May 23, 2008

Fun Photo Fridays: Mike Grehan "Cheers To You" at Search Marketing World 2008

By Li Evans

Back in April at the beginning of that month I had the opportunity to travel to Dublin, Ireland to speak at Search Marketing World 2008.  It was my first time in Ireland but my friends from the search industry like Motoko Hunt, Dave Davis & Mike Grehan all helped me out with places to go and visit during my stay there.

Right after the sessions were over at Search Marketing World, there was a networking event.  Everyone was just hanging out, chilling, and generally having a great time.  I snapped this photo of Mike, who's one of my favorite people in this industry, and just loved the way it caught his sense of fun.  He was toasting, "here's to you, Li", and I say "Cheers to You Mike!"

Fun Photo Fridays: Mike Grehan

If you like this photo of Mike Grehan "Cheers To You" at Search Marketing World 2008, 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 Search Marketing World 2008, there's over 140 photos to view.

April 04, 2008

Fun Photo Fridays - Teddie, Mel, Dean & Rob ... Just Hanging Out

By Li Evans

Last week I totally slacked, and missed the photo for Friday, however I'm back this week (live from Dublin, Ireland) with this week's photo.  Search Marketing World 2008 was held yesterday (check out my conference coverage if your interested!), and I've got a bunch of photos from the networking event, the conference itself and then the fun we all had after the conference was over.

This week's fun photo is of Teddie Cowell, Mel Carson, Dean Chew & Rob "Evil Green Monkey" Kerry hanging out at Fitzimons located in the Temple Bar area, Dublin.  We all had a lot of fun hanging out, after attending the conference all day.

Fun Photo Fridays: Teddie, Mel, Dean & Rob Hanging at Fitzsimons in Temple Bar, Dublin Ireland

If you like this photo of Teddie, Mel, Den & Rob, 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 Search Marketing World 2008, there's over 150 photos total!  Keep an eye out, we'll be back next week with Fun Photo Fridays.

BTW, Yes, I'm still working on tagging and titling all the SES New York & also these new Search Marketing World 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 now got over 500 photos to go through!

April 03, 2008

Search Marketing World 2008: Travel Industry & Searchd

By Li Evans

Teddie_cowell_travel_search_marketi Teddie Cowell - Neutralize
80% of UK consumers research online before they book a hotel or airline ticket
Travel keywords have trends - they are very cyclical "holidays", "hotels", "flights" pretty much share the same highs and lows
Because of this flow, the down town being in the later fall, Sept. - November is the better time to have site revamps, etc.
The Search Long tail in travel is extremely long, but the importance is on "destination"
Therefore, every page on your site becomes a long tail landing page
Provide a long term stable site for people to visit
The future of Travel - Mobile Search
Teddi shows a possible mockup of what a Googl Travel Portal might look like

Liana "Li" Evans - KeyRelevance.com & SearchMarketingGurus.com
Liana_li_evans_travel_search_market Online marketing for the travel industry is expanding beyond just search
Why care?  Traffic from different sources, Buzz/PR/WOM, Additional Search Engine Rankings, Help to Minimize "negative", Engagement of Customers
Social Ratings & Reviews - very important for Travel Industry
    Shows Trip Advisor - Dublin City Page, then shows hotel example with negative reviews
    Shows that example in the search engine results - Trip advisor's page for the example comes up 1st
Demonstrates the power of Yelp - article about the shop that has "no Yelpers allowed"
But it doesn't stop at Ratings & Reviews - Blogs, Photos, Videos, Forums, Etc.
Blogs - two blog showing in top five for a search on local Dublin, Ireland Pub
Videos - play in search results on both Google and Yahoo - if you have them optimize them
Photos - shows example where photos are of a hotel, but they aren't owned by the hotel

Summary - Don't abandon PPC & SEO for social media - use them in a combined online marketing strategy.  Experienced professionals should be helping you plan a social media & search strategy.  Lastly know where your audience is.... and remember Online marketing is no longer just about 10 blue links & #1 Rankings

