What is a Pingback and Why Should I Care? (Search Marketing 101)

What’s the definition of a pingback? Pingbacks are notifications you get from WordPress (and other similar blogging platforms) when someone links to a post on your blog.

Pingbacks and trackbacks (another form of linking between blogs) are important to search marketing because although many businesses use, or want to use, their blog for online marketing purposes, they usually have no Continue reading

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Search Engine Optimization 101 – How to Choose Keywords: A Lesson from the Bayer Aspirin Marketing Team

Successful online marketers understand the need to talk about their products in terms customers recognize and respond to.

Search Engine Optimization 101 - Choosing Good Keywords - Low Dose Aspirin PackagingChoosing good keywords is hard – no matter what size your business is. Sometimes it’s a challenge to get my clients to see the importance of using language in their marketing materials – including their website – that they themselves wouldn’t necessarily use to talk about their products or services.

Sometimes C-level executives don’t like using words they feel have Continue reading

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Search Engine Optimization and WordPress: Mark McLaren Speaking at WordCamp Portland 2010

Search Engine Optimization - Speaker WordCamp PortlandLast year’s WordCamp Portland was two full days of WordPress joy, and this year’s is going to be even better. Sure, Matt Mullenweg and Jane Wells were there – two people who are shaping the future of WordPress. And this year not only are they are coming back, but WordPress lead developer Mark Jaquith is coming along, too. So if you have a question or a request related to WordPress, there’s pretty much no doubt you’ll be able to have it addressed right there on the spot.

I will be speaking, as well. The topic is Search Engine Optimization and WordPress. This will not be the same SEO and WordPress presentation I gave at WordCamp Vancouver. The focus will be on keywords and the importance of links for search engine optimization.

Did I mention that WordCamp Portland also features awesome food – and BEER?! How many conferences, un- or otherwise, have you been to that have kegs of killer microbrew at the snack table? Right.

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Better Search Engine Optimization with WordPress: WordCamp Vancouver Presentation Video

Here is the video of “5 Tips for Better Search Engine Optimization with WordPress” – presentation by Mark McLaren at WordCamp Vancouver 2010. Special thanks to Justin at Carlson Media for the awesome video production.

Get Found Easier and Grow Your Business: 5 Tips for Better Search Engine Optimization with WordPress

Slides for the WordPress SEO presentation are available here.

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5 Tips for Better Search Engine Optimization with WordPress

On June 12, I had the great pleasure of presenting at WordCamp Vancouver. Duane Storey and the rest of the organizers did an awesome job. The conference was a big hit. If you get the chance, definitely check it out next year.

My presentation was called “Get Found Easier and Grow Your Business: 5 Tips for Better Search Engine Optimization with WordPress”. Thirty minutes is just about enough time to get through the essentials of SEO for WordPress, although I’m sure it could be a two-hour presentation without too much trouble.

Half of the time does not involve using WordPress! I do a quick overview of what a keyword is, how to pick a good keyword, how to check your initial search ranking, and, after optimizing, how to see if your optimization efforts had any effect!

Understanding keywords is absolutely critical to search optimization, but it’s not often talked about in a way that most people can get. This is going to have to change as more businesses use WordPress and other CMS solutions for websites and then decide that they need to do their own SEO.

The 5 Tips for Better SEO are spelled out in the presentation slide deck below. They are also available in PDF form here (right click and select “Save Target As…” or “Save Link As…” to download).

5 Tips for Better Search Engine Optimization with WordPress (PDF)

At the end of the slides and the PDF, there are links to SEO Plugins, Tools and Resources. If you would like the .pptx file of  the presentation – including the Notes – contact me.

Here are the 5 Tips for Better Search Engine Optimization with WordPress in case you want a quick overview:

Tip #1 : Use keywords in your HTML page title

Tip #2 : Write a page description that makes people want to read more (include keywords)

Tip #3: Customize permalinks

Tip #4 : Use keywords in the visible page

Tip #4 continued: Make content “sticky”, useful, a resource

Tip #5: Links

•Inbound Links are the Number One Search Ranking Factor
(and #2, #3, #5)  according to seomoz.org
•External Links
•Internal Links
•Use keywords in link text
•Use inbound link tools

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How to Build Your Business in 60 Seconds: Sage Marketing Advice from Mel Pircheski

Here’s how to build your business – and advance your career – in 60 seconds: create an effective “elevator pitch”. You may already know what an elevator pitch is. It’s the short answer you give when you meet someone for the first time and they ask, “What do you do?”

Most of us underestimate the importance of a great elevator pitch. We think it’s just for salesmen. But it’s much more than that. You may have patented the most amazing invention since the electric light bulb, but if no one knows about it and sees its significance, your business will fail.

Just like every business has an online profile whether they create one themselves or not, every business has an elevator pitch. It’s called the value proposition. Stating it clearly, and in way that makes the listener want to learn more, is essential to success. In big organizations, this responsibility traditionally lies with the marketing department. But in the age of social media, articulation of the value prop can be carried out by every person in the organization – and by the media, customers, “fans” and “followers” – certainly not just the marketing department.

Today it’s all the more important to have a killer elevator pitch to capture the spirit and value of what your business offers. Perfect it, and it will practically spread by itself.

The successful elevator pitch is as close as you can get to a silver bullet for business success. It’s particularly useful for understanding what makes a good pay-per-click (e.g. Google AdWords) ad. These are the short ads that appear as “Sponsored links” next to search results on Google, Yahoo! and other search pages. A good AdWords ad grabs your attention without using hype. It offers to relieve an itch or a pain or a desire. It makes you want to learn more. It does so by speaking your language. It’s not necessarily the language of the company making the offer.

Invariably, this language includes keywords. Words that you type into a search engine to do a search. When you are looking for a product on the Internet, you don’t sit there and think, hmm, I wonder what words the manufacturer uses to talk about his products. You just type the first thing that comes to mind. That’s a keyword.

Keywords are often the hardest part of the search marketing process, in search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising like Google AdWords. To be successful, keywords have to capture the thinking of the site visitor or person doing a search. They are the essence of whatever it is that makes them want to learn more, to click. And they are the essence of whatever it is that makes that person want to share an idea – or product or brand – with friends and family.

The next stranger you meet might be in a position to change the course of your business or your career. They might be looking for an opportunity, or they might be ready to put you in touch with someone who will be your greatest investor or partner or boss. Why not be ready? As the saying goes, “Luck is the time when preparation and opportunity meet.”

Mel Pircheski is the master of the elevator pitch. Take a minute to read this short post that gives you the essence of a successful elevator pitch. Put his words into practice, and I guarantee you’ll see positive results.

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