With the launch of its YouTube Channel Hungry, Citysearch is becoming a major player in the video content space. Recognizing that the web gets more local every day, Citysearch’s new channel celebrates local culture while expanding its local influence. My sister-in-law Tolly Moseley is the Austin, TX host for Hungry: Check out her latest episode to see how Hungry offers visitors a taste of Austin:
CityGrid Media, the internet conglomerate that owns CitySearch, is far more than just a website. It’s a global-scale media company and publisher that understands the importance of local content. Unlike other ad networks, CityGrid publishes massive amounts of quality content through its various sites including Citysearch, Urbanspoon, and Insider Pages. Having proven the content marketing model, Citysearch and CityGrid Media now attract local and national advertisers alike.
What can small to midsize businesses learn from the CityGrid model?
First: Invest in Quality Content
Take the time to create stories worth reading and videos worth watching. Remember, the idea behind content marketing is to produce content that becomes your advertisement, rather than purchase advertising space alongside someone else’s content. Your content needs to be good enough that people seek it out.
Second: Go Local
We all love to hear about the places we live in and travel to. If you have a local presence, make a big deal about it. If not, you can still produce content and advertisements that are targeted to the cities you serve.
Finally: Be Authentic
Find your voice as a brand, and find voices that can help you make an impact in your target cities. Local talent can make a big difference. Hungry’s local hosts, for example, all have existing fan bases that the channel can leverage and build upon.
If you’re hungry to build your business online, follow the Citigrid recipe: use authentic, local ingredients and don’t skimp on quality.
I was very fortunate to be the keynote speaker at last night’s Dallas Interactive Marketing & Internet SEO/SEM Meetup. I spoke about Google’s recent algorithm changes over the last several months nicknamed “Panda” and “Penguin”. I was excited to provide information on how those changes have impacted rankings and offered strategies for success. It was a great event, and I look forward to future MeetUps.
Duane Forrester goes over the importance of Schema.org with Eric at DFWSEM.
A is for Apple right? Well not according to Google, “A” is now for Amazon. Now using Google Instant search we can see the 26 most important search terms from A to Z. Today, we intend to revisit the subject of Google Instant Search since our first post when Instant was first announced by Google. In this article, we are going to discuss how Google Instant has affected the searcher and what that means for businesses working to improve their website’s search engine rankings. Through our research, we found that unlike a child’s random participation in the alphabet game, Google strives to purposefully deliver Instant Hints when a user begins typing the first letter. Businesses need to pay attention to this improvement in search, because Google Instant means potentially more impressions for your website especially if you are already ranking in the top three positions in the search results.
A = Amazon
B = Bank of America
C = Craigslist
D = Dictionary
E = Espn
F = Facebook
G = Google
H = Hotmail
I = iPhone 5
J = JC Penney
K = Kohls
L = Lowes
M = MapQuest
N = Netflix
O = Old Navy
P = Pandora
Q = Quotes
R = Redbox
S = Southwest Airlines
T = Target
U = USPS
V = Verizon Wireless
W = Walmart
X = X Factor
Y = YouTube
Z = Zillow
When Google introduced Instant Search, their goal was to deliver more relevant searches faster. This came in the form of autocomplete and instant hints which use both personal browsing data (what you’ve previously searched) and the browser’s physical location (IP address) to deliver search results. Autocomplete, as you may be already familiar, automatically completes your search phrase by delivering educated guesses in the search bar. Instant Hints appear in a short drop down list of phrases that relate (in theory) to your query. With this technology, Google has enabled the searcher to browse and click through results without having to finish typing a query or even clicking on the search button. Below is a list that I generated simply by typing in the following letters A-Z… this was more of a fun exercise rather than something we took seriously. However, as marketers who live, eat, breathe, sleep SEO, we couldn’t help but discover a few things…
It never hurts to be an established brand. If you already are attracting thousands of new visitors to your site every month, such as Amazon or Craigslist, Google may just include you as an Instant Hint automatically. This is perhaps the least actionable of my points, since Instant Hints are based primarily on the searcher’s history and recent trends, which brings me to my next point…
Online follows offline. For all you students of psychology, herd theory—the desire to be one with the crowd—does play out in the search engines. Google says that every Instant Hint is a term or phrase that someone (in your geographic area) has already typed in. Thus, Google assumes that what other people are searching is probably what you will likewise want to search. Ergo, herd theory, or the influence of “the crowd” on human decisions, is powerful for getting ranked well in search engines (especially Bing which has begun to exclusively use social media to deliver more relevant search results).
