Archive for February, 2008

SEO Guest Post #1

February 29, 2008

As promised, we’re kicking off a series of guest posts by Shi Heng Cheong on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Here’s question #1:

1) What is SEO and Why Does it Matter?


SEO is about getting visitors to your Web site from search engines by being visible when people search for terms related to your site’ content. SEO is more than just getting high ranking in the search engine results page(SERP).

Targeted Traffic High Response

You want search engine traffic because these are filtered traffic and highly relevant to your site’s content which in turn increases the success rate of getting your most wanted response.

Effective search engine optimization strategies can get you the search engine visibility and targeted traffic to promote your services and products. It is low cost, offers measureable results and imposes no geographical barrier.

On the other hand, advertising and promotion using traditional media is high cost, results not easily measureable and usually confined by geographical barriers.

Search Engine and The Long Tail

Search engine is an effective tool for filtering The Long Tail, and it is in this part of the market that search engine optimization and search marketing excel.

Now, small and medium-sized companies with limited marketing resources can tap into this huge number of niches and grow their business. The days of blockbuster hits are numbered. With the Internet and ever increasing online space, more variety can be offered in smaller numbers. Think Amazon.com and eBay.com.

The search engine helps the consumers to find the unique products they want. As for the merchants, it is important that their Web site can be found in the search engine results listing.

SEO – Marketers’ Core Competence

Search engine optimization should and will be the core competence for all marketers as companies rely more on the Internet to conduct business. Using the search engine to promote your business need not be rocket science.

Here’s the 3 simple steps that will ensure good ranking and quality traffic to your site:

1. Select the right keywords

2. Make your Web design search engine friendly

3. Make your site simple and easy-to-use

About the author: Shi Heng Cheong is with Finggle Pte Ltd – a search marketing training company that conducts regular SEO Web Design Courses and SEO workshops to Web specialists, marketing professionals and business owners.

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Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

February 29, 2008

Time to stop talking and start doing.

I’m the vice-president of a student run media club, SMU Broadcast & Entertainment and we do radio and tv and live events. I gotta admit, for a club who deals with media, we’re not tackling social/new media very well.

So here’s our experiment: We’ve started a blog called SMU Djs and given access to everyone (that’s over 30 people) to blog about what goes on in our studio, which is fairly hidden from the general population here at SMU.

Even as I created the blog, the usual “control” haunting went on in my mind. What will people post? Will they be responsible? How will our online reputation fare? Will anyone care?

I think these questions are overwhelming. And one way or the other, the answers will come in a few months.

Using Scents As Marketing?

February 28, 2008

People have different ways of deciding where to eat:

  • convenience (that’s me)
  • price
  • food quality
  • service
  • length of queue (if you’re Singaporean)

How about scent/smell of the place as you pass it?

There’s this eatery tucked away at Serene Centre and I swear we’ve eaten everywhere in the building, but that place. Two nights ago, we walked past fully intending to go somewhere else for dinner, but the aroma coming out of it was superb and we decided to give it a try. True enough the food was excellent.

I like food, but I’m nowhere near the foodie that Amelia is. So naturally this tale takes on a more marketing/advertising perspective for me. How much does the smell come into play when you decide to eat? Granted, it’s not a typical foodie metric, but it seemed to work in this case, right? I gotta look for other instances where restaurant aromas have translated into positive word of mouth.

One aspect where the restaurant’s branding didn’t quite work out: I remember the smell but not the name of the place, so sadly my directions can be no more specific than “the corner of Serene Centre, opposite the videogame store”. oh the irony.

Fav.or.it

February 28, 2008

Picked this up from ReadBurner (hey another social aggregator), it’s fav.or.it which is integrates commenting with rss “river” feeds. It’s still on closed beta right now, but that’s no reason for you not to pre-register and jump right on the bandwagon once it opens up!

Check out the original article and some screenshots on Mashable.

If you’re deciding between this and FriendFeed which I just blogged about, why not go with both and see which you prefer in the long run? I’ll be uniquefrequency on both.

FriendFeed Is Open!

February 28, 2008

FriendFeed is no longer in beta, so that means anyone can sign up!

Why should you?

FriendFeed is another of those social aggregators, and it’s cool because you can actually “track” what your friends like and are sharing. For example, if you’re following me on FriendFeed and I favourite a YouTube video, when you logon, you’ll see the video that I favourited, and can check it out, if you choose. It extends to blog posts, shared items on Google Reader, Twitter, Flickr, Last.fm and many more.

For a visual display, you can check out how my FriendFeed looks like.

Also, check out 10 ways to get more out of FriendFeed as well as advice on how to use it. Both are great articles that influenced the way I’m using FriendFeed right now.

Adventures In Social Media #2

February 26, 2008

Last week I posted adventures in social media #1 with Derrick Kwa, and this week I’m moving on to #2 Shi Heng Cheong with aka TIMM Guru (that’s The Internet Marketing Machine Guru), specialising in SEO (search engine optimisation) in Singapore.

Shi found my post on Singapore trying to join the Google race and left his comment here, as well as a post of his own.

Shi will be contributing a number of guest posts to this blog revolving around the top 10 questions about SEO that you should want to know.

If you have no idea what SEO is or are tempted to brush it off as unimportant, don’t. Remember how the saying used to be “no one ever got fired for putting a 30 second spot in the marketing plan”? Well, the new saying is “no one ever got fired for putting search in the marketing plan”, and that’s what SEO is all about.

First guest post on SEO should be up by the end of this week or early next week, subscribe via RSS to make sure you don’t miss out on it!

