December 20, 2010

Are You The Industry's Biggest Search Geek?

By Li Evans

Biggest-search-geek-contest SMX is asking, "Are You the Biggest Search Geek?"

If you are, it could win you a trip for two to Search Marketing Expo in San Jose March 8-10, 2001.  The contest sponsored by Marin Software is in it's 3rd year and consists of 20 questions online marketing professionals need to answer to test their "search geekiness".  The winner will answer the most questions in the shortest amount of time.

It may seem easy, but how many of you know the answer to questions like "What was the name of Larry Page and Sergey Brin's 1996 research project that  laid the foundation for Google's search engine?"  without going to Wikipedia for the answer?  

And before you think that's one of this year's questions... think again! :)  That one was from a prior year.

So if you think you are up for it, go take the 20 question quiz and see if you can be crowned the industry's "Biggest Search Geek!"

 

October 08, 2010

Facebook Ad Tactics for Search Marketers

By Li Evans

Reporting from Search Marketing Expo (SMX) East

DSC_8727 The "Facebook At Tactics for Search Marketers" panel at SMX East was a pretty insightful panel, from looking at how to manage your advertising in Facebook more easily to how to use it as a research tool, this panel was also full of great tips fromt he presenters.

First up was Matt Lawson from Marin Software who pointed out that Facebook just has a sheer amount of traffic, it's now crested and eclipsed google in page views.  They pages visisted are also more per session, 12+ in Facebook is an oustanding number to figure into your strategies.

Understanding that people are visiting more pages during their sessions in Facebook, you will naturally get more impressions than you can in paid search in the search engines (Google, Bing).  That only makes sense.  More impressions however, does mean lower click through rates, but this is o.k. when you also factor in you will have lower CPC rates that range anywhere from 12 to 15%.

Conversion rates are really all over the map for Facebook ads.  It really depends on how you are targeting your ads and your creatives.  Images are much more important with Facebook Ads.  Marketers need to be careful of having their ads "blending in" so choose colors that draw out.  If you also tailor your images to your audience it will increase their relevance as well.  You also need to keep the ads fresh because users on Facebook become ad blind

Matt also pointed out that maintaining the Facebook experience is important, especially for conversions.  Most succeful campaigns tend to be those who built their ads and campaigns into the Facebook tabs.

Matt rounded out his presentation by pointing out for marketers to remember that (according to: "The Influecened:  Social media, search and the interplay of consideration and consumption"  by Group M) social influences search.  Consumers who are exposed to a brand's social meda ads are:

  • 2.8 times as likely to search on brand terms
  • 50% more likely to click on paid search ads
  • 1.7 times morelikely to purchase from search


DSC_8723 Kevin Ryan from Motivity Marketing was up next at the podium and started off with pointing out how Facebook ads are really easy to set up, in just 5 minutes you can set them up.  He also pointed out that Facebook can become bigger in 5 yrs than Google is today (he pointed out a good piece on TechCrunch that speaks to this).

When marketers are working with Facebook ads, they need to look beyond just the keywords to things like tidal changes, early stage - creative shelf life, transitions, and just because you can doesn't mean you should (especially when it comes to bidding against your competition).  Marketers need to be more geographically relevant with Facebook and understand the collective interest.

Merry Morud from AimClear was up after Kevin Ryan and focused on how she runs campaigns in Facebook.  When you start a new account either start it from an admin account or create a new destination account on Facebook.  If you start a new account Facebook will at first limit you to $50, put in a request to buy more and they will work to get that removed.

When it comes to Facebook ads they are still a lot like PPC ads in the search engines in that you still need to create Landing Pages, whether they are landing pages that are on your site or a Facebook tab, you should still perform small audits on there.  Marketers should also be testing the verbiage in their copy, but an easy way to start is to grab your Search PPC copy that is working.  Also understanding how much freedom you have is important because in Facebook langauge that appeals to a certain segment (slang) can make your ads more successful.

Merry also pointed out how important images are to Facebook ads.  You need to get pictures - you need them, lots of them -  and you also need to make the images pop.  Merry uses IrfranView and cranks up both the contrast & saturation to make normal images stand out more.

