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  FEATURE:
Creating SEO Success with In-House Marketers and Agencies
BACK TO BASICS:
Understanding Online Business and Search Marketing in India
INTERNATIONAL:
SEO, Usability and Analytics
THE USUAL: Coverage of this month's
hot topics, shuffles, shindigs, attaboys and word on the wire.
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  FEATURE: Creating SEO Success with In-House Marketers and Agencies
Author: Susan Esparza
 

According the recently released SEMPO State of Search Marketing report, search marketing is a rare growing sector in an otherwise depressed economy. Search marketing grew 14 percent in 2010 and is expected to grow another 16 percent in 2011. Investment in search marketing is strong because the ROI is strong and measureable and because businesses are growing more comfortable with online marketing on every level.

As an SEO agency for more than a decade, Bruce Clay, Inc. has had clients of every size from every industry. In that time, we've noticed a significant change in the needs of most clients. When we began as a one man consulting operation in 1996, most clients had no idea what it meant to change your site so you could rank in search engines. Over time, SEO became an accepted term but companies still needed outside help to achieve their ranking goals. Next week in SMX Toronto, Bruce Clay will present on Enterprise level SEO and discuss how the rising sophistication level of many businesses is putting the actual SEO work more and more on in-house teams with agencies available for expert-level consulting.

A strong in-house SEO team is often the agency or consultant's most valuable resource. When you're ready to make that investment, how do you go about it? What steps should a business take to build an SEO team that will be effective in reaching company goals beyond search engine optimization and how does an in-house team best take advantage of an agency partner?


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  BACK TO BASICS: Understanding Online Business and Search Marketing in India Author: Jessica Lee  

An emerging market in so many ways, India's economy is booming. As of late, Indian businesses have begun to embrace digital marketing as a viable business tactic. With the growing interest in online marketing comes a need for standardized search engine marketing practices. And with things heating up in India this year, Bruce Clay India just might be leading the charge.

In this article, we'll take a look into online business in India, as we examine some of the trends in Internet usage and the online marketing tactics that are creeping into the business strategy. We'll also hear from Siddharth Lal, managing director of Bruce Clay India, as he provides a comprehensive look into the search marketing climate in India, discussing the challenges and opportunities Indian companies face with online marketing.


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  INTERNATIONAL:
SEO, Usability and Analytics

Author: Jeremy Bolt
 

Yes they can coexist, that is SEO and Usability and very often in a complementary manner; the data sources are just different. We encourage usability folk in all our clients to get more involved in understanding not only SEO, but also what Analytics is telling them, along with their focus groups and other user data.

It is often a case of knowing what you know for example. You know traffic went up due to an event, maybe an ad campaign running at the time and that the increased traffic was most likely on branded terms. Secondly, you know what you don't know which is exactly what keywords drove traffic last week, but you know where to look, in Analytics. Thirdly, there is often the part where you don't always know what you don't know and unless someone tells you or points out the obvious, which may not always be that obvious you will never know. This data is usually available from a number of sources; you just need to know where to look and what you are looking for. Things like which pages IT removed and didn't redirect, what content is converting new users the most and so on.

Combining Analytics with SEO tactics and website usability can be highly profitable if you do it right. The biggest challenge is knowing what to look for with respect to your business objectives, as well as getting the various parts of larger organisations involved and coordinated around this.

(Jeremy Bolt is a Director of Bruce Clay Australia and spoke on SEO, Analytics and Conversion at SMX in Sydney on the 15th April 2011. These are some of the key outtakes from his talk)


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  Hot Topics

Move over Facebook Like, Here Comes +1

For some time now, there have been rumors about a Google social networking community. And while it's no secret anymore that Google uses social cues in its algorithm, many wonder if the new Google +1 (plus one) button is the rumored social network or merely an added layer of social search.

Late last month, Google announced the +1 button, a feature for online users to endorse everything from Web pages and websites to paid search ads. Some speculate whether or not Google's new feature will give the Facebook "Like" a run for its money.

Still in the experimental stage, users can request an opt-in to use the +1 button in their daily search activities. Here's how it works: for those logged in to Google, the +1 button will be featured next to websites on the search engine results pages (SERPs) and even next to paid ads in the right-hand column.

Once another +1 user recommends the site or ad, not only is the total number of +1s shown for that site or ad, but images of people in the user's Google community will be featured next to it. The goal, states Google, is to "help friends, contacts, and others on the Web find the best stuff when they search."

For now, the +1 buttons are not available to integrate onto websites like the Facebook Like button is. In a recent article at Search Engine Land on the topic, author Danny Sullivan reported Google was more concerned with how +1 integrates with search right now.