Trends are friends. Adding to my last point about Google displaying Instant Hints based on previous search behavior, trends or events that happen at a certain time of year can generate addition impressions (or better yet, traffic) for your business. Holidays and current events all can help to bolster your website or blog if you pick corresponding keywords and write great content. The higher quality content you have, the more likely you will be to actually generate traffic from these trending keywords and convert your site’s visitors.
It’s good to be Google or any of Google’s content networks: Wikipedia, YouTube, Plus, etc. This point is really more of a pun, since Google displayed itself under the letter “G” (actually displayed Google and Google News as the first two Hints). Nothing wrong with a little self-promotion.
We plan to discuss more about Google Instant in the days to come so keep in touch.
Once again, Overstock.com is suspected of playing dirty.
Last February, Overstock.com was penalized by Google for manipulating the search engines. The online retailer offered students and faculty discounts in exchange for posting links from college and university websites to Overstock.com. Their motivation? Ranking in search engines are, in large part determined by assessing the number of sites that link back to the site being ranked. In order to avoid artificial influence on search engines, Google forbids sites from paying other websites to embed links on their pages, and penalized Overstock.com for this unethical (“black hat”) practice. The Wall Street Journal quotes Patrick Byrne, Overstock’s chief executive, as saying, “We understand Google’s position and have made the appropriate changes to remain within Google’s guidelines.”
But they might be at it again.
I made this discovery while working on a competitive analysis for a client who wanted to rank for the keyword “kids’ bedding”. The top organic position was held by Overstock.com with this page: www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Kids-Bedding/5389/subcat.html. My browser tools indicated the page had a large number of backlinks, an unusually large number for even a large retailer. I looked further. Using Open Site Explorer I found they had some very suspicious backlinks, including:
All of the above pages follow the same basic format. They’re branded to look like part of Overstock.com and filled with anchor text links that guide users back to the Overstock site. The pages themselves, though, are hosted on sites that are unrelated to Overstock or its products, including the websites of a writer, a musical composer, and an Australian photography and printing service.
The pages listed above are not the only suspicious-looking ones. Many of Overstock.com’s top-ranking pages have similar backlink profiles. You can check them out yourself using keywords like “Egyptian cotton sheets”, “sateen sheets”, “bedspreads”, “kids’ bedding”, and “bathrobes.” You’ll find many more.
Based on my years of industry experience, this type of activity seems to be as “black hat” as it gets. I can imagine two scenarios that might explain these links:
- These are paid links, and the sites’ webmasters allowed Overstock.com to post the pages.
- The sites were hacked, and the pages were placed on the sites without the webmasters’ knowledge.
Either way, the Overstock pages on these sites appear very suspicious. Overstock.com, whether intentionally or not, is clearly violating Google’s webmaster guidelines again. Based on these guidelines, I am curious to see how long it will take Google to serve up another penalty.
Overstock.com may or may not be aware of these pages. The world of Internet Marketing is full of miscommunications, implementation errors, and newly developed techniques that might be considered “grey hat”. We don’t want to accuse Overstock of trying to manipulate search engines again, but only bring attention to these questionable SEM tactics.
What’s your take on this issue? I’d like to hear your viewpoint. Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
We caught up with Email marketing expert and Conversion Scientist Brian Massey at last night’s DFW SEM meeting- always a treat, we love Brian. Check it out!
