Archive for May, 2009

Is Your SEO in the Wrong Hands?

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Over the past few years we’ve built our sites by developing a pretty smart CMS system, and we’ve have always had the ability to manipulate a lot of SEO energy through this method. We could always control the domain, the title tag, the secondary page naming conventions, meta tags and relevant content, but there was always one item missing: the infamous external linking. In the past we contracted out (like many of you guys have, undoubtedly) to a traditional SEO company, hiring them to populate directories and blogs with the relevant keywords while taking folks to the article within the website to maintain the ole point of origin that Google like so much.

After a few tries at this, and after becoming a little more educated on backlinking, a few things occurred to me:
1) I was trusting our client’s verbage to be controlled by thirty interns typing to get my site noticed by Google, but these individuals had little regard for the clients USP or messaging concerns. That’s a very scary thought.
2) SEO consists of directories and blogs… well heck, that sounds a lot like social networking to me.

With that in mind, I began on a pilgrimage to put the SEO back in the hands of the message providers and evangelists within the company — no longer in the hands of a group of 20-somethings on their way to the closest watering hole at 5:01 pm. With just a bit of a time committment and a quick lesson on how to navegate and use these sites, employees be empowered to do it themselves. Harnessing the power social networking tools, which are working conjunction with the website, and empowering the client to spread the message to their followers (and Google) — welcome to Do It Yourself SEO!

The Death of the Database

Friday, May 1st, 2009

My developer and I were banging skulls recently, discussing the goals for revamping one of our client’s online sports radio sites. He mentioned that in order for site users to get the premium info they wanted, we would need to ask for an e-mail and mobile number. He felt that that method was necessary in order to reach out to these folks in the future and create a metric for success.

I started thinking about the lack of necessity when it comes to gathering e-mail addresses and mobile numbers; rather than hinder any traffic, we should give them everything for free – the need to give out personal contact information simply doesn’t exist. What is important is giving access to people in the method they desire. It’s my belief that 10,000 e-mail addresses, accumulated in a company database, are less valuable than 2,500 RSS subscriptions, 2,500 e-mail subscriptions, 2,500 Facebook accesses and a captive audience. Why annoy your audience with interruption marketing when you can provide users with the info they want, when they want it and how they prefer it? Meaning, if they want to be notified of a Cubs win or the pregame lineup, give it to them in an RSS feed or post it to their Facebook account when they allow access – don’t inundate their inbox or their cell phone with messages that are reminiscent of SPAM.

The database is dead, but access to information is alive and thriving…