My Paper.

Synopsis:

The ability to effectively optimize a website is an extremely difficult and long process; although through our class we have learned quite a bit of the do’s and don’ts to ranking a page; I can openly admit I have years of learning in front of me.  Currently my website is on the fourth page (be generous as it may have dropped since now) when searching “digital marketing degree programs” and through this paper I will highlight the many strategy’s I used that helped and hurt my campaign.

 

Onsite Strategy:

In order to optimize my website in the way I felt best, I created a WordPress blog; specifically, I used www.digitalmarketingdegrees.wordpress.com as my homepage.  After learning about a few of the options I had it seemed that using a blog site was an effective way to rank high on Google and of all the blog sites WordPress stuck out due to their easy set-up and the abundance of widgets/options they offer.  My initial strategy was to create a site that was interactive, easy to navigate, and gave relevant information to those visiting, so my first step was to find a theme that allowed for all of these things.  The theme that I chose is really easy to navigate, it allows for surfers to quickly and easily find what it is they’re looking for and more importantly every widget I wanted to have active works well with this theme.  The importance of widgets was clear when I realized how critical fresh content is to a page; in order to combat my busy schedule I added a widget that created an RSS Feed linking directly with Forbes and The American Marketing Association. Beyond having the ability to link Forbes and The AMA to my blog the use of widgets also allowed for me to link my Facebook and Twitter pages with my blog, as well as link related blog rolls to classmates blogs, and gave me a “search” bar.  The use of these widgets gave my site new content continuously and added the amount of viewers I had each day, they made my page more interactive and made it more welcoming to users, with each widget came additional views and an overall more complete blog.

As I stated before having the RSS Feed set up with my blog played a critical role in adding content; however, multiple times during the week I added articles that I saw to be relevant and helpful to my site.  Creating new content on my site was simple, because I took the easy way out; rather than do things such as talk about an article and attach a link to it in my posts, I would copy and paste articles (still giving credit to the author and site it originated from) on my page.  Anytime I added a post I used relevant tags, for example, each post had “digital marketing degree programs” and “digital marketing degree program” as a tag; then for articles that dealt with Apple I would add an “Apple” tag and likewise for other companies and topics.  The mindset I had was that tagging content would allow me to group it based on relevancy, allow for easy searching for users, and that it would create more signals to my site and in turn would mean a higher rank on Google.

The idea of anchor text is to show relevancy of the target-landing page with the keywords that are hyperlinked, an example of how I used anchor text is clear on a post I made about Steve Jobs, I used an article that talked about the commencement speech that Jobs gave for Stanford University and added anchor text.  Specifically in this post I created links on relevant words such as “Apple,” “Social,” and “College.”  By creating links I would allow for the readers to click on the word “Apple” and navigate to Apple’s homepage, or to click on “college” and immediately be directed to the University of Michigan – Dearborn’s College of Business webpage.  According to SEOMoz, “search engines use this text to help determine the subject matter of the linked-to documents,” essentially I was using a strategy that attempted to show Google’s spiders my web page was relevant to highly ranked pages such as the UMD College of Business website and to give them an idea as to what content my page had.  I attempted to create relevancy between my page and things that were closely related to “digital marketing degree programs” and hoped anchor text would help to create linkage with other sites.

Outbound links also prove to be a vital part of a successful campaign, by having outbound links I was able to show my page was recognizable and related to a variety of sites, including high rated sites such as an .edu page.  Using a few of the widgets I referred to early, I was able to create direct links to Forbes, Mashable, The American Marketing Association homepage and the University of Michigan – Dearborn College of Business page.  To give a little more depth to this side of my strategy I also added links to three separate blogs on my page, Tyler, Jacob and Matt Cutts blog’s all linked from my homepage to theirs. Outbound links added value without me needing to add content all the time, it gave my visitors relevant information even if I hadn’t posted it and helped my rank on Google because I was aligning my site with well respected sites.  It also gave me a chance to showcase some of the sites I respect and use on a daily basis, it may not seem completely related to the project but I wanted to put these sites their because they were important to other parts of my strategy (commenting on Forbes articles).

