Consumer-generated ads and General Motors

This is probably old news to some of you, but I find it fascinating that Chevrolet is allowing consumers to create their own ads for the new Tahoe. As you can imagine, some consumers have created some very critical ads. However, I applaud General Motors for finally taking some risk. I’m sure the authors of “The Cluetrain Manifesto” would also applaud this bold move.

There is no doubt in my mind that we will see more of this. This is the start of an open and honest dialogue between General Motors and their customers. Is the dialogue always going to positive? Of course not. It isn’t always positive offline, but it is too easy for General Motors to ignore private customer-to-customer conversations. It is a bit different when the conversations are out in the open, staring them in the face.

Sam Decker calls this “customer oxygen”. No matter what you call it, it is healthy. I have long believed that a company should design its products with customers. That may sound obvious, but it’s not. I created Coremetrics, a successful Web analytics business, based on the premise that companies like Accrue and NetGenesis had failed to do this. And their customers defected quickly.

Then I read Ron Bloom’s, the CEO of Podshow, article on “advertising 2.0”. Outside of the fact that there are too many 2.0 terms, I agree with Ron that advertising must evolve. We are more cynical than ever about advertising because we are more educated. If you are reading this blog, you are likely far more educated about marketing than most consumers. And you are probably much more likely than most consumers to ignore advertising altogether – skip it with your TIVO, read news online via an RSS feed, get the straight scoop from your friends. The question is – what form of marketing works or is going to work on you? Is it “keeping up with The Joneses” all over again? Only this time, you actually trust “The Joneses” more than you trust any corporation.

Every social networking, blogging, user-generated content, “authentic media”, and Web 2.0 company has a common goal in mind: monetize their business model with advertising. There are a ton of venture-capital and public-market dollars chasing this aim. My bet is that several will evolve entirely new forms of advertising. For some, the bets are already paying off. Last I heard, Facebook is making over $10 million per month on advertising and the buzz is that it may be acquired for as much as $2 billion. And you probably heard what Rupert Murdoch’s #2 is publically saying about their acquisition of MySpace. Considering the Murdoch empire and the newness of social networking, that is a pretty mind-blowing statement.

In full disclosure, my wife, Debra, just bought a new GM SUV after trading in her Volkswagen SUV, an unfortunate lemon of lemons (it actually pains me to write that after many years of loyalty to Volkswagen). I also bring this up because I found myself genuinely impressed with the 2007 redesign of the model she bought, and I wonder if Bob Lutz and his team are really starting to figure it out by listening. It is the first American car that we have ever bought. Imagine how odd it would be to read that statement if we lived in the 1950’s instead of the 2000’s.

Report from SXSW Interactive “Convergence in Advertising” Panel

Last week, I participated in a panel discussion at the SXSW Interactive conference held annually here in Austin. The title of the panel was “Convergence in Advertising”, and I was joined by executives from companies in the educational media, advergaming, and social media fields.

The growing importance of consumer-created content

In turn, each panelist discussed the growing importance of consumer-created content and the impact of this content on traditional advertising practices, client relationships, and consumers’ brand perceptions.

My presentation focused specifically on customer reviews (surprise!) and on the opportunities available to leading brands as a result of the proliferation of consumer-created content and the many platforms that now exist to support content creation and distribution.

Convergence Meaning

Before going down that path, however, I talked briefly about what convergence actually means to me, given my perspective at samedayessays. Convergence is a frequently used term, and it seems to mean just about anything you need it to mean to support your business strategy or model! For me, however, convergence means or describes three things:

