Longtime blog readers will recognize Austin, TX-based Laura Alter as the co-owner of laptop forum NotebookForums and might recall the launch of her blog last year.
Recently, Laura has been more proactive moving from the forum management/marketing side of things to becoming a SEO evangelist of sorts.
She recently organized an Austin SEM meetup, with a presentation on local search (aka geotargeted search engine optimization).
Optimizing your website for local traffic, especially if you’re mainly a geographically-fixed business like a hair salon or ice cream parlor can pay off with big dividends regardless of whether you go down the free search engine optimization route or the paid search route.
A number of factors work in your favor:
- Highly relevant and targeted traffic since the campaigns specially target consumers with specific needs
- Generally lower bids, as the pool of advertisers is smaller (even in a metropolitan area like New York City or Los Angeles – it’s a more viable prospect compared to facing bidders all over the world)
- Higher conversion ratios
- Ease-of-followup and greater opportunities to build a continuing relationship (especially if you employ email marketing and/or direct mail in your customer relationship management efforts)
Obviously SEM/SEO is not going to be your end point, it’s merely going to be your start point to generate leads. Building the relationship and establishing trust, credibility, asking for the sale and asking for the repeat sale are going to be the bedrock of your business building efforts.
For the local SEO side, here’re some slides from Laura’s presentation:
3 formats for localized SERP (search engine results page) display:
I remember getting (more…)
Affiliate Summit co-founder Shawn Collins has got the pictures from the professional photographer from the recent Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas last month (all 630 of them) and has mentioned them on the Affiliate Summit blog. You can check out the Affiliate Summit West Flickr photostream.
Here’re some of my favourites:
With the ShareResult affiliate network affiliate manager Julia Steat at the Great Affiliate Road Rally
With Notebook Forums‘ Laura Alter (yes, she is 6′ and wearing heels…)
After talking to him for about a year, I finally got to meet B5 blog network’s training manager Tris Hussey
At the social media session with Justine Ezarik and Tris Hussey
Zac Johnson and Amit Mehta at the Super Affiliate session
At the “Engaging the Media” panel session with Lisa Picarille, Anik Singal, Valerie Stevens and Jim Kukral
I don’t know about you, but I think Jim Kukral deserves some type of award for being the most photographed!
Be sure to check out the other pictures at the ASW photo collection.
Affiliate Summit as always was a blast (I still have about 500 of my own pictures to put up somewhere…).
If you’re keen to bring your affiliate business to the next level, be sure to check out Affiliate Summit East from Aug 10-12 in Boston, MA.
Although Missy Ward and Shawn Collins’ Affiliate Summit West seminar and tradeshow is now over, going through the 300+ photos I’ve taken makes me realize that although the affiliate industry continues to be male-dominated, there’re a number of female faces to take note of too.
With that, here are the women of the Affiliate Summit:
Justine Ezarik is a lifecasting star who vlogs over at iJustine.tv. She spoke at the social marketing session with Sam Harrelson, Stephanie Agresta, Debbie Schultz and Tris Hussey sitting on the panel.
Schaaf Consulting’s Stephanie Harris spoke at the Anik Singal’s AC Certified workshop the day before Affiliate Summit.
Buy.com‘s Melissa Salas chaired the video marketing panel and also received (more…)
I was tagged by PepperJam Head Honcho Kris Jones as part of the “What Magazines Do You Read?” (and have a titbit for niche researching Internet Marketers).
I don’t read many magazines, reading most of my content and feature content online.
Besides reading the print edition of Singapore’s major English daily, The Straits Times, which comes with weekly tech, fashion and lifestyle “magazines”, on the rare occasion, I check out:
- Revenue (I read the online digital edition when I can)
- Skymall catalogue found on most domestic flights
- Tabloids like US, People
Tabloids and rag mags are a good opportunity to (more…)
I was thinking about SleepyBlogger Robyn Tippins‘ reply to our discussion whether onsite blogging provides value: “I find it so difficult to live-blog a session and actually pay attention to the speaker. Some are better at this I think.”
So the conversation seems to have shifted from whether “onsite blogging” provides value, to how difficult it is to “liveblog a session” because of the multiple tasks involved:
- Pay attention to the speaker
- Live blog the session
Here’s a secret I learned as a former journalist. I together with the reporters from the Reuters, Associated Press and Bloomberg news wires, sat listening to Microsoft, HP or some other company make their announcement, and we used our strategies, following that, we’d file our reports (the newswire guys generally filed their reports within 30 seconds to a minute to someone in the newsroom), the reports would go live.
Due to our ability to effectively process the information successfully, their reports would be circulated all over the world, and my news stories would make it to page one of Singapore’s business daily, or it’d make the front page of the tech session.
Compared to everyone else, we have the same brain, the same abilities, but yet we’re able to achieve different results.
So the question is:
What made the difference?
Before we get into that, consider all the tasks you have to get through every day.
You need to:
- Check and respond to email
- Collaborate with joint venture partners
- Develop your own products (or project manage if you’ve outsourced it)
- Update your blog or submit news articles/press releases
- Manage the sales team in following up and marketing your services
- The administrative stuff like filing paper, and probably the least exciting activity (at least for me…) filing your taxes
On top of that, we all only have 24 hours to finish this in.
So again: What makes the difference?
Your time planning and execution strategy you use make all the difference.
I won’t go into time planning, but focus on the execution aspect.
Many business owners and new entrepreneurs fail because:
- They fail to realize what’s important
- They fail to do what’s important
- They fail to follow up on what’s important
The Pareto principle states that 20% of the people in a city in Italy owned 80% of it’s wealth. Since then, the Vilfredo Pareto’s principle has been generalized to:
“20% of what you do will lead to 80% of your results” — So of the 10 things you do, you need to complete 2 of them to become really successful. The problem is that most people choose to do maybe 5 or 6 things.
Unfortunately, those 5 things (more…)
I first got to know of Laura Alter from PlanetAndrea (aka Andrea Schoemaker).
Laura attended the inaugural Elite Retreat and has been very successful in her brick-and-mortar computer business and is also owner of the popular NotebookForums site too.
Besides having 3 sweet kids (her 5 year old plays a mean game of warcraft), she’s pretty tech savvy.
Check out her blog:
Laura Alter’s blog
Laura’s got one of the prettiest WordPress templates I’ve seen (more…)