 

Offsite Strategy:

As Rand Fishkin said, “In principle, each link to a webpage is seen as a vote for that web page.  In simple terms, if there are two pages that are equally relevant to a given search query, the page with the better inbound link profile will rank higher than the other page.”  SEOMoz taught me quite a few things and one of the most important was the importance they placed on back linking; I put quite a bit of effort to go onto forums such as marketingscoop.com, and place some sort of comment about the article or about digital marketing itself, always including my blogs link.  I also went to websites such as Forbes or CNN and put my link on relevant news articles.  In the beginning I put a general comment on any article that I came across regardless of the relevance; however, as time went on I realized that the most important linking came from forums and edu sites that were related to my topic.  Jacob and I worked together on creating links and at times many of the pages we had created a backlink on were actually showing up on Google searches.  Regardless of where I was dropping my URL, I made sure to place my link in the middle of the comment rather than the end, this practice seemed to hold more merit because normally when a link is placed at the end of a comment it is a spam or part of a person’s signature.  I felt having the URL in the middle gave it a higher rating and that it made people think it was relevant to the comment.

Beyond dropping comments on articles and in forums, I attached my URL to the bottom of each e-mail I have sent from my University of Michigan – Dearborn account, as well as dropped the link on my Facebook account quite a few times. These practices did not stick nearly as often as other strategies, but it did create buzz about my blog and brought visitors to the site in higher numbers.

Jacob and I also worked together to create a Facebook page that we thought would optimize both of our blogs.  We often added articles or posted statuses about marketing and random events just to draw people to our page; the main focus and hope was for this page to drive traffic to our main pages.  The social signals that sites such as Facebook and Twitter create is a substantial amount, we were able to have our page be a key feature in adding content and drawing users to our separate blogs.

 

The Bad:

This project has taught me quite a bit about the variety of strategies that can be used for optimizing a website.  I can say that many of the strategies I used hurt me and caused my blog to never truly rank high on Google search.  The worst mistake was copying content from news articles or other blogs and using it as content for my page, although I never took the credit for the work as my own, I never really talked or went on about my feelings on the articles.  In order to change this I would use original posts about things that I want to talk about, maybe it would have helped if I put in a portion of an article and then proceeded to talk about it in my own words.  I also made the mistake of spamming the tags of the articles I used; rather then placing one relevant tag to each article I used an abundance, which appears to Google as a form of spam.  Although I have attempted to change the tags on my articles I feel it was too little, too late and that I cant really fix what I had already done in that situation.  Creating a Facebook and Twitter page was worth it for many other student’s strategies, but for Jacob and I it did not pan out.  We, unlike the other students, did not use a relevant URL for our Facebook page and regardless of what we did to help our site move up the ranks, it was never able too.  By the end we had both given up on the Facebook page and similar with Twitter; on Twitter it was extremely difficult to gain followers and without followers seeing your tweets, the point of Twitter is gone.  I think these strategies would need more time and more resources to really make a substantial difference.  The last area that I feel was a bit of a mistake was my outbound links to pages such as Jacob, Tyler, or Sam’s blogs, because quite a few SEO experts say that linking to bad “neighborhoods” can penalize your site and I strongly feel this could be the case here.  All three of them have sites that probably carry a zero or one page rank and this does not benefit my site at all; the point being, I should have made sure to create outbound links to only sites that are high page rank and that hold some merit.

 

Best Practices:

Truly I cant say what my best practices were because I feel that all parts of my strategy could have been better, but then again there is always room for improvement.  The one area that I feel I may have done the best in is linking to other blogs, linking to other websites, and actually getting my links to stick.  I dropped my link well over 100 times, not including the many times Jacob included my link in a post, or the times I put my link on a Facebook status or Twitter Tweet.  The problem with my page was not that I didn’t link it, or get viewers, the problem was me attempting to cut corners or to force parts of my page to be more in depth than they actually were.  At the time my page was the highest on Google rank, I had dropped my link often and it had successfully stuck on quite a few pages and at my last check this is still the case with many of my backlinking attempts.

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Oh NO

I am in trouble.  My page is falling drastically and why is this?  Because I tried to take the easy way out.  SEO does not have shortcuts, the days of spamming, copying, or any other way trying to cut corners in getting their page ranked are over.  Trust me.  After being somewhere near the top for nearly the entire semester, (top 2-3 pages) I have dropped well below what I deem acceptable.  We near the end and I am hustling to try and bring my page back to the top, wish me luck.

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Gooogle.

