03 Aug 2009

How to grow your SEM business in Asia

4 Comments internet marketing training, local advertising, search engine marketing conferences

Guest Post By Gerald Neo, Who runs  GeraldsHeralds.com

SEM in Singapore is just starting out. Lots of companies have just started to realise the importance of SEM. For those, that have started for a few years, are only covering the surface. They have not fully explore the full potential of SEM.

To many SEM specialists, this is a golden opportunity. But then, they have to realise that Singapore is a small market. And it cannot sustain their ROI, just by focusing on one market alone.

In many brick and mortar industries, companies are using Singapore as a gateway to penetrate Asia market (i.e Malaysia, Philippine, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong). I have only named those countries which have the most potential.

So SEM specialist’s should also do the same. Look at Singapore as a bigger picture to capture the S.E Asia’s market.

But before they do that, there are 2 main areas, which the specialist need to consider before he/she can be successful in S.E Asia. Of course, there are many other key success factors but in this article, let’s discuss about the most basic element.

  1. Multi Languages

It will not be as simple as just looking at English keywords. There are Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Thai, Bahasa Indonesia, Malay e.t.c. So your keywords need to be in local languages.

  1. Cultural Difference

By understanding culture of the countries, the specialist will be able to understand how they behave online and how they search.

Chinese_Culture_Show_Xian.sizedBut don’t assume that by understanding one culture (e.g Chinese), one can apply that understanding to another culture ( e.g Malay). Each culture has their uniqueness and every one of them need a certain level of understanding before the specialist can have some success predicting their behavior online.

Most companies will ignore the 2 areas, thinking their previous success in SEM will ensure success even in Asia. But they will be wrong.

So how can the 2 areas be overcome?

The specialist’s strength is their expertise in SEM. And he/she has tons of experience in managing SEM across different industries.

And what they lack is the understanding of the market. Instead of going into the market and try to figure everything out themselves, and get local help. They employ local digital marketing people who have experience in online media but may not have experience in SEM.

The specialist might not be able to find the kind of experienced marketer in SEM. So the key is to find passionate digital marketer who have managed digital advertising across multiple regions in Asia and also interested in SEM.

Impart knowledge and experience to them. This can also be the specialist’s contribution to the local online industry by increasing the number skilled people in SEM.

When it comes to multi languages, there is always translation house which can help to translate the keywords to local languages. But the local digital marketer are required to look through the translation to make sure it’s in the right context.

How+to+succeedThere will be challenge but no doubt that with the right people, SEM specialists can achieve success. But do take note that is no over-night success, it still needs time and some form of testing to really understand the market. Good luck!

03 Aug 2009

I will do a SEO analysis of your site for FREE!

26 Comments affiliate marketing, internet marketing training, social media

A few days ago, I offered to perform a SEO analysis on the website of one lucky winner– something at BlitzLocal that we normally charge between $6k-10k to do.  There were 23 responses and I’m choosing BusSongs.com, which is by Keith Mander, a current Facebook employee and ex-Googler (not to be confused with the other Keith that blogs here).

Let’s first start with an assumed goal of the site– to make money from ads, as there are no products to be found.  Keith is using 4 cleverly-placed Google AdSense units on each page, in addition to serving ads via Google Ad Manager (GAM)– a product that kills OpenAds and will be merged into DART DoubleClick (that’s the subject of another post). Notice how the links on the left blend in well with the orange.

adsense_units_bussongs

The site has a Google Toolbar PageRank of 4 and a MozRank of 4.58– moderate juice is flowing to the site. The MozRank, as developed by SEOMoz is a more accurate view of link juice that is flowing, as the toolbar PR is rarely updated, plus there’s a huge difference between a low 4 and a high 4.

valen_99bottles_1-1This nice level of juice flows through the rest of the site nicely, allowing 3,130 pages to be reported indexed by Google, such that even lower level pages are getting crawled and are ranking.  Site that have a low homepage PR peter out quickly– there’s not enough juice left by the time the bot gets to the pages that are 3-4 links away from the homepage, so they don’t get indexed. To validate, just go to one of the lower level pages, grab a paragraph of text (maybe 15-20 words) and paste the whole thing right into the search box.  That will let you know what’s being indexed.

