In the beginning of the semester we were told that we were going to create our own websites and continuously improve them throughout the course. Here is some of the results of this site. Over the course of the semester, my website had a total of 648 page views, which translated into 165 visits to my site. Of these visits, 93 of them were unique visitors, and the average visitor stayed on my site for two minutes and 15 seconds. I tried to gain visitors to my site in through PPC and SEO techniques. 66 of the 165 visits to my site came from Google AdWords and PPC advertising. Most of the PPC traffic came from the keywords I bid on in my COB 300 AdGroup from my “Some Tips to Surviving COB 300” blog post. I was able to generate 45 visits by having my advertisement featured on the first SERP of google searches for keywords regarding the course and topic. I received 11 visits from organic search queries to Google, this low number is mostly due to my lack of optimized web pages. I had 35 visits come from Twitter, which is mostly due to the inclusion of my URL in my bio section. I also believe that from direct efforts of my twitter account and word of mouth advertising my site gained 42 visits from visitors entering my URL directly. Finally thanks to referrals from Dr. Clarke’s website, my site gained 10 visits. Overall I was pleased with the amount of visits to my site, although I wish I could have optimized my page better to receive more organic search visits.
Another essential tool all online marketers should get familiar with is Google Webmaster Tools. This tool gives the marketer more insight into what people are searching for when finding their website, who is providing links to your website, and what keywords are working the best in Google. This helped me out tremendously with the Google AdWords assignment because I found out initially that I was bidding on ineffective keywords and had trouble initially understanding what people were searching for. One thing I hope to learn more about from Google Webmaster Tools is the crawl errors. It is essential for marketers to know when robots are having trouble crawling your page, because they will not put your page in the search queries if it is uncrawlable.
When I first entered in MKTG 470, or Strategic Internet Marketing, I had no idea what to expect from the course. I figured that it would be a very broad and general course where we would be required to read/memorize different terms from the textbook, ultimately spitting this information out come test day. Although, Dr. Clarke completely proved me wrong. Not only was there no textbook, but we learned everything through hands on experience. Some of the key takeaways from this course are:
1.) This is a dynamic field- Since the internet marketing world is still relatively new, it is always changing and there are constantly new technologies and methods being discovered.
2.) Regularly Develop Quality Content- In order to receive a high website and page ranking with Google, it is essential that you come out as much good quality content on your website as possible. If you are successful Google will help drive more traffic to your site.
3.) Find your niche- There are tons of websites out there, so it is important that you find something to specialize in and make it as specific as possible. This is especially important when it comes to PPC advertising because bigger websites will place high bids on general keywords.
As I mentioned earlier in my post, I did not expect to really gain much from completing MKTG 470. Little did I know, this would become one of the most valuable courses I have taken here at JMU. This is a field that is growing faster than the amount of jobs that are available in the industry. Within the near future there will be a huge amount of positions open for SEO and PPC advertising, and this course has provided me with the skills needed to be a successful internet marketer. Looking back, I really wish I would have take the SEO assignments more seriously, and spent more time on my AdWords campaign. I plan on keeping my website up and running and continuously improving it over the years. Hopefully I will continue to learn new techniques along the way and build my website to its fullest capabilities.by Dan Kehr with no comments yet
As a future marketer I am always looking for new forms of technology that can be used to find consumer trends, preferences, and buying habits in the marketplace. Consumers are becoming more and more conscious of their buying habits and also they are beginning to understand that marketers play a very strategic role in influencing those decisions. Imagine a world where information about what items a consumer is picking up off the shelves in the grocery store, what they are putting back, and what drives them to make their final buying decision can all be recorded on a seconds notice. A lot of research is being put into Radio Frequency Identification Systems or RFID.
Developers are putting a lot of work into using RFID chips as a way for customers to carry around less identification credentials in the purse or wallet. There is talk about inserting these chips into the skin between the thumb and the pointer finger of consumers as a way to have their license, insurance, and credit card information all located on the consumer. Instead of consumers swiping their credit card at the register, they would be able to run their hand over a sensor. Same goes as when you go to the doctors office or get pulled over for a speeding ticket. This would also provide marketers with tons of information about the consumer buying preferences and trends. By being able to tell what items consumers are picking up and putting down, marketers and retail establishments can determine what items are valued, prime placement on shelves, and what parts of stores are getting visited more often than others. Although this seems like a win-win situation for both parties (marketers and consumers), there are still some critiques.
Tons of companies are nowadays using PPC advertising and Google AdWords to boost traffic to their web pages and blog posts. But for those of us who do not have the economic resources to afford an expensive AdWords campaign and can not place high bids on key phrases, there still are several Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques that users can employ in an attempt to drive traffic to their postings. Here are a few suggestions I have on how to optimize your webpages:
1.) Optimize Your Page Using Keywords- By including keywords and phrases that viewers will search for in different areas of your website is a great way to drive traffic to specific pages and posts. There are several places where you can strategically place these words in order to receive a higher organic search ranking with Google. Some places where you can place these keywords are in the title, metatags, headings, and body text of your pages and posts. Another place where you can put keywords without the viewer noticing, is the ALT Tag which coincides with images on your website.
2.) Utilize Linking- Another crieteria that Google, and other search engines use to determine your page rank is the amount of quality links that lead back to your site. The most desired form of linking is one-way links directly back to your site, but don’t be afraid to provide links to other quality websites if they promise the same to you. Be aware of link farming, because Google is always looking for this and it can actually hurt your page rank.
