Sunday, May 24, 2009

Viral Marketing in Action: Update of simple case study.

On Friday evening just as work was dying down. It had been a long week. Friday morning I had been researching case studies of viral marketing and found little usable information on the subject. The fact of the matter is just from my simple attempt at launching my own case study before the weekend a great deal of information has already been gathered. Again the attempt was made very last minute and on the fly basically as I was walking out the door late Friday.

So I left for Tamworth, NH later that evening, for a planned trip down the Saco River with some friends on Saturday. I wanted to get away from my urges to re post, and RT my first message as I normally would within my other networks. I also wanted to doing nothing more than shut my laptop usually tethered cell phone off and float down the river in my rented yellow kyak all day fir this first attempt.

The good thing is I had already previously installed Google Analytic's tracking data so we could watch any update to surges in traffic that appeared whenI returned. I wasn't surprised all to see the small inrease in traffic just after the launch as seen below.

Keep in mind the viral marketing campaign itself was modest. I only wrote the blog posted the article and tweeted about it a few times on Twitter @paradoxadguy which has very small network currently. In addition I posted a link to the blog on my Facebook profile as well as my myspace profile. Also networks of around 500. All in all the viral marketing blog post blog was presented to roughly 1500 people so far and the number is still growing.

The goal of the attempt was to stimulate traffic to a free classifieds site which I am currently managing marketing campaign for.

The outward goal was obviously accomplished. However the other target so far has been missed completely. Techinically the content hasn't even gone viral yet so I hope to look forward to a further increase of traffic soon.

Secondly, my goal my to make a viral marketing contest from the case study in hopes to additionally viralize the content itself as well as stimulate traffic.

So far the accomplishments overall are as follows:

  • + 17 new followers on Twitter
  • +40 New visits to the site I normally wouldn't have gotten
  • +5 New friends on myspace
  • +2 New friends on Facebook
  • +3 New Users on
  • +26 New Classified Ads Posted on
The additional image below dosen't show this unfortunately due to the CMS currently being a bit limited at in terms of updated day-to -day tracking data.

I guess you'll just have to take my word on that for now. In the meantime the only information I can provide is the tracking data which shows the increase.

In the coming weeks I also plan to make several other attempts to viralize the content by submitting, post and re-submitting for additional pulls of ambient traffic, in addition to creating monitoring and tracking several new viral marketing videos which I plan to release on my own in addition to the ones we will be promoting for the contest. I will continue to post the result on this blog so be sure to bookmark it or subscribe to the feed.

I look forward to any submissions just to get an idea of what other people can think up in terms for viral content for this type of website. It should be a fun contest with some exciting results. Don't forget to read the first past and get the email address off the page where you can send you funny videos to. I would like to just see videos of people using the free classifieds services to it's full potential.

Feel free to comment any feedback is appreciated.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Viral Marketing In Action: A Case Study

I keep seeing people asking for case studies of viral marketing. Having not seen an available case study online myself, rather a bunch of statistical data provided by seo and viral marketing scientist's like Dan Zarella; I thought it might be good to start one and make you a part of it. Keep in mind my network isn't entirely broad in any one social media platform, but around 500+ plus for sites like Twitter, Myspace (Ghetto), Facebook etc. So over the next few weeks I will be updating this blog with additional posts relating to the responses I am getting from everyone. Also fee free to comment at any time. I would be happy to take any feedback.

The object is very simple and basic online marketing strategy. Create a viral marketing campaign interesting enough to be able to be virally self-sustaining within a few days.

Here goes...

Where I want people to participate is in by submitting viral content as part of the viral campaign. Mainly what I am looking for is for people to go to . While your're there you'll notice several options right away one of which is posting free classifieds. You'll also notice links on the page to several radio stations live streams. After you register and create an account the next step is to create a video screenshot with whatever audio you selected from the main page. There is no preference of the software used but the video must be either made available on Youtube and you can submit a link to the email below or please submit it in .wmv, .mpg, .wma, or similar format, god even a .avi file if you have to. The idea is to make a video with you using the websites services to their full potential. The video only needs to last 2-3 minutes and needs to include audio from one of the staions on our website.

There will be a contest that follows for the best submitted video where the winner will win a $250 Predpaid Visa Mastercard for their effort in submitted the best video. In addition all the participants videos will be made available on and updated several times daily until we reach our goal. In addition we will also be tweeting every new video posted. In turn our accounts are also picked up by several other feed burners and brand identity management resoures like

We will be having a great time hopefully laughing at some of the videos produced by you creative types as the videos roll in. You can submit your viral videos to for the time being until we have a specific mail account set up to receive them in the future.

