First up was Greg Jarboe from SEO-PR, he said the title of this session should be renamed to Balancing paid, organic, news, blog/feed, shopping and local listings. He asked the audience how many people are doing the optimization of the above, in that order listed above and less and less people rose their hands as he went down the list. 82% spent on paid placement but 25% of links chosen are sponsored, only 12% go to SEOs (organic). There is new research out that says that 25% of the people would click on paid listings, 69% would click on organic and 6% click on the other listings (news/local/pictues/etc). So why is 82% of the money going to 25% of the clicks? "Who seeks what in which channel from whom with what effects?" Who is doing the searching? What are they looking for? Whom are they looking for? And then what are the effects? WHO: Both the public & media use search engines to find information. 98% of journalists go online daily (92% for article research, 81% to do searching, 76% to find new sources/experts and 73% to find press releases). WHAT: Popular queries on Google vary from top Google News queries. "John Kerry" was not a big search at Google, but a huge search at Google News. Yahoo! news and Google News are the top search engines out there. WHOM: Eye tracking study found "golden triangle" above the fold, he showed Enqurio's tests released at SES NYC 05. EFFECTS: All of this is measurable, keywords, rankings, clicks, and conversion. SEMPO # out of 1,800 stories for keyword search engine marketing, in Google News. BTI blog ranks #3 out of 7,790,000 listings for small business voip. Verizon SuperPages.com release generated 3,229 clicks on one link, they tracked then conversions, and the ROI. Southwest Airlines sold $1.5 million in tickets with four press releases.
Jim Hedger at StepForth was next up, he said he is far more used to writing to you then speaking to you. There are free and paid listings. Organic listings is free for the taking. Jim brings up a Google snap shot of the result "search engine placement", I believe his site was number 4 in the organic, but he did not point it out. When you are looking at a result page that only list 10 results, you need to get your name out there, in the 10. Repetition is the key to success, advertising is about imprinting ideas. Even if a user doesn't click on your ad, if they see it, it will most likely be imprinted in your mind. You must understand where your ads will be placed (networks, content networks, gmail, etc.).
Mitch Joel, who I met in the speaker room, from Twist Image was next up. He said, he remember pre Google, and be progressed but nothing has changed much. He said, the reality is that we are overloaded (ads all over the place). He said there are too many choices. He said, we are all in a race to be #1 but they keep moving the finish line. He believes the church and state concept. Content is content, ads are ads. He said you need to create compelling content. Organic content; create content to a very specific landing page. Paid content; and same with paid. He said, if you give the user any other option then buying, then you give them an excuse not to buy. Always lead them to buy. What are there words; the types of people you market to. So how can you create this balance? Create ISO Standards for SEO. Know your basics (domain names, linking, and so on). He put up a picture of a little girl and a huge fat naked fat guy (i think I saw that fat guy when searching in Ask Jeeves Pictures for "ugly fat man"). You can have a unique voice by using a blog. Mitch's slides are extremely visual, a very unique method of presenting at SES, good stuff.
Finally, Joe Laratro from MoreVisibility is up with case studies. First Case is a B2C company, that sold adjustable beds. The web site goal is to generate internal leads (not sell online). Their conversion is to sign up on the site. They were getting about 50 leads per day. They did natural, xml, and ppc SEM strategies. They had a 10k upfront consulting fee, 20k of maintenance over the year, 6k for xml traffic, 720k on ppc. 5% of the total budget (756k) went to organic and 95% went to organic. Case Study Two is a B2B company that sells group ticket sales, and the conversion is a request information form. They were getting 100 leads per day, and they implemented a the same approach as above. They have a 15k upfront consulting fee, 20k maintenance, $2,800 xml traffic, 14k ppc, total 52k. 72% went to Organic the rest Paid. The natural results had the best conversion rate in his case study. XML was producing twice the number of conversion compared to PPC. But paid brought in the volume. Special considerations of natural SEO; initial costs, programming/design costs and ongoing work. Paid inclusion (XML); flat rate cpc, content approved by yahoo editors, 30% - 40% better ROI on average of clients with tracking. PPC; management costs - personnel or software, click fraud, volume, fast to implement. He broke his clients into aggressive, standard and low margin or ultra conservatives. Aggressive - 70% of their budget is sponsored listings. Standard - 50% of their budget is sponsored listings. Low margin - 10% of their budget is sponsored listings. "% out of 7 clicks are in the natural results section" - Marckini.