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  Bruce Clay: The Story Behind the Scenes

Author: Virginia Nussey
 

It was 1996 and the World Wide Web was just a glittering apparition of the sprawling cyberspace it would come to be. Yet, with just a comparatively few sites to speak of, a few imaginative technology buffs could envision a bustling future online.

Looking back today, it appears that his timing was ideal. Bruce Clay had been involved in tech companies for decades, an executive for companies like ACER and Microvertics. Although in a position many would envy, in the mid-90s business world, he was feeling more out of touch with the action than ever. Signing checks and hacking through bureaucratic red tape felt tiresome and unrewarding.

"Although I did have a lot of interest in business, I wanted something that combined marketing and business and technical, and could utilize a lot of my programming skills," Bruce recalls.

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  BACK TO BASICS:
Local Internet Marketing: Drive Traffic Online and Offline

Author: Jessica Lee
 

Surprising as it may be, it's still not uncommon for local brick-and-mortar businesses to be without a website. In fact, a 2009 figure from Ad-ology showed approximately 46 percent of small businesses still did not have a site. And for those local companies with a website, many still do not take advantage of all the search optimization tactics available to help drive traffic to their place of business.

We're currently in an era where local businesses comprise a large share of searches online; 20 percent, in fact, of all searches have a local intent, according to a Google report from 2009.

In this article, we'll look at the rise of local search and Google's investment in it, what a holistic local search strategy is comprised of and how local brick-and-mortars can make the most of their marketing dollars by driving traffic to their place of business through the Internet.

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  INTERNATIONAL:
The Art and Science of Great Infographics

Author: Kate Gamble
 

Perhaps it is best to start off by saying that I am no designer. However, when I felt the need to start producing Engagement Objects for client websites, principles of design instantly sprang to mind.

There have been quite a few changes recently, as search engines redefine what it means to be a successful page on the Internet. Going, going, gone are the days that a few strategically placed keywords in the HTML and a directory link or two could push one to the first page for a competitive keyword.

Infographics make a pretty big difference preventing visitors to your site from bouncing straight off again. Engaging infographics will make users stop and take a look, effectively causing them to actually notice what your site has to offer.

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  Hot Topics

Exciting Bruce Clay, Inc. Announcements

It's been an exciting month here at Bruce Clay, Inc. We launched a new version of our website, with an updated look and feel to match a refreshed brand; unveiled a new service offering for local search optimization; and announced the availability of conversion rate optimization tools.

New BCI Website

BCI has been around since 1996, and in that time, the website has been updated few times, the last being 2006 - five years ago.

It would be an understatement to say a lot has changed since then, and we were due for a site that matched our current level of service.

We unveiled the new BCI website at the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Francisco just last week, and haven't yet made the official announcement.

We're giving you a sneak peek while we continue to test, make adjustments and add functionality before an official announcement to the public.

Please check it out, play around and next month, you'll have an opportunity to provide feedback in a simple survey through the newsletter.

Localware: Website Development and Optimization for Local Business

Bruce Clay, Inc. launched a new service offering for local businesses called Localware.

As an all-inclusive Web development and Internet marketing package, Localware is made for businesses that do not yet have a Web presence or perhaps have a site that's just not performing for them.

From Web design and development to search engine optimization, social media marketing, conversion optimization, paid search and more, Localware puts a business where its customers are searching: online.

Localware offers a month-to-month retainer ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 per month, and provides powerful tools, training and strategy. Its satisfaction guarantee ensures clients can cancel at any time without worrying about a contract agreement.

It also offers world-class training and collaboration, so businesses can take control of their Web marketing strategy when the time is right.

Announcing Conversion Rate Optimization Tools

Now Bruce Clay, Inc. clients can take advantage of conversion rate optimization tools, with the CROToolSet. Powered by Overstat, these tools offer a powerful add-on to any online marketing strategy.

The CROToolSet is easy to install and navigate; just two snippets of code allow site owners to use the tools without technical developer skills.

