Monday, September 8, 2008

Section 2: Around the Net in Search Marketing

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Wordpot Review
Practical Ecommerce
Jeff Muendel reviews, a keyword research tool that's nestled squarely between freebies like Google Suggest and pay-to-play tools like Wordtracker and KeywordDiscovery. According to the company, is designed specifically to find niche keywords for AdWords optimization.

It works like most other tools, pulling results from multiple search engines, and offers daily and monthly reporting. Users can also refine keyword searches by match type, and once you register, you can export your lists to an Excel or text file.

"Wordpot claims to have much more on the horizon, and perhaps that means they will eventually become a pay service, but if they choose to maintain the free model, they could quite possibly dominate the free keyword research market," Muendel says. "For the budget-minded, the tool may even suffice as a primary keyword research device." - Read the whole story...

Regional SEO Optimization Tips
SEO Book
"As you may have noticed, the search engine results pages on Google's geo-targeted search services frequently display different rankings than those you experience on," Aaron Wall says. "In order to make search results more relevant to local audiences, Google uses different sorting methodologies than those used on" And Wall offers tips for optimizing your copy, domain and overall strategy for regional searchers.

First, decide whether you need a local domain extension for your top-level domain (TLD). "There are exceptions, but the local TLD tends to trump .com when it comes to local result sets," Wall says. Don't forget to specific your country association in Webmaster tools, as this can be done on a domain, sub-domain and directory level, include local contact info on the page, and maybe even consider a local hosting service.

As for the on-page factors, be mindful of regional spelling and grammar differences (i.e. optimize vs. optimise), as well as the tone of voice you use in the copy. "For example, the sales language used in the US is usually more direct than that typically used in the UK, Australia or New Zealand," Wall says. "Familiarize yourself with local approaches to marketing, or engage local copywriters."

Then, get started with link building--targeting local directories and Webs ites (particularly those that have the country's TLD)--as well as broader tactics like press release distribution and offline efforts. - Read the whole story...

Google's Geographic Report: A Search Marketer's Best Friend
Google AdWords released a new Geographic Performance Report last week, and David Rodnitsky explains why the data is about to (or should be about to) become your best friend--particularly if you're currently using Conversion Tracker as well. "Geographic performance will show you--down to the suburb if you want it to--the relative performance of different geographic regions," he says.

Rodnitsky used the report for an Arizona-based client that was buying keywords on a national level and adding their city/region name to narrow the focus. Analysis of the geographic performance reports found that the keyword was performing well in the South and West, slightly above average in the Midwest, and terribly in the East.

In fact, the East "was 4oo% over the amount we were willing to pay for a lead," Rodnitsky says. "By pausing these eastern [sic] states, we'll be able to raise our bids in the south {sic] and west. In other words, we're no longer paying for bad traffic, but we'll get more market share of the good traffic." And that's all thanks to the new reports. - Read the whole story...

Simple Examples Of Good Content
Bruce Clay
Good content is the "manna" of SEO--but how do you bake up that life-giving, nutritious bread to draw readers in? Lisa Barone offers some examples of good content for the readers tired of more vague descriptions.

So instead of saying "write interesting copy," she says "write something no one else has," and offers an example of just that. Comb through competitors' (and colleagues') sites to find angles that they haven't covered, products that they haven't reviewed or problems that they haven't been able to solve, and you have fodder for your next blog post or product page.

In the same vein, if you expose a problem or ask a question that no one has yet, you're likely to draw tons of traffic. Case in point, Rae Hoffman threw down the gauntlet about Twitter's suddenly no-following profile links (seemingly at Google's behest). "In the post, Rae sheds light on a problem that normal, non-Twitter-addicted folks may not have been aware of by explaining the situation and then offering her opinion as to what happened and why she was against it," Barone says. "Posts like these help keep search marketers in tune with [w]hat's happening around them and spark important debates."

Lastly, if you can be entertaining or even blunt (yet still insightful) you've likely got good content on your hands as well. "In most cases content won't be valuable on humor alone, but it's definitely one of those things that can make a strong piece of content even stronger," she says. - Read the whole story...

SEO's Big Gray Area
Cnet News
There's black hat SEO and white hat SEO, but as Stephen Shankland notes, there's a huge swath of gray in-between that can snag you (or your client) either stellar results or severe search engine penalties, or some random combination of the two.

"Earlier this year, Matthew Inman had achieved the notable distinction of vaulting a Web site called JustSayHi high into the results for a search on 'online dating,"' Shankman says. "But after he expanded his effort to new areas, Google obliterated the site from its search results. Inman had used an aggressive technique called widget bait to get good search results, but had to scrap a site that had been used for years and start from scratch."

Shankman touches on widget bait, link baiting, buying links and even the recent FindLaw "scandal," and includes commentary from SEOs on both sides of the fence. He also pulls commentary from Google's Matt Cutts, who argues that gray area isn't so gray after all, and that the majority of reputable SEOs and firms fall under the white hat category. - Read the whole story...

Search Insider - Around the Net for Monday, September 8, 2008


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