How to Change Your Brand Without Losing Your USP

This article is contributed by Bob William.

Every company should have a USP. This is your Unique Selling Point and it’s what sets your services and products apart from everyone else.  Even if you provide a great service but it is no different from anyone else’s , then it will be incredibly hard to market and incredibly hard to make yourself stand out – or even to be remembered for that matter. Continue reading “How to Change Your Brand Without Losing Your USP”

BWelford’s Monthly Round-Up For July 2009

This is the online version of the SMM Newsletter. It offers a monthly summary and a selection of the most popular posts written by Barry Welford (online name BWelford) during the past month.

Monthly Highlights

Microsoft will swallow Yahoo! Search

The biggest news item is that finally Microsoft and Yahoo are getting together. Or as Times Online put it, this is Microsoft’s sweet Yahoo deal to take on Google.

Microsoft’s Bing search service will become Yahoo’s search engine, and gain almost 30% of the search market. It is the end of an era in Search, reducing the field to two key players: Microsoft and its arch enemy Google. Microsoft will pay Yahoo 88% of the search revenue generated from its sites in the first five years of the agreement. For Yahoo, once the leader in online search, it is the end of the road.

Top Twelve Posts

We hope you will find this round-up of a dozen of the most popular posts instructive and in some cases thought-provoking. You can receive an e-mail version of this if you prefer. In that case, please subscribe via the field in the middle of the right sidebar.

The blogs in which the posts appeared are indicated by the following abbreviations after the date: BPW = BPWrap; SGL = StayGoLinks; SMm = Senior Money Memos; SSc = SEO-Scoop, a Search Engine People blog; SEP = Search Engine People blog; TOBB = The Other Bloke’s Blog
Content May Be The SEO King But Check The Palace Architecture – 07/31/2009 BPW
SEOs debate and argue whether content or links is most important in getting high keyword rankings. Website architecture probably will give better improvements.
Google, Apple In Conflict While Microsoft, Yahoo Agree – 07/29/2009 BPW
The Microsoft Yahoo search deal may be the main headline but a conflict between Google and Apple on search results may have more serious consequences.
Getting Your Local Business On The Map In Metro Vancouver – 07/22/2009 OBB
Getting correctly located in the Google Local Business Center requires citations from a number of other directory sources. Getting corrections is not easy.
British Expats Financial Checklist – 07/20/2009 SMm
British expats should carefully review all financial factors and differences in laws and regulations to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Wot No Google Local Search – 07/19/2009 BPW
Google Local Search is the subject of much discussion, but is not available except in Mobile Search. Otherwise they show local results where appropriate.
Check Mobile Customers Search And Find Your Website – 07/19/2009 SGL
Google Mobile Search gives very different results from Google Universal Search. A simulation allows you to check Google Mobile Search results.
The 1209 Beer by Greene King – 07/15/2009 OBB
2009 is the 800th anniversary of the founding of Cambridge University and the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species.
What Have You Done For Me Today? – 07/15/2009 SEP
To keep customers loyal and enthusiastic, it is important to be offering them items they will value from time to time.
Buddy, Can You Spare A Dime Or A Minute – 07/10/2009 OBB
Gab Goldenberg thinks Seth Godin is wrong on Free and journalists’ pay but in this attention economy his messy description is exactly right.
Latest Gmail Phishing Very Tough To Spot – Watch Out – 07/04/2009 OBB
The latest Gmail phishing exploit is particularly professional and difficult to spot. Only the URL on the spoof Gmail Welcome Page reveals the trick.
Are You Mobile Web Ready? – 07/03/2009 SGL
For the Mobile Web, an appropriate website should be designed that will give a good user experience. LBOST is the SMM Mobile website for Local Business.
Five Ways To Turn Blog Comments Into Conversations – 07/01/2009 SSc
Blogs often allow comments but these rarely result in real conversations. A better format is to allow the discussion to take place in a Forum, which gives more space and structure for discussion.
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Google Search Battles On

In the lucrative search market, Google may have the lion’s share but Yahoo and Microsoft, the other major players, are continually seeking ways to undercut that dominance. Now we hear that Microsoft Plans Major Ad Push Around New Search Engine; Is The Name Bing?

AdAge previously reported that Microsoft was planning a major ad campaign to promote a relaunch of Live Search this spring. It now says that Microsoft will spend between $80 and $100 million on advertising, almost double the amount typically spent on the launch of a consumer product. The campaign will span TV, print, and online. It is so large that ad firm JWT is actually hiring while most of its competitors are shedding employees. AdAge says the campaign will “focus on planting the idea that today’s search engines don’t work as well as consumers previously thought by asking them whether search (aka Google) really solves their problems.”

Google would strongly refute that message, perhaps by pointing out that it offers More Search Options.

We have spent a lot of time looking at how we can better understand the wide range of information that’s on the web and quickly connect people to just the nuggets they need at that moment. We want to help our users find more useful information, and do more useful things with it.

We are announcing a new set of features that we call Search Options, which are a collection of tools that let you slice and dice your results and generate different views to find what you need faster and easier. Search Options helps solve a problem that can be vexing: what query should I ask?

That approach may well counter the Microsoft challenge. After all powerful advertising campaigns do not necessarily mean that the new Microsoft Search – Bing, Kuomo or whatever it is called – will be any better than the previous Live Search that has been notoriously erratic.

What Google Search Options may not do is help in the more heated arena where Google battles Facebook.

Google increasingly sees social networks such as Facebook as challengers to its search engine. As people search out advice online for everyday, personal decisions, the standard list of links served up by Google is not seen as intimate or trustworthy. For decisions such as choosing a restaurant or a day care provider, social networking sites or known review sites have an advantage, said Google Group Product Manager Ken Tokusei. Such sites offer information from friends or acquaintances, and users tend to trust that information more.

Google does allow users to add opinions to search results but this approach really has not gained any traction. However I believe the key battle-ground is regular search where Microsoft will pitch its Bing. I believe Google is in a position to adopt an approach that the others will have a very hard time matching. This will be outlined in a follow-up article entitled, Google Can Continue To Dominate Search With A Customer-Centric Strategy.

Please make sure you have subscribed to the RSS News Feed so that you can see the follow-up when it is published.

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Windows Live Writer

One blogger who is always good value is Mitch Joel of TwistImage.  I can vouch for the quality of his post today,The 10 Things You Need For Your Computer. One of his recommendations was Windows Live Writer.

If you Blog, this is one of the better applications to get the job done. You can work offline, save drafts and insert all kinds of multimedia. Once you’re set-up, you can also see how the post will look when it’s live and you can even publish to the Web directly from the software package. The best functionality is the link manager. Once you assign a URL to a specific keyword, all you have to do it highlight it in future posts and the link will be automatically inserted. This saves tons of time and makes linking the pleasure it should be. Windows Live Writer is free.

I have now switched to Windows Live Writer and I echo everything Mitch said.  I am sure my productivity will be double using this software.  I am not usually a Microsoft fan, but I take my hat off to them.  Thanks a million, Mitch.

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