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August 31, 2007

Touring Google with Avinash Kaushik

By Li Evans

While I was at SES last week in San Jose,I along with Bill Slawski and Kim Krause Berg had a very unique opportunity to get a tour of Google.  Our wonderful and gracious tour guide was none other than Avinash Kaushick, who's famous for his great analytics blog Occam's Razor and he new book Web Analytics: An Hour A Day.

Kim did a great write up of our time there called: Another Side of Google, but I wanted to add a bit of my view of the tour.

First we got a ride up to Google from Keri Morgret from Morgret Designs, and she played tour guide on our way there.  Pointing out Yahoo's buildings, Microsoft's, and all the other landmarks and important players in the industry.  For those of you who don't know, Keri's the person that won the Bruce Clay contest that invited people to enter by helping a non-profit agency with their Search Optimization.

After Keri dropped Kim, Bill and I off, it was on to building 41 to meet with Avinash.  We were greeted by probably the most friendly security guards I've ever encountered, who graciously pointed us confused visitors in the right direction.  The Google campus, during the day, looks a lot different than it does at the dance!

Amazingly it was hard to even tell that Google Dance 2007 was even held there the night before, very little signs of the festivities remained.  All of the regular Google lunch tables with umbrellas were back in their normal locations, gone were the dunk tanks, milk shake stands, food tents and pool tables (and thankfully karaoke stations).  I think Google must have employed hundreds of people to manage the transformation.

Continue reading "Touring Google with Avinash Kaushik" »

Measuring SEO - How Many Pages Get Organic Search Traffic?

By Alex Cohen

Gatrafficsourcessearchengines Obviously, the most important thing to measure for SEO are your conversion events--be they sales, lead generation or subscriptions to your marketing blog.  If those numbers are low, or if they're spectacular, there are a host of diagnostic measures you can use to get a sense of how your SEO efforts are paying off. Jeff Gillis from Google gave some tips in my last post and I talked about organic search landing pages as well.  In this post, I'm going to quickly show you how to find out how many pages are getting organic search traffic using Google Analytics.

If you're spending any time on SEO, you obviously want to see if you're getting traffic to enough of your pages.  How much is enough?  Well, that depends on how many pages are on your site (not sure, try NetMechanic) and how many are indexable and currently indexed by the search engines.  Maybe you're getting a lot of organic search traffic to your homepage, but very little anywhere else.  You'll have to decide what the right target number is before you start.

Once you've got that in mind, it only takes a few clicks in Google Analytics to find out how many pages captured organic search visits.  Select your date range and click on the Traffic Sources button in the main navigation and then select Search Engines (see image to the left).

Look for the "Show" line under the graph.  Here is where you choose the segment of traffic you care about: Total (all search traffic), Paid (just ppc) and Non-Paid (organic aka natural search traffic).  Click on non-paid.  Then, in the "Segment" menu, choose "Landing Page" from the drop down list.

Gasegmentselandingpage

Now you've got a table of all of the different landing pages that attracted organic search visitors.  You can play around in here and see high-level stats about how they interact with the site (in the Site Usage tab) and whether they took a desired action (in the Conversion and Ecommerce tabs). 

Our goal is to find out how many pages got organic search traffic.  That is simply the number of rows.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for the sum.  It's to the right of the "Show rows" label and near the navigation arrows.   And there you go!  Divide this number by what your target is (say total pages) and you're on your way to analyzing your SEO efforts. 
Galandingpagecount_2

Li's Got A Few Announcements

By Li Evans

Yesterday I alluded to the fact that I was looking at some opportunities and I'd be ready to tell you all about them next week.  Well I got a permission to let the cat out of the bag, actually it was let out yesterday on the Daily Search Cast, which I co-hosted with Danny Sullivan.

If you didn't listen yesterday or haven't downloaded the podcast, you wouldn't know that I am now the Director of Internet Marketing for KeyRelevance.  However, that's not all, Christine Churchill extended offers to join KeyRelevance to both myself and Bill Slawski.  I am very excited to be joining Christine, Mike, Jim, Bill and the rest of the team, probably one of the most experienced Search Marketing firms in the industry!  Christine, Jim and Mike also run SEM Clubhouse, if you haven't checked it out you should!

Now you are probably wondering what else I have up my sleeve?

