The Ever-Changing Landscape of Online Marketing

Many Internet marketing professionals and advertising gurus are well aware of search engine optimization, or SEO. Marketing in the digital age is a constantly evolving learning process, with new technology and trends that seem to crop up with a high level of frequency. While search engine marketing is still very much an important part of a successful online advertising and marketing campaign, one must also embrace social media.

SMO, or social media optimization, is an integral branch of online marketing and cannot simply be ignored. Diving into the world of social media marketing can be overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it, the benefits will make the effort completely worthwhile.

Anyone can have a blog or a Facebook and Twitter account, and many businesses do. However, effectively operating these social media accounts takes time, effort and patience. The key to having a strong presence is the ability to create shareable content. If you currently have personal social media accounts, you've no doubt seen links to interesting articles or blogs posted by your connections. Perhaps you've even shared links that you found intriguing so you could discuss it with others in your network. In a business account, linking to someone else's content is an important way to spark debate and engage your readers. However, actually creating the content yourself makes you the authority on the subject. If you create engaging and interesting content, others will want to share it with their network. In short, the better your content is, the more people will link to it and pass it on to their friends.

Sharing your content should be easy. If you have a blog, you should also include a bookmarking link or widget at the bottom or top of each post. These links allow the user to easily share the link to their connections through Facebook, Twitter, social bookmarking sites like Digg and Reddit, or through email. The easier you make it for your network to share the information, the more likely they will.

Creating shareable content is only the first step in running an effective SM campaign. It is not enough to write a blog and rest on your laurels. You must actively participate in the follow up discussions that arise from your post. Be sure to openly discuss ideas and points of view from your readers. The whole point of social media is to be "social." Your audience will accept you as a member of their network if you treat them as peers and not a one-way source of information. Sharing and discussing ideas is how new inventions and new methods are devised.

If you are a business owner who is not currently utilizing and social media techniques in your marketing strategy, you're missing out. Anybody can set up a social media account on any number of popular websites. But learning lessons in Social Media Optimization and shareable content will enable you to make the most out of your online presence.

Mr. Abernathy is a marketing agent of NetSearch Direct. For more information on their Search Engine Marketing services please visit their website.
By Bill Abernathy

A Steady Stream of Website Traffic

You may have asked yourself whether you truly need SEO (search engine optimization) on your website. What you should be asking yourself is whether or not you want people to visit your site. Of course, the answer is yes. You want your website to have traffic from people who are interested in the product or service you are offering, and you want that traffic to be constant, bringing new visitors to your site each day.

If you want your site to experience growth and popularity, yes, you do need SEO. You cannot take for granted that people will be able to find you in the vast sea of the Internet without you doing something to reach out to them. They want to find you and buy what you're selling, but if you don't stand out you'll blend into the background. They'll never find your site without some basic search engine optimization. SEO allows your company website to stand out amongst the pack so your products and services are highlighted for your target audience and potential customer base.

What SEO does for your website is what product placement does for a brand in a grocery store. Think of your website as a box of cereal. Where on the grocery store shelf would you like your cereal placed? Well, if your cereal were geared toward children, you most likely wouldn't want it behind the corn flakes on the top shelf. You want your children's cereal prominently displayed on the lower shelves - the perfect height for children to see. You've got the funny cartoon character on the box, but it would do no good being on behind the adult cereals on the upper level - out of reach of your target customer.

When you think about websites being placed on a virtual shelf, where do you want yours? Search Engine Optimization places your website on the most accessible shelf for your customers so they can find it easily - and find it first. There are millions upon millions of websites (and billions of web pages). However, if you run a search in Google, you are presented with a page of ten websites that match your criteria. Think about your Google searching habits. How often do you search for something and explore past the first page of results? Sometimes? How often do you go past the 3rd page? Probably never. So how do those first ten results get to be first amongst the millions? SEO.

The answer to your question can't be any clearer: Yes, you need search engine optimization if you want a website that receives a constant stream of highly-targeted traffic. The traffic can translate into products or services sold, which equals dollars in your pocket. It is important to remember that SEO and good design go hand in hand, so make sure your website is optimally structured so once the visitor is at your site, he or she can easily find what they are looking for.
By Bill Abernathy

Labels: ,

The Many Benefits of Search Engine Optimization

Keywords are a very important part that determines the success, or failure thereof, of a website. However, it isn't the keywords alone within the content that would rank a website in the top positions when a search query is conducted with the keyword or keyword phrase in it. Content has to be relevant and informative, with the keywords flowing naturally within the content. This will significantly enhance the information.

With useful and relevant and informative content, website visitors will be compelled to dig deeper in other pages of the website. Alternatively, they will keep visiting and revisiting the website from time to time in search of more information, and the chances of recommending the website to their peers are quite high.

Where does all that come from? It comes from Search Engine Optimization, reason why you should talk to search engine optimizers who do the work professionally if you cannot manage yourself. SEO agencies are available all over the internet today and finding one is an easy task. Actually, the search engine optimization is one of the most lucrative businesses today as more and more businesses today opt to create well optimized sites that will increase the amount of targeted traffic they receive and of course sales.

A search engine optimization company ensures the design of a website is at par with the requirements of the search engines. Such kind of optimization is critical to the performance of a site because a site doesn't need to only look good and attractive, navigation is also key to success with an online business. Some of the measures that an SEO firm employs are the use of press release marketing and article marketing.

