Today is the third and the last day of SES NY 2013. The events & activities at the summit have made us more curious about the SEO market, brave to experiment, and more sensitive about consumer’s feelings. For PageTraffic, this is not the end but a beginning of learning. We will keep you informed about newest entrants in the industry with blogs & news.
And here we are, back in the exciting world of SEO at the SES New York 2013, waiting to get tips & tricks from industry leaders.
Activating the Social-Search Dynamic
- Danny Goodwin, Associate Editor, Search Engine Watch
- Dan Cristo, Director of SEO Innovation, Catalyst Online
- Duane Forrester, Senior Program Manager, Bing
Search marketers have to understand and embrace the dynamic between social and search. If search marketing is about delivering value from customer's intent, social is all about delivering value from consumer's interest.
Dan was up first whose focus was on "how can social help in ranking for competitive terms?" It is assumed that social can be of great help in ranking for competitive rank. Dan came across a post listing top 50 most competitive keywords and found "online" & "toothpaste" ranked second and third. He compared personalized SERPs with un-personalized ones for these keywords and found something interesting.
Burt's Bees gets third place for an un-personalized search for "toothpaste" while Aquafresh was at the fifth position. When Dan activated personalization, Crest (which was the bottom) overtook Burt's Bees and claimed the third position.
So, the point here is: If you want to sell in social SEO, screenshot a competitive keyword, +1 it, share it with friends, and ask them to share it. After a few hours, take another screenshot and present the findings.
Dan outlined three core objectives of a social SEO strategy:
- Create online relationships
- Deepen online relationships
- Scale online relationships
By offering the content your audience would love to consume, you are creating relationships. Take out time to understand what your audience likes.
Adding more personal elements to social media presence is a great way to deepen the relationships. A person-to-person level communication with audience is always great.
You can scale in terms of content marketing. Convert the content into videos, images, and podcasts. The number of likes, unique searches will help you in scaling the SEO strategy.
A few questions to ask yourself:
Do you have a tribe set-up? – In this scenario, a group is pushing out the content to followers. In case, you do not have the team, use your employees and loyal customers (take help of email marketing) for content distribution.
- Does your budget allow you to take a step forward? Allocate a budget for social and SEO.
- Content pipeline? – There should be a continuous and frequent flow of content.
- Is there a long-term view of social? – Just because something didn't work for three months, you can't tag it wrong. It is high-time that we move away from link-based to a social-based ranking approach.
It was now Duane's turn to take audiences to a level higher and see where things are going in the future.
Duane strongly recommends checking all the keywords people are using as it will give a hint of what is going on the person's mind. The search is continuously evolving. New devices demand different search XPs other than links. We have to understand that search could be anything – a voice, gesture, sound, or anything.
Ranking could be highly impacted by how users are clicking on your results and when you show cues like your Facebook friends with results, it can impact CTR. Understand that:
- We want real time content
- Search engines want fresh content, regularly
- Integrated social signals influence click actions
More than 60 billion tweets in 2012, 65+ hours of video uploaded on YouTube every minute, 30+ photos uploaded on Flickr every second show that there's a lot of content, which is continuously connecting people.
If you paying people to like stuff, you are wasting money. Always focus on:
- User experience
- Link building
Have a fresh approach to target optimization. Understand that every area of your website, be it emails, page views etc., has a value. Determine the value of the area and sort out what really matters. Last would be organizing the work around high-value areas first.
Duane wrapped up with a few essentials:
- Content is the reason
- Keyword research is the beacon
- Quality should be the watch word
- Your goal should be authority
- The starting point should be niche
- Your religion is user experience
Photo Credit: Brafton
Social Media Meet ROI: The Secrets to Driving Social Commerce
- Mel Carson, Founder, Delightful Communications
- Tami Dalley, Sr. Director, Analytics and Insight, Salesforce Marketing Cloud
- Deitra Mara, Head of Social Solutions, North America, Google
Social media and SEO are always linked together and the session was about social media channel awareness, content creation, and KPIs.
Mara believes that Ripples is a significant feature for brands looking to improve their social ROI. The Ripple reports are available for every report shared on the web world, so brands keeping a close watch on these reports will get a fair idea of particular individuals sharing their content and if the activity is of any significance to the brand. Most of the individuals are brand advocates. Many brands have starting including these people into their circle, so as to directly invite or interact with them at virtual focus groups.