Eric: Hi, it’s Eric from Globe Runner SEO, and tonight we’re at DFW SEM. We love coming to these events because of the great speakers that they bring, and to tonight I’m talking with Brian Massey, the conversion scientist, one of the smartest guys I know. Brian and I have actually known each other for about a year now. I originally saw you at PubCon. We scheduled a phone call. You helped me out with one of my websites, and you gave me a lot of great insight. I thought I’ve got to pull Brian aside, take a few minutes to talk to you.
One of the things that I know you’re really great at is email marketing. We have several clients right now doing email marketing campaigns, and I wanted to get your advice on that.
Eric: I wanted also to kind of let everybody out there know that we love to use you for conversion optimization on either email or website optimization campaigns. If you guys are already a client of ours, call me, talk to me about working with Brian because if you want to convert your website better, this is the guy to talk to.
Brian, let’s focus a little bit on email marketing. I know you like to do it. I subscribe to your email list. I get it all the time. It’s got great content in it. How do you make that work? What’s the secret sauce to emails?
Brian, I’ll tell you the problem with email is there’s a recipe that the Wizard Academy which is an interesting and enigmatic business communication school talks about, Roy Williams says that salience equals frequency times relevance. Salience is that magic moment when somebody gets what you’re saying. They move your brand into their chemical memory as opposed to digital electrical memory.
Brian: Salience is important. It’s what builds brands, relevance and frequency. These are the challenges in email, relevance and frequency. To be relevant, I have to understand something about my folks, my higher subject matter experts who write that content.
Eric: Right, right.
Brian: What we end up doing is getting into this monthly newsletter that has three fully written articles, and that doesn’t give us the frequency that we need. I think blogs are where it is, and this has really worked for me. Every time I have an article some place else, I do a little blog post about it, and my blog drives my email marketing.
Eric: You mean, you write an article somewhere else, or you read an article somewhere else?
Brian: I’ll write an article on Search Engine Land or Clicksy. Rather than link to that, I will write a blog post summarizing one of the things or excerpting. I’m using my blog as the content source, and then I have what is called a RSS to email service. Mail Chimp, AWeber offer these things.
Eric: Yeah, we like Mail Chimp actually ourselves.
Brian: Once a week, weekly I would consider the minimum for effective email.
Brian: Once a week, Mail Chimp goes and looks at my RSS feed. If there’s new blog posts, it puts them into a template and sends it to my list. It manages my opt-outs and everything for me, and it’s hands off. I write the blog. I go about my business, and Mail Chimp takes care of that once a week. I’ve got relevance because I’m dealing with articles that I have written specifically for my audience. I’ve got frequency in getting something out once a week.
Brian: That’s creating that salience where people get what I’m about, a thought leader in my space.
Eric: And they think, conversions, Brian.
Brian: That’s exactly right, and it works very well for me. Don’t get wrapped around the axle on doing your monthly newsletter. Do your weekly blog post and summary.
Eric: Do you like doing it once a week where it aggregates your one to three posts, or however many you needed, or the other option at Mail Chimp is, I know, that you can have them do it every night. Every time that you do a post, it’ll pop. What do you think of that? Is that too much?
Brian: The rule of email is this. You send as often as your content allows. As an extreme example American Airlines sent me five emails within the space of an hour.
Eric: But you were going to miss your flight if you didn’t get it.
Brian: They were giving me flight updates, so I wanted that. That’s high relevance.
Brian: If you can’t write, I know some entrepreneurs who can write a daily email. They’re short. They’re punchy, but they’re interesting, and they keep people on their list, writing daily.
Eric: I wish I could do that.
Brian: Every one of them has an offer in it. It works for folks like that. You decide.
Brian: A blog is usually a wide range of topics, so I think once a week or twice a week is probably sufficient. If you try to do that daily, it’s probably a little more hit, miss and less relevant. A daily thing might be a little stretching it, but I did a test last summer which I had four, eight days sent an email every day.
And so, I got to study what we call list shake. People who don’t want that are getting off, but they’re probably not buyers anyway.
