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March 30, 2008

Quick Analytics Tip - Enable Site Search Tracking

By Alex Cohen

Hey, this is Alex from Digital Alex.  I'm writing some quick analytics tips for Search Marketing Gurus.  This simple and actionable advice help you get the most out of your analysis.

Chances are that your website has a search box.  That box is a gold mine of data.  It helps you learn what people are looking for and the actual words they use.  With this information you can:

  • Find new words for your paid search campaigns
  • Get ideas for SEO keywords
  • Learn what your visitors want and where your navigation falls short

If you use Google Analytics, setting this up is pretty simple. 

  1. Login and find the profile you want. 
  2. On the Analytics Setting screen, click "Edit" under the Settings column.
  3. Click "Edit" on the right side of the Main Website Profile Information

Sitesearch_4

  • Now, scroll down to the Site Search section and enable it "Do Track..."
  • Enter the query parameter your site uses to note the search term in the URL.

    For example, when you search for "multivariate" on my blog, the URL looks like this:

    http://www.alexlcohen.com/?s=multivariate

    Thus, I use "s". 

Now you'll be able to learn which terms people use when searching on your site.  Google Analytics provides a whole host of other stats too.  Don't be afraid to ask your analytics provider how you can get this data.

For Search Marketing Gurus, Alex Cohen of Digital Alex.

March 26, 2008

SES New York: Social Media & Why It Matters (Part 4)

By Brian Cosgrove

The forth and final part of this post covers William Flaiz of Avenue A | Razorfish.  Additionally bits from the Q&A are provided at the end.Dsc_4363


William’s Introduction: Instead of diving into a specific site, William takes a broader, shallower approach to social communities; illustrating how they’ve been used for agency clients.  William addresses the benefits of being part of the community, the back link perspective, and the value of having pages properly tagged.


Wikipedia

-          Avoid putting marketing speak in Wikipedia: it won’t fly.

-          Avoid just removing the negative speak: these changes will just get reverted. 

-          Take advantage of your reference links: these don’t get pulled or modified s often.

-          External links may be removed or modified, even if they point to the official site.


Photo Communities

We used Flickr with a large hotel client.  Not only were we seeing reviews and other interaction, hotel bookings went up 10% due to Flickr derived traffic.

Photobucket – Search engines aren’t crawling or indexing these image pages.  Tags are working well internal search but not in external search engines like Google.  Further, Photobucket doesn’t allow links.


Video Communities

YouTube was used for a client who wanted to distribute a PSA about the declining number of Bees: Colony Collapse Disorder.  While other video networks were used, the biggest benefits came from YouTube. The “About This Video” section lets you enter a pretty good listing, complete with links.


Social Networking Sites

Facebook lets companies put out a page specific to their company and Facebook ranks well within the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).


Social Profiles

Social Profiles are especially useful for a reputation management program.  Creating profiles for someone’s name in sites like Zoominfo, LinkedIn, Facebook, Blogger, iLike, Flickr, Twitter, and any of the countless others out there will help to displace sensitive or negative listings with positive or neutral ones.


Blogs

Cultivate a list of bloggers that you can provide products and information to. Also, be aware of what is being said about your company in the blogs.  Finally, be active in responding to comments in the blogs.


Content Placement

Certain sites let you place content that list well for a client’s terms. They also let you provide links back to where additional information can be found on the client’s site.

We’ve found Squidoo pages can be so strong that they may outrank the product pages of a client’s website.  They tend to increase the number of pages that are indexed and ranking for targeted terms.  Hubpages offers a similar opportunity.


In conclusion, the only way to get the most out of these sites is, Be Social. 


Short Tips from the Q&A

-          Digging from your company’s IP address is not a good idea since the site is heavily moderated.

-          Third party tools for Twitter let you and follow a conversation around a specific topic.

-          Twitter scanning lets you monitor these conversations.

-          Webshots is another Photo Sharing site, but it is not as intuitive or friendly for business or a marketing stream as Flickr and should generally be avoided by marketers.

