Monday, March 24, 2008
Search Engine Strategies New York

Presented by Tim Ash, President, Site Tuners

What is Landing Page Optimization?

Online Marketing Activities

Acquisition–Get people to your site

Conversion–Persuade them to take desired action

Retention–Increase lifetime value of relationship

Conversion Rate -Percentage of visitors who take desired action

Landing Page Optimization -Improving conversion rate by testing website changes

Why should you care?

You have neglected your landing pages, and your conversion rate is too low, and it is costing you a lot of money.

The economics of conversion: Cost per Acquisition=Cost per Click/ Conversion Rate.

Who should design your site? Your boss, IT, Ad agency, webmaster, or marketing? None of the above! Your website visitors! Your site should be focused only on conversion!

Case Studies

Realage.com Conversion action-Completion of Real Age Test Registration, using Sitetuners Tuning engine. Test size 552, 960 unique recipes.

Results: 40% lift in conversion rate, $3,285,000 annual profit improvement.

Uniblue Registry Booster Conversion action-Free software download, extensive previous testing by client, tuning method Sitetuners Tuning Engine, test size 3,110,400 unique “recipes.” Results 24% increase in conversion, CR improved from 30.3% to 37.7%, $182,000 annual profit improvement.

Power Options Conversion actions-Free two week trial sign up, method A-B split testing, 3 unique “recipes.” Results 75% increase in post trial sales, and $200,000 annual profit increase.

Engine Ready an SEM Debt Negotiation Client, Conversion action-online form or phone lead, large scale PPC campaign, 192 unique recipes.

Results 51% increase in revenue per visitor, $48,000,000 annual revenue increase.

THE MATRIX

The Matrix = Roles x Tasks x AIDA Getting the right people, thru the right activities, in the right order.

Roles-Visitor classes who interact with the mission critical parts of your site.

Tasks- Specific activities that a visitor in a particular role wants to complete.

The AIDA sales funnel- Awareness Interest Desire Action AIDA

Common awareness problems: Banner ads, entry pop ups, cluttered homepages. Keys to creating awareness-stop screaming at your visitors, eliminate choices, unclutter what remains.

The rules of web awareness- if you can’t find something easily, it does not exist; if you emphasize too many items, all of them lose importance; any delay increases frustration.

The rules of web interest- understand who I am; understand what I am trying to do.

Typical Desire activities: Do you have what I want? Research, compare, get details, and customize.

Rules of web desire- make me feel appreciated, make me feel safe, and understand that I am in control.

Action stage considerations: Why should I get it from you?

Brand strength

Previous resource investment

The total solution

Risk reducers and credibility

Rules of Web action: Get out of my way, make it easy, and don’t surprise me!

Picking a tuning method!

How do you tune? Key considerations: size of test, and the need to consider variable interactions. Interactions are very important! The best setting for variable depends on its context. Maximize positive interactions and eliminate negative interactions!

Don’t ignore variable interactions! Interactions exist and can be very strong; ignoring them will lead to sub optimal results. A/B splits and multivariate/Taguchi testing assume that there are no interactions.

A-B Split Testing

Test one variable at a time, send equal traffic to all versions, and keep very simple to track and implement.

Multivariate Testing

AKA “design of experiments” and “Taguchi method” testing several variables at a time, and ignores variable interactions, as well a s tries to predict best setting for each variable.

Non-parametric tuning: proprietary math for Internet marketing, designed for large scale tests, which takes variable interactions into account.

Avoiding the pitfalls

Tuning pitfall #1 ignoring your baseline, always devotes some bandwidth to your current version, the baseline, and measure relative to the baseline, not absolute performance.

Tuning pitfall#2 not collections enough data, do not make decisions based on too little data, pick a confidence level, and wait to see which version is better



by: Shawna Seigel



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Search Engine Strategies New YorkChase Norlin, Chief Executive Officer, Pixsy Corporation gave a presentation on Images and Search Engines. Here is the information:

The web is becoming visual. More and more image content making its way online. Websites want ways to keep users, add content, and monetize. Image Search is fastest growing search.

Image Search SEO Optimization

  • Add rich metadata to images (give them context!)