  • Convergent technologies are those that make the key “end uses” of consumer technology, such as media consumption and content creation, accessible in a near-ubiquitous fashion, through always-on connectivity, portability, integration, and good old device and network performance and capacity. As I presented at SXSW, audience members posted in real-time to their blogs from laptops and high-speed wireless connections.
  • Convergence describes the multi-directional conversations that are now occurring between and among brands and consumers. While traditional advertising “communicated” in a one-way fashion, convergent advertising is just the opposite. Brands now increasingly rely on feedback from key consumers and conversations with influentials to refine their business strategies, and convergent technologies enable this process. Soon after deploying customer reviews, Golfsmith found an opportunity to reach out to a very vocal customer (and reviewer) located right in Austin, where they are headquartered.
  • Last, convergence means that advertiser- and consumer-created content are beginning to merge. From the early beginnings of contextual advertising to emerging social media platforms like FilmLoop, “content convergence” is a powerful new force in marketing and advertising. samedayessays clients are inviting this convergence by offering their customers the ability to write and publish product reviews, which may ultimately be used in both on-site and off-site advertising programs. For example, PETCO now uses excerpts from actual customer reviews as copy on its web site and in its email newsletters.

In summary, convergence is a complex and disruptive force but one that advertisers must embrace and learn to leverage. At samedayessays , we are trying to facilitate this for our clients by providing an ROI-focused application of technology and content convergence.

By continually enhancing our functionality for enabling content creation and distribution, we hope to increase the overall quality, relevance, and authenticity of this content, while also increasing its reach. Looking further out, we see enormous potential in supporting mobile devices to enable consumers to access a product review, reviewer profile, or other community content on demand while he or she is on the go. Stay tuned . . .

Always Recommend the Right Products

If you have an e-commerce business, the following advice will be very good for the development of your business. Not only makes your company survive, but will greatly expand!

Glen Urban is an MIT professor focused on understanding, building, and maintaining trust on the Web. In his latest book, Don’t Just Relate – Advocate!, Urban makes a valuable claim about being a responsible advisor to your customers:

Mobile Location-Influenced Shopping and Word of Mouth

It is undeniable, at this time that the tendency of the world community is greater for shopping online than shopping directly. Shopping face to face may still be done in traditional markets but maybe soon it will change too. One of the influential figures in online shopping is Jeff Bezos.

I was fortunate enough to attend of a keynote presentation by Jeff Bezos last year. Jeff keynoted Shop.org’s first Multichannel Executive Symposium, co-hosted with McKinsey & Company. As a Shop.org Board member, I was proud that Jeff accepted our invitation to present.

Jeff Bezos : “The Future of Always=Connected Camera Phone Affected Physical Shopping”

As a brief one-minute comment while answering an attendee’s question, Jeff talked about the future of always-connected camera phones. When camera phones offer 3.5-megapixel resolution, he said, the world of physical shopping becomes very interesting. This is because 3.5-megapixel resolution enables you to accurately read a product barcode right off the box.

With an always-on mobile device, you would be able to price compare, read product ratings and reviews, and even get product accessory information from local stores in your nearby area while you are physically shopping in that store. Well, this was like a lightning rod to me, while Jeff casually moved on to the next subject.

Talk about turning the physical shopping environment on its head. I was surprised to read that many camera phones in South Korea already offer 8-megapixel resolution (they also receive live satellite TV and cost $700).

How About Physical Retail World In The U.S?

So, in just a few years, probably 3-4 conservatively, the physical retail world in the U.S. will clash with the online retail world in a fundamentally disruptive way. Some would say that is happening already.

In either case, I believe that customer ratings and reviews become even more important in an environment like this. I also believe that differentiated service, great product, really listening to your customers, collaborating more closely with your suppliers, and word of mouth marketing become even more important in this environment. It is right around the corner.

Blogs and Word of Mouth Transparency

Today’s topic will be very interesting for those of you who are thinking of doing business online or you who like to shop without face to face alias online shopping. How come? Yes, e-commerce is very growing nowadays that is supported by internet speed and unlimited reach. And these benefits are enjoyed by the seller or the buyer.

According to mashable’s Founder and CEO, there are over 70,000 blogs created a day with over 50,000 blog posts per hour. What are the chances that one of your customers is talking about you? High, and becoming higher every day as more jump into the global discussion. What are the chances that one of your customers or prospects will read that post?

