Internet Marketing Tools for SEO: Free SEO Tools, Best Ones, and Hey What are We Doing?

Question: How does SEO or Social Media "fit" into the wider aspects of marketing communications? Shouldn’t one’s Google strategy be embedded in part of one’s larger marketing and PR strategy?

– Answer –
By Jason McDonald, Ph.D.

Although I mainly focus on SEO (search engine optimization), I teach a wide-ranging course on Advertising and PR (public relations) at DeVry University, here in the San Francisco Bay Area. My students there, as well as my clients across the Web, integrate their SEO efforts into a broader Internet strategy, and then that strategy into a broader marketing strategy. There are some great Internet tools out there – so, here are my thoughts and some pointers to cool tools for Internet marketing.

Internet Marketing as Part of Integrated Marketing Communications

When I begin a class on SEO, advertising, marketing research – anything, I am a big believer in defining one’s goals. Too few companies engage in this exercise. What does your company do? What is your target customer? And what is your unique "value proposition" for that customer? If and only if you have a clear value statement and a clear vision of your (potential customers), can you do any effective marketing at all.

So step one is to clearly identify your goals and value proposition. Step two is to define a media strategy both PR and advertising. What is the message? What are the media? Should you use print media, trade shows, Google / search engines / SEO, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, social media? Create and define a media strategy. Then, circle back to integrate all your efforts among the search engines, real-world media, and social media…

Two Free Tools for Keywords: Google and Twitter

After that, for SEO purposes, you want to become "customer centric." By that, I mean you need to put yourself in your customer / potential customer’s shoes, and look at the world through his or her eyes. This is particularly true for Google but it is also true for social media. Why is that? Because people search by keywords, and people Tweet and follow hash tags by keywords – so first, and foremost, you must figure out the keywords your customers use, not just the ones you think that they might use.

How do you do this? Here are two of my favorite free tools.

  • Google Keyword Tool – this is the grand daddy of all keyword tools. You can sort by Global Search Volume, and also use the tool to view PPC (pay-per-click) advertising data (click on options). Both of these give you powerful insights into what people are searching for by volume, and what vendors are willing to pay by click.
  • Hashtags.org – Twitter is all about Hashtags. Use this Twitter tool to identify what people are conversing about, and then you can back engineer who is a big Twitterer for your domain. Selling Zhu Zhu pets? Search for that keyword, identify hashtags (think, "Twitter Conversations"), and then browse Tweets and Twitterers that fit your target market.

SEO Link-building, News, and and Blogs

Another big issue in ICM is leveraging not just advertising but PR (public relations). In today’s media environment, this means a focus on who is linking to your company, who is writing news about it, and who is blogging. Identifying blog or news targets can be a daunting task. After all, how do you figure out who might be a blogger?

Here is a list of media targets for your ICM strategy:

  • Customers – getting customers to write about your products: priceless.
  • Partners – arm twist your partners (suppliers), and have them blog, write, link to you.
  • Bloggers – the blogosphere is replacing what is left of traditional media, so leverage the blogosphere to be company-friendly. And, browse the blogospher for negative feedback so you are not caught unsurprised!
  • News – beyond traditional media, most outlets have their own websites. In addition, news services can post your news for free, or at low cost, and thereby leverage your media strategy.

How can you identify who is talking about you? One tactic is to use hashtags.org – at least for Twitter. But did you know that Google has a blog search? Here’s how you do it:

  1. Go to Google.com
  2. Enter your target keyword / keyphrase
  3. Under the more tab, use the pull down and select "blog"
  4. Presto! You are now searching blogs.
  5. Go to each blog and find out if this might be a valuable target for a "blog outreach" PR effort!

Here is a screenshot:

Google Blog Search for Internet Marketing

Beyond that, you can also do a search for news – its on the top bar of Google. Again, you can use this to identify news outlets and other media that carry news on your keywords. You can target both the outlets and PR services for your PR / Internet Marketing efforts. Throughout, your goal is to integrate your "real-world" marketing efforts with those of your "Internet" marketing efforts. In today’s blog post, I showed you just a few free tools on how to do this.

Hope this helps!