Nick Walsh - Net Affinity
Nick_walsh_travel_search_marketing_ Focus on hotels for his presentation
Ask the following - why should a hotel do a search marketing strategy

  • Decreases relliance on 3rd party booking sites
  • Improves Profitability, Sales, and Revenue Management
  • Own customer relationship
  • decreases dependence on other types of advertising

Consider:

  • Ensure you have an intuitive and attractive site
  • pricing strategy is lined up with competition
  • Scalable supply for all booking dates
  • both a CPC & SEO presence
  • Tracking everything on your website
  • embrace review websites and action responses internally
  • embrace localization, know your market

Usability:

  • High Resolution Photos - make the investment
  • Visible interated booking engine
  • cross sell midweek packages
  • copy for search engines (at least three paragraphs)
  • midterm promos and events
  • incentive to give email address

Search Marketing World 2008: Blogs & Search

By Li Evans

Anne_greene_blogs_and_search_pane_2 Anne Greene Allagi Consulting:

  • "Just start" writing an online type journal.
  • Her whole website is built on a blogging platform, blog is dynamic, but other pages are static
  • Building the blog was easy, quick - entire website built on a blog platform, affordable
  • Day to day management - easy content management, add/remove/edit  & posts anytime, moderate comments, newsletter, database, technical knowledges/support required
  • Blogging in Practice - ideas, regularity, links in/out, comments  - it's great in many way, but you need to keep the ideas coming - once you start its really hard to stop

Summary -
    Positives:  ease of use, SEO, web and blog search engine, audience interaction, user generated content  -
    Pitfalls:  discipline, commitment, patience, time, technical competence

Dave_davis_blogs_and_search_panel_2 Dave Davis RedFly, LTD:
Links - Why they are important
    Inbound links are one of the highest factors for ranking
    All things equal how does a search engine rank two competing sites against each other
    inbound links are highest weighing factor
    links are currency of SEO
    Search engines consider a link a "Vote" for a site

Links - we need them great!
    buying links, exchanges have all lost their value

    Linkbait - works better
        any business can start a blog - but you need to think creatively, links to blogs posts are natural

Linkbait and blogs (types of linkbait)
    Free tools for your industry
    Lists (top x in your industry)
    Create Awards
    Research / White papers
    Samples / Free Demos
    Industries funnies - Conference comics
    Breaking Industry News
    Controversy
    Your blog's design
    Contests

    Shows blendtech - "Will it blend blog" as an example of linkbait
    Shows DNSStuff.com - give away tools for free
    Shows QuickSilver - dynamite surfing - creating innovative ways to surf
    Mentions IceCream Ireland   
Be careful when linkbaiting - reputation, not all linkbait works, but its still great content for your blog
Always link to your sources  .. it helps!
Make sure you link to other bloggers selflessly, some may repay the kindness.
Blogging builds links, and creating useful content generates links as well.

Richard_hearne_blogs_and_search_pan Richard Hearne - Red Cardinal
Blogs cover a lot of area.
1.  Voyeurism - people can see what you are doing.
2.  Comparing Blogs to static Corporate "Vanilla" Sites
                                         Corporate Site         Blog
    Publisher                        Company                 Person
    Purpose                          Product Sales           Brand Building
    Content                          Promotional             Editorial
    Content Velocity              One Hit                   Frequent
    Delivery                          Pull                         Push
    Communication               Follow Through        Interactive
    Discovery                        Hopeful                   Automation

3. Does Architect Matter?
                                               Corporate Site                    Blog
    Paths                                   Single                                 Multiple
    Categorism                          Sometimes                         Often
    Semantic Coding                  Rare                                    Optimal
    Pre-Distribution                   Hectic                                  Controllable
    Internal Linking                    Static                                  Dynamic
    Page Updates                        Rare                                   With Comments
    Inter Site Relationships         Unknown                             Easy to find: Trackbacks

4.  Offiste Attributes
                                             Corporate Site                    Blog
    Deep Links                            Rare                                Often
    Inter Site Relations             Unknown                            Trackbacks
    Network Effects                  Rare                                   Content
    Syndication                          News                                 Content
    Link Worthy                         Unlikely                             Exceptionally