Some best practices to keep in mind for creating your Facebook ads are: no symbols, full healdine, full sentice in body, no excessive punctuation, no eccesive capitlaize, real urls, bid daily budget must start at least $1.  She also suggested using some alternative tools:  Word's Thesaurus, Wikipedia, VisuWords, WordStream, OneLook Reverse Dictionary and your own noggin'.

Merry really had a ton more of great stuff in her presentation so if you were at SMX and didn't get to see this panel, download her presentation when they put them up and you can get the full information.  She really did have a lot of awesome tips and insights.

Finally Tyler Calder from Search Engine People rounded out this panel.  Tyler focuse on how marketers can use Facebook ads for market research.  Facebook is a researchers dream, so much data to get into about your customers can be found on Facebook.  If you want to  know how a certain groups people respond to a message an image or a question - Facebook can help with that.

Marketers can take these findings and apply to other offline and online intiatives such as TV, Radio and Print. If you start to use Facebook Advertising as a starting point for your marketing research, follow the Scientific Method.  Tyler outlined what marketers can test with Facebook ads:

  • Blog Titles
  • Email Subject Lines
  • Existing Message in New Market
  • Value Propositions
  • Proof Points

Benefits of using Facebook as a marketing research tool are huge: cost effective, fast, targeting, data collection, and flexibitilty.

Tyler presented two case studies in how they effectively used Facebook ads to research and test for their clients.  The first involved TV ads for a medical client that specialized in lap band procedures.  The client had a clearly defined geographic area and demographic but has a very high cost per conversion and they needed insights into how to produce a commercial that would be relevant.  They question they needed to answer for the client was what type of TV does their audience watch.  By using Facebook ads they were able to effectively answer that question and help the client with the campaign and making it much more affective and the results were 6% increase in calls, 11% increase in online consultation bookings.

The second case study Tyler highlighted was for a company who had a mobile application.  The app itself had strong reviews and a high retention rate however it could not break into the top 25.  The problem was that their app icon was seriously ugly and sucked.  Tylers team used Facebook ads to test the new icon images, the one that performed the best in the ads was what was chosen for the new application icon. The results - app downloads steady rate/sustained of downloads, with first ugly app icon, it was 69% drop off after the initial release.

Just like the Facebook (SEO) Optimization panel before this one, this session was really full of a lot of great tips, insights and information.  If you attended SMX East and missed this panel make sure to download the presentations.  If you didn't attend SMX East, make sure you put SMX West on your agenda!

 

October 07, 2010

Facebook (SEO) Optimization: Free Ways to Be Found on Facebook

By Li Evans

Reporting from Search Marketing Expo (SMX)

Marty-weintraub Lately Facebook marketing has become all the rage, especially for online marketers.  With that in mind I sat down in the Facebook SEO:  Free Ways to be Found on Facebook panel at SMX East 2010.  The panel was moderated by Elizabeth Osmesloski the editor for Search Engine Land and presenters were Marty Weintraub, Gregg Finn and Chris Silversmith

First to the stage was Marty, who had a deck that was just packed with data, so much so that I'll have to go back and digest that presentation to fully comprehend everything Marty was trying to relate in such a small amount of time.  Some key facts, tips and information I gleened from Marty's presentation were truly insightful.

When it comes to the "SERPs" of Facebook (if we want to call them that as search engine marketers) and mature Facebook accounts different factors like personalization and likes matter in what's brought back when a user searches in the Facebook environment.  There's a few things that affect personalization: you "like it", your friends "like it", you've got 2nd degree friends (not quite as relevant), you've been invited to things, you've visited the page before, and you've listed it as an interest on your profile.

