Thursday, July 31, 2008
Just for a laugh I vanity valuated myself against our current SFIMA President Joe Laratro, guess who's more famous (or would that be more vain?).
Click to try vanity validator here.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
SFIMA has a new YouTube channel for you to check out all of the event videos and leave comments, etc. You can subscribe to the channel and then you will be alerted anytime a new video is posted. Check out: www.youtube.com/sfima
Sunday, July 27, 2008
The topic came to his attention from a story posted at Search Engine Land pointing out that Google has an "unsatisfactory" record with The Better Business Bureau. How can a company voted "top global brand" in 2008 at the same time have an unsatisfactory record with the BBB? Apparently because out of 331 complaints filed against the search giant over the past three years, 2 were listed as unresolved. that's right - just 2! Despite this, Google continues to lead the way in search and nothing on the horizon seems to be able to change that.
Now that probably gets many people wondering a big fat WHAT???? Not only has Search Engine Land written about this topic of Google and the BBB. I love Owen Thomas' reaction over at ValleyWag.com: We can just imagine Googlers' complaints: "How unfair! How bureaucratic! We demand to know the algorithm that has generated this result!"
I can only imagine the ridiculous complaints they must get! Sure some of them may be viable complaints, maybe from advertisers, I'm sure there is more than one complaint on click fraud for AdWords clients, but really, what do people expect the BBB to do about this? And is anyone going to not use Google anymore for search or perhaps be stupid enough to not advertise on Google? As an online marketer today, ignoring Google is just shooting yourself in the foot! (Not that I am giving SEO advice here whatsoever, just stating the obvious!)
What do SFIMA members think about the BBB and online review services in general? If you see my comments over at SearchEngineGuide, you will see that I am all for revising their model from the current concept today, which I usually usually use a different acronym for that includes a B and an S.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Anythinggoes? The Impact Of New ICANN Vanity Top-Level Domains
by Rob Garner , Wednesday, July 16, 2008
AS IF MARKETING ON our little Worldwide-Interweb / Series of Tubes wasn't already wild enough, the governing body over all Internet domain names just held a vote to ensure that things will get a little wilder. Or at least a bit more confusing for users, IT departments, marketing departments, enterprise natural search marketers and trademark interests. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ( ICANN) voted at its June meeting in Paris to open up root level generic Top-Level Domains to private entities. In addition to commonly known extensions -- such as .com, .net, and .org -- individuals, corporations and non-profits may apply for .anything, or literally any word or phrase not taken that contains three or more characters. This decision will allow major corporations to own and host their Web presence off their own root level domain, such as .google, .apple, .search, and also control sub-domains (search.google, iphone.apple, bob.smith, etc.). Applicants would have their choice of running a hosted sited on the Top Level Domain (TLD), or opening up the TLD for registrations.
Though it will likely be 18 months before we see the first rollout of a vanity TLD, there will be many implications for marketers and consumers, particularly with the threat to natural search engine presence that accompanies moving a legacy domain name. It also appears to be yet another headache for brand and trademark monitoring, except these defensive registrations come at a much higher price tag.
The lure of a vanity TLD is great for some marketers, so over the next two columns I will discuss some of the challenges that the new TLDs might bring, covering fees and registration process, and the search implications of maintaining a top level domain.
A few examples of the possibilities
So what does the concept of a vanity TLD mean to marketers and major corporations? Fundamentally, it means the following domains could exist as a location for a corporate Web presence:
Or these generics:
From here, you can let your imagination run wild. The possibilities have left many corporate marketers and IT professionals chomping at the bit to get in line for the application process.
The problem with maintaining positive search equity in a gTLD move
Moving a Web site from a .com or other legacy TLD to a new extension such as www.Domain.Brand has many implications from a natural search optimization standpoint. Many of the same rules for moving between secondary domains (ex. acmewidgets.com to acme.com) apply to moving from a secondary domain to a managed vanity TLD (ex. mediapost.com to home.mediapost). Accrued search indexing history, domain age (with a live Web site running), and the legacy inbound back links pointing to the existing domain are just a few considerations for maintaining positive search equity.
