Monday, November 22, 2010

SEO Artist in the Making

SEO and internet marketing seems to have taken over my life.  I work a 9-5, take masters internet marketing courses, and am still reading this 550 page book titled 'The Art of SEO' - which feels like its never ending.  Therefore, I wanted to take a little more time to talk about SEO and take a look at meta description tags because that is what I have been writing at work.

Whats a meta description tag you ask?  A meta description tag is the 160 characters Google allows you to describe a webpage in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP's) that is positioned just under the title tag.  According to 'The Art of SEO' meta description tags have three primary purposes:

  • To describe the content of the page accurately 
  • To serve as a short text "advertisement" to click on your pages in the SERP's
  • To display targeted keywords to indicate content to searchers
When writing a meta description tag the single most important aspect of writing it is relevancy.  Your meta description tag must be relevant to the content thats in the page.  This might seem like a no brainer and almost seems brainless for me to point out, but I can't tell you how many times I've seen meta description tags that have no relevance to the webpage they're describing.  The more relevant the meta description tag is to a webpage, the less likely a site visitor will bounce and leave your webpage for someone else's.    

Update on me:  Tomorrow I have my 60 day review, I'll let you all know how it goes.  Wish me luck!



Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Internet Marketing Rocks!!

Hey everybody,

I just finished up my first lecture for my masters certificate in internet marketing through the University of San Francisco.  The class is taught by Jim Kukral - who is one of the leading internet marketing entrepreneurs in the world and brings with him over 15 years of internet marketing and website building experience.  Did you know the first websites were built in 1994?  That means he has been doing this since the internets existence.  He also showed us some pretty funny websites he built back in the day that brought many laughs to the class.  

Today we learned that there are only two reasons why people use search engines.

1.  They need/want to solve a problem
2.  They're looking for entertainment

Every one of the billions of searches performed each day fall into these two categories.  From searching "how to's" to messing around and finding viral video clips on youtube; every search performed solves a problem, or provides us with some sort of entertainment.  Google, Youtube, Yahoo, and Bing are all extremely good at providing search results that help solve our problems as well as provide entertainment.  The problem many of us face though, is getting your information ranked high enough in those search engines.

How do we do this then?

We must provide our audience with compelling CONTENT!  Sure, performing fancy Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies helps but those strategies will do you and your company no good if your site doesn't have compelling content.  Search Engines are too smart now and have caught onto spammy websites that may have previously ranked very high on the search engine results page (SERP's).

So remember, if you want your website to rank high on the SERP's, writing compelling content should be your first step.  Then once the content is there, your site can be optimized to increase your results even more.


P.S.  Update on me: The CEO at ion wants me to get heavily involved in SEO and has me reading a book titled, "The Art of SEO" - which is like the SEO bible.  This is super exciting stuff for me and I can't wait to dig in and get more hands on experience.  Hope everybody's doing well back in Chicago!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Social Media Metrics

Hey everybody,

Its a cloudy Sunday morning here in South Florida, so I figured the best way to occupy my time would be to write another blog posting.  Its official, I will now being moving to a new role at Ion dealing more with internet marketing and social media.  I'm really excited about this opportunity and eager to work with our new marketing director as well as our social media director.

On top of that, I just started reading this book titled "Social Media Metrics" by Jim Stern, which was also forward by none other than David Meerman Scott.  Its not a how to book, or a book that explains how important social media, blogging, and other forms of internet marketing are to businesses around the world.  Rather, its all about measuring social media to ensure that you and your company are getting the most out of it.  Also, if you're still stuck on the "old rules of marketing and PR",  it might be a good idea to experiment with social media.  The times have changed and the internet seems to be taking over the world.

First and foremost, you must understand what it is that you want to get out of social media.  If you're wise, it would be beneficial to use social media to attain these three business goals:

1.  Raise Revenue
2.  Lower Costs
3.  Increase Customer Satisfaction

If you are not using social media to attain at least one of these goals, then you are waisting your time.  Let me say that again, If you are not using social media to attain at least one of these goals, then you are waisting your time!  So before engaging in the realm of social media define your goals, ask yourself what do we want to get out of it?  You'll be much more successful going in with a plan rather than just entering because everybody else is doing it.

