Partnerships, the 6th P in Marketing

Partnerships are key in new media marketing.

What makes perfect partnerships in business?

To be social means to have and form partnerships of all kinds. Whether it’s a partnership in the form of becoming a fan or follower, a friendship with a high school classmate, a business partnership or simply a meetup group for learning and expanding your contacts, partnerships are prevalent in marketing today. They always have been, but if you look at the most successful businesses today, it’s those that have been most strategic and smart with their partnerships.

Google’s Larry Page and Sergei Brin were the original dream team who started Google. They then hired Eric Schmidt to create a partnership that resulted in the beginning of profits for the company. Google purchased many a young startup company including Blogger, Picasa, and YouTube and those partnerships even if they were acquisitions has served to increase profitability exponentially over time. Google also partners with its customers by helping them make money for themselves through their core product, Google AdWords. They provide many tips, tools and tutorials for advertisers and reward customers who are performing well with better pricing and higher rankings.

Facebook has partnered with several third party application developers, (such as Votigo and Involver) service providers (like Spotify and Instagram) and game developers (like Zynga) in order to keep their user base. We partner with twitter users every time we reciprocate a follow, retweet or enter into public conversations. No solitary person can exist in a vacuum and certainly no marketing can happen without anyone around. In the conversation economy, word of mouth is a world of mouth. People and partnerships are crucial for business and even more crucial in social media marketing.

What are your favorite examples of winning partnerships in business today or from the past? Please add your thoughts in the comments area below.

SEO Tips for Blog Posts | SEO for You and Your Blog (not Spot)

SEO Tips for Blog Posts may not be something you search for everyday, but it is indeed something many small businesses are interested in. That’s the reason for this post and I hope you’ll find it useful.

8 SEO Tips for Blog Posts


  1. Determine the keywords your post will be focused on.

    When it comes to SEO tips for blog posts, your first and foremost priority is keywords. You already have a topic for your post in mind, so you likely have some ideas for a keywords, however, your first ideas may not be the best. For example, my first idea for this post was not “SEO Tips for Blog Posts,” so you may want to do a little research to understand which keywords are going to get you the most search volume for the lowest amount of competition.You can do that by entering your keyword ideas into the Google AdWords Keywords Tool.

    It’s meant for use with Google AdWords, but it’s also very helpful for SEO research as well.The first (SEO for you and your blog) tool is your friend Google.For example if you’re writing a post about “Search Engine Friendly Blog Posts” search for that keyword term and look at the results.
    Search Engine Optimization for Blog Posts

    What do you notice? The competition looks very high and the keywords aren’t exactly what you’re writing about.If at first you don’t succeed… try again!

    If we look at “SEO for blog posts” instead we see the following:

    SEO Tips for Blog Posts - Keyword Research

    This is starting to look more promising, because we are seeing low competition and high volume.

    Further down in the list we see

    “seo for you” with low competition and search volume of 60,500.


    “seo tips for blogs” with low competition and search volume of 1,300.

    and a combination of these should serve us well, so now we’re ready for Step 2.

  2. Include keywords in your post title/heading.
    Since we found a couple of phrases with low competition and high search volume, we are going to go with “SEO for You and Your Blog | SEO Tips for Blog Posts.”  This allows us to get more volume of searches with “SEO for You” and also target our audience or people who are looking for help writing SEO friendly blog posts, with “SEO Tips for Blogs.”

  3. Search for your title ideas in Google (SEO Tips for Blog Posts) to see what your competition is.
    ReSearch your competition based on the title your have defined to understand what you’re up against. Remember there are no competitors, only teachers.  What do the results you see from this search teach you?

    Search for Your Competition: "SEO Tips for Blog Posts"

  4. Include keywords in hyperlinks in your post.
    Can you link to a related article, video or site using your keywords in a hyperlink?  If so, this will give you a boost in your search rankings.

  5. Include the keyword phrase several times within the post, but no more than 5% of the post.
    Yoast is the best WordPress plugin for SEO for your blog. The plugin will tell you exactly what changes to make in order for each blog post to be SEO friendly.

  6. Make sure the post is 400 – 800 words long
    Too short and there won’t be enough words for the search engine to understand the relevance of the article.  Too long and you will dilute the relationship between your keyword phrase and the rest of your content.  Don’t overload your post with the keyword phrase you have chosen. Just be sure that appears about 5% of the time throughout the content. The Yoast plugin for WordPress tells you exactly how much you are over.

  7. Add alt tags to any images
    These help human visitors understand what each image is if they are viewing with images turned off and/or if they are visually challenged.  Search engine don’t mind if you include keywords in alt tags, but it is best to be as descriptive of the image as possible so that your blog post is most accessible.

  8. Embed videos and/or add links to videos and other related content
    As with any blog post, it’s always good to add value and offer as much as you can to support your idea.  After all, good content is what people like to share and link to and those inbound links are also extremely helpful in SEO and your search engine rankings.

What are your biggest SEO and blog related tips and/or questions?

