SMAZ4 Social, Mobile, Search & Digital Marketing for Business Feb 11

Largest Interactive Marketing Event in AZ
SMAZ is the premier business focused event to help companies understand and learn the latest techniques in digital marketing and social media. Learn from industry experts and corporations that have experience in how to do it right. With a focus on real world experience which means we share the good, the bad and what really works. SMAZ4 is February 11th!

Register Today for SMAZ4 (Use smazzie for 25% off)



Location: The MadCap Theaters in beautiful downtown Tempe. We have all of the theaters on the 2nd floor, open areas and ‘healthier’ concessions slated for the event. All this means that our event is ready for more attendees.

The MadCap Theaters

730 S. Mill Avenue

Tempe, AZ 85281 Google Map

Parking Details (There will be free and discounted parking available)

Mission to Meet AZIMA Members: 21

The 21st edition of the Mission to Meet AZIMA Members series features Nick Roshon from iCrossing. Nick loves to attend as many of the AZIMA monthly social events as possible because of the caliber of speakers and all the great networking opportunities.  Additionally, he learns a lot from each presentation that he can apply to h is own life and career.

Thanks for your continued support, Nick! Be sure not to miss out on next week’s event on January 11 featuring Tim Ash. His presentation with cover landing page optimization will be one you don’t want to miss!

Mission to Meet AZIMA Members: 20

This week’s edition of the Mission to Meet AZIMA Members brings you Liam O’Mahony of the Community Services Department at City of Chandler. He said he keeps coming back to AZIMA events because they are inspiring to him and give him new ideas! Liam considers himself a pretty low-tech guy, but over the past few years he said he has adapted to changes in the tech industry, with help from organizations like AZIMA.

Glad we could help, Liam!

Hope to see you at the next social event — January 11 featuring Tim Ash. His presentation with cover landing page optimization and will be a must-see!  Also, I would like to wish all AZIMA members a Happy New Year!  See you next year — look for me and my flip cam!

Mission to Meet AZIMA Members: 19

Wow– 18 video blogs so far and going strong. This week, I’d like you to meet our 19th featured member:  Greg Head of New Avenue! Greg said he tries to make it to AZIMA as often as possible to network with innovative thinkers.  Also, he said he is impressed with the caliber of speakers AZIMA brings to Phoenix.

Thanks for attending our social events, Greg!  Don’t miss the next one — January 11 featuring Tim Ash. His presentation with cover landing page optimization and you won’t want to miss it!

David Mihm Presents Local Search

This is a guest post by Nick Roshon (@nickroshon), an SEO Strategist at iCrossing.  He also blogs at the iCrossing Great Finds, and Nick’s Car Blog.

December’s AZIMA event proved to be another great one as David Mihm of presented a comprehensive and mind-blowing presentation on Local Search. David authored

david mihm

Photo from

an acclaimed report on Local Search Ranking Factors and his work is used and cited by SEO & Local search experts worldwide. In his presentation he didn’t hold anything back, giving out advanced tips and sharing many secrets about local search optimization – his presentation was so well received that comments such as “I’m learning 10 years of local search marketing in 1 hour. My mind is about to explode from awesomeness” were heard and echoed on Twitter.

The presentation started off with any explanation of why local search is important, and then he explained the Google Places algorithm in three parts – Relevance, Prominence, and Distance. His presentation included intermediate & advanced tactics, a discussion on analytics, and even best practices for uber-competitive markets – it was an impressive amount of ground to cover in just under an hour, but David kept a great pace and wow’d the audience for an hour straight.

Local Search – Why It’s Important

First off – why should you pay attention to local search? David explained that 20{2bbd478b6aadf2a9bb5e10dcf35d17c0d0772390afbaf5ac8145fb1096668903} of desktop searches have a local intent – a staggering 2 BILLION queries per month. It’s more important than ever to concentrate on local search, as Google has recently revised their search results to blend organic and local listings throughout the search engine results, as opposed to separating the local results in a “7 pack” above the organic results as they used to. As Google explains in their blog, this change was made to make local results even easier to find, and it definitely gives local results (and specifically, links to Google Places) more prominence in the search results. This fundamental shift means that search marketers will need to focus on both organic and local optimization to be successful, and that local business owners should focus not only on their website, but also on their Google Places page to make it provides a useful & informative experience for users.

The Places Algorithm – How Does it work?

The Places algorithm solves a very difficult question – how do you rank a phonebook? Yet the answer is pretty simple and based off of a pretty basic framework of just three factors – Relevance, Prominence, and Distance. This is a much different algorithm than organic search due to the local intent of the user. David then broke down each element of the algorithm further.


Optimizing for distance is impossible – you are where you are. This is one factor that you cannot control. The other two – Relevance and Prominence – are where you should focus your efforts.


There are many steps you can take to improve your relevance to local search keywords – many are straightforward like having a keyword in your business name, adding yourself to the appropriate categories, and making sure your Google Place page is claimed and filled out completely. In addition to just claiming and filling out your place page, make sure to make it compelling – the goal is to get clicks, and convert visitors – not just rank well. Otherwise, increasing your relevancy is much like organic search, pick keywords that are relevant to your business, including some longer tail keywords that will convert well, and then use those keywords throughout your copy in a natural sounding way.


Prominence is the third and perhaps most difficult aspect of local search optimization – generally the intermediate and advanced tactics. Simply put, prominence is what others say about you. The easiest thing you can do to improve your prominence is to manually claim your Google Places listing. Be sure to claim your listing using an email address on your own domain, and not a Gmail account, as this will help Google verify you are the owner of the website and not just a random Gmail user. The other big factor in improving your prominence is to have a lot of high quality citations – a citation is considered a mention of your Name, Address, and Phone Number (or N.A.P. for short). Having high quality citations that are geo-relevant and related to your industry or vertical will help your business thrive in local search prominence. Another aspect of prominence is reviews – having lots of reviews will help your business, especially positive ones. There are many other advanced tactics to improve prominence, such as presence on Flickr, popular YouTube videos, and even geo-tagging in Wikipedia. There is a great write up on the SEO Training SW blog that shares some of these more advanced tactics if you are interested.

