Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Photos: Jan. and Feb. 2009 @ McLain's

Just uploaded some new photos to FaceBook -- enjoy! Click here.

NPR Weekend Edition:
Scott Simon, Andy Carvin, Daniel Schorr
...Twittering for the cross-generation, cross-media communication win.

Just got done listening to the trio above talking about Twitter on NPR -- fascinating stuff. See a video of the elder Schorr (I mean that in a good way!) and Scott Simon Twittering.

Be sure to click their names above to Follow them with your Twitter account.

Daniel, as usual, nailed it right out of the gate, comparing Twitter to the days in Rome when folks could stand up in the marketplace and shout out the latest news for all to hear -- this new service is certainly that, and more. Think a global marketplace, and anyone can subscribe to any town center/crier they wish.

Is Twitter the Tower of Babel V2.0? Let's hope God is too old to catch up to Mr. Schorr and company to put an end to this cross-generation, cross-media, cross-WORLD communication tool. Overdoing it here? Maybe. But, the comparison fits.

You can follow me @tmclain and see our work using Twitter for company communications and user interaction @ProQuest. All of my online marketing work as Marketing Manager there (ProQuest is a provider of online research tools for schools, libraries, universities, and businesses) at (my focus) and (company site).

Finally, don't miss out on anything going on via Twitter. Go to and type in a keyword/name, etc. and see who's talking about what, right... now.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Online Marketing Summit Props @ Twitter

STNG Mashups: Crazy Thursday

^ Just watched Short Circuit with Will Tuesday evening. ;)

Been a busy week or so -- was away for a few days, back in the saddle now, into round 5 of P90X. Came across a ton of these mashups on YouTube, good for a chuckle. Have a great one.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Out of Shape? Take Action!
Ready to get in shape, with my help? I can be your coach, help you via email/online, and get you started on the right foot. First, sign up here to get me as your free coach. Next, click SHOP here to get your copy of Power 90 (beginners) or P90X (intermediate and above). Bolster your food plan by tracking your calories with (guys, 2,500 cals a day, gals 1,800), and consider adding Shakeology to your daily food intake -- it's like going to the salad bar with five plates. If you're already a P90X user, take the next step and be a coach with my help. Keep pushing play, bring it, A+ P90X review!

2006 Tim vs. 2009 Tim

2006 (Before Power 90 and P90X):

2009 (After!):

Thanks to P90X and Tony Horton, 2009 > 2006 for the ol' jowls and... body. Back on the P90X horse this week, started round FIVE (yikes!) and decided to give the Lean routine a try for the next 90 days. So far, easier routines with more cardio. For a guy, perhaps not the best route. But having done P90X and P90X+ with One on One's added in, it's nice to lighten the load a bit.

Went from 230ish in 2006 to 195 today in 2009, bottomed out at 180 sometime in 2008 and have been adding muscle. Mirror = happy, scale = under 200 happy with nice definition. ;)

Stay up to date -- my current blog entries start at this link.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Online Marketing Minute

Sorry for the video quality, trying something out today. More take-aways from the Online Marketing Summit in San Diego, how FaceBook is being looked at in the minds of online marketers right now, and the fact that 92% of consumers go online to do research before they buy something but most marketing budgets only apply 10% of funds to online. Mis-match there, indeed.

More on the importance of search engine marketing and how to take advantage of Google's tools from Catfish @ OMS:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mockup Tool: Websites, landing pages, applications...

Wowsa -- this little piece of software will knock your socks off -- it's called Balsamiq Mockups. Watch the short video, feel the power, get your own copy, and start saving time and looking more professional.
Life Magazine Photo Archives @ Google

Wow -- some great content, and wide open access, from Life magazine.
Online Marketer? Sign up: The A to Zs of Traffic to Conversion
Free Webinar @ March 4

As a follow up to the Online Marketing Summit, the organizers are offering free/open access online marketing webinars in the coming months. They just announced the first today -- more here and below. Sign up today!

Presented by our content partners, this webinar series is designed to complete the “Essentials of Online Marketing” Certification Program by providing the strategies necessary to implement the knowledge learned in the 1-day workshop.

Free for everybody and ‘for credit’ for our students, these webinars hold true to the principles of the Online Marketing Summit: No sales, just pure education.

Check back on this page as the dates for the webinars get closer for details including the exact time of the webinars and how to register.

March 4
The A to Zs of Traffic to Conversion - How to Drive Your target Audience to Your Web Site & Make Sure They’re Happy When They Get There & iPerceptions

More themes/days in the coming weeks as these roll out. Thanks Aaron, Jake, and everyone at the Online Marketing Summit/BusinessONLINE.
Bronto Series: Email Marketing 101

Don't miss out on this excellent series, all nicely presented via their YouTube Channel @ These guys are email marketing pros, and they're right in my backyard here in the Triangle of North Carolina outside Raleigh.