I will also be posting screenshots of related analytics data that we get from the attempt.

Hopfully this is fun project for everyone and we really get to see some positive responses from this. We look forward to hearing from you. Read set .... Action!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It doesn't get any easier than this. In response to Josh Klein, "20 SEO tricks for launching a new website"

This information couldn't be any more direct and to the point. These are by far some of the most beneficial internet marketing resources I have found available online. Aside from a few other simple marketing techniques that could certainly be of great benefit as well; like making sure your website's site map is up-to-date. Content is certainly king in this business still king in this business and believe it or not even having your images optimized for content can even prove to increase you websites keyword rank and additionally you rank on the search engines in the long run. In addition to these other two important tips Josh Klein didn't mention, I would also like to make sure that readers understand the importance of optimizing quality inbound links. There are high PR valued links that point back to you. Many times I see novices still linking from their business names etc. This is is of little benefit in today's market where search engines are ranking websites on keyword weight and prevalence.

That simple fact is you have to think about your marketing campaign as a whole. Everything you leave your digital imprint on should talk more about what you do and what services or products you provide as opposed to what your company name is.

For one simple reason: Ask yourself one question," " If my company is unheard of, why would they search for me? You're of course right, they wouldn't. That's why niche specific content needs to point to pertinent content and everything else is simply a waste of time.

The most important tip he gives away in his article is regarding social marketing. Being that art of writing a quality blog or or creating websites people care about (which I commented on his other useful article earlier) is so difficult in some case to manage properly, social networking really gives a us an easy way to interact with more readers and follows than ever thought possible before with print, by streamlining the way we can deliver content. Most people just don't take the time to learn to use it.

Many have learned the hard way. But if you follow the steps in Josh's article, if you are looking to manage your SEO yourself; you should be on track to launching your new website effectively.

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In response to, "Websites Worth Caring About"

I recently came across this article, which was recommended through an email from my wife to me. I was sure glad after having read it, as it was in itself an article worth reading. So much of our time is often wasted chasing the new-fangled online marketing tools that promise us the world in terms of traffic delivery as compared to the small amount of money that is actually wasted on these false-claiming resources.

The internet is increasingly plagued with trendy gimmicks and the hopes of striking it rich. To sum it up, this modern day"gold rush" is so much more than what most people can even understand. Keep in mind that writing a blog is just one piece of the puzzle. A major problem I still see is that many are taking the time to try and learn what they need to know to make writing a blog and distributing it more efficient, but they aren't finding the time after to apply these principals to their strategic marketing plan. There are also many automated posting services available that many people get drawn into. But I think something often get's lost in the dynamic of posting your own content one quality link at a time. Like I always say if you are human, than act like it.

Somehow readers know the difference between you and someone who posts your content for you, especially if they know you personally. There is something that can be said of a quality blog or article linking to a quality website or other quality resource. It says something about the level of skill it took to create the emotions that translate readers and followers into sales conversions.

I very personally am glad to know that through it all good old-fashioned organic search engine related marketing through quality blogging and distributing blog content still works. Of course this is no surprise to me, but it is nice to find an article from time to time which supports the idea that us hard working marketing professionals aren't wasting our time trying to purchase these trendy optimization gadgets that don't often work.

I completely agree about the beauty of a blog it is ever changing, that was a great point that was made in the article. I would like to be able to think that every blog and blog writer evolves over time. Such evolution would seemingly signify a deeper understanding of the niche and their for the quality of the expertise in the blog content; which in turn should be represented by a greater following or a larger network or down line.

What can I say the food was good and so was the company. That is in fact what's it all about. If only other marketing blogs could communicate their purposes so effectively and eloquently.

"Quality over quantity wins again!!!!", and Josh Klein delivers that message quite well. I found this article to be a powerful message and certainly a valuable website marketing tip. Thanks so much.

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Is website design and development an online marketing solution?

Have you ever wondered how many successful businesses online got that way? Well I used to as well. Then I decided to spend the last 10 years researching the most successful web businesses and and how they were able to achieve success. Did you know that many online businesses often do not become a success because of simple website development and design practices that their current web or IT company might not have implemented. The simple truth is, I have found that most online businesses can become a success just by taking some sound advice from a online marketing professional and implementing those strategy as part of their online marketing solution.

Not online yet, but you are planning to be? There are many willing IT companies can help you get started right away with the best approach for your business from the very start. Having a professional website design , one that works with your client goals and working with a professional development team with combined experience has it's advantages, wouldn't you agree? That's why so many marketing companies and IT firms try to introduce their services to you. There is no doubt that having the right plan, with the right company will surely make your online business goals a success. But not all companies provide everything they say they can and that why you need a marketing professional to walk you through weeding out the scams and selecting the right campaign for your business. A real savvy pro will even have solutions to suggest right from day 1 that can help you get started immediately.

