Saturday, February 28, 2009
How an orange soda company reaches the masses through search engine marketing is another interesting topic for discussion and debate. SEM stands for search engine marketing and this is a vital factor and element of any meaningful long-term SEO strategy. The list of how one accomplishes SEM is extensive and increasing nearly monthly it seems. The notion that one wants to get their orange soda services and soft drinks to the public at large is a fundamental consideration for all the companies considered here, and how they choose to accomplish this says a lot about them.
Some of the main areas of traditional marketing have been print and television advertising. Yet, as times change, companies must adapt and change with them in order to stay current and continue to reach the youth demographic. One of the realities in this trend towards new avenues of marketing is SEM, or search engine marketing. The way that Orange Soda SEM , or search engine marketing works, involves an orange soda soft drink company such as Sunkist, increasing their online search and marketing exposure through the utilization of various tactics.
One of the services that these orange soda services can use is social book-marking. Some of the fastest growing sectors on the Internet are social bookmark sites and community sharing sites. This aspect of the online world is particularly vibrant and growing within the youth sector of the market, something not lost upon today’s companies. A simple Digg or favorite from a web surfer, can have beneficial effects for a website for both SEO and SEM purposes.
How do you know if a soft drink Orange Soda company is doing great SEO or inferior SEO. One of the simplest ways to tell is to do some simple google searches to see how they rank naturally for terms related to their services and industry. If a company only ranks naturally for a few keywords, this should at least cause you to pause and reflect upon this. If a company cannot get consistent top rankings for industry-related terms, than how can they claim to be a real SEO company?
Also, if an orange soda seo focused company stresses that their primary focus is long-term SEO, than their own site should naturally be geared towards this end. If their website is not set up to get long-term SEO results, how can they help you? One way to tell this is if the company seems to have very few "content" pages. Why is this a red flag? Well, put simply, long-term SEO requires a culmination of efforts and circumstances, one of which is significant content and copy creation and implementation. If a company seems to only have one a few pages bescribing their services, and doesn't really seem to be targeting difficult to attain SEO terms, what exactly are they doing? They are probably focusing upon sales-driven SEO and are unconcerned with their natural keyword rankings, and even less concerned with helping you achieve yours.
Friday, February 27, 2009
When it comes to optimizing websites for terms in the soft drink industry, there are those that know what they are doing, and those that do not. How to tell the difference between the two is not always that simple or clear, especially for the layperson. That is the focus of much of this blog. In a way, this blog is an exercise in SEO, not that unlike the pretty cool dude over at purple widgets, albeit this term has a lot more people gunning for it. Alas, what fun is there if there is no challenge involved in a task – the greater the effort and difficulty, the greater the feeling of righteous achievement and reward. Also, I have plenty of time on my hands in my spare time, and even more SEO skills, so let’s see where we can get this snowball rolling, shall we. The orange soda fizz has begun. Google, you fickle mistress of mass media, here we come.
It is obvious that some of the orange soda search engine optimization going on is somewhat less than stellar. There are several indicators that will let you know if an SEO company can help you get terms related to your industry – in this example we have selected the soft drink market, but the standards remain largely similar regardless of the niche one is targeting. While none of these “markers” alone indicates that something is amiss, when they start adding up it is safe to assume that you may actually be in the process of being “taken” by a
search engine optimization company that knows less than you do. The 5 main “red alert” points that I have discovered (in my 6-7 years of in-depth experience in SEO and SEM writing copy and content for several industry-leaders such as Stubhub) repeatedly being utilized by bad and inferior search engine optimization companies are outlined below. Any two or more of these experienced by you in dealing with your search engine optimization company SHOULD cause you to ask more questions and expect real answers. Please, for your own sake, have a look at the following:
- Do you have trouble getting to the “SEO team.” While this is understandable at some large SEO firms in dealing with their smaller clients, things are not always so clear. If you pay 25 or 50 dollars a month for a basic monthly “submission” or “get started” package, obviously the Vice President of Search is NOT going to get on the phone with you on a daily basis. However, if you begin paying upwards of the hundreds of dollars per month, and you still have to deal nearly exclusively with the “support” team or customer service – this is a BIG RED FLAG. SEO and SEM should be a continuing work in progress involving a clear line of communication between you and a viable seo team. If they do not have the time to talk to you about your campaign in some detail it likely means one of two things. Firstly, it could mean that they are not actively working on your campaign in any meaningful capacity and hope you are too naïve to know this and continue your monthly stipend to them – they suspect you will be happy to see their “monthly report” that details meaningless keywords attained or terms in “quotes.” No one searches for terms in quotes and while we said you need two markers to be suspicious – asking you to search terms with the name of your company and/or related terms in quotes counts as two - ask why you are doing this – who searches in quotes? They will not have an answer. Secondly, a failure to put you on the phone with a member of the SEO team means that their SEO scam may be wholly sales driven with little actual knowledge or skill to back it up. Their biggest fear is that they will be “found out” by one of their clients. The best way to avoid this is to put up as many barriers and obstacles to your getting a chance to have any meaningful conversation with someone actually working on your campaign. If they keep stressing that they are getting your concerns to the SEO team, or are waiting for a google update to see what’s up, something is in fact up.
