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Five tips for a Web 2.0 start-up

I’ve talked to a lot of Web 2.0 companies in the past month, some big and some small. A few themes have developed in how to make a successful Web 2.0 company – here’s a few ideas.

1. Build a real team. There are so many Web 2.0 companies that are either run in a virtual environment or with just a few people in a basement somewhere. It’s not a good strategy because any ideas that could germinate with a larger team – and I mean about 5-8 people or so — will be stagnated with just one or two employees. If you can’t afford a real team that includes a developers and designers, folks in marketing and accounting, and a sales agent or two, you might just have an idea, not a company. It reminds me of my experience this week with a rental car company staffed by just a couple of people. (Yes, I was trying to save a buck.) One of the employees was out sick, so that left one person to transport people to and from the airport, do the paperwork, and deal with frustrations. In the same way, one person can write a blog, but it takes a company to make a real Web 2.0 product that actually does something.


Are Your B2B Paid Search Campaigns Trying To Serve Two Masters?

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got from a seasoned Google AdWords mentor was to “not try and serve two masters within a single campaign.” If your campaigns are like most, they have a fixed budget and are ROI driven. In this situation, we are constantly trying to ratchet down the cost per lead while still using up the budget to get as many leads as possible. But beware! At some point you can almost be guaranteed that you’ll be requested to “fill up the pipe” by ramping up volume (and spend) for the short term. Unfortunately, trying to jockey between the two is a recipe for long-term frustration and compromised results.

This may seem trivial to many, especially at the outset of a campaign when everything is new, shiny, and exciting. But as I and my clients have learned, as a campaign matures — and you are looking to improve upon current and past results — that lingering question once again rears its head. ROI or volume? It’s very hard to run disciplined, scientific campaign tests and optimizations if that question isn’t clearly answered and adhered to.


Stop the Confusion! Use SEO Terms Correctly

100% Organic - A Column From Search Engine Land
We have a problem in the search marketing industry, and it’s getting big enough to potentially threaten our livelihoods. The problem is especially dangerous in that customers seeking out SEO services are more confused than ever, which is unfortunate since SEO is no longer a new industry.

A big reason for the confusion is the misuse of industry terms. This wouldn’t be so bad if it was just the general public using incorrect definitions. What makes the problem serious is that it’s primary cause is people in the SEO industry who use words incorrectly.

Here are some common reasons terms get misused and why it’s important for people to get them right:

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Which is Best? SEO, PPC, Branding, Lead Generation or Advertising

All things have their place and supplementing one in place of the other when is comes to SEO, SEM / PPC, advertising, branding or lead generation is not always the best idea. So when it comes to online marketing and implementation, which is the best for you and why?

To answer this, finding out where you [...]SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “Which is Best? SEO, PPC, Branding, Lead Generation or Advertising”, url: “” });


Sir, Would You Like Fries With Those Links?

Link Week

Recently in several SEO forums I noticed a number of threads discussing ways to find and build “economical” links. The forum participants wanted to know how they could initiate “safe” reciprocal linking as well as “fast” submissions to free article directories. They reasoned these tactics were worth doing because both linking methods were “economical” and “easy” to use.

I understand some linking techniques can be expensive, tedious to implement and extremely time consuming, but tying your online business success to linking tactics deemed “easy”, “fast” and “cheap” seems counter-productive. If you limit your linking to low-cost tactics or look at the practice as “link building” instead of “marketing for links” you’re almost guaranteed to fail.

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Social Media Marketing ROI- Metrics and Analysis

When I attended South by Southwest 2008, I had the pleasure of attending a panel where four somewhat lost panelists were (with difficulty) trying to come up with metrics to measure success from a social media marketing campaign. I was a little annoyed when they concluded that there were no metrics available right now, and that someone would have to come up with a new way of measuring social media success.

While many people argue that the current metrics are no longer applicable, here’s a look at how we can adapt the currently available methodologies and apply them to social media marketing campaigns.

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Readin’, Writin’ and Web 2.0

The enhanced degree of communication that Web 2.0 utilities enable is changing the corporate world, for good or for ill, as enterprises decide whether to reject or embrace concepts like wikis, blogs, social networks and video-sharing. The trend has touched the academic world in similar ways. Web 2.0 utilities have raised concerns about security in nearly all IT fields, and educational institutions are no exception.