Marty outlined 9 important ranking factors to consider when you are setting up your profile or pages/groups on Facebook, if you want them to rank in Facebook's search results.
  1. Your Name
  2. Events You Are Invited To
  3. Friend with Keyword in Name
  4. 2nd Degree Friend with Keyword in Name
  5. Questions w/ keyword in it & # of Answers
  6. App you have used
  7. Page Friend Likes
  8. Groups you have joined
  9. Internal external page & Interest You Have on a Profile
The one place that seems to be the most "spammy" on Facebook that programmers are hacking and exploiting is Events.  Events are not geographically based, nor based on if your friends are attend, nor the invites and not really keyword based.  Spammers are using events to send emails to everyone on the attendee lists whether they've RSVP'd or not.  This is why people are ignoring events anymore.

The key to successfully marketing with the events is to get people to RSVP as ATTENDING and get people to the page at least once.  Don't forget to make your primary keyword the first word of the event and don't make that name too long.

Marty had so much more great information, if you are interested in it, follow him on twitter he's @aimclear.

Greg Finn was up next with another treasure trove of great tips for marketing in Facebook.  The key to making your pages rank is relevancy of the page name, the fans you have and also the conversations that are going on within those pages, according to Greg.  Greg also highlighted Facebook's Page Browser feature and how those factors affect what appears in the page browser.

When you are trying to boost your fans he pointed out some rather simple things marketers can do like making sure you have a "Become a Fan" button on your main website.  He also suggested running promotions, however you do need to consult Facebook's guidelines on promotions before you launch to avoid having Facebook shut down your promotion.

The best promotions that work are charitable donations.  This is where companies say "for every fan we acquire" within a certain time frame, they will donate a certain amount of money to a charity.  Greg suggested that companies can alter this and encourage more conversation because in order to comment on a fan page wall, you have to like it first.  So by running the promotion focusing on "for every comment on this post, we'll donate", you are getting both fans and conversation.

Open-graph Chris Silversmith rounded out this panel with some other great insights, primarily utilizing your status updates in more effective ways.  If you utilize tagging, you can really improve your chances of increasing the number of people who see it.  For example utilizing people's names, groups, businesses, and locations can actually place your status updates on their walls, exposing that information to their fans/friends. 

You do want to be careful with this though because it can appear spammy and get ignored and also be ineffective if a group, fan page or community page only shows "their" updates and doesn't allow fans updates to be seen.  Remember as well, you can only use 6 tags in a status update.

Chris also gave some great tips about optimizing fan page code for facebook by using the Open Graph.  Open Graph code is based on RDFa and Chris pointed out that marketers should make sure to use the meta tags outlined in the Open Graph outline by creating special html pages on their own sites and synching them with the Facebook Fanpage.  You really only get one shot at this as once 10 or more people like it, Facebook won't change the information on the page you've synched.  To get Facebook to recognize your Open Graph coded page put the like button on the page and click it as the administrator of the fan page from that page.

This panel was so packed with great information, there's a lot more that I didn't cover here, as actually sitting in the panel is where you get the true benefit!  If you are interested in learning more, tweet to the presenters, they might help you out, or better yet attend SMX West in February 2011.

October 05, 2010

Retargeting: The New Behavioral Ads

By Li Evans

Reporting from Search Marketing Expo (SMX)

Behavorial-ad-re-targeting One of the first sessions yesterday at SMX was the Retargeting:  The New Behavioral Ads.  This session focused around understanding how minute in details and data driven serving up display ads across content networks can be.  Chris Sherman was the moderator for this panel and he brought up the fact that the FCC is taking a closer look at the process of using cookies and their data to retarget ads to users and the privacy concerns around this process.  There could be legislation coming in the future that prohibits companies from using data in this way.

First up on this panel to present was Kevin Lee from DidIt.  Kevin's been around this space for quite a while and is one of the people who have a truly deep knowledge of exactly how these networks work with capturing data and then serving up the right ads to the viewer.  Kevin focused on the basics of ad retargeting and told the audience that this form of advertising is much greater than thinking of it as just "display ads".

When it comes down to it, marketers have to think about who's cookie pool do they want to use, if  you want to be successful because all behavioral search is not the same.  Since you want to remarket to your customers and existing site visitors you are going to need a larger cookie pool of visitors to be successful.  So are you going to use organic traffic, paid placement traffic, media traffic, direct navigation, affiliate marketing traffic (this can get tricky because you'll have to pay the affiliate when the remarketing works)?

