Archive for the ‘Search Strategy’ Category

Using “Local” website search to understand user needs


Ian from Conversation Marketing has a great video and “how to” on understanding what users want on your website.

What could you do with this data? Find out what users content they want, how they phrase their terms, what content is missing. Also analyze from where and when they used the search bar, it could provide some clues on what they’re looking for.

[Analyzing search logs right on one’s site is a an easy way to understand what users are looking for]

Yes another way to evaluate the user experience. Louis Rosenfeld has a speech, research, and a book on the same topic.

What to look for in a Search Engine Optimization Company


The following is live blogging while listening to the the Best Promo Show radio show.

John Meloche and Jim Turner on a live Talk Radio Show deidicated to Marketing and Making Money on the Internet it’s called The Best Promo Sohw

They’ve giving a series of questions to ask an SEO you plan to hire, be a savvy and armed consumer and know what to look for.

Question to ask SEOs during interview process:

How long have you been in business?If someone tells you they’ve been doing it for 10 years, likely it didn’t exist then. So they may be a fraud

What is your background? Do you have a background in marketing or sales?

Do you have long terms clients? Are they satisfied? Ask them to prove it with case studies and references, and even tried keyword searches

What made your competition get the first seaerch results, what made them get the top search results?

What’s a realistic traffic uptake I can expect? Ask them to provide a breakdown of previous keywords and projected ones in the future.

Finding a good SEO
A good test is to find an SEO that comes up top when you type SEO. Duh!

Getting banned, not good
Tip: Getting banned is horrible for your domain, and you may want to consider shutting it down. Getting into the sandbox is not so bad.

Pricing SEO, what are market prices?
It varies on keywords that you’re aiming for

What really matters?
Organic is what matters, content is king

Great show, great resource

Balanced Search Strategy? A discussion on Paid Search with Organic Search


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Patricia Hursh of SmartSearch Corporation is our presenter, a veteran of search for nine years, I’m here at the Frost and Sullivan conference in Alexandria Virginia, a few miles from the White House. It was interesting to note that when I did a search for “smartsearch” a PPC ad came up, I clicked on it and it went to a unique homepage with a unique URL, they’re certainly practicing best practices.

[The ROI of doing both PPC and SEO in tandem is very high, a balanced Search Strategy uses both tactics]

Getting crawled and submitting to Search
What’s a great way for content to be found? Crawlers are effective, but the savvy web manager should be submitting their site map to Google webmaster. I did a review of these tools, when I covered Google Developer day. Properly optimized sites will get crawled, just a single link to you will help the process.

Link Building (aka linkbaiting)
Many vendors require their partners and customers to link to them, this can aid the overall effect. Engines look at over 50 different attributes to measure the quality of a link, so there’s a variety of factors.

A healthy organic search strategy is to create a process that encourages companies, partners, within their network.

Advanced strategies
Audience suggested that engines that see a lot of heavy linking from one server IP area may be frowned upon.

Also consider what content really belongs behind registration, by putting them behind a login they won’t be crawled.

Online and offline strategies? Case Study of Oprah mentioning a product on her show will result in large search queries the next day.

As you launch a product (or your competitor) there’s clever ways to drive traffic your way.

User Behavior on Google results
Drop off points, users are more likely to click on results that appear high in results. More results can be found from eye tracking
There’s a few major drop off points:

  • Below the fold of page one is a big drop of
  • Followed by page 2
  • After page 3 is virtually none
  • What do users click on?
    Within search results, in B2B user clicks were the following:

  • Organic 74%
  • Paid Ads 19%
  • Why do users prefer organic over paid? Specific content types and perhaps trust. We don’t have the numbers for B2C, but the numbers aren’t as dramatic. Others in the audience suggested that PPC outperforms their Organic.

    PPC vs SEO
    Factors in determining your resource allocation

    Type of Attribute: PPC vs SEO
    Budget: Media budget | SEO is not free, requires resources
    Speed to Market: Fast | SEO may take longer
    Control over message: Lots of control | Less control
    Flexibility: Strong | Less flexible
    Longevity: Depends on budget | Longer term
    Credibility: These may be co-dependent
    Branding: These may be co-dependent
    Competitive Market: Understanding how customers find your competitiors –leverage that to your benefit

    Lee has session notes, be sure to check those out.

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    Your Vote Needed: Should Google sleep with its Relatives?


    Google is growing, and folks are concernced it will favor it’s own tools and data over that of others

    Dave Winer audaciously claims that Google will prefer and favor it’s own tools and applications than other third-party applications.