Organic Optimization for Local Search

A good SEO strategy is holistic of both local & organic – David shared with us some strategies to make organic search strategy work together with your local search optimization for optimal results. Tactics such as including the city & state in your title tags, and creating separate pages on your website for each of your locations are two easy steps you can take to improve your local & organic search optimization. And of course, links matter, as they do for all aspects of organic search – to help your local search the most, try to get links from geo-relevant sites, or with geo-specific anchor text, as those links will help reinforce the relevance of your business’ location and service offerings to the search engines.


David’s presentation was an eye-opener for many local business owners, organic SEOs, and other internet marketers as we learned just how complicated and advanced local search optimization has become. For retailers, brick and mortars, or anyone with a local presence, it is essential to start learning local search optimization and creating a holistic optimization strategy that accounts for both local and organic tactics.

Mission to Meet AZIMA Members: 18

This week’s Mission to Meet AZIMA Members post features Thomas Ballantyne from Bulwark Pest Control. Ballantyne’s AZIMA story is a bit different.  Though he thoroughly enjoys the speakers and networking AZIMA has to offer, his video interview reveals a bit about a video of his own, filmed at a prior AZIMA event.

Glad your video was successful, Thomas!  Also, thanks for bringing “myth busters” to an AZIMA event.

SearchFest 2011- Get the Early Bird Discount While You Still Can!

SearchFest 2011- Portland’s Premier Search Marketing + Social Media Conference

Join hundreds of your online marketing peers for the fifth annual SearchFest! Portland’s largest search engine marketing conference is dedicated to search marketing education and networking.

SEMpdx has again recruited top search marketing experts for individual panel sessions, including senior online marketers from companies like the New York Times, REI, Intel, and Oregon State University.  Agency-side veterans Rand Fishkin, Marty Weintraub, Ian Lurie, John Andrews and Matt McGee return to complement the experience of these in-house representatives.  New 2011 panels focus on the cutting-edge areas of Local and Mobile Search, featuring presentations from Greg Sterling and Mike Blumenthal.

The complete agenda covers a wide variety of online marketing topics, including: competitive intelligence, social media strategies and analytics, website design to increase search optimization and customer acquisition, search marketing strategy, building a search agency, universal search, advanced link building, advanced analytics, and advanced pay-per-click techniques.

SearchFest is open to all individuals interested in learning the latest advancements in enhancing search engine performance to deliver more visitors and customers to your website.

February 23, 2011
The Governor Hotel, Portland, Oregon
View Agenda, Speakers and Register

“Early Bird” pricing ends December 31, so Register NOW using discount code: ‘AZIMA’ and save 10{2bbd478b6aadf2a9bb5e10dcf35d17c0d0772390afbaf5ac8145fb1096668903}!

How to Get the Most out of Online Video

Guest Post: Submitted by Gate6

These days, video is an incredibly popular way to promote a brand, drive web traffic, educate an audience on a subject and benefit your SEO.  YouTube has become a phenomenon in and of itself with many of its videos going viral – becoming extremely popular in a very short period of time.  And Forrester Research recently reported that videos are roughly 53 times more likely than traditional web pages to receive an organic first-page ranking on Google.  Clearly, it makes good business sense to capitalize on this hip medium, but how do you know what to do and what to avoid?  These expert recommendations will help you create videos that make a big impact.

Choose the Right Title

The title of your video seems very obvious and basic, but it’s a critical element and should not be taken lightly.  Make your title interesting, engaging and specific so people actually want to watch the video.  For example, if your video teaches viewers how to train a dog to sit, instead of naming it “Dog Training 101,” you’d be better off naming it “How to Teach Your Dog to Sit in Five Minutes or Less.”  Be as enticing and specific as possible.  A video named “Top 3 Secrets to Building Better Websites” is more likely to be clicked on and watched than a video titled “Website Design Fundamentals.”  Your title, in addition to being engaging and motivating, should also contain the keywords that people are likely to be searching.  Come up with a catchy, keyword-rich title for your video and you’ll vastly increase your viewership and success rate.

Make it Creative and Original

These days, people expect videos to be unique, fun, funny, entertaining, exciting, controversial, thought-provoking or somehow outside the box.  No one wants to watch a talking head on a screen drone on about some topic or watch a flat PowerPoint slideshow set to bland music.  Figure out what you want to tell people, and then come up with an original video idea to powerfully deliver your message.  Once you have a basic concept, continue to brainstorm ways to make it even more unique and compelling.  Ask yourself if people will really want to watch a video like this.  Spend time watching successful, extremely popular videos on the internet.  Be sure you devote plenty of time to your video concept and be as creative as possible to ensure the highest level of success.

Tell Viewers What You Want Them to Do

Many videos (and many marketing attempts in general) forget to tell the viewer what to do after they watch the video.  So they watched your 90-second dog-training video on Vimeo, now what do you want them to do?  Share it on Facebook?  Tweet it?  Post a comment?  Call your office for a free quote?  Visit your blog?  Take an online quiz?  Successful online videos always end with a clear and strong call to action that encourages the viewer to continue engaging with the brand.  Your call to action at the end of your video is a tremendous marketing opportunity so be sure to include it.

Video is a fantastic, fast-growing digital medium that can help you increase brand awareness and connect with your target market.  Incorporating these three critical elements will help you get the most out of your online video efforts.