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Google Authorship is making big waves in the SEO and digital marketing worlds. Potentially showing your smiling face to searchers might sound like a gimmick, but it can establish trust with readers while improving CTR and can even redirect people back to more of your content. Eventually, possibly within the year, Authorship will contribute to Google’s Author Rank. Getting on board now can help you have a leg up, or keep you from being left too far behind.
The average tenure of a CMO has increased from 23.6 to 43 months since 2004 according to Spencer Stuart. That’s good news. Perhaps, companies are finally appreciating the business impact a CMO has. After all, if an organization is going to succeed, it’s got to grow its customer base, and nobody’s better at doing that than a strong marketer. Does longer tenure put more or less pressure on CMOs? If you have a longer tenure, you have greater pressure to live with results. With all of the data out there now, many expect greater accountability from CMOs to demonstrate strong analytic skills and the ability to measure return on investment (ROI). How are CMOs doing? Read the remainder of this entry »
SEO is dead! SEO is dead! It’s always a great headline, and I know, I know, you’ve heard this story before. Every time Google changes its algorithm or a new social media technique takes off, it’s tempting to say that SEO is dead. And, viewed narrowly enough (SEO is keywords in titles or SEO is links), any of these changes might mean that SEO is dead for you–if that is all SEO was to you. But let’s take a look at some signs that SEO is really dead. Read the remainder of this entry »
I teach a lot of online classes at various universities, constantly explaining the Do It Wrong Quickly (now being called agile marketing) approach to the digital marketing world. In one of my classes, on search marketing, a student lamented that my coaching to experiment, to try things, to take a guess and then see what happens before doing something else wouldn’t work at all in her organization. In fact, she told me point blank, “Taking a guess can get me fired!” First off, if guessing at Internet marketing can get you fired, you might be working for the wrong person. But assuming that you can actually reason with your boss, or that you can quit before he says “You’re Fired!” and go someplace else, here are the things you need to keep in mind as to why agile marketing is so important, especially for search marketing.
It is absolutely critical that you guess at search marketing because not doing so allows you to do some very bad things:
- Choose keywords that make no sense. Being forced to look at the right landing pages, rankings, and guessing at improvements caused you to realize that you have big problems to address, starting with the right keywords. The worst thing you can do in search marketing is to target the wrong keywords. If you are forced to tell people that you know what you are doing, then you are likely to stick with the wrong plan just to show that you weren’t an idiot without ever trying what is right.
- Stick with dumb paid search ads. Similar to keywords, if you decide to plan out what you are going to do and stick with it, you’ll never discover the best ad, because it is never the one that you try first. Only by experimenting can you figure out what to do.
- Assume things are OK when they are not. This is actually the worst of all of the problems, and it can happen in any kind of digital marketing, not just search. If you don’t take a guess at what improvement you will make, you have nothing to compare your actual results to, which prevents you from realizing that your improvements efforts might not be working.
The direct marketing principles underlying digital marketing are based on the idea that you project what you expect your results to be before doing anything, and then check to see whether it happened before deciding what to do next. Taking an educated guess is crucial to making the whole process work.
I know that it might feel that taking a guess is bad because you want to do something more accurate than taking a guess. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything more accurate. So, the real alternative to taking a guess is not to have any goal at all, which leads to the bad outcomes I outlined above.
I appreciate that guessing is uncomfortable, but it more comfortable than failing–really failing in your search marketing program. None of us wants to be wrong, but accepting that we mostly get things wrong will help us to eventually get them right. The right answer will only be found by actually doing the guessing for your sites, making changes, guessing again, and seeing how you do.
Think about it this way. When you first stepped up to a bowling alley, you had no idea how to hurl the bowling ball or where to aim it. You took a guess, probably a really bad one the first time. After a while, if you kept at it, you got better at it, until you felt as though you were doing more than just taking a guess–you had an idea of where to aim and where the ball was going. You could have taken all the online courses and read all the books in the world on bowling, but you were never going to succeed by just studying–you had to do it. And it probably wasn’t very comfortable to throw the first ball–you probably felt a bit embarrassed at how badly you did it–but it was the only way to really learn to bowl.
I am making you throw the ball in search marketing. And search marketing is even harder than bowling because the ball changes shape, you can’t see the pins, and they move. And you don’t know what a strike or a spare is, so you need to predict what you expect to happen ahead of time to see whether you are doing a good job or not.
It’s very uncomfortable and very difficult. But not doing it means you are guaranteed not to win and not to improve.
Yesterday’s monthly Biznology® Webinar was called “Global Search Marketing.” I talked for 30 minutes about how to optimize your Web site for a global audience. Lots of companies have products that can be sold outside their home country, but search marketing makes it easier than ever. Focus on what customers want, what content you need to persuade them, and how they can find it—those three keys will give you search marketing success in any country. If you’ve been unsure of whether you have what it takes to market globally, don’t miss this chance to find out. Read the remainder of this entry »