Author Archive

About Eileen

Find more about me on:

Here are my most recent posts

Changes in the Plan

I am putting together a marketing plan for a new website for a customer I have had for years. His products are offered by a lot of companies and competes with sites like zappos.com. He has always done well in search, but over the last year or so has started slipping. Partly due to site issues but partly due to not staying current in changes to search.

When we talk , we talk about titles and text on pages and text links. He does have a blog but it is not used often and does not really push any boundaries. The readers digest version of a blog I call it. He is using both Facebook and Twitter. And does spend time on that. We do PPC although if we just look at sales the only PPC that is a great value are shopping feeds.

And while our conversations these days  includes 301 redirects and optimization and sitemaps,  all must haves for moving a site. We have not yet had the real conversation about changes in SEO, sales and the Internet. That is coming tomorrow. My list of marketing projects all begin with the same message be authentic, add to the online conversation, engage, get reviews, talk, have value. As an SEO person I am having to steer clients directly into the social world. He is being talked about on Reddit. We need to be there and answer. We need to engage Facebook users more, Google + users,  we need a newsletter that is shareable, work on blog posts that say something different about a new product. it takes a lot of energy to do this kind of marketing, but it makes a huge difference in search, plus social media has its own merit in getting the word out about you, your company, and your ideals. At his suggestion we are talking about the culture of his customers, that is a great lead in to all of the places we must be to engage them, and how will we engage them.   No more hiding behind titles and meta descriptions. It is not that they don’t matter, they still do, but it is that they don’t matter as much as they used too.  It is time to work, and work harder than doing keyword research.  But if I can get him to buy in, and I suspect he will he is an incredible business man,  I can see the profits  from here.

Comments

Willamette Innovators SEO Hotseat

I was asked to be a part of the Willamette Innovators SEO hot seat on February 9th. It was a great crowd. Very interesting mix of people, and the energy was great. There were two other amazing marketers on the panel. Dan Sullivan, from San Diego based Gravity SEO – http://www.gravityim.com and Michael Michael Arnesen, from Portland based SwellPath – http://www.swellpath.com.
It went into overtime and in reality could have gone on for hours. It was lead by those great guys, Jason Prothero and Loyan Roylance from Proworks in Corvalis.

For anyone in Corvallis, you may want to look into this group. It seemed an out of the ordinary networking group.

SEO Hotseat in Corvallis

Comments

Video on Google Analytics

As our clients know we are big Google Analytics fans. Like everything online, it is growing and adapting to how users need it to work. But there are some basic questions we get asked over and over. Questions like “what is an average bounce rate”? And “how many pages per visit is a good number”? This video addresses some of those issues and is a good starting point for people who have not spent much time on Analytics.

Comments

Earning a Ranking

Like all good marketing companies we read a lot of articles and blogs from people in our industry. The other day I read an article comparing black hat SEO and white hat. It was all the usual remarks about black hat techniques jeopardizing the client’s site and white hat SEO taking a long time. But then he said something that caught my attention. He said websites have to earn their placement in search engines. And I realized that is exactly where we are most helpful to clients; we help them grow their site in all the ways that help earn that ranking.

One day I am on the phone talking about the importance of reviews with a longstanding client and the next day I am discussing keyword research and adding titles and text links to a new client’s site.

There is no magic with search engine ranking nor are there any quick turnarounds. You can’t optimize a site and then walk away saying done. Even if it is done perfectly, you will always see something you can add or subtract. You can’t pay to have a zillion links to your site and check search engine marketing off your list. You can’t get a Facebook page and twitter account and start promoting your page and expect great placement, nor can you add 50 articles about your topic and call it a day. All of this things play a role in your placement in engines. And all of these things, and several hundred more are a part of earning your search engine ranking.

A good SEO campaign is really never ending. Each month we look at a client’s site from all angles. And we identify and build out those areas where we see the site is the weakest. One month we will look at it as a user. And ask how can we make it clearer how to navigate the site, or does this text really say enough about the product to make me want to buy it?
What is the bounce rate for that page? Another month we may be figuring out why the Google shopping feed is not getting as many sales as last year or how to grow their fans in Facebook. It is all part of Internet marketing and it is all part of SEO.

Our clients get harassed by online companies loudly offering one of these services as if it will solve their problem and they will suddenly have great placement and great sales. We just sigh and say no that will not happen, let’s get back to work. Because that is what it takes to make a site show up well in engines and stay there. Plain, simple, continuous work. As unglamorous as that sounds.