Some of their best videos:

Online Marketing Minute

Today, it's all about video and your brand. Did you know that a full 20 to 25 percent of all Google searches end with users clicking in videos? Comscore says so.

That's right -- a quarter of folks prefer video sources over text/standard website info.

Think about what a video could do for your marketing. If you have a product or service to sell (who doesn't?) then get on the video bandwagon.

I use a combination of a Sony handycam with iMove on a MacBook to get the live video done, and tie it to recorded screen flows using Camtasia, an excellent PC application that's also in Macintosh beta at the moment.

You can see all of the video work I've done in action here. This and this and this video are great recent examples, as well as our series all kitted out and fully featured with built-in quizzes for CultureGrams and SIRS Researcher in our new format.

Questions? Email me at timothymclain at

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Joaquin Phoenix @ Dave Letterman = Huh?

Online Marketing Minute

Tips and tricks for online marketers, search engine optimizers, and anyone interested in getting the most out of their websites to increase sales and traffic. Brought to you by Tim McLain, Online Marketing Manager. (Source/inspiration for this series = the Online Marketing Summit. Aaron Kahlow and team, you guys rock the online marketing world.)

Episode #1 kicks things off with three incredibly basic but important tips:

1: All of your webpages should have proper title, META Description and META Keyword tags coded in the header. Here's an example for length from the site I update, (To see this, head to any website and, in your browser, select View Source or View Page Source and look at the top for the above tags. Try it at our site...)

On Google, our listing looks like this:

Next tip, layer your keywords across multiple pages. Note the links at the bottom of our page under What's New at and note how they link deeper to landing pages which also inter-link, helps with your rankings and relevancy (click the links to see this in action):

Final tip, wrap your images with alt text. This also gets indexed/allows you to embed keywords to help with your Google and other rankings.

Two examples, note the two small images at the top of -- the two animated kids and President Obama.

More in the coming weeks all -- enjoy!

timothymclain AT
Koala drinking water from the Bush Fire Tragedy Crisis, Victoria - Feb. 7 2009

Music Tip: The Black Keys FTW

Don't normally blog about music, but... if you like rock and/or roll, check out The Black Keys -- Attack and Release and Rubber Factory albums = crazy-good.

That is all...

Saturday, February 07, 2009

New eLibrary Pages & Testers?

I know you're out there... OMS attendees. ;) Take a peek at this pair of pages. Do they serve us well as landing pages? From a content standpoint? Navigation? Keyword/SEM platforms? Rankings on Google?

The new eLibrary Landing Page
[Goal: Convert to free trials...]

ProQuest K-12 Home Page
[All things research database for schools and libraries from ProQuest: eLibrary, SIRS, CultureGrams...]

Safe journey's home all!

-- Tim @ San Diego Apt.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Social Media Press Release Template

zenaweist: and SHIFT's social media press release: (expand) gets a shout out as well! #oms09

How can I use Twitter for Business & Marketing

Join the new FaceBook group for using Twitter for Biz and Marketing @ -- run by Rodney Rumford, guy's been in the social space foeva.
Driving loyalty and revenues through distributed experiences
Warren Raisch, Chief Customer Officer, Digitaria Interactive

Global Night Commute: I Got Soul
80,000 kids showed up the event, got 250,000 cell phone numbers
Event to highlight Africa campaign, change the world
Social networking experiment, move kids to get involved in this issue.
Use the Web to gather their cell information, call them at night, all gathered at a local park/location.

Invisible Children: Schools for Schools

How digital media can not only drive revenue for an organization but also for a greater cause.
Raised $7.6M, went back to Africa, got people out of camps and rebuilding homes and schools.

Put up a FaceBook application, lost some soul of the campaign, and moved traffic from their better website over to FB and saw activity drop, watch how FB affects your overall campaign.

$700K investment, generating $7M a year in donations...

Also check -- Qualcomm -- real life videos about how people can use mobile technology to better their lives. (Same for our users/customers, how they affect their life?)
Making Trouble @ OMS via Twitter

OMSummit: RT @tmclain #oms09 just grabbed @cofrenchy 's ? for @stevewoods from Twitter, first of many Twitter-real world interactions for OMS to come!

[Head over to and type #oms09 to see all of this interaction going on.]

Marketing Automation Best Practices: Lessons Learned from 700 Customers
Steven Woods: Digital Body Language, Deciphering customer Intentions in an Online World

Notes coming (I'm sure!) soon to

Shifts in marketing -- distribution becomes free. Music from for-sale CDs to nearly-free digital transmission. Same for encyclopedia, from print to software to online, then to Wikipedia where content creation can be decentralized.

Maps, printed to CDs/digital software, to Google Maps on the fly with information layers online. Mapping 100% changed.

Marketing is the same -- transformation. Big batch outbound campaigns somewhat targeted with segmentation, to email doing the same thing. To today, information is free, give it away, sales not the online information conduit.