Also try some of the terms the site wants to rank on.  In this case, I searched on “99 bottles of pop on the wall” and see his site taking the first position.

Of course, search on just the domain and you see him first– if you’re not first on your own name, something is quite wrong or you have a generic name.

bussongs_brand_search

Not only does Keith rank #1 on his name, but he has 8 sitelinks, the maximum number of sitelinks you can have. While you can’t choose which links are sitelinks, it’s great to have them anyway.  You have to be in the #1 spot for a search and also have enough “authority”.

I’d guess that Keith wants to rank on “children’s songs”, as that is the first searchphrase in his home page title.  He’s #2 from my search here in the US, and the #1 result is PR5.  Let’s go to SEOmoz’s LinkScape tool (requires a subscription, but well worth it) to dig deeper….

The #1 result has a higher domain mozRank (5.18 vs 4.31) and higher mozTrust (5.58 vs 4.49).  They have 4,354 inbound links versus 848 on bussongs.com.  It’s true that quality is more important than quantity of links. In this case, the guy above Keith also has higher trust (more juice garnered from high-trust sites), so Keith’s better content doesn’t win the day.  Rand Fishkin, CEO of seoMOZ, noted that he could create a crappy entry on wikipedia and an amazingly helpful article on a new domain– and the next day the wikipedia article will win. Not fair, but says something about the power of inbound links.You can still beat guys that have more juice than you overall by selectively picking terms you want to rank on.  If you search on “nursery rhymes”, you’ll see a completely different set of results than for “children’s songs”.

While some SEO pundits like to wax on about LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) and how search engine theming can help you rank on terms that you don’t even have on your page– the more practical reality is that you want to have these terms on your page and for anchor text in sites that link to you.  Note that in the above seoMOZ LinkScape report, that the #1 anchor text is “bus songs”.  No surprise there, but “nursery rhymes” is #2 and “children’s songs” isn’t until #10, passing a piddly amount of juice from only a few domains.

Thus, Keith will have to decide whether it’s more important to go from #2 to to #1 on “children’s song” or try to get to the first page on “nursery rhymes”. It’s a question of big dwarf or little giant– which is bigger? Let’s find out how much volume is available:
google_insights_search_nursery_rhymes_childrens_songs

For every 19 searches on “children’s songs”, there are 68 searches on “nursery rhymes”. Further, for every 19 searches on “children’s song”, there are 100 searches on “nursery songs”– the term you’d want to own if it were no extra effort.  Note that Google’s Insights for Search tool doesn’t tell you the exact number of searches on each term– rather, they give you a relative figure, with the most popular term being indexed at 100 and every other term scaled against that term.

So how do you decide what term to go after?  Let’s say that I was ranked #8 on “nursery rhymes” and #2 on “children’s songs”– good rankings on a highly popular term and great rankings on an okay term.  Moving from #8 to #3 on the popular term would produce about as much increase as going from #2 to #1 on the okay term.  As you get towards the top of the page, your CTR will go way up.  I wouldn’t be surprised if moving from #2 to #1 yielded a 3x increase in clicks.

Of course, you wouldn’t do this in a spammy way, where overnight all your inbound links suddenly have identical anchor text of “children’s songs”. But you could kindly ask the 70 sites who gave you 81 links with anchor of “bus songs” to switch to something else. If you add “bus songs” to the list in Google Insights for Search, you’ll see it has a paltry 4 versus the 100 for “nursery songs”.  I doubt you’d lose the #1 ranking on your name, largely because you get a boost from that being your domain, it’s not that competitive, and so many folks have already linked to you on that phrase.

Oh, and there are 26 inbound links that have BLANK anchor text– probably want to do something about that.

Finally, let’s take a look at bussongs.com through the eyes of a search engine spider, which reads text, not images.  It looks like this:

Free SEO Software Tool & Text Browser, Search Engine Optimization Tools - SEO Browser

  • The 32% text to code ratio is excellent– we like to see over 25%.
  • The 301 redirects from the www homepage and index.php to non-www is smart– it solves the most common SEO problem, called the canonical domain issue. Most people redirect to www, but as long as you choose one, it doesn’t matter.
  • missing meta information– you should at least have the meta description, since you’ll want to persuade the engines to use your description when your results show up in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).  Don’t worry about other meta tags– keywords, gaming H1 tags, and so forth.
  • The alt text on images does very little, but while you’re at it, you should put your domain name at the END versus the beginning– change:
“BusSongs.com – Lyrics & Words for Children’s Nursery Rymes & Songs”
to
“Lyrics & Words for Children’s Nursery Rymes & Songs | BusSongs.com”

One word of caution, a few months ago, Google started changing search results to biased by whether you’re logged in, where you are geographically, and what you’ve searched on before.  Thus, check your rankings when you’re NOT logged in and also via proxies.  Every is getting different search results, so you don’t want to be led down the garden path.

