Halyard Consulting http://halyardconsulting.com Internet Marketing for Geo-Local Businesses. Sat, 05 Apr 2014 00:53:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 How to Create a YouTube Channel http://halyardconsulting.com/create-youtube-channel/ http://halyardconsulting.com/create-youtube-channel/#comments Sat, 05 Apr 2014 00:53:11 +0000 http://halyardconsulting.com/?p=25028 How to Create a YouTube Channel is a post from: Halyard Consulting

When starting a new YouTube channel for your business, it’s important to remember there are multiple choices to make, so don’t get overwhelmed at the beginning. Decide on what your purpose for the channel is. Create and upload videos related to that core purpose. Create tailored content that considers what consumers need to know about your products and services.

How to Create a YouTube Channel is a post from: Halyard Consulting

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How to Create a YouTube Channel is a post from: Halyard Consulting

Hi everyone. This is Jonathan Goodman. Welcome to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. Today is the first segment of a multi-part look at How to Create a Business YouTube Channel. Before we get into this, let’s look at what YouTube is.

Viewership

More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month. Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube – that’s almost an hour for every person on earth. And 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. According to Nielson, YouTube reaches more U.S. adults ages 18-34 than any cable network. Thousands of channels are making six figures a year, and we’ll talk about what a channel is during this episode. They have more than a million advertisers using Google ad platforms, the majority of which are small businesses, which is why we’ll focus on that. Mobile makes up almost 40% of YouTube’s global watch time.

If you want to set up a YouTube business channel, the first thing you need to do is set up a Google account, which automatically creates a Google+ account. Creating a Google account is as easy as signing up for Gmail or Google Calendar or any of those applications. When you have an established Google account, then you can create a YouTube handle. It’s important to look at the big picture. If this is a corporate account you don’t want to build it using your personal Gmail account. Instead be mindful of which email you tie to your business YouTube account.

However, that being said, my YouTube account is Jonathan Goodman not Halyard Consulting. Although the URL is Halyardconsulting, it is under the jgoodman@halyardconsulting.com email. So I didn’t make it have a personal email. It is my professional email which is really run through Google business. Since a lot of the videos are from my podcast, it really should have been called The World of Internet Marketing, but at least it’s not connected to my personal Gmail account.

When starting a new YouTube channel for your business, it’s important to remember there are multiple choices to make, so don’t get overwhelmed at the beginning. Decide on what your purpose for the channel is. Create and upload videos related to that core purpose. Create tailored content that considers what consumers need to know about your products and services.

Dashboard

Let’s take a tour through the Video Manager. We’ll do that by looking at my screen. I only have 14 subscribers, which is completely my fault. I’ve been so focused on promoting this on Spreaker and Blog Talk Radio that I’ve completely forgotten about my numbers of subscribers on YouTube. We started this as a podcast and when it became a videocast, we actually did it in Goggle+ Hangout On Air. What we’ll talk about now is that there is a great integration between YouTube and the on-air version of Goggle+ Hangout.

We’re going to go into Video Manager and to Dashboard. Notice under my name you’ll see I am YouTube Partner. The criteria to become a YouTube Partner is:

  • Your account is in good standing and hasn’t previously been disabled for monetization.
  • You upload original, quality content that is advertiser-friendly
  • Your video content complies with YouTube’s Terms of Service and Community Guidelines
  • You have reviewed their copyright education materials
  • To be considered a YouTube partner and access promotional and skill-building opportunities, you must have at least one video approved for monetization. We can go in here and see that these are all approved for monetization.

So it’s not really about how many subscribers you have or how people have viewed your videos. It’s really about providing original unique content that is entertaining and informative.

Now let me advise you, if you’re thinking about going onto one of these networks like Fivver and hiring someone to boost your subscriber numbers with fake accounts, it’s important to know that’s strictly violating YouTube’s terms of service agreement with partners. So while I only have 14 subscribers right now, I’m ok with that because I know those number will grow. In fact, within the last 30 days, it went up significantly because now I know that I wasn’t paying attention to my subscribers on YouTube and I want them to be engaged.

YouTubeDashboard

I want real subscribers that are going to engage. Think about it this way. Do you want 14 subscribers all of whom are commenting, liking and sharing? Or do you want 10,000 subscribers with only 14 of them commenting, liking and sharing? If YouTube is looking at engagement from a ratio standpoint, then I’d much rather have 100% engagement than .001% engagement

So when we look at the dashboard, you’ll have notifications and they’ll tell you want you need to do. Notice that I still haven’t created a Channel Trailer. I need to do that pretty soon. It’s one of the last things that I have yet to do. Then get noticed on YouTube. There’s ways to increase that. You can work with them to optimize and gain a larger audience.

Then down here, we have a list of videos. These are the last 4 videos that I did. Then you have comments. Finally, you’ll see key statistics from the last 30 days. So in the last 30 days, I’ve had 167 video views and 2 subscribers have changed over the course of the 30 days. I don’t think that’s exactly accurate because I know that when I was writing the dialogue for this episode, I had 7 and I now have 14. So I’ve doubled, which is more than 2.

Video Manager

Now we’ll go into the Video Manager. First you have Video Uploads. You see that these are the videos that I’ve uploaded. Some of them are more popular than others. Scott Jangro, which is really incredibly popular, has 102 views. Danny Dover has 66 views and 3 likes. Scott Jangro has 3 likes. So those are good. Obviously, this is a small YouTube channel. It’s not huge, but when we’re talking about small business, unique content is important. It doesn’t have to be hundreds of thousands of people.

YouTubeVideoManager

Then you have Live Events. We are actually running a live event. As I said in the beginning, this is different from how I’d previously done this, which was to go to Google+ On Air Hangout, build out the session and then go live. Now the way Google wants you do to this – and I don’t know if too many people know about this – they want you to go onto YouTube, go to your channel, do a live event and then that moves you over to your Goggle+ On Air Hangout. YouTube went from partners needing 1,000 subscribers down to just needing 100 subscribers, but at end the of last year it opened it up to all verified accounts in good standing, regardless of the number of followers. This whole integration with Google+ is really fantastic because what’s even better is you can now create a live event in YouTube and have it run as a Google+ Hangout.

Next we have Playlists. Playlists are a group of YouTube videos that play in order, one after the other. When one video finishes, the next starts automatically. Playlists are a great addition to your channel strategy. They increase watch time and the playlist creates another asset that appears in search results and in Suggested Videos. You see that I quickly created a playlist of all the videos done before actually videocasting.

I took the 14 audio tapes from Spreaker that were on YouTube and made them into a playlist. So if you wanted to listen to the first 6 hours of audio that don’t have any kind of video element to them, you could go in and listen to this playlist. At some point, I’ll create a video optimization playlist and I’ll start categorizing these playlists. What’s great is that it engages the user. If somebody likes the material and listens to it for 40 minutes and they still want to listen to the rest of that idea and that concept, you can have them listen to more and more within that playlist. So you get more activity and more plays.

Next we have Tags, Search History and Likes. These are my likes. But what’s interesting is that these should really be under Analytics because they just provide data about videos – videos that I liked, search history, the tags that are used within my videos. So they don’t really belong under Video Manager. There’s nothing that you can actually do. Or you could do this. Let’s choose a good one. lcharts. You see that this is a tag that shows up in 3 videos that I did. This is Playing Catch Up, Final Edit. This is Playing Catch Up 1 and Playing Catch Up 2, which had errors in them.

At some point, I should go in and delete these. But I could say for this video, I don’t want the tags to be lcharts and I could remove that tag. I could also tag it with other things. So there is a little bit of work and that would take a lot of time to integrage and do. But again, I think this is much more of an analytics tool than a video manager tool.

Community

When we look at Community, we have Comment Settings and Inbox. So here’s Comment Settings. It lets you pre-approve and ban users comments as well as blacklist specific words you deem inappropriate. There is also universal default settings for approvals of comments. So you see this on your new videos. Do you want to allow all comments, all comments for review or disable comments? Of course, you as the person who’s managing the Channel, will get notification when somebody puts in a comment anyway. I don’t have hundreds and hundreds of comments on my videos, so I’m able to monitor it by just looking at the ones that come in.

YouTubeCommunity

At some point, if this grows – or if you’re working with a controversial topic or if people are upset by a video you made – then you might want to go into the blacklist and add keywords that you don’t want allowed. You can ban certain users and you can disable the comments or hold all comments. But comments are important because they show that you’re engaged with readers. If someone comments, you want to comment back and have a dialogue with them. That really helps.

Here in the Inbox. When someone sends you an email through YouTube, it will end up here. You’re going to get emails from people. You’re going to get emails that they commented, and this is the area where you can manage it. I’ve deleted all my emails because I already responded to them and they were just hanging out and I don’t need them. You’ll get an email to your attached Gmail account as well.

Channel Settings

Channel settings lets you manage the way that you handle your channels. The Features allows you to enable additional features. You see that my Paid Subscriptions isn’t enabled because I need at least 10,000 subscribers, but everything else is enabled. I am Partner Verified, so I don’t know why that didn’t show up earlier. I will tell you that it was here last night. I do have two accounts. I have a Jonathan Goodman account and a Halyard Consulting account. All the videos that I was working on are in the Jonathan Goodman account and the Halyard Consulting account had no videos. So I actually went in and deleted that. I have to make sure now that YouTube didn’t somehow screw up my partnership with them. But here it does show that I’m a verified partner in good standing.

YouTubeChannelSettings

Monetization allows you to enable and disable universally. My account is completely enabled. If I wanted to go in and disable for certain videos, let’s say Playing Catchup, Part 2, we can play with these because I’m eventually going to delete them. Here I can go in and un-monetize this. And you can choose the thumbnails. This is all easy to do. You can build your own custom thumbnail. So here I have monetization. You have your choices, as always, in building up your basic info, monetization and advanced settings. So you turn off monetize with ads. You save that and then you can go back into the Video Manager and see that it’s not monetized.

Let’s go back up to Channel Settings and we’re going to look at Defaults. This is Universal Defaults and we’ll go through the list. You can make all of your videos private or public or unlisted. It’s really important to choose a category. I know that it’s really hard. I wish that they had a Business category and they just don’t, so I have to go with Science & Technology. The other option that I could have done was How To, but that’s really like how to do your hair, how to dance, etc. I could have chosen Entertainment, but it’s not really that or News & Politics. So I had to go with Science & Technology, but I really wish they had a Business category. They do have Education. So the category you choose depends what your industry is. Stand YouTube license because my content is my content. I don’t want to make it Creative Comments. Creative Comments with Attribution means that somebody could take your content and put it somewhere and make money off of it. Or depending on the attribution that you have, they could use it for their stuff. And I don’t really want that because the content that I create is important.

The title is The World of Internet Marketing. I have a little description here. This is critically important. I mention my name. I mention my company. I mention my book. I talk about what the majority of the videos are going to be about. You have tags, just like you would have tags of keywords. So we have Internet Marketing, Podcasts, Search Engine Optimization, Halyard Consulting, New Jersey, Schema, Social Media, Analytics and Helpouts. What this does is that when you create a new video, they already pre-populate this content. Let’s say I just wanted to create a new video and I went into that end where it lets me fill out the title, description and tags, this will already be here for me. Always. So if I do a video really fast and I just wanted to put it up. And I could go back in and change the title, description and tags later. But for this one, I went back in and I changed The World of Internet Marketing to read How to Create a YouTube Business Channel. And then I put the description of what this episode is going to be about and then I add a tag. I left some tags in and I took other tags out.

Comments and Responses. Yeah, I want comments and responses. I want all my ads monetized. Here’s the universal for monetized ads. Ad format. Overlaid video ads and tributes. Sure, why not until I see one making money over the other. Then I’ll choose both. Caption certification. Yes. The content is never aired on television in the U.S. I feel this is important. I feel that it should always be there. The other choices here are Content Has Only Aired on Television with U.S. Captions and there’s a whole series of these. But I always feel that it’s important to note, hey, this has never been on television and this is unique content that you won’t see anywhere else.

Suggested Video Improvement. I don’t need that. I find them to be aggravating at best and time-consuming at worst. Video Location. They’ve got my longitude and latitude, which is really great. Video Statistics. I don’t necessarily want to make those public right now. When I have 1,000 subscribers and I have hundreds of people looking at this, maybe. But even then, I don’t know. But I know a lot of people that do make it public. I guess it does help is you’re getting thousands of video views and a lot of likes. Then if you show that, people will think, oh, this is positive and this is really important. Actually, now that I say that, I’m actually going to make a change and make it public. I will show it. And then save it after you make the change.

InVideo Program They’ve got Featured Video and Add a Watermark. Now Add a Watermark is a lot of work. You have to do transparency and it can only allow for one color. So while they have person space, I’ll show you. See this is not good. This is okay. This is one color. And this is one color. ‘For best results, use transparency and just one color. The uploaded watermark will be overlaid with a 70% capacity on all your uploads. Making good use of transparency ensures that the image will be less distracting, especially on small screens like mobile phones.’ And the maximum file size is 1 MB. So it’s kind of like your Avatar image, right? And then it’s all the way up in the corner. I just don’t think this is needed. Maybe if you have good logo that fits into a very small space and it’s black and white. Maybe then you might want to add a watermark, but other than that, I don’t recommend it.

Featured Video allows you to drive your audience to a specific video you want to highlight. So right here, I’ve added video optimization with Danny Dover on LifeListed and I’ve said, okay, at the end of all of my videos, I want you to show this other really great video that I did with Danny Dover and put it in the last 10 seconds of the video. And I added a custom message saying “Check out other episodes.”

Fan Finder. With Fan Finder, YouTube will promote your channel to specific viewers that watch similar videos to the ones you’re producing. The catch is that you need 1,000 subscribers so they can match the data. I’ve got 14, so I’m working on building up to 1,000. But once you get 1,000 subscribers, then YouTube can analyze the type of person that is watching your videos, and obviously my videos are about Internet marketing and SEO. They’ll promote your videos and you see that at the end of videos. They show you other video swats. They also put it into the right-hand column. I’ve got these two cued up because these are my two most popular. We’ve got Scott Jangro of Sharelist and that’s doing really well in both Spreaker and iTunes. So as soon as I reach 1,000 subscribers, this will be activated and running.

Advanced. Now let’s go through Advanced. I’ve got my name in there and I can of course change this by editing channel name. Your channel name is linked to your connected Google+ account. It’s on Goggle+. It may take a few minutes to show on your channel. You should really do this when setting this all up. I could have done Jonathan Edward Goodman. I could have done Halyard Consulting. I could have done The World of Internet Marketing. I’m going to leave it the way that it is. This is the video. I’m in the United States. My key channel categories, my keywords, are similar to those that are already put in when I do these videos. Allow advertisements to be displayed alongside my videos? Sure. LinkedIn and AdWords for video account. I did try to do this.

First of all, I don’t work in AdWords. I much prefer Facebook. I’m getting a little bit into Linked In, but I really think that Facebook is a much better return on investment value than AdWords. I just feel there’s a lot of corruption in AdWords and I don’t want to get into that whole thing. My AdWords account is actually an agency account, so I had been managing other client’s AdWord accounts. I don’t do that anymore because that’s not something that I really want to specialize in. But in trying to link the AdWords account to the agency account, it wouldn’t let me do that. So I’d have go back in and connect it to either a client or I’d have to a Halyard Consulting account within that agency account. Then associated websites, this is Halyard Consulting so it’s successfully connected.

Analytics

Let’s look at the Analytics. There is a lot of information in here. It’s really great information. It’s equal to data we get from the Google Analytics accounts. We can see here that I have 36 videos. I’m going to take 2 out at the end of this. I started back on April 9, 2012. Lifetime use is 702. This is the channel itself. For the performance in the last 30 days (that’s February 27 to March 8), I’ve had 171 views, the estimated minutes watched is 1,261 minutes, 21 hours and one minute. That’s a 63.45% increase compared to the previous period. That’s really quite incredible.

YouTubeAnalytics

So if we go back and look at February, I only had 826 minutes and down from the previous period of January. And if I go back and look at the last 30 days, we’re up significantly. Am I producing better content? Am I reaching a larger audience? Yeah, very possibly. We can look and see what the top 10 videos were in the last 30 days. The Scott Jangro one was done January 17, 2014. So it was done several months ago, whereas the Danny Dover one was March 7, which is very recent. I’m still getting a lot of runs on Scott’s piece, but right now Danny’s piece is the most popular. He’s very popular and he has a good audience. Even Cory’s piece, which was done afterwards, only has 25 views in the past month. His was done March 14, so his is fairly new, whereas Danny’s is March 7. So he’s got a full week on him. What’s great and what really proves why we need to do videos, podcasting and put these things out through social media is look at this: This was done at the beginning of the year. We’re now three months into the year and there’s still traction on these videos.

Estimated watch is 38 minutes. That means that those four people didn’t watch the entire episode. In fact, the duration of the episode is 33 minutes, so each person watched about 10 minutes. We can click in and look at what people were viewing, so we know that they didn’t watch the entire thing. This is down 75% compared to the previous period. The more recent the content, the more you’re going to get out of it. It still drags, but it never completely zeroes out. There’s always somebody watching, even it’s just for a minute or two. You can put this into playlist. Let’s say that I create a playlist of top 10 videos of all time in 2014. I put Scott in there, I put Danny in there and I put Corey in there. What will happen is that people will watch that playlist and they’ll click around in that playlist. So the playlist now becomes an element that is analyzed and reviewed with data in the analytics.

You can see that over here we have earnings reports and estimated earnings reports. It’s totally zero, which is fine. Ad performance is a new report. Let’s head back to the main thing. We’ve had 5 likes, we’ve had 4 shares, 1 favorites, down 2 subscribers. That’s not counting the new 7 subscribers that we got over the last 48 hours, so we’ll probably see that coming up in the next two days. Let’s look at views. This is really great data because I don’t even have to do the math. I can look for Scott’s views. Here’s Scott’s right here. The average view is 9 minutes, 26 seconds. So nearly 10 minutes per person. We’ve got the increases and the decreases and it really has great data.

What’s great here is that you can now look at this. Let’s say I wanted to make a change to the The World of Internet Marketing handle. I would say, what has continually gotten full views all the time for the entire time? If we go back to the Dread Pirates Roberts episode, even though there’s only one, the estimated watch time is 20 minutes and the show is actually 19 minutes, 36 seconds. Now if we look at it over the lifetime, we see that this is continually popping up. Even though it’s only one or two people every month, it’s still information that is interesting and unique to someone. Realize that this was not a videocast. This was purely audio from before we started doing video. The estimated minutes watched is 67. We know that the show is 20 minutes, so some people are watching the entire thing, but the average is 5 minutes watch time. Remember this has no video. If you add video, people are willing to watch more than if they were are watching just one frame.

Let’s go back to the full thing. Demographics: There’s not enough data. That’s fine. I bet if we looked at lifetime, we’d see something. Yes. When we look at lifetime, we see that I don’t have anyone in the younger demographics (ages 13-17 and 18 to 24). This is all boring stuff to them. The viewers were 63% male and 37% female. The 35 to 44 age group is my right demographic. That’s exactly where I want to be. And a little more to 44 to 54 age group. So that’s perfect. This is exactly where I want to be. And nearly 100% are from the United States, which is perfect.

Playback Locations: ‘Data from this report is incomplete or missing. Traffic source and playback location classification was updated on March 1st. To better collect mobile traffic and other site change data for average view duration and estimated minutes watched is not available before September 1st.’ That’s totally fine. This data is over the lifetime. You see that 68% are watching on YouTube and 27% are watching in embedded player or other websites. I put the video up on Facebook. I put the video up on Halyard Consulting. That means it’s generating traffic from those other areas.

Let’s look at this. Watch page is individual video page on YouTube.com and YouTube apps. Most common viewing page is on YouTube. I’m not sure what YouTube other would be. But here’s mobile devices. So I don’t have as big a pull on mobile devices, probably because the show is so long. It’s 40 minutes. If I broke this up – and I talked with Ed Siemienkowicz about breaking up these videos into smaller segments of 10 minutes – then people might be willing to watch on their mobile devices.

Here’s something interesting. From 2012 through now, look at the increase. That’s really staggering. In the last 3 months, there’s been so much change in the amount of traffic we’re getting. Part of that is that we’re now doing videocasts instead of podcasts, so there’s a dynamic element to it. Let’s look at traffic sources. Again, this is run by Google and Google turned off direct, so you don’t see any of that stuff. So we’re not exactly sure how 195 got there. Views of unknown referral on mobile apps and direct traffic on the YouTube watch and channel fan pages. Possible origins of direct traffic include email and instant message clients or copy and pasting of viewing into the browser. We know that this is embed and we do know that I do MailChimp, I put it up on Facebook, I put it up on the Halyard Consulting website, so embedded players is understandable. We don’t really need a breakdown of that. We know that 26% are coming in through that.

YouTube search. That’s great. External website. Maybe this is Halyard Consulting. It’s hard to tell. Or maybe it’s another link from somewhere else. Channel page. Suggested video. Other features. This is good data. Devices. Not expecting any here, but as mobile becomes more predominant, there will be more information in there. Audience retention. This is really good. The average of all of my shows is 5 minutes, 52 seconds and 17% are watching at least 5 minutes, 52 seconds. That is good to know because it means I really need to bang it out of the park within those first 5 minutes and engage the user and the audience. Otherwise, I’m going to lose them. If I could now modify this and change how long people are watching and make it more engaging and go from 5 minutes on average to 10 or 20 minutes, then I’d know I’ve got a good show.

Subscribers we already know is 7 subscribers and 7 gain, so we’re up to 14. As far as likes and dislikes for the show, again Scott Jangro has the most likes. Not that much engagement, but it is enough to monitor. Not that many favorites, but this is still good data if you want to review all this. We have some comments. The Billions Rising. That’s an outlier because you’d think it would be Scott Jangro, but Scott Jangro doesn’t have any comments. Danny Dover has some comments. But Billions Rising is in there, so what happened in Billions Rising that there was that much engagement? That’s really good. Sharing, again Billions Rising. That could simply be that the person I was interviewing wanted to share this information and get this out. And her group and the people she was connected to wanted to share it and get it out. That’s really good.

Creation Tools

Then there’s Creation Tools, so let’s pull that up. These are interesting features. We’ve got Audio Library and we’ve got Video Editor. I don’t really know who is using this or how they’re integrating this, but it is free music. I use a very cool tool that I love. I’ll bring it up for you. It’s WeVideo. It’s currently disconnected, so we’ll connect it back up. I do a lot of editing for one of my clients and we put up a lot of information. This is for A Call 4 Paws. You can create a new project. You can break this down. That’s really where I do my video editing and they have a great library, so I don’t use this. Obviously, I could. Video editing tools are so easy now to use and integrate with music and just transitions. So regardless of what you use and whether you use the YouTube video editor and audio library, there’s no reason to just have a silly little video that isn’t well-defined with a beginning and an end.

YouTubeCreation

My Channel

My Channel. This is important. I want to show you in the About section here. These are featured channels. You can add a channel for one of your partners, a different department of your company or your individual employees. And that will make it available. It pushes the popular channels on YouTube down and you can add. Like, I might add Danny Dover and Danny adds me. So someone who wants to take in all the information that you have will look at that featured channel and say “so this is more information about this topic” or this is somehow integrated in with what you’re doing.

Tips and Tricks

I wanted to wrap things up with a couple of tips and tricks. You will not be able to upload mp3 or JPEG images by themselves to YouTube. You will need to convert to a video slideshow. The common accepted files are MPEG, MOV and AVI files.

Final Thoughts

Keep an open mind when beginning your design. Take the opportunity to test out different designs and different elements. I didn’t really talk about that. So this is your channel art. It’s a very large file and it needs to be done correctly. I’m going to hire a designer to get this done. And you can add your Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, LinkedIn. I’ve got all those connected and that shows up over here when you’re looking at this. Do as I say, not as I do. It was blank a couple of days ago and I decided to put this in. So keep that in mind and see what works well for your brand.

Remember to ask everyone to subscribe to your channel. It sounds a little funny coming from me because I actually haven’t asked people to subscribe to my YouTube channel in the past because I was so focused on Spreaker and Google Hangouts, but after doing this exercise I realize how important it is. So need to get my numbers up.

Keep at it. Don’t stop creating things of value for your customers even if they don’t immediately flock to your page by the millions. Don’t set your expectations too high when you first get started. I know that when I first started my podcast, if I’d said, ‘I’m going to get 100 people to listen every week and otherwise, I’ll stop it,’ that wouldn’t have worked. One video isn’t going to gain a million viewers. You have to work to establish an audience.

In the next session, we’ll talk about marketing your YouTube channel. We’ll look at things like YouTube certification, advertising on YouTube and how to get social media involved in all of that. I was really excited that Spreaker numbers are growing great, but I’m going to give you all a challenge. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and tell everybody you know who listens to this to subscribe to my YouTube channel. Thank you everyone.

Outro

Again, this is Jonathan Goodman and this is the World of Internet Marketing. You can follow me @HalyardConsult on Twitter. New episodes of the World of Internet Marketing can be heard every

Friday. You can access the archives of my previous shows on Spreaker.com – user name Jonathan Goodman. The podcast is also available with transcription at halyardconsulting.com and geekcast.fm one week after the episode airs. Thank you all for listening to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. Don’t forget to pick up my book The World of Internet Marketing on Amazon, and if you like this podcast please share it with your network of friends and family. Have a great week.

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How to Create a YouTube Channel is a post from: Halyard Consulting

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When Clients Are Wrong – A Conversation with H Michael Steinberg http://halyardconsulting.com/when-clients-are-wrong-a-conversation-with-h-michael-steinberg/ http://halyardconsulting.com/when-clients-are-wrong-a-conversation-with-h-michael-steinberg/#comments Tue, 25 Mar 2014 16:03:33 +0000 http://halyardconsulting.com/?p=25012 When Clients Are Wrong – A Conversation with H Michael Steinberg is a post from: Halyard Consulting

I’m going to walk you through how this conversation with H Michael Steinberg went. I’m fortunate that I have the audio and I’ll play that for you.

When Clients Are Wrong – A Conversation with H Michael Steinberg is a post from: Halyard Consulting

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When Clients Are Wrong – A Conversation with H Michael Steinberg is a post from: Halyard Consulting

Hi. This is Jonathan Goodman. Welcome to another episode of the World of Internet Marketing. Today we are going to diverge from where we were previously in our interviews. I’m going to talk to you about a very interesting experience that I had this week. When I interviewed Danny Dover, there was a lot of response. It was a really great interview. A lot of people were really excited about it. And I got an email from what I’d like to call a potential client. I’m going to walk you through how this conversation went. I’m fortunate that I have the audio and I’ll play that for you.

I had difficulty coming up with a title for what to call this segment. I came up with “When Clients are Wrong.” I’m going to do this in two parts. First, I’m going to walk you though the slides and I’m going to talk to you about what I know about this person’s website and his Internet marketing strategy overall. Then I’m going to play the audio and I’m going to flip through the slides as well. This is on videocast, but I also need to be aware of my podcast that this gets created from. If you’re listening to me through the audio, you won’t see the videos, so instead I’ll explain them to you. Then you’ll listen to the audio. Of course, you can always watch this broadcast as it is on YouTube. Let’s switch now to the presentation.

SLIDE PRESENTATION

Slide 1: Bad Calls – Phone Call with H. Michael Steinberg

H Michael Steinberg is a lawyer in Colorado.

Slide 2: First Contact

He emails me and says “I have several videos I need optimized. Do you do that?”

Slide 3: Online Profile – What We Look At First

His primary website is Hmichaelsteinberg.com. He’s a Colorado criminal lawyer. He also has www.colorado-criminal-lawyer-online.com. I of course said yes. We set up a time for me to call. During all of this, I did a little background research to see who I’m talking to and what their whole scenario on Internet marketing strategy is. What they’re trying to do and what they’ve been successful at.

hmichaelsteinberg

Slide 4: Domain Authority

So first we look at domain authority, which I’m able to pull through Moz.com. There are probably other resources, but I prefer Moz. I think that it gives us very interesting analysis. You’ll see here that I looked at both HMichaelSteinberg.com and the Colorado-criminal-lawyer-online.com website. Both have a domain authority within the 20s. Generally, when I’m talking to a potential client, I explain to them that this really isn’t a very strong domain. Now his page authority, the home page, is running 40 out of 100. But we would like to see overall for a service industry client who has had a website up for multiple years in the 40s and they should be reaching toward the 60s. The goal obviously is to be 100 out of 100. But you’re really not going to get that unless you’re CNN or some big organization like that. So for the service industries, we look for in the 40s to the 60s. That’s where we really want you to be. Let me back up a moment and let’s look at established links for HMichaelSteinberg.com. It’s 59 root domains. For the Colorado-criminal-lawyer-online, it’s 14 root domains. He has no social metrics for the Colorado website. He has 5 shares and 34 likes in Facebook overall and no tweet metrics whatsoever.

colorado-criminal-lawyer-online

Slide 5: Facebook Fan Page

Then we look at his Facebook Fan Page. He has one like on Colorado-criminal-lawyer-online and his 21 likes for his Fan Page for Michael Steinberg.

Slide 6: Twitter

He has a Twitter account. He’s produced 42 tweets. He has no following and no followers.

Slide 7: Organic Keywords Term

His organic keyword for www.hmichaelsteinberg.com is that he does have good positioning for criminal attorney Colorado, Colorado bail and deferred judgment Colorado. He is ranking in the top – realize that the data I’m using is aggregated, so it is not live data. It gets kind of statistically figured out over a 3-month period. But he is doing fairly well for those keywords. However, the clicks per month that he’s generating are extremely low. About 5 people are searching for criminal attorney Colorado. Well, that could actually be him searching for that keyword. Or it could just be random. It’s not a keyword value, right? You’re not generating a lot of unique visitors because of these keywords. And he has other ones that are ranking in the top 10. But again, they’re not really generating any type of traffic. You’ll hear in the audio that what I’m really trying to express to him is all of this work that he’s generating – because he explains that every night he’s running an article, he’s putting it up on the multiple websites – that he’s kind of spinning his wheels and nobody is really looking. He doesn’t have any Facebook. He doesn’t have any Twitter. There’s no momentum.

denver-colorado-criminal-lawyer

Slide 8: HMichaelSteinberg.com

He’s got this website.  HMichaelSteinberg.com.

Slide 9: Colorado-Criminal-Lawyer-Online.com

He has Colorado-Criminal-Lawyer-Online.com.

Slide 10: Denver-Colorado-Criminal-lawyer.com

He has Denver-Colorado-Criminal-lawyer.com.

Slide 11: Colorado-Probation-Violation-Lawyer.com

He has Colorado-Probation-Violation-Lawyer.com.

Slide 12: Colorado-Sex-Crimes-Lawyer.com

He has Colorado-Sex-Crimes-Lawyer.com.

colorado-probation-violation-lawyer

Slide 13: Criminal-Lawyer-Colorado.com

He has Criminal-Lawyer-Colorado.com.

