A HIPPO Internet Marketing Training blog by Corey Creed

The Jungle Map, your guide through internet marketing

What Google Wants You to Care About

May 10th, 2010

Google now has a new feature that gives some interesting insight into what they care about.  More accurately, it shows what they want YOU to care about.

To see it, login to your Google Webmaster Tools account.  (Don’t have one?  Go signup now.)  Then, choose the website you have decent rankings and traffic for, and choose YOUR SITE ON THE WEB > SEARCH QUERIES.  See screenshot below.

Google Webmaster Tools

The resulting screen should look like this.

SIDE NOTE:  The screen shot is for this blog (www.TheJungleMap.com).  Please understand that search engine rankings are not what I’m trying for with this blog.  (In other words, I rank for a lot of strange things that I never meant to.  I also don’t rank for things I would like to – because I’ve never tried.)  Your results will hopefully look a lot different.  (My other sites do, I assure you.)

GWT - Search Queries3

Important points to note

1.  Google shows your AVERAGE position
In other words, ranking reports are not that valuable.  Just because Web Position Gold (or some other ranking checker) reports that you are ranked #2 does not mean you always do.  Rankings vary by time, geo-location, and many other factors that fluctuate.

2.  Google shows your CTR (Click Thru Rate) before position
Honestly, we all need to stop caring about our rankings.  Good SEOs know this.  Ranking #1 does not mean you get the click, let alone the conversion.  A lower ranking can get good clicks.  Other times, a top ranking will get no clicks.

What Google wants you to care about…

Google’s clear message here is that you should focus less on specific rankings and start focusing on getting the click.  This has been the message of Google’s advertising program (AdWords) and now the message is migrating to natural search.

By the way, Google has always wanted users to click on Ads in Google.  (No surprise.  AdWords is how they make 97% of their income.)  They encourage us to write ads that people will click on by emphasizing CTR as the goal.

But now the message is being extended to your natural listings.  They want you to care more about getting the click.  How?  Mostly, by writing better title tags and description tags which will encourage users to click on your listings over your competitors. 

NOTE:  Good SEOs have known for years now that title tag writing is not just about rankings.

What you should care about…

As interesting (and yet not surprising) as this new development is, don’t be too fooled. 

Google is trying to make their search engine the best it can be.  They want users to love the results they get on Google.  Clearly, if users are happy with Google, they keep coming.  If the users keep coming, you keep advertising.  Simple as that.

But as online marketers and website owners, your emphasis should not just move from trying to get a top ranking to trying to get more clicks.  Rather, your goal should be to get the conversion (sale, signup, etc).

The ranking is important.  The click is important.  But the sale is most important.

Remember, search engines don’t have wallets.  People do.

What’s next…

If you want to know exactly which keywords convert into sales, and then how to get the RIGHT rankings and clicks, the best tool you could have is a good Google AdWords campaign.  It’s the starting point for successful search rankings that bring profits.  Done right, AdWords can teach you exactly which phrases bring in the money.

I know.  I do it for my e-commerce sites all the time.

(Pardon the shameless promotion, but our Google AdWords class is this  Thursday and Friday if you want to learn exactly how.)

Pictures of Our New Office

May 5th, 2010

We moved to our new office on March 30, 2010.  The building is just behind Lowes at 9820 Northcross Center Court, Huntersville, NC and has several other quality companies in it.

As I posted earlier, the main reason we moved was due to the excellent opportunity not only to save money, but to have free access to several extra rooms that will be used nicely for our classes, client meetings, and other future functions.  (Stay tuned for announcements on that.)

Here are some pictures.  To start with, I have booked all of our classes for the rest of the year in this classroom.  (Pretty nice, eh?)  We had our first one last month when Brandon Uttley and I had 8 students for our Social Media training class.

9820-Northcross-TrainingCenter

The front lobby looks like this…

9820-Northcross-Lobby

9820-Northcross-Lobby2

We also have a “library” that can be used to meet with clients…

9820-Northcross-Library

And this room is setup more as a conference room (including projector)…

9820-Northcross-ConferenceRoom

But the room I’m most excited about is the “ballroom”. 
It can easily be setup to seat over 100 people with tables.

9820-Northcross-Ballroom

What do you think?  Nice, eh?

Got any ideas of what I could do with all these rooms?

I know I do.  Look out 2011!  Big things may be coming up.

