The Internet Marketing Driver: Glenn Gabe's goal is to help marketers build powerful and measurable web marketing strategies.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Recapping Day One at SES NY, Key Points (Tweets) From Each Session


Day one at SES NY was fast and furious. I attended some some great sessions and I also made my first pass through the expo. One thing was definitely clear, there's a lot of talk about social with search and search with social. :) This isn't news for many people in the industry, but when the keynote for a search conference is all about Twitter, you know search and social are seriously overlapping!

I've been tweeting as much as possible from each session, and it seems to be valuable for many of the people following my updates. So, I decided to take some of the key points from day one and include them as bullets below. To keep up with day two and three, definitely follow me on twitter! Without further ado, here are some key points from each session I attended on day one.

Keynote from Guy Kawasaki: (Twitter as a Tool for Social Media)

* Nobodies are the new somebodies. It doesn't matter who you are, you can be noticed and build up a following on Twitter.
* Guy highly recommends the auto-dm, or automatically following someone back when they follow you. Glenn: I disagree, but he's got 91K followers! :)
* He wants people to reply (@) or direct message (DM) him, which reinforces his point for auto-dm's (In order to direct message someone, they need to be following you.)
* The retweet (RT) is his key metric. That's when someone passes along your tweet to their followers and gives you credit. He battles mashable every day. :)
* Guy uses some interesting methods for getting tweets out to a targeted audience. Some might even consider it spam... :)
* Use advanced commands in twitter search to find tweets at a granular level.
* Use Tweetdeck or Twhirl to manage your twitter accounts. Twhirl enables him to manage two accounts simultaneously. Tweetdeck doesn't, but tweetdeck has some outstanding features for filtering updates. Sounds like the two need to merge. :)
* You need to squeeze the trigger on twitter and "go". If you don't, you are missing a huge opportunity.
* You need to be able to take the heat on twitter. He created a new acronym UFM. If you don't like what I say? Unfollow me! Glenn: I like his philosophy.

Meaningful SEO Metrics: Going Beyond the Numbers

* You need to track rankings, traffic, conversions, sales, and repeat visitors. Many companies will need to customize their web analytics setup. Great point by @seocatfish
* Don't forget about Universal Search, opportunities for images, video, shopping, local, etc. Don't just focus on text listings as success (more on this later).
* Understand the difference between brand terms, non brand terms, head terms, long tail terms, etc.
* Track microconversions to better understand which keywords and categories work for your business.
* Ensure your analytics package is set up correctly. Don't take the data at face value. Ensure it's accurate or you can base future changes on bad data. Glenn: that last line is from me. :)
* Seth Besmertnik from Conductor says SEO spend is too low at companies. Glenn: I like him already.
* Fortune 500 companies are doing a terrible job at seo, based on their recently released study.
* Lack of predicting and forecasting is hurting seo...marketers are confused by it.
* What's your SEO opportunity? Try this: overall target keyword volume x ctr x conversion rate x avg sale.
* Sales attribution is a big problem. Last click is not good enough.
* Metrics bridge the gap between seo and your company.

Key Points to Launching a Global Website: (Note, I interviewed Motoko Hunt a few weeks ago about international SEO.)

* Don't disregard traffic to websites outside of the US.
* Run ranking reports in local markets (versus just focusing on US-based data).
* Although your website might rank well here in the US, it may not rank at all in country-specific search engines.
* Several factors contribute to how you rank in local search engines, including hosting, ccTLDs, inbound links, etc. Just throwing a copy of your website up might not work...
* You need strong local market teams (which can be a challenge if you aren't familiar with consultants and agencies in the region.)
* Understand seasonal trends FOR THE COUNTRY YOU ARE TARGETING. If you focus on US seasonal trends, you can lose opportunities.
* Keyword research is critical and make sure your local teams are heavily involved and driving that research (including translation).
* Yes, localizing content takes money and resources.
* You can use Google Webmaster Tools to geo-target directories on your website. This is an alternative to using ccTLD's.

