As the chief executive of Ten Golden Rules, an Internet marketing agency based in Boca Raton, Fla., Jay Berkowitz stresses how important it is for executives to understand how Web-site design, search technology and other online technologies and trends affect their business.
He cites numerous podcasts as his own most important tools, "turning previously monotonous activities into stimulating learning." Among these, are the Daily Search Cast (http://dailysearchcast.com), which is run by engine-marketing expert Danny Sullivan, as well as That Affiliate Thing (www.WebmasterRadio.fm), which offers the latest in affiliate marketing.
Here are some other resources Mr. Berkowitz recommends for companies looking to optimize their online presence, with his comments on each.
"Don't Make Me Think," by Steve Krug
This is a well-written book about Web site usability. According to Mr. Krug, when visitors reach a Web site for the first time "if we're lucky, they glance at each new page, scan some of the text, and click on the first link that catches their interest or vaguely resembles the thing they're looking for." While commercial Web sites are often designed in the same manner as a detailed brochure, the reality is that "the user's reality is much closer to "billboard going by at 60 miles an hour." The name of Mr. Krug's book says it all.
"The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More," by Chris Anderson
Mr. Anderson coined, arguably, one of the best catch phrases in Internet selling, "The Long Tail," which means companies with distribution power can sell a greater volume of hard-to-find items at small volumes than of popular items at large volumes. Mr. Anderson explains how online retailers such as Amazon have opened the door to 'long tail' books, movies and audio recordings that would not have had a market in the pre-wired world.
"Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything," by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams
Messrs. Tapscott and Williams explain how open architecture is changing business, and how global collaboration is changing technology. The book also demonstrates how the mass population is playing a role in shaing economy like never before, through the creation of music, art and new technologies and participation in massive online communities.
"The Search -- How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed our Culture," by John Battelle
Mr. Battelle explains the history of search marketing and the key insight that allowed Google, which was a late starter, to become the dominant player in the industry. Mr. Battelle describes the 'database of our intentions,' or the combined searches of individuals, as an effective tool for advertising and marketing.
"Life After the 30-Second Spot: Energize Your Brand With a Bold Mix of Alternatives to Traditional Advertising," by Joseph Jaffe
Mr. Jaffe, a marketing consultant and former advertising executive, explains how traditional approaches to marketing are no longer relevant in a new media world. He cites the need for round-the-clock customer service, and the connectivity of wireless as a means of keeping contact with consumers at all times and in all places.
"Winning Results with Google AdWords," by Andrew Goodman
Mr. Goodman explains how to succeed in the hypercompetitive world of Google pay-per-click advertising. Mr. Goodman provides techniques for writing ads, selecting specific keywords and expanding ad distribution. In even further detail, he explains the importance of testing ad copy and how to develop ongoing keyword discovery, as well as consumer personalization.
"Search Engine Visibility," by Shari Thurow
Ms. Thurow wrote the classic book on the basics of designing a Web site for free search-engine pick up. She details search-engine optimization and advises on how to build Web sites that 'naturally' attract traffic from search engines. Ms. Thurow writes in her introduction: 'Understanding how the search engines work, how your target audience searches, and how to best design your site from the onset can save your company thousands of dollars in time and expenses.'
"Blogs are the new e-newsletters," says Mr. Berkowitz. He suggests subscribing to blog feeds and viewing headlines using Google reader. "For the blogger, a subscription bypasses email and allows them to deliver their messages direct to the user with no spam interference."
Seth Godin's Blog, sethgodin.typepad.com
Seth Godin, author of several best-selling marketing books, is always on top of the trends that matter. He recetnly described the power of choice in marketing -- "Unlike most other functions in the organization, you get to choose where and how you do what you do," but adds that the bad choices are the easiest mistakes to avoid: "If you have colleagues that love to discuss everything out loud, don't choose a campaign that will fail if the market senses internal discussion and disagreement," or "If you have an organization that is slow and deliberative, don't enter a market that rewards the fleet of foot."
Search Engine Land, searchengineland.com
Danny Sullivan and the team at Search Engine Land cover the breaking news in the search-marketing industry. For example, local and mobile search have been hyped as the next big opportunity for interactive marketers, as Web surfers become more comfortable seeking out nearby merchants and service providers via the Internet, "rather than the increasingly outdated, non-interactive yellow pages."
Matt Cutt's Blog, mattcutts.com/blog
Matt Cutts joined Google in January 2000 as a software engineer and currently heads the company's Webspam team. He is one of the most respected experts in the search-engine space.
Influential Marketing Blog, rohitbhargava.typepad.com
Rohit Bhargava's blog is intellectual and educational. In a recent post, he discusses the art of stamp collection and how, even today, many smaller countries use stamps as a key marketing tool. He writes, 'Next time you pass a post office in any country, pay attention to how they are using their philately to promote the country, cater to tourists, or commemorate moments of significance.'
Micro Persuasion, www.micropersuasion.com
Steve Rubel is a senior marketing strategist and senior vice president in Edelman's me2revolution practice. Edelman is the largest independent global PR firm. Mr. Rubel always has the big stories in Internet and public relations, and he explains why they matter.
Write to Keith Huang at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Ten Golden Rules
Ten Golden Rules was founded in 2003 by Jay Berkowitz. The Florida internet advertising consultant, specializing in strategic planning, internet advertising, search engine optimization (SEO) and internet marketing, helps companies develop ideas for converting website traffic into leads and sales by focusing on the most effective search engine marketing strategies. For more information please visit 10 Golden Rules.