Social media, free trials, webinars, gives away information to transform the buying process. Prospects not getting this information from your salespeople directly anymore, they're not the conduit for information. They can get trials from your website, cutting sales out of the process, they're out of the room, they can't read body language anymore.

Marketing is now reading digital body language of buyers and use it to do all the things sales did as the primary conduit for communication.

Buyer wants information on their own timeline. They don't want the sales pitch. They want information. Our data as marketers is inconsistent and messy. We'll interact with them in multiple ways across many platforms before they buy.

Listen: Where are your buyers finding information about you?

Share: Set your information free.

Reciprocate: Don't forget to ask for something in return. You have to be able to sell. How much is what you have online worth to a prospective buyer? Once you establish it, what could you ask for in return? A short form, get contact information. A 1-hour webinar, some additional information. If you have the info, don't re-ask for the same information again. As long as it isn't too much and repeated/asked for more than once. (Use cookies to keep this info straight. See

Sales Alignment

Empathize: Understand the buyer's process. It's a buying process, not a selling process. They buy from you, they don't want to be sold to.

Recognition > Evaluate > Sample > Integrate > Test > Deploy

Target: Right person, right time for sales. Qualifying leads, only get hot leads to sales, not warm or cold. Intent to purchase vs. ability to purchase. Could be anywhere on this continuum.

Respond: Build a response process around one prospect; scale that to all prospect. 5 X follow-up within an hour, drops by a factor of 5. Must follow up very fast.


Cleanse: Build a contact washing machine. The info is in different places and in different forms. Even people's titles are different as they submit it -- needs to be washed to de-dupe and cleanse all the fields so they make it into your systems as cleanly as possible. The build routing and segmenting on top of this.

Model: Model all aspects of the buying process.

Understand: Build activity/interest into your 360 view of people, plug leaky funnel.


Socialize: Culture of analytics is more important than absolutes. If the data is right in front of you, you act differently. (Driving a Prius/can see your gas comsumption.) Shine a light on a metric and people respond to it.

Sequence: Analyze conversions of each stage in funnel. What's the value of each phase? Map the costs back up the ladder, how much is a lead worth cold, warm, hot? We know the final result/sale and what it's worth, what about the other components?

Rebuild: Use analytics to break down sales/marketing silos. If we can understand/map data around your processes you can break down the siloing between sales and marketing. That each side sees the value of the others. Needs to be marketing accountability, build back a funnel your quota is X for deals/leads/qualified/inquiries, and then have that drive the rest of the process.

Marketing shows sales their process and progress, and put effort into training each marketers on what the big deals are, where we're close to closing, who's closing, where the revenue is going, so based on the analytics we can see which online efforts are effecting the late stage deals, that we can show they we influenced their sales through our efforts

How can we engage with this new buyer?

Set your info free, and watch their digital body language, and ask for info if what you're giving is quality.

Focus on your data, understand your prospects' interest

Build a culture of analytics; measure something and trace it all back through the process.

cofrenchy: #OMS09 I wantta try this tweet question thing & see what happens: What is a good contact washing machine process for a small business?

The first step is washing the contacts, how are they getting into the machine? What are you trying to do/what are you monitoring? How do you want to engage with them?

mikebannan: @stevewoods So what's a good specific example of digital body language? #oms09

zenaweist ? for Steve - where's social media fit into the process in his company, in ELOQUA?

mikebannan: @stevewoods Ideare: twitter in sessions: set a hash for the session ID. Better: set an account for the session. Eases interaction. #oms09

unomos: #OMS09 @stevewoods Q for Steve: how does a one man marketing team automate this process?

Need to cherry pick the areas where automation makes the most sense. Come at it from a single buyer, then scale it to everyone. A single buyer who says "contact me" has given you an hour to respond. Should automate the first steps so you get them during this critical hour.
Web Content Strategy
How to Plan for, Create, and Publish Online Content for Max ROI

Better, in-depth notes from this offering here!

Why planning the structure of content is important before executing on your website.

Why content, and why now?

Marketer or publisher? We're all publishers, even as marketers, we're going back to the beginning. Our tools are publishing tools, but the challenge is marketers don't understand the publishing process and how to follow the right steps to meet ROI from the beginning.

Text, graphics, video/Flash, audio < content as it meets the needs of our customers.

Tell you story, motivate and engage your customers, manage expectations, brings your brand to life -- drives action OR inaction.

Need to avoid all-sales-y content in your enewsletters, etc. Needs to be truly informational and meet needs of customers, talk about how you meet their problems, THEN go sales-y.

Your content should meet reader needs first and foremost, it's all about your customers. Most marketers want to talk about products/services, customers want to know how you're meeting their needs and how you can cure their pain(s).

You must have something valuable to say or to show your customers in the social media space -- don't just talk about your products. You must have something valuable to say first or you won't be successful.

First listen, then talk.

The art of understanding what your customers need to know and delivering it to them in a compelling way.

56% of marketers are increasing their spending on content creation in 2009 (13% decrease).

