The Official Kony2012 poster - click here to download their press kitI have always been fascinated with how fast things can spread on social media and how this can be used for social good. Recently a campaign has exploded online which I’m sure you have heard of by now – Kony 2012. It’s a campaign put on by the Invisible Children, a non profit organization in the US. They’ve sparked this campaign through a 30 minute video (see it embedded below). The video has only been out since Monday and its unbelievable what has come of it. As of Wednesday night they had over 15 million views (that’s only 3 days of it being online) with their YouTube and Vimeo video combine. And they’ve got people talking! Opinions are flying, sharing and liking and tweeting are going crazy in the social sphere. Read more…

At the most recent Victoria Web Marketing Meetup we had a full house as Gil Namur, President and Creator of the popular ezine LifeasaHuman.com presented his secrets behind building his successful website. The reason Gil was chosen to speak was because our Meetup membership showed great interest on WordPress and he had a mountain of knowledge to share after creating LifeasaHuman.com on the WordPress platform using StudioPress and taking it from zero traffic to 200,000 Quantified visits per month (add 30% to get a more accurate number says his tests).

Life as a Human has over 200k unique visitors per month!

In addition, I know Gil personally and was convinced he would give a great presentation and indeed he did. To that end, you can view his presentation in all its glory below. Read more…

The top web browser at this moment, otherwise known as the browser with the most market share online, is easily found using some really handy and freely available tools which I have listed starting a few lines below. That said, why bother?


What is the use of knowing what browsers are the most popular?

A collage of the 5 web browser logos with the most market share - Internet Explorer, FireFox, Chrome, Safari, Opera

Browser compatibility is usually the reason. You see every website created by a developer worth his/her salt will be cross browser compatible at the time it is launched; meaning it will look great on all of the top browsers at that time. The key point here is “it will look great at that time“; as a site gets older Internet technology does not stay the same and browsers are often upgraded which can leave once decent web sites looking lackluster or possibly broken when viewed in the latest browsers. In addition to enhancements in browsers causing problems, you could also be faced with an entirely new browser in the marketplace gaining massive traction (i.e. Google’s Chrome browser) which happens to render your website in ways you never intended.

TIP: If you are creating a business plan and trying to find out what web browser your  target market will be using then try viewing the browser data on Quantcast.com for a few websites which closely resemble your anticipated website; you may find other information in the reports helpful as well! Quantcast offers this information free but often times the data is estimated and not the most reliable – in those cases either keep looking for a site that is “Quantified” (logo on footer of page) at which point the data will be highly accurate or settle with the data you have.  There are other ways to get this data but I will leave that for another article; contact me if you wish for more details.

Read more…

Google announced earlier in the month that they will be making some changes to their quality score algorithm. They say that overall relevance and the quality of your destination URL will contribute more to your quality score than in before.  For the last 5 or so years Google has been making many changes to their quality score algorithm in regards to how much weight is appointed from the destination URL. The more relevant the landing page, the better the quality score resulting in a better performance from your account.

What will this do for My AdWords Account?

As long as you have been using relevant and quality destination URLs for your display ads, you should have nothing to worry about regarding your paid search account. Google says that relevant landing pages may even see a ‘strong boost’ when it comes to your display ads quality score. Read more…

Have you ever wondered how viewers respond to a particular movie or commercial? Does it retain an audience or do people leave straight away? Wouldn’t it be useful to know specifically what parts of a movie or commercial are popular so that your next video posting can be better than your previous?

Video Link: Humans vs. a can of Coke at high altitude

Within my own company, Applied Brain and Vision Sciences, we use StepForth’s web marketing savvy and tools like YouTube and Google Analytics to help us direct our own marketing approaches and help us identify market opportunities for technology development. One of the distinct advantages of having StepForth house my own company is our physical proximity to each other; there is a wonderful on-going cross-pollination of ideas and know-how.

Using The YouTube Insight Viewer Retainment ToolWe recently used the YouTube tool called “Insight” to quantify the success of one of our recent promotional campaigns for our high altitude research. The short-term goal of our project is simple: go where the oxygen availability is low and collect brain function and behavioral data. The long-term goal is a little more complicated. We will use the data to better understand how the brain works and how to develop better signal processing algorithms. First, however, it is important to raise public awareness about our project so that we don’t do all of this work in a vacuum (no pun intended) where nobody knows what we’re doing. Our means to raise public awareness was to create a video of us at high altitude that is exciting, humorous, and retains the attention of the audience. Read more…

It recently came to my attention that LinkedIn has a setting activated by default allowing it to “use my name, photo in social advertising.” Below is a screenshot of this setting in my LinkedIn profile.

