What Do Online Marketing Agencies Do?

SEO

Search engine optimization is the means by which we make our websites search engine friendly.  There are a ridiculous number of tools and strategies to do this but there are a few basic concepts that anyone can apply to there blog or website.

  • At least 500 words per page.  SEO is all about content.  Quality content.  In fact, our blogging assignments would be much better suited if we did one quality blog a week as opposed to three shorter blogs.
  • Target Appropriate Keywords.  If your writing a blog and your title is “The Dallas Cowboys are Great” good luck getting any search traffic.  For students like us we are better target long tail keywords and keywords with far less search volume.
  • Readbility:  Your content should be easily consumed by everyone.  Why use complex words?  All you are doing is reducing the audience of which your content can be read.

PPC

Pay Per Click Marketing are the advertisements at the top and side of the SERP (search engine results page).  Its a fairly complex process and most agencies have employees who specialize in this area.  The order in which ads are displayed is a combination of quality score and amount being bid for each target keyword.

Learn more at PPC Hero

Analytics

Every website can benefit from a quality analytics report.  By far the most common, is Google Analytics.  Analytics allow you to make basic informed decisions.

Development

Web Development is an interesting process.  People tend to think of a website as a good or an item.  Like buying a TV or an Xbox.   Web Development is more of a service as it requires routine maintenance by a qualified developer.

 

Advertisements

My Future In Online Marketing

WebMechanix

I recently accepted a job at an online marketing start up, WebMechanix, based out of Columbia.  WebMechanix is one of the premier online marketing agencies in Maryland and has gone from four people to just over fifteen in the last couple years.

I’m anxious to get started and I thought I would share some basic skills everyone should know if you plan to work in online marketing.

What You Need to Know

  • Basic HTML- Everyone has this assumption that learning HTML and some programming is extremely difficult.  All it takes is a lot of hard work and the willingness to learn.  Having a little HTML know how will go a long way as the future of marketing is more and more digital based.
  • SEO- Its unfortunate that SEO is becoming a bit of a “commodity” because those who actually know what they are doing are true wizards.  A real SEO can back up his claims with data.  You’ll want to know terms like; Cost Per Acquisition, Cost Per Click, Conversion Rate, and Pay Per Click just to get started.
  • SEM- Search engine marketing and SEO go hand in hand to a degree.  Search engine marketers are responsible for placing bids on keywords in Google and Bing.  Those ads are given position based on “quality score” and how much the bidder is willing to pay.
  • CMS- Content management systems aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.  In fact the wordpress interface we use in class is very similar to the content management system interface.  Other popular CMS are drupal, joomla, and dot net nuke.

Will You Buy Google Glass

I Want One

If google glass is priced anywhere within reason you can bet I’m getting my hands on it.  I really believe that wearable computers are going to be the “next big thing” and google glass is first to market.  Imagine all of the possibilities (and potential surveillance) of having a voice controlled computer at all times.  Seems pretty cool to me.

Tons of New Apps

Application developers are some of the smartest dudes and gals you’ll find out there.  Remember when the iphone was first released and millions of apps were downloaded instantly….its was a developers gold mine.  I imagine thats how it will be with google glass.  A new technology for developers to get there hands on and start developing the next great app that changes the way we go about our day to day business.

Can’t Forget “Old” Apps

Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram, and Snapchat will all have to develop a “glass friendly” version of their app to stay ahead of the curve.  If glass does become wildly popular like the smartphone did years ago, these apps will have to move towards the new frontier.

Its interesting to note how difficult it is getting to release an application to the masses.  Think about it.  Facebook has there basic web application we see on our desktops, but they also have a; ios mobile version, ios tablet version, android mobile, android tablet, and now we are throwing in wearable computers like smart watches and glass.

Its going to be interesting.

 

 

The Silk Road Has Been Shut Down

What is the Silk Road

The Silk Road is the biggest and most well known place to get illegal drugs and services on the internet.  Whatever wets your whistle can be found on the silk road.  Marijuana, heroin, ecstasy, and hit men could all be purchased on the Silk Road.

*You can’t get to websites like the Silk Road from a typical browser.  You need The Onion Router Browser or one like it*

Anyway, the Silk Road was a libertarians dream.  Any service or product freely available at the right price.

How could you buy things on the silk road you ask?  With bitcoin.  Bitcoin is a digital currency acquired by trading or “mining” for it.  There only a certain number of bitcoins available and they are difficult to acquire unless you join a pool to share computing power.   Your computer has to solve complex problems that take a long time and a lot of power to do.

Once your computer has figured out the problem you are rewarded with a bitcoin; or a fraction of a bitcoin.

