Genesis 2.0 Beta Now Out

We are very pleased to announce that Genesis 2.0 Beta is now available!

Genesis 2.0 Beta

Brand New Design

Genesis is sporting a fresh new look.

We’ve taken advantage of the new HTML5 markup, as well as some snazzy CSS3, and we think you’re gonna love this.

HTML5 Markup

Genesis has always been on the cutting edge of web technology, and Genesis 2.0 continues in that excellent tradition.

With a single line of code in a child theme, Genesis will now output HTML5 markup in place of the old XHTML tags. Also, every theme we build in the future will be developed on HTML5.

Read more about the release over @ StudioPress !!!

Google Product Search is now Paid Google Product Search

Google Product SearchLast week the Wall Street Journal reported last week, that Google will be charging online retailers in a bid auction style to display their feed within the Google Product Search.

Let’s face it, Google is the largest Search Engine in the world and owns 60% + of the worlds search traffic. They have proven the Pay Per Click Search model, time to move on to bigger fish – The Pay Per Click Shopping Model!

Online retailers will now have to bid to display their products on Google’s Shopping site. Currently, retailers include their products for free by providing Google with certain data about the products. Google then ranks those products, such as cameras, by popularity and price.

Amazon.com is the worlds largest online retailer and they don’t charge to display shopping feeds however they do take a % of the sale! How is this differnt to google charging per click? Amazon’s Model is a Performance Model and thats the MAJOR Difference, you don’t pay unless your product sells!

I’m sure this will affect Google Product Search, the question is how. What do you think?

The Attack of the Penguin, Google style

Google PenguinApril 24th spelled doomsday for some websites and Internet marketers, as Google rolled out its latest update, the Penguin. No one will actually fully understand the mysterious Penguin algorithm, but from a Post Penguin viewpoint, we do know Google has gone through great efforts to combat web spam.

Google is not a fan of websites and Internet marketers using “black-hat” tactics to over optimize their sites. The update is not necessarily to get rid of only spam, but sites that aren’t of any quality. Originally called the “Farmer” update, the hardest hit by the update were content farms or websites who published low quality, keyword-stuffed articles that offered little or no value to the actual reader. Penguin took it a step further to penalize the whole site if there were enough pages flagged for thin content. Google’s previous update, the Panda, also combatted to stop scrappers, or sites that would publish other company’s content in order to out rank the original author’s content.

Branding has sort of lost its traction and Google has made a point for the need of strong brand signals. If a site had zero brand signals, there is a chance it was hit by the update. Penguin is placing more of an emphasis on the quality and reputation rather than the amount of links that point to a particular website. Content is still king in the eyes of Google. In other words, if an article isn’t well written the search engine is not going to be fooled this time around. The “Google” sweet spot for an organic, well-written article is anywhere from 750- 1,000 words per page. If a site is found to be publishing keyword stuffed, meaningless content, there is a huge chance it will be pushed down significantly in the rankings. Google also believes affiliates should be a small part of content on the site and should be very clear in distinguishing original sites from affiliates. There should also be no unnatural anchor text profiles or hidden text or lines. Multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with duplicate content are also being pushed down by the Penguin update.

About 3% of all queries have been affected the Penguin update, which is actually a huge amount in the grand scheme of things. Google has again revamped the way sites are ranked, making the point that it’s not how fast one can rank anymore, but how one can rank and stay at the top.

LinkedIn New Tools To Boost Ads and Marketing Revenue

Linkedin LogoLinkedIn has launched two new tools – Follower Stats and Targeted Updates – both are aimed to assist marketers and companies find followers and message them based on targeting such as industry, job function, company size, seniority and geography.

Targeted Updates allwos companies to interact with their follower base by sending them targeted relevant messages, Follower Stats provides detailed stats about their followers, as well as engagement metrics such as comments, follower counts, shares and demographic info related to these data points.

Recently LinkedIn launched a Follow button for companies, which like Facebook and Twitter, enables users to follow companies they are interested in for updates. With these new features as well as the following feature, LinkedIn is going to boost engagement on its platform and generate additional revenue from its marketing and advertising offerings.

We expect LinkedIn’s engagement rates to increase in the next few years, which when combined with the expected visitor growth should lead to much higher revenue from marketing and ads.

Marketing and Ads currently account for around 30% of LinkedIn’s total $38 value estimate, which stands far below its current market price. LinkedIn competes with Facebook and Google in the online advertising space and Monster in online job search.

How to Optimize your PPC Campaigns

A major online revenue generating source is paid search. Paid search offers a huge potential for generating more money in the coming days as well. According to some experts paid search sales is expected to generate more than $14 billion during the current year and is estimated to grow at more than 37% every year.