Universal and Blended Search:

* With Universal Search, you need to think beyond just text. Think images, video, shopping, news, blog posts, etc.
* Pay attention to what currently ranks in vertical search for your target keywords. That content may very well end up in the blended results. It also gives you ideas for targeting universal search for your company or clients.
* Some good examples include searching for Oscars or March Madness (Glenn: those were the Live Search examples). Also, search for Rihanna in Yahoo.
* Yahoo: Take advantage of Search Monkey to have greater control of what's displayed in the SERPs. Yahoo has streamlined the process for developers so it's easier to use and implement. (Glenn: this is definitely worth checking out and trying.)
* Ask.com is blending the Q&A channel into the search results (good idea if you have content that answers direct questions. (i.e. FAQ content on your website).
* Vic Drabicky from Range: Now, search people are not just the text dorks sitting in a corner. Search now includes YouTube, Flickr, blogging, Facebook, etc.
* There's a lot you can learn from Kate Moss, who hired an online reputation management company. Vic recommends that you start doing some searches to check out what ranks for Kate...
* Consensus: There needs to be better tracking of universal search results so marketers understand how visitors interacted with the results and how that impacted conversion.

Video SEO:

* 72% of searches on YouTube are music related. (Glenn: if you watch how teenagers interact with YouTube, you can see why so many use it... it's their knee-jerk reaction for listening to music.)
* YouTube optimization: the basics include optimizing your text based on keyword research. That includes the title, description, and tags.
* Use the full space you have in YouTube for your description. Too many people overlook this and write a one liner...
* TubeMogul can help you distribute your video to many video sharing websites.
* No matter who you are, you can produce your own YouTube videos. (Glenn: I agree, but it's not ultra-easy to produce quality video content. Test it out and seek assistance, if needed.)
* You can add your videos to the local listings via Google Local Business Center. Glenn: This is commonly overlooked by small businesses.
* YouTube ranking factors include keywords, tags, ratings, view counts, channel views, playlists, flagging, embeds, comments, age, etc.
* Use YouTube's search suggestion feature for keyword research. (Glenn: I also recommend this, and have used this for my own projects.)
* Community factors are important for ranking in YouTube. Analyze your competition in YouTube and meet or beat their statistics.
* Attention span for video is increasing (~4 minutes up from ~2 minutes). Professional video could be playing a factor in the increase.
* Matthew Liu from Google: YouTube has hundreds of millions of users per month. It's the fourth largest web property and every minute over 15 hours of video is uploaded.
* Don't keyword stuff in YouTube. You will be penalized. Glenn: Hey readers, that's right from Google. :)
* Share videos with other members, experiment with annotations, and avoid spamming people.
* Utilize YouTube Insight to optimize your video content based on analytics. Weezer used Insight to analyze their music video Pork and Beans. They noticed their demographic was older, male, and heavily viewed videos via embed. They now tailor campaigns, based on that data.

Again, the sessions on day one provided some great information. I'm eager to hit day two, including a closer look at the expo. If you want to follow my SES stream for day two and three, then definitely follow me on Twitter. My tweets will start at 9AM. :)

GG

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

SES NY Series: Social Media Marketing for Brand Building, An Interview with Hollis Thomases from WebAdvangtage.net


Social Media Marketing for Brand Building at SES NYSocial Media Marketing is obviously a hot topic right now. It would be hard to attend a marketing meeting at any company and not hear about Blogging, Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, etc. But in my experience, many marketers are confused about how to proceed and have many unanswered questions. For example, how do you start? Who should be driving your social media initiatives? Should you just outsource it? How do you measure the results? What metrics should be analyzed? Like I said, there’s a lot of confusion about how to do this, especially from traditional marketers. That’s why many marketing budgets have a very small line item at the very end, so small you can barely make it out. It reads “Social Media”, and typically has less dollars associated with it than your bill for lunch! :) That will change, though.