Why I’m not attending Charlotte BarCamp (and you should)

April 9th, 2010

If you live anywhere near Charlotte, North Carolina, you need to think about attending the BarCamp being held this Saturday, April 9, 2010.

What is a BarCamp? Click here.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make Charlotte BarCamp 3.  I have too much going on and need to spend the weekend catching up on some things.  I’m looking forward to spending some time with my wife and other personal endeavors, too.

However, I had a fantastic time meeting people and presenting various topics at the first two. 

At Charlotte BarCamp 2009 is where I gave my first presentation on “How to Make Money Online”.  It was the 2nd most highest voted session of the day.  That was back in January 2009 and the Twitter session was the only one that beat it.  (I was on a little panel with Jason Keath and Lisa Hoffmann for that panel.  Those were the early days of Twitter.)

My session was a two-part session.  I turned it into an online audio clip that you can listen to on this site.  I explained how to make money by e-commerce here and how to make money by creating content here.

At Charlotte BarCamp 2, I gave a new presentation on How to Market Anything Online.  I have not posted that one online yet.  But I will someday, I’m sure.  It also was the 2nd highest voted session and had a huge turnout.

I hope you all have a great time this weekend.  I hope to see you at the next one.  They seem to come around twice per year now.

If you have the time available, Charlotte BarCamp is a great way to meet new people and learn new things free.  Enjoy!

Social Media Marketing Training – April 15, 16

April 9th, 2010

Just as a reminder, Brandon Uttley and I are teaching our Social Media Marketing class next week on Thursday and Friday.  You can read the details here and register here.

The class will be held in our new facility in Huntersville, NC.  I’ll have more pictures and details of the classroom soon.  (It’s really nice.)

iAd – Apple Dropped the Advertising Bomb on Google!

April 9th, 2010

With all the excitement and press going on about the iPad, you may have missed the big announcement yesterday.  But if you are involved in any way with Internet marketing, this is a HUGE one.  In my opinion, it is the biggest news we have heard this year in online marketing.

Apple has created it’s own advertising platform for the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad.  It is called iAd.  This is not just a method for showing ads.  It is a full-blown advertising platform. 

This has the potential to be as big or bigger than Google AdWords!

Google-VS-AppleThink Google AdWords – for apps.

Does Google AdWords makes a lot of money?  Uh…  Yea!  Facts are, 98% of all revenue for Google comes from their AdWords advertising program.  In other words, it financially supports EVERYTHING Google does…  Google search, Gmail, Docs, Apps, Wave, Chrome, Blogger, Picasa, News, Books, Maps, Earth & Mars, Buzz, and everything else.

Google has a market value of 200 Billion USD!  Almost ALL of their money comes from Google AdWords.  It’s why Microsoft is promoting their search engine (Bing) so hard.  They want a piece of that huge money.

But Apple has taken a different approach.  Instead of gunning for advertising on SEARCH, they have built an entirely different advertising platform.  Their advertising platform will be for APPS, which is even bigger and more profitable than SEARCH.

IAdSteve Jobs thinks so. 
(He may be right.)

If you have not watched the Apple 4 Event yesterday, you need to – right now.  You will hear him speak very directly about how the future is mobile.  And on the mobile phone, it’s not about SEARCH, it’s about APPS.  (He’s right.)

Click here and go directly to the 45:00 mark.

In it, Steve Jobs does the math to show the opportunity for 1 BILLION ad impressions per day, using his new platform.  Why?  Google is known to perform 1 BILLION searches per day. 

Coincidence?  I doubt it.

With this new platform, instead of competing with Google AdWords, Apple has made their own platform that will be just as large and just as profitable.

Think Facebook or Twitter have an opportunity to monetize with Ads?  What Apple is doing will blow it away.  Keep watching the video and notice the interaction and video that is involved in the ad.  This thing is HUGE.

I’m not an Apple fan-boy.

For my regular readers, you know I’m not a big huge fan of Apple products.  However, I do love my iPod Touch.  (I also want an iPad.  They look cool.)

But this advertising platform will be the primary advertising tool for iPhones, iPods, and iPads.  It is a HUGE opportunity.  I strongly suggest that you start paying attention to this space if you have not already. 

If you are a blogger, content creator, online marketer, or sell anything online…  This is your chance.  Don’t blow it.

If you don’t have a simple iPhone app already, go make one immediately.  You can use a simple service such as Mobile Roady to get going quickly and cheaply.  Start getting users and be ready to either put ads on your app or get people to download your app by advertising it on other apps.

