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Event Websites, Part I: Understanding Search Engine Optimization and Web Analytics


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Events and Exhibitions are embracing an entirely new suite of analytic website tools, most available at no cost, that can help slash marketing costs, enhance booth sales and evolve community interactions. Exhibition and event organizers now have an opportunity to improve web traffic, measure results and make mid-course adjustments.
This session will define some of the new web asset dashboards and tricks of the trade to improve the results of your event website. Specific solutions covered include:
• Content and linking strategies
• Google analytics
• Pay-per-click, and
• Traditional PR wire distribution

Published in: Technology, Design
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Event Websites, Part I: Understanding Search Engine Optimization and Web Analytics

  1. 1. Event Websites, Part I: Understanding Search Engine Optimization and Web Analytics John Curtis, Quotient Stephen Nold, ATI Ian Strain-Seymour, Apogee Search
  2. 2. Before we begin… <ul><li>Entry level session. </li></ul><ul><li>Terms and tools will be clearly explained and defined so that anyone can learn the basics. </li></ul><ul><li>Turn off Cell Phones </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A at end, but questions are fine during the session </li></ul>
  3. 3. Search Engine Marketing <ul><li>Search Engine Marketing ( SEM) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improving traffic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>paid placement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>contextual advertising </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>sponsored listings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pay-Per-Click Campaigns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Display campaigns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Paid Directory Submissions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tracking and Reporting </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Search Engine Optimization <ul><li>Search engine optimization ( SEO) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via &quot;natural&quot; or un-paid (&quot;organic&quot; or &quot;algorithmic&quot;) search results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The higher a site appears in search results, the more visitors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different kinds of search including </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Web search, Universal (news, images, video, blogs) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Local search </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile search </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Web Analytics <ul><li>Core benefits </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Source of visitors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Behavior on website (click path) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lead and sales data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attribution </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Future direction: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Call center/phone sales integration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advanced segmentation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attribution </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. What is Search Engine Marketing? <ul><li>NA market: Google, Yahoo, Bing (MSN) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Specialized networks:, local, vertical players </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Search engines vs. Content Network </li></ul><ul><li>Paying to have ads appear on the engine </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher the bid, the better your placement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality Score is balancing factor </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. SEM Fundamentals Measurement
  8. 8. Approaches to SEM <ul><li>In house management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Devote time: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set tight parameters to prevent over spend </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Agency outsourcing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clear goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple players </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What about bid management tools? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Skills Needed for SEM Success <ul><li>Organization </li></ul><ul><li>Ad writing </li></ul><ul><li>Willingness to Experiment </li></ul><ul><li>Analytical skill </li></ul><ul><li>Web design </li></ul>
  10. 10. SEM Checklist <ul><li>Focus your Ad Groups </li></ul><ul><li>Watch your Quality Score </li></ul><ul><li>Align keyword, ad copy, quality score </li></ul><ul><li>Daily / Weekly review </li></ul><ul><li>Weekly / Biweekly deeper dive </li></ul><ul><li>Set aside 5-10% of budget for experiments </li></ul>
  11. 11. What is Search Engine Optimization? <ul><li>Setting your site up for highest target possible ranking in Google </li></ul><ul><li>When done right, least expensive source of high quality traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Long term game plan </li></ul><ul><li>What is it not? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not about gaming or tricking Google. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not something that will be black and white </li></ul></ul><ul><li>An industry rife with snake oil salesmen </li></ul>
  12. 12. SEM Tools <ul><li>SEM Tools: Google AdWords, Yahoo Sponsored Search, Bing Search Advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Keyword Research: Google Keyword Tool, Google Trends </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive Research: SpyFu, Keyword Discovery </li></ul><ul><li>Call tracking: Mongoose Metrics, Marchex </li></ul>
  13. 13. Fundamentals of SEO Measurement
