Web Marketing

Traditional Vehicle, New Channel – Internet Word of Mouth Marketing

Strategic Branding — Auckland, New Zealand

March 30th, 2005

Seminar by

  • Where consumers gather and messages propagate: personal emails, discussion forums, chat rooms, blogs, RSS feeds, wikis and search engines.
  • How to harness “word of mouse” to enhance existing relationship marketing programmes and your brand.
  • Tips for facilitating the spread of viral messages about your brand.
  • Who are the “sneezers” who will spread your viral message?
  • Handling input and feedback from your consumers, the public, the media and analysts.
  • Success stories and flops: what’s worked and what hasn’t.
  • How can Internet word of mouth enhance existing relationship marketing programmes and your brand?

Move over Blogs: Here come Podcasts

March 22nd, 2005

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Originally published in MarketingProfs

Think what audio books on tape did for the road warriorâ??turning our cars and airplane seats into mobile universities. Podcasting has the same capacity to change the way we learn and take in new information.

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Google bug reveals favored web sites

January 9th, 2005

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A couple months ago I shared one of my Google secrets, since that secret no longer worked. ;-) Specifically, it was how to obtain a list of the most important web sites according to Google.

Now, surprisingly, this little trick appears to work again (it stopped working in 2003), thanks to a bug introduced into Google’s algorithm. Two months ago, a search for http would have revealed results like HTTP – Hypertext Transfer Protocol Overview and Welcome! – The Apache HTTP Server Project. Today, these sites appear nowhere near the top of the results. Instead, the top results are occupied by a “who’s who” list of highly important web sites — sites that don’t include the word http anywhere in the text of the page.

As already noted by blogger Nathan Weinberg, this same phenonemon occurs when you search for www.

One thing I found curious is that http and www Google queries return different results. Now these results are NOT in order of PageRank score, at least not the PageRank scores as revealed by the Google Toolbar. You can verify this to be the case yourself simply by using SEO Chat’s PageRank Search tool. Indeed, it’s a well-known fact within the SEO community that the PageRank scores served up by the Google Toolbar servers are not the actual PageRanks used by Google in the ranking algorithm. PageRank debate aside, perhaps this list offers us a (now) rare glimpse at some of Google’s Chosen Ones — the most important sites on the Internet according to Google.

What makes me say this is due to a bug in Google? For one thing, these results are NOT relevant to the search query. Secondly, I’ve uncovered another bug newly introduced into Google’s algorithm, namely that the inurl: query operator does not work properly, and I think these two bugs might be related. For an example of this second bug in action, search Google for site:blogs.msdn.com scoble inurl:msnsearch and the top search result is currently blogs.msdn.com/mikehall/archive/2004/11/10/255417.aspx. Note there’s no msnsearch in that URL!

I’ve compiled a list the top 1000 results for each of the two queries for your convenience. You’ll see, they do vary quite dramatically:

(more…)

President Carter’s blogging experience

“We are grateful to Stephan for planting the seed for one of the most successful Web projects The Carter Center has undertaken to-date.”

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Getting Google to Love Your Website

A DMA Brainy Breakfast — Auckland, New Zealand

May 27th, 2004

Seminar by Stephan Spencer and Brian Klais

The Internet’s next killer app for marketers has emerged: Google.

Google’s search algorithms power over half of all Web search queries, making high-ranking Google listings a marketer’s dream. While natural listings in Google deliver millions in sales to some of the Web’s savviest retailers, most websites are not properly designed to reach this market. How can you adjust or revamp your site so Google will love it?

Join us at the May Brainy Breakfast with Stephan Spencer, Managing Director of Netconcepts, to learn the essential strategies of putting Google to work for your website.

You’ll learn the secrets of how to:

  • Check your “Google Pulse”
  • Estimate missed opportunity costs
  • Ensure Google crawls 100% of your site, including dynamic pages
  • Design your pages to dominate rankings
  • Avoid getting banned or penalised by Google
  • Use paid placement with Google AdWords & optimise your search ads
  • Measure return upon investment
  • Prepare for imminent changes in the search engine industry
  • …and more!

Where else can you reach a majority of qualified prospects at zero or very low cost per click?

7 Secrets to High Google Rankings: Getting Google to Love Your Website

American Marketing Association webcast series — online

February 12th, 2004

Webcast by

The Internet’s next killer app for marketers has emerged: Google.

Google’s search algorithms power 80% of all Web search queries, making high ranking Google listings a marketer’s dream. Where else can you reach 80% penetration to highly qualified prospects at zero cost per click?

While natural listings in Google deliver millions in sales to some of the Web’s savviest retailers, most Web sites are not properly designed to reach this market. How can you adjust or revamp your site so Google will love it?

Join Stephan Spencer, President of Netconcepts, during this rich presentation to learn the essential strategies of putting Google to work for your Web site. You’ll learn the secrets of how to:

  • Check your “Google pulse”
  • Estimate missed opportunity costs
  • Ensure Google crawls 100% of your site, including dynamic pages
  • Design your pages to dominate rankings
  • Avoid getting banned by Google
  • Prepare for changes soon to come in the search engine industry
  • and much more!

The Internet Marketing Plan

January 1st, 2004

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It never ceases to amaze me how few companies have a suitable marketing plan, let alone one that is actively maintained. Many companies operate under the myth that their overall marketing plan can simply include an online component. The Internet however, is not just another channel. It offers an entirely new way of doing business. It deserves – and necessitates – a separate, in-depth marketing plan.