Simple & Innovative Web Solutions
A company that is interested in your business for the long haul will start by talking to you like your human. They won't expect you to understand digital art design, complicated programming or sophisticated application technology. They should use a simple approach to communicating by listening to your goals to create a customized plan for creating your website design or building your website application from start to finish.

Of course they should use all the latest technologies available to provide seamless and interactive designs and online media that tells your customers who you are and what you are offering in a way that appeals to the consumer by sparking interest based on color, content and interactivity.That's a no brainier. After all,"Why would you put your business in the hands of an amateur than can only do a few tricks?".

Get Connected With Targeted Online Marketing & Website Branding Solutions
By today's standards having a website online just isn't enough. Just like any other business your website needs traffic driven to it in order to get a following or to make sales. This can be done in many ways by marketing online. You'll want highly skilled SEO / SEM consultants that will work with you around the clock if needed, to create simple online marketing strategies, customized online marketing campaigns or planned total web media based branding solutions that are right for your businesses product, service or message.

Valuable Website & Marketing Resources at Your Finger Tips
There are many companies that will offer complete and competitive website and IT marketing related solutions. As a whole, these businesses should be able to base their total business value on their ability to be able to deliver what they promise on time and to your design, development or campaign standards. If you're ever not satisfied, the right company will understand your issues and concerns. They should also be willing to work with you to correct any issues or to provide alternatives to problems that arise. Again a company with the right skill set can even jump in where your last designer or programmer may have left-off to complete your unfinished projects.

The best website marketing programs can be anything from organic in nature or even viral if done right. So the sky is the limit in terms of were these feature rich IT and marketing companies can place you to benefit you most in your niche market.

I have found that the best place to start looking if you want to discuss the full potential of having a professional quality website designed, a website application developed for you or your business or to talk about the advantages to getting targeted traffic delivered to your already existing website; just starting talking to your business networks, collegues and mastermind alliances about the services they may already be using. They will most likely be able to point you in the right direction.

Believe it or not E-commerce and CMS are already Green Solutions

You've probably figured out that converting website visitors into sales isn't easy. But you also realize it helps if you have a state-of-the-art, completely customized or even popular Content Management System (CMS) to manage your product and customer information; working with the latest e-commerce business software and tools available.

To do this:

First, you'll want to find an IT company that will work with any available merchant or payment gateway software to create a seamless shopping and cart checkout experience that will keep your potential customers safe, satisfied and informed about their purchase(s) while they shop online with you. Also given the right marketing and sales approach, with professionally written copy they'll most likely keep coming back because it so easy to check out using name brand and custom solutions to e-commerce.

Secondly, a professional development company will also make it so it's just as easy to add and manage products and customer information with just a few clicks using a dynamic content management system. A full CMS solution for any e-commerce software can be added to your website in any case or just ask your chosen IT company to add the tools to your already established content management system.

By having these types of resources in place it will be much easier to convert your website product browsers into buyers with an integrated solution for accepting credit cards and other payment processes directly on your website. Plus having an automated payment solution for your users on your website could actually be considered a GREEN business solution because it reduces paper waste by providing a seamless interface online to be being able to manage and track important information related to your sales and customers. This can also save you or your company valuable time and eventually money in the long run by leveraging your customer tracking & shipping responsibilities and reducing the time normally needed to add and manage products.

If you want to discuss the benefits of using e-commerce for online business or to talk about the advantages to using a content management system (CMS) with your website. The are many IT companies will personally see to it your CMS or e-commerce projects are handled with the best pricing and time frame for delivery possible through their resources.

The bottom line is, if your looking to monetize your website or simply looking to create and utilize an additional stream of revenue by offering your products directly on you website. There are many trained IT professionals that can aid and assist you in choosing the right e-commerce solution for your online business. Just try the search engines!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Managing Website Optimization | SEO and SEM Services On and Off Site

As it stands today, one of the best long-term solutions to overall website visibilty that we know of is search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). This is the the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engines via “natural” search results for targeted keywords.

The earlier a site is presented in the search results for respective keywords or the higher it “ranks” in the SERPS (search engine page results) the more potential searchers will visit that site.

While most website owners still don't understand the importance of having these services applied to their website or how it how it can affect a website's total traffic over time; it is a seperate challenge for many more even to understand the specifics involved in managing an on-site or off-site website marketing campaign for their business.

