Have you ever paid a chunk of your marketing budget to a Search Engine Optimisation expert?

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Image of Google Algorithm Updates which include Panda, Hummingbird and Penguin.
Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird…Google will never stop improving it search.

If you have – and it has paid off for you, then well done to you. And stay with them.

I say this because me – and I countless others I speak with – have paid for such services only to be let down.

In fact over the last couple of days I have been commenting on an interesting LinkedIn thread about this very subject.

Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are probably many brilliant SEO experts working today.

But it is also a market awash with scoundrels trying to make a quick buck by plying their ‘magic’.

Then – after the inevitable Google algorithm change – they tell you everything you have been paying them to do is now wrong and it will cost you more money to change your strategy.

So this article, which I read today on http://www.searchengineoptimisation.eu, made me smile.

I think this case is in the USA.

But you know the old saying “When America sneezes, the UK catches a cold”

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Law Firm Sues SEO Company for Using ‘Spammy’ Methods

An SEO firm is supposedly being sued by their law firm clients as a result of building link farms that do not adhere to Google’s guidelines, trying to cheat the system that Google are insistent on monitoring of late.

With the client disgraced by the dishonest service they have received, the SEO firm, The Rainmaker Institute, is to face up to the online marketing offences they are accused of.

In the technological age in which we live it is vital for every business to have an online presence. The only way in which companies can survive in this day and age is with a healthy Google ranking for all relevant keyword searches.

Where companies are now employing their own in-house content marketers and SEO specialists many are still turning to outside SEO firms to handle this sector of their business.

This law firm, Seikaly & Stewart, is based in Michigan and trusted their SEO firm to support them with the online side of business, a company incorporation so important to their success.

With the law firm feeling cheated by the unlawful service they have received, the matter will be settled in court.

Forcing doubtful links is just not the way to achieve a successful online marketing campaign with Google wanting to see the value and legitimacy of your site before supporting it.

The SEO company reportedly created 6,720 links with the majority of them considered “worthless”. Only a mere 188 of the links, or 2.8 per cent, were of use, illustrating the lack of credible knowledge this particular SEO company employed.

Google are cottoning on to such practices, rolling out the Penguin and Panda algorithms specifically designed to spot untrustworthy links and badly written content.

If you have an opinion on this matter leave your comments below.

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I hope you never have to go to such extremes with your service providers, SEO or others.

Just keep your eye peeled for snake oil salesman.

There are a lot of them around in cyber space!

Read the original article here:

Could he help you with marketing?

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How do you try to improve your business and marketing success?

Obviously you know that the best way of learning is doing. But that can be a very expensive way of learning what works – and what doesn’t.

Do you ever study, attended seminars or use consultants?

I ask because I attended the Nottingham Post Business Summit the other week. It had four seasoned speakers including Josephine Fairley, co-founder of the Green & Blacks chocolate brand.

But the stand out speaker for me was a guy called Geoff Ramm; someone I’d never heard of before the event.

He gave thought provoking marketing advice on getting your brand to stand out from the crowd. And showed some great examples of how people had done this on a shoestring.

Some of his stories were downright hilarious.

He has written a book called OMG Observational Marketing Greats, which I think I might add to my reading list.

You might want to do the same.

Or speak with him directly to see how he could help you.

Here’s a photo of some bus stop marketing brilliance you might like

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I don’t know about you, but I like outdoor advertising.

When done well, it’s creativity can stop you in your tracks. For example, do you remember the famous ‘Hello Boys’ campaign? Or how about the classic Saatchi & Saatchi campaign that is cited for helping the conservatives get elected?

Hello Boys Poster for Wonderbra
Remember looking at Eva Herzigová?
Outdoor advertising poster created by Saatchi & Saatchi for the Conservatives.
Or how about this, if you’re old enough?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve not created much outdoor work during my career to date, aside a massive poster that sits on the side of Derby County Football Club’s iPro Stadium.

Anyway, I took this photo when I was stood at the bus stop on Thursday; as I was half-way through my awful bus commute.

A poster at a bus stop advertising Morrisons
I saw this bus stop poster for Morrisons. It immediately caught my attention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think it’s great.

I’ve never seen a bus stop poster use real products before. Have you?

It achieved what so many posters, and other messages for that matter, fail to: it instantly got my attention. And the message was very clear: Morrisons is now cheaper.

Bravo to their marketing team.

By the way, when I was searching for the images to insert into this blog I found a blog showing some fantastic outdoor posters. And if you’re interested, click here. I particularly like the Miele example. Hope you enjoy them.