-          One man created a Squidoo page back in January and hasn’t noticed any gains.  The speakers generally agreed that it’s not worthwhile if you’re only doing these things for the links. Squidoo may not have been the best approach for the company’s goals.

-          Some companies enact policies to block their employees from getting into sites like MySpace (and not getting anything done). In these cases, management should work with the IT department to see if they can provide a workaround for the marketing department.

-          The most important consideration with social media marketing is time management.  The marketers should decide on the best route to go down and make a strong effort.  You don’t need to go full force with everything.

-          A content site should get involved in the blogging community first and shy away from MySpace, Twitter, and similar sites where they would get less value. BlogHer is an example of a great resource to find bloggers.  A publishing site should use social bookmarking in particular to get incremental traffic.

Be sure to see these other posts from this series:

March 25, 2008

SES New York: Social Media & Why It Matters (Part 3)

By Brian Cosgrove

The post covers the third speaker, Tamera Kremer. Temera focused on Social Bookmarking sites for her presentation.Dsc_4364

Temera's Introduction: Social bookmarking adds a folksonomy and taxonomy to the web.  It is just one ingredient in the social media mix. 

Sharing Good Sites

Sites such as Del.icio.us, Furl, Ma.gnolia, Faves, Simpy, etc… let you view how popular an article by the number of saves. In addition to pages becoming part of a popular list, users create profiles that others can follow. People share links with other users in their network who may save and tag those links as well. A browser plug-in lets you share sites on Facebook and they become part of a feed.

Tagging Sites

Tag any page on the web with which ever words seem most appropriate. A person will tag the article with terms relevant to that individual. You can use tags to augment your keyword research.  Further, people may then browse other users’ tags by keyword.

Del.icio.us (The Big Dog)

-          Serves over 4mm users and continues to grow

-          Has over 100mm web pages bookmarked

-          Purchased by Yahoo! in 2005

Tag Clouds

Del.icio.us tag clouds are prominently displayed on the sidebars of a considerable number of blogs. Many of the a-list bloggers automatically integrate their saved bookmarks into their blog posts as a standalone posts.

The Notes Field

The notes field lets consumers put what they think about a company when it is tagged. Comments can be very powerful.  Jeff Jarvis demonstrated the power that user’s comments can have on a company with his Dell Hell posts in 2005.

Title

Del.icio.us automatically imports your title tag making it much more important.

B2B Case Study 

A Canadian marketing association successfully used social bookmarking to put together a resource library that would grow and it became a valuable resource building awareness of the association. A tag cloud was included and promoted.

Social Participation

Reciprocity is phenomenal in social bookmarking sites. By including other quality sites in your network, you’re more likely to get your own sites saved.

Getting Started

  1. Set up an RSS alert for your URL to see who is linking to you.
  2. Set up a personal account and start tagging pages.
  3. Search through the keywords you associate with your brand and see what types of articles are tagged with that folksonomy.
  4. Tag content accordingly and take note where new content may need to be generated.

Be sure to see these other posts from this series:

SES New York: Social Media & Why It Matters (Part 2)

By Brian Cosgrove

This is part 2 of a series of posts. This covers the second speaker of the event of the event, Jennifer LaycockDsc_4359

Jen’s Introduction: There’s a conversation going on, you need to join in.  These people influence the links that come in.  Make sure to drill in the impact of the conversation and what it means to your company.

Image Sharing

“Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.” – Walt Disney

Flickr

Flickr is doing very well for image search.  Powerful sites like Technorati use Flickr as their default image search.  Furthermore, Yahoo weighs Flickr images very heavily. Even on Google, you’ll see images searches where the majority of results are from Flickr.  Flickr is an engaged community who is passionate enough about the topic that they post pictures.

Flickr Groups

There are special groups for just about anything you could think of (e.g. edible gardening).  As a company, this offers you the opportunity to establish yourself as an expert.  This lets you sell products through the credibility that you establish rather than a hard sell.

