Thursday, August 14, 2008

Section 2: Around the Net in Search Marketing

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Not All Mobile Searches Are Locally Oriented
Natural Search and Mobile SEO
Bryson Meunier argues that the industry is starting to bundle local search and mobile search as a package deal too often. "To be clear: there is local search, there is mobile search, there is local search on mobile devices and mobile search with local intent," he says. "But all mobile search is not local in nature. In fact, not even most of it is."

He cites data from a study by Yahoo that found that only about 10% of all mobile searches have a local intent. "The total opportunity to connect with mobile users searching for information locally then, is at most 10%," Meunier says. "Why is it then that so many analysts are focusing on the local aspects of search, using the phrase 'local mobile' when they talk about mobile search?"

Because the opportunity for hyper-local targeting through mobile appeals to marketers, and so they're clinging to that premise instead of looking at the data, Meunier says. And while the opportunity is there, he cautions that turning a blind eye to the other aspects of mobile search, including entertainment, travel, technology, etc. is actually limiting the growth of mobile marketing as a whole. - Read the whole story...

Case Study: Improving Conversions Through Keyword Strategy
Ashworth University's marketing team had two goals in mind when they revamped the school's SEM strategy--to improve conversion rates, and to improve student retention. And after implementing a number of keyword-focused strategies, the average conversion rate hit 17%, and the lifetime value of students increased by almost 50% in some cases.

"Retention was a big part of what we needed to do better," said Chris Burford, Ashworth's director of search marketing. "While we wanted to get more enrollments on the front end, we also needed to get them to stay for a while and spend money."

The company started by attacking its roster of 25,000+ keywords, weeding out the costly terms that were driving lots of non-converting traffic, and honed in on terms that would better attract their target. Burford also made use of automated SEM management systems that helped find keywords with poor quality scores, manage bids to specified maximums, as well as take advantage of the various match types available across the big three engines.

Ashworth's strategies also included landing page optimization, email follow-ups, as well as a retooling of the phone sales reps' scripted dialogue. But keyword-focused optimization was the first step toward generating the desired results. - Read the whole story...

When Content May Not Be King For SEO
Search Engine Watch
Content is king when it comes to SEO, right? Well, as Aaron Shear notes, in some cases, Web sites would actually be better served by not having a never-ending trove of updated articles, blog posts and product info.

"It's time we review the advantages of content, and where it may be applicable," he says. "As I speak with companies on a regular basis, they constantly tell me that they've been advised to write new and unique content by the boatload -- no matter the Web site or space they're in."

For affiliate and ecommerce sites that shill the exact same products as their competitors, unique content is mandatory, as it helps each vendor stand out from the pack. For Flash-based or otherwise graphics-heavy sites, textual content is key, because it ensures that the information is accessible to all kinds of visitors, from those with slower computers, to visitors with disabilities.

But for news and blog sites, or community-sourced sites with lots of user participation, extra content is clearly not necessary, Shear says. - Read the whole story...

Keyword Strategy: An Update For 2008
SEO Space
Jody Nimetz outlines the basics of keyword strategy, including detailed definitions of head, torso and long-tail phrases (and their merits and flaws), as well as an overview of the slew of new research tools that have emerged over the past few months.

"The search engines have started to open up a little with regards to providing some insight into keyword search volumes and as a result there have been a couple of great tools that can be used for conducting keyword research," he says.

Nimetz cautions that just knowing about the keyword options isn't enough--search marketers that want to succeed in 2008 also need to know how to run complementary paid and organic search campaigns, and when to target which keywords as well. - Read the whole story...

Making The Most Of Yelp
Search Marketing Gurus
Li Evans offers a video tutorial for small business owners seeking to tap the power of Yelp, a third-party ratings and reviews site that has soared in popularity. The first step, of course, is to claim their business account with the service, as former customers may have already begun writing reviews. Business owners can make sure that the data is correct, including info on hours of operation, payment types, phone number and address, as well as answer any reviewer questions.

Evans also suggests adding the company URL to the profile to help draft organic search traffic, as well as photos. Carpenters, for example, could upload before and after photos of a project to highlight their craftsmanship, while restaurateurs could show how trendy and sophisticated, or down-home and comfortable, their setup is.

Lastly, Evans says that business owners have to ask their customers to post reviews, which bridges the gap between what happens offline and the Web. "You want to make sure you are asking for that review, because if you don't ask for it, they might not necessarily give it to you," she says. - Read the whole story...

SEMPO, Onward Search Partner To Fatten The Ranks Of Available Search Talent
Bill Hartzer

Search Insider - Around the Net for Thursday, August 14, 2008


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