I’ve been a part of many conversations with clients about social media marketing. I’ve heard a lot of concerns, confusion, and to be quite honest, fear… Since it’s so new and there are limitless creative opportunities, many marketers view Social as the Wild West. You know, gun-slinging social media mavens that are breaking bottles at the bar that somehow end up playing poker with your marketing budget. ;) Now, most of us know that’s not the case (for the most part), but marketers that haven’t participated in social media yet sometimes view it this way.

Hollis Thomases from WebAdvantage.net.Based on what I explained above, you can imagine that I'm very interested in the session at SES NY about Social Media Marketing for Brand Building. I’m sure many brand marketers will be attending the session looking for answers. As I reviewed the session panelists, I noticed that Hollis Thomases was on the list, who I actually met on Twitter by the way! (Ahh, the power of social media, right?) I decided to interview Hollis to find out more about what she’ll be covering during the session, which is on Wednesday, March 25h at 9:00. She was nice enough to take some time and answer my questions about social media marketing.

I’ve provided my interview with Hollis below. After reading the interview, don’t hesitate to post your comments or questions.

Glenn: What are the top things people will learn by attending your session?

Hollis: People that attend our session will learn how smart companies are using social marketing tools to promote brands and reach out to customers (and how it’s possible to do so without investing a fortune.) They will also learn the kinds of metrics being used to measure the success of social media initiatives.

Glenn: What are you hearing from clients and prospective clients about social media marketing? Are they deathly afraid of it, are they transparent enough for social, do they think it’s just for a younger demographic, etc?

Hollis: There’s a great deal of interest in social media, though most of our clients are simply trying to get educated so they can understand if it might be an area worth dipping a toe into. To some, it’s a pox to be avoided (and rightly so for regulation reasons); for others, they’re eager to get in on the action; a few are actually already successfully engaged. It’s really a question of understanding, “Is social media right for US?”

Glenn: Are you going to introduce popular social media sites and platforms, with a quick rundown of each?

Hollis: In my session, one panelist will focus on Twitter (me) and another on Facebook (Harry Gold of Overdrive), while a third speaker (Dave Evans) will discuss the mechanics and metrics of social media marketing.

Glenn: Do companies understand that social media is about connecting and engaging with communities or do they view social as a media spend?? I know many traditional marketers are trying to tie Social Media to older metrics that don’t make sense for the medium…

Hollis: IMO, the answer at the moment is NEITHER. It’s still too nascent of a field and clients are still too under-educated to really understand much about social media. Still, once I do a little education, yes, I constantly get the question about measuring ROI. I usually then use the public relations analogy, e.g. “Are you doing any PR? How are do you directly measure the ROI of that kind of tactic?” Of course, I can also help get them thinking about engagement and interaction metrics, but I caution that direct ROI is certainly harder to do and isn’t really the place for social media.

Glenn: What are some top-level recommendations for marketers with regard to participating in social media?

Hollis:
#1 - Get educated. Diving ignorant into social media is a recipe for disaster.

#2 - Plan to dedicate resources in the form of staff time. At least one human being is going to need to be behind this social media effort.

#3 - Get a thick skin. Social media is a place where your consumers are going to reveal the good, the bad and the ugly. If you can’t hack that and maintain a consumer and customer-friendly focus, don’t play here….but know that your consumers will still be in this space talking about you in all kinds of ways regardless.

#4 - Be authentic. Don’t lie, try to cover up some kind of bungle or make stuff up because you will be called out by the community quicker than a burning match. If your company has a mishap, acknowledge it, apologize for it, explain how you will rectify it, and move on.

#5 – Have a clear objective as to why you’re entering the social media space to begin with because it’s not for every company, and every social network is not right for every company. Social media, like any other tactic you might be investing time, resources and dollars to, should have clear objectives (or at least a roadmap to guide the process initially).