Bento box

As an example, Jen showed pictures of Bento Boxes which are specially organized lunch boxes full of different types of food. Links can be made to blog posts where directions for the food can be found. The blog also happens to be on a site that sells Bento boxes. This type of participation sets up a soft sell for products and helps build a company’s reputation.

Flickr Features

Flickr lets you email pictures straight from your camera phone. You can join or create topics especially for events. You can publish direct from Flickr to most blogs.  Flickr is great with privacy options.  Flickr also has RSS feeds so you can be sure when to follow up on comments.

Recommendation: Get a Pro account for ($25/year). Subscribe to the comments on your pictures and respond.

Learn the Flickr Tools

A collection of tools for Flickr can be found at http://www.quickonlinetips.com/archives/2005/03/great-flickr-tools-collection/.

Twitter

Twitter is micro blogging.  It’s purposefully kept to 140 characters and answers the question: What are you doing?

Twitter for Networking

Twitter is networking made simple because it lets you follow your friend’s friends. Twitter makes it very easy to break in to the conversation. It’s the acceptable way to eavesdrop on conversations and you can do so on both sides.

Twitter is a News Source

Twitter as a news source: a PBS station in San Diego Twitters breaking news.  The short format facilitates quick, timely messages.

The Power of the Retweet

Someone might retwitter a message to their friends.  When used correctly, sites can find as high of a number of people coming from twitter as from other social networking sites.

Recap: Twitter is a chance to expand your network.

-          It’s not stalking, it’s observing.

-          It’s a powerful traffic source.

-          Instant feedback

-          Absolutely free

-          Limited only by your creativity.

Be sure to see these other posts from this series:

SES New York: Social Media & Why it Matters (Part 1)

By Brian Cosgrove

I've decided to break this session up into 4 posts.  There is quite a bit of information to cover so I'll start with the first Speaker on the Panel, Liana Evans.  Dsc_4356

Li’s Introduction:  Social Media started on message boards and now everybody is using it.  You never know who has a video camera or where the footage will end up.


Why Social Media?

-          It offers new opportunities in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

-          It creates engagement opportunities

-          It drives traffic to site

-          It drives links to site

-          It creates buzz


Video Sharing: How To Videos

Liana presents a nice chart of Keyword Discovery results containing the term “how to” and “video”.  Keyword Discovery is a popular SEO keyword research tool.  Among the top, there were 169,818 searches for the term “how to tie a tie video.” Going to google, three videos show up in the search results.  An inspection of these videos shows several key elements that help make a video rank:

-          Title

-          Description

-          Views

-          Ratings

-          Links

Liana’s advice is to look at who is linking to you.  One video had www.Lifehacker.com linking to it (LifeHacker is a very powerful site in terms of search).  This helped that site to outrank another video which had more links.  These videos showed many views this type of traffic would be ideal and easily attainable for a men’s retail store such as Men’s Warehouse.  They would benefit heavily for this type of ranking.


Bare Escentuals Videos

Bare Escentuals is a makeup line.  Their YouTube channel has over 156 subscribers but they aren’t taking full advantage of the platform.  Some key areas that should focus on are the title, links to their site from the description, and tags.  They would certainly benefit by targeting terms like “How to apply makeup”.


HSN Videos

HSN gets search engine rankings though profiles on social media sites.  HSN’s MySpace is decked out ranks for “HSN Videos”. 

HSN also has over 7k videos on YouTube.  Someone actively participates in the YouTube community by responding to comments and answering questions. 

In addition to YouTube, companies should look at Facebook, metacafe, and other sites to further promote their videos. Ratings votes, Comments/Responses, Titles, Social Media Profiles, and Tags offer numerous ways for companies to boost their video content.


Social Ratings and Reviews 

These sites let you have a voice and speak loud and clear to people who care.   Ratings and review sites matter because people respect honest reviews.  They present companies with many considerations:

-          Good reviews are great and have impact.