Search Engine Influence

With Google, Yahoo, Mashable , and others already providing robust blog search engines, the answer is, again, high and becoming higher. There are several companies that offer blog mining services, such as BuzzMetrics, Cymfony, and Kaava. And these are valuable services for companies, no doubt. If you are skeptical, read the Fortune story of Kryptonite, the bike lock company. This may be one of the most important articles you read all year.

There is no doubt a lot of junk in most blogs. Most are nothing more than online diaries. But the search engines are making it easier to find information about products in blogs. The 40-year old parent may write about their kids 90% of the time, but 10% of the time they may choose to write about products and services they have recently experienced. The search engine takes the right person to that content at the right time (i.e. when they are researching whether or not to buy the product or service).

The Power of Internet Marketing

Research by BizRate shows that 56% of shoppers begin shopping at a branded website. This is intuitively obvious to me – the Internet has gone mass market and the late majority starts shopping at the brands they trust. The trick is to capture those individuals in that moment instead of sending them off with an easy click or two to go searching for reviews. That is where Samedayessays comes in.

For all of the glory of the Web, it is a non-tactile shopping environment. Companies like Scene7, RichFX, MyVirtualModel, and others make online shopping more tactile. They are helpful as the eCommerce industry struggles with 2.6% conversion, meaning that 97.4% of those that visit a store online don’t buy within that browsing session. Compare that to the 90% or so that buy when they enter a physical store. Of course, people can browse online stores more easily than driving to physical stores, and their purchase intent is often lower online than offline. This isn’t a bad thing, it just means more product browsing. Nevertheless, at 2.6% conversion, there is a lot of room for conversion improvement.

Customer Rating and Review

The beautiful thing about customer ratings and reviews on your site is that it is on your site. Let me explain:

  1. On your site, customer ratings and reviews are measurable. When a customer writes a review, you know who that customer is and what actions they have taken within that shopping session as well as previous sessions.
  2. On your site, customer ratings and reviews are actionable. Since you know who the customer is, you can decide whether to reach out to them or not. Build your own focus group of high lifetime value and vocal customers for your next relevant product launch. Address negative word of mouth by reaching out to those customers and offering to correct their experience. The voice of the customer is closer to your brand, helping push cultural change inside your company to bring all employees closer to an understanding of your customers’ experience (i.e. to become more customer centric).
  3. On your site, customer ratings and reviews serve a purpose. They give your customers a reason to trust you and come back to your site often as a valuable source of information. They help make online shopping more tactile, which results in higher online conversion. There is nothing more tactile than word of mouth (positive and negative) from other customers that have experienced that poduct or service that you are considering buying.

Outside of your site, customer ratings and reviews have virtually none of these attributes, with the notable exception that companies like Intelliseek, Cymfony, and Kaava have the goal of making them actionable.

I would also argue that customer ratings and reviews on your site are far more actionable in the sense that the online shopper is in a different frame of mind than when they are writing for their blog or on a site where they may or may not have a connection (like Epinions). They will be more thorough with their review in an environment focused on shopping within the brand they know as opposed to stream-of-consciousness within their blog.

As a result of our techniques, the average review we collect has a 350 character count, or 72 words. Compare that to the many reviews you read out there on the Web that say “this product is great” or “this product is terrible” and provide you with no actionable information at all. Those reviews move the needle for no one.

The more descriptive the review and the more it mimics offline word of mouth (which usually occurs face-to-face), the more tactile the online shopping experience becomes. As a result, shoppers and companies benefit.

Use AdSense Sparingly to Avoid Smart Pricing

It can not be deny that today is the age of information technology. The way to make money change also. Making website as a business is one of business. What is the reason people like to buy onmAdSense is perhaps one of the easiest ways to monetize a website, but that doesn’t mean that you should use it willy-nilly. Judging by the number of emails I get telling me that I should be using it on my blogs, or in my RSS feeds or whatever, it seems clear that most people feel that you should slap AdSense ads up everywhere.

