Fast Five in Search – Week 21, 2013

fast-fiveThis week’s Fast Five contains posts which are definitely worth bookmarking. Need some inspiration for YouTube content? New ways to track Social SEO campaigns? Thinking about a promotion? Read on…

1) How to Make YouTube Your Marketing Powerhouse by Tina-Courtney Brown
In this post Tina describes how a YouTube channel is helpful to lift your company’s profile. Even if your content doesn’t go viral, over time your YouTube catalogue will increase your SEO.  Tina also provides a list of 10 exciting ideas to explore when making a video to promote your business or organisation. Definitely one to bookmark!

2) 10 Lessons from a 100k Pageview Post by Stephen Kenwright
Stephen unexpectedly wrote a post that was viewed 100,000 times! This is not so much a how-to-do post, but a few hints and tips Stephen felt to share after he ‘sharked it’ unexpectedly.

3) How to Move Rankings Up On Older, Existing Content – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin
Moz’s Whiteboard Fridays are always worth a peak! This week Rand explains how adjusting your existing, quality content can be used to help bump your site up in the SERPs and give your site a fresh appeal.

4) Benchmarking & Analytics: How to Track the Effects of your Social SEO Campaign by Marcela De Vivo
How can we really know whether our Social SEO campaign is effective? Besides revenue increases there are lots of benefits of Social SEO and they’re worth measuring. Take note of the helpful tools and links to help track campaign effectiveness.

And finally for something different…

5) Learning How To Be A Manager by Caitlin Krumdieck
This is a little off-topic but the headline caught my attention and it referenced a similarly great post by Rand Fishkin called If Management is the Only Way Up We’re All F’d. If you’ve been thinking about moving up in your organization and want to know if you really have the desire to be a manager, or if you’re better off sticking to what you know and love, these are great posts to read.

Happy reading!

Image courtesy of Threadless.

40 Tips for Stress-Free Public Speaking

public speaking tipsNo matter what kind of job you have, or what business you’re in, there comes a time when you are asked to give a presentation in front of a group of people.

Now public speaking is something that doesn’t come naturally to most of us and in fact a survey not too long ago found that many people are more terrified of speaking in public than they are of death itself. When asked to choose between death and public speaking, death was the preferred option! Crazy, right?

But for those of us with social anxiety, public speaking, even to small groups, can fill us with dread. As an educator and consultant, a large part of my job involves public speaking. I am called upon to present information in client meetings to senior management, I speak to large groups of students and universities via webinars, I give presentations to large rooms full of people at conferences and I run regular full and half day training workshops for industry organisations. So I regularly give presentations to groups of people ranging from 5 to 500.

I used to HATE giving public presentations. I still dislike it strongly, but after regularly forcing myself into giving them for 10 years now, I am slightly more relaxed about it than I used to be. Sure, I still find it difficult to sleep the night before a speaking gig. And if you look closely at me on stage, you’ll probably spot my legs shaking, but provided I have prepared well and know my subject matter, I’ll muddle through and generally do a good job.

Going along with the analogy “do something every day that scares you”, I think it’s important for me to put myself out there and prove to myself that I can do it. I also feel it is excellent therapy to help me deal with my social anxiety. Apart from the benefits to myself, I know I have a lot of knowledge that I can impart to others and what better way to share that knowledge than public speaking?

Anyway, after giving yet another presentation this week, it occured to me that I have built up a pretty good pre-presentation checklist that others might find useful. So here they are:

Top Tips for Making Your Presentations Run Smoothly and Stress Free:

  1. Find out exactly where the venue is in relation to your accommodation and if you’ve got time, make a practice run to the venue the day before.
  2. If the venue is large (e.g. a university), ask for a map showing exactly where the room is that you’ll be speaking in.
  3. If you’re driving to the venue, factor in extra time for unexpected traffic jams and take plenty of coins in case you need to use paid parking.
  4. Find out what technology will be available to you (whiteboard / projector / laptop / slide clicker) and adjust if necessary.
  5. If you’ve arranged catering for break times, confirm details with caterers the day before.
  6. Get at least 8 hours sleep the night before.
  7. Have a big breakfast but no coffee if it makes you anxious. Try a decaf or hot chocolate instead.
  8. Get to the venue at least an hour early so you can get comfortable, test the technology and rehearse.
  9. Upon arrival, make yourself known to someone at the venue who can help you with technical and other issues.
  10. Make sure you know exactly how much time you have on stage and confirm break times with the organizers and your audience before starting.
  11. Wear layers. No matter what the weather outside, air conditioning can be your friend and your foe. Wear clothes that you feel comfortable and confident in, but in layers that you can easily slip on or off depending on the room temperature.
  12. Wear comfortable shoes.
  13. Re-read that last point. This is important! Public speaking is no place for stilettos. Especially when you are walking around on a stage that will likely have electrical cables snaking all over it.
  14. Don’t assume the venue will provide you with water. Take a bottle with you.
  15. Don’t assume the venue will provide paper and pens for your attendees – ask for them.
  16. Bring your business cards and place them somewhere prominent for people to take.
  17. Bring your presentation on a Flash drive in multiple formats (e.g. .pptx, .ppt, .odp, .pdf) just in case something goes wrong.
  18. Bring your own HDMI or component cable for hooking up to a projector, just in case the venue doesn’t have one.
  19. Bring a backup power source for your laptop and/or projector.
  20. Bring or ask for a lapel microphone if the venue is large and you want to be sure you can be heard up the back.
  21. Don’t assume the venue will provide Internet access. With large audiences, free wifi at events can often be maxed out quickly, so if you need Internet access for your presentation, take your own or make arrangements with the organizers.
  22. If you have mobile Internet access via your phone, take along your phone charger and spare battery in case you need to use it.
  23. Don’t assume you can use your own laptop.
  24. Don’t assume you don’t need your own laptop.
  25. Be prepared for the venue to run everything on Windows (take adaptors for Mac and/or Linux). Yes, I learned this one the hard way.
  26. Don’t assume your laptop will recognize the venue projector/monitor. Take your own or have a backup plan.
  27. Don’t assume the venue projector/monitor supports Presenter Mode. Take a print out of your notes in case you can’t see notes/slides view while presenting.
  28. If you are linking to live resources on the Internet, have them open in separate windows on your laptop and test that all links work.
  29. If you are showing videos, test they work and test the volume of the audio to make sure they can be heard by everyone in the room.
  30. Find out how to turn the lights on/off if you need to show videos.
  31. Find out where/if you can increase the temperature of the air conditioning in the room in case attendees are too hot/cold.
  32. Bring deodorant, especially if you have a tendency to sweat when anxious.
  33. Bring breath mints so you can feel confident networking with attendees afterwards.
  34. Remember to turn off your cell phone prior to going on stage, unless you are using it for Internet access. In this case, turn the volume down or off in case your Mom tries to call mid-presentation.
  35. Store some tissues in a pocket that will be easily reachable during your presentation in case your nose starts to run (air conditioning can be brutal at some venues!).
  36. Smile. Even if you’re struggling or things are not going well, people will forgive you if you smile your way through.
  37. Ask your audience some questions! It will take the focus off you, just for a little while and give you a chance to pause and collect your thoughts. This is a great tip if you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed or find yourself racing through your slides.
  38. Work out where the toilets are before you go on stage, in case you have to slip out quickly or the attendees ask you where they are.
  39. Find out the emergency exits and fire/earthquake drills for the venue before you go on stage and make sure your audience knows it too. After living in Christchurch for the past few years, this is pretty much routine at all business events now!
  40. Always ask for feedback on your presentation, either from the audience directly, or via the organizer if they are using feedback forms. Good or bad, audience feedback is extremely valuable. Positive feedback can validate your hard work and reinforce your sense of achievement in standing up in front of a group. Negative feedback in the form of honest, constructive criticism can highlight areas for improvement and help you develop your presentations skills for next time. It’s a win, win!

I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips and perhaps they will help your next public speaking engagement run a little more smoothly. Do you have any tips not included here? Please add them in the comments.

