has 13+ years experience in web development, ecommerce, and internet marketing. He has been actively involved in the internet marketing efforts of more then 100 websites in some of the most competitive industries online. John comes up with truly off the wall ideas, and has pioneered some completely unique marketing methods and campaigns. John is active in every single aspect of the work we do: link sourcing, website analytics, conversion optimization, PPC management, CMS, CRM, database management, hosting solutions, site optimization, social media, local search, content marketing. He is our conductor and idea man, and has a reputation of being a brutally honest straight shooter. He has been in the trenches directly and understands what motivates a site owner. His driven personality works to the client's benefit as his passion fuels his desire for your success. His aggressive approach is motivating, his intuition for internet marketing is fine tuned, and his knack for link building is unparalleled. He has been published in books, numerous international trade magazines, featured in the Wall Street Journal, sat on boards of trade associations, and has been a spokesperson for Fortune 100 corporations including MSN, Microsoft, EBay and Amazon at several internet marketing industry events. John is addicted to Peets coffee, loves travel and golf, and is a workaholic except on Sunday during Steelers games.
Think of it like this: You’re trying to track a long-distance runner during a race, but you stop clocking him before he finishes.
So…what was his final time and finish position? Before you high five all of your colleagues and look back with pride on the fact that you had a runner, realize that with true conversion optimization, you should not only know what the finish order was, you should even be capable of measuring whether your runner slowed down for water along the way.
While this may seem obvious, in nearly every conversion optimization instance we’ve examined, site owners or managers had either no idea what to measure or were trying to assess only half of what was truly measurable.
Before you begin, make sure you are prepared. When it comes to leads, there can be many, many steps along the sales cycle before you have cash in your hand.
Nowadays, many people are using Pinterest to as a tool for promoting their ecommerce businesses. What makes Pinterest ideal for ecommerce is that it is a social media platform which is primarily visual. Since many people use photos to market their products, Pinterest offers a place where they can pin, link and share their photos. Using different pin boards, one can easily highlight different items. In addition, you can also post photos of future sales and products.
The following are some guidelines for using Pinterest for ecommerce.
1. Appear professional
Make sure your Pinterest account looks as professional as possible. Customize your profile page, arrange your pin boards appropriately and use unique and catchy board covers. Do your best to make your account stand out from others in your niche.
2. Include Pinterest widgets in your product pages
Having Pinterest widgets in your product pages will enable people to easily share your products. Whenever an image is repinned, it will still have a link to your product page, as well as your Pinterest profile. This will result in an increase of traffic to your ecommerce site.
Blogging has become second nature to many people, and they are reaping the rewards. Business owners in any industry should learn how they could benefit from blogging. I have been blogging for the past 5+ years. You can check out all my ramblings about PPC here.
How businesses can benefit from blogging is by reaching and remaining on the first page of search engines. For instance; a garden/landscaping business has started a website with their products and services but have very little web traffic. It is not because they do not have good products or services, it is because they are not appearing on the first or second page when potential customers are searching for products they carry. The best step management can take at this point is to begin posting regularly (or hire someone to do it) with information about the gardening and landscaping industry.
Blogging is not meant to be blatant sales pitches; it is meant for informative, valuable content for the consumer. If each post is simply a picture of a product with a “the best there is” tag on it, website traffic will drop instead of rise. When the consumer sees something of value to them that they do not have to pay for (information in this case) they will tell their peers and share it on social networking sites.
Businesses can benefit from blogging by giving consumers free advice and ideas on how to use their products. In the gardening industry there are millions of products available so content should not have to be repeated. A top business blogger can easily pick one item per day to write about. In staying with the gardening theme the items and tips should be related to the season. This type of approach will keep consumers returning to the site on a regular basis to learn something new. As time goes on, the blog subscriber may become a regular customer as well.
If you work in the field of SEO, you probably understand that Google controls everything. We constantly bend to its will and try to outthink it at every turn. Just as space travel is unpredictable because we haven’t yet experienced much of it, SEO is also a largely new frontier and we seldom know what to expect from our environment. Our environment, of course, is Google. But what if Google didn’t exist? Where would we look for sites? How would we get links? Your brain is probably boiling over with great ideas right now, and that’s the point of this whole thing—if we eliminate Google from the equation entirely, those paths that we come up with are almost completely organic.
Google is extremely popular with both the general public and with SEO professionals, but it often locks us inside of a box. At some point we’re not exploring the web on our own, and instead we are relying on an algorithm and some web spiders to explore for us. We can break out of this box and choose our own destination in a natural, organic way. Considering the question “what if Google didn’t exist?” is a great way to answer the question “where can I get more links?”
Playing “what if?” is a fun, but sometimes dangerous, game. It’s easy to get stuck down in the mire of negativity and use “what if?” to fuel your own pessimistic fire. If you use it correctly, however, “what if?” can be a great catalyst for ideas and innovation. For example, think about the popular post apocalypse genre of fiction, where a shovel might become the protagonist’s best weapon, best tool and best friend. Similarly, in a world without Google, a message board buried somewhere inside of a mediocre site with low domain authority might become an excellent research tool. After all, if all of these people are willing to brave an underwhelming site just to talk to each other and share about a topic, that means they’re passionate about it. Passion leads to great info, great leads on new sites and useful links. Google does exist, of course, but thinking outside of that box produces some interesting results.
Ultimately, we’re talking about local citation building. Citation building can have a powerful effect on your SERP positioning for keywords and searches returned using local data and terms. However, it’s not as easy as simply requesting inclusion in Google Places and getting a couple of links from sites like the online Yellow Pages. The following are 4 simple steps for taking a NAP, AKA; building effective and long-lasting local citations.