Every Little Helps Doesn’t It?

The general theory seems to be that every little helps, and therefore, even if the ads aren’t clicked on all that much, surely every click is worth having? If AdSense can bring in a few extra bucks a month, then you’d be stupid not to use it, right? Well not quite, here are a few reasons why you should be sparing with your AdSense placement:

AdSense Takes Traffic Away

Some sites are built with the primary intention of getting AdSense revenue, but not all of them. This blog is not one of those sites. However, when somebody clicks your ad, they click away from your site, so that is a click that could have been directed elsewhere. Most people do not click back after they have clicked an ad!

Some Audiences Dislike AdSense

This is a problem that only affects a relatively small number of sites. Not all internet users are the same. I’m betting that you, as a reader of my blog, are pretty internet savvy, I imagine you have heard of social media sites like StumbleUpon, Facebook, etc. I’m sure you know what an ad looks like, and I’d bet quite a lot of money that you would very rarely click on an AdSense ad!

Now, of course, the only way to know for sure if AdSense is suitable for your site is to test it, but here’s a good metric to use: search engine traffic tends to respond well to AdSense, and social media traffic does not. If more than 50% of your traffic is social and not from search engines, then you might struggle with AdSense.

The Big One – SMART PRICING

At this point, you might still be thinking, so what? But here is something that many people don’t understand. AdSense allows you to put ad units up on multiple websites very easily, but it tracks your performance across your entire account, and it can apply penalties as a result. If one or more of your sites suffer from a particularly low click-through rate (I’m not sure the exact number but get worried if you’re generating less than 3%), then your account will be smartly priced and what this means is that you will only earn a fraction of the amount that you think you should.

I am pretty sure my account is smartly priced right now. None of my clicks are very high, and even in a very high paying niche, I only got $0.39 for a click that I would have expected to generate at least $1.00.

So if you just slap up AdSense on sites that don’t respond well, then you will drag down your CTR, which affects your whole account – the sites that were doing well will suddenly start making less money.

How to Avoid Smart Pricing

If you are smartly priced, then the only way out of it is to remove AdSense from the sites that have a very low CTR. Now recently, I started to add custom URL channels to my AdSense account so that I could track all my performance on a per-site basis, but I kept finding that the impressions and clicks that were being reported were less than the total number. In other words, I had AdSense running on some site that I had forgotten about!

Eventually, I tracked down the rogue URL – it was a hubpage! Back in the 2007 Thirty Day Challenge, I set up some hub pages, and back then, I knew nothing about how AdSense worked, so I just signed up for their revenue-sharing scheme. I started to track the URL, and sure enough, it was generating impressions (the hub still gets traffic now), but the CTR was appalling, so I removed it from the page.

I still have work to do because some of the niche sites I have setup are also performing badly. However, some of them have such little traffic right now that its difficult to accurately depict the CTR because just one click can cause it to vary greatly. Therefore my new approach is not to put AdSense on a site until it starts to generate a reasonably steady stream of traffic – around 25 visitors a day. That should be enough to track the clicks more accurately.

10 Great Ways to Repurpose Your Old Blog Content

Some of you from the previous decade might have liked to read magazines or books printed on paper, whether it’s good quality or simple paper. Now, magazines or books have become digital devices that you can read anywhere and anytime while you are connected to the internet.

Curation and crowd-sourcing in action! Today I’m summarizing 10 of the most actionable and creative answers to the following question:

Blogs are not vacuums. Each post, after circulation and promotion, after initial discussion, still exists and adds value. But how can we take a blog post and use this content in some other way after it has been posted? I am speaking here of ideas like converting to PowerPoint presentations and posting them to SlideShare, etc. Your ideas? Thanks!

Repurpose away!

1. “Best of”: Create special tabs, lists or pages for posts based on popularity, subject matter or number of Tweets, Facebook shares/Likes, etc.

2. Print pieces: Collect similarly themed content, and print booklets for distribution at trade shows, conferences and networking events.