For those of us that look back longingly at the “good ole days” of getting very cheap advertising on Google AdWords (and Overture), this is your chance.  Get in early to this new platform and it will likely start out cheap.  Capitalize early, because it won’t last long.  Prices will rise fast.

Finally finished moving

April 2nd, 2010

Over the last few days we moved our office from Cornelius to Huntersville, NC.  We really enjoyed being with Andy Pipas at Pipas Chiropractor since June 2007.  But this opportunity was too good to pass up.

Our new location is about the same size but offers very high-end professional training rooms for no additional cost.  The main reason we moved was because it was too good to pass up.  (This place is REALLY nice!)  So now we’re here for a minimum of 15 months.

I can’t wait to share the pictures with all of you, but I can’t find my camera yet.  I’m pretty much unpacked, but it took several days to get everything moved and setup.  All four of us are now up and running.

At the same time as the move my designer got sick, my lead web guy went on vacation, we transferred our e-commerce sites to dedicated hosting, and I’ve been in discussions with two amazing businesses for projects that are extremely interesting.  (One is for an iPhone app and the other is for social media with a very large company.)  I’m also still trying to drive my current internal project with full force.

Today is Friday.  I’m very ready for the weekend.

(I’ll get some pictures posted of the new place soon.)

My StomperNet Review – What is StomperNet?

March 18th, 2010

StomperNet LogoWhat is StomperNet?

I’ve been getting that question for years.

StomperNet is often misunderstood.  In fact, some actually have some strong feelings against it, even though they have never experienced it.

So I’m writing this information to give the actual facts, as I know them.  The official StomperNet websites and web pages tend to be very long, scrolling copy.  So I’ll try to answer some questions here (briefly)…

What is StomperNet?  What do they offer?

As of March 2010, StomperNet is owned by Brad Fallon, a well-known Internet marketer.  He is well known not only for his success in e-commerce, but for having excellent connections with other high-end online marketers.

Primarily, they offer a StomperNet Membership* for $197 per month.  It gives you access to training, coaching, masterminds, & tools for Internet marketing.  It includes some level of access to over 20 very smart “faculty members” that have various backgrounds in online marketing.  (NOTE:  I’m not a member.)

StomperNet Live Pages 3StomperNet also offers a monthly magazine called “The Net Effect*.  It costs $50 per month and offers information on Internet marketing, catering mostly to those involved in e-commerce.  (NOTE:  I’m a subscriber.)

Thirdly, they have an annual event called “StomperNet Live*.  This year is the ninth one (SNL9) and it is being held in Atlanta on March 25 to 28, 2010.  It costs $197 to attend and includes one free month of the membership.  (NOTE:  I attended SNL7 last year as a guest.)

Lastly, they have various other side initiatives that you can buy into for additional costs.  For example, they are now offering something for marketing via mobile phone.  They also tend to promote and link to others products outside StomperNet.  These are known as Joint Venture partners (JV partners).

What Others Say about StomperNet

Many intelligent Internet marketers are very comfortable and familiar with talking about Aaron Wall of SEO Book, Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz, Brett Tabke of PubCon and WebmasterWorld, Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Strategies and SMX, and others.

Yet, when it comes to StomperNet, there is a different attitude and feel towards it.  It seems to be more of an insiders club.  Perhaps it is because of the way it is marketed.  I’m not sure.

Overall, there are plenty of opinions out there about StomperNet, especially from those that have never experienced it.  For example, I have heard local people in Charlotte complain that they are spammers and that they can’t be trusted.  That has not been my personal experience so far.

They have recently lowered the price considerably in an effort to be considered more mainstream.  But personally, I think the style of emails they send and the long form copy on their websites (although effective) tends to give them a certain reputation.

Among those that are actual members, the comments are very positive.

Is StomperNet Expensive?

It’s not as expensive as it used to be!  It used to cost about $800 per month.  That’s right, almost $10K per year.  But the price changed dramatically on September 9, 2009 (aka 09/09/09).

Even at $10K per year, many of the actual Stompers (that’s what they call StomperNet members) did not complain.  In attending the SNL7, some are clearly there as a hobby.  But many others are legitimate businesses owners getting good, practical advice in solid Internet marketing principles.  For them, the cost was well worth it, even before it dropped.

