22 March

SES New York 2012 – Day 2

Ian Dyer - Bayshore Solutions Vice President

By: Ian Dyer – Bayshore Solutions Management Team

Day two started off just a bit slower than Day 1, more than likely this was due to the late wake-up call for most after Webmaster Radio’s Sponsored Bash – the city that never sleeps was living up to its nickname!

First session today, ‘Driving Mobile Traffic: SEO and PPC’. What are the key differences between desktops… this is what was explored!

Jason Wells – CEO Contact Point (logmycalls is his product). The smart features of the phone have actually made the calling features so much more valuable.

  • More mobile phones than toothbrushes in the world
    • 5.1 billion own a mobile phone, 4.2 billion own a  toothbrush
    • 90 minutes on average to respond to email, 90 seconds to a text message
    • Roughly 48% of mobile subscribers own a smart phone
      • 69% of those who bought in last 3 months bought a smart phone (market is growing)
      • US Mobile ad spend will grow 10x from 2011 -> 2016 (.7 B to 10.6 B) *Morgan Stanley. 2011
      • “Buying” Demographics use mobile (typically 18-34 and those typically willing to spend)
      • Let’s get started
        • What’s your goal – lead-Gen, app download, buy now, phone call, or In-Store visit
        • Start with a clean slate and don’t assume what works for desktop campaigns will work for mobile; crawl, walk, run
        • Emulate landing pages and behaviors (test)
        • Tip: Bid for position 1-5 to be on page one (position is extremely important in mobile PPC… top 3 places is a must)
        • More misspellings in mobile, use 2 to 3 word phrases max
        • Start broad to discover what drives clicks then use negative keywords and phrase matching to optimize
        • PPC Bid Strategies: Geo Targeting, device targeting, day parting, “sell the click” more than ever with instant gratification 1-click actions (call now, buy now, etc), consider mobile specific offers
        • Click to Call – great for smartphone, not for iPad (should have device separated campaigns in AdWords)
        • The most common mobile action is a phone call, second maps/directions.

Next speaker, Avi Wilenski CEO Promediacorp

Goal of mobile SEO – user experience is right, bounce rate down, engagement and conversions are measured just as they are in desktop environments

  • To target by device type or screen resolution?
    • Easier by device type on legacy/existing platforms
    • Requires Subdomain or Subfolder (Subdomain is usually easiest, but search engines see as separate websites)
    • New tag to prevent browser transcoding… ‘media=handheld’
    • People.com built separate website for tablet, allows for page flipping, same content, good ux
    • Nike also built an iPad version to work around their flash site
    • Responsive Web Design
      • Uses the media query in CSS3 to detect display size – layout renders to available screen real estate available
      • Ability to detect portrait and landscape mode
      • Trick is using ems or % of available height/width instead of using traditional pixels
      • Need to read Ethan Marcotte’s article in ‘A List Apart
      • Pros
        • Single url = max link equity
        • No server side redirection – faster
        • Fewer URL – more crawl budget
        • One html – less maintenance
        • Supports web enable tv too
  • Cons
    • Tricky to implement on existing websites
    • Need to design with multiple screen sizes and orientations
    • No IE8 support/Older FF (this makes the technology a no-go at this time)
    • More calls – slower page load (tip, starting @ 320 dimension reduces asset load, if not handheld 320 determine size and load)
    • Lacks support for common ad sizes (i.e. on page ads from 3rd part providers)
  • SEO MOZ Open Site Explorer – best back link graph of the web (also see majestic)
  • New Tools
    • Adobe Shadow – NEW (inspect and preview web workflows on Android and iOS)
    • GoMoMeter – Greg shared this one a few months back

Anatomy of a Perfect Landing Page Design – paint by numbers approach to increasing your conversion rate presented by Brian Eisenberg. Best speaker of the day… check it out below!

