Posts Tagged 'organic search'

Search Results to Go Social with Bing

Bing-260

Bing and Ping: Share Search Results on Facebook and Twitter

Microsoft let everyone know about a forthcoming feature of their new search engine today. Bing and Ping, as they’ve lovingly dubbed it, will let you easily share search results with your friends on and Twitter as well as by email.

At least at first, the sharing tools will only be available for searches that invoke “Instant Answers.” The examples given were football scores and airline flights, with other time-sensitive data and scenarios like stock prices, movie times, weather results and more also invoking that type of search.

Underneath the Instant Answer results from your query will be a horizontal “sharing” bar with icons to send those results to friends on Facebook, Twitter, or via email.

bing-ping-best

The new feature isn’t live yet, but will reportedly be going into an invitation-only beta mode soon. To get in on the beta, become a fan of Bing on Facebook for a chance at an invite.

Since search has for so long been a primarily solitary activity, it’s almost hard to imagine how and under what circumstances you’d need to share the results quickly with people. Still, having the option would be nice and once available, we can see it becoming one of those features you’d quickly take for granted.

What do you think: would you use the option to share your search results? Will Google have to copy the idea if it takes off? Or will search remain primarily a solo activity after all?

via mashable.com September 3, 2009 by Barb Dybwad

First there were organic search results. Then there were paid search results (now popularly called Sponsored ads). Next comes Social Search Results, according to Bing, who has announced its beta Bing and Ping coming initially to its Facebook fans. I do believe I see room on that social share bar for an ad!

Posted via web from Katy Barrilleaux | Optimized

The Easy Way for Agencies to Do SEO

The Easy Way for Agencies to Do SEOSearch engine optimization (SEO) can be a little intimidating for the non-technical person. After all, it’s a mysterious science filled with unknown algorithms, metadata, XML sitemaps, HTML tags, linking schemes, and much, much more. And to further complicate things, it’s always changing.

Then there’s the agency that is not even responsible for the client’s website. How in the world is an advertising, public relations, or marketing communications agency supposed to get involved in SEO? Actually, it’s pretty easy these days. I’ve compiled some tips to help get you started.

Take advantage of others’ SEO technology.

SEO has matured to the point that there are countless platforms optimized for search. You just have to add the content and the search engines do the rest.

  • Social media sites like YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn, and Merchant Circle, to name just a few, are large in size and highly optimized. Posting content on these sites will help you get listed in the search engines. Just be sure to use your keywords in the postings for the various sites. And include a keyword in the file name of any photo or video file you upload to a website too!
  • Blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger are free, easy to set up, and highly optimized. However, the biggest obstacle with a blog is that it takes some time to grow the blog to a size large enough to be noticed by search engine
  • Press Release wire services like PR Newswire and Business Wire provide optimization of press releases and host the release on their site. In addition, the press release is distributed to media news sites that also host a version of the release on their site. This gives one press release numerous opportunities for listings on a search engine results page (SERP).
  • Lead Maverick is an SEO platform developed specifically for agencies with integrated optimization tools for content, customizable landing page designs and real-time tracking stats — all in a non-technical, user-friendly interface. Lead Maverick agency partners use the SEO platform to get their clients to the top of organic SERPs or to add additional listings so their client owns more of the SERP real estate.

Write well, rank well.

There are a number of guidelines for developing content that will enhance its findability in organic search. The goal is not to trick the search engines, but to provide quality content on a subject while following SEO best practices.

  • Length of content should be at least 300 words.
  • Each content posting should focus on one keyword, keyword phrase or keyword theme. Putting too many different keywords in one posting will dilute its effectiveness.
  • Headline should not exceed 70 characters and should include a keyword ideally placed towards the beginning.
  • Subhead should not exceed 160 characters and should include at least one keyword ideally placed closer to the beginning.
  • If there is not a subhead, treat the first paragraph of the content as the subhead by making it bold, keeping it under 120 characters, and include at least one keyword.
  • Emphasize a keyword by making it bold and emphasize other important points with bold or by using a bulleted list.
  • Rule of thumb for keywords is one keyword for every 100 words. If you repeat a keyword more than this, the search engine may think you are keyword stuffing and not add the page to the index.
  • Include at least a couple of hyperlinks to your website. Also include a link or two to a third-party website, preferably ones with good size and traffic. For example, Wikipedia is good to use for a definition.
  • Link your various content pages with hyperlinks on your keywords. Be sure the page you link to discusses the keyword that is hyperlinked.
  • Avoid posting duplicate content from another website by making some edits to your posting. Add a link to the page with the original content so the search engine will know that you are not trying to trick it.

