Special Report Web Marketing

May 1st, 2006


Originally published in Catalog Success

Matt Griffin, Alan Rimm-Kaufman, and Joe Dysart discuss, in this article, new concepts for companies to attract customers and keep them “involved” through the checkout proccess. It may be a series of tactics or success may fall on just one tactic.

This article explains, in some detail, new concepts and new twists on old concepts. One of these successful marketing concept is blogging. “Blogging should be part of any online retailer’s SEO arsenal,” says Stephan Spencer, Founder and President of Netconcepts.

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Podcasting and SEO: How to SEO your podcasts

April 17th, 2005


There has been plenty of discussion in the blogosphere about blogs and search engine optimization (SEO). Google in particular seems to love blogs. Blogs are rich in content, heavily linked, with links that tend to be contextual, and without much in the way of code bloat or gratuitous flash animation. In short, blogs are search engine friendly out-of-the-box.

But what about SEO’ing a podcast, the blog’s newest cousin?

Podcasting (where anyone can become an Internet radio talk show host or DJ) presents unique opportunities to the marketer/content producer that blogging does not. I expound on this a bit more in my recent MarketingProfs article but the benefits of podcasting from an SEO standpoint wouldn’t seem as obvious. Podcasts are usually audio content, so you don’t get all this rich textual content that the search engine spiders can snarf up. You also don’t get the rich inter-linking that happens with blogs because you can’t embed clickable URLs throughout your MP3 files.

Nonetheless, I believe you can SEO your podcasts. Here’s how:

  1. Come up with a name for your podcast show that is rich with relevant heavily searched-on keywords.
  2. Make sure your MP3 files have really good ID3 tags ?Ä® rich with relevant keywords. ID3V2 even supports comment and URL fields. The major search engines may not pick up the ID3 tags now, but they will! And besides, there are specialty engines and software tools that already do.
  3. Synopsize each podcast show in text and blog that. Put your most important keywords as high up in the blog post as possible but still keep it readable and interesting.
  4. Encourage those who link directly to your MP3 file to also link to your blog post about the podcast.
  5. Consider using a transcription service to transcribe your podcast or at least excerpts of it for use as search engine fodder. Break the transcript up into sections. Make sure each section is on a separate web page and each separate web page has a great keyword-rich title relating to that segment of the podcast. And, of course, link to the podcast MP3 from those web pages. There are many transcription services out there, where you can just email them the MP3 file or give them an URL and they send you back a Word document. Here’s a partial list of transcription services .
  6. Submit your podcast site to podcast directories and search engines such as audio.weblogs.com.
  7. Let people in your industry, such as bloggers and the media, know that you have a podcast because podcasting is quite new and novel. It will be more newsworthy and linkworthy than just another blog in your industry.
  8. Don’t just get up on your soapbox. Have conversations with others, in the form of recorded phone interviews, and podcast those as well. Pick people who have great reputations on the web and great PageRank scores, and ask that they link to your site and to your podcast summary page.

This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list of tactics. It is simply meant as a catalyst for creative thinking. SEO, in particular the link building aspect, isn’t about just following a set list of formulae. It is about creatively thinking outside the box and differentiating yourself in ways that make your site eminently more linkworthy than your competitors.

Move over Blogs: Here come Podcasts

March 22nd, 2005


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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An audio interview with podcasting pioneer Doug Kaye

March 13th, 2005


Doug Kaye, founder of IT Conversations, is one of the true pioneers in the area of podcasting. His IT Conversations site offers a large array of podcasts from many of the top-most thought leaders in information technology. Listen in on Doug and I discuss podcasting — its history, potential applications, challenges, and best successes to date. This podcast was done in conjunction with my article on podcasting for marketers, soon to be published on MarketingProfs.com.

Interview with Doug Kaye, Podcasting Pioneer

March 13th, 2005


Podcasting is an arena that has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception. In this interview, Stephan Spencer sits down with Doug Kaye, podcasting pioneer. Doug founded IT Conversations, which offers podcasts from many expert thought leaders in information technology.

Listen to this podcast to get a historic glimpse into podcasting, its challenges and successes, and its potential applications.

Podcasting, pirate radio for businesses

January 25th, 2005


Ever since I discovered the wonderful ITConversations.com, I have become a real fan of podcasting. Podcasting is a way of delivering audio files to your PC and then to your MP3 player (e.g. your iPod) whenever they are updated — automatically at night while you sleep. Although podcasting is quite new, there are already episodic radio shows being made for delivery via podcast. It’s amazing the quality of some of the audio commentary being published out there on the web, free for the taking. Bloggers are really the driving force of podcasting right now. On the commute into the office they make a recording of themselves and post it onto their blog. The BBC really legitimized podcasting by delivering the series “In Our Time” via podcast. With plans to put all of the BBC’s radio archives online and to continue to deliver new shows online, it is possible we will see thousands of classic BBC radio shows podcast. It’s great to see a traditional broadcaster right at the cutting edge of technology!

I love the way that podcasting democratizes radio broadcasting. Literally anyone can do it — even me! It takes a bit of fiddling to get the right setup in place for good quality audio recording — particularly when there’s someone on the other end of a phone to interview — but I’ve finally nailed it.

I conducting my first successful podcast interview today. I phone interviewed Marc Holland, CEO of Sky Radio Networks. I’m not going to put it online yet, as the podcast is supposed to be released in conjunction with the publication of my upcoming MarketingProfs article on podcasting (due out within the next week or two). I will post here to my blog once the article and the podcast interviews are online.

You may wonder why I selected Sky Radio as my first interviewee. Well, while I was writing my podcasting article for MarketingProfs, it occurred to me that podcasting would be an obvious next evolution in Sky Radio’s business model. Sky Radio is the exclusive producer of the in-flight business audio programming on many of the major domestic airlines. They’re the folks you hear on the business channel when you fly United, for instance. I think their interviews would be fantastic material to make available on a podcast RSS format, as sometimes you don’t get to listen to all the shows or you want to recall something you heard half asleep 30,000 feet up. Podcasting would allow business execs who don’t even fly to regularly partake in these audio interviews as they become available. If Sky Radio developed a strong listener base and online distribution channel for the podcasts, then they could charge for this just like they charge for having professionally-produced interviews distributed to air travelers.

I’ve lined up some more great podcast interviews, so there will be lots to come! As they say in broadcasting, “Stay tuned!”