I personally did not participate in the “JMU Experience” assignment because I neglected to do the original pre-tests required. Although several of the techniques that I described above are great ways to optimize your web pages and increase your rank with Google. Overall organic searches account for 94% of clicks, so it is essential for online marketers to learn optimization techniques and utilize this free way to drive traffic to your site.by Dan Kehr with no comments yet
Surviving the Dreaded COB 300:
I remember when I was a Junior finishing up my fall semester enjoying taking….and retaking some of the easier business classes before I dove in late to the dreaded semester of COB 300. On top of all the mayhem that is 300, I also had to take another Marketing class, Consumer Behavior, in order to be on track to graduate. Needless to say the anxiety was at an all time high. Somehow I survived the journey and lived to tell the tale.
Here are some helpful tips to surviving COB 300:
1.) Meet with your group as much as you can – These people who you get paired up with and spend your first awkward days together will eventually become your family. You will spend more time this semester with your COB 300 group members than your own roommates. You will work with them, you will eat with them, you will get mad at them, you will hug them, you will drink with them…. so be friendly. If you have an incorrigible group member(like I did, see later blogs for details) address it early. Trust me you want to get that out of the way as soon as possible.
2.) Go to your professors office hours- Your COB 300 professors will be your most important resource in completing your business plan. Even though you will be constructing a business plan that is supposed to be “for the real world” let us not forget that this is still a class, and your professors ultimately determine your grade. Even if your professors are not that helpful in their office hours, you showing face on numerous occasion does not go unrecognized. They may be persuaded to have mercy on your soul when it comes to benchmark time. Finally all the professors are different get to know their personality types and cater to them, no matter how hard that may be. Check out my later blog posts on the professors that I had when I went through COB 300.
3.) Use all the resources at your disposal- The COB 300 business plan is built around you collecting all the information in the entire world on one little particular subject and then condensing that into a 25-40 page document with pretty charts and graphs. One of the more helpful resources I found was the library COB 300 sites. Whether it was IBIS world providing us with industry insight or Mintel providing us with our financials, the library came through big for my group. Also do not be afraid to look over past groups business plans, its not cheating unless you use their material, but seeing other peoples work can help you structure your own. Remember to abide to the JMU Honor Code when doing so.
4.) DO NOT LOSE YOUR MIND!!- This is my final and most important step in surviving COB 300. I have seen people break down, I have seen people freak out, I have seen fights, and I have seen people getting sick, but listen people its just a four classes. Do not be afraid to cut loose every once and awhile. For God’s sake your in college. The business plan is only a marginal part of your grade so make sure you don’t forget about the tests. So go out and have fun and GET DRUNK, but please remember to be responsible.by Dan Kehr with no comments yet
Recently in my MKTG 470 class, we had two guest speakers from Silverback Strategies come in and give a presentation on their day to day operations and the importance of SEO and PPC marketing. Shay Meadows, PPC Manager, and Andrew Nelson, Director of Search, both JMU graduates, currently work at Silverback in Alexandria, VA and presented us with key insights, takeaways, and lessons learned on this complex topic:
I would like to personally thank Shay and Andrew for coming in and spending the time to enlighten me on an industry that I previously did not consider as a genuine essential to the marketing world. Silverback Strategies seems to be a great place to work and the service they bring to their consumers is an essential one that is often time overlooked. I personally suggest their services to anyone who is looking to boost their search rankings or those who do not even have a plan currently.by Dan Kehr with no comments yet
Businesses are now beginning to realize that traditional forms of advertising and marketing communications have gone by the wayside since the surge of social media marketing. With the growing importance of social media marketing, comes the need for “strategic preferred marketing developers”, or SPMD’s. These SPMD’s are a firms best indication into predicting the future of social media as a marketing platform and are now essential to a businesses communication efforts. They help businesses plug into websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, ad platforms and increase performance. Although being a strategic preferred marketing developer is not always easy. After reading this Business Insider Article, I learned about the company Syncapse, an enterprise social media marketing adviser, who went bankrupt after becoming overly dependent on their single client, Blackberry. Not only is it important to not focus on one business, but also not just one social media platform.
A SPMD can be one of the most valuable tools to your business, and here are some tips from the Facebook SPMD’s:
1.) Move Beyond Last Click Arbitration- there are multiple sales channels, the internet could just be for research
2.) Pre-Test Paid Media- serves as an analytic tool to reach customers more efficiently
3.) Measure Quality of Engagement- not just the amount of times exposed to message, but also the quality of the experience each time
4.) Understanding Facebook Activity in Emerging Markets- Facebook is a more powerful tool than ever and businesses need to use it
5.) Influencing Facebook Product Development- SPMD’s have a huge influence at Facebook, and have pushed for changes such as Facebook streamlining its paid media ad product lineby Dan Kehr with 2 comments
I have decided to switch the theme of my website from the original Delicate theme, to the “Adventure” theme by Eric Schwarz. I decided to go with this theme because I believe it is more visually appealing to he viewer and really personifies what I am trying to accomplish with this website. The goal of my site is for people to learn from my adventurous experiences and gain further insight into improving their lives. Right at the top of the home page it has my slogan of “Just some reasons why you should care which draws the reader into the site. I look to enlighten people through this site, and what better way to show that than with a sunset as my background.
I did not have too many issues with transferring over from the Delicate to Adventure theme, although I did lose the small thumbnail picture of myself that used to be shown at the top of my homepage. This is not a major issue because now instead of the thumbnail my name is shown big and large at the top of every page and also functions as a link to my homepage still giving viewers of the site that its focus is all on my experiences.by Dan Kehr with 4 comments
I am currently enrolled in MKTG 470 at JMU taught by Dr. Theresa B. Clarke. As one of the course requirements, all students will be completing some of the assignments as blog posts. This is my first official blog post for Dr. Clarke’s course in the JMU Department of Marketing.
Some specifics taught in this MKTG 470:
1.) Search Engine Optimization
3.) How to utilize social media and your website to target customers and what practices and procedures tailor towards each different target market.by Dan Kehr with 1 comment