- Bullseye! Reaching and closing your ultimate customer
- Killer Facebook marketing tactics
- The art of measuring local & mobile search results
- Give it up! Social media edition
BULLSEYE! REACHING AND CLOSING YOUR ULTIMATE CUSTOMER
Eli Goodman, comScore, Inc
Eli Goodman from Comscore kicked the 'Bulleye' session with a fast-paced slides-flying presentation about Search usage trends data in Europe.
The first piece of data I picked and memorised from the slides is that Spain's search has been growing at a faster pace than any other west European countries. I wish it was the same for the economy!
Other good pointers were:
In comparison, users in west Europe are running more searches than in the US. I thought this was quite interesting
Youtube is becoming a growing search platform ahead of Yahoo! and Bing
The ratio of female searchers in Bing is higher than in other search engines
This presentation was exceptionally interesting, at least for me, as I like trends, so I had to focus on what was being said and I couldnt take many notes. I am looking forward to downloading the slides once they become available.
Martijn Bertisen, Google
Martijn emphasises the importance of search, stating that 25% of searches end in sales. Some of the main points that Martijn covered are:
There is now a Insights tool specific to Youtube, watch this video to know more about it
Universal search is a bonus to all internet users, as it is Youtube, Google Insights, Ad Planner, all these tools are being showcased in the framework of a celebrity search
130 million blogs have been created since 2002
Martijn reiterates publicly that Google aims to organise the worlds information
Google has been developing a range of tools aimed to help the user
Martijn reminds us that there is now a new set of options to refine your search & more visible on the new Google Search GUI
It is very easy to use data from Google Ad Planner to make decisions about your business
Some more new tools are being launched which are in Beta, like Insights for Audiences, jeeez, I find it difficult to catch up with all this.
Josh Smith from Facebook
Josh gives the audience an overview of Facebooks impressive market share increases, development plans, improvements to their user targeting functionality.
There are 25 active million facebook users in the UK. In contrast there are about 100billion ad impressions/month.
Your parents are probably on facebook
Heres some of my tweets from the session:
Robert Barnard, CEO Decode
Robert spoke about Decode, a tool to build relations online. At this moment, I received an urgent email I had to deal with, and so the little I scribbled about this presentation is not worth mentioning. Apologies to Robert Barnard. I encourage readers to check other blog reviews that mentioned this session as it seemed an interesting product.
Eli Goodman made a very good point about users searching behaviours with different local versions of Google. Eg: users searching in Spanish would use Google.es and same users that go to Google.co.uk would search in English.
Martijn confirms that Google is not letting the user's data leak out of the boundaries of Google as a response to a question from Jaamit.
KILLER FACEBOOK MARKETING TACTICS
This was indeed a killer facebook session, so actionable and useful that would qualify for a give it up! series.
Guy Levine, Return on Digital
Guy Levine kicks the session with a picture of an Ostritch head-in-sand on the first slide. Guy adds that this would be exactly what you, as an online/search marketer would do, if you'd carried on ignoring facebook: hiding from the reality and expose your butt to the world, why not come in now and play this game while results are easy to obtain?
For Guy Levine, the key to good external promotions on facebook are special offers, link bait, local campaigns, personality driven ads, events.
While showing the audience two examples of facebook ads, Guy Levine advises to make the look and feel of the landing page match the advert, or viceversa, I guess.
Guy gave it all up during this presentation and I am eager to get hold of the slides from SMX to go through each of the great points he made, but some of the best takeaways I manage to get from Guys presentation are as follows:
- There is no equivalent to Googles quality score in Facebook and the system is easy to use
- You can search for your competitor brand names in the Ad admin area to find out if they are using Facebook ads
- the key to successful external promotion on FB is special offers, linkbait, local campaigns, personality driven ads, or events-bound ads
- include GA tracking codes in URLS
- you can ad extra copy to the images, against editorial rules though (the reason is to get one more chance to lay out your call-to-action messages).
- advertise in group pages, and pay for this privilege if you have to.
- you can focus on increasing your list of leads with FB ads
-add your FBML widgets to your GA code
Marco Corsaro, 77agency
Marco Corsaro followed on the facebook front with some good points and interesting slides.
Marco speaks about the great opportunities to target your potential audiences in facebook.
With one of his slides focusing on 'strong user engagement' Marco spoke about the ever increasing opportunities for consumers to interact ranging from Fan pages to facebook ads, from engagement to social ads, from there to applications and eventually social plugins.
With the advent of Facebook social graph Marco feels that facebook will try to build some form of search engine.
