Category Archives for Screencasts

Building Great Links

Link Building is always a topic of conversation for anyone in the world of Internet Marketing. People who push only organic SEO tend to be quite focused on the overall process of building masses of links with target anchor text on sites which may pass link juice.

Personally that's a narrow minded point of view that really limits your overall link building goals. The reality of the situation is that links drive traffic, reputation, new visitors and potentially new customers. A well thought out online promotional program will assist you in your organic SEO link building efforts. But you need to have a holistic view of link building.

We build links to achieve a number of goals:

  1. Promote the site. We produce great content and we want the world to know about it.
  2. Highlight other sites we think are great. We do this by commenting on articles we love, participating in discussions.
  3. We are promoting a contest or promotion based around a product. This could be considered link baiting but it's also showing people how creative and fun we might. When I was Director of Internet Marketing for BetUS we had alot of fun with this great link bait program - it was flattering that Rand Fishkin from SEOMoz thought it was genius marketing. We had fun doing it and it was very successful.
  4. We are building links to increase our search rankings. When I was at Bodog we built links for SEO specifically but tracked it with Clicktracks and optimized from there - times were very different but it was (and is) an effective tactic - it certainly worked there. Check out the case study on Lyris.
  5. We are participating in a community such as StumbleUpon, Facebook and Twitter. This isn't for the purpose of building links directly. It's promoting our product, service or just talking to people. We generate content, talk to people and they shockingly enough they may link to us directly but that's not the initial goal (we don't whack people over the head).

I just finished watching Rand Fishkin's Whiteboard Friday on the same subject. I strongly suggest you check it out:

What other link building tactics do you use now? Let me know what you think of my take on link building awesomeness. Have a great Friday the 13th!

Cheers,

Dan Nedelko

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Using StumbleUpon Effectively

Social Network Marketing is currently a hot topic in the world of Internet Marketing. Many people want to integrate a social media and social networking component to their marketing mix. The most common problem I see is Social Media Marketing thrown together in an ad hoc fashion and poorly executed.

The key risk from a marketing perspective is this: poorly executed SEO will result in no rankings, poorly executed PPC results in wasted budgets, poorly executed Social Media Marketing can result in a bad reputation, negative buzz and angry users.

You need to be very cautious when executing a Social Media Marketing campaign - do not just throw something together and start talking to an online community, the ramifications could be not only worse than you expected they could be difficult to undo.

Planning, education and execution are critical to a successful social media program. I would suggest that you consider the following points before launching a social media marketing program:

  1. Which social media sites will you be targeting? Is your content appropriate for that network? For example: Digg is extremely popular among technology and design audiences. StumbleUpon is popular for humor, entertainment and gaming audiences. Newsvine is popular among politcal junkies (these are fairly simplistic examples but you get the point).
  2. What voice do you want to project for your product to these audiences? Direct marketing doesn't generally work well. Informational, educational and interesting content is needed with a subtle hint towards promoting your product.
  3. What are you trying to say to the audience? Social Media Marketing is really about starting an ongoing dialogue with an audience, it's about building trust relationships that are subtle. Formulating a message is extremely important, continuing the dialogue in a genuine way is critical. If you are not going to do that then you need to reconsider leveraging this medium.
  4. Social Media Networks are composed of and run by real people. Remember that. This is not traditional advertising. You are developing a conversation with real people.
  5. Be prepared to hear things you may not like. You may get no reaction. You may in fact get a negative reaction. Ensure that you know how to deal with a negative reaction and always remember that someone who gives you a reaction is someone who cares. Engage them and sort it out, it will be worth it!
  6. Be prepared to engage the community as a community member. Participate in a very real way, if you do any less your programs will not succeed.

Although I've gone off on a tangent slightly, I am laying the ground work for this screencast and discussing one of my favorite sites: StumbleUpon. I'm not going to introduce Stumbleupon in this article, I do that in the screencast below. You can also learn about StumbleUpon right here.

So enjoy the screencast and I'm sure I've missed something in my overview so let me know by leaving a comment. Click Play and watch my screencast on Stumbleupon, you might find it useful!

If you are already on StumbleUpon or ready to join and get into it, add me to your friend list or subscribe to my stumbles.

Happy Stumbling!

Dan Nedelko

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