What is the window of opportunity for the buy funnel? The longer your prospects are in market the more opportunity you have to remarket to them, so you need to plan accordingly with your budgets and strategy.  But keeping that in mind you also have to look at the "creepy factor" of retargeting along with the "spouse factor" meaning that most computers are shared by a family.  Just because we have all this Personally Identifiable Information (PII) does it mean we should use it?

Kevin wrapped up his presentation by pointing out a beginners mistake: be careful with performance deals.  Sometimes you are paying for the same lead/order multiple times and data collection systems can kill your affiliate networks.  Look for performance marketing agencies who have performance marketing deals that work around attribution modeling and even better, media mix modeling that offer marginal elasticity of ever media option.


Joshua Dreller presented next and posed the question to the audience "What is the main reason why search marketing works so well?" his answer was "Intent."  Search marketing is considered by advertisers to be the most effect media channel for reaching consumers who exhibit "intent."

There are challenge though:  high ppc prices, scalability issues, maxed out budgets, only being limited to text ads - nothing beats sound and images. This is where ad retargeting can really shine especially when marketers realize that billions of adspace goes unsold every day, and that "cookies" can help you evaluate the ad bids much more effectively.

Nancy Marzouk from Net Mining rounded out this panel on ad retargeting by pointing out some myths:

1. each potential customer that interacts with your brand should be treated equally

2. because someone has been to your site previously they will automatically convert

Qualifying remarketing impressions starts with your site data & standard marketing (based on page views).  Page visits are equal to possible interest. Smarter marketing by using advanced audience profiles, look at pages visited,  time spent on pages, recency of visits, sequence of products purchased, and search referrals.  All equal true interest, according to Nancy, so marketers need to expand their targeting pool based on site data.

Nancy finished up her presentation by pointing out that marketers can't solely focus on ad retargeting, neglecting the other channels (PPC, SEO, Brand Display, and Social Media for example) can be costly.  Marketers need to stop siloing their efforts and create more "blended" portfolios.

October 04, 2010

Tapping Into Google's Freshness

By Li Evans

Reporting from Search Marketing Expo (SMX) East

This panel was a lot more interesting than I had anticipated it would be. The speakers on this panel shared a lot of insight into just what it is that Google likes in the way of freshness in content, links, and mentions when they are looking at content and applying the algorithm and displaying results to searchers.

Danny Sullivan was the panel's moderator and added a lot of personal insight from his experiences with running Search Engine Land that also brought a lot to the session. Janet Driscol Miller, Kenny Hyde and Joe Shehata were presenting on this panel and each had a unique perspective as to what they see in the way of relevance in the manner of "freshness" in Google.

Janet Driscol Miller of Search Mojo, led off the panel discussing "Query Deserves Freshness" factor of the Google Algorythm. The QDF has been around since 2007, but has really been brought to the forefront with Google's launch of Caffiene earlier this year. The QDF is used to determine what searches are "hot" and looks for the most recent information available for those trending queries.

Janet went into some great detail about the different Google tools that you can use to help keep up to date on trends and also if the keywords your marketing campaigns are focused on are also spiking for certain reasons. She went on to show the audience how Google insights can be embedded in a page and how marketers can leverage this tool to their advantage by writing relevant blog content around the insight that is spiking.

After Janet concluded her really informative presentation, Kenny Hyde took to the podium and focused on the three primary things that he has seen make fast changes in Google's search results. These three factors also allow the more authoratative sites remain pretty stable in the results, where sites who are not strong in these three areas tend to fluctuate a lot more.

The three areas that Kenny focused on were links, brand mentions and fresh content. He started off with pointing out that with links it's not just quantity and not just quality, it was both. Along with that the variety of the links and where they come from matter. The final piece of the linking puzzle that Kenny discussed was consistency in link building, that once you start building links, you have to continue at the same rate (or increase) if you want to remain "fresh" to Google.