And a few non-SEO items

  • Funny that the #9 song is the Diarrhea Song– Kids…. what a sense of humor.
  • If kids (and parents) like the site so much, where is your email auto-responder and newsletter subscription box?
  • You should do the same on your Facebook page, which has 550 fans (of which I am one).  Use the Facebook static HTML plug-in to put in that email box, a poll, and other interactive stuff.
  • Maybe even install Facebook connect and Facebook Fan boxes– you do work at Facebook now, right? ;)
  • Leaderboards are a powerful concept– People are driven to do silly things in the name of popularity.  Why not allow folks to submit songs, earn points as part of a community (provided they are old enough), and have “name that tune” games?  On your top visited page, you show pageviews per day.  If you shown total cumulative pageviews, the numbers would appear a lot more impressive.
  • If I can nit-pick, you have some typos.  “Angles” should be “Angels” here in the page title and text.  By the way, I did that as an excuse to give you another PR5 link from my blog.

Keith, I hope you have enjoyed our SEO review today– congratulations on winning!  You have a great site, as we’d expect from a former Google employee.

Readers, I’m considering making this a weekly review, so if you’re interested in seeing more of this, let me know by posting to my Facebook fan page at facebook.com/dennisyu.

24 Jul 2009

The 3 types of Facebook traffic– what is best?

3 Comments facebook marketing and advertising, internet marketing training, local advertising, search engine marketing conferences

My apologies in advance for the math here– I’ll keep it to a minimum to explain the points.

Below is a Google Analytics screenshot from a funeral planning site.  Facebook traffic represents sources 4, 5, and 8.

All Traffic Sources - Google Analytics

4) apps.facebook.com: This is self-serve PPC traffic from ads that show up on apps.  Most plentiful but has a bounce rate of 90.13%– about as bad as you can get.
5) facebook.com/referral: These are from people click on our links and posts– organic traffic.  66% bounce rate, which is high, especially compared to the site overall bounce rate of 40%.
8 ) facebook.com/cpc: Facebook PPC ads that show up other than on the apps.  Bounce rate of 81%.

We’re probably paying 15 cents a click for Facebook traffic, but the 80%+ bounce rate means we’re losing 4 out of every 5 folks on the landing page.  With Google AdWords, we’re paying 50 cents a click, but bouncing only 42%– in other words, losing 2 out of every 5 visitors.

logo_facebook

So with Google, we’re paying 3 times as much per click, but keeping twice as many folks past the landing page.  On a per kept visitor basis, Facebook is still a better deal.

For the analytics smart-alecs out there, let me respond to your points:

  • landing pages are the same: True, you’ll get different bounce rates if you send to different pages. Plus, you can’t compare a homepage bounce rate against a landing page bounce rate– they have different goals.  Well, we sent everyone to the homepage, as silly as that is– but it’s still an apples-to-apples comparison.
  • not all clicks are the same: A higher bounce rate is likely to be a lower conversion rate, even if you adjust for the bounce.  Maybe– although it is true that EPC (Earnings Per Click) is what matters at the end of the day, not cost per click or bounce rate.
  • data is not statistically significant: Okay, so the 80% and 90% bounce rates might actually vary 5-6% should we run a few thousand more clicks.  But given that we’re spending real money, there’s no need to blow a thousand dollars to find out that our estimated 80% bounce is more truly 77%– it’s still bad.

Were I Facebook, one thing I’d do is allow separate bids for application traffic versus non-application traffic.

Remember a few years ago when Google allowed advertisers to set separate content and search bids?  This is the same thing.

23 Jul 2009

Are you going to ThinkTank in San Diego– September 17-19th?