Are you going to be the trusted solutions provider, or possibly your competitor?

The Problem & Its Impact
Planning for useful and actionable content... Many, many content folks in our orgs -- metrics/seo/info architect/etc. Not a lot of attention is being given to the sourcing, editing, publishing of the actual content itself.

Who is allocating the necessary resources to creating the actual content? We plan the look/feel and overall timeline, but the content itself is last on the list of priorities.

Start with a content strategy FIRST...

@halvorson suggest reversing (graphics)/(functionality)/(content) prioritization - to focus on content/seo first #oms09

Content is complicated, and needs to be weaved through a process to ensure that it aligns with your plans, needs, campaigns. Needs to be a benchmark of all content-related decisions.

Snag original slides, content generation strat = long process, multi-layered and detailed.

brain traffic blog = source for upcoming throughts on this topics...

zenaweist: - knows what it's customer is looking for - homepage that speaks to "what I want?" - @halvorson - so much #oms09
Avoiding the 7 Deadly Sins of Landing Page Design
Tim Ash,

Your landing pages have problems and they're ugly. You have conversion issues. Deal with it. Learn from this and make them better. You've been ignoring the issue, your conversion rate is low, and you don't care. You should. Let's fix them.

Cost per click has to keep up with cost to convert, so as the clicks cost more you MUST convert more visitors.

Upping conversion rate by 20% will double your profits.

A camel is a horse designed by committee -- your customer should be designing your website. Not IT. Not marketing. Not your boss. Your customer. Repeat after me...

HIPPO effect -- highest paid person's opinion, over-rules sanity and breaks sites/landing pages everyday.

Smaller page, two big buttons, some logos down left side, limited copy on the main part of the page.

Cut anything below the fold. Keep it to one pane tall, large buttons, cut text.

Need to have tech to allow for large tests of your landing pages, multi-variants.

Positive interaction between headline and picture is key. They make each other better. It's not the picture, it's not the headline, it's the context.

Google Website Optimizer is a great tool for doing multi-variant testing in 30 minutes by adding some JavaScript.

Tweak in headlines, numbers of photos, and check the combinations in Google Website Optimizer.

A/B split testing is easiest -- split traffic between 1 or more new versions. At random show visitors one of 'em, and go with the one that gets the best results.

Tim Ash recommends Krug's "Don't Make Me Think" at #oms09

StephanieSAM #0ms09 Design your website to 1025 px. Manage to the highest common monitor usage and ignore the rest at the edges.

Your home page is a landing page -- JennyLemmons: "Home pages serve many masters: main function should get users to self-select into a role" Tim Ash #oms09

7 Deadly Sins of Landing Page Design

1: Unclear call to action. Make it clear and easy, what to do? Anything that's not easy/clear is losing you money. Any hesitation about what to do is costing you money. Don't make people think!

2: Visual distractions: where are you supposed to look? Make it clear. Entry pop ups? Just say no. Avatars popping up to chat with you? Kill 'em. Or test it, don't waste time.

3: Too much text -- do you expect them to read everything? Kill all text that's not 100% needed.

Nobody reads on the web -- call to action, a few sentences, lead them to what needs to be done/what you want them to do. Paragraph text does not get read.

JennyLemmons: "nobody reads on the web... Paragraphs on web are like Charlie Brown's teacher voice" -Tim Ash #oms09

halvorson: People scan *before* they read. They'll happily read relevant content that's well-constructed, contextual, actionable. #oms09

4: Lack up up-stream continuity. Where did they come from, what's the context of their visit from blog post/PPC ad, etc. Fulfill your promise when they hit your landing page.

5: Long forms. Keep your forms short, sweet. Only collect what's absolutely necessary to complete the current transaction. Every field you add to a form is a drop in conversion.

6: Invisible Risk Reducers -- Do I feel safe to act? Don't put trust symbols below the fold.

7: Lack of Trust Indicators -- Why should I trust you? Need endorsements, logos, testimonials, short, other people had a good outcome. I don't want to be the test case. As seen on, as used by, trusted by, logos of schools/states down the left side, who else loves this product/service?

Any media mention confers a more positive reaction/attachment to your brand or product.
OMS + Jamba Juice = Cure for Rainy San Diego Day
Break time, on to the next classes...

Email Marketing in a Web 2.0 World
Joel Book,

Website, SEM (search), Email are key.
Blog, online video, mobile, social, SMS are secondary, but important.

Attract, Engage, Serve -- your customers using websites, SEM, email.

Most websites aren't designed to engage or make users stick -- 98% of visitors click and leave. Need to design your home page to engage/make the user DO something, and direct them properly.

Must be relevant to the visitor and get them moving deeper based on their needs.

The customer is in control of their browsing -- not us.