Slide 14: Colorado-Juvenile-Crimes-Lawyer.com

He has Colorado-Juvenile-Crimes-Lawyer.com.

Slide 15: Colorado-Criminal-DUI-Defense-Lawyer.com

He has Colorado-Criminal-DUI-Defense-Lawyer.com.

Slide 16: Colorado-Domestic-Violence-Lawyer.com

Colorado-Domestic-Violence-Lawyer.com.

Slide 17: Colorado-Drug-Crimes-Lawyer.com

He has Colorado-Drug-Crimes-Lawyer.com. So you can see that anyone who works in the industry, one of the things we would point out to him is that he has keyword domains. He has what’s called in the industry exact-match domains. I tried to explain to him that this is no longer a viable option in Google search. He thought that was incorrect. Again, I’m an Internet marketer. He’s a lawyer. Maybe lawyers shouldn’t really be Internet marketers. I don’t try to be a lawyer. But clearly, when I suggested to him in the audio to take all of the data and all the content that he has on all these exact-match domain names and port them into HMichaelSteinberg.com, I don’t know if anyone would not advise him to do that at this point who exists in our industry. I said to him that I was going to provide him information to prove that I was right and he actually hung up on me. So I didn’t get a chance to prove that, but I’ll prove it now.

colorado-sex-crimes-lawyer

Slide 18: Matt Cuts Says…Look at the Date

For those of you who don’t know who Matt Cutts is, he is the head of Web Spam at Google. So he is constantly working to get spam out of the index. He tweeted on September 28, 2012 – we’re now in 2014. He said “new exact match domains algo (which means algorithm) affects .6% of English U.S. queries to a noticeable degree unrelated to Panda and Penguin.” Now Panda and Penguin were also algorithm updates. So what he’s saying is that in addition to Panda and Penguin, those algorithm updates, he’s also added an exact-match domain algorithm stop. That stops these exact matches for indexing in the search engines.  Unfortunately, that message didn’t get to H. Michael Steinberg.

Slide 19: Matt Cutts Says…Again

Matt Cutts, the head of Web Spam at Google, went onto a YouTube video and talked more about the algorithm updates to kind of block exact-match domains. He says, “So we have been thinking about adjusting that mix a bit of sort of turning the know down within the algorithm, so that given 2 different domains it wouldn’t necessarily help you as much to have a domain name with a bunch of keywords in it.”

Slide 20: The Google Patent…A Method of Detecting Commercial Queries

Then of course in 2003, Google actually filed a method of detecting commercial queries that says, “A company may attempt to “trick” the search engine into listing the company’s website more highly. For example, if the search engine gives greater weight in ranking results to words used in the domain associated with websites, a company may attempt to trick the search engine into ranking the company’s listing more highly by including desirable search terms in the domain name associated with the company’s listing.” This was back in 2003 and they finally implemented this in 2012.

criminal-lawyer-colorado

Slide 21: Other Great Resources

Other great resources and other great articles about this. Search Engine Land wrote an article called “Deconstructing the Google Exact Match Domain Update.” On the Moz blog, there are two really good articles: “Are Exact-Match Domains (EMDs) in Decline?” and the “The Exact Domain Match Domain Playbook: A Guide and Best Practices for EMDs.

Slide 22: In Conclusion

All I would say in conclusion as H. Michael Steinberg said to me before he hung up the phone, “I wish you luck.” I’m not trying to do this out of animosity or out of anger. I’m trying to do this to educate. That’s the whole reason for the podcast in the first place is to educate. Sometimes I don’t get the ability to do that because someone decides to hang up.

AUDIO – CONFERENCE CALL

Now we’re going to play the audio of the phone conversation with H. Michael Steinberg. Then I’m going to flip through the slides as well.

Jonathan: Mr. Steinberg, this is Jonathan Goodman from Halyard Consulting. How are you?

Michael: Hi. Good.

Jonathan: Do you have a second to talk?

colorado-juvenile-crimes-lawyer

Michael: I do. I wish I were in front of the computer. I’m pretty familiar with what you do. So tell me what you can do for me and what it will cost.

Jonathan: Well, there’s a variety of stuff that we could do. I kind of wanted to understand the spectrum of the website because it seems like you have a lot of different websites. Am I right?

Michael: Yes.

Jonathan: Okay. And you did that during a period of time where people were advising you to get keyword based website URL names. Right?

Michael: Yes.

Jonathan: So now we want to consolidate that strength and point everything to your HMichaelSteinberg.com. You have some value in both the content and the traffic that comes to those other sites. What we can do now is redirect those pages so that they then flow into the main website. That’s my first suggestion for where you need to go with all this.

Michael: Why do I want to do that?

Jonathan: Because at some point those domain keywords are going to be excluded from the search index. Google is actively trying to get it so that keyword domain names aren’t indexed at all. So you’re going to lose all of the value in that within the next couple of years.

colorado-criminal-dui-defense-lawyer

Michael: I mean no disrespect toward you, but I don’t want to change something as radically as that based on the possibility that Google may in the future punish people for domain names that contain keywords. I think there are literally millions of domain names that would fall under that category. And I find it hard to believe that Google would do that. So I guess I disagree with that strategy.

Jonathan: Let me send you a couple of articles talking about that. Again, we can work within what your strategy is with our best observations. If you want to keep all those domain names and they have value to you.

Michael: Well, right now if you run searches, I’m talking today. If you run searches on domestic violence and criminal cases in Colorado – and I write articles literally every single day, I spend hours and hours creating original content for those websites that are dedicated to specific, well six of them are dedicated to specific areas. And that’s been working very well for me. In other words, I don’t want to fix something that I don’t perceive as being broken.

Jonathan: How are you gauging your return on investment there? Is it the number of…

Michael: The investment costs me zero. Obviously, there’s my time, but I also keep my sites up to date on law. So I don’t see the investment of time. But people call me about restraining orders because they saw the restraining order article. People call me on parole revocations because they saw the article on parole revocation. Not to mention the blogs. Each of the websites has a blog, so if it’s news I put that in the blog area. I work very hard on those websites and they seem to be working. And I have a yearly annual investment in obviously hosting them. I built them with a friend who lives up in Canada. But other than that, there’s no expense. I don’t use pay-per-click. My monthly advertising budget really goes to a company called Avo, which I’m sure you’re familiar with.

Jonathan: Yes.

colorado-domestic-violence-lawyer

Michael: I pay them a substantial amount of money and a couple of other companies like them. But my advertising costs are relatively minimal at this point. And the return on investment – the investment is minimal and every call I get is 100% profit. I guess you can argue that the time that I put into it is the investment, but again I don’t see that. I think I stay sharp in the areas that I practice in. After 30 years of doing this, it works out in my best interest.

Jonathan: Okay. So how can I help you?

Michael: Well, I’m asking you. I know their changing the backlinking, is a way that you mentioned in your email that might help with placement. That kind of thing I’m interested in. Obviously, I don’t need anyone to help me with content. But the strategy of getting rid of or somehow redirecting my existing websites to my original website that I built 17 years ago is not something I want to do. I disagree with that. So I guess I’m open to suggestions as to how you can prove to be of value to me.

Jonathan: Well, let’s start the conversation where we really connected, which was on video optimization. You have a couple of videos out there on YouTube. You really don’t have a social media following. You’ve got 21 likes on Facebook and you don’t have any followers on Twitter. So you’re putting in all of this effort, you might not see it as effort but it’s time and value, to write these articles in the hope that you’ll get indexed in the search engines. And some do and some don’t. I’m looking from the numbers and where things are ranking. These articles aren’t really at the top of the front page of any search of keywords.

Michael: I disagree with that. Listen, I disagree with that. And I wish you luck.

Lessons from Hang Up By Potential Client

At that point, he hung up. Maybe, I pressed the issue too firmly. I’ve listened to this several times. I could have just given him a bag of magic tricks and been happy with that, but I generally try to work with my clients and we come up with a strategy that is both workable in today’s Google environment and is satisfactory to what their needs and goals are. So that’s all that I really have to say about that except don’t let anyone every stomp you down. I was a little rattled after being hung up on. I don’t remember ever hanging up on somebody except maybe when I was in my teens. It’s a rather juvenile way of communicating. Certainly he wanted to originally have the phone call and the conversation.

I’ve been in this business for 20 years. You’re getting free advice. If you don’t like the advice, you can say, “Thank you very much, I appreciate that,” and decide not to hire somebody. But hanging up is extremely rude unless that’s what they do in Colorado. Maybe I’m just not aware of how people are in Colorado. I’ve never been there. I guess everybody’s on the line for pot, so that might be affecting his business because he’s a criminal lawyer and now you can’t get arrested for drug use. But I wish him luck. I think I’ve proven the case that you’re not going to succeed with exact-match domains anymore.

Again, this was not done maliciously. This episode was done to educate my audience. I think it’s important to recognize that there’s value in a conversation with an expert. Just as he has 30 years of experience and when he sits down with somebody, he expects to be appreciated for the amount of time he’s worked at his craft, I’ve also worked very hard at my craft. I have several degrees and I’ve had good client results. So I thought everybody should really hear that call because it’s good education for both the industry and just for daily life.

I’m sorry if this was a little short. We’ll talk about other stuff in the future. There’s a big shakeup with MyBlogGuest and we can talk about that at another time. For now, have a great week. Take care.

Outro

Again, this is Jonathan Goodman and this is the World of Internet Marketing. You can follow me @HalyardConsult on Twitter. New episodes of the World of Internet Marketing can be heard every Friday. You can access the archives of my previous shows on Spreaker.com – user name Jonathan Goodman. The podcast is also available with transcription at halyardconsulting.com and geekcast.fm one week after the episode airs. Thank you all for listening to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. Don’t forget to pick up my book The World of Internet Marketing on Amazon, and if you like this podcast please share it with your network of friends and family. Have a great week.

When Clients Are Wrong – A Conversation with H Michael Steinberg is a post from: Halyard Consulting

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Content Marketing with Corey Post http://halyardconsulting.com/content-marketing-corey-post/ http://halyardconsulting.com/content-marketing-corey-post/#comments Sun, 23 Mar 2014 20:57:13 +0000 http://halyardconsulting.com/?p=25006 Content Marketing with Corey Post is a post from: Halyard Consulting

Hi. This is Jonathan Goodman. Welcome to another episode of the World of Internet Marketing. Today we are talking to Corey Post about maximizing content marketing. Corey is the founder of Agile Leverage, a firm that helps small to medium-sized businesses dominate their market though engaging content. Corey has an illustrative career spanning all the way back to AOL in the early 90s and Legal Zoom in the 2000s to now owning and operating Agile Leverage.

Content Marketing with Corey Post is a post from: Halyard Consulting

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Content Marketing with Corey Post is a post from: Halyard Consulting

Hi. This is Jonathan Goodman. Welcome to another episode of the World of Internet Marketing. Today we are talking to Corey Post about maximizing content marketing. Corey is the founder of Agile Leverage, a firm that helps small to medium-sized businesses dominate their market though engaging content. Corey has an illustrative career spanning all the way back to AOL in the early 90s and Legal Zoom in the 2000s to now owning and operating Agile Leverage.

Corey has spoken at SES Chicago and Internet Summit among other conferences. And he’s written for KISSmetrics, AWeber and FeedFront Magazine. I met Corey when he was speaking at Affiliate Summit East last year. Welcome Corey.

Corey: Thanks Jonathan.

Jonathan: Are you going to be speaking at Affiliate Summit East this year?

Corey: I may be.

Jonathan: Good. Well, we’ve got a lot to cover on this topic of content marketing. Let’s get our listeners up to speed.

Content Marketing

Jonathan: What is content marketing and how does it differ from what we always think of as search optimization?

Corey: There’s definitely an overlap there and certainly SEO will have link-building and making sure your code is optimized and it has a function of content of course. But it really gets into providing value from the content itself and gets less into link building. Link building is certainly a function of content marketing, but also providing value for users and having metrics associated with that. And really when you do your content – this is kind of a roundabout definition – but you really want to understand who you’re targeting, why you’re targeting them and the goals of your content to create that value for people.

Jonathan: That’s great. So if I’m a small business and I’ve had a web site for 5 or 10 years maybe, why do I now need a content strategy?

Corey: For starters, it’s getting really competitive. It’s always been competitive, but as Google continues to do updates, it becomes really difficult to get seen, especially if you’re going to search engines and certainly PPC is expensive. So you really want to create content for people and earn your position in the search engines. So as to your question, search is getting very noisy. There’s a lot of content available, a lot of bad content and a lot of good content. You want to figure out how can I create value for my users so when they come to my site, they’ll return. Maybe they’ll link to it. Maybe they’ll opt into an email list because of the value. But you really want to tell your brand story and communicate that story in a way that says that we can solve a problem you might have or help them in some way, our business guys are experts in this. Look at our content and you see exactly why we’re experts at this.

Jonathan: And I think one of the things that industry has kind of changed on is this idea that we’re going to blast everybody with a ton of content making major pages on our website and always hitting the market with sometimes nonsense content. But now it’s really critically important to work on high value, unique content. Is that right?

Corey: Yeah, absolutely. And part of that is really understanding your audience. You should really segment your audience and figure out what their needs are. Even across geography. Somebody on the East coast may have different needs from somebody on the West Coast and maybe use different search terms. Really understand what people’s problems are, how to solve them, understanding your demographics, understanding what they’re trying to buy. If they’re in a research phase, what phase they’re in. And really kind of getting into knowing who your reader is.

Jonathan: So is it less about the keyword in the content and more about specifically focusing on a market and a client, let’s say segmentation? Is there a difference now? Or how does that work.

Corey: That’s a good point. You’ve been around the business a long time like I have and you probably remember when everyone was saying get your keyword density at 2%. Make sure you put it in the headline. Make sure you put it in the first paragraph and the last paragraph. All that kind of bloats stuff and is not really the way to go now. Now you want to look for great value for people. Certainly you want to look at keywords. Keyword research is really important. You can still look at what kind of traffic a keyword is getting. Look for long tail opportunities. Certainly keywords help in your rankings. And it also helps you to direct your content. You want to really understand what people are searching for and use those as clues or hints to figure out what kind of content you’re going to prepare, what kind of infographics you’re going to prepare or even what kind of videos you’re going to prepare. So certainly keywords make a difference. It’s interesting to your other point about SEO. Now we have keyword not provided, which has been coming on for a while. It makes it a lot harder to really understand your unique keywords for your site, so you really have to go in a roundabout way with using keyword tools and looking at where you rank. Keywords are still important. We just look at it more for intent now. And you really have to figure out a way triangularly to figure out exactly what people are looking for.

Jonathan: Right. We talked about this last week with Danny Dover about the fact that in the Google Analytics, you really don’t see any of the keywords that we used to really know when somebody clicked through what keyword they were previously searching on. That has all radically changed. Yes, I have been in the industry for a very long time and I’ve seen radical changes. And this seems to be Google laid down Panda and Penguin and also advised us in terms of user generated content (we’ll talk about that a little later) and spam filters and all that. They’ve done a very good job at pushing us into a corner while educating us in how they really want us to behave.

Corey: Sure. Absolutely. To your point about all these updates particularly with keyword not provided, it makes it less than pure SEO where I’m going to find out what keywords historically I’m ranking for and increase my ranking. I’m going to move you onto the first page for a buy keyword or research keyword to now we don’t really see the keywords. So it becomes even more about content and creating a user experience for somebody. Where it’s providing value both for the customer and for the client as an agency through the content creation.

Jonathan: Let’s back up for a second. You mentioned long-tail keywords. I think that some of my audience doesn’t really understand what that means. Could you explain that?

Corey: Sure. Long-tail keywords might be something like ‘tents’. And the more terms you add to it – camping tents, red camping tents – you really get deep into the users intent when they’re searching. So consequently, the benefits of long-tail keyword is you’re more targeted often easier to compete for, which allows you to rank a little bit easier, although today it’s difficult to rank for even long-tail keywords. But the real benefit other than ranking is getting in the user’s head. That really helps you for your content creation as well. Because when you look at the long-tail keywords, creating content around long-tail ideas specifically catering to somebody’s needs creates a real opportunity for particularly the small and mid-sized business without a lot of resources.

User Generated Content

Jonathan: Let’s move into the user generated content, which we really talk about as UGC. That’s the abbreviation. What is user generated content?

Corey: A real good successful example of that is Amazon product reviews. One of the moats that Amazon has around it, you go to research a product and Amazon is often the first place you go because other people write about that experience, that product. Users vs. sales people will review it and give you their thoughts. Ironically, some of those reviews I would imagine – I’m not saying this what Amazon does this – can be created by sales people. But generally speaking, you can go there and understand user’s intent. That’s one example of user generated content. Another example is contests when people fill out and write up a paragraph about something. We can talk about that in a bit. But basically user generated content is getting your reader to contribute, from forums to chat to even when people email you. That’s a form of user generated content too when they email you about a question about your product. Anytime a user vs. a sales person or the company. Somebody who doesn’t have a vested interest in the actual sale of the product or who is not a stakeholder of the company. When somebody like that creates content for you, that’s UGC.

Jonathan: In terms of the email, I think that’s interesting. I think a lot of our listeners might be questioning the usage of that email. Can you explain that to us?

Corey: Sure. We create FAQs on our site to explain and better sell a product and offer value. So people understand going back to the camping tent analysis, you might have FAQs on how to set up the tent, how to waterproof the tent. But a lot of times people won’t really understand the instructions. Or if they have a further question, like is this tent good in snow if I’m doing winter camping? How many people does this tent fit? They’ll email you questions. And those are questions that are user generated content just like in a help forum. And you can take those questions, with the users permission of course, put them on your site and now you have FAQs generated by user and that creates a huge amount of value. So when I say email, it’s really kind of a one-to-one communication with your buyer who is talking to you about their product. The way you can optimize that is get their permission and use it on your site.

Jonathan: That’s amazing because it really goes beyond just what we would immediately think of as e-commerce. It could go for anything from service providers like contractors and lawyers and dentists. Service providers get these questions all the time. It could be in a one-to-one conversation. And if they just wrote it down. What do they say? When one person complains, 100 people hear it. And when one person gives a positive thank you, five people hear it. So it’s that same kind of thing where somebody asks a question, then you probably have multiple people asking that same question, but they’re nervous to. Or they don’t know how to ask the question.

Corey: Absolutely. The questions are good, right? They give you information about what your buyer or your prospect is thinking and it gives you an opportunity to create a relationship. To really facilitate that, put a forum on your site, not just an email me one, but a forum on your site that maybe prompts people through the questions and answers. And have a human being answer and connect with them. It creates a connection with that person. It gives the person the opportunity to not sell them, but to educate them on what the value is and through that, create a relationship. Then if you have a good relationship with that person, maybe they’ll review your product for you.

Jonathan: And sometimes when those questions come in, they can actually be long and detailed enough to be an entire article unto itself, right?

Corey: That’s a very good point, yes.

Jonathan: That’s great. So we’ve got reviews, we’ve got questions, and you mentioned forums. That seems like a very ‘90s thing to me. Does that still happen?

Corey: Yeah, it’s probably a function of my AOL background when I first started out. But certainly people get on forums and special interest groups to discuss things. Going back to the camping analogy, camping enthusiasts might go to a membership site. And get in there, have a profile, talking about their interest. People go back and forth and really share ideas about a subject or a passion.

Jonathan: Last week, we talked about writer’s block. If you’re on a forum, if you’re maintaining a forum for either a volunteer organization or for camping or for some type of specialty group and there’s a conversation taking place and information being passed back and forth, that too can allow your content generators to think of great ideas for articles.

Corey: Absolutely. One of the best qualities of a marketer is the ability to listen. And listening means really getting out there and understanding what people are talking about in their sphere. That keyword idea. What keywords they’re using in actual language, what they’re writing about, what their problems are, what their pain points are and finding ways to help people move forward using your product or service.

Jonathan: But I almost wonder. As I’m sitting here listening to you, I’m wondering if I’m limiting this conversation by wrapping everything into the thought that it needs to be an article. Obviously, the FAQs is one thing, but is there another way to produce great content for your website? Let me rephrase that. Is there another thing that you can do to produce great content for your website?

Corey: Absolutely. Certainly articles are one thing, universal search and video. Getting out there and creating multimedia formats and content. So you have a variety of areas. You have video, of course. YouTube. You have slides. SlideShare. Create a PowerPoint. Put it up on SlideShare. Embed it on your site. That’s an opportunity to leverage Slideshare’s audience. Articles as you mentioned. FAQs is another. Newsletters. Infographics are popular, although they may be getting a little overused now. But still, there’s just an opportunity holistically to communicate beyond just the article. And that gets into another point that I think might be interesting to discuss, which is repurposing content. You take a seed of content like this interview. You can take this interview and transcribe it. Now you have the semblance of an article that can be indexed by Google search. You can create a podcast out of it because you have the audio. It’s almost like taking a meal or the leftovers from Thanksgiving and repurposing it to other kinds of food items for later. Really just kind of look at repurposing as another way to get more mileage out of the initial content creation. And that means you would need to have other forms of content beyond the text.

Jonathan: As many of my listeners know, this podcast or videocast, as we like to call it, is actually a 10-step process. This is where we start and it goes through all the mediums. We pull the mp3 from the YouTube. We’ve discussed this before. Everybody is sick of hearing this, so I’m not going to go through it, but it’s a 10-step process that really allows us to create an enormous amount of content. Press releases, we go back into YouTube with the transcription and the whole nine yards.

Contest Marketing

Jonathan:  I met you through Affiliate Summit East when you were talking about contest marketing. How does contest marketing fit into content marketing?

Corey: What I love about contest marketing – a lot time people think about the contest from the end user point of view and what price can I win? – but as a marketer, you should look at it as an opportunity to not only relate to your audience, but give the audience the ability to create content for your site. So you could have a contest around, uploading a photo of you camping and the best photo sent in wins. People vote on it. All of a sudden, you have a variety of photos. You could make a video and put it up on your site. Create a gallery through WordPress that people could look at and index. You could do multiple images. You can create a ton of content by giving people a window and an opportunity to create. Provide incentives for them by creating a prize that’s related to your product or service. As I talked about at Affiliate Summit, you don’t want to just give away an iPad unless you’re a technology company, in which case, you probably don’t want to give away Apple’s technology. But maybe let’s say, for example, that you own an app. Maybe you want to give away the iPad with the app installed. But you generally want to stay away from the iPads because then you’re going to get iPad hunters. You really want to give away products or services that relate to your product or service. Certainly, one way to do that is time. You and I both consult, so one prize that we could give would be a free SEO audit to the person who submits the best SEO tactic to our site. So really relate it. That way, you’re getting people who are actually interested in your product or service creating content for you. And you can create relationships with people who are really interested in what you do and are in the market that you’re trying to service.

Jonathan: I definitely hear you that if you own an auto body shop, you shouldn’t be giving away an iPad.

Corey: No. I’m not a car guy, but I imagine a free car detail or something like that would make a lot more sense. Particularly a lot of that is labor, right? So your cost of goods sold is a lot lower when you’re factoring labor into a price and people think, hey, I’m going to win a free car detailing at Dave’s Auto Body Shop. All of a sudden, you’ve got people talking about Dave’s Auto Body Shop with the words ‘car detailing.’ People write about it, they tweet about it, there’s an opportunity to rank for that term locally particularly. And holistically it helps you in search, it helps you in social. People when they create content, they tweet about it. They put it on Facebook. They want to brag about it. They want to show their friends. People rightly so are proud of what they write and what they say and user generated content, particularly related to a user generated content contest gives people the opportunity to share their creation and their thoughts with their friends and family.

Jonathan: That’s excellent. One of the things I recently did was I signed up for a Woobox account. And I’ve been testing out this contest stuff. Do you think Woobox and these merged easy-to-use platforms are the right way to go? What’s your advice in terms of that?

Corey: I do contests for clients. And I like to do customized contests because I feel like anytime you have something that’s readily available for everybody else, like SEO for example. You can hear Matt Cutts railing about this all the time and why we “can’t have anything nice in SEO.” Anytime something is readily available through a turnkey solution, it gets abused and the value of it gets overused. And its effect go down. So something like that I think works for a while, but eventually the value of it isn’t great and you really want to have custom solutions. It can be a little bit more expensive, but the rewards can be immensely greater.

Jonathan: You 100% own that entire built contest, right? So you’re not sharing the data with like a Woobox, if that’s what they do.

Corey: Yeah. And also you create a system that you can repeat for other prizes and other ideas. And from a consulting point of view, that’s a great opportunity that lends value to the client. You create a system. Here’s how they should enter their contact info and here’s how we’re going to judge a contest. Here’s how we’re going to give away the prize. Here’s how we’re going to announce the prize. It’s like a fingerprint. Nobody else is going to be doing what you’re doing because it’s a unique, custom solution and through that unique, custom solution, you’ll earn links, shares, tweets and you’ll get a lot of value for your business in the long run.

Jonathan: Yeah, I had a lot of problems with it. I kept it up for two months and then I wasn’t able to. This isn’t meant as a slam to Woobox. I think it does work well for what some people need or what some of my clients might need. But what I found was that when you really sat down with marketing and you really understood what they were trying to do, that easy solution of Woobox just didn’t fit into what really needed to be created. Part of it is that if you expand beyond that, you can offer so much more to the potential contestants. You can offer them so much more. You can allow them to go onto YouTube and create a video, you can do photos, you can do whatever it is. And then adding in Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr and all those places where they can spread the message really allows you to control the contest and push it through social media as much as you want to.

Corey: Absolutely.

Jonathan: Now how does a small company launch a successful contest marketing campaign?

Corey: One of the challenges I think with small companies or really any companies, but particularly small companies, is their resource constraint. If you’re an auto body shop, you’re most likely working on cars or if you’re managing customers, it’s really hard to run a contest. So it’s always good to get third party advice on something like that. But generally speaking, assuming you have the resources to do it, just as in content marketing because contest marketing is a function of content marketing. I mean, a contest is content, but you’re user generated content, really trying to figure out your goals. What are your goals in this contest? You want to figure out KPIs. Because if you don’t have KPIs as your goal, you’ll know if you’ve succeeded. And if you don’t know if you’re succeeding, you don’t know if you have something that you can replicate or something that you want to replicate. So figure out what your KPIs are. For some people, its leads, meaning email addresses, phone numbers. For other people, it could be links. It could be page views. It could sales, although I generally don’t like to go off of sales for a contest simply because I want to use the contest to develop relationships with people, as well as build a library of content. It could be the number of submissions and the quality that get indexed by Google. So figure out your KPIs and your goals. That’s the first step really, as you know, with any marketing program, including contests. Figure out how you’re going to measure those KPIs. Do you have a way? Do you have Google Analytics? Do you have a thank you page? A goal page? Do you have a way to track? Because you can’t measure if you’ve met your KPIs or your goals. So that’s the first of two things I do. And then as a function of your KPIs, maybe one KPI is to get a lot of user engagement of content. So a goal could be content submissions or photo submissions if I’m running a photo site. Maybe I’m a camera guy and I want to get panoramic photos. So I could have the number of photos submitted, original content photos, as something that is a big KPI for me. Figure out a way for people to upload technically those photos. And then you want to get into the messaging. How do you communicate the value of these contests? Or even if this contest exists. Are you going to buy ads in Facebook? Are you going to tweet about it? Do you have people on Facebook you can push to organically? Best of all, do you have an email list that you can push out to and let people know? When people come into your store, your camera shop or your auto body shop, how are you going to tell them about the contest? Are you going to have a flyer? Figure out how you’re going to promote it. That’s something else that is really important. How long is the contest going to run? I think you had mentioned a couple of months or so. One of the things I found is that with a long-term contest, people hesitate and they forget about you. Too short of a period doesn’t give people enough time to create something. If you’re asking people to create a video and you only give them two days, you’re not going to get enough submissions and you’re not going to get enough quality. So anecdotally, I’ve found a couple of weeks to be a good timeframe. People feel like its enough time to do a quality job and conversely it gets across this idea that I’ve got to get moving soon. I once ran a contest at LegalZoom where users could submit a video about how LegalZoom helped them form a will or incorporate. And we did a lot of cool user generate videos. So one of the things I really like in contests is videos. The reason I like videos is, one, you can put it on YouTube; two, you have the ability to transcribe it; and three; I think videos are very engaging for users. So that’s another thing I would look at. Figure out if you’re doing a content contest, what kind of content you want. Videos are a great way to do it. Then the other thing I think you should do is figure out how you’re going to announce the winner. Just giving away a prize is certainly utilitarian, but make a big deal out of it. When somebody wins something, they’re excited. So give them an opportunity or a platform to talk about it. Interview them. Tweet about it. Have them do a video. Have them do a podcast. Awarding somebody a prize is a huge opportunity to one, promote the person, but also promote your company as an extension of you’ve allowed somebody to become winner. That’s a fantastic feeling for your audience and for the person that you’re awarding the prize to.

Jonathan: And from your side, hopefully you’re pushing out a press release and doing a lot of marketing behind it. But it really isn’t the type of thing even if you’re a small business to wake up in the morning and say ‘I’m going to do a contest.’ There’s a lot of hard work that goes in almost really the month or so before. Depending upon the size of the contest, you sometimes need to plan this thing out.

Corey: You’re absolutely right. Certainly there’s legal involved. You want to make sure you’re following all of the state laws. You want to make sure that you have a technical stuff. The first thing you want to do is say, hey, we’re having a video contest. Upload your video. When people go to upload and the pages doesn’t work. That’s a really bad experience for the user and it looks really bad for the company. So you want to make sure that technically you’re sound. You want to make sure that you’re very clear about how you’re going to choose a winner. And all this goes into your planning. What you don’t want to happen is for people to come back and say, I won that contest. For example, you might say whoever gets the most votes wins. Then you have somebody come in and figure out a way to scam it and create 1,000 votes using some IP funnel. All of a sudden, you have a legitimate winner and somebody that you know has all these phony votes. So who are you going to award the prize to? You want to give it to the legitimate winner. But now you’ve given somebody a real opportunity to talk about in the social media that they’ve won this contest and they weren’t awarded the prize. So you want to be really clear about how the winner is going to be determined. And that all goes into pre-planning that can take a month or two in advance of the actual contest.

Jonathan: I just want to back up again. Because we have such a diverse community that listens to the show, can you explain KPIs?

Corey: Yeah. Those are Key Performance Indicators. KPIs are what you actually look at to judge success. Particularly in marketing. Many times you want to make it quantifiable. Something that has to deal with a number or something that can be measured. That’s what a KPI is.

Four for Friday – Questions Everyone is Asked

Jonathan: At that end of the show, we always do my Four for Friday.  We do four questions for Friday. So I’m going to hit you with these questions and you’ll give your best answer. What’s your idea of perfect Internet happiness?

Corey: Perfect Internet happiness. For me, its user generated content. I love creating sites for clients and myself where people are involved and invested and have an opportunity to create a community. So for me, Internet happiness is being part of a community or creating a community.

Jonathan: What is your greatest Internet regret?

Corey: Probably not buying Coke.com 20 years ago.

Jonathan: Well, if you had bought Coke.com, they probably would have sued you.

