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Taking Of Google 1,2,3
I was having a flashback and it wasn't a good one. Watching my little ScentTrail Marketing blog (http://scentTrail.blogspot.com) get waxed up pretty good by Google's latest Penguin update reminded me of the days when literally millions rode on such an organic shift.

Lucky ScentTrail Marketing doesn't pay my bills. My marketing blog is a "profit not" blog and it just made $100 in adwords clicks after 7 years (struggling this month to meet last month's numbers $7 thanks to Penguin), so we won't be curing cancer with ScentTrail Marketing money :).

The feeling in the pit of my stomach is all to familiar. I've had three rounds of chemo and Google's decision feels a lot like that, like someone took a running jump and punched me in the gut. This isn't my first Google rodeo, not the first time I felt this way and last time millions and my job were on the line. 

I've asked for help from +Phil Buckley and now +Bill Ross the two best SEOs I know and we will figure out why Google decided to level my little blog's karma.

Today's post is about how you can diversify so that Google's organic moves hurt LESS. ScentTrail Marketing gets half of its daily readers (about 300 a day now) form Google organic traffic and that is too much by about 20% (the other half comes from +Scoop.it and strength in a tool like Scoop.it helps diversify your traffic sources).

The goal of every Internet marketer should be to diversify their marketing across a number of "channels". Think of a channel as any source of traffic. Here are great sources of traffic:

* PPC.
* Organic SEO.
* Mobile (especially if you ask for phone numbers).
* Email.
* Video (especially YouTube channel).
* Content especially viral content.
* SEO PR.
* Social Nets.
* Blog (Comments, Content Reviews).
* Contests & Games.
* Traditional Advertising (TV, Print, etc.).
* Products (put your URL on everything).
* Trade Shows and events.
* SWAG (URL ON T-Shirts, mugs, mousepads).
* Phone and iPad covers (URL again).
* Online Store.
* Tools like Scoop.it and Paper.li.
* Guerrilla marketing tactics.

Your goal, Mr. Phelps, if you choose to accept it is The Taking of Google 1,2,3. The way you take Google is to create cool stuff people want to be part of while diversifying your channels.

I suggest 3 ways to start to determine your own online marketing destiny:

1. Create an aggressive marketing campaign to triple the size of your email subscribers in 3 months if your list is 10,000 or less. If your list is more than 10k then shoot to double it. Here are my favorite ways to double an email list with quality contacts:

* Create a contest to give away something BIG with email subscription as the entry.
* Ask for help, ask your current brand advocates to help you achieve your goal and reward the top 10% with something big but not so MONEY oriented (a VIP event or special THANK YOU badges help keep assisting you as an intrinsic motivation.)
* Ask your followers how to achieve the goal and execute the "winner" of this contest.

EMAIL = you own and so it can help when other channels are soft.

2. Create A GAME and Use Social Media To Play
This idea kills two birds with a single store. Even better if your game is mobile friendly. I am NOT a big fan of "mobile only" even though we are all headed there.

Goals of your game should be 1. Grow Your List (ask for cell phone numbers) 2. Grow your social followers (life is easier the bigger these numbers get. 3. Align your branding with your Stengel value (See my post on Unique Customer Aspirations for more on this idea https://www.atlanticbt.com/blog/how-unique-greatness-meets-customer-aspirations/ ).

3. Create A Live To The Web Event
This could range from a Google Hangout to a half day conference. Do something in REAL TIME. Goals should be 1. Grow Your List 2. Create viral content and 3. LISTEN as much as you talk.

Notice I didn't say make millions? Because your LIST is a form of currency. When it is healthy your future is better. When your list grows it is a leading indicator. Even better? You are creating freedom from Google. You are TAKING GOOGLE 1,2,3.

If you just got tagged I added some IMMEDIATE fire fighting ideas to Scoopit: http://sco.lt/4kUnkf
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6 comments
 
Great post.  Thanks for the information.
 
Great post Marty. I agree Google is great, I get a lot of long tail traffic to my MarketingHits blog and still ave about $250 a month from Adwords, but you need to have a multi-channel plan for traffic.

My plan from the start has been to use my Scoopit custom headers to  collect viewers / Scoopit follower email address and build a marketing campaigns around the topics. As of today I have my first MailChimp sign-up box built into my header. This is ver1, next step will be to come up with something to entice visitors to sign-up and add it to the header. Still working on that.
 
+Brian Yanish I am following you on MailChip, put my first embedded form into ScentTrail Marketing yesterday and headed exactly where you are with Guillaume's and Marc's creation (+Scoop.it ). I think I am going to hang a store off of a feed too (haven't figured that out yet but thinking HARD on it).

Agree with need for diversification AND see Scoopit as a means of diversification especially once it can create its own email marketing.

Once email marketing is installed all those views should turn into follows and subscribers and eventually purchasers of something from the "store" where we might sell training downloads, exclusive content, special hang outs and other VIP "eyes only" digital STUFF. May even toss in some SWAG for good measure.

Keep me appraised of your progress and tips and tricks you learn as I am not far behind. Marty
 
+Martin W. Smith sorry to hear you took a hit. I find SEO far more frustrating now than in the past. In the real estate industry it is a mess. There are sites ranking over ones that shouldn't be. Big brands get huge favoritism in the algo updates.
 
Yes as Barabasi writes in Linked the rich get richer and that seems more so due to Google killing the long tail, the demand for wide ranging social signals (favors the big) and the QDF movement (Quality Deserves Freshness).

The only way a little guy like me and many of my friends can compete is to...

* Create platforms not websites.
* Curate content from an ever increasing amount of feeds.
* Use business rules to control the feeds.
* Out create those who can't be out spent.

Your business is so information fragmented. The mashup agents have a lot of power. The spoils are going to go to those who can do one of two things (or both simultaneously):

* Mashup a unique and evolving information map.
* Create more and better content.

I've been thinking curation should be 90% and creation 10% because curation has more reach faster providing more data to KNOW what content to create for a better batting average.

My little ScentTrail Marketing blog is being destroyed because it doesn't have the inbound links to justify the traffic it gets. Inbound links can be a challenge for a blog, so have to work on getting links. Best way is with contests, games and moving to a multi-author approach.

The tough thing about real estate is you are simultaneously an independent agent and part of a collective. The agents who master The Ask, The Give and The Share will have a bigger following, be able to create more dynamic "life cycle" marketing and WIN.

Life cycle marketing is critical and hard in real estate because of the strange lifecycle - buy a house every 10 years requires real TALENT to keep the conversation going. So challenging not just anyone is going to be able to do it (good and bad news).
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