SEO is More Important Today with Blended and Real-time Search

September 27th, 2009

blended and real time searchOver a week ago, I attended Internet Marketing Conference Vancouver (IMC). One of the sessions was:  “Search is Going Real Time: Will SEO Matter Anymore?” presented by Barbara Coll, CEO of WebMama. (I met her briefly that morning while volunteering at the SEMPO Canada booth and I found out that she was actually the one of the original founders of SEMPO!)

“Is SEO dead?”, she asked the crowd.

It was very quiet. No one answered and I thought to myself: “I sure hope it isn’t or I’d be in the wrong profession!”.

People may think SEO is dead because they think real-time doesn’t need optimization.

Barbara then went on to explain, that SEO is not dead.

For the most part, my key take away from this presentation was now is the time where SEO meets social media. You need to merge your on-site keyword strategy with your external user generated/community sites and assets. And on those user generated/community sites, you may have more control than you know! In the end, you optimize your visibility as a company or brand.

Barbara pointed out that if you haven’t figured out that “title tag ” is very important, your in deep trouble! You need to take it further than that.

Barbara recommended that you should review all of your company external communications that you have control over, they all require that you:

  1. Understand the goal.
  2. Understand the actions.
  3. Keyword analysis.

“All require a keyword analysis….you need to consider them for all areas.” Babara repeats

It was interesting, she shared with us that it actually took HP nine years to optimize on the web and they only worked on 20 keyword phrases. So, focusing on more than handful of keywords phrases and not hundreds, is the trick.

Here’s some things to consider

  • It is all about demand generation. Decide keywords ahead of time. Analyze and really crystallize your keywords.
  • Those keywords need to be throughout your site obviously (title, links, alts, content and so on). It’s your foundation for SEO.
  • Those keywords need to be optimized on other sites that link to your site to “lift” it up with those keywords in the search engines results page.
  • Those keywords need to be optimized on your assets on other sites like images, video, news, presentations, widgets, etc.
  • Today you need to optimize for sharing, transportability and visibility. Give people the content to share and embed it. Good descriptions, tags and links get embedded as well.
  • Have a printout of the keywords in front of you, and don’t forget them.
  • Share and educate others on your team the keyword phrases and what to do with them.

You will increase your likelihood to show up in the search engine results pages more (multiple results under one keyword phrase). You want as many visibility points this way. This is actually called “blended search” (you can also read my blog post on “How to Increase Your Online Exposure with Blended Search”).

“You really want to control what “KEYWORDS” people use”, is Barbara’s strongest point.

Barbara talked about real-time results (which is really a part of blended search) and you have control.

Living Proof

Check out the options tab – it is mostly focused on real-time stuff (IE news, forums, videos). If you can control all of the groups, the better.

Look at my sample search (below) for “sarah mclaughlin”. You have tons of options (e.g images, movies, news and more). If you were a product or service, you would want to populate all of the spots with product pics,  video demonstrations, tips, news and more. That should be your goal. But make sure you choose your most important keyword phrases to optimize all of these areas and not just your company or product name (you may not be as popular as Sarah)!

real time search sample

And if you click on the past 24 hours, you can filter the most recent results:

Real time sample 2

Here are a few tips on how to optimize blended search results.  I have added more than Barbabra had the time to go over during her presentation:

For Twitter

  • Make sure you use your product name at the beginning of your tweet, so when others retweet your tweet,  it will not get axed (v.s. at the end it may get bumped to make room for the retweet).
  • Make sure you add in your keyword phrase(s) (when appropriate). Your target audience will see your Tweets  on Google results, via tweetbeep alerts or even aggregated feeds on other niche sites. This increases exposure.
  • Consider using hashtags, they will stay longer in searches. Increases your exposure.
  • Use tweetbeeps for your keyword phrases. It allows you to watch who is talking or possibly looking for referrals. This can be a good lead generation tactic. You will receive the alerts in real-time. You can act on in, or softly introduce yourself by simply following them.
  • Use an url shortner tool with tracking in your twitter feed. You can track interactivity.