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Internet Marketing workshop

New Zealand DMA workshop — Auckland, NZ

October 7th, 2003

Workshop by

Join us for a hands-on, one-day workshop on Internet marketing tactics, including search engine optimisation, copywriting, conversion, and web project management. Each module will be jammed packed with practical advice, online resources, tools, tips, case studies – including the “inside scoop” on what worked and what didn’t – and interactive critiques of attendees’ websites and online marketing efforts. With a live Internet connection, we will examine in-depth:

Search engine optimisation
You want to get to the top of the search engines? Ah… but which search engines should you target? What keywords are your prospects searching for? And how do you get your site to the top for those keywords and then stay there?

Learn the tactics that will make your site ‘scream’ in the search engines – ethically and sustainably – without costing you a fortune ongoing.

  • Hands-on keyword research
  • Fine tuning your content, HTML, design, and site architecture for optimal rankings
  • Workarounds for poor search engine practices (such as frames, question marks in URLs, Flash, pop-up windows, links that say “click here,” page titles like “Welcome to ABC.com”, pull-down navigation menus)
  • Making your e-commerce or database-driven site “search engine friendly”
  • Building links (directories, niche sites, etc.)
  • Google’s secrets revealed (PageRank, hyperlink text, etc.)
  • Pay-per-click search engines (Overture, etc.)
  • Benchmarking & competitive intelligence
  • Measuring the return on your search engine marketing investment

Improving conversion rate
So you’ve got visitors on your website, but will they “convert” to customers? Improving conversion on your site is an art and a science that involves a mix of clever copywriting, compelling offers, a follow-up strategy, meaningful metrics for measuring success, and more.
  • Developing a unique voice / personality
  • Active vs. passive tense
  • Verbs vs. adjectives
  • “You” vs. “we”
  • Toning down the marketingspeak
  • Fine tuning your offer
  • The call-to-action
  • Segmenting
  • Personalizing the content and the message
  • Marketing metrics: cost per click, cost per conversion, customer lifetime value, churn rate, etc.
  • “Blogging”

Working with your web developer
What are the ingredients for sucess when launching a redesign or a new site? What processes are helpful in keeping the project and the vendor on track? What are reasonable expectations of the client and the vendor? What goes into (and what doesn’t go into) an effective brief or specification? How do you manage the legal risk?
  • Writing a strategic brief, creative brief, functional spec, content plan, etc.
  • Budgeting and resource allocation
  • Vendor selection
  • The art and science of estimating time and costs
  • The web development process
  • Change management
  • The project extranet
  • Web development contracts
  • Liability and disclaimers
  • Ownership of source code
  • Terms & Conditions for your website users

We guarantee that after this intensive workshop you’ll walk away with loads of practical, actionable tactics and tips. So what are you waiting for? Register today.

BIOGRAPHY
Stephan Spencer, M.Sc., is the founder and president of Netconcepts, a full-service interactive agency with specialization in search engine optimisation, e-commerce, email marketing, and Web site auditing. They count amongst their U.S. clients: Birds Eye, Wella, Midwest Express Airlines, InfoSpace, Homestead.com, The Sharper Image, Cabela’s, and MP3.com; local clients include Westpac (NZ), The Fletcher Trust, nzgirl, SmokeCDs.com, TrustPower, and Business in the Community.

Stephan is a columnist for Unlimited. He has also written for Marketing Magazine, Management Magazine, Catalog Age, and Building Online Business. He has been featured on the cover of In Business magazine in the U.S. Stephan is a frequent speaker at Internet conferences around the globe – Berlin, London, Toronto, Santiago, Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco. He currently serves as a director of Sales & Marketing Executives International.

Internet Marketing workshop

Marketing Today (New Zealand DMA annual conference) — Auckland, NZ

June 16th, 2003

Workshop by

Presented by Stephan Spencer, Managing Director of Netconcepts:

  • Search engine optimization
    You want to get to the top of the search engines? Ah… but which search engines should you target? What keywords are your prospects searching for? And how do you actually get your site to the top for those keywords and then to stay there? Learn the tactics that will make your site ‘scream’ in the search engines – ethically and sustainably – without costing you a fortune ongoing.
  • Improving conversion rate
    So you’ve got visitors to your site, but will they purchase? Improving conversion on your site is an art and a science that involves a mix of clever copywriting, compelling offers, a follow-up strategy, meaningful metrics for measuring success, and more.
  • Email marketing
    Email can get you in front of your customers and prospects without relying on them to remember to come back and visit your site. But pitfalls abound. Get it wrong just once and you’ll significantly trim your list and burn your relationships. Learn what it takes to make great campaigns and newsletters, get the permission you need from your intended audience, and then test your assumptions scientifically.
  • Working with your web developer
    What are the ingredients for sucess when launching a redesign or a new site? What processes are helpful in keeping the project and the vendor on track? What are reasonable expectations of the client and the vendor? What goes into (and what doesn’t go into) an effective brief or specification? How do you manage the legal risk?

Presented by Kelly Goto, Principal, gotomedia, Inc.:

  • Usability
  • Information design
  • Workflow
  • Metrics for ROI from a user experience perspective

Have Online Advertisers Gone Too Far?

June 1st, 2003

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Originally published in Unlimited

In an intensifying effort to capture internet users’ attention, online advertisers are resorting to ever more intrusive – even dodgy – tactics like…

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