Tag Archives: ebay

SEO Best Practices: Content and Link Auditing

17 Jul

SEO Best Practices: Content and Link Auditing

As a content creator I understand firsthand how easy it can be to lose yourself in the afterglow of impactful blog posts or well-produced video segments. I’ve often said that content is king and that should be enough to distinguish yourself from the pack. The unfortunate reality is that we have to give more than a passing thought to SEO and how search engines perceive our website. Since Google released their Panda and Penguin updates, they’ve turned the online world on its ear.

Recently I produced a video for eBay Partner Network’s ePN TV about the importance of content and link auditing on your website and the types of things that marketers needs to pay attention to.

In terms of qualifications, you don’t get any better than my friend, Jordan Koene, at eBay. He understands SEO on a level that most of us can’t comprehend. The good news is that he’s a very generous soul that doesn’t mind sharing his vast wealth of knowledge.

I’m curious to know how Panda and Penguin have affected your website or blog over the last several months? Have you been able to avoid getting clobbered in search rankings? I’d love to hear what you’ve done to address these updates in the comments below.

How NOT to Create Effective Video Content

19 Jan

How NOT to Create Effective Video Content

One of the things I get hired most often to do is help companies create compelling video content. I’ve done it for eBay, MediaTrust, RingRevenue, CureMeso.org and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival – to name a few.

There are a few basic rules I try to live by when approaching a video content strategy:

  • Shoot for the highest production value possible – steady well-lit video and clean audio
  • Stay on point – stick to the subject matter
  • Respect your audience’s time – edit videos to keep them short and concise

I ran across Robert Scoble’s latest ranting at CES and he didn’t abide by any of those basic principles above.

First off, if you’re going to make a 44 minute video, you better have something pretty damn compelling to talk about. Even a video that is professionally shot with great audio and lighting can get unbearable somewhere around the 15 minute mark. In this case we’re talking about an unedited shaky video shot with something on par with an iPhone camera. For almost 45 minutes he rolls camera and walks around the trade show floor having random conversations about CES. I was starting to feel sea sick about 4 minutes in.

Do you think that is compelling video?

Scoble is a brand-name in the technology space and he can get away with this. In fact, as I’m writing this, the video has received over 5400 views in 11 days. But just because he can do it, doesn’t mean he should. It seems lazy to me.

If you want to cover CES, break it down into clips that appeal to a niche audience. For example, in his piece Scoble talks about a Panasonic 3D HDTV and a new RIM tablet. Why not create separate segments for the Panasonic and the  tablet? You’ll not only get more content, but it will be more targeted to a specific audience. Plus, you’ll rank much higher in SERPS if you tag and optimize a video around individual subjects rather than throwing the entire digital kitchen sink in a single video.

It’s hard enough to lead someone to your site to find your video assets. Once they get there, reward them by offering compelling succinct content that respects their time and intelligence. Turning on your iPhone and letting it roll for 45 minutes while you walk a tradeshow floor is a bit insulting to me.

Taking a Look in the Mirror

18 Jan

Taking a Look in the Mirror

One of the most important things an organization can do is to take a hard look at themselves in the mirror every so often. It can also be one of the most difficult. Sure, it’s easy to celebrate the victories and the things that went well in a given year, but it can be difficult, for many reasons, to acknowledge what hasn’t worked. That said it’s even harder to do that in a very public, outward-facing manner.

That’s why I think what eBay is doing is so commendable. I’m speaking specifically about eBay Partner Network – the affiliate arm of the company. Director, Chad Wehrmaker and Head of U.S. Affiliates, JJ McCarthy have done a great job in owning their successes and failures on their video series “Chatting with EPN.”

Chatting with EPN: Episode 11 from eBay Partner Network TV on Vimeo.

We’re not always going to hit home runs with everything we do. The important thing is that you take controlled risks, evaluate what worked and what didn’t and be honest with your customer base about it. I commend a company like eBay – large and no-doubt filled with red tape around the types of things fit for public disclosure – yet they’re able and willing to put themselves out there for the benefit of their partners.

If EPN can do it, why can’t you?