juniper Networks

• Len Devanna – Director Web Strategy & Operations at EMC

• Gunjan Rawal – Developer Marketing Manager, Intel AppUp dev program at Intel Corporation

• John Earnhardt – Senior Manager, Global Media Operations at Cisco Systems

• LaSandra Brill – Senior Manager, Global Social Media Marketing

• Richard Binhammer – Senior Manager at Dell

• Bill Pearson – Manager, Intel Software Network at Intel Corp

• Aaron Tersteeg – Communities Team Manager at Intel Corporation

• Bryan Rhoads – Sr. Digital Marketing Strategist at Intel Corporation

• Amy Barton – New Media Communications Manager at Intel Corporation

• Bob Duffy – Social Media Strategist at Intel Corporation

• Ken Kaplan – Broadcast and New Media Manager, Global Communications at Intel Corporation

• Adam Christensen – Social Media – IBM Corporate Headquarters at IBM

• Jeanette Gibson – Director, New Media at Cisco Systems

• Deirdre Walsh – Community and Social Media Manager at National Instruments

• Annie Rodkins, Program Manager at Intel Corporation

• Kelly Ripley Feller – Social Media Strategist, Sales & Marketing Group at Intel Corporation

• Adam Gartenberg – Program Director, Information Management Marketing and Strategy at IBM

• Todd Watson – Social Media and Search Marketing Manager, IBM Software Group at IBM

• Jamie Pappas – Manager, Social Media Strategy at EMC Corporation

• Colleen Swanger – Director, Graphics and Digital Marketing at NCR

• Tony “Frosty” Welch – Lead Social Media Strategist and Community Manager : Personal Systems Group at HP

• Amy Paquette – Sr. Manager, New Media Communications at Cisco

• Zoya Fallah – Social Media Expert, Consumer Marketing at Cisco

• Frank Days – Director, New and Social Media at Novell

• Stephanie Marx – Social Media Marketing at Cisco Systems

• Steven Lazarus, Lead Strategist, Social Media & Interactive Marketing for SOA and WebSphere Software at IBM

• Carolina Velis – Social Media Strategist at Intel

• Ekaterina Walter, Social Media Strategist at Intel

• Petra Neiger – Senior Manager, Global Social Media at Cisco

• Becky Brown – Director, Social Media Strategy at Intel Corporation

• Deanna Govoni – Social Media Marketing Manager, Cisco

• Allison Johnson, Social Media Manager, Cisco Systems

• Sharon Crost – Global Online Marketing/ Social Media Manager, Hitachi Data Systems

• Shanee Ben-Zur, Social Media Manager, NVIDIA

• Kerry Bridge Social Media Communications Manager, EMEA

• Chris Byrd – Social Media Strategist – Dell Corporate Reputation & Relations, Dell

• Cory Edwards – Director, Social Media & Corporate Reputation at Dell

Technology: Software, Internet

• Diane Davidson – Sr. Manager of Customer Success and Community Program at Cisco WebEx Technology group

• Steven Tedjamulia – Head of Social Commerce Innovation at Dell

• Alison Bolen – Editor, blogs and social content at SAS Institute

• Marty Collins – Director of Emerging Media at Microsoft

• Mark Yolton – Senior Vice President – SAP Community Network at SAP

• Brian Ellefritz – Sr. Director, Social Media Marketing at SAP

• Maria Poveromo – Director, Social Media at Adobe Systems

• Shashi Bellamkonda – Director Social Media, Network Solution

• Natalie Hanson – Senior Director, Strategic Programs & User Experience Consulting at SAP

• Lorna Li – SEO & Social Media Marketing Manager at Salesforce.com

• David Kim – Group Manager, Consumer Content Strategy at Symantec Corporation

• Fred “Fritz” Alberti – Director of Social Media at Salem Web Network

• Vishal Ganeriwala – Sr. Manager Citrix Ready Program at Citrix Systems

• Peter Parkes – Social Media Communications Lead at Skype

• Betsy Aoki – Sr. Program/Product Manager, Social Media at Microsoft Bing

• Marcus Nelson – Director of Social Media, Corporate Communications Salesforce.com