-          Bad reviews are terrible and have a worse impact

-          Misinformation can be addressed publically

-          They present a great place for a qualified, relevant link

Some key points:

-          Know where your audience is

-          Understand how the review site works

-          Know what the rules are.


Yelp (www.yelp.com)

A San Francisco coffee shop sports a “No Yelpers Allowed” sign. This is probably not the best way to deal with reviews. Yelp matters and it does drive a lot of traffic to businesses.  In addition to social ratings and reviews, Yelp offers business owners the ability to verify and update their listing.  At the very least they can be included in the conversation.


Trip Advisor (www.tripadvisor.com)

Trip Advisor is another site that provides reviews and ratings for local restaurants and hotels. In addition to Yelp, it also ranks well within search engines.

Be sure to see these other posts from this series:

March 23, 2008

Jason Calacanis - Why I Didn't Throw Veggies At Him At SES New York

By Li Evans

Li Evans & Jason Calacanis at SES New York 2008I wanted to, I really, really wanted to.  Everyone knows I really did not have a "love" nor a respect for Jason Calacanis.  The man took every opportunity he could to bash our industry (and my livelihood) for the past year and a half - and people still continued to give him a stage, and the free reign to pretty much say whatever he wanted.  This is a guy who has pissed off more of us than he can likely keep track of.  I took offense to everything Jason was spouting, because I'm not one of those "snake oil salesman", I'm one of these online marketing professionals that believe a sound online marketing strategy is the best practice for a client's success.

So, with that in mind, it's why I called out SES for putting this guy on stage for a 3rd time.  It's also why, when offered the opportunity to see if this guy really knew his stuff, I jumped on it and asked for all of you to send in questions.  I got a lot of questions, and you all really submitted some great stuff.

There was some tense moments, apparently some rumors were floating around people intended to "heckle" Jason.  I think that was something that was just "miscommunicated", or taken the wrong way from some of the comments that were on Sphinn about the post I wrote.  We didn't need to bring in the NYPD, Kevin Ryan did a fine job at keeping things on an even keel, and getting the questions asked and no one heckled Jason ... nor threw veggies.

That all said, showing a bit of humility, is always a good thing.  When you can say "perhaps I was wrong", in front of an audience of more than 1,000 people, credit does have to be given.  I still don't totally agree with Jason's methods or tactics, but I do have to say that I think enough people in this industry have worked at giving him insight into what we do, that he seems to have a different opinion of us than he did back in 2006.

So now onto all of the questions that were submitted & asked from the keynote audience at SES, and those that were answered (answers in red):

Continue reading "Jason Calacanis - Why I Didn't Throw Veggies At Him At SES New York" »

March 21, 2008

Interview with Google Website Optimizer's Tom Leung

By Julie Joyce

Google's Website Optimizer, currently in beta, is a free site content testing tool offered inside of Google AdWords. Designed to improve conversion rates on paid ads and thus keep advertisers happy (and, not coincidentally, keep them spending money), Website Optimizer allows advertisers to test out various combinations of original and varied headlines, images, etc. in order to determine which combination has the highest conversion rate.

Tom Leung, Business Product Manager of Google Website Optimizer, was kind enough to answer my questions about Website Optimizer. As someone who’s been doing PPC for a few years, I was actually quite excited to speak to him and learn more about a product that even a picky client who swears by numbers would like. (I’ll let you know how it works out once I convince my picky client to use it.)

What’s so fascinating about this product is that it has the potential to provide clients with NUMBERS to back up what the best chance for the highest conversion rate is.  As you’ll see below, the product has the potential to increase conversions by 30%, which is quite significant. If you’ve ever dealt with a client who didn’t trust your recommendations because you didn’t really have actual numbers to back it up, Website Optimizer could seriously make your day.

And, just for all the mathletes out there, check out their section on Fractional versus Full Factorial Analysis for a jolly good read.

Julie Joyce: “What are the basic principles behind Google Website Optimizer?

