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Automation Saves the Life of Webmasters

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XML trusted feeds have a great marketing advantage for companies because it enables them to frequently update product information by making changes directly in a search engine.

It’s a proactive means of managing your listings as opposed to waiting for a major search engine’s spider to get around to finding your new product page.

Only a few search marketing firms globally are certified by Yahoo! to perform XML trusted feeds on behalf of their clients’ paid inclusion programs. After certification, the information coming from these marketing firms is considered ‘trusted’, which means Yahoo! has confidence the firms are supplying correct, appropriate data from their clients to Yahoo! As a result, XML enabled clients have the competitive edge of fast, online changes into the search engine.

Here’s the catch: while search marketing firms are the ones certified by Yahoo! to perform these XML trusted feed services for clients, in all but a very few cases, the heavy lifting in getting the XML information to the search marketing firm falls on the webmaster’s head. It can be a daunting task, particularly if the webmaster works for a company whose website has many pages, products/services, keywords, titles and descriptions. The manual collection of data still rears its ugly head, adding to the webmaster’s workload.

There is a solution, however: automation. A few technologically advanced search marketing firms are currently employing automation in the XML trusted feed process. These firms are able to intelligently crawl client sites, automatically discover new keywords, and create relevant titles and descriptions. When possible, it is advantageous to integrate XML trusted feeds into a Return on Advertising Spend (“ROAS”) tracking program. Basically, it is the other half of the equation. Now that the client is participating in an automated XML feed for a paid inclusion program, tracking the activity on the site by users can tell the client whether all of these product updates and/or keyword changes are performing as desired. ROAS can be automatically adjusted as well, enabling the search marketing firm to eliminate non-performing products based on the tracking data. To integrate ROAS reporting, the webmaster simply has to insert a few lines of Java script on the company’s site, after that, it is all automatic.

Here’s the Cliff Notes version of how one XML trusted feed system works:

1.) In the set-up phase, there is no additional work required of the webmaster. The search marketing firm identifies the client’s main URL, and then sets up a profile specific to the client. This will be used to crawl each page of the site and, through the use of keyword mining algorithms, obtain examples of the type of information that should be included in the XML trusted feeds.

2.) Information gleaned from crawling the site is used to create XML files that contain keywords, page titles and descriptions. If ROAS tracking is integrated here, the firm can also make changes based on the campaign objectives of the client, whether it be direct sales, traffic building or brand awareness.

3.) The automated XML trusted feed program is now fully up and running. And the good news is, this automation requires no additional tasks from the webmaster! The automated feed program continually crawls the site, automatically making changes in keywords, titles and descriptions and then directly inserting those changes into the Yahoo! or other search engine indexes. One advantage is expediting inventory updates: if a product goes out of stock it is removed automatically from the feed, and if it comes back in stock it can be put back in automatically – all this without any work by the webmaster.

The beauty of automation is that whether it is 2 AM or 2 PM the XML feeds can occur and the search engine will therefore have the latest, most accurate information. This is where automation is the sweet spot for webmasters since they do not have to do the tedious manual work of updating all of this changing information.

When talking to search engine marketing firms about XML trusted feeds, ask them whether they have feed crawling technology that enables an automated trusted feed program and whether it is integrated with an ROAS tracking system. By working with a technically advanced search marketing firm webmasters have the means to embrace XML trusted feeds enthusiastically without taking on more work. Automation is the key!

John T. Haney is the Chief Technology Officer of search marketing firm BeyondROI, a Yahoo! certified XML trusted feed partner. He leads a development team focused on automating search engine marketing and search engine optimization services for clients. Haney and his team developed BeyondROIs automated XML trusted feed service.

Automation Saves the Life of Webmasters
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About John T. Haney
John T. Haney is the Chief Technology Officer of search marketing firm BeyondROI, a Yahoo! certified XML trusted feed partner. He leads a development team focused on automating search engine marketing and search engine optimization services for clients. Haney and his team developed BeyondROIs automated XML trusted feed service. WebProNews Writer
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