Eric: Right. Maybe, that was OK. Let’s talk about a couple of the high sticky points in emails that I think about a lot is the headline in the email, and then also the call to action email. Do I need to have a call to action in my email, and then, if so, do I need it at the top?
Do I need it at the bottom? How strong does it need to be? Should it be like my landing page, like a PPC landing page where I have a really clear button that says Do This Now? Or do you suggest, like your emails, in fact, are probably a little softer where they’re a little more on content, and I’m not driving you to buy something right now. In email, it depends on what you’re selling.
Brian: Email is a promotional… We’re marketers. It is a promotional medium. We do want to promote.
Brian: I recommend the best place to put offers is in the copy. You write your email or you write your blog post such that it ends up going in with this offer, that offer you can have what we talked about.
Brian: That’s the most important place. If you put it in the copy, you’re going to have higher click-throughs.
Brian: There’s a little blindness. I use a two column thing. There’s an offer blindness on the right column, if you see a two column newsletter, but I’ve had good luck with them. I suspect that I could have better luck in stream ads.
Brian: In a one column format which is what I’m seeing more of from the informational newsletters, but yet, you need to be promoting. You need to be letting them know you have products to offer, and I don’t have a lot of products to offer because I sell mostly services is why I don’t push it a lot.
Eric: Yeah. Well, we’re in that same business, but most of my clients have something to sell so it’s good to know both. Well, good. Thank you, Brian. That is always informative. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with us a little bit.
Brian: I appreciate the opportunity.
Eric: I want to repeat here at the end. If you guys want to improve the effectiveness of your site and we’re building traffic to the website and you’re one of our clients, call me. Let’s talk a little more. I’d like to get Brian involved in your campaign and really improve the conversion rate that you’re seeing on your site or in your email campaign. If we’re going to work with anybody, it’s going to be Brian on conversion optimization. I really appreciate your time, Brian.
Brian: Thanks for having me.
Eric: Hi. I’m here at Globe Runner SEO and I want to talk about some big news in the world of search today. We’ve got new TLDs. So new domain level extensions, so instead of just .com, .net, .org and the other 26 extensions that are out there right now, the organization that controls the domain names has announced that next year they’re going to allow companies to start buying and producing their own domain name extensions.
So a brand could have their own domain name extension. You could have google.google if you really wanted to.
But here at Globe Runner we thought what is the real business potential behind this? Who would actually do this and why? Now first off, it’s not cheap. It costs $180,000 to register your new TLD. In addition to that you’ve got to have a support team in place. There’s legal work that needs to be done.
I’m actually estimating that it will probably end up costing closer to a million dollars a year for all the overhead that goes into this. It will probably be about a million bucks a year to get this thing rolling.
So if I’m right and it costs about a million dollars a year, who would want to spend that kind of money on a domain extension. Here are some ideas. Here’s some really good business opportunities out there that I think should be explored.
First off, companies like GoDaddy and other large hosting and domain selling companies would want to get into this business. Essentially they’re buying a vertical. If they could buy .shop, for instance, or .web or something that isn’t out there right now that gives them a new extension. This would just be like GoDaddy running that commercial on the Super Bowl this last year for .co.
.co was a way that they could sell lots of new domain names under a new extension. It gave them a whole new vertical. Millions and millions of people registered domains.
So even if it cost you a million dollars a year, if I can sell these for $20 a year or $10 a year and I sell a million of them that’s a $10 million sale, pretty easy ROI case to make there.
Other companies that might use it are large companies that have a large number of websites they want to tie together through an extension. A way that I see this going is like Warner Brothers. Maybe a movie company might want to buy .mov, .movie so that they could tie their network of websites together through this extension and they’re a large enough operation, a large enough organization that it makes sense for them.
Another good example would be sports leagues. So I definitely could see the NFL would want .nfl. You’d have cowboys.nfl and all the other NFL teams would have a .nfl official website. And they could control that and guarantee that when a viewer goes to their website they’re looking at the official website for that particular team. So I see those as two particular ways that this can be used for a business advantage for a company.
