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Using Google Analytics
In using Google Analytics I was able to observe some interesting trends about my site. Out of 294 visits I had 210 unique visitors to my site with only a 3.74% bounce rate. There were a lot more visitors from my PPC efforts (80 visits) than my SEO efforts (14 visits).
Surprisingly, there were 53 visits from social media links. It was nice to see 30% of my visits came from links other entities provided to my site, which was made up of classmates, my professor, social media profiles, and 2 other external links.
Using Google Webmaster Tools
In using Google Webmaster Tools I was able to learn so much about my site. Through my efforts during Internet Marketing in a semester I was able to gather a lot of useful information about my site using Webmaster Tools. This is very important for Internet Marketers. They are able to gather a lot of information about what is working well and what isn’t on their site, as well as detect any problems and see who might have provided links to their site.
There are 11 links to my site, primarily from my professor and classmates. There are no malware issues with my sight and only 1 crawl error. The two most significant keywords on my site are rice and JMU.
What I learned about Internet Marketing In A Semester
I never thought I would have learned so much about Internet Marketing in a semester. It completely changed my views towards Internet Marketing. I used to think that Internet Marketing was mainly for e-commerce, but now realize how important it is for any internet entity. Internet Marketing is more like a set of rules to follow so people can find you and the different avenues to do so. The course really opened my mind to social media as well.
The Future of My Site
I will always be thankful for MKTG 470 at JMU, what I learned about Internet Marketing in a semester, and adding to my JMU experience. It provided me a platform to create a personal site for myself going forward. I have every intention of keeping my site for the foreseeable future as a professional profile, as well as a chance to share my thoughts through blog posts. I never thought that I would write a blog and now I look forward to blogging in the future. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what I’ve learned.
How I optimized a web page using the key phrase “JMU experience”
The first thing I did when I optimized a web page is focus on my on-page SEO factors. I made sure that the key phrase “JMU experience” appeared in the Title tag, description tag, URL (dmetemad.com/jmu-experience), Header tags, image file names and ALT tags, Link Text, and the Body Copy. Within the body copy I made sure the key phrase was listed once in bold, once in italic, and at least once in standard text.
For my off-page strategies I took a few approaches to link building. First I created two separate reciprocal links between the page I was optimizing and the page my friends were optimizing.
I also took to social media. This was another method I used when I optimized a web page. I posted to Facebook, G+, LinkedIn, and twitter regularly asking people to checkout and share my link. I also asked through social media for people to re-post my links and to include in their blogs if they had any. This garnered a lot of attention to my site resulting in a lot of Facebook “likes”.
When I first started this assignment my page didn’t show up in the top 20 pages of Google and now appears as the 10th result on the 4th page. Using HubSpot’s Marketing Grader my page originally scored a 52 and increased to a score of 74 marking an outstanding increase of 22 points in a short period of time.
Since October 22 Webmaster tools shows and increase of 400% in impressions and Google Analytics only shows a bounce rate of 4.01% out of 274 visitors. The Crawler FX report gave me a score of 38 but showed I was doing outstanding in all the areas that I listed above. I believe as long as I follow these steps my organic rankings will continue to rise with time. Let me know what you think or comment on how you optimized a web page. I would love to hear about your experiences below.
Persian Rice: Steamed Basmati Persian Rice (Chelo) with Tahdig
Today I want to share with you a recipe for Persian rice (or Middle Eastern) called chelo and the crust that forms on the bottom of the pot is called tahdig. Many home cooks are intimidated by steamed rice. Let’s demystify cooking it. I make white basmati rice the traditional way. No rice cooker necessary!
It took me several tries to get it right but once you learn the steps it is easy. You are going to cook this rice in boiling water, add oil and salt, in the same way you would cook pasta. There is one step that is different from cooking pasta. Persian rice gets steamed. Trust me it is not a big deal! Just imagine that instead of making rice, you are making pasta.
The rule of thumb is ¾ cup per person and 2-3 cups of water per cup of rice, but you want to make at least 2-3 cups to make sure the rice comes out right.
Part I: Cooking the rice: Ingredients: 3 cups rice, 8 cups water, ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon salt. This is for 6 servings.
Part 2: Steaming the rice and making tahdig: ¼ cup oil poured into the bottom of a nonstick pot, and 2 tablespoons water.
To cook the rice: Measure your rice and rinse the rice by placing it in a large bowl of lukewarm water and gently move the rice around. Pour out the water. Repeat 7-8 times until the water is clear. This is a very important step in cooking the rice. Washing the rice removes the starch from the rice. After washing the rice soak it in 6-8 cups of water with 2 tablespoons of salt for at least 30 minutes but no more than 2 hours.
