Your Site May Be Waddlin’ – Google Penguin Update

Many sites have been penalized lately by the Google Penguin update.

If you are driving traffic to your site via SEO, these changes are important to you.  Read this article to learn more…


Google Penguin Leaves Trail of ‘Slapped’ Sites in Its Wake

Published 11:00 a.m., Saturday, May 5, 2012

Many SEO in-the-knows perceive Google’s latest algorithm update or Penguin to have failed to correctly carry out its intent. In the midst of the confusion, top online marketing expert James Schramko explains what Penguin has been doing and how to prevent it from slapping a website.

Sydney, Australia (PRWEB) May 05, 2012

Google Penguin, the latest wildlife from the wilderness of search engine algorithms, was launched to dole out retribution to web spam and has produced some very curious and questionable results thus far. Internet marketing authority James Schramko has released an SEOPartner news video to help clients make heads or tails of the update.

“Penguin has been causing carnage across the Internet,” the SEOPartner CEO reports. “A lot of people have been affected by it, so we’ve dug into our research and development lab and found some results. We’ve also had to look into sites of customers who’ve asked us to look at their results.”

One of the conclusions that Schramko and his team have arrived at is that Penguin seems to be targeting on-page anchor text spamming. “So if you have too many instances of a keyword, if it’s in your page title, your first headline, sprinkled throughout the article, and then you link to that page with the same keyphrase over and over again, you’ve probably been hit by Penguin,” he avers. According to him, it is necessary now more than ever for website owners to “de-tune” their keywords.

Schramko provides a breakdown of what he thinks the new SEO mix looks like. “I think it’s about 20% social media, so be sure to install social sharing widgets on your website,” he instructs.

“It’s about 50% backlinks,” Schramko continues, elaborating, “They still work, but you really need to mix them around. If you just use the same anchor text, you will be penalized.” The remaining 30%, he allocates to on-page SEO. “So what that means is, the content on your website has to be natural. It has to be human-readable.” He urges website owners to check that the page title of their site reads like a natural sentence, without any pipe symbols or colons.

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Email Marketing – A License To Print Money


Email Marketing – The Single Most Important Activity For An Online Marketer

Some people argue that selling is the most important thing online.  Yes, a sale is important…but a email subscriber is even more imporant.  A sale is a one time event, but an email subscriber can be sold to over and over again.  Get it?

Check out this article on the types of emails you should send to you email subscriber.

The 3 Critical Types Of Emails Ecommerce Marketers Must Harness

Social media may be getting the lion’s share of the current media attention but when it comes to implementing a successful ecommerce marketing strategy there is still no substitute for email.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing returns over $40 for each dollar invested which makes it not only the most lucrative form of online marketing but the most profitable marketing means of all, on or off the web.

In order to take full advantage of the benefits of email marketing to increase customer engagement and boost sales, you need to master these three critical strategies:

Periodical Emails

The email newsletter is the most popular application of this strategy with messages containing the latest news and information regarding your ecommerce business’ most attractive, relevant, and pressing offerings encapsulated into a coherent Call To Action.

Many ecommerce email marketers have found that leveraging their newsletters to communicate specific information with regards to exceptionally special offers is a powerful strategy.

Newsletter subscribers historically respond well to new product releases, overstock blowouts, and special discounts such as percentage off coupons or BOGOs.

Maintaining the periodicity of email newsletters is critical as the frequency established in your original subscription agreement with the customer must be religiously maintained of you will find yourself in violation of the US Federal CAN-SPAM Act.

Drip Campaigns

Also known as prospect or lead nurturing, this is a process whereby a preset series of emails are automatically sent to your prospect at predetermined times after the customer has completed an action.

For example, if a subscriber downloads your Guide To Winter Fashions, a drip message can be issued a few days after the download asking if they require further information, requesting any feedback, and offering an incentive such as a percentage-off coupon to complete a sale from that catalog.

This process can be repeated at reasonable intervals with the incentives escalating in order to compel the purchase. You can send a solicitation to download your Guide To Spring Fashions when that season comes around.

Not all drip campaigns are reminders and ticklers after an action since a reverse drip can lead towards an event such as a holiday or the date of a specific sale or event. As the date draws nearer the drip campaign can accelerate and build urgency in the prospect.

Transactional Emails

Some ecommerce email marketers are under the mistaken assumption that transactional emails are only for confirming orders when nothing could be further from the truth.

Sending a customer an email to inform them that they have abandoned their cart while presenting a motivational incentive to return and complete the transaction has been implemented with great success by thousands of ecommerce companies.

