Search engine industry trends in 2011 include:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Paid Search (PPC)
- Search Engines in APAC, China, Russia
- Web Analytics for SEO and PPC
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO factors for 2011 include:
- Internal Links and inbound links to your site
- Click through rates (CTR) of search queries to your site, and the impact of Google Instant to your Google SEO traffic
- Image mapping – Google uses images and alt tags on your site as ranking signals
- Click distribution / heatmap of your web pages – Google Analytics In-page Analytics / Site Overlay report
- Organic search and local search – Submit sites to Google, Yahoo, Bing local business search
- Optimize website’s page load time
- Social signals in Google’s, Yahoo’s and Bing’s search algorithm – Google can use social signals from Google Buzz and Twitter, and Bing can use social signals from Facebook
- Use information in Google Webmaster Tools and track your site’s search / web traffic in Google Analytics
Google made search algorithm changes to allow a domain to show up 3 or more times in the SERP by a single search query