But why the delay? I needed a nudge. A big fat nudge.
But despite that, I have been extremely lucky to have colleagues, friends and family who have pushed me in this direction for years. I have been inspired by too many to list here. Why it has taken so long to get started is because I had always believed that I was better suited working on a bigger team. That still may be the case, but what’s awesome is that I can still do that.
I am thrilled to launch my own business. This is a great opportunity to bridge global search marketing expertise and apply it locally. I have a serious passion for SEO, reputation management and social media marketing, combined with a holistic strategic and tactical perspectives. I have over a decade of marketing experience and a proven track record in strategically defining and implementing successful campaigns.
Enough of the complex marketing-speak – my focus will be to be savvy and insightful. And cause trouble here and there.
Google announced at its Searchology event yesterday new search options that can significantly impact your search result and traffic.
Users can now easily refine their search by choosing a search result category such as reviews, videos and forums. In addition, searchers can also toggle between displaying images from result page to displaying more text, or choose to view the most recent content indexed within the last 24 hours.
So what does this mean? Ideally, it means that any searcher will find what they need with less work. Of course Google can’t read minds (yet), but with different – and more – search result potential, SEO is important as ever.
1. Optimize your digital assets.
If universal search is not enough of a reason to optimize digital assets such as images and video, now is the time. The search result competition is looking a lot differently on the page, providing easier entry points for user-generated content and social media.
2. Keep content fresh.
Granted this is a no-brainer for any SEO. But with time now as a segmentation factor (hello? Twitter search?), it plays a bigger role.
3. Manage your online reputation.
That means getting a good grasp of reviews and news items getting thrown around about you and your company, and respond and mange it positively. It was much easier to push down negative results in a “flatter” result, however the new features can dig up some old news you would rather have left alone.
4. Changing search content consumption.
This is not necessarily new since Google News is already in play. But segmenting by time frame will get you the latest scores, news, comments, you name it.
5. More Adwords opportunities.
Yep, you got it girls and boys. More search options means searchers spending more time on Google, which means more clicks for Google and as a result more ad opportunities. I’m just sayin’.
6. Yank that long tail. I haven’t gone into describing the new Wonder Wheel feature, but the idea is to visually generate deeper search results by providing “wheels” with keyword “spokes” that may bring the searcher deeper results than just the main query. So not only are videos, images, fresher content and reviews getting higher on the search result, but those long tail keywords too.
So what’s next? I’m still waiting to see how deeper personalization, Google profiles and FriendConnect start impacting search result. Imagine seeing whay my FriendConnect “recommends” directly when conducting a search. It’s almost like reading minds. Almost.
It is most efficacious to look at social and viral marketing on a campaign level, evaluating viral marketing campaigns as a whole instead of each individual component. Viral marketing science is all about figuring out what and how things spread, as opposed to the more general “how communities interact online,” and so the science comes in when various elements are interacting with each other and with the audience.
It is important to note that this does not mean that viral marketing is purely tactical; on the contrary, there is a great deal of strategy present in how these campaigns fit into a brand’s overall marketing mix. The science is in hitting the sweet spot between viral tactical elements and overarching marketing strategy.
The fields viral marketing most commonly draws from include sociology, neurology, statistics, history, psychology (especially evolutionary), economics, biology and memetics. Metaphors and epidemiology models or terms also serve as useful tools when communicating about viral marketing, as these are much more commonly understood.
Much of the information currently available about social and viral marketing is comprised of two distinct types: conjecture-driven and data-driven. The former is the majority, a formulation of advice based on anecdotal evidence and “what seems right.” Work with multivariate testing, combined with research from The Tipping Point and Freakonomics, has shown that the actual data often disproves the conclusions drawn purely from gut-feelings. Recent efforts have focused on creating content that is backed by facts, not feelings, and falls into the data-driven bucket. This is called viral marketing science.
One of the first literary works to expose the potential power of scientific viral marketing was, surprisingly, a work of fiction: Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash. In it, the villain creates a biolingusitic virus based on a prototypical, brain-stem related Sumerian language. He uses the virus to practically enslave a large segment of people in a world domination plot.
There is also room for art in viral marketing; the creativity, intuition and improvisation involved in a successful campaign often come from a deep understanding of the data involved. But the brute creative genius most people assume is the core of contagious campaigns can make the entire exercise seem like entirely unpredictable black magic. However, using scientific methods, it is possible for mere mortals to create repeatably viral campaigns.