Corey: Right. No. My biggest Internet regret, certainly you never can pick the winners beforehand, but being part of Facebook for an IPO would be a really exciting opportunity. I would say something like that.

Jonathan: But you legitimately were part of AOL during the height of AOL, right?

Corey: Yeah. I was part of AOL and part of another company that had an IPO. But I think it would be really exciting to be part of a social media company during the current age and feel what that is like and what that energy is like.

Jonathan: What do you consider your greatest Internet achievement?

Corey: That’s a really good question. Writing a contest for LegalZoom was a lot of fun where users submitted video. So I would certainly say that was one of them. I got to see a lot of videos about how people incorporated, how a will protected their family and you really got to see user generated content up front through videos for a major brand. So that was really exciting for me. I would say that was one of them. I’d say the other one is really quite frankly a lot of us have come through hard knocks and testing and trying and finding out what works and what doesn’t work. So I’d say developing a knowledge base over the last 10 years has been very exciting for me just through pure testing and data analysis.

Jonathan: I agree to that point. It’s been such an incredible ride over these past 20 years for me. You would never think how quickly the Internet has expanded to include almost every aspect of our lives at this point. To have been in that and be in that now is exciting. Even in Internet marketing, even in optimization, there’s such a radical change from what was done even four years ago. It’s remarkable.

Corey: Absolutely.

Jonathan: What is your favorite Internet book?

Corey: The World of Internet Marketing.

Jonathan: I always preface this question by saying that people can’t say my book or their book.

Corey: You know, frankly I don’t really read Internet books. Mostly I read blogs, like SEO Book, KISSmetrics. I really like the immediacy of articles that have to do with something that is a real current topic. So actually everything I have is either on a Kindle. I guess those are books, but I don’t really read books about the Internet.

Jonathan: Back up a second. You said KISSmetrics. That’s a news website?

Corey: Yeah, KISSmetrics is an Internet marketing solution, but they have a really good blog that’s really interesting to go read. Certainly Moz delivers its Top 10 each week where you can look at some good stories about what people have done. I really like that. SEO Book has a really good blog, as well as a community, although you have to pay for the community.

Jonathan: Is SEO Book Aaron Wall?

Corey: Yeah, Aaron Wall. So I think there is so much information out there in the “blogosphere,” that you could spend your entire day reading with a RSS reader. So I don’t really do the book thing.

Jonathan: That’s fine. I think that answer definitely qualifies. Corey, when we talked before the show, you mentioned that you’re launching a video next week on how to learn to use Goggle Analytics to maximize content marketing. That’s going to be up on the AgileLeaverage.com site?

Corey: Yeah. I’ll have that up towards the end of the week. If you go there on Friday of next week. Or go there before then. This weekend I’ll put up an email capture form so you can get it delivered to you. What it will be about is figuring out ways to use Goggle Analytics to mine your content for data that can really help you create value for your readers based upon what they want to consume.

Jonathan: That’s really important because I think so many people are just scratching their heads seeing the keywords no longer in there and not knowing that there are other ways to look at the data that can be really relevant to building out their site and improving on their site, right?

Corey: Absolutely. It’s a lot of art, but there’s also a lot of science in looking at the data. I’ll put together an overview video of how to use Google Analytics for that.

Jonathan: Corey, I really appreciate you doing this. Thanks so much to everybody who listens to this podcast. I watch the numbers every week. Now they are at the staggering level that I never thought we’d be at and I’m really happy about that.

Outro

Again, this is Jonathan Goodman and this is the World of Internet Marketing. You can follow me @HalyardConsult on Twitter. New episodes of the World of Internet Marketing can be heard every Friday. You can access the archives of my previous shows on Spreaker.com – user name Jonathan Goodman. The podcast is also available with transcription at halyardconsulting.com and geekcast.fm one week after the episode airs. Thank you all for listening to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. Don’t forget to pick up my book The World of Internet Marketing on Amazon, and if you like this podcast please share it with your network of friends and family. Have a great week.

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Content Marketing with Corey Post is a post from: Halyard Consulting

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Video Optimization with Danny Dover http://halyardconsulting.com/video-optimization-danny-dover/ http://halyardconsulting.com/video-optimization-danny-dover/#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2014 13:18:08 +0000 http://halyardconsulting.com/?p=24995 Video Optimization with Danny Dover is a post from: Halyard Consulting

Today we are going to talk about video optimization with Danny Dover. Danny is the author of the bestselling book Search Engine Optimization Secrets from Wiley Publishing and spends most of his time checking items off his 150+ item bucket list on LifeListed.com.

Video Optimization with Danny Dover is a post from: Halyard Consulting

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Video Optimization with Danny Dover is a post from: Halyard Consulting

This is Jonathan Goodman. Welcome to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. Today we are going to talk about video optimization with Danny Dover. Danny is the author of the bestselling book Search Engine Optimization Secrets from Wiley Publishing and spends most of his time checking items off his 150+ item bucket list on LifeListed.com. Before starting his own company, Danny was the Senior SEO Manager at AT&T and the Lead SEO at SEOmoz.org, now known as Moz.

During Danny’s tenure at AT&T, he increased SEO traffic by 92% for one of the company’s primary web properties (YellowPages.com) and created business partnerships that brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars a month. As Lead SEO at SEOmoz, he helped create a platform (mozscape) that is used today to crawl and download the entire Internet. During the same time, he produced video and articles that were read and watched more than a million times.

Danny’s expertise has been cited by Time Magazine, PC World, Smashing Magazine and Seattle Post-Intelligencer and his writings have been translated into Japanese, Russian, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, German and Hungarian. He has spoken at numerous colleges and conferences around the world. I really like his website, LifeListed.com, and we’ll get into that. He’s very inspiring and a great individual in this industry. Thank you so much Danny for coming on the show.

Danny: I’m happy to be here, Jonathan. It’s always great to talk to you, so I’m looking forward to this chat.

Jonathan: Great. We’ll get into LifeListed a little later. But let’s get into the heart of the conversation, which is video optimization. You started back when SEOmoz was doing – and I believe are still doing – their Friday videos. Do they still do that?

Danny: They still do that. White Board Fridays happens on Wednesdays.

Jonathan: White Board Fridays happen on Wednesdays? How does that work?

Danny: We film it on Wednesday and we show it on Friday.

Jonathan: Much better than going live, right?

Danny: Right.

Jonathan: And then you transferred your knowledge. You published your book, Search Engine Optimization Secrets. It’s a great book. You published it during the time that I believe Rand Fishkin was working on another book.

Danny: Right.

Jonathan: You also published your book. Your book was really easy to ready, while his book was a technical manual. Still, both were excellent books on the market at that time. Is it still selling well?

Danny: It is actually. It’s always really fun to see the sales numbers come in.

Jonathan: I know that even for my book, it is. Amazon sends you that little check every month and it’s very nice to see that people are still paying attention to your work.

Danny: Yes.

SEOs Trajectory Compared to Online Video

Jonathan: Before the interview, we did a pre-interview about what we’d talk about today. You listed a couple of things that you thought were very critical in this conversation. I’ll just read them and we’ll talk about them as we go along. The first is SEOs trajectory compared to online video. Where does SEO fit within online video? And what do you mean by a trajectory difference?

Image representing Danny Dover as depicted in ...

Image via CrunchBase

Danny: SEO is any kind of marketing where you’re targeting organic listings within a search engine. So primarily that is Goggle. Video’s part of that is also generally organic, but you’re working specifically with video providers, which is mostly YouTube, to make sure that your videos rank well on YouTube itself and within organic listings on Goggle. So that’s the framework there. As far as the trajectory part, when I first got started in SEO probably 8 years ago, there was a slow trajectory, or a slow growth, but it was really in the interest of time. Then we saw amazing growth as far as the traffic being driven and the people who started to get interested in it. There was a lot of free traffic use at a high value. Now we’re seeing the exact same trajectory, or something very close to it, with video SEO and with video in general. Video has become a lot easier to produce. This is a great example of what we’re doing right now. And the trajectory, the engagement numbers and the watch numbers are just through the roof and continuing to grow year after year. Whereas SEO obviously worked out to be a great investment for marketers and website owners, video is looking to have the exact same impact.

Jonathan: You also say that SEO has gotten so locked down with all the work that Google is doing between Penguin and Panda that it almost seems free range within video?

Danny: Yeah, that’s exactly right. This past year has been really difficult for SEOs. We’ve lost a lot of data. We’ve had a lot more rules put into place and we’re running into algorithms. It’s harder to have some kind of impact. So video is great because I’m seeing tons of viewer engagement social shares, but without all the problems we’re now having with organic lists within SEO.

Jonathan: We should back up a second. Can you explain to the audience what it means when you say we’ve lost a lot of data?

Danny: Sure. In the past, Google had been providing us a lot of data about searches and about how people were using their search engine and what they were finding. Unfortunately, they have taken that away from us. So the major data source we’ve lost is the Q of referred data. It used to be that we could look at nearly 100% of searches what people were looking for when they went on our website. This is kind of the trade that we’ve made with search engines. They are allowed to crawl our servers and use our content as long as they send us traffic from that and give us information on what people are searching. Unfortunately, they don’t do that anymore. They’ve implemented a new what they’re calling a security measure. I don’t actually agree with it, but they no longer give us the information on what people are searching for unless we decide to pay for it with ads.

Jonathan: With ads or with the enterprise version of Google Analytics, right?

Danny: Right. Although my understanding is that the way they’ve implemented HTTPS, which is the reason behind us not having data, I think even with the enterprise version of Google Analytics, you don’t get that data.

Jonathan: That’s interesting. I always fell on the side of agreeing with Google. We’re kind of getting off track, but we’ll talk about it for a second. When I went to PubCon this last year, we all sat around in a group and talked about different topics. One of those topics was not providing from the Q word data in the Google Analytics. Everyone else in the room felt that this was a slight against SEOs where I agreed with Google that it was an attempt to protect themselves from what they found out was a back door open to the NSA and various organizations that were able to pull their data.

Search Engine Optimization Secrets

Search Engine Optimization Secrets (Photo credit: Barry Adams)

Danny: I think that is a valid point. Just a little bit of context there for everybody listening to this and watching this. Google ran into a situation this last year with the NSA, the National Security Agency within the United States, where the NSA was looking at Google’s private networks. They’d gained access to that where they had all their search indexed, which is all the websites they have and most of the data that is being transmitted around those things. So different kinds of ratings, different kinds of algorithms. All that stuff within the network itself was unencrypted, so the NSA had access to that. In the public network, that stuff is all encrypted, so the NSA doesn’t have access to that. Even if they got it, they wouldn’t be able to read it. So the NSA had access to that private information unencrypted. We’re running into a similar situation when they went from unencrypted search, which is different. These are public results anyway. But because it was unencrypted, you used to be able to see what people had been searching for when they came to our website. We could no longer do that because they decided to encrypt it. That’s what the S is in HTTPS. It’s for ‘secure.’ That’s what we’re running into now.

Jonathan: I really appreciate that detail. It’s really critically important for our audience to understand that we still do SEO. It’s just that our hands are tied on the level of data of information that’s available to us.

Danny: It used to be pretty obvious that if you built a certain amount of links, you could quantify pretty accurately how much rankings you’ll be able to increase and what type of traffic that may bring in. Unfortunately today, we can build the same type of link, but we’re not guaranteed the trajectory we gained before.

Jonathan: Are you directing your clients into video? Is that what this whole difference of SEO to video optimization is?

Danny: Yeah, that’s part of it. With my clients, we’re diversified as much as possible. And what we’re seeing a big benefit in today is the social channels. Specially with Facebook we’re been doing really well. A large part of that – and it’s really more a layer than a channel per se – is video. I know for my blog, I drive more traffic, more watches on YouTube than I do through Google to my website itself. Based off of that and based off of these bigger clients that I’m working with, they’re video focused as well. Like with some of our video businesses, going through and looking at the bigger data is where I’m trying to make the strides and that’s where I’m seeing these big benefits that I used to get with SEO.

Jonathan: It’s easily consumable entertainment regardless of whether it’s a boring lecture or it’s a kid rolling his motorbike down the lane, right?

Danny: Exactly. We’ve been taught as little kids that TV is a form of entertainment and video is fun. And now we’re able to express that and use the benefit of people being trained their whole life to believe this and to understand this for our own purchases as marketers.

Jonathan: How do you take that video and optimize so that it’s more understood by the search engines?

Danny: This is one of the most exciting parts about video. The algorithms that are sorting video are actually quite rudimentary, which is very similar to how SEO used to be. The ones I’ve seen on YouTube at least. I do most of my video marketing for YouTube. The reason I do that is because that is where the biggest audience is by far. YouTube is the second most used search engine in the world behind Goggle. Bing is number three I believe. So I put my video efforts on YouTube. Within YouTube, there are only a few things that make a big difference in whether your video is going to rank or not. It’s the basic metadata, so data off the video itself. Specifically the title and the description. The keywords you use in that are very, very important. Those make up most of the relevancy based metrics that are video SEO and ranking of YouTube. Also the file name tends to have a big impact on that. And then the transcriptions. So the words you’re using in the transcription. All this makes sense. We know from reading through lots of Google patents and also just from common sense that it’s much easier for computers to be able to determine relevancy based on text as opposed to video because they can understand it. And there’s been a lot of work put into natural language processing, which is mostly text based.

Jonathan: One of the things that we do here is we’ll run this podcast on Hangout. It immediately goes into YouTube. We then send it for personalized transcription. And once that’s done, we go back into YouTube and feed in that transcription. There’s a major benefit to that, right?

Danny: Yeah, exactly right.

Jonathan: YouTube itself has a transcription tool, but it’s really not that good.

Danny: That’s right. So we want to give them all the hints that we can about our content. And doing human-based transcription is one of the greatest ways that we can do this.

Jonathan: Are you finding when you promote it through Facebook and Twitter when it gains an audience that in itself helps the rankings in the search engine?

Danny Dover & Richard Baxter

Danny Dover & Richard Baxter (Photo credit: Dana Lookadoo – Yo! Yo! SEO)

Danny: Yes. In addition to the metadata, which would probably be the most important factor with regard to relevancy, the other part of the equation would be popularity metrics. How popular is this content? How much are people engaging with it? The biggest metric I’m seeing with that are channel subscribers with brand power, which I think is one of the major reasons that Goggle is integrating Google Plus so heavily into YouTube. They want to have these brands, which is very important. Those are doing quite well. Also watch time – how long are people actually watching the video? At least in the last 6 months, watch time has had amazingly high correlation between actual rankings from what I’m seeing to overpowering most of these other popularity metrics. This is watch time again. How long are people actually watching them? The next one is YouTube engagement metrics. It’s exactly like what you’re talking about. This is the likes and thumbs-up and thumbs-down happening on YouTube itself. I’m seeing it indirectly with social shares. Are people sharing this on Facebook? Are people sharing this on Twitter? Is this happening on Goggle Plus? We know that if it’s happening on Goggle Plus. Google has all the access to how popular it is and what the data looks like. We know that when we drive more people to it, we’re going to boost these engagement metrics, so it’s going to be watch time.

Jonathan: Google can’t necessarily see the Facebook engagement and the Twitter engagement. They can obviously see the Google Plus engagement. Is that correct?

Danny: That is correct from what I understand and what Google is saying publicly. I mean I think the technology exists so they could have more information. For example, Goggle runs a free DNS service, which means they would have access to all the URLs and any request that I sent on Facebook itself has at least URLS, not the data that’s being transmitted. So they could access to that. It’s more of a conspiracy theory. But they do not crawl within Facebook. The same with Twitter.

Jonathan: Right. But they understand where the link is coming from? You promote it on Facebook for all these people. So they might not be able to see it when you’re running it on Facebook, but they must kind of understand that there’s been a call to run something from YouTube on Facebook directly, right?

Danny: Absolutely. We can see that within YouTube’s analytics that they provide for us. We can see when something from Facebook or from another social network.

Jonathan: So when you’re talking about the amount of time that it’s watched, if I’m running, say, a 40-minute podcast like this, there is an ad at the beginning and perhaps an ad at the end. Does that get correlated into time watched or what we used to call time-on-site? I guess now we call it time on screen, right?

Danny: Right. If the ad is provided by Goggle through YouTube, then that is not taken into account. But if it’s an ad that you injected within the video itself, that one would count.

Jonathan: Okay. So if I’m going to a video and I see a Goggle ad and I click off of it, there’s no credit given to that ad because I never made it to the video?

Danny: That’s correct. What’s happening there is that any metrics that it gets about you – maybe you clicked the ad, maybe you didn’t – those would be the ad’s metrics, not the video’s metrics.

Jonathan: Are we seeing any correlation between keyword used within the video optimization and correlating it to what Google believes you’re interested in anyway? That panel on the side?

Danny: Yeah. I’m glad you brought that up. We’ve seeing a large correlation there. I know that with my videos, about 50% of views come from other YouTube videos. It’s either the ad that YouTube puts up at the end of videos saying here are related videos or it’s the side panel. We’re not able to see which one it is, but I’m seeing about 50% of my total views are coming from those areas.

The Impact of the Morphing of TV Show Creation on Online Marketing

Jonathan:  The next thing we want to talk about is morphing of TV show creation on online marketing. It sounds like a thesis paper.

Danny: It does, yeah. This is actually one of my favorite subjects of late. We’re seeing a revolution in the way the television business is created right now. It’s really, really exciting. “House of Cards” is a great example where NetFlix, as a distribution channel for the first time, is actually creating the content. They’re doing it with fantastic high-quality actors, fantastic high-quality writing and with fantastic high-quality crews. The production value is very, very high. This is exciting for TV watchers, but it’s also exciting for content creators because we have a lot of access to these tools as well. It’s a lot cheaper to produce something now than it used to be and there’s also a higher standard. People know what to look for, whereas before TV had been kind of a dumb medium. The TV shows I grew up on where all very simplistic with simple storylines. Now people have a new level of creativity as their baseline, so that pushes up the marketers and content creators. But it also sets the stage for us as well so that we’re able to produce content at that level.

Jonathan: I agree with you that the ‘70s and the ‘80s television content was simple. When we look at “Three’s Company,” it’s the same exact scenario every single week. We’ve gotten to a much higher level where we talk about “House of Cards,” “Walking Dead” and all of these great TV shows.

Danny: “Breaking Bad” was one of my favorites.

Jonathan: “Breaking Bad” was revolutionary in definitive storytelling. It comes to the end, that is the end and we’re done. It’s really great stuff. How are you then taking that and saying to a business, okay, we need to create better content?

Danny: You actually worded that quite well for the point I’m trying to make. Now most of the work I do in content creation is storytelling. I call it storytelling. I refer to it and think about it like storytelling. There’s a beginning, a middle and an end of every conversation I’m having and the messaging I’m putting out there. I’m using this old form of communication we’ve been taught from day one as human beings around the campfire that storytelling is a very powerful way to convey information and as people something we put a lot of time into trying to understand and perfect. So I’m just doing the same thing, but as a marketer now.

Jonathan: So you’re really almost making a career move going from SEO to videographer?

Danny: Yeah. I am in that I’m trying to lead my clients in a similar direction. I know that if we make fantastic quality video, we know that we’ll get the engagement and get the sales we want.

Jonathan: That’s really exciting stuff.

YouTube vs. the Online World of Video

Danny: We have a similar situation with YouTube vs. the online world of video with Google as a search engine. There’s absolute domination. The vast majority of video being consumed online is happening on YouTube. I guess the exception might be the shows that are streaming on Netflix and stuff because that takes up a lot of zeros and ones. That’s a lot of the web traffic total. But it’s not exactly happening in the same way that it’s happening on YouTube. So we have one place that we focus all of our energy into optimizing for, which is YouTube. They have a built-in audience, which is great. In my case, about 50% of my traffic is just going to come from YouTube and other related videos. So other people’s content helps push my content forward. And we’re seeing this grow everywhere. Video is now all over the place. I can get it on my phone. I can get it on my iPad. I can get it on my Kindle. I can get it all over the place. And people are consuming it at levels that they never have before.

Jonathan: Interesting. In SEO, as Internet marketers in the recent years, we’ve had a major push for content. Written content. It was guest blogging. It was multiple articles. Sometimes we’re talking about lawyers and doctors and really boring stuff. Really difficult stuff to talk about. Are you saying now that with YouTube, you’re almost hitting a higher mark than the actual Google search engine itself?

Danny: I see it a little bit differently. I think our job as marketers is to always be going for and trying to understand what’s next and aiming for that as opposed to following. What I’m seeing is that YouTube is the thing that is not necessarily the next thing, but already happening now and continuing to grow. So that’s what I’m putting my energy into.

Jonathan: Do you think there’s a possibility for marketing integration to take the data that somebody is watching on YouTube and understand and improve the Google search? Not in terms of placing video in the search but obviously from Google’s side better understanding that individual and the search that they are trying to do. We talk about semantics web here a lot. So the understanding of the individual and the intent of search kind of pulls into the video side where if I understand what you’ve been watching, when you go to YouTube each time to the homepage and you’re seeing more exactly what you want to watch, it can translate then back to the Google search engine for when you do a search on a nondescript item like an apple. This is an example I use all the time. If I’m watching videos about vegetation or being a vegetarian or I’m concerned about the environment and I’ve never watched a video about Apple the company or the iPhone or iPad, that can lend itself for when I go back to the search engine and I do the search for apple. It really understands that I want the informational search on the apple the fruit, not Apple the company.

Danny: Exactly right. We have been focusing on content creation for a long time and we’ve been doing text for a long time. It was great for people, but it was also particularly good for search engines because they can understand text and they can read text quite well compared to other mediums. Now we’re starting to see that with video. People are consuming videos at incredible rates and the search engines are getting much better at understanding what video is and understanding it from a semantic value. So at the same time, semantic web is starting to develop and become a real thing in our lives. Google Now is a great example of this. And so video seems like the next step for all of this, which is the reason I’m focused on it so heavily.

Jonathan: That’s interesting. You mentioned Google now. Do you see a point in time where there’s an integration between Google now and YouTube?

Danny: Well, I think they’re already doing that.

Jonathan: I’m not familiar with Google Now. I don’t have an Android device. You need an Android device in order to have Google Now, right?

Danny: No, actually. There’s an IOS version of it as well.

Jonathan: Okay. I learned something today.

Danny: Yeah. I have it on my iPhone. It will many times show me video results. And it may be because I care so much about video. It’s probably knows based on my search history that I care a lot about video so it chooses to serve me the video results quite frequently. I think this is just going to be an emerging trend. I think they’ll keep sending it to me.

The Video Engagement Problem

Jonathan: Let’s talk about the video engagement problem. What exactly is that?

Danny: That is interesting. We see a lot of a certain kinds of engagement with videos. We see things like the Likes, we see things like adding it to playlist on YouTube. There’s some social shares certainly comments. But many people who have largest following on video, let’s say something on YouTube like Jenna Marbles, who is quite a popular YouTuber, she has difficulty selling actual product. Part of this is because she is a comedian at the Comedy Channel. So people are not watching this to buy. But she has a huge audience. I think she has something like 25 million subscribers who watch most of her videos. If this were a TV show, it would be a major big deal, but it just happens to be one girl who’s running this. However, she is not making the equivalent amount of money from that. Where it sounds like she’s making her money – and this goes for most YouTubers – is the ads that run before and after.

Jonathan: Right.

Danny: So they have an engagement certainly, but it’s not the ideal kind of engagement. The ideal kind of engagement is the kind where people are spending money.

Jonathan: We’re really talking about conversion here, right?

Danny: That’s exactly right.

Jonathan: But now Louis CK did an incredible job of transferring his videos, making them accessible on his website and selling millions of copies of his online show. So I kind of question whether or not the conversion is just a matter of poor marketing on Jenna’s behalf.

Danny: Yeah. That’s a fair point because the videos that all seem to be online are Kickstarter videos. The Kickstarter campaigns that have videos do much better than the ones that don’t. And those with a very high call to action tend to have high conversions. So your point is a fair point.

Jonathan: If we’re going to talk about crowdfunding, the most amazing thing that has happened in all crowdfunding is this professional level of video being produced now for some of these Kickstarter or crowdfunding campaigns. When they first came out, I did one for my book. And it was me sitting in front of the camera and saying, Hey, I want to do this and I want this produced and blah-blah-blah. Now we’re going to do one for the animal rescue that I’m involved with, the volunteer work that I do, and we know that it has to be HD and it has to have music and there has to be a whole storyline put in there. We’ll have to have photos and charts. It’s really quite incredible how there’s now an industry for videographers to produce crowd funding campaigns.

Danny: Right. We went through this exact same transformation with written content. It used to be that you could just put out any old blog post. It could potentially do well on websites like Digg. I think that’s where it used to come from. But now you have to have media on your blog post. It’s no longer just a minimum requirement to have images. It’s also really helpful to have video and infographics and these other things with very rich media. We saw it with text and we’re now seeing it with video. I guess I’m not surprised, but it’s just happened faster this time.

Jonathan: And it’s much more consumable, right?

Danny: Right.

Jonathan: Let’s go back to this whole conversion and engagement conversation. It’s very interesting when you look at somebody who says to themselves ‘I’m going to create a video every Friday. I’m going to put it on YouTube.” You were talking about Jenna Marbles. I follow J Merridew. These are people who really dedicate themselves to producing something on Friday. It’s going to go up. They do it as professionals. Now in the background, when you become interested in that individual and you do research, you find out subsequently that they have a book or they have a video or they have a T-shirt. So it’s very secondary to the way that engagement would be seen when we’re talking about a website. Because the fact that you went to that website means that you want to engage in that content and on the side you get information about what the company is all about. But this is sometimes subtler and sometimes more in your face, depending on the client’s needs. You could run almost like a TV promotional ad. Or you could have something like a podcast or a videocast that then shows the quality of the client that is trying to gain the customer. Right?

Danny: Yep.

Jonathan: But is there a perfect method to build the video? Or probably we just don’t have enough information yet to say, okay, this format works. For you, your client is going to talk for 5 minutes and he’s going to move you through the point to get you to download an e-book or something like that. Right?

Danny: Yeah. We’re still looking for this elusive formula. I think we’ve found some things that help so that the points that I mentioned earlier with different metadata and with watch time, that gives you things that we’re aiming for. And there are little tricks you can do to increase watch time. The way you structure the video and the story arch itself. All these things affect that. But we have not yet found the perfect formula as to exactly how video should be done.

Jonathan: Somebody will figure it out, get great results, write an e-book about it and we’ll all be following that directive.

Danny: That’s exactly right. It may end up being one of these cases where you look for the perfect format for a blog post and it turns out that the perfect format keeps developing.

Jonathan: Well, to an extent. It used to be that you could write 200 words and put that up as blog post and that doesn’t work anymore. So doing a 30-second video probably doesn’t work either, right?

Danny: Yes. I think that’s right.

LifeListed.com

Jonathan: Let’s talk a little bit about LifeListed. This has really been something that I’ve taken to heart. I’ve watched you grow and do this project over the least three years. Is that right?

Danny: Yes. I think that’s right.

Jonathan: You’ve gone all over the world. You’ve been on television. You’ve done a Ted Talks. You have LifeListed.com. You talk about some really personal things that have gone on in your life. You right now are introducing monthly Life Lists that are fun, free and in your neighborhood. This is your article for this week and you talk about very simple things that you can do to simplify your life and make your life easier.

Danny: Yeah. Let me give a little more context on the project itself and then I can talk specifically about that blog post. LifeListed.com is a project that I’ve been working on for about three years now. It started when I was going through a point in my life when I was dealing with depression and I started asking myself some harder and bigger questions, mainly what am I doing here? What is the purpose of my life? After interviewing and chatting with a bunch of people who I really respected, what I ultimately decided to do was just arbitrarily choose what I wanted as the purpose of my life. So I made a list of about 150 things that I wanted to do and I gave myself a deadline. I gave myself a deadline of May 25, 2017. I’ve been working on that near full-time ever since. Now when I wake up every morning I know exactly what I’m going to be working on. I’m going to be working on trying to check these items off and move forward. Doing the bucket list itself is really great, but the big benefit and what I like about it more is that it puts me into ridiculous situations that I never would have otherwise been able to be in. And I’m meeting people that I’d never have been able to meet and gaining skills that I never would have been able to gain otherwise. So it’s a gray area in between and it’s given me a new purpose in my life. I think that’s the biggest benefit.

Jonathan: And along the way, you’ve written about your experiences, particularly – and I hope you can speak about this – the Singapore post.

Danny: Oh yea.

Jonathan: You successfully offended an entire nation.

Danny: I did, by accident. A little context for the post: I lived in Singapore for about two months and I wrote about my experience after I left. The short version of this article is that Singapore has accomplished a lot in its very short history, but I’m concerned about the people I met when I was there and these emerging trends that I’m seeing. Suicide is increasing at an alarming rate in Singapore. People are blaming it on the stress of academics. A lot of people are young and committing suicide. And they’re blaming this on how stressful school is there. I was also discouraged by the lack of art and creativity that is celebrated in the society there. So while it was a very efficient country, it was very sterile. That made me choose not to want to return to Singapore. I wrote a post about this and it ended up going viral on Facebook. The equivalent of I believe 10% of the entire country read this article. And as I’ve been traveling around the world since then, I keep running into people who have read this article. I’ll mention Singapore and someone will say, oh, I read this article about it. So that’s been really nice.

Jonathan: Ignore that sound. It’s just the timer.

Danny: Okay. So that’s just one example of doing the storytelling, sharing the experiences and really being able to make the impact based on that. In this case, more people read and saw it than I’ll probably ever meet in my lifetime, which is really exciting for me and it’s also really interesting to be part of that conversation. I think that article at least played a part in jump starting that and I hope we’re making a difference over there in Singapore.

Jonathan: It was interesting because in perspective, reading the article, if you were writing that and you changed the word “Singapore” to “America,” I might question where you were and what you saw. But I wouldn’t take offense. Obviously, Americans are critical of ourselves just as much as the world is critical of us. But I don’t think we would take as much offense to it, which almost speaks to the culture there that they really don’t want to be represented in a poor light in what would be seen by us maybe as a mild criticism of their country.

Danny: Exactly. I think we just ran into a big cultural difference there. I think they’re very proud of where they’re from and I think they express that in a different way that we as Americans do.

Jonathan: Tell me about this new project that you’re talking about today in the month of March.

Danny: Sure. This is a little project on our website. When I’ve been talking to you about LifeList, mine is very structured and I’m very disciplined about it. I have this tattooed on me and this is what I really focus on every single day. Now that’s not something that most people can do. I have the liberty of working completely online so that allows me to travel and to get an income while I’m abroad. But most people can’t do that, so I’m trying to make this a little bit more bite-sized. I started introducing this first one in March. The bucket lists are free so you can do it wherever you live. They’re generally more bite-sized than the bigger ones that I’ve been working on. In this way, you can start to make improvements in your life. You can start to build momentum on your goals without having to dive in almost head first all at once and get tattooed.