HP's Technology at Work signup page -- to opt in for an email -- not just a vanilla sign up to get an email, but put checks into the kinds of content the user wants. (Same as he presentation yesterday, see printouts. 98% of this prez is a copy from yesterday's joint prez.)
Friday Keynote Panel
Online Practitioners Share Their Secrets and Tactics for 2009

Best Practice: Carefully study your search engine traffic for keywords, long tails, and set up your site to maximize your search traffic to your site. Align the two to boost your results instantly.

Find ways to nurture your leads online, tie them to your website and keep them engaged.

Experiment with your brand online, try video podcasts giving advice around your products and services, keep them short and keep production values as high as you can. Try T-shirts so folks can express their love for you, candy heart generator for your company, etc. Blog items to post and redirect back to your site.

Be open to new ideas to leverage yourself for the upswing in the economy that will come. Do a better job of reaching our audience online.

Closing a sale will be tougher this year, and will take longer. Build a longer relationship with more touch points, email and web, to cover the process.

Start to think about a "buying" cycle vs. "selling" cycle -- we need to nurture someone from interest party to engaged party to why they should buy to, finally, SELL.

Real bacon is king. Turkey bacon is a lame cousin. The panel and room agrees. It's cold and raining today in SD and it's only 9 a.m., so, bit of a slow start to the day.

Find ways to widen the funnel and work on the ready to buys, as opposed to just the readies.

Marketing and sales activities need to be tighter-linked, inform sales of click behavior, leverage activity with trade show and email campaigns, use behavior-driven activities to identify those who are better leads and give them more opportunities to lead them to a sales conversation.

Time is tight, use social media/Twitter/etc. to engage them in near real-time where they are to answer questions, be present in customer's online life streams, and don't pray that they respond to an email or read a long webpage. Be with them where they are to close more interest into trials and sales.

Personality is important in marketing -- what's your company's personality, and how are you expressing it online, in print, in social networks, etc.

Need to work hard to allow people to choose what content they want in terms of permission-based email marketing, then deliver it.

Morning = Twitter Guru Meditation

It's Twitter's world, we're just living in it. Did a search at for #oms09 -- the hash for my program this week, and got this:

Ok, $1 to the first person who remembers which old computer had "guru meditations" instead of error messages?

Caveat: You have to be born after 1990 to win.

OMS 09 third day ramping up, keynote about to start...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Is Your Company Social?
Michael Weisfeld

Social Media --> Assessing where your company is, and how to get involved and be successful. Does it fit with your customers?

93% of Americans expect companies to have a presence in social media. Does yours?

No more one-way communication, needs to be two-way.
Needs to be integrated with all of your other touch points and your overall marketing plan.
Same marketing objectives, SM doesn't change them. New tactics.

Outcomes change -- explorations, blog topics, discussions, reviews, comments, questions.

Needs to be a triangle of communication -- you at the top, with your customers below helping each other to share information, help each other, and can always give you feedback directly and ask questions.


Review biz goals, what are your marketing goals, CRM initiatives

Know your audience, web-survey on your site, ask where they're interacting online, where are the best communities for them, ask them, and ask them about your brand/feelings, identify the most active users of these services, pin down commonly used keywords and topics.

Competitive assessment, are any of them out there, and what are they doing? Is it time to be the first to jump in and capture the market in this space? Create the first social network for librarians before anyone else does and make it the best.

Analyze trends and patterns, is it seasonal? Where are they participating and when?

Identify topics to talk about, is there content in service logs from customer service, FAQs, recommendations, Twitter posts, blog posts, etc.

Use all of the above to begin planning and how to roll things out.

The success of a social media program will rely on your efforts to humanize the approach with lively, passionate, tactful individuals.

Apply clear strategies and objectives, support your brand values at the core, and allow it to shine through with how you build your network. The team you pick should be extroverted to make your network -- need to be passionate about research and the ProQuest brand. Want to be on the team and be an active voice in the new community.

Need an executive at the top level who's behind the idea and will support it, an internal community manager to establish a vision, and a team of content contributors (customer service) who can be community moderators and keep things moving and active.

Planning every element of the rollout is key. Need to train your internal members on how to act/make things work in your network.

Other planning slides here, refresh from last year, along the same lines.

Active Listening is the key to start. Be sure you have a plan for what you want your users to be doing on your network. Channel them to the activities, pages, functions, tools you want them to use.

Success? Must measure it and monitor it -- quantitative, how many comments/subs/followers/new accounts/videos watched? Qualitative -- corp. reputation, neg/pos ratio, customer opinions and wishes, do they like you more/are they keeping their subs?

Is there business value? Budgets going down make social media look like the pretty girl at the ball... Make short videos that delight audiences and get them interested in your product or service. Will it blend? is an example...

Only 14% of people trust ads -- 32% trust a bloggers opinion on products and services.

In 2008, we learned that it's not enough to throw up a page on FaceBook or elsewhere. You need to participate in online communities and have a voice among your customers. There's not one right platform, integrate across platforms and connect to cross promote. Understand that there are different kinds of Internet users/profiles (some are spectators, others will actively engage), and measure metrics like frequency, reach, and satisfaction.