The Potential Impact of +1 on Internet Marketing

The search marketing industry is aflutter with the possible impact the +1 feature may have. It looks as though the feature could offer more data to the marketer on what's working and what isn't. But, it may also leave marketers with even more questions.

For example, if someone +1s a company's pay per click ad, the feature doesn't indicate what a person thought was cool about the ad and why it was endorsed. It could be a great many variables. As with the Facebook Like button, it doesn't give an in-depth look into the psyche of the user, but it does show popularity.

What Google +1 does have over Facebook Likes as far as providing value to marketers is the added chances for optimizing efforts for pay per click ad tactics, for example. Using the +1 data and testing various versions of a pay per click ad could be revealing to the advertiser.

Likewise, demographic data from the Google Profile is tied to +1 users, so advertisers will have more insight into who is interested in their products or services, according to a recent post, "The Google 'Like'".

As far as impact on the search results, it looks like Google will use "signals to identify the most useful recommendations" as a user of Google +1. According to Google, this includes factors like recommendations form people you're connected to in Google and potentially networks like Twitter, in the future.

As a user of +1, connections in Google include those in a Google Talk chat list, Google Contacts and people the user follows in Google Reader or Google Buzz, according to the article mentioned previously on Search Engine Land.

Bradley Leese, senior SEO analyst at Bruce Clay, Inc. has been closely following Google's rise to social search. And although he says the feature is currently buggy, hard to use and could just be another fad, Leese believes that if it takes off, it has potential to replace the link popularity factor in SEO.


SEOToolSet Version 5
 
  Shuffles

Evan Williams announced that he would be leaving Twitter but will remain on the board of directors.

Social media monitoring company Radian6 has been acquired by Salesforce for 326 million dollars.

Larry Page officially became CEO of Google on April 4. Among his first actions was the promotion of several new executive vice presidents. The new EVPs lean more on the engineering, rather than the marketing, side. Jonathan Rosenberg, the current chief of product development at Google, plans to step down in coming months. James Gosling, who founded Java at Sun Microsystems, has joined Google.

Google merged Hotpot with Places and dropped the HotPot name. Lisa Barone explained what that meant for small business owners.

Yahoo announced it would be closing Yahoo Buzz on April 21. The company explained that it was a move to help them focus more on their core services.

 
  Shindigs

May is a quiet month for SEO conferences as everyone gears up for the summer conference season.

Canadian SEOs should look forward to SMX Toronto on April 28-29 and everyone should register as soon as possible for SMX Advanced in Seattle on June 7-8, as it is selling out quickly. Register using code smx10bruceclay for 10% off either conference.

Bruce Clay will be presenting One Day Training at three upcoming conferences: SMX Toronto in April, SMX Advanced in June and SES San Francisco in August. Don't miss out on this great opportunity to extend your conference experience and take advantage of expert training.

In the U.S., the newly updated SEOToolSet® standard and advanced training and certification dates for 2011 are as follows:

California Training 2011

  • May 16-20
  • July 11-15
  • September 19-23
  • November 14-18

Bruce Clay Australia will be holding the next One Day SEO Training in Australia:

  • Sydney - June 15th, 2011

Bruce Clay Australia released their 2011 SEO Factors & Trends Report. The twenty-six page report covers the key SEO factors that changed in the search engine marketplace in 2010 and the key potential SEO trends in 2011. The objective of this report is to help you identify the key factors that could affect your SEO strategy, and ultimately your search engine rankings. The report also includes recommended actions to align your SEO strategy with the factors and trends identified. It's a great resource for SEOs and business owners alike.

Download the SEO Factors & Trends Report.

 
  Attaboys

According to National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, social media has helped resolve or recover 98.5 percent of Amber alerts since 2005. By contrast, the return rate was 60 percent in the 1980s.

Google's Technovation Challenge teaches high school girls to build Android apps. The 12 week course will allow girls to learn programming basics. They'll design a user interface, develop a prototype app and business model. The winning team has their app released on the Android marketplace.

 
  Word on the Wire

Social browser Flock announced that it would be shut down as of April 26th, 2011.

Google's Chrome OS has changes under the hood that point to a tablet in the near future including functionality for touchscreens. Google says they have nothing to announce at this time.

RIM's tablet, the Blackberry PlayBook, will support Android apps when it launches next month, giving users a choice of over 200,000 apps.

SEMPO released State of Search 2011. Findings in the SEMPO report show that after a slowdown in growth in 2009, the sector increased 14 percent in 2010, and is forecasted to grow 16 percent in 2011.

The Panda/Farmer update rolled out across all English-speaking Google search properties. Vanessa Fox explained what this would mean for international SEO.

 

If you have any questions or comments on any of the above Internet marketing news items or if you would like to suggest topics for future search engine optimization articles, please contact us at Bruce Clay, Inc.

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