• Michael Procopio – Social Media Strategist at HP Software

• Karen Wickre – Senior Manager, Global Communications & Public Affairs at Google

• Gurmeet Dhaliwal – VP, Internet Marketing at CA Technologies (formerly Computer Associates)

• Justin Kistner – Sr. Manager Social Media Marketing at Webtrends

• Winton “Sonny” Adcock – Program Manager, Social Media & Customer Channel for Technical Support at Intel Corp

• Jamie Grenney – Sr. Director of Social Media at Salesforce.com

• Brian Kling – Social Media Manager, eService at Autodesk

• Kirsten Watson – Director, Marketing at Kinaxis

• Gail Lyon – Global Internet & Social Media Manager at Siemens Enterprise Communications (UK)

• Venson Kuchipudi – Senior Director of Social Computing Strategy, Infor

• Benjamin Gauthey – Digital Marketing Manager/Marketing Technopologist at Microsoft

• Chip Rodgers, Vice President and COO, SAP Community Network

• Diane Beaudet – Vice President, Marketing Programs and Communications, Webroot Software

• Kris Kozamchak, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications, NEC Corporation of America

• Doug Kern – Director, Corporate Communications at GXS

• Rawn Shah – Social Software Practices and Business Transformation Consultant at IBM

• Laurie G Buczek – Social Media Strategist & Platform Vision Team Manager at Intel

• Kirsten Hamstra – Social Media Manager at SAS Institute

• Rob La Gesse – Director of Customer Development, Rackspace

• Mario Sundar, Social Media Manager, LinkedIn

• Alan Belniak – Director of Social Media Marketing at PTC

• Dora Smith – Director of Global Social Media, Industry Automation, Siemens

• Robert Dell’Immagine – Director of Community at Qualys

• Adam Kranitz – Social Strategy, Segment & Product Marketing, Avid, Inc.

• Atom McCree- Digital Marketing Manager, ASG Software Solutions

• Charl Pearce -Sr. Marketing Manager, Emerging Media, US Integrated Marketing Programs, Microsoft Corp.

• Jacob Mullins – Sr. Marketing Manager, @BizSpark & Windows Phone 7, Microsoft Corp

• Claire Flanagan -Director, Social Collaboration Strategy, CSC

• Justin Levy – Senior Social Communications Manager, Citrix Online

• Tony Dunn – Social Media, Community & Web Marketing Manager, VMWare

• Nicholas Polt, Manager of Online Marketing and Social Media, MicroStrategy

Telecommunications

• Sherri Maxson – Director Interactive at US Cellular

• Keith McArthur – Senior Director of Social Media and Digital Communications at Rogers

• Bill Strawderman – Digital Marketing Lead, AT&T Business Marketing

• Trish Nettleship – Social Media Lead, AT&T Business Marketing

• Heather Thoms – Senior Communications Specialist, Tellabs

• Ronan Keane – Social Media Marketing Manager, XO Communications

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Seven Expert Search Engine Marketing Guides

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Done properly, search engine marketing (a.k.a. SEM, paid search, PPC) is a powerful complement to SEO and an effective tactic on its own. SEM enables enterprises to rank for specific search terms immediately (including terms for which it would difficult to rank organically), target traffic to specific landing pages, test everything (keywords, bid levels, ad copy, landing page design), and precisely quantify ROI based on sales or leads generated. Of course, done improperly, it can also be a tremendous waste of money.

Expert SEM GuidesHow can you improve quality scores to get a higher ad position at a lower cost? How can test to increase conversion rates while reducing the cost per conversion? How can create dynamic landing pages, and are they worth the effort? Discover the answers to these questions and others here in seven noteworthy search engine marketing guides from the past year.

My Best Advice on Improving Your Google & Yahoo Quality Scores by PPC Hero

Three strategies for improving quality score, which results in high ad positions with low cost per click (CPC), such as creating small, tightly focused ad groups (“breaking down your campaigns and ad groups into smaller ad groups…allows you to write more relevant ads for a select number of keywords in your ad group. Google and Yahoo both say that by including your keywords in your ad title and descriptions will greatly help increase your quality scores”).

