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Our consulting blog is designed to help you learn more about doing SEO yourself. Find useful insights to drive decision making for your small business or blog. Access industry topics spanning the space, from the impact of Google+ on ranking, to the best tools for keyword research.

MARKETING TIPS
At ELM Consulting we teach brands and bloggers how to find the keywords searched by the target audience. Then we train on how to write authoritative content used capture and engage this audience.

How to Get Google Keyword Referral Data Not Provided

Seems that the traffic referred by logged in Google users is far beyond the 10% Google initially predicted. Maybe it varies by brand, but it seems that no matter what there is useful data being limited in the analytics of sites. The issue for my clients becomes how they will track this variable using their own data warehouse, not just relying on Google Analytics. I am not sure how it is for you, but most of the enterprise level clients I’ve dealt with prefer to reply on their own internal tracking numbers for executive level reporting.

Certainly with mission critical elements missing, such as these keyword search queries referring traffic, it is our job as reliable consultants to advise them on how to account for this unknown. In my case however, the work I produce is judged on the type and number of keyword referrals sent to the site, so having this unknown variable creates quite a challenge. The good news is, I love a challenge.

So naturally it got me thinking; how can we begin to gather keyword level data that Google Analytics is no longer providing? Two very important next steps come to mind:

1) How to capture more names/emails from this segment of traffic coming onto the site

2) Using social-graph information to learn more about these users, since they are logged in, perhaps to Google+

It seems the most logical next step is to gather more email sign-ups to a newsletter or promotional. No matter what your brand, from e-commerce to magazine publisher, everyone should have a streamlined method of collecting Newsletter sign-ups. This is useful to gather relevant email addresses, and must be integrated into site wide templates, so no matter what page the user click into, there is a “Sign-up now” call-to-action. Those who sign-up using Gmail can be segmented into a special group to be re-targeted with a “Join us on Google+” email later on. Once you have integrated a streamlined look and feel for this sign up functionality into every template, it is time to begin the heavy lifting.

Kick off your Facebook OpenGraph integration! There are some very good ways to approach this, especially when using Google Analytics as your primary source for data and reporting. I would certainly elaborate on some ideas for how to do this, but Mike @iPullRank does an excellent and eloquent job explaining the use of OpenGraph to collect keyword level demographics, which I think you will find very compelling to try with your brands. Please feel free to share any experience you have with the traffic referrals from Googles (not provided) parameter. Are you seeing greater than 10%?

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No Follow Links from Social Media are Valuable

No follow links

No follow links do add value

Finally Google and Bing announced that the links posted on social networks like Twitter and Facebook are valued by the engines for search rankings. I guess this is great news for all the link builders who use social media to promote and link to their brands. Thing is, social media links are typically coined as NO FOLLOW links. It has long been my thinking that no follow links were considered when Google crawled a website, and with this latest announcement, it has become true.

I always use blog comments to gain a brands visibility, but here are some other solid reason why no follow link from social media still ad value.

    • 1. Getting No Follow links can be good for increasing opportunities to get a site crawled
    • 2. Although not the ideal way to link build, no follow links can help increase inbound links in your profile
    • 3. Using no follow links on popular social media sites, like Twitter can help a brands search saturation
    • 4. These no follow links can help pass relevancy from high page rank pages- so try to post comments on older pages, that will lead to more relevance
    • 5. Of course no follow links are not the end all be all to ranking- you need a profile mix, be realistic about how much you invest on this task

From Dot-Com Bust to Social Commerce Boom, Which Way from Here

Groupon social media deal site changes business online

Groupon Rejects Google's Billions

So it didn’t quite stick- sounds like the rejection Groupon pitched Google this week is making a lot of noise in the headlines. It seems Groupon took a chance by shying away from the search giants $6 billion dollar offer. With most of the Groupon deals being based on a 50/50 revenue split between retailers, the online localized deal sharing site feels it just might have what it takes to get more value out of the business without Googles $6 billion dollar offer up front. Sure the deal site did make more than $1 billion dollars on its second year as a start-up, which is quite impressive, but how is little localized Groupon going to continue this huge momentum into the new year, and beyond.

It is a very interesting situation to watch social media become a valuable part of generating revenue. Lets take Groupon for example- if friends get great deal offers in their city, then they share it with other friends to get enough people to buy in, so everyone wins a Groupon, or great deal for something they all love in their town. This localized deal site is designed to be shared and valued by people who use social media outlets, like Twitter, Facebook and even email to share information and obviously deals, leading to Groupon’s $2 billion in profit!

