WordCamp Philly 2010 at Temple University on Saturday, October 30th

Temple’s Fox School to host WordCamp Philly 2010 on Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Philadelphia’s first WordCamp is coming soon! WordCamps are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and network. WordCamps are open to WordPress.com and WordPress.org users alike.

WordCamp Philly will take place on Saturday October 30, 2010 at Alter Hall, home of the Fox School of Business and Management, on Temple University’s Main Campus in North Philadelphia.

The WordCamp Philly 2010 program will offer two tracks:

  • User/Blogger/Enthusiast (“Vedder”)
  • Developer/Designer/Technologist (“Springsteen”)

Please register at the following link: http://wordcampphilly.com/register/

If you are interested in sponsoring the event, get more information here: http://wordcampphilly.com/sponsorship/

I hope to see Philadelphia’s WordPress enthusiasts come out in force!

I’ll be volunteering day of the event — come say hello!

Branch Out – Career Networking on Facebook

About a month or so ago, I decided to check out a new Facebook app called Branch Out.  I enjoy the freedom of being an independent/freelancer, however I am always open to learning about new opportunities and doing career networking both on-line and off-line.  I hope to eventually find a permanent position at a great company – when the time and opportunity is right.

In any event, LinkedIn has been great for connecting with colleagues (past and present) and others (recruiters and whatnot) who have told me about jobs I’d be qualified for and might be interested in.  The “Jobs” area is good for scanning to see what jobs are available by title or geographic location, of course.

I always wished Facebook had similar features since I do spend a decent amount of time on Facebook everyday. The potential for business and professional networking is huge, which is why I keep a professional profile there. I am connected to a lot of great business people – many whom I know “in real life” and some I’ve never met but we share a lot of the same professional interests. In some cases, we’re also connected on LinkedIn.

When I discovered Branch Out, I figured I’d give it a go. What’s the harm, right? It’s still very new so not too many of my Facebook friends are using it. So it’s not really helping me with career networking at the moment, but I like that I can see where people work or have worked at a glance. And in the future, as more people join, perhaps they will use it to post jobs.

However, one very important thing I noticed it does is tell you who has removed you as a friend.  I realize that as social networking sites go, “friends” will come and go. But I haven’t found another app or resource that can tell you who drops you.  Imagine my surprise when a former recruiter decided to remove me.  I actually completely understand his reasoning for severing the connection – he’s no longer a recruiter and we may not have anything to offer each other professionally. I get that. But I still valued our connection. I would have liked to still keep up with him.  Cie la vie.

So, hey, if nothing else, you can use Branch Out as a way to keep track of your friend removals. Me? I hope to find it much more useful for positive connections and career networking in the future.

The Real Life Social Network

[tweetmeme source=”PhillyMarketing” https://phillymarketing.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/the-real-life-social-network/%5D

It’s been well over a month since my last blog post. It is not for lack of ideas floating around in my head. My attention has been focused elsewhere – on helping my clients build and grow their businesses through Internet Marketing. Hooray!

I did want to take an opportunity to re-post this presentation by Google UX Researcher Paul Adams. I’ve shared this on Facebook, Google Buzz, and Twitter. I will likely Digg it, Stumble it, and bookmark it, too! While I usually reserve this blog for my own original content, I absolutely think this slideshow is worth sharing.

This presentation gets me back to my “roots”. Studying human behavior on the Web. Even though I am fascinated by technology, it’s the “human interaction” piece of social networks and social networking that really stimulate me.  Not just the sheer act of socializing, but how and why we compartmentalize our online identity and relationships. It’s truly captivating!

The Real Life Social Network v2

View more documents from Paul Adams.
I would love to hear your thoughts!

Optimize Everything You Do (Online) For Humans

Deep, huh? Feels even a bit sci-fi.

Human Website Experience OptimizationBut seriously. I have been working in website development, website optimization, and SEO long enough to feel that sometimes my work is meant, solely, to please robots!  Don’t get me wrong, I freakin’ LOVE robots! (Kraftwerk taught me that, silly. :))

And when it comes to search engine robots, I want to do everything I can to please them. I mean, who doesn’t want to be at the top of a Google search, right?

But… YES,  there is always a BUT!  😛   The search engine robots aren’t the ones putting money in my (or my clients) bank accounts. It’s the humans who are seeking our services that do.

I wrote about Human Experience Optimization on Dinkum’s Internet Marketing Blog today.