5.  Some Theory on how the search engines view blogs....
    "Blog posts have inherit level of seriousness" ... from a Google patent application
    Search engines can tell what's a blog and what isn't
    Comments help keep blog posts fresh

6.  Corporate blogs done right:  Hitwise's blog.  Plush data from their tool, helps build brand.

Search Marketing World 2008: Social Media the New Online Medium

By Li Evans

Vanessa_fox_social_media_panel_sear Vanessa Fox:
Why Get Involved with Social Media?
    Deeper engagement with customers
    Get insights not available any there way
    Your customers are online already
Happier Customer > Provide Feedback > Create Better Products > Evangelize > More Customers

Social Networking is Anywhere People are Talking Online
YouTube, Yahoo Answers, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

Niche Forums
Verticals - social shopping, real estate, lawyers
No matter what you do - there's likely a social media niche for you.

Social Media Submissions -
Mixx, Sphinn, Digg - this likely goes back to the keynote about social media being a fad.  These most people think about as a place for links. 

Rating & Reviews
Yelp, Epinions, Amazon - whether its negative or positive you want to know what's going on

Twitter:
Technorati uses it to know about outages, Dell for it's outlet promotions, NYTimes for Stories, Southwest Airlines for specials, Vanity searches on your name

Dell - Ideastorm
Helps with Dell's customer research, the community decides what Dell should work on next

Facebook
Not a good place yet for advertising, but growing.  Mostly use it for brand awareness rather than paid advertising.

Evolve What You Do Already
    Assess your customers
    Who Are They
    Where are they

Have a Plan
    What are your goals
    What are your guidelines
    What will you measure

What Not To Do:
Flogs - Walmart RV Across America
Dell:  Told bloggers to take something down - only inflamed the situation

Social Media helps you improve your conversation audience

Per Jacobsson from Nimble.ie

Nimble is Ireland's own social networking site
Re-launched in Sept. 07
109,00 members in Ireland
New , fun and exciting design and functionality
For Advertisers:  sponsor functions, corporate profiles, banner advertising
Nimble's future:  several hundred thousand users in Ireland, adding more fun stuff to the website, looking for partners and advertisers

Social Networking in general
It's local activity after all
Non-excluding
Future holds integration between sites - 3rd party developers are already doin this
Social networking websites are a new media
The m ore successful networks fully utilize the networks of friends

Search Marketing
    Tested radio, college magazine some web pages
    By far most effective:  viral networking; friends inviting friends
    15% of users through search engines (Google) but search terms have not been interesting: "nimble" "nimble.ie" www.nimble.ie, etc.

Will_mcinnes_social_media_panel_sea Will McInnes from Nixon McInnes
5 facts
    1.  We're dealing in a networked world
    2.  You are not in control
    3.  If you are thinking about your website being a destination site, you're dreaming  (think about the distributed world)
    4.  Social Media isn't just for kids anymore, 55% of users to YouTube is over 25 - it's not about kids!
    5.  Content is free, glitz and glamor (Craig's lists) don't matter

Opportunities
    1.  idea storm from dell - the community promotes ideas.  from this dell has cut out focus group.  creates a buzz in the market before products even come to market
    2.  ratings and reviews - huge opportunities.  own it and host it before someone else does  (negative reviews actually helps, people are cynical,  people set expectations and that helps with return rates dropping)
    3.  start listening to the networks & conversations - use Google alerts.  know who the influencers are in your marketer
    4.  widgets - helps to deliver your message out to a wider audience

Networked world, Not in control, Not big destinations, demographics are excitingly broad and dynamics.

