Danny Sullivan gives his Introduction To Search Engine Marketing presentation. Since I am new to SEM, I thought I would cover it. ;-) So Vanessa Fox and I are sitting here, hoping Danny will teach us something new about SEM.
The session overview goes over ways to get listed in search engines, Search engine PR, search ads and SEM. He shows a Google free listing (the natural, free, organic listings) and now shows paid listings. He then shows Google local listings, and then shows Google maps both paid and free Google listings.
Everyone wants to be number one. But what is number one, Danny asks. Is number one the news box or the local box or the free natural listing? Here comes vertical results and we have universal results.
Danny then says that vertical search is a horrible name. And explains what is it...
But let's start with Web Search...
Danny said it is not a bad thing to influence the search engine listings, but you need to do it appropriately. If you want to be number one, guaranteed, you need to buy an ad.
Danny then shows some basics to keyword research, using overture and other tools such as Google's keyword suggestion tool. But you also need to leverage your content. People will do searches that you simply never anticipate. You can't guess every keyword, so utilize that "long tail." People do a lot of searches and purchased for the popular thing, but then people search for more specific things and those add up. Danny then explains the "pyramid" by Inceptor. Where people are specific and they come in from the bottom of the pyramid (more specific) as opposed to coming to your home page and then branching down. People do go to your home page but those coming from bottom up, you need to make sure to cater to those users.
Now Crawlers, they are really bored so they follow all these links on the web. They make copies of those pages, and store them in an index. A big book of the web. He explains how when someone does a search, the search engine will return results for those keywords. But then need to rank those matches, so it makes it good for the searcher.
Ranking Pages: - Page content is crucial - Title is important - Design issues have an impact - Link analysis plays an important role - Other off the page criteria may be considered, such as the age of a site, click through and the "neighborhood."
Submitting to Crawlers: - Crawlers should find some pages naturally - They are especially likely to get pages with many or important links pointing at them - They pick up pages based on importance - You can submit pages via forms and also Sitemaps protocol
What Should You Submit? - Home page and key sections of your site - Deep submit, use Sitemaps (see Sitemaps.org)
Yahoo Slurp Crawler - Works like Google but they also have paid inclusion - Paid inclusion guarantees pages will be spidered - Only Yahoo still does it - You pay a cost per click fee - No guarantee your listing will rank well - But it guarantees your pages will be indexed - He sums it up to a paid inclusion lottery (makes your chances a bit better?) - It is called Yahoo Search Submit
Content: - Look at each page of your site and make sure those words are relevant to those pages - Try searching on your own web site on your own engine and try to see if it works - Remember graphics are not text - Be creative with CSS - Expand search terms into more detailed pages (shoes -> running shoes -> blue running shoes, etc.) - He then shows examples, specifically with Nike, but shows how it didnt rank well in search engines back in the day because it was in flash. - Title tags must be unique for that page - Meta tags, yahoo uses meta keywords tag, Ask.com uses it unofficially, if you are a beginner, just skip the tag - Description tag is used, sometimes, be honest, don't mislead, sell your site, target terms and about 200-250 characters. - Sometimes they may used the Open Directory Project (he showed faults with that) - You can use the NOODP tag to stop them from using that
Blocking Spiders - Use meta robots tag - robots.txt file - meta tag revisit don't use it
- Dont use frames - Flash
Everyone is using a search engine so consider it your third browser you need to design for. Search engines see web sites differently than humans do.
He compares Zappos and Nike for searches on "shoes."
Leveraging Links: - More difficult for web site owners to manipulate links than their own pages - So link analysis a great advance in relevancy of crawler based listings - Major component of Google, also used by nearly everyone else, to some degree - Get out there and link build
Link Quality: - Its more than the number of links - It is also about quality - A few links from quality links may be better - The context of links is important - Text near links is also important - A good example is the Miserable Failure search
Link Building: - How do you find important pages? How do you get them to link to you? - Take your top search terms, search on them, get links from those pages, people will visit those pages, search engines think those pages are important, those non-competitive with you are more likely to link to you
Danny then explains PageRank, where it is from, where you see it, why people buy it, why you shouldn't worry about it. - Get links from web pages that are read by the audience you want - But links if visitors that come solely from the link itself will justify the cost - Link to sites because you want your visitors to know about them
The nofollow attribute is an attribute you can apply to your links that you do not want to vouch for.
Directory Listings: - Directories are human - Danny shows Yahoo Directory - The Google directory is from the ODP - When submitting to directories, make your title factual, etc.
Search Engine Advertising - In the real world, people have a mixture of ads and natural listings - Generally a CPC basis - Success depends on your ad mostly - Buy Google and Yahoo and your on a network of site - There is quality scores at Yahoo and Google, etc. - Rank of paid ad is CTR and CPC - Google, Yahoo, Live, Ask, Miva etc
Danny shows some search share stats, see more at SearchEngineLand.com.