Andy Beal on Search Engine Optimization

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Jennifer Jones interviews Search Engine Marketerer Guru Andy Beal, who’s a bud of mine. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is lately under a lot of scrutiny and is a very interesting topic. I listened in and took some show notes, as well as have additional questions for Andy to answer at the end. I would love to hear a in depth conversation between SEO marketers on the topic of Social Media, a controversial topic, but still important and an impact to Corporate Web Strategy.

I recommend you listen in to soak in all the details, however the following are my high level notes:

Definition: Search Engine Optimization

  • SEO is about removing any barriers from Search Engines from finding and indexing your content.
  • Next, it’s to demonstrate to these engines how your content is the most relevant and important. Of course, some would argue that because the company is ranking the information and not customers, there’s some unfairness in prioritization.
  • Here’s some things to do in your SEO campaign

  • Have a good site structure
  • Make sure the content (in text) is in good shape
  • Is content targeted to your audience?

  • SEO programs at Corporations

  • Not every company has internal SEO specialists, often most companies hire firms to assist with this.
  • Often the person responsible for technical content on web teams are put in charge. I’ve noticed that some editors are getting SEO experience myself.
  • Makes a comparison between SEO campaigns and PR campaigns.
  • If you compare SEO vs Direct Mail, SEO is more efficient use of resources than direct mail.
  • SEO is becoming a line item.

  • What impacts do customer and prospect social media have on corporate SEO programs? Are they a disruptions or compliments?

  • Blogs have shown to be a great resource to SEO, as it brings great content, additional content for engines to fine, content is refined and focused (just like the requirements stated above)
  • When you tie into MySpace, Digg, or Reddit you can gain additional benefits.
  • Let alone the viral benefits that occur afterwards

  • Additional Questions for Andy from Jeremiah:

    Andy, here’s a few burning questions that I have, I respect your opinion and those of other Search Marketers, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the following.

    Question 1) Because blogs score high in Google Search results, how does this impact corporations who spend resources on SEO campaigns for their websites?

    Question 2)
    If Social Media is an effective way to gain in SEO (as well as engage an audience), should we increase Social Media Program budgets and reduce SEO budgets?

    Question 3) The word of mouth network is becoming more and more efficient. Communities are forming and networks are formalizing, these networks allow users to share info about products and services without using search. (Twitter, blogs, myspace are good examples). update: If these word of mouth networks become so efficient and content is shared amongst a common group, will this reduce the need for searches?

    Question 4) I state that Web Marketing is not on Two (corporate and google) domains only. Some savvy companies are realizing the Web Marketing battle isn’t on the corporate domain only, as the word of mouth effect becomes more important, do companies really want visitors to come to their site? Or will the savvy company realize that the most effective web marketing is using advocate customers to turn cold and warm prospects. How does this impact the SEO industry?

    Feedback wanted

    If you’re in the Search Marketing business, I would love to hear your answers, as well as your demonstration of thought leadership. Jennifer, thanks for bringing us yet another interesting Web Marketing leader for us to learn from.