Search Marketing World 2008: Online PR & Search

By Li Evans

Online_pr_panel_search_marketing_wo Michelle Goodall- E-consultancy
What is Online PR and can you really claim to do it?
    Its about taking press releases and optimizing them for the web .... but it's much more than that
    SEO PR area where PR meets SEM in only part of the story
    OPR is much more than developing optimised content and building links
    Its about
        Managing reputations
        Creating buzz and word of mouth
        Identifying advocated and detractors
        Identifying issues and trends
        Managing information flow
        Successful integration with all of the forms of marketing disciplines

What is Online Public Relations
    Opportunity to Listen to your publics in a way we could have never imagines
    Opportunity to indetify influencers related to your brand
    Opportunity to engage with multiple stake holders in relevant and exciting ways
    Opportunity to measure outputs outtakes and outcomes of your engagements                        

Lots of disciplines:
    Marketing PR, Media relations
    Corporate PR
    Public Affairs
    Investor Relations
    Crisis and Issue Management
    Sector Specific

Think broadly across 3 categories
    Monitor /Map / Research
    Promotional
    Defensive

    Underpinned with Transparency, Honesty and Integrity

The PR Toolbox is massive, but with online PR that toolbox has gotten even bigger

Why haven't PR Agencies sewn this up?
    Slow adaption of web technologies
    Challenges to PR Models - transparent, authentic, rapid messaging
    Measurement and accountability
    Led by consumer technology agencies and a handful of experts
    Senior skills issue - limited support from PR associations
    PR mapping and measurement models limited (old ways are not effective)
    Unclear about value and charging structures
    PR clients often defer online PR budgets and strategic control

Opportunities for Search Marketers
    Monitor/Map/Research, Promotional and Defensive

    Understand the breadth of the discipline
    Focus on SEO PR or buy in PR skills/develop them through training
    Develop a reputation monitory solution
    Develop social media / PR measurement models
    Clear charging structures

Who owns Online PR?  Fight is going to start!  Its up to SEM to step up

Eoin_kennedy_slattery_communication Eion Kennedy - Slattery Communications
What's holding back adoption??  What PR has to offer?  Why the rush?  Tools for use now.  What's is possible, Case studies.

Exposure - PR people are good at getting this.  PR people could hide behind the spokespeople
Online PR has changed this and makes them uncomfortable
Instant Feedback also makes PR people uncomfortable
PR people have a fear of technology
Time
Age profile
Networking - online this is totally different as compared to the normal way for networking
Information overload - RSS Feeds, online news, etc.
Fear & ignorance - refusing to invest in things like Facebook, etc.

What PR has to offer
    content generations
    creativity
    Engagement /Debate
    Networking
    Problem solving
    Monitoring

Why Rush?
    Traditional media constricting
    Channels not relevant
    Media Rich Demand
    Others will eat our lunch

Whats on offer now?
    PR Newswire
    Click Press
    Feed Demon
    Flickr
    Blogs
    Facebook
But moving to...
    Digg
    Youtube
    2nd Life
    Yahoo Delicious   
    Podcasting

SEO Press Releases
    Case Study - Redmere Technology
    Worked with Newswire and UK based Businesswire
        Within 30 minutes of putting the press release out through these, Google picked up
        Spike in traffic

Repak Case Study
    started a blog, outside their website
    They feared comments in the beginning
    Trained them, reworked press release material and material that wasn't good for PRs
    Felt they were missing out and joined up on Bebo to engage that "generation"
    Bebo site with white board drawing competitions, polls, quizzes, advice section photos, videos and blog
    Daily update of site with new material per day
    Built out friends network
    Creation of a YouTube video featuring the making of customised "blinged" BringBanks by students
    Daily posting on Repak Blog   
    Results for Recycling Week Promotion:    11,00 visitors, 41 entries, over 760 friends, 200 comments, 307 quizzes, over 500 polls, international hits, over 100 views video, endorsement, 10  entries ion blog, media coverage
    When they changed their logo on Bebo from the traditional boring one, to the one of these twins - traffic spiked phenomenally

Rob Reid - Cybercom
Right now search marketing is changing faster than ever before and so is Public Relations
The consumer is driving the demand for change
    people are consuming media differently today
    broadband has meant that they are consuming richer media now than ever before
    Google has recognized this and introduced universal search
    this will follow in Ireland and throughout Europe

