Optimizing Your Optimization: A Holistic Approach
In the past week, there has been an influx of online marketing tips and how-to’s on industry blogs covering everything from how to optimize eBay stores and contextual ad campaigns to social media marketing for business-to-business. We thought these were some excellent sources for creating a more universal online marketing campaign.
As with most things, a person crawls before he walks, so fundamentals are key. They include a hefty stack of reading, making sure your site structures are sound, and after that, practicing and testing. Later, you can get into the fun, experimental, conceptual stuff.
Think of it as playing the guitar: learn the finger placements, the chords, the music, the rhythm, practice, practice, practice, and once you have all that down, have at the gnarly.
SEO for the Noobs
Over at SearchEngineGuide, Todd Mintz has put together a comprehensive guide for those brand new to search engine optimization (except that none of his sources mention WebProNews – bygones). Like anyone anxious to start something, you can’t just hit the ground running. You have to read – and read a lot.
And take classes.
And attend conferences.
And buy software.
And practice, practice, practice.
But the good news is:
As search evolves – it’s become less of a technical exercise and more of a marketing exercise. This is good news all around, but it doesn’t mean that the average marketer can succeed at search, just like I couldn’t expect to walk into an advertising agency and develop a successful print ad campaign right off the bat.
Optimizing For Contextual Campaigns
At SearchEngineLand, Brad Geddes writes:
Search page views are roughly 5% of page views on the web, which means non-search page views are roughly 95%. There is no quicker way of increasing one’s advertising reach on PPC than utilizing the content network. However, if it is not done correctly, it’s easy for ads to be "matched" to irrelevant items, and advertising dollars will be wasted by being shown next to non-relevant content.
Therefore, when bidding on contextual keywords, keep in mind the cost-per-conversion of the sites on which your ads appear, and adjust accordingly. And don’t forget AdWords Discounter and Yahoo’s Quality Based Pricing to help maximize your ROI.
Optimizing Your eBay Store
Tamar Weinberg tackles this topic over at SearchEngineRoundtable. You have an eBay store, you want its visibility boosted in search. Weinberg recommends:
The eBay Store SEO Guide
Uploading your inventory to Google Product Search
Setting up an informational website with product reviews
Optimizing Social Media
Todd Mailcoat‘s humorous advice for social media marketing in business-to-business, can most likely apply to business-to-consumer as well. His "8 Simple Rules" are a must read for a better understanding of the social media phenomenon. Mailcoat suggests that with SMM, you are not marketing to just one audience. You are marketing to two of them: the audience you’re trying to reach, and the audience that reaches them (social networks).
He also wins the Quote of the Week Award with, "Just because you win a game of whip it out, doesn’t mean people will like you."
Yeah, Mailcoat, like you’d know. 😉
Optimizing for Universal Search
Last but not least is the likely evolution of search, specifically Google’s testing of Universal Search, which incorporates not just websites, but blogs, images, videos, profiles, news, you name it. That means the SEO game will change if Universal Search becomes permanent.
Scott Buresh goes into detail about preparing for Universal Search over at SearchEngineGuide, and advises:
If you are working with an outside search engine optimization company already, now is the time to ask what they plan to do in regard to Universal Search. Your search engine optimization company should at least have an awareness of the magnitude of this new way to search on Google and should be able to present you with some sort of plan of attack, even if they plan to wait to embark upon the plan until they know for sure that Universal Search is going to catch on.