Archive for June, 2011
No official word yet from Google
A couple weeks ago, Google’s Matt Cutts talked about a new iteration of Google’s Panda update, which he said was already approved and would be hitting soon. The update has been commonly referred to throughout the search industry as “Panda 2.2″.
This version is expected to more heavily address the issue of scraped content, an issue that continues to plague the web and Google’s search results (the scraped content often ranks higher than the original) even post-Panda. Cutts is quoted as saying in a liveblog of an SMX Advanced session, “A guy on my team [is] working on that issue. A change has been approved that should help with that issue. We’re continuing to iterate on Panda. The algorithm change originated in search quality, not the web spam team.”
Google has not made any announcements or references indicating that the update has gone live yet, but webmasters are thinking it might have been released. Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable points to a WebmasterWorld thread, where there is a mix of webmasters claiming they have suffered from the alleged update and some that have recovered. One said, “I’ve recovered as of 36 hours ago. Day1 of recovery, traffic doubled, adsense tripled Day2 of recovered, 4 hours in, traffic has doubled again, back to my best levels of 18 months ago.”
Cutts said he didn’t know when Panda would be launched internationally (in other languages), and that Google has made no manual exceptions with the update, meaning all sites have been affected solely by algorithmic tweaks – none by hand. ”
It’s important to note that Google makes algorithmic adjustments every day, and sometimes even more than once a day. Obviously not all updates get the attention the Panda update has received, but you never know when some adjustment can impact your site’s rankings for better or for worse.
Social media ROI has remained elusive for numerous marketers despite their best efforts to develop a calculation that will prove the business value of the allotted social media resources.
Through a new feature in Google Analytics, some customization to your Google Analytics tracking, and diligent work on the part of your social media team, the ROI of your social media efforts can be discovered using Google Analytics. To get to the point where you can calculate social media ROI, there are four steps that need to be taken.
Step 1: Implement Proper Social Media Tracking
Ensure that you’ll have the ability to segment revenue that’s generated through social sources by your internal direct efforts and revenue that resulted through external social means. In other words, revenue that’s generated as a result of links your team placed on social sites and revenue generated through links placed by people outside your company.
In order to measure your direct impact, you need to ensure you’re always using campaign tracking on any links you put out on social media sites that point back to one of your sites. It’s a fairly easy process, but one that can be a bit tedious to manage at the outset. Once you’re in the habit of always adding campaign tracking, it will become second nature and the results will be well worth the effort.
Google offers a simple URL builder tool to help create campaign tracking strings, but you should either build your own tool or creating one in Excel that allows you to manage the names that are used for each parameter. This is very important because you don’t want to cause yourself reporting headaches by using different names for parameters that should be the same.
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Testimonials are a significant marketing tool.
It’s been our experience that asking for a testimonial can be a long and arduous process. Sometimes it seems easier to just ask a friend to repeat after you, or invent a statement that touches on all your key selling features.
The value of a real testimonial can’t be stressed enough in our opinion.
Sometimes getting one is really difficult. I’ve been asked to write testimonials for people I’ve worked with and it’s hard! Instead, we’ve found writing down a client’s comments after a positive discussion and then sending it to them asking for their approval to use their statements to be the most effective.
When someone else basically writes it for me after speaking with me, it’s easy to just reply “approved!” It is in my own words, and expresses what I wanted to say as part of a conversation rather then having fight writers block.
In terms of fake or testimonials written from friends, we always suggest avoiding them. Sometimes potential clients will want to speak to the person who provided such a rave review. If you have a good relationship with your clients, they’re often willing to network with others who are also interested in using your services.
What could be a better sales tool than that?