Carson thinks that the insights presented in the visual and easily digestible formats are valuable for marketers. We are not tapping the sheer wealth of big data, which can be of great help in extracting crucial information.
According to Mara, marketers should take advantage of social annotations. She told that advertisers who enable social annotations in search ads see an average increase of 5-10% in CTR.
Social and search efforts have their unique value & must be integrated for better consumer experience. Consumers would want to see recommendations for their family and friends & they would love to see more information from the brands they like.
In order to make brand content more discoverable, Mara suggests brands to first create and verify their Google+ Page. The next would be posting engaging content and increasing your following.
Having social media and real-time digital response as a part of the marketing will deliver enormous value.
Creative Content Marketing: Winning Hearts, Minds and Wallets
- Lee Odden, SES Advisory Board; CEO, TopRank Online Marketing
Photo Credit: TopRank
Only a few companies out there in the market have fully realized the best practices for creating high quality content. The session covered ideas and challenges to create effective content and providing a boost to your brand.
Great content isn't great, until it’s discovered, consumed, and shared, said Lee Odden.
“Whether social outreach, advertising or email marketing were used, the promotion of a remarkable content object should factor in the ability to amplify increased awareness,” Lee said. “That means optimizing the content object for social sharing and discovery as well as for discovery through search.”
The customer-centric content is missing from the brand content strategies of marketers. It is important that we know how people discover, consume, and act on the content.
Content is not just about customers. Search is based on existing demand, identifying the demand, and answering it in the form of content. Lee has a winning content marketing formula:
- Brand leadership
- Customer empathy
- Storytelling & creativity
These three pointers are important but you need to consider the importance of optimizing the content for attraction, engagement, and conversion.
Lee also shared five creative content sourcing ideas:
- It is important to visualize trends as it presents a bigger picture of the keywords and inspire you. Try semrush.com or Google keywords to see how often people search for a particular phrase.
- Have an internal search engine as this will let you know the queries, which are prompting people to search again. And once you know the queries, create content around them. Another thing you can do is analyzing the content for word frequency, when people fill out forms on the website. Do check your Google Webmaster Tools.
- Talk to your salespeople and see what kind of questions people are asking them. These queries can be sent to the content team for creating interesting blog posts.
- Watch the content structure of magazines, recurring features, or even their monthly themes. This will help you in writing interesting content.
- Understand the buying cycle of your customer and create content that meets the information needs of consumers.
Lee summed up by recommending 4 types of diverse and engaging content mix:
Harnessing the Power of B2B Video Marketing
- Greg Jarboe, President & Co-founder, SEO-PR
- Austin Craig, Spokesman, Orabrush
- Judith David, Account Executive, Business & Industrial Markets, Google
When 84% of the US market is viewing online video every week, it gets essential for successful brands to fine-tune their video strategy. You can create huge brand awareness and inform consumers about products with the right approach. The session covered fundamentals of B2B video marketing that will enable marketers to give the most exposure to videos, use them to get sales, and how to prepare videos for global audience.
David, Google's Account executive for Business and Industrial Markets in her interesting session suggested brands to build an engagement pyramid instead of a mirroring sales funnels.
She said, “Instead of starting with broad reach and goals, prioritize the platforms that offer the most engagement, surface the 5 percent of viewers who matter and allow them drive future engagement,”.
There are however certain challenges that need to be addressed before marketers get involved in the engagement model:
- How to find out if customers are interested in the video?
- How to facilitate engagement with the video content?
- How to inspire viewers to share the branded content?
David said that content marketing is entirely dependent on brand's ability to understand its audience, through testing or general feedback. In order to identify the right customers; B2Bs should either feed their communities by creating engaging content or by increasing the appetite and passion for content with interesting media.
Memorable video content is the only way to foster sharing. Build compelling client testimonials, product demos, and employee how-to videos. David added that you have to be the brand, which is immersed in the industry.
Austin showcased examples of media that attracted Internet users and sold millions of products. “You want creative, data-driven video. If your content isn’t creative enough to engage your audience, you lose your marketing opportunities,” he said.
Using keywords trends to find out what people are searching on YouTube will inspire your marketing campaigns. Moreover, it is always good to deliver personal content to prospects & potential partners in the form of videos.
Video marketing is a new entry in the online marketing industry so one cannot get immediate ROI. But, it is important that you make creative videos to seek the attention of your audience.
Photo credit: Brafton
That’s all from the SES NY 2013. We will be back with coverage of another great conference soon.SES New York 2013 Day 3 Complete Coverage #sesny,