Major brands with a positive search legacy on their Brand.com are at a great advantage over direct and indirect competitors in natural search, based on the authority that search engines have granted to their domains. While newer or less authoritative sites may take months or years to obtain a ranking or any significant flow of traffic from search engines, a legacy domain can obtain competitive rankings within days, or sometimes hours or minutes, simply by deploying keyword-themed content.
If you are considering moving to a new .Brand or .Generic TLD, there is potentially a great risk to search history and positive natural search engine optimization performance. If you are considering creating a new architecture on many different secondary domains banked on a vanity TLD, ask yourself the same questions as if you were considering re-architecting a site on all sub-domains (for example, see Microsoft.com subdomains).
If you missed the meeting or would just like a visual review of what went on, check out this video and learn a little bit about targeting local customers and clients through online marketing.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
|Google Study: Search Marketing Increases Brand Value|
|by Gavin O'Malley, Friday, Jul 18, 2008 7:00 AM ET|
|More than merely a direct-response tool, search marketing is a great brand-building vehicle for consumer packaged goods advertisers. That was the key finding from a new study just released by Google entitled "Brand Value of Search." |
"Typically, ROI models for search don't give any value to a search impression, but this study finds that there's brand value in a search impression, particularly in top-of-mind awareness and purchase intent," said Kevin Kells, Google's CPG Industry Director.
About 2,400 survey respondents were exposed to one generic search term such as "drinks," or "make-up," followed by a brand survey designed to measure brand impact in the areas of aided brand awareness, unaided brand awareness, purchase consideration, and purchase intent.
Most surprising, according to Kells, was the decrease in awareness when a brand did not appear in one of four key product categories-- beverage, cosmetic, food/snack, household cleaning/laundry--and its competitor did.
The findings, said Kells, support "the need for ROI models of search to include the impression--not just the click--to value the effectiveness of a search campaign in CPG."
Overall, brand presence anywhere on a search results page positively impacts key brand metrics, Google found, while marketers have greater control over their message with paid search--especially on a generic search term.
As a branding vehicle, paid search strives for top-of-mind awareness for clients' brand, and negatively impacts awareness for their competitive set, while impressions provide "free" brand lift, without the CPC investment.
Going forward, one of the areas that is ripe for further exploration is "media mix modeling that includes search and a look at the impact over time--two weeks out, one month out, etc." according to Kells.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Lisa Buyer of the Buyer Group Joins SFIMA
Deerfield Beach, FL (PRWEB) July 16, 2008 -- Florida Interactive PR agency President and CEO, Lisa Buyer (http://www.thebuyergroup.com/lisa-buyer)has joined South Florida Interactive Marketing Association (http://www.sfima.com/about.asp) (SFIMA), South Florida's largest forum for online marketing and PR professionals. As founder of the interactive public relations (http://www.thebuyergroup.com/public-relations) and branding agency The Buyer Group, Lisa brings her search engine savvy expertise to the group as well as her knowledge, experience and resources gained as the co-founder of three previous corporate communications agencies.
Joe Laratro (http://tandem-interactive.blogspot.com/), President of SFIMA, says, "We welcome The Buyer Group to SFIMA. It is essential for the continued success of our organization to gain more influential members in the digital marketing space to compliment our other vendors and client side marketers."
SFIMA hosts monthly events designed to encourage networking and communication among professionals from South Florida's most progressive companies. Additionally, annual social events are held to help members to build client bases.
Topics discussed at SFIMA meetings include: Email marketing, Ad exchanges, Web 2.0 trends and stats, Paid search, and Online video marketing.
"This is an exciting time to be in the world of online media," said Lisa Buyer. "I look forward to the knowledge exchange opportunities and meeting other professionals interested in this ever-expanding field of interactive marketing."
Monday, July 14, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
eMarketer -- Web 2.0 Trends and Stats: Separating the Hype from Reality
This will be SFIMA's largest educational event of the year. Sponsored by Gunster Yoakley.
Join 300 other South Florida marketers for a sit down dinner, networking, and an insightful presentation by an extremely relevant and important figurehead in our industry. The FDMA and AMA South have partnered with SFIMA for this event. Seats are limited!
