Archives for December 2006

Morning Sessions: Analytics

My morning track has been all about analytics this morning. The first was Web Analytics & Measuring. With two presenters, they both had a good amount of time to cover their topics. The second was Vendor Chat on Measuring Success where there were six presenters talking about analytics in very short 10 minute presentations. Some takeaways included:

  • Track organic, paid and referral traffic separately to see who is increasing or decreasing.
  • Keep an eye on exit rates and how they compare to entrance keywords.
  • Track new vs return traffic rates.
  • Setup goals to track what you want to measure.
  • Latency is a big thing as someone may look today, but not buy for a few weeks or months if the purchase is large.

TrueLocal Party at B.L.U.E.S.

Jake Baillie TrueLocal Party

TrueLocal Party at BLUES

Jake Baillie and the team from TrueLocal threw an awesome party at B.L.U.E.S. last night and a fun time was had by all. I’m short on time, so check out these photos on Flickr.

Thanks Jake!!!

Update!¬† Here’s a little sample of Chico Banks covering a Stevie Ray Vaughn song:

[googlevideo]3811362429727729063[/googlevideo]

The TrueLocal party was one of the best parties during the SES Chicago conference. Every color of SEO hat was represented and Danny + entourage too.

Danny Sullivan’s New Empire

Danny Sullivan’s timing for announcing his new conference SMX during the Search Engine Strategies conference here in Chicago is as ballsy as it gets. The first SMX conference is in Seattle. Here’s the list of links for the new search marketing media empire Danny is building:

“Search Marketing Expo — SMX — is the new search engine marketing conference from Third Door Media, the company behind the Search Engine Land news site and the Search Marketing Now webcast series.”

I have no doubt what Danny is creating will become wildly successful. It certainly is interesting hearing speculation from various people in the search marketing industry ranging from an extreme, “Anyone who is involved with Search Engine Watch after Danny leaves will be hated by the search marketing industry” to a more practical, “There’s room for many media and conferences in this industry and those that do the best job will be the most successful.”

Rand Fishkin Interviews Vanessa Fox for WebProNews

Rand Fishkin Vanessa Fox
As I am writing this, Rand Fishkin is interviewing Vanessa Fox for WebProNews right behind me. Rand is asking Amanda about sitemaps, duplicate content and links.

P.S. Rand also calls Dave Naylor cold and smelly. Wait, I mean he described the experience of having Dave Naylor throw a beer at Rand as cold and smelly.
Wow, talk about blogging a conference in real-time!

Watch for the interview to be published over at the WebProNews Video blog soon.

Advertising on Social Media

Advertising with Social Media
This ClickZ track session on advertising with social media was moderated by Rebecca Lieb and included Gary Stein, Henry Copeland, Bill Flitter and Marc Schiller. I covered a very similar session on social media and advertising at Chicago ad:tech earlier this summer a lot more in depth than this post.

First up was Gary Stein who says social media is a way companies can expand beyond the reach of regular advertising.

Consumers are most responsive when you meet them as equals which is most evident with consumer recommendations. When you start partnering with your consumers and allow them to partner with each other in your presence, is when you can gain real value from social media.

Brands want media and agencies want brands.
Bud.TV
Yahoo sites: Ninetendo Wii.

Session – Fun With Dynamic Sites

The idea that your site has to be static, or look static, to do well in search engines is getting to be a thing of the past. This session covered the myths and current issues that people are facing with dynamic websites. All of which can be fixed.

Things to consider –

  • ? in a URL is ok as long as you don’t over do it.
  • & in a URL is ok too to a point.
  • Search engines don’t care about file extensions (.php, .html, .cfm, .asp) however Yahoo doesn’t like .c files.
  • Most content management systems have cleaned up their URLs. Check with your CMS vendor to get updated code. If they haven’t, bug them about it.