3. Supplements: If you have a YouTube video, Sribd upload or Slideshare deck on the subject, link to a corresponding blog post.

4. Dig & link: Before you write a new post, review some of what you’ve written previously on similar topics and selectively link to related work.

5. Footer recommendations: After each post, collect links to related previous content. Several WordPress plugins can generate these recommendations automatically.

6. Internal resource: Your colleagues should know that your company’s blog is a content source that can inform their presentations, reports and other work projects.

7. Mash it up: Pull in content from multiple channels onto one page per subject. A page about word of mouth marketing, for instance, would have all applicable tweets from your company, blog posts, public slide decks, pod casts and white papers featured.

8. Manifesto!: Extract themes and learning from your previous work, and summarize into prediction pieces, opinion posts and year-in-review spots. Link back to the original posts.

9. Newsletters: Showcase relevant posts within your recurring newsletter, with a focus on digging deep into your archive to get new eyes on old content.

10. Shareable bits: Gather interesting factoids and points from older work, and tweet it out (or share via Facebook and LinkedIn) with a link. This is a great way to break a longer post down into pieces that are perfect for social sharing.

Top 3 Ways To Make Money Online

If you were to count the ways to make money online, you’d be at a loss. I don’t think four limbs would suffice. Lame jokes aside, there are, seriously, countless ways to make a living – even a fortune – on the Internet. The rules and principles that govern money-making in the real world apply just as much online as they do offline.

Some money-making tactics take money to make money. Of course, the trick is to create an extra dollar or more for every dollar you invest in any money-making activity. And you’d want to squeeze out as many profits as you can out of that dollar you’re going to invest. This is just business common sense.

However, this assumes that you need to begin with money if you hope to make any money. But there are several free ways to make money online as well.

As A Freelancer

Perhaps the easiest, fastest, and most straightforward way to begin making money online is to offer your services to other webmasters, online business owners, and internet marketers. If you have a particularly strong skill set – such as writing, designing webpages, copy writing, producing videos, editing audios, creating graphics, etc. – then you can find people who will be more than happy to pay for your services.

You can go to the freelancing networks that would charge you to bid on projects (such as Guru, eLance, or ScriptLance), but you can save your money. You’ll probably be better off going to specific webmaster forums and advertising your services in your signature file. To get started, you could even offer to do your first projects dirt cheap or for free to get a couple of references.

One important tip to take note of if you choose to take this path is that when you are starting on your virgin projects, even if you get very little (or no) money (at all), make sure you get the testimonials of your clients. Store your clients’ rave reviews so that this can serve as your portfolio of customer satisfaction and would give social proof that your work is of a high standard of quality.

Endorsing Other People’s Products For A Commission As An Affiliate

There are dozens of affiliate networks you can sign up with to become an affiliate for potentially thousands upon thousands of products sold online; it’s almost as if the Internet is conspiring to make you rich.

Clickbank is a popular choice and probably one of the easiest to sign up with. Your earnings are paid out by cheque twice a month, provided you have fulfilled some criteria (no worries, you don’t have to jump through hoops of fire to get your first payday). PayDotCom is ideal if you prefer to be paid via PayPal instead of waiting for the bank to clear your commission cheques (it could take weeks, especially if you live outside America). Both Clickbank and PayDotCom also offer affiliates the opportunity to earn some passive income from the monthly recurring billing products they list in their marketplaces.

If you’re looking to broaden your product line beyond merely selling information products, Commission Junction is the No. 1 network to be signed up with. Not only can you sign up with programs that pay you for referring sales, but you can also make some quick bucks out of the numerous CPA (Cost Per Action) programs available. CPA means you don’t need to make people buy products for you to get paid. All you need to do is to persuade people to sign up for some free offers, subscribe to a newsletter, or download software for free in order for you to earn a commission.

There are two sub-paths you can take within the affiliate marketing path – the Anonymous route, and what I call the “Oprah Winfrey” route.