Tom Leung: "It's a tool that lets you test different combinations of content and web designs. You tell Website Optimizer, for a given page, what things you're curious about testing to increase its effectiveness: this headline could be better, one of these three images should work, this button should be located here ... Website Optimizer lets you test all of those ideas by distributing the traffic that hits that page, showing each visitor one of the various permutations, and providing reports that help you make more informed decisions and maximize conversion rates and visitor satisfaction."

Rptcombo_2

Julie Joyce: “Where did the idea for this product come from?

Tom Leung: "It came from the overall goal of what we do with Google AdWords and Google Analytics: increasing transparency and marketing effectiveness. With AdWords and Analytics, we've done a good job of helping website owners get targeted traffic to their sites. Website Optimizer closes that loop; it's the third leg of the stool. Website Optimizer will show what you can do to make pages perform better. The only way to figure out the ideal page is to try a bunch of combinations simultaneously and see, with great precision, what caused conversions."

Julie Joyce: “What does Google stand to gain from the improvement of PPC conversion rates?

Tom Leung: "Google benefits from doing big things: making a big impact on the Web and the world, helping people design better pages so that users have a better experience. Websites can do a better job of converting and getting people more engaged and involved. It's also very scientific. Website owners will get a higher ROI, which can help people decide if they want to invest more with AdWords. Everyone wins."

Julie Joyce: “What feedback have you received so far on the tool? Has the initial response been what you anticipated?

Tom Leung: "Great feedback. As a result of doing testing, a lot of users tell us their companies will not make any permanent changes to their site unless they've done at least one test. People aren't just designing pages by guessing and gut feel. A 20% or 30% increase in conversions is not uncommon! We encourage people to test all the time; it's a free tool. And marketers feel like they've gotten some power back. They used to be beholden to the designers and the IT team. Everybody feels like it's not about opinion and politics anymore, which makes it great buy-in across the company."

Julie Joyce: “What is the maximum number of combinations that can run for one page?

Tom Leung: "From an engineering point of view, we limit the number to 10,000 for a single experiment, but it depends on your traffic. The rule of thumb is that for every 100 conversions, you can test 1 alternate version of your page. If you have 300 conversions per week, test 2 or 3. That's suggested for statistical relevance. We also recommend that people start small."

Julie Joyce: “Currently the tool doesn't allow testing of database-driven content. Are there plans for doing so in the future?

Tom Leung: "Website Optimizer will work fine for a dynamic page, as long as the tags get inserted on the page by your CMS or webserver. We hold webinars about once a month where we explain how it works. As your site gets more sophisticated, the tool is still flexible enough but it requires a bit more investment. We also have Website Optimizer Authorized Consultants who offer additional support and marketing strategy."

Julie Joyce: “How long is a typical experimentation period?

Tom Leung: "Even if you have a ton of traffic and you're testing 2 versions, let it run at least a week, but generally 2 weeks because of seasonal effects that need to be normalized."

Julie Joyce: “Any potential abuse that could happen from the tool? Can black hats use it for anything nefarious?” [Editor’s note: I was hoping to get some black hat tips but Tom was too clever…]

Tom Leung: "Testing is good if you're improving user experience, but if you're using any testing tool to deceive search engines or users, that is subject to the same penalties. Using Website Optimizer does not buy you any protection for wrongdoing, but if people are worried about being mistaken for cloaking, they can read on our Help Center about how testing for the good of users and making pages more effective are good things."

So there you have it...Google's Website Optimizer is quite a fascinating tool so if you're doing PPC, give it a go.

Fun Photo Fridays - Brandy Singing in Her Beautiful Red High Heels

By Li Evans

This past week WebmasterRadio.FM held its infamous "SearchBash" at SES New York, down at the Spotlight in Times Square.  Let me tell you, that was FUN!  They had Karaoke with a live band that backed you up, so that was really neat to have -- especially when you are use to doing Karaoke with just the CD's (yes, I've become a Karaoke addict).