The second area, brand mentions, isn't just using the keyword in the link as many would think, but more to the point that if there is a link you've attained, it's just as important to make sure that on that page there are other mentions of your brand. The sentiment of the brand mention is also an important factor as well.

When it comes to fresh content, Kenny pointed out a few things. The content itself doesn't have to be on a high ranking page, blog posts and syndicated content work well too. It also doesn't have to be on your site, where content such as press releases and reviews are perfect for this type of freshness factor.

The last speaker to round out the panel was John Shehata. John took a look at the freshness factor of Google and what matters in the perspective of Twitter and how it affects the search results. Getting your content retreated is probably one of the most important factors here. Google looks to this as an indicator of relevance. Some things to avoid though is using too many hash tags in your tweets, as the search engines have confirmed that they view this as a spam my tactic.

John also highlighted that not just the quantity but the quality of who is following you and retreating your content is rather important to the "Freshness" factor in Google. Getting influencers to rewet your content is taken as a sign to the search engines that this content is relevant more so when more people rewet it. John rounded out his information by saying it's just as important to encourage family, friends and followers to post your content in other social communities to further the relevance of the content.

This panel had a lot of great tidbits, advice and tips that I came away with some great information to apply here at SMG. Overall,if you can pick the brain of Janet, Kenny or John, I'd say do it!

September 30, 2010

Moving on From Serengeti Communications & The Social Media Marketing Book

By Li Evans

Life in the online marketing world can get quite busy, pretty fast.  Before you know it, they hobbies that you love fall to the wayside, or take different forms into full time positions or work themselves into a book.  For the past year or so that is what happened to me and to a lot of the Search Marketing Gurus group of writers.  Many of the writers here have moved on to new positions from when they started with SMG or have even started their own businesses which take up a major amount of their time.

Smm-book-cover-300h For me it was writing the social media marketing book, Social Media Marketing:  Engaging Strategies for Facebook, Twitter & other Social Media.  It was a true labor of love - sharing my knowledge of this industry and how companies can effectively utilize social media as a true online marketing tool.  

I also threw my heart and soul into my client work at Serengeti Communications.  Nan Dawkins is one of the best bosses anyone could wish to have.  She kind, caring and so willing to share.  Her generous nature and willingness to be a great mentor is something I not only greatly respect, but am honored to have been able to have in my life.  It's also what made my decision to move on from Serengeti Communications so difficult. 

Friday, will be my last day with my awesome co-workers John Lynch, Kevin Olson, Nate Linnell and Stacy Moren who I was with from the start.  They are really great people and another reason why its tough to leave.

So, where am I going?  What am I about to venture out on?  Well stay tuned, there's a lot to come, a lot of exciting stuff - especially with SMG.  We've got a bunch of writers coming back to help kick up some great ideas, tips and insights and Julie will be keeping up with the Women of Internet Marketing Interviews.  We'll also have conference coverage and photos again starting with Search Marketing Expo (SMX) and eConsultancy next week and Search Engine Strategies in Chicago in mid-October and AffCon in December.  SMG will also be going through both a platform and design change as we'll be moving from Typepad to Wordpress over the month of October.

We're back folks, so stay tuned - more to come! :)

December 10, 2009

What Do You Want From Google for Christmas? (#SESCHI)

By Li Evans

Search Engine Strategies Chicago 2009 wrapped up yesterday, as usual we had the snow to deal with, but I have to say, this year's conference really rocked content and keynote wise.

I've got some coverage to put up on SMG about the Wednesday keynote and if you are interested in reading Jeff Jarvis' thoughts on Media (Newspapers) & Google from Monday's keynote, check out my coverage over on Social Conversations.

In the meantime, I'll leave our viewers with the video they put together, and yes that's me (Li) who leads off the video by totally cracking up at being asked "and what's your name little girl".  I know, it wasn't that difficult of a question.... but ... but .... ok yeah I really don't have an excuse for it! LOL

August 06, 2009

Mike Grehan Joins SEW, ClickZ and Search Engine Strategies (SES) - Interview

By Li Evans

Mike_grehan It's with a lot of smiling this morning that I get to be the first place that has an interview with Mike Grehan about his new position with Search Engine Watch, ClickZ and Seach Engine Strategies (SES). (official announcement)  Mike's taken on a whole new role leading some exciting changes for the next coming year as well as helping to shape the direction of the industry as one of the top minds on where not just search marketing is going, but the whole online marketing industry as a whole. 