No Comments internet marketing training, outdoor activities

dk-blonde-surfer-blogI am pleased to be invited to ThinkTank, which takes place in just 2 months.  It’s invite-only and is nearly sold out– but if you ask one of the attendees like myself, you might still get a spot.  By the way, the registration fee is $3k, so if that’s too much, then this is not the right event for you.

It’s 3 days to hang out in a small group setting with folks like Shoemoney, Neil Patel, Andy Liu, Chris Winfield, Brent Csutoras, Todd Malicoat– and a bunch of other gurus in PPC, SEO, social media, and internet marketing in general.  What would you pay to spent 3 uninterrupted days in a small group setting just hanging out– as opposed to trying to stand in line to get 3 minutes of their time in a conference hall after their presentation?

Perhaps the coolest thing is that David Klein is the host.  DK is the chiropractor turned internet marketer– he happens to rank #1 on “san diego chiropractor“– and is one of the most genuine and knowledgeable people I know.  If you dabble in affiliate marketing, then you know how rare that is.  David puts on these events with the utmost care to make sure that everyone is having a good time– always bringing in special surprises, the best food, and best knowledge sharing.  He has made a number of introductions on our behalf that have really helped our company– for example, to put us in contact with certain folks at Facebook when we were in a jam.

He also doesn’t make any money on these events– so unless you want to see the price go up, don’t say anything! The only reason I can think of why he’s organizing these events is because he’s truly passionate about connecting people– as well as cracking their backs.  And yes, he will do that if you come.  By the way, I’m not being paid to say this– so it’s legit.  Else you can also read up on what other people are saying about ThinkTank:

“I had the opportunity to reinforce existing relationships, build new ones and make friends for life. it was an absolutely awesome event.” -Al, SelfMadeMinds.com

“I’m still not sure if this is a vacation or a conference” -Rhea Drysdale

Well there you have it– a small group of already successful web entrepreneurs.  Ask for an invite if you fit that model.  If you’re not already successful, then you should hold off coming, since there is no structured learning program here– you have to give to get.  No one way streets at this get-together.  But if you have some valuable things to share, check out the guest list and consider who you want to spend some quality time with.

22 Jul 2009

Facebook Post Quality Score

2 Comments facebook marketing and advertising, promoting yourself, social media

icon_facebookThis morning, Shoemoney put up a guest post by me covering Facebook Quality Score. Because we manage a few dozen fan pages, as large as a quarter million fans, I wanted to lend insight into what the metric is and what it may mean to advertisers and affiliates in the future.  Let me clarify a few points:

  • As far as we know, Facebook isn’t using the Quality Score to ding or help you in any way– but they may later.
  • They’ve stated the score is based on percentage of fans who have interacted in the last 7 days. I’m guessing that the Post Quality score is like a batting average: the number of fans who have interacted in the last 7 days versus the total.  Therefore, the theoretical max should be 1,000.  Using this calculation across most of our pages gets us close, but not exactly to the number Facebook lists.
  • Keith Wilcox’s score is now 250, which is the highest I’ve seen yet– it will be easier to get a high quality score on a smaller fan base. Getting 25% of 30 fans to participate over 7 days is easier than 25% of 3,000 fans.  Someone should experiment here.  Because of his Facebook page– his top source of traffic– he is now ranking on Google for “getting fit setting goals“.

If you have any questions about Facebook promotion, whether their self-serve PPC platform, creation of pages/groups, building/monetizing applications, just put your question in the comments and I may write a post about it.

21 Jul 2009

World’s largest group dating site goes from free to subscription based

No Comments facebook marketing and advertising, finance and economics, Guest Posts

A guest post by Adam Sachs, co-founder of Ignighter, a group dating site with great relationship advice and a fun place to work

I’m Adam Sachs and I run the world’s largest group dating site. Since our initial launch as a Facebook Application in January 2008 and subsequent relaunch as a destination site in August 2008, we’ve amassed a significant inventory of group daters using our free service.

Plant-GrowHowever, if you’re simply growing a free user base at a steady, continuous pace (read: you haven’t detonated a viral bomb like only the Facebooks and Twitters of the Internet have) then after a while, the free model starts to seem unsustainable. Acquiring new users on a free site has a cost. User acquisition could be costing you money (PPC ads, live sponsored events) or even just costing you time (Commenting on blogs, marketing via Twitter). But until you can establish a lifetime value for a new user, then you are simply shelling out for marketing while seeing a virtually nonexistent ROI.