But if you come across an online offer to lose weight immediately with some new product I just have to buy, send it on to me, please. I just know there is an easy way out there I just haven’t found it yet.

Comments (1)

Social Media And Google Search

Search Engine Optimizers and Social Media Experts alike have been saying for some time now, that it appears that Social Media influences Google placement. Now we have confirmation of that from Matt Cutts the face of Google. And surprise, surprise it mimics their algorithium for Page Rank. Quantity is not enough you must look at quality, and you must be a trusted source. So building business followers in both Facebook and Twitter must make sense and be related to what you do. Using good common sense with Google has always been a rule of thumb for us and now that continues into social media.

Listen to the specifics in this video from Matt Cutts .

Comments

The Veld Group

We would like to welcome The Veld Group Business Brokers in Los Angeles California to our client roster.
According to the Veld Group’s Sales Director Ryan Clark “We seek to sell solid, profitable businesses that offer a unique value proposition and have a sustainable business model. Oftentimes, the value of any company, large or small, may be hidden amongst its assets. It may be a company’s patents, client base, manufacturing capability, distribution network, licenses and use permits, or simply in its location, property, entitlements, or facility lease.”

We are very pleased to be working with this forward looking company in a effort to increase traffic.

Comments

New Marketing Clients

We are very excited about working with our five new clients
for everything from search engine optimization to social media plans.

  • D2000 Safety
    offers safety and rescue training.

  • Circle Foods
    is the manufacturers of La Terra Fina, Nuevo Grille, Tortillaland and Rotiland.

  • Acme Menu Covers
    offer menu covers to complement your restaurant’s atmosphere.

  • Take Wing Flying D
    offering pilot training, aircraft renting and testing.

  • Adopt International
    in San Francisco California arranges domestic and international adoptions

We hope we can achieve great results for them.

.

Comments

Local Listings – More Important Than You Think

Google is doing a very smart thing with their local listings. They are now showing up if you type in certain general keywords. Type accountant into Google and halfway down the page you will see local accountant listings. It makes perfect sense. These listings are free and come from the Google local listings. The good news is that you can alter the listing so that you stand a better chance of showing up for those terms. If you have not claimed your listing you need to do it. Find it in the listings and click on claim it or edit it. If you have claimed it already but only added one category you need to go back in and add up to 5 categories. While you are there, make sure your description contains your services and some of your keywords. Add your hours, specialties, images, anything you can think of that will educate the user and also Google in what you do. Think about offering a coupon. And get some reviews. Reviews can make a big difference on where you show up in local listings.

Comments

Optimizing a Site

When ranking a site for a keyword, search engines look at a number of “on page factors”.

  • Titles
  • meta descriptions
  • Headings
  • Keywords on the page
  • Text links
  • Alt tags
  • How many internal pages link to the site
  • How are the pages before the page and after the page optimized
  • How relevant to the keyword is the page and the site

All of these factors have an influence on placement and in the hands of a good search engine optimizer can be combined in some mixture of art and science to achieve great results.

When we begin an optimization job we often start at the back of a site and work our way to the front so we can see recurring patterns on the site. Because the search engines do not do well with nuance and alternative meanings it is important to look at each page and see that it is clear to the engines. Are the important ideas in a heading tag? Are their text links to other relevant pages in the site?

We go through a site several times over the course of an optimization process in order to be sure all of the on page factors are placed where they need to be and that the page is clear to engines and visitors. We are checking to be sure the title matches the text on the page, and the meta description is not only enticing to viewers but contains a keyword phrase or two.

Many times a very important page is buried deep in the site. It can be difficult for people to find it as well as engines. We make sure that page is linked from the front page and from every relevant page within the site. We want Google to find it easily. If a page is linked from the front page Google ranks it as more important than one found as a link on page three.

Then we go through the whole site again looking for any opportunity left on the site. Successfully optimizing a site is a process of continuing to change, wait, measure and change again.
But it is a lovely thing when it finally all comes together.

Comments

Twitter Tips

It’s amazing how Twitter has captured everyone’s imagination. We are all still working out ways to use it without being overwhelmed, confused or distracted. Well, avoiding distraction may be a long shot– it seems to be at the core of Twitter.

I attended the Willamette Valley American Marketing Association luncheon today. The speaker was Martin Stoll from GoSeeTell.com. The title of the presentation was “Oregon’s Social Media Avalanche: How to Use it to Keep Your Brand on Top.” Martin was clearly knowledgable about all aspects of social media marketing, but the topic was 100% Twitter. From Martin’s perspective in Travel and Tourism marketing, Twitter has become a powerful and necessary marketing tool. He illustrated many ways consumers are sharing information related to air travel, destinations, restaurant recommendations. It is abundantly clear that Twitter provides opportunities to build a business presence and develop a brand.