Spread Keywords Across the Sales Decision Process.

One of the greatest benefits of search marketing is the ability to track responses and conversions. For that reason, many advertisers focus keywords on driving a purchase. But, searchers use the internet throughout every stage of the sales decision process. They search for information on categories at the beginning of their research, all the way through to searches on specific products to check pricing.

Keyword Sales Decision Process

Be sure you focus keywords and content for every stage of the sales decision process. Just set your client’s expectations for ROI. The earlier in the sales decision process, the fewer click throughs on the landing page. Early on in the process, you are trying to educate and build awareness for a purchase down the road. And you’ll have keywords and content covering those later purchase-related stages where click-through rates and conversions will be the key success metrics.

Leverage Existing Assets.

Most companies have a wealth of information already developed about the company. In developing your online posts, leverage the existing assets that already exist, incorporating targeted keywords:

  • brochures
  • white papers
  • fact sheets
  • executive bios
  • advertisements (print, broadcast, etc.)
  • trade show schedules
  • speaking engagements
  • press releases
  • product photos
  • how to videos
  • power point presentations

This list is just the beginning. Try to identify all existing assets. Each asset represents a potential posting for a search engine. Spread the posts out across the sales decision process as mentioned above. Supplement with new content developed with your keywords in mind. Just be sure to follow the content writing guidelines above.

Get in the Search

Leave the website optimization to the geeks experts. Now that others are taking care of the SEO part, it’s easier for agencies to get their clients to the top of organic search — with keyword strategy and content.

6 Ways Organic Search Results are Like Superbowl Ads

When it comes to advertising, the Superbowl is the granddaddy of them all. During this one football game, viewership is huge. Advertisers shell out millions of dollars to run just one thirty-second spot and agencies vie to produce THE spot that will have everyone talking, blogging and tweeting long after the MVP’s trip to Disneyland.

It occurred to me as I reviewed the January search stats that organic search is the superbowl of online marketing; here are six ways:

  1. A very large number of people tune in.
  2. Nielsen Media Research reported that Super Bowl XLIII, which aired on February 1, 2009, drew an average of 98.7 million U.S. viewers. By comparison, the highest rated broadcast television show last week was Fox’s American Idol which drew 24.8 million viewers.

    According to monthly search engine tracking by comScore, Inc., there were 13.496 million searches on the five major search engines during January.

    comScore January 2009 Search Report

  3. Audience size is on the rise.
  4. Below is a chart from tvbytheNumbers.com showing Nielsen Media Research’s data for the number of viewers of the Superbowl each year, beginning with Superbowl I in 1967 through Superbowl XLIII in 2009. Although there are some years that were flat or even dipped in total viewers, the overall trend is up.

    superbowlthrough2009-550x383

    I charted comScore’s monthly search engine ranking data for the past twelve months. Like the Superbowl viewership, some months remained flat, others actually decreased, but the overall trend is up.

    ussearchvolume1

  5. Placement is everything!
  6. Superbowl XLIII began at 6:18pm eastern on Fox. Nielsen Media Research reported that the most-watched quarter hour of the game was the 9:45-10:00pm ET spot, with an average audience of more than 106 million viewers. The most-watched minute was 10:07pm ET, which amassed 111.6 million viewers. Advertisers were fortunate that this superbowl game was competitive up to the last play of the game. It’s been more common in previous years that one team dominated the game, dropping viewers as the game progressed.

    For search engine results pages, Cornell University conducted eye tracking studies for users’ behavior, including click distribution as well as the time spent looking at each result. As the following image shows, the top three positions on page one received almost 80% of the clicks, with the number one position receiving a whopping 56% of the clicks!

    click-distribution-serp

  7. The ad must stand out.
  8. For several years, Master Lock devoted its entire annual advertising budget to the Super Bowl in the form of one :30 spot. You may recall the spot from the 1970’s that even today is considered to be one of the best Superbowl ads of all time.

    Many point to this Master Lock spot as the beginning of the big Superbowl ad hype that exists today.