Hope this is helpful,


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

More Education, Why Not?

I don't know if most of you know this but I've taken a break from my MBA program and won't be starting that up again until late spring.  In the meantime, I've been doing a bunch of research on masters programs in integrated marketing communications and internet marketing.  With a year completed in an MBA program, it didn't make sense for me to start all over and switch programs.  Instead, I stumbled on the University of San Francisco one afternoon and noticed they offered a Masters Certificate in Internet Marketing.

The program consists of three 8 week classes:  Integrated Online Strategies, Search Engine Marketing & Usability, and Advanced Interactive Marketing & Measurement.  I'm pretty excited to start this Certificate program because theirs a lot I still have to learn about online marketing despite landing a great job @ Ion Interactive.

Just a quick update on what I'm doing @ Ion:  DHL has consumed my life and we are about to launch their micro sites in over 250 countries.  Once things with DHL slow down, I'll hopefully be able to get more involved in Social Media to get a more hands on experience with it.

Talk to you all soon,


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Is There Such A Thing As Over Tweeting?

So I've had a twitter account for about a year now but never understood the potential marketing power that it had behind it until really recently - lets say the last 2 months.  I guess I just saw it as a way to connect with long lost friends rather than utilizing it as a marketing tool.  Now, for the first ten months or so, I was tweeting about the most random things from my work at Sharkzoo to being super bored in graduate classes and couldn't figure out why I only had ten followers.  Sad, I know but why was this?  Well, it could be because I'm not super famous like Justin Bieber, but I have a feeling it was because I had no clue who my target audience was.  I was tweeting about the most random things and its no wonder nobody was following me.

So the past few months, I've really tried to figure out who my target audience was and then it came to me.  Since I'm a young marketing professional I decided to tweet about interesting marketing techniques and post interesting articles about social media, blogging, email campaigns and other forms of online marketing in hopes to reach other marketing professionals.  This began to give me a more recognizable voice as apposed to having no voice at all.  David Meerman Scott even started following me on twitter and posted on my first blog article.

Anyways, what I really want to know is if theres such thing as over tweeting?  I ask this because this morning when I logged into my Twitter account I noticed one of the businesses I was following (I'll keep them anonymous) had posted 27 tweets in a row and I think I stopped reading after 5 of them.  If anybody has an answer to this question, I'd love to hear from you.



Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tropical Storms? Huh?

I finally have internet at my place!  Sorry, I'm a bit overly excited but its been a pain having to drive to Dunkin' Donuts to do anything productive for the past month.  

Anyways, its been raining here like crazy for the past day and since Im stuck inside I figured I'd write a posting.  Apparently, a tropical storm named Nicole has come over South Florida.  Tropical storm?  Whats that?  We don't have those back in Chicago.  So the nerd in me did a little research to figure out what, in fact, a tropical storm actually is.  After my research, I found out its basically just a bad thunderstorm with really low pressure and cyclonic wind rotation in which, can then grow into a hurricane if weather conditions cooperate.  Pretty intense stuff huh?  Although, this tropical storm is pretty weak and just reminds me of a never ending thunderstorm.  Thats probably why they named it Nicole though...  Bad joke, sorry.

Then that got me to thinking, why in the world do they name tropical storms?  They don't name Tornado's or other natural disasters.  However, I do think it be cool to be in charge of naming the storms.  With my creativity and marketing background I'd probably be a phenomenal storm namer or, at least come up with a better name than "Nicole".  Thats so unoriginal.  

Anyways, I'm done rambling now.  Thanks for listening.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Another Day in South Beach

Hey everybody,

First, I just wanted to let you know that Chicago 2 South Beach is up and running on Facebook and Twitter will be following soon.  Check it out!

