SMX: Things Can Only Get Better

    June 5, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

It was question and answer time again at Search Marketing Expo, with a panel of pros taking questions on better ways to do things when it comes to optimizing for search.

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Conference attendees had questions, and the panel of experts had answers to match. One person spoke of big clients who were hesitant to get into social media marketing. Relaxing those fears comes with education being the key, Cameron Olthuis said. One has to let the client know that the search professional will be doing a lot of reputation management.

Greg Boser cautioned that SEOs shouldn’t expect that situation to get better with large clients. The corporate world moves slowly, with its meetings and bureaucracy, he noted.

On the strategy side, Alex Bennert recounted how her firm started a blog for a company that was more about its core business than the company itself. That client benefited from sponsoring the blog and enjoying a positive halo effect from it.

The inevitable question about getting lots of backlinks arose from the audience. Aaron Wall suggested a Google-centric strategy, by looking for key ideas for one’s topic and researching related topics on Google.

Wall said that by looking for some of those related topics that are less commercial, one could run an ad campaign in Google for keyword permutations based on those findings.

Christine Churchill said efforts that would have longevity, like web awards, could work sometimes. The idea would be for one to find things that possess a continuous link-building effect.

One tongue-in-cheek suggestion came from Todd Friesen. “The Oilman” said his firm has a lot of interns who do what they’re told. “Another thing is just to go out and buy them,” he quipped, before looking around nervously. “Where’s Cutts?” he asked.

Jim Boykin tossed some cold water on that idea. He said the days of pushing a button and getting a thousand links are over. It’s better to send a real email to a site publisher and ask for a link.

A question about finding an accurate research tool elicited an enthusiastic endorsement of Microsoft AdCenter Labs and its new keyword lab from Friesen, who called it an absolutely fantastic tool.

Boser suggested that keyword relationships tend to pan out. SEO pros should be more concerned with the relationship between words being compared. He said if one has a lot higher number than the other, the disparity is usually indicative of the situation.

Olthuis commented on a question about explaining backlinks to corporate clients, by noting that most of what comes back will be relevant to the client’s business. Friesen agreed, saying the vast majority of links will be quite targeted.