While it's easy to get overwhelmed about going up against big businesses in marketing realms like search engine optimization, blogging, viral marketing, community building and analytics, a good dose of common sense can really level the playing field.
This panel which features Jennifer Laycock of Search Engine Guide
serving as moderator and speakers Matt Bailey of Site Logic Marketing
, Stoney deGeyter of Pole Position Marketing
and Matt McGee of
Small Business Search Marketing
aims to set the stage for the rest of the show by helping you change your perspective on competing with the big boys.
Matt McGee is up first and will discuss his SEO Success Pyramid. There are 15
blocks in the success pyramid. Rather than look at it block by block, Matt
suggest we look at it by levels.
The first block is devoted to commitment. Your team must be fully engaged and
devoted to executing your plan. The second block deals with planning. What are
your goals, what is needed to reach them? How will you determine success? These
are all questions you will need to be able to answer in your planning. The third
block deals with product/ service. Keep in mind that great search marketing
won't hide the fact that you have a lousy product and or service. The fourth
block is education. Having access to current, intelligent information is a must
in the constant-changing industry. The fifth block on the bottom level deals
with patience. Search marketing is a long term process. Overnight success is
extremely rare unless you happen to get on the Oprah show or something like it.
Moving on the the second level. Block one in second level is related to design
and usability. Providing a great user experience should be part of your
marketing plan. Second block here deals with keyword research. You need to know
and use the terms searchers are actually using. Third block is related to
analytics. Without good analytics, how are you supposed to know what is working
and what is not? Last block on second level deals with tools. Having the right
tools can give you an advantage over competitors.
First block on third level is crawlability. Bottom line is search engines cannot
rank pages they cannot find. Second block deals with content. Users want it,
search engines need it. Search marketing success demands it. Finally on third
level is links. These tell search engines how popular your content is. Keep in
mind that anchor text is key.
Moving on the the fourth level. First block is social/local findability. Engage
with your customers on local and social sites. Second block on fourth level
deals with reputation management. What others are saying about you online
matters a lot!
Finally, at the top of the heap is trust. Trust from users and search engines is
imperative for long terms success.
Here is a picture of the SEO Success Pyramid.
Next up is Matt Bailey. He will talk about what attendees to the conference will
get out of it. He points out that information on the Internet about SEO is not
completely credible. Any monkey can put something online so there is a lot of
mis-information online. That is why conferences such as SBMU are so beneficial.
Matt points out the simplicity of his 1964 Volkswagen Beetle compared to
professional race car builders who focus on very intrinsic details of things. A
lot of conferences are built around generating more traffic to web sites.
However Matt questions whether more traffic is always better. Maybe if you are a
portal that seeks the highest number of eyeballs possible. However, if you are a
business, qualified traffic is always better - quality over quantity.
Matt relates some of the improvements he has experience in SEO, usability and
analytics. He has in fact seens anywhere from 140% - 4000% with SEO, 180% - 400%
with usability and 900% - 1,200% with the use of analytics.
Finally in this opening keynote, Stoney deGeyter is up. He is going to talk
about "destination search marketing." The idea is to build a web site that will
become a premier destination for seekers. Obtaining this kind of exposure will
allow you to get more traffic and sales but even more important, repeat
customers and lots of word of mouth referrals. Don't be one in a million but
rather be one of a million.
Stoney advises us not to underestimate the power of good content. Good content
provides expert knowledge, opportunities to persuade and provide more pertinent
information to actually make a sale. Content has to be balanced so that good
info is provided without being overbearing on the user. Types of expert info
include sales and marketing copy but also non-marketing information such as
product comparisons, reviews, tutorials, helpful opinions, etc.
Stoney then talks about usability. Don't make people think when they visit your
site. Good usability helps ease the process of people navigating your sites.
Poor navigation, no call to action and confusing site layout all add to a bad
Along with usability, good web site design is crucial. Stoney jokes that you
want to at the very least make sure your site design is better than the worst.
The overall appearance of your site is going to reflect on you as a business.
What is the unique value your business offers? In other words, what makes your
business stand out from the others? You have to have a unique value proposition.
Find a niche, something you can do better, etc. to make yourself stand out among
your competitors. Keep in mind that low prices and good customer service are not
always good UVPs.
He talks about time and presence. You cannot become an authority overnight. That
is why time and presence is something that has to be worked on over time. Figure
out what your unique voice is. Create a unique personality and resonate with
your target audience. Be consistent with how you use your voice.
All these things will build trust and credibility. being a destination web site
is essential for long term success.
Note: These are raw notes taken while live-blogging sessions at the Small Business Marketing Unleashed
conference in Columbus, Ohio. Please excuse any spelling or grammar errors.
September 22, 2008
David Wallace is CEO and founder of SearchRank, an original search engine optimization and marketing firm based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is experienced in search engine optimization and marketing, pay per click and pay for inclusion management, directory submissions and web site design usability. David is a frequent contributor to various search engine related forums, an active editor of popular directories such as GoGuides.org, Joe Ant and Zeal and has had several articles published on industry related sites. Since 1997, David along with his company have helped hundreds of businesses both large and small increase their search engine visibility and customer acquisitions.