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Month: November 2006

4 Internet Marketing Lessons From My Mexican Holiday

Gentle ocean breeze, white powder sand, Mai Tais hand delivered to an umbrella protected beach chair – yes indeed, there’s nothing like a week’s vacation in the Mexican Riviera. I’ve included a picture of my hotel here just to help those of you currently struck at your desks to find the motivation to take your own trip sometime soon.

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But what, you might be asking, does any of this vacation boasting have to do with internet marketing (the philosophical foundation of our special onedegree.ca). Lots, it seems. To outline this point, I have included here “Michael’s 4 Internet Marketing Lessons from my Mexican holiday”.

Lesson 1: Travel Review sites are really just fancy words for “Blogs” about travel.

I use www.tripadvisor.com and I love it. Do you remember when your only source of online information on a hotel came from the hotel chain itself? It was the sound of one hand’s thunderous self-applause. Well, now there is a real-time forum for discussion on virtually any hotel or resort in the world, along with rankings and pictures and real people to ask questions to who just got back from where you are thinking of going. The consumer value of user generated content in the travel industry has turned 60 year old grandmothers from Wichita into blogging machines without them even knowing it. Move over Paul Theroux!

Lesson 2: The traditional travel industry still hasn’t realized that the Internet has changed its business model forever.

My wife (who is also an Internet professional) really wanted to use the local travel agent. She argued that she was really nice and helpful and close to our house. My wife even started the search for our holiday with her and got prices and availability options. But what came apparent very quickly is that as we wanted more information over a period of days, the restrictions on the agent’s working hours and availability became a huge bottleneck in our search, and eventually we turned to the Internet to get all of the information we needed in real time (in this case using www.selloffvacations.com). Even still, my wife was committed to booking with the local person. Unfortunately, we made our final decision to book a special available deal on Saturday morning and she didn’t work on the weekends. We had no choice but to book our holiday through the “always open, always on”, Internet travel service. That industry will not survive without changing.

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What’s a Domain Name Really Worth?

I’m often asked by people who own, or want to own, a domain name to give my opinion on what the "fair market value" of a particular domain name is.

I usually begin my reply by mentioning that the vast majority of domain names sold on the re-sale market go for less than $1,000. This is greeted by sighs of relief from the folks who want to buy a domain name, and gasps of incredulity from the folks who own a domain name: "Well, my domain name is worth much more than that…"

I then outline some (but not all) of the criteria that, in my opinion, make a domain name more valuable than others:

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Ron Kunitzky on SMS Direct Marketing

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Ron Kunitzky, president of Geyser Consulting, presented how companies can create strategic partnerships to better grow their business at the Canadian Marketing Association’s Direct Marketing Conference.

Click to read the full article, and watch the 3:44 video clip.

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Link Building Strategy – “SEO’s Holy Grail” (Part 1)

The importance of links to a Web site’s search engine position is no longer a secret. As search engines have evolved, link building has become critical to search visibility. Today’s search engines are looking for new ways to provide searchers with the most appropriate content possible and link analysis is currently the method of choice. Simply put – without paying attention to link building, your site will never meet its ranking potential. But, before you run off to find as many links to your site as possible, keep in mind that there are good ways to build links and there are bad ways.

Link building must be tied to your overall Web site strategy. It is the most tedious and time consuming component of the SEO process – but it is well worth the effort. Because link building is such a broad (and important) topic, I decided to split this post up in to a series of installments. For this part, I will discuss the importance of link relevancy and consistency.

The difference between link popularity and link relevance

Link popularity refers to the number of other sites/pages that link to your site/pages. This used to be the focus of link building, but with the evolution of modern “theme-based” search engines, and the amount of link spamming that has taken place over the past years, it has now become much less important. Link relevancy is determined by the context of a site that is linking to you and the content found on that site. If a search engine is able to identify a common theme between your site and the sites that are linking to you, it will consider your site to be much more relevant to related search terms.

Think of inbound links as endorsements for your site. When other site owners choose to link to you, they are basically telling the search engines (and their users of course) that they feel your site is valuable. This is exactly what search engines are looking for. One well-positioned, highly relevant link from a quality/authoritative source is worth hundreds of low quality links from unrelated sites.

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“Uncle” Marcus Evans On CRM Initiatives

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Marcus Evans, president of Proximity Canada, presented on Customer Relationship Management initiatives at Tuesday’s CMA Direct Marketing Conference. This presentation overview, and 3:33 interview is an informative synopsis of his presentation.

Click to read the article and see the video.

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