For the Anonymous option, you can employ any number of tactics to promote your affiliate products – pay per clicks, article marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing, etc. This route may be able to allow you to make money faster if you do the tactics right but may not last in the long term unless you consistently maintain your marketing momentum. Taking this option allows you to explore as many niche markets as you want.

The “Oprah Winfrey” option involves building an authoritative reputation amongst your target market, branding yourself, and building trust with your potential customers. This obviously takes time to build but pays off handsomely in the long run. Taking this option might prove difficult for you if you wish to explore different niches as general affiliates who market with authority usually focus on products that serve only one target market.

Create Your Own Product

Create your own masterpiece and sell it to the world. Most people would say that it is the hardest amongst the three ways, but I beg to differ. I made my first dollar online (US$17.00 to be exact, back in those days when US$1.00 equaled $1.70 in Singaporean dollars and Paypal was not that popular amongst internet marketers) selling my own information product.

Where there is a demand, there is money to be made. P T Barnum reportedly said there’s a customer born every minute, but how do you know what these customers want to buy? The secret to untold wealth and riches selling your own products online (even offline) is to know exactly what your potential customers are going through in terms of pain, frustration, problems, challenges, etc.

What is the one thing that is hindering them from achieving their goals? What is the stumbling block that they are encountering? How can you simplify their lives?

Before you go on to create products that would solve these people’s problems and sell a million copies, you must be able to answer the above questions and more. In brief, creating great products simply means being able to solve people’s problems quickly and easily.

Of course, there are many types of products you can sell online, just as there are many solutions to anyone’s problem. But let me simplify it for you further and categorize the kinds of products you can create into 2 :

  • Teaching people how to fish
  • Giving them the fish

Most information products would fall into the 1st category. Information products can be of many kinds as well – ebooks, audios, videos, tutorials, even live seminars and workshops. Depending upon the amount and value of the content you put into these information products, you can charge anywhere from dirt cheap to exorbitant prices for your information products.

Software, tools, systems, and services fall into the 2nd category. Here, you go beyond teaching people how to do whatever it is that they want to learn to accomplish and actually go do it for them. In this category, you can charge either a recurring monthly fee or a handsome one-time amount for the tool or service you’re offering that is going to solve their problems for them.

Exchanging Value

You have to understand that business is about making money – yes – but beyond that, it is about exchanging value. Ideally, for every $1 a person gives you, you give him $1 worth of value in return (be it via information, a service or a tool). But this is not a zero-sum game because the value you create and exchange for money is something intangible and cannot really be absolutely quantified in dollars.

Ironically, it is when you give just a little more than what you are paid for, that is when you start to make even more money than if you were to just trade a dollar for a dollar’s worth of value.

Letter Writing Tips For Beginners

When you’re writing letters of a more formal nature, you may seize up. What’s the correct format for a business letter? What about writing letters of complaint? How about a letter of reference? You know there are certain formats that apply to each type of letter, but you don’t know what they are. There’s no need to worry. Help is at the end of your mouse.

Here’s how to make quick work of this letter writing task. Google ‘writing letters’. You’ll be presented with pages and pages of websites that offer templates for every type of letter you may need to write. These sites usually also offer tutorial-style articles, giving you pointers on how to construct writing letters of every type.

Most of us occasionally write letters to friends or family members, either on paper or via email. This type of letter writing is spontaneous in nature and doesn’t fill us with apprehension. You’re just saying hi or communicating what’s happening in your life.

For example, if you’re writing a letter of complaint, you’ll be advised to be concise, making your points in short paragraphs that will produce the desired result.

If you’re writing letters of reference, you’ll find out how to state your points succinctly, gaining entry for the candidate in question.

Let’s say you received an offer in the mail for a month’s free internet access from a major ISP. You get a CD, with printed promises of a 30-day free trial, no credit card required, etcetera. You’re not happy with your current provider, so you figure, what have I got to lose? Surely this major company isn’t going to play games with you. They want your business. Why not try them out? You are quickly disillusioned when you’re asked for your credit card information, but you think they’ll stand by their word. You sign up.

