Browsing articles from "December, 2008"

Is Your CAPTCHA Killing Your Business?

Dec 27, 2008   //   by Gerald Weber   //   SEO Blog  //  73 Comments


As business owners, bloggers and/or search marketers, we all go through pain staking efforts to get qualified traffic to our websites from the SERPS, Paid search and our various social media outlets. However all this effort and hard work may be in vain if our users are not able to easily fill out our contact form(s). Sure the CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) or as I like to call it CPA (Complete Pain in the A**) is intended to solve a valid business problem, but at what cost? Should we really make customers/prospects work this hard to contact us? Not to mention by using a CAPTCHA you will be alienating multiple groups with disabilities i.e. blind people and people with dyslexia.

I have asked five of my friends who I consider to be authority figures in the area of search marketing, SEO, design and usability the following question:

What is your opinion regarding CAPTCHAs on contact forms as they relate to web conversions and accessibility/usability?

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Gerald Weber

I founded Search Engine Marketing Group in December 2005. More recently I co-founded viralcontentbuzz.com. which is the free platform that helps bloggers generate REAL "social buzz" on their best content. Feel free to follow me on Google+

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Gerald Weber Dancing with the Elves

Dec 26, 2008   //   by Gerald Weber   //   SEO Blog  //  17 Comments

I want to thank everyone for your patience. I am currently on vacation dancing with Santa’s elves in the north pole. We will be back to business as usual shortly. Thanks again.

Gerald Weber

I founded Search Engine Marketing Group in December 2005. More recently I co-founded viralcontentbuzz.com. which is the free platform that helps bloggers generate REAL "social buzz" on their best content. Feel free to follow me on Google+

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All I Want For Christmas – Mariah Carey cover Sheena Melwani

Dec 25, 2008   //   by Gerald Weber   //   SEO Blog, Social Media  //  3 Comments

This is my good friend Sheena Melwani’s version of All I want for Christmas, originally by Mariah Carey. I refer to her first as my friend however Search Engine Marketing Group did have the honor of putting together her blog. If you like this song, I hope you will check out the rest of her music at SheenaMelwani.com 7 Million viewers on youtube can’t be wrong! Happy Holidays!

Gerald Weber

I founded Search Engine Marketing Group in December 2005. More recently I co-founded viralcontentbuzz.com. which is the free platform that helps bloggers generate REAL "social buzz" on their best content. Feel free to follow me on Google+

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10 Examples of Creative Twitter Uses

Dec 21, 2008   //   by Eric Brantner   //   SEO Blog, Social Media  //  73 Comments

Twitter image

When you think of Twitter, you probably think of a microblogging tool that helps you connect with friends across the world. But not every Tweeter uses their account just to chat back and forth with their online friends. Some have come up with truly creative ways to use their account.

What follows is a list of the 10 most creative uses of Twitter I’ve seen.
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Eric Brantner

Eric Brantner is a copywriter who is obsessed with getting conversions. His services are used by small and mid-sized businesses from a range of industries.

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Round Out Your Social Networking Portfolio…With Your OWN Social Network

Dec 19, 2008   //   by Julien Sharp   //   SEO Blog, Social Media  //  4 Comments

Many people became successful from the “first wave” of internet businesses. But a whole new wave of opportunity has just begun to flow, and early-adopters of the newest technology and Web 2.0 have got an incredible opportunity to reach the heights of professional and financial success.

People around the country – and in many developed countries – are rebounding from the lack of ‘community’ that has occurred over the last generation. This has resulted in an explosion of online networking communities. Originally begun in the form of message boards or forums, they now abound, and while the big players (social sites such as MySpace, Facebook, etc., and business sites such as Linked In, Ecademy, Fast Pitch, etc.) are very established, there is still ample opportunity – and easily accessed technology – for new communities to be built for profit.

What many people do not realize is the complete ease at which they can start their own “niche” online networking community as a revenue-generating enterprise, thanks to the proliferation of user-friendly platforms for business owners now available at a fraction of the price of the need to hire a software developer or team (which for a long time was the only option).

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Are You Stumbling Yet?

Dec 16, 2008   //   by Gerald Weber   //   SEO Blog, Social Media  //  23 Comments


(photo by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid)

As regular readers will probably remember, Gerald made a post at the end of October that was titled 5 Social Media Sites That You Must Explore. In this post, Gerald provided an overview of five popular social media sites (Twitter, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Technorati and Plaxo). In addition to discussing all five of these websites, Gerald also promised that a detailed look at each one would eventually be published on this blog.

Since my personal favorite out of these five websites is StumbleUpon, I thought that I would kick off the series of five detailed posts with a look at why you should start stumbling today (if you haven’t already).

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Gerald Weber

I founded Search Engine Marketing Group in December 2005. More recently I co-founded viralcontentbuzz.com. which is the free platform that helps bloggers generate REAL "social buzz" on their best content. Feel free to follow me on Google+

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It May Almost Be 2009, But Duplicate Content Still Isn’t a Good Thing

Dec 13, 2008   //   by Gerald Weber   //   Copywriting, Plagiarism, SEO Blog  //  30 Comments

Of all the topics that are discussed within the SEO blogosphere, one of the topics that creates the most controversy and disagreement is that of duplicate content. I think one of the reasons that there are so many different viewpoints surrounding this issue is because there are multiple ways that people define the phrase “duplicate content.”