Search Marketing - Online PR - Social Media
    All converging - SEO. PP, links, video, photos, podcasting - blogger relations, coporate blogging, seeding RSS Feeds - community development, widget development

Universal search is the convergence point of this change
    universal search is where online PR social media and search marketing are becoming intrinsically linked
    Shows the KFC/Taco bell video result of the Rat Video

SEO -PR
    SEO works effectively for press release visibility as it does for website visibility

Social Bookmarking
    Make sure all of your website's content is tagged with social  bookmarks
    This content can be found through regular searches as well as sites like digg, delicious

Video & Photo SEO
    Search engines don't see actual images so tagging these make them more visible to search engines

Understand the shift in consumer habits before developing your Online PR strategy
    Digital in not just a new marketing channel - its about a fundamental shift in consumer behaviour

Search Marketing World 2008: Chris Sherman Keynote

By Li Evans

Chris_sherman_keynote_search_market Chris Sherman - Executive Editor of Search Engine Land
Google Rules!  (everyone laughs as Chris leaves... but comes back)

  • Goolge does have a significant market share, but Yahoo and Baidu have significant shares.
  • NHN has 3% share - company out of South Korea (one of the most wired countries in the world)
  • Rumors of the demise of search marketing are greatly exaggerated
  • North American spending on search marketing saw 30% growth last year
  • Search  marketing spend is project to grow 25.2 billion in 2011
  • likely even steeper growth rates elsewhere in the world

Search 1.0, 2.o (link analysis & popularity), 3.0 universal and blended, 4.0 social search

What's new? 
    Google Universal Search results,
    Yahoo Search Monkey (code named after the FF Grease monkey plugin) enhanced results,
    Microsoft "Imagine Live",
    Ask 3D (sadly probably RIP in the near future)

Opportunity or Treat?

  • Google results can now include we, image, video, book, news or local results
  • Result?  Some organic top ten we listings get pushed "below the fold"

Embrace Change:
Its like 1997 all over again
All of the new result types can be search optimized but few are taking advantage yet
opportunities abound to capture multiple page-one results positions

What About Social Media?

  • Its a fad.  Remember Geocities, Angelfire, et al, 13 years ago?
  • Social media is great for links, but doesn't monetize
  • Go for it -for short term gain, but don't waste your time for long term campaign effectiveness

Search World is Flattening

  • Microhoo! will happen just a matter of time
  • Ask effectively disemboweled itself
  • This means a duopoly for western searchers & search marketers
  • So.. unless you're truly local, now is a great time to start thinking globally

Why Go Global?

  • 760 Million searchers are worldwide are now making 61b searches per month
  • 75% outside North America

Key Players

  • Google totally dominates North America and most of the UK & EU
  • Yahoo is dominant in Asia except for -
    •     China (Baidu 61%),
    •     South Korea (Naver 74%),
    •     Russia (RIndex 57%)

(source comscore)

Going Global - PPC, SEO or Both?

  • Even before you begin you should consider where a paid search or natural search campaign in more likely to be effective in a given market
  • Larger  markets - Probably OK to do either, both if yu have the resources
  • Smaller markets - consider each individually

Targeting Your Markets

  • Carefully weigh probability of rankign with both country size & internet reach
  • Do you have sales and logistics resources in a market
  • Able to handle shipping, different currencies, duties & taxes?
  • What about support?  do your support people speak the target market language?

Mobile is (finally) emerging

  • After years of promises, mobile search is set to explode (more cell phones that can access the internet than computers)
  • Rich opportunity for pin point targeting with mobile advertising
  • Finally enough critical mass that is an attractive opportunity for advertisers
  • Mobile searchers usually don't want information.  Instead they want - Multiple content types instant gratification, actionable results and entertainment

4 big verticals in mobile

  • consumer packaged goods
  • fast food
  • entertainment
  • travel

Summary

  • future looks bright for search
  • even though we're going to have a duopoly between the major players, other options aqren really attractive right now...
  • especially in going global or mobile or both

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