The presentation moved onto showcasing an interesting tool to help businesses track down the number of likes, comments, clicks and shares of a pan page through an easy-to-use GUI, apparently using the Google API if I understood correctly. This seems to be a tool developed in-house at 77agency.
Merry Morud and Marty Weintraub, aimClear
This presentation was as unusual in the approach as interesting in the content: plenty of examples and case studies were used to prove the point that Facebook is a unique platform to target the right audience for your product. Typically presenters just make that point and thats it, but Merry and Marty actually gave examples and tips that demonstrated excellence at segmenting audiences.
This presentation was fulfilling, inspiring and educational. Not often presenters add so much value to a search marketing conference like this couple. Here's a shot of Marty on his agitated rap-style Facebook giveaway:
Some of the takeaways made during the presentation were:
- not branding your ads in Facebook is negligent
- Facebook also presents opportunities to gain B2B business leads
- compare outstand CPM & accountability
- try building landing pages based on your social groups as opposed to by products or keywords I agree this can be a good landing page strategy, I wrote about this approach for information architecture methods in my own blog.
- some of the most common topics for Facebook Ads campaigns that are likely to help you succeed are those that used one of the following: languages, gardening, dieting, green and environment, animals, holidays
- Merry warns that Facebook is not a platform to come in and do anything.
Some other strategies that Merry spoke about were to do with getting traffic and customers away from your competitors by visiting their fan page and befriending their fans (refresh the page to visualise different fans), or by persuading your competitors fans to visit your own page as you participate in their conversations.
Lastly, Merry also recommended to use GA with FBML pages.
Guy Levine advises to look out for a rise in brand-related organic searches as a result of running ad campaigns in Facebook
Someone asked how Facebook will affect the natural search results in the next 5 years? Not a straight answer was expected and no a straight answer was given.
The Facebook panel advises to leverage the potential of Facebook now that the opportunity is present: Merry Morud added that at 0.12 CPM, why not try it?
THE ART OF MEASURING LOCAL & MOBILE SEARCH RESULTS
As Rob Kerry could not make it, Richard Baxter, the UK SEO dude known to be restlessly trying to rank high for such term, kindly helped moderate this panel. Later on in the month, Richard was invited to participate in the Webmaster Radio show organised by Bas Van den Beld: State of Search where he gave the highlights of SMX Advanced London to the audience, so if you think this post is too long and boring, download the podcast and listen to the show.
The session got kicked by:
Mike Belasco, seOverflow
Mike Belasco from seOverflow spoke about local analytics, in other words what to track in local search: the Google 7 Pack referring to the number of results obtained next to the embedded Local google map on a typical local SERP.
M. Belasco explained that at present Google is not making it easy to provide proper analytics for local search, but it will be a question of time before they start providing more advanced tools to measure, either via the usual dashboard or with additional tools.
Top takeaway tip (illustrated slide above)
One of the main solutions M. Belasco advises to use is a specific URLs (vanity url) for your Google Places listing, and then 301 redirect such vanity url to a real tracking URL (see above). Read above for the next two steps. I must try this as soon as possible.
More step-by-steps instructions, including how to set up the ugly redirect url, can be found in M. Belascos presentation
Other tips given away by M Belasco were:
-use Google Analytics URL builder to produce your campaign URLs (I currently use this tool, its very useful)
- tips on how to eliminate duplicate content
- advanced segmentation tips
- tracking offline conversions: via phone call tracking, buy in store options and coupons
Mike @belasco is making it really actionable on 'Art of measuring' giving step by step instructions to set up a hack to track local pages traffic #smx
Martijn Beijk, One to market
Martijn presentation made me remember that this session was also about tracking Mobile search not just local search analytics for local search. These are the highlights (takeaways) of his presentation apart from the basics of registering your local business and stuff:
- There are some challenge ahead as offline conversions are difficult to measure
- You should track activity on everything: all possible channels (Organic traffic & univ. search, PPC, Display advertising, affiliate, email, direct, referrals)
- Vanity URLs on local search results via 301 redirects
- Conversion attribution : Visitor behaviour on medium (local/mobile/organic/ppc) vs bounce rate/goal rate. Both online and offline.