When ready to cook bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Drain the rice. Place the rice in the boiling water (6 quart pot) and cook for about 5-6 minutes. This is a crucial time because you can overcook the rice. Stir the rice a couple of times from the bottom to prevent sticking. Using a slotted spoon scoop some grains from the water around 3-6 minutes. Taste the rice; it should be soft on the outside with a little crunch in the middle.
At this point turn off the heat and drain the rice in a colander and quickly rinse it with 2 cups of cold water to stop additional cooking. Set it aside.
To steam and make tahdig: Place the nonstick pot back on the stove over medium high heat. Add a thin layer of oil (1/4 inch canola oil) and 2 tablespoons of water to the bottom of your nonstick pot. If you don’t have a nonstick pot place a piece of aluminum foil down on the bottom of the pot first.
Mix the oil and water. Spread some rice to cover the bottom of the pot. The rice will create a golden crust, but we will get back to that later. Make sure to cook it slowly by adjusting the heat so the rice does not burn. Add the rest of the rice forming a pyramid. The shape leaves space for the rice to expand. Using the back of a wooden spoon poke 4-5 holes in the rice but make sure you do not go through the bottom layer of rice.
This is done so the steam can come out. Cover the pot and cook on medium high heat for 5-7 minutes until the rice begins to steam. After 7 minutes cover the lid of the pot with a kitchen towel (you can use 3 layers of paper towel also). Cook on medium low for 45-50 minutes. During this time you are steaming your rice.
To serve the rice: Remove the pot from the heat and place it in a wet sink. The dampness will help to detach the crust from the bottom. Take a spatula and gently place the rice on a platter making sure not to disturb the crust. You detach the layer of crust by using a spatula. Place it on a serving plate. You can leave it in one piece or break it into pieces and arrange around the rice.
After cooking Persian rice many times I can now do it without thinking and you will too. This process takes time, patience, and practice but it is well worth it. Cooking for my friends at JMU has been a big part of my JMU experience. Feel free to let me know how it comes out and share your comments or recipes.
Welcome to my blog about what I learned from the guest speakers from Silverback Strategies
Last Thursday, Oct. 24th, Silverback Strategies sent two JMU alumni to speak with my MKTG 470 class at JMU about how PPC (Pay Per Click) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) work. You can find out more about Silverback Strategies from their Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account.
Both of the alumni work at Silverback Strategies and they couldn’t have been more professional and informative, and I would like to give them both a big JMU thank you. Andrew Nelson is the Director of Search Marketing and Shay Meadows is a PPC Manager. They can both be reached at 1-888-434-7775.
I learned a lot, but lets focus on just a few key points. First it was interesting to learn how a company like Silverback Strategies works. They charge a management fee to their clients for their accounts rather than a commission. Each account will have a person assigned to it like Shay and they don’t just manage the ads but learn all about the clients industry to best serve their needs.
It was so interesting to learn that Google changes their search algorithm roughly 500 times per year and how vital G+ has become. G+ is very important now for marketing. Google has put a priority on searches that are associated with G+, so if you are a business and you don’t have a G+ account you are immediately putting yourself at a disadvantage.
Now when optimizing your SEO its not only keywords that are important, but having a G+ account as well so your profile will appear at the top of the search screen. It was also interesting to learn how many more keywords you can utilize under PPC vs SEO.
I always knew that firms had to pay every time we clicked on an ad which is why its called PPC, but I thought they paid for being listed as well. You truly only pay per click and the benefits are astonishing. You get market research on such a granular level. Google breaks down for you exactly how many clicks each ad got and if it resulted in a sale. You can monitor how some ads work verse others and constantly modify your approach.
This lecture definitely added to my JMU experience. I could write for days about what I learned, but I’d like to hear your thoughts too. Feel free to share your thoughts on what I shared or what you think about PPC and SEO.
Welcome to my blog about being a Fantasy Football Master
To become a Fantasy Football Master, like myself, first and foremost it takes a lot of time. You can’t just read a couple of articles and go off some ranking sheet and think you’ll be fine. It takes experience, it takes losing, it takes a lot of research, and it takes knowledge of the game and a natural instinct for what to expect.
In doing research it’s important to find just one or two sources to decide to trust, but no more than three. You don’t want to have too many sources because they begin to contradict each other and it will make your draft decisions and weekly decisions more difficult.
When you think about where it all starts for a Fantasy Football Master it’s in the off-season. The most important thing in preparing for the upcoming season is the draft. There are multiple strategies in drafting. The importance of different players and positions will vary based on the league settings, but I still suggest reading up on the different strategies. You can find free articles before and during the season on many sites, but I suggest starting with ESPN and Rotoworld.