Currently, it is Google’s PPC program Adwords that gets the maximum revenue share in this segment. With escalating advertisement budgets, businesses are slowly but steadily moving away from traditional advertising medium to online advertisers, specifically in the field of paid search. Large sums of money are at stake so much so that even small mistakes can cost thousands of dollars in losses. This means your management has to be quite effective so that you can optimize your PPC campaigns.

Why PPC?

PPC programs are quite easy and simple to plan. It provides advertisers with valuable feedback regarding a campaign. In fact, online advertisers not only find PPC programs exciting and interesting but actually prefer them since it offers them better control over the PPC campaigns.

PPC Benefits

PPC programs offer a host of benefits to your business online. Let us understand what these benefits are:
• PPC is a relatively inexpensive way to promote your products and services online since you pay only when somebody clicks on your advertisement.
• PPC campaigns are a great way to geo target a specific location, be it a city, town or a region.
• Unlike traditional advertisement campaigns, a PPC campaign can be launched very quickly, in fact within a few days.
• It ensures that your campaigns deliver better performances
• It also gives advertisers better control over their ad spends

As more and more online businesses use PPC as a tool to promote their products and services, it is important that you know to use PPC campaigns to your advantage. If you are not sure of how to go about it, hire an expert who has the experience and skills in handling PPC campaigns successfully. You can also try SEO consultants and online marketing firms that have PPC expertise. When looking for a PPC expert, choose a firm that has the ability to plan and manage PPC programs. Further, make sure it has a proven track record of handling large PPC campaigns. Choose a firm that has the necessary resources to penetrate the targeted market efficiently and quickly. Such a firm should be able to generate top quality leads from the PPC campaigns.

Finally, hiring a PPC expert will enable you to optimize your PPC campaign and attract more visitors to your site and resulting in greater revenue.

Establishing your brand with the help of Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing, or SMM, refers to the process of marketing and promoting the products and services offered by a company through the means of social media networks. While marketing has always been an essential part of a business, the conventional methods of marketing have now been rendered as obsolete by the newer and more effective methods of marketing like social media marketing, which do not require any testing or market research to be done prior to their application, and hence are more convenient and cost effective, not to mention their immense potential in terms of reach and visibility.

Social media is now an important marketing tool for several businesses all over the world, as millions of users flock to these social media sites like Blogger, Facebook, Youtube, Flickr, Twitter etc. and consider them to be an important part of their lives. Social media marketing enables companies small and vast to utilize this fact to their advantage by promoting their products and related updates via this tool. Here is how an online business can make most of this valuable marketing method:

Find your core supporters
This is the basic requirement for the growth of an online business through social networking – build your presence on the various community platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc., through a group of core supporters who are loyal followers and swear by your brand, and can refer your products to other acquaintances of theirs as well.

Engage with your customers
Post videos, pictures, blog entries etc. on your community page of Facebook and other social platforms, so as to be in touch with your subscribers. Arrange for contests and games, and reward the lively customers with coupons, discounts or gift vouchers, so as to keep the buzz alive around your brand.

Provide good customer service, ask for feedback
Be sure that your customer service team is always on the alert and fully able to resolve a grievance in a calm, composed manner. Do not ever ignore a single complaint – word spreads rather fast on a social network, whether good or bad. Always ask for feedback, and thank the customers for their kind words. Customer service has a great impact on generation of brand awareness and establishment.
Keep a track of your competitors

Never ignore the competitors – follow them on all platforms and keep your eyes open about their initiatives and products, so that you are always informed about their actions. Try to be a step ahead, provide better deals, and take note of what your customers have to say about them.

How important is Facebook for your business?

Facebook LogoIt is a known fact that without the use of social marketing is incomplete. This is one of the ways to reach millions of people. This is the right way to promote your brand or product and that too without splurging any money.

For example you are a budding businessman who has opened a new apparel store in the town. Your store has the best collection of designer wear. You want the people of your town to be aware of the store. One of the effective ways is to create a Facebook profile and add some friends. This chain of friends in the list may spread when you meet more people or your friends add their friends in the list. Now, with this huge chain of friends in your list, you can update the status about the launch of the new outfit every time there is a launch. All the friends in your list would be aware of the launch within a few seconds of your posting. When they have plans to shop they know where they have to go now. In this way, within a few seconds and without spending any money you can successfully reach many people.

Therefore, you can say that Facebook gives you a chance to hit the target audience and that too for free! Updates, freebies, discounts and offers can be displayed here making it easy for people to know on what the latest and hottest in your store.