With no ROI and no value associated with each user who registers for your site, it’s only a matter of time before you run out of money, time, and the ability to keep acquiring them. Your investors probably won’t be too happy either.

It’s taken Ignighter a while to come to this realization, but now that we have, we are beginning to experiment with incorporating paid functionality into the website. Introducing a paid model to Ignighter doesn’t just benefit the company however; we predict it will benefit our user base as well.

Below are a few Pros and Cons that we predict to encounter when transitioning from a free to paid service. We can revisit these pros and cons in a few months and see how accurate they proved to be.

Pros: Money is finally coming IN the door.6150-000336

  1. Money means more users. If you are making more per user than you are paying to acquire them, then the goal is to spend as much money as possible to acquire them. I’d pay $25 to get $35 back, wouldn’t you?
  2. Money means better users. When you offer a free service, you get registrations from people of drastically varying levels of interest and relevance to your site. When people on the not-so-interested-in-meeting-new-people-but-it’s-free-so-I’ll-try-it-anyway end of the spectrum register, they’re actually adding what we affectionately call “shit inventory” to the site and hurting the experience of the registered users who want to use the site for its intended purpose.

Incorporating a paid level will naturally introduce a tiered system of usership to the site, facilitating an experience that groups users based on their intentions and expectations. Asking people to pay will also help to make your users more passionate about the company. Paid users will now be part of a community that they’ve invested in and helped to create.

Money means happy investors. This one is pretty self-explanatory.

Cons: It’s not so easystubborn-mule

  1. It’s not so easy to convince someone to be one of the first to pay for your service. Before you can establish a track record of value that you’re providing to the user it can seem like you’re asking them to pay taste-tester to the King of Zamunda.
  2. It’s not so easy to build the damn thing. At Ignighter this fundamental shift is requiring a ton of web development and business development resources. This kind of thing can’t be half-assed, you have to give it your full attention and planning.
  3. It’s not so easy to accept that it’s going to work beyond a shadow of a doubt. But isn’t that what startups are all about?
21 Jul 2009

Facebook Ads New Targeting to Application Owners

No Comments facebook marketing and advertising, Guest Posts

Guest Post by Nicholas Abramovic. Nicholas helps singles meet new people at Zoosk – the largest dating application on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and Hi5. Nick also covers affiliate marketing, advanced ppc tactics and other fun stuff at many body theory.

layout_logoFacebook’s self-serve advertising platform now allows advertisers to target whether users have already added your application or not yet added it. This is a huge play for companies such as Zoosk Online Dating, Zynga Games, and other application developers.

Why is this important?

A lot of companies use application networks such as SocialHour and RockYou to get users to click off of other applications and get them to view your application. This is pretty easy, and as we have all learned from the lessons of SocialHour getting banned by Facebook – these ads can be pretty deceptive and users sometimes have no idea that they have added your application.

facebook-small-logoBy allowing application developers to target new and existing users, you can setup different bids for what the value of a new customer from Facebook is worth, and what the value of someone returning to your application is worth (especially for companies such as Zoosk and Zynga which operate on a subscription/gifts currency where using the application is king).

You can find out more about this at Facebook’s official developers blog. A word of caution: I’ve noticed that this targeting is accurate about 15% of the time, so this new feature although very welcomed to the big players of Facebook applications, this is still very much a work in progress.

Official Story: http://developers.facebook.com/news.php?blog=1&story=263

18 Jul 2009

Don’t Let Social Media Hurt Your Business

1 Comment social media

This is a guest post by Eric Schechter, Social Media Manager at Clickbooth, an Exclusive CPA Network.

IMG_0188More and more businesses are jumping into the Social Media space for a variety of reasons. A lot of them are looking to increase their online presence, listen to what’s being said about their business or industry, and as a way to get to know their customers and potential customers on a much more personal level.

The problem is, many of these businesses enter the space (way too fast), download a bunch of new tools they read about online, and go right at it without doing their homework first. No goals are created, no thought as to how they will use those platforms is put in, and before they know it, their Social Media presence has hurt them more than it’s helped.

Let’s take a look at a few of the more common things I’ve been seeing lately…

We’re on Twitter?