<meta name=”google-site-verification” content=”r1YXh7-JaRw0pfnvkEHrOMrkHLUnV_gPyln5N8HI9i8″ />

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Good Adwords

Google Adwords Secrets For Success

 Right off the bat, I want to introduce myself briefly so you can know you are not wasting your time reading this.My name is Brandon Jones, and one of my businesses Galaxy Parties, Inc. earns an average of $25,000 per month from Google Adwords.My success with Adwords was so tremendous, that I am now a Google Adwords certified partner, and here’s my story of how I did it, and how you can too…..oh, and I’ll also answer the question “What is Google Adwords?” if you don’t know.

In 2007, I got laid off from Citibank.I’m a really bad dancer, and I’m even worse at being a banker.That mixed with the fact that our economy was plummeting meant I was out of a job in eight months.I was engaged, with no job, no college degree, and no impressive resume.In fact, the only reason I got the job at Citibank is because I had a buddy who worked there and put in a good word for me…..sorry Byron!

A LEAP OF FAITH THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING

With a few thousand dollars left on a credit card, I did what any logical laid off person would do, I bought a clown costume and started a kids entertainment business.I had no idea about internet marketing and had never heard of Google Adwords, so I hired an internet marketing company, and I was off and running….actually more like off and crawling.The results were minimal from this marketing company, and I needed something better.

I saw the ads, like we all do, at the top and right side on Google when I would search stuff, and I thought, “I want to get there.”By the way, that’s what Google Adwords is – the paid search listings top and right on a search page. Does that answer your question, “What is Google Adwords?” I opened an account, in 2008, and everything changed.We closed 2008 at around $60K, 2009 over $100K, 2010 $200K, and we are now averaging around $25K per month.Our website is homemade, and I run the entire organization from home while my kid watches Elmo.How much are our Adwords’ bills every month? About $1500. Is it worth it? I think so.

NOW ABOUT YOU. HOW CAN ADWORDS WORK FOR YOU?

Okay. Assuming you have your own business, and you’re selling something people actually want to buy and search for online, here are some tips.

#1 OPEN AN ACCOUNT

www.adwords.google.com.It’s free, quick, and easy.In fact search for “$75 Adwords voucher.” Google will pay for your first $75. Now, I won’t bore you with the basics of account set up. You’ll see how to do that when you open an account. I also want to stop for a second and mention that you can buy my full video tutorialon how to set up your Adwords account for maximum success.It’s everything I’ve learned and done over the years.You can buy it here.

#2 ORGANIZE AD GROUPS

Campaigns v.s. Ad Groups.A campaign is the over-arching theme of what you do.Let’s say you are an auto mechanic.You could title your campaign “auto mechanic”, but your ad groups need to be organized by the themes you’ll be advertising for.Here are some examples:

Transmission repair

Tire rotation

Oil Changes

Engine repair

Once your ad groups are created, you need to build keyword lists for each ad group. To do this, go to the keyword tool under “reporting and tools.” Type in a few starter key phrases, click submit, and Adwords will generate similar terms you can add to your list.

#3 NEGATIVE KEYWORDS

These are vital in saving you money. Negative keywords are words that you don’t want to have trigger your ads like free, cheap, etc. You can add these at the campaign or ad group level. Simply click on the keywords tab and scroll all the way to the bottom. You’ll see where to enter them.

#4 AD SPLIT TESTING

One trick to maximizing exposure, and decreasing cost is having a high CTR.CTR (click through rate) is the number of times your ad is clicked compared to how many times it is shown. Google rewards high CTR ads with higher placement for a lower cost per click! To split test your ads, create two ads for each ad group with different ad copy. Let them run for a week or two or until you have decent traffic to determine which ad has the higher CTR. Simply delete the weaker ad and create a new ad to try an out-perform the stronger ad.

Implementing these simple strategies will dramatically lower your costs and increase the quality of your traffic.

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University of Michigan – Dearborn

http://cob.umd.umich.edu/693487/

This is their website describing the new Digital Marketing Degree that the University of Michigan-Dearborn offers.  Check it out and learn all about what awesome jobs and career paths a Digital Marketing degree from UMD has to offer.

http://www.umd.umich.edu/fullstory/article/Digital_marketing/

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Would you care?

Aaron Sorkin, who brought the story of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to the big screen in the Oscar-winning drama The Social Network, looks set to tackle another tech innovator with news that he’s “strongly considering” an offer to write a biopic about Apple founder Steve Jobs.

Speaking to E! Online, Sorkin – creator of The West Wing and a writer on forthcoming Oscar-tipped Brad Pitt drama Moneyball – said he was currently reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of the late Apple co-founder, which studio Sony paid a reported $1m to option last month.