  • Push out RSS/MRSS and update frequently

  • Contact and submit feeds to multimedia search engines

Image Search on your site

  • Creates new traffic and monetization

  • Huge database of images for users to search

  • Users stay on site longer, performing more searches

  • SEO optimized search results

  • Analytics platform to monitor search activity

  • Content updating to the minute

We also saw Liana Evans, Director of Internet Marketing, KeyRelevance. Why care about image search?

  • Universal Search has changed the entire thinking on optimizing for images

  • Its still the fastest growing vertical search

  • Searchers & Shoppers are visual

  • Search engines incorporate images into contextual searches

  • Its another avenue of “search marketing” without having to “pay for the click”

  • Monitoring your Reputation online is just as important with images as it is with contextual search

  • Social Media –sites like Flickr & YouTube, now becoming major sources of traffic & appear in search results

So what matters?

  • File Names

  • Use Keywords

  • Use Hyphens

  • Text Around Images

  • Use Captions to Describe

  • Alt Attribute of Image Tag

  • Describe photo –don’t spam

  • Relevancy of Page

  • Allow the Robots to Crawl Your Images Folder

Opportunities

1. Hot Products

2. Niche Markets

3. Comparison Shopping

4. Universal / Blended Search

5. Reputation Management

Remember……

Images Don’t Just Come

From Your Images Folder!


  • Social Networking Sites (MySpace, Facebook)

  • Social Photo Sharing (Fickr, Photobucket)

  • Social News Sites (Digg, Reddit)

  • Social Video (YouTube, Metacafe, Yahoo)

More Quick Tips

  • Eventually more media/images will be “blended “within search results

  • Results can change rapidly (Daily)

  • Make sure images are named properly

  • Send out an image with a press releases

  • Place content around images on your site

  • Create a sitemap feed of your images for Google & Yahoo



by: Shawna Seigel



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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Search Engine Strategies New YorkTamera Kremer, Founder, Wildfire Strategic Marketing did a wonderful presentation on The Power of Social Bookmarking.

Here is the scoop!

Social bookmarking is one ingredient in the social media mix.

Social bookmarking 101

  • Tag any page on the web

  • Browser, blog, facebook, RSS, etc. compatible

  • View how popular an article is by the number of other ‘saves’

  • Ability to tag the article with terms relevant to the individual, or group by interest (e.g. ‘wishlist’)

  • Browse other users tags by keyword

  • Share links with other users in your network

The big dog – delicious

  • Over 4mm users and continuing to grow

  • Over 100mm web pages bookmarked

  • Purchased by Yahoo! in 2005

  • Delicious ‘tag clouds’ are prominently displayed on many blog sidebars

  • Many of the “A-list’ bloggers automatically integrate their saved bookmarks knot their blog posts as standalone posts

Use social bookmarking to keep a pulse on brand reactions. Use social bookmarking to augment keyword research. Social bookmarking optimizes your title tags.

3 simple ways to get started.

  • Set up an RSS alert for your URL

  • Set up a personal account and start tagging

  • Search through keywords you associate with your brand and see what types of articles are tagged with that folksonomy.


by: Shawna Seigel



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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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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Search Engine Strategies New YorkI really enjoyed listening to Michael Sack, Director, SEM technology & Development, Idearc Media Corp. His speech started out asking, why is milk in the back of the supermarket? The answer.. It’s one product people come into the store to buy and frequently. What happens in a store? The experience is orchestrated. The flow of the store is scientific. Placement of product is tested. What people see and when they see it has a direct impact on what people buy.

What happens online? Homepages can be information overkill. Too many links over 50 on this page. Confusing navigation…doesn’t match the experience in the store. Home pages are one of the worst ideas….imagine walking into the store and all the products are shoved in front of you. How would you get into the supermarket to find what you came for?

Online is a marketers dream…If you know mike is walking in the store and that mike is more likely to buy if the milk is in aisle 6…then put the milk in aisle 6. What can you do online? You can put the milk anywhere at anytime.

Web allows us to use virtual doorways….thousands of doorways into your website…they are using search phrases to find your virtual doorways. Use a/b testing to find out what works! Connect specific searches to specific landing pages. Test where you land visitors and what they see constantly.

Next up is Howard Kaplan, COO, Future Now Inc.. He has the entire room stand up. He tells us this is all the people that have come into your website. He has 1/4th of the room site down. This 25% they weren’t looking for you or your products. Don’t worry about them. He has another 1/4th of the room sit down. They didn’t like something. That’s ok. Don’t worry about them. Let them go. He has the half the room still standing and tells half of them to site. This 25% you lost for no good reason. You used bad vocabulary. You didn’t answer their questions. Something. Which means you still have 25% of your customers that should be converting.