    Dave Winer puts fear in my heart for a world where Google won’t support feeds from other than it’s recent acquisition, Feedburner:

    “It could end up meaning “doesn’t work at all.” It’s quite possible in the second or third iteration that Google drops support for non-Feedburner feeds. It wouldn’t be unprecedented, far from it. Google Blogoscoped created a long list of Google products that “prefer” other Google products. I’ve never seen Google not do this when they had the chance.”

    Dave also gives an example of Blogger, which was acquired by Google:

    “The instant they bought Blogger they tied it to their toolbar. If they had used an open API the toolbar would have worked with all blogging tools. Google just doesn’t think that way, sorry to say.”

    I’ve got my own findings: My previous blog was on blogspot, which I stopped publishing to over a year ago, it’s technorati Authority is 56 compared my current wordpress with 1356. This wordpress blog has 24 times that authority (incoming links) of my Blogspot site.

    Yet, when I do a Google search on “Web Strategy” the blogspot URL comes up top.

    When I try Yahoo, I get significantly different results, this domain comes up top

    [Google is favoring it’s own blogspot domain over my generic domain, although Yahoo does not. This incestuous behavior will likely continue, is it right or wrong?]

    The same thing will likely happen for videos published on all networks. Google will start to favor it’s YouTube videos before any other network, I mean why wouldn’t they?

    As Google continues to acquire more and more applications, the web becomes somewhat less democratized and those who align with Google products are more likely to succeed.

    Dave’s not so audacious as it may first seem, he’s right, this will only continue as Google continues to grow.

    Is this Right or Wrong? Should Google favor it’s own applications?

    1) Wrong: standards or a governing body should impartially cleanse this, this is a vicious cycle, stop being Gevil.
    2) Right: Google is building the best software network the world’s ever seen, the more power to them.
    3) Indifferent: Laissez-faire, it’s what happens in free markets, let’s let it happen naturally.
    4) Other thoughts: Leave a comment below

    Update: Adam from Google has responded in my comments, be sure to read his perspective.

    Small Business Web Marketing


    Small business’s realize that what happens on the web may impact customers. For example, restaurants that don’t create their own website will often have a review site (like yelp, chowhound, or yahoo reviews) be the top listed site for their business.

    Here’s a few resources:

    Make sure your website shows exactly what you site does, address information, contact info. Download Squad has 10 tips for small businesses. I’ve also suggested to friends with restaurants to consider using pictures of their restaurant and food. But again, contact info should go right up on first page, as users are often seeking how to get to your establishment.

    SF Gate has some suggestions on search strategies, well narrow ones at that. By staying focused, your small business may have an opportunity in beating out larger companies in your region.

    I’ve also started to notice that there are more cafe’s and restaurants live streaming their establishment. Often, these bustling small companies may benefit from showing the world they are hub’s of energy and activity.

    Small businesses may also benefit from finding other online communities and connecting with peers, partners, or customers. I’ve heard some several folks that Intuit’s Quickbooks has a thriving online community for small businesses.

    Lastly, check out Duct Tape Marketing blog, which has a constant stream of high quality content.

    Leave a comment if you can suggest some other links.

    Stay up to date with the Internet Marketing Industry: Marketing Pilgrim launches live show


    Above Video: Andy Beal of Marketing Pilgrim (popular website on Search Marketing) covers this week’s search beat.

    I’m watching Andy Beal’s live show that he recorded live a few hours ago with Ustream, I was particularly glad when I saw he was going to do this, as I’ve been advising Ustream, they know how to reach the top bloggers. If you don’t know who Andy is, he’s pretty influential in the search space, Google and Yahoo employees read his blog.

    If you’re short on time, and you want to find out what’s happening in the Internet Marketing space, you can turn on Andy’s show, Marketing Pilgrim Live turn up the volume and multi-task. I asked Andy about his show, and he said it’s:

    “Marketing Pilgrim Live: Internet marketing consultant Andy Beal shares his thoughts on the week’s recent internet marketing news. In this week’s show, Andy discusses Facebook, Google’s law suits, web metrics and much more. “

    What’s really interesting is that he said he’s giving up podcasting, because now he doesn’t have to edit. He wishes that Ustream would have a timer, to show how long they’ve been broadcasting. He also thinks it’s amazing that there’s 80 people watching Chris Pirillo’s live show, even when he’s doing nothing. He asks “Chris, what do you do when you want to pick your nose?”

    Good stuff Andy, I’m really caught up now.

    (Update: Other interesting video shows? Check out this wrapup show from Techno Marketer of all things social media and web)