Balanced Search Strategy? A discussion on Paid Search with Organic Search

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Patricia Hursh of SmartSearch Corporation is our presenter, a veteran of search for nine years, I’m here at the Frost and Sullivan conference in Alexandria Virginia, a few miles from the White House. It was interesting to note that when I did a search for “smartsearch” a PPC ad came up, I clicked on it and it went to a unique homepage with a unique URL, they’re certainly practicing best practices.

[The ROI of doing both PPC and SEO in tandem is very high, a balanced Search Strategy uses both tactics]

Getting crawled and submitting to Search
What’s a great way for content to be found? Crawlers are effective, but the savvy web manager should be submitting their site map to Google webmaster. I did a review of these tools, when I covered Google Developer day. Properly optimized sites will get crawled, just a single link to you will help the process.

Link Building (aka linkbaiting)
Many vendors require their partners and customers to link to them, this can aid the overall effect. Engines look at over 50 different attributes to measure the quality of a link, so there’s a variety of factors.

A healthy organic search strategy is to create a process that encourages companies, partners, within their network.

Advanced strategies
Audience suggested that engines that see a lot of heavy linking from one server IP area may be frowned upon.

Also consider what content really belongs behind registration, by putting them behind a login they won’t be crawled.

Online and offline strategies? Case Study of Oprah mentioning a product on her show will result in large search queries the next day.

As you launch a product (or your competitor) there’s clever ways to drive traffic your way.

User Behavior on Google results
Drop off points, users are more likely to click on results that appear high in results. More results can be found from eye tracking
There’s a few major drop off points:

  • Below the fold of page one is a big drop of
  • Followed by page 2
  • After page 3 is virtually none
  • What do users click on?
    Within search results, in B2B user clicks were the following:

  • Organic 74%
  • Paid Ads 19%
  • Why do users prefer organic over paid? Specific content types and perhaps trust. We don’t have the numbers for B2C, but the numbers aren’t as dramatic. Others in the audience suggested that PPC outperforms their Organic.

    PPC vs SEO
    Factors in determining your resource allocation

    Type of Attribute: PPC vs SEO
    Budget: Media budget | SEO is not free, requires resources
    Speed to Market: Fast | SEO may take longer
    Control over message: Lots of control | Less control
    Flexibility: Strong | Less flexible
    Longevity: Depends on budget | Longer term
    Credibility: These may be co-dependent
    Branding: These may be co-dependent
    Competitive Market: Understanding how customers find your competitiors –leverage that to your benefit

    Lee has session notes, be sure to check those out.

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