SEO Takeaways for B2B Software Resellers from SMX Advanced 2010

I had the pleasure of attending SMX Advanced, the premier Search Marketing Expo, earlier this month. SMX Advanced is recognized as being the go-to event of the year for Search Engine Marketers and all the big names in the industry are in attendance.

Let’s take a look some of the information that was put forward that business software resellers can use in their inbound marketing strategies.

SEO For Google Vs. Bing: How Different Are They?

Speakers: Matt Cutts, Google Inc. | Janet Driscoll Miller, Search Mojo | Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz | Sasi Parthasarathy, Microsoft

Description:

The event opened with this excellent session that covered how different the SEO ranking factors were for Google vs. Bing.

The question came up, should you build “Google specific” and “Bing specific” pages on your website to target each of the engines differently. This was a common technique used years ago when there wasn’t a clear, dominate player in the search engine space.

Rand Fishkin from SEOmoz used real-world testing data to analyze specific ranking factors and their effect on both Google and Bing. His comparison data/results were fantastic, but not for the feint of heart. Rand analyzed how specific factors influenced the ranking of sites within Bing compared to Google. Some of the factors explored included query matching in the domain name; exact match domains by top-level domain (TLD) extension; keywords in subdomains; on-page keyword usage; link counts and link diversity; TLD extensions; length of domain, URL and content; website homepages; and anchor text link matches.

Takeaway:

While there was some minor differences between the engines, there wasn’t anything that would give an existing site a glaring advantage. The experiment proved, if anything, that Bing’s algorithm has come a long ways in the last 2 years. The consensus was that marketers should focus their strategy on what the search engines are trying to achieve, the best possible user experience, as this is where both Search Engines are heading anyways.


Emotional Rescue: What You Need To Know About The B2B Buying Dynamic

Speakers: Jenny Dibble, SearchMarketMe | Gordon Hotchkiss, Enquiro | Brian Lewis, Engine Ready

    Takeaway:

    • In the information age of today, buyers have the same info, if not more info,  than sellers.
    • Users buy product (features) and buyers buy the purchase (trust in the vendor).
    • Very rarely are sales lost to price.
    • Brand = perception, perception = emotion. Uncover the buyers feeling-based pain points.


    Show Me The Links: Real Life Link Building

    Speakers: Chris Bennett, 97th Floor | Arnie Kuenn, Vertical Measures | Debra Mastaler, Alliance-Link | Roger Montti, martinibuster.com | Gil Reich, Answers.com

      Takeaway:

      • Use advanced queries like, allintitle: “dynamics ax” site:.org,  in Google to identify topical sites that would be good to get links from.
      • Competitor backlink trolling is still a popular strategy using Yahoo OpenSite Search.
      • .us domains can’t hide domain ownership details so marketers are finding they are less likely to be spam.
      • Example strategy time breakdown:
        • 50% Content development & promotion (social);
        • 20% Blog post & article placement (guest blogging, sponsored posts, etc);
        • 10% Basic link development (directories, comments);
        • 20% Targeted link requests.
      • Infographics are very successful as linkbait. Data, complex ideas combined with aesthetics.
      • Submit to RSS directories.
      • Do media releases as well or instead of press releases.
      • Add an attractive person at the end of your videos asking for a link.


      Demystifying Online Attribution

      Speakers: Jonathon Colman, REI | Cameron Cowan, Omniture, An Adobe company | Dennis Goedegebuure, eBay, Inc. | Richard Zwicky, Enquisite

        Takeaway:

        • Most Partners aren’t attributing conversion ROI properly.
        • 6 different attribution models:
          • Last Click;
          • First click;
          • Linear;
          • Decaying;
          • Reverse Decay;
          • U-Shaped. Which one is right for your business? Most likely U-Shaped.
          • Use a proprietary permanent cookie to track your visitors over lengthy buying cycles that exceed 30 days.
          • Start simple, attribution is difficult.
          • 53% increase in conversions when B2C company’s URL appeared in both PPC and Organic results for brand name keyword.


          You & A With Matt Cutts

          Speakers: Matt Cutts, Google Inc.

          Full transcript.

          Takeaway:

          • Caffeine, the anticipated Google algorithm update, is live (rolled out live while the event was on!).
          • Uniqueness and editorial control of content bigger factors.
          • Video sitemaps are available now. Perfect for sites with self-hosted videos, not reliant on youtube.
          • Javascript processing announcement. Good for sites with bad navigation, bad for sites hiding links in Javascript.
          • Bounce rate is apparently not used as a ranking signal at this time – but that may change.


          Build It Better: Site Architecture For The Advanced SEO

          Speakers: Adam Audette, AudetteMedia | Maile Ohye, Google Inc. | Lori Ulloa, R2integrated | Brian Ussery, Search Discovery Inc.

          Takeaway:

          • Increasing the load-time of your site can not only improve your rankings, big retailers have found an increases of 7-14% in conversions!
          • Use microformats for reviews, recipes, contact details and events for inclusion in Google results.
          • For catalog sites, make the “View All ___” page the canonical version for max SEO and no duplicate penalties.
          • Google says it’s not recommended to use text-indent to hide text over images.
          • The URL specified in your sitemap will take priority over other potential versions of duplicate content on your site.


          Final Notes

          • Yahoo Search will be powered by Bing’s algorithms by end of 2010. Your website’s rankings in Bing will be the exact same in Yahoo (so we’re told).
          • Microsoft’s AdCenter PPC platform will display your ads on both Bing and Yahoo for a combined total of 30% search market share. It will finally be worthwhile to advertise on PPC networks other than AdWords.
          • Microformats for events are now mandatory for Partners who want their events showcased in the Search Engine results.




          – Software Delivered as Promised. No Surprises.

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          Colin Greig

          Insight written by Colin Greig

          Director, Marketing at Rand Group

          14 years experience in online marketing with expert emphasis on B2B lead generation and marketing automation. He has been the backbone of many of his own successful online businesses and has worked with some of the best online marketing gurus in the business.

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