    When it comes to a search engine results page (SERP), there are three key components: the headline, the snippet and the URL. The more specific to the keyword and the more descriptive, the better – which is to say in the world of SERPs, the more likely the searcher is to click on your link. In the SERP example below for “supebowl XLII,” look at the headline and snippet for the second result; this result is so vague that I doubt it would get very many clicks.

    googlesuperbowlserp

  9. There are no guarantees for the effectiveness of your placement.
  10. superbowl43logo1Although advertisers purchase an ad during a specific time period of the superbowl game, there are many uncontrollable factors that contribute to the viewership of the ad:

    • all NFL teams do not enjoy the same popularity
    • the teams competing in the superbowl are not determined until two weeks prior to the event
    • audience size varies from year to year
    • the competitive nature of the game is not predictable

    In the world of organic search, you don’t buy your placement, but rather are at the mercy of the search engines’ double-top-secret algorithm to determine your SERP ranking. All you can do is follow SEO best practices and hope for the best:

    • write quality content
    • limit keywords to one “theme” per page
    • link to related content
    • include keywords in your headline (h1) and early in your first paragraph
    • use bold to emphasize keywords
  11. Anyone can do it!
  12. Every year, superbowl advertisers range from the companies who are there every year, like Budweiser, to first-time superbowl advertisers like Go Daddy. There are big budget spots like Audi and even Doritos spots produced by amateurs in a contest. It’s an example of a medium that anyone (with the $3 million+ dollars for airtime) can participate in.

    Likewise, organic search is now a medium for everyone. It’s not just for web developers and SEO consultants anymore! New online services — like the SEO platform from Lead Maverick — and optimized social media sites, like YouTube, enable advertising, public relations, and marketing consulting agencies, in addition to web developers, interactive agencies, and SEO consultants, to publish optimized content that appears at the top of organic search.

Get in the Game!

White Paper - How to Grow Your Agency in the Downturn: SEO Answers the SOS

These are the days when agencies are beginning to figure out how huge search marketing is — in audience size, in ad spending, in measurable ROI. Those who engage now will no doubt be the winners.

White PaperHow to Grow Your Agency in the Downturn: SEO Answers the SOS

Options to Get Your Clients to the Top of Organic Search

man-on-mountainYour client wants to be on page one of Google’s organic search results. But you and your agency have not yet entered the wonderful world of search. What should you do? Here are 5 options for obtaining top organic search results.

Optimize the client’s website for search engines – Otherwise known as search engine optimization or SEO. Requires making changes to a website’s code, design and content to follow the search engines’ recommendations for SEO best practices. The good news is that search engine optimization done well usually delivers long-term organic results. And you own the site, you have complete control over it and the content is exclusive to the company. However, the cons with search engine optimization are that you must make changes to your website, which is not necessarily inexpensive or painless. And SEO can take six to 12 months to see the organic results. But perhaps the biggest barrier for an agency is that SEO requires specific expertise and experience. Agencies without experience with website SEO should find an SEO consultant to hire or to bring in as a partner. To learn more about optimizing a website, read this article.

Launch a company blog — There are plenty of blogging platforms, even free ones like the one used for Search Matters from WordPress. Most are extremely easy to use for the non-technical and have many search engine optimization features built in. However, be prepared to write and publish often, and to invest time to market your blog. It takes about six to nine months at the least to build the authority of the blog to the point of realizing seo benefits. But the long-term benefits of a blog are great. Here’s an article to help you get started with a blog.

Add the company to online directory listings – There are countless online directories for companies. These range from online yellow pages, business listings, and map listings to industry, product or geography specific directories, and more. Advantages for directories are that they do not require special expertise, many listings are free, and most only require a one-time submission. But, the challenge with directory listings is that you are usually along side your competition fighting for attention. And, you are limited to just the company name. To get rid of ads on the page or to get above your competition, you will have to pay for a premium listing. Although it is a good idea to make sure your client is listed in the major online directories and targeted directories, it is not necessarily a long-term strategy to get your client to the top of organic search – with the exception perhaps of the company name. You may read more about directory submission here.

Submit articles to online sites – Also known as article submission or article marketing. You write articles around the topics of your business integrating targeted keywords and submit them for publishing on various article sites. It is important to publish articles with quality content, providing educational information. The biggest sin of article marketing is just writing a sales pitch. Article submission allows you to extend your message across the internet as well as search engines without making changes to the company website. It helps the company build itself as an authority in the industry. However, some of the article sites review articles prior to publishing and deny those deemed to not meet their article standards. And like blogging, there is time involved in writing the articles as well as the submission process. Here is an article that further discusses the benefits of article submission.