The secret to versions, it’s not about you. You cannot control it. It’s about a choice your visitors make. They decide to click or not click. It’s a decision. The only thing you can do is understand who your customers are and give them what they are looking for.

Where to test first…

Your top 5 high bounce rate pages

Your top 5 high exist rate pages

Your top 5 Lowest time spent page

Your top 5 Key pages check out cart registration

His top 5 tips are:

1. Product images tell a story

2. Test your headlines and copy

3. Test Forms and point of actions

4. Test Add to cart buttons and more

5. Don’t make them wait for images



by: Shawna Seigel



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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Search Engine Strategies New York Mike Moran, Distinguished Engineer, for IBM started the session with explaining web marketing is less expensive then direct marketing. But you have to be able to measure. Define objectives numerically and assess performance. Plus you need to experiment and try different approaches. You need to test and get real feedback. Monitor your changes and constantly check to make sure it works. Even after launch. You need to find out, what are your conversions? Make sure that you design your website so that it makes people do things that you can measure. This could be placing an order, downloading something, registering for your website. You decide what you want your customers to do.

How do you count your web conversions? Google analytics is free, it’s easy, and it works. How do you track offline sales? Easiest way, contact the customer. You could also use a special phone number or coupon.

Mr. Moran suggests remembering that every touch point is a way to bring the customer back to your website to buy from you. Don’t worry about doing things wrong. Just quickly fix it. Instead of killing ourselves to plan exactly the right thing that we can execute in every country for the next two years, do it wrong quickly and fix. Let the market tell you what works and what doesn’t

Mike Moran has 2 books available and also has a blog and newsletter with more information at http://www.mikemoran.com/

Next up was Nigel Ravenhill, Program Manager, McAfee. What effects conversion?

Macro issues:

Competitive scope of product category

Number of competitors online

Age demographics

Overall brand

Micro issues

Site design

Pricing

Shipping

Alternate payment options

Two books Nigel recommends are Landing Page Optimization and Call to Action

*Note from Shawna – I have read both books and they are EXCELLENT. Must read for all store owners.



by: Shawna Seigel



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by: Shawna Seigel



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Man I love finding you guys great deals! Here is another one....

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by: Shawna Seigel



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by: Shawna Seigel



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Hello again everyone from SES New York!

I spoke with the LookSmart people and they gave me another 10 $100.00 coupons!!

So here is the deal:

To redeem your $100 credit, you would go to adcenter.looksmart.com

Click on the sign-up button and enter the coupon code at check-out. You will need to input a refill amount of $200.00, in order to receive the credit in your Order Summary.

Offer expires on 3/31/08 and some expire 4/18/08

Offer only good for FIRST TIME LOOKSMART ADVERTISERS who set a daily budget of $10.

If you qualify and want the $100.00 coupon...

Please email us for your coupon code!

Shawna


by: Shawna Seigel



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Monday, March 17, 2008
I love watching Google's logo change with every new holiday.

Take a step back in time to view the many different logos from Google on St. Patrick's day.

Google St. Patrick's Day Logo 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day from 1 Choice 4 Your Store

If you are in or around New York City, don't forget the Pub Crawl tonight for SES NY.

More information can be found at:

http://searchenginestrategies.com/newyork/specialevents.html


by: Shawna Seigel



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Google St. Patrick's Day Logo
Google updated their webmaster guidelines to include the following:

Don't create pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware.

Here is more information directly from Google:

Installing viruses and other badware

Sites that exploit browser security holes to install software (such as malware, spyware, viruses, adware, and trojan horses) are in violation of the Google quality guidelines, and may be removed from Google's index.

In many cases, websites that install badware have themselves been targeted by hackers, and you may not be aware that your site has been compromised until you receive a notification from Google. If your site has been flagged for badware, we'll display a warning to visitors, and we'll tell you about it in the Site summary page of Webmaster Tools. We also send notices to webmasters of affected sites at the following email addresses:

  • abuse@
  • admin@
  • administrator@
  • contact@
  • info@
  • postmaster@
  • support@
  • webmaster@

If your site has been flagged, ensure that your site is no longer distributing malicious software. You can see what is considered malicious at StopBadware.org's guidelines for websites. Once you are sure that your website is no longer distributing malicious software, and that the vulnerability that led to any compromise (if applicable) has been addressed, request a review of your site. To request a review:

  1. Sign in to Webmaster Tools with your Google account.
  2. On the Dashboard, in the Tools list on the right-hand side of the screen, click Request reconsideration and follow the instructions.