How to quadruple a conversion rate by Google Website Optimizer Blog

Trevor Claiborne shares lessons learned from the Voices.com search engine marketing campaign on optimizing conversion rates, among them: knowing your customers (“time and again, the greatest conversion rate increases I’ve seen have come from a better understanding of the customer”) and testing everything.

Paid Search Ad Copy: Five Things Newbies Don’t Know by ClickZ

Andrew Goodman discusses the importance of testing ad copy and important considerations to keep in mind when doing so, like measuring both click-through rate (CTR) and cost per acquisition (CPA) when evaluating ad copy, and running tests long enough to generate valid data for decision making.

Dynamic Landing Pages by PPC Hero

Amy Hoffman explains why dynamic landing pages are helpful (“The more specific a landing page is, the more likely it is that the visitor will convert”), how to create one using either dynamic keyword insertion or IP targeting, and best practices to follow when using dynamic pages.

How to Double Your Conversion Rate in the Next 5 Minutes by KISSmetrics

Cameron Chapman offers a half-dozen tips for increasing your conversion rate by making your sign-up form more friendly, such as by removing unnecessary fields, making as many fields as practical optional to complete, and explaining why you’re collecting the information requested.

AquaSoft Landing Pages - Before and After

Lessons Learned from 21 Case Studies in Conversion Rate Optimization by The Daily SEO Blog

Paras Chopra uses several case studies to illustrate the role of design, headlines, copy, and calls-to-action in landing page and conversion rate optimization.

6 Optimization Tips to Get Ready for the New Year by PPC Hero

A half-dozen tips for “PPC housekeeping” to get you account shaped up for the coming year, including reviewing your negative keywords, segmenting your analytics by device (to determine, for example, if you get enough traffic from mobile devices to make it worthwhile to set up separate mobile campaigns) and replacing under-performing ads with new copy.

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Best Cool SEO Tools of 2010

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Like carpenters and cooks, SEO professionals rely on creativity, skill and the right tools to work their magic. And like a craftsman or chef, a talented SEO pro can produce impressive results even with simple tools—but can achieve even more with better, more specialized tools.

Best SEO Tools of 2010In this post you’ll find keyword tools, other SEO tools (backlink checkers, SEO analysis, duplicate content finders), and reviews of even more tools (from smart guys like Lee, Marty, Brent…hmm, why does there seem to be so much SEO talent in Minnesota? Must be something in the water…).

SEO Keyword Research Tools

Tools for Search Marketing Intelligence by ClickZ

Julie Batten reviews eight tools to help with search marketing and SEO planning, including both free (i.e., Google AdWords Keyword Tool) and fee-based (i.e., Compete.com Search Analytics) alternatives.

5 Powerful Tools For Keyword Suggestions and Ideas by BMD Media Website Design Blog

Illustrated, scored reviews of five keyword tools such as Wordtracker and Keyword Discovery. The highest score goes to…

R.I.P. Google Keyword Tool. Long Live SEO! by aimClear

Marty Weintraub delivers a blog eulogy for Google’s free AdWords Keyword tool, which wasn’t killed so much as neutered in October 2010, and suggests four alternatives including WordStream. Fortunately, however, in response to massive and severe blowback from the search marketing and SEO communities, Google relented two months later and fixed the keyword tool.WordStream Keyword Tools

Comprehensive 2010 SEO Guide to Keywords by Bruce Clay

Brent Rangen details keyword research offerings from the three two major search engines, plus the YouTube keyword tool and a couple of additional offerings.

Other SEO Tools

MazeCore Monitor

A tool with free and fee-based offerings for monitoring and alerting on search position, Google and Alexa ranking, server uptime, backlinks, social bookmarks and more.

Pear Analytics

A fast, free overall SEO analysis tool that checks a site for duplicate content, proper 404 error handling, URL structure, domain age, use of header tags, page load time, inbound links and other search-related attributes.