I think this is immensely important and (always) timely. As more and more web and social tools & technologies emerge; as more and more opportunities to market appear – we need to remember why we (as Marketers) are using them in the first place. It’s about getting the business message heard, far and wide, and to show that, not only can we meet the needs of our consumers — current or potential — but that we’re also responsive to them.

When you get down to the brass tacks, website optimization, at its very core, is about humans being responsive to other humans. It really doesn’t get any simpler than that. You don’t need a deep, intensive strategy for that. What you need is a deep understanding of how your customers think and what they respond to — and ultimately giving it to them online and off-line (if and when the off-line transaction is possible of course).

In summary, when you’re SEO’ing, PPC’ing, Email marketing, or participating on Social Media channels… always remember that the human (living & breathing readers) comes first. Make sure that you’re optimizing your web presence for optimum human response.  Not only does your web presence need to be user-friendly (from a clickable perspective — especially on websites), but the message needs to be clear, concise, and should always compel people to act based on their needs not yours.

Werd.

For more information, contact me on my personal website OR you can contact Philadelphia Internet Marketing Firm (Dinkum Interactive).

Social Media Consultants

I came across this Q&A on LinkedIn asking “Are There Already Too Many Social Media Consultants?” and it got me thinking about the big picture of Social Media Consulting. Personally, I have been doing it “officially” for over 4 years now. First in an agency setting at an Internet Marketing & Web Development firm in NJ and then independently.  Unofficially, I have been coaching Socializing and Marketing on the Web for over 10 years.

Do you think with all the attention drawn to Social Media these days, that there are too many Social Media Consultants who have come out of the woodwork? Take my poll & let me know your thoughts!

InstaPoll: WordPress Hosting

Please comment if you select “Other”.

Thanks!

Thoughts on SEO Keyword Research & Keyword Research Tools

Keyword Research and SEO

Keyword Research for Organic SEOToo long since my last blog post. Blog Fail no more! Let’s roll.

Alright, the topic of this blog post is keyword research for organic search engine optimization. How totally basic could I get, right? I mean most SEO’s and other Internet marketing professionals know the importance of keyword research for SEO. To us, it’s a no-brainer! It’s usually the first step (if not one of the first steps) of conducting an SEO analysis.

SEOmoz has quickly become one of my favorite resources for all things SEO. Trust me, there are a TON of SEO related resources out there. In fact, too many to name in just one blog post! But what I like about SEOmoz is the fact that not only do they offer wonderful SEO tools (yes, the premium ones WILL cost you), but they are more than willing to share their wealth of information. They give everybody access to a variety of SEO articles – from SEO beginner’s guides all the way up to advanced SEO training, tips, and tutorials.

Another recent keyword research discovery tool is Raven SEO Tools. In addition to organic keyword research, they also assist in a variety of website optimization and online monitoring activities – including Social Media monitoring. That’s very important to me because, as an SEO consultant who is passionate about Social Media Marketing,  I consider monitoring Social Media an integral part of SEO research. Other marketing automation tools are now offering this as a very premium service, but I think Raven is probably one of the few truly seeing Social Media for its SEO value. That’s the same reason I like HubSpot. However, I think for most small businesses, HubSpot’s price range is not in the budget.

Whatever you choose to use, please remember the following about keyword research:

  1. Keyword Relevance – Is the keyword or phrase even relevant to your business? If the keyword can answer a question about who you are and what you do, then it is relevant and should be used on your site and the web content.
  2. Keyword Search Frequency – Are people actually searching for this keyword phrase in the search engines? So often when I’m doing keyword research, I find there are keywords that are very relevant to what a client does, but there are no search strings across the major search engines. While I don’t recommend NOT using the keyword, I suggest exploring other keywords that are relevant, yet have more actual searches.
  3. Keyword Competition – How competitive is this field? Is it even a feasible target? Yes, competition matters. You need to realize that there are now over 50 billion (maybe more?) indexed pages on the web. You are competing with that many pages. You need to carefully choose your words;  But more than that, you need to choose where they are on your website – in page titles, meta descriptions, alt tags, anchor text, internal links, and those ever important backlinks.

Don’t take keyword research for granted. It’s probably the most important investment you’ll make in your SEO, Internet Marketing, or Web Development efforts. It comes down to this: know what your target market is searching for and make damn sure you get in front of them in their time of need. Whether it’s through organic or paid search means, make sure you know the market triggers. Thanks to the lovely search engines themselves, and the tools I noted above, there’s no guesswork anymore.

“Knowing is half the battle”, they say?

Let me help you with the keyword research battle. Contact me by Sunday, January 31st to conduct a keyword research analysis on your website FREE of charge.