Author: Matt Owen

Matt Owen

Matt Owen is a marketing consultant based in London. He was previously Head of Social at Econsultancy and currently runs Atomise Marketing. Opinions expressed are author's own.

Is Google planning to kill SEO?

dead-linksOne of the best ways to drive traffic to your site is by link-building. All over the world experts spend hours rifling through analytics for likely linking targets, while writers take extra care to add in as many blue words as possible in the hope of a little linklove reciprocation.

It’s often a major aspect of the job for anyone who works online, and can be something of a labour of love.

Of course, there’s no solid, standard way of linking out. If only there was a dedicated expert body who could help out.

Someone like Google maybe?

Five ways to ruin your website

bad-web-designGo and look at your Facebook page. Go on, right now. And don’t pretend you haven’t got one, we’ve been watching you and we know you spend six hours a day playing Mafia Wars.

OK, so what do you notice about it?

How about cleanliness? Facebook takes a lot of flak, but one thing it does well is design.

Recently we’ve started to see the introduction of customer landers, backgrounds and headers, but even these are worked into the basic layout.

You can have a hundred boxes on Facebook and it will remain a clean, clear masterclass in whitespace management.

One of the main reasons it managed to crush the crazed glittery-zwinky world of MySpace is that it doesn’t ever make your eyeballs catch fire. Anyone can use it easily.

Now let’s have a look at your website...

Three ways to increase your online touchpoints

touchpointsAs audiences become increasingly sophisticated across all demographics, the likelihood is that your customers will make more targeted and strategic purchases.

In the past emotional factors and visibility held sway when it came to dictating customer habits. If a product was featured in a TV ad, then customers would generally either call in or visit their local store branch to purchase.

These days it’s far more likely they’ll get online and hit the price comparison sites.

In order to retain your audience, it’s important that you become visible in more places. If you’re consistently appearing in all their searches then there’s a far higher chance of conversion.

Pay with a Tweet: Making money from Twitter the old fashioned way?

pay-with-a-tweetWhile Twitter has consistently struggled to make a monetisation strategy stick, third party developers may have hit on a solution: haggling.

With paid tweets and trending topics, Twitter has flirted with the idea that buzz can be charged for, but not as directly as a new system devised by NYC marketers Christian Behrendt and Leif Abraham.

Clearly, the pair clearly saw no revenue in Twitter, so have instead directly targeted the tweet itself.

We don’t need no tweeting badges

twadgesOver on Foursquare and Gowalla, badges are all the rage. Checked in to your office bathroom more than five times? You’ve unlocked the dysentery badge!

On other networks however, these tiny icons seems a little superfluous. Logged in to Facebook 1000 have all your friends...

Still, this hasn’t deterred the founders of the roguishly named Twadges from setting up a similar service for Twitter, awarding tweeters for frequency, followers and obscure criteria such as ‘Joined Twitter before Oprah’.

Don’t believe the hype: three ways social media figures lie

lie detector iphoneAs more companies introduce social media campaigns, there’s often a real lack of understanding when deciding which numbers really matter,  so the default action is often to watch everything.

On the one hand, keeping track of every tweet, post and comment is good practice. However, when it comes to actually interpreting the piles of data, meaningful analysis is sometimes sorely absent.

Ideally you should be able to interpret the figures so that you can both hone your KPIs and make ongoing strategic decisions. By analysing figures in meaningful ways you’ll receive deeper, more useful insights.

Let’s consider a few ways you can sort figurative fact from fiction:

Start Me Up! A profile of Lymbix

Lymbix-logoThis week on Start Me Up we’re looking at Canadian company Lymbix, which deals in connotative software for email, and has been causing a media stir lately with their latest product Tonechecker.

This connotative software helps measure the tone and impact of words used in emails and other communications. 

We spoke to founder Matt Eldridge to find out more…

Three steps to social media win

WinSo, you’ve set up a Facebook page, you have a fully automated Twitter account, and your LinkedIn profile is a shining example of professional wonderment for all to behold.

You’ve formulated a strategy and set up tools and processes, and you’re proudly showing off your amazing product with a variety of exciting and innovative campaigns.

Not all social media campaigns will be successful, and the hardest part of any campaign is actual engagement. Creating long-term relationships with customers, creating brand evangelists for your business.

True interaction is the biggest stumbling block on the path to social media success, but by instigating the right policy, it’s also one of the easiest to overcome...

Calculating the cost of social media

moneyImagine an advertising and marketing platform that reaches billions around the world, and doesn’t cost you a penny.

Free to get involved, free to share and promote content, with a massive locked-in audience who will actively promote your content for you.

Unfortunately it doesn’t exist. Social media is many things but despite several statements to the contrary, free is not one of them.

Best defence: governing your multichannel campaigns.

best-defenceLow costs, global reach, easy implementation and tracking. The benefits of multichannel digital marketing are manifold, but there's still a definite tendency by many companies to play on the safe side.

A large number of employers simply don't trust their staff to remain on message when taking their first steps into multichannel, and with social outreach at an all time high there certainly are examples that back up that age-old adage: To err is human.

How to improve local search rankings

open-for-businessRemember when the world was young and finding a copy of your book on Fly Fishing meant hours crawling through the local yellow pages or trusting to luck that ‘Six Gun’ Tex McCain was really a reliable plumber?

Thankfully these days we have the magic of the internet, where anyone can have a fully functional, great looking site for their local business. 

Unfortunately this does leave smaller business or individual users with a problem: How are you going to market your site?

There’s a mountain of marketing guides out there, but there is a tendency to assume you’re trying to build a multinational media empire. If you’re just trying to get a few extra people through the door of your cake shop then a lot of this advice really isn’t going to be suitable.

Having a great LinkedIn network is fine, but are those international jet-setters really going to stop at your small Hardware Shop?

If you’re trying to raise localised traffic it can be hard to know where to start, and let’s be honest, if your site isn’t in the top ten when someone Googles ‘Launderette, Stevenage‘ then there’s no point in having a site. So let’s see what you can do to get yourself a decent search ranking...

Ten ways to get ahead on LinkedIn

LinkedIn-buttonRecently LinkedIn has undergone some dramatic changes that have transformed it from a business contacts site into a viable networking and promotion tool.  

The site now gives you direct access not only to your customer base, but also to fellow professionals, meaning LinkedIn has forum capabilities sorely lacking from sites like Facebook.

LinkedIn’s profiles are directly aimed at the business market, they are likely to be open and honest, giving you great information on your allies (and occasionally rivals) in a complicated marketplace.

If you’re setting up a business empire then you need to be in touch with the movers and shakers out there and LinkedIn is a great way to do it. Despite this, a huge number of new users still primarily use it  as a job search and employment site.