Archives for March 2008

SES New York: Universal Search Panel

Universal Search Session

Today’s Orion panel at SES NY really took a different spin on the topic of universal search. I went in expecting to hear the same info  about what it is, how info is gathered and how to optimize for universal search. Which, if you are interested, can be read about in a previous SES Chicago post regarding universal search.

This session was moderated by Kevin Ryan and Mike Grehan. The session was lively and engaging. Panelists included:
John Battelle from Federated Media, James Lamberti from comScore, Lyndsay Menzies from Big Mouth Media and Jack Menzel from Google.

James led the group by presenting not-seen-before data about universal search from a study comScore recently conducted.

Of the 1.2 billion queries studied, 220 million contained a universal result, categorized as news, video, images etc.

SES New York: Converting Visitors into Buyers

Visitors into Conversions Panel - SES NY

The conversions track at SES New York continues to be packed with those wanting to increase the performance of their search marketing campaigns.

The “Converting Visitors into Buyers” panel was moderated by Aaron Shear from Boost Search Marketing and the speakers included: Mike Moran from IBM, Nigel Ravenhill from McAfee, Michael Sack from Idearc Media Corp. and Howard Kaplanfrom Future Now Inc.

I missed the first half of this session but was able to sit in on the second half and hear Mike Sack and Howard Kaplan give the audience ideas on increasing conversions.

Michael Sack started 0ff with a story about why milk is always in the back of the supermarket.

SES NY Video: Sara Holoubek on SEMPO

On day two of the Search Engine Strategies conference the expo hall has opened and I found my way past two floors of exhibitors to find the SEMPO booth staffed by the famous “free agent” and SEMPO board member, Sara Holoubek. In this video interview, Sara talks about the local SEMPO groups that are forming as well as her insight on the new SEMPO Institute Agency Certification.

[googlevideo]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8718034651485792797&hl=en[/googlevideo]

You can read the reviews of SEMPO Institute’s “Insider’s Guide to Search Marketing” formerly known as the “Fundamentals of Search Marketing” and the Advanced SEO Course Review by TopRank’s Dana Larson.

Tips for Overcoming Client-Created Roadblocks

4059499_thumbnail-1.jpgWhile sitting in sessions at any Search Marketing Conference, you will hear agency-side search marketers asking the panel for advice on how to keep clients from standing in their own way.

Questions like:

What if my client ignores our optimization recommendations?

What if a client doesn’t see any value in social media?

Some search marketers might think working with clients who won’t implement recommendations is a waste of time. I think it’s well worth a little extra work needed to understand why they are not following recommendations and finding a work around. In fact, if you’re working for an enterprise SEO client, the ability to find work arounds is a bare minimum requirement.

Day One SES NY 2008 Summary and Photos

SES New York Audience

Yesterday proved to be an interesting kickoff to this year’s Search Engine Strategies conference here in New York. The Organic Listings panel was entertaining and informative as always and the Build Investment Interest in your SEO/SEM firm was an early indulgence for myself that offered great tips for those looking at the future liquidity and monetization for their agency.

Jolina weighed in with her posts on excellent sessions, Four Ways to Redfine the Customer and Three Tips for Successful Analytics. There was also a spontaneous goofball interview with Mike McDonald of WebProNews offering a few insights about the future of SES/SMX.

SES NY: Orion Panel on Vertical Search

SES New York Orion Panel

Closing out day 1 at SES New York was a panel discussion on vertical search moderated by Incisive Media’s Kevin Ryan and Rebecca Lieb and featuring panelists Bill Tancer GM Global Research at Hitwise, Jason R. Finger CEO Seamless Web, Paul Forster CEO Indeed, Steven Krein CEO Organized Wisdom.com and Joshua Stylman Managing Partner Reprise Media.

While very important and certainly a hot topic, I felt this session was lacking a certain “umph” to get the audience involved and engaged (myself included).

I have to say I’m a bit surprised as I’m usually partial to SES conference “end of day sessions” for their ability to empower industry folks, like myself, and give me a warm fuzzy feeling about being a part of something special. This ‘something special’ feeling is what makes me pick up the phone and try to explain, again, to my relatives what it is that I do for a living.

SES NY Session: 3 Tips to Successful Analytics

Web Analytics Session - SES NY 2008
A full house was in attendance for this SES NY session in which panelists discussed how to squeeze the most out of analytics and turn data into action.

