There's no doubt about it, Google is the reigning Internet behemoth. As a company, they constantly innovate to meet the changing nature of the web, and offer a myriad of tools that are priceless to businesses. From AdWords to search results, Google has forever changed the nature of online marketing.
Quick Response Codes have been a mainstay in the marketing world for a number of years. For those not familiar with QR Codes, they are unique matrix barcodes placed on marketing materials which can be scanned using a smartphone camera enabled by a QR Code reader. Once scanned, the QR reader reveals embedded information by linking to a website on your smartphone. We see QR Codes everywhere: adorning movie posters, on products at the supermarket and even on advertisements on the side of buses. There must be a better, more interactive way to share marketing information.
Google's search algorithms are constantly evolving to keep up with changeable nature of the web in an effort to keep spammers at bay. What many people don't realize, though, is that a search engine optimization strategy that worked well in the past may now get your site blacklisted from Google's results.
Many SEO strategies that were once successful ways to maintain a search presence are now considered unethical by Google. If you've seen your search results falter and you haven't taken a look at your site back-end in a while, now might be a good time to root out any old SEO tactics and update them with a current strategy.
I'm excited to be part of a talented panel discussion that will address the challenges and opportunities of building global websites as part of next week's travel and tourism marketing conference in Toronto.
This year the sixth annual "Online Revealed" tourism and online marketing conference has partnered with The Hotel Association of Canada and the Canadian Tourism marketing Summit. Dubbed as Canada's first and only user generated internet marketing conference, they are attracting over 500 of the top tourism and travel industry professionals to share ideas March 8-9 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto.
YouTube and Google have created a fun little web app that lets you create a "search story video" just by choosing a few keywords and some music. The app is based on Google's popular search stories ad campaign that even saw one of their spots make it to last year's Super Bowl. Check out our own search story video and create your own.
We are thrilled to be a part of Starwood's Room With A View hotel webcams project which recently launched its second phase complete with a new user interface, enhanced social capabilities and an extensive list of new functionality.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, over 100 Starwood hotels spanning five continents have installed webcams from their most picturesque views, making the live feeds available on roomwithaview.com and individual hotel webcam Room With A View portal sites.
When someone says the word app, what immediately comes to mind? iPhone apps, Microsoft Word, Internet Explorer? What if I included Gmail, Amazon and Facebook in that list, do they still count? Sure they do, they're just web apps, but instead of being created to run on an operating system, they're created to run on a web browser.
We don't think about it, but websites like Flickr, Ebay and even, WebCanada's Live CMS are all web apps, and they carry with them many advantages over the desktop counterparts...
Desktop Applications store information on your computer's hard drive, where web apps store information on a database independent from your computer or on "the cloud." Each time you request information from a web app it pulls the data dynamically, whether it be displaying an email or updating the homepage of your website in Live CMS; all that information is available to you no matter where you go, not matter what computer you're on.
Maybe, The New York Times recently reported a story about an online glasses and contact lens merchant who purportedly garnered top search engine rankings because of negative reviews left by dissatisfied customers around the web. The online retailer bragged to his customers: "I just wanted to let you guys know that the more replies you people post, the more business and the more hits and sales I get. My goal is NEGATIVE advertisement."
His operation worked like this: somebody would order glasses or contact lenses from his site, he would then place an order for cheaper versions of glasses or contact lenses and have the package forwarded to the customer's shipping address. But when people complained about receiving suspiciously cheap eyewear, the owner and his henchmen fought back with alarming intimidation and threats.
Starting a blog is a test of perseverance, a lot of research and a love of sharing ideas. But what tools and strategies exist to make the job easier?
It's also important to ask yourself: why do I blog? What is the business strategy? Am I looking to add value to the company website? Do I want to attract web searchers through keywords, or do I just want to use the blog as a medium to convey the company's personality? It's important to put together a game plan and stick to your strategy from day one, and of course, adapt when necessary.
So, how can you keep ideas in the pipeline and ensure that you publish consistently? In this post we'll share some blog productivity tools and strategies that we've used to build our blog over the past six months.
Pay-per-click marketing seems like a relatively simple concept: bid on some keywords and link your site in the paid results. But there are some who have taken to Google Adwords in new and innovative ways. Here are three examples that I hope will inspire you to think creatively in your pay-per-click campaigns.
Building your brand online and being discovered in search.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then how many words is a video worth? At least a thousand, if not many more. The greatest advantage video offers is the ease to which it can communicate an idea, and the degree to which our brains are naturally wired to absorb information in this way.
When the web first entered our homes, it was this new medium with which to share information and manage data on a very basic scale. In the early to mid-nineties, we were able to share text and images. With the explosion of broadband the web can now drive richer content to our screens and provide higher level experiences such as videos and interactive Flash websites. And with these new applications comes a greater opportunity to communicate who you are.
More recently countless businesses have taken to online video and viewed it as an opportunity to build their brand presence. Some have been quicker out of the gates than others, but now that so many have done it, it might be useful to ask yourself: why should I do it?
Through the use of free tools you can do thorough market research in a matter of hours; the same research would have been less accurate and cost thousands of dollars not less than 10 years ago. It's a great time to own a business!
Market research allows entrepreneurs/businesses to learn about their prospective customers before they begin to invest the time and money in starting a new venture. Online tools have emerged that allow anyone to perform market research.
In July, we featured Vanessa Fox's book Marketing in the Age of Google. Perhaps one of the most interesting excerpts found in the book is Fox's hypothetical look at a company trying to create a better digital camera using the web as a primary market research tool. First the company "BetterCamera," must uncover the top searched-for digital camera features and find a point of differentiation: underwater cameras.
The success of modern companies is heavily determined by how easily their brand and their services are found online. Discovering the search terms potential customers are using and gearing your website content to return results for those terms is a proven method for generating online leads and driving revenue.
It all starts with selecting those crucial keywords. It should be noted that a keyword can refer to a single word or whole phrase, for example "WebCanada has great clients" can be considered a keyword.
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