My Site Grader

A conceivably useful SEO analysis and grading tool, but it asks for a lot of information—your company, name, email address and phone number in addition to URL, keywords and competitive sites.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider

I haven’t had a chance to play with this one yet, but it looks potentially very helpful. The Screaming Frog SEO Spider crawls your site and exports key onsite SEO elements (url, page title, meta descriptions, headings etc) to Excel for easy analysis. Data collected includes redirects, external and internal links, duplicate/missing page titles, image data (large files, missing alt tags) and more.SEO Quake SEO Tool

SeoQuake

A slick SEO toolbar that enables you to instantly check a variety of attributes on any web page including pagerank, delicious links, backlinks, keyword density and domain age. What’s really tight though is the ability to run Google searches and then export the results to Excel.

URLinfo

The creators didn’t waste a lot of time on a fancy UI, but URLinfo is a handy collection of 113 tools for, as the site puts it, “handling web pages: finding information about it, translating it, finding related pages, etc.” Find search engine backlinks, blog site references, social media links, Alexa info, and much more, though a few of the tools need updating.

SEOForums SEO Tools

A collection of 70 free tools for link analysis, keywords, rank checking, on-page elements, social media, website speed testing, code optimization and more.

Reviews of SEO Tools

Five Free Link-Building Tools for Small Business SEO Campaigns by Search Engine Smarts

Guest blogger Lee Odden quantifies the value of inbound links for SEO and then provides reviews of five tools “for tracking inbound links (that) small business marketers can use to get a leg up on the competition.”

The Best Free Online SEO Tools by Dreamscape Design

Because “Working in SEO is very similar to working as a carpenter (why does that analogy sound familiar?), painter & decorator, builder, or a mechanic…you are only as good as the tools you have at your disposal. Bad tools lead to bad craftsmanship, and this will ultimately lead to poor conversion rates, wasted money, and unhappy clients,” James Brack reviews four valuable yet free tools for keyword research, competitive diagnostics and links building including Link Diagnosis and Link Hub Finder.

The Top 10 SEO Competitor Tools for 2010 by ineedhits Blog

Rene LeMerle supplies mini-reviews of 10 competitive analysis tools to help discover “who is out ranking you and what they’re doing to achieve the results,” including Spyfu, SEMrush and Linkscape. The list is great, the site a bit spammy; apologies if you get an annoying popup when clicking the link, I wish bloggers would realize how annoying this is and how it cheapens the experience of visiting a site, but some still don’t get it.

Tools to Predict and Monitor Competitor Traffic by The Daily SEO Blog

Sam Crocker serves up detailed reviews of nine free and fee-based tools for gaining insights into competitors’ website traffic data.On-the-fly URL Shortener

Top 10 Must Have SEO Extensions for Google Chrome by The YOUmoz Blog

Patrick Ahler supplies helpful, illustrated reviews of 10 SEO exensions for the Google Chrome browser including SEO Site Tools, IE Tab (allows you to view a web page as if you were using IE) and Google Screen Capture.

Top 6 Best SEO Tools for Google Chrome by Daily SEO Tip

On the topic of Google Chrome, Lyuben Georgiev here reviews his half-dozen favorite SEO tools such as MozBar and SEO SERP.

The MEGA List of Free and Paid SEO Tools the Professionals Use [Best of SEW 2010 #3] by Search Engine Watch

If the collection of tools above isn’t enough to keep you busy for a while, Garry Przyklenk provides brief reviews of another 20+ free SEO tools, toolbars and browser plugins, “freemium” and fee-based tools.

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Best Email Marketing Tips, Tactics and Metrics of 2010

Monday, February 21st, 2011

While social media is the flashy show horse of online marketing, email remains the solid workhorse. According to recent research, 92% of marketers consider email to be one of their “most important marketing tools” and 54% plan increased spending on it in the coming year. Email marketing remains one of the top spending priorities for online, after search and display advertising.

Best Email Marketing Tips of 2010Why? Well, unlike social media, email is virtually universal. While many corporations still ban or limit social media use within their walls, none ban email (they filter it for spam, but don’t block it completely). It’s direct, cost-efficient, and, done properly, still an effective channel for lead generation, nurturing and sales. And as some of the posts below show, when integrated with social media tools, email becomes even more powerful. For example, Helen Leggatt reports that “the inclusion of social media sharing buttons in email generated click-through rates around 30% higher than email sent with no sharing options.”

