Monday, August 4, 2008

Section 2: Around the Net in Search Marketing

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Are You Too Focused On The Long Tail?
Find Resolution
Lance Neuhauser poses the question of whether too many marketers are focusing on targeting the long tail in lieu of doing the work (and reaping the rewards) that stem from high-impact, high-volume "head" search placements.

He argues that the amount of time it takes to research, develop and test 20+ long-tail ads could be wasted when compared to the amount of time it would take to do the same for far fewer ads that target the head. Particularly when those head of the tail ads can garner greater visibility and greater numbers of conversions.

"Remember that search should be used for more than just direct response," Neuhauser says. "Maximum awareness driving campaigns are a function of reach and frequency, of which the head terms, even at a high cost per click, can make you most successful." - Read the whole story...

Using URLs To Draft More Search Traffic
Tired of plain old, phrase- and term-based keyword research? Why not include URLs in your list of target keyphrases? As Patrick Altoft notes, the trend of entering whole or partial URLs into the search bar (as opposed to the address bar) doesn't show any signs of stopping, so taking advantage of this searcher tendency could lead to a competitive advantage.

"Ranking highly for popular URL's can send a huge amount of traffic and is a great way to target your competitor's customers," Altoft says. "For example if you saw your competitor running a newspaper advert with a URL such as at the end of the advert you can expect people to be searching for that URL on the major search engines."

Altoft suggests keeping an eye on competitor's offline promotions, as well as using Google's Keyword Tool and Labs to find URLs to draft. "Simply enter 'www' as your keyword and it comes up with a list of popular URLs which can be ordered and sorted as you wish," he says. - Read the whole story...

Vertical Spotlight: Search And Social Media For Travel Advertisers
Ritesh Gupta interviews Barbara Pezzi, director of Webmarketing and E-commerce at Swissotel Hotels & Resorts, offering insight into the way hoteliers and other travel advertisers are utilizing search and social media. For organic search, Pezzi said that Swissotel had recently revamped its Web site with SEO in mind. She also said that the company's strategy was to target a mix of broad and long tail keywords--while always keeping one eye on the budget and the upscale perception of the brand. And she advocated use of negative keywords.

"I always include a high number of negative keywords in our PPC campaign to appear in the most relevant search results and at the same time reinforce our brand strategy," Pezzi said. "For example, even if I was running an SEM campaign to promote a tactical promotion, 'cheap' would always be a negative keyword, even if it is a popular search term for 'special offers."'

As for social media, Pezzi said that the hotelier's marketing team stayed on top of review sites and responded to online complaints whenever possible. - Read the whole story...

Live Search's Homepage Upgrades
Live Search
Microsoft has upgraded the Live Search homepage, featuring high-quality photographs as background images and "hotspots" that highlight specific sections that get moused-over. According to Chris Rayner and Zack Gutt, Live Search senior product and senior program managers, respectively, the team tested the enhancements with a select group of users before rolling them out full scale.

"Our goal for the home page is to find the best way to enhance users' sense of discovery, surprise, and delight while balancing engineering realities for a great user experience," Rayner and Gutt said. "We want the page to be a great place to start a search and also to intrigue and inform as well. We think hotspots will help users discover parts of Live Search they might not know while not distracting from the core purpose of the page--searching." - Read the whole story...

Beware These Negative Reputation Aggregation Sites
SEO Smarty
Online reputation management has seemingly morphed into one of the (many) disciplines that search pros need to have a grip on, so keeping on the lookout for new review or gripe sites is a must. Ann Smarty examines three sites that angry customers can go to and voice their frustration publicly--and grades the organic search damage potential of each. is an online community where women can share stories about their cheating (or otherwise awful) boyfriends. While the site is more personal than business-oriented, if a member publicizes her ex's company name and job title along with his dirty laundry, it could pose a potential PR problem. But Smarty found that the gripes tend not to show up on the first page for a search on a person's name, so the reputation damage may be minimal.

Meanwhile, Axelist allows anyone to complain about anyone else--from bosses and coworkers, to dates, teachers and politicians. A posting reveals some details about the offender, including age and location. Smarty found that Axelist complaints did garner some well-placed organic results. And JobVent lets people publicly gripe about jobs they've had as a warning to potential applicants. With fairly good search visibility and realistic posting guidelines, the site is one to watch. - Read the whole story...

The In-Blog Keyword Research Tool For WordPress

Search Acronyms Defined
Search Engine Optimization Journal

Search Insider - Around the Net for Monday, August 4, 2008


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