Do you keep getting moved around? This is a tactic used by some bad seo companies to keep you off your toes, and to buy them time to “show” you evidence of their work that an eighth grader could do by submitting to a few completely free directories. You should have a contact person who actually returns your e-mails within 24-48 hours. These e-mails MUST say more than “let me check with the SEO team”, or “I will try and have someone get back to you.”
Do they try to avoid putting their SEO people on the phone with you (if you are knowledgeable) or your SEO team? My business partner and I have been at this SEO thing for several years, and much of what we have learned we have learned by schmoozing and exchanging clean, working, innovative, SEO tactics and techniques with others – even among our VERY competitors across the U.S. from Las Vegas to New Jersey.
We (Yes, mainly you Rick lol) have achieved consistent natural rankings (top 10 Google) for some of the absolute most competitive terms in the gambling and online gaming industry such as “buy nfl picks”, “get nfl picks”, “free nfl picks”, “free sports picks”, and “buy sports picks”, among dozens of others. We have even gotten some pretty cool secondary terms to make $$$ through commission like “sell nfl tickets” and “sell Superbowl tickets.” While we are NOT the largest online gaming-related site by any means, many of the largest players pay US to advertise upon our sites largely because of our impressive and highly targeted keyword ranking list in Google. This was accomplished largely through a concerted effort and considerable quality, keyword-rich content creation (yes, content is still king). Yet, a key component in our success also derives directly from developing a network of contacts within the industry, both big and small.
We have connects at everywhere from a couple large Las Vegas operations with gleaming parquet floors and banks of fast-talking sports guys on the phone, to a New Jersey-based gaming site that is essentially 4 or 5 talented SEO guys that kick-ass on some really amazing keywords in major search engines. If your SEO company seems to not want to talk to you about good and bad SEO tactics and techniques, what are you paying them for? Read number 4 below for a related issue that expands on this notion.
Does your SEO company claim that they cannot show you certain results do to the fact that they are “trade secrets.” Please read this, as there is a clear disparity between the legitimate claim of trade secret and the use of this legalese as a shield against showing you any real results. First, in order to understand how and why an SEO company may wish or even need to protect certain trade secrets, one must understand what a trade secret is. A trade secret can simply be described as the means or methods by which the SEO Company achieves their results and gives you value and consideration (services) for your money. Example - if you pay for an SEO company to do link-building and they agree to utilize their connections or abilities at Wiki and social book-marking sites to get you say, 100 links, certain trade secret considerations may rightly come into play. First, they will not want to tell you how they get these links – the process they use to get approval as an editor at a particular Wiki or E-zine, or the people they know their, may very well constitute a trade secret as this constitutes the means and methods by which they will GET you the links and show you results. HOWEVER, if they tell you that they cannot show you where the links you paid for are by sending you the actual, liveurls where you show up, or they claim their “list” that they submit to is secret, something is very wrong indeed.
Yes, their directory “list” is in fact secret to an extent. This alone is not wrong or improper in and of itself by any means. They would rightfully surely not mass-distribute who or where they submit their clients’ urls to in order to get them links and results. This would make the value that they provide their paying clients with lessened, and available to the public at large. However, once you become a paying client you SHOULD have access to their list in respect to your level of payment. Meaning, if you pay $100 per month, you should get a list of the links that they have placed for each given month. Similarly, if you pay them $300 per month, you should get a pretty cool list to tear through. If they cannot show you the urls yet (as they may very well not have indexed yet or been approved by the respective directory), they should tell you the main url of each directory you have been submitted to – this way you can check later to see if you have actually been indexed. This helps you determine how the company is doing. If they were actually doing what they are telling you, they would not mind this at all. Meaning, if they send you a list of 18 directories that they listed you in that given month, and 3-4 weeks later you see that 8 have been accepted and/or indexed already – they are doing A-OK. However, if they send you the list of 18 and 5 weeks later only 2 have indexed or been accepted, it calls into question what exactly they are doing. If they submit that amount and only get 2 links it means you may “pay” for 100-200 submissions over a time and only get a handful of links. This likely means they do NOT have connections at Wiki, social book-marking or E-zine places, and they are just throwing your url in some links. This is something YOU could do with a very base level of knowledge and 20-30 minutes every other night – and you may very well see better results as you will spend more time writing unique meta and description information.
