Search industry experts weigh in with search predictions for 2010 to attain higher ranking and greater visibility for your business
One of the top questions facing marketers, entrepreneurs and web masters today is what specific strategies to watch out for to increase website traffic, conversions and relevancy when people search for their products or services online.
Here we’ve put together a list of leading industry experts offering their predictions on which areas of search you should be concentrating on in 2010 and why. Whether you’re a small business owner or managing the account of a Fortune 500 company, being aware of search predictions for the year will help you stay ahead of the curve, capitalize on major developing trends and tweak your business model accordingly for optimal results.
Introduction – the Current State of the Search Industry
Although the search industry has been around since 1993 when the world’s first web search engine was launched, it has exploded in growth only in the last decade or so.
Some facts to showcase important developing trends in the search industry:
- According to Pew Internet searching for information online is the second most popular online activity for the past 10 years; second only to email
- comScore says that over 25 billion search queries are generated monthly in North America alone with the bulk of the North American searches (63.0%) being handled by Google.
- Google remains the number one search engine of choice across the world.
- YouTube is now the second largest search engine in the US, usurping Yahoo’s place.
- Facebook services over one billion queries each month for its 400 million users worldwide.
- Over 50% of online users research a product or service online before deciding to buy it offline.
- Social networking accounts for 11% of time spent online by US users, making it one of the most engaging activities on the net.
- According to Nielsen, almost 50 million US mobile subscribers use their mobile phone to access the web each month.
- Some new categories that have been added to web search in recent times are real time search, mobile search and local search.
- The hunt for the best location-specific search is heating up, with the main contenders being Foursquare, Yelp, Facebook (in conjunction with EventBrite), Gowalla, Twitter and Booyah.
- On-page SEO factors like site speed will be incorporated into Google’s search strategy.
- Forrester Research estimates that 60% of American marketers will increase their online budgets by pulling money from traditional marketing expenses.
- Econsultancy and ExactTarget say that 24% of all marketing will be digital with 28% of firms shifting (not adding) budgets from traditional to online channels; of these 64% will increase SEO budgets, 51% will increase SEM budgets, and 70% will increase social media marketing budgets.
- E-Marketer, a digital marketing research firm, predicts that the search industry will grow exponentially in the areas of digital marketing and social media marketing in 2010 and beyond.
Rand Fishkin – SEO Moz, CEO & Founder
Rand Fishkin is the CEO & Co-Founder of SEOmoz, a leader in the field of search engine optimization tools, resources & community.
Matt Cutts – Google, Head of Webspam
Matt Cutts is Google’s go-to guy for the public. He joined Google in January 2000 and is currently heading the Google Webspam team which handles search quality.
Aaron Wall – SEO Book
Aaron Wall is the CEO of SEOBook, a site that ranks #1 for the term “SEO training”. He is an expert search marketer offering tips, tools and strategies via his blog and training program.
Jill Whalen – High Rankings, CEO and Founder
Jill Whalen started her career in search in 1990 and founded High Rankings, a SEO firm, in 1995.
Danny Sullivan – Search Engine Land, Founder
Danny Sulivan is the editor-in-chief of Search Engine Land, a respected online website giving some of the best and most in-depth coverage of the search engine industry.
Steve Ballmer – Microsoft, CEO
Steve Ballmer has been Microsoft’s CEO since 2000. In 2009, he made his first ever CES (Consumer Electronics Show) keynote address since the departure of Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates.
Eric Schmidt – Google, CEO
Eric Schmidt joined Google as its CEO in 2001. Recruited by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Eric has helped turn Google into a global company.
Marissa Mayer – Google, VP of Search and User Experience
Marissa Mayer is currently the Vice President of Search Product and User Experience at Google. She often speaks on behalf of the company, appearing in video interviews for the press.
Jeff Walters – Strategy Outfitters
Jeff Walters is a consultant at Strategy Outfitters and co-founder of two marketing firms, Clicksquared and Targetbase. His specialty is internet marketing and he advises businesses in brand building and marketing techniques.
Shashi Seth – Yahoo, Search Products
Shashi Seth has worked for several companies, working at AOL, eBay and Google before being appointed Sr. VP, Search Products at Yahoo.
Posted by Start Local Team
Category Online Marketing
The Definitive List of 127 (mostly) Free SEO, Branding & Online Marketing Tips That Show You How to Quickly and Easily Boost Your Daily Visitor Count
Here’s the list of 127 tips. If you’ve got some great tips that aren’t here, feel free to add them into the comments!