The tools include features like heat maps, easy-to-understand analytics and testing platforms, so site owners can stop guessing about Web strategy.

On top of this, special BCI-only reporting is currently in development to merge the CROToolSet with a site's SEO strategy.


SEOToolSet Version 5
 
  Shuffles

The nearly 30-year-old precursor to France's Internet, Minitel, announced it will shut down in June 2012. This text-only service allowed for interconnectivity for French citizens and to this day was still profitable, but the architecture it is based on is obsolete.

It's been one month since Google+ - Google's answer to a social network - launched. So far, it's been touted as the fastest-growing social network in history with 20 million users. But some believe it's already losing steam as membership growth has slowed.

Groupon and foursquare have partnered up to offer Groupon Now mobile deals, which allow users to redeem offers instantly through mobile apps.

The newsletter Google Friends shut down in late July due to flat subscription rates. Created by CEO Larry Page 13 years ago, Google Friends was originally created to give updates on Google happenings, products and services. Google also said goodbye to its directory service last month.

Foursquare says it sees the potential to monetize its free services in the future; when it will make this shift is still to be determined.

Sister to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Randi Zuckerberg announced she will leave Facebook as its director of marketing to pursue launching a social media consulting firm.

 
  Shindigs

SMX East will take place September 13 to 15 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York. Bruce Clay presents his one-day SEO Training Workshop on September 12 in addition to conference session talks. For 10 percent off registration, use code smx10bruceclay.

In the U.S., the newly updated SEOToolSet® standard and advanced training and certification dates for 2011, taking place in Simi Valley, Calif., are as follows:

  • September 19 to 23
  • December 5 to 9

Training dollars go even farther with special discounts for conference workshop attendees. Subtract the cost of what you pay for the SMX/Bruce Clay one-day SEO training from the cost of Bruce Clay's SEOToolSet© Training in California.

A special discount for SEMPO members is available as well. For supporting the Internet marketing industry through SEMPO, receive $200 off SEOToolSet® Training. Annual dues for SEMPO are $125, so signing up for SEMPO and SEO training together saves money and offers more benefits.

SMX Melbourne will be held on November 15 and 16 for anyone in the online or search marketing field.

Bruce Clay Australia presents the upcoming SEO training courses in Sydney in 2011:

  • One day training in Sydney: 7 September
  • One day training in Sydney: 2 November

The Internet Show launches October 27 through the 28 in Melbourne for anyone in the online, search mobile and social media fields.

india flag

iMedia Brand Summit takes place in India September 21 to 23 and brings together marketers for keynotes, breakout sessions and round table discussions.

The ITmedia Virtual EXPO 2011 kicks off September 13 to 30. This online event features lectures and interviews from business leaders across the globe.

 
  Attaboys

Congrats to the winners of our Small Biz Local Discovery Contest. Kathy Long won the grand prize pass to SMX East for her article "Conversion SEO: 4 Tips to Get Your Cash Register Kachinging." Thanks to Louis Girifalco, Samara Hart and Anthony Piruwan for their contributions supporting of the local business community with SEO and SMM advice. And thanks to all who voted for their favorites in the contest.

Internet marketing podcast and Internet radio show, SEM Synergy, hosted by Bruce Clay has resumed its weekly schedule. The show tackles tactics and strategies of SEO, online advertising, social media marketing, analytics, conversion rate optimization and the intersections between these pillars of Internet marketing. Interviews with expert guests are featured each week. Tune in every Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern, noon Pacific on WebmasterRadio.fm or stream the show on SEMSynergy.com.

The World Wide Web celebrated it's 20th birthday this month. In August of 1991, Tim Berners-Lee opened the Web for business, describing it as a project that "merges the techniques of information retrieval and hypertext to make an easy but powerful global information system."

In its first earnings report since becoming a publicly held company, professional social network LinkedIn beat estimates, reporting 160 percent increase in revenue and 61 percent membership growth.