While we were there, Brandy Shapiro-Babin got up on stage and just wowed the crowd, especially in those gorgeous high heels (yes, I'm a shoe gal!).  She totally got into her performance and the crowd just loved her too!

Fun Photo Fridays - Brandy Shapiro-Babin of Webmaster Radio Sings it Up in Red High Heels at the WebMasterRadio.fm SearchBash

If you like this photo of Brandy Shapiro-Babin, feel free to comment and favorite it as that's how we'll be judging the photos at the end of the year! Check out the rest of the fun at SearchBash NYC 2008 and SES NYC, there's over 400 photos total!  Keep an eye out, we'll be back next week with Fun Photo Fridays.

BTW, I'm still working on tagging and titling all the SES New York Photos, so If you'd like to comment on any of the ones I haven't gotten to - or add a tag, please feel free! I've got over 400 to go through!

March 18, 2008

SES New York: Landing Page Testing & Tuning

By Brian Cosgrove

Moderator: Sage Lewis, (www.sagerock.com)
Speakers:

Description:
This session had only one speaker which is atypical of an SES conference. Fortunately, this speaker came with a great ppt full of examples to illustrate each point and plenty of enthusiasm to keep the entire room engaged.

Who should design your website?

Marketers? IT? No! Visitors should design your website! You get thousands of people who can test out your experiments. Guinea Pigs who are willing to give you answers about your site.

Case Studies:

Tim presented a number of test scenarios from various sites. For example, he shows that RealAge.com received a 40% lift in conversion rate once the proper form was identified.

The headline, the length of questions, the look of the button,… these were all factors for the site’s registration page. The point is that a number of subtle changes meant $3 million to bottom line. Thinking streamlined, shorter, and simpler is a good way to get a page to convert. A big green round-edged button doesn’t seem to hurt either. In many cases a radical simplification is the best option.

The Matrix:

Tim’s Matrix is a calculation to decide whether people’s needs are being met.

The Matrix = Roles x Tasks x AIDA

AIDA stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action.

In essence this means:

Getting the Right People

through the Right Activity

in the Right Order.

Example Roles:

Southwest airlines had a number of actions that a new or returning visitor might want to perform. They made to sure to organize their homepage to reflects these roles.

Common Awareness Problems:

Banner Ads can be distracting and could lead users away from the primary point of the site.

Entry pop-ups are annoying and invasive.

A cluttered home page such as Adorama with 146 links is confusing and overwhelming.

A site with good awareness will focus on categories. That is, if you have a lot of crap, let people focus on the subset of crap that they care about.

Keys to Creating Awareness:

  1. Stop screaming at your visitors – Flashing banners or lots of competing visual elements will drive a negative response.
  2. Eliminate choices – Less choices puts more prominence on each one.
  3. Uncluttered what remains – A clean interface simplifies choice.

Rules of Web Awareness:

  1. If you cannot find something easily, it doesn’t exist.
  2. If you emphasize too many items, all of them lose importance.
  3. Any delay increases frustration.

Typical Desire Activities: Research and Compare.

Example: A user may go to a shoe store and research the options by a number of criteria such as – Text, Category, Brand, Size, Color “On Sale” “New”

A site that is unhelpful for the research component of desire is Zappos. Its search feature lends itself to zero-results options make you reenter your search criteria again (or enter a form to get updates on new sizes…).

Rules of Web Desire:

  1. Make me feel appreciated
  2. Make me feel safe
  3. Understand that I am in control

Action Stage Consideration:

Brand Strength – Some users buy on brand. This is more the result of long-term efforts.

Previous Resource Investment (“satisfycing”) - Maybe your option is the next best thing that comes along.

The total solution- Users may be looking for the all-in-one value: availability, customer service hours, return policy, price, free shipping, etc…

Risk reducers & credibility:

These concepts are different. Risk reducers eliminate things that would scare a user away. Credibility increases the likelihood that this site is the best place to convert.