The tips are broken up into:
- Article Marketing for SEO/SEM
- Blogging and SEO
- E-Mail Marketing for SEO/SEM/Sales
- More Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Webpage
- Get Your Audience Involved
- Social Media/Bookmarking/Internet Profiles
- Building Trust and Developing Credibility
- Branding and SEO
- Powerful SEO Tips and Tactics
- Site Design and Functionality
- Website Content and Sales
Article Marketing for SEO/SEM
1.Start article marketing: The word is out! If you want traffic, you must be article marketing. Place articles on article sites, (and every other legitimate website that will allow you to post an article with anchor text linking back to your website.) This is all the rage in gaining desirable placement in organic search results. Some article sites only allow anchor text links in the bio box below your article while others allow you to place your keyword anchor text in the article content (much better.) 15 exceptionally popular article sites we recommend submitting to include:
Most of these sites allow anchor text either in the articles or bio boxes (check their rules).
2.Make effective use of article site bio or resource boxes: Many article posting sites have bio boxes. These are sometimes the only area in which you can inject anchor text and links. Many marketers only place a brief bio about themselves with a link to their website. Check and see how the bio or resource box appears on posted articles. Many times the box is not separated from the article and can look like the last paragraph of the article, as is the case on ezinearticles. If this is the case you can include the last paragraph of your article in the bio box and include your anchor text there. People have tendency to click on article anchor text far more than resource or bio box anchor text. This will increase the CTR (click through rate) of your articles. Note: If you do this, be sure your article will still meet minimum word count after you take away the last paragraph, as the text in the bio box usually does not count toward article word count.
3.Get quality articles: Cheap articles and poor content might get you a quick boost from the inbound links but in time, they will sink you. The search engines are only getting smarter as they scan content. Distribute only well written articles. There is a plethora of places you can find well written articles online. For instance you can use eLance or vWorker (formerly Rent a Coder) if you’d like people to bid for your work. These articles represent you and will be out there and visible for a long time as in “forever” so make sure they are of a quality you’re satisfied with.
4.You have to be consistent: Posting anchor text articles on websites once in awhile, works about as well as exercising only once in awhile. For an article marketing campaign to work, you need to be posting articles consistently. Every week is good and everyday is better. There are different ways to do this.
You’ve got the option of doing it all yourself. There is software out there that will help you (like Roboform and Unique Article Wizard) or websites that will do the submissions for you, such as Submit Your Article. Some of these options also help you modify the internal text of your article enough (without spamming) that it begins to get around the duplicate content penalties that Google imposes. Note that it *begins* to. You can count on Google getting smarter everyday and the best solution to that is to just distribute lots of really, really great articles.
Another option is to outsource the submission process on a project basis.
5.Repurpose your articles as fodder for social media sites: Use the content from your article-marketing campaign as posts on sites like Facebook and Twitter. You can use articles to create a “Tip of the Day” series, or post snippets from your articles to drive up your traffic on article marketing sites.
6.Post articles to as many quality article submission sites as possible: The key word here is quality, but if you want to get results from your article marketing campaign, you have to post to more than just one site. “Grade” article marketing sites based on the links they permit, their Alexa or Compete rank, the traffic they generate for your website, and their page rank. Any site that receives passing marks should be included in your campaign.
7.Write better headlines: The titles on your articles are the biggest factors in determining their popularity. Long titles that describe the benefits to the reader while incorporating target keywords work best. If you lack confidence in your ability to create killer headlines, take a cue from the pros. Study the most viewed articles in your target category and mimic the headlines used on these high-performing articles. The better the headline, the more they will get picked up, talked about and re-used.
8.Focus on one keyword or phrase: After you perform your keyword research, focus each of your web pages on one keyword or phrase. Your keyword or phrase should be in the page title and in the page content. The subject on the page should be relevant to the keyword. Then create articles with the keyword or phrase in the title, in the first paragraph of the article, and as the anchor text that links to your corresponding page. Although this is worth remembering, don’t sacrifice a really great title because you absolutely have to get a specific phrase into the title of the article. You’re better off having the keywords in there somewhere with a really great title.
9.Do a power keyword search: This free keyword search tool will generate all possible combinations of two separate lists of search phrases. Discover new phrases to promote your website. You can of course also use Google’s Keyword Tool. There is a great selection of both free and paid keyword and SEO research tools on Aaron Wall’s excellent blog, SEOBook.
10.Check the difficulty of keywords: This handy tool rates the estimated difficulty of ranking for any keyword or phrase. Additionally, you should be using your submitted articles to help you rank for long tail keywords. Sites like ezinearticles.com , goarticles.com and ehow.com rank almost effortlessly in google for long tail keywords due to their exceptional link popularity.
Posted by Start Local Team
Category Online Marketing
There is a lot of competition online. If you want to move a product, you need to attract people to your website. Even when you attract traffic, only a few customers will buy. The Internet game is all about numbers; traffic numbers and conversion rate numbers. Most every business owner with an online presence agrees with that. So why are so many companies working with the lowest single digit; one?
There are still millions of companies and website entrepreneurs selling a product or service with one website. As this business is all about numbers, companies have only a limited number of options. They can create more websites selling the same products and services, however that time consuming and expensive process can backfire. If you are selling anything on the Internet it’s time to increase the odds and take advantage of the numbers; think: affiliate marketing.
Posted by Start Local Team
Category Online Marketing
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