Two weeks later, you receive a bill for $60 of services you didn’t request. You place a call to them and get a runaround. You now need to write a letter of complaint to straighten out this mess. Your letter must be effective in order to resolve the problem, or you’ll end up with a problem on your credit report.

In the case where the job is of limited duration, perhaps with just a week or two of work, require some upfront money and a schedule of payments along the way. For example, let’s say you’re a freelance graphic designer. The client wants a logo and a new page layout for their website. You might want to split payments as follows: one third paid to begin, one third paid on acceptance of the design prototype, and the remainder paid on final delivery. This is a typical arrangement, which protects you, as the client demonstrates a commitment to getting the work done and paying you.

Project Management for SEO Companies the right way

Successful Project Management for SEO Companies is not just about executing SEO tasks in a good and timely manner; it also requires excellent process management to allow for the team, the clients and all the people involved in the project to work together as efficiently as possible even when they are geographically distant.

To achieve such efficiency, communication and organization are key. Those two parameters are then critical when choosing the tools you’ll be using to back the project.

We have talked to many SEOs around the world, and surprisingly, we have found quite a few commonly used tools amongst the SEO community. We have also been able to identify three major types of tools:

File Sharing tools

Dropbox

Dropbox is a file hosting service operated by Dropbox, Inc., which offers cloud storage, file synchronization, and client software. Dropbox allows users to create a special folder on each of their computers, which Dropbox then synchronizes so that it appears to be the same folder (with the same contents) regardless of which computer is used to view it. Files placed in this folder also are accessible through a website and mobile phone applications.

As you can see, it will mainly help you access your data from any location in the word as it is cloud based thus making it easily sharable with other project members, that’s extremely useful when you have large files that you cannot send via e-mail.

Dropbox also has a set of iOS and Android apps that make it even easier for anyone to use.

Project Management tools

Mavenlink

Mavenlink is a cloud-based team collaboration and project management application, sometimes referred to as a professional service automation software, developed in the United States. The company’s SaaS platform enables professional service providers and their clients to efficiently manage their project from start to finish.

In this Mavenlink review, you can see for yourself how this amazing tool can help you take your project management to the next level as an “end to end” project management solution.
Trello

Trello is a free web-based project management application made by Fog Creek Software. It lets you organize anything easily, from life goals and to-do lists to group projects. It works wonders for teams. Assign tasks, streamline communication and get everyone on the same page, fast. It’s just about everything you need to accomplish great tasks. Check this particular tool here:

Communication tools

Google Docs

Google Docs is a market leading free web-based office suite offered by Google within its Google Drive service. It allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating in real-time with other users.

Skype

Skype service allows users to communicate with peers by voice using a microphone, video by using a webcam, and instant messaging over the Internet. Phone calls may be placed to recipients on the traditional telephone networks. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free of charge, while calls to landline telephones and mobile phones are charged via a debit-based user account system. It’s so simple to use even for business, family or friends communication.

GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting is a Web-hosted service. It’s a remote meeting, desktop sharing, and video conferencing software that enables the user to meet with other computer users, customers, clients or colleagues via the Internet in real-time. It’s a professional and easy to use.

Tools are great but do not be mistaken, they will never do the job for you and direct communication with your colleagues, partners, and customers is also critical to an SEO project’s success.

Face to face meetings and phone calls with the client are aiming to set the goals and the expected results of the project as a whole. Internal weekly meetings with colleagues to assign and adapt tasks, responsibilities and check on the results,

Using the right tools and implementing the right processes is very important to a successful SEO project, it saves a lot of time and lets you build a good organization. It allows you to expose your work more explicitly to the clients.

The last key is the client’s satisfaction. As an SEO, your tasks are vast; they include optimizing pages, building links, improving rankings, driving traffic…

“There is only one boss-the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” – Sam Walton.