A screenshot of Ross Dunn's LinkedIn settings showing the default setting which allows LinkedIn to use my name and photo in social advertising

First, I should state I understand this is a means of increasing social engagement and connection-making within LinkedIn. What I find problematic is LinkedIn’s flagrant disregard for our privacy by making such a setting default. If you feel the same way, here are the steps to disable this feature in your LinkedIn account, provided in graphical form:

LinkedIn Privacy Step 1: Under your name in the top right of your account click on “Settings” Read more…

An image of Micheal Blumenthal - aka Professor Maps because he is a Google Places ExpertOn their radio show, SEO 101 on WebmasterRadio.FM, Ross Dunn and John Carcutt had the opportunity to speak with Mike Blumenthal (AKA, “Professor Maps”); the guru of Google Places and blogger of “Understanding Google Maps and Local Search.”

If you are a business owner with a local presence, you are sure to find this 60 minute interview invaluable. Below is a summary of what was discussed. To listen the entire show, you can download it for free on iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/seo-101/id280183060

Important note: These interview highlights have been paraphrased unless quotes are used.  

Ross - Mike Blumenthal has spent the last 6 years studying Google Places; how it works and how it affects the entire local ecosystem.

John - He is known as Professor Maps because he literally knows everything there is to know about this. I am really excited to pick his brain today. Read more…

A photo of John Mueller - Google Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst

Ross Dunn and John Carcutt had the opportunity to speak with John Mueller, Senior Webmaster Trend Analyst from Google Switzerland, on their popular radio show, SEO 101 on WebmasterRadio.FM. In their exclusive 60 minute interview they covered topics including Google Webmaster Tools, the Plus One button,and Google+. Below are just some of the interview highlights.

To hear the entire show (it is well worth the listen) download it on iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/seo-101/id280183060.

Important note: These interview highlights have been paraphrased unless quotes are used.  

Dunn: John, you are a Google Switzerland Senior Webmaster Trend Analyst. What exactly does that entail?

Mueller: My primary role is to connect Webmasters with engineers at Google. I try to make sure everyone is speaking the same language and all the feedback we get from Webmasters  is communicated effectively to our engineers.

Dunn: How did you start working at Google? Read more…

The logo for the Victoria Web Marketing MeetupIn the latest Victoria Web Marketing Meetup we chose to do a night featuring live reviews of websites owned by attendees. The idea was to answer any pressing questions for at least 3 site owners while educating (or refreshing) the rest of the Meetup crowd. It was a lot of fun and although we had fully planned for a break half way through the 2 hour session the questions just kept coming and I decided to keep up the momentum… I would like to think attendees got a lot out of it. Anyway, below are a few of the issues I noted on the reviewed sites along with some answers provided for anyone who missed the evening or wants access to the URLs mentioned. I hope you find it useful.

1. How to optimize your website for local search

In this situation the website provided a local service but did not have its address located in the footer of each page on the site. I strongly recommended updating the footer to include the name address and phone number (AKA N.A.P) for the company because it would increase the odds the site would appear in local search results on Google. I also stressed the importance of using the same formatting for the address everywhere on the site and the Internet to maximize the likelihood Google & Bing would give them credit for their address. Read more…

 

There are so many invaluable charities doing amazing work but needing help either with finding volunteers, funding, publicity, and overall visibility. With tight budgets, traditional marketing is becoming more and more difficult. However, creating a presence online can cost nothing more than time, and if you have the right online tools and education it makes things a whole lot easier.

This past April, StepForth’s CEO, Ross Dunn, traveled across BC with Sociability’s Terri Davies and Accent Inn’s John Espley to present to charities and non-profits about improving their visibility online; this is Ross’s second year as a featured speaker on this charity road tour. This event, called “Charity in Changing Times,” was sponsored by Accent Inns “InnAid” initiative designed to educate charities on marketing themselves through social platforms.

This event covered:

  • Tips to improve your website
  • How to set up a Facebook and Twitter account
  • Social media etiquette and strategies
  • Tools for tracking and monitoring your online activity
  • Successful case studies of charities implementing social media campaigns

Read more…