There are many resources online that talk about the differneces between these types of campaigns and although there are many differences of opinion, the fact of the matter is that the processes involved are very complicated and can be very time consuming to explain to the average Joe or Jane. Ultimately understanding that content is king, goes a long way in this business. Which means that if you write great content that is properly optimzed the search engines will know what to do with it. Great content will not only get people to your website but will keep them coming back.

The following are some basics about on-site and off-site website optimization and how they apply to SEO and SEM marketing strategies.

On-Site Website Search Engine Optimization-

The process of On-site search engine optimization involves optimizing your website for the specific keywords that you are trying to rank for in the SERPS. It involves the manipulation specific attributes within the website document, which are listed below.

1. Meta Tags
2. Image Alt Tags
3. Sitemap
4. Robots.txt
5. Home Page
6. Sub Pages and Content

This can itself be a daunting task, however the common goal in manipulating these attributes is simple, to define how the search engines will interact with your website which will in turn determine your websites page-rank over time as well as it's visibilty within the search engines for specifically targeted keywords.

Once these attributes have been manipulated for optimization based on your keyword selection.

The search engines then very carefully determine the websites page(s) relevancy to it's content, title, and name of the URL by calculating it's keyword density weight against other similarly optimized websites (usually your competitors) .

Whichever website has the higher density of prominent keywords get's the higher pagerank.

It's really that simple to understand, although the process is not as simple as it can be explained.

Although there are many of you that have very simple websites and very basic optimization needs in terms of visibilty; if you don't know what your doing, you should speak with a trusted SEO company or SEM firm before making any changes to your website code on your own.

I have spoken with several individuals that tried to manipulate this content on there own and ended up hurting their online business efforts in the long run.

But, there are many free tools on the web that can help you manage your on-site website optimization if you search around.

I would recommend starting with Google. First, try a search for "free keyword density checker". There will be several versions of this tool, choose the one that best suits your specific needs. Next do a search for "free pagerank checker". There will be several version of this as well, again simply choose the one that best suits your needs. Last but not least is a really basic website code /design editor like MS Frontpage or even Dreamweaver if it they are accessible, but any will do.

Once you have these three tools and have done a little more marketing research on the attributes mentioned above you should be ready to begin your on-site website optimization.

Off-Site Website Search Engine Optimization-

Off-site website search engine optimization is a much easier concept to understand but is much more time consuming in the long-run to explain.

Off-site website search engine optimization is generally done after your website has been made search engine friendly by on-site website optimization.

In order to further increase your website traffic, pagerank and overall visibilty, your website now needs to get "votes" links pointing to it. The types of links are very important for your website to rank for certain search phrases.

When speaking in terms of digital space you want your network of links to reflect the keywords your website page(s) is optimized for.

(Example:- if you want to rank for the keyword phrase “abc golf supplies” the inbound link text must be “abc golf supplies”, this creates a “vote” for your website for the search phrase “abc golf supplies” – in very simple terms the website that has the most “votes” or inbound links with the “anchor text” or search phrase in the link text should outrank competitive websites with the same prevalent keyword targets. Anchored links should be text that is relevant to the website and a term the website is trying to be recognized for. The best place to start is with Authority Websites , or sites which have similarly related content that already ranks higher than your own website.

These types of links can be obtained through several different ways and are mentioned below.

1) Reciprocal Links

2) One-way Links

3) Triangulated Links

In a nutshell you want to have as many of these links as possible linking back to your website. Anchored links from authority sites is what gives your site recognition in the eyes of the search engines. The problem with getting anchored links from authority sites is that most authority sites are careful who they link to and will not always honor a request from a new site to give you an anchored link.

However there are several professional SEO companies that specialize at link building, that already have resources available the match your target market.

A Powerful Combination-

While manging your on-site website optimization, which can be an ongoing process until you get the results you want it terms of keyword density as well as relevancy; in addition to considering the aging or maturing periods of inbound links, which takes approximately 3 to 6 months for links to count as solid votes for your website. You must realize in general that the SEO, SEM process could easily be a full-time job and learning this art is far easier than implementing a campaign yesterday, which is when you needed it.

Where inbound links no longer count as a vote immediately, like they did in the past and Google as well as other search engines constantly changing the way in which SERPS are delivered; it's not hard to realize how much effort really is involved in having your website properly optimized to bring quality and consistant traffic from your on-site and off-site website optimization practices.

Although on-site website optimization is designed to work independantly from off-site website optimization and can prove to be fruitful if you are well enough optimized for your target market; there is virtually no point in running an off-site campaign without first having your on-site content optimized for search.

Together these powerful website marketing techniques are certain to help to make your website a powerful HUB and eventually an authority within it’s industry, by building your backlinks properly.