Web Marketing

realestate.co.nz

September 25th, 2006

Realestate.co.nz screenshotrealestate.co.nz is operated by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ). The site is a comprehensive meta-directory of listed properties in New Zealand and is currently the second most popular real estate site in New Zealand.

The site boasts a number of Web 2.0 features including RSS, Google Maps, microformats and AJAX. Every page, every search and every field has a corresponding RSS feed as well as email alert to which visitors can subscribe. This new site is of course search engine friendly, allowing spiders to traverse the site fully through text links. Dates and times of open homes can be saved directly to the calendar software such as Outlook, thanks to the use of microformats.

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Visit the site: RealEstate.co.nz

EXPORTING MARKETING: Global Naivety?

August 20th, 2006

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Originally published in NZ Marketing Magazine

In this article written by Patricia Moore, author for NZ Marketing Magazine, Netconcepts makes the public scene, not for SEO, but for their marketing success.

Moore discusses how companies have had remarkable success in the competitive New Zealand export market. How are companies succeeding in this market? What or, perhaps more importantly, who should companies turn to in order to fuel their global success.

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Partnering up has its advantages

July 27th, 2006

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Have you considered incorporating content partners and marketing partners into your online strategy? For example, partnering with content providers who could augment your own content with additional related content? Or partering with sites whose visitors match your target market?… If, for example, you wanted to reach women online, you could partner with a site like iVillage.com and build a microsite together, then have them promote it through their site and subscription lists.

Think about the sites you advertise on as potential partners. Join forces and create a microsite together and then promote it to a joint captive audience. Or make a deal with them and syndicate some useful content onto their site. For example, you could develop a whole library of useful tips and, rather than doing standard banner ads, you could provide these tips to your partner, who would then fold it with the rest of their content. Et voila!… “Sponsored content”!

Even better if, between the two of you, you can develop some sort of “hook” or viral component, such as a funny video, an addictive game, a downloadable ebook, worksheet, calculator, widget, etc…

Got an example to share of a site where the whole is greater than the sum of the partners? Post a comment!

DM News

June 1st, 2006

DM News screenshotDM News is the leading trade publication for direct, database and Internet marketers. It is both in print and online.

This total site revamp included user interface, look and feel, database, back-end programming, with SEO built in. The archives, with articles numbering over 25,000, is now completely open whereas previously it was restricted. Deep links to old articles have been maintained through 301 redirects.

The new site boasts a number of Web 2.0 features, including comments, trackbacks and RSS feeds. There isn’t just one main RSS feed, but every category has an RSS feed. A blog, also developed by Netconcepts, offers more informal views from DM News staffers and contributors (including this glowing testimonial of Netconcepts’ efforts by DM News’ founder Adrian Countenay).

The sophisticated content management system (CMS) that powers the site was custom-built by Netconcepts and specifically tailored to magazine publishers.

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Tips for submitting to Open Directory

May 22nd, 2006

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What’s the best way to get listed in the Open Directory (aka DMOZ)? I often hear people complain that they can’t get their site listed. They wait for months and nothing happens. Then they resubmit and wait, and again nothing happens. Then you throw your hands up in the air, wondering if bribes or secret handshakes are required.

An Open Directory listing is a useful thing to have. With it comes some good link gain ?Ä® from Google Directory, DMOZ.org, and a pile of lower-tier directories that use the DMOZ database. It’s not a magic bullet by any means, but it’s worth getting listed.

The key to getting into DMOZ seems to be in picking the right category. The actual mechanics of submitting is easy. From the chosen category page on DMOZ.org, simply click on “suggest URL” (or “Submit a Site” from the category page in Google Directory). I’m going to mix metaphors here (English majors please forgive me)… if you want to give yourself the best shot and to put your best foot forward, heed these words of advice:

  1. Peruse the categories where your competitors are listed.
    Often times you’ll find multiple suitable categories this way. You can search either DMOZ.org or Google Directory. Try searching for their domain name, and if that turns up nothing, try their company name / website name, and variations thereof.