One key concern among email marketers is open rates; how can you craft subject lines that increase the odds recipients will open your email messages? How can you use email marketing most effectively and avoid overloading your recipients with information? How can you grow the size of your email marketing list? Avoid mistakes that will cost you readers? Integrate your email and social media marketing efforts to improve results through both channels? Find the answers to those questions and others here in more than two dozen of the best email marketing guides of the past year.

Email Marketing Tips and Tactics

3 items that should be in your 2010 email budget by BtoB Magazine

Karen J. Bannan reports that more than half of marketers plan increases in their email marketing budgets, while nearly two-thirds plan to spend more on digital marketing generally, and identifies three key spending areas to consider when allocating those budgets.

Use e-mail for what e-mail is best at! And therefore reduce the e-mail overload by ad tech Email

Pierre Khwanad laments that “we tend to use (email) all the time. E-mail is easy. It is quick. It costs virtually nothing (if we are only looking at the hard costs). In addition, we can say whatever we want in an e-mail and not get interrupted by someone else’s point of view,” and suggests using other communications methods such as instant messaging, phone calls, live meetings, web conferences, blogs and wikis in situations where those tools are really more appropriate and effective.Email Example from Inc Magazine

7 brands with bad-ass email programs by iMedia Connection

Though acknowledging that “There’s no global best practice that makes your campaign stats jump, no design layout that wins every time. It takes constant trying, tweaking, analyzing, and risk-taking,” Dylan Boyd highlights seven brands that he thinks do email right, such as National Geographic, Banana Republic and The Wall Street Journal.

10 E-Mail Commandments by iMedia Connection

Daniel Flamberg presents his ten commandments to make your brand and message stand out in the in box, like maintaining a clean list, limiting response options, and my favorite: “send less better.”

Add Google Analytics to Emails and Gain B2B Lead Generation Intelligence by Industrial Marketing Today

Achinta Mitra provides step-by-step instructions for integrating Google Analytics with standard ESP email tracking, which produces much richer data to help optimize conversion rates.

7 emails you should never send by iMedia Connection
***** 5 Stars
Carissa Newton brilliantly highlights several all-too-common email mistakes to avoid, including the “one size fits all” newsletter (just as with clothing, this usually, in reality, means “one size that fits none”), image-only emails, excessively long messages, and emails with no social media links.Harrods Email Example

30 Beautiful Email Newsletters Design For your Inspiration by Tripwire Magazine

Dustin Betonio shares 30 designs that are undeniably beautiful, though most rely too heavily on graphics (see the post above). A better approach may be a simpler newsletter design with a compelling hook to get the reader to click through to a more graphically-rich web page with similar but augmented content.

3 keys to optimizing the email experience by iMedia Connection

Brian Deagan identifies three key components for email marketing success, starting with picking an email service provider that incorporates device detection, can deliver messages in mobile-friendly format, and provides actionable analytics.

How to Grow Your Email Opt-In Subscriber List

3 Steps to Grow Your B2B E-mail List More Effectively by ClickZ

Noting that “B2B marketers say that their internal e-mail lists are seven times more effective at generating quality sales leads than third-party lists. However, most also say that their e-mail lists aren’t large enough to drive the volume of leads their sales organization needs,” Mike Hotz details three strategies—such as organic list building through trade shows, social media, QR codes and offline venues—for building a large and relevant house email list.

Internet Marketing for Beginners: Email marketing optimization 101 by MarketingSherpa Blog

David Kirkpatrick walks through a scientific formula for addressing the most challenging aspect of email marketing: building a qualified list. The key is to optimize the relevance and value of the incentive offered while minimizing friction (your target audience’s concerns about subscribing).

One Change, 73% More Subscribers by AWeber Communications

Amanda Gagnon explains how Walden University dramatically increased email subscriptions by simplifying its signup process and reduced the number of clicks required.