Does the company not seem to offer more personalized services even if you “up” the budget spend? If you say, “I want to deal with the SEO team directly, what will it cost or take”, and they tell you that just “isn’t how they work”, that is a HUGE red flag regarding possible bad seo and perhaps worse. It is anathema to most seo-motivated companies' business model if they will not do this as most major clients WILL have SEO help already and are looking to bring them on as another tool in their SEO and SEM arsenal. If they will not talk to you and you are paying in the hundreds, it means that they likely will not get on the phone with their “larger” clients’ SEO team directly who are paying in the thousands. Again, this speaks to their fear that you or your in-house SEO team will be able to “feel out” their inexperience or even incompetence. A consistent failure to put you on with the SEO team if you pay anything beyond a nominal fee is perhaps the single largest red-flag there is. If their “SEO team” does not feel comfortable talking to you about your SEO objectives and goals, you should not feel comfortable with them handling any aspects of your SEO. After all, if someone came to re-face your house, you would want to discuss exactly what he or she is going to do and what you can expect upon completion of your project. You certainly would not “take their word for it” or just “trust them” with the project, without discussing who is going to do what, when, and how. The same should be true of your SEO goals and objectives. The bottom line is the best way to avoid getting sucked into a bad seo scam is to look at the company overall with respect to the factors listed above. If something does not seem right, it probably isn’t. Always, bear in mind that money and advertising do NOT necessarily equate with knowledge and skill. The Internet is the new Wild West, and also the great equalizer, giving the little guy the chance to try and compete with industry giants. Yet, it also affords less than savory SEO companies the opportunity to utilize their budgets to get big and/or knowledgeable clients that they cannot help in any meaningful way. If you even suspect that you may know more about SEO and SEM than the SEO guy you are talking to – run, don’t walk. After all, if you were at the doctor and began to suspect you were roughly upon his or her level with respect to your ailment, you would certainly head to another doctor – and rightfully so.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
This is perhaps one of the most interesting considerations undertaken by this blog. This post will examine:
- Who are the major Orange Soda Companies selling orange soda drinks online and retail?
- What do they do to optimize for orange soda?
- How do they fare in relation to each other?
The discrepancies between the size of some of the orange soda companies and their respective positions for this key term, indicate that as many already know, good SEO cannot always be bought just anywhere. Obviously, Sunkist presumably has a far greater budget than some of the smaller orange soda companies we will be considering, yet many of these still compete for key terms. The answer to how this is accomplished is part and parcel of the very reasoning behind this blog.
Alas, the Internet is truly the new Wild West, and it seems that alot of SEO companies are pulling out their pistols and putting on their badges, but when the shooting starts they are packing nothing but duds. In other words, many seo companies are all show and no go, so to speak. Orange soda companies would do well to avoid these fly by night fraud and bad seo propogators.
Given some of the results you can see below, some of the biggest orange soda companies have been getting less than primo seo. Example #1 is fan-favorite Sunkist, have a look at that train wreck and the other sites listed below.
There are many reasons why a soda company would optimize their website for the term "orange soda" using seo tactics. The first would be if a company sells orange soda. This is referenced in an earlier post in greater detail. Obviously, it is possible that a soda distributor or even venture capitalist would search for the term looking to either buy it in bulk or otherwise work with it. One would naturally want to be at the top of the serps for this reason alone.
As just mentioned, there is another reason that a person or company may want to "get" the term orange soda. This is simply because they enjoy the refreshing taste and flavor, and wish to spread the orange love to the world at large. Others who share in this opinion could be brought together via infinity of cyberspace, and together perhaps they could even turn the world orange, or something. Maybe they could gather outside the pentagon and get it to levitate, causing the LOST tv show effect in which it would turn back to the early 1980's, before there even was seo, when orange soda was the single best-selling soft drink in America.
This notion of bringing similarly minded individuals together spawned such game-changing urls as facebook and myspace, which we now refer to as spacebook as it seems myspace has been swallowed up by facebook in all but the 16-18 year old female demographic. But, that is another story entirely. Orange soda enthusiasts here we come.
Crush soda's official site is also a top 15 google find but is hard to find. Why? Well, for one crush is now owned by Dr, Pepper. And secondly, they don't use optimal seo to get the term orange soda, duh. Crush.com is not even an orange soda site - weird huh? In fact, hometownfavorites.com, a company hawking the stuff by the case, shows up in fron of the official site. Hometownfavorite's page is optimized for "orange crush soda" in the keyword meta data. Further, whereas many official orange soda sites are flash and barely visible to the serps, hometownfavorite's site utlilizes h1, h2's and even h3's. Clearly, their seo is getting them better results for orange soda.
Orange Soda SEO soft drink tactics
There are many companies that sell orange soda and optimize their websites for seo as well. One of these is Sunkistsoda.com. That is the main website for Sunkist, the famous orange soda company. In 1980, Sunkist was not only the best selling orange soda, but the best selling soda period for that year in the United States! But that it another story.
Anyways, Sunkist optimizes for almost nothing as there main site requires you to click into a text-only site that loads after 3 minutes then has no keywords listed in the page source -lol -how does this still happen with big companies. Anyways, the content is optimized for orange soda and google blesses them with the 4 spot - probably because people searching for orange soda are looking for that and click it etc etc, and 2, their site is grandfathered in.