Now allow me to tie this altogether, and let you know why I am somewhat of a skeptic about social media and e-commerce merging (to be called “social-commerce“). When this occurs, as it is almost in full bloom, the market run’s the risk of another dot-com bubble bursting right before our very computers. News and media alike keep talking about the “value” of sites like Facebook, Twitter, and now Groupon.

Dot Com Bubble

NASDAQ March 2000 Peak- Dot-Com Bubble

So it occurred to me that this was a familiar scene of excitement born in Silicon Valley in the late 1990’s when the market “valued” these emerging dot-com start-ups, much like a Groupon or Facebook,  with such high ambition. Yet after years of huge profits, these companies took a dive as a result of under-performing world markets and the bubble finally burst. We saw many sorry investors, such as myself, who were hard hit by the bubbles nasty mess. Losing pensions, homes, and above all tons of jobs, the market value of these start-up dot-coms wasn’t quite what everyone speculated.

The dot-com experience was a serious reality check for many business owners and investors, so I remain skeptical and approach the social media arena with extreme caution. If the economy doesn’t eventually rebound (9.8 still unemployed), will Google, market analysts and consumers still appraise these companies with the such high value. Before we let the bubble get too big let us honestly ask ourselves what it is that makes Twitter or Groupon or Facebook worth $40 billion dollars? I’ll be the first to tell you, its the people on there- like you and me. So unless we suddenly stop going on these social sites– like we did to MySpace, now revamping its image – then companies like Groupon, standing its ground to reject Google’s $6 billion, may very well see the social media bubble come into full blossom.

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Facebook SEO – How to Implement Facebook SEO

There has been the announcement that Facebookwill begin indexing regular websites into the internal search results. For example if you search Facebook for “fashion” you’ll find the results for friend pages AND websites like Elle.com, the biggest fashion resource online.

Now anyone creating content for the web should take advantage of this opportunity to rank in Facebook search, especially given the hype around this integrative technology competing with the big brothers of search, the Google gods. The easiest way to do this is by building SEO meta tags into your site architecture. Luckily, since Facebook wants to beat Google, they provide a concise set of ‘how-to’ guidelines for developers. Anyone interested, just email me.

Facebook wants to become the new Google, and it seems it’s possible. Let’s hope your ready to make your site ready for the new Facebook search coming soon.

Also, have you heard of Blekko.com, slash tag search? I’ll be talking more about what’s next in SEO.

Brand Ambasadors Buzz Tips: Creating Cool Infographics

As we head into 2011, it is time for corporate marketing teams to be planning and prepping their digital road map for the coming year. So as that road map is formulated, it will become visible that everything done by marketing must drive visits and create buzz. Creating cool infographics that explain or solve a problem or allow people to have a fun experience are a great way to develop brand awareness and viral buzz. More and more it seems these cool infographics are popping up online. People seem to react well to them, and others, who love a bunch of them become brand ambassadors by helping promote them by sharing on twitter, blogs and word of mouth (instant messenger too!). For the corporate marketing team, now is a good time to ask, “What cool inforgraphic should we create to excite brand ambassadors?”

Here is a round of cool infographcis and a recap on how they created buzz for the business who used them:

1) Cool Infographic: SEO FAQ’s A GUIDE:
This company based in the UK found it compelling to create a graphic to answer common questions asked by their clients. This graphic not only solved a problem that wasted much of the companies time, but they als gave heir clients an easy way to understand the concepts of SEO. Creating this cool infographic helped the company grow trust among its existing client base, and develop buzz that might later generate new business.
Creating Cool Infographics

2) Cool Infographic: HOW TO GET SHOT BY THE SARTORIALIST:
This company took hold of a concept that would generate buzz about their brand, which was not well know at the time. The brand capitalized on the mystery and popularity of this person who takes unique and exclusive fashion shits in the street. For their audience this was exclusive content because it helped them better understand how they could get their fashion noticed by this photographer. All in all, a concept like this spread very fast on the blog circuit and fashionable folks everywhere linked to it, Facebooked about it, and retweeted to their followers about this article. For the company, creating such a cool infographic meant $$$ because every visitor generated ad revenue.
designer cool infographics

3) Cool Infographics: THE DEADLY DING:
This company created a cool infographic to bring awareness to a common problem among athletes. This information is accurate, factual, and engaging for young teen athletes who could otherwise careless about this information. This type of online promotion would work well for an organization, such as the one who promoted this graphic, because it would go viral to the people who they set out to target. Young people found this infographic helpful, yet entertaining, and were able to share it with their friends on social networks. The goal of this graphic was to spread awareness and as a result of the viral promotion of this graphic- the marketing team was successful in achieving that goal.
designing cool infographics

With each of these cool infographics, these companies and organizations were able to excite brand ambassadors into action to create buzz, spread awareness and generate revenue from their actions. As costly as it might be to create cool infographics, the value of growing your business online is infinite.