Jonathan: Okay. Let me get back to that in a second. I’ve got tattoos also. Are you saying you have this list tattooed on you? Or you have that date tattooed on you?

Danny: Let me explain that. It is the date. If I had the list, it would be a large tattoo and it would be a pain because I’d have to get a new tattoo every time I checked something off. So no. It’s the date.

Jonathan: So it would be like Momento.

Danny: That’s right.

Jonathan: I don’t want to psychoanalyze you, but let me ask. You have this critical date for 2017. You said that you’ve done about 85% of the 150 items on the list. What happens on that date when you’ve accomplished everything?

Danny: I love this question. I get asked it fairly often. So what happens next? On the date itself, I’m going to throw a big party because I want to celebrate all the people who have been part of this adventure with me. The plan is that every month I’ve been saving up money, so I’m just going to throw as big a party as I possibly can on that date. It will be a celebration for everybody who has supported me and been part of this adventure.

Jonathan: Wow.

Danny: Yeah. And you’re one of those people. So in 2017, try to keep that open.

Jonathan: I will save the date.

Danny: Excellent. So what about after that? I want to write a book about the experience. It is a goal of mine to take the spotlight off of me and I want to start putting the spotlight on others. I want to start enabling others to be able to do this. So I want to write a book that will be an instruction manual on how to structure your lifestyle like this. Then after the book, I want to do a TV show. I’d like to do a TV show where I am again helping other people do their own bucket list items or helping people travel.

Jonathan: Wow. That’s fantastic. I would hope – and this is my personal hope – that somewhere in that book you detail that critical time in your life that you were having an issue with depression. You’ve already on the website been very, very open about the fact that you have depression or that you had suffered depression during that time. I mean, I know you. We met physically briefly and we’ve talked over the years. And you don’t come across as somebody who is moping around or is upset.

Danny: Actually, I think I made a mistake. Two blog posts ago, I wrote a major story about my experience with depression and I made a mistake there in not making it clear that this is something I think I’ve recovered from. It has not been a part of my life, I believe, even when I met you originally. I was no longer suffering from depression at that time. And today I’m no longer suffering from depression. So this is not a part of my life now, but it was certainly the catalyst for this big project.

Jonathan: Well, that’s awesome. That’s great.

Four for Friday: Questions Everyone is Asked

Jonathan: Now we have what I call Four for Friday. These are four questions. We’ve had a great experience with this. I don’t know if you’ve seen the show before, but we’ve had this great experience with people even who have seen the show. They kind of forget about these four questions and when they’re asked them, they get stumped. So what is your idea of perfect Internet happiness?

Danny: Good question. First of all, I would like to have perfect Internet access globally. Right now, I am unhappy when I do not have access to the Internet. On top of that, I would like the information traveling on the Internet to be treated equally and to be able to travel over borders. So there’s a big net neutrality conversation to get into there. But I think the biggest benefit we have with the Internet is it sets information free. And I would like to see that upheld and expanded upon.

Jonathan: There are two companies right now that are trying to do satellite Internet that would break down all the walls everywhere. What do you think about that?

Danny: Yeah. There’s a few people tackling that. Google is also doing this with weather balloons. I think that is fantastic and I think those projects are essential to the development of the Internet and also to the development of the human race from an Internet perspective. So I think it’s a great project.

Jonathan: What is your greatest Internet regret?

Danny: Good question. I don’t know if I have any major ones. I’ written two blog posts that I’ve taken down. One was on the math where I was trying to prove a hypothesis of mine. I gathered a bunch of data and different analysis and posted it. And I realized my math was completely wrong. In fact, if I’d done it correctly, my math would have proved the opposite of what I was trying to do. So that was certainly a regret. I did not fact-check enough. Then I also did a blog post on my own blog. I was too open. That’s what I learned from it. It was too sexually flippant. And I ended up taking that one down as well. The first one was just not fact-checking. And the second was just being too open in a public forum. Those are my two big Internet regrets.

Jonathan: That’s really interesting. Just those two topics are really very interesting. The whole idea of putting information out there. We all know of one specific news channel that likes to put information out there without any fact-checking whatsoever. But this whole idea of you’re on the Internet and we have these Internet memes that if not correct, could really lead to significant problems. And then for the other side, this idea of who we are as individuals can’t really be fully represented in a public forum like the Internet.

Danny: That’s right. My persona online is more like a shadow of who I really am. It outlines me and it certainly is a reflection of who I am or part of who I am, but it’s not who I am.

Jonathan: That’s brilliant. That’s a great quote. Fantastic. What do you consider your greatest Internet achievement?

Danny: At this point, I think it’s been the amount of people that I’ve been able to help through this passion project of mine. I’m happy in that I get to have a lot of conversations, mostly online, with people who have started their own lists as a result of this or who have gone out and helped other people who are dealing with depression. I know it was a difficult process in my life and I’m happy to be able to give back or at least try to help. And I’ve been pretty successful with that, with helping people overcome their own issues.

Jonathan: That’s awesome. What is your favorite Internet book? We have to exclude my book and your book.

Danny: Oh, darn.

Jonathan: We can’t do any self-promotion here with this question.

Danny: Favorite Internet book? My first thought is just my Kindle. It’s literally an Internet book where I have access to any books because I have access to the Internet.

Jonathan: What are you reading now?

Danny: I’m reading a book called “Story.” I forget the name of the author. But it’s by a filmmaker in Hollywood who does deep analysis on what it means to make a story and to structure a story properly.

NOTE: The book Danny was talking about was – Story: Substance, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting by author Robert McKee

Jonathan: You also told me about another book. I can’t remember what it was called but it’s a very simple book about writing. But it really has nothing to do with writing.

Danny: There is a book called “Bird by Bird.”

Jonathan: Yes. That’s it. “Bird by Bird.”

Danny: The author is indirectly talking about writing the entire time. But I found it really inspiring and really funny. It was one of those books where I laughed out loud as I’m reading through it.

Jonathan: You gave that to me. When I was writing the book, you said it’s really inspirational.

Danny: Yeah. You’ll notice when you’re writing your book as well that you’ll run into a lot of writer’s block. And this author was admitting that she as a successful author also runs into writer’s block and the methods she uses for overcoming it. And sometimes just accepting it.

Jonathan: Excellent. Danny you are to me a great inspiration personally and professionally. I really appreciate the fact that you took time to do this. I’m glad that the Chicago Internet stayed up. We did have a problem about a half hour ago, but everything is good now. We were able to make it through the podcast. Thanks so much for being here, Danny.

Outro

Again, this is Jonathan Goodman with the World of Internet Marketing. You can follow me @HalyardConsult on Twitter. New episodes of the World of Internet Marketing can be heard every Friday. You can access the archives of my previous shows on Spreaker.com – user name Jonathan Goodman. The podcast is also available with transcription at halyardconsulting.com and geekcast.fm one week after the episode airs. Thank you all for listening to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. Don’t forget to pick up my book The World of Internet Marketing on Amazon, and if you like this podcast please share it with your network of friends and family. Have a great week.

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I’ve dealt with customer service myself growing up in the business. My first job was working directly with people. So I came to the customer service topic from an aspect of not somebody who is going to sit there and tell you that this is the way it should be from a philosophy standpoint.

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Podcast: Customer Service through Social Media is a post from: Halyard Consulting

This is Jonathan Goodman. Welcome to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. Today we have Shari Maxwell McConahay of The Internet Fairy and Metamorphic eCommerce. In 1994, Shari started transforming her family’s brick and mortar costume business into an e-commerce company. That business then morphed into her own Metamorphic eCommerce, Inc, which she runs with her husband. It is home to AnniesCostumes.com, SantaSuits.com and StageandTheatreMakeup.com. They sell costumes, costume accessories, and professional makeup for stage.

Penguin costumes.

Penguin costumes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 2010, she began the Internet Fairy, Inc. – Magical Marketing in a Digital World, where she specializes in e-commerce consulting, SEO for e-commerce, copywriting, blogging, and social media. She utilizes over 20 years of e-commerce and online marketing experience for her clients. Her writing has been featured online in the Huffington Post, DMANews, Search Engine Journal, PRDaily, Wikitravel, Lucky magazine, and many other websites and blogs. She is also currently the Online Content Chair board member at SFIMA (South Florida Interactive Marketing Association). Welcome Shari.

Shari: Thank you so much. I’m really excited to be here to talk to you today.

Jonathan: Absolutely. Those are a lot of websites to handle. We spoke during the pre-Halloween season and you were frenetic. There was a lot of action going on. Can you walk us through what it takes to run a business that is essentially looking for sales for one day?

Shari: Well, it’s obviously a really big challenge. We kind of have Halloween on the brain all year long. It’s a business I grew up in, so it’s almost second nature to me because I’ve been in the business since I was very young. Before my parents even had the costume business, they had a card and gift business. So that was also very seasonally oriented. That was from the time I was a baby, so I grew up with it. The challenge of a seasonal business is getting it right because you only have that short window of time. Especially in the online space, where A/B testing and things that you can get right for next week or next month, we don’t have that. So it’s a lot of planning throughout the year. And it’s obviously very, very busy all at one time. We’ve gotten to the point where we go over what was wrong right away because in a couple of weeks you’ll forget. We’d also go over what was wrong each year and improve upon that the next year.

Jonathan: What is the window of sales when it comes to Halloween?

Shari: We start to see a very slight lift at the end of July, but that’s really the super early birds who are the Halloween freaks who can’t wait and they already know want they want to be. Around August, right after back-to-school we start to pick up. Most of the country gets into back-to-school mode, and it seems like as soon as parents are done with the back-to-school shopping, they start thinking about fall and start thinking about Halloween and we start seeing a lift there. Obviously, the biggest amount of sales come in October. A lot of them come last minute, which is a challenge for the online space because they don’t want to pay for next-day shipping. Next-day shipping is extremely expensive, contrary to what people may believe. And especially for a small business that isn’t a Zappos or an Amazon with our UPS hub at our disposal, it’s quite expensive. So it’s a short window of time. The date that Halloween falls on can even make it shorter or extend it a little longer. But because of the next-day shipping and the expense of that, it shortens the window considerably

Jonathan: Are you primarily focused on content marketing? Or are you doing PPC advertising?

Shari: For the most, right now I’m doing content marketing. We’re working on redesigning our website. We’ve had a lot of challenges with that, even for someone who is a veteran. I’ve been in it for a really long time, but it’s still really difficult and challenging to get the website correct for what we need. So I’ve kind of put off the Pay Per Clicks. I’ve concentrated on organic and social. All that content is really super important obviously now with all the changes. But as far as Pay Per Click, I started that when it was Go To and then Overture. So I know all about that and I’ve done a lot with that over the years, but right now I’ve had to hold off until our website gets the conversion rate boosted back up to where we need it.

Jonathan: You didn’t experience a hit from the Google penalties, though?

Shari: No. It wasn’t Goggle penalties. It was that at the same time, we went through a website design change. It’s kind of a long story that’s maybe better for a different topic on another day. But because we started so early, we kind of got stuck in a rut with the website that was built in 1999 on ColdFusion and we were stuck with that through the 2000s trying to get out of it and get switched to something new. We had several failed attempts. I like to think I’ve learned from that and impart knowledge from that in my consulting now. What happened was that right at the same time, 2010-2011, we switched over to a new platform. We ran on that ColdFusion the whole time. Since then, we’ve had a ton of problems getting everything integrated.

Jonathan: I would hope that you went to WordPress.

Shari: No. We did not go to WordPress. It’s on the Magento.

Halloween Costumes 1980

Halloween Costumes 1980 (Photo credit: Zombie Normal)

Jonathan: That is another conversation because many companies like yourself started very, very early with basic HTML. Maybe they went to a ColdFusion. I know back in the day, I was working on BroadVision. It was very cumbersome software with a lot of enhancements. If you needed something, it took a developer to sit there and really build it out. It was a big mess. And now as the code has gotten sleeker, you made that transition and it sounds like there have been stops and starts.

Shari: Yes.

The Customer is Not Always Right

Jonathan: Let’s switch gears and focus on customer service. You’re in a particularly interesting area because of the time issue. You’re not focused 365 days a year. You’re saying basically July to October. You were talking about three months prior to October, right?

Shari: Yes.

Jonathan: So how does a company like yours manage customer service and possible negative client service in such a short span of time?

Shari: It’s definitely challenging for us because we’re a small, Mom & Pop company. We always have been. And I’ve dealt with customer service myself growing up in the business. My first job was working directly with people. So I came to the customer service topic from an aspect of not somebody who is going to sit there and tell you that this is the way it should be from a philosophy standpoint. It’s because I’ve lived it. I’ve had customers beat into me and make me cry. I can approach it from the standpoint of where it’s going to be a fair policy for both the customers and for a small, medium-sized business that doesn’t have the financial backing to say “That’s fine. We’ll just refund you.” And the other challenge that we have because we’re seasonal and a costume business is that you can’t wear your costume and then send it back and say you want your money back.

Jonathan: Right.

Shari: And that’s a big challenge. When we had a retail store, which we don’t anymore, but when we did, it was a very strict no-refund policy, There were signs everywhere and there was a stamp put on every receipt because they had to understand that you’re not bringing it back. Even if you buy it in September and on October 15th you decide ‘Oh, I want to be something else,’ that costume was off our sales floor for a very important amount of time. The same with the Web. We don’t take things back. We have come up with a policy that we believe is fair. We allow them to exchange it right up until the last 10 to 15 days. At that point, then there’s none. You can still exchange it, but you can’t return it. And it’s a stricter policy. So we end up dealing with people who get quite upset about that because they’ve changed their mind or decided they don’t want to have a party. Kids often change their minds, about every other day, about what they want to be. So we try to make sure that policy is upfront. Sometimes we might take a hit in conversions for it, but in the long run, I feel it balances out better rather than having upset customers who say ‘well, you didn’t tell me.’ On our website, we have a check box that says they must read and agree to our policy of returns and exchanges before finishing the order. Aside from hearing people say ‘you shouldn’t do that because it’s hurting your conversions,’ I feel like it’s a more fair thing to do for us and for our customers. Ultimately, with a small company like ours, my husband and I are the ones dealing with an upset customer, especially if it’s after season and we don’t have any temp employees left.

Jonathan: Are you actually moving the physical product from your location? Or are these affiliate deals?

Shari: They’re not affiliate. We’re actually a drop shipper. We have morphed our business several times. We had brick and mortar. Then we had our own warehouse and we did our own ordering and fulfillment. It’s very difficult to do that for a seasonal business because you’re paying year-round to warehouse product, employees and everything for only a small seasonal time of business. So we’ve now switched. Nothing is shipped from us. It’s all drop-shipped from several different suppliers. There are 40,000 different products, so that gives us the opportunity to offer a really wide selection and not have to warehouse it or ship it or pay people to ship it.

English: A woman wearing a cow Halloween costume.

English: A woman wearing a cow Halloween costume. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jonathan: With 40,000 products, you really need to have a tight relationship with the drop shippers to know what their inventory is and what their ability is to move that product in a short amount of time.

Shari: Right. And that’s where our website woes are coming in. With the integration of those feeds and making them show up properly. And then instead of being a merchandiser, our job on our end becomes a web optimizer and content manager and marketer.

Jonathan: With the customer service, obviously some people are not going to like it. Everyone has these terms, policies and conditions where people have to check a mark off and say that they’ve read the terms and policies, but you probably actually state what the policy is on the checkout and the customers have to clearly check that, right?

Shari: No, it just says please check here to say that you’ve agreed to our return and exchange policy. I can’t think of the exact terminology right now, but it doesn’t list that because I think that would be too much of a hindrance in the checkout procedure. If I’m talking to somebody else in a different business, you always want the least point of resistance on that shopping cart side to get that sale.

Jonathan: Absolutely.

Shari: So I came up with my own compromise. It does say it’s a return and exchange policy and hopefully the customer might understand that. With other companies, large companies, offering no-hassle returns and exchanges 365 days a year, it makes it difficult because everyone thinks that’s the way it should be for everybody. And that you should be able to return your dirty, used costume on November 10th and get your money back.

Jonathan: Right. You’re dealing with the small business against the large corporation mentality. I understand that.

Managing Customer Service through Social Media

Jonathan: Some of these customers, good and bad, must be using social media to talk about your product. You, of course, are talking about your product in social media. How does that work when you have to deal with something over the Internet?

Shari: Obviously, it hits home and it’s hard to not take it personally, which is something that you can’t do when you’re dealing with customer service. It’s hard to take myself out of the personal situation, like they’re attacking me or my product and my company. So I’ve learned not to take it personally, especially when it comes to social media. I let them know right away on the post or wherever it is that we’re addressing the problem, that we’re looking into it and that we’re sorry. All of the top 3 things that they want to know: that you care, that you answer them, that you’re not some robot, that you’re not a company overseas. And we try to portray that this is our family company, we’re doing the best that we can and we’ve been doing this for a long time, so they know it’s not just a 30-day store that pops up for Halloween time and then goes away. That is our business year-round, year after year. We let them know right away on social media. We address the problem, we apologize and take it off-line instead of having a big debate back and forth – - this isn’t the right size, it doesn’t look like the picture, well, you don’t look like the model and maybe that’s why you don’t look like the picture. Anyone looking at the complaint on Facebook or Twitter or anywhere will see, ok, they addressed it, she replied to them right away, she said she was sorry. Then I’ll even go back to the post and say ‘Thanks so much for letting us know. I’m glad that we were able to take care of this on email today,’ or something like that. So it’s me doing it. It takes time out of my day, but it’s something I wouldn’t hand over to somebody else.

Jonathan: Are you monitoring these things using a HootSuite or some type of tool to give you an alert that somebody is posting something?

Shari: I actually run everything manually right now. We’re only in three spaces. I’m on Facebook everyday anyhow. I see it almost immediately. I get alerts on Twitter if somebody sends a message. The other one is Google Plus and I would see that right away too. So I keep it small and manageable for myself rather than what a large company would do. And I try to address and fix things right away.

Customer Acquisition vs. Customer Retention

Jonathan: Before we did this session, we were talking, going back and forth about elements, and you were talking about customer acquisition and customer retention. You said that acquiring a new customer can cost 6 to 7 times more than retaining an existing customer. Can you walk us through customer acquisition vs. customer retention?

Cute Kids in Children's Costumes

Shari: Sure. Basically what that statistic speaks to is that customer service is so important because it helps you keep that customer rather than having to spend money on Pay Per Click or on organic looking for new customers. If you treat the customers you have well and keep them, they’ll stay with you. Then you have a happy customer and happy reviews from the customer plus the lifetime value of that customer. For us, we love to see customers come back year after year. We love to have our customers send us their pictures. We benefit from that. We’re in a happy category. It’s not medical supplies and it’s not boring widgets. It’s something that we hope customers are happy about and not sad, upset about or bored with.

Jonathan: You said that over a 5-year period, customer acquisition rates could reach as high as 50% if databases aren’t left dormant. I think what you’re saying there is that for the customers that you’ve held on to, if you still don’t tug at them and market to them, you could actually lose half of those people that you’ve retained previously.

Shari: Right. If you’re too complacent with your marketing, they’re going to forget about you. They’re going to see somebody else’s ad and go with them. Part of what customer service does is create loyalty. We go for those personal relationships. We’re Mom & Pop, it’s just us running it. You’re going to talk to the owner if you call or email. The other part of it is that we still try to have touch points with the customers throughout the year even though it’s not Halloween. We are open all year. We note all the other holidays. We have fantasies.com. Christmas is our second biggest time of the year. We sell professional Santa suits, Christmas costumes and even costumes for plays at churches. This time of the year we still stay busy. We just had Gasparilla. That’s in Tampa, near where you went to school. You don’t know about Gasparilla?

Jonathan: I have no idea what Gasparilla is.

Shari: Gasparilla is a huge pirate festival in Tampa right on the bay. It takes place every January. It’s usually the weekend of January 30th and 31st.

Jonathan: I bet that started after I graduated.

Shari: It must have. It’s probably a more recent thing. But it’s pretty big. All the pirate enthusiasts are really big into that. So there’s that. Then Valentine’s Day. Down the stream here, we have Dr. Seuss’s birthday. It’s actually big for Cat in the Hat costumes because all the schools do something and all the libraries do something. We have that. Than we have Mardi Gras. We have St. Patrick’s Day. Then Easter is a really big one for us with bunny and Biblical costumes.

Jonathan: I do find that you’re completely reinventing the home page and the navigation based upon the celebration that’s in effect.

Shari: Yes. We try to keep up with what’s popular and what’s going on and what’s coming up. It still is a tricky thing with our email list because some people are not interested in those holidays and we don’t want to bother them all year with emails. So we’ll only send a few emails that reaches the bulk of our list. Then the ones that have subscribed to get holiday emails would get one probably once a month or once every other month. Ideally I would love to be sending emails out once a month. But if they’re just not interesting, it will damage the list if they only want to hear from us around Halloween.

Jonathan: We’ve had great success with MailChimp. This isn’t a plug for MailChimp, but we recently switched from Constant Contact to MailChimp because MailChimp really allows you to segment your audience. So if you have a list of 10,000 people in your email list and you’re able to determine that 1,000 of them, in addition to Halloween, also buy for St. Patrick’s Day, you can move them into a segment. Then during Halloween, you can email everybody, but during St. Patrick’s Day, you can email that specific group within that segment.

Shari: Right. And that’s kind of what it’s about. Segmenting it to make sure that we’re not bothering the customers and making them unsubscribe if they still want to hear from us August, September, October about what’s going on for Halloween. We do try to keep busy the rest of the year, but still 80% of our yearly sales are Halloween.

Customer Service Integration into Every Department

Jonathan: Going back to customer service, one of the things you said was that customer service really needs to be integrated into every department. How do you see that?

Costumes

Costumes (Photo credit: Alan Light)

Shari: For us, being a Mom & Pop business, we are every department. What it means is that for a small business like mine, I’m always thinking about the customer service aspect when I’m emailing and when I’m creating content. So it’s not always about sales. It’s not always about buy this. It’s about what you’re going to get by buying from us. So integrating it that way. But when it comes to larger companies, integrating customer service into every day, every department, and the everyday lives of all the employees will help with customer retention and with not having a problem with social media when somebody goes into a store or buys online and has a great experience, but then runs into a problem with the billing department or returns department or anywhere along the way. That goes for any type of business, like a doctor’s office where you get great customer service when you go in, the front desk is wonderful to you and the doctor is great, and then all of sudden you get a bill and insurance paid for it. So if the billing department is integrated within your company, it needs to hold customer service first above the billing department details. If not, you’re going to run into a problem. Obviously, if somebody owes money, that’s a billing issue. They owe money. But you still have to have training in customer service to at least listen and try to understand what the problem so that you don’t run into a problem.

Jonathan: Right.

Shari: Or if it’s anywhere across. Last week on the podcast, Jenny talked about how she has an issue between marketing and user experience. We all know about the classic clash between marketing and IT, but marketing has to integrate with customer service as well. When you have a marketing department, they need to realize that customer service is going to drive a great deal of the marketing because you won’t have to do as much acquisition if you spend money keeping the customers that you have happy. We see that now with the phone carriers. They’re all changing. I know that I was offended and I left Sprint many years ago because I was so aggravated that if I was a new customer, I would get a great deal on a brand new phone but not if I’d been with them for a long time. I was with Sprint many, many years and paid my bill on time every time, but they didn’t offer me anything. So I would say if I move to one of the other carriers, they’ll give me a new phone and a better, lower rate. What they finally caught on from my rants going on for years is that you should retain the customers that you have, especially when they’re good customers that pay their bills on time. You want those customers. You want to offer them the same thing, if not better, than what you would offer a brand new customer. So customer service has to go through the marketing department too.

Jonathan: Looking at your profile, I see you’re writing content and you’re getting it up on all these really fantastic websites, including the Huffington Post. What does that speak to about getting a lot of eyeballs on a really great piece of content?

Shari: First of all, I need to put a disclaimer in here. That’s under ghostwriting, so if somebody goes to look up my work in Huffington Post, they’re not going to find it and it’s behind NDA, so I don’t tell you what it is. But ghostwriting is one of the control things that I do in writing content for others.

Jonathan: Did you write that content for Huffington Post? Or did it wind up on Huffington Post because of the popularity?

Shari: I wrote it for a client that has a relationship with Huffington Post and gets posted on them regularly. So it’s under the client’s name, which is what ghostwriting is about. I know that ahead of time. I just love writing and I do consulting for it. But the secret to getting it on there is solid content that is informative, actionable, information that’s on there that the reader can quickly read, figure out what it’s about and then have takeaways of what they should do next or how it should apply to their business. Coming from somebody with a very small Mom & Pop business, but who also consults for very large companies, I try and scale everything so that if you’re a small company, you could do it like this. I figured out how to do it for my business, so I can help others do it, both small and large companies. Basically, that’s what I try to aim for when I’m writing. I try to have good content that’s informative, but content that the reader will get something out of. I’m not writing for just information sake. It’s for learning and teaching.

Jonathan: Did you figure this out as Google changed their method of promoting websites and when it became more content oriented as opposed to backlinks. The backlinks are still included, but really now there’s such a push for unique and interesting content coming from a website. Has that benefited the three websites you’re working on now? For example, have you seen a piece of an article that has skyrocketed sales directly correlated to that?

Shari: Not in particular. Because I’ve had issues with our website over the past couple of years, we are trying to getting it integrated, but it’s not really at that point yet. I do write for our own companies on our blogs. I try to keep in mind that, for us, it’s not always about sales on there. It’s about the funny parts of costumes, like what movies won an Oscar for costumes. What play won a Tony for costuming. And the big thing I love to write about is the movies. The superhero movies coming out. Those are the biggest costume draws. So I’m loving the rise of the superhero movies coming out because those are fun things to write about that people want to hear about. And it indirectly sells costumes because people are interested in them. Kids want to wear them and even adults want to wear them. So writing about fun things like that. Our makeup business is a smaller scale and more niche market because it’s for stage and theatre makeup and for professional makeup artists, but I love writing things about that. Like the makeup that the girls are wearing on American Idol. Especially lately, they’ve been wearing very glittery makeup and we sell that makeup. Actually the makeup artists on The Voice and American Idol use the makeup that we sell.

Jonathan: Wow.

Shari: That’s a big avenue for me to blog about and tell people about and write about. So for our business, that’s where I go with information content writing. I try and keep it fun. But when writing for clients, it’s usually about education and learning and maybe that sales pitch at the end.

Four for Friday – Questions Everyone Is Asked

Jonathan: Fascinating. We’re now at the time where we do our Four for Friday, questions that everyone is asked. Let’s go through these questions. What is your idea of perfect Internet Happiness?

Shari: As you might expect, I spend a lot of time in front of the computer on the Internet. Way too much time in fact. So my perfect Internet happiness would be to get to the point where I can find a better balance and not be stuck in front of the computer on the Internet so much. I’d like to be a little more efficient because being in love with social media can be a time suck. So a better balance of time and being more efficient I think would be good. The other thing that I love about the Internet is how it connects people. Obviously social media, but also email and otherwise, is a great way for people to connect. And I hope that on a grander scale, not just for me personally, that connection continues to make the world a little bit closer and smaller and hopefully a better place rather than using the Internet for bad.

Jonathan: What is your Internet regret?

Costume Contest Winners

Costume Contest Winners (Photo credit: Tancread)

Shari: My biggest Internet regret would be the failed website revision that we did. I really put my faith in a company thinking that all of my years of experience and industry connections should have helped me along the way. But I still got burned. I feel like it wasn’t my fault, so the regret I guess would be putting trust where I thought it belonged.

Jonathan: You did talk about that a little bit. It sounds like you were in contract with a development company to rebuild your website and it completely failed?

Shari: Yes. It was in 2005-2006. It’s a very large company that was an offshoot of a Fortune 500, possibly now Fortune 200, company. They flew us up to New York. My dad and me. And we were wined and dined and sold. Along the way of the development process, the CEO of that offshoot – I probably shouldn’t name names. I can tell you later.

Jonathan: Right. Don’t name names. But this is a critical story here.

Shari: The CEO decided that he didn’t want to do that anymore and he was more interested in the World Poker Tour. And the company fell apart subsequently. The whole time that our website was in development, we were paying for it and we lost a lot of money.

Jonathan: Oh my goodness.

Shari: Yea. So that’s a big regret. I guess it should be a lesson for other people that it’s very easy to get burned, even when you’re somebody who is experienced. This year is my 20th year anniversary of doing e-commerce on the Internet. I should know better, but I got swindled.

Jonathan: It’s very hard when you fail. I’ve had a major failure in my life that cost me a significant amount of money. And you always kind of have that monkey on your back. Until you start to talk about it and say ‘hey, this is what I went through and maybe you should be careful too,’ you kind of feel like you’re the only person rowing this boat and you feel so insecure about the fact that this happened to you. So you’re unwilling to talk about it until you realize that your life lesson in the failure is going to save other people a significant amount of money and possibly cause them to have success because of your failure. It’s you talking about it that can really illuminate the conversation and be so great. It’s very easy. In your case, it sounds like a big company came in. I hear this a lot, particularly from lawyers because there’s a company out there that likes to wine and dine lawyers, tell them they’re going to do a great job and then do nothing for them, but sit back and wait for the check to roll in. It’s that ‘I’m a small company and I want to deal with a bigger company than me’ that gets people into trouble a lot.

Shari: Definitely. Not only that. Since then, I’ve found that the whole genre of developers is very touch and go. That was my first really super bad experience. But since then, I haven’t not had too many great ones.

Jonathan: So past that, you’ve even dealt with other developers.

Shari: Right. You would think that I’d learned my lesson and I’d try to go with a smaller company, not such a big company. Well, that didn’t work. I tried to go with a company where I knew the CEO, and that didn’t work either because the rest of the company has to follow through with what the CEO knows. Then I tried independent developers and they just aren’t big enough either. So you’ve got to put a shout out there for honest and able developers.

Jonathan: We like to think of ourselves as honest and able developers. But at the same time, we’re not going to work in Magneto. That itself might be part of the problem there. You might need to make that jump to WordPress. You kind of have to work with the latest technology. I know we’re getting off topic from the questions, but the advantage to WordPress is that you’re able to install plug-ins, so e-commerce installs are very easy to do. Transfers of databases are very easy to do. And if you don’t like your developer and you don’t like the development team, you’re able to just pick up, take the WordPress with you and move on and find better people to work with. The other thing that I would recommend is not working with offshore companies. I think so many people make that mistake thinking they’ll save a buck and IT comes back and bites them.

Shari: Right. I would add that I wouldn’t go offshore and I haven’t gone offshore, which makes my experience with developers even sadder.

Jonathan: Wow. I am sorry about that, Shari. That is not good. We’ll have to talk offline. So here is question #3. What do you consider your greatest Internet achievement?

Shari: My greatest Internet achievement is that I’ve extended my family’s business. It started out as a brick and mortar Mom & Pop and now it’s an Internet company. Still a Mom & Pop, but we now ship all over the world and we’ve morphed. That’s why I call it Metamorphic. We’ve morphed and changed with the times. I just saw yesterday another Mom & Pop costume business closing. That’s a sign of the times. It’s too hard to keep up with a seasonal business like that when you’re Mom & Pop and all that goes into it. It’s really sad because they are awesome places to visit and awesome companies to have and to grow up with like I did. But it’s a sign of the times. So my greatest achievement is that I’ve been able to morph it and I’m still here.