  14. 14. Content <ul><li>Content of your page. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This should be you major focus. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get this right before moving on </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Content of your tags: title, meta keyword, meta description, H1, alt, and H2 </li></ul><ul><li>Targeting: max of 2- 5 terms per page </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic in your selection of terms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>#1 ranking on a low volume keyword does you no good </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>“ Good content and linking to it is all we are talking about. That is 90% of what we are doing.” </li></ul><ul><li>Arran Coole </li></ul>
  16. 16. Links <ul><li>Incoming links are votes on the relevance of the page (& site) for the term in the link </li></ul><ul><li>More links is better, but </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality matters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diversity matters </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Links to home page, but </li></ul><ul><ul><li>deep links for all of your target terms </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Future direction: social links & social graph is huge influence </li></ul>
  17. 17. Link Sources <ul><li>Web Directories </li></ul><ul><li>Social Website </li></ul><ul><li>Image Sites </li></ul><ul><li>Social Bookmarks </li></ul><ul><li>Press Releases </li></ul><ul><li>Partners </li></ul><ul><li>Articles </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Purchased Links </li></ul><ul><li>Rented Links </li></ul>
  18. 18. Press Releases <ul><li>Great source for links </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get syndicated, so you end up with multiple links </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Real strength is </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to target specific words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google treats as news </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Creation and Distribution of Press Releases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Optimize releases, look for HTML support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider local : can be more cost effective </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Site Structure <ul><li>The organization of the site </li></ul><ul><li>The structure of the URLs </li></ul><ul><li>Use logical structures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Geo and date are well recognized </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Avoid going deeper than 5-6 levels deep </li></ul>
  20. 20. Coding <ul><li>Tags: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Title, meta keyword, meta description </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>H1, Alt, H2 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Canonical link </li></ul><ul><li>Flash </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Embed into page, not stand alone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use separate search engine file </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be careful with redirects </li></ul><ul><li>New: code for speed – page load time matters </li></ul>
  21. 21. SEO Checklist <ul><li>Great content on the page </li></ul><ul><li>2-5 terms targeted for each page </li></ul><ul><li>Optimized tags </li></ul><ul><li>Incoming links to each targeted page </li></ul><ul><li>Google Webmaster Account </li></ul><ul><li>Worry about traffic, leads, sales, not rankings </li></ul>
  22. 22. Tools & Resources <ul><li>Google (Yahoo, Bing) Webmaster Tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Webmaster Tools Blog & videos </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Google Keyword Tool </li></ul><ul><li>SEOmoz </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive data: Compete, Quantcast, Spyfu, Keyword Discovery </li></ul><ul><li>Authority Labs: rank checking </li></ul>
  23. 23. Analytics <ul><li>Variety tools in the market </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Analytics becoming a standard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tool cost = $0 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People cost (implementation & analysis) can be high </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Measure web traffic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify high quality sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make mid-course adjustments. </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Implementation <ul><li>Add code snippet, “tag”, to each page </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When page is loaded in browser, sends data back to Google </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data is anonymous </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Many CMS systems include plug-ins for automated tagging </li></ul><ul><li>Watch for tag drift as new pages are added </li></ul><ul><li>Consider auditing tool </li></ul>
  25. 25. Checklist of Key Web Metrics <ul><li>Traffic volume (visits, visitors) </li></ul><ul><li>Conversions/Goal Completion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leads, Sales </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email & Blog subscriptions, Twitter, Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conversion Rates </li></ul><ul><li>Traffic source distribution </li></ul><ul><li>Top entry & departure pages </li></ul><ul><li>Top keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Quality of Experience: Bounce Rate, Time on Site </li></ul>
  26. 26. Analytics Tools <ul><li>Free Web Analytics Tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Analytics, Yahoo Analytics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Paid Web Analytics Tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Omniture, Webtrends, Coremetrics, FireClick, Hitslink </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Audit: ObservePoint </li></ul>
  27. 27. Contact Information <ul><li>John Curtis, | President </li></ul><ul><li>Quotient Solutions </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>@Social_Quotient </li></ul><ul><li>Ian Strain-Seymour | Director, Online Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Apogee Search </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>@ifss </li></ul>Stephen Nold | President Advon Technologies [email_address] @stepnold