Natural Search Blog


Guerilla Marketing & Google Maps

My article on “Six Odd Tactics For Getting Ads Into Google Maps” posted today on Search Engine Land, and I believe many of my regular readers should find it moderately entertaining. The piece covers how some elements of guerrilla marketing have found their way into some Google Maps advertising patents, and also how some others have used creative means to get messages into Maps via “roofvertising”, “skywriting” and more.

Google in Digital Graffiti

Those familiar with Natural Search Blog may remember some of my similar past work here outlining laser graffiti ads on buildings, roofvertising, marriage proposals in Google Maps, “earth art” geoglyph ads, and sponsoring town names as an Ultimate Local SEO tactic.

It’s not surprising to see guerilla marketing tactics finding their way into Google Maps. Not only does Google itself seek to introduce disruptive technology innovations, but I expect that as Satellite and Aerial photos may get more frequently updated in such interfaces we’ll be bound to see a whole lot more efforts from people trying to get messages conveyed through the Maps interfaces.

The real question I’m left with, is if Google resells ad space on pictures of people’s rooftops and billboards, would they owe anything back to the original property owners?!?

SEO Followed By Website Optimization – Beat Your Competition

As search marketers, most SEO professionals are focused on the optimization aspects (both on page and off page) that will help a site achieve top rankings in the SERPs of the major search engines. The complexity of achieving top rankings increases by the day with the algorithms focusing more and more on factors that cannot be manipulated by a site owner/webmaster.

In this scenario, it is imperative that a site owner with a fairly new site maximizes her chances of retaining as many visitors to her site as possible by giving them an opportunity to communicate with her site through a comment on her blog, leaving feedback or collecting the visitor’s email address.

This will allow her to sell products/services on the backend through email marketing. This is where website optimization techniques coupled with solid SEO strategy can pay huge dividends in the long run.

(more…)

Social Media Costs … More Than Just ROI Calculations

Social media costs. Yes it does. One way or another, there is a cost that is (or should be) associated with social media efforts. Determining and measuring that cost isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but if you took the time to determine your Social Media Marketing Goals and established metrics for Social Media Measurement, then you are well on your way to understanding the financial (and resource) impact of social media.

Why are social media costs so challenging to measure? Social media is about more than just ROI. Unlike areas of a business that have very specific and direct cost and revenue associations, social media costs are a combination of your goals, metrics, direct costs and time; of which, many of these may actually be soft measurements. (more…)

Local Store Inventories Might Help Yellow Pages SEO

In an article posted on Search Engine Land this morning, I outline how Google Maps are increasingly appearing for keyword searches, reducing referral traffic to internet yellow pages. In a brief companion piece, I also mention how embattled yellow pages should step-up their SEO game. If Google Trends is truly indicative of a sea-change that is hitting online yellow pages sites, then they must do something about it:

Top IYPs & Business Directory Sites
Natural Search Performance of Top Yellow Pages Sites in Google

(Click to enlarge) (more…)

Flickr *IS* Good for Search Marketing – Despite Naysayers!

I’ve seen a recent article or two claiming that Flickr can no longer be leveraged for SEO purposes. As frequent readers here know, I’ve long been a proponent of using Flickr, both for its great Web 2.0 features, but also for its marketing/promotional value. I’m sure I’m one of the people that article writer was thinking of when he mentioned hearing recommendations for use from other articles and search marketing conferences.

Flickr can still be a valuable source of internet promotion, and a great tool for the purposes of Image Search Optimization. Read on and I’ll explain. (more…)

Dan Heath, 5th Keynote at SES San Jose 08

Dan Heath, one of the co-authors of the book, “Made to Stick“, spoke on the last day of the Search Engine Strategies conference, last week. Dan is a Consultant to the Policy Programs for the Aspen Institute.

SUCCES - Sticky Idea Hallmarks by Dan Heath
Dan Heath presenting Made To Stick’s hallmarks of sticky ideas:
Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, Stories.

Dan presented the main concepts from his book, covering why some ideas survive and spread while other ideas die. As with a number of SES conferences in the past, many attendees apparently decided that this last day of the conference would be of lesser worth, so the audience for this keynote was a lot sparser than on previous days. This was a shame, because, aside from the Orion Panel discussion, this preso was likely the one that would’ve been of the highest worth to marketers.

How do you introduce an idea so that it may catch fire and spread? What are some characteristics of sticky ideas that make them viral and persistent? (more…)

Great Material For In-House SEOs

I’ll be giving a presentation at the upcoming Search Engine Strategies “SES” San Jose conference on “How to Speak Geek: Working Collaboratively With Your IT Department to Get Stuff Done“.

Hear me speak badge - SES San Jose 08
Search Engine Strategies Conference

This promises to be a great session, and I have some cool tips to impart on how to effectively communicate with one’s technology department staff in order to break down barriers, cut through red tape, and get changes deployed to bang up site traffic. (more…)

The Long Tail A Myth? Study Calls It Into Question

A Wall Street Journal Article today cites a study by Anita Elberse, a marketing professor at Harvard’s business school, entitled, “Should You Invest in the Long Tail?“, which finds evidence that in the online world, consumers gravitate towards the most-popular items just as in the offline world.

The Long Tail, if you don’t already know, refers to a theory promoted by a book by Chris Anderson titled “The Long Tail”, which describes a sort of niche strategy of business, such as employed by Amazon.com or Netflix, that sell a large number of unique items in relatively small quantities. The idea is that while you can obviously sell large numbers of a few popular items (the “head”), the cumulative, smaller number of sales of all your many less-popular items (the “tail”) might easily add up to a far greater total amount.

The Long Tail
“Head” items shown in red, “Tail” items shown in blue

Here at Netconcepts, we’ve been promoting the Long Tail concept in relation to natural search marketing for quite some time, since we’ve witnessed how its application can directly improve a business’s overall sales numbers. Indeed, businesses often get the most sales per item for their most popular products, but those products are also often the most competed on the internet, and sometimes the hardest to promote as a result. Even in the cases of top online retailers, we’ve seen that greater bulks of traffic and associated sales may often come from the bulk of less-popular Tail products. (more…)

Lawmakers Ask Charter Communications Not To Share Consumer Data With NebuAd

NebuAdTwo lawmakers have asked Charter Communications not to share data with NebuAd, a company that collects users’ web surfing information in order to enable advertisers to behaviorally target ad campaigns to them.

I previously wrote about NebuAd, and I highlighted that one major hiccup I saw with their business model was consumer sensitivity associated with private data.

It appears that NebuAd is facing the consumer resistance I earlier predicted.

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Digital Graffiti Goes Mainstream: TIME Magazine Article

I noticed that TIME covered the laser graffiti artists of the Graffiti Research Lab this week. Nearly a year ago, I covered the phenomenon of guerrilla marketing via laser light images “drawn” on the sides of buildings at night.

Laser Message on Building, Barcelona

Having this covered in a mainstream rag like TIME is probably nearly enough to make the concept jump the shark, and the novelty element and guerrilla marketing value could be virtually annihilated by familiarity.

I’m not really complaining so much as noting the effect — and noting that the promotion value of the medium could become rapidly eroded when it’s too common. The novelty and amusement factor could give way to annoyance if laser displayed images on buildings became frequent. When a methodology hits mainstream, it’s no longer “guerrilla”. :-)

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