Jonathan: That’s fantastic. That foresight to move into the Internet as early as you did probably saved your entire family business. When you look at small Mom & Pops that have to rent the facilities, hire the employees, pay the insurance, pay the insurance on the product, some of the product doesn’t move. All of these things. You’ve narrowed it down and streamlined your business to be profitable online and then get it to a point where you can grow that business instead of struggling every year, looking at the books and having a harder time with it.

Shari: Right.

Jonathan: Here is Question #4: What is your favorite Internet book?

Shari: I have a confession to make that I hate make when we’re talking about books. But I never have time to read. I don’t get to read a lot because I’m doing a lot of jobs. I read a lot for those jobs and I have to research a lot before I write. Sometimes I’m writing for clients on topics that I am not familiar with so I’ve got to read about that. I could tell you about books that I have lined up to read.

Jonathan: Let me change the question for you then because I understand that sitting down to read a full book is difficult. Is there a blog that you find extremely useful?

Shari: I read a lot of blogs. And I read a lot online of stuff that comes in. MediaPost is one of my favorite publications that I get a lot of information from. Of course, I keep up with Mashable, which can also be a source of time slipping away because there’s so much content on there and so much information. I like keeping up with Peter Shankman. I like his writing and his candid information.

Jonathan: Excellent. Shari, I understand that you’ll be at the SFIMA conference coming up.

Shari: Yes. I’m really excited to be doing a session. PubCon is hosting our SFIMA summit. So we have our South Florida Interactive Marketing Association. This is our fifth annual summit and the second one that’s being hosted and run by PubCon down here in Ft. Lauderdale. My session is going to be on the on The Dark Side of E-Commerce.

Jonathan: That sounds great. Tell us what you mean by dark side.

Shari: I’m going to be talking about credit card fraud and how it affects merchants. I’ll talk about how merchants can prevent themselves from some, if not most, of the credit card fraud that happens. Because we’re on our own, I’m opening up about a topic that people don’t know a lot about. Over the years, I have always refrained from talking about it for fear that credit card fraud would get worse. But I’m at the point of frustration with the system and with the banks issuing credit cards because all of the financial risk and losses fall on the merchants and most people don’t know that. I really feel like it could be prevented. My feeling might be controversial, but I feel like the credit card companies don’t do anything about it because they profit from it.

Jonathan: Oh wow. That’s a strong statement.

Shari: It is. That’s why I say it’s controversial. I’ve talked to people about it and they insist that credit card companies don’t really profit from it. But they just don’t have any incentive to fix the system where they could prevent fraud all together. And the U.S. is behind other countries when it comes to credit card fraud. It looks like maybe – I’m keeping my fingers crossed – that maybe on the horizon we might have that digital chip coming. I’m really hoping.

Jonathan: I just returned from England in October and all the credit cards there have that digital chip. They were surprised that we don’t. I was sitting at dinner one night and I took out my credit card. I was talking to the guy sitting next to me. He saw that I had to swipe the card. He said, “Don’t have you those pin chips now?” I said no and he replied, “Here in England, we always think of America as being so far ahead in technology, but we’ve had the pin chips here for 5 or 6 years.” I told him that I thought he was right. There would have to be a sociological change for a credit company to come and say that either Target is suing us because of the way credit cards are dealt with or the government is suing us, so now we’re going to change. There’s really no incentive for these credit card companies to make these changes.

Shari: Right.

Jonathan: That sounds like a fascinating talk. I loved that PubCon conference last year. I unfortunately can’t make it this year. Much to my disappointment, I have Broadway tickets the night after your conference, so I can’t just jump on a plane and fly in and fly out for that day. I was about to submit my proposal and then I looked at the calendar and said ‘oh shoot.’ Next year I’ll really have to do it.

Shari: Awesome.

Jonathan: Well, Shari, this has been great. I really appreciate you being a part of this podcast, The World of Internet Marketing. For all of you listening, I really appreciate your continued growth on Google Hangouts and YouTube and Spreaker and all of that. Thank you so much.

Outro

Again, this is Jonathan Goodman and this is the World of Internet Marketing. You can follow me @HalyardConsult on Twitter. New episodes of the World of Internet Marketing can be heard every Friday. You can access the archives of my previous shows on Spreaker.com – user name Jonathan Goodman. The podcast is also available with transcription at halyardconsulting.com and geekcast.fm one week after the episode airs. Thank you all for listening to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. Don’t forget to pick up my book The World of Internet Marketing on Amazon, and if you like this podcast please share it with your network of friends and family. Have a great week.

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Podcast: Google Helpouts Review http://halyardconsulting.com/podcast-google-helpouts-review/ http://halyardconsulting.com/podcast-google-helpouts-review/#comments Mon, 24 Feb 2014 20:09:02 +0000 http://halyardconsulting.com/?p=24932 Podcast: Google Helpouts Review is a post from: Halyard Consulting

This is Jonathan Goodman. Welcome to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. It’s great to have you with us. Today we’re going to talk about Google Helpouts. I recently had the opportunity to get onto Goggle Helpouts and I built a couple of sessions or classes. I wanted to walk you through my […]

Podcast: Google Helpouts Review is a post from: Halyard Consulting

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Podcast: Google Helpouts Review is a post from: Halyard Consulting

This is Jonathan Goodman. Welcome to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. It’s great to have you with us. Today we’re going to talk about Google Helpouts. I recently had the opportunity to get onto Goggle Helpouts and I built a couple of sessions or classes. I wanted to walk you through my experience, what I thought were difficult points and some really exciting things that I think are going on with this tool.

The Purpose of Google Helpouts

I had known about Goggle Helpouts for a while. The idea behind it is basically a community-based area where you can get experts to work with on a one-to-one basis, sometimes for free, sometimes for pay. It’s run by Google obviously. I think one of the biggest disadvantages is that they’re not really good at marketing so not only is this in beta, but it’s a little confusing because they’ve got Google Hangouts and Google Helpouts. So when you’re talking and you say Hangouts, you can say Helpouts or Helpouts instead of Hangouts and people get confused.

To make it worse, in order for the Helpouts to actually work, you have to go on to Google Hangouts. So it’s a little bit of a marketing fiasco. They could have named things a little bit differently. I have a feeling that Google is winding up – and this is not a criticism to Google, but it’s just what happens in a large corporation, which is what we see all the time. It’s very similar to Microsoft where Department A X-Box doesn’t talk to Department B Cellphones. So you wind up with miscommunications and duplications and efforts are running over each other. It seems be that there is not one large plan of what to do. It’s more small departments that are pushing their own agendas and getting this stuff to happen.

But for what it’s worth, I think that at the ground floor of where Helpouts is right now, it could be interesting. It’s unique. We have Quora where people can ask questions and answer questions, but for the most part, this is the ability for a one-to-one communication with somebody who’s is really talented in their field. At least hopefully. You hope that they are. And that brings me around to one of the first problems that I had.

JonathanHelpouts

Problems

I applied to Google Helpouts almost a month ago. You apply and you wait for a response, and I didn’t get any response. So one morning last week, I woke up and went back on to Help Desk and I said, ‘Hey, I haven’t heard anything.’ I got a message back saying ‘We’d like to have a phone conversation with you to see if you qualify.’ I thought that was interesting. All they really had to do was pull up my Google Plus account or pull up my LinkedIn information. I had already submitted a lot of my data to them, but they wanted to have this conversation.

So they scheduled it, but it didn’t happen. Either they did their homework to find out what my background was or they weren’t just weren’t able to make the phone call happen because they were too busy. I don’t know. But I got an email saying ‘You’ve been approved. Go on and you can start creating your Helpouts.’ That’s when you first start to understand what this is all about and what the capacity is for all of this.

There is free and there is paid. There are free sessions that you can do and there are paid sessions that you provide. What I did was that I went into our Halyard Consulting proposal and thought about what I could extract out that I could have a 15, 20 or 30 minute conversation with somebody about. What could I do for an hour? What would that cost me? So I started looking at what the highest priced Helpout currently in Computers and Education, Business and Career Resources. And I found that it didn’t go much higher than $1 per minute, which is not that much money when you really calculate it out.

My hourly – and I don’t have a problem saying this because anybody who wants a proposal from Halyard would see this immediately – is $200 per hour. There are a lot of things that go into that. Generally, we sell packages, so you’re not at that $200 per hour type of thing. It’s really from the technical side that that number starts to come into play. But of course, my time is valuable. I have several levels of degrees. I have 20 years of experience. So it’s okay to have that hourly price.

Clearly, that wouldn’t work in Helpouts because if it’s $1 per minute, that comes to $60 for the hour. So I had to back out the number because I also didn’t want to be at the top of the range. I realized that probably the best way to do this was to segment some of the work that we do into smaller conversations, 30 minutes in one hour. And for the paid ones, the one hour turns out to be $50, which when you think about it, is really a steal.

We’re going to go through some of the sessions I created. You’ll see that we’re talking about $50 for an hour as opposed to several hundred, if not a thousand dollars, for some of the reports and such that we do at Halyard. So that’s a little bit of a negative. The hourly or the minute-by-minute isn’t really that high.

But still, I wanted to give this a chance. I wanted to see what the ground floor of this is. You never know where it could go. And I thought, I’m going to do a podcast this week and go into detail on everything that’s been created.

Sample Sessions

The first thing I did was create a free one. I called it Build Your Internet Marketing Strategy. This is generally the first conversation that we have with a potential client where we ask what their website looks like now, where do you want it to go, what’s their motivation for putting money into their website and all that. I’ll read you want we came up with. Again, this is a free 15-minute conversation. So here’s what we came up with:

Build Your Internet Marketing Strategy: If your business isn’t reaching its full online marketing potential or your competitors have made significant gains with their Internet strategy, then this session is for you. As the owner of a small business, you are often wearing many hats and putting out daily fires. This doesn’t give you the opportunity to step back and look at the business from an outside perspective. This is especially true when it comes to online marketing strategy, an area often neglected by the small business owner until it’s critically impacting sales. During this session, I’ll walk you through a series of specific strategy questions relating to your business and website. The answers you provide will help build the foundation for your Internet marketing strategy. Topics discussed: marketing your business online, reaching your demographic, defining your website’s goals, converting businesses to customers. After signing up for this session, please send me your website URL and send me messages if you don’t see a time listed that works for you.

We’ll get into the time listed thing. But it’s free. By comparison, in order to have this conversation with us, usually you would have to be a full client of Halyard. So for us, it’s a great way for a potential client to have a deeper conversation. And for the people out there who are interested in it, it’s also great for them because they’re basically getting free advice.

When we talk about the time listed, I think that’s interesting because as I’m analyzing the different sessions that are going on, it’s seems like some people open up their Google Hangouts and hang out for a while and they’re available at that moment. Other people are able to schedule specific times to do these sessions. I’m certainly not going to be sitting with a window open, so I’ll have to look at that.

It’s funny because Google won’t let you fill out everything completely. You have to step through this. You do your text information. Then you move through to the next layer, which is a photo has to uploaded. It has to be 900 pixels, which is really kind of difficult. I certainly don’t have many pictures of myself. They want you to have pictures of yourself doing things. I mean, at 900 pixels width, I’d really have to go onto istockphoto and get a really nice picture, which I’ll do. But still, it’s a little painstaking. They also want you to do a video. So after I do this podcast, I’m going to do one-minute video segments introducing each session.

Then it’s all a question of how many people have gone through the session, how many people have liked the session, how much competition there is. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of competition for what we’re actually doing right here, so I’m curious to see. Certainly, I invite all of you who are listening to go sign up with me and let’s do one of these sessions. I want to get the experience of doing this and it’s free to you for this one. Let’s move on to the next one.

Website Review Basics: Knowing how your website is doing is half the battle and the first step to correcting the problem. Many small to medium-sized businesses don’t know how or why their site isn’t generating the traffic that then leads to improved sales. This session is the first step in understanding where problems reside on your website and how to fix them. “The framing of a problem is often far more essential than its solution.” – Albert Einstein. During the session, we will discuss five key components about your website that directly relate to how it is perceived and thus read by Google and the other search engines. From this, you will be able to focus on changes that need to be implemented and begin to organize a strategy for success. Who should sign up for this? Any business owner who feels their site isn’t living up to its potential and doesn’t understand why. Topics to be discussed: domain authority, keyword indexation, social media strength, search engine visibility, site speed. After signing up for his session, please send me your website URL.

This is a 30-minute session for $25. Again, that’s really an incredible discount from what we would normally charge. We’re trying to test this out. And at some point, if this goes bananas and we’re getting a lot of clients, we could do even more free ones or we could keep the price the same. If we see that there is a lot of free information we’re divulging and we’re not turning them into clients, we’ll probably look at increasing that price to get the money on the front end. That’s just honesty. Here is another one:

Website Review Advanced: Continued from our Website Review Basics session, this advanced part provides an in-depth server and site-set up analysis, allowing for improved communication and indexation with the search engine. “You can’t fix a problem that you refuse to acknowledge.” – Margaret Heffernan, author of Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at our Peril. This session is an advanced, high-level technical discussion that will suggest implementing changes to the server and areas of a website not commonly accessed by non-IT staff. Who should sign up? It is highly recommended that an IT member of your staff be present during this conversation so they can implement changes to your site and the server. The requirement: You need to have taken Google Helpouts session Website Review Basics. Topics to be discussed: conical and duplication issues, hosting and ISP issues, dot HT access and robots dot DXT file reviews, linking domains and subdomains. It’s just that they don’t really understand what it is. That’s for them. Who should sign up for this? Any business owner who feels they can’t make an informed decision with the information provided on the analytics dashboard.

That’s 30-minute session for $25 + a $50 one-hour conversation. So the total would be $75 dollars for an hour and a half. That’s still a really good price. Here’s another one:

Analytics Review Advanced: Continuing from our Analytics Review Basics, (which is free, while this is a paid session), this advanced part provides an in-depth review of your site’s analytics. This discussion will revolve around several key components of data available in Google Analytics. We will look at your overall demographic, including age, gender, location and technology used to access your website. We will review how visitors are getting to your site, both from the search engine side and through social media, and we will additionally explore what pages are most popular and how your visitors move through the site. “Furious activity is not substitute for analytical thought.” – Alastair Pilkington. This session is an advanced, high-level analytical discussion that will provide insight into how visitors interact with your website. I recommend including any of your staff able to implement changes or enhanced conversion, like your technical or marketing staff. Who should sign up? Any business owner who wants to fully understand their visitors’ usages on their site. Requirements: Google Analytics installed and running successfully on your website previously registered for the Google Helpouts session Analytics Review Basics. Topics to be discussed: demographics, engagement, technology and traffic. After signing up for this session, send me your website URL, or with access to Analytics, alternatively we can look at the segments of analytics by sharing your screen during the session.

Of course, there is a risk in that. If you don’t know how to do that and you sign up for the session, you’re going to be wasting a lot of time. That session is $50 for one hour. Here’s another session:

Competitor Analysis: This session takes the elements from our Website Review Basics session and identifies the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (in the MBA world, we call this a swat analysis) of your site against three of your competitors. “I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along with it.” – Walt Disney. This session will provide you with strategic knowledge against your competitors. It will help lay foundation for improvements in your site and in your marketing plan. Who should sign up? Any business owner whose competition is beating them in the search engines. Requirements: Provide us with five competitor websites. We will select the top three competitors for the session. We’ll look at domain authority, keyword indexation, site speed, social media, search indexation. After signing up for this session, please send me your website URL along with five additional competitors.

This is a one-hour session for $50. After this report is in binding and all that, we’ll go over it verbally for the hour. The full-scale thing is $2,000 from us, so you’re getting very, very similar detailed information for $50 in this one-hour session. Then we have the Information Architecture Review session.

Information Architecture Review:  Your website flow of navigation is critical to its success and is often difficult to truly comprehend until viewed on a 2D plane. An intuitive and fluid navigation will your site visitors with a well thought-out, visually organized framework leading to improved visitor conversions. “A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. “- Douglas Adams, author of Mostly Harmless. This session discusses the layout of your website from a navigational viewpoint. The participant will receive several recommendations on how to make improved information flow leading to visitors completing actions on your site. Who should sign up? I highly recommend that a design or marketing member of our staff be present during this conversation so they can lead and implement the recommended changes to your site. Topics to be discussed: navigational layout, architectural design, visitor conversions.

Understand that in the information architecture, we’re actually building out a to-be on paper view of what your site looks like – how the navigation is and where all the information meta user would come in. We did have to limit the number of pages we look at. Obviously, people can come to the session with tens of thousands of pages, but that’s where the number goes to the 2,000 range reports. So we had to limit it to 20 pages or less. So of you have a website that is tens or thousands of pages, we’re not going to do it in an hour, but we could do the top-level navigation, which is the top 20 pages. That’s pretty fair.

This is a one-hour session for $50. For all the $50 session, it’s 83 cents per minute, so that’s kind of interesting. Here’s another session

Design Review:  Good design not only seeks to inspire and engage users, but should communicate meaning and responsibility. Design is fundamental to providing a great user experience. It should seek to inspire and engage, as well as communicate. “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs. This session critiques the design of your website as a fundamental part of your brand marketing. The discussion will focus on color usage, action positioning and overall appeal. Who should sign up? I highly recommend that a design or marketing member of your staff be present during this conversation so that they can lead and implement the recommended changes to your site. Requirements: Review is limited to homepage navigation and points of action. Topics to be discussed: Primary motivation of visitors is identified, user experience, navigation visibility and accessibility and action conversions.

We had to limit the review to homepage navigation and points of action because this review normally costs a lot through us. This is a one-hour session for $50. For $50, you’re going to get just a preliminary understanding of what we believe the design flaws may be.

That’s all the sessions. We’ve got 8 sessions. Two of them are free. The rest of them cost money, but still very cheap by comparison. We’ve doing work on the backend before we actually do this review, so we’ve spent a lot of time on the research.

Frustrations

Let’s get back into the Google Helpouts review. I guess because I had a Goggle Marketplace account, when I tried to connect the Google Wallet to the Google Helpouts, there’s an in-between for those people who previously years ago signed up for a Google Marketplace. There seems to be a wall or blockade between Google Helpouts and Google Wallet for people who previously signed up for a Goggle Marketplace. So that’s rather frustrating because I don’t want to spend hours and hours setting this up. I wrote these. I’m doing the design for them. I need to do the video for them. But I’m now stuck in a blockade.

Google knows what the issue is. I’ve contacted them and they understand where the tie-together is happening and where the problems are. But they still require 3 to 5 days for the process of removing that Goggle Marketplace so that the Helpouts and Wallet can connect.  So what are you going to do? I figured I would do the podcast now because it takes a while to get traction and everything. And by the time the week rolled out, we’d be able to start promoting it and getting some customers in there. I’d really like for all of you to try it out.

I’m checking to see if I’ve missed anything. It’s funny because when you talk to Matt Cutts or anyone on Goggle’s optimization team or the spam alerts team, they’re always trying to tell you not to do these long numbers and not to use pluses and all these parameters. Then you look at how Goggle Helpouts is set up and that’s exactly what they’re doing. They’re doing numbers. They’re doing question marks and GCLID equaled. The URL is just a mess, so I can’t even send you helpouts.google.com/jonathangoodman.

Once these go live, I’m not sure what to tell you. Let me see if I can take this string out and if it still works. It seems to work. So then the URL is helpouts.googles.com/102650725037936212543. That’s what happens when a company is run by engineering and it’s not run by marketing. I’m curious to see when I look at my Google Plus page. No, of course not because that was switched over to +JonathanGoodman. So there is no correlation to that number whatsoever. I don’t know.

Google Helpouts is in beta. I think it’s going to wind up staying in beta for a long time. And who knows with these things. Google turns off and turns things on so frequently. But I thought it was a good thing to do. I wanted to test it out. For the free stuff, I’ll spend the time and meet people and explain to them what I do. So I think that’s all good. But overall, I think it still has its training wheels on and I think Goggle would probably say that to you as well.

When we look at the Browse the Help section, that’s another issue that they really need to fix. Their categorizations are Art and Music, Computers and Electronics, Cooking, Education and Careers, Fashion and Beauty, Fitness and Nutrition, Health and Home and Garden. It might not be apparent to you, but it was quickly apparent to me that what I’m actually providing is counseling for business and that doesn’t really fit anywhere. Computers and Electronics tends to be more ‘I’ll fix your WordPress’ or ‘I’ll fix your computer.’ It doesn’t really go into the analytical side of data. Then you think that maybe it’s in Education and Careers.

If I go into Electronics, what comes up? YouTube Strategies and Partner Tips, WordPress Programming and Development, How to Choose a Security Camera System. If I go into Education and Careers, we’ve got Learn English Helpout, Learn More Effectively by Taking Better Notes, Learn Spanish with a Qualified Native Leader. There should be an in-between there that’s about business counseling. I’m sure they’ll expand some of these. Fitness and Nutrition right now is 15-Minute Cardio Workout, Martial Arts and Self Defense with Hendricks, Personal Training and Fitness Training with Amanda.

They’re fun, but if Google really wants to go that next level of real significant experts, the pricing will have to change. The people who are coming in and actually utilizing the Helpouts sessions beyond the free ones still will have to change and they’re probably going to have to have more categories.

They offer a 100% money back guarantee. What that means on my side is that my sessions get videotaped, so that if there is a problem, Google can go in and review the tape to see what is going on. What’s interesting is that I’ve been reading some of the reviews from people who are doing Helpouts and there seems to be a lot of fake signups. So in order for me to prevent that, you do have an option when you’re doing the paid versions to request a refund.

They actually call that their Cancellation Policy. I have 24 hours and then fees apply. I believe the fees are half of the cost. The Cancellation policy reads: “For a fixed price Helpout, customers will be charged 50% of the session price.” So if you schedule something, which would mean it’s actually paid, and you don’t show up to it or cancel in less than 24 hours, I’d get $25. I still don’t know if that’s worth my time because I spent all the time getting ready for you, but we’ll see.

I’m certainly not complaining. It’s very interesting. I just think it’s a little bit of a bumpy road that they’re on right now. Either they’ll put time and effort into it, or they won’t. I don’t want this podcast to be that long. We’ve got a great interview coming up on Friday. I want to finish this up and get it ready for you hopefully for Friday. So we’ll go ahead and end this broadcast.

Outro

Again, this is Jonathan Goodman. Thank you all for listening to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. You can follow me @HalyardConsult on Twitter. New episodes of the World of Internet Marketing can be heard every Friday. You can access the archives of my previous shows on Spreaker.com – user name Jonathan Goodman. The podcast is also available with transcription at halyardconsulting.com and geekcast.fm one week after the episode airs. Don’t forget to pick up my book The World of Internet Marketing on Amazon, and if you like this podcast please share it with your network of friends and family.

Podcast: Google Helpouts Review is a post from: Halyard Consulting

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Technical SEO with Jenny Halasz of JLH Marketing http://halyardconsulting.com/technical-seo-jenny-halasz-jlh-marketing/ http://halyardconsulting.com/technical-seo-jenny-halasz-jlh-marketing/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 10:06:57 +0000 http://halyardconsulting.com/?p=24916 Technical SEO with Jenny Halasz of JLH Marketing is a post from: Halyard Consulting

Jonathan:  Hi everyone. This is Jonathan Goodman. Welcome to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. Today we have Jenny Halasz from JLH Marketing. Jenny has over a decade of experience in all aspects of online marketing. She develops technical and content strategies for clients, leads workshops and training, speaks and blogs about all […]

Technical SEO with Jenny Halasz of JLH Marketing is a post from: Halyard Consulting

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Technical SEO with Jenny Halasz of JLH Marketing is a post from: Halyard Consulting

Jonathan:  Hi everyone. This is Jonathan Goodman. Welcome to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. Today we have Jenny Halasz from JLH Marketing. Jenny has over a decade of experience in all aspects of online marketing. She develops technical and content strategies for clients, leads workshops and training, speaks and blogs about all things search. She’s worked with dozens of top companies, including Motorola, Lowe’s, Home Improvement, SAP, Four Seasons, Humana, Black & Decker and Citibank.

She works in both organic and paid search marketing, as well as social, usability, conversion optimization, affiliate, and analytic research. She discovered that her clients almost always had Marketing in one department and User Experience (UX) in another and the two would constantly argue about which issue was more important: A) Getting eyeballs to the site, or B) keeping them there. And we’ll go into detail on that during the show.

She graduated cum laude from North Carolina State University with a self-styled degree in search by blending Marketing and Mass Communication with a minor in Psychology for improved understanding of user experience. I believe the first time we met, Jenny, was at SFIMA, the South Florida Interactive Marketing Association. Is that right?

English: SFIMA Logo

Jenny: That’s right. Jonathan, you pumped me up so much in your intro that I don’t think I can live up the expectation.

Jonathan: Well, we’re going to drill down into certain aspects of the technical SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but my understanding is that you have a rather big announcement that you wanted to tell everyone about today.

Jenny: I do. I’m very excited to let everyone know that I have decided to move into my own consulting firm. I’m now going to be working independently, and I’m accepting clients who are interested in not taking any shortcuts and really doing things the right way. I can help you with everything from Google penalty recovery to scale-able customer acquisition through PPC or SEO to email marketing and social. I’m very excited about the breadth of services I’ll be able to offer.

Jonathan: You have an incredible profile on LinkedIn. You’ve been at this for a very long time. Not too long – we don’t want to state your age or anything. But you’ve gone through the ranks, you’ve learned a tremendous amount, and you’ve applied it to many clients. Let’s get into the idea of where usability and SEO diverge so that there’s a conflict. I’ve never thought of it that way.

Can SEO and UX Co-Exist?

Jenny: Honestly, that bias is a little old. I think in general, people are starting to understand that SEO and UX are one in the same and that you need to think about them in the same way. But even as recently as a couple of years, I would constantly find myself talking to the IT department usability team and the marketing people, and none of them were saying the same thing. They were all feeling like each other’s goals were in collision.

Jonathan: Right. Because IT comes from a very technical mindset, hence the word “IT.” Usability seems to be more of a design of elements. I originally started my career as a graphic designer, and that seems to be where the graphic designers are moving to: a design of elements. We used to do information architecture and building out the mapping of the entire sites. So now it’s kind of blended itself into a usability person. That person typically has an understanding of architecture and also an understanding of design. Is that right?

Jenny: Yeah, I think so. I don’t want to take anything away from truly trained user experience architects. Those people have very specialized training. What I’m looking at is more along the lines of identifying exactly what tasks people are trying to accomplish on your website and then figuring out what you have existing and what resources you have available to build new. So that we can help people accomplish those tasks, remove any roadblocks that are in their way and get to the meat of the point, which is to make a sale or to gather a lead.

Jonathan: So that’s where conversion comes in, right? And that’s where the focus of marketing is. Because branding and conversion are what lead to the sale and the repeat sale.

Jenny: Right. But I think what happens is that people in design have a tendency to like things that are really beautiful. Beautiful is wonderful, and form is wonderful. But function is critical. When you create something that is beautiful, but not fully functional, particularly if it’s functional desktop but maybe not mobile, you run into these sorts of conflicts between departments and groups.

Jonathan: It’s amazing. I was actually just talking to a client, and this client’s entire reason for having a website was to get people to fill out a form with their contact information so that the client could then put them into the sales channel. But the contact was all the way down at the bottom on the footer. That just amazed me. That seemed to be the last thought. People have to sign up, so let’s put that all the way at the bottom. That’s remarkable. If they don’t have someone guiding them, those things happen. When you ask them what the website is for, their answer is to get people to fill out a form. Then you look at how they’ve designed their website, and unless there’s a usability person there or someone with an understanding of how to move the user to get through a transaction, they’re going with just whatever they happen to like or whatever color hit their fancy that day.

Jenny: Right. I think what you bring up is such a great segue into testing and the importance of testing. I would agree with you that if what you want are leads, then it make sense to put that lead form somewhere near the top of the page. But I think that sometimes giving it to people too quickly can make them uncomfortable and can make it feel like you’re asking for more than you’re giving. But hiding it at the bottom of the page can make it so that they actually don’t complete the task that you want them to do.

Jonathan: Right.

Jenny: So I think that’s why things need to be tested. I personally don’t like those long form pages where you read and read and read. It’s like ‘we can do this and we can do that. We can increase your sales by x percentage.’ And you get all the way to the bottom and it says ‘click here to download a white paper.’ Having the contact or task at the bottom actually does work in some circumstances, however, so that’s why the testing is so important.

Jonathan: Right. I’ve had the same experience at conventions where we’re all sitting around and we’re talking about these long forms. I haven’t had success with that. They tend to come off reading like advertorials, similar to Guthy-Renker TV commercials selling vacuum hair trimmers and crazy products like that. They come off as very spam-y and scam-y.

Jenny: The infomercials, right?

Jonathan: Exactly. The infomercials. But for some industries and some points of sale, they work incredibly well.

Jenny: Yes. It’s crazy. I would personally never buy from one of those, but then again, I’m not their target market.

Jonathan: Right. So how can a small to medium-sized business successfully test without breaking the bank?

Image representing Unbounce as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Jenny: I think it becomes very difficult. Testing can get very, very expensive. But typically the clients I work with already have testing solutions in place. Things like Omniture test and Target, which are very expensive and something I’d never recommend for the common webmaster. I understand that there are a few less expensive testing tools. I haven’t personally used them, but I’ve heard a lot of people recommend Unbounce. I would absolutely look into some of the things like that. I’m sorry that I don’t have a lot of knowledge about the less expensive tools.

Jonathan: I’m curious about the Google testing tool. Have you ever used the Google A/B testing tool?

Jenny: I have. I liked it when it was Google experiments and you could do it for as long as you wanted. But now it’s only I think 30 days. Is that right? Is it only 30 days you can do a test and that’s it?

Jonathan:Yes.

Jenny: I don’t understand why Google did that. In most cases, if you have somebody who needs to use a free tool like that, they probably don’t have the volume that they need to make a good decision in 30 days. So if anybody out there is developing a less expensive testing tool, there’s your market right there.

Jonathan: Exactly. We work specifically in WordPress, so I think there are plug-ins, but I’m just don’t aware of them. I personally don’t do A/B testing because I’m not working with Lowe’s and Home Improvement. I’m working with the smaller to medium-sized businesses so they don’t have the high volumes of the larger companies. If we can get them 2,000 to 3,000 visitors per month, that skyrockets their sales. Whereas if Home Depot and Lowe’s wound up getting that many visitors, they would shut their site down. They probably get that in half a day, maybe even an hour.

Jenny: Right. They get a lot of traffic, so you can make pretty good inferences with very small length tests. I was thinking while you were talking. I did have a client I worked for basically pro bono – they just paid me as much as they could – that was an attorney’s office and they didn’t have the money for testing. So we did a really old-fashioned style test. We put one form up for about 90 days; then we put a slightly different form up for 90 days to see if it made any real difference. In their case, it actually made a pretty significant difference. We got a lot more leads in the second test, if you can call it a test. By leaving the form up longer, they did see an increase in conversions.