“Right now I’m just in the thinking-about-it stages,” said Sorkin. “It’s a really big movie and it’s going to be a great movie no matter who writes it. He was a great entrepreneur, he was a great artist, a great thinker. He’s probably inspired [my 11-year-old daughter] Roxy more than he’s inspired me … she plays with all his toys.”

Isaacson’s book Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography is the only authorised book about Jobs’s life. Published in the UK just 19 days after Jobs died from pancreatic cancer, it sold 37,000 copies in its first five days here and more than 379,000 copies in its first week in the US. The volume is based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years, as well as interviews with more than 100 family members, friends, adversaries, competitors and colleagues.

Sorkin was personally acquainted with Jobs – the pair spoke regularly by phone and Sorkin was even asked to write a Pixar movie at one point. Jobs was a founder of the animation studio and one of its chief financial backers in the early days of the company. Sorkin turned down the offer, saying he didn’t “know how to tell those stories”.

The only previous film to tell Jobs’s story was 1999′s made-for-TV docudrama Pirates of Silicon Valley, which starred ER’s Noah Wyle as the Apple founder.

 

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You know

Facebook is making the world smaller through social networking!

There has been a recent study now showing that the 6 degrees of separation has shrunk to only 4.

“A theory stemming from an experiment by social psychologist Stanley Milgram in the 1960’s claims every living person is connected to any other through only six friends. According to a recent study,Facebook reduces the six degrees of separation to only four, meaning the world’s largest social network makes the world even smaller (figuratively).

The study, a joint effort by Facebook and Università degli Studi di Milano, shows that the number of “hops” separating any two persons on Facebook is in fact smaller than six. According to the study, “99.6% of all pairs of users are connected by paths with 5 degrees (6 hops), 92% are connected by only four degrees (5 hops),” with the average “distance” between users getting smaller over time.”

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Who Buys iPads?

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Facebook Tracking

For the first time, Facebook has revealed details about how it tracks users across the web.

Through interviews with Facebook engineering director Arturo Bejar, Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes, Facebook corporate spokesman Barry Schnitt and Facebook engineering manager Gregg Stefancik, USA Today‘s Byron Acohido was able to compile the most complete picture to date of how the social network keeps tabs on its 800 million users.

Here is what Acohido learned:

    • Facebook doesn’t track everybody the same way. It uses different methods for members who have signed in and are using their accounts, members who are logged-off and non-members.
    • The first time you arrive at any Facebook.com page, the company inserts cookies in your browser. If you sign up for an account, it inserts two types of cookies. If you don’t set up an account, it only inserts one of the two types.
    • These cookies record every time you visit another website that uses a Facebook Like button or other Facebook plugin — which work together with the cookies to note the time, date and website being visited. Unique characteristics that identify your computer are also recorded.
    • Facebook keeps logs that record your past 90 days of activity. It deletes entries older than 90 days.
    • If you are logged into a Facebook account, your name, email address, friends and all of the other data in your Facebook profile is also recorded.

Data about web searches and browsing habits could be used to figure out political affiliations, religious beliefs, sexual orientations or health issues about consumers. According to USA Today, this type of correlation doesn’t seem to be happening on a wide scale, but the concern of some privacy advocates is that selling data could become a tempting business proposition — both to social networks like Facebook and online advertising players such as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo that similarly employ cookie tracking techniques.

Facebook told USA Today that it uses data collected via cookies to help improve security and its plugins and that it has no plans to change how it uses this data. It has, however, applied for a patent on a technology that includes a method that correlates ads and tracking data.

“We patent lots of things, and future products should not be inferred from our patent application,” Facebook corporate spokesman Barry Schnitt told USA Today.

Regardless of how Facebook is handling the data it collects through cookies, by doing so it has entered a very sticky debate about whether consumers should be able to opt out of being tracked by such methods. Aproposed law that would create this option was introduced in February.

While a recent poll found that about 70% of Facebook users and 52% of Google users were either somewhat or very concerned about their privacy, some argue that online commerce would suffer without online tracking.

By: Sarah Kessler

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Microsoft Grabs Skype

This article is a summary of Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype and the strategic alliance it has formed with Facebook.  This is very strategic for Microsoft with the social network because they are also in the works of incorporating Bing in as well.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/10/microsoft-completes-purchase-of-skype.html

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