New Localmn Site Coming Soon

November 11, 2010

It’s been two + years of thought and we’re now getting close to a new relaunch. We optimistically hope to launch and replace the current 2005 version before the 2010 calendar ends.

The new site will have a brand new look with more transparency and social features. The core of the site will remain the same. Let’s get people away from their computers and to your business door. Here is our new logo.

More on Dave below, he’s customizing some cool rotating imagery for the home page. Here’s a dummy pic. Funny, Dave.

We’ll be offering the same local search marketing as always, plus a few new features like local online reputation management, content strategy consulting (Barb), front-end design (Dave) and more.

Several have mentioned to make the new site more engaging. Personally, I’m not a social media guru/ninja/sovereign but I am a user. I’m transparent, too. So, there will be access to what’s up on Flickr, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, YouTube and of course this blog which will be finally integrated in the site (bye WordPress-hosted blog).

There will be serious talent behind the site as well. I’ve been lucky enough to have years of projects with Barb Prindle, writer extraordinaire and all-around very nice and organized person. There’s also a front-end developer/designer available for clients who need it. Dave Dechant and his site Face Your Design is a pretty dang good resume. He’s got mad skills making sites tick in both form and function.

Check out their sites. Maybe you just need writing or front-end developing needs.

A photo shoot for us three may happen next Saturday (site TBD – possibly the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden). We’ll have a couple somewhat regular poses to put on the site. We’ll also have a Flickr set and are planning for some creative fun! There may or may not be a field goal attempt using a yellow pages book. I have complete confidence this can be achieved.

Want to be creative and have fun next Saturday? Let us know!

More to come…

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Bro-Sis Photography Marketing Update – May 9th, Rochester – May 18th, Madison

April 30, 2009

This is coming up quick! Both Heather and I are spending a lot of hours on the PowerPoint presentation, and thanks to all of you that have been following the Bro-Sis Photography Marketing project. It’s finally on! We’re giving a dry-run presentation Saturday, May 9 at the Rochester, MN Public Library and it’s on for May 18 in Madison.

Overall agenda? We’re presenting and demystifying  (basically taking the BS out of) search marketing and social media to groups of professional photographers. They’re very smart, great at what they do and they deserve to know how to embrace search marketing and social media.

One part I’ll be speaking on is using social media as an average consumer. Here are a few user-review examples that are included in the presentation:

Dennis Koslowski – Minneapolis Chiropractor
Google Maps User Review

Family Life Chiropractic – San Jose, CA
Yahoo Local User Review

Northwestern Tire and Auto Repair – Minneapolis, MN
CitySearch User Review + using Facebook Connect

One of the finishing slides is this:

One Word: Trust

One Word: Trust

I really like this slide. Someone might do a Google search and find you, but does that mean they trust you? Getting to know you from seeing you on Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Blogs and others can definitely build trust before they view your actual website.

Any thoughts or input?

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Bro-Sis Photography Marketing Update – Getting Close to Presentation Time

March 14, 2009

Time has been flying by. For those of you who have been following our project, thank you! For those who haven’t, my sis and I will soon be giving presentations to professional photographers on how to use search marketing and social media to help their photography studios.

Our first speaking engagement is set for May 18 at the West Madison (Middleton) Holiday Inn & Suites. I chuckle a bit about it because Holiday Inn events are known for the “make money online” crowds. We’re probably the opposite as we’re going out of our way to demystify SEO and social media. There are some things you can do yourself.

We met today at the Jahn Haus near Wabasha at 10:00 soon after Heather tweeted me to not tweet and drive (guilty). From there, we had seven hours of very productive work. We’re putting together our PowerPoint and here’s an outline:

  • Briefly talk about traditional marketing and continue doing what works
  • Explain the push (traditional marketing) and pull (search marketing and social media) concept

To break it down further:

Search Marketing

  • SEO – Demystifying how it works (taking the BS out of it)
  • PPC – Breaking it down to multiple campaigns and ad groups
  • Local Search – Getting your business listed properly and accurately
  • Analytics – measuring analyitcs instead of rankings – key factor

Social Media

  • Listen
  • Then engage in conversation
  • Explain Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and how they can all work in concert with search marketing

This is pretty important. There are so many different social media outlets. We’ll be focusing on LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and blogs. Listening to potential clients is more important than touting your services.

We’re trying to tie all of this is to funnel into photographer Web sites which includes:

  • Images
  • Call to Action
  • Copyright
  • Fresh Information
  • Ease of navigation
  • Contact Us page
  • Analytics – this is so important in too many ways. See Google Analytics. We’ll be spending some time talking about this.

Next step is to put the PowerPoint presentation together. Our audience (professional photographers) are very good at what they do. They may not fully understand search marketing or social media, but they are definitely smart. Any thoughts to the above bullets? We’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime, feel free to follow Heather on Twitter and check out her work.