Ylayn_meredith_ousley Well they involve a few things around Search Marketing Gurus.  In the next few weeks there might be a few new faces helping to liven up the blog.  Y.M. Ousley - better known to you as SEO Fangirl is going to start contributing to SMG.  I asked her waaaaaaay back in February, finally her time has permitted her to start contributing.  We'll likely be seeing things from her around social media and also - at least I'm hoping some European / International Search Issues.

Next up, podcasting!  Yep, you read right.  I must thank Robert and Jennifer for this opportunity to start a podcast show for Search Engine Guide.  Within the next few weeks the podcast is going to be launched, and I'll be putting links up here at SMG to it for easy access.

Wait, wait ... there's more.

Womenofinternetmarketing The Women of Internet Marketing series will be returning!  I'm working on getting it set for next week, but with the Labor Day holiday (here in the states), it just might be the following week when I launch it back up.  The summer proved to be a tough time with vacations and conferences and trying to get articles out every week just really couldn't be done.

So, that's it in the way of announcements... at least for today. :)

The Official Non-Attendee's Guide to Conferences

By Y.M. Ousley

Lee Odden is asking how many conferences your boss sends you to. What do you do when your company isn't sending you to any conferences? Or, when you are your own company and you can't afford to attend all of the conferences you'd like to?

If you're like me, you're reading all of the SES San Jose recaps and wrap-ups and eagerly anticipating Rebecca's comic genius. Fret not, there's more that you can do to make up for missing the action in person.

  1. Visit the website    
    The schedules from each day are still online, along with links to information on the speakers. With so many session recaps and insights (here, here, here and here, just to name a few), you can get a pretty good idea of how the sessions came together. Most speakers have links to their blogs or websites in their bios on the SES website. Use them! More specifically, use them to learn more about the people giving the presentations.  
  1. Use their blogs    
    Not in any shady way of course. No one will keep you in mind or give you any extra information for spamming their blog to death, or stealing their feed for your MFA (made for AdSense) site. No, since you didn't have a chance to meet face to face, this is your equivalent of introducing yourself at the conference. Comment on posts that you find interesting, whether you agree or disagree. Whichever side you're on, do it with factual evidence and in a way that will promote discussion – not banning. For blogs that support it, an insightful post with a trackback and quick email to the author can have a much bigger impact than a regular comment.
     
  2. Hit Flickr    
    Where to start? There's massive amounts of pictorial coverage from sessions, official parties, unofficial parties and hotel bar discussions. Personally, I think that's where all of the really good stuff happens. A little liquor, a relaxed environment and you'll get a few off-the-record gems that no session recap (or attendance) will include. You can't immediately replicate that online, but you can get an idea of personalities, and the people you'll want to get to know at future events.

  3. Hit the Social Networks    
    Nearly everyone I've met at a conference is on Facebook or LinkedIn as well. If you paid attention to step 2, then you at least have some name recognition for commenting frequently. If you don't like dealing with rejection, as in lots of ignored network and friend requests, make sure you establish some sort of relationship prior to hitting the Add button.

  4. Hit the Live Events    
    At the end of the day, meeting someone whose work you admire, establishing a sense of community and making lasting friendships or connections is something that is best enhanced through meeting offline. If you've done what you need to online, by the time your boss does send you to a conference, your experience will be far beyond what you could expect by blindly exchanging business cards or swarming the table after a presentation. For those on a budget, most conferences offer free exhibit hall passes which allow you to take in keynotes and network in the conference location. If you're on a super tight budget, hate to fly, have a fear of conferences, etc. get to know the SEOs in your area and organize your own off conference event.  

That's it, 5 easy steps to working the room when your boss or budget makes you work your desk during all the fun stuff. It's been one week after San Jose, and this is the perfect time to start making contacts. All the flight delays are over, most people are sober, and the influx of post-conference emails is probably easing so that your attempts at contact won't get lost in the shuffle.

August 30, 2007

Daily Search Cast - Guess Who's Co-Hosting?

By Li Evans

Many of you know I'm a fan of the Daily Search Cast, with Danny Sullivan on WebmasterRadio.fm.  I love the rants, I love the news and I even love it when Danny sings! :)

If you have some free time today at 11:30 EST, pop on into the chat room or just plug in and listen, because yours truly has the honor of co-hosting with Danny today.  Thankfully my voice has fully recovered from SES last week (yes, I lost it again!).

Daily Search Cast

Life Comes at You Fast

By Li Evans

This morning I feel like "life comes at you fast", however instead of it changing for the worse (as in K-Fed's video here in the Nationwide SuperBowl commercial), life is getting better. 