Tracking Brand Mentions Online in 3 Easy Steps

Alright, so everyone is wondering what is being said about their company these days, right? Well shoot, if you are not listening to the buzz about your brand, you better start tracking brand mentions. The easiest way to do this is by using listening tools that allow you to tune into the socila buzz. Some of these tools cost mulah, and some of them are free.

Tools for Tracking Brand Mentions:

A) Set up a Google Alert:

Step 1: Have a Google Account (yourname@gmail.com)

Step 2: Pick a few things you want an alert for

Step 3: Enter these topics into Google Alerts, click here

B) Check out Social Mention:

Step 1: Type in your brand name

Step 2: Look at whats been said

Step 3: Take further action to reach out, click here to step and repeat

tracking brand mentions

Tracking Your Brand Mentions- Goes Back to Actual Conversations

C) Use Twitter Tools like Trendistic:

Step 1: Enter your brand or topic on Trendistic

Step 2: Look at pretty graphs and tweets from around the community

Step 3: Use your Twitter account to reach out to those people and converse, you do have a Twitter account right?

In sum, the investment you make is going to be the best way to get value out of anything you do after tracking your brand, no matter which of these tracking tools you choose. There are several reasons why people want to track their brand mentions online. Here are a few to help you define your objectives:

1) National E-commerce businesses: It is great to listen track brand mentions and also track syndication of products on other site so you can chime on on the conversation. By tracking your brand, this allows you to engage in the conversation, especially if anything is being said badly about your business.

2) Local Travel & Hotel businesses: If you are holding interests in your airline, or hotel business reputation, it is important you are tracking brand mentions. Listening to your business reviews online can help ensure clients are having a good experience and help when they are upset.

3) Global Blog and Publishing businesses: It is excellent to see when your company gets mentioned, so by tracking your brand name you can see when it is mentioned on blogs and press portals. You can also find sites that might pick up your content and help make stronger relationships with them going forward.

Let me know if you have any questions- as I want to help you grow business online!

SEO CONSULTING FIRM

Finding ways to grow your business online isn’t easy, that is why ELM Consulting offers reliable SEO consulting services and techniques and tools that your company can put into action today. From training in the work place to tagging on the website- we are a full service SEO consulting firm. Let us grow your business online!

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Corporate SEO Consultant: Behind the ‘Zines’

In my role at a world wide magazine publisher, located here in NYC, my SEO Consulting skills are an asset to the company. Having implemented and streamlined a strategy to grow traffic to the websites, I had to accomplish several things within the company to make sure our SEO program and internal departments were functioning in the best interest of online viability. In 2009 I set the foundation to execute a growth model that will take this brands above the curve.

Having worked at this company for little over a year- there has been much growth, both within the corporation, the brands, and within my role (personally and professionally). As it stands, I manage a team of 5 people, 1 intern, 5 or 6 vendors and interface with tech and editorial. In addtion to these tasks, i also manage the relationship building within the digital marketing division- new age PR. There is so much expected of me as a corporate SEO Consultant, I just wanted to shed some light on some of it.

Now its back to the grind helping small businesses grow online, because not everyone can afford a corporate SEO Consultant like ELM.

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Brand Guardian Toolbox and Tricks

In my entire life I never thought I’d be where I am today- guarding and growing brands. I built and collected tools and tricks to fill by brand guardian toolbox. This toolbox is what I use to guard brands, and grow them on the web. Here are just of few of my secrets:

  1. When you find an idea about what works to build a brand, if should not come from an idea of how another brand was built.
  2. When you are developing concept ideas on what your brand should feel like to the end user or target audience, it is a good idea to explore what is on the market.
  3. Use of digital media and SEO are new methods to expose certain brands, and help them make money

I am a official brand guardian. Come back to learn more tricks to fill your brand guardian toolbox.

Digital Marketing Tips to Grow Business Online

Many websites have been hit by the Google Panda updates, which are here to stay. it takes a well informed SEO expert to keep you above the fold during these algorithm advancements. Does your site have what it takes? Are creating unique content for the web? Do you have a strong link profile? Are you thinking about how to compete in the top, or creating a strategy to capture long tail keyword traffic? Let us help you rank high this holiday season!

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