William Flaiz bids farewell to Search Engine Watch by revisiting some of the hottest topics in search marketing agencies from the past 18 months.
Articles by William Flaiz
Your landing page is the first impression by which search engines and users alike will judge your site. And when a searcher first lands on your Web site, you have but mere seconds to establish credibility. Web sites must rise to the occasion and create landing pages that rank for important keywords while engaging the reader.
Are we heading toward an age where site ranking doesn't matter? By incorporating searcher behavior into their algorithms, search engines are no longer serving the same results to everyone.
Time to ring in the New Year with a few search marketing predictions for 2009. What will another year hold for Google, the Web and SEO?
The holiday season is a time for both celebration and quiet reflection. After the roller coaster of a year SEO has had, there's room for a little of both. Before we take a look at what's coming down the line next year, let's take a moment to review Bill's predictions for 2008.
Variety in the search results gives online marketers multiple opportunities to rank and gain new listing visibility. But how does the user feel? As new listing types begin appearing in results, we often lose sight of whether these listings are really helpful to the user.
Even after you've won the client's business and run a successful program, you still have to show the client what you did for their money. Communicating the value your search program provided is not to be taken lightly. It could mean the difference between a renewal and a one-off client project.
When the ancient Romans tried to defend themselves from Hannibal's war elephants, they learned that they needed to throw away their old ideas about war and learn to work together. If universal search is the search marketer's war elephant, we must realize that focusing all efforts in harmony is the only way to properly address the challenges it presents.
As SERP listings and functionality changes, there are still two types of listings that have weathered the storm and are still attainable for marketers: traditional organic listings and paid search listings. By making sure your site stays above the fold in these two outlets, you can maximize your controllable visibility.
Marketing has grown fairly sophisticated over the decades, and it would be foolish to view search as anything more than a component of a much more comprehensive marketing plan. Gone are the days of thinking that our only job is to drive customers to a Web site. Examine the entire marketing funnel, not just the search component, to maximize your marketing dollars.
Video listings cause us to reexamine the way we've traditionally viewed search engines, and this is simply part of the natural progression. After all, it wasn't too long ago when universal search rocked the world of SEO or social media changed how we use the Web.
Think of link building as running for president of your SERPs. The candidate is your Web site, and you need all the support you can muster to get there. The right connections can provide the bump you need, and the wrong connections can prove calamitous.
Some marketers are looking for a secret, step-by-step recipe to SEO success. But while a general framework is necessary to be effective, the search engine optimization process must be adaptable. Here are some tips for guiding you down the path to SEO success.
We've seen a natural progression from back rooms to boardrooms -- from the basement to the mainstream. SEO has not simply shed its dubious roots; it has become a legitimate, reputable component of a proper client marketing mix.
Local search is showing up in your Web browser, at your desk, on your phone, and on your GPS devices -- and these are just the easy examples. The number of devices and locations for local search will continue to grow as more things become connected to the Internet.
The imprecise nature of SEO can put clients on edge. A reliable traffic prediction metric is truly the Holy Grail for search marketers. Even an educated guess correlating stronger ranking and optimization to improved traffic would put the client at ease, and also add some legitimacy to what we do.
Search marketing business strategists live for the thrill of the pitch. And with a slew of services that can confuse even the savviest client, they have their work cut out for them. It takes a shrewd intellect and steady hand to deliver the knockout pitch that makes the client wonder how they ever got along without your firm.
It's hard to believe that some marketers will measure success by the improvement of a popular keyword. High search frequency does not necessarily denote a great keyword, and ranking for a popular term does not a successful campaign make. While search positions give project managers a nice, clean number to report to their CEO, there's more to SEO than just ranking for ego terms.
Taking on a large search engine optimization client can be a daunting proposition. But it's simple, when you break it down: first, give them what they need; then give them what they want. Finally, give them what they don't yet know they need.
In the complex world of online marketing, you will likely be asked to run several digital programs at any given time. While getting these programs off the ground can be an achievement in itself, the real challenge is campaign optimization. How do you keep track of what is working? In which channels should you invest further, and in which should you pull the plug?