This 4th session of Search Engine Strategies San Francisco 2010 Day 2 focused mainly on driving more traffics through competitive research.
- Kristopher Jones, President & CEO, KBJ Interactive
- Mark Munroe, Director of Search Audience, MerchantCircle
- Eli Goodman, Search Evangelist, comScore, Inc.
- Bill Leake, President and CEO, Apogee Search
The session was initiated by Eli Goodman, who begins by explaining a “Search Funnel.” According to him, it as a collection of search events that leads to a conversion. According to Goodman, search engine tools can be a marketer’s best friend (Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft AdCenter), as he believes that because they can help with keyword discovery and sizing up the marketplace.
Eli Goodman mentions few of the tools like that of AdGooroo, SpyFu, and The Search Monitor that are known to help paid search marketers with competitive research but they are not at the click level. These tools only provide positioning and impressions. He then talks about tools like ComScore, HitWise, Compete, Trellian and Alexa that provide not just bidding and optimization, but are also traffic drivers.
Next up was Mark Munroe, from Merchant Circle, who begin by discussing about Competitive Link Analysis. He says that Third-party link analysis tools can give insight into competition. Munroe’s lists his preferred tools such as LinkScape and Open Site Explorer. According to him, Google’s PageRank Toolbar is not reliable enough because it’s a snapshot in time of a page and is not a site. All on-page strategies are open to the public.
Mark Munroe further takes us through an example of examining a competitor, recommending SEOMoz and MozRank along the way. He says that is very important to study what’s working for competitors and then implementing that strategy into link building efforts after thorough analysis. Even very strong sites gain a large percentage of their strength from a small percentage of links.
Bill Leake, with Apogee Search was the last speaker in line of the session. He begins by saying that he is “ too old for the industry”. Leake then took a step back and started explaining that obsession with the competition is a luxury of the over-funded, because what works for them may not work for someone else. He further added that no doubt competitive analysis is fun but it does not create any bonus. Though, some insight can be gained.
Competitive analysis is fun, but doesn’t create bonuses. However, some insight can be gained in it. Keeping a track on the competition can help in identifying strengths and threat levels. He goes though a few things marketers can check on, for free, outside of the SEO/PPC scope, including website tracking tags, Linked in monitoring, domain name ownership and automated website change monitoring. While concluding the session he recommended eClerx which will scan the prices of the competition on a regular basis. For retailers, this let’s them know when the competition drops prices.Competitive Research: SES San Francisco 2010 Day 2,