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gmailThe idea of an email marketing campaign is to grab the reader’s attention through a compelling headline and keep pounding them with relevant information and tantalizing offers until they cave in and buy into your product or service. In a nutshell you need to make your emails unavoidable and irresistible.

Emails always drop in order of delivery, so if you send enough marketing emails to a person you can guarantee a top spot or two in your target’s inbox at one stage or another during the campaign, yet what if there was a force working against you that not only made sure you never made the top spot, but made sure all your targeted emails were way down on the list?

gmail emailEnter Google Priority Inbox. This intelligent little monster uses algorithmic techniques to automatically capture and organize “important” emails and de-emphasize other email. It is not a spam filter, but an automated organization tool that could very well upset your web site promotion internet marketing strategy. Google had this to say about its new baby:

Gmail’s servers look at several types of information to identify the email that’s important to you, including who you email and chat with most, how often you email with these people, and which keywords appear frequently in the emails you read.

If Priority Inbox makes a mistake, you can use the clip_image002 clip_image004 buttons to correctly mark a conversation as important or not important, and Priority Inbox will quickly learn what you care about most.

So, you can see just how targeted web site promotion internet marketing emails will get pushed to the bottom of the pile as the priority system relegates promotional emails. Rather than simply reading emails in order as most people tend to do, the unimportant stuff will get pushed into the “everything else” category and may never get read.

See for yourself here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nt3gE9dGHQ&feature=player_embedded#!

A couple of weeks ago I spoke about the benefits of the new Yahoo Answers search facility as an internet marketing solution. YA search allows you to search via keywords related to your industry and get a daily notification email so you can be reactive. Yahoo Answers announced it had reached 200m users in 2009, and they probably thought they had the whole Q&A thing locked down, that was until Facebook unravelled their latest plans.

With 500m people already using Facebook, the new Facebook Questions facility could make Yahoo Answers look a little shy on followers. Then again, as internet marketing companies know all too well, quality beats quantity every time. It’s all good having 500m potential users, but just how many of those users will ditch a game of Poker or Farmville or even an IM to ask a question on Facebook?

When Facebook Questions is rolled out to users the question facility will be on the wall page as follows:

clip_image002

As you can see, “your question will be visible to everyone”. This is a smart tactic to ensure people know the facility is there and that others are using it. Facebook automatically tags the question using words from your post. Your question is then freely available for the community to answer

Once the question has been posted you have three options that only show up after the initial question has been posted:

  • Add description
  • Add photo
  • Add poll options

This adds another internet marketing solution to the armoury of SEO soldiers. This facility will work nicely as a freebie alongside Facebook PPC. No doubt internet marketing companies will be focussing heavily on this feature over the coming months to monitor its performance against Yahoo Answers.

Obviously the social aspect of Facebook is where it has a distinct advantage over rivals. Okay, Yahoo does have a friends’ network but the familiar “x has just answered a question”, or, “x has just asked a question”, will promote interaction amongst friends and drive the popularity of the Facebook Questions facility.

The question herein lies, do we as the consumer want a one size fits all website, or do we like having different pockets for different activities. Personally I feel the latter suits my personality. Facebook for global friendship updates, questions at Yahoo, analytics at Google and videos at YouTube. What do you think?

There are a million and one gurus on the Internet all with their own take on what will make you successful, and when it comes to business we all want to make sure we are following the right advice. What tends to happen is, over the years we accumulate subscriptions to numerous newsletters and e-lists, either through sites we signed up to or products we bought, we then get lost in a maze of spam and fail to be able to recognise the fluff from the gold dust. If you are getting spammed with junk, confused by all the conflicting e-advice and don’t have a clue what system to believe, follow these 5 rules to avoid the bu**S**t.

Rule 1: Organise and Expel The Riff-Raff

Redirect all your newsletters and e-blasts to an entirely new email account and Read more

By the end of this month the Google social search mechanism will be completely rolled out. For those of you that don’t know what this is, let me give you the heads up. It has actually been in test phase for quite some time – the last quarter of 2009 I believe.  Now, by social search I don’t mean real time results  from random people on Twitter, I mean social search as in connecting you to content created by people in your social circle.

What is Your Social Circle?

Your social circle is people you are connected to through Googlemail, Twitter, people you follow in Google reader, Flickr and other social mediums. Google will now display blog posts, profiles, images and other content from members of your social circle when you conduct a search. Be aware though that you may be shown friends of your Twitter friends or slightly random people you wouldn’t expect to pop up – but this is intentional and will also be related to you in some way. The idea is to broaden your social circle and discover other people with stuff to share that you will genuinely be interested in.