Yesterday I resigned my position from Commerce360, there are many reasons for my decision, none having to do with coworkers at all - the people who do the work at Commerce360 are a great bunch of talented people.  My decision came because of the direction Commerce360 was taking was entirely different than what I believe at the core, SEO is and should be for clients.

So where do I go from here?  Well in the next week or two you'll know, I've got a few ideas in the works and a number of great opportunities given to me to consider.

Thankfully, both Greg and Alex have agreed to continued to post at SMG.  I know a bunch of you asked about Greg while at SES San Jose, he's flattered by people asking about him and says you'll hear from him in the near future (hint hint Greg... they want your writing ;).  Meanwhile Alex wanted to thank Avinash, Alex and Jim from the Google Analytics team for the T-Shirt I brought back for him.

Lastly this is a shout out to Erica (Jewelry Stylist), Rebecca, Donna, Greg, MatteL (and Rocko), Alex, Jill, Josh, Stephanie, Wakeman, even Bruce and Toby - I'll truly miss you guys, working with you all was awesome. Oh and Toby - this pic is just for you. :)

August 29, 2007

SES San Jose 2007 - Wrap Up

By Li Evans

San Jose, that wonderful location in California that plays host to thousands of search engine marketing professionals each and every August, played host yet again this year and offered up absolutely beautiful weather.  All while back home (south eastern PA & NJ) the folks suffered through pouring rain and insufferable humid heat.

Along with the weather, there was great new sessions and updated sessions that have been around for a while.  Probably the most talked about session had to be "Are Paid Links Evil".  I wasn't present for that session *gasp*, but I was promptly filled in by SE Roundtable's coverage, TheLisa's Coverage, and Matt McGee's Review.  I have to say, Matt Cutts is a stand up guy and a brave one for being on a panel that was basically there to refute all he was to speak on.  However, I still have to say, can Google really classify what a payment for a link is?

So what about the other sessions?  My colleague, Bill Slawski and also PR Guru Greg Jarboe spoke on the Universal and Blended search panel.  I think that was likely the best panel I attended, even though it managed to garner me a bit more work for my presentation on Images and Search Engines the next day.  I also attended and blogged two sessions for Barry and Tamar and their SE Roundtable coverage of San Jose - PR Train Wrecks and Meet the Video Search Engines.

Continue reading "SES San Jose 2007 - Wrap Up" »

August 26, 2007

SES San Jose 2007 Pictures

By Li Evans

Davemarilynjim2 After going through close to 700 pictures, and after picking out the blurred ones, the ones of just butts (don't ask, they may end up as black mail later HAHA *joking*), and the ones you couldn't really see much due to lighting issues I finally got through all the pictures, renamed them and uploaded to an SES San Jose 2007 set on Flickr.

Usually I'm pretty good about names to faces, but there are quite a few in the set I created that I didn't know the person's name and usually I didn't get a card to help me go back and put the name to the face for.  So if you are "some guy" or "guy I don't know" or even just part of a group, if you drop me a line in the comment of the pic, I'll update it to reflect who you are.  I hope you won't take it personally - no slight meant to anyone, I really try to get a great cross section of SES attendees - not just a clique of people, so that everyone can enjoy the pictures.

Jerrylookalikeagain Eventually I'll put up an album here on the blog, but I'm waiting on the name of the "Jerry Seinfeld" look a like.  I know I asked him his name like 5 times, but it usually only sticks with me if I get a card. ;)

I'll be writing a wrap up tomorrow, tonight folks, is an Eagles game, and you all know how I love my birds. :)

SES San Jose 2007 - Working on the Pictures

By Li Evans

Loren_baker After a rather stressful flight on NorthWest Airlines, I'm finally home.  Gotta give a big shout out to Deb Mastaler for helping to keep me from totally freaking out.  Sometimes I think all this push to putting things towards the web or towards a customer service line is horrible, the people at the counter at an airline desk can be just as helpless as their clients - but that's a post for sometime this week.

I'm just starting to work on the 600+ pictures in my camera, yes, you read that right, 600+.  I've got to widdle them down take out the ones that I know undoubtedly Simon would send me an email and say "Take that Down".   :P

Hopefully by this evening my Flickr account will have many many more images!  :)

August 22, 2007

Happy Birthday Cre8asite Forums!

By Li Evans

Did you know that Cre8asite Forums is 5 years old today?  Wow, time flies doesn't it?

Congratulations to Kim, Bill and the rest of the crew at Cre8asite that keep the site running and continually dispense great advice, news and conversation. 

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