Jonathan: Do you happen to remember what the difference between test A and test B was?

Jenny: There were several differences, so it wasn’t an A/B. It was multi-variant, if you can even call it a test. Again, there’s a real science to testing and I don’t want to take anything away from the people who do it professionally. We were doing a poor man’s test. We tried a couple of different changes, such as not having as many fields required and simplifying the drop down menu and some things like that. In general, the first form was very detailed and asked the client for a lot of information, which we thought might instill trust in our client. And the second option was much faster to fill out, but didn’t give us much information. So we were trying to balance speed with trust and it turned out that speed was the winner.

Jonathan: Wow.

Jenny: I’m sure if better testing was done, we’d be able to say ‘ok, this worked and that didn’t,’ but this was just a poor man’s test.

Jonathan: Even though you say small man’s testing, there are many, many more small to medium-sized businesses out there than Fortune 500 companies. And because I know the range, depth and breadth of the audience listening to this podcast, I know that is incredibly valuable information for our audience. Many of them have websites that they spent a lot of money designing, but they’re not getting the expected results. I know you said your bio on LinkedIn is older, which is the bio I used, but still this is a valid conversation because getting people to the site is one thing, but actually getting them to do a transaction or conversion or fill out a form is a different thing. As you know and I know working in SEO, we can push thousands of people to a site. You can have video, social media and different things and get thousands of people to a site – or in your case tens of thousands of people – but regardless of how many people are going to the site, if they’re not interacting or making a transaction on that site, it’s of no value.

Jenny: I agree.

Getting Eyeballs to the Site

Jonathan: Let’s talk about getting eyeballs to the sight. What are some of the technical SEO things you have in your little magic bag that the average person running a mom and pop shop may not understand or know how to use?

Black Magic SEO, SEO Comic

Jenny: I need to start by saying there is no magic bag. It’s just not there. [laughter]

Jonathan: You know what, Jenny? That will be our next presentation at the next conference we go to – There Is No Magic Bag. [laughter]

Jenny: That’s great. I love that.

Jonathan: We should definitely put that presentation into PubCon next year. Now you and I have both been in this industry for a very long time. What we were doing when we started would now get us penalized and possibly removed from Google, right? Or if you don’t want to admit that, that’s fine. [laughter]

Jenny: I admit to nothing. [laughter]

Jonathan: Exactly. But as the industry itself has become sophisticated, the ways and the practices of what we do on a daily basis for our clients have significantly changed.

Jenny: I agree with that. If I did have a magic bag, one of the biggest things I would probably put into it would be crawl patterns. Understanding how Google is consuming information on your website. We have a tendency to personalize Goggle and make it into a person, but it’s a machine. So understanding what pages that machine is accessing, in what order and to what depth of the structure can be very significant in understanding where you have opportunities for improvement.

Jonathan: Right. We often think that Google comes in via the homepage and spreads out via the navigation that we’re set up for it.  But instead, sometimes Google is doing other things. It might have gotten to the site a different way. It might have specific terminology that it’s searching for or utilizing. And then it’s grabbing different data than what we’d necessarily think. In that way, you’re getting other visitors that you might not have expected to your site.

Jenny: Right. To be completely technically accurate, what Google does is that the machine or spider collects lists of URLs. They may all be from the same site. They may not be. So Google collects all these lists of URLs and processes basic data about them. They put them into a database to collect the information out of later. Then they use the data that is on those pages to make associations between the pages with the words that they have in their index. So it’s kind of backwards from how people typically think about it being done. But if you understand that, you can understand why that crawl behavior is so significant.

Jonathan: Do you actually go into Webmaster Tools and look at what has been crawled and how often it’s been crawled?

Jenny: All the time. There’s a lot of data in Webmaster Tools, but there’s a heck of a lot more in your server log files. By looking in your server log files, you can see what order that spider is crawling those pages.

Jonathan: Well, that’s a new one for me. We have access to the server log files. That’s a lot of data you have to consume. You’ve got to be pushing that data into something else that’s allowing you to read it. You’re not sitting there reading it from the server log file.

Jenny: Right. I have several processes. But when you’re talking about small to mid-sized businesses, you do have access to the server file logs. They’re available from your hosting company. And they’re usually not so bad. It’s usually pretty much just something you can export into Excel and look at. You can sort it by just the Google bot and then look at the order that it listed your pages in, how long it stayed and how often it comes back.

Jonathan: And you’ve made significant changes to websites using that technique?

Jenny: Yes. If Goggle is accessing certain parts of the site more than others, we can take what is obviously working on those pages and apply it other sections of the site.

Jonathan: Fantastic. That’s the magic bag right there. It’s something honestly that we’re employing. It’s something we could definitely look at. I feel that for the small to medium-sized businesses that we work with, we’re getting a lot of data from the Google Webmaster Tools. But you’re going the extra step.

Jenny: Yes. And another one that is a total unsung hero is Bing Webmaster Tools. There is so much data in there.

Jonathan: Bing is the unsung hero of the Internet. [laughter]

Jenny: I don’t know about the Internet, but certainly of SEO and data.

Jonathan: I used to teach at a university. I’d sit in a room during a meeting with a couple of other professors and I’d say, ‘Oh, you’re using Bing. That’s so interesting. There are not that many people actually using Bing.” And their answer was: “This is a university laptop. The university provided this to us. Bing is pre-installed free. Could you help me get it off?”

Jenny: Oh no. [laughter]

Jonathan: So yeah, if you force people to use Bing, they’ll use it. They use it if you give people a laptop and force them to use Bing. I think they’re doing this for students in institutional education too. They’re giving kids laptops, but they’re strictly exclusive of Bing. So Bing’s numbers and data of who is using Bing are generally those who are forced to use it.

Jenny: Well, I don’t want this to turn into a Bing bashing session. I actually think that the results that they provide are often better. Certainly, Google has more volume. But one interesting thing about Bing is that if you are in a business where your demographic is older or educated or regulated industry, Bing is a great place to be because, just like you said, they’re locked in to using Microsoft and Bing.

Jonathan: Interesting. That’s incredible.

Jenny: We see it with PPC campaigns a lot. My experience is with education, but I understand that it’s the same with Pharma and other industries where there’s a lot of regulation happening internally. We find that you can run the same campaign on Google and Bing in PPC and you will generally spend less in Bing because there’s less volume but your conversion rate will be significantly better.

Jonathan: So you’ve actually taken the idea that these universities are locked into Bing and you’ve turned that into a positive by target marketing to them?

Jenny: Yes. Exactly.

Jonathan: That’s fantastic. That’s incredible.

Keeping Them There

Jonathan: So let’s talk about keeping users on the site. Would you say that’s on the marketing side or on the usability side? That’s probably marketing, right?

Jenny: I would say it’s both. I really would because marketing is going to succeed if you give them all the information they’re looking for. Usability is going to succeed if you don’t put any roadblocks in the way of them getting to it. That’s things like site speed, page load time, whether links are functioning or not, whether there’s broken images showing up, and whether there’s a weird structure like you have to click 5 or 6 times to get to what it is you need. All those things can significantly impact keeping them there, even if the message at the end of trail is really good.

Jonathan: Going back to Google Webmaster Tools, that’s really where Google has the ability to show the path of how the visitors are coming in, what pages they’re going to, and how much time they spend there. That’s something else that you’re analyzing that allows you to make decisions?

Jenny: I love that tool. That’s one of the best things Google has ever done; is that conversion path tool.

Jonathan: Yeah, I’ve always kind of wanted it to be on a big screen so that I can just continue to search and move through wider and wider like a Jumbotron.

Jenny: Yes. That would be nice, wouldn’t it? I absolutely love the – it’s not called real time analytics. You could waste your entire time starting at real time analytics. It’s called In-Page analytics. Of course, it unfortunately never ever works when I’m trying to show it to somebody.  But it is so cool. It shows you the path in such a visual way. I wish it showed whether somebody picked up a contact link from the top or the bottom of the page instead of just showing that they clicked on it. That would be helpful.

Jonathan: Obviously people with small to medium businesses who have webmasters, as well as Internet marketers, like Jenny and I, know about this. But for those who are unaware, what we’re doing is we’re looking at the Webmaster Tool called In Page. Starting with the homepage, it actually brings up and shows you the percentages of click-throughs on various navigation, contact buttons and different elements. So you can move through that and watch as the percentages change – where people drop off, where people complete form, etc. You can definitely spend hours and hours of time on it, but the analytics behind it and the understanding of how your website is functioning for your visitors is critical.

Jenny: I completely agree. And while you can spend hours and hours in that section, just like you can in real time analytics, at least your hours will be well spent and you’ll probably have some insights at the end of the day.

Jonathan: Exactly.

Marketing to a Mass Audience

Jonathan: Let’s talk about marketing to a mass audience. Obviously, you’re dealing with very big companies who have social media, usability departments, marketing departments, content developers, PPC campaigns and the whole big deal. So what elements to you bring to that conversation?

Jenny: It really depends on the project. Because I work as a consultant, typically we’re working with one or maybe two of all the stakeholders that you named. One rather sad thing about large enterprises is that they’re still very silo in most cases. So it can be very difficult to get all the stakeholders in a room together and agree on a plan of action. But that being said, we do typically work more with the digital marketing group in terms of more tactical things like tags and content and architecture and implementation of recommendations that are designed to improve search specifically. However, I really like to work with companies where there’s a good connection between those and the other areas of marketing and usability. I did some work with a top insurance company where I had the good fortune to work with their SEO team and their usability team, which were very much a silo, but we found such great opportunities between the two regarding little things that were being overlooked or were being taken out of the process or not included in the process just because they didn’t even know they were supposed to include them. So to me, that’s a really big win. When we come in and make connections like that and help people really improve the quality of what they’re doing.

Jonathan: Are you sometimes involved with the marketing campaigns from a non-digital campaign standpoint – postcards, advertisements, radio ads, etc. – and converting that over and watching as visitors and potential purchasers of the product are moving over from campaigns like that?

Jenny: Generally, we see those on the back end after they’ve happened. Again, because of the silos and the lack of communication between groups, generally the digital team won’t even know that the print or the TV or the radio team is doing something until the traffic comes. Then they say, “That’s interesting. We got a huge spike around the Super Bowl. Oh you guys did a Super Bowl ad? It would have been nice to know that.” It’s generally not that extreme, but you get the idea. Our goal is to educate those groups to at least get URLs tagged and at least get refers tagged with particular campaign variables so we can feed that back into our analysis.

Jonathan: Let’s back up and explain that. When you have an URL, especially with dynamic elements – whether it be e-commerce or something like that – you have the ability, specifically with Google Analytics, to create a tag that then gets appended to the URL. Can you explain that?

Jenny: It’s super easy to do. Google Analytics makes it super easy to do because they have specific things, like the campaign, the source, the medium and the channel, that are already identified in analytics. So all you have to do is go and build the URL with those specific parameters and Google Analytics will automatically pull it into your reports. The best way to do that is to just Google “URL Builder.” And the first or second result in your search will tell you exactly how to do that timing.

Jonathan: Yeah, it’s brilliant because that is ROI. That is the conversion. You’re able to see that your visitor clicked through and actually converted. You see it right there.

Jenny: Right.

Jonathan: Because you’re dealing with such large corporations, you’re dealing with the marketing and usability departments, but what happens when IT comes in and there are legacy issues? You’re working in the marketing department on a research project and you’re trying to figure stuff out, and then the slowdown comes when IT says that in order to do that, whether it be dot. ISP or whatever the system may be, there’s a legacy that then slows everything down.

Jenny: Definitely. We deal with that on a daily basis. The only answer is that we just do the best that we can. My advice on that is to try to get knowledge of when the sprints are going to be, meaning when IT is going to be prepared to make change and push things live onto the website and try to time things around those sprints. That will help get things in faster. There have been plenty of times where we’re really rushed on a set of recommendations just so we could make it into a sprint. And then other times, it could be 6 months or so before you’ll be able to implement any of the changes that you want to make. So you just do the best you can.

Jonathan: Yeah, that is probably the number one reason why there is a limit to the size of business that I’m willing to work with. As soon as you’ve grown that company to where IT is actually setting sail and casting their own ship and they’re heading out to sea, you have to tell them that this is the direction we need to take now. That’s something that I try to back away from. I was involved with corporate for 20 years and I commend you for continuing with it. I find it just gut-wrenching and heartache.

Jenny: Well, what I love about it is that if we can build it into their processes, then that’s a win for everybody and we end up with such great, amazing, scalable results. If you can fix something fundamental, it just makes such a huge difference. And that’s true whether it’s a large business or a small business. Small businesses have an advantage because they’re more agile, but the lessons that they can learn from enterprise-level businesses are scalability. So when I do work with small to mid-sized businesses, I really focus with them on scalability. The idea is that we’re going to get you a ton of traffic, a ton of visitors, and make you one of the large enterprises. So let’s plan now.

Jonathan: Absolutely. That’s why they bring us in – because they want to grow.

Four for Friday – Questions Everyone is Asked

Jonathan: We’ve come to the part of the podcast where we do our Four for Friday questions. I ask you four questions. You’d think it would be Five for Friday, but I haven’t figured out that fifth question yet. So let’s start off with Question #1. What is your idea of perfect Internet happiness?

Jenny: Utopian Internet? Gosh, I don’t know.

Jonathan: You’re the second person to call it Utopian Internet. So I’m going to change the question to what is your Internet Utopia?

Jenny: I think I would like to see quality. I’d like to see everything on the Internet have some value. I’ve done so much penalty work lately that sometimes I get to the end of the day after looking at those sites and all that spam that’s out there, and I just feel like I need a shower. I would love to see lots of quality information on the Internet.

Jonathan: I think that’s where Google is heading with all of the implementations and improvements that Matt Cutts is making. And as we get to semantic language and everything like that, it will start to push those spammers out there.

Jenny: Can I get up on my soapbox for a minute?

Jonathan: Sure.

Jenny: Particularly since this audience is small to mid-size business, I get so frustrated with Google. I’ve worked with a lot of companies, big and small, over the last few months to help them get Google penalties removed. And I’m so frustrated with the way that Google is going after the website owners, the publishers, as opposed to the source of the problem, which is the bad SEOs, if can you call them that. The snake oil salesmen that are out there. While I know that has a lot of implications for quality SEO people like you and me – we don’t really want to open ourselves up to lawsuits and things – I just think the way Google is going after it by penalizing rather than rewarding is completely the wrong way to go. I’m getting very, very frustrated with them between that and no-follow and schema and I think they’re expecting far, far too much from the common webmaster.

Jonathan: Interesting. We will have to have another hour-long discussion about that sometime. We’re coming at this from two different sides. Being from a technological background and being a semantic schema enthusiast, I kind of understand where Google wants to go. I think that penalizing has unfortunately become the only alternative because rewarding is difficult to do because there are so many websites. That’s a great topic that we can handle on another day.

Jenny: I’d love to.

Jonathan: We could definitely put together an SMX or a PubCon thing. Between the magic bag and the schema debate, we could easily fill 45 minutes. Let’s move on to the Question #2. What is your greatest Internet regret?

Jenny: There are actually several regrets.

Jonathan: We’ve all had stops and starts in our careers. I ran an e-commerce straight into the ground, so that’s at least one of mine. Give us one of yours.

Jenny: Without knowing I was doing it, I really helped a spammer implement black cat techniques. The person just pumped me for information on how Goggle algorithm worked and what kind of things they look at. This was many years ago when it was much easier to spam, but also when it was less common. That person just pumped me for information and they were able to mount a very significant black hat campaign that actually ended up hurting one of my other clients.

Jonathan: Oh my goodness.

Jenny: Yea. Big regret there that I didn’t see what that person was really made of before I gave them all that information.

Jonathan: That’s interesting. Do you go to PubCon?

Jenny: I have actually never been to PubCon. I’m hoping to go to New Orleans. I applied for a press pass.

Jonathan: But you’ve been to SFIMA. You’ve been to several other conferences. I know that you were speaking recently. It is very interesting, particularly with Affiliate Summit, SMX (Search Marketing Expo) and what used to be Blog World (which is now NMX) and PubCon, that when you’re up on the stage giving a presentation, you have to assume that there are several types of people in the audience. This is what I’ve learned from experience. There are small businesses and large size businesses sitting there, which is what you are talking about. There are your competitors. And then there are people who are really on the fringes of our industry. The black hat SEOs and the email spammers, the people that do affiliate marketing in a very dark way. And when you’re relaying good, trustworthy information, as you did for this person, you just don’t know how people are going to take it and what they’re going to do with it.

Jenny: Right.

Jonathan: I was part of the panel for the black hat SEOs. This was something that actually happened to me. Instead of me being a black hat SEO, this was something that actually happened and I really went through the process of how this happened knowing full well that the Pandora’s Box was then open and everybody knew how to do this technique. If they wanted to, the people in the audience who do this stuff anyway now had a little bit of a leg up on how to do this. That’s why, particularly the black hat presentations that are given at some of these conferences, are so scrutinized. A lot of people don’t want to give these presentations because then they get hit by Goggle.

Jenny: I have one more audience that’s generally in the crowd at a conference.

Jonathan: Your mom?

Jenny: Right. (laughter). The search engine representatives themselves. They’re standing right there listening to everything you’re saying.

Jonathan: Absolutely. And the hope is not to then point the finger at the people giving the presentations, but taking what is on the groundswell, what is coming up in these techniques, and seeing how Google can then prepare the audience that will be hit with this and themselves within the search engine. I don’t want to get into too much detail of what it was, but this had to do with the idea of asking for backlinks to be removed. Are you familiar with this?

Jenny: Yeah.

Jonathan: You work in the penalty field, so what is your stand on these campaigns that go out and say ‘we’ve been hit with a penalty and we’d like you remove all this backlinks.’

Jenny: You have to do it. If you have a really bad penalty and you need to get it lifted, you have to do it. You have to email these sites and say ‘pretty please will you remove my backlink?’ That is a waste of time and a waste of money and it doesn’t ultimately help the Internet at all. But it’s a hoop that Google expects you to jump through.

Jonathan: And unfortunately when you have a panicked person who owns a website, a small to mid-size or an enterprise size company, that is hit with a penalty, they’re in such a panic mode that they wind up going to the extreme. I’ve received emails requesting backlink removal for websites that have thousands of visitors, isn’t blacklisted and does very well. So it’s that misunderstanding by either the webmaster or the Internet marketing company that’s handling this penalty of ‘let’s get rid of all of our backlinks.’

Jenny: Right. It’s interesting because I actually thought you were going somewhere else with this because we started out talking black hat. There is a black hat technique that I’ve recently become aware of where competitors get your link list and email the companies and ask them to remove your link.

Jonathan: Yes. This is exactly the presentation that I gave. It was about posing as this other company.

Jenny: Oh okay. I misunderstood.

Jonathan: Yes, this is the presentation that I gave at PubCon. There was a company out there that was posing as our clients and asking for those backlinks that our clients had to be removed.

Jenny: Okay. I definitely misunderstood. Just to clarify what I was saying is if you legitimately have been hit with a penalty, you do have to write these letters and ask to have your links removed. You also just want to remove the crap.

Jonathan: Right. There are two different versions of backlink removal. There’s the black hat side where people are trying to reduce the number of backlinks that you, as the client, have. And then there’s the other side, which is you’ve gotten penalized and now you need to remove backlinks, but you’re in such a panic that you end up removing all of your backlinks including the good ones. And this goes back to Google, which is ‘why are backlinks even important anymore?’

Jenny: Do not get me started on that or we will be here until next week.

Jonathan: I know. So let’s move on to Question #3. What do you consider your greatest Internet achievement?

Jenny: It actually is related to a penalty. It’s a penalty that we just got notification that it was revoked on Tuesday.

Jonathan: Nice.

Jenny: We’ve been working on it for over a year. That tops my list of greatest Internet achievements.

Jonathan: Were they completely out of Goggle?

Jenny: Completely. It’s a site that gets a lot of traffic. We’re talking millions of visits of month. And they had an affiliate that had gone off the rails and was doing things like hacking sites and buying up expired domains from the World Health Organization and hijacking in-URL redirects. We’re talking out of control. When we started, the list of backlinks were in the tens of thousands. It was one of the biggest projects I’ve ever worked on, so to get that revoked email on Tuesday was so gratifying.

Jonathan: That’s incredible. So this was obviously a popular website that you’re saying has millions of visitors a month. For them to be delisted must have been financially impactful.

Jenny: It definitely was. The client had a lot of traffic from other sources. Organic traffic really was only about 30% of their traffic. But when I talk about millions of visitors a month, that’s the portion that was organic. It was 70% more of the volume we were dealing with.

Jonathan: This is an affiliate company that they’d actually signed a contract with?

Jenny: No. They sell a product and they have a network of affiliates.

Jonathan: And one them went crazy?

Jenny: More like about 500 of them were really out of control.

Jonathan: Let’s move on to Question #4. What is your favorite Internet book? Was there a book that you read coming into the industry that got your excited about the industry? Or was there a book that you read that changed your perspective on the industry?

Image representing Vanessa Fox as depicted in ...

Image via CrunchBase

Jenny: There are two books and they are completely differently. One is practical and that’s “Marketing in the Age of Google” by Vanessa Fox. I think it explains things so well. I would recommend that anyone who wants to learn more about search read it.

Jonathan: I absolutely agree. That’s a fantastic book.

Jenny: The other one I absolutely loved was “I’m Feeling Lucky: Confessions of Google Employee Number 59.” It’s a book by Doug Edwards, who was the founder of AdWords, about his time at Goggle. He was there in the very, very early days. And he was basically the marketing department in a company completely filled with engineers. It’s very interesting to read the book of his perspective. It was like ‘you don’t know what you’re talking about.’ The engineers didn’t want to give him the time of day, even once they’d hire him to market Google. So it’s really a neat read.

Jonathan: I understand that battle still rages on even today between the engineers and marketing.

Jenny: That’s what I hear.

Jonathan: Well, Jenny, this has been fantastic. Are you scheduled for any upcoming conferences?

Jenny: Yes. I just found out I’ll be speaking at the American Marketing Association’s High Five Conference here in Raleigh at the end of February. Then I’ll be remaining local for a little bit because I have a couple of other things, including the Visual Marketing for Business Conference here in February as well. The next big appearance I’m hoping to make, assuming that I get selected, is SMX Advanced in June.

Jonathan: Yes. That’s out in Seattle.

Jenny: Yep. I’m really hoping to make it. I spoke at it for the first time actually last year and it was a wonderful experience that I’m hoping to repeat.

Jonathan: Fantastic. I went a couple of years ago. I’m not a West Coast guy and I found that I was getting a lot of West Coast business cards for people that I was really never going to follow up with. I tend to just stay Northeast Coast. So it’s not really worth the money for me to take the trip out there.

Jenny: I only have a couple clients from this area. And I’ve got several international clients.

Jonathan: Congratulations for dealing with those time zones.

Jenny: Yep. I’m not in Singapore anymore thankfully. That was the toughest one because that was 12 hours.

Jonathan:  Well, I found Hawaii to be impossible.

Jenny: I think the worst time zone I had was Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Jonathan: You’ve got to get up early for that one.

Jenny: Not really. Six hours. So generally I can call in at the end of my day, which is the beginning of his day.

Jonathan: Fantastic. I really appreciate this, Jenny. I look forward to seeing you at the next conference we’re both attending. Thank you so much.

Jenny: Thank you.

Outro

Again, this is Jonathan Goodman and this is the World of Internet Marketing. You can follow me @HalyardConsult on Twitter. New episodes of the World of Internet Marketing can be heard every Friday. You can access the archives of my previous shows on Spreaker.com – user name Jonathan Goodman. The podcast is also available with transcription at halyardconsulting.com and geekcast.fm one week after the episode airs. Thank you all for listening to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. Don’t forget to pick up my book The World of Internet Marketing on Amazon, and if you like this podcast please share it with your network of friends and family. Have a great week.

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Technical SEO with Jenny Halasz of JLH Marketing is a post from: Halyard Consulting

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Podcast: Interview with Ed Siemienkowicz of 9MM Studio http://halyardconsulting.com/podcast-interview-ed-siemienkowicz-9mm-studio/ http://halyardconsulting.com/podcast-interview-ed-siemienkowicz-9mm-studio/#comments Thu, 06 Feb 2014 02:30:10 +0000 http://halyardconsulting.com/?p=24903 Podcast: Interview with Ed Siemienkowicz of 9MM Studio is a post from: Halyard Consulting

The idea of now having a video editor and somehow breaking a 40-minute podcast into four segments of 10 minutes. Hopefully, somebody out on Fiverr is willing to break this up correctly for $20.

Podcast: Interview with Ed Siemienkowicz of 9MM Studio is a post from: Halyard Consulting

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Podcast: Interview with Ed Siemienkowicz of 9MM Studio is a post from: Halyard Consulting

Jonathan:  Hi everyone. This is Jonathan Goodman. Welcome to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. Today we have Ed Siemienkowicz with us. I did that pretty well?

Ed:  You did. You did that alright. You sound like family.

Jonathan:  Ed has over 15 years as a graphic designer and has had the opportunity to see the nature of communication change. His roots are print, web, and most recently mobile and table design. He recently stepped his big toe into learning motion graphics, and we’ll find out what that is. He calls it an exciting new way to communicate for education and entertainment. In his spare time, he’s working as a sequential artist or as many of you may know it, a cartoonist. He’s been making comics for over 10 years. His motto is “Understand your client, understand the brand, understand the audience, and connect them in a way that is interesting, and hopefully, entertaining.”

Ringling

Jonathan:  Welcome Ed. How are you?

Ed:  Very well. Good to be here and to see you.

Jonathan:  Very good to see you too. We should let the audience know that Ed and I have known each other for many years. We actually went to undergraduate college together. We went to Ringling, which is now called Ringing College of Art and Design. When we went there, it was Ringling School of Art and Design.

Ed:  Yeah. It’s a much more positive acronym now. Instead of being RSAD.

Jonathan:  RSAD. Yeah, now it’s RCAD.

Ed:  Yeah, it’s a little risqué.

Jonathan:  I actually wanted to spend a couple of minutes talking about Ringling. Obviously, your experience at Ringling was different than mine was. I was not a good artist. You were a very good artist. I was swooped up into the Internet dot com world, where I learned code and kind of put away my pens and paper. But you really took your undergraduate and made it your career.

Ed: Yeah and I definitely feel pretty lucky to have done so. Many people out there consider themselves to be artists or creative professionals and for one reason or another, choices made, or various situations, it sometimes doesn’t work out. So I definitely feel lucky for the choices I’ve made and things that have been put in front of me.

Jonathan: I knew within the first year and a half of graduating and going out in the field that it definitely was not something that I would ever want to pursue. It was hard life.  I want to roll into that and talk about 9MM Studio.

9MM Studio

Jonathan:  Do you pronounce it 9 Millimeter?

Ed:  Yeah, 9 Millimeter.

Jonathan:  Is that your company?

Ed:  It’s what I call my company. It’s my personal brand. It’s a nickname that came from college. When I was in school there, I was a big fan of Quentin Tarantino and John Woo. I had been a fan of movies that were, not necessarily violent, but there was always a gun involved. It was not like I was carrying guns to school. Super Soakers, yeah. But not guns. Anyway, because of this, they were always making fun of me. Like I’m gun obsessed. But I’m really the most nonviolent person. So I got the nickname 9 Millimeter Ed. I’ll just throw it back to a conversation I had with my father one morning. He said, “Why does your website say 9MMstudio.com? If I’m going to look for you, why wouldn’t I look for Eddie Seimienkowicz? What’s your buddy’s name?” Joe Carroll. “What’s his website? JoeCarroll.com. But if I use my name as a dot com, no one will ever find me.

Jonathan: They won’t even be able to type it in.

Ed: Right. I should have made it ToHellWithIt.com.

Jonathan: So you’ve been doing the studio. Obviously, you’re doing other work that’s bringing in a greater deal of finances. Is this more of a hobby or is this something that also translates into personal finance?

Ed: It’s been both. Initially, it was a name given to my own comic studio. Again, it’s because my last name is a nightmare. And it’s fun to make things grander than they really are. The reality is that I’m a guy alone on Saturday night drawing. I had a day job and this was what I did with all the rest of my time once I decided to get serious about it. I started in Chicago, dropped everything because I was way too adult, and moved to Orlando. I did that for seven years. It was great. I got started in comics with my buddy, Joe Carroll. Then I figured it was time to come back to Chicago. I took a detour in Japan. When I came back to Chicago, I fell into doing more illustration than graphic design, which was my career up to that point. So I’m just like a one-man art factory. I’m doing design. I’m doing illustration, storyboards and comics. For pretty much everything that doesn’t involve backend coding, I’m the guy.

Jonathan: Right. In fact, some of your work has included design work for the Golf Channel, right?

Ed:  Yes.

Jonathan: You branched out even beyond that and looked at doing web design and print design. So you really have a multitude of really great skills.

Ed: Yeah, my life is just all irony. I chose Ringling so I could be an animator. When I got to Ringling, I realized that I don’t want to be behind a computer all day. It’s not like the old school flip a paper and hang out with imaginers all day. So I said illustration. I can make a buck and I can draw. I got out of school into the most grueling situation – one student called it ‘stick fighting in Tibet’- to get a job. It was awful. And when you’re first out of school, you have no name and no connections.

Jonathan: Right.

Ed:  So that’s how I got into graphic design. I managed to fool people for years on end. The foundation is the same, so I did graphic design. I was trained in print. Then when I went to the Golf Channel, it was like, we need a web guy, so you’re going to do that. So I just jumped into the deep end on that one. That was going well for years. And upon my return, some things that I knew were irrelevant before I went to Japan came back and it was all about mobile apps and designing. Which I think is incredibly exciting.

Jonathan: Is this where the motion graphics comes in?

Ed:  Well, I was recently working with a company that was – it’s hard to explain because they can do a little of everything – but they were a production house for video and web. So I learned animation from them. I was also doing a lot of web and app illustration design on-site for them, so I was just learning everything.

Jonathan:  Now you have two comic books. We’re getting to the point where we’re going to talk about marketing, but I want to first understand this. You have Chrome and Dust?

Chrome-and-Dust

Ed:  Yes.

Jonathan: It looks like it’s an actual physical book. Is that right?

Ed: Yes. It’s physical and electronic. When I debuted, I made sure that it would be available any way you wanted to read it.

Jonathan:  But obviously there’s a greater cost with print. And a greater risk, as you need to make several copies and you need people to buy those in order offset the actual print version.

Ed:  Yes.

Jonathan: Now you’ve already done Issue 1 and Issue 2. Is that right?

Ed:  Correct.

Jonathan: Was there a large span between those two?

Ed: There was because it’s not my day job. My day job really got in the way of the dream. So it was really just kind of demanding and dreaming. Even though I knew that it was what I’d really rather be doing, sometimes I would just come home too tired, like I can’t see and I can’t draw. So that’s the unfortunate reality.