Most of the budding businessmen prefer this as a channel of reaching the target audience. The advantage of reaching customers through Facebook is that you can build a personal relationship with them. Relationship marketing is an effective way of marketing as this method helps in converting a casual customer into a loyal consumer. A brand loyalist is six times more precious than a new customer.

Therefore, one of the best ways of attracting and retaining customers is through this social media networking site which has done wonders in the business world. To leverage business this is one of the ways of luring customers. Try this option and see the difference in your business. Create an interesting profile and reach people. You can meet new people and spread business at the same time.

Top 10 Reasons Why SEM is Important

Top Ten Reasons Why Search Engine Marketing is Important for your Online Business

The internet has been a sort of a saving grace in the middle of The Great Recession (or so some call it). The traditional routes for investing, stocks, real estate, have all but dried up, while it’s becoming harder and harder to make a living in small business if you’re trying to start a new restaurant or some such. But, running a business on the internet has allowed for anyone with a good idea to get started with little to no investment. As long as you can provide interesting, unique or entertaining web content, you can make a living on the web. As long as you can sell something for more than you bought it, you can make a living on the web. Most importantly, as long as you can learn how to get people to actually take notice of your online business, you can make a living on the web.

Unfortunately, that’s the stumbling block for many online business owners, and especially for first timers: visibility. As we promised in the title, here are the top ten reasons why search engine marketing is important for your online business.

Word of Mouth Isn’t Automatic

Once you get the momentum going, once you actually have the word out there, word of mouth will take care of itself. Viral marketing can be the most effective form of advertising. It’s free, it’s self perpetuating and it saves you the hassle of having to come up with advertising that doesn’t feel like advertising. Unfortunately, you have to get that ball rolling yourself. As a rough estimate, for every ten visitors you get through word of mouth, you’ll have to have gone out and gotten another ten through traditional marketing with SEO and social networking.

Everyone Uses Search Engines

Running a business without search engine marketing is like releasing a film without putting out any trailers. You may as well just not tell anybody about the site and try to keep the whole thing secret. If you want to bring in those pay per click visitors, understand that the way people navigate the web is primarily through search engines.

It Guides Your Content

One of the reasons you should integrate search engine marketing is that it can help you come up with content for your website, it can show you what people are searching for, what’s relevant, and, well, give you “something to talk about” you might say. If you run a blog, for example, then all you have to do when you get writer’s block is check out some hot SEO keywords.

Legitimacy

A lot of people don’t really consider a business or even an individual to be legitimate until they turn up on search engines. Think about it for a second. Let’s say you’re looking to self publish a novel and the printer offering you the best price doesn’t turn up a single hit on any search engine you use. Are you really going to trust them over the competition?

The Competition is doing it

Your competition is out there doing search engine marketing right now. Okay, sometimes an entire industry gets wrapped up in a dumb fad for a year or so, but PPC marketing has been a major component in internet marketing for several years now, and that’s because it’s a smart, effective, practical and cheap way to get a whole lot of pay per click hits on your site.

It Lets You Do Pretty Much Anything

Assuming you’re running a blog or content driven website, the fact is that good search engine marketing with a pay per click and affiliate monetizing scheme can lead to a site that can support itself, and its author, on content alone. You don’t need to be selling anything or taking freelance work on the side. If you can market your content well enough, then all you have to do is write what you want to write and collect the revenue for it at the end of the week.

It’s Self Perpetuating Advertising

Once you get your feelers out there, so to speak, you have a means of marketing that keeps working as long as the content is still on the web somewhere. If you buy a TV spot, you have to pay again and again every time you want to run that commercial. With search engine marketing, that content will keep bringing in visitors years from now. In this sense, strong SEO marketing is better than buying an ad spot during the biggest sporting event of the year. The big game may bring millions of viewers at once, but strong web marketing can result in an audience without limitation.

It’s Cheap (or Free)

If you write your SEO content yourself, it’s free. You already have a website, and if you don’t, you can start a free blog account. If you have big plans and need to turn out more articles than you can reasonably write yourself, then you can commission articles from content and freelance websites for fairly cheap. The bottom line is that for all the money SEO marketing can help earn you through pay per click revenue, you can get the ball rolling with little to no startup.

It Brings in Organic Traffic

There are a lot of marketing schemes that wind up bringing you a lot of visitors and very little money. Some marketing gimmicks only result in people clicking your link randomly or out of curiosity or even mistakenly. SEO marketing relies on people searching for specific keywords and finding something of interest on your site. In other words, search engine optimization means that you’re bringing in visitors who are actually interested in your site’s content and who will be more likely to click on links, to buy stuff from your affiliates and, most importantly, to read your site thoroughly and keep coming back in the future.

You’ll Make More Money

The bottom line to pretty much any argument when it comes to business: Search Marketing will make you more money.