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March 17, 2009

Six Questions with Mike Mothner

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With Search Engine Strategies New York hitting the Big Apple next week, it’s time for our series of Q&As with conference speakers. Up first is Mike Mothner, founder and CEO of Wpromote. Mike will be speaking at the advertising track session 8 Things You Aren’t Doing That Will Boost Your SEM Results. Let’s see if I can get any secrets out of him, shall we?

1. Wpromote offers services covering just about every aspect of Internet marketing — PPC management, SEO, design, viral campaigns, and more. Are you seeing more incoming clients looking for a full range of services or do they come in looking for one thing?

Good question. Most new clients come to us aware that they are deficient in a particular area. They quickly, however, learn that PPC, SEO and landing page design, for example, are not autonomous beasts. Our approach is holistic; PPC data can help guide SEO goals, and understanding why users convert on a landing page can help hone the PPC campaigns driving traffic to them. When clients begin to embrace this worldview, we work with them on a broad scope of services.

2. This workshop is going to blend PPC, SEO, landing page optimization and social media concepts. I know that a well-rounded marketing campaign gets the best results. What do you think is the bare minimum for an integrated online marketing campaign?

The bare minimum? Well, I believe that if a website speaks well to its audience — in other words, is able to convert visitors to leads or sales — and there is a regular flow of traffic to that site thru a blend of organic rankings and paid traffic, I believe that could constitute a solid integrated online marketing campaign.

3. The session description says this is the “one session that you can’t afford to miss”. In my experience, SES shows usually have lots of great sessions. How does your workshop stand out?

To me, a good session is one that keeps me interested, informed and entertained. A great session, however, is one that leaves me with something truly actionable to improve an aspect of my online marketing. We’re going to try to deliver the latter. If you get back to work after the conference with one good idea to implement, then we succeeded.

4. Time for a teaser! Wpromote will be sharing eight things that SEMs may not be doing. Can you let us in on one of them? What actionable suggestion would you make to avoid this mistake?

Sure, I’ll share one: ATE. Always Test Everything. We are obsessive about testing, and any good SEM should be as well! Take the very name of our session: “8 Things You Aren’t Doing That Will Boost Your SEM Results”. We started with about 6 possible session titles, tested them as Google AdWords ads to the query “search engine marketing”, and chose for our session the title with the highest click-thru rate.

It is easy for over-worked SEMs to fall into the trap of “if it ain’t broke…” Well, it’s always “broke”, but we will talk about some ideas of easy tests to run that can have some surprisingly big results.

5. Why do you think search marketers are overlooking these eight things? Are they lapses of common sense or were they uncovered through years of experience and digging?

A little bit of both. A few are simply innovations that we developed over the years and want to share. Others are concepts that every search marketer knows, but aren’t practicing as well as they should be. I wouldn’t call them lapses of common sense necessarily — there’s a lot to remember — but either way nothing some gentle prodding can’t fix!

6. Are there any other sessions or events happening that you don’t want to miss? Where can attendees track you down during the conference?

I am really excited these days about non-traditional online media: sessions about opportunities in social networks, communications tools (ala Twitter) and video I would certainly not want to miss.

I will be wandering sessions and spending lots of time at our booth (112) and of course everyone should join our session Wednesday at 4pm Wednesday.

You can email me (mike@wpromote.com) or Twitter me (@mothner) if you’d like to meet up at the conference!

Want to know what Mike’s seven other secrets are? Then register for SES New York. (Don’t forget to sign up for Bruce Clay’s SEO workshop on Friday!) While you’re at it, grab your ticket to the IM Charity Party on Monday night; it’s $50 and all proceeds go to charity. And stay tuned for more speaker sneak previews here on the blog. Thanks for kicking it off right, Mike!

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