The Best SEO Advice I’ve Seen in a Long Time…Relevance is the new PR

This morning’s thought: “I now need to go back and look at all my recent SEO work.”

I like the competition of search. Every day is different and you have the ability and or the chance to “win” so to speak.  It’ similar to watching the standings in Major League Baseball. Some days you may gain on the competition, other days you lose ground, and still others, nothing changes.

That’s the nature of competing against Google and it’s algorithm changes.  It’s cat and mouse. The pursuer and the pursued.  That’s why any article or blog post that talks about Google and search engine optimization has to be paid attention to. Sometimes, and I mean sometimes, there can be nuggets or threads of truth that can help you get a leg up on two targets  that are constantly moving in the digital space.  The customer and Google search.

How fun and frustrating can it get? Well, to the extent that after reading a post from Search Engine Land that Google would neither affirm no refute titled Ex-Googler: “To Please Google With Your SEO, Forget About SEO”, I started this post with that opening thought.

It’s OK, it happens all the time and actually as an “SEO’er” you should of kind of always be thinking that way anway-How can you improve organic search rankings?  When you’re done reading the Search Engine Land post, go over to Forbes and read a pretty good article as well on SEO titled, The 6 Basic Components Of A Strong SEO Strategy For Online Retailers.  It ties and supports the other post better and as recent as I’ve seen in quite a while in regards to what you need to think about when it comes to SEO.

It’s all good though. All of it keeps you on your toes. With that said, go read both posts in their entirety.  Below are some of the soundbites  that got me thinking.

At this stage a webmaster is out of his mind to still rely on techniques that were common practice 8 months ago.”

…don’t dismiss directories completely.

and the best one of all…

Relevance is the new PR.”

Two Hurdles and One Gap in Enterprise Social Media Engagement

Recently, my work required that I evaluate some of the top global brands in a certain industry in regards to internal b2b social media usage. I’ve used upwards of 7-10  free and paid social media monitoring and measurement tools to do it. I’ve looked at social data for a month and I have discovered two hurdles and one gap. I’m going to boil it down for you and spare you the pain of elaboration and if you happen to see me on the street I will give you the lodown on my findings.

So here it is:

It doesn’t matter if you’re a c-level executive, a director, a manager or the owner of a small business. One of your primary and most valuable comodities is your time.   Alotting time or taking time for engagement is not really high on the to-do list right now. Though recent data says that the more social your executives are the better performing your company  might be.

That’s hurdle #1. Executives need to take the time to be better at being social.

Having resources to do all the things that these companies and individuals have read, heard and want to do in social and should be doing in social needs to be a priority but is easier said than done.

Hurdle #2. Organizations are resourced challenged.

And the biggest gap?  The money is not there yet but social media budgets are continuing to loosen up quickly.  They used to be non-existant. In some very large organizations that I have seen, social is not a priority at any level be it in internal or external, yet.  The good news for all of these? You will see them all evolve in a positive  manor over the next 3-5 years.

When Lead Gen Get’s in the Way of a Good Cause. 7 Lessons for Chevy & MLB.

I love baseball and I coach baseball and I’m a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Recently I received an email from asking me to vote for pitcher Chris Resop for the Roberto Clemente Award which annually goes out to one player in major league baseball who selflessly gives back to the community. It’s a very prestigious award.  It was nice to see that Chris was being nominated since my son holds Roberto Clemente in very high esteem, and Chris’s father happens to also coach my daughter.

So why am I telling you about this?

Let’s look at the initial email that I received.

Seems pretty harmless and it’s an email that goes out to all subscribers of  So when I go to vote for Chris, I am taken to the following landing page below. The first part of this is what you would actually see above the fold.  Which is poorly designed I might add.

But then, as I went to fill out the form, I’m greeted with the following:

Right in the middle of the form…

  • When do I expect to purchase or lease?
  • Please indicate the Chevy vehicle I want to learn more about?
  • I would like to receive further email communications from Chevy.

What tha?

I don’t remember this having to be part of voting for the Roberto Clemente Award.  I also notice that I have no choice but to answer the questions in order to vote for Chris Resop. So if I don’t want to use this form, do I really want to take the time and effort to “look” for a work around? What if I want my 12 year old son to vote? I don’t even know if he likes Chevy’s yet!

What can Chevy and MLB learn?

  1. You have to give people options when filling voluntary information out that’s only relevant to Chevy.
  2. Know who you’re sending emails to. Know your audience. Surely MLB and Chevy have  pretty decent CRM systems.
  3. Know that sometimes the primary focus doesn’t have to be on lead generation.  Think about the cause here.
  4. The devil is in the details, and the details were poor and misleading.
  5. The form will invariably bring back bad information of people who really don’t care about a Chevy, they just wanted to vote.  You have forced bad or misleading information into a system and have corrupted the data.
  6. You’ve tainted a good cause with large assumptions.
  7. Add a social component on the email and the web page for crying out loud.

I hate to say it, but this is a case study on bad email marketing. Hopefully this email didn’t go out to 20 million people; and wait till I tell Chris Resop’s dad about this!

Is Social Video Effective?

“The goal was not to sell units, but to increase favorability about the two brands among younger consumers,”?

What do you think? The visual imagery, the soundtrack, it’s just done right and yet, where is the product? Created for Intel, does this have to make sense to be good or effective? Do you think the 55 million people who viewed it felt that they have been marketed to?