I’ve come across a handful of small businesses (and a few franchises) that decided to jump on the bandwagon (not saying it’s a bad thing!) and create a Twitter account so they could interact with their customers, as well as use it to promote company news, specials, discounts etc. Then, they put one person in charge of it all, and leave it up to them to handle dead_twitter_birdeverything.

The next thing you know, a customer goes into their business and talks to one of their employees about their Twitter account (or a specific tweet they made), and they have no idea what Twitter is or that their company is even on it. BIG MISTAKE!

Not only does it show that their business lacks internal communication, it will also leave a sour taste in their customer’s mouth, because it shows that the personal connection they “thought” they made with the company, wasn’t important to them at all.

Before you know it, the word starts to spread online (e.g: negative tweets, bad reviews, facebook statuses, blog posts about their company etc…) and they immediately lose all credibility in the space. You’ll be surprised at the effect this can have on your bottom line. Remember, most consumers look companies up online before they use them, so any amount of bad press can make or break that sale. (Here’s a interesting study on that.) So if you are business using Twitter, Facebook, a blog etc..make sure you keep your employees (especially the ones that interact with customers) in the loop of your online efforts, or it could come back to bite you.

stop-yelling-at-meYou’ll love my product! Let me tell you why! A lot of businesses think that if they are going to see any sales/return from spending time on these social networking sites, they have to constantly promote their business any and every way they can. While I do agree that Social Media is a great way to promote your business/product/brand, your success lies in the approach. No one wants to hear you talk about how great your product is, or how awesome you are in every way possible. By doing this you are merely creating “noise”. Instead, use tools like Facebook and Twitter to develop and enhance relationships with people. Talk about stuff other than your business! Share useful information with them and create and add to conversations where you don’t talk just talk about your brand, but rather learn about your customers, followers, etc…Find out their likes, their dislikes, what they are up to this weekend. It’s developing those real relationships that will create loyal customers for life.

Is anybody there? Once you create your blog, Facebook and Twitter page don’t let those pages stay static. Start LISTENING to what’s being big-ear3said about your industry, company, brand and start contributing to the conversation. If someone leaves a comment on your blog post, respond back. Social Media is a two way street. It’s not just about throwing your message out there and leaving it at that. If you do, you will start to notice that fewer and fewer people will be visiting your site, listening to what you have to say, and most of all making that purchase. So start creating conversations about your posts and weigh in from you readers. It’s a collaborative medium, so treat it that way! This is the best way to build loyalty and relationships with your readers.

So for businesses that have recently implemented Social Media, or for ones that are thinking about doing it, I urge you to really take a look at what your goals are for this type of initiative, and to do your homework first, before you start participating in the space. Social Media can be great way to improve your online presence, personalize your company, and most of all create loyal customers for life. However, if you go about it the wrong way, it could do a lot more harm than good. (Some companies that are doing really well in the space are: Pancheros, Zappos, Whole Foods)

*Quick Tip* Use sites like su.pr or bit.ly to track Twitter posts and Lexicon to track Facebook. This will help you monitor engagement levels and will also show you how these platforms can bring in real $ business.

18 Jul 2009

Asian pottery culture and search algorithms

3 Comments local advertising

This is a guest post by David Gray of Analog.com, a leader in Electronic Components

I once heard a wise young American English teacher compare the Japanese, Chinese, and Korean national characters to ceramic pottery and tea cups they produce in particular.

A Japanese teacup is an extremely delicate, refined, and proportionately symmetrically formed china teacup. The cup’s edges are smooth and aesthetically pleasing. The cup might be so perfectly crafted that you’d almost not want to pick it up and drink out of it for fear of breaking it.

The Chinese teacup would be slightly different, aesthetically pleasing, almost as well-crafted, and there might be a hairline crack or chip in it.

The Korean teacup would not be a cup at all — it would be a roughly molded mug, but it would be the one you’d likely want to pick up and drink from.

So what does fine china have to do with search engine algorithms? In their pursuit of perfection my Asian friends express angst about optimizing their pages. They want their sites to be as symmetrical and as well crafted as their teacups and more important, they profess that Japanese/Chinese/Korean websites are different, therefore SEO tactics used must be different than Western ones.

