How to Optimize for Search and Engage the Community

Aug 11, 2009 - 1:30 pm 0 by

Below is live coverage of the How to Optimize for Search and Engage the Community from the SES San Jose 2009 conference.

This coverage is provided by Patty Adams of Vertical Measures and Barry Schwartz of the Search Engine Roundtable.

We are using a live blogging tool to provide the real time coverage. You can interact with us and while we are live blogging, so feel free to ask us questions as we blog. We will publish the archive below after the session is completed.

How to Optimize for Search and Engage the Community(08/11/2009) 
10:15 PattyAdams:  

Presentation by:

Greg Jarboe, President & Co-Founder, SEO-PR

Summary of presentation: Why do most people start with Google when they search for information, but they look to YouTube when they search for entertainment? Why should search engine marketers, YouTube directors and entrepreneurs create unique, relevant content that can quickly gain popularity in the Internet community? Greg Jarboe, president of SEO-PR and author of "YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour A Day," will tackle these thought-provoking questions in this featured presentation.

10:36 PattyAdams:  Starting off by asking about the audience, who is here and why? Blog post? Press release? Twitter? How did the rest find out about SES? This session in particular? Did you Google it? Word of mouth?

Typically a presentation like this would offer up case studies as "stories" and this session will have them as well.
10:37 PattyAdams:  July 1, 2009 is the first story. Is there a link between search and social? See for yourself.
10:38 PattyAdams:  Social media was thought at first to be a new source of links for many SEOs and it did work, briefly. If it's your only motivation, it's not enough.
10:39 PattyAdams:  There's a whole other side to social media. Once you learn how search and social work together, they learn this: it's not about the technology.
10:39 PattyAdams:  The technology will year. Instead, focus on the people using the technology. Learn from them. Watch them.
10:40 PattyAdams:  Back to the story from July 1, 2009:
10:40 PattyAdams:  NACA , the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America was a community advocate.
10:42 PattyAdams:  125,000 attended NACA's first Save the Dreams events.
10:43 PattyAdams:  Through thier efforts, they protested predatory lending practices and encouraged people to speak out against these practices.
10:45 PattyAdams:  They are now on thier 4th city of a 10 city tour, with 125,000 participants so far. People weren't supposed to be able to find out about the event through SEO but it did.
10:46 PattyAdams:  When looking at a connection between search and social media, this helped illustrate how and why there is.
10:47 PattyAdams:  Here's how it works: an opinion leader (congressman, paster, social leader, anyone). They search for information, conduct searches. Then the second part: some of the people conducting the searches turn around and share the info they found with others, setting them apart. They share the info in a different medium then the typical search engine: blog, Twitter, Facebook.
10:48 PattyAdams:  The connector is not the technology. Who seeks what in what channel? Who shares the info with who and in what effect? Figure that out (a 9 step process) and you can connect search and social.
10:50 PattyAdams:  So back to the case study above: they started by optimizing a press release. They included an embedded YouTube video and photo. They optimized for relevant search terms. They goal was to use a term for the target audience only. The releases got 1.4B impressions for the releases. What is an impression worth?
10:51 PattyAdams:  17,000 people clicked through to read the release. After 17,000 read the press release, then what happened? Among the people that read the release was one who shared the information: journalists. They in turn wrote for the Plain Dealer publication in Cleveland.
10:52 PattyAdams:  In Chicago, a similar thing happened with The Chicago Tribune. They responded to the news and shared the news with others. St. Louis, the Post Dispatch did the same thing.
10:52 PattyAdams:  The information was found, and then it was shared.
10:54 PattyAdams:  The video embedded in the press release told a story about people restructuring their mortgage. How it impacted them. It shared a personal story. It helped. In YouTube, you can actually measure the video. For this one, it did well; 5 times the usually view.
10:55 PattyAdams:  A local video station in Clevelend embedded part of the video in their evening news story. Similar thing happened in Chicago. on ABC7. Fox did it in St. Louis. It wasn't about alot of people seeing the video, it was about the right people seeing it.
10:55 PattyAdams:  It's more than just getting the information, it's doing something with it.
10:56 PattyAdams:  One congresswoman's campaigned picked up on the event and promoted it. She uploaded the video on her own YouTube channel. This is a person deciding to play the role of opinion leader. In the process, she turned information into influence.
10:57 PattyAdams:  It happened in Chicago too. And St. Louis.
10:57 PattyAdams:  People stepped forward to play an unusual role. They got involved.
10:58 PattyAdams:  483 posts went up from July1 to August 5th about this event. 13 were mainstream news; others were Tweets.
10:58 PattyAdams:  The story was shared 236 times with 28,384,537 unique visitors.
10:59 PattyAdams:  Twitter along shared NACA's story 234 times with over 690,000 followers.
10:59 PattyAdams:  This unlocks the puzzle: people weren't just chatting. They were putting their influence onto the story. Telling people to read it. Telling people to react.
11:01 PattyAdams:  How'd it happen? The events were structured for 4 days. Word of mouth spread the news. Now it's in Atlanta. No local politician is lending their name this time: what will happen? The lack of turnout is likely due to the lack of an opinion leader.
11:02 PattyAdams:  Save the Dream Tour is shaped by support form local political leaders.
11:03 PattyAdams:  It's not the technology. It's not the story. Mortage restructuring is everywhere. It's recruiting the opinion leader.

So how does this effect us?
11:04 PattyAdams:  Optimize videos going out. Press releases too. That will get you measurable progress. But if you want it to go viral, connect to a bigger audience, make it worth telling. Make it matter. Find someone who thinks it matters and will share their influence.
11:05 PattyAdams:  To the extent that you can get involved in something bigger, and be prepared for opinion leaders to step in and get involved. Make the story worth retelling. Make a compelling story. Searchers will find it if you optimize it; opinion leaders will make it viral. Opinion leaders will make it social.
11:06 PattyAdams:  Search: people will find it and buy it. If you find something larger, they will find it, buy it, and tell others. They'll champion it. They'll blog about it. They'll make it social.
11:07 PattyAdams:  His book, YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day speaks to this.
11:08 PattyAdams:  With the Obama campaign, YouTubers took on his cause. You'll find thousands of friends and subscribers. People did more than search and found. They did something with it. They shared. They commented. What motivated that behavior? It wasn't the technology. It was the people.
11:09 PattyAdams:  (Q&A)....
11:20 PattyAdams:  Could it be that in some cases, the timing contributed to the NACA results? Perhaps. Would it have happened differently if the timing wasn't idea for (in this case) mortgage structuring. Possibly, but the effect was still as a result of opinion leaders finding information and doing something with it.

How could you leverage this idea with an every day service? A plumber? In a lot of local business cases, the local person becomes actively involved in the community; it benefits them. Getting involved in the community pays off. Getting your contact information can be found; getting involved in the community will get you talked about.

By the way, Google is the #1 search engine; YouTube is the #2 "search engine". How does YouTube work? What they built into their system was to not just find a video (search) but you could share it (social); that's what made it so big. They harvested that community, social aspect. They created opinion-makers platform. There are real marketing advantages to figuring that out.

In closing, go beyond optimizing search and find a way to engage the community.



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