  2. Read the category information to ensure that category is appropriate for you
    When viewing the category page within DMOZ.org, click on the “Description?Ĺ link at the top right of the page. Make sure your submission will be totally on-topic and fall within the guidelines listed here.

  3. Try to pick a category with an editor.
    This is important. You don’t stand much of a chance if there’s no editor. That’s because your submission will go to a higher-level category editor who is probably overwhelmed with submissions coming in from all the unmanned subcategories underneath him/her. You can see if a category has an editor by scrolling to the bottom of the category page at DMOZ.org. If the category has one or more editors, their name(s) will be listed at the bottom of the page preceded by the words “Category editor.” For example, the Computers: Internet: Web Design and Development: Promotion category is edited by cmconsulting. Clicking on cmconsulting takes you to her profile page, which in this case includes a link to her company website.

    To find relevant categories with editors, try this search on Google:

    site:dmoz.org intitle:keyword “Category editor” OR “Category editors”

    replacing the word “keyword” above with your main keyword. So, for example, if you’re looking for jewelry-related categories with editors:

    site:dmoz.org intitle:jewelry “Category editor” OR “Category editors”

  4. Fine-tune your home page to fit the category you are targeting
    For example, if you are a jeweler with a range of inventory and you are submitting under the Shopping: Jewelry: Charms category, make sure Charms is a primary feature on the home page (in the title tag and in the page content), at least until you get approved.

  5. Spiff up your site prior to submitting
    Scan your site for broken links and broken images with a broken link spider tool and fix them. Remove any “This page under construction” messages. Spell check all the copy for typos. Ensure that you’re providing your full contact information, including address. Remove anything dodgy like doorway pages or tiny text (and NO, don’t put them back after you get in!). Make sure the content of your site is valuable. Thin affiliates aren’t welcome in the Open Directory.

  6. Consider going Regional
    You might consider it more desirable to be listed on a main global category page, but we need to be pragmatic here. If you are a retail shop in Dallas, Texas, you stand a much better chance of getting into DMOZ if you found a Regional category for Dallas, Texas. If you have multiple locations, consider a broader Regional category that encompasses all your locations. For example, if you have locations in Dallas and Houston, go with Texas. If you have locations in Dallas and Vancouver, go with North America. Sometimes, multiple Regional categories would be more appropriate.

  7. Get your home page listed first before trying to get “deep links”
    For typical sites, DMOZ strongly prefers listing only the home page. Exceptions are made where a sub-section or sub-page adds substantial value to the category and wouldn’t be located easily by visitors to the home page. Examples of such: an article library, a video archive, conference proceedings. If you have such a resource, submit it and see if you can get in — but do it after you’ve successfully gotten your home page listed. And submit the resource to a DIFFERENT category. Quite a number of sites have achieved multiple listings in DMOZ. Hopefully you will too!

  8. Be non-promotional when crafting your title and description
    You will need to work in your most important keywords into the title and description (the title is most important), writing in the third-person, and without sounding salesy. And this title needs to look like the name of your site, not a list of keywords. This will reduce the risk that you’ll turn off the editor and the risk that the editor will change the title and description. DMOZ information is sometimes displayed in SERPs ?Ä® like when the search term used isn’t present in your page content or your meta description. If an editor rewrites your title or description for you, your most important keywords may be stripped out or your site could be introduced in an unappealing way on Google SERPs.

  9. Be patient, but not too patient
    Don’t expect your listing to be approved in a week. But then again, don’t wait a year. If after a month or two you don?Ä´t get in, submit to another category. Don’t waste your time submitting to the same category; you’ll just sit in the queue with multiple copies of your submission and that’s not going to make the editor happy.

  10. If it’s a second submission, lower your sights
    Ok, so your listing didn’t get approved and it’s been a month or so. Well then, this time pick a category that’s more attainable for you. For example, maybe you should submit to a more specialized category (e.g. Shopping: Jewelry: Handcrafted, instead of Shopping: Jewelry). Or pick a Regional category.