  • Websites don’t have a traffic problem, but a conversion problem.  2-3% actually convert
    • Schwan’s 41.7%, proflowers 26.5%, vitacost.com 24% (his point, this is where we all should strive to be)
    • Spends on traffic when compared to conversion is 90:1, should be 30:1
    • 4 variables
      • Perceived control over CRO (click through rate)
      • Structured approach to CRO
      • Someone directly responsible for CRO (name a VP of Conversion)
      • Incentivizing staff/agency based on conversion rates
      • Companies that are more successful use more than one CRO method
        • For a great comprehensive list of all types of website testing tools visit: http://Websitetestingtools.com
        • If your visitor can’t immediately tell the difference between A and B versions, it is not worth testing (test substantial changes not “color of a button”, at least initially)
        • IT = BPUs (business prevention units)… got a good laugh from the crowd!
        • The Process – Treat early, mid, and those late in the buying process different experiences
          • Competitive
          • Methodical
          • Spontaneous
          • Humanistic
          • Test for impact not variations
          • The conversion Trinity
            • Are you relevant to MY query? (RELEVANCE)
            • Do I know WHY you are the right solution for me? (VALUE)
            • Is it obvious WHAT I need to do next? (CTA)
            • Flow should be relevant, provide value, and clear as to what to do next from the user perspective
            • Scent triggers – is a concept for message consistency between ad, to landing page, through the final confirmation page.
            • Transparency – you’ve got to explain your value on every single page of the website (typically header/tagline and footer)
            • Great tool… check your page in grayscale – graybit.com
            • Creates wireframe out of your page – Wirify.com (could be great for usability analysis)
            • Cool Heatmap tool… feng-gui.com
            • http://mo.am/21secrets.com and http://mo.am/anatomy (download)

Next session, SEO & Website Migrations: How to have a smooth transition – presented by seoinhouse.com. Website migrations…let the fun begin!

  • The whole concept was around “what’s an SEO to do throughout the lifecycle of a website project from Kickoff to Post-Launch!
  • Project Kickoff: Cross Training of staff members, identify what’s right with current SEO; what is the strategy to improve. (communicate often and early)
  • Requirements Gathering: SEOs are not typically in the meeting; Help define complete SEO requirements unrelated to project business or technical requirements. Review all business and technical requirements to ensure no conflicts.
    • Canonical Tags
      • It’s a bridge, not a band-aid, certainly not a body cast (for your entire website)
      • It’s a signal, not a directive for how the value of the page and to what link this value should be passed
      • Use when needed, avoid where possible
      • Specific requirements and proper uses
        • Pagination
        • Multi-faceted navigation
        • List ordering
        • Pages with tracking codes
        • Sites with optional parameters
        • Printer friendly pages
        • Pages with duplicate content (of course)
          think of each and ensure canonical tag
        • What is the best way to handle /default.aspx
          • Recommendation: Don’t, tell programming to fix this -or- use both a 301 redirect to the homepage and a canonical tag to transfer value to the root homepage
  • URLs
    • Permanent 301 redirects (of course)
    • Think about option of a redirect server if your website is huge!
    • Friendly 404 page still a must, often overlooked
    • For performance, create multiple redirect files (by splitting the redirects over 1000, put your primary, highest visited and highest converted, 1000 in first file)
    • Principle to Think of: Vision of URLs should outlast the design (evergreen URLs)
    • Avoid parameters
    • Use dash instead of hyphen
    • Place urls as close to the root where possible
    • Make URLs taxonomy independent (especially for eCommerce) – meaning it doesn’t matter where it falls in information architecture, the URL should not change
    • Don’t change DNS and servers at the same time (transfer DNS early, less confusion for the search engines)
    • Design Phase
      • Wireframes – think about anything that could move or has functionality…
        • Should always be thinking …when CSS and JS and Cookies are turned off in browser search engines – what happens? (this is key!)
        • Should have user experience and SEO requirements aligned with each element of a wireframe (this is what sits on the developers desk, not the 100 page requirements document)
  • Project Documentation – involve SEO, UX, Development, and Design
  • Development Phase
    • Few SEOs are technical enough to do a proper code check, however key areas should be checked as changes at this time are much cheaper
      • Checklist
        • Turn off js, css, cookies
        • Linearize the page
        • Page title tag as specified
        • Meta description as specified
        • Images have alt text and dimensions
        • Any inline CSS or JS that can be offloaded?
        • Can page load time be improved?
        • Use webdeveloper toolbar plugin
        • Use google page speed and yslow for performance
  • Baseline Metrics (from existing website)
    • Page load time
    • Bot crawl activity
    • Webmaster tool data
    • Indexation
    • Link counts for key pages
    • Page rank for key pages
    • QA Phase
      • Write test cases (or generalize as part of a checklist/process) – simply against the SEO requirements list is fine!
      • Plan for 3 iterations and formal signoff
      • Pos t Launch Phase
        • Give it a week or so… things often look unusual at first
        • Gather metrics, document the wins/losses
        • Identify what needs to be changed
        • Be part of the team, do the testing; you will get paid back dividends!
        • Send thank you analytics to the Project Team