Between social networking, online video, podcasts, widgets, viral campaigns, the latest search techniques and a renewed interest in mobile advertising, marketers today are plenty busy – and plenty confused – about which online trends are important and how to best leverage them for their brands.
eMarketer CEO Geoff Ramsey will cut through the clutter of contradictory statistics to give you clarity and insight about how to optimize your interactive marketing programs. Be prepared to step outside your day-to-day comfort zone and get a 30,000-foot view of the digital marketing landscape – all supported by hard numbers and case studies from a wealth of researchers and industry trend leaders.
This presentation will answer tough questions that will save you time and help shape your marketing strategies this year, and beyond:
- The business and trade press are going gaga over widgets, but what are they really and how can they do a marketer's bidding?; Do they represent a big marketing opportunity, or a small blip for a select few advertisers?
- Is it true that word-of-mouth techniques can serve as a powerful tool to extend your reach and bolster your credibility, and at a far less cost than traditional media?
- Why is that if you only invest in paid search, you are missing 75% of your online marketing opportunity?
- What are the best practices today for leveraging social network sites?; What are the mistakes to avoid?; Why is travel an ideal category for using social network techniques?
- Is the rush to online video marketing a fad, or a fantastic opportunity?; Which kinds of products and services will benefit most?
- Should you be investing on virtual worlds like Second Life, or sitting this trend out?
Geoff Ramsey, Co-Founder, CEO
Geoff Ramsey is one of the Internet's most exciting digital marketing visionaries. As CEO and Co-Founder of eMarketer, Geoff is on the cutting edge of new research statistics, trends and best practice, covering every aspect of marketing in the digital age. He is frequently quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CNN, BusinessWeek, Business 2.0 and Advertising Age.
A highly regarded speaker with an engaging presentation style, Geoff speaks at major industry and corporate events around the globe, including ad:tech, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the Conference Board, the Economist Conferences, Yahoo!, Google, OMMA and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). Prior to starting eMarketer, Geoff worked at several large New York ad agencies, including TBWA and Ogilvy & Mather, where he ran multinational accounts for brands including Procter & Gamble, Kraft General Foods, M&M Mars and AT&T.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I just recently was told about www.GoodSearch.com. It is sponsored by Yahoo! and returns regular Yahoo! search results, however, the great thing about it is that you can set it up for any number of charities to receive donations every time you search - one penny at a time.
I am sure most of you, like me, perform dozens of searches per day, being online all the time; and I cannot think of a better way, or an easier way to raise funds for my favorite charity. Have more than one charity you would like to donate to with your searches? No problem, you can change your charity or leave the default and GoodSearch.com features a different charity every day.
Maybe you already knew about GoodSearch? I just researched it and found out they have been around since early 2006, raising money for charities one search at a time! I just heard about it and thought I would pass on the word.
Maybe you are not a big searcher? That's ok, they also have GoodShop.com, which has many different online retailers that donate a percentage of the sale to your chosen charity.
There are many ways they have listed that you can get involved and help the charity of your choice with GoodSearch.com.
I am a little late this month on posting the video from the June event on Reaching the Hispanic Market. Since the event was in Miami, lets just say I'm on "Miami time" for posting the video! It was a great event in Downtown Miami with an extremely informative and knowledgeable panel. This video really highlights the event, so if you missed it, check out the video and see what you missed. You can also see my review of the meeting on the SFIMA blog as well.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Thanks to our event sponsor Centro!
All I can say is WOW! The SFIMA event this past Thursday night was a great one! There seemed to be so much positive, high energy in the room, maybe that is due to the over 130 people that attended, making it a packed house event! There were lots of familiar faces and many new ones as well, so it was a nice mix of people to network with.
The moderator for the panel: Joe Laratro of Tandem-Interactive and your SFIMA President.
The panel members:
Dave Carberry of Platform-A
Shawn Riegsecker of Centro
John Ferber of USO Networks
Owen Weed of Ingenio & YellowPages.com
Joe asked the panel several questions. Here are a few of the questions and a few of the answers:
Q: What sites are best for local search?
All panelists mentioned that Google, MSN & Yahoo! were imperative, but each one discussed some more niche engines and directories that can be targeted for local marketers:
Dave Carberry spoke about Google 1 Box, retailers can customize local listings, upload photos, etc. And supplied the list of directories and engines below.
John Ferber agreed that the major portals are critical, especially Google's Universal search which is now at 60%.