Any series of customer behaviors can be targeted with effective and relevant messaging. You may want to use a behavior-based message when a customer is viewing two comparable products which offers a comparison chart….

More at The 3 Critical Types Of Emails Ecommerce Marketers Must Harness

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Why WordPress Rocks!


Another Reason Why I Love WordPress – Plugins

If you've read my books or read my blog posts, you know that I'm a big fan of WordPress.  It is free, easy to work with, and well supported in the development community.

Check out this article from Quicksprout on WordPress plugins…


If you are blogging to promote yourself or your company, then there are two trends you need to be very concerned about…

The speed of your site and social sharing.

For the last two years, search engines like Google have been putting heavy emphasis on these two issues. Plus, web users are abandoning sites that are slow to load and they are moving towards reading content with high social shares.

But how do you make your site faster? And how do you encourage more shares?

Fortunately, if you use WordPress, then most of the work is done for you. You just simply have to download one of these plugins, tick off some boxes and you’re off to a faster site with more shares.

Here are the ten plugins that you ought to use:

Plugin #1: WordPress SEO by Yoast

All in One SEO used to be the go-to plugin when it came to easy SEO for WordPress blogs and sites. That’s until Yoast came out with WordPress SEO.

This plugin has so many cool features like a snippet preview, and a page analysis to help you optimize a page’s content, including meta data like titles, keywords and descriptions:

wordpress yoast

Other options include:

  • Robots meta configuration – Keep single posts or pages out of the index…or entire sections with this simple feature.
  • Canonical - This allows you to control the correct canonical on each page, including the homepage, tags and categories. (This got messy when Yahoo, Google and Microsoft started supporting a new link element to clean up duplicate URLs on sites.)
  • Breadcrumbs – Control which taxonomy to show for each post and control which title to use for each post, page and taxonomy.
  • Permalink clean up – You can make sure that links pointing toward you are clean (they don’t end in a weird variable like /2 at the end of them) by directing those weird links away from you.
  • XML sitemaps – Using a XSLT stylesheet renders your sitemap readable by humans but also talks to your SEO plugin so that when you noindex a page, it won’t accidentally still end up on your sitemap, which happens when you use a different XML sitemap generator.
  • RSS enhancements – Add a piece of content to the beginning and end of your content, which allows you to link back to your blog and the particular blog post…helpful if you content is getting scraped.
  • Robots.txt and .htaccess editing – This makes editing the robots.txt and .htaccess easy. You can now do it straight from the plugin files menu.

Plugin #2: HTTP Compression

If a browser supports compression, then a blog using the HTTP Compression plugin will compress pages in gzip format…

Rendering a 60-80% reduction in the size of your pages, which turns into a 3 to 4 times increase in page speed, which is essential if you don’t want to lose visitors.

If you’re not using the latest version of WordPress, you may not be able to use the gzip compression. Test your blog using the simple tool at Is My Blog Working?

wordpress compression

If the “Your blog application doesn’t support gzip compression” is showing up, then you probably need to install the latest WordPress version.

By the way, this plugin won’t work if you are using WP Super Cache, since it uses compression functionality. Your blog will still work, but WP Super Cache will stop caching new pages.

Plugin #3: WP Super Cache

Another plugin that speeds up your site, especially in the case of a sudden surge of traffic, is the WP Super Cache, which creates static HTML files that are served instead of the heavier PHP scripts in WordPress.

Super Cache helps in two ways: when your server is underpowered or when you are experiencing a heavy surge of traffic.

It’s been tested under some extreme examples…and proven to work without a hiccup.

For example, Scott Beale had a page show up on the Digg front page twice, a mention on Slashdot and some major media exposure…with over 200,000 page views in one day:

wordpress traffic

Scott was using Super Cache and didn’t experience a slowdown in server speed.

Plugin #4: Facebook Comments Box

Comments Box is a social plugin that enables users to comment on your site.

facebook comments

There are two key benefits to using Facebook Comment box for your comments:

  • Social relevance – The most relevant comments, comments left by friends, the highest liked comments or active threads are all ordered from top to bottom; basically leveraging the social signals of users.
  • Distribution – Using this plugin allows you to spread a discussion onto Facebook. When a user keeps the “Post to Facebook” box checked their comment will show up on their Facebook streams, exposing their comment and your blog post (and the link) to their friends.

That last point allows your friends to now comment on the discussion by liking or replying to your comment, which is done directly in Facebook. However, these discussions are all linked and connected back to your site. This perfect social commenting ecosystem is why Raven Tools made the switch to Facebook Comment Box.

Unfortunately, this plugin renders your comments in an iFrame (yes, that means Facebook owns your comments), which search engines will not crawl.