Article marketing basically deals with the writing of niche related articles and posting them on online article directories. These articles when published are viewable to the public and any person who reprints them will carry along the copyrights, meaning your website's URL will spread throughout the internet. This is more or less creating relevant backlinks for your website.

In a nutshell, the success of a website and an online business for that matter is not fully dependent on content alone but on the whole process of Search Engine Optimization. The appearance, navigation, content, and general visual appeal are all important players that determine how your business will thrive online. With the right keyword selection and optimization, rest assured it will only be a matter of time before you earn top rankings

For more info about the benefits of SEO visit []. There you can also find more tips on marketing and advertising.
By Max Thompson

Is Google Really Losing Its Power?

Google's main course of business evidently is Search. They were at the right time in the right place: they could take advantage of the initial growth of the Internet and after developing their groundbreaking Page Rank algorithm they secured themselves top place for over a decade.

What is happening now? Is Google really loosing its power? Definitely not... officially. What is happening to the multi-billion dollar company today is that they are starting to face tough competition for the first time. The comfort of their oligopoly has finished and they have to advance fast in order not to be left behind.

Naturally, Search is not going to die, yet it is likely to change form. As is today widely known, 78% of people are much more likely to accept the opinions of users and peers then those of advertisers being paid to sell. And which peers would you trust the most - clearly your personal friends and family more then a random blog post that you happen to find on the Internet. This is the change that Google has to face nowadays.

For example, if you were to buy new sport shoes several years ago, you are likely to do a Google Search on "sports shoes", you might then pick up a few offers and they weight their benefits. Today, you would still search Google for that, but you will also Tweet, change your Facebook status to asking for advice on shoes and search YouTube for funny sports shoes videos. Thereof, you would get your information from a much wider variety or sources. This is where Google is struggling. It is not that the power of searches is decreasing, its that the importance of so many other things in increasing.

Today still the majority of the income that the search company generates is based on their services such as AdWords and AdSense. There is still the opportunity for Google to include Image (Google Images), location (Google Maps) and Video (Google TV and YouTube) advertising. Their best option for growth evidently is not international expansion - they are already the major player in most of the world, while significantly low in influence in China and Russia where they loose miserably to local competitors (Weintraub, Seth for Fortune). Thus, experts predict their future to be in increasing the types of services that they offer and making them more personalized and social.

What Mr. Weintraub emphasizes is that "At Google, where every problem is waiting to be solved by some form of search query, that is tantamount to blasphemy." However, what is becoming increasingly important and influential is the technological ability to provide answers before the questions are being asked. Some applications developed for that would be Flipboard, Feedy, and many other personalized URL websites.

Google has provided a service like that at Google Reader, but the development of the idea should go much further. Fortune Magazine says: "In this new phase of the web, one of the largest threats to Google and its core search business is the growing Facebook footprint around the world. Not only because social networks (and those used for work like LinkedIn fall into that same category) offer a substitute for search for consumers, but also because they offer a substitute for advertisers as well. In display advertising, for example, Facebook has a 16% share of the roughly $9 billion market, according to comScore (Google sites have 2.4% of the market), and advertisers say they're looking for more ways to plug into Facebook."

Further, the social networks as such seem to be a rather closed environment for the Search giant. "Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are essentially "closed" platforms. They are growing chink in their armor The question is, What can they do about it?"

Thus, the next big thing that Google needs to focus on in terms of their core business of Search would be creating a platform to provide better quality search results personalized to the needs of the specific individual rather then a general Page Ranking list of potential websites of interest (optimized by professional marketers for the general target audience). Currently, Google calls that "implicit or passive search. It's the sort of thing that makes connections between, say, a friend who is an amateur expert on travel in Australia and your upcoming trip Down Under. A keyword search could not only flag hotels and tourist hot spots but also find blog posts, e-mails, messages, and even pose questions to your friend about where to go shopping or dining in Sydney -- without bothering the rest of your network. "Who you are, your context, what you are doing, who your friends are -- if all of that comes in as the search input," Google says, "what is the right output?" (The key word in her quote? "Friends.")"

And this is where Google failed to deliver. Its platforms such as Google Buzz and Google Waves (to name just a few) have been a failure as they had not managed to involve the users in an active and continuous dialogue. It is true that Google has provided great office applications to facilitate the work of millions of companies and individuals, yet, these applications are structured in a very particular way. They do not easily adapt to the social factor which is nowadays of a growing importance and influence. "They are just not that good at it," says Tom Coates, until recently the head of product at Yahoo's defunct Brickhouse lab. "Google is very good at building these utility-type products -- search, e-mail, and messaging. They are sort of like the power company of the Internet. But what they lack is a sense of how people share and collaborate." What Mr. Coates is referring to is that you do not have friends on Google, you have contacts and tasks. These services reflect an engineering culture that's all about utility, but one that makes it hard for the company to create something that's friendly and social.

Further, they are facing growing competition with LinkedIn Answers and Facebook's Questions. Although currently at a rather unpolished state, it is expected that FB's new application will further complete for users' attention on the Internet. In this sense, Google is already adapting to the challenge. As with many other things, it has already purchased a start-up company called Aardvark which does exactly this.

Thus, is Google really Loosing power is to be determined, what is certain is that it is slowing down which allows competitors to catch up and go ahead.

Maria Bakardjieva
Explicata, Your Online Marketing Solution