Duplicate Content and Multiple Site Issues

Chris Sherman
This session was moderated by Chris Sherman and included the following speakers: Mikkel deMib Svendsen, Shari Thurow, Adam Lasnik (Google), Tim Converse (Yahoo) and Jon Glick (Become.com) who is filling in for Anne Kennedy whose husband unfortunatley passed away over the weekend.

Duplicate content has resurfaced as an issue due to the increased use of syndication.

First up is Jon Glick.

What is duplicate content? Multiple domains with same home page. Duplicate content is a problem because while search engines want your content, they want unique content. Search engine webmaster guidelines offer specifics.

Example problems:
– Dynamic urls where different urls can access the same content.
– Multiple domains and one web site

Session – Bulk Submit 2.0

Bulk submitting your site to search engines is quite an easy task. Granted, it may sound spammy, but it’s not. 🙂 This session covered things like XML site maps and paid inclusion options. Google gave an overview of their webmaster tools and gave tips like having separate XML site maps for different types of media (like mobile) and removing un-necessary information from the urls (like session ids). Yahoo talked about Yahoo Site Explorer and said that more features were on the way. They noted that a feedback area launched recently and it was a great way to put in your opinion on what was missing orbroken. It also comes with Digg like functionally so users can vote on topics. The more votes, the quicker Yahoo will consider working on it. Overall, XML site maps is the way to go to make sure you get all your URLs indexed by the major search engines.

Mainstream Pubs Invite User Content

Lately I’ve noticed a few mainstream web publications making concerted efforts to solicit user generated content. Enabling consumers to submit news gives media access to millions of potential stories they might otherwise not know about, or not have a scoop on. I know our local (and likely national) public radio station has been soliciting user generated content and news stories for at least a year and so do some TV stations. Also, Topix.net allows users to interact with news stories on their forums which, according to Topix.net founder Rich Skrenta, has enabled a big boost in traffic.

Most recently I noticed that Yahoo News has launched You Witness News that allows you to upload photos and video for potential use in Yahoo News stories. According to comScore, Yahoo News is the #1 online news source, so marketers should take notice of such an opportunity.

Google Webmaster Central

Today I had lunch with Joe Dolson and Mike McDonald as well as several hundred other search marketers in the Google Sponsored – Google Webmaster Central session.

I took several photos below as well
Danny Sullivan Amanda Camp Samantha Fox

Danny, Amanda and Vanessa

Amanda Camp and Evan? from Google

Amanda and Evan from Google
Adam Lasnik

Adam Lasnik from Google

I know what you’re thinking, where’s the blog post about this session?¬† It was lunch so I decided to take photos and a few videos instead. It will take a while to get the videos uploaded to Google Video, but I will update this post with those links later this evening.

Session – Drive Traffic with Google

This was more of a speed intro to some of Google’s newer services. Topics included Google Analytics, Google Gadgets, Webmaster Tools and Personalized Search. Each presenter gave a quick 10 minute overview of their topic and it was hardly enough to really get to know much about each service. The real value of this session was in the question answer portion. I learned that Google’s personalized search is going to offer analytics in the upcoming weeks so that you can see what people are looking for in your custom search. Customized Google Analytics reports are also being discussed, however it’s hard to say when that may become a reality.

Session – Vendor Spotlight

The vendor spotlight session covered alternatives or additives to going with PPC campaigns from companies like Google and Yahoo. They discussed how pay per call was more effective and available in more areas like TV and print than pay per click was. It also doesn’t suffer click fraud and clients like it more as it’s closer to a sale.

Tools for managing your pay per click and pay per call accounts were also discussed. Zanox offers a one stop shop for managing all your accounts including Google PPC, Yahoo PPC, click per call and more. Since it’s available worldwide, it can even help you with international accounts and search engines. Lycos spoke on how there offerings and how they can be customized for verticals and you can even become a publishing partner to use Lycos tools while running your own ad network with your own look and feel. Both companies trying to make it easier on the end user and increasing ROI.