Besides acquiring multiple championships and being a perennial playoff contender, like myself, there is one thing that makes a person a Fantasy Football Master above all else and that is a good sense of humor. It’s not as if a championship is some kind of Defining Moment.
Whether you’re good or bad, have injuries or keep getting lucky, at some point you will be the target of someone’s “funny” email and hopefully you will be targeting others. And when you’re down you will be making a lot of excuses, like I was to my brother this past weekend. Trying to play fantasy football while being a student definitely added to my JMU experience. Let me know what you guys think!
Marketing’s New Frontier is growing fast!
Before I came back to school I barely had an online presence, but part of my JMU experience has been discovering the world of Social Media. Social Media has become Marketing’s New Frontier and a part of everyday life for so many people. Social media has even created new terms in our everyday life that would have sounded like a foreign language 7 or 8 years ago.
People have become obsessed with likes, shares, pokes, hash tags, and tweets. Now Instagram and Pinterest have become part of everyday social media. Let’s not forget LinkedIn for your professional network. It has come to a point in our lives where people who aren’t even interested feel as though they need to have an online account just to fit in.
As I have learned in my MKTG 470 class at JMU, Social Media has opened up a whole new world to the marketing industry. It is a brand new playground for firms to reach their audience. Social Media Marketing is perhaps the most important and fastest growing segment right now, which is why its marketing’s new frontier. There are so many ways to take advantage of what’s out there.
Tips on Marketin’s New Frontier
16 Social Media Marketing Tips From the Pros is a great post that I have found that gives great advice on the many opportunities out there. Besides posting actual ads in various sites, companies can now actively engage with their consumers. They can create Facebook and twitter pages for people to follow and like and create open dialogues. You can track what other people are “liking” to quickly adapt as well.
My own cousin got a really good, well-paying job right out of college and all she does all day is talk on twitter or Facebook on the companies’ behalf. Social Media Marketing is an exciting field and I look forward to people’s opinions and comments on this post. Do you think this is marketing’s new frontier? Let me know.
Welcome to my blog about my new site theme
My new site theme is called “Easy” and is created by D5 Creation. The color, contrast between dark and light, layout, and theme matched what I was looking for perfectly.
I hope to take advantage of and utilize the skills I learn in my MKTG 470 course at JMU. to create a site as my online professional profile. I intend to keep my site active after the course and to continue to use the site professionally. That is why I chose my new site theme.
I was looking for a theme that had a professional feel without feeling generic, and something with few and subtle colors while retaining an elegant contrast. I also wanted a new site theme that had all of the same features as the Delicate theme we had been working with so that the transition would be seamless.
After installing the new site theme everything I had already programmed into the previous theme transitioned right over. All menus, links, and widgets were in the same exact place and all worked just as intended. The only loss was my header image.
The header image was replaced by the creators custom image. This was alright since I had intended on replacing this image and did so with the white cursive image of my name in the top left corner of the header.
Other than that I couldn’t have asked for a more seamless transition and I’m really happy with my choice. I look forward to tapping the full potential of my site and creating a site to be proud of. Creating this site has definitely added to my JMU experience. I welcome any thoughts or feedback on what you might think!
Welcome to my first blog for MKTG 470 at JMU
I am currently enrolled in MKTG 470 at JMU taught by Dr. Theresa B. Clarke at James Madison University. As one of the course requirements, all students will be completing some of the assignments as blog posts. This is my first official blog post for Dr. Clarke’s course in the JMU Department of Marketing. I look forward to how this class will impact my JMU experience.
I don’t know what to expect from MKTG 470 at JMU. This is all new to me, which is why I took this course. I’m very excited about creating my own website and learning all about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Paid Search (PPC), and the other avenues of optimization.
I’m also looking forward to learn more and become more comfortable with Social Media. In MKTG 470 at JMU I hope to become more comfortable with the different Social Media sites and understand the importance of the different ones, as well as how incorporating these will help improve my websites optimization.
MKTG 470 at JMU was a real game changer for me. I used to think internet marketing was mostly for eCommerce sites, but I quickly learned how wrong I was and how it applies to almost any business in any industry. It is just as important in business to business connections as well as consumer goods. I really looked forward to all that I have to learn and I’d love to hear your experiences as well. Please share with me you first internet marketing experiences and pointers.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on my expectations and what I should really be expecting. This course looks like its going to be a remarkable class and I can’t wait to dive right in and absorb as much as I can!