How to Increase Email Open Rates

10 Words That Will Make People Open Your Email by Freelance Copywriter’s Blog
***** 5 Stars
“The first thing your recipient will see (in your email message) is the sender’s name and subject line. So how do you make sure you pique his curiosity sufficiently to click on your email and open it?” Sally Ormond answers this question with 10 opening words and phrases to help grab your reader’s attention within a 40-character subject line.

290 Email Spam Trigger Words to Avoid by Mirna Bard
***** 5 Stars
Your emails can’t produce results if they never reach your recipients, and while there any many factors involved in deliverability, avoiding the use of “spam” trigger words is one key way to help your messages reach the inbox rather than the junk folder. This list of 290 spam trigger words to avoid contains both obvious (e.g., $$$, income from home, MLM) terms as well as less obvious words and phrases (cost, discount, compare, and trial).

New rules for sexy subject lines by iMedia Connection

Dylan Boyd (again) lays out the six key elements of a “sexy” email subject line (e.g., it sets the tone and aligns expectations), demonstrates his points with several very good real-world examples (and a few bad ones), and concludes with guidance on common subject-line mistakes to avoid.

How can marketers craft email subject lines that work? by BtoB Magazine

Noting that “as much as 40% of a recipient’s decision to open an email is based on the subject as well as the sender,” Craig Stouffer contends that copywriters need to spend considerable time and effort in tuning the subject line—and provides six questions to ask before starting to write that will help in crafting a compelling email message and subject line.

Email Marketing Research and StatsAverage Email Open Rates

2009 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study by XDXY eMarketing Tips

An interesting collection of email stats from a report by email marketing service provider Silverpop. The median open rate for marketing emails is 19.4%; the median click-through rate is 2.4%; and the average bounce rate is 5.5%. In all cases, however, email from senders in the top quintile (those using the best practices) significantly outperformed those in the bottom quintile.

Email Marketing Benchmarks for Small Business by MailChimp

Email marketing can be used in any industry of course, but the results can vary considerably. This excellent summary details how common email metrics vary across industries, for example: emails related to food (36.62%), photography (34.17%), video production (33.09%) or church (32.95%) have the highest open rates, while some of the lowest rates are found in subjects like entertainment (15.42%), arts/music (16.22%) and software (18.22%).

What Are the Benefits of Email-Social Media Integration? by eMarketer

In a recent study from Lyris, 34% of respondents “rated social media as the online marketing channel with the greatest positive effect when integrated with email, selected by 34%, compared with 29% who said web analytics and just 3% who said mobile marketing.” 54% said that integrating social media and email efforts made the overall results at least somewhat better. Facebook and Twitter are the social tools most commonly integrated with email campaigns.

Email and Social Media Integration Tips

The real definition of “social” email by iMedia Connection

Ben Ardito identifies the characteristics of social email and then explains how to capitalize on it by using email to share social content and encourage your recipients to pass it along.Social Media Sharing Icons

Email + social media buttons = increased CTRs by BizReport

Helen Leggatt reports on research showing that “the inclusion of social media sharing buttons in email generated click-through rates around 30% higher than email sent with no sharing options.” A Twitter button is the single most effective sharing option, but including multiple buttons generates the highest sharing rates.

What social media can teach us about email marketing by iMedia Connection

Ajay Goel believes email and social media will increasingly be used in an integrated, mutually supportive fashion, and offers five tips on how to use social media attributes to make email marketing more personable and effective.

Easy Ways to Socialize Your Email by Direct Magazine

Sherry Chiger offers seven suggestions for how to “leverage social media with email to increase audience reach, customer engagement and retention, and of course, revenue,” among them offering email subscribers coupons and discounts in exchange for following you on Facebook or other social media.

5 Ways To Combine Social Media And E-Mail Marketing To Double Your Online Impact by Business Insider

Gail Goodman notes that social media is timely and interactive, but also fleeting, while email is more intimate and archivable. She then details five considerations to keep in mind in order to maximize the impact of both channels, along with tactics like repurposing newsletter content in short snippets as social media messages.

