At the Wappow Search and Social Conference in Kauai, Hawaii, Bruce Clay and Jessica Lee have been engaged in an intimate environment of educational sharing and networking. The pair sit poolside as they look at the show’s events, from inner-tubing through the rain forest to Bruce’s keynote on SEOs taking advantage of the opportunity in social media. Bruce explains that social media signals allow for the greater personalization of search for individuals. Much of the trouble of ambiguous queries has been alleviated, as have many ad targeting problems. Not only are rankings in SERPs affected by social signals, but +1s displayed alongside results has been shown to change click-through rates significantly.
Gillian Muessig, founding president of SEOmoz and host of the tech-entrepreneurship podcast CEO Coach, then talks to Jessica about her time at the conference, the future directions of social media and search, and her presentation at the conference on the interplay of social and mobile. While social media used to be considered a soft science, the presentations at this week’s seminar-style conference point to how social media is now analyzed in terms of ROI and monetization, and hard-number value is able to be assigned to social media efforts. There’s still a good deal of understanding that needs to be gained in small business and big corporation settings alike. Gillian explains that the understanding gap has two pieces: first, knowing the social principles of a mobile consumer on the go; and second, engaging with mobile users in a way that’s applicable to the real world. These two points are key for converting socially connected mobile users into customers.
Then Jessica talks to Ian Lurie. Last year on SEM Synergy, Ian shared insights into measuring success in SEO and PPC through analytics action plans. In his conversation with Jessica this week, he turns his analytical eye toward how social media engagement affects search results. At the conference, Ian gave a presentation comparing the value of social media responses such as comments and Likes on Facebook and retweets on Twitter to links as a search engine ranking factor. He also talks about the implications of recent changes to popular social networks like Facebook and Google+ and potential consequences of competition between these two Internet giants.
Show archive of September, 2011
Today’s show has a social focus, with Facebook’s slew of major changes this week and Bruce preparing for a trip to the Wappow Search and Social conference. First, Bruce, Jessica and Virginia preview Bruce’s keynote address for the conference, a look at the need for social media and search marketers to understand one another, work together and integrate each other’s initiatives. They also talk about the increasing socialization of search, thanks to social indicators’ influence on search results.
Then Marty Weintraub, president of aimClear and author of Killer Facebook Ads, talks shares some practical and tactical advice for advertising on Facebook. The book includes an extensive appendix of Facebook targeting segments, which was the thrust of why Marty wanted to write the book in the first place. It’s a resource that the team at aimClear uses constantly to identify very specific audiences on the platform, known among marketers for its tightly focused targeting capabilities. Marty also shares a hack that allows advertisers to find related keywords and concepts that might be relevant targets.
Then Aaron, Jessica and Virginia discuss the interplay between social, local and mobile marketing online. A track at SMX East centered around the SoLoMo space and the intersection of these three distinct yet synergistic Internet marketing practices. Small and local businesses can cultivate a rich online presence through targeted social, local and mobile marketing strategies. If done with a plan and goals at the outset, it can be a highly efficient use of resources for maximum reach and ROI.
This week, Bruce and Virginia have spent their days in the Javits Center in New York City attending SMX East. In between liveblogging sessions, Virginia interviewed conference speakers to talk about their areas of expertise and the sessions they spoke on.
Starting off the show Virginia talks to John W. Ellis, a paid search specialist, about his suggestions for ad remarketing as well as some insights into a paid search platform that’s great for small businesses, Google AdWords Express.
Then Virginia speaks with local business specialist Mike Ramsey, also known as Nifty Marketing. Mike spoke on the session Hard Core Local SEO Tactics, part of the best of SMX Advanced track. Mike shares some of his tactics for integrated O-pack local optimization, including citation building, link building and reviews.
Then Jessica, Aaron and Virginia take a look at some of the most recent headlines in search. They examine Google’s acquisition of Zagat and what that means for local search, as well as Bing and Twitter’s renewed partnership and what that means for social search.
Today’s show starts with a conversation on infographics – their value to your organization, how to come up with ideas for them, and how to promote them online. Then we take a look at the demands of local businesses, from affordable solutions for creating a website to making sure you’re found where people are looking for you online.
Bruce Clay, Jessica Lee and Virginia Nussey first explore infographics following an article on the art and science of infographics by Bruce Clay Australia’s SEO manager, Kate Gamble. In large part, an infographic helped Bruce make a name for himself in 2000 when he published the first Search Engine Relationship Chart®. Search marketers welcomed the Bruce Clay, Inc. brand into their office life by printing out the chart and putting it by their desks. Sticky, visually graphic content has serious staying power and is inherently able to reach a relevant audience.
Then Mark Knowles, Pixelsilk CEO, talks to Virginia about how a customizable CMS is an invaluable resource for a local or small business interested in creating and maintaining a professional and competitive online presence. Localware is a new product from Bruce Clay, Inc. in partnership with Pixelsilk, that offers a local-focused Internet marketing and Web development package for the small business budget. Mark also explains how Pixelsilk’s unique “tokens” feature helps save time and resources when creating a website or multiple sites on the same theme, which is often useful in local business applications.
Wrapping up the show, Susan Esparza returns one last time before parting with the company to follow her dream of being a fiction writer. But she doesn’t leave before she imparts her experience of local search with listeners, encouraging businesses to care about the quality of their online reviews. It’s been found that people trust reviews from strangers more than reviews from people they know. And people searching for services or goods in a new place as well as a familiar neighborhood are both likely to turn to the Internet and review sites for recommendations. So when it comes to what’s required of businesses marketing today, the first steps are to cultivate an online presence of your own and on relevant online discovery channels.
Today’s show features Bruce’s new SEO and Web development offering for local businesses, a conversation with Jonah Stein about website security threats, and user concerns over social network privacy.
Starting off the show, Bruce, freshly returned from Affiliate Summit East, talks to Jessica and Virginia about the unique demands of affiliate marketers and their laser-focused concern with driving traffic. It’s an objective shared by many doing business online, and a challenge for smaller businesses with fewer resources available to devote to optimizing an online presence. As Jessica says during the show: “It’s not supposed to be in the small business owner’s skillset to do this stuff. This is stuff that people who work at agencies do every day, keeping on top of changes.” Enter Localware, an all-in-one program for local businesses, including a SEO, content development, social media management from Bruce Clay, Inc.
Then Jonah Stein, speaks with Virginia about efforts to make the Web a safer place. After noticing a plague wipe out online communities, turning them into “ghost ships flying through cyberspace,” Jonah started encouraging conversations to combat “virtual blight.” What followed in the years to come was a realization that businesses online don’t have solutions in place to protect them from malicious hackers, some aiming to distribute malware, some planting black hat links, and others simply stealing traffic. The consequences of becoming a victim to hackers can be mitigated with the help of CodeGuard, a website backup, monitoring and reporting system.
And wrapping up the show, Susan Esparza makes a special appearance to talk with Aaron Landerkin and Virginia about privacy expectations on social networks. Since they had that discussion, Google+ began requiring users use their actual names on the service. Eric Schmidt even referred to the network as an “identity service,” highlighting the platforms utility for Google as a data mine. Facebook seems to be moving in the right direction as far as giving users more granular privacy control with enhanced sharing features.