marketing VS Marketing

December 7th, 2008


My experience with marketing comes with mixed emotions.  There are times I am out right embarrassed about marketers and their sad attempts to hock a product.   No doubt, they are trying their best and their intentions are good.  But they cheapen the word marketing.   The first time I saw Marketing (capital M) was in one of my MBA marketing classes.  The professor taught Marketing as a way to focus business strategy.  analyze market share, leverage statistical models, scrutinize finances for competitive advantage, and exploit operational efficiencies.  The curtain was drawn and I witnessed the machinery of real Marketing.

As a thought experiment I’ve made two classifications for marketing.  Lower case marketing and upper case Marketing.

marketing VS Marketing

  • bureaucratic approach to problem solving VS Problems Are Solved Organically
  • no testing, no data, no analysis VS Always Testing, Data Driven, Continual Analysis
  • “This is how we’ve always done it.” VS “Why are we doing it this way?”
  • highest paid person’s opinion trumps all VS Ideas Come From Everyone and Carry Equal Weight
  • very conspicuous and “in your face” VS Imperceptible, Subtle, and Efficient
  • take advantage of people VS take advantage of market inefficiencies
  • gimmicks VS real value

Any other ideas on lower case marketing VS Upper Case Marketing?

3 must have Firefox tools for SEO and Web Analytics

November 12th, 2008

Firefox is the only browser that allows for 3rd party extensions. This being the case here are the best Firefox tools for SEO and web Analytics

SEO Tools

Pulls useful market research data right into Google’s and Yahoo!’s search results, including the following data near each search result.

  • PR: (Google PageRank) an estimated measure of global link authority
  • Age: age pulled from Archive.org, shows the first time a page was indexed by Archive.org’s spider. The theory is that if Archive.org found a page so did many of the major search engines.
  • Links: (Yahoo! linkdomain) shows a rough estimate of the total number of links pointing at a domain
  • .edu Link: (Yahoo! .edu linkdomain ) shows a rough estimate of the total number of .edu links pointing at a domain
  • .edu Page Link: (Yahoo! .edu link ) shows a rough estimate of the total number of .edu links pointing at a specific page
  • .gov Link: (Yahoo! .gov linkdomain ) shows a rough estimate of the total number of .gov links pointing at a domain
  • Page Links: (Yahoo! link) shows a rough estimate of the total number of links pointing at a page
  • del.icio.us: number of times a URL has been bookmarked on Del.icio.us. Heavily skewed toward techy / Web 2.0 stuff.
  • Technorati: an estimate of the total number of links to a site from blogs
  • Alexa: rank based on website traffic . Heavily skewed toward internet marketing and webmaster related resources.
  • Cached: (Google site:) shows how many pages from a site are indexed in Google
  • dmoz: searches the Google Directory to count the total number of pages from a site that are listed in DMOZ, and the total number of pages listed in DMOZ that reference that URL.
  • Bloglines: shows you how many people are subscribed to a particular blog via Bloglines.
  • dir.yahoo.com: is a site listed in the Yahoo! Directory or not.
  • WhoIs: makes it easy to look up the whois data for any site.

WEB ANALYTICS

WASP is the Web Analytics Solution Profiler, a specialized Firefox extension aimed at web analytics professionals Buy! who want to do quality assurance and understand how their web analytics solution is implemented.

Note: The free version of WASP offers the unrestricted sidebar and statusbar info. Site crawls are limited to 10 pages. To crawl more pages you need to upgrade.

This project may be of some help for the following:

  • Help debugging web analytics implementations.
  • See which kind of web server the website is using.
  • See the cookies set by website and 3rd party adverting partners.

Are there any other ‘must have’ tools that you use regularly? Please leave a comment if you do.

MSN adCenter Promotional Code – Expires January 2009

November 9th, 2008



If you are signing up for Microsoft adCenter you might have trouble tracking down an active 2008 code.  Most of the promotional codes are expired.  MSN once offered $200 for every signup! But now they only offer $50.

Microsoft AdCenter $50 Credit
Coupon Code : OMW1008
exp: 1/03/2009
requires $5 activation fee


Hint: To find more promo codes use Google’s Advanced search.  Refine the results by date and only include new pages within the last year.

If you have any other codes or promotional links leave a comment for the other readers.

How to SEO – 14 Standard Techniques

November 4th, 2008

This is a short list of how to SEO.  There are many many more factors that effect your rankings but these are the proven techniques.  Due to the high amount of speculation there are many things that may or may not work.   These however, are accepted industry-wide as standand SEO practices.