“What is the most important tactic to focus on to rank well in search engines?”

“Is it most important to be able to write our own tags with the relevant keywords?”

“Is it getting good inbound links or meta descriptions?”

“Should we be writing blogs and participate in forums?”

My Asian colleagues, (not to mention western colleagues) want a precise answer, so that a set formula can be plugged into a template, implemented and measured. Google will never share its algorithm, so we need to test, refine, and test some more. This makes most of them feel very uncomfortable.

To set the record straight, I am in awe of and deeply respect Asian culture. I am married to an Asian. Are the Asian search engine algorithms vastly different than western algorithms? There is one big difference: Asian search engine algorithms are not influenced by keywords in the URL. Take that variable out of the equation Asian search engine algorithms are dependant on the exact same elements as Western ones. How unique can the Asian search engine algorithms be? Yes, Asian searcher behavior may be different, but I still think the algorithm reflects how double-byte character keywords are used in H1-6, meta description, meta keyword tags and link text.

So short of worrying about keywords in the URL, Asian search engine optimization should focus on the same things we worry about here. We all need to focus on providing users with good, fresh, accessible content, keywords in H1 – H-6, meta description, meta keyword tags and link text. What else can it be? As for social media, more time needs to be spent writing, linking to, and participating in Forums for sure. One of the best articles I’ve ever read is one on SEO Basics by Rand Fishkin.

Which culture do I like best? My English teacher buddy and I celebrate diversity. We both love different aspects of all the Asian cultures – from the politeness and meticulousness of the Japanese, to the assertive and friendly Chinese nature, to the aggressive and warm-hearted Korean culture. I could drink from any of their teacups.

15 Jul 2009

Target Facebook users on their birthdays!

9 Comments affiliate marketing, facebook marketing and advertising, promoting yourself, search engine marketing conferences

Facebook keeps releasing new features to their self-serve PPC platform. It feels like Google from 2003– are you keeping up?

Did you see that you can target people on their birthdays, in addition to your existing fans, as well as being able to select multiple countries?happy_birthday_cake

  • If you’re selling gifts of any type– this is your chance to do something.  Cards, flowers, T-shirts, silly items… Doesn’t even have to be birthday related– you could even promote a little cosmetic surgery to older women– Imagine this ad:FacebookAd
  • If you’re a brand, you can pay to hit your fans when they’re elsewhere on Facebook– think Generic_Cola_Cans_1980sof this like the old days of Paid Inclusion on Yahoo! or perhaps like today’s brand bidding.  The point is there is some level of cannibalization to pay for people that you already “have” as fans.  Yet if this drives incremental traffic, you can price in that overlap to make sure it backs out.  And if you have less than 100 fans, who cares.  But if you’re a brand like WWE and have over 250,000 fans, it would be a great way to drive marginal revenue. Now it’s too bad you can’t target OTHER people’s brands and fan pages.  That would be like Coke bidding on Pepsi.  What would you pay to be able to target your competitors?  Oh, wait– I forgot.  You can do that all day long on PPC.
  • pimp-c-715217If you just want to be a pimp: Some people just don’t have a good reason to market.  But maybe if you get to 100 fans on your page, you can then register your page’s vanity url here.  Even if you have no fans to start with, if you’re paying 30 cents a fan, it’s only $30 to get to 100 fans, and then you can grab a name like facebook.com/toiletpaper or whatever you fancy. Many generic names are still free.

If you’re making profits via these new tactics, however small, it’s time to scale them up. If you are a non-spammy growing_070813advertiser, then I welcome you to sign up for our automated Facebook ad posting platform, which automatically multiples variations of ad creatives and landing pages, then reports back with the best performers.  If you’re selling weight loss, get rich quick scams (also euphemistically called “BizOpps”) or products that auto-renew at insane rates (called “negative option”), then don’t bother, since your ads won’t get approved by us or by Facebook.

But maybe you’re a stay at home dad filming how to home school videos or perhaps reviewing top 10 kids movies, in preparation for the upcoming Christmas shopping season.  Don’t laugh– if you’re an affiliate and you aren’t starting now, you’re late to the game.  Then it makes sense to start promoting your wares.

I’m presenting on Facebook advertising at Affiliate Summit East in 2 weeks, and again, at HostingCon 2 days later.  Come join me!