Final session for day two, Offline to Online Coordinating Agencies and Aligning Campaigns

Andrew Goodman – Member of SES Advisory Board was the moderator.
Mark Schwartz – Managing Director STEAK (digital. well done.)

Scott Daly Media Dentsu America

STEAK is 120 individuals across 4 offices, focused on search/social/display paradigm. Many times work with other agencies to help clients. Mark has worked on 3 projects with Scott over the past year. Scott works for Dentsu, a traditional agency that provides both online and offline. The premise to the discussion was great, Mark is on the Search side and Scott on the Traditional… let the conversations and positioning begin!

  • A few media blend tools for budget allocation
    • Media Mix Modeling (goal is to determine your budget mix across individual media platforms)
    • Channel Planning Tools  (also a media planning tool)
    • The best way is still to identify goals, what to measure and how, what are the tasks to complete, and what will it take to accomplish – this is the real world!
    • Best Practice Guidelines – Agency (i.e. Bayshore Solutions)
      • Persuade the advertiser to commit to an ultimate metric (what does grow the business mean?)
      • Define the metric for the channel
      • Agree upon attribution guideposts (what s the most valuable… views versus, clicks, versus phones, versus form fills)
      • Be consistent in messaging and maximize the strength of the channel
      • Schedule testing environments throughout
      • Meet often, but have a point
      • Talk more than email, but document everything
      • Share success and accept failure equally
      • Best Practice Guidelines – Advertiser (our Customers)
        • Is it DR (direct response) or brand
        • Avoid the “shiny object”
        • Make sure digital gets a seat at the planning table
        • Recognize the need for flexibility in budgeting
        • Manage media, production, and feed budgeting in one place (don’t silo IT)
        • Make as much data available as you can…. early
        • Minimize fire drills, keep the team focused
        • You may not like it, but sometimes you have to be the referee
        • Don’t be afraid to ask the silly question
        • Pardon the Interruption styled debate… and their off!
          • SEO needs to be kept separate from media planning because it is simply isn’t media (fact/fiction)
            • Consultative in nature, its long term, it’s not a part of a campaign
            • Content wins out over links (see Panda)
            • SEO is extremely valuable yet the current is typically billed by the hour. It’s sometimes up to 70% of qualified traffic (if you take it to 75% it has far and away more power than any individual campaign)… Also, it is not in a media modeling tool.
            • SEO should be separate over campaigns
  • Subscribe to Paul Adams blog (he invented Google+… recently moved to Facebook)
  • SO/LO/MO – Social/Mobile/Local is the sole domain of search marketing and should be handled by digital media professionals (fact/fiction)
    • Should live in ‘search’ to properly attribute data and technology
    • These are demand driven channels; start with the customers raising their hands first.
    • Nether Social nor Local should be a sole digital marketer’s realm. What you are saying is critical, which is not the domain of search.
  • Traditional Marketing starts the conversation, Search is only there to clean up (fact/fiction)
    • Brands have never been built on search alone, businesses have, but not brands
    • Think about the Conversion funnel – search allows consumers to enter earlier, generically searching, and brands come into their consideration set earlier.

Final discussion point of the day… TRACKING (what we started with yesterday). Phone call tracking is the single most important metric that can be measured intra-channel. Mongoose Metrics is the recommended third party call tracker, mostly due to its feature set and integration with analytics.

Ian Dyer is a Vice President at Bayshore Solutions—a Tampa Web Design, Web Development, and Internet Marketing Company.

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