Jennifer Laycock kicks off the first Search Engine Guide's Unleashed Small Business Marketing Conference.  She gratefully thanks the sponsors as well as the audience for having a belief in SEG for coming and both attending and sponsoring the event.

Jennifer goes into where the industry has come from and where its going.  Have a little faith and do your marketing and let the industry catch up to you.  She introduces Matt McGee of Marchex.

Matt McGee

Matt has a great presentation - SEO Success Pyramid.  It's a big picture overview of an SEO marketing campaign and this is an overview of what will be presented over the next two days.  15 building blocks to this pyramid.  However you can't think of this pyramid as a block by block process, level by level approach.

Foundational Elements:
these have nothing to do about your website.

  1. Commitment:  Your team must be fully engaged & devoted to executing your plan.  Anyone that is involved or has some vested interest needs to on board.
  2. Planning:  You need to define your goals and what is needed to reach these goals.  How do you determine what will be your success.  Are there resources you are going to need?
  3. Product/Service:  Great search marketing won't hide the fact that you have a lousy product or service.  Understanding what your unique value proposition is vital to your online success.
  4. Education:  Having access to current , intelligent information is a "must" in this ever-changing industry of search marketing.  You need to stay on top of what's going on and what is the latest best practices are.
  5. Patience:  Search marketing is not a quick process, it is a long term process.  It takes time.  Overnight success is an extremely rare event.  You will eventually get there if you are doing things right
First Steps
these are what you need to make sure you are doing when you first start out in online marketing.
  1. Design/ Usability:  Make sure you have this taken care of.  Your site needs be easy to navigate, needs to be crawlable by the spiders the search engines send out.  This is something vital for a site.  Your best bet is to have a web site that's attractive and easy to use. Get out of your customers' way and let them do what they came to your site to do.
  2. Keyword Research:  You need to know and use the terms searchers use.  Keyword research enables you find out what searches are using to find the information they are searching for.
  3. Analytics:  It is how you determine your success or failure.  Without analytics, how will you know what's working and what's not?  Needs to be in place from the start.
  4. Tools:  the right tools can give you an advantage over your competitors. 

Nuts & Bolts Level

  1. Crawlability:  search engines can't rank pages that they can't crawl.  Flash or image heavy graphics aren't crawlable by the search engines.
  2. Content:  Users want it.  Search engines need it.  Search marketing success demands it.  It can mean a lot of things:  blogs, how to manauals, pdf's, page content, etc.
  3. Links:  Links tell search engines how popular your content is.  Anchor text is key.  The more quality links into your site with great anchor text is what is important.

Reaching Out

  1. Social / Local Findability:  Engage with your customers on a local & social sites.  SEO is a passive thing, this area is about not waiting.  It's about being aggressive and get out there and find your customers where they are and engage with them where they are.
  2. Reputation Management:  What others are saying about you maters.  A LOT!  Blog posts matter and rank. 

Sides of the Pyramid:

1.       Buzz / Word-of-Mouth Marketing:  It's how small businesses really rely on this.  Allow your customers to be the evangelists.

2.       Community: The community is also key to your success, they help you to promote your business.

Top of Pyramid (What's it's about):

  1. Trust:  Trust from users & search engines is imperative for long term success.

Wendy Piersall

Balance of Marketing vs. Actually Doing Business

Three years ago she started a hobby blog to document her startup.  But three months later it became hugely partner.  You need to decide what to invest in.  Marketing and takes time as well.

If you really believe in yourself, take the next step.  Make sure you take those next to promote yourself.  Don't be afraid to really step out of your comfort zone as this could me a great deal to the success of your business.

This stuff isn't easy but you are doing it because you love it, let that propels you.  The little things really do make a difference.  Sometimes you don't know which ones which ones will make a difference or not.  Sometimes its just an email, just something small - so just go for it.

Matt Bailey

Website Marketing is mostly about three things:

  1. Search Engine Optimization
  2. Analytics
  3. Usability


Small businesses find a lot of "crap" out there.  You really need to look at when the articles are written.  It's so "1990's" and caveman technology.  If you are reading stuff from pre-2000 it's dated, this content isn't really going to help you.

A lot of sites out there specialize in advanced SEO site.  These sites will drive small business owners insane.  Articles in advanced conferences are geared for the "NASCAR experts" of the industry.  The information the small business needs is a lot different than the information an expert needs.

Pharma, Porn and Casinos are what a lot of these advanced articles are written for - because they are the most competitive industries in the search marketing industry.  Small business owners, don't have to focus as much on these types of details. 

Look at the Return on Investment.  Are you doing the fundamentals of SEO and understanding how linking works.  SEO has a fantastic ROI just by doing the basics.  Analytics ROI can give you 900-1200% ROI. 

Usability is as easy as getting as your mom to use your website.  Just get someone who will be honest with you about how to use your website.  Get people to your site, get them to do what you want them to do.  You need to make it easy to get them to do what you want to do.

According to Jacob Neilson:  "Following a usability redesign, websites,  there was an increase  in desired metrics by 300%."  "Recession proofing your website" - Make sure your website is usable.

That wraps up the opening session of the Unleashed  Small Business Marketing conference.     

April 21, 2008

Liana "Li" Evans is the director of internet marketing at KeyRelevance Search Engine Marketing. She oversees all social media, online PR and word-of-mouth marketing efforts for a variety of clients within the company’s portfolio. Li also collaborates with the team on all SEO (Natural Search) optimization for clients. Since 1999 Liana has been active in the search marketing arena, becoming well versed in all avenues of search marketing but with particular focus on natural search, image search, and social media. She also has substantial experience in areas of the retail industry regulated by the FTC. Prior to Li’s tenure at KeyRelevance Search Engine Marketing, she helped to design, plan, and implement an Internet Retailer 500 company’s efforts into natural search optimization, successfully revamping outdated navigation and site architecture. Li is an accomplished programmer and database programmer/designer familiar with the demands of large-scale, dynamic retail sites.

Liana holds a B.A. in Information Systems with a minor in Public Relations from Susquehanna University, and an Associates Degree in Mass Communications/Public Relations from Pennsylvania College of Technology. She currently lives in the Philadelphia suburb of Limerick, PA and runs the search marketing blog Search Marketing Gurus.


Nice work Li!

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Search Engine Guide > Liana Evans > Unleashed Opening Session: A Common Sense Approach to Online Marketing (Live Blogging)