7 tricks email can steal from social media by iMedia Connection

Ben Ardito offers seven tips for integrating email with social media (such as including customer reviews, and highlighting your people) “beyond simply adding links to your social media profiles or sending an email asking your subscribers to follow you on Twitter.”

Ten Lessons Social Media Marketers Can Learn from Email Marketers by Social Marketing Forum

J-P De Clerck details 10 characteristics shared by skilled email and social media marketers, such as relationship building, content sharing, trust earning and engagement.

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Nine Expert Guides to Local SEO

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Any business that primarily relies on customers within it’s local geographic area—which includes not just restaurants and dentists but also some types of b2b vendors, such as IT services and of course marketing and PR firms—needs to understand the ins and outs of local search engine optimization (SEO). As with SEO generally, keywords and content matter (though for local SEO that includes geography- or region-specific terms) and links play a significant role (though key link sources are different for local businesses).

Local Search Results in GoogleGiven that, as Laurie Sullivan reports below, “70% of survey respondents view search engines, online Yellow Pages or social networks as their primary sources of local business information,” how can you make your business stand out in local search? How can you optimize your site for Google Maps? How important is social media to local search success? If you decide to hire this out, what qualifications should you look for in a local SEO consultant or firm?

Find the answers to these questions and others here in nine of the best local SEO guides of the past year.

Local Search Optimization Interview with David Mihm by Vertical Measures Blog

Elise Redlin-Cook interviews David Mihm, COO of GetListed.org, about free, paid and niche local search directories, local search ranking factors and other key considerations for optimizing local search presence.

Guest Post: 3 Tips for Small Business Local Search Marketing by My Venture Pad

Brett Duncan explains how local search works, then offers tips on using links and reviews to optimize a site and “take control of your online reputation.”

How To Hire a Local SEO Consultant by Local SEO Guide

Achieving high rankings in local search isn’t always easy, particularly for highly competitive terms in large metropolitan markets. For those seeking professional help with local SEO, Andrew Shotland provides a list of 13 questions (and the types of answers you should look for) to help evaluate local search consultants. Example: “How do you communicate your effectiveness to me? The consultant should have a system that regularly communicates what they have done, what is going to be done and when.”Reporting an Error on Google Maps

How To Report A Google Maps Problem by Search Engine Guide

Miriam Ellis reports that while Google’s Maps feature isn’t perfect—nor is the search giant’s process for reporting errors—Google has at least improved the process for the latter. She explains how the Report a Problem feature works, and illustrates this with a real-world case.

Local Search 101: How to Obtain Top Results in Google Maps by Search Engine People

Speaking of Google Maps, in this post Stephanie Woods notes that “For many clients these Google map results garner more clicks than regular search results. This is a pretty big deal,” then steps through the process of optimizing your site for maps by claiming your Google Local listing, using local terms and keywords, getting listed in key local directories, and encouraging customer reviews.

Mobile And Social Dominating Local Search by MediaPost Online Media Daily

Laurie Sullivan reports on recent research showing that “70% of survey respondents view search engines, online Yellow Pages or social networks as their primary sources of local business information.” Nearly half of consumers start a local search for products or services with no specific business in mind. While only 9% of consumers rely on social networks to find local businesses, 93% of those consumers use Facebook to get that information.

7 Steps to Letting Locals Find You Online by MarketingProfs

Dana VanDen Heuvel provides a 7-step guide to getting found in local search, starting with including your city name in your website navigation and continuing through using local directory listings, reviews and social media.

Google Places - Exposure for Information

Top 10 Local Search Insights for the Moment by Search Engine Watch

Frank Watson takes a look at recent developments in the evolving landscape of local search, including Google Places (“Google gives local placement in return for having businesses fill in the information and building their yellow page killer for them”), mobile, Twitter, and consumer review sites.

The Basics of Local SEO – Whiteboard Friday by The Daily SEO Blog

Aaron Wheeler posts and outlines a whiteboard Friday presentation from Danny Dover covering what’s changed recently in local search (particularly on Google) and how to capitalize on that. Included is an excellent list of the most important factors in local search (topped by accessibility and content) and local search-specific considerations like review sites and local directories.

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