It's all about humanizing your brand. Your company represented as a human, attribute human qualities to, adapt to human nature or use.

There IS business value to being in social media, need to figure out the mix.
Web Analytics Demystified | The Digital Marketer's New Nightmare
Eric Peterson, Web Analytics Demystified

WebTrends was V1.0, we got basic data, could get our hands around measures of success. Page views and hits were key.

Ads generated sales came next, Google ads, drove people back to your site.

Web 2.0 has exploded things in terms of measurement, hard to get a grasp of what's working, why, where traffic is coming from. Mash-ups messed up measurement. Click events replaced page views. How do we track all this? How can we compare our events to other sites' events?

Syndicated content took off, YouTube, is taking off, hard to measure metrics of views. Same with PageBurner measuring RSS feed usage and traffic.

Add mobile content to the mix, we have additional hits/views coming from these sources.

Hard to measure success of bringing in new customers and converting to sales -- your users are everywhere, in social networks, and the stats coming back in from multiple sources don't line up.

We need specialized tools and resources, with a dedicated analyst, to sort through all the reports from multiple sources to bring the data together so we can really understand our investment in Web 2.0. Even with this, the results are lacking -- a big spreadsheet, pulling data from 5-9 sources, and trying to find out what this work has done for your organization.

New measures of success to transcend beyond page views -- more business-focused metrics.


Attribution: I know half of my marketing is wasted, but I don't know which half. Do you? Leads interact in multiple channels. Is there an answer to every question? Boss thinks so, but there isn't. Last-based attribution ignores multi-touch advertising. It's not just the last link that gets all the credit before they buy/open a trial, all aspects of your campaign need to get credit.

GOOGLE gets most of the credit, but it's misplaced.

Search engines users exposed to display ads are 22% more likely to purchase. 1/2 of purchasers responded to a single campaign. Took 4-7 campaigns/touches for high-value customers.

Revenue from First Touch
Revenue from Last Touch

Divide the first from last, get equal attribution rolled in for additional granularity and is useful to monitor persuasive campaign types.

What's the ratio? Could be 1, both being equal.

Closer to 0 = Conversion campaign
Closer 1 = Persuasion campaign
Closer to 10 = Acquisition campaign -- something to do to stuff the top of the funnel

What is each kind of media going to do for you? Getting away from the last click model -- look at what each online outreach gets you. Is it conversions, persuasions, or acquisitions? Need all three.

Engagement is hot online. Page views don't tell you enough, but increasing customer engagement is much sexier. Focuses a user's attention on you and your brand. We want exact ATTENTION, make users sit up and pay attention.

Engagement 401... has a tool to measure whether people are poorly, moderately, or highly engaged visitors to your website.

Influence is the power to affect, control, or manipulate someone. Get biggest Twitter users to tweet your offers/new product information, top Twitters are the new influencers.

Be a part of the social networks, see who's exerting the most influence over others and causing clicks and interest.

Need to change measurements from page views -- visits are OK, but need to focus on engagement as the central measure of success.
Advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Long Tail Optimization Strategy

"Catfish" @ BusinessOnline
Online Marketing Summit 2009
Advanced Track

Long tail SEO = the huge number of search queries that exist outside of our main terms.

10-20% of all searches that Google gets are unique, haven't been seen before. Big opportunity to target the long tail, get more conversions from long tail keywords than the fat head keywords, the top competitive ones.

The top keywords are more competitive than ever, why the long tail keywords are so key to success.

Also, many Google users are registered, and Google has access to search patterns, tracking where users are going, which greatly affects the results each user gets. The long tail is where the gold is...

Include all the keywords in your long tail in your optimization campaigns for your website. Doing this will not effect your ability to target the bigger/popular "fathead" terms.

The ROI on long tail SEO is higher since they have a bigger chance of ranking on more keyword phrases.

Cost tends to be higher, but results match the expense.

Create systems that allow for the data exchange to implement these campaigns. Your Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign, what are those words? What's working? Be sure to move those over to your SEO tweaks to your website. Month to month optimization of your pages should occur, check your ranking on Google/keyword matches, and then optimize your site to match how people are finding you.

Keyword Research
Use stems, plurals
Use related words (~word < will show you related keywords on Google
Can have many keywords on your pages
Use relevant permutations
Use internal search data and analytics
Google Webmaster Tools

Small changes, adding that word to your site or page, one or two or three times, will make a big difference in your rankings for those long tail keywords.

1. Page Titles
Still carry weight, but 64 chars might not be enough (that's what's auto-shown on a Google result)
Can add more, keep your titles keyword-focused to help other pages for relevance
How relevant are the pages under your home page, mentioning the right keywords on your sub-pages as they relate to your home page, communicate value (free shipping, lower cost, higher quality)
Can also add this information in the META descriptions (doesn't help rankings on Google, but does on Yahoo!)

