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Friday, July 30, 2010

Where is search going and how can I jump on?

First off, hello again.  It has been a long while since I have done a post.  A full-time job will do that to ya.

Something that I have noticed as a theme in all the articles and forums and twitter posts that I read is that everyone wants to know where search marketing is going and how can I get on board.  Here is some quick advice I have for those that want to dive in:

Do your research!...Search engine marketing is multi-faceted and there things that work well for some sites and things that are detrimental if done incorrectly or not fully thought out.  Don't rush into it...know what you are getting into and plan for a loooonnnnngggg process that will fluctuate and morph into something completely different.

Seek out advice and share advice... A trend that I have noticed in the SEM industry is that aside from a few thought-leaders who are willing to expose every thought and tactic that they have there is a culture of "I don't want anyone else to know what I am doing"  I think this is BS, sure we all have our client secrets and methods but being tight-lipped about issues, problems, or successes should not be under lock and key.  I was recently on a panel with 2 other area SEM practitioners.  That panel was great, I think everyone learned a lot but, at the same time, we didn't exactly reveal our secret-sauce to our success but were able to give some guidance to those that were curious about SEO and social media. This is what I would like to see happen more often.  Maybe I am in too small a SEM community to have experienced this before but I think the opportunities are here and in all regions.

Test and re-test...As I mentioned above search engine marketing is changing and fluctuating at a rapid pace.  Set up a system to analyze your progress and what is working and what is not.  Start with a testing schedule. What are you going to test? What is going to be your control group? What determines success (this is different for every site even in the same category)?  How much data do you need to determine that success (hint 5 clicks to your site does not determine success)?

Basically have a plan, research how to implement the plan, get knowledgeable advice, implement, test implementation and then start again from step one.




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