Owen Weed cited YellowPages.com as a great resource for local and it is very user focused. he also pointed to the Google other links at the top left of Google results, such as images, news, shopping and more.
Shawn Riegsecker mentioned that besides the directories and major portals, to look at social media sites to promote your local business.
Q: What are some tips to rank for local search?
Owen Weed suggested making sure that you have different ad content for each search engine.
John Ferber suggested a Wiki entry, web based press releases, and to make sure you appear in the Yahoo! Directory.
Dave Carberry suggested Yahoo! Paid Inclusion. Its the only opportunity you have to control the organic listings and you have a 48 hour turn around for changes, updates, or seasonal sales, etc.
Q: What changes have you seen over time?
Shawn Riegsecker said "search is incredibly important".
Owen Weed talked about Pay Per Call being a new and innovative way to reach local customers.
Live Support online is a great tool to reach your customers and give them that local, hands on feel.
Look for niche directories that would apply to your product or service.
Dave Carberry of Platform A (the company formerly known as Advertising.com) was gracious enough to supply us a list of local directories that your local business should be listed in:
Here are the companies that do directory listings
Here is a list of directories that should be targeted
Here's what some of the event attendees are saying:
Zach Hoffman from SEO.cc said: "We are really big into local search at our firm so it was awesome to hear from key players in the industry."
Anyone else have a review or a comment? Please drop a quick line to shari at extremehalloween.com. Thanks!
A packed room at SFIMA's July Event in Ft. Lauderdale
Board Member Travis Berger of NBC6.net talks about her role as the sponsorship chair.
Our Local Advertising Panel from L to R:
Dave Carberry, John Ferber, Shawn Riegsecker, Owen Weed
The panel spoke to a standing room only crowd!
Dinner & Drinks after the SFIMA meeting.
Friday, July 11, 2008
And did I mention, its in Las Vegas?? That's right! Vegas, Baby! How can you not have fun in Vegas?
PubCon 2008 will be at the Las Vegas Hilton Convention Center
November 11 - 14, 2008
That's right, after you are done partying at SFIMA's NNE on November 7th, pack your bags and let the party continue in Vegas at PubCon!
The current early rate, now through August 1, 2008 is only $899, that includes the complete conference package, parties, keynote speakers, classes, exhibit hall, and the Friday PubCon Classic event.
Be sure to check out the PubCon blog for updates, information, and special announcements, like last week's special hotel rate for PubCon at Treasure Island.One special event that was a first for PubCon last year was Bloggers Night Out. Orchestrated by Joe Morin, this event allowed bloggers to get free "press passes" to some of Vegas' hottest shows simply in exchange for posting a review of the show on their blog. Fellow SFIMA member Amanda Stewart and I went to see Mystere together.
So who's going? Lets get a big Florida crew together for PubCon 2008!
On July 7, 2008, new CAN SPAM Act provisions, approved by the Federal Trade Commission, go into effect.
The new rule provisions address four topics:
1. Unsubscribe Requirements: In the new rules, the FTC states that an email recipient cannot be required to pay a fee, provide information other than his or her email address and opt-out preferences, or take any steps other than sending a reply email message or visiting a single Internet Web page to opt out of receiving future email from a sender. This will impact senders that currently require their subscribers to provide a password or visit more than one web page to unsubscribe. We recommend marketers utilize a One-Click Unsubscribe mechanism or link directly to their subscription center to manage this process.
2. Definition of "Sender": Under CAN-SPAM, a "sender" is defined as the entity whose goods or services are advertised in a commercial email message. The new rules provide a clearer definition of "sender", and make it easier to determine which of multiple parties advertising in a single email message is responsible for complying with the Act's opt-out requirements. Those mailing on behalf of other advertisers or including advertising in their messages should take note of these changes. Generally speaking, the new rules state that the sole sender appearing in the "from" line of the email becomes the designated sender of the message, and therefore must comply with all provisions of the Act (such as listing a physical postal address and providing an opt-out mechanism).
3. Post Office Box Allowed: A "sender" of commercial email can include an accurately-registered post office box or private mailbox to satisfy the Act's requirement that a commercial email display a "valid physical postal address."
4. Liability Clarifications: The definition of the term" person" was added to clarify that CAN-SPAM's obligations are not limited to natural persons. The scope of the Act includes individuals, groups, unincorporated associations, corporations, and non-profits. There is no exemption from CAN-SPAM for any of these groups.
