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February 19, 2007

SES London Session Recap – Competitive Research

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Guest entry from Marie Howell, Bruce Clay Europe.

Marie will be digging through her notes and posting recaps on some of her favourite sessions from the London Search Engine Strategies conference.

The Competitive Research session featured Allan Dick of Vintage Tub & Bath who explained to the audience how he had dramatically increased the revenue of his company through organic optimisation the Web site. Allan described how competitive research is an integral part of an effective search engine optimisation strategy and made some suggestions as to how the attendees could use various (free and paid) tools to improve their own campaign. For example, in the competition research element of the Alexa Toolbar site owners can look at their direct competitors and estimate the traffic to their Web site. Dick also recommended using Shopzilla and Bizrate to research who the competitors are within their space and to identify their shop score. He suggested using the Wayback Machine to see the evolution of the competition, in addition to using Google Alerts and even ebay to search for your products.

Jonty Kelt from Double Click discussed Reverse Engineering and reinforced the need to know your competitors as well as you know your customers. He stressed that competitive research must be undertaken before search marketing is commenced so that the findings can be factored into the campaign. In an interesting and informative presentation, Jonty discussed how AdGooroo, for example, shows the competitive landscape for your industry and also suggested testing the bidding ‘savvy-ness’ of your competitors in search marketing. He left the audience with the wise words: ‘It takes the same aptitude to win in search as in any market endeavour.’

Daniel King from Hitwise concluded the panel by discussing how his company collects online data from 1,000,000 sites (by June / July of this year), which clients can use for online benchmarking and to check their own company against their competitors. The panel then took questions from the attendees on a variety of search marketing and organic issues.





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