Why Did the Gov Shut It Down

Thats an obvious one.  There was all sorts of illegal activity going.  Personally; I believe the government should stay the hell away from regulating the internet and allow citizens to browse and engage in commerce freely (wasn’t that what the country was founded on?).

Unfortunately we live the era of NSA snooping, and zero privacy.  Don’t worry though, there are other places in the deep web that offer similar services as Silk Road; like Atlantis.

What is the Deep Web?

The Deep Web

The deeb web aka deepnet, undernet, invisible web, or hidden web, is all of the content that is not part of the surface web.  The surface web is the web we all use daily; Youtube, Facebook, Google, Salisbury’s website etc…  All of these commonplace websites are indexed by search engines like Google and Bing.

Think of the internet as a giant iceberg.  When you see an iceberg, what you see is only ten percent or less of the iceberg.  The vast majority is underwater where you can’t see it.  The internet is the same way.

The content we use on a daily basis is only a very small portion of what is on the internet.  The deep web is much larger than the surface web.

What Can I Do With The Deep Web

All sorts of things.  Primary, all of the exciting stuff you can’t do on the surface web.  For example: buy drugs, hire a hit man, illegally share files, and access geographically restricted content (like Chinese or Russian web content).

The deep web is like the wild wild west so you need to be very careful before you take a trip.  Your system is very vulnerable to attack.  If you want to visit the deep web I suggest using a computer which you do not use for day to day tasks.  You don’t want your credit card information, social security number, and other things being stolen.

 

How Do Search Engines Work?

Crawling

Search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) use “spiders” to crawl the web. These spiders crawl through every single web page on the internet. Once the spiders crawl  a page, they use links to find new web pages and continue crawling. Thats why links are such an important part of the internet. Theoretically, one spider could crawl the entire internet via links…it would just take a really really really long time.

Indexing

These spiders don’t just crawl web pages, they index the words and information found on these sites. This is how we get the answers and results we want from google when we query its database (a query is like a request for information). So, if you were to go to google, and query “salisbury university” google goes through its database and finds that the Salisbury University Homepage is the most relevant result for your query.

This where keywords come into play.  Query “seo” and see what comes up.  Googles complex algorithm, developed by a small army of Stanford engineers , has determined that the top result is the most relevant web page to what you are searching for.

Thats search engine 101 right there dude.

The Best Free Text Editors

What Is a Text Editor?

A text editor is a program used for editing plain text files.  Bascially, you can create just about anything with a text editor.  Websites, Applications, Software…anything.  There are a number of high priced text editors out there but the free ones are great for college students like you and I.  Here are a few that I’ve used.

  • Sublime Text 2:  Technically Sublime Text 2 isn’t free….but its free.  After you pass the free trial period they’ll ask you to purchase a license but you don’t have to.  Sublime Text 2 is a professional quality text editor.  It has auto completion, great style preferences, multiple windows in one tab, and its open source…meaning if your a real whizz you can edit the source code.
  • TextWrangler:  TextWrangler is the a free Mac App downloadable from the Mac App store.  Its a pretty basic text editor but it will get done just about everything rookies like us would ever need to.  The only draw back that I have found is that it isn’t very customizable.
  • Notepad ++:  Notepad ++ is pretty much the go to for all windows users.  Its a powerful text editor that allows you to do just about everything.  If you take CompSci classes at SU you’ll be using a lot of Notepad ++.

There are literally hundreds of them out there but these three should keep you busy for a while.

Everyone Should Use Google Calendar

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a great way to organize yourself, track your tasks, and keep your schedule in sync.  Using Google Calendar is like having a physical calendar….on steroids.  The number of features that come with Google Calendar is mind boggling.

Here are just a few that I use:

  • Gmail To Calendar Event:  If a friend sends you an invite to an event via Gmail, you can directly add it your calendar.
  • Reminders:  I use these for my school work all the time.  When you set an event on your calendar you set up reminders.  For example: I have my google calendar set to remind me every Sunday that I have weekly blogs do for this class.
  • Friends Calendars:  I have convinced my mom and sisters to get set up with Google Calendar.  Were very activity oriented and now we all share calendars so that we can see when one another are available.

Calendar Task Manager

There are billions of task managing apps out there.  Evernote, Wunderlist, and Google Keep just to name a few.  Those all seem a bit cumbersome to me, I like to have my Calendar and my tasks manager in the same window.

conveniently enough for me, Google Calendar has added a “tasks” tab.  Just go to “My calendars” and on click the “task calendar”.  Its a great way to make sure all your school work and other tasks are done.  You can cross them off one by one as you knock them out.

Now go get a Google Calendar dude.  (You have to a GMAIL account….if you don’t have one you need to get one ASAP..by far the best E-mail client out there).