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Search Marketing Olympics: Chasing Gold Rankings

andy-betts
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We are fast approaching the London 2012 Olympics. As search marketers we are all too aware of the opportunities and challenges that SERP competition brings as we strive to bring home that treasured Gold ranking.

As search marketers we are all athletes. Yes, you heard me right! That doesn’t not mean we will all be competing at this year's Olympics Games or even put on a pair of running shoes.

However, being a search marketer is very much like being an athlete. We are competitive, strive for top positions, face numerous hurdles (pardon the pun) and have to be at the peak of our game to win.

In terms of the type of search events that we now enter, we are now putting forward a collection of hybrid, holistic performers from technical and marketing biased disciplines who compete across events such as text, images. video, social, and local.

Now we all know that Google likes a change and much has been written about change and the convergence of search (text, images, video, social, shopping, news, local) social media and content marketing.

After talking about this change the next logical step is to look at the SERP results, what influences those results, and how they have changed over time.

As search marketers begin to flex their muscles, stretch, and prepare for new events in the Search Marketing Olympics it is vital to use a combination of search strategies if you aim to dominate top positions in SERPs.

Change and the Search Marketing Olympics

The Search Marketing Olympics have changed over time with the event field and competition widening ever year.

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Image Credit: Google 

Highlights

  • SERPs do not include text based results alone anymore.
  • Google and Bing have constantly added universal content such as image and videos to its SERPs.
  • Google has also placed increasing importance on social results including Google+ pages through its Search Plus Your World update in November 2011 began to display Google+ pages prominently on the SERPs, similar to images and videos. If Google+ pages are just one type of results in the new SERPs, why do we focus on them specifically? That is because we know that search is becoming more social. For example, your social media presence will increasingly impact your SEO while search results will feature fresh, social media content even more prominently. Google has explicitly stated this.
  • The integration of mobile, social, and local have begun. The Local SEO Games really kicked of this year in Venice, well with a Venice update and as local search events hot up platforms, such as BrightEdge, begin to innovate in the area of local search.

Win Gold, Silver and Bronze with Blended Search

The concept of blended search isn't new and marketers have been utilizing universal search techniques since 2007. However, with SERPs featuring greater types of results, we know that blended search is vital to dominate SERPs.

Blended Rank is what gives marketers true visibility into how they are doing in the Search Marketing Olympics and where to focus their athletic prowess.

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Ensuring you optimize search across all channels (text, images, video, social, local) and then tracking your blended rank for all your keywords keeps you ahead of the field and at the front of the race.

Here are a few tips to add to your Olympic training program.

  1. Track Events: Track the blended rank for your pages among all types of results by identifying individual and blended rank results including text, images, video, shopping and news, among others.
  2. Competition Field: Track your competition’s activity, rankings, and blended ranking for all your keywords; identify competitive trends in blended rank and ensure your individual rank on certain results are improved – this in turn helps blended rank and your view of the competitive field so you stay a ahead of the pack.
  3. Fuel and Equipment: Content is the fuel the starts your Olympics, keeps you going, and drives you over the finishing line. Creating compelling content across text, images, video, social and local channels (aka Panda) is your key to performance success. Not taking performance-enhancing medication (a.k.a. Penguin) keeps you in the competition. Your content is your new Olympic torch.
  4. Performance: Look at and correlate social media activity such as likes, shares, tweets and plus ones and measure the impact on rank with blended rank. Turn into a holistic performer – a Decathlete like Ashton Eaton or a Daley Thomson (UK folks). Manage search and social media campaigns in alignment with all your other search tracks to ensure a positive impact on traffic, revenue and results dependent upon searcher behavior, phrases and your corresponding keywords under management.

Last year Mirametrix worked with SEOMOZ on an eye-tracking project that really gives you a flavor as to how and why blended rank is so important – especially when you look at different search queries, SERP results, type and where the consumer is looking.

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Conclusion

The effects and results of change in the search marketing industry are always reflected in the SERPs. Today’s search athlete is focused not just on winning individual events; they want many medals across many areas. It’s not just about winning at the events it is also how you fare in the overall rankings.

The Search Marketing Olympian wants to be part of a team that dominates positions, in all events, with a combination of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. This can be across a number of different types of search results, based on specific queries based on consumer behavior.

Optimizing across all search marketing disciplines and measuring blended rank helps you do just that.


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