Apologies to readers as I came in late due to a scintillating conversation I had with Gary Price over lunch that ran-over. Speaking is Jeff Pruitt from iCrossing who is also the current president of SEMPO and a great guy. He is talking about Cyber Monday. Record 733M, up 21 % versus last year. Number of online buyers was up 38%, and 60+% were using work computers.
So is money really being left online? There needs to be a buy-in on the part of the client – communication has to be effective. He describes a travel client and how they had to map out the individuals involved in touching the website or marketing, and how to understand the objectives of each working group. For example, if it is a bank and they have seven different working groups around the “.com,” in many cases they are not communicating internally. External communication is also important – you need to know what the traditional agencies are doing for the client and how the interactive side can be involved (preaching to the choir here I find this to be so important and so often not pushed). For example if a travel client is saying “go ski whistler” in ads but not creating content online to support it, they are losing money. Worse off is that some competitors could be capitalizing on their offline ads.
Understanding the customer’s language by doing market research (keyword research), you will find examples of how people search may differ from your regular marketing copy or perceived important kws. They also want to create multiple entry points that are focused towards specific relevant searches being conducted – this makes the web site more usable to the visitors. You also have to integrate the search programs. he shows an example of how the overall traffic level rises when search programs are integrated.
Talks about blogging and how it can be integrated into the communication process. Create blogs, post content, and interact with others that are using blogs to find out information about your niche. Then he briefly discusses social bookmaking which can help to further promote the content in a viral manner. The recommends using RSS feeds to help get the word out as well.
Video search is popular, and it’s free. 74% of Broadband users download or watch online video. He recommends the use of view tracking technology like that available with TubeMogul, which is a submission company that pushes out the content to multiple video platforms, and then provides a great back end from a reporting standpoint. Connecting with networks is another important area to focus on in order not to leave money online. He has a Palm case study but will skip over for now. He suggests that there are tools to find networks that are discussing your product or brand online. This is important because if you know where they are talking about you can engage them and hopefully turn them into evangelists.
Kevin Heisler is the moderator of this panel, and he will lead some discussion. It looks as if I missed Duncan White from Oneupweb’s presentation so Duncan if you are reading this please feel free to add your notes to the comments or contact me directly and I will update this coverage.
Questions included what is your favorite keyword research tool? Duncan likes the “Oneupweb process,” which is the use of a variety of tools combined with industry experience to dictate what the focus will be. The key, according to Jeff, is how you crunch the data. He recommends a MSN tool “Ad Sage” that he feels is “really cool.”
How much time should ecommerce sites spend on the various activities that were recommended. Jeff sticks with what Duncan was saying that the basics are not even being utilized the best. For example, many of the retail sites are not using clean information architecture (paraphrased).
How do you segregate B2C from B2B, as it seems like most of the data coming out for retail are B2C? Duncan feels you run into a lot of the same pitfalls along the lines of they want to tell you how to talk about the product in an exact fashion without allowing for thre way people actually search for it. Number one, start off with a plan of all the things you will be doing. Don’t just start a blog – make sure it will be effective and actually host it on your own site, for example. All the principles really do hold the same for B2C as B2B.
Someone asks about keyword density and its importance. Duncan says that this depends on the particular search. SEO isn’t just one page at a time, and you should place the content in multiple areas of the site. Someone else follows up with the difficulty in marrying SEO writing with marketing verbiage and asks how to get around this. Duncan feels that SEO copywriting is an art and a science. Look at the page and figure out how to break it up and find ways to get more occurrences in headers and links for example.
***Note this is “live” unedited blog coverage of SES Chicago 2007. Some typos, grammatical errors, or incomplete thoughts may exist.