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Archive for October, 2010

Transition into Multi-Faceted Online Communication With Social Media

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

For years there were essentially two forms of online communication.

  • Website –  A one-to-many media passive media
  • Email – A one-to many or one-to-one proactive media

The two have the potential to work seamlessly together.  Websites are always available and easily accessed by any interested party.  It casts a wide net.  Email could proactively promote specific initiatives or be targeted to ideal.  Furthermore email could drive traffic to the website for targeted conversions.

Of course there were subsets of online communication like ads and link sharing but technically those fall in the website category.

There is now a third major platform developing:

  • Social Media – A one-to-many, one-to-one, or many-to-many media

Social media is opening up a new kind of communication and it’s quickly becoming one that isn’t optional.  On the surface it appears to be a clone of email, a one-to-one or one-to-many scenario.  However, as it develops social media is becoming a many-to-many communication device.

Of course social media started out as a one person communication platform.  Basically it emulated email.  You could do blast communications or personal messages.  However, as “like it” and “retweet” features become more prevalent we find that groups of people are serving a role of spreading your message.

Websites and email is not going away any time soon but neither is social media.  If you are running online campaigns and have not ventured into social media, it’s time to start.  Not only are users expecting to have an option of receiving communications through popular social media systems, but the systems are opening up a new many-to-many media that can be leveraged for viral communication.

The Long Tail Optimization to Nowhere

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Using long tail keywords has become a popular way of cutting out the competition and getting very specific keywords that bring in a targeted audience.  The guiding principle is the more specific the keywords, the less likely it is that other people are targeting the same group.

The SEO basics site has a nice overview of setting a long tail strategy but pay special attention to steps 1 and 2.

Long tail optimization is a great strategy but only when you do the research of steps 1 and 2.  Long Tail optimization without selective keyword filtering leads to 2 problems:

  1. No Audience – Blindly optimizing a site or PPC campaign for long tail keywords typically targets an abyss of phantom people site owners believe exist.  But they don’t.
  2. Too Much Information – Optimizing too long a tail can put such a restrictive criteria that it defeats the purpose of optimizing for it.  After all if it’s so restrictive that only a couple people would be included, optimizing likely is not the best means to engage them.

Don’t convince yourself you know what users want and skip the research.  Long tail optimization is popular because it allows very high rankings for specific keywords.  Just do your homework to make sure those keywords are worth the effort.