2. Content Optimization
Write a lot of content, and include the keywords you want within those pages.
Concentrate on the TEXT on/embedded on the page, turn off images, see what Google sees.
Add more text/copy with the keywords inside that Google will grab and rank you on.
Educational content is very powerful in targeting the long tail.

Main page = dog food
Sub-pages = about brands of dog food
Sub-sub-pages = how the food is made/quality
^ Way to structure your content, sprinkling long tail keywords deeper as you go.

3. ALT Tags
7-10 words each, describe the images.
Make them read like intelligent sentences to convey real sense of purpose to the user.
Include long tail keywords in your alt tags.

4. Internal Linking
Creating new links within internal pages should occur on an ongoing basis.
New internal links should be created, based on conversions from Pay Per Click campaigns, organic traffic, current Top 30 rankings.

Google + keyword phrase
Internal Site Search
^ Check to see which pages in your site have specific keywords on them.
Check for long tail opportunities, tweak monthly, add internal links, and add keywords.

Blogging is a huge tool for SEO, can create content that's not confined to the rules you have for producing content from your website. External links inside blogs allows for more cross-traffic that can be reposted, and bloggers tend to link out to content much more than folks who have traditional websites.

5. Video Optimization

Everyone should be doing video -- 20-25% of Google searches end up at YouTube.

Surrounding text, file name, text links should all have long tail keywords and support your campaigns (SEM). uploads video to multiple sites and allows you to view stats.

Don't miss out on Vimeo, most effective for SEO. also check it for SEO application.

Title of video is keyword-focused, description as well, make the filename focused as well.

6. Image Optimization
Alt tags, images in top results set now, surrounding text, put on relevant page.
Use Flickr to host images, use their social media tools to help get them passed around.

Social content sharing site, users create "lens" or special pages that describe their point of view on a certain topic. Provides additional information that targets specific keywords you want to hit, then link back to your site where appropriate. The links there are "DoFollow" so you make external links that point back to your site/long tail keywords that increase your rankings.

7. PDFs
Make sure your PDFs have embedded links and have keywords to help with your rankings.

8. Social Networks
User generated content on social media sites allows for external links back and interest in your brand/campaigns. Blogs, forums, FaceBook, etc. Posting on forums can help a lot -- setting up a forum on your website or a separate site with lots of links back to your larger website.

One of the biggest takeaways... social media, active, with cross links can be the most powerful tool in turning around return traffic.
Never Lose Another Prospect: Proven Strategies to Maximize Conversions and Revenue
Olivier Chaine, Lockheed Martin, TicketMaster, USWeb @ Magnify360
Advanced Track

Turn prospects into sales, registrations, trials, etc. Turning traffic and interest into revenue over time.

2.3% is the avg. conversion rate of traffic into leads... 97.7% who come to your site aren't buying/registering/subscribing.

Savvy online customers have high expectations, less patience, while conversion rates are going down, harder to satisfy and convert.

Our home pages are too cluttered, too many hands in the mix. Many marketing mgrs. all get their say = too many links/info on many home pages. The home pages need to be cleaner, with clear calls to action, bigger images, less text, above the fold.

All of your campaigns and emails need to have a call to action and link to sign up, get a trial, take the next step if interested in a product or service.

Refer to notes from this same session during Institute, same slides...

Optimize your forms, A/B test, to see which get more fill-ins. Test the fields, only gather what you need, keep it simple on main form -- then follow up with an invitation to fill in additional information at a second step.

Keyword based headlines -- make the headline match what they searched for to find it, got a 17% life in conversions.

Google Website Optimizer -- to do A/B testing in a real way, free tool.

Understand offer/keyword clicked
Explicit prefs when they fill in forms and tell us info directly
Their browsing behavior is implicit, see where they're going
Forms together = perfect offer as we push them down the sales funnel

Need to careful consider how to message whom and when...

Change pages based on weekdays vs. weekends -- different visitors during those days, swap out pages based on timing might be another way to lift conversions. Same with time of day -- from 8-5, want specific information, transactional -- overnight/evenings, browsing, can have longer pages with more info.

Need to invest in optimizing conversion rates -- start with one page, then make 4 different versions, all keyword targeted to different users, then try 8, and see % conversions go up tremendously.

Faster Optiomizing = Higher Margins and Competitive Advantage
Keynote: The Story of How Angie's List and Took User-Generated Content and Created a Successful Community-Driven Business

Angie Hicks, CEO & Founder, Angie's List
Dan Morrison, CEO & Founder,

Angie's List started offline, in OH, call-in service for referral service, 16 years ago.

Then moved online to 250 cities, outside home improvement sector, to healthcare and other sectors. Get over the back fence comments about services, $6/month fee to join.

Getting to critical mass, biggest challenge?

is listening to Angie's List founder, critical mass challenge was convincing people they had good info that would benefit them #oms09

is Founder, critical mass = community members giving value to each other, getting users to open up to each other #oms09

Need to create a community that gives them enough value that they want to sign up and participate. Will only want to be members of 1-3 social networks, not 5-10. So setting up a community that gives value is key, make it clear.

