Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Search Marketing Standard Magazine, Tots and You.

The winter issue of Search Marketing Standard Magazine marks the two year anniversary of the publication. In the spirit of the holidays and the anniversary, SMS Magazine is offering readers of the Link Spiel a special promotion on a new subscription to the magazine.

An annual subscription is normally $15 but for a limited time, it's just $4.95, a 67% savings off the cover price. Nice.

In addition, when you sign up through the Link Spiel, SMS Magazine will donate $1 to the Toys for Tots Foundation.

Here are the details:

This promotion is for new subscribers and will remain active for two weeks until Dec. 10th. At that time, Search Marketing Standard will send a donation check to Toys for Tots - $1 for every subscriber using the coupon code during registration.

Click to the subscription page is here: https://www.searchmarketingstandard.com/subscribe.html

The coupon code is HOLIDAY67

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Can I Get You To Tattoo LinkSpiel On Your...

Would you permanently tattoo a company's logo on yourself in exchange for a set of tires? Apparantely more than 50 people have done just that with hundreds more on a waiting list. All for a set of Dunlops.

Recognizing their evanglists and understanding their motivations, Dunlop found a way to permanently advertise their brand to a hard-core audience by taking advantage of a hot trend:

Dunlop tattooers cut to the chase. They're different; they're all about driving and performance. They seek creative ways to express themselves, and they're not afraid to show it....

Tattoos also are more mainstream, as increasing numbers of professionals, star athletes and celebrities seek the artistry of a tattoo..... A 2006 survey by Pew Research Center found 36 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds and 40 percent of 25- to 29-year-olds have at least one tattoo.
Not only did they take advantage of the tattoo trend, they used celebrity tattoo artists to do the work. Very smart. The promotion attracted huge publicity and set the bar for creative advertising without using traditional media. Very very smart since they know a portion of their customer base is anything but traditional. But it wasn't the first time Dunlop had pulled a stunt like this:

In the past, Dunlop has created buzz here with treadheads, enthusiasts who had hair stylists shave tread patterns onto their heads for a chance towin a set of tires. Tattoos...seemed the obvious next step.
Again - brillant smart. Building on marketing momentum helps your advertising efforts reinforce one another. People start to eagerly anticipate your next promotion which helps keep you top-of-mind when they need what you sell.

So what does this have to do with link building? Well everything and then some. Obviously this type of promotion isn't for everyone but you can use the concept to develop a kick-ass incentive promotion with links to your website being the net result.

Dunlop really had to know their target audience before launching this program; granted they had some experience from their treadheads gig but even then, they had to know it would appeal to the type of people who buy their products.

You can do the same by surveying your customer base and asking about lifetstyles as well as buying habits. Once you have an idea, look for a hot trend to incorporate and develop a promotion that interests them as people as well as customers.

For example, if you sell wedding favors capitalize on the blogging and social networking trend by offering to pay for hosting and a domain name so brides can develop a blog. Encourage them to showcase pre and post wedding adventures, photos, and videos and to keep blogging after the wedding on your dime provided they link back to your site.

For less than what most people in the wedding niche pay for a week's worth of Adwords, you can have a year's worth of on-topic links. The promotion can even be expanded into the huge network of wedding singers, photographers and coordinators that may not have a website.

Or get a tattoo, whatever works.

Fetch / Sphinn

Photo: Dunlop 'Tats': Las Vegas tattoo artist "Boom" fashions a Dunlop Tire tattoo on the arm of Fernando Diaz, an automotive enthusiast from Houston. This was the second trip to the Dunlop inking chair for the car customizer at the SEMA show. The tire brand is giving away free tattoos and tires to show attendees who register early. (PRNewsFoto/Dunlop Tires)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Whether It's Links or Life, Don't Give Up.

I saw the clip of this man Paul Potts on the Oprah show last week along with that adorable skateboarding English bulldog (The UK is hot with talent these days, did I mention I saw the Queen this summer? ) and thought WOW!!!

To try and equate the difficulties in link building with the hurdles this man has faced would be ridiculous so I'll simply say this:

Paul Potts is the ultimate example why you should never. give. up.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What's A Little Guy Have To Do To Get Some Links?

Over on the SEM2.0 discussion forum Adam Audette started a thread titled: Goodbye Little Guy? where he talked about potential changes coming to those doing business online:

One of the most fundamental shifts the Internet made to mainstream media and business was the ability to grant power to the little guy (and girl). We all appreciate how the web makes it possible for anyone to reach a large audience, literally overnight under the right circumstances. The topic I'd like to introduce this week is how this may be changing, in the SEM world at least, with paid search being an indicator.

The gist of the post is PPC focused but what Adam was saying resonated as I hear similiar comments about link building all the time. Unless you're one of the big boys, have unlimited funds or have been online for 10 years and are algorithmically grandfathered, it's tough for the little guy or the new gal to secure links from the kinds of "authority" sites that are going to help you gain exposure and higher rankings in short order.

Yes, (almost) any link is a good link but getting links from established "authority" type sites is what you really want and need for that upward push. With more and more sites coming online, with big companies investing huge dollars in their online venues and the search engines tightening their algorithmic belts, what does a little guy have to do to get some big links?

My answer? Be first. It's not always about being creative or controversial or having gobs of the right anchor text from the better sites. Sometimes, it's enough just to be first.

The implementation of universal search has opened the playing field for anyone to be first in their niche. It's not about size or how much money you can throw at keywords, it's all about creating the element and getting onboard. Develop and optimize video, audio and photo/image elements on your site and get them out there. Don't wait until your competitor does it, get the grandfathering process going now.

Once that interactive component is on your site and operating, jump into the various social media platforms and push it there too. There isn't a lot of cost involved to shoot a video or take a photo and there are even sites offering to turn your blog posts into podcasts for free.

Once you have the new elements on the site, do the basics and get it out there. Pitch reporters with the "hey look we're first to do this" hook, issue a press release, and send an annoucement to your customers and vendors. Heck - pitch the Oprah show. It will be a whole lot easier if you're already established on YouTube.

People root for the underdog and love to see them win, here's where being a little guy can work to your advantage. Play the angle, step up and be first!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Memorial Service For Dell Mastaler

Dell Mastaler, faithful laptop of Debra, died suddenly on Monday, November 12, 2007 after a "short" illness.

DellM as she was affectionately known, was brought into the Alliance-Link officehold in June 2004. She was a good laptop, traveling the world to help spread the word on link builidng and it's positive effects on business. DellM reached out to thousands of people in her lifetime, shared photos and videos with anyone willing to watch and loved to instant message.

There will be a short memorial service for DellM on Thursday, November 15 at 2:00 p.m. in the Williamsburg office of Alliance-Link with a private burial in the landfill to follow. In lieu of flowers the family appreciates donations toward the Movement to Kick Dick ITN or an SEO Charity case of your choice.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pizza Hut - Give That Woman A Raise!

An open letter to the CEO of Pizza Hut:

Dear Whomever you are:

If you don't give Sandi Karrmann, your "Chief People Officer" and/or the people on her staff a BIG FAT RAISE for thinking up the most perfect publicity/reputation management response of the year to that not-so-smart-but-what-do-you-expect-from-an-actress-when-there's-a-writers-strike put down, then shame on you.

Sandi...... way to go!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day Salute

I don't agree with the current Administrations policy on the war in Iraq but I respect the men and women in uniform fighting it. To all the servicemen and women past and present - Happy Veteran's Day.

And thank you. :)