SEO is Easier Than Flying a Helicopter

I was reading Guide to Learning Search Engine Optimization on Work.com, I like to check up on popular SEO “guides” that come out to see what they have to say…

This one is really solid too, which is of course expected since Aaron Wall had a hand in it. The guide stresses that SEO isn’t some crazy technical process – and that any motivated individual can accomplish their SEO goals (maybe not right away – but eventually)

I stumbled onto the guide during my daily visit to Aaron Wall’s blog while reading “How Much is a #1 Google Ranking Worth?

-SIDEBAR- Aaron’s post about google has so much research in it (as expected) that I was immediately motivated to write this post. The information is available out there – just like you can find instructions on how to fly a helicopter – the reason i make the comparison is the similarity on the kind of information. You  can find theory and instruction, but until you start putting it into practice you don’t truly learn what works and what doesn’t, and having a guiding hand certainly helps (especially with Helicopters).

Staples of The Media Network

*Statistical information obtained from “B2B Magazine: Interactive Marketing Guide 2008”

Change in Search Marketing Spending Planned for this year by U.S. Search Marketing Executives

No Change = 28%
Increase = 65%
Decrease = 7%

Viewing Email
64% of key decision-makers view e-mail on their Blackberrys or other mobile devices
69% of at-work users usually use their e-mail in preview panes
59% of online consumers routinely block images

Time-of-day Trends
The highest open rates during Q2 2007 were Wednesday (27%), Monday (26%), and Thursday (26%). The highest click-through rates were both Wednesday and Thursday (5%).
11a.m. and 4p.m. scored the highest marks for business-hour open rates (30%) and click-through rates (5%)
Click-through rates were between 4% and 5% during the workday, peaking at 7% at both 9 p.m. and 4 a.m.

SPAM Trends
79% of e-mail recipients said that if they don’t recognize a sender, they sometimes mark messages as spam.
20% of e-mail recipients said they use a spam button as a way to unsubscribe from messages or newsletters they’ve signed up for in the past.

Market Share Trends
Paid search is expected to total $15.5 billion in 2008, up 31.9% over last year
Source: eMarketer, January 2007
More than 10 billion searches were conducted in the U.S. in January. Here is the breakdown of market share:
Google: 58.5%
Yahoo: 22.2%
Microsoft: 9.8%
AOL: 4.9%
Ask: 4.5%

Search Revenue
Worldwide search revenue will reach $30.5 billion this year, up from $26.2 billion last year
Search revenue will grow at an annual rate of 28% over the next four years, reaching $60.0 billion by 2011
Source: JPMorgan Chase Outlook Report, January 2008

Search is here to stay – and is growing by leaps and bounds; learn as much as possible!

Everything is Negotiable – Get what you want

Going through my usual motions yesterday, I came across an excellent post on EventureBiz.com, “Negotiating: it never hurts to ask.” In this post Lindsey writes:

Every time a new contractor would come in to do something he would ask them to also do something else (without charging any extra). Since he was willing to do this we were able to get a lot of things done for nothing that would have added up to a lot of additional money out of our pockets.

What you need to keep in mind whether it be dealing with contractors, sales people or other entrepreneurs is that you need to know what you want before you talk to them. Have a game plan ready, know where you are going to start and what compromises you are willing to make.

For our investment property, we mapped out a timeline and budget. The problem was to fix up the house the way we wanted, we would have to spend well over our budget or do the work ourselves but sacrifice our timeline.

To solve this dilemma, John talked a little with each contractor that walked through our door and got to know a little about them.

For example, he discovered the mold removal contractor had a spray texture gun he used whenever he had to patch holes in walls he tore through to get to mold.

By asking this contractor to spray a few extra areas while he had the gun out we saved a couple hundred dollars.

Lindsey reiterates one of the pillars of success that I have been stressing for a long time now, ask and you shall receive. It is absolutely unbelievable how may things you can get cheaper or a better deal on, simply by asking. Continue reading

Blog Strategy – Michael Arrington does it again.

Michael Arrington of TechCrunch has some very interesting things to say in his post More Bloggers Raising Money. Here Come The Politics. And Here Comes My Rant.

“But apart from that first 2004 investment in Weblogs, Inc., there haven’t been any sales or liquidity events to suggest these investments will be a success. And back then blogging was a cake walk. Most bloggers linked to each other constantly in a state of brotherly or sisterly love. No one was making any money or getting much attention, so for the most part people got along (with notable exceptions like engadget/gizmodo, who play to win).Those salad days are long gone. Writers suddenly want to be paid market wages, far above the $5 per post that they received two years ago. No, we’re talking a big salary, with benefits, and stock options. There went half your margins at least.”

And writing good content is only half the battle. You have to figure out the complex, dynamic web of politics between bloggers and mainstream media before you post to know where to get support. And you’ll need support in the form of links from other prominent bloggers. An early push can take a post and make it a headline on TechMeme, which leads to page views and notice by sponsors. But since blogging is almost by definition a conversation between bloggers, fights tend to break out over emotional issues. Cliques develop. Can you count on them to support you down the road?”

I think this is a brilliant account of how competitive the savvy side of the blogosphere has become –> and even more-so what it is moving towards; a hierarchy of investment criteria and valuation

How will non-professional bloggers (those of us who do not do this for a living) stay afloat? Ingenuity?