Good SEO 🙂

  1. Keywords in URL – The primary domain is somewhat important but having keyword rich URLs instead of query strings helps.  Remember that the first word gets the most weight, the second word gets the next most weight, and so on.  Keep your keywords as close to the domain name as possible. About.com has mastered this technique.  They use clean page names and keyword rich subdomains.  
  2. Keyword in Title Tag – The Title Tag is defined in the Meta Data in the HTML pages.  It is surrounded by <title></title>.  It is the title on the top bar of your browser, what appears when you bookmark a page, and what search engines use as your listing title.  Use keywords wisely and make it readible (by humans).
  3. Keywords in H1, H2, H3 – When you write your article make sure a keyword or two is featured with an <h1> tag.
  4. Anchor text of links – Links within your site and links from other sites sound have your keywords as part of the link.  Insted of ‘click here for discount mortgage loans’ make the link ‘Discount Mortgage Loans’.  ‘Click Here’ Tells the search engines nothing about what the page is about.  To see the power of this type the phrase “Miserable Failure” into Google and see what you get.
  5. Links from relevent or expert websites – One link on NBA.com if you sell basketball shoes will do wonders for your website.  Don’t waste your time getting links from non-related websites (it can actually hurt you).  Try to build links with older expert websites. 
  6. Get listed in the DMOZ Directory – Google uses this human edited directory heavily for their search results.  Submit your site but don’t hold your breath.  It can take years if you get in at all.
  7. Get listed in Yahoo Directory – Yahoo’s Directory costs $299 a year.  If you are serious about your site and SEO get listed there.
  8. Old Site – The older the site the better.  It shows stability and it weeds out the spammers.
BAD SEO 🙁
  1. No links pointing to your website – Get at least a single link to stay in the Google index. 
  2. Link Buying – If you do buy links make sure it as a rel=nofollow tag on it.  If Google finds out you’ve bought a link they will not be happy.  Also, if you do buy a link make sure you keep it forever. Loosing links can really hurt you.
  3. Keyword Spamming – Don’t go crazy on the keywords.  While it’s good to have them sprinkled here and there don’t over do it.  Not only will your customers get annoyed but you might just get penalized.  This is true for inbound links too.  Try to mix it up a little with the anchor text.
  4. Duplicate Content – Don’t steal or repeat copy from other websites.  Google will penalize duplicate content.  It is a waste of time to steal content for SEO purposes.
  5. Too many incoming links too fast – If you are a new site too many links in the begining might look suspicious.
  6. Don’t link to bad neighborhoods – If you look like a spammer, smell like a spammer, and build links in the same neighorhoods as smappers Google thinks you’re a spammer.
These are only the begining but if you get these steps down you’ll be doing pretty good.  If you have any more ‘standard’ techniques that work for you please leave a comment below.

Free Keyword Suggestion Tools

November 3rd, 2008

Keyword research can uncover demand, customer linguistics, and profitable niches.   Using keyword suggestion tools can expand your options.  It is surprising to see what customers call the products and services you sell.  There are also ways to leverage untapped opportunities.

As a general rule I like to start with generic phrases and then scan the list for the specific phrases.  Working from generic to specific lets the surprises and real gems come to the surface.  

These are the top four keyword suggestion tools online:

Google AdWords: Keyword Tool
https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

Wordtracker
http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/


KeywordDiscovery
http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/search.html


SEO Book (Powered by Wordtracker)
http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook/


Other free tools on the market are powered by one of the sources above.  They also have very hard to read captcha phrases. Good luck with your keyword research!

Omniture vs. Google Analytics

November 3rd, 2008

With Google Analytics releasing new features the question is being raised again: What is difference between Omniture and Google Analytics. Comparison between the two is will become more focused as Google adds more features. What is the better choice among the two services. Like any true analyst would say “It depends”.

Google Analytics new features

  • Motion charts
  • Advanced Segmentation – This is limited to session data
  • Custom Reports
  • Data Export API

What is still special about Omniture
-Features

  • Real-Time Tracking – Most companies wouldn’t benefit from real-time tracking but Omniture has the feature Google doesn’t.
  • A hundred custom variables (50 props, 50 eVars) instead of just 1 provided by Google.
  • Product classifications (S.A.I.N.T.) – Once classifications are defined you can splice and dice the data with Omniture’s product classifications.
  • ActionScript Flash tracking – You can track Flash elements with Google but it requires a hack. Omniture can track Flash with a native solution.
  • Custom Metrics – Google only provides standard metrics but it is possible to make a custom metric in a spreadsheet or database if needed.
  • Event Tracking – Google doesn’t have a way of tracking changes like Omniture’s event tracking calendar. This can be incredibly helpful when many users are making changes on the site and on their campaigns.
  • Alerts – When a metric or KPI hits a certain level Omniture can send an email alerting the person in charge.


-Data

  • Google owns your data and some potentially sensitive information about your business. Omniture doesn’t have an inherent conflict of interest with PPC advertising. Google on the hand could increase your PPC bids if they knew how much you made from certain keyterms.

-Customer Service/ Customizations

  • Google can do many of the heavy lifting Omniture can perform. The big difference is that Omniture has most of the functionality already built. Tracking call centers, surveys, and other data is part of Omnitures features. With Google there is a lot of extra work and research involve. Basically you are on your own with one exception; Google Analytics has built a community of experts that provide answers. There are bloggers, authors, and Q & A areas that provide much of the needed support. My experience with both tools is that most of the customizations have to be managed by the Web Analyst. There needs to be someone looking over the whole process from start to finish. Customer service and community help can only do so much.


Summary

Knowing the limitations and scope of each tool will help you make an educated decision. If your company is new to web analytics or you don’t require much beyond the standard reports Google Analytics might be for you. If you plan on using your web analytics to drive your entire company’s strategy and have complex requirements Omniture’s customization and power is hard to beat.

Advanced (and simplified) Google Analytics Segmentation

October 22nd, 2008

How can it be both advanced and simplified at the same time?  Easy, look at the way Google does search.  An input search box and two buttons.  The same simplicity is being applied to Google Analytics.  They’ve added an arsenal of premade filters with the ability to customize even further.  The interface is straightforward and the results are stunning.

Now for the bad news,  it is in private beta (a.k.a. invite only).  If you want an invite Avinash has some suggestions.

Read more here: http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/2008/10/google-analytics-releases-advanced-segmentation.html#comments

Yahoo! Web Analytics is now FREE!

October 18th, 2008

YSM has been released but it’s only available for their business account holders.   While some say it’s a direct competitor to Google Analytics it is different in one major way – real-time analysis.  More expensive web analytics platform offer real-time reporting for a hefty fee.  Now you can have it for nothing!  The last major addition these free analytics providers need is data warehousing and integrated business intelligence tools. 

Yahoo! may launch their analytics differently than Google.  Instead of having everyone join for free they might have some conditions that must be met.  Conditions like a certain level of adspend on their PPC network or other requirements.

This is an exciting anouncement for web analysts and business owners alike.