George Orwell was right when he said “truth is always stranger than fiction”. And this poster advert proves it.

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If you work in advertising or marketing communications you probably work tirelessly. After all, it’s bloody hard work trying to create and deliver messages that achieve sales results.

And make no mistake about it, making people buy things is the ultimate objective of advertising.

If you don’t believe me, here’s what Raymond Rubicam once said of advertising: “the only purpose of advertising is to sell. It has no other function worth mentioning.”

And given that Raymond Rubicam was an advertising pioneer who many people consider to be the father of modern advertising, his opinion will do for me.

Anyway, back to you and your job.

When you are creating your messages you’ll spend countless hours choosing the right photographs or illustrations, writing attention grabbing headlines, interesting body copy and probably a big fat call to action.

Then you place your advertisement.

And if you don’t have control over exactly where or what your advertisement appears next to, your message can be seriously misconstrued like this:

Image

You really couldn’t make this stuff up.

Unless, of course, it is a PR stunt. Although if it is, I don’t really know who benefits.

How a 13 year old Cookie Girl used one of Marketing’s Ps brilliantly

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A photo a girl scout cookies
This takes the biscuit. A great example of using one of marketing’s Ps

You’ve probably heard of, and used, the 4ps of the marketing mix 100s of times. And if you work in services marketing, you’ve probably used the extra three too: process, people and physical evidence.

But I wonder how many of you have used Place as effectively as this girl. Because last month, a 13-year-old business-savvy cookie girl in San Francisco made the shrewd decision to set up her cookie stall outside a medical marijuana dispensary.

I guess knowing that people using the dispensary might get a little peckish after smoking.

The result: she sold 117 boxes in just two hours! Now that what I call understanding your customer buying habits.

Maybe Alan Sugar should get her on the apprentice; in place of the bunch of dimwits he usually finds.

Here’s the most expensive Google product ever made. And a great piece of DM (with photos)

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What do you think this new Google product might be? A new app? Maybe a swanky titanium Nexus 10? Or how about a pair of gold Google glasses?

Nope.

It is a woolly hat. And it was worth every penny of my budget.

Let me explain.

I am a Google Adwords user. I ran a fairly large campaign over the course of a few months. It created a healthy rate of £60 per enquiry. Which given the competitiveness of the market – and value the service – was OK.

Anyway, in today’s post the below package turned up. It created a fair amount of excitement in the office…..

Google Box
This understated box created excitement from the moment we received it

I opened the package to reveal this…

Google Hat in a Box
My sort of free hat from those nice folks at Google

A nice message on the swing tag

Google swing tag on hat
Everyone likes being thanked. Even if you have paid for the privilege many times over.

 

Google hat on my head
And here it is in action!

You might be thinking, as my wife does, that I look like someone from a Police line-up.

You also might be thinking this hat is a bit naff. And you might be right. But that’s a matter of opinion.

But what this demonstrates is a great piece of posted direct marketing by the kings of digital advertising.

Because me and my team were genuinely excited when the package arrived. We couldn’t wait to open it to see what was inside.

And when we did – we all thought this free hat was cool. And that’s not a funny play on words for a hat designed to keep you warm.

We also liked the little swing tag with the simple thank you message from the Google Adwords team.

The whole direct marketing piece made us feel a bit special. A bit flattered. So like all good marketing, this is more emotional than practical. After all, the money I spent on Adwords could probably have paid for 15,000 of these hats.

Personally I think it could have benefited from a personal letter to me – maybe with an Adwords offer: particularly as my campaign has been paused for about three months.

Nonetheless, I think this is a great piece of ‘old school’ direct marketing from the undisputed kings of modern day advertising.

Would you dare put your logo here?

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As a marketing professional you’ll be looking to get your advertisement or branding in places that give you maximum exposure. Places that give your message a high ‘opportunity to see’.

And, it goes without saying, in front of the eyeballs that are relevant to whatever you are selling.

So, would you put your logo or advert on an emergency vehicle?

The reason I ask is the Nottinghamshire Police Force has just announced it is considering selling advertising space on its cars.

Aside the obvious – and crass – advertising for personal injury claims, which could also be extended to having personal injury adverts on the ceiling of ambulances, what opportunities do you think this offers?

And would you advertise on emergency vehicles?

PS: I’ve just of another stinking example. Ambulances could have L’Oréal’s ‘Because you’re worth it tag statement’.