It’s easy to publish a blog post, a tweet or a status update. Sometimes too easy. As a business owner (and bloggers are business owners, too) you have a responsibility to publish facts. Readers don’t come for fiction, or to be taken on a breezy diversion of gossip and rumors. They come to your blog and follow your social media profiles to learn something from you.
You can seriously damage your brand by doling out misinformation as if it’s accurate, so take your time to get it right. Be certain you’re publishing facts.
To Kill Your Credibility Fast:
1. Jump on a Non-Scoop Scoop
Ever heard of a Twitter death hoax? This all-too-common viral “scoop” works for a number of social psychological reasons, none of them useful in getting to the truth. A quick Google search reveals insight about them from highly reputable sources, including the TheNewYorkTimes.
Did you hear about the false CNN and Fox News reports that the Supreme Court struck down the individual health insurance mandate? It was such bad reporting about such a big event that the mistake got almost as much attention as the real news! However, you aren’t a news organization. No one will talk about you for making a mistake. They just won’t pay attention to you anymore.
2. Reiterate Common “Knowledge” that isn’t True
Whatever your area of expertise, you probably hear about all sorts of myths that masquerade as facts. Living in the world of internet marketing, I witness countless assumptions about the Google algorithm being spun into “knowledge” all the time. This spring, as the Penguin update rolled out, SEO bloggers made up stories about what the Over Optimization Penalty means.
I don’t think they were trying to deliver false information, but they did. All they needed to do was read Google’sownblogpost on the subject. Often, the actual truth is less interesting than the general consensus about what’s true.
“Same Thing” Sickness
One thing that SEO’s hate about web developers has to do with the way they execute or fail to carry out a very specific request.
A case in point: An SEO requests a developer to create a 301 redirect between pages. The developer does a meta-redirect or a 302 redirect citing that it’s the “same thing”.
From the developer’s perspective, it’s the same thing for the user, but from an SEO standpoint, it affects the search engine rankings.
The Death of Optimization
Developer skills and SEO techniques go hand in hand, so when if a developer fails to do their job, then it doesn’t matter what the SEO team does. Even with a copy of Google’s secret algorithm in hand, the site won’t rank if the site won’t work.
A case in point: A client implements some redesign elements. Suddenly, traffic drops by 30%.
The problem: Many of the pages don’t load like they should and the ones that do load show 500 server errors. The developer failed to spot the errors during the development process.
The result: 3 weeks of seriously diminished traffic.
The “I Know SEO” Syndrome
This is a contagious disease that developers get that can quickly spread to other developers. If you have ever heard a developer say something like I’m pretty good at SEO, it can usually be translated into I’ve read a little about SEO and therefore I pretty much know more than you do.
But wait a minute, SEO’s. You aren’t immune, either. There is a related syndrome called “I can code”.
A case in point: An SEO expert successfully builds a Word Press site and suddenly deems themselves a web developer.
The Real Problem
At the root of the culture clash between coders and SEO’s are their driving philosophies. Business classes that teach search engine optimization focus on uniqueness. After all, differentiating yourself from the competition is a good thing. On the other hand, computer science classes center on making everything the same. Each discipline takes a different approach to reaching the same result: stability and efficiency.
Shopping around the web these days has become a frustrating affair. Not only is Google serving up obscure blogs on the first page, some of the largest players like Target seem to have forgotten that an excellent shopping experience is what turned them into a household name.
For example, try shopping for bath towels on Target.com. Type in “Fieldcrest towels,” in Google Search and Target comes up first place in the organic listing. Notice too that Target has paid for a PPC ad for “Fieldcrest towels.”
However, once you get to the website, good luck outfitting your bathroom. The towel is supposed to be available in a choice of colors: white/black stripe, white/grey, white/brown, white/green and white/taupe stripes. Yet, only the black stripe photo is displayed for all of the examples. Moreover, the two white/black stripe towels that are pictured are different. One has two stripes and one has four. So not only is the customer unable to see the color so that they can match it to their sea foam rug, they also haven’t a clue as to what design they are buying.
As the Internet focuses on Social Media, photographs become increasingly important. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ posts share better with great photographs. Unlike video or text, photographs are immediate, beautiful and engaging. Unfortunately there are ownership issues surrounding photographs on social media that every photographer, marketing manager or business should be aware of.
The issues related to copyrights are clearly listed in the Terms of Service agreements on every social media site. Buried in these lengthy, complex agreements are terms that are designed to protect the social media site. Each agreement is a little different and they are updated and changed periodically.
On most Social Media sites when materials with intellectual property rights like photographs are posted the poster is granting a non-exclusive sub-license of the photograph to the social media site. The sub-license is free and it allows other users of the site and the social media site itself to turn around and then use or license the photo for free or for profit. The photographer (or owner of the exclusive license) retains ownership of the photograph but only in a non-excusive capacity once it is posted.
Why do these sub-licenses matter?
From a professional photographer’s perspective by posting a photo on a social media site they are basically removing the ability to ever sell the exclusive right to the photograph down the road. Should the photographer’s work ever become valuable both the social media site and any other entity that has acquired the photograph through the site can use it as they see fit for profit without owing royalties to the photographer. In the case of Google+ this license if forever, called an “irrevocable” license.
Here is the TOS for Google+
“By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.
You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.
You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this license shall permit Google to take these actions.”
Google+’s user agreement is the most extensive of all the social media sites in that it is irrevocable. The forever nature of the license means that under no circumstances can the poster of the photographer ever recover exclusive rights to the photograph.