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Customized Google Search Results by Location

August 14, 2008

It was almost two years ago when Google launched personalized and custom search. The premise was to help users obtain more relevant and personalized results upon typing in a search query. I haven’t seen this in all searches, but it looks like Google is displaying customized searches by location.

Customized by Location

Customized by Location

When looking at the natural results, there were a few Minneapolis-area results, although plenty of results still appear that aren’t local to Minneapolis.

When you click on the “more details” link, you get some more insight to this. It tracks the location by IP address.

More Details

More Details

Clint Danks from ThinkSEM originally found this and it correctly showed his location of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. He sent me the images above on it early this morning when I was in Rochester. When I performed the search, it recognized my location as Mankato which is about 90 miles west. However, it does look like you can click to correct your location.

This customization message seems to be appearing only in select searches. It’s probably too soon to see if this really does customize results by location and if they show the customization message more often.

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Bro-Sis Collaboration Update – Getting Ready for First Meeting

August 9, 2008

A week and a half ago, I mentioned that my sis and I are starting a new collaborative project regarding photography and traditional marketing, along with search marketing, local search, and social media.

In short, this project is to offer both customized private consulting to professional photographers along with numerous public speaking engagements.

We’re welcoming people to view or progress in various formats – good, bad, and ugly. More sites to come, but currently, they are…

This Blog
My Facebook Profile
My Twitter

Heather’s Blog
Heather’s Facebook Profile
Heather’s Tin Shed Studio Facebook Page

Our first meeting is this Monday at our ‘rents place in Reads Landing, MN and we’ve got about five hours to brainstorm. The first hour will be confirming our overall strategy. Our Dad reads this blog occasionally, and if you read this Dad, get your pontoon ready. The first hour is on the Mississippi.

My sis is new to social marketing, and I already think she “gets it” more than I do. It’s going to be fun collaborating with each other.

More to come… much more.

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Google PPC Keywords Tool Now Shows Search Volume Data

July 10, 2008

Thanks to co-workers and fellow twitterers @jackpotjewell and @jeremynelson, I was able to see that Google has now added search volumes to their PPC keyword tool.

This probably isn’t an SEO keyword research substitute for something like Keyword Discovery, but I can see this as a great helping tool for building PPC campaigns. Tomorrow, I’m starting a new PPC campaign for a client who provides billing solutions for law firms and other professional services and can see this playing a decent roll.

I want to break potential possibilities into a few categories; search volume, match type, and specifically, negative keywords. Measuring this with analytics is key as well.

Legal Billing

Legal Billing

First, the search volume. Before this, the search volume didn’t have a number and just had a green bar level like you see with the “advertiser competition” tab. It’s too early to tell how accurate these numbers are, and there has already been online discussions regarding this, but my gut feeling says that it’s pretty accurate. In more detail, I can see this as a good tool to determine how much I want to bid for longer-tail terms.

Next, the match type options you see in the upper right corner of the above image. You can view the search volumes by broad, phrase, exact, and negative match categories. I always like to use as many “exact match” phrases as possible, and can see the search volume totals playing a decent role in this. A longer-tail example of this may be “legal billing services”. Not many are searching for this, but there doesn’t seem to be any “exact match” competition for this either.

I’ve always been big on “negative keywords”. You don’t want people viewing your PPC ad if someone types in the word “free” or any other word that wouldn’t convert to your campaign. Whenever I do PPC campaigns, I try to regularly add negative keywords monthly. Now you can view the search volume data by negative keywords as well. Looking at the image below, I can already see some initial negative match opportunities.

Negative Keywords

Negative Keywords

Finally, analytics. Whether you use Google Analytics or a more rubust paid solution, you can see how users are coming to your site from your PPC campaigns. Measuring this is key, but if you’re a search marketer you already know this.

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40 Presenters at the SMX Local and Mobile Conference, That’s Quite Impressive

June 14, 2008

Search Engine Land provides the original post.

40 presenters is really impressive for a local search field that is still (arguably) relatively new.

It’s cool to see that the SMX Conference targets ad agencies just as much or even more than search marketers and marketing managers.

It was just a few years ago that there was quite a debate between search marketers and ad agencies. Search marketers offered a cheaper and more of a “pull marketing” alternative to mainstream marketing and advertising, and ad agencies blew search marketing off as a fad or something useless. Now, both large and small agencies hire search marketers on a regular basis to broaden their services.

The SMX conference looks like they’re taking this a step further by offering local search strategies to these agencies. It does make sense. We often hear about the large, national agencies such as Fallon and Campbell Mithun, but there are plenty of small agencies around too that primarily have a local client base.

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