The other one that we see potential for is any kind of website that has a large number of sub domains. So a good example is WordPress. If you set up a WordPress website you can set them up two ways. Obviously you can do a self hosted WordPress, but a lot of people just go to wordpress.com, create an account, instantly have a website up, and it’s yourwebsite.wordpress.com.
Well now you’ve got a sub domain. Well I think WordPress might register something like .wp and then you would have yourwebsite.wp instead of yourwebsite.wordpress.com. So there’s those types of opportunities too. I could definitely see somebody like Google trying to make their blog platform more effective and get .blog for instance, instead of .blogger.com.
So there’s a lot of opportunities here for business to really expand the marketplace. I think it’s a good shift. It certainly will reshuffle search some. We’ll see, over the coming few years, how this affects search going forward. If these get preferential treatment or if they’re a little harder to rank. I think there’s arguments to be made for both.
Certainly your TLD having an effect on search today. A .edu will rank differently than a .org or a .com or a .biz. Those differences are less and less important, I think, than they used to be. During the original rollouts of the web we saw that .coms got preferential treatment.
Today I think that if you have a really good .net and it’s got good information it can rank just as well as a .com. So we’ll be interested to see how that rolls out and how those changes make.
But if you’re in the business of buying TLDs, you’re in business now.
Eric: Hi, it’s Eric with Goldrunner SCO and I’m talking to Ryan here with The BOSS Group. We were just chatting a little bit about using social media for recruiting. The BOSS Group is a recruiting agency and, Ryan, what insights do you have? What kind of social media tools you like? What platforms do you like?
Ryan: We’ve mainly used two different things. LinkedIn is, obviously, the best resource for us for a couple of different reasons. It gives us breadth of how many people we can go and extend our network to. So, not only who am I linked in to, but who those contacts are linked in to.
You can also read the recommendations that people have and, being inside of groups, we’re able to go and post questions and instantly have answers to who is the best iPhone developer in all of Dallas. Instantly, there’s people saying “This is who it is” and it gives us a good starting spot to go and find candidates on who to call.
The second thing would be, in Twitter we’re able to go and, not only see and find out about candidates, but, from a client perspective, we’re able to see who’s looking. Just last Friday, we had a client that didn’t even think about reaching out to us that said “We need a developer for 48 hours over the weekend.” It was at 4:30 on Friday and we had someone to him by five o’clock.
If it wasn’t for Twitter, then we would’ve never known about the opportunity. So, both from a candidate perspective and a client perspective, we’re able to go and access information through listening, kind of what we’re talking about today, and going and just actively posting content and trying to get feedback.
Eric: On LinkedIn, do you find that you can do most of what you need with the free version of LinkedIn or do you really rely on the paid recruiting tools on LinkedIn?
Ryan: Well, I don’t rely on a super heavy recruiting tool. We do have a beefed-up account, mainly for two things. One, it allows me to go in and send a lot more in mails. The people that don’t want to be contacted, then it allows me to access people. As long as my feedback is good, which it traditionally always is because I’m looking for jobs for people, and I’m constantly using the in mail feature.
The second thing is it allows me to categorize where people fall in place. I can instantly go and say “Hey, here’s an SCO person” so I’ve got 50 people that I know that I can rely on.
Then I say “Oh, I know Eric. I can go pick up the phone because I know he’s an SCO go-to type guy.”
So it allows me to categorize where all the people, because I started gathering some so many contacts.
Eric: You can organize through the thousands of people that go.
Ryan: Yeah. That’s the biggest thing with the beefed-up version of LinkedIn. It allows me to organize as opposed to just doing keyword, like SCO, than I may have 1000 people in my contacts show up. I want to know who are the 50 that I actually want to pick up the phone and talk to or send an email to.
Eric: Those are fantastic tips. Thank you so much, Ryan. Those were great tips. I appreciate you taking a moment to talk to us. Check out The BOSS Group’s website. If you’re looking for a job or if you need to hire somebody, these guys can help you out.
