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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Search Engine Strategies New YorkIntroduction to Search Engine Marketing

Greg Jarboe, President and Co-Founder, SEO-PR

American conducted 10.5 billion searches at the core search engines in January. So what are the 10 key concepts in search engine marketing for 2008?

Keyword research ~ Website design ~ SEO copyrighting ~ Link building ~ Search advertising ~ Success measurement ~ Universal search ~ Vertical search ~ Social search ~ Contextual ads

Keyword research is the first phase in both SEO and SEM campaigns. The first step in keyword research is thinking like your customer. Think about the words users would type to find your pages. Brainstorm keyword categories that address your customer’s wants. Compile the brainstormed keywords for further review of traffic potential, competition, and other factors. Explore conversations that are on the web so that you can discover new phrases. Keyword research also involves looking up:

Relevance: How closely the search term matches your site’s products, services and content.

Specificity: How broad or specific a term is.

Popularity: How often the search term is searched for on major search engines.

Competitiveness: How many companies are pursuing the keyword.

Follow Google’s design, content, technical, and quality guidelines. Google’s webmaster tools can help make your site Google-friendly.

SEO Copywriting is primarily for humans who use search engines. Include key phrases in your Title (the blue bar above every web page). One of the most common mistakes is a title that reads, “Ourcompany.com” – and it’s the same Title on every page. Emphasize your key phrases in headlines and sub-heads. Include key phrases in and around your hyperlinks.

Link building is as hard as “placing” a story in The New York Times. The quality, quantity, and relevance of links count towards your rating. Don’t participate in links schemes; create unique, relevant content.

97% of search advertising programs use Google Adwords. 70% of search advertising programs use Yahoo! Search. 53% of search advertising programs use Live Search.

What’s your company using search engine marketing to accomplish?

61% to increase/enhance brand awareness of products/services

58% to sell products, services or content directly online

43% to drive traffic to our web site, the revenue model of which is online advertising

20% to generate leads that we ourselves will close as sales via another channel

20% to generate leads for a dealer or distributor network to close as sales

Tracking and reporting should move beyond clickstream analysis. Testing landing pages can lift conversion rates up to 55%.

Universal search has increased traffic to image and video sites. Google “Darth Vadar” and you will see image results and videos. 55.7 million people visit YouTube a month to watch 2.5 billion videos

Steps to successful video search optimization:

  1. Research video-related keyword phrases before optimizing and categorizing video files

  2. Always include user-friendly, keyword-focused metadata in all video files

  3. Name the video with appropriate keywords, when applicable

  4. Give video search engines easy access to your videos and video clips

  5. Organize video content by file format

  6. Robots exclude redundant video content

  7. Optimize the web pages that contain videos

  8. Cross-link to other web pages containing similar video content

  9. Create a video library or catalog

  10. Improve video quality

  11. Watermark and/or brand your video content

  12. Submit and distribute your video files to video search engines and video-sharing web sites

67.4 million people visit MySpace and 31.1 million visit Facebook

Wikipedia defines Social Media Optimization as:

Social media optimization (SMO) is a set of methods for generating publicity through social media, online communities and community websites. Methods of SMO include adding RSS feeds, adding a "Digg This" button, blogging and incorporating third party community functionalities like Flickr photo slides and galleries or YouTube videos. Social media optimization is a form of search engine marketing.

Social media optimization is in many ways connected as a technique to viral marketing where word of mouth is created not through friends or family but through the use of networking in social bookmarking, video and photo sharing websites. In a similar way the engagement with blogs achieves the same by sharing content through the use of RSS in the blogsphere and special blog search engines such as Technorati.

SMO can increase your linkability, make tagging and bookmarking easy, reward inbound links, help your content travel, and encourage the mashup.

by: Shawna Seigel

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