Since I always believe in going straight to the source, let’s find out what Google has to say about duplicate content. According to Google, “Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.” Now that we have Google’s definition of duplicate content, let’s look at what they have to say on the issue of how it can impact a website’s ranking:

“Mostly, this is not deceptive in origin.”

“However, in some cases, content is deliberately duplicated across domains in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings or win more traffic. Deceptive practices like this can result in a poor user experience, when a visitor sees substantially the same content repeated within a set of search results.”

“Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results.”

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Gerald Weber

I founded Search Engine Marketing Group in December 2005. More recently I co-founded viralcontentbuzz.com. which is the free platform that helps bloggers generate REAL "social buzz" on their best content. Feel free to follow me on Google+

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10 Rules the Best Online Copywriters Follow

Dec 9, 2008   //   by Eric Brantner   //   Copywriting, SEO Blog  //  13 Comments

The success of your Internet marketing efforts boils down to one thing—how good is your copywriting? It doesn’t matter how much you promote your site. If the copy doesn’t connect with readers, you’ll never get the sales you desire.

So, what makes great copywriting? Here are 10 rules the best online copywriters follow.

1. Keywords aren’t Everything- Obviously, it’s important to optimize your copy for relevant keywords to ensure you get high search engine placement. However, keywords aren’t the most important part of your copy. They might be the gateway that brings visitors to your site, but if your copy is stuffed with keywords, your conversion rate will suffer. Always remember your human readers, and never place the search engine’s needs above theirs.

2. Scanner-Friendly is a Must- Numerous eye-tracking studies show that website visitors tend to scan content rather than fully reading it. What does this mean for your website? It means your copy needs to accommodate their scanning habits. This means you should use plenty of whitespace, keep your paragraphs brief, and use bold headings throughout. This will help the scanners grasp the main points from your content quickly and easily.

3. Compelling Headlines are Essential- The best copywriters know that a great headline is one of the most important facets of any online copy. Your headline needs to sell a benefit or connect with the reader in some other way. A simple keyword phrase won’t do the trick. This is your chance to grab the attention of your website visitors. Make it count.

4. Content Must Reinforce Headline- Once you come up with a great headline, you need to make sure your content reinforces it. If your headline mentions a specific benefit, follow up on that by discussing it in your copy. In other words, don’t trick your readers by using a catchy headline and then talk about something completely different in your copy.

5. Converse with the Reader- To me, conversational copy is perfectly suited for the web. The internet is a social medium, so it only makes sense that your copy should feel personal to your readers. Remember, consumers are more wary when purchasing from companies online. Conversational copy that’s free of gimmicks helps them gain trust in your company. How?  By making it seem like they’re interacting with a real person who understands their needs.

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Eric Brantner

Eric Brantner is a copywriter who is obsessed with getting conversions. His services are used by small and mid-sized businesses from a range of industries.

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The Seven Letter Word All Small Businesses Need to Know

Dec 5, 2008   //   by Gerald Weber   //   SEO Blog  //  15 Comments

Although the economy is obviously not in the best condition right now, the holiday season is upon us, and while people might not be spending as much money this year as they have in previous years, people are still going to spend money on presents for their loved ones.
Since you are smart enough to spend your valuable time reading this blog, if you are a small business owner, I’m going to assume that you have a website for your small business.  If this assumption is correct, I want to say congratulations, because you have a huge advantage over many of your competitors.  While it seems obvious to me and everyone else who is involved in the Internet marketing industry, a large percentage of small businesses still don’t have websites (and even fewer have properly optimized online presences).

So, because we know people are using the Internet to shop for Christmas presents, and you have a website that you want to use to attract more customers for your small business, what’s the single most effective way to accomplish this goal?  Not only is there a single method that is truly the most effective, but it is a simple, seven letter word: coupons.

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Gerald Weber

I founded Search Engine Marketing Group in December 2005. More recently I co-founded viralcontentbuzz.com. which is the free platform that helps bloggers generate REAL "social buzz" on their best content. Feel free to follow me on Google+

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Integrating Web Leads into Your Sales Process

Dec 3, 2008   //   by Craig Klein   //   SEO Blog  //  12 Comments

Leads, leads, leads! Closing sales is all about the quality of the leads you acquire and how many of them you have.

In all my years of hiring, training, coaching and firing sales people, I’ve seen entry level sales people set company records and perennial quota busters crash and burn based on the leads they’re chasing.

In most businesses, sales leads come from at least two or three sources. Unfortunately, most sales people treat all leads the same.

That simple fact can be killing your sales reps and holding your company back from even greater heights.

All leads are not the same. Obviously, referrals from existing clients are more valuable in general than a name from the list of folks that signed up to win the free drawing in your trade show booth.

But what about a lead from your website? In many businesses where people visiting your site and filling out a form requesting info is not the most common source of leads, these “web leads” are treated as less valuable by the sales team. That’s in part due to the fact that a sales person will have more invested in obtaining a referral from their current client.

A web lead is actually one of the most valuable leads you could ever have in several ways!

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Craig Klein

Craig Klein is CEO and Founder of SalesNexus.com, a leading online contact management system for small business sales teams. Craig’s a sales process guy. His passion is helping small businesses hire, train, measure and manage sales people through their sales process. Craig’s blog, Sell, Sell, Sell! has become a valued resource for business owners and sales executives.

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