The Distinct SEO Web Marketing Blog

Discuss the latest topics on web marketing, SEO, branding, and organizational development.

Free Book of Big Ideas

Seth Godin has spearheaded another free offering of ideas with a conglomeration of thoughts and tidbits from a variety of voices all compiled into one free ebook called, “What Matters Now”. Download it to muse about what [might] matters now.

Courting Rather Than Selling

There is an emerging trend, (perhaps not so emerging and more intertwined), in our markets today. People would much rather be courted rather than sold to. Entice someone through story or movements and you have a lifelong customer. Try to manipulate and sell through shows and events and you have a one time fling.

Take, for example, conventional churches. Most are in the business of purveying spiritual goods. They try to entice new entrants by putting on the best ‘show’ every Sunday and having the best events throughout the week. Generally churches grow by stealing existing ‘customers’ from other church products that don’t measure up to consumerist standards. What you typically don’t experience are the grassroots movements that are drawing in people who’ve never been to church before.

Marketing is similar. We can put on the best ‘show’ or event, but in reality the widely successful, and sometimes cheapest, marketing campaigns involve creating movements that take time to convert people into participants rather than consumers. read more…

Get Your Links – Google v Yahoo

I was checking out a client web site and noticed that one of the main keywords for the index page was misspelled. I noticed the error after a Yahoo ranking dropped when I ran a ranking report. However, the Google rank for the exact same keyword increased all the way to the top page. What does this lead me to believe? Well it suggests in this example that Yahoo considers/processes the title element faster than Google, or puts more weight for the title element in their ranking score than Google.

Google on the other hand appears to value the anchor text of internal links more than the title element. Or, they are slow in considering errors in the title element. There is a third scenario for Google, and that’s they’re smart enough to figure out spelling errors and will rank close equivalents. That would make sense if they’re looking for the ‘best’ web sites to show in the index and your market is particularly scarce on good resources (low competition). read more…

Why SEO Flat Rate Packages Don’t Work

Imagine a clothing store with only one pair of pants. Or a perhaps a restaurant with only one kind of dish and portion size. Maybe a car dealership with only one kind of car. Generally one size does NOT fit all so why are so many ‘SEO firms’ trying to offer flat rate packages? The very heart of marketing is the attempt to make one product or service more desirable over another. Why should we neglect that when building and promoting our web sites?

No two clients or even customers are the same. Why do SEO businesses attempt to offer the same service to all of their clients. Take a look at competitors, many will have three different ‘packages’ you can choose from. The package strategy fails on a couple of fronts. Firstly, no two web sites are the same. Secondly, no two industries are the same. Thirdly, no two customers are the same. Now I understand you want to offer YOUR product or service to a wide audience, but that doesn’t mean the way you market and build your brand can or should be done like everybody else. read more…

FTC Tries to Intervene in the World of Blogging and Social Networking

Starting Dec 1st, 2009, the FTC will impose rules in an attempt to control disclosure on blogs. For some highlights on the updates visit PCWorld. Basically, common sense needs to imposed when blogging. That means if you review items for compensation you should disclose that. IF you are defaming another product and you sit in a position of power or you’re a competitor, you should disclose that (even if you’re doing it through other social networks like Facebook). Also, you should pay attention to your own comments policy, and where you comment.

Essentially the biggest issues is disclosure for paid testimonials which makes sense. Disclosure builds trust with your readers, plus, it’s hard to develop any level of legitimacy if your blog is full of incoherent product reviews, so maybe just label yourself for what you are — a blogger who gets free stuff to talk about stuff. read more…

Why Server Speed Is and Has Always Been a Factor

Part of the overall experience of a user is the site speed. You don’t notice it unless it’s bad, but web sites on average load very quickly in our modern internet age. Anything over 2 seconds seems slow. For the most part this has been an issue of user experience, which is of course very important to the success of your web site. Google has started a push to recognize user behaviour metrics as part of their ranking index, it goes without saying speed would eventually fall into that category.

Turns out, it will/has. The new Google Caffeine update (the latest algorithm to roll out) will come out in the New Year, and SITE SPEED will be factor.

read more…

Distinct SEO Develops Custom WordPress Solution for Non-Profit

Distinct SEO Inc. provides more than SEO services for our clients. In fact, we do our best to distance ourselves from an exclusive SEO offering. We believe that the realm of web marketing is comprised of many crucial components, of which SEO is but a mere subset. In reality, web promotion, content development, web development, branding, and so forth, are key cogs to any online marketing strategy.

Lately, we’ve been rolling out some of our web development and design capabilities to our clients. We’d like to share with you one of our latest partners, a non-profit organization, who were looking for custom solution to a brand new venture. read more…

Don’t Submit Your Website to Search Engines

I just want to jot down a quick post on a question that seems to be keep cropping up. It usually stems from new web sites who are approached by third party vendors or simply through owners/webmasters doing some quick research.

The question revolves around submitting your web site to the search engines. Should you do it and does it help?

The answer is no on both accounts. read more…

The Impact of Twitter on SEO

The emergence of the social networking tool Twitter, which enables users to post snippets of up to 160 characters per post (tweet), has raised some questions on its impact on the SEO industry. Frankly, I think this is the wrong question to ask. Twitter has only a distant and indirect relation to SEO.

However, it has a HUGE impact to the overall web marketing picture.

On one hand you can develop a following of interested, lurking, and completely useless followers. Some may be induced to visit your web site through your tweets, some may even link to you. That’s the indirect benefit to your SEO endeavors. But given the nature of Twitter, this type of tactic doesn’t fit within the ethos of network. Let me explain. read more…

Key Aspects to Remember When Writing in WordPress

You’ve installed WordPress for the first time, lined up your theme and have added a few wordpress plugins. Now you have to write some posts and you ask the questions, “is there a system I should employ while writing?”

The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’. No you shouldn’t change your writing style or purpose for the sake of search engines or WordPress. Yes, there are are some best practices you need to follow when writing which will help maintain clarity and popularity. So pay attention to the following suggestions, they’ll go a long way to help increase visibility and visitors.

Title Tags

The single most important element that will help your visitors find your content is going to be your post title. Think of something that’s not too short, that’s relevant, that’s appealing and attention grabbing, and also contains relevant keywords to your content. Avoid punctuation like commas, quotes, or periods. (You don’t require a full stop at the end of your title.)

For example, rather than a title: I like WordPress

I’d write something like: Distinct SEO’s Top 10 Reasons We Love WordPress

read more…

Products and Services SEO is Not

Updated from the original post in May 7th, 2007.

Some critics have noted consumers are growing dissatisfied with the SEO industry due to the lack of accountability (with respect to results) and lack of transparency (with respect to what is actually completed for web sites). It’s true, nearly anybody regardless of qualifications can figure out on-page SEO (changes made to your web site) and create an online firm to start garnering consultation dollars. The problem is the absence of SEO standard for training or governing body policing rogue consultants means the chance of ‘pulling the wool’ over the eyes of unsuspecting consumers grows. read more…

How to Budget for SEO Projects (and other marketing ventures)

Chicken or the Budget? What Comes First?

**Originally posted on Mar 12, 2007**

I recently engaged in a spirited discussion about business strategy and planning with some posters at SEOChat. Basically, I was challenging the position on how to go about creating SEO budgets. My basic premise was that budgets come out of plans, and not the other way around. Here is some key highlites to help you create the right goals for the right budget and not the other way around.

SEO Plans Lead to SEO Budgets

read more…