CEO Eric Mcgehearty interviews Jerod Morris from Midwest Sports Fans, who explains how stumble upon can be an asset to drive visitors to your site.
Jerod Morris: The question you’re asked in accounting or in law, what are you going to write about? There’s something that everybody can write about. You can get real simple and just do a links post, or you can really get creative with how you provide value.
At the end of the day, that’s key. What’s going to provide value to the people who are coming to my website and to the people that I want to attract to my website. Sometimes it’s about thinking forward strategically, down the line. These are the kind of people I want to come to my website, or this is the person that I want to influence. How do I create content that’s going to get in front of that person?
I just, sometimes, have to… You do it once and it kind of misses. No one comes and no one retweets it. But if you keep doing that, you get better at creating content and you get a little bit better at figuring out what is going to have that impact with people. That’s really going to impact so many different things that you want to write.
Eric: Some of the techniques that you talked about… And let me introduce you real quick. Everybody, I want to introduce you guys. This is Jerod with MidwestSportsFans.com, one of the most popular sports blogs on the web. A great guy. A lot of insights on how social media and content strategies can build traffic. One of the things you mentioned was StumbleUpon.
Eric: StumbleUpon, a neat little social network. I think a lot of us use it a little bit, but you talked about really making it into more than just a little bit of usage. How do you make that drive traffic for the website?
Jerod: Number one, I’ve spent time on it. I think that’s… The key with any social network like that is you have to spend time. I think sometimes people think, “I’m going to open up a Twitter account and start tweeting stuff, and it’s just going to blow up.” It doesn’t work like that.
Or, “I’m just going to get an account at StumbleUpon. I’ll start driving thousands of visitors.” It just doesn’t really work like that. You have to… On any social network, you have to put time in to curating your network, building a network of people that know you, that you know them, so that when you put something out there they’re going to be interested in it.
Because at the end of the day, everything is about sharing. I can put something out on StumbleUpon, and if it stinks, it’s not going to go anywhere. You can’t… What I love about StumbleUpon is you can’t really game it. There’s sites that people talk about gaming them, and you can’t really do that. There’s specific kinds of content that will work well, and you have to tailor that content to it.
At the end of the day, it comes back to the network. If you spent time there, and built a network of people that are going to receive the thing that you share and then be willing to share it out, that’s where things can really blossom.
Jerod: Is there any way on StumbleUpon to engage with people outside of sharing your link? Is there any conversations that happen outside of sharing your content with them?
Eric: You can email people. I typically… If I find someone that I like on there, that I like their content, I’ll just email them and say, “Hey, I’m following you. I like your content. Keep it up.” I do that just as an introduction and because it’s going to give them more of an impetus to come check out my profile and see what like. And if they like me, now we can do some two way sharing.
That’s the other place where conversations happen is when you share. So if I share something, or I see something that you share and I can comment on it if it’s interesting. So I look at it. Thumb it up. Thumb it down. If it’s interesting, I can comment on it. Sometimes you can get a little conversation going that way, too.
Eric: OK, great. Jared, thanks so much. I really appreciate it. You guys check out his website. This is Eric again, with Globe Runner NCO. We’re always excited to meet really great people here today at DFWSEM. We look forward to talking to you again next time.
One piece of online reputation management is removing defamatory content from Google. Kenton J. Hutcherson principal attorney Hutcherson Law talks about removing content form Google with a Court Order. Also you can report other types of content that you would like removed, copyright, personal information and the like.
Hutcherson Law specializes in in Internet Law
Eric: Hi, this is Eric with Globe Runner SEO and today I’m with Kenton Hutcherson with Hutchersonlaw.com. Kenton is fantastic. We just had the pleasure of listening to him speak at DFWSEM. He talked about a lot of really interesting things. He talked about how companies can be harmed by information that’s posted by anonymous users on websites like the Ripoff Report. It was really fascinating stuff. And as a company, sometimes we help clients manage their reputation. Kenton, can you give me a little more insight into that that my clients might be interested in on how they can protect their reputation online?