So lets hop right to it...(this is a two part interview that continues on Take It In-House)

Tell us about your new role with Incisive Media, SES, SEW, ClickZ

Mike Grehan:  I’ll be carrying Matt McGowan’s suitcase while he’s traveling as well as acting as his bodyguard to keep him safe from his adoring fans at conferences…

And apart from that… Effectively I’m working with the content team to help shape us up for the future. These three powerhouse brands have been around for a while and have a great reputation. But as the industry changes, we must change with it. And not just react to changes but anticipate it and facilitate the online conversation.

Of course, I’ll be playing a much larger role with the conference on the speaking front, as well as regularly writing and blogging across all three brands. And then there’s the webcasts and the…

How has the search industry changed in the last three years?

Mike Grehan:I think the biggest changes revolve around less dependency on technical solutions in the way we had to provide for clients. Now it’s much more important to have a strong marketing strategy as well as some tech savvy.

How important has social media become?

Mike Grehan:  Interesting that so many people in search are drawn towards this, so called “social media” when it requires an entirely different skill set. People like yourself who have a PR and marketing background (as well as being an excellent coder :) ) are more likely to succeed. As to how important it has become, go and ask the 250 million people at Facebook, they’ll tell you :)

This interview continues on Take It In-House.

March 26, 2009

SEO: Where to Next? at SES NY

By Brian Cosgrove

On Day 1 of SES New York, the Where to Next panel was among the first in the track portion of the show. As you will read, the session was a conversation that migrated from topic to topic in fairly nonlinear path.

Speakers for this session were as follows:
Moderator:

  • Mike Grehan: SES Advisory Board, Global KDM Officer, Acronym Media

Speakers:

  • Marcus Tandler: CEO, Creativity in Action
  • Jill Whalen: CEO, High Rankings
  • Bill Hunt: CEO, Global Strategies Intl, Director, Global Search Strategy, Neo@Ogilvy
  • Duane Forrester: Senior Program Manager - SEO, Live Search, Microsoft
  • Chris Boggs: Director, SEO, Rosetta

The session begins with some best practices. Hunt suggests working on page focus for Title Tags, Headline Tags, and the First Paragraph. This is nothing new and as Whalen points out, at some point no more “on page” work will help. Boggs talks about being consistent with tying the story to the landing page.

The next theme of conversation related to link building. Tandler states that people miss links they legitimately need for their business (while spending too much effort on ones they don’t). Forrestor suggests that the “cold call” approach of sending an email to the webmaster asking for a link still works. This is debated though since all webmasters receive a ton of these emails all the time. Boggs talks about the quality of these links mentioning that many of them include the anchor text of the brand name. For Hunt, these links should be linking to the most relevant internal page. Many link opportunities are sold short because they don’t send users to the right page.

Following this talk comes universal search. Forrester says that SEOs need to get the right mix within the results. It’s all part of a program, depending where your at in the results. Getting into Google News, for example, involves meeting a number of guidelines and applying to get in if you meet the criteria of a news source rather than a journalist who is blogging. Boggs tells us that universal results are very smart and it takes some care to get search traffic from your latest press release.

Since universal search changes the organization of the SERPs, Grehan asks the panel if rankings reports are dead. Tandler suggests scanning the results for the terms you’re targeting and noting which modules show up. Whalen notes that personalized and Geo-targeted results throw a wrench into the rankings report scenario; but Boggs follows that up by noting that they’re still illustrative of overall rankings trends and movement. Further, they can indicate certain categories, etc…. that are moving up. Forrestor says he only uses them internally and one panelist claimed that they aren’t a KPI (this stands for Key Performance Indicator. I am not in agreement with where he was going here. I think rankings can certainly be predictive/indicative of progress toward getting terms which don’t drive traffic closer to a place where they will, at least in aggregate. That being said, a ranking number is not a KPI but KPIs can certainly be derived from rankings, even if there is no traffic, yet, to be seen).