Avinash on the Web Analytics Panel - SES NY 2008Specifically, Avinash Kaushik, Author, Blogger, Analytics Evangelist from Google shared the following.

3 Tips to Getting More out of Analytics

1. Measure bounce rate

As Avinash described this is essentially when someone comes to your website, vomits and leaves. OR in a less disgusting but not as funny way this is a visitor who having not found what they were looking for left the site immediately.

Be sure to measure bounce rates to understand the number of individuals who are abandoning the website. While some of the traffic will be irrelevant and therefore always likely to bounce, the majority are bouncing because the information they want (while it may be on your website) is not at their fingertips.

SES New York Video: Mike McDonald WebProNews

At SES San Jose in 2006, I took a 21 second video of Mike McDonald from WebProNews while we were standing in line for the bus to the Google Dance. That short video was followed by many other videos interviews with interesting people in the search marketing business which you can find on TopRank’s YouTube channel, and on our Videos category.

[googlevideo]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2015584367087448143&hl=en[/googlevideo]

Mike and WebProNews have also been covering conferences very successfully through videos and have literally raised the bar on search marketing conference videos. The WPN videos are very creative and seem to get better each time. I decided to turn the tables and shoot a quick (and funny) video interview with Mike talking about his equipment challenges, sending an employee to wander the streets of NYC to find a cable and the issue of SMX and SES: Can they coexist?

SES NY Session: 4 Ways to Redefine the Customer

Jeffrey Eisenberg

Jeffrey and Bryan Eisenberg kicked off the morning with a discussion about how consumers have changed.

Bryan Eisenberg

Specifically, moving from a push marketing model to a pull in which the audience is engaged in a different way. The audience, which is has historically been bombarded with TV ads, that they either listen to or not, is now interacting with marketing messages in a completely different way.

Gone are the days where folks veg in front of the TV with nothing else going on around them. (for most people :))

A study by Yahoo! Global Market Research study (2006) showed that individuals rarely watch TV as a standalone activity.

Rather, they are dividing time between TV and other activities.
60% Web surfing
51% Talking on the phone
59% Reading
43% Cleaning
40% Sleeping
37% Cooking

Session: Build Investment Interest in Your SEO/SEM Firm

Pat Hall Anne Kennedy

How to Build Investment Interest in Your SEO/SEM with an introduction by Anne Kennedy and a presentation by Patricia Hall, Investment Banker, Hallmark Capital. If you own and/or are running a fast growing search marketing agency and want to gain more insight into making your firm more valuable for acquisition/investment, then this session is for you.

Pat Hall

What Wall Street looks at.

  • Client list is important. Keep in mind, if you have big name clients now, what will you need to do to keep them.
  • Nature of revenues. Are they one time projects or are they retainer based? One time projects can be good if you specialize and can go to all the other players in a category.

Session: Organic Listings Forum

SES NY 2008 Organic Listings Forum

Organic Listings Forum with Mike Grehan moderating and Jill Whalen, Dave Naylor and Greg Boser on the panel. Here we have an all star SEO cast available to answer questions about organic SEO.

Mike starts out with a nod to St Patrick’s day. During introductions Greg says he’s a reformed black hat spammer.

Audience

Audience: To what extent does Google use user data and behavior and how relevant is PageRank?

Greg: PageRank is irrelevant. It’s not important the way it used to be. It’s important to get crawled and how often you get crawled. It’s “link juice”. Use no follow to sculpt your PageRank.

Dave: Getting links from high PageRank sites isn’t what it was. The more authority you have, the more “bonus” features you’re going to get from Google.

SES New York 2008 Day .5

Sky Clouds

After a seemingly quicker than normal flight from Minneapolis into LaGuardia, Jolina and I then made it to the Sheraton in near record time. Monday begins what is the biggest SES show of the year: Search Engine Strategies New York. We’re both looking forward to this SES with great anticipation. Jolina blogged SMX West recently and will also be blogging the SES show.

ses-newyork.gif

We’ll be doing a mix of blogging sessions, taking photos and video interviews as well as participating in a few after conference events. Sessions I plan on attending Monday include:

Organic Listings Forum with Mike Grehan moderating and Jill Whalen, Dave Naylor and Greg Boser on the panel. Here we have an all star SEO cast available to answer questions about organic SEO. The audience will also have the opportunity to share their own tips and tools.