To Host your own Blog or Not to Host your Own blog…

9 Mar

 

This is a question that came up recently from a fortune 500 company, “can we host our blog on wordpress or should we host our blog on our CMS server?”.¬†

This answer applies to companies that range from small-extra large, not necessarily to individuals such as myself ūüôā

  • You should definitely host your own blog on the CMS, otherwise any SEO benefits will go to the hosting company not your own site (like WordPress or others)

Advantages of hosting your blog on a CMS include:

  • less worry about security issues
  • A CMS withstands more visitors
  • more control
  • SEO advantage
  • Also, your own blog looks more professional then a blog that is hosted by an outside company like WordPress

 

Their next question was, should our blog be on a subdomain or a subdirectory?”

I think this question can be very confusing. To give a brief overview of sub-domains vs. subdirectories, the short story is to use a subdirectory (i.e. http://www.mycompany.com/blog). Do not host it on a sub-domain such as blog.mycompany.com.

Reasons being the following (in no particular order):

  • A sub-domain is used to separate out content that is different from the root domain, a blog does not fall into this category because it should have something to do with the website content
  • A subdirectory is easier for a user to remember, creating more direct traffic
  • Subdirectories inherit ranking benefits of the root domain, so it’s not as hard to grow traffic from an SEO standpoint
  • Inbound links that come into a subdirectory build more ranking value and link juice (definitely want this :))
  • Any social sharing would be passed to the root domain (www.mycompany.com)
  • Subdirectories are easier to manage from a server perspective

 

Short answer: Host your own blog and put it on a subdirectory such as http://www.mycompany.com/blog

 

Happy Blogging!!

 

Top Brands on Pinterest

27 Feb

PinterestFacts about Pinterest:

-More than 10.4 million registered users

-Hits around 10 million unique visitors monthly

-More than 80% of pins are repins (high social sharing)

-Roughly 68% of the users are female (no surprise)

 

I’m compiling a list of current brands on Pinterest…here’s the list so far. If you see some great brands I’ve missed please leave a comment ūüôā

These are just a few of the handful of brands I’ve found floating around Pinterest. All in all, we see a high number of brands that cater to the female audience including magazines and grocery stores. It is nice to see more brands getting involved including non-profit, local restaurants, and B2B companies.

If you are looking to get your brand out there then you should be thinking about creating Pinterest boards that cater to your audience as well as those that apply to aspects of your brand, for example there could be a board on location of offices and things to do in the cities. Colors (see Hubspots example) and humor works well too!

Happy Pinning!

 

Topsy, New Favorite Twitter Tool

23 Feb

There are hundreds of tools out there for social listening, it gets hard to decide which one to use. I recently found one that I particularly like called Topsy (www.topsy.com).

The interface is clean and user friendly. I can use the site to monitor clients and competitors. Recently I’ve used it to try to win badges to SXSW Interactive :), I’ve used advanced search techniques¬† (see older post http://bit.ly/xYtarB )to clean out the filters and created an e-mail update which allows me to see new contests posted everyday. I think I’ve signed up for just about every contest out there, so my fingers are crossed ūüôā

Finally the Best SEO Checklist

13 Feb

I have been on the prowl for a great SEO checklist. Here is one that I found on LunaMetric’s website that is concise and easy, yay!!

http://bit.ly/wHX1by

Top 12 Google Expert Search Tips

7 Feb

Taken from Hubspot’s Blog

Here is a cheat sheet to help you perform Google searches ūüôā

1. Explicit Phrase:

  • ¬†example: “internet marketing”

2. Exclude words: exclude results containing certain words

  • ¬†example: internet marketing -advertising

3. Site Specific search: search a specific website for information

  • example: “internet marketing” site:www.mashable.com

4. Similar Words and Synonyms: include results that contain similar words or synonyms

  • example: “internet marketing” ~professional

5. Specific Document Types: maybe you’re only looking for powerpoint presentations?

  • example: “internet marketing” filetype:ppt

6. This OR that:

  • example: internet marketing OR advertising

7. Phone Listing: Look up a number using Google’s phonebook feature

  • example: phonebook:617-555-9139

8. Area code look up:

  • ¬†example: 212

9. Numeric Ranges: use the X..Y modifier, this is useful if looking for a range of years, prices, etc.

  • example: president 1940..1950

10. Stock (Ticker Symbol):

  • example: GOOG

11. Calculator: just type in the expression in the google box

  • example: 54*89

12. Word definitions:

  • example: define:humanitarian

Monthly Subscription Services…What’s in the box?

30 Jan

Product sampling is not new to marketers however a  new form of product sampling is cropping up all over the place. The most notable and potential pioneer is Birchbox.

Birchbox

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birchbox sends 5-6 deluxe samples to customers for a monthly subscription of $10, members also receive points for buying any of the full size products from the samples sent. Each point counts as a $1 toward buying your next product through the service. Another perk of the serivice is personalization, after completing a survey the company will be able to send items catered to your specific tastes in beauty products.

¬†After testing the service for 3 months, I debated if the samples were actually worth $10/month.¬†Ultimately, I¬†decided to¬†stop the service because I ended up with a drawer full of samples that I didn’t really use.¬†Some reviewers noted the samples were better when the company first started, however, others continue to rave about their samples and service.

I decided to do research on their business plan and found a new crop of similar services. A nice list has been compiled by this blogger http://forum.purseblog.com/the-beauty-bar/list-of-beauty-subscription-services-724498.html .

It seems that international demand for this type of service has increased dramatically as well since international shipping can be tricky. Similar companies have popped up in the UK, Canada, Ireland, Germany, France, Australia, and South Africa among others.

One service that stands out is the Test Tube box by New Beauty which sends boxes on a quarterly bases at $29.95/box and includes a magazine, the yearly cost is slightly cheaper than similar services $10 or more per month.

Outside of the beauty realm there are also monthly subscription services for eco-friendly products, products for dogs, men, and handmade products.

Product sampling is a great way for new and existing products to gain word of mouth attention. In the future I believe we will continue to see crops of new subscription services competing against one another for the spotlight. Companies that partner with the appropriate service should see a nice increase in sales and generate a higher ROI ūüôā

10 Tips for writing copy, PPC Ads

23 Jan

A good ad is only as good as it’s copy. Luckily, most ads out there today have not been strategically designed with the searcher in mind. This could give you a first-mover advantage over your competitors. Here are 10 tips for writing effective copy for your next PPC ad.
 
 
1. Remember to write for the searcher, give clear direction
2. Set expectations for the landing page
3. Instead of writing about features write about the benefits of the product, benefits are why we buy the product
 Instead of saying the computer has 8 hour battery life say: An 8 hour battery life so you can   stay productive on cross-country flights.  

 

4. Include a call to action, this is the goal of the ad and tells people what to expect  after they click
                                Call to action example: Signup for powerful money saving tips
5. Make your ad stand out using an appropriate title…a one word keyword is used by many and will not make an impression on the searcher
6. Use topical based ads, think about upcoming events like Valentines Day or Black Friday, just be careful of trademarks!
7. Please use proper spelling…LAX (airport) is not the same as Lax, this could turn a searcher away
8. Make your ad personal by using words like you, your, etc.
9. Research competitors ads and avoid using the same adjectives in your copy, remember you want your ad to stand out
10. The display URL should direct the searcher to the appropriate landing page, include the domain name, and use uppercase for each word in the URL
Display URL example: plumbersexchange.com should be PlumbersExchange.com, otherwise it may be thought as PlumberSexChange.com (ooops!)

I hope these help! Please leave any feedback ūüôā

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