As we start of 2011, let's take one last look at 2010, and see what articles the web had to offer those of us in the marketing and PR industry in its last week. Read on for articles covering: a nine-step strategy for checking your website's performance using Google Webmaster Tools, what the Internet really knows about you, how to use content to improve customer loyalty (not just generate new leads), why women dominate the PR industry (but often fail to make it to the top), and a interesting bit of advice on how to approach your life and career for success and happiness.
Website & Search Marketing
In this article, Ian Lurie walks through an approach to Google Webmaster Tools that can help marketers better understand their site’s SEO performance, and improve it.
Ian offers a relatively simple process that even beginner marketing webmasters can understand, starting with identifying and fixing crawl errors, moving through keyword relevance and ranking checks, and on to helping Google find any pages that it’s failing to recognize.
Reviewing your site’s performance should be a regular activity for marketers, but often it lands at the bottom of to-do lists when other priorities prevail. Going through this Checkup is a great way to help your website start the New Year off right.
Social Media & The Internet Generation
Zach Seward shares his life in graphic (pun intended: this is a graph-heavy post) detail in this incredibly interesting article. Zach was able to learn and share great amounts of information about his life using add-ons and plug-ins for the Internet services he uses regularly. A few examples of what the article includes:
- A heat map that shows where Zach travels most frequently in his home city (using data from Foursquare checkins)
- His most listened-to music artists of the year (using data from Last.fm)
- How frequently Zach cursed in emails (using data from his Gmail inbox)
- On average, the time of day he’s most active on commonly used Internet services (Twitter, Last.fm, Google Search and Google Reader)
This article truly is a fascinating look at the kind of information many of us let the world see every day. The data can be informative, interesting and/or scary, largely depending upon your perspective. At any rate, I highly recommend giving this one a read.
In this article, Ardath Albee explores the use of content marketing for current customers, rather than prospects. She stresses the importance of understanding that customers have different expectations that prospects, and they’ll likely expect a more personalized approach. To get started on your customer-nurturing strategy, Ardath suggests asking questions such as:
- What new problems might customers be facing, now that your product or service has solved an initial one?
- What can you teach customers to help them get more value out of your offerings?
- What related products or services might they be interested in?
To learn more about how you can use content to increase loyalty from your existing customer base, see Ardath’s complete post.
PR Industry & Trends
Russell Working explores the female-dominated nature of public relations, as well as the dichotomy that although 85 percent of PR practitioners are female, “top management remains 80 percent male” and pay inequality is still prevalent.
Several theories for the high percentage of women, and their underrepresentation in senior management, are mentioned:
- Skills that tend to me more intrinsically “female” bode well in the PR industry.
- Entry-level skills and salary are on par with other female-dominated fields, such as those in the humanities.
- Women tend to seek more of a “work-life balance” than men, which may keep them out of high-demand executive roles.
For more on the details of these theories, as well as a look toward diversifying the industry, see the complete post.
And, for more on female leadership in today’s workforce, see Greg Sterling’s Gender and Tech Companies: Where Are the Women? This article explores gender diversity in tech, and also features a TED talk video by Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg: Why We Have too few Women Leaders.
Personal & Career Advice
Lastly, we highly recommend this article by Mitch Joel, in which he shares an approach to life (and work) that just may get you thinking about how you can get the most out of yours.
What were your favorite articles of the week? Comments are open for your opinions.