- Using coupons and different campaign phone numbers to ascertain attribution. Later it was clarified that changing the phone number will negatively affect local search rankings unless done in an organized manner
- Track visits to purchase as a metric (to determine how many visits it takes for a visitor to actually purchase
Christine Churchill, Keyrelevance.com
Christine Churchill from Key Relevance brought in an incredible amount of value to this session. It is usually difficult to be impressed by all speakers in the panel, but Christine's great presentation adding value like the most, I can say that this whole session did fit the bill. I tweeted all 10 tips for overlooked factors on Local search optimization:
Tip 1. Using employee profile profiles
Tip2. Events& calendars using microformat
Tip 3. Contact us /Locations Pages: include address &phone, maps, driving directions, map/hcard
Tip 4. Telephone Numbers in common format for easy machine interpretation
Tip 5. Testimonials
Tip 6. Coupons in Google Places
Tip 7. List products/ Service Descriptions in Google Places & add photos
Tip 8. Books, White papers and pdfs as they often get re-posted (include your content info on pds)
Tip 9.Images Help in SEO & Local SEO
Tip 10. I missed this tip (waiting for Christine's presentation to be available)
If you would like to read more about Christine, Julie Joyce from SEO chicks has published an interview made to Christine on a post called Key insights from key relevances Christine churchill.
Q&A sent a few questions for Mike @belasco
In the Q&A someone asks about citations, whether it is worth getting entries in the directories... M. Belasco and C. Churchill recommended the usual US ones, but they dont know how it works in the UK: perhaps Yelp.uk? In turn Martijn recommended checking your competitors citations and registering your business in the same sources. Belasco also recommends to use microformats to attract more clickthroughs.
Heres my own giveaway as a citation for UK Local search: the free index business directory. Entry on this business directory is what made this London used car dealer be visible right up on the Google 7 pack for local searches.
In terms of citation sources Martijn recommends to start with the main data providers, like the Chamber of Commerce in your target town.
Meanwhile, the following tweet originated on the other track panel was being retweeted:
RT @jaamit: .@demib: "there's a saying: 'Never f*ck with an SEO'" (re reputation management) #smx
GIVE IT UP!! SOCIAL MEDIA EDITION
Chris Bennet from 97th floor
Chris Bennet kicked off the social media give it up session with attractive visuals on his slides, accompanied by a bunch of tips and hints to help you succeed with your viral marketing campaigns. His session was both inspirational and actionable.
I struggled trying to both take notes about on the top tips he was giving us as he described the various campaigns he had for customer and also write down ideas I was coming up with for the various grant-funded programmes where the British Council is involved : climate change, social entrepreneurship, cultural leadership
1. Use infographics on your viral marketing campaigns as they are great linkbait. Chris showcased several examples of infographics used for different clients viral marketing campaigns
2. Create viral content via rich hubs, as guest virals or on microsites. He gave the example of Visual Economics for which they managed to get over 50,000 natural backlinks in 9 months. During the Q&A, someone asked him what approach he would take later to leverage the link juice value those microsites had developed after the campaign. He acknowledged the fact that 301 redirects were not passing as much value as before any more.
3. When you get a successful viral campaign that may have attracted hundreds or thousands of links, try and create a relationship with the people that have been linking to you (linkerati), follow them on twitter, dig their stories. These new relationships will help you communicate news in forthcoming projects and campaigns.
Parks Blackwell, Range Online Media
Parks Blackwell spoke about the value of reaching unhappy customers directly on the social networks when they leave negative comments about your brand. She recommended to :
1. Have a content strategy that go beyond the normal social media presence, and to align it with marketing calendars and PR initiatives
2. Avoid the typical sales talk. Recently I read about this: avoiding the marketese language is crucial to producing engaging and useful copy that drives customers into taking actions
3. Transparency: allow feedback from customers on your websites or online channels where your organisation has a presence.
4. Empowering your customer service staff to use social media effectively and so deal with issues in an efficient manner via Twitter, facebook, blogs.
I couldnt agree more with point three: including a social media training programme in your corporate strategy for those employees that would benefit from using it is a must.
Melissa Campbell, Distilled
Melissa spoke about UK laws that typically clash with social media moves. She brought to the audiences attention things like creating fake accounts online to create negative reviews for your competitors or positive customer reviews for your company.
There seem to be a few government Acts in the UK that cover issues such as image copyright infringement (Digital Economy Act).
At about this point, I had to leave the room to head up for Kings Cross, St Pancras to catch the Eurostar back home, so I missed the Q&A for this session.
I had a great time attending, learning and meeting new people during SMX London 2010. I am now looking forward to the next conference, likely to be Le Web 2010
David Carralon works as an in-house Search Marketing Manager for the UK's cultural relations organisation: British Council, and writes about SEO and web marketing in his own blog.