Become an Ecordia Reseller Partner – Ecordia is the proverbial “all of the above” option for agencies because it combines the search engine optimization best practices and advantages of websites, blogs, directories and articles. At its core it is a super-charged directory of  landing pages. It is a non-technical way for agencies to publish content  for its clients onto pages custom styled according to the client’s brand identity. Ecordia integrates a keyword research tool and an automatic SEO analysis for the content. So you’ll know prior to publishing how optimized the content is, and what you can do to improve the findability of the page. Simply put, Google loves Ecordia pages. To learn more about Ecordia, visit the website.

These are just a few of the ideas for search engine optimization. It really is becoming easier than ever before for the non-technical to conquer the top of mount Google.

December Search Volume by Search Engine

comScore (website) tracks the volume of searches in the United States each month. Following are their findings for December 2008, compared to November 2008.

December 2008 U.S. Core Search Rankings

Google Sites led the U.S. core search market in December with 63.5 percent of the searches conducted, unchanged from November, followed by Yahoo! Sites (20.5 percent), Microsoft Sites (8.3 percent), Ask Network (3.9 percent), and AOL LLC (3.8 percent). Visit the comScore website to see their full findings.

comScore Core Search Report*
December 2008 vs. November 2008
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore qSearch 2.0

Core Search Entity

Share of Searches (%)

Nov-08

Dec-08

Point Change

Dec-08 vs. Nov-08

Total Core Search

100.0

100.0

N/A

Google Sites

63.5

63.5

0.0

Yahoo! Sites

20.4

20.5

0.1

Microsoft Sites

8.3

8.3

0.0

Ask Network

4.0

3.9

-0.1

AOL LLC

3.8

3.8

0.0

* Based on the five major search engines including partner searches and cross-channel searches. Searches for mapping, local directory, and user-generated video sites that are not on the core domain of the five search engines are not included in the core search numbers.

The Reasons for Agencies to Offer Organic Search are Growing

You can’t turn on the news these days without hearing at least one story about the economic conditions ─ bail outs, bankruptcies, cutbacks, layoffs and more. Marketing and advertising dollars are usually the first slashes made in the budget so it’s no surprise that industry analysts are projecting advertising spending in all categories to be down in 2009 ─ all areas except one: online advertising.

Online ad spending is expected to grow between 6 – 10%  in 2009. The largest category of online advertising is search, which is expected to comprise more than 47% of the ad spend online. Clearly, this creates an opportunity for agencies, but many advertising, public relations and interactive agencies have not yet jumped into organic search.

Ecordia White Paper: SEOIf you are one of those agencies, you’ll want to read the white paper titledHow to Grow Your Agency in the Downturn: SEO Answers the SOS.” Written specifically for owners and managers of advertising, public relations, interactive and marketing communications agencies, this white paper addresses the current market conditions for the advertising industry and shines the light on the opportunities with search engine optimization (SEO).

Topics covered include:

  • 2009 outlook for ad spending
  • analysts’ projections for growth in online spending
  • income potential of search
  • challenges agencies face in providing SEO services
  • proven, SEO platform developed just for agencies
  • historical similarities to the current agency environment

How to Grow Your Agency in the Downturn: SEO Answers the SOS” is freely available for download on the Ecordia website at www.ecordia.com/soswhitepaper. It’s a must read for all agency professionals who are considering adding organic search to their service offerings. The reasons to do so are growing and with Ecordia, the barriers are shrinking.


Welcome

There are approximately 12 billion searches conducted on the internet each month. And that number continues to grow. As more companies look for ways to gain an advantage in an increasingly competitive environment, marketers seek to integrate search engine optimization (SEO) into their marketing communications. And with the advancement in non-technical online tools, SEO is not just for programmers and search marketers anymore. Search Matters is specifically for marketers who want to learn about organic search and how to integrate SEO into their integrated marketing communications programs.

Online Profiles

KatyBarrilleaux.com Katy Barrilleaux on LikedIn Katy Barrilleaux on facebook Katy Barrilleaux on Twitter        Join My Community at MyBloglog!

Twitter

Archives