Search Industry Job of the Week – SEO/SEM Specialist

Job Title: SEO/SEM Specialist
Job Reference: Unknown
Position Type: Full-Time (on-premise)
Name of employer: IGM Creative Group
Location: Lincoln Park, NJ
Date Posted: 11 May 2013
Position description:

IGM Creative Group are an interactive marketing and advertising agency in Lincoln Park. They are in search of a specialist skilled in Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Campaigns, and Content Marketing. The ideal candidate will be able to work full-time on-premise and has 2 years professional experience working within an Ad Agency.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

1. Social Media Campaigns (SMC)

  • Create content on website, YouTube, social media pages, and blog to increase quality score
  • Help produce daily content for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ at scheduled times
  • Produce monthly social media reports for insights
  • Research social media trends and new technologies

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Execute SEO strategy with client intake
  • Monitor, track and report on analytics metrics monthly
  • Research and analyze competitor site and link structure
  • Optimize internal link building and metadata
  • Keep up-to-date on SEO strategies/tactics/algorithm shifts
  • Ability to translate analysis into useful managerial reports

3. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

  • Manage Google AdWord/display network campaigns and optimize using set budgets
  • Good grasp of performance marketing, conversion, and online customer acquisition
  • Optimize keyword portfolio through testing with ad copy, landing page quality, bidding strategies, and negative keywords

4. Content Marketing

  • Create landing pages for promotions and form submissions
  • Manage blog calendar
  • Coordinate and publish guest blogger posts
  • Compose creative blog posts using SEO keywords

5. Email Marketing

  • Create, test, and deliver email campaigns on a scheduled basis
  • Produce e-mail marketing campaign reports providing metrics

6. Administrative Duties

  • Organize and keep track of open project plans
  • Proposal and Estimate Development
  • Client Accounts Representation
  • Manage and Organize Invoices and Receivables

Experience and Education:

  • Minimum 1-2 years working on multiple Google AdWord/Display Network campaigns (experience working with bid management technology is preferred)
  • 1-2 years of creative writing experience in a social media setting
  • 1-2 years of e-mail marketing campaign management
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Advertising, or related field required


  • Excellent writing capabilities is mandatory
  • Strong Knowledge of Social Media for Business – Experience handling Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ is necessary
  • Excellent knowledge of Google analytics
  • Adobe Suite – Photoshop and InDesign
  • Microsoft Office for Mac – Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Ability to learn and research new marketing programs
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to multitask and prioritize tasks effectively
  • Knowledge of HTML, CSS, Web Services and CMS (WordPress or Joomla) is a huge plus

Salary range: Base Pay: Relative to Skills and Experience
Closing date: Unknown
More info about company from:
Contact: Send resumes via online form to:

For more search industry jobs, or to post a vacancy, visit Search Engine College Jobs Board.

Fast Five in Search – Week 20, 2013

fast-fiveWe’ve got several perspectives for this week’s Fast Five – including Mum’s!

1) How My Mum Thinks Search Engines Work by Rob Toledo                                             This is a good fun post to help us remember the broader perspective of common internet usage. Thanks Rob and thanks Rob’s Mum!

2) How to Integrate Google+ into Your Online Marketing Initiative by Jayson DeMers         By the end of last year, only eighteen months after it was launched, Google+ had 343 million active users. It is the world’s fastest growing social media platform, second only to Facebook. This post gives a good run down on many of the smart marketing features of Google+ and how to make the most of them.

3) An Online Resource You Don’t Want to Miss: The Matt Cutts Short Cutts by Amanda DeSilvestro                                                                                                                         Amanda’s put together a nice post describing the features of but as she says, it is pretty self explanatory. There plenty of SEO resources in there. One to bookmark!

4) Positioning Your Business for the Future of SEO – Whiteboard Friday by Ron Garrett Ron Garrett from Distilled gives a great video tutorial on the future of SEO in this Whiteboard Friday post. How to set goals, take calculated risks, assess staff ability – all these things can keep us competitive and adaptable in the changing world of SEO.

I like to leave the different one’s until last…

5) The Clients I Can’t Afford to Take by Bill Sebald                                                            This blog post is true of consulting and true of life. There are some gems in here about dealing with difficult personality types and how to stay focussed – as either a contractor or manager.

Happy reading!

*Image by Threadless

What to Include in a Web Site Audit

What to include in a web site auditThe other day, I found the very first web site audit that I ever performed for a client’s site, way back in 2000. The page load times were hilarious!

But it got me thinking about how things have changed over the years and how sophisticated web site audits need to be these days. From the conversations I’ve had, there is still some confusion over what should be included in a web site audit.

This prompted me to write an article What to Include in a Web Site Audit which has been published over at SiteProNews.  Let me know what you think!