Personally, I have been reading The Net Effect for a year and a half.  Let’s face it, $50 per magazine each month is not cheap.  But because my business is primarily e-commerce, I still feel it is worth it.  I have not found any more practical info that will improve my business more that this magazine.  (Honest!)

As for StomperNet Live, the price is downright cheap.  Under $200 for a three-day conference on Internet marketing is very good.  The speakers and site reviews are excellent.  Hotels in Atlanta are not cheap.  But other than that, it’s definitely worth $197.

What is StomperNet Live like?

I attended SNL7 in March 2009.  Overall the event was enjoyable and enlightening.  Some of it seemed a little haphazard.  For example, some speakers seemed fairly unprepared and ran overtime often.  But it was still good.  Some have told me this year will not be that way due to a change in ownership.

I met some very interesting people.  In particular, I enjoyed meeting some other businesses that specialize in e-commerce locally here in Charlotte, NC.  We’ve stayed in touch ever since.

Who should try StomperNet?

It’s definitely not for everyone.  If you have a legitimate online business and want to take it to the next level, this may a great opportunity for you.

To be honest, the value is there.  It is.  The hard part is knowing if you have the time to absorb and use it.  After all, if you are going to shell out the cash for this info, you will want to make the time to practice and work on what you learn.

If you can make the time to work ON your business instead of IN your business, this is a great choice.

Then again, if you find Internet marketing interesting and want to come for fun (as a hobby), go for it.  But that’s not me.  This is not a hobby, it’s what I do to make money for a living.

Why I’m not a Stomper

As mentioned earlier, I do read The Net Effect.  I also have attended StomperNet Live.  But I am not a full StomperNet member.  Not yet, at least.

It’s not because there is not enough value.  There is.  I just have some other projects I am working on first.  As I’ve mentioned on other posts, I have some very significant projects that are taking much of my time right now.  So I have not bothered becoming a full blown StomperNet member.

As for StomperNet Live, I’m still undecided.  The timing is not good for me this year.  So if I can’t make it, I will definitely make the next one.

LINKS:  Here are the links to StomperNet, StomperNet Live, and The Net Effect.

NOTE:  Are you a Stomper?  Have opinions about StomperNet?
Got a question?  Leave it in the comments below.
I’d love you hear your thoughts.

* Note:  As a full FTC disclosure, some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  But the information is the honest truth as I know it.  If you know me, you know this is true.

Google – Something to think about

March 11th, 2010

I’m a big fan of Google.  But here’s a little three minute video that might make you wonder if they are starting to go too far.

What do you think?  Are they starting to go too far?

Thursday Night – Watch In-Person or Online

March 3rd, 2010

Thursday, March 4 at 6:30 PM I will be giving a free presentation titled…

“How to Get a LOT More Done Online – in less time”

Global_12815672As I mentioned before, it took me 2 years to gather the information for this presentation.  You can signup to attend in person here.

However, the organizer (Keith Schilling) has kindly volunteered to make the live Ustream available to all for free.  All you will need to do is click this link.  (Currently it is password protected.  It won’t be that evening.)

I sincerely hope you can attend in person.  But if not, please be near a computer Thursday, March 4 and click the link to watch live.

PS:  The 6:30 time may actually be for networking.  I think the actual presentation will start at 7:00 PM.  I’ll try to confirm that.

Spend 2 Days With Me. I’ll give you $200.

February 21st, 2010

I normally charge $100 per hour for Internet marketing consulting.  But this week, I’m doing something special.

I’m teaching a class on Thursday and Friday specifically about Google AdWords.  I know this stuff and I know how to make money with it.  I’ve been a certified Google AdWords Professional for several years.  I created my first account in 2002 and I still manage that same account and make money with it.

I honestly think that almost every business can make money by spending a specific and budgeted amount on Google AdWords.  I also firmly believe that almost all SEO work should start with a small amount of Google AdWords.  It’s the BEST Keyword Research in the world.  I show how in this class.

It will be held in the training room at our office and I sincerely hope you can make it.  So here’s my offer…

If you come spend 2 days with me learning how to build and/or refine your Google AdWords campaigns, I have two $100 Google AdWords coupons I will give you for free.  You can use them on new accounts.

After the class, you’ll know exactly how to turn them into even more money for your business.

There’s only one catch.  The class costs $299.  But even at that rate, once you get the $200 in coupons, you’re really paying less than $50 per day for training.

I guarrantee it will be worth it to you.  You can register here.