#6 – If nothing else, know that social media is a great laboratory to understand what your audience may/may not respond to. As you build relationships with your audience, you can also utilize them to help you “market research” in an informal way. Test out ideas, design creative, product trials, etc. with your crowd - many will leap on the chance to contribute to the development of something bigger than themselves.

Glenn: Are you going to explain the difference between quantity and quality of followers, friends, etc?

Hollis: For Twitter, I’m going to frame this from an opinion, but also from what’s going on out there and what restriction Twitter places on ratios (great read on this subject in case you didn’t catch it: http://www.twitip.com/the-twitter-numbers-game).

Glenn: Are you going to provide any case studies or statistics as part of your session?

Hollis: I think each panelist will probably cover 1 or 2 case studies/success stories, and we’ll cover as much as possible based on the time we have to present.

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As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when you start delving into Social Media Marketing. Like anything else in online marketing, there are some great examples of companies doing it right, and then some examples of companies that haven’t done such a good job (and I’m being nice here…) I think that’s why a session like this at SES NY is so important. One thing is for sure, Social Media Marketing is not easy. There are no shortcuts to connecting with people, providing value to a community, building relationships, etc. Unfortunately, I think many marketers have a hard time with that concept… My hope is that changes.

Again, Hollis’ session on Social Media Marketing for Brand Building is on Wednesday, March 25th at 9:00. I’ll be attending the session and tweeting the core points that each panelist covers. I’ll also be recapping my days at SES here on my blog.

Are you interested in Social Media Marketing, but confused with how to proceed? Post a comment below and I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

GG

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

SES NY Series: Advanced Keyword Research for SEO and SEM, An Interview with Frederick Vallaeys from Google


The importance of advanced keyword research.Keyword research is a critical component to any search marketing initiative (for both SEO and SEM). Although most search marketers understand the importance of keyword research, many people outside of Search are not extremely familiar with the concept or the various tools at your disposal. I’m a firm believer that if you don’t perform extensive keyword research, you run the risk of missing key opportunities. Actually, you could end up basing your campaigns on guesswork and intuition versus actual data. Needless to say, that’s not a good thing.

I've written previous posts about the importance of keyword research, the power of the long tail, and how to get the most out of Keyword Discovery, and I always like to speak with other search marketers to share ideas. There's always something new you can learn (and then use immediately in your campaigns).

Why is keyword research so important?
In both paid and organic search, if you don’t target what people are actually searching for, you’re going to have a hard time succeeding. For example, if you target infant bedding, but people are searching for baby bedding, will they find you? If you target notebooks, but people are searching for laptops, will they end up finding your computers? Imagine you just launched a major SEO initiative and you spent a lot of time and resources optimizing your website…but for the wrong keywords. Will that yield adequate results? Will it yield ANY results? And beyond just finding the right keywords, you need to analyze how competitive those keywords are, how much they cost, and if you actually have supporting content. i.e. Are you providing answers to questions about your category, products, services, etc?

So if you can’t tell yet, I think keyword research if pretty darn important. :)

SES NY Session: Advanced Keyword Research
Frederick Vallaeys from Google.Based on what I wrote above, it should be no surprise that I’m very interested in the session at SES NY that covers Advanced Keyword Research. In order to find out more about the session, I decided to ask Frederick Vallaeys from Google about what he will be covering during the session. Frederick is Google’s AdWords Evangelist and he helps advertisers better understand which Google products can help them achieve their marketing goals. After interviewing Frederick, it was easy to tell that he is passionate about helping people maximize their AdWords campaigns! If you will be attending SES NY, the session will be held on Thursday, March 26th from 10:30 to 11:45. You can read more about the session on the SES NY website.

So without further ado, here is my interview with Frederick:

Glenn: What are some of the key points that people will learn at your session?