The workaround is to grab the comments from the API

facebook api

…and stick them in the body of your page behind the comments box. But that’s a lot of work, so you need to decide if the advantages gained in social sharing are worth the losses in SEO impact.

Plugin #5: WPtouch

More and more people are accessing the Internet via their smart phones. Unfortunately, most websites and blogs are not mobile phone friendly. That means you need to get your site ready for mobile use…or miss out on opportunities to spread your content in a new way.

Fortunately, if you have a WordPress website or blog, adapting it to mobile is pretty simple due to the WPtouch plugin.

This plugin takes your WordPress blog and turns it into an app like theme:

wordpress iphone

The plugin works on iPhones, iPod Touches, Android, Blackberry 0S6 and Palm Pre/Pixi and gives users control to switch between the WPtouch theme or your regular view.

And keep in mind this does not change a bit of code.

The WPtouch Pro gives you more options with theme style, color, 10 languages and even advertising options. Also, the 2.6 version gives you iPad theme support.

…More at 10 WordPress Plugins for a Faster, More Search Friendly Blog

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Common Question – What Do I Do With Facebook?


How Businesses Can Use Facebook

My clients and friends are constantly asking me how to use Facebook to drive traffic. 

The key to Facebook is engagement.  It is hard to sell on Facebook, but you can certainly create a relationship and drive traffic through engagement on Facebook.

Check out this article on Facebook Engagement…

5 Ways to Create Even More Facebook Engagement

This content from: Duct Tape Marketing

Search around even casually and it’s likely you will find lots of people talking about how to get more Facebook likes or how to add tabs and pages and apps that go bang.

Enable the public subscribe button for some of your posts

However, as is the case with so many things in life, quality over quantity is an important concept. In the world of Facebook that means figuring out how to get more interaction with those the friend and subscribe is probably more important to your business objectives than figuring out how to get more people to like and run.

The benefit of Facebook over other forms of engagement is that if you gain a high level of engagement with fans you can enjoy the added benefit of exposure to their networks as well. The key, in my opinion is to spend what precious time I suspect you have for networking on Facebook focused on drawing conversation out of a smaller, but fully engaged group.

…More at 5 Ways to Create Even More Facebook Engagement

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Marketing Sherpa Study on Lead Generation

Marketing Sherpa is one of my “go to” resources for cutting edge info on lead generation.  Check out this recent article…

lead generation

In my most recent research project, the MarketingSherpa 2012 Executive Guide to Marketing Personnel, we identified key behavioral and motivational differences between marketing specialists. Much of what we learned applies beyond HR and can improve your lead nurturing and sales efforts.

The key to navigating your way to a sales-ready lead is navigating through individual personalities. When you apply the human touch, you must establish credibility and, essentially, establish and manage relationships with many different people at many different levels in an organization.

You must, as Brian Carroll put it, ripen some bananas

“Fully 95% of your leads are like harvested green bananas, and, off the top, your sales team needs only the other 5%, those that are ripe…

“Lead nurturing is all about having consistent and meaningful dialog with viable prospects regardless of their timing to buy.  It’s about building trusted relationships with the right people.  In the end, it’s the act of maintaining mind share and building solid relationships with economic buyers.  It’s not a salesperson calling up every few months to find out if a prospect is ‘ready to buy yet.’”

– Brian Carroll, Executive Director, Revenue Optimization, MECLABS


Lead nurturing based on personality

Below are some characteristics you will want to identify in your prospects as early as possible. They will improve your understanding of the people you’re contacting, and set a path for helping them “sell up” or move to the next stage in the buying process.

The person you are talking to in a lead’s organization might be:

1. Your champion
2. Your influencer
3. Your decision maker

As you communicate with each of these three levels, try to identify which of these characteristics are prominent in the person:

1. How assertive and controlling is the person? □ a little □ at times □ a lot
2. How strong of a communicator? □ a little □ at times □ a lot
3. How process-oriented, methodical? □ a little □ at times □ a lot
4. How analytical/detail-oriented? □ a little □ at times □ a lot
5. How objective/task-oriented? □ a little □ at times □ a lot
6. How subjective/free-flowing? □ a little □ at times □ a lot
7. How individualistic? □ a little □ at times □ a lot
8. How strong is his/her corporate attachment? □ a little □ at times □ a lot

Once you have communicated with your first contact or two, ask them about the decision maker so you can prepare them for the process of helping to achieve your mutual objective – putting Sales in touch with a decision maker ready to make a purchase.

…More at Lead Nurturing: Market to personality and behavior, not job title

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