Search Engine Optimization – Toprank’s CEO shares tips and Tricks
Search Engine Optimization are words that I hear all the time. I’ve been meaning to brush up on my SEO knowledge, and was thrilled to have the opportunity to interview Lee Odden, CEO of Toprank Online Marketing. Lee will be on a panel at the Search Engine Strategies Conference in Toronto on June 16-18.
I’ll be liveblogging Lee’s panel, it’s called “Twitter: Ultimate Time Waster, or Great Tool?” My answer: a little bit of both.
1) The social media space is becoming quite saturated as companies begin to introduce social networking platforms and corporate blogs. How does the increase of activity in this space affect someone’s online strategy?
I suppose you could watch them all battle it out and go with whoever’s left standing after the web 2.0 bubble pops. But by the time that happens, many of the real opportunities may have run their course.
At first glance, the array of options can be very intimidating to a company that wants to get into the social media space as a way to grow brand awareness and revenue.
The important first step is to get involved as a participant and work to understand the way social communities and blogs work from a user perspective. Competitive and market opportunity research with social media monitoring tools can help companies decide which channels and social applications are good starting points as well as attending conferences where case studies are presented.
Once a company’s social media strategy gains momentum, it’s important to continue to allocate resources to exploring evolving applications, communities and channels in order to stay on top of the next Facebook, Twitter or Google. Outside of transparency and authenticity, clear goals, relevant expectations, patience, accountability for implementation and a focus on metrics are essential for long term social media marketing success.
2) What are a few things that someone could implement right now to up their blog traffic/views?
Blogging and Twittering drunk or mad works pretty well I hear but it’s not so good for brand building. 🙂
To improve traffic, create unique, compelling and useful content. Then promote it to audiences that care and are empowered to pass it on. Recognize and reward those that extend your message and drive the most traffic. With Twitter, be a consistent source of high quality resources and insight.
3) What are some upcoming trends in SEO/SES that you’ve been seeing?
Tactical SEO isn’t going to give much competitive advantage after technical and textbook optimization issues are solved. Smart and creative marketing combined with an understanding of search technology/information retrieval are great, but a holistic online marketing approach is what companies with budgets are looking for.
Search marketing is a strategic decision, not tactical and corporations are finally realizing that. Bringing SEO/SEM in house is a smart move for most mid-large sized organizations but those same companies are retaining online marketing agencies (like TopRank) for strategic direction and training as well as on-demand implementation.
I see search marketing getting much more competitive and the SEO we’ve all known for years will continue to diminish in effectiveness as online consumer behaviors change and other marketing channels/tactics emerge.
4) What are some of your views on Twitter?
When Twitter works, it’s great (but mostly via 3rd party applications). When Twitter doesn’t work, it sucks. Persistent infrastructure and/or scalability issues will eventually solve Twitter’s uptime issues because soon they may not have enough of a user base to cause the overload. I do hope they fix their situation though and soon.
5) What do you think the future of social media will be?
Where’s that damn crystal ball widget when you need it?
The freemium model so many social media applications are focused on is all warm and fuzzy but it’s really tough to see a payout for most of them. “Free” and functionality attracts a large social media user base but without a profitable business model it’s a bit of a crapshoot to expect some larger company that is better suited to monetize a community to show up in its shining armor and make the acquisition or investment.
Companies should be smart about not putting all their eggs in one basket when it comes strategic social media decisions. Certain core components of social media (networking, sharing content) will never go away in my opinion. However, I can’t see the mass rush to create social applications for everything under the sun resulting in anything other than a “pop” ala “dot com bubble” when there’s millions of users but no money to keep the servers up.
6) Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I think Kevin Ryan should do the right thing and grow long hair and a goatee as I have done. Nothing says manly man more (or is it midlife crisis?) than that. Well, besides a shiny red Ferrari.
You can read Toprank’s blog here. It includes conference coverage, interviews, seo blog reviews, tips and plenty of social media goodness.