Youtube Video Series Announced: Top Ten SEO Tools – the Youtube Edition

Fremont, CA – October 19, 2009 – Jason McDonald, a leading expert in SEO Training, has announced that his latest free webinar, "The Top Ten Free SEO Tools" has been posted to his SEO Channel on Youtube. Dr. McDonald’s latest Online SEO Course begins on October 30, 2009, with the free webinar re-cast in real-time, live, with the goal of helping busy marketers and businesspeople get to the top of Google search results.

Find out more @ Jason’s Youtube Channel on Search Engine Optimization.

"Youtube is a wonderful medium not just for the bizarre, and funny," said Dr. McDonald. "It is the ‘go-to’ destination on the Web for learning and education." He continued, "We posted our introductory free webinar on the Top Ten Tools for SEO by splitting it into seven independent videos with the goal of reaching the broadest International audience." One of the many benefits to the Youtube broadcast is that anyone, anywhere, can view the Top Ten SEO Tools webinar on demand.

The free seo tools video identifies and explains how to use the following free SEO tools:

  1. Google Keyword Tool
  2. Google Keyword Tool (Website Content Tool)
  3. Google’s Wonder Wheel
  4. Keywordspy
  5. FireFox RankChecker from SEOBook
  6. XML-Sitemaps.com
  7. Google Webmaster Tools
  8. Keyword Density
  9. Google Analytics
  10. SiteExplorer / Yahoo

For businesspeople interested in really learning SEO, Dr. McDonald then offers a complete seven session webinar training on SEO –

  • Keywords: How to Generate Great Keywords for Great Google Rank
  • Page Tags: Quick Boost – Use Page Tags to Improve your Google Rank
  • Link Strategies: The Who, What, Where, When and How of Getting Good Links for SEO
  • News: News You Can Use: Using News as an SEO Opportunity
  • Google Rank: Monitoring Your Google Rank, and Leveraging it for SEO and PPC
  • Website Structure: Creating the Best Topology for Google Rank
  • Metrics: Tools for Measuring Your Website SEO and Performance

Hands-on Instruction in SEO, Online

Dr. McDonald’s courses are meant to empower marketers and small businesses to learn SEO themselves: to become their own search marketing experts, and thereby climb to the top of Google, Yahoo, and Bing as they learn by doing.

SEO Training Webinar – Mechanics

After the first introductory session, the class is taught in real-time online via Gotowebinar software. Users simply register, download the software and take the class from the convenience of their own desks, anywhere in the world. Afterwards, each person receives a free Windows Media Archived file that they can view at their own time, as well as an Adobe PDF version of the PowerPoint and all links used in the hands-on, practical class on SEO. A lively question-and-answer session rounds up each one hour session, and Dr. McDonald is happy to entertain questions off line via email or telephone.

News Releases

Dr. Jason McDonald is a recognized expert in search engine optimization, Internet marketing, and search marketing based in Fremont, California. Dr. McDonald received his Ph.D. from the University of California in 1992, and has worked at many hi-tech start up’s in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, Dr. McDonald is Senior Editor at eg3.com, a web portal and email service covering hi-tech embedded systems on the Internet, founded in 1994. Recently, Dr. McDonald has begun teaching marketing, market research and Internet marketing at Bay Area institutions such as AcademyX and DeVry University.

Contact Information

Dr. McDonald can be found on the Internet at https://www.jasonmcdonald.org, a website focused on search engine marketing, SEO, and other Internet marketing issues with in-depth free information on SEO, Page Tags, Google Analytics, Metrics, Link building, Free SEO Tools and more. He can also be contacted by telephone at +1-702-879-4771 or email, jasonmcdonald.blog@gmail.com.

