Mike Grehan kicked off the Search Analytics track with a summary view of the world of search marketing and notable developments like universal search (even using Li's blog as an example!), search assist and 3D search. As I'm sure many of Li's readers are much more familiar with the search topics he mentioned, I won't dwell on those details (for those who are not, check out his columns at ClickZ or Mike's SEO and search marketing book).
Instead, I wanted to quickly relay more about key search metrics and tools that Mike shared. Again, this may be old news to the search professionals reading this, but web analysts don't always get to talk to search people as much as they might like :-)
- Keywords - If you're targeting a particular basket of keywords, find out how Google is interpreting your site by running your site through the external Google keyword tool
- Google Webmaster Tools - No web analytics tool is going to give you all the data you want in one place. Fortunately, there is a variety of data in a non-traditional source (at least for web analysts), the Google Webmaster Tools. You can get data about whether the robot is crawling your site, which pages are being blocked by the robots.txt file, get average top position for the keywords for which you rank most often, find out what anchor text is used when linking to you, and more. It's a great tool to diagnose your SEO efforts.
- Click Fraud - For click fraud, Mike relayed a number of important KPIs, including average daily clicks, average page views/click, click trends by hour and day, spikes in click volume, a rise of clicks without a corresponding rise in conversions, off peak click times and dates and a few more. A little analytical vigilance on your part can save some hard earned cash.
When posed the question, "Which tool do you like the best?", Mike was impartial and instead focused on KPIs that relate to the business. There was a continual theme of customer/end user centricity in his speech, one that echos much of what you hear at eMetrics. When asked the question, "How can you help me rank well?" Mike deftly challenges his audience to "Give 10 reasons why you should have the top ranking and 10 reasons why people should link to you." When you're transforming the data from your tools into analysis and insight, loop that question into the mix and think about how your analysis can illuminate that answer.