Twitter is above all a peer to peer communication tool. So it stands to reason that companies want to be in on the conversation if customers are talking! By engaging in the conversation and responding in a helpful and positive way, your business can join the peer network as a valuable resource.

Twitter tips from the presentation:
If you make your company available on Twitter, be prepared to engage. Watch your twitter account, and respond to questions from your followers.

Check to see if your desired username or vanity url is still available at dozens of popular Social Networking and Social Bookmarking websites. Promote your brand consistently by registering a username that is still available on the majority of the most popular sites.
Use: checkusernames.com or namechk.com

Twitter as Local Resource:
Search for Twitter users in specific locations. Use the # known as a hash mark. (Who knew? I thought it was a pound sign). Like this: #portland to find twitter info related to Portland travel, sports, schools, neighborhoods etc.

Sign up in a local Twitter service. I just listed myself in LocalTweeps.
By mapping Twitter profiles and content to geography, Localtweeps encourages local connections and local information sharing. It will help you find local tweeps, get found locally and share geographic trends on Twitter.
Tweet your ZIP to @localtweeps and put yourself and your city on our Twitter influence map.

Comments

Google Analytics

Knowing how to set up, access and interpret traffic data is key to the success any website. A good analytics program can guide your marketing and advertising efforts, maximize ROI and increase traffic to your site.

In the past, the options for traffic data ranged from basic traffic counters to complex server stats. In 2005, Google launched the free Google Analytics (formerly Urchin) interface. We recommmend installation of Google Analytics for all of our clients.

Installing Google Analytics is a relatively simple process. Once you establish a Google account, you can sign up for Analytics whether or not you are using Google Ad Words. When you sign up for Analytics, Google will provide you with a “snippet” of unique code. Add this code to every page of your site that you wish to track. If you are selling products online, we recommended adding the E-commerce feature of Analytics, which tracks all data related to sales. Set up for ecommerce is slightly more complex, and may require the help of an experienced web technician.
This article is about how to access, read and analyze the traffic statistics available once you have sucessfully installed GA on your site. 

To view your account, go to  http://www.google.com/analytics and login with your username and password. Click on “View Reports” next to the site you wish to review.

Exploring The Dashboard

The first page on your Google analytics page is the Dashboard. The dashboard gives you a “big picture” summary of what has been happening on your web site for the time period that you specify. The default time period is the past thirty days. You can easily alter your choice of dates and see comparison charts of two different time periods. You have a choice of viewing results by day, week or month.
There is a wealth of information from Google Analytics. The first step in using Analytics is understanding the terminology related to the reports you are viewing.

Vistors Overview
Visits
: The total number of people who have visited your web site.
Page Views: The number of pages that have been viewed within your site. This metric is also known as “hits” which tends to be an inflated number, and does not represent a true visitor count.
Pages/Visit: How many pages the average visitor looked at while on your web site.
Bounce Rate: How many visitors came and immediately left the web site.
Average Time on Site: How much time the average visitor spent on your web site.
New Visits: The number of people who visited the site for the first time.
Read more about Visitors Reports

Traffic Sources Overview
Direct Traffic
is visits from people who clicked a bookmark to come to your site or who typed your site URL  directly into their browser.
Referring Sites shows visits from people who clicked to your site from another site.
Search Engines shows visits from people who clicked to your site from a search engine result page, icluding organic and PPC search engine results.  Read more about Traffic Sources.

Comments (3)

Is It Enough To Just Add Titles?

Optimizing your site is really just a matter of adding the right titles and meta tags right?

How many times have I heard that? Yes adding titles and meta descriptions is important, but if it were just a matter of that then every site would be number one in Google wouldn’t it?

Having a site show up well in engines takes an understanding of how your site is relevant for the keywords you want to show up for. And then how it stacks up to every other site out there that is also showing up for the keywords you want to show up for. This does not even begin to get into how long the site has been around, where it has links from and how do people use the site once they find it nor any of the other things that engines look at for ranking your site.