Kenton Hutcherson: Sure, absolutely. One of the key things, one of the most effective things that I’ve found out in terms of my work as an Internet attorney is if I can get a court judgment, a court order saying that a certain posting on a website is false and defamatory, I can take that judgment to Google, and Google now actually has a portal on their website where you can upload that court order. They will honor that, actually remove that link from their search index.
Eric: Wow, wow. That’s really big. But you can’t just go to Google and say, “This guy said something nasty about me.”
Kenton: Right. I’ve had a lot of clients that have tried to do that. And there’s a lot of frustration out there because people are like, “Look, it’s destroyed my business. These things are just blatant lies.”
Kenton: And Google’s position, I mean I can’t speak for Google but my impression is that they’re not the Internet police. They don’t want to get involved between a speech screen two people about what’s true and what’s not. And so they need something to hang their hat on for them to take action. And it seems to me that they’ve made the decision to defer to the courts, which is what we have to validate these types of issues in our society. And so as long as you have a court that’s already made that judgment for you, Google will honor that.
Eric: So another question that I think clients may have is how do I sue somebody, how do I get a court order when the Internet is such an anonymous place and I can’t put my finger on who it is that made that statement on some random website? I can’t sue the website, you know? I would like to sue the website but they didn’t say it. I’ve got to find that guy, right?
Kenton: A lot of times, yes. There are three options. Number one, a lot of people that have been defamed have a pretty good idea of who defamed them.
Kenton: They may have one client that was really unhappy and they’ve already complained. Maybe they have a disgruntled former employee. Maybe they know a competitor that’s doing some things that they shouldn’t be doing. In those cases, a lot of times we’ll file a lawsuit against who we think it is and then in the discovery we can ask them in a deposition under oath whether or not they’re the ones that posted it. We can get computer records about what their activity was. You can also issue a subpoena to the website to verify who it might be.
The second one is to file a John Doe lawsuit and then issue a subpoena to the website to obtain the identifying information and get the IP address, and get the name they used when they logged in. About 50 50, 50 percent of the time that will actually lead you to the actual person.
Kenton: A lot of times it doesn’t take you anywhere. Maybe they logged in at a Starbucks cafe.
Kenton: Right, where it’s impossible to trace who the actual IP address went to. The third thing you can do if none of those options work, you can file a lawsuit against the name that they used in the posting, the street name. And in that case what you need to do, depending on the local court rules, you can serve them by publication which is where the court gives you the authorization to post a legal notice in the newspaper where the court is located for a certain period of time. And then after a certain period of time in that publication, they are deemed to have been served in a lawsuit.
And so theoretically, they’re going to get notice, they’re going to file, they’re going to defend themselves and the lawsuit will go on as it should. In a lot of cases they don’t show up and so you then essentially win by default.
Eric: Right. So even if you never find the guy, it doesn’t matter. You can get a court order, file that with Google and get the…
Kenton: Well, potentially. Of course you have to have a good faith pleading, you have to prove to the court that you actually have a legitimate defamation claim. But there certainly are options out there if you can’t find the person who made the posting.
Eric: Wow, fantastic. Well, I think that’s some really great information. And you could get really hit hard. If somebody online complains about your company, it can really hurt your reputation. And once you lose it, it’s so hard to get back. It’s great that we have guys like Ken that can help us with these really challenging situations and potentially lose millions of dollars to businesses. And now we have a way that we could recover our reputation if something like that happened to one of our clients or to anybody that we knew. I really appreciate your time, Ken.
Kenton: My pleasure.
Eric: This has been great. Thank you very much.
Kenton: Thank you.
Creating great content is some times challenging for businesses and as we all know content is king. Sheri Bell of CreativesMarketing.com give some great tips on the do’s and don’ts of content creation.