Jonathan: But in doing that, did you see a decrease in the cost of doing this? Did it become easier and more manageable to pay for the cost?

Ed:  I think anybody who gets into independent comics has to be realistic because you’re probably not going to make your money back, especially at the outset. This is really true of the first book. It’s all a learning curve about printing the book and pricing it, learning to sell it and what are you doing to get it out there? And then taking it to shows. Most of your books are going to move at shows. But you have to pay for the shows. And you have to pay for getting there and food. All these things beyond just printing a book and renting a table for a weekend.

Jonathan: Wow.

Ed: Yeah, there’s a lot of overhead. It sounds like the dumbest thing you could do with your life. Because it’s nothing but toil and spending and very little return on investment.

Jonathan: Amazing. But you’ve built a brand over this. There are people who are excited to get Issue 2 and are even more excited, regardless of how long it takes, to get Issue 3, right?

Ed:  Yes.

Jonathan: Have you looked at crowd funding for the next issue? That probably wasn’t around when you did Issue 1, right?

Ed:  No, it wasn’t. It’s very interesting to be in this now and having come up. My start in print was that we printed out, we pasted on a board, we had a huge box of boards to drive down to the printer. So if you’re standing around, it’s no, you cut that ad out. You put that next to the article. We’ve got work to do. So now everything is desktop. It’s mobile. There are templates for websites. It’s amazing that all these things can be done to save money and save time. So I try to take advantage of the technology as it arises.

Jonathan: Random Play seems to be more about your life. It’s exclusively on the web?

Random Play

Ed:  Yeah. Chrome and Dust is fictional. I’m calling it basically a post- apocalyptic rom com. So it’s very Mad Max, but there’s antics. It’s very light. There’s ‘80s flashbacks. It’s adventure. The other one is a strip. Random Play is just totally random stories about my life. It’s so I could tell these stories I’ve always wanted to tell without deadline pressure and worrying about a book. If I can fill up a book’s worth of pages, I’ll do it. But it was pretty much at my leisure.

Jonathan:  That’s great. So do you have people who come back on a daily basis? Or this more of a weekly thing?

Ed:  It was weekly for a long time. Again, both fits of production fell off at about the same time. That’s full-time life.

Jonathan:  Let me press the issue and then we’ll move on. Do you feel that you have marketed both of these individually, whether it’s going to Comic Cons and things of that nature, or online to get people to come back every week? Or put it through Facebook. Do you feel that there is now an audience for more of your work?

Ed: More so with Chrome and Dust than Random Play. Random was building for a while, but once it dropped off, it really dropped off. People will discover it and I’ll get a random email from time to time saying “This is great. It’s really funny. You should do more.” And I say, I know. But again, it’s a time-consuming process and I pretty much leave it out there for people to find. But at the same time, I really need to put my efforts into the creation of this other more involved book. I wish I could do it all.

Jonathan:  Listen. There’s so only many hours in a day. I missed last week’s podcast because I just didn’t have a second to do it. Let’s move on. Let’s talk about podcasting.

Ed:  Sure.

Let’s Talk Podcasting

Jonathan:  We really want to focus in on podcasting. You are on the Voice of the Republic. I am not even going to attempt to explain what this podcast is. I will let you give the summary of what this is.

voiceoftherepublic

Ed:  Voice of the Republic. Don’t look for The Voice of the Republic. That’s a whole other issue.

Jonathan:  Is that somewhere that we should not go?

Ed:  I don’t know. Have you done a show about people online who feel they can rip off your brand’s images and everything? Because we can definitely talk about in the next show. Anyway, these other guys have a show.

Jonathan: Do they call it The Voice of the Republic?

Ed:  The Voice of the Republic. Again, graphic designer, illustrator, things take time. Wasn’t I surprised to find that this upstart podcast was straight up using our logos for their completely other show?

Jonathan: They had just scrawled in the word “The.”

Ed:  They titled it “The,” but they kept the logo exactly the same.

Jonathan: How unbelievable.

Ed: Yeah, and they don’t see a problem with it and they don’t see why we’re complaining.

Jonathan: Amazing. So tell me what Voice of the Republic is.

Ed:  Voice of the Republic is a show about grownups who also can function in regular life, like you or I, but you see these geeky tastes. So you have your day job where you maybe wear a $500 suit. But you know what? You just love to come home and watch like the old Battlestar Galactica episodes. Or you’re still on eBay hunting for hard-to-find Star Wars figures. Or you really care that Lex Luthor will be played by the guy who looks like Michael Cera.

Jonathan:  I have no idea.

Ed:  And that’s it. That’s who we are. There’s a misconception still, just like there is with comics, that this kind of thing is for kids or 20-somethings. And it’s kind of downplayed. Really, we’re grownups. We have wives and girlfriends and houses and serious concerns for humanity. But yea, we love Star Wars. We love comics.

Jonathan: It really started off as a Star Wars conversation.

Ed:  Right.

Jonathan:  How many years have you been running this podcast?

Ed:  We did the first six years and it was all Star Wars. I can’t believe how many people said,” I can’t believe you have more than one show to talk about.”

Jonathan: Yeah, I have a hard time talking about it for more than 20 minutes. I grew up on the first three and then I’m dreading the coming three or however many more there will be. Certainly, you’ll probably have a lot more to talk about in the coming years as we get ready for these next three fiascos.

Ed:  Yeah, we talked the hell out of the old stuff. But there was still content being released from the Star Wars group – books and movies and games and TV shows. But we just found that we hated it all and we were tired of being negative about it. So we actually stopped the podcast. But we missed podcasting. We missed our fans. We missed reaching out. So we started back up. The reboot was just general conversation. Unfortunately, despite what everyone told us – you could talk about refrigerators and we’ll be there – they weren’t there. So it really helps to have a clear message and identity beyond ‘we’re really cool guys.’

Jonathan: Let’s break that down. It sounds like the first six years you had momentum going and you had a significant audience. What would you say is that significant audience?

Ed:  Yeah. We were killing. In retrospect, we were killing. We were three guys in Orlando just geeking out. I try to have the best sounding, most well-produced show because there was a lot out there back in the Wild, Wild West days of podcasting. Most of the formats, I didn’t like. I like NPR. So let’s make it tight. And it works. We invited our audience to have a conversation. We have voice mail. We have email. Anyway that we could reach them, we would so they’re on our side. And it doesn’t just feel like we’re talking to each other with inside jokes. Also we were trying to campaign for a lot of our opinions. So hopefully we would get a greater following and maybe even change the direction of the brand. That was kind of the big goal. So yeah, it was going great for years. Again, unfortunately we were getting really negative. It was getting harder and harder to do shows.

Jonathan:  At that time, did you have sponsorships? Were you making any money on this thing?

Ed:  No. Initially, if we did live shows, there was the potential to make money. There’s inside political things that were happening. While the show is really entertaining, behind the scenes, it was really tough to get other people motivated basically to do more, to seek it out.

Jonathan: Yeah, sometimes when you’re not the solo ship that turns the podcast on, you’ve got other people. Other people have other lives. And it’s very hard to schedule interviews. So I understand. You had two other members of your team, right?

Ed:  Right. I had two co-hosts on top of, again, full-time job, comics, and some kind of little social life happening. It was just a lot to juggle to do it all. We did our best to work with what we had. Another thing is that there just weren’t as many options as there are now to make money from podcasts or social media. So it was all pretty limited. But now we actually have a new co-host in Carl Watkins, who has had his own podcast for years. So he’s experienced. He’s incredibly savvy as far as the web goes. So as we re-launched this year, we have more of a focus. Again, it’s the geeky adult, male or female. The actual concerns for their beloved brands. Because some of it is why are women treated like crap in comics? Let’s have that conversation. What do you want to see? How do you feel about it? But also there are so many avenues with which to get your message out there. Like we’re now recording on Hangouts, just as VOR will record on Hangouts. We plan on doing a 4-day-a-week distribution of content. So record on Monday and then 15-minute shows every day the rest of the week. And you can watch it on YouTube. You can have this video experience. We try to definitely play to the camera. But at the same time, if you listen to the audio, you’re not really missing that much. You can take us with you wherever you go. You can listen to us at work and not get busted for watching these geeks in their apartment.

Jonathan: Let’s break that down for a second. You’re saying that you do a full show on Monday

Ed:  Yes.

Jonathan: How long is that show?

Ed:  It will be a one-hour show.

Jonathan: And then you do 15 minutes every weekday?

Ed:  That’s the beauty of editing. We’ll just chop it up into 15-minute segments and disperse the original show into 15-minute segments. The goal is – hopefully I don’t get in trouble here for ruining our secrets – but the goal is to have the initial show on Hangouts, but our research has shown that the smaller shows of 10 minutes or 15 minutes are getting the most hits and are actually keeping users in their seats to watch them. Whereas before, we would post our entire show. You can watch it whenever you want and that’s great. But a lot of people drop off after 20 minutes. With our format, you’re getting a conversation, but you’re also getting us. So we’re going to catch up, we’re going to talk about funny things because we try to be funny guys. We’ll do voice mail. But if you came there to talk about Sherlock, you’re going to have to wait and people just don’t like to wait. So we’ll be more descriptive with what to expect. You can jump to the next segment and that will be conversation. But yeah, it’s going to be much tighter. In this way, we will generate Google money from YouTube and hopefully as we get the audio pieces out there, that will start to come back and it will just start to snowball. That’s the idea.

Jonathan:  Without giving too much away about your strategy, where do those segments actually go? Because obviously when you’re filming it on Monday, it almost automatically goes up on to YouTube. Like for us, I record the session in Goggle+ Hangouts. It then immediately goes into YouTube. I extract out the mp3. I’ll go through my whole list of what I do just so that people know. We then put that full mp3 up on Spreaker with an intro and an outro. I then add it to BlogTalkRadio. It gets uploaded to Soundcloud and Mixcloud. I then send it for transcription and upon return, I put it up on Halyard (using the Podcast Generator) and it also becomes its own article. Then it goes up to Geekcast. I have a relationship with Affiliate Summit, the group over there, and they run Geekcast.net. I then send it for a press release. Then that goes to PRWeb. Finally, the transcription and the video goes out in my email list. So I’m always looking at other options. Obviously, there’s Facebook, and Twitter. We’re doing all that. But I’m curious to see where this 15-minute segment goes.

Ed: We record the raw Hangouts and that will go up on YouTube. We will pull down the video and edit those 15-minute segments. We have a template opening and closing, so we’re always getting a little something and then that will get uploaded the next day, every day after that, etc. After talking to you about other options, we’ll host it on our usual site because the feed is already there. So every day in your iTunes, you’ll get a new show delivered. But at the time, we’re going to be working on getting these shows distributed to Spreaker, BlogTalkRadio, etc. We’re just rebooting, but we’ll get there eventually. Your process is a lot more involved than ours.

Jonathan: Well, now you’ve given me another whole thing. The idea of now having a video editor and somehow breaking a 40-minute podcast into four segments of 10 minutes. Hopefully, somebody out on Fiverr is willing to break this up correctly for $20.

Ed:  Right. There’s another show that does this. They’ll bring in a guest and start their discussion and say, “Well, that’s another show. We’ll see you guys tomorrow.” When really they’re just going to go…three, two, one. Alright. New show and “Welcome back.” So we’re pretty much just going to do that. And it’s going to feel ridiculous. But when you go to see a TV show film, a lot of times, that’s exactly what they’re doing. The host will come out and do his spiel and it’s like, come on laugh. He walks off and comes back on wearing a new jacket. And new joke.

Jonathan:  Right. He does an entire week’s worth of his show in 8 hours on one day.

Ed:  So it’s not unusual. It’s not original. But we’re trying to maximize these tried and true techniques in order to keep the audience interested. And get new users – people who don’t want to listen to two hours. And the other thing is when we first started and were just Star Wars, we were weekly. So everybody knew that we would be there. We weren’t live, but usually by Wednesday, we would have it posted and you would get this hour and a half to 2 hour show, all edited with your voice mails and your re-voice mails. People would be like, “I’m right in the middle of the show. But I’m so upset. I need to call you.” So the next week, we would play the voice mails. We never pre-listened to them, so you’d get a very raw reaction. And it really was working. People were giving us lots of great feedback. Amazing mp3 quality things would be emailed to us. Skits would be emailed to us. But after a while, like I said, I moved to Japan for two years. Then it was kind of sporadic as to when we’d record. And if you’re doing anything like this, any entertainment, it has to be consistent. People need to know where to find you and when to find you. Or you’re going to completely lose them.

Jonathan:  Right.

Ed:  So Random Play was random and it was mostly my friends looking at it. But while it was steady for a week, I was totally building momentum. But I got busier and then two weeks later, I’d post. Not as many hits. And that’s just something you need to keep in mind whether it’s comics or music or anything, especially on the web.

Jonathan: Absolutely. The web requires a constant stream. That’s what it is. What’s great about what you’re doing, now that you’re revamping this, is that it is very similar. I know you said, oh, only 20-somethings and under watch or listen or read comic books or whatever. Look at how the society has changed from when we were growing up and we were reading Wolverine and all that. And we were saying someday they’re going to make a movie. Well, now, they make those movies, for better or for worse, unfortunately. And we have Chris Hardwick of the Nerdist. That is an enormous brand. I don’t think we even understand what the scope of that really is. Now you’re revamping something that essentially was the Nerdist prior to the success he had seen. That’s really incredible.

Ed: Before there was the Nerdist, that was exactly our plan. We wanted to be the Nerdist. We were guys who would go out and buy a R2-D2 guy and be like, “I don’t get it. Why is it painted like this? This is stupid. We should do a comic.” And then it was “We should do a podcast.” And off we went.

Four for Friday: Questions Everyone is Asked

Jonathan: That’s fantastic. Before ending, I always have to do my Four for Friday. This is something I implemented a couple of weeks ago to great success. Its four questions. You’ll like them. Question No.1: What is your idea of perfect Internet happiness? Remember this is a family show. You’ve already said a word that we’ll probably have to bleep at some point. So what is your idea of perfect Internet happiness?

Ed:  My Internet Utopia?

Jonathan:  Yes. I ask these broad, generalized questions. It’s almost a Rorschach test. I’m not going to give you any information as to what I’m looking for. You just go ahead and tell me what you think.

Ed: What’s beautiful about the Internet is that there’s as much good as bad that happens on the Internet. You see the best of humanity come out. You see like a light shine on causes that you’ve never heard of. And everybody is now aware of it and people are feeling great about supporting these things and putting this garbage out in the open if it helps someone else. And that is a wonderful lovely thing. As a person who is allergic to cats, I love that I can enjoy cats without having them in my face. I love their attitude. My God, they’re hysterical. I mean, without getting into censorship, what I would like is with all the instant truth that happens on the Internet, the total just exposure of the human condition, I would hope that it helps to make people more self- aware. No, you’re being a troll. You’re a jerk. And nobody likes that. You’re not funny. And your other jerk friends? They’re just jerks. This is harmful. So my dream is that more positive will come out of this.

Jonathan: What is your greatest Internet regret?

Ed:  The biggest regret. I don’t know if it’s an Internet regret as much as that it’s just who I am. Once I decided to make the full jump, well the full part-time jump, into comics, everything else got pushed aside. I didn’t care if I went out on weekends anymore. Everything was about what I could do to make these things happen and get more people to see them. So my Internet regret is that I wish I’d networked more when I started. I wish I knew then what I know now so that I could maximize the people viewing my book so that I wouldn’t have to worry about a daytime job and I could just be a comic artist and have a loyal following. Because people do that. Danielle Corsetto has a comic called “Girls with Slingshots.” It’s a bit on the dirty side, but it’s a fun, slice of life strip. She has great interaction with her fans. She has merchandise. She’s on every day with new stuff. It’s funny and she’s doing it. That is her life.

Jonathan:  So she’s working every single day and she’s making money through merchandising and probably has advertising on the site.

Ed:  And books and conventions. Absolutely.

Jonathan:  But when she started, the first two years, she was probably having soup every day. Or she’s either married to somebody who is able to support her or her family is able to support her. These overnight successes are anything but. So I think hard work and determination when you have the solid base underneath you is a rapid thing that can happen. But without that, you’re struggling terribly.

Ed:  I feel the struggle is necessary for people to really achieve anything. If you have everything, then you don’t want anything.

Jonathan:  We’ve been out of school for almost 20 years. When you look at it now, it almost feels like we were shouting in the wind trying to gain an audience with absolutely no traction whatsoever. Whereas now, we can build a Facebook page and slowly generate interest in the work that we’re doing or the daily comic. There’s an easiness to the marketing now that wasn’t there previously. And you tend to gain a very core, dedicated audience.

Ed:  Yes.

Jonathan: Question No. 3: What do you consider your greatest Internet achievement?

Ed:  I would say the podcast, Voice of the Republic. I’m the most proud of it. I love that beyond showing off, most guys want to do a radio show when they grow up. So beyond just putting ourselves out there and trying to be funny guys, we’re really connecting with people about things that they care about and our energy is coming back to us sometimes twofold. People really cared about us and about our show. Therefore, it rolls into what are you guys working on? When does your book come out? I want that.

Jonathan:  Is there a book coming out? Are you going to do something like that?

Ed:  I’m not going to get into it here, but because we are now into 2014 and print is dying, I love a good comic book and amazing books are coming out all the time. However, I’m changing my approach mostly because of the overhead we talked about earlier. I may not do a physical book again unless it’s print on demand. But I don’t really plan on dishing out a lot of money for a box of books that will sit in my house.

Jonathan: Look, the faster you turn with the trend, the less money you end up flushing down the toilet.

Ed:  Yeah, I want to flush money down the toilet at a much slower speed.

Jonathan:  As artists, we’re always flushing money down the toilet, but it’s just a question of how much and how quickly. Finally, the last question: What is your favorite Internet book?

Ed:  A book about the Internet?

Jonathan: Well, something that changed your perception about the Internet or your usage of the Internet. I’m not talking about a code book, but something that maybe you read. Maybe it’s not even an Internet book. Maybe it’s an art book that you made you say, “Oh, I’ve got to go in this direction.”

Ed:  Yeah, I’m an artist and for me, it’s been a very organic journey. I try to look for success stories in my work and in my industry, as well as in people. I’m not that fast of a worker. It takes time to do what I do, what most of us do in comics. So I would rather spend that time trying to make this look better and then putting out a better product. I’ve been lucky to surround myself with people who really know what they’re talking about. I learned a long time ago that it doesn’t hurt to ask for help. I couldn’t do any of this without the help of much smarter people. Hopefully, I show that love back to them because I would just be nowhere with them. I would probably be at some miserable catalog job and contemplating suicide. Dark, dark things.

Jonathan: This has been great. It is so good to catch up with you. We will have to talk off-line after this interview. I’ll do my outro for everyone who’s been listening now. I appreciate all of you. Thank you so much.

Outro

Again, this is Jonathan Goodman and this is the World of Internet Marketing. You can follow me @HalyardConsult on Twitter. New episodes of the World of Internet Marketing can be heard every Friday. You can access the archives of my previous shows on Spreaker.com – user name Jonathan Goodman. The podcast is also available with transcription at halyardconsulting.com and geekcast.fm one week after the episode airs. Thank you all for listening to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. Don’t forget to pick up my book The World of Internet Marketing on Amazon, and if you like this podcast please share it with your network of friends and family. Have a great week.

Podcast: Interview with Ed Siemienkowicz of 9MM Studio is a post from: Halyard Consulting

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Podcast: Interview with Scott Jangro of Shareist http://halyardconsulting.com/podcast-interview-scott-jangro-shareist/ http://halyardconsulting.com/podcast-interview-scott-jangro-shareist/#comments Tue, 21 Jan 2014 21:46:48 +0000 http://halyardconsulting.com/?p=13636 Podcast: Interview with Scott Jangro of Shareist is a post from: Halyard Consulting

I am here today with Scott Jangro of Shareist. Scott is the president and co-founder of Shareist, a content marketing platform service that helps individuals and teams efficiently create content, publish and share.

Podcast: Interview with Scott Jangro of Shareist is a post from: Halyard Consulting

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Podcast: Interview with Scott Jangro of Shareist is a post from: Halyard Consulting

This is Jonathan Goodman. Welcome to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. I am here today with Scott Jangro of Shareist. Scott is the president and co-founder of Shareist, a content marketing platform service that helps individuals and teams efficiently create content, publish and share. He’s also the president of MechMedia, a firm specializing in performance and search engine marketing since 2004. Prior to that, Scott served as a Director of Product Management at Be Free, Inc. and later Commission Junction, both divisions of ValueClick. Scott is best known as an active and vocal member of the affiliate marketing community through his blogging, writing and advocacy efforts. He served three years on the Performance Marketing Association board of directors and the founding advisory board. Scott has been honored with multiple industry awards including the Affiliate Summit Affiliate Marketing Legend Award and the Best Blogger Pinnacle Award, as well as awards from ShareASale and Linkshare.

Affiliate Summit West

Jonathan:  Welcome Scott.

Scott:  Thank you Jonathan. I’m glad to be here.

Jonathan: You just got back less than 48 hours ago from the Affiliate Summit West. How was it?

Scott:  It was great. It was a great show in Las Vegas. I guess it was the biggest one ever and it was a really good venue. They switched it up a little bit. They moved it from Caesars Palace to Paris Hotel, which made it smaller with more people. So it was great for networking and meeting people.

Jonathan:  I love the Paris Hotel. I’ve stayed at a lot of different hotels in Las Vegas – Bellagio and all the others – and I still find myself getting a great French breakfast over at the Paris. For people who have never heard of Affiliate Summit, what is it?

Scott:  It’s a conference all about affiliate marketing, performance marketing. All areas of that industry come together to network twice a year, affiliates from the West in January and affiliates from the East in August. This year, it was over 5,000 people. My favorite part is networking and seeing old friends. I’ve been in the industry since 1999, so I know a lot of people and it’s like a family reunion every time I go back. It’s a small world and people tend not to leave the industry, although they switch up what they’re doing. So Affiliate Summit is a lot of fun. This year, I presented a session and was on a panel as well. There’s a lot of networking at the sessions and hanging out with fellow affiliate marketers.

Jonathan:  What was the session that you presented?

Scott:  I was invited to be on a panel about working from home. It was a fun session.

Jonathan:  I definitely can understand that. Let me see if I can summarize affiliate marketing for those people who don’t know what it is. Last year, I went to Affiliate Summit East. It was my first time there. I had a great time and met really fantastic people. Affiliate marketing is when you have a relationship with the product owner or the manufacturer and you are talking about the product in a positive way. If somebody is reading that content, they can move through to that website to make that purchase. So you are essentially another arm of marketing. Is that right, Scott?

Scott:  Yes. That’s right. To put it another way, it’s a performance-based marketing relationship that a publisher has with a merchant. The publisher writes a product with you, talks about a product, talks about a service, refers a lead and any number of different types of leads can be involved. They only get paid for that referral if a conversion happens on the other end. That’s the key. That’s why it’s called performance marketing. You get paid on performance. So it’s a very cost-effective channel for merchants and retailers.

Let’s Talk About Shareist

Image representing Shareist as depicted in Cru...

Image by None via CrunchBase

Jonathan:  I’m glad you called them publishers because now we’re going to switch gears and talk about Shareist, which is your company. When I originally met you at Affiliate Summit East, I got an understanding of what I thought Shareist was. I immediately thought that maybe it was a competitor of Hootsuite, but after taking a good look at it, it seems to me to be so much more. While doing my research, I found this quote from you: “Shareist is Evernote meets Hootsuite for publishers.” So let’s run through a couple of features. I’m particularly interested in understanding the creation of e-books and how collaboration works using the tool. But you also have the Shareist idea of bookmarking, which sounds revolutionary. Can you walk us through that?

Scott: Sure. Shareist is a content marketing platform. Lots of different companies call their products content marketing platforms, but they don’t necessarily do anything near the same things that Shareist does. Shareist is about basically three things: capturing ideas, sharing them and scheduling them in social media and turning them into bigger things like blog posts, newsletters and e-books. This can all be done from one place. That’s content marketing and lots of people do all those activities. But they’re using all sorts of tools all over the place to do that – emailing, bookmarking tools like clip to pocket or instant paper and capturing photos on Instagram They’re using all these different tools all over the place that you’re capturing stuff into and they tend to get lost. You have to remember to go find them in those places. We bring that into one platform with our own tools so you can capture things directly into Shareist. Or you can connect in those tools as well. If you love using pocket, for example, you can connect that pocket. So that’s the research side of things. Capturing that as you’re going through your day-to-day business. As part of that research process, we also have a sort of speed reader functionality, like Goggle Reader. So you can put in blog RSS feeds, keyword searches in Goggle, newly Google blogs, Reddit categories and different things. That will give you a list every day when you come in of things to read that are topical to whatever it is that you’re working on.

Jonathan: That’s the RSS feeds?

Scott: Yea. It takes RSS feeds and other sources of content for that. That’s the research part of it. That’s to keep you reading, keep you thinking and keep you fed with ideas. Then when you find something interesting that you want to share, you can do one of two things with that content. You pull it into your in-box and it’s in Shareist for good. Then you can just share it right off to social media in a curation kind of way. That’s something that is important to realize – you don’t always have to be creating your own content. Content curation is big thing. If you’re pushing content out every day to your channel, you don’t have to write that content. You could be sharing great stuff that other people are writing and adding some value to it, A, by just sharing it and, B, by maybe adding some perspective to it. What you’re doing is you’re providing a service just in your body that’s on Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and wherever it happens to be. Then you can schedule things to go out to Twitter, Linked In, Facebook, etc. So you can do all this kind of in a compact session maybe in the morning. I like to say you can just spend 30 minutes a day reading and sharing stuff and then be done with your social media and content marketing for the entire day just with a small session in the morning. Schedule it to go. As you’re doing all this stuff, you’re also in the background getting ideas for bigger stuff. And you can use maybe the posts that are getting the most engagement or something you find interesting and then later turn some of that stuff into bigger content like a blog post. Or pull several things together into maybe a recap email. And you can do that in Shareist as well. So you create a page in Shareist and that page can be free-form like a blog or it can be a compilation of a bunch of things that you’ve found. Then when you’re finished with that page, you can publish it directly to WordPress. Sharelist has its own website if you don’t have your own. And you can even publish that page out to email service providers like Constant Contact, MailChimp, or AWeber and use this content for several purposes all without leaving this one platform because things are connected in. So you can publish to WordPress or publish an email to MailChimp without even leaving Shareist.

Jonathan: So it really becomes its own central hub of information. Is that right?

Scott: It is. I use the word “home base” for your content. I think what a lot of people struggle with is that they’re always reading the finest content, but they save it in spread-out ways and also share it. They just dump it into Facebook and Twitter and it’s gone. So they’re not keeping some of that for themselves to do more with. They put all this time and investment into researching and sharing these things, but you can take that to the next level and use that for content. The final piece, which you mentioned, is that you can also export a page or a group of pages that you’ve created as a PDF or a .mobi file and create an e-book or a white paper out of it.

Jonathan: Let me understand because the legalese is always running in the back of my head and I’m thinking, well, if you’re taking other people’s content and just taking this paragraph and that paragraph from this side and that side and combining them into your own thing, where are the copyright issues in doing that? Or am I missing what’s going on here?

Scott: You’re not missing anything. It’s possible, but that’s not really what we’re talking about when we talk about curation. You’re really promoting someone’s content. Say I came across a blog post that was yours and I thought, “This is great. I’m going to share it with my audience,” well, I’m either tweeting it directly or sending it out to Facebook directly and just driving people to you. That’s curation. You could also put that content in a page on your own website, whether it’s a blog or whether it’s Scoop.it or something like that. You’ve maybe added some perspective to it, but it’s giving you credit for the idea and it’s featuring your page. So it’s not taking someone else’s content. It’s featuring it and talking about it.

Jonathan: And you’re wrapping that in your own comments.

Scott: Yea.

Jonathan: Okay. Let’s back up for a second. We were talking about scheduling and you said things like Facebook, Twitter and Linked In. Are there any plans to add Google+?

Scott: Google+ does not have an API that’s available for anybody to use yet. It’s been coming for a long time. It’s been available to a few. There is an application process, which doesn’t seem to move very fast. Hootsuite has had the key to that kingdom forever. I think they were in the initial one, two or three that got access to that. Buffer does as well, more recently. We’ve submitted an application and we’ll hopefully get access to that. We do really great with Buffer. So I can publish to Buffer and through Buffer get Google+ with Shareist.

Image representing Buffer as depicted in Crunc...

Image by None via CrunchBase

Jonathan: Okay. So there’s integration between Shareist and Buffer?

Scott: Yes. You can publish to Buffer from Shareist just like you can publish to Twitter and Facebook.

Jonathan: Talk to me about the content calendar. I saw how you can sort of schedule things similar to Hootsuite where I can say a specific time and a specific day. Are there advantages with the calendar that you’ve built?

Scott: It’s bigger in purpose than Hootsuite, so, yea, you can schedule things just like Hootsuite to go out to Twitter, Facebook and Linked In at any given time. It’s recommended that you do it several times a day for these channels to keep things active and spread it out and keep it consistent. That’s the important thing so people can know what to expect from you. But with our calendar, it’s more of a content calendar so you can get things in the calendar all day every day, but also schedule some pages to be written by either yourself or team members. Get them on the calendar and get a work flow for writing. So that if you assign something to a team member, they’ll see that they’re owning it and it’s their job to provide it and create it on a due date on a calendar. So you can see the whole Content Calendar right there on the screen.

Jonathan: I was just about to ask you about the collaboration and team capability for content provider.

Scott: In Shareist, we break things down into what we call projects, kind of like a Basecamp project. A project might be a website, it might be a topic, it might be a client. It’s a way of segmenting your content marketing efforts and be doing more than one thing. For each project, you can invite collaborators in. So you can invite one or more people in to work on that project with you and give them different access levels all the way from Administrator to Editor to Contributor and there are different levels of what they can do in that project. So for these people that you invite in, you can assign a document to write, a page to write and get them into that writing work flow. Or you can have another person who is at the Editor level and they’re doing that stuff for you, getting writers in and helping the flow. So there’s a whole collaboration of people, which helps with the writing work flow and the collaboration and also communication, which is really critical to teams working on content products. People can communicate with each other through a messaging system with Shareist, as well.

Jonathan: How does that compare to a Basecamp?

Scott: It’s quite similar in many ways to Basecamp. Another way to describe Shareist is Basecamp for publishers. It’s got a lot of that messaging and page building like you can do in Basecamp. But once it’s in Basecamp, it’s kind of in there. But with Shareist, you’re developing content and then you can hit a button and it goes straight to WordPress or Tumblr or Typepad or Blogger and schedules things to go out to the social networks. So it’s got that extra stuff built on for the purpose of publishing.

Jonathan: Let’s talk about the integration with WordPress for a second. If I have multiple websites out there all running off of separate WordPress installations and I have a writer, maybe someone elevated to an Editor level, and I wanted them to write something and then somebody else approve it and publish it to the WordPress, is it just as simple as a click of a button? Or is there some other movement?