We'll review your site and, if we determine that it doesn't host or distribute badware, we'll remove the identification from the search results.

Unfortunately, cleaning up a compromised site can be very difficult. Simply cleaning up the HTML files is seldom sufficient. If a rootkit has been installed, for instance, nothing short of wiping the machine and starting over may work. Even then, if the underlying security hole isn't also fixed, your site could be compromised again within minutes.

If you'd like to discuss this with Google, or have ideas for how we can better communicate with you about it, please post in our webmaster discussion forum.

You can read more about here:
http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=66354


We will update our Google Webmaster Guidelines eBook at the end of the week when I return home from SES NY.



by: Shawna Seigel



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Search Engine Strategies New York First up, Avinash Kaushik, Author, Blogger, Analytics Evangelist, Google

Avinash is the author of Web Analytics: An Hour a Day, a great book if you are looking to learn more about analytics by the way.

His explanation of search engine marketing is this:

  • Keyword discovery
  • Keyword management
  • Keyword bidding and optimization
  • Website and landing pages
  • Business Outcomes

Avinash states, “This is the basics of SEM.”

In order to understand analytics, you have to understand what your goal is. It is not always to “get the sale.” The goal may be for a customer to make an account, sign up for your newsletter, etc.

VERY IMPORTANT TIP... Focus on your bounce rate. Where are your customers bouncing out of? What page do they come to and bounce right out? What keyword phrase were they using when they bounced in and bounced back out? This information is the perfect place to start using your analytics. If your customers did not bounce out right away, compare these pages to the others that did get a higher bounce rate.

And finally Avenash said, “Web analytics is bout creating experiences for your customer.”

Next up to the stage, Lauren Vaccarello, Founder, LVLOGIC who states, “Your conversions should make your money.”

First things first when it comes to your analytics, you need to add all of your tracking. Then you create metrics in your analytics tool. Then you build dashboards. Finally beware of data overload.

Lauren also states to increase ROI by using segmentation and taking action. You should segment out your best performing traffic. Integrate with your CRM and pass campaign data into your CRM.

Learn how to filter report by highest conversions to get best performing leads.

Integrate e-mail with analytics. If time to purchase is 5-7 days, on day 3 email them a coupon. No purchase after 10 day market more aggressively.



by: Shawna Seigel



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Search Engine Strategies New York
Speaker: · Matthew Bailey, President, SiteLogic

I was really impressed with Mr. Bailey as he provided some great information about Analytics.

First of all, he explained the difference between reporting and analysis. If you are reporting numbers, this is not analysis. Analysis allows you to make changes to your website.

Mr. Bailey provided a quote by Eric Peterson author of the book Web Analytics Demystified, “Web analytics works best when measurement expectations are clearly defined in advance not after the fact or on an ad-hoc basis”

You need to establish goals first, and then you can look at the sales, leads, contact forms, downloads, and page views. Are you reaching goals? Ask yourself this question instead of how many people are coming into your website, how many monthly visitors you receive, or what your top 10 keywords are. Are you reaching your goals?

Mr. Bailey stated another important thing to understand is that there is no such thing as accuracy when it comes to your analytics. Every analytics program will give you different results. The key is looking for trends in the data instead.

The best you can do for your website is segmentation. Where did your customers come from? What were they looking for? What action did they take once they were in your website?

You cannot treat all customers the same. Classify customers on what they are looking for.

Remember that the analytics is only giving you information. They do not tell you what to do with the information.

Another thing to remember, there is no such thing as a home page. Every page in your website is a home page. Keep this in mind and remember it!!

Don’t focus on what your competitors are doing. Focus on what you are doing. Your competitors could be doing it all wrong.

One blog that Mr. Bailey suggests watching to learn more about analytics is http://www.kaushik.net

I will be back with more information soon!

Shawna



Matthew Bailey SES NY


by: Shawna Seigel



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Search Engine Strategies New York1 Choice has arrived at SES NY and we are ready to bring you all the great information.