Frederick: The session should be fast-paced with myself and 5 other panelists. I will try to share as many ideas as possible for finding new keywords with Google tools like Insights for Search and the Search-based keyword tool and I'll also share some thoughts about how our different keyword matching options can be put to work for advertisers.

Glenn: I come across many marketers that aren’t familiar with keyword research, let alone how to organize the data, use it when building their content, landing pages, ads, etc. Will you be providing an overview of why keyword research is important and how it should be used in both organic search and paid search? Also, will you cover the core differences between using keyword research for paid search versus organic search?

Frederick: I won't go into keyword research for organic listings but you're right that there are different tools and methodologies for researching keywords for paid search. Users simply have different expectations for paid and organic listings. Google and Compete did a study in September 2008 with retail advertisers that showed that paid listings were up to 50% more likely to convert than organic listings. Selecting highly targeted keywords is a big component of driving conversions and because you're paying per click, you want to ensure your keywords attract the right type of users.

Glenn: With Quality Score becoming more and more important in Paid Search, will you explain how to use the keywords that you are targeting to achieve a stronger QS?

Frederick: I'll touch on a few best practices about Quality Score but I'm also doing an entire session on this topic at 2:15pm so I recommend you attend that one if you can. The gist of it is that ads should be useful information and if you choose highly targeted and relevant keywords, users will like your ad and this will help establish good Quality Score which in turn will improve your rank and decrease your cost.

Glenn: Will you be explaining advanced matching options? I know there is a lot of confusion with what they are, how to best use them, etc. (especially negative keywords…)

Frederick: Our keyword matching options are one of the most powerful ways of ensuring your ad reaches the right audience so I'll definitely touch on this. With negative keywords, you can tell Google which queries not to show your ad for and when you combine this with broad matched keywords, it's a great way to maximize your clicks while ensuring a high conversion rate.

Glenn: The long tail is incredibly important and powerful. Will you explain how to target long tail keywords, which can ultimately yield more targeted visitors from organic search and a lower CPC and a higher ROI from Paid Search? I think too many companies initially target just a few head terms, and completely miss the power of the long tail.

Frederick: Long tail keywords are extremely important when you consider that 1 in 5 queries on Google has not been seen in the past 90 days, if ever. Users search for keywords that are so diverse that any marketer would have a tough time predicting all the variations. Fortunately, Google's broad match keywords automatically capture any tail terms that are relevant to your ad. When you add them all up, queries that were captured with broad matches deliver roughly a third of all conversions for our advertisers.

Glenn: I’m sure you will be covering the Google Keyword Tool. :) Will you be explaining some advanced features and ways to maximize its use? If so, can you list some of the features you will cover?

Frederick: We have a brand new search-based keyword tool that generates a list of relevant historical Google.com search queries for which a particular site has no ad presence. For each keyword, it also suggests a landing page, bid, and ad group. It's a really great way to find missed opportunities in your existing campaigns. You can try the tool at http://www.google.com/sktool

Glenn: Analytics is obviously extremely important for tracking both organic search and paid search at a granular level. Will you be explaining how to glean insights from your reporting in order to target the right keywords?

Frederick: Analytics has a tremendous amount of data you can apply to your paid search campaigns. For example, you could use the "Keywords" report or the "Site Search" report to learn which keywords drive traffic to your site and what people search for once they're on your site. Combine that with data about conversions and you've got a powerful new source of potential keywords for your account.

Glenn: For Paid Search, will you be explaining how to estimate the cost for keywords and campaigns, once you have completed keyword research? I know the Traffic Estimator tool can be helpful in this situation… I’ve found that many marketers don’t know how much to spend on paid search, how much their initial budget should be, how to calculate that, and then what to do once their campaigns are running.

