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Posts I have written about online marketing. As I have matured as a marketer content has gone beyond SEO to holistic online marketing, involving email, social, and content especially. Once these powerful tools and disciplines are combined, the magic starts to happen.

Content marketing has been around for years, but until recently Google was not making good on their word to rank content that deserves to rank. Instead, we could all easily find examples where sites were ranking off of low quality directories, link wheels, blog networks, and many other tactics. But since Penguin, Panda, and the myriad of other algorithm changes this year, SEOs have started to finally embrace content as a viable means, but we’re still running into old mindsets from clients, and honestly a lot of SEOs are not good at creating linkworthy content. Continue Reading…

America seems to be enamored with the idea of “overnight success”. We see people who become seemingly overnight sensations, often through discovery on Youtube, and are catapulted into the limelight. We see people on TV who become hyper-successful because they were on a reality show or something of the like. These people seem like “overnight successes”. I don’t think there’s any such thing, though.


Let’s look at a few of my favorite examples. Continue Reading…

Note from John: This is a guest post from my friend Mack Fogelson over at Mack Web Solutions, located in beautiful Colorado. I first met Mack at Linklove Boston in April 2012 and then had the pleasure to have more conversations with her at Mozcon. She’s a bright mind with a bright attitude and it’s a pleasure to have her guest posting!

We work in a pretty amazing industry. It is full of remarkably brilliant people, cutting edge knowledge, and never ending challenges. It’s also really competitive. You definitely have to do your fair share of the hustle in order to make a name for yourself as an SEO. This is where social media comes into play.

There are three reasons that you should care about building a social presence as an SEO:

  1. You know that social signals may be contributing to better rankings, so there’s no point in avoiding it any longer.
  2. There’s no way you can feel confident about recommending content and social media marketing to your clients if you don’t even use it yourself (ouch).
  3. And most importantly, social media allows you to connect with other humans. It’s a great way to meet people, maintain friendships, and foster business relationships.

Like anything in SEO, building and maintaining a social presence is hard work. And also like SEO, it can be incredibly rewarding. Continue Reading…

Agile Project Management

John Doherty —  September 7, 2012

There has been a lot of buzz around agile marketing/the agile methodology in the SEO/online marketing space in the past month or so.

I blame Jonathan Colman. First he did an interview here on this site, then he spoke at Mozcon, then he did a Whiteboard Friday, and all along the way for the past couple of years he has done presentations that have shaken things up.

He’s gotten SEOs started talking and thinking about agile marketing and project management. As SEOs/marketers, we’re not able to make developers get things done faster, but we are able to optimize how quickly we get things done for our clients (and then the work is onto them), unless we are doing the work directly on their sites for them in which case we are able to affect that timing.

So where and how do agile practices intersect with marketing? What if you’re a consultant – how do you do it? I’ve worked with a good number of clients up to this point, so I’d like to share with you my methodology for it. Now remember, I’m not one of those consultants who talks to their client, then goes away and prepares a 100 page document and presents it to them, then follows up with a phone call to discuss it. Continue Reading…

Reddit can be a marketer’s dream, or their worst nightmare – depending solely on their company’s intent and approach. But most businesses cannot resist the urge to post on the popular social media platform, which is currently receiving 20mm unique visitors per month. Fortunately for those debating whether or not to leverage Reddit for their advantage, here is your source! Lets dive right into it – Continue Reading…

I’ve seen an alarming trend recently in startup websites. Most want to follow this model:

It’s not uncommon to see this sort of page on a startup’s website:

It’s super simple, just a few points, and a form (and this even asks for your phone number. Talk about asking for too much on the first date). And the reality is that it’s not going to rank for anything substantial because there is simply nothing useful on the page for the search engines to index and rank.

Today let’s talk about the difference between squeeze pages (directed towards conversion) and ranking pages (that can also convert, but will do so at a lower conversion rate). Continue Reading…

Every now and then I come across a strategy that is absolutely brilliant and need to share it with the world. I recently came across a strategy like this from Expedia, while doing competitor research for a client. At Distilled, we talk about page types a lot, which basically means your site’s taxonomy. These are all examples of page types:

  • Categories
  • Product pages
  • Guides
  • Homepage

Expedia is combining a few of these in a really smart way that is helping them rank these pages well.

They are putting their guide content on their city hub pages, and getting links for travel guide related keywords that are partial match anchors for their main keywords!

Let’s take a look. Continue Reading…

A couple of weeks ago, when I announced that I am writing an ebook about blog marketing, I decided that I should step up my broader marketing game a bit and send out an email to my contacts. Continue Reading…

Do Real Industry Stuff

John Doherty —  July 31, 2012

Just last week I was sitting in the audience in the Westin in Seattle where I heard Wil Reynolds give a talk that was basically titled “Do Real Company Stuff“. Intriguingly, a few days before I had a brief exchange on Twitter with Branko, who I greatly respect and greatly enjoy his insights. He had just published this post on SEObook about small businesses and Google’s recent algorithm updates.

I wrote another post as a response to what he and others have said about outing, but I’m publishing this one instead after hearing Wil’s talk. Continue Reading…

“Virality” has been the talk of the Internet, and especially blogging and marketing, worlds for a bit of time now. In my day-to-day I work with and have a lot of conversations with startups whose investors are constantly pushing them to “make the product more viral”. I’m not convinced that “virality” within a product is necessarily a positive, as a lot of people have been frustrated by the forced sharing that is now occurring throughout Facebook and the social web.

Where virality is useful, though, is when launching a new product. Everyone has a book or product idea, but relatively few know how to market their product well, especially pre-launch, to have the maximum number of people possible ready and willing to buy, share, and promote the product for you once it launches.

So how do you build virality into a product launch? How do you build this set of people? This is the question I am going to tackle today.

Continue Reading…