  11. Once you’re in, request a category reassignment
    Didn’t get in to your first choice category because it didn’t have an editor or you didn’t get a response from your submission? Then I’ve got good news for you: it’s a lot easier to move categories once you’re in Open Directory than it was to get in in the first place. You don’t need to settle for a listing in a sub-optimal category.

  12. Get more involved in the ODP (Open Directory Project) community
    This could mean volunteering to become a category editor. Or just becoming known as a constructive, helpful person on the Resource Zone forums. Insiders have a better lay of the land. They know the politics, the manoeuvering required, the favors to call in, the buttons to press.

Beyond the Banner: New Ways to Brand in the Online Channel

Strategic Branding — Auckland, NZ

March 27th, 2006

Seminar by

Branding campaigns appear in many forms online besides the ubiquitous banner ad. There are blogs, RSS feeds, paid search ads (e.g. Google AdWords), contextual ads, natural (organic) search listings, text link ads, microsites, and podcasts, to name a few.

  • Gain an understanding of each of these channel’s unique benefits and where each fit in your brand strategy
  • Learn best practice techniques applicable to these new channels, with numerous examples

Leveraging digital communication technology – new opportunities

9th Annual Strategic Communications and PR Forum — Auckland, NZ

March 20th, 2006

Seminar by

New digital communication technology has drastically changed the landscape of possibilities in reaching your audiences. Find out what the latest technology trends are, and how they can be utilised to add value to your brand.

  • New communication channels and their use
  • Using technology effectively
  • Viral marketing trends
  • Emerging PR tools – RSS, blogs, wikis, podcasts, social networks, social tags, search engines

Case Study: Carter Center

Carter Center logo

  • 2500 new pages in the index
  • Blog strategy gains inbound links
  • Blogging a huge success
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Interactive Marketing: Reaching Customers in an On-Demand World

University of Wisconsin Executive Education - Integrated Customer Communications — Madison, WI

November 28th, 2005

Workshop by

Technology continues to revolutionize the sales and marketing efforts of firms worldwide. Businesses must either adapt or put themselves at risk. Companies and customers communicate and interact with each other in substantially different ways than 10 or even 5 years ago. Direct and interactive marketing are converging, financial metrics are increasingly mainstream, and customers expect channel “silos” to be broken down. Learn how to benefit from the new tools and thinking in managing customer relations to increase sales, improve strategies, and reach online and offline markets.

Search engine marketing

  • Make your site “search engine friendly”
  • Explore “Pay-per-click” search advertising
  • Analyze benchmarking, competitive intelligence and ROI
  • Identify trends in contextual, behavioral and local advertising

Create a buzz – viral marketing

  • Explore blogs, RSS feeds, forums, wikis and more
  • Harness “word of mouse” to enhance your brand
  • Discover the “sneezers” who will spread your viral message

Emerging Technologies: How Direct Marketers Can Capitalize on Innovations

DMA Annual Conference — Atlanta, GA

October 18th, 2005

Panel Moderated by

Is something missing in your marketing mix? New channels are opening doors to the increasingly, tech-savvy consumer. RSS feeds and alerts, blogging, mobile communications and “mapping and monitoring” online conversations are among the newest marketing tools available.

  • Understanding these new channels
  • Leveraging them for customer retention and acquisition
  • Building rapport with bloggers, and promote your products and company in the blogosphere
  • Personalizing the content in the RSS Feed to each subscriber
  • Tracking readership and response
  • Advertising on blogs and within RSS feeds
  • Podcasting (think: on-demand Internet pirate radio)
  • Distribution channels (RSS search engines, directories, Web-based aggregators, RSS news reader software)
  • Not just for bloggers and news sites — e-tailers embrace RSS as a channel

Moderators:
Stephan Spencer, Founder & President, Netconcepts
Marc Tramonte, Director of Integrated Marketing, Microsoft Corporation

Panelists:
Royal Farros, Chairman and CEO, MessageCast
Gard Gibson, Account Group Director,VML Inc.
Mark Goldstein, CEO, Loyalty Lab Inc.
Mark Grindeland, Co-founder, m-Qube
Dana Vandenheuvel, Director of Business Development, Pheedo
Debbie Weil, President, WordBiz


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