Secondly, I apologize that it’s taken me forever to write another posting.  Things have been super hectic for me down here.  I have some very good news though!  I just landed my first job down here with an amazing marketing agency called Ion Interactive.  They’re the innovators of the LiveBall software that creates 3 times the traffic to web pages and is incredibly easy to use.  Did I also mention they’re on Inc. 500’s fastest growing company’s list?  True story.  Anyways, it’s Friday and I’ve almost survived my first week.  I’ve been working with the LiveBall software assisting on our DHL campaign publishing, proofing, and reporting across 100+ countries in Europe, Asia, North, South, and Central Americas.  Its pretty intense stuff but keeps me busy and I enjoy it, which is always a plus.

Other than that, I haven’t had much of a social life lately except for going to the Cubs / Marlins game last Saturday at Sun Life Stadium… In which the Cubs won 5-3!  Shocker right?  Well, the weekends almost here and I definitely plan on hitting up South Beach.  Its pretty crazy down there – driving a Ferrari is like driving a Toyota back home.  They’re everywhere!

Hope all is well back home,


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why Didn't I Learn About Online Marketing In School?!

Hey everybody,

So after doing a bunch of research on social media, blogging, Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click Campaigns over the past few months, it dawned on me that I never learned any of this stuff in school.  Instead, my education was surrounded with the “Four P’s – product, price, placement, and promotion which is great and all but not very useful when it comes to online marketing.  So that got me thinking… How could a kid get a degree in marketing and not learn about any of these online tools that are so important in the marketing world today?  I mean, its not like I graduated twenty or even ten years ago when online marketing was in its infancy.  Instead I graduated in the May of 2009 when Social media was taking over the world.  And yet, still no class in online marketing. 

Now, I know that to understand a lot of online marketing it requires more hands on experience rather than just being educated on the subject in the classroom.  However, if I would have been educated with a class or two in online marketing I would have had a much better understanding of it, while also attempting my Google Adwords certification at 22 rather than being in the process of that certification now at age 24. 

Feeling like I’m two years behind where I should be is very frustrating but now I’m taking action and trying to learn as much about online marketing as I possibly can.  I hope this blog can contribute too much of my learning, and I’m already taking it a step further and creating Facebook and Twitter pages.  Having said that, I’ll keep you all updated on when Chicago 2 South Beach goes live on Facebook and Twitter.

Stay tuned,


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hello Blogging World

Before I explain what this blog is all about I have to give a huge thanks to David Meerman Scott and his book titled:  The New Rules of Marketing & PR.  If it wasn't for reading his book, there is a good possibility I wouldn't have built up the courage to start this blog.  Well, who am I kidding?  If I hadn't read his book, I wouldn't be writing this right now.  So again, thank you for sharing your knowledge, it is greatly appreciated.

So where do I start?  I'm sure all of you are wondering why I chose the title:  Chicago 2 South Beach.  Well, I was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs.  Went to college in Chicago, got a degree in marketing, then began to pursue my masters there as well.  Up until now my life consisted of well... Chicago.  And to be completely honest, I just got bored of the same old things that the windy city offered:  awful traffic, crowded subways, rude people, oh - and did I mention being a Cubs fan is the most frustrating thing in the world?  Due to all that, I left in pursuit of something new, something completely different.  And where did that bring me?  You guessed it - sunny South Florida.  Its absolutely beautiful here and am very excited to take on this new adventure.  The only problem is, in this tough economy I'm having trouble finding a good job.  Therefore, this blog is basically a documentary about the struggles of a young marketing professional and to lighten things up, I'll probably throw in some fun stories about my adventures on South Beach for some laughs.

So who is this blog for?  Well first off, its for my learning purposes to try and understand online marketing a little better as well as for those struggling in these hard times.  On top of that, I'd like to try and target as many marketing professionals as possible in hopes of getting feedback or advice, while striking some interesting conversation and debate through my posts.

Having said all that, its a beautiful Saturday.  South Beach here I come.