Is DAO the new SEO? - by Benjamin Spiegel

Posted: September 15th, 2011 by Benjamin Spiegel

Ever since google introduced the concept of blended search, DAO is becoming a more important factor for Online Marketers. The Standard SEO is focused on optimizing content. while DAO (Digital asset optimization) is focusing on Multi Media content such as PDFs, Images, Videos, RSS, Reviews, Shopping  and other types of “social” media. You can almost form a formula such as:

Social Media Marketing + SEO = DAO

 

What do i need to do now?
Simply put i would start running down your current target keyword list, analyze it and see what comes up in terms of Blended Media Results, are they already videos blended in the results? One thing to keep in mind is that the blended shelf results are much more dynamic then the rather static traditional Search Engine Results, just because your video is first in the blended results in the morning, does not guarantee you the same spot in the afternoon, you have to check often and see what comes up and what are the deciding factors. While optimizing your media, keep in mind your overall funnel position, for example if you are comparing different Camera Manufacturers, you may want to target customers that are positioned high in the purchase funnel and focus on keywords such as “DSLR Cameras”. But if you are reseller for specific camera models you may choose to target a more educated group of customers that have reached a deeper stage of the purchasing funnel.

 

SEO Purchasing Funnel

SEO Purchasing Funnel

 

How does this affect your traditional SEO?
One of the main differences is the traditional page fold as well as the Share of Shelf. Up until recently a Organic Search Engine Results Position of #3 placed you above the fold, today you will not have the same luxury as you can see on the screenshot below. All the results are being pushed down by larger site links, blended shelf results, featured ads and so on.

 

Share of Shelf with Blended Results

Share of Shelf with Blended Results

 

So what now?
Once you completed your initial keyword research you can start mapping the key phrases / words to matching media, instead of uploading DSC_03123213.jpg to photo sites, you may want to upload great-used-iphone-4.jpg. The same applies to video uploads in video sites and other social media sharing sites. Then you can retarget your ALT tags to match the media more efficiently. Do not use “used phones” be specific say “used iPhone’s” try to focus each media item on one key phrase. Research from Forrester and other sources has shown that 70% of all media uploads are named poorly and tags as well as sourrounding content do not match.

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The importance of email timing - by Benjamin Spiegel

Posted: December 20th, 2010 by Benjamin Spiegel

Following up on last months article regarding the importance of Newsletters i decided to write another article describing my latest findings. (Keep in mind  i am not a writer, so i may get off track here ;) )

Today there are many  tracking system, analytics and all other kinds of cool toys out there, but most people forget the basics of a good email delivery -> TIMING!
And what i mean by this is: When you send out a batch of emails, they are getting delivered over a period of time, depending on the length of your email list it can take many hours. And many people just do not think enough about that!

Based on experience, here are some scenarios, lets say the delivery of my entire list takes 4 hours:
NOTE: This target group here is professionals with Internet access at the work place, of course if you business is in something different, this does not apply to you, but based on my experience i have a lot of data, so just ask ;)

Delivery Time Reason
Early Morning Delivery (3 AM)
Open Rate: VERY LOW
People get to their work place, or check their email in the morning before work, their inbox is filled with Spam, Updates, Automated emails etc, the chance of them opening and engaging into your email is very low!
Morning Delivery (9 AM)
Open Rate: Low
People finished sorting trough the spam and automated emails, and getting ready to start their work day as your email arrives, in most cases they have too much on their todo list, upcomming meetings, follow ups etc to really engage into your email, they may not delete it, but in will move down in the inbox below the fold rather quickly!
Noon Delivery (1 PM)
Open Rate: Low
Most people are either on lunch or just returning from lunch, when people return from lunch they have already some work emails in their inbox, and are less likely to enjoy yours, people who are leaving for lunch, you know how that goes.. ;)
Afternoon Delivery (4-5 PM)
Open Rate: Good
This is one of the top times for Newsletters and Customer Mailings, the reader is about to leave for work, is doing some browsing, and mostly already checked out of work, its also the perfect time for gift shopping etc!
Night Delivery (7+ PM)
Open Rate: Risky
This one is open to debate on a lot of conferences and has very opposite views, for some business night mailings are best, for other they produce almost no returns. It is risky but for the right business a gold mine, some of my clients had higest conversions at the late night hours.

The second item many people disregard is the send order, my client XYZ recently hired me to improve the performance of their email campaigns, their basic logic was
Select from all my customers that want to get email and send.
This client started his emails at 4 PM, and got some medium returns, his problem was that the delivery of his email list (150.000) took about 5 hours, so when his system started his campaign, it just blindly selected members in the order that the entries where created in the list (most system do that), the problem here is that the oldest members got them email at the best time 4-5 PM, while the newest members got the email between 9 and 10 PM.
When looking at the analytics for this we can see that most of the email traffic was created between 4 and 5 PM.
So for the next day, we changed the list order to something like this:
Select all from my customers and then sort it by last logged-in or visited date , and see what happened

We archived an improvement of 50% since then i has been a steady improvement of %10 percent every day! So this has gotten a bit longer then i thought but bottom line is:

  1. Make sure you send it out at the correct time of day (depending on your target audience)
  2. Make sure you email first the active users / customers so they get it in the right time
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The Importance of Customer Emails - by Benjamin Spiegel

Posted: November 10th, 2010 by Benjamin Spiegel

Since my earlier Article regarding The Importance of Ranking i did some more digging into conversions, time on site and user quality, and i came across another very interesting and long forgotten fact:

The importance of Customer Emails and Newsletters.

While looking over the stats for one of my clients, i was trying to filter out some bad Affiliates and low quality sources, in order to improve CTR and CPM rates. So a ran the usual analytics and metrics and took as the main quality factor the pages per visit.

Once i finished fine tuning the filtering options (minimum 50 visits this week, no ad traffic etc) i was left with a very interesting result:

The importance of Emails

As you can see based on this Google Analytics output, the most pages per visit this week where generated from users that have clicked on a link in their webMail accounts, unfortunately for some reason it does not show gmail, but even just looking at this, it becomes obvious that great traffic, maybe even the best traffic comes from your existing members, old clients and Newsletter Subscribers. I am confident that if we would show gmail it would even be a much larger number!

So no matter what type of business you operate, get a newsletter, Custom thank you email, any kind of LEGIT email out to the people you know, and i can guarantee you, that this is going to produce similar results.

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FTC Guideline Updates - by Benjamin Spiegel

Posted: November 29th, 2009 by Benjamin Spiegel

The FTC has updated their guidelines and rules regarding endorsements /testimonials. It is important to determine how these guidelines may affect your website or bloggind business, or how you should proceed; so be aware of this update that goes into effect on the 1st of December 2009. You can find out all the details on the FTC website and read about some members of the industry’s take on this and way to avoid trouble and be compliant.
For most of our Clients and Partners this will not have a large impact, but be warned competitive Bloggers may report you to the FTC or your Affiliate Network like commission junction, linkshare etc

VIEW PDF

Below you can see some interviews and videos with the FTC

What’s new about the Endorsement Guides?
Mary Engle, Associate Director – Bureau of Consumer Protection

Read the rest of this entry »

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