A big thank you to The Spokane Club and everyone that attended my presentation earlier this week at their Networking Breakfast! I really appreciated your questions, engagement, and enthusiasm. As I mentioned during our session, I want to provide additional resources for you to continue your education in the ways of analytics, SEO, local search, social media, and conversion rate testing. We covered a lot of topics in a short period of time and as a follow-up I wanted to create an awesome resource library for you. Now it’s time for you to choose your own Internet marketing adventure and learn from the best and brightest in the industry.
ANALYTICS, ANALYTICS, ANALYTICS
As I’m sure you recall from my presentation, I hammered home the importance of understanding analytics. I’m not talking about “reporting” or “monthly reports” for your boss. I’m talkin’ about kick-butt, actionable analytics that teach, provide valuable insight, and inspire action. What’s workin,’ baby? What does the data tell us today? This higher level of attention to your data is not optional… if you want your business to succeed. You must “know thy data.” Here’s how:
Occam’s Razor – Awesome analyics blog from Avinash Kaushik
Web Analytics an Hour a Day – Great introduction to actionable analytics (also from Avinash)
Google Analytics Blog – Resource for understanding Google Analytics (beginner & advanced)
Google Analytics Videos – Educational videos that show how to use Google Analytics
Conversion University – A curriculum of analytics video tutorals
Analytics 2.0 [The Art of Online Accountability & Science of Customer Centricity] (Thanks Avinash!)
MAKE SURE YOUR WEB SITE CONVERTS TRAFFIC
I think it’s great when companies embrace new technologies and ways of thinking. Social media has taken the Internet marketing world by storm and generated all kinds of buzz (much of it well deserved) this year. However, I’m always wary of what I call the “Shiny Penny Syndrome.” It’s a condition where companies throw resources at the latest and greatest marketing techniques without testing and tracking what the shiny penny actually does. I’ve also seen companies completely stop doing what works (like email marketing) just because it doesn’t have that new marketing smell.
Don’t Make Me Think – Great read (really fast, too) about web site usability
Conversion Rate Experts – UK company focused solely on conversion rate optimization
108 Ways to Improve Conversion Rates (from Conversion Rate Experts)
Google Web Site Optimizer Blog (The Official Optimizer Blog)
Always Be Testing – Great book for learning A/B & Multivariate testing
Marketing Experiments – I love these guys. Their webcasts rock!
LOCAL SEARCH = LOW HANGING FRUIT
As an Internet marketer I’m always looking for the low-hanging fruit–”the best bang-for-the-buck in the shortest period of time. And for most small and medium businesses that’s Local Search. Like I mentioned before, this doesn’t mean you stop doing everything else and go local only. It means that it’s time for a dedicated local search strategy to compliment your existing marketing efforts. Learn more from these experts:
David Mihm – Portland, OR Local Search expert & designer
2009 Local Search Ranking Factors – I’m proud to be a contributor to this research project 🙂
Mary Bowling – Denver, CO Local Search expert
Understanding Google Maps & Local Search – For those that want details, details, details.
Small Business SEM – Local Search + SMB Advice = Awesome!
Miriam Ellis – San Francisco, CA Local Search expert & designer
Chris Silver Smith – Cartographer & Local Search expert. Again, for folks that want the technical details.
ORGANIC SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
There is a lot of information out there about SEO. In fact, there is so much information that it’s tough to know where you should even begin. These folks provide the best information and their content is always up to date.
SEOmoz – Free and premium levels of membership – Both are great!
SEO Book – Again, free and premium levels of membership – Great as well
Search Engine Journal – Free SEO content from a variety of SEO experts – including me starting next month
Search Engine Land – Center of the universe for all things search – Look through the categories
Vanessa Fox – She has an uncanny ability to explain complex details in very simple terms
Rand Fishkin’s HostingCon Preso – Awesome SEO explanation (and motivation for my art project)
BUT WHAT ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA?
Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about social media. Remember, this socia media stuff is new for everybody so the importance of testing and learning from data is paramount. I think this bit of reading will provide good insight for you.
Outspoken Media – More than social media, but they cover it very well. Many good social media posts here.
Copyblogger – Read Copyblogger now! Writing is so freakin’ important. This is one of my favorite blogs!
7 Harsh Realities of Social Media Marketing – Great new post from Copyblogger
Trackur – Cool way to track social media mentions & reputation
Samepoint – See all mentions of your name or company online. A very cool social media monitoring tool.
5 Facebook Case Studies – Yes, 5 real case studies about marketing with FB.
Twitter, Tacos, & Trucks – The Story of Kogi Bar-B-Que
LIKE I SAID,… WHAT MATTERS IS HOW IT HELPS YOUR BUSINESS
Here’s an example from the presentation. I know it’s hard to believe,… but I didn’t even go to art school!
WANT MORE INFORMATION? HAVE QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? JUST LET ME KNOW.
Please feel from to leave a comment below, send an email, or contact me at my office (509-456-4350).
Great post Ed 🙂 I know how tough these are to create.
I’m loving your write up. The sites listed here are worth their weight in gold (even though i don’t think a website weighs anything)
“Don’t Make me think” was giving to me in a beginning web design class, and is a great starting point for usability. Well it is nice to see a new post and keep the awesome drawings.
@Randfish Thanks! I got motivated to translate my slide deck to flip chart format at 9pm the night before the presentation. Got to sleep around 2am. Had no idea how long even the most basic of hand drawings take. I was inspired by your HostingCon 2009 Keynote. It’s one of the best SEO explanations I’ve seen.
@Mike Ramsey Thanks! Also, I wanted to let you know that critical mass is forming regarding putting together a big-deal local search event in Spokane (early 2010) with some of the best local search people around.
@Ed Well I will be there for sure. If you need anything let me know. I have been starting to talk to other SEM and Web Developers in Idaho about starting something up to promote the industry. Probably a couple years until its as big as the potato harvest though.