Titles do matter, descriptions do matter, but being able to step away from your site and see it objectively matter even more. The search engines are just databases that your site and every other site indexed is a part of. In order to do well in engines you must think like a database. You have heard the old adage “garbage in, garbage out”. You must give the database what it wants in the order it wants it. It may be absolutely clear to you that your site is all about your keyword, but Google may come along and not see that all. Engines, while getting better, are very literal. Everything must be lined up in the right order for engines to see your site as more relevant to the term then all the others trying for that same term. So yes that includes titles, meta descriptions and meta keywords (although in reality those are pretty much overlooked by engines). But it includes so much more. And the “more” depends on how competitive the keyword is.

Comments

About Us

Established in 1999, Out of the Box Marketing  in Eugene Oregon was created to serve a client base seeking ways to promote their sites through online marketing. By thoroughly investigating online marketing tools, Out of the Box Marketing found it was possible to effectively promote sites within the search engines. Since that time, the company has served over hundreds of businesses with various stages of their web marketing strategy. Clients have ranged from a producer of jerky spice to some of the countries top newspapers.

Eileen Traylor has over 17 years experience as an Internet professional. She was instrumental in the success of two Internet design firms before establishing Out of the Box Marketing in April 1999. She has spent years monitoring the successes and failures of the Internet economy, and her expertise in Web design yields a unique perspective into online marketing.

Eileen is a former instructor at Lane Community College, teaching Web Programming (HTML) and Internet Marketing. She has been a workshop presenter at many conferences around the state. Eileen has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from the University of Oregon. She lives in Eugene with her husband Steve and son Alex.

Laura Winkleblack joined Out of the Box Marketing in June of 1999. She became interested in learning ways to market to a wider online audience while serving as Webmaster for an African import company. Within months, the business began to see a significant increase in sales and web site traffic. The success of the process made Laura a believer in the importance of internet marketing and she decided to combine forces with Eileen to expand the services at Out of the Box Marketing.
She has specialized in providing PPC services since the inception of Google Ads, and has increased her expertise to encompass online advertising on blogs and social media sites.
She and her husband David live in Eugene.

Amy Dunn came to Out of the Box in the summer of 2008. With years of experience in marketing, event planning and PR, Amy was a great candidate to explore the world of social media marketing.  She came onboard and within 2 months was offering a new form of marketing and one that we see as essential for many of our SEO clients.  With a degree in theater from Appalachian university, she lives in Atlanta with her husband Ryan a videographer and baby daughter  Juliet.

Susan Wallis is our billing and accountants manager. We are fortunate to have found someone who can deal with Quickbooks as well as she can update a website.

Alex Traylor is our in house generation Xer. Every internet marketing company needs one, piercings and all. He reminds us that “no one is emailing anymore” and that trying to market on myspace is just “lame”. He also is our inhouse data entry guy. He seems to be quite good at keeping track of what has been added to a database and making sure the right image goes with the right description. And he can put together a new desk faster then anyone we know.

Comments off

Local Search Listings

If you have a physical storefront for walk-in customer traffic, or your services target a specific local area – you’ll want your information to be found in Google Maps, Yahoo Local Search and MSN Maps – as well as in other local search directories. Each directory has its own listing guidelines but shares one key objective – to provide the most accurate and relevant listings to its audience. That’s why it is essential to provide your most current and detailed information to these directories according to their specific guidelines. It takes a little time and effort, but these directories are valuable to your online campaign – and the listings are free.

Bear in mind that your company may already have been found by directories and a listing exists. In that case, it is especially important to claim your listing and make sure your information is complete and accurate. Duplicate and inaccurate listings are common and should immediately be reported. Providing correct listings to local search directories is the business owner’s responsibility.

Local Search Directories also offer a bonus feature to their audiences – the opportunity to rate or review a business. Not only does this provide useful feedback to the prospective customer, but ratings and reviews improve your listing’s rank. That’s a bonus for you, too, when your reviews are good. When your business receives a poor review, you’ll need to quickly decide how to respond and remedy the situation. Ratings and reviews contribute to your business reputation, so it’s advisable to frequently check what customers are saying about your business online.

Comments

Ad Campaigns

Internet Ad Campaigns

In the early days of online ads you had few options. You could buy a huge flashy banner ad that showed up at the top of every page…or… not buy ads. After seeing the first 20 banner ads, it became common knowledge that viewers no longer even looked in their direction. So online ads fell quickly out of favor. But that was back in 1996, now the world of internet ads is full of opportunity. Blog ads, hulu ads, video ads through google adwords are all having their day. Combined with paid links. paid improved placement, and facebook ads, the world of Internet advertising is growing.

But of course like everything else not all internet ads are created equal. But if you find the right one for the right price the impact can be impressive. We help find that right place and we negotiate that right price.

Cost : $50.00 a hour

Comments off