Today is a big day for analytics. Lots of great speakers discussing how and what to do with your analytics information.

We will back in a few hours with the information!


by: Shawna Seigel



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Sunday, March 09, 2008
Do you plan on being at Search Engine Strategies New York City? 1 Choice will be there and we look forward to meeting you if you are there too!

The conference runs March 17-20th and it will be a wonderful educational experience for all that attend!

Can't make it this time? No worries! 1 Choice will be updating our blog all throughout the conference with the latest information.

Read more about SES NY

OH and don't forget the great parties! Including the club crawl going on for St. Patricks Day!

See all parties going on for NYC

Hope to see you there!!

Shawna


by: Shawna Seigel



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Chief marketing officers need to understand some of the most important fundamentals of search marketing, the role it can play in an organization's overall marketing efforts, and what search marketing practices successful marketing organizations - perhaps their competitors - are using to their advantages.

Brain Kaminski, Managing Director, Iprospect brings to us the 10 Truths at SMX West....

1. SEO is an ongoing process

2. Being #1 isn't everything. And sometimes isn't possible.

3. The long tail is your friend.

4. BOTH paid and Natural SEM are crucial

5. Customers hear their language, not yours

6. Search Marketing Complements other marketing efforts

7. Traditional Marketing complements search marketing

8. Tools simplify everything

9. Don't big solely on branded terms

10. You must set goals


by: Shawna Seigel



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Benu Aggarwal, CEO, Milestone Internet Marketing started the session showing the Universal Search Results from Google that blends listings from news, video, images, local, map, and boo search engines among those it gathers from crawling web pages.



Why Online Searchable Video?



  • It’s free. No cost per click/action

  • Universal Search Results – Search Engines are showing mixed search results from websites, blogs, videos, images, mobile, local, etc. It is critical to saturate the golden triangle.

  • Social and Viral lift

  • Brand awareness and traffic generation

  • It’s easy to rank high for very competitive keyword phrases on video search since it is relatively new.


The difference between Standard Video vs. Search Engine Optimization Video is that the standard video files are not optimized for search engines and cannot be found via keywords. Same parallel as a search engine friendly website vs. a website that is set up as a brochure. Users will need to know the website address.


3 out of 5 users in the US consume online videos every month.


Benu went on to describe the 6 steps to create and promote SEO Video:



  1. Keyword research, story boarding, script/voice talent

  2. Video Production, raw footage, voiceover

  3. Optimize the video for web delivery, encode the video

  4. Surround video with html

  5. Create Media RSS (XML) and Create Video Sitemap

  6. Video Submission and track your video views


When it comes to your images, optimize your images for search by adding on Flickr, Google, and others. Use image tags to optimize the images. Optimize pages for local by using address and image names.

Top 10 Trips and Tricks for Video, Image, and Blended Search




  1. Make Video and Image Optimization as part of your online promotion strategy.

  2. Always include meta data while encoding your videos (titles/descriptions/keywords).

  3. Brand your video by adding watermark & call to action.

  4. Create Media RSS, Video Site Maps for crawlability and Submit Media RSS & Actual Video Files in the most popular Video Search Engines

  5. Keep all video files in one directory and surround Video with Enhanced SEO HTML text. Crosslink to Videos using Keywords in Anchor text.

  6. Editors should think like searchers. Find out most relevant keywords and target each keyword for each video.

  7. Add viral/social effect by using tag clouds, ratings, comments to your video.

  8. Use videos for monthly promotions, education or for any other promotional purpose.

  9. Name images by properly describing and saving them as keywords.

  10. Use Flickr, Community Maps, Local Search Engines for Image Optimization.



by: Shawna Seigel



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Saturday, March 08, 2008
On the third leg of my trip, I got really sick. Not just sick but could not breathe sick.

Apparently I picked myself up a mild case of pneumonia.

Thankfully someone referred me to the Harmon Medical Center in Las Vegas.

I have never been treated so quickly and by so many wonderful people!

They hooked me up to machines to help me breathe and had and IV in me with antibiotics within 20 minutes of arriving.

They were absolutely amazing!

If you ever get sick in Vegas...this is the one place to go.

I am doing much better now. Still sick but working hard on getting rid of this dang thing before heading to NYC for Search Engine Strategies.

I will be bringing you more great information from the previous shows this week so stay tuned!

Shawna


by: Shawna Seigel



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