Frederick: Unfortunately I probably won't have time to cover this in my session but I'm happy to share some of my thoughts here. Because paid search is so measurable, we really hope that advertisers will analyze their results and tweak their targeting and other settings to ensure they are meeting their ROI goals. If you can show a positive ROI from placing paid ads on search, there should be no reason not to spend as much money on this as possible. Instead of thinking about paid ads as money that goes into a black hole, think about it as a cost of sales and use it to drive as many profitable conversions as you can possibly handle.

We have some tools and reports that provide guidance about how much potential traffic you could get and you can estimate your potential conversions from this. And once you've maxed out on search advertising, look for the next big opportunity such as ads on the content network or ads on new formats like mobile or video.

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To quickly summarize, there are many important aspects to consider while researching keywords to use in your campaigns. That includes using various tools and software to perform keyword research, estimating traffic, understanding the potential cost, increasing your quality score, conversion, and ultimately your ROI. To learn more about the Advanced Keyword Research session at SES, definitely check out the session details on the SES NY website. I’ll be attending the session and tweeting key points as they come up! I’ll also be recapping each day at SES NY here on my blog.

Are you new to keyword research and confused with where to start? Post your comments below. I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

GG

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

SES NY Series: Key Points in Launching a Global Website and International SEO, My Interview with Motoko Hunt from AJPR


Global website strategy and international SEO.As companies start to develop global digital strategies, they begin to face new challenges and obstacles. This is often uncharted territory for many people. Sure, US-based online marketers feel comfortable when targeting US consumers, but what if they had to suddenly target consumers in Japan, England, France, or China? Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to assist several large companies and brands with building global website strategies, including international SEO. I have found that there is a lot of confusion with how to target multiple countries, as well as how to rank across country-specific search engines. Actually, I’ve spoken with several companies that were going down the wrong path...

Globalizing your website might sound easy at first, but unfortunately, it’s not as simple as setting up additional domains, pushing your content to local markets, and then ranking across country-specific search engines. And if you’re thinking about keeping just one website that will target multiple countries, you have another set of problems to deal with. There are several key items you need to work through before you can have a successful global presence.

Global Obstacles and International SEO
From an SEO perspective, you need to address several factors, such as performing keyword research across various languages, addressing cultural issues, understanding top search engines in other countries (yes, Google is not the top engine in every country), and how to adapt to unique market trends. You need to understand the optimal technical setup for your global website, including hosting, ccTLD’s, geotargeting, localized inbound links, etc. Actually, to understand more of the challenges that search marketers face, you should visit some country-specific search engines and start entering your queries. Chances are you will see some interesting results, to say the least. :)

SES NY Session: Key Points in Launching a Global Website
So, when I was reviewing the agenda for SES NY and saw a session about Key Points in Launching a Global Website, I was all over it! Since I know there are a lot of questions about global website strategy and international SEO, I decided to interview one of the panelists to find out more about the session. I tracked down Motoko Hunt, Founder and Search Marketing Strategist of AJPR. Motoko is a seasoned search marketer focused on helping clients enter the Japanese market. She has a thorough understanding of Asia and has helped some of the world’s top brands with their search marketing initiatives. By the way, the session is on Tuesday, March 24th at 11:45 in case you’ll be at SES NY.

Motoko was nice enough to answer some of my questions and I have included my interview with her below. Definitely feel free to post your comments after reading the interview. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Glenn: What are the top 4 or 5 things people will learn at your session?

Motoko: People will learn some important points that will help them better prepare for launching a global website. Often times, people experience these issues during or after the global website has been completed, and wish they'd known that at the beginning. Research indicates more companies will launch or relaunch global websites in 2009. I believe this session will have something for everyone, from agencies to in-house marketers, from small to large-sized corporations.

Some of the key issues I'll cover are:
- Language and cultural issues
- Geographical issues
- Cross-border management issues
- Leveraging standardized templates to develop global websites

Glenn: What trends are you seeing with regard to how clients and companies are approaching international SEO? For example, when clients begin speaking with you, what are you hearing, are they going down the wrong path, is there confusion, etc?