Slideshare

  • Is a presentation sharing device. You can create a channel for company or personal branding.
  • Make sure your keyword phrase is in the title. The title of the presentation will be become the title of the HTML page (the most important critical component for indexing in the SERPS).
  • Use your keyword phrase in the small description.
  • Use your keyword phrase in the tags.
  • You can also embed your channel within in Facebook and LinkedIn.

LinkedIn

  • Use important keyword phrases in your personal profile description and make sure you have a link to your company site.
  • When you link to your company site, change the default “my company” or “my blog” to either your company name or your company name and keyword phrase (just choose “other” in the drop down when you edit the urls, you can customize it there). Encourage all employees to join LinkedIn and complete their profiles the same way as you.
  • Under your personal profile, you have an option to add in widgets for Slideshare, twitter and blog feed. Do try to incorporate them. Give you and your business more exposure when you update those channels in real-time.
  • Have a LinkedIn business page and use your keyword phrases in your description and link to your blog and website from this business page.

Social bookmarking sites (del.icio.us, reddit, digg, Squidoo and stubleupon)

  • When bookmarking – use a good title. That will be the anchor tag for seo.
  • Make sure you tag your blog posts, news and articles with your keyword phrases (where appropriate) and not your home page of website.
  • Make sure you bookmark related links and not just your own pages.
  • Fill in your profile.
  • Create public bookmarks.

Facebook

  • Create a company Facebook page (not a group).
  • Make sure your description is sufficiently filled out and have some of your keyword phrase(s) within it.
  • Watch when Facebook opens up the ability to have your vanity url (eg. www.facebook.com/companyname here), right now it is only open to bigger companies or for personal profiles.
  • Mix up your updates with images, videos, news and urls. It will show up in your fans feeds, giving you more exposure. Dedicate some time every week (or day) to do so, but not so much that people unfan you.
  • Add in HTML widgets to your page to customize links to your site, other social media profiles and any promotion pages. When linking, use anchor text and alt text on images with your keyword phrases.
  • Add in applications or widgets than can pull in your blog/RSS feeds in real-time to your Facebook page.

YouTube

  • You can control your channel description 100%, don’t just put up 3 words. Think very clearly about the description, you can put a URL, phone number etc. Go back to the keyword lists that you developed.
  • When people embed the videos, the description is carried and embeds with it -so very important.
  • The title of your video should have your company name and/or keyword phrases.
  • The description of your video should have your company name and your keyword phrase(s).
  • The tags that you assign to your video should have your company name and relevant keywords.
  • Embed your Youtube channel within your blogs, Facebook page and cross-promote where you can so they can be seen in real-time in many places.
  • If you have the budget, you can pay for your private channel and control the ads/marketing on it.

Flickr

  • Tag your photos with relevant keywords.
  • When tagging keyword phrases (more than one word) make sure you use quotation marks or they will be picked up as individual words (e.g. “keyword phrase”).
  • Make sure your flikr channel is publicly viewable and not private.
  • Create a good title for the image. If relevant make sure your main keyword phrase(s) are in it.
  • Create a good image description under the photo.
  • If the photo is a specific location, make sure you GEO tag it.
  • Create sets of images with themes.
  • Cross link image photo pages to relevant web pages. You can add in hyperlinks in the description below the photo.
  • When hyperlinking, try to use your keyword phrases to pass on the authority.
    Embed flickrs code when you want to use the images on your site.

News or press releases.

  • Choose a news distribution that have the right features.
  • Add all important keywords in the headline and try to optimize the byline.
  • Use links, one for each 100 words.
  • Use keyword phrases in your alt tags and anchor text in hyperlinks.
  • Read my blog post “How to Optimize News Releases for Search Engine Optimization“.

For each area, we can go on and on. But for the most part just try to incorporate your main keyword phrases where ever you can (when relevant). Also cross promote each channel and pull through automatic widgets for RSS. All of these efforts increase your visibility everywhere!

Are there some tips you have for optimizing blended or real-time search? Feel free to share and post a comment below.

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One Response to “SEO is More Important Today with Blended and Real-time Search”

  1. Search engine marketing is overcoming conventional SEO. That\'s the trend, like it or not. on November 1, 2009 5:08 pm

    Search engine marketing is overcoming conventional SEO. That\’s the trend, like it or not….

    I am….

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