Eric McGehearty: Hi, this is Eric with Globe Runner SEO. I’m excited to be here with Sheri today. Sheri is a social media specialist, she is a content expert.
Sheri Bell: I love that. Could you say that again?
Eric: Content expert.
Sheri: Thank you.
Eric: That’s a good one, isn’t it?
Sheri: That is a good one.
Eric: Sheri and I met on LinkedIn, and we decided to go to lunch. She is new to town, and I thought I would just talk about the city a little bit. We had a nice time, came back here, and we wanted to shoot a video. I had a couple of questions for you that I thought would be interesting to our clients.
Sheri: All right.
Eric: One of the things that comes up very often is not every business is super exciting, but it’s still a good business. How do we make the content that they put out on the web on their blog, on your Facebook account, on their Twitter account, and even the text that they put into their website how do we make that interesting? How do we make a potential customer want to engage with that brand?
Sheri: OK. The interesting question, aside from just engagement, shall we go with the interesting first?
Eric: Yeah, sure. Interesting first.
Sheri: I have just got to tell you, people love numbers, so if you can do statistics or studies or links to other exciting articles that have something to do with their pain point. We talked about this earlier, your content really needs to address your prospect or potential reader’s pain point.
Sheri: It’s not about you, it’s about their pain. How can you make their life easier, better, faster, smarter? How can you make them sexier? How can you make their friends jealous? That is what they really come to you for. If you can meet that pain, they will come back to your blog again and again and again, even if you’re not the most exciting company in the world, if your content is engaging. Again, that can be just short tips, it can be a bulleted list if you think your content is not interesting, use bulleted lists. That’s the fastest and easiest way to go.
Eric: Bulleted list. OK, good. What percentage, do we think, should be about me, trying to promote and sell myself, versus…?
Sheri: What do you think? [laughs]
Eric: We already know the answer to this one. I think you know where I’m going with this. …Versus about them?
Sheri: Yeah. You need to follow at least the 80 20 rule, if not the 90 10 rule. 90 percent or 80 percent about your readers’ needs, wants, desires, and 20 or 10 percent about what you give crap about.
Sheri: It’s not about promoting our product or service as much as it is free content. Today is all about free. We have to give so much away because everybody else is, but also to show people that we have expertise and knowledge and that kind of stuff. Unfortunately, it’s called “kicking the tires” today. People want the free stuff, they check us out, every time they read a blog post. You might think that all that time you are spending on blog posts is a complete waste of time. It’s not.
Can we just put in a tip here for video?
Eric: Yeah, absolutely.
Sheri: I was Eric how great his little video was earlier, and how he needs to do more informal videos. Every time, Eric, you and I do a video like this, people get to know us so much faster.
Sheri: They get to see that we are not complete airheads and that we know what we are talking about, and that we are accessible and that we want to help our prospects with their pain points. Video. If you’re not a writer, just do what we are doing right here. Interview someone on your staff about a particular aspect of your products or service as it meets the pain point of your viewer.
Eric: I couldn’t agree more. I love video. It’s great to be able to reach out and touch somebody.
Eric: Sheri, this has been great.
Sheri: Isn’t there a company that has that commercial, “Reach out and touch somebody”?
Eric: Yeah. I may be in trouble.
Eric: I want you guys to visit Sheri’s website before you leave today.
Sheri: Thank you.
Eric: It’s informative. It will touch your pain points.
Eric: It’s CreativesMarketing.com. Click on the link below that is in the description of this video. Really, it’s a good website. You guys need to check it out.
Sheri: Now I need to promote your website on my video.
Sheri: [laughs] That’s how it’s done with social media. Give and take, give and take. Then start getting customers and clients, and everybody is happy.
Eric: That’s right, that’s right. Thanks, Sheri. I appreciate it.
Sheri: You’re welcome. Thank you.
Eric: We look forward to talking to you guys soon. Come back again soon. We will have more great content for you…
Sheri: And videos.
Eric: …And videos that address your needs and, hopefully, answer some of your social media and search engine optimization marketing questions.