Sean Voorhies

Is SEO the Devil?

Photo Courtesy ozgworks.com/blog

A reflection by Sean Voorhies, Account Supervisor

90octane Account Supervisor Sean Voorhies discusses his opinions on recent allegations that SEO is cheating the search system.

Imagine you’re driving on a dirt road. It’s nighttime. Your headlights are dim. You’re trying to find a friend’s house but there are no street signs and only a few faintly recognizable landmarks. You can see houses glowing in the distance but you aren’t sure where to turn or how to find what you’re looking for.

Contrast that image to that of the city. There are street lights, street signs and the roads are clearly marked and register on your GPS. You may not know where you are going, but you can say with certainty that you know how to get there.

To the search engines, content on the web that is optimized using legitimate (or white hat) SEO tactics is equivalent to city street signs, lights and road maps. Optimized content helps to guide and direct engines and searchers to the right places, showcasing the right results and providing a map of the web.

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Sean Voorhies

Building Email Lists via Mobile Ads

Posted by: Sean Voorhies, Project Manager

As online and mobile marketing continue to converge, the opportunity for cross-medium campaign interaction is growing. Bertolli’s sponsorship of ads within the ‘Today Recipes’ iPhone application is a prime example of how such a campaign can be executed.

Bertolli’s ad featuring the chance to win a culinary vacation is showcased next to one of the application’s recipes. Once a user clicks on it, he or she is taken to a landing page with minimal registration and the opportunity to opt-in to receive future Bertolli email communications. As the technology advances, users will be able to complete the form without leaving the ‘Today Recipes’ app itself.

With high session times and an average click-through-rate of 3%, campaigns like this – that serve to better the user experience while furthering marketers’ objectives – are proving to be a recipe for success and a tough combination to beat.

Read more: Mobile Marketer

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Sean Voorhies

3 Quick Tips for Lead Nurturing

Posted by: Sean Voorhies, Project Manager

Increasing response is the goal of any lead nurturing program, but it’s easy to get locked into a campaign that isn’t flexible once it launches. Here are three quick insights to use before you go live:

Leverage Learnings from Existing Site Analytics
If you have existing site data that speaks to your user’s behavior, whether it’s product offer preferences, patterns of site navigation or usability or communication frequency, make sure those are leveraged in building out a nurturing campaign. There can be a strong correlation between how users respond to similar offerings or information on your site and how they will initially respond during a lead nurturing campaign.

Use Prospect Profiling
Identifying prospect profiles and tailoring your lead nurturing program to specific user characteristics not only gives your campaign more flexibility from the get go, but it also allows you to provide a better experience for the prospects because it meets their unique needs. An easy starting point could be an existing product user profile and a new user profile.

Consider Progressive Registration
If your offers solicit a clear difference in user desire and intent then consider using progressive registration. By beginning the registration with standard fields and then progressively asking more detailed questions as the offer involvement grows, you’re able to capture a larger amount of leads up front and qualify your prospects further down the funnel with more detailed criteria.

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Sean Voorhies

Simplicity: The key to conversion-driven landing pages

Posted by: Sean Voorhies, Senior Marketing Coordinator

Conversions. Landing Pages. Landing Pages. Conversions. These two words are inextricably linked. Unlike websites or even microsites that have the breadth and depth to be many different things to different visitors, landing pages earn their rightful place on the Web, in lead generation programs, and within the marketing budget by being laser-focused and conversion-driven.

Whether the landing page houses a unique informational offer, free trial, interactive tool or some other feature, the simpler it is in highlighting the conversion action, describing benefits and moving the user’s attention from thought to action, the more effective the page will be. From button and form design to hero shots and branding, there are many “principles of simplicity” that can be applied to effective landing page design. Below we take a look at three of the simplest, and yet most overlooked, examples:

De-emphasize off-page links.
Once your traffic sources are dialed in and qualified visitors are finding and interacting with your page, the last thing you want is to emphasize a link that will take them away. Such a link usually connects to the company’s home page or a different campaign microsite. But users who prefer to visit the home page will typically seek that link out, and highlighting off-page links instead of the conversion action can confuse users who would otherwise be interested in the offer.

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Sean Voorhies

Will Microsoft’s Live Search liven up in ’09?

Posted by: Sean Voorhies, Senior Marketing Coordinator

Aside from its attempt to buy Yahoo!, Microsoft’s Live Search spent most of 2008 playing catch up to arch rival Google. Recent attempts to keep pace have included Live Search News, a quality based ranking tool, updates to Live Search local listings center, an adCenter community site, an expedited ad approval process, the adExcellence training program and improved adCenter functionality.

According to Nielson Ratings data, Live’s search volume remained relatively static throughout the year – averaging roughly 1 billion searches per month, while Google’s search volume increased from 4.25 billion in January to 5.5 billion in December.

With its mainstay software business being hit by the recession, Microsoft is under pressure to deliver in online search. So, will 2009 be the year that Live Search steps out of Google’s shadow?

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