If I Have Unlimited Choice, How Do I Decide?

February 25, 2008

Just over a week ago I highlighted a chance to get on AssetBar as provided by Louis Gray, as well as introduce LinkRiver, picked up from the same source.

I don’t know how many people took up those invitations, but I sure did and I have to admit my reaction is kinda mixed. I liked the features of AssetBar, but not the UI (user interface). I liked LinkRiver’s functions, but found it a little hard to find friends. All in all, great products, but I wasn’t sure they would ever take the place of Google Reader. Not that it really mattered, I wasn’t looking for a replacement, just different ways of using the same RSS function on the web.

As a pretty typical Internet user, my attention span isn’t great, and I thought “Ok nice programme, doesn’t do a lot for me, I’ll try to keep it in mind.” What changed it was that creators from both applications dropped me a message at my blog to say “look out for this” or “just to clarify this”.

In other words: they were listening. I commented on this somewhere, which lead to Louis beating me to the punch (on time, but not message), that companies that listen to their users will win in the end

And that alone was enough for me to consciously set aside time to continually explore their applications, and I’m sure one day they’ll give Google Reader a run for their money.

If you’ve had similar stories, or other such applications/programmes to share, feel free to comment and share them!

By the way, I am well aware that these posts are just flying over the heads of many of my friends, but I’m going to be introducing 2 things that have totally changed my internet usage habits: RSS and del.icio.us. So if you’ve been one of them who’s been telling me “your blog is so technical now” or “why do I want to be even more connected?”. Stay tuned and read on.

Icio Week 7

February 23, 2008

Icio week 7 aka del.icio.us bookmarks worth sharing in week 7:

How to write posts that set StumbleUpon on fire from ProBlogger. If you’re not using StumbleUpon, this is a post you must check out.

Specifically for my friends Rubin & Reuben, but for anyone else who still doesn’t get Twitter, Rex Hammock tells you Twitter is something you’ll never understand, so stop trying.

Small Business Trends got great marketers to post their best kept marketing secrets.

Have you ever wondered why people don’t join social media sites? Well it could be because it only matters when it’s personal

Technorati Authority = Success?

February 22, 2008

I’ve been sitting on this post for awhile, but was motivated into action by Mitch Joel over at Six Pixels Of Separation on his post regarding Technorati Authority.

Background: Technorati authority is simply a measure of how many other people are linking to you from their blogs. ie If 10 people link Unique-Frequency, my Technorati ranking is higher than if 2 people linked me. (This isn’t a new metric of “importance”, Google’s PageRank uses a similar system)

Thinking about this over the last week or so, I have to respectfully disagree with Mitch on the issue because I don’t think it’s a good indicator of whether a blog is “successful” or not.

The reason? Technorati doesn’t discriminate between links. I could have been scraped by a spam blog, just added by someone’s blogroll or mentioned in Joseph Jaffe’s UNM2PNM new marketing and they all will get picked up equally and add to my authority.

That said, of course it’s nice to have a higher authority, but does that really, tangibly mean anything? For example, Mitch has an authority of 550 on Technorati, but Jaffe has about 685. Should that mean I automatically take Jaffe to be more credible? Certainly I have learned a lot from both bloggers and would not say they should be almost 150 points apart.

Conversely, the JaffeJuice group on Facebook has 626 members while the Six Pixels Society more than doubles it at 1325 members. Does that mean anything?

Both are instances where bloggers or Facebook users have a choice whether to link or to join the groups. Some choose to, some don’t.

Here’s what I feel is the inherent flaw: You have to own a blog or be on Facebook to add to the Technorati authority or to the Facebook group’s numbers. But the number of people who are actual content creators (ie bloggers) is somewhere in the region of 13% according to a study shown in social media class. In other words, the other 87% are by default, excluded.

Now I’m not saying this is a bad metric. Obviously I love it when my authority goes up (I’m at 13). But I also know that while I have certain nice mentions by people like Louis Gray in an actual conversation, it also contains spam blog links and links on people’s blogroll, whether or not they read my blog. This difference makes me take the Technorati authority with a pinch of salt.

The system isn’t perfect, but then perhaps no system is. But personally, until this tension between discriminatory and non-discriminatory links are reconciled, I’m hesitant to place a strong emphasis on Technorati authority.

Adventures In Social Media #1

February 20, 2008

One thing I really enjoy about Web2.0 is how you can meet and connect with people so easily, even when you don’t have any intention to.

Case in point? Adventure #1.

I was driving home listening to Six Pixels Of Separation #89, when I heard a distinctively Singaporean accent in an audio comment on Apple. So I got home, checked out the show notes and got to Sui Generis, Derrick Kwa’s website.

A little probing around later, I realised that I should get into direct contact with Derrick because he’s an Arsenal fan, clearly has a thing for marketing and new media and even has a post on the same JJ Abrams video at TED that I posted about awhile back.

In short, as mentioned so many times in social media discussions, Derrick is an example of “people like me”.

As a result Derrick is now on my MSN, we’re mutual friends on Twitter, and followers of each others’ blogs.

Now, this whole story has a point. I’m not trying to tell you about the serendipity of Web2.0 and that you’re going to find a soul mate online.

What I am saying is that the internet has so many people interested in so many things (literally anything) and you can very simply reach into that Long Tail, find your niche and find one person or a handful or many people who are just like you and share your common interests and/or passions.

So now you know this, what’re you going to do about it? Or do you already have similar stories to share? I want to hear from you!

Adventures in Social Media #2 will be coming next week, with some implications for this blog. Keep reading.