Next up is analytics. Whalen expresses her affinity for Google Analytics. Forrestor encourages the audience to set up conversion, set a goal for that conversion, put a number on it, and beat that number. Boggs offers that the full purchase cycle needs to be considered with analytics since there are often multiple touch points for customers. He mentions creating an attribution model. To this Grehan asks “Why does search get credit for everything?” Hunt quickly replies that it’s the only thing you can measure and people are too lazy to click on organic (this didn’t make much sense to me either but I believe he meant it’s more straight forward for tracking than some other online marketing tactics, or that clients don’t have tracking configured for other methods).

Grehan mentions term “engagement mapping” and Whalen offers that it takes multiple touch points to market effectively (that is, they are complementary, not competitive with each other). Tandler follows this up with a statement that users should not take anything for granted when it comes to looking at their numbers. As he asks, “Who said 2% is great?” He mentions that in the context of that particular situation, they may be able to get it up to 10%. Always Be Testing (incidentally, this is the name of Bryan Eisenberg’s book on Google Website Optimizer). He mentions to get the most out of a landing page (a theme that has been growing momentum as of late).

Forrestor offers the term “claiming the cookie” to describe his attribution. He offers a term (2 day theoretical?) to explain that people should be asking themselves, “How much is the customer worth to me when they are with me?” He says that every month, he feels he gets closer to understanding what is attributable to search.

Grehan talks about Digital Asset Optimization and calls analytics the new SEO. This speaks to the concept of universal search encompassing many forms of digital content that together form the clients assets for online marketing. For analytics to be the new SEO, he may mean that it is the optimization of this whole system, through analyzing each one’s particular value, that will lead companies to success.

At this point, we move into slides for each speaker. I’ll list some of the ones that stuck with me:

  • Incompetent SEOs must stop wasting the time of companies
  • Big brands have the upper hand which means that there definitely is not a level playing field.
  • Developers need to bake in SEO
  • Don’t just be satisfied with #1 rankings, get the most out of Social media
  • Optimize your conversions
  • Don’t buy links, buy whole sites (Tandler alluded to fake review sites which sounds like bad news to me).
  • Create a deeper “real” integration between paid and organic search
  • Flash, Flex, Ajax need to be search engine friendly
  • Optimize your digital assets
  • Match the right page with the intent of the searcher
  • Speak the language of your audience (including from a business perspective
  • “Be a webmaster” and look at search holistically, take on all the various roles to some extent
  • Embrace in-house+agency SEO relationships
  • Make organic entry pages unique to go with the keywords

On the topic of things not being level, Boggs offered that money means time and bigger brands have money so they can afford to put more time into SEO. Another person asked of auto-completion or auto-correction where decreasing the amount of long-tail terms that are searched but someone mentioned that those tools are not always accurate. Someone asked about Woopra and some other tools that are good for looking at your traffic but I don’t recall much of a response.

So there you have it: A collection of topics all covered in a one hour time slot that offer many thoughts and ideas about “What’s next in SEO?”

March 24, 2009

Matt Bailey on Advanced (Persuasive) SEO at SES NYC

By Kim (cre8pc)

One of the most dynamic speakers to grace Search Engine Strategies, year after year, is Site Logic Marketing's President, Matt Bailey.  His popularity earned him his own time slot, and not surprisingly, his session was packed and overflowing with attendees.  Despite stressed vocal chords, he presented what he claimed were over 200 sides...or else he was just kidding.  If it was that much, it certainly never felt that way during his one hour talk.

His topic was called "Advanced SEO Strategies: Integrating Analytics, Usability, Persuasion and Journalism.  Matt was introduced by Stewart Quealy, VP. Incisive Media.  I had the honor of sitting with Mrs. Bailey, which was fun because we could giggle together.  There is always something to laugh at with Matt's talks.