Motoko: Since most of my clients are in the US and Europe, the decisions often times come down from the HQ in Western market to receiving ends in Asia. I see that one of the biggest challenges is how to carry out the project that was planned by the HQ and dictated to each local market. The size of in-house teams in local markets are usually much smaller than what they have at the HQ. Also, they usually have less understanding of SEO, or have different challenges in doing SEO like different target search engines and different search user behavior.

I hear loud and clear that local teams are struggling to keep up with the globalization projects sent down from HQ, while trying to create and maintain the site that "works" for local markets. The companies who give some room for local teams to adopt the local trends seem to have greater success with their globalized website.

Glenn: What are a few core things you want people to know about launching a global website (or multiple websites targeting specific countries)?

Motoko: During my presentation, I'll try and identify the top issues. Some address the technical issues such as keyword research and content localization, CMS, hosting and geo issues. Some countries may have unique regulations about the products you can sell online, or keywords you can bid on. Some are the organizational issues such as manpower, budget, project management and education.

When companies consider "globalizing" their website, some of the benefits they expect to see include cost and time savings. However, by not taking these issues into consideration before they kick-off the globalization project, it ends up taking more time and costing more money.

Glenn: Are you going to touch upon some of the technical items that marketers should address for global SEO, like ccTLD’s, Google Webmaster Tools (geo targeting), inbound links, hosting, duplicate content, etc?

Motoko: These technical issues are often overlooked or unnoticed until it causes some problems after the website launches. I'd like to cover as much as I can within the given time limit. ;-)

Glenn: Should companies just focus on Google or understand more of the global search landscape? (OK, that was a leading question!) I know many marketers in the US understand that Google is dominant here, but there are a lot of people that don’t know the leading search engines in other countries. i.e. Yahoo Japan, Naver in Korea, Yandex in Russia, etc.

Motoko: You know, they shouldn't just focus on Google. Unless of course their "globalization" target markets are limited to those where Google is the dominant engine. When globalizing a website, you need to know each market you'd like to target to determine what types of adjustments are required. If you have an in-house team in a local market, talk to them, use their knowledge, and let them add what is needed to succeed in that market. If you are going to hire an agency, make sure that the agency really knows the market. Having native staff is a huge plus. You want to work with someone with globalization experience, and someone that understands the culture, including how consumers behave and how business is conducted there.

Glenn: I think keyword research is a big issue, including translation. Several tools only focus on certain languages and countries. What are you going to cover that will help people go down the right path? Also, once they find the right keywords and content, what’s the best way to have that content translated?

Motoko: Keywords are the starting point for both SEO and PPC campaigns. If you use the wrong keywords, the entire SEO program and PPC campaigns would fail. Simply translating keywords for other markets never works well. I'll talk about the process of keyword research that has worked really well for my clients. The content should not be simply translated, but localized for each market. I'm sure you understand that the translation tools are not perfect. In fact, they are far from perfect when it comes to Asian languages. You should invest in editing the content by an in-house team or local professionals. You'd want to avoid giving the impression that you are just pushing US-centric services to other markets, which will be viewed as you don't value the market enough to take it seriously.

Glenn: Are there any case studies you are going to provide (along with statistics) for companies that have successfully launched global websites or that are having success with international SEO?

Motoko: I've just finished a case study with Autodesk's Japan team. Maura Ginty will share the results of the case study in her presentation. Also, I will share some of the feedback I received from a client's in-house team in an Asian market about their globalization projects.

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As you can see from Motoko’s answers, launching a global website is no easy feat. :) To learn more about Motoko’s session at SES NY, check out the session details on the SES NY website. The session is being held on Tuesday, March 24th at 11:45 and is part of the Search and the Future Track. As you would guess, I’ll be attending the session and tweeting from the conference. I’ll also be recapping each day at SES NY here on my blog.

Are you launching a global website or focusing on international SEO? Definitely post your comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

GG

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