Search in 2012: 4 Trends to Watch

Along with the rest of the web, search continues to grow and evolve this year. Here are our top search trends to watch and be a part of in 2012.

Search Gets Personal
With the 2011 advent of Google+, it is no small wonder that Google search has gone social too. When logged into your Google account, your searches and browsing are tailored to you and your network.

Search becomes social

You now have the option to view posts from friends first, and additionally, the remainder of your search results will be tailored to you, your preferences, and your network as well.

As a result of social media’s rapid gains in search, we can expect to see links that are shared most via social networks to gain higher organic rankings on search engines.

Page Rank? Not so much.
As a result of search becoming so personalized, page rank as we knew it in the past will fall to the wayside. With so many factors being used to determine page rank—social media, location, and search history—results will differ for each individual, making page rank an obsolete measurement.

Mobile Search: More personal than ever.
With exponentially more cell phone users upgrading to smart devices, mobile search is changing rapidly to keep up. Highly localized apps and sites such as Foursquare, Yelp, Groupon, Scoutmob, and other geo-based services have changed the way we search from our phones. According to, Foursquare is the check-in app leader. Foursquare’s plans to enhance their offers and explore features, means that Foursquare and similar apps will be used even more for search in 2012. Google reported in 2011 that 79% of mobile users search on their phones while shopping and that 95% of mobile searches relate to location.

Mobile advertising will also increase in 2012 as advertisers increasingly realize that mobile search provides valuable leads. reports that mobile ad spending is projected to exceed $2.6B this year. $1.45B was spent on mobile advertising in 2011.

Paid Search
In 2012, more and more ads will be delivered via video as opposed to text ads. There is speculation that Google will begin offering incentives to advertisers (based on budget size and ad quality) to maintain their stronghold of the PPC arena.

With social media becoming increasingly ubiquitous, advertisers will keep up with the trends by asking for “likes,” “+1’s,” and “follows” in their 2012 advertising.

Search = Influence
Google hit the 1 billion monthly unique visitors mark in June 2011, so it is no secret that search has become quite powerful. Search has become so influential in fact, that correspondents project that Google searches may be a better indicator of election results than preliminary polls.

So, what was the most-searched term on Google in 2011? Facebook.

We’ll be back soon to report on 2012 mobile trends. In the meantime, please share your thoughts with us on search. What are your favorite tools for finding the information you need?

Google AdWords Certified

This is a belated announcement, but never-the-less important. We are proud to say that our very own Cariwyl Hebert is a Google AdWords Certified specialist. In order to achieve Google AdWords Certification one must study a series of lessons and then take a rigorous exam. Cariwyl passed the exam with flying colors and is our in-house AdWords specialist. We’re very proud of Cariwyl and very pleased to be able to offer this qualification to our valued clients.

If you are in need of Google AdWords assistance, please give us a call at 415.305.6403. Thank you!

Fun: A Print Ad for Online Marketing Classes

I teach three classes at San Francisco State’s Integrated Marketing Program in the College of Extended Learning. This semester my Maximizing Search Engines class was the subject of a photo shoot. The class was a lot of fun despite the photographer and the ad turned out quite well too. A client called me on Monday morning to say they saw me in the San Francisco Chronicle. A nice surprise. I would have missed it had they not called. The newspaper was very thin, but the ad is sharp and arrogantly I think I look quite good. The students in the inset are all rock stars too. Here’s a photo I took with my iPhone:

Integrated Marketing Program Ad

I do love teaching. I learn so much from my students and it’s so fun to teach about things that are en vogue today. Don’t get me wrong, I believe search engine marketing and social media are where every company should be putting the majority of their marketing budgets, I just think it’s a bit ironic that the ad is in the newspaper when my classes are all about online marketing. Then again we’re promoting the Integrated Marketing Program and integrated means integrating online and offline, so as they say, “All ink is good ink,” and especially when you’re in print.

Do join us at the information session on May 13th. I’ll be there in person, which is after all the absolute best way to connect socially.

What do you think? Please share your comments below.

How Can You Compete?

I love teaching. It’s one of my favorite things to do on a list that includes playing the clarinet, oil painting, snorkeling in Maui, running marathons, hiking and snowboarding. And it’s up there in my top three.

I just taught the second in a three part class called Maximizing Search Engine Marketing at SF State for the Integrated Marketing Program. In the first class last Tuesday I had such a great time I almost lost my voice. Tonight’s was less intense, but just as fun and a few of the students even came up and told me how much they enjoyed the reader I created for the class. That reader is in addition to the recommended “Inbound Marketing” book, which is excellent and I am honored to recommend, so I feel really grateful for those kind remarks.

George Kao mentioned a something to me in one of his webinars which I really like and am shameless sharing in almost every presentation I make. He said: “There is no such thing as competitors, only teachers.” It is so true. It is very easy to learn from competitors on the web and indeed they are our very best teachers.