Scott: It’s literally as simple as that. You can connect any number of WordPress blogs to your Shareist account and further kind of assign projects so you don’t have to look at them all in every project if you don’t want to. But once you’ve connected them, they’re available to you to publish your content to. You can also grant access to your collaborators to publish on your behalf if that’s the level of access you want to give them. But once your blog is connected up, you don’t actually have to go into WordPress anymore. You create the page and from there are all our blogs listed and with just a button, you can pick who the authors are, categories, in WordPress and pull that in through their API. And so you can publish without ever leaving Shareist.

Jonathan: Wow.

Scott: Yea. And then it pushes it to WordPress and you can, of course, go there and edit it further and clean it up a little if something doesn’t look right. But it’s very clean. The content that we push out is just clean HTML. There’s no styling. It just inherits the styling from the theme on the blog.

Jonathan: That in itself is a major advantage. When you talked about projects, I wanted to talk about pricing. Then I wanted to ask you about the fact that you have websites that can be created right on Shareist and also the affiliate linking tool that you have. But just changing directions, the price ranges from $10/month for one project and no collaborators up to $200/month with unlimited projects and unlimited collaboration and many iterations in between. And you can switch plans at any time. When you say project, does that mean one WordPress installation? How do you figure out what a project is?

Scott: A project is how you decide to break out content within Shareist. So if I have three blogs, I might create three projects. Those are very different topics to help me keep things organized. But that is not tied into how many blogs you can connect. So they’re separate. I could connect 100 blogs and publish to any of them from any of the projects. They’re not tied together tightly. The project is just ways of breaking out the content.

Jonathan: So you could almost say Medical Industry, Service Industry, Financial Industry. And underneath those could be the WordPress installation going to different blogs.

Scott: Yea. You connect the blogs at the account level. That’s really how I think of it. It’s just all of your stuff. And then the projects are in there as well. For any of the projects, you can publish to any of the WordPress blogs you have connected. There are no restrictions on that. When you’re talking about pricing, it’s really just the number of projects, which is just how you segment content. It would get messy to try to put those industries you just mentioned all in one mix in a list with your medical and all your different topics mixed up. So you break them out. That’s how it’s structured.

Jonathan: What’s great is that is seems you have a 30-day free trial and that includes a 30-minute one-on-one walk through with a Shareist expert. Is that regardless of the level that you get?

Scott: Yes. That’s what we’re doing right now. That’s the offer. The expert is me. So you can get on the phone with me for 30 minutes or however long it takes. And we’ll go through it. This is just an offer. We’re trying to get people understanding the product and understanding their own content marketing needs and strategies. If we can do that and get people using the product, then we’ll have lots of good users.

Jonathan: That’s great. In wrapping up the Shareist conversation, I just wanted to go back for a second. If I didn’t have a website at all, I could actually build off of the Shareist website. Is that right?

Scott: That’s right. Every project in Shareist has its website attached to it. So any of the content you’re creating in that project can be made public and visible on the Shareist hosted website that’s attached to that project. You don’t have to do that. You can turn it off. Or you can flip a switch and turn it on. It would on default be on a Shareist subdomain or you can attach your own custom domain to it, kind of like the way Tumblr works. So each project has a website on it. You can use that as a primary website. Some people use it as a secondary place to put some content to push off to the Shareist site and then maybe some special things to blog to mix it up a little bit. And some people don’t us it at all.

Jonathan: Now affiliate linking tools. What is that?

Scott: This is my background, the background of my company. Shareist kind of grew out of the tools we’ve built for ourselves over the past almost 10 years. A couple of years ago, we decided to turn it into a product for other people to use. But this technology that Shareist has is based on is the technology that we use for our own publishing efforts as affiliate marketing; creating primarily niche retain community websites. So we’ve built a lot of tools that automate the things that go around affiliate marketing, like creating links, tracking page search and that sort of stuff. There are a few affiliate linking tools that are built into Shareist, but to put it simply, we allow the project owner to add affiliate links in an affiliate linking interface. So say an Amazon affiliate link is kind of a template link. There are called deep links. If you’re more familiar with affiliate marketing, that’s what the affiliate marketing term for it is. We’ll use that and then you don’t have to go and create links anymore for that merchant. You just link to them directly. And we’ll automatically turn that link into an affiliate link for you. So every time you place an Amazon product on your site, you don’t have to worry about going to Amazon to get the affiliate link for that product. Or any time you put a pair of Zappos shoes on your website, you don’t have to go to Commission Junction to get a link for that. We’ll automatically do that for you once you set up each merchant.

Jonathan: I’m very familiar with SkimLinks. Is are you using that tool? Or is it something similar to that?

Image representing Prosperent as depicted in C...

Image by None via CrunchBase

Scott: It’s similar. It works in a very similar way. Technically it works in a similar way as SkimLinks. From a business standpoint, it’s not the same at all. In the case of SkimLinks, they have all the relationships with the merchants. They are taking the money from the merchants and paying the publishers. In our case, we’re not in the middle. It’s you having a direct relationship with a merchant and you’re putting your links in there. And they’re going in directly. So you’re getting paid. It’s your affiliate accounts. SkimLinks is super simple. You don’t have to really worry about anything, other than just getting into SkimLinks. With us, you still have to manage that relationship with the merchants directly and put them into Shareist. That said, we have integration with SkimLink and BigLink and Prosperent, three tools that do that same service. So if you want to use them and you’re using a Shareist site, we’ll help you get that code in there. If you have WordPress, it’s up to you to get those tools in there.

Jonathan: So super simple. That’s great for those people who are just dipping their big toe into affiliate marketing and don’t have a lot of time. They can either have a one-to-one relationship using Commission Junction or something like that or they can go and use SkimLinks. Regardless, it’s can be integrated into Shareist, which is fantastic.

Cycling’s Parallel with Shareist

Jonathan: Let’s switch gears now. You’re an avid cyclist, right?

Scott: I am, yes.

Jonathan: I have friend who is an avid cyclist and he does what I believe is called a Millennium. Is that the right term?

Scott: Actually they’re called century rides.

Jonathan: That’s 100 miles in a day? Or 100 miles without stopping?

Scott: Yes. It’s 100 miles. There is some stopping, but not necessarily. It’s not a requirement that you don’t stop. [laughter]

Jonathan: Yea. Well, if you have to stop, you have to stop. I’m going to appreciate your answers to the next five questions because they are far more philosophical than you can handle having little sleep. [laughter] What do you see as parallels between your work at Shareist and cycling?

Scott: Wow! I don’t know if I’m going to be able to answer that question because to me, cycling is almost an escape from all that stuff. You hear about the runner’s high. I’ve been a runner for a long time and only cycling for a couple of years, and I never really got that from running or anything else. But I will go on a 4-hour cycling ride and not even know that I’m on it. You might think that you can go up there and think about work or think about things. But to me, I’m just focused on nothing more than turning my legs. It might sound boring, but it’s meditative. I think people who meditate, which I don’t, would probably say that I was meditating out there on the road. It’s a commitment and it’s a challenge. I’m always competing against myself and sometimes my friends when I’m riding in groups. It honestly kept me sane. How it relates to my work at Shareist is that it has allowed me to keep working at a start up like this at this pace for a couple of years.

Jonathan: Well, there you go. I know as an entrepreneur, we don’t stop until we’re just dropping. So I understand clearing your mind. That’s kind of where I was going with this. Have you ever experienced getting off the bike and having a revelation about the direction of the company or anything like that?

Scott: Yea. It does clear your mind. Sometimes I’m distracted by work and I’m thinking about work when I’m on the bike. Those aren’t the best rides. But yea, when there’s nothing to do, that’s when your subconscious brain kicks in. You’re not even thinking about it, but problems get solved. Without even realizing it, you come back either re-energized or with your brain having done some work in the background. The same thing happens in the shower. When there’s nothing to do, your brain can focus on other things. And some good things can happen.

Four for Friday: Questions Everyone Is Asked

Jonathan: Let’s move on to Four for Friday, which are questions that everyone is asked. Here’s our first Four for Friday question: What is your idea of perfect Internet happiness?

Scott: Having friends around on social media. Because I’m working alone at home, I rely on having someone always to talk to, whether I’m needing a break or needing an inspiration or just a laugh. That’s really the best thing. Being connected. It’s especially important for someone who is working remotely.

Jonathan: That’s perfect. What is your greatest Internet regret? MySpace. [laughter] I’m tempted to say how much of an open book I am online. I’m a very quiet kind of person, and I kind of let that go when I’m online. I’m known for posting a lot of selfies of myself and I get a lot of grief for it. But it’s fun. And every time someone hates on me for it, I get three people sticking up for me. It’s just a fun thing. But I question my openness online.

Jonathan: Knowing you online, I could say by comparison there are plenty more people who have cut out their heart and put it on Facebook much more than you have. Keep those selfies coming because they are great. Especially when you’re on bike rides. Here is the third question: What do you consider your greatest achievement to date?

Scott: I would say that it’s the business that we’ve built here. Not Shareist yet. I hope that will be my greatest achievement, but all the work that led up to that. It’s not terribly visible as a great achievement, but it allowed us to bootstrap this and start up a new business, which has been an incredible experience. We spent several years building up an affiliate-based business and driving millions of dollars of revenue, enabling us to do this and embark on this.

Jonathan: Let me clarify because I’m a little confused. Are you saying that there is another business that then allowed you to build Shareist?

Scott: Yea. The company that owns Shareist is MechMedia, which is our company. I say “our” because I have a partner. We started that in 2005. That was the affiliate publishing business that I was talking about that built both the technology that became Shareist and the revenue that funded it.

Jonathan: I see. That clears things up. I wasn’t sure if you were talking about ShareASale. Obviously, all of us in the Internet world have kind of compounded our experiences to the point where we are now. But you made it clear. Thank you. Here is the final question: Do you have a favorite Internet book?

Scott: Yours.

Jonathan: That’s a trick question. [laughter] Do you have another favorite Internet book, whether it’s something that got you into the field initially or something like that?

Scott: You know, I’m kind of a geek and an engineer. Most of my reading is technical stuff. I tend to go more toward the books by Malcolm Gladwell and books like “Blink” that give me some inspiration and keep me going mentally rather than studying the Internet stuff. Living this start up thing, I read a lot of blogs and read a lot of that stuff. I don’t read a lot of books about the Internet. I’ll read the stuff that helps motivation and inspiration and technical stuff.

Jonathan: That’s great. Well, this has been a fantastic interview. I really appreciate this. We’ve been talking to Scott Jangro from Shareist. We’re going to head off now. I will see you at Affiliate Summit East when it comes back around to New York.

Scott: For sure. Great. Thanks, Jonathan.

Outro

Again, this is Jonathan Goodman. You can follow me @HalyardConsult on Twitter. New episodes of the World of Internet Marketing can be heard every Friday. You can access the archives of my previous shows on Spreaker.com – user name Jonathan Goodman. The podcast is also available with transcription at halyardconsulting.com and geekcast.fm one week after the episode airs. Thank you all for listening to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. Don’t forget to pick up my book The World of Internet Marketing on Amazon, and if you like this podcast please share it with your network of friends and family. Have a great week.

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Podcast: Interview with Scott Jangro of Shareist is a post from: Halyard Consulting

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Podcast: 2013 Tech Wrap Up – Schema | Freebase | EdgeRank http://halyardconsulting.com/podcast-2013-tech-wrap/ http://halyardconsulting.com/podcast-2013-tech-wrap/#comments Tue, 21 Jan 2014 15:34:32 +0000 http://halyardconsulting.com/?p=13593 Podcast: 2013 Tech Wrap Up – Schema | Freebase | EdgeRank is a post from: Halyard Consulting

What is Schema? There will be a pop quiz in the middle of these presentations. What do you guys see here? Apple. What do you guys see here? A logo. Right. On the right-hand side, we have Apple the company. On the left-hand side, we have a picture of an apple, the fruit. What does the engine see? We can’t just type in “apple” and they understand what we want. So there has to be a way for it to differentiate between Apple, the company, and apple, the fruit. That’s what we’re going to focus on.

Podcast: 2013 Tech Wrap Up – Schema | Freebase | EdgeRank is a post from: Halyard Consulting

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Podcast: 2013 Tech Wrap Up – Schema | Freebase | EdgeRank is a post from: Halyard Consulting

This is Jonathan Goodman. Welcome to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. It’s great to have you with us. Today we are going to do a review of 2013 tech information. I recently had the opportunity to speak up in Kingston, New York at Dragon Search.  I attempted to audiotape it through my iPhone, but something went wrong. I’ve been successful at doing that in the past, but this time it didn’t work. But Dragon Search was nice enough to provide me the audio that they’d taped. It was in the back of the room and there is a little bit of coughing. I’m going to try to work on the audio level as we go along. But hopefully, the audio is good enough for you to hear and we’re going to follow along on the monitor. I’ll switch the monitor now so that you can see the PowerPoint presentation that I did. This is essentially a culmination of all of the presentations I did throughout the year at the conferences that I speak at.

We’re going to switch over now to that. This is the presentation I did at Dragon Search up in Kingston, New York. They are great. I had a great time there. It was a little bit of a trek. Its two and a half hours for me via car. But Kingston is very nice. We had lunch and the food there was delicious. Ric Dragon speaks at all the conferences. He’s a great person. He’s very, very smart. He writes a lot. He has a book out. So I had a really nice time there. My audio is going to drop in 2 seconds and we’ll switch over to the audio from the presentation.

Schema

What is Schema? There will be a pop quiz in the middle of these presentations. What do you guys see here? Apple. What do you guys see here? A logo. Right. On the right-hand side, we have Apple the company. On the left-hand side, we have a picture of an apple, the fruit. What does the engine see? We can’t just type in “apple” and they understand what we want. So there has to be a way for it to differentiate between Apple, the company, and apple, the fruit. That’s what we’re going to focus on.

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

When we look at schema code, we’re able to separate things into topics and products. We’ll get into that. For the very top level, schema product, we’re able to associate with that apple. The schema organization we’re able to associate with that logo. And we can kind of break this down into the name, the color and who the founder of the Apple company is. What we used to work in was MetaData. What we’re starting to work in is MicroData. So metadata very easily sends the description of Apple the company that creates iTunes, Mac computers, the iOSX operating system and the revolutionary iPhones and IPad that is associated with Apple, Inc.

With MicroData, we’re really able to say this is the organization, this the brand, this is the ULR associated and on and on. We’re able to give it an address. We’re able to give it relevant information. So when the search engines comes to a page, if written up correctly, we’re able to provide significant data.

Let’s talk about defining item type. So here it is a corporation. Here it is a product. They’re both apple. The distinction is within the categorization within schema. We’re able to associate things to that. For instance, Steve Jobs is the founder. He is a person. We’ll get more into the categorization later. How many of you in the audience are working in schema right now? Okay, you’re working in schema. Great.

Let’s talk about how it affects search results. Here is a video I did for Affiliate Summit East 2013. When you see it, obviously the average person doesn’t understand what’s behind it. So let’s look at the code. We’ve got a video. We now understand that this going to be leading to an actual video. We’ve defined the name. We’ve told it to go to T6M51S. It is 6 minutes, 51 seconds. Who is in this? I am. That is the name of jpeg that will be pulled in. And the description. So we’re able to provide that page, that information, so that when it comes up in the search result, it looks exactly the way we want it.

Let’s talk about products. This is probably one of the best examples out there. Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2011 erotic romance novel by British author E.L. James. It is the first installment in the Fifty Shades trilogy that that traces the deepening relationship between a college graduate and ….Published date was June 20, 2011. When you look for Fifty Shades of Grey, it comes in on the left hand side with Amazon, E.L. James. And on the right, here’s where we’re starting to see the difference. This is the schema markup. This is schema. This is defined as a book. Fifty Shades of Grey is the title. Before the search engines would just show you this. What they’re trying to do and what they’re trying to get to – and this is outside of the presentation – but let me just say that the idea behind all the work they’re doing in schema is to get rid of all these lists. They – and Google specifically – wants to keep you on Google. They want to provide you with 100% of the data. This is going to be very controversial, although that’s several years away. Because what’s going to happen, which we already see with the travel industry, is you’re able to see all of the times and schedules for wherever you want to fly. And when you go into your Gmail, you’re now able to click through the tickets, right? So all of this data is coming through in schema. If this eventually goes away, you’re just going to have to get used to asking specific questions to get the relevant data. It’s going to be very controversial because what’s going to happen is they may turn too far right and they only provide this without any sociological trend, there are going to be a lot of people that switch off to Bing or whatever.

Comment from audience member: “Sports is like that too.” Is it? I’m sure that is done outside of the ESPN. And Events is another one. So we’re starting to see all this being pulled in. Personally, I think this is a good thing.So if you’re providing the data correctly, you’re going to be up there in the search rankings. Now the question is really: What’s the value in that? If my data is being extracted from my website, what value did I have? I wasn’t able to participate in knowing how many people came to the search and knowing how many people clicked through. Well, click through is one thing. But how many people got this data and information and then made that purchase to get tickets to the Affiliate Summit? We can just look through the code. So schema. This is a business event. The name is coded Summit East. The item prop. This is where the link would bring you to. Start date. Location. Address.

Here is a quote from Matt Cutts:

Image representing Matt Cutts as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

“Just because you implement schema.org markup, that doesn’t mean that you should necessarily rank higher…I’m not going to take that off the table….But just somebody implements schema.org markup, that doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily an automatically better site….although it can be a good idea to markup things in a rich structure just because then different people can slice and dice and find your site more easily if they are doing more digging.”

So take out “different people” and just put in “Google,” right? And you know that when you have a “but” in a quote that everything else is bogus. So that quote is from Matt Cutts. My viewpoint is:

“… a well-structured site, rich in detail and capable of correctly offering more extensive data is more likely to gain ranking within the search results” – Jonathan Goodman

We are getting to a point now where if you do not have a marked up website, you are not going to be in the search engines. So we’ve gone over 25 years of having the Internet. In the beginning, everybody had one or two pages and they looked horrible. They weren’t marked up with anything. Then slowly the people who got on board got better rankings. Now we’re seeing another element where if they don’t mark their data up correctly, they’re not going to be in the search rankings going forward.

Let’s talk about great resources for this. For you techies, within Google Webmaster itself, you have the structured data testing tool. This allows you to put in a ULR, authorship test, authorship email verification = author. Make sure that when you’re looking to all of this what comes back is exactly what you want it to be in the search engines.

Structure Data Markup Helper. This is a very interesting tool because you’re able to put in an entire ULR and have Google walk you through the process of them understanding what is relevant. For instance, you put in this page and you can in here and on the side, it’s going to say “Is Jonathan Goodman the author of this page?” Well, if you confirm that, then they go through the rest of the website and they say ‘where else was Jonathan Goodman’s name relevant to the author tab.’ It’s very quick They generally say it takes about 10 pages. I can tell you that to really perfect this, it takes about 50 pages because you really have to explain to it where the author tag is in the code and make sure that they really understand. But once that’s done, any additional pages that you add to that website will automatically be identified. You can look to make sure and continue checking, but it’s definitely going to be an easier way for the Google search to understand.

Schema-creator.org. For you non-code people, this is a great way for code to be written around the information that you have. You simply put in the name, the organization, the job title, the URL, the description and a whole bunch of other things that you might want to put in there. You come up with a little preview and then the code comes in. And you’re able to verify that the item type is pulling in for the organization, Halyard Consulting, and job title. So in this case, I’m coming in as a person, Jonathan Goodman, in schema. All of the elements of the code are being put into format field. This is the basic just for the name, the person, and everything like that. The more in depth you get, the more you have to self-code and get into the real logistics.

Freebase

What is it? It was originally created by Metaweb, which was then acquired by Google. It has over 40 million topics. Over 2,000 types of related tables within those topics. There are 30,000 properties. It has its own metadata code and you’re able to build applications off of that. It has a community of thousands. All of people don’t know about Freebase and a lot of people think that it’s not really utilized, so I’ll show you exactly who is utilizing it later in this presentation.

Freebase is a graph data structure allowing for growth of data without restrictions. This presentation was done about a week after the end of Breaking Bad. You have nodes. This is kind of technical. Nodes are data points, so Bryan Cranston is a node. And Breaking Bad is a node. The connector between those two things is the edge. So you’ve got all your data about Bryan Cranston and you’ve got all your data about Breaking Bad and you’re relating the two together.

Breaking Bad (season 2)

Breaking Bad (season 2) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then you have topics, which are nodes, but not every node is a topic. They include physical entities, artistic creations, classifications, abstract concepts and schools of thought. I took “Breaking Bad” and Bryan Cranston. And within those, how do they relate? Awesomeness, which is abstract concept. Empire Building is a school of thought. Psychostimulant is a classification, Methamphetamine is a drug, which is also a classification of a drug. They all interrelate to topic.

Topics can have numerous associated types. In Breaking Bad, we’ve determined that it’s a TV program, that is award nominated and it is award winning. This is what it looks like after putting everything together within properties. Each type has a different set of properties. Breaking Bad is a TV program with a program creator, which is Vince Gilligan, so we connect those two guys together. This connects that and is connected to Breaking Bad. The air date of the first episode is January 20, 2008 and the number of seasons is 5. You see how we’re taken elements, or types, of Breaking Bad and we’ve said that this relates to that. So then you’re able to build that whole thing out as a data point.

It’s very similar to Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon except its college attended, street, age, where born and endless from that point. You’re basically relating different things to each other. So let’s play a game. What two ways is Gregory Peck connected to Steve Wozniak? I’ll give you the first one. They both attended UC Berkeley. So what is the next one? Steve Wozniak was an Apple founder with Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs was the chairman of Pixar. They won an Academy award. So did Gregory Peck.

When we think about where Freebase exists within what Google is trying to build, this isn’t necessarily the best way to do this. Can I write on this board? The better way to visualize this is: The Goggle Knowledge Graph rests on Freebase, which pulls from Schema.org. Now realize that schema.org isn’t exclusively on Google. There are a lot of relationships between Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. Everybody is involved with that. And pulling from that is Wikepedia. The query within Freebase allows you to very simply ask a question looking for a result. So here, we’ve put in “show me all of the FIBA soccer teams. And here we have Federal of International Football Association. The Victorian Football League, the Brazilian Football Confederation. They are within the wider scope of similar organizations to FIBA  You can generate a template from this to pull those results and put that in. Is that relevant to any of the work that you’re currently doing?  Are any of your clients asking for large data bases being constructed with vital information, maybe travel or something like that? This is where you are really able to pull that together. And this is what it will look like: A complete listing of those details.

Let’s talk about Freebase in action. There are a couple of really interesting websites, such as Small Demons. Freebase pulls every song, food, person and place within every book. And it also talks about exactly the locations within the book. So this is really extracting data from every book that is within the database and making it to relevant to items that are being talked about. To get value out of Freebase, you’re able to get the already pre-qualified data that’s in there. To put your own data in there does kind of require more. Say Wikipedia where they have editors and those editors have to go through a rigorous process.

Question from audience: “Are you an editor for Freebase?” No.

Question from audience: “We’d like to get our client’s information into Freebase.”  Okay, for instance, let’s say your client is United. The relevancy of the data points there would be destination, hubs, flights, vacations, destinations and things like that. So you could build a travel app that allows people using United.com to go to this app or integrate the app within their destination and pull up advertising for restaurants and things like that. The same as how this itself isn’t relevant until you monetize it through Spotify and things like that.

Image representing Yatedo as depicted in Crunc...

Image by None via CrunchBase

Yatedo is another website. It’s a free people search engine that provides relevant personal connections through social graph along with images, video, web pages, news and books associated with that person. So I pull myself up. Here are the two major images that I use. I actually tend to use this one more. They extracted that out. Here is my ad for when I did the Kickstart campaign for the book. Here’s my Linked In profile, my Facebook profile, my Amazon profile and something else as well. These are people who are related to me. The majority of these people are actually people who I’ve gone to college with. It’s funny how they threw the name ‘Christopher Knight’ in. Christopher Knight is the guy who created one of the regurgitated article. It was during the time when there was a lot of colonization of articles and he was the warehouse of that. I’ve been a very big anti-colonization advocate. I think the reason I’m pulled in here is that a lot of articles that I’ve personally written have been anti warehousing of articles.  Another website, Richseam.com, lets you discover music the collaborations and connections of your favorite artists. It also brings in APIs from DBpedia, EchoNest, Last.fm, MusicBrainz, Songkick, Spotify Metadata and YouTube. Because they understand what I listen to, they can then build a tree of why am I listening to this if I’ve listened to that previously.

EdgeRank

What is EdgeRank? EdgeRank is Facebook. Affinity is the viewer to creator relationship. Weight is the interactions, so if you comment, like or share. Decay is the age of content. The average user could be shown 1,500 stories each visit. Everybody on Facebook here? Does anybody forward with Facebook? Let me tell you why. They have moved to 100,000 points. They still have their Affinity. They still have all that stuff, but now they’ve expanded this to what they are calling Machine Learning. Unfortunately, the Machine Learning is too rigid. They need to back off from that. A lot of you are probably seeing the same content over and over and you’re missing content from maybe what Facebook would consider your tertiary friends list. Most of us have between 100 and 500 contacts. What we’re seeing now is the top 20 people. But if there is nothing new from those top 20 people, we’re not seeing the other 150 to 450 other users.

We have Affinity Categories and Subcategories, hosts, types, interactions and so on. Let’s go through each one of these. Affinity has now split into categories and subcategories. There are large interactions and there are small interactions. You have college friends, family, local friends, people who think they’re your friend, business associates, high school friends. Whereas family used to be everybody, they’ve now kind of split up. For those most part, there is this segmented college and friends and local people. When we look at Global Interactions, this is an interesting one. This happened after the Super Storm Sandy disaster. Global can outweigh Affinity. So that means that even though I’ve never done anything with the American Red Cross and I don’t have any previous history of donating, because this is such a large event and globally, people are talking about it, this is going to get a higher place in my news feed. So that’s a disruption to the way it used to be. I would never see this whole line because my Affinity says that I don’t really work the American Red Cross and I don’t really donate. But because there are more interactions, it’s shown to more people.

We’re going to break this section into 3 different types of people. Dirk likes, comments and shares articles. He’s going to see mostly articles. Jon likes, comments and shares photos. He’s going to see mostly photos. Duc likes, comments and shares videos. He’s mostly going to see videos. What does mean to all of you? You need to diversify your message. You have to have an article, a photo and a video to reach a maximum number. So you essentially have to have 3 different posts each attracting a different group of people.

Interactions with ads can influence the news feeds. So if it winds up that you interact more when you’re looking at your desktop, if you’re more willing to click on an ad, you’re going to be shown more ads. But if you’re on your mobile device and you generally ignore ads, you’re not going to see as many ads. The speed of your device is going to determine what you’re going to see. If you’re heading through the terminal at Grand Central and you just reconnected with Wi-Fi, you’re more likely going to see taxis that come in during that time that you were in the underground. If you’re on a high-speed desktop, you’re most likely going to see videos because they know that you can interact with that.

Let’s talk about story bumping. If you haven’t interacted with a story like everyone else in your network has, Facebook believes that you should interact with that and you’re going to see it over and over again. As other people interact with it, they think you should be interacting with it. It actually bends the time decay rule. The time decay rule says that if something was posted at 2 pm this afternoon, that by 6 pm I really shouldn’t see it if I’ve already seen it, but I haven’t interacted with it. But the story bumping will say, well, wait a second, 10 of your friends like it, so we’re going to show it to you again. This is ruining Facebook for them. There is a proven increased interaction where 5% of friends stories and 8% of page stories are getting this bump.

Here’s another quiz: The last 50 rolling interactions assist sort news feeds. That essentially means that Facebook is looking at the last 50 things that you did. Did you share, like or comment a video or an article or photo? Did you like a page? If you did those things, the next thing you’re going to do is shown. What would that be? If you did 4 video shares, 6 video likes, 3 video comments, 8 article shares, 4 articles comments, 10 article likes, 4 article comments, 4 photo shares, 4 photo likes, 1 ad click and 2 page likes, what are you going to be shown next? You’re going to be shown the article. It comes off that number unless you interact with it, and you’ll end up seeing more and more articles. The last 50 rolling interactions assist sorting news feed.

Let’s talk about complaints. We’ve all seen videos or photos or stories that we just don’t want anything to do with. If they’re coming from a page, this could have significant detrimental impact on the entire page. For your clients, this could really have a very bad situation if a lot of people start to hide or state that your data is spam, you will eventually fall to such a low priority that you’re not going to be seen by anyone. That’s an extreme, but spam or hide can have a significant detrimental value. Now I’ve done it. I have friends who want me to buy their product. During Christmas, I have no interest in that, so I can go in and I can say, the relationship that I have with that person I don’t particularly want to see this piece of news feed, which is them trying to sell me something. And then Facebook will say ‘do you want to see nothing from them’ or do you just not want to see this type of stuff?

Let’s talk about relationships. They’ll now start asking if this is a close friend or an acquaintance. And do you want to see everything? Or do you only want to see important things? And what type of important things? Things like events and status updates? This is allowing you to critically look at what your friends are posting and say I only want to be involved with a certain aspect of this person’s life. For updates, people can get in there and say “all updates?” or “all important updates” or “only important updates.” So if you’re having a client relationship and you’re trying to gain a national amount of followers, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything if all you’re saying is, well, most updates. Only important would be the trend of are people interacting? That’s where that falls in.

This is something that Rick and I were talking about. I don’t really know what the whole context of the conversation was, but we started doing a stalker type of search in Facebook. I’m from New City, so I said single women from New City who live in New York City. And it shows me a list of people. There is some commonality with these top 4 people. These are people that I know. Two are mutual friends. These are friends who were New City and now live in New York City. Think about it from the client side. You could start doing searches and pulling up specific people and market to them on a one-to-one basis based on certain criteria you have. It eventually falls into the No Mutual Friends.

Question from audience: “Do you have to have commonality?” No. It will show you the first that you do, but then after that, you don’t.

If you have a client and you wanted to break down that client even further to people who are in the group that like it, you could then start segmenting those users. Common city chronological ordering is something that Twitter does very well. Live Event. Sports. Television. News. It doesn’t reorder, so it will keep you reading the whole news feed as it’s actually happening. They haven’t perfected this yet, but it knows that you want to follow the story. This is something that they’re working on in the future.

Outro

Again, this is Jonathan Goodman. Thank you all for listening to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. You can follow me @HalyardConsult on Twitter. New episodes of the World of Internet Marketing can be heard every Friday. You can access the archives of my previous shows on Spreaker.com – user name Jonathan Goodman. The podcast is also available with transcription at halyardconsulting.com and geekcast.fm one week after the episode airs. Don’t forget to pick up my book The World of Internet Marketing on Amazon, and if you like this podcast please share it with your network of friends and family.

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Podcast: 2013 Tech Wrap Up – Schema | Freebase | EdgeRank is a post from: Halyard Consulting

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