To give you an example of how it works; if you were my friend and connected via twitter, gmail, etc. and you typed in ‘Search Engine Optimisation’, you might see the following:

Google Social Results

Why Are Google Introducing Social Search?

Well, believe or not we like to follow each other, I don’t mean on Facebook I mean in reading, buying and browsing trends. For example, if I was buying a new mp3 player I would more than likely want to know what the people in my social circle thought about mp3 players and what brand of player people had been purchasing. One of my social circle may have written a “best mp3 players” blog post, and another may have recently purchased and reviewed an mp3 player on Amazon. This would surely help me to buy with more confidence, and with affiliate marketing and fake reviews making it all but impossible to source honest information, this is great news in terms of reliability.  In a roundabout way Google social search is putting control back in the hands of the browser, allowing us to trust content again and operate within search boundaries. Or is it? I mean you can hardly trust friends of friends on Twitter or someone you liked on Flikr. I guess what this really means is, we now need to be extra careful who we ‘socially’ connect with.

SEO CopywritingAs you probably are aware, content is becoming increasingly important to SEO strategy. Gone are the days when stuffing keywords and stringing long invisible phrases together were capable of fooling the search engines into high rankings. Nowadays SEO content writing is an art, and if you want to succeed online in 2011 you need to understand how to write good webpage copy, good articles, good blog posts and even good social media updates. Here are 13 lucky SEO content writing tips to get you started in 2011:

  1. Take time to devise reader grabbing titles and sub-headings.
  2. Pay attention to detail – do thorough research to make sure you look expert not amateur.
  3. Be unique – don’t plagiarise other articles and bring new life to common subject matters. Read more

SEO in 2011A little while ago a web designer I hadn’t seen for some time said to me during a conversation about that, “SEO is pretty basic stuff, it’s not hard”. Needless to say I had to correct this very misguided statement, not only because it isn’t true but also to save him from becoming one of those designers who promises a client that they can do design and SEO all in one package – and then fail miserably. On the face of it on-page SEO might seem quite easy, just copy what other successful websites in your sector of industry do, right? If only that were the case, then web designers would be instantly become Read more

If you an online retailer who in recent years hasn’t done much business over the Christmas period, or perhaps you run a non-product related site, you may be looking forward to putting your feet up over Crimbo and taking some much needed time away from emails, CMS updating and analytics. Whilst I don’t begrudge you a break, my advice is not to be too neglectful for too long. One SEO obvious trend we have seen from Google this year is one of requiring regular content – or at the minimum regular subtle change – to ensure stable SERP positioning. Therefore, resting your website over the Christmas period may result in ranking slips.

Another reason for making this an SEO Christmas is, Read more

“72% of People Only Conduct Search on Page 1”

Last month I conducted a survey amongst my friends, clients, Facebook followers and business associates, asking them how many pages they were prepared to drill down in Google to find a description or link that looked most relevant to what they were looking for. I surveyed 106 people, which is arguably a small pool to survey, but the results I feel are representative of the current search climate. The results were as follows:

  • Only page 1: 72%
  • No further than page 2: 19%
  • No further than page 3: 8%
  • Whatever it takes to find the best description: 1%

In truth I am surprised at the amount Read more

Everyman and his dog have a blog these days, in fact this amateur past time is giving Andy Warhole’s ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ quote new life. Over night blog stars emerge daily and businesses achieve notoriety through daily posting and crafty integrated SEO. Contrary to popular belief, blogging isn’t a fast way to cash or fame. Most blogs are pretty much ignored both by people and search engines, but with good reason. So how can you make sure your mum isn’t the number 1 and only fan of your blog?

  1. Use an SEO Friendly CMS
    If you aren’t savvy with HTML then you should choose an SEO friendly CMS like WordPress. Some are ‘out of the box’ more SEO friendly than others. For example, Google Blogger for all its simplicity really isn’t SEO friendly unless you know how to configure the main HTML template, and even then ability to manipulate each individual post is seriously lacking. Read more

Forget the Google keyword tool this holiday season and forget hiring a website marketing service to do help you decide on your product promotions strategy. If you want to conduct some really fast, accurate and free market research then get your self over to Amazon’s best sellers section. Go to the Amazon.com home page, scroll down to Features & Services – Amazon Exclusives – Amazon Bestsellers. Here you will find a sea of free information, all collated courtesy of Amazon. Check out the books bestsellers list below for reference

Fast keyword Research

In the ‘best sellers’ section you can find the best sellers for every category and you can even Read more

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