After weeks of testing with a select group of advertisers, Facebook released an ad API that allows developers to create tools with greater ad targeting and analytics gathering capabilities and like-gating, or walls for unique content only available to the Facebook users that "Like" a page.

Marketing through social media channels is reaching mass adoption, with 80 percent of companies with 100 or more employees engaged in SMM. A reported 54 percent of marketers involved in social media marketing said they were satisfied with their SMM campaigns. While Facebook and Twitter lead the pack, 20 percent of those marketers surveyed said they planned to expand social media advertising to YouTube, LinkedIn and foursquare in the next year.

Google announced they have now made the Google+1 button faster. The button's response time and page loading is now up to 3 times faster. The change is automatic and webmasters do not need to update their code.

Google also released a new version of its webspam reporting form that is simpler and includes more options and more information.

 
Word on the Wire

Google's social network saw a number of additions this month, including Mobile Circles, additional photo organization abilities, a faster +1 button and more choices for video chatting.

Google also said, following much demand, that profile pages for businesses on its social network Google+ will be available by the fall.

Research by Search Engine Land editor Danny Sullivan suggests that connections in Google+ can strongly influence organic search results. Among the few brands testing brand pages on the service, it appears that when a user follows a brand, results from that brand's website see a boost in search.

Google Places had an overhaul last month, with a new layout that emphasizes reviews from its own users and removes reviews and citations from third-party sites.

And in its ongoing mission to make the Web a faster place, Google introduced Page Speed Service, rewriting Web pages on the fly resulting in 25 percent to 60 percent faster load times.

Another round of funding for Twitter has raised the micro-blogging site's valuation to $8.4 billion. The company also announced that users would begin seeing Promoted Tweets on the service in coming weeks. However, advertising tweets will be shown to users that already follow the brand accounts.

There are rumors that Google and Amazon and the leading suitors for the purchase online video site Hulu. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that bids are due Wednesday, August 24.

E-commerce leader Amazon has introduced its own daily deals service, Amazon Local, to compete with the likes of Groupon.

A man being called the Spam King and charged with distributing massive amounts of spam through the Facebook network has turned himself into the FBI and is pleading not guilty.

Keeping in mind the latest estimates by Google of India’s Internet population growing to 100 million and being Google’s third largest market in the world, Bruce Clay and notable Industry bigwigs shared their viewpoints on the growing importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in India over a cup of tea and a sumptuous Business Breakfast at the Leela Kempinski Gurgaon.

Spearheading the discussions was Bruce Clay who was joined by Avijit Dutt (President Marcom, Olive Telecom), Vikram Malhi ( GM, Expedia), Devdutta Banerjee (Regional Director, Starwood Asia Pacific), Nikhil Ganju (Country Manager Trip Advisor) and Jasdev Singh (Director Market Management Expedia). A few key points from the discussion were:

  • Looking at the rising PPC costs (up to 30 percent), SEO is becoming a increasingly viable strategy for businesses in India.
  • Competition is a major factor for rising digital advertising costs in light of which SEO is being looked upon as an important tool in Indian brands' online plans.
  • Another key point was that in large organizations, SEO strategy tends to be controlled by the head office. Keeping in mind the rise of local, this probably is not the best case scenario and there is a need for decentralization in the SEO strategy adopted.

Google’s Head of Indian Operations Rajan Anandan in a chat with Economic Times revealed that India’s 100 million internet users spend about 16 hours a week online. Comparing this with TV’s 13 to 14 hours a week, this is pretty significant.

Research from Microsoft Advertising and Aegis Media indicate that an astounding 75 percent of Indian shoppers flock to online services for pricing comparisons. Furthermore, 66% go online in search of products and brands with are near to their location.

According to the latest survey by IMAI (Internet & Mobile Association of India) India’s online display advertising market is slated to grow by 28% from Rs 417 crore (in 2009-2010) to Rs 534 (in 2010-2011). Interestingly Social Media marketing spend grew by 54 percent.