Business PPC ;  4 “C”s for Successful Websites;  Panda-Proofing &  Search Personas

While in New York City at SMX East I am taking in all I can learn about online marketing from some of the top experts in the industry.

I used to live in New York City. It has been many years since I have been back, and even though some of the things remain the same, I cannot help but notice how many items have dramatically changed.

This evening as I was walking through the busy, streets of Times Square I began to relate some of the excitement to eMarketing. SEO kind of reminds me of the areas and items that I am familiar with.

As discussed during day one at SMX, best practices for SEO has remained consistent over sometime, while other areas are evolving at a much faster pace. To me, New York kind of symbolizes the fast pace energy of these areas like social media, while the bright lights of the city signify the shiny new object…Ahem…can I just say: “Google +1”. Our job as eMarketers is constantly a moving element that requires us to always understand and adapt to the ever changing world of online marketing.

Below is snapshot of some of the key take-aways from the sessions that I attended during day one.

Session One – Enterprise PPC

During this session the panel of experts discussed the challenges that they had faced when managing enterprise PPC accounts. Key takeaways were the following:

  • Challenge: Today customers are looking for the immediate fulfillment; why buy a DVD online when you can go down to the store and buy it now
  • Challenge: Usually in Enterprise PPC you are creating campaigns/ad groups with an infinite amount of search combinations – don’t forget about unstructured searching
  • Landing pages should not always go directly to the booking or purchasing page
    • Learn and understand what drives your consumer to make a purchase
  • Be sure to track everything and educate all stakeholders with data; set expectations
  • PPC tends to be the first one cut, however, can be the most cost effective
  • Always be sure the message is fluid across the board
  • Understand what the Lifetime value is of a conversion. Add this variable when reporting


Session Two – The Great Correlation vs Causation Debate

We can often make assumptions based on old ideas. This session put into perspective that just because you make a change to your website, does not mean that that one change caused the end result. There could be other correlative relationships that had an effect. This could be things like, additional marketing, seasonality or other outside events. “Single event does not a trend make”

The four C’s to be successful:

  • Code: Make sure it is clean and clear
  • Content: Write relevant unique content with strong calls to action
  • Connections: Acquire links through the good content
  • Conversions: Be involved in a social media strategy


Session Three – Panda-Proofing Your Content

The Google Panda update has caused much stress to many companies and eMarketing agencies. This session provided tips to help adjust to this change. Takeaways:

  • Create quality content without going insane. View your content as part of a whole and repurpose them for different mediums
  • Content Creation should follow:
    • Content should be created around keyword phrase research; what are your customers interested in reading
    • Customer Questions: What are some questions you can answer
    • Sales Funnel: inform prospects about your products and services throughout the sales cycle.
    • What stories can you tell about your product or service
  • Keep an editorial calendar and create a plan
  • Affiliate Feeds: Create a separate feed for your affiliates. The affiliates should not contain the exact same descriptions as what is available on your website
  • User testing is extremely important: Is your site providing a good user experience
  • Include more value-
    • Videos, Charts, Images
    • Social media
    • Don’t focus user to click secondary pages for vital information
    • Usability study
    • Clean spam
    • Rel=Author tagging may help consumer trust you
    • Grammar and spelling
    • Remove excessive ads
    • Become an authoritative source
    • Avoid over-optimizations


Session 4 – Use Searcher Personas to Connect SEO to Conversion

The final session of the day was a discussion of strategy and tactics of creating search personas to fully understand how your consumers search. Panel discussed the following points:

  • User experience is still extremely important
  • Clarify Business Goals: First thing you must figure out!
    • What is the project goal?
      • What does success look like?
    • What is the brand objective?
      • How do you want your audience to perceive you?
    • What is your proposition?
      • What can you offer the user? Why should the user care?
  • Perform a search persona exercise: Define who these people are
  • People search to fulfill a need- keywords need to reflect that
  • Utilize Keyword demographics
  • “If you do not take care of your customers…Someone else will”
  • Using the searcher personas could improve your conversion rates…This could assist you in creating new areas of your website or revamp the existing ones.

We ended our evening with Danny Sullivan and an open audience panel. This open forum allowed the audience to ask Danny various questions. Most of the questions and answers resulted in SEO/SEM humor and jokes that only us geeks would get.

Stay-tuned for the key take aways from day two…

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