Could make it a subscription model, add a job posting service to extend its value? Value of a community is a direct result of who's in it, so Toolbox wanted to remove any bottleneck, paying, to build the numbers to make it a higher value proposition.

Angie's List collects subscriber revenue and ad revenue, can't post anonymously, no gaming the system -- want to ensure quality of posts/premier consumers who are willing to pay for the best information.

Cost per member acquition, lift in target segments based on the campaigns you're rolling out. Was it worth the effort, and was the lift extended over time and not drop off? <

Add a field to signup forms of how they heard about us to track effectiveness of multiple elements of a campaign, not entirely useful but gives some info about where traffic is coming from in general.
Online Marketing Summit 2009
Content Outlets
^ Live blogging during the event through Saturday, stay up-to-date via this link in near real-time.

Can also use and search on #oms09 -- the official hash -- to see all tagged Twitter posts about the event.

Also follow @tmclain to see my updates, ah-ha moments, tidbits, etc.

Onward to the keynote...

Online Marketing Summit
OMS 2009 #oms09
San Diego

Wrapped up a full day of the online marketing certification program (Online Marketing Institute) yesterday -- tons of notes to go through there, all major domains of online marketing covered in about nine hours.

Best way to stay up to date @
OMS bloggers, all best thought leaders, daily posts, quality posts...

92% of consumers go online 1st to research a purchase but less than 10% of marketing budgets are online (lots of opportunity!)

Key question that marketers need to answer: in today's economy, are looking to just survive or capitalize?

Biggest trends off the top of my head:

1. FaceBook is tough for marketers to get any value from -- fan pages, yes. But in general, FB users are there to engage with their circle of friends and see pictures of dogs and kids. They are not there to engage with your brand in a meaningful way. They may want to go to your Fan page/fan your brand, and see occasional updates, but they don't want to have marketing material pushed to them.

2. On FaceBook, 'fanning' you may be a move to show off their love for your brand to your friends, they may add some graphical flair to their online cork board, but that's the sum total of most user's wishes on FB.

2. Instead of FaceBook, online marketers in specific niches should consider setting up networks of their own. Professional white-labeled networks that cater to specific user groups. That's where they'll engage with you. They'll login, know they're with their peers, open up, and share. Not on open networks.

3. Counting conversions of incoming traffic/users into filling out forms, getting trials, signing up for newsletters, is falling away as a key metric of success. More important is pulling in users and traffic using Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to buy keywords, create landing pages of specific interest to those keyword responders, then funnel them into your lifecycle messaging and qualify those leads and help sales turn those hits/searches into sales.

4. With the above, it makes it more important than ever to have the systems in place to track clicks and interest through your emails, onto your website, and through the process to a sale. Tying stats from email campaigns to website stats and through to your internal sales system (, etc.) through to a hard Return on Interest investment in all aspects of your marketing.

5. With 32 distinct marketing channels out there -- from print all the way down to Twitter -- it's key to be educated, be positive, and wrap all of our messaging together across all of the channels that make sense. Running distinct URLs that direct customers to special landing pages with specific content, with a clear call to action and signups for future email pings, is key, with your Twitter information, etc. All ties together.

6. Human behavior is changing online. 120 million blogs, 2 million emails per second, Twitter is the new IM tieing the most active users together (key for customer support to tap into real time comments and questions about your company) -- it's more important than ever to be engaged online in an active way, checking channels 2-3 times a day for big wins to stay in touch.

7. Branding: Branding activities present your corp. image to the world. Marketing efforts DEFEND your brand.

7a. Branding isn't push anymore, it's pull. Branding = a nurtured experience. You must be engaged in real-time communication online and talking to your customers.

7b. It's not a target audience, it's communities, engaging them where they live. How do they think, what are they doing online? Engage them there. No longer one to many, it's one to one. How do they prefer to be messaged to?

8. Budget/funding focus: A/B testing is key for messaging and landing pages. Pull in user data, tweak your communications/personalize the communications based on their choices, wring out the max clicks/traffic and conversions, then nurture the relationship via email and real-time Twitter and elsewhere. SEM activities are key over smaller email campaigns.

9. No longer campaign-oriented, it's a nurtured user experience over time.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Video Blog \ 2.4.09 @ Online Marketing Summit #oms09

Online Marketing Summit 2009
San Diego, CA

More to come once I get YouTube liking my Net connection. Enjoy your week!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Wikipedia | A Guide for Students

What about Google? Here's a video I did for ProQuest wayy back that addresses both Wikipedia and Google vs. vetted research sites.
2.2.09 | Video Blog
Super Bowl party (nice!) and off to San Diego for the Online Marketing Summit tomorrow...

P90X Chest, Shoulders and Triceps this early morn... again, hard time getting the hands over the head to shampoo. Means I brought it yet again. Nice.