I learn from teaching, from competing and from listening to the people that participate in my industry. I hope I am conveying this way of learning to my students. And most of all, to my students, I hope you realize and appreciate how much I learn from you. Thank you.

Here’s a reminder link to that excellent resource for beginner SEOs, thanks to @NealShaeffer

Search Meets Social

Google recognizes the power of the social connectors (aka social media) by showing real-time search results including content from Facebook and Twitter. Google is unveiling the “Latest Results” which will show tweets from Twitter streams, updates from Facebook, answers from YahooAnswers and more. To me this indicates the power of real-time results. The freshest content and opinions are what searchers are interested in. Google obviously respects the power of the crowd and continues to believe in us. After all, we are the people who power Google. Google both serves us and we serve them by clicking on ads. It’s a symbiotic relationship.  I wonder if they will start showing Aardvark results as well.

Search Engine Marketing Checklist

If you have a new website or even an old one that you haven’t looked at much in terms of how it performs on search engines, the following checklist will assist you in getting your website optimized for best performance in the free or organic listings on search engines and also what to look for and do if you are considering paid search.

Remember: If you are not on the first page of the search results, it is unlikely your listing will be clicked. People simply very seldom look further than the first page of search results.

Search Engine Marketing (SEO and SEM) Checklist


  1. Are your Title tags describing the content on each page of your site effectively?
  2. Do your Meta description and keyword tags accurately reflect the content on each page of your site?
  3. Do you have Alt tags on each image?
  4. Are you using real text for content (instead of graphics with text in them)?
  5. Are you including keywords and are the keywords relevant to the content on each page?
  6. Content: How good is it? If it’s not great, don’t expect a lot.
  7. Is your site and content shareable?
  8. Do you have an RSS feed set up?
  9. How many links are coming into your site?
  10. Can you think of people, site owners who would be willing to link to your site and content?
    Have you asked those people to link to you?
  11. Is your site link-worthy?
  12. Have you submitted your site to search engines?
  13. Have you started a blog and/or posted articles about your area of expertise or the product or service you are promoting with your site?
  14. Are you checking how you rank against competitors for particular keyword terms?
  15. Is your content fresh?
  16. Have you run your site through

SEM (Paid Search)

  1. If you are unable to get a top page organic search result, have you considered paid search? Since Google has 84% market share, its AdWords Program is a good place to begin.
  2. Are you choosing your keyword terms effectively?
  3. Are you monitoring which ads are working better than others?
  4. Are you monitoring which keywords are your best performers?
  5. Do you have goals set up in your paid search tool? Is your site listed in as many places as possible?
  6. How focused is each page of your site around a particular keyword term?
  7. What are the top 5 keywords that people are finding you with on search engines?
  8. Do you have pages dedicated to those top 5 keywords?

Measure, Monitor, Monitise (MMM)

  1. Are you tracking your linkpopularity? is a good starting point.
  2. Have you started tracking and monitoring visits to your site with analytics tools?
  3. Do you have analytics on your site? Are you monitoring your statistics and making changes to the site according to what you notice from the statistics reports?

Blogging and Say(ing) Everything

Today I listened to a great forum discussion about blogging (audio embedded below) with Scott Rosenberg, author and co-founder of Michael Krasny of KQED’s Forum discuss Rosenberg’s most recent book: Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It’s Becoming, and Why It Matters

Rosenberg discusses the history of blogging, how it developed as a form, what it is today, the different types of bloggers there are and why it is blogging is the easiest way to self-publish, find a voice and have a voice. I found it interesting that more women are blogging than men and this stems from the fact that blogging is a medium where woman can express themselves more easily. They are less self-conscious and better able to contribute to the community.

The forum asks callers to share their favorite blogs, why they like them and how they use blogging in their daily lives.

Despite the growth in usage of Twitter and social networks like Facebook for sharing your interests with your community, blogging is not going away and remains a way to say everything. Enjoy!

For the Joy of Teaching

Last night I taught a Marketing with Search Engines class for Classes for Causes.  The class was held to benefit Symphony Parnassus and I raised $64 for the orchestra.  Classes for Causes is a non-profit dedicated to connecting people to raise money and awareness for various causes through teaching and learning.  Anyone can teach a class about anything they want and the money they earn in tuition is donated to the charity of the instructor’s choice.

There were just two students, so it was very intimate and actually just perfect.  Most people would cancel or postpone a class if only two people signed up, but not me, I guess I just love the experience of teaching too much.  It was such a pleasure to have time for each student to participate, ask as many questions as they wanted and really understand the concepts of the subject.  Teaching that way is a lot more like consulting than giving a lecture.  It’s a conversation which sparks ideas and nurtures the learning process.  When learning is fun, you learn more and digestion of the knowledge is easier.

I am extrememly grateful for the interest my students have in the subject matter and confidence in my ability to help them learn.  It is an honor to teach and a pleasure to learn from my students.  Thank you Aimee and Brian.  I can’t wait to see what you do with your new found Marketing with Search knowledge.

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