Unhelpful Risk Reducers:

Trust and credibility symbols below the fold or placed as an after thought.

Helpful Risk Reducers:

Petsmart put their Hackersafe symbol in the upper left where a logo would normally appear. 

Credibility and Validation

A lead form on the left side of the page is complemented by a list of high-profile customers on the right.

Rules of Web Action:

  1. Get out of my way.
  2. Make it easy.
  3. Don’t surprise me.

Bad Web Action:

Overstock.com’s screen is reconfigured when clicking radio buttons indicating whether you’re new or returning. A better design would focus on the new customer first and make any registration occur after the checkout process.

Transaction Interruption such as a popup during checkout will drive down conversion. Don’t ask the customer “Would you like fries with that?” through a popup when they have their wallet open. Don’t interrupt checkout process.

Interaction

Most tuning methods don’t take into account the interaction between the elements. For example the term: “Ferraris are Fast” would go well with an image of a fast moving car. It would not go well with the image of a car wrapped around a tree. A picture of a car wrapped around a tree would go well with the headline “Volvos are Safe” if it accompanies a story of a person walking away from a horrific accident.

That is: It’s not the picture, it’s not headline, it’s the context in which they appear.

The best setting for a variable depends on its context and it’s best to maximize positive interactions. Not only do interactions exist, they can be very strong. Ignoring them will lead to suboptimal results. A/B split and Multivariate/Tagushi testing assume that there are no interactions.

A-B Split Test:

Test one variable at a time (with 2 or more vales), send equal traffic to all versions.

- Very simple to implement

- Requires atleast 10 conversions/day to get worthwhile results.

Multivariate

Test several variables at the same time, ignoring interaction.

The scope requires identifying the size of the test in terms of total unique recipes. For example: 12 variables making a total of 38 different values leads to 552960 different versions of the page. This type of testing needs more than 50 conversions a day to get valuable results.

Tuning Pitfall #1: Ignoring Your Baseline

- Always devote some bandwidth to your current version (the baseline)

Tuning Pitfall # 2 Not Collecting Enough Data

When considering numbers, remember that some degree of variance is inherent in chance. For example, 1/3 of the time, 90 is the same as 100. An inadequate sample size leads to very wide and overlapping error bars. When sample size is ramped up, bars get narrow and become uncrossed. Sample size matters.

SES New York: Igniting Viral Campaigns From a "Newbee" Perspective

By MarySue Eckstrom

Hi! I'm MarySue Eckstrom and I'm new to Search Marketing Gurus.  I'm also brand new to the Search Marketing Industry so my blogging will be from a "novice" or "newbee" perspective.

My very first session I attended here at SES New York,  was "Igniting Viral Campaigns".  Of course when it was suggested I attend this session (by Li), I assumed my head would be "smoking" by the time I left the room!  Much to my surprise, it was not!  I actually understood most of the things the speakers were talking about.

The speakers for Igniting Viral Campaigns were:

Moderator: Jeffrey Rohrs, VP, Agency & Search Marketing, ExactTarget
 
Speakers:

The things that I learned from Bill Hanekamp's presentation were:

  • You don't have to spend a lot of money in social media, but the content is important.
  • If you want people to talk about you, then give them a place to talk.
    Example:  Content (you write it), Comments (your visitors leave them)

Edward Kim was the next speaker and he spoke a lot about the "user revolution" and the tools his company has, along with speaking about Eric Jackson.

Fionn_downhill Fionn Downhill was a very interesting speaker to listen to.  She talked about a lot of different online marketing strategies and tactics, such as blogs, forums, RSS feeds, press releases.  Fionn said two things that really stuck in my head:
1)  The Key is Free
2)  You cannot control viral marketing, but you can enable it

The final speaker for this session was Conn Fishburn.  What I took away from Conn's presentation was that all medial wants to be social.  Humans are social animals.  Companies & brand have always been part of the fabric of society and that basically social media is here to stay.

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