Matt has lots to wisdom to share.  Here are some highlights, most of which you can apply right away and see immediate improvements on your web pages.  The thrust of his talk is about on-page factors.  In others words, optimizing content out front and behind the curtain.

1. "Clean up your house before inviting people over". Get ready for  searchers.There is a sender of information and a receiver. Users have to decode our sites. Our job is to make pages easier to decode and understand.  Search engines will reward you with better rankings when your users are happy.

2. Words are the building blocks of information.  You want to communicate credibility and encourage users to take action.  We want action as a result.  Matt loves the "Power of words." Words are like  dynamite sticks in people's minds.  By finding words that resonate with searchers, this  will create a reaction in their mind. They can tell when a site has what they're looking for.

3. Absolutely NO generic navigation link labels. If it fits on someone else's web site, its generic. It must be specific to you!

4. Call things what they are.  Brand managers want to control the market and often create odd jargon. Users are looking for specifics and seek exact descriptions.  Remember that consumers may not talk the same way you do.  (He shows the now famous "butt paste" slide, for a diaper rash ointment page.)

5.  Search engines are machines that are trying to make humans happy.

6. Page titles - Make them unique and concise and specific to content on the page.  This will get you rankings and you will see immediate results.  You have  60 characters to get your marketing message in search results pages via the title tag. The title tag says, "This is what is on the page."  It is your promise to your users.  Do not use the same page titles on every page.

7. For content, make liberal use of headlines, sub-headings, bullet points, paragraph header and H1 tags. Watch text contrast and text size. Break up content.  Search engines can tell what text you put emphasis on.

8. How many keywords on a page?  This is the age-old question and the answer has always been - "Does the page make sense?"

9. Meta tags such as keywords are extinct, like the old library card catalog.  They're "pre-2000 DEO".  On page factors have more weight.  Make sure keywords are are unique and focused on each page. Remember, also, alt text behind images because you can't always control how your page is rendere.

10. Put descriptive text around images.

11. Use keywords in image and file names.

12. Optimize multi-media files, video, images, pdf, flash files, images..as these are shown in search engines and are rankable. Search is based on human factors and search engines use the same things. 

13. Users scan content.  79% of users scan a page, 16% read word for word.. Therefore, the most important information needs to be in the first paragraph.

14. Don't make links hard to see.  And more importantly navigation should show where you are, especially if it's a landing page.

15. Credibiliy is based on site's visual appeal. This includes layout, fonts, color scheme, how content is arranged, if consistent and if readable.  Readability  issues are things like small text, blinking, scrolling, rotating, low contrasts and often elements that work for print but not online.

16.  People refine searches by brand, by need and by want.  You want to hit the whole process.  Some products are seasonal. 

17. Don't forget regional words like hoagies, grinder, po-buy and sandwich.  There are different ways to say the same thing and people look for our stuff in vastly different ways.  Research what they call it.   

18. Be aware of everyone's own personalized search. Everyone's search results are different.  Don't forget different languages and spellings for words.Laptopmoney

19. There are many different types of searchers...sharp shooters. shotgun, artillery searcher , planner,
browser, price shopper  (customer loyalty is for how long price lasts), last minute shopper.  Offer more than what you ask for.

20. For persuasion, make sure you have ready your elevator pitch, does it meet needs, benefits, build rapport, is it understandable...remember logic, emotion and credibility. Why should people do business with you? Because they NEED to do business with you.

Bravo Matt!

Get SMG Today - Free!

Get SMG by RSS What Is RSS?
Get Search Marketing Gurus Today via RSS! Add to Google Reader or Homepage
Add to netvibes
Get SMG in Your Bloglines
Get SMG in Your NewsGator Online

Get SMG by E-Mail
Subscribe to SMG via Email
Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner

SMG Conversations

If You Like SMG Favorite Us on Technorati!
Add to Technorati Favorites
If You Like What SMG Has To Say, Joins Us At These Places!
Subscribe on YouTube to SMG's Videos
follow Li on Twitter
Follow Li on FriendFeed




Copyright 2006, 2007, 2008 SearchMarketingGurus.com