Monday, January 11, 2010

Search Strategies in 2010

Three new articles out this week each underscore the evolution (and importance of) search as we go into 2010. Each article I felt raised some interesting issues pertaining to how an organization should consider constructing their search strategies in driving traffic to their websites.

At HubSpot they took a survey of existing clients to find that of the three primary methods to drive search traffic (organic, paid, referral sites), organic drives more traffic than both paid and referral combined. Considering the added credibility (and increased conversion) of organic search vs paid, how much of your search budget is devoted to SEO vs strictly paid?

On the Google Blog, they provided a very brief summary of some stats from 2009 -- all are interesting factoids, but one especially stood out for me w/respect to driving traffic:
Number of search quality improvements made by Google in 2009: 540, ~1.5 each day

What this tells me is the importance of having a dynamic SEO strategy, and not just staying pat w/the hand you have. It's a daily fight to stay abreast of Google's changing algorithm's, keeping your keywords in the top echelon and beating your competitors to the punch to get the best terms and results.

In ClickZ's 2010 online marketing trends for 2010 the article mentions the increased use (and increased competitiveness) of broad key terms that are used earlier in the purchase process due to their limited supply. It's critical that you identify (and make ROI-based decisions) on your broad term keywords as they are highly sought after and expensive. Create sufficient metrics to see which of those terms best move the needle with regards to the ultimate purchase decision.

The article also reminds us of the ever-expanding use of YouTube (the world's 2nd largest search engine btw). How much content are you preparing for video share sites like YouTube? Translating as much of your content and making it suitable for various channels (digital, video, podcast, print, personal) should be an important consideration of your content development strategy.

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