ExactTarget and SFIMA recommends consulting your own counsel to learn how these changes specifically impact your email program. You can also download ExactTarget's new CAN SPAM compliance white paper for more information.
To quickly summarize, I quote from an email I received from TRUSTe:
These provisions clarify the Act's requirements and address the four following topics:
- Stricter opt-out requirements which could require changes to your current practices.
- Modifications to the definition of "sender"
- Changes to the definition of a "valid physical postal address"
- Liability clarifications: A definition of the term "person" was added to broaden the scope of liability
In addition to new provisions, the Commission also commented on a number of other items that are not formal rules. Read more...
Search Engine Marketing Today
A Search Engine Marketing program in today's market should create an Online Marketing campaign with key strategies to bring highly qualified visitors to your website from the major search engines. Search Engine Marketing targets visitors that are expressing interest in your products or services by asking the search engines for information related to your field.
A common practice in Search Engine Marketing today is Search Engine Optimization - SEO – the strategy of creating a website as a relevant source in regards to a websites information. This allows your website to appear on the search engine in the area many associate as being the search engine‘s choice website as a source of information.
Traditional SEO complimented by a Sponsored Search campaign commonly referred to as PPC - Pay-Per-Click or CPC – Cost-Per-Click marketing allows companies to target keywords beyond what their website may currently focus on. Sponsored Search also allows a website owner to have a flexible strategy when it comes to choosing the keywords they would like to attract visitors for or the geographic area they would like to target.
Search Engine Optimization and Sponsored Search combined create a complete SEM - Search Engine Marketing strategy. Search Engine Marketing gives many visitors the impression that your website is a qualified information source because it is at the top of the search engines.
The quality of website visitor traffic can vary based on your website positioning. When being placed at the top of the search engine you are most likely to attract an active and ready to act shopper. Whereas being placed on the second or third page of the search engine you are more likely to attract a researching visitor.
A complete Search Engine Marketing solution should encompass both Search Engine Optimization and Sponsored Search on the major search engines.
Once a visitor arrives at your website you want them to perceive you as a relevant source of information. You are already in the consumers’ mind relevant to a specific topic because the user found you on the major search engines. The next step in the communication channel is developing a relationship.
When a visitor arrives on your website it is important they find relevant content. Visitors to your website can represent many objectives in the online world, including turning a visitor into a lead or sale. When creating your online marketing strategy for your business it is important to focus on the results you would like to see your website deliver – leads or sales –it is also important to create a concise message that you would like your visitor’s to receive.
Qualified website visitors can arrive from both types of search engine marketing, Search Engine Optimization and Sponsored Search Marketing. We find the best way to test Search Engine Marketing and its effectiveness, is by starting with a Sponsored Search Marketing campaign and using the data collected in your campaign to create the strategy for your Search Engine Optimization campaign. A Search Engine Optimization campaign is not as dynamic for targeting as a Sponsored Search Marketing campaign, though a Search Engine Optimization campaign will mark your site as a relevant source for information.
By Zach Hoffman
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Lets all stay connected through all of our social media and online connections! If you are ever needing any connections, help or assistance from others in the online interactive world, SFIMA is a great resource for staying connected.
The SFIMA LinkedIn Group already has well over 500 members in it!
Let's get connected and stay connected!
SFIMA is also on Facebook!
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
I know that many SFIMA members and meeting attendees will travel from Boca, West Palm or Miami to get to this week's meeting in Ft. Lauderdale.
We are so good at networking with each other, so I had the idea of using the blog or our Facebook page to try and set up a Car Pool List of some sort.
If you know anyone that lives or works near you, why not contact them about car pooling together! It will help with the gas issue and its always more fun to travel together!
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
While this seems like really good news to the lovers of Flash Web sites. There is still a major issue as it relates to Search Engine Optimization. Flash Web sites are usually contained within one compiled swf file. That means when the Search Engines "search" through the file it will still only appear as content on one Web page. The ability to rank on many keyword phrases will be extremely limited when compared to a robust HTML Web site.
This is still a step in the right direction. Google has been able to index links and other content within Flash files for some time. It is nice to see the collaboration with Adobe.
Your SFIMA President,