7-session SEO Training Class Announced: SEO for Marketers and Small Businesses

Fremont, CA – October 12, 2009 – Jason McDonald, a leading expert in SEO Training, has announced his latest seven session online training course on SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The course begins on October 30, 2009, with a free webinar on the “Top Ten Free SEO Tools” that can help busy marketers and businesspeople get to the top of Google rank. After the free introductory session, Dr. McDonald proceeds through:

  • Keywords: How to Generate Great Keywords for Great Google Rank
  • Page Tags: Quick Boost – Use Page Tags to Improve your Google Rank
  • Link Strategies: The Who, What, Where, When and How of Getting Good Links for SEO
  • News: News You Can Use: Using News as an SEO Opportunity
  • Google Rank: Monitoring Your Google Rank, and Leveraging it for SEO and PPC
  • Website Structure: Creating the Best Topology for Google Rank
  • Metrics: Tools for Measuring Your Website SEO and Performance

Hands-on Instruction in SEO, Online

"Small businesses and marketers, both inside and outside technology, need comprehensive training on how to get to the top of Google," said Dr. McDonald. "There are many SEO consultants out there as well as some fantastic tools (both free and paid tools), but one of the big obstacles to successful SEO is figuring out if your SEO consultant is really worth the money." Many businesses would rather learn to do their SEO themselves, and in learning by doing, take control of their own search engine optimization destiny.

Dr. McDonald’s courses are meant to empower marketers and small businesses to learn SEO themselves: to become their own search marketing experts, and thereby climb to the top of Google, Yahoo, and Bing as they learn by doing.

SEO Training Webinar – Mechanics

After the first introductory session, the class is taught in real-time online via Gotowebinar software. Users simply register, download the software and take the class from the convenience of their own desks, anywhere in the world. Afterwards, each person receives a free Windows Media Archived file that they can view at their own time, as well as an Adobe PDF version of the PowerPoint and all links used in the hands-on, practical class on SEO. A lively question-and-answer session rounds up each one hour session, and Dr. McDonald is happy to entertain questions off line via email or telephone.

News Releases

Dr. Jason McDonald is a recognized expert in search engine optimization, Internet marketing, and search marketing based in Fremont, California. Dr. McDonald received his Ph.D. from the University of California in 1992, and has worked at many hi-tech start up’s in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, Dr. McDonald is Senior Editor at eg3.com, a web portal and email service covering hi-tech embedded systems on the Internet, founded in 1994. Recently, Dr. McDonald has begun teaching marketing, market research and Internet marketing at Bay Area institutions such as AcademyX and DeVry University.

Contact Information

Dr. McDonald can be found on the Internet at https://www.jasonmcdonald.org, a website focused on search engine marketing, SEO, and other Internet marketing issues with in-depth free information on SEO, Page Tags, Google Analytics, Metrics, Link building, Free SEO Tools and more. He can also be contacted by telephone at +1-702-879-4771 or email, jasonmcdonald.blog@gmail.com.

SEO Training: Online SEO Training vs. “Real-World” SEO Training

As a teacher of many years, I have had experience with both the online and real-world teaching environments. Each has its advantages. Now, more and more, I am being asked to teach online – blended in some situations, with a real-world, face-to-face component, and and online component; real-world only in others; and online only in still others. As I work on my SEO (search engine optimization) course, I am thinking more and more about how students can benefit from each opportunity.

Real-World SEO Training: The AcademyX Example

One of my teaching gigs is with AcademyX, a fabulous "real-world" business institute in San Francisco. I teach their courses on SEO Training, San Francisco as well as Pay-per-click Advertising, San Francisco. Both courses are excellent, and have excellent computer facilities. Plus it’s in the heart of the SF financial district, so it’s trendy, fun, and surrounded by really good food!

The students clearly benefit from the best of both worlds: face-to-face interaction and the ability to use their computers right then and there. I love it, and the students love it. So, if you are in San Francisco, it’s a great option for anyone interested in the SEO.

What’s the downside? There are a few difficulties:

  • If you don’t live near San Francisco, then you can’t attend the real-world classes. This is the biggest issue.
  • The courses are compressed into a single day format, so if you can’t make that day, or you can’t spare eight full hours out of your office, that is another difficulty. (They have added an intensive twenty-four session series on Google / Search Engine Marketing, which I also teach. It’s for the really hard core SEO people!)

Other big cities – New York, Boston, Dallas – also have training in SEO. But what do you do if you don’t live in a big city? What if you can’t attend a one-day course?

Online SEO Training

SEO can be taught online. Obviously it’s very computer centric, so doing it online is a natural. With software, such as WebX or Gotowebinar, the students can sit at their own computers and watch in real-time as the instructor gives examples of SEO.

I have been using the Gotowebinar software for some time now, beginning primarily with eg3.com as we conducted webinars for the hi-tech community. For SEO, these online trainings have expanded to more and more people. I am finding many small businesses (outside of tech) that I never would have thought of, that can benefit from the online seo training and avoid having to drive to the "big city" for their trainings.

The other big benefit to online is that I break up the trainings across several days, and archive them in Windows Media Format. Many people are too busy to devote an entire day, and can catch what I call the "TIVO" version after work or at home.

Webinar on Search Engine OptimizationThe downside to online is the lack of face-to-face interaction. The software does allow for questions and answers, but there is enough trouble with the audio that I am reluctant to depend on it for a true question and answer session. It misses a bit of the human touch as well in that I don’t bond as well with the students and don’t feel that human interaction.

So it depends on your situation. If you have a full day and live near San Francisco, then I highly recommend their SEO courses. If not, consider online. Try my Search Engine Optimization – FREE SEO Training Webinar coming up soon.

Youtube as an SEO Technique for Video Search Engine Optimization

Video is the future. Stop. Youtube is owned by Google. Stop. Google needs to increase revenue growth. Stop. Google acquired DoubleClick. Stop. DoubleClick is all about display advertising, including video. Stop. Why are you stopping? SEO via Youtube is a fantastic opportunity! Start Youtubing and video advertising now!

A lot of time on SEO is spent figuring out our best keywords, then creating content, then weaving this content into our page tags. If we are lucky, we can zero in on those ‘off page’ factors like links and link strategies, to get people to link to us. That’s really the meat and potatoes of white hat SEO. I love it, it works, and it is a lot of work.

But more and more, people are watching Youtube. Video. Beyond Youtube, there are sites like Hulu.com and many companies have either their own channel on Youtube, or perhaps their own longer videos on site. Videos are cool ways to engage with customers, and create web stickiness.

In addition, as part of the San Francisco Search Engine Optimization class I teach at AcademyX, I had reason to look in more detail at video and display advertising. That got me thinking:

What is the connection between Youtube and SEO?

SEO via Youtube

Search engine optimization, as you know, is all about getting to the top of Google. Let’s put two and two together here. Or maybe more than two or two but hey this is a blog, so don’t expect perfect content!

  1. Video is growing as a destination on the Web.
  2. Americans, no everyone worldwide, prefers video (easy) to reading (hard).
  3. Video offers some innovative ways to engage with customers and potential customers.
  4. Youtube is owned by Google, and losing money.
  5. Google – now a public corporation – needs growth, and growth is going to come in display advertising.

Let’s look at some seaches on Google, and see if Youtube videos pop up.

Youtube as an SEO OpportunityHow about a search for Chicago Flower Wedding Ideas. Suppose I’m getting married in the windy city, and I need some flower ideas, perhaps a florist… Guess what, on 4 October 2009, the No. 1 returned site was this video on Chicago Wedding Flowers: Flowers With Feeling: Galleria Marchetti. Coincidence? Not exactly, look at the description set up about the video on Youtube:

Title: Chicago Wedding Flowers: Flowers With Feeling: Galleria Marchetti
Description: On location at Chicago special event venue Galleria Marchetti with Chicago florist Flowers With Feeling, Inc.

Or this search for MSP430, which is a microcontroller from Texas Instruments. This video MSP430 Low Power Demo using Grapes as a Power Source with description, "The video features creative power sources for MSP430 ultra-low power microcontrollers based applications." made page 1.

Youtube as a Search Engine Optimization Opportunity

So Youtube clearly is an SEO opportunity. If you have content suitable for Youtube, you can open an account (for free on Youtube), create videos, and when uploading them be sure to give them titles that contain your target keywords or keyphrases, and pack their descriptions (again) with those keywords! It’s like creating specific landing pages just on Youtube. And, finally, use Youtube’s tools to embed ads for your own website, as well as make sure that viewers can easily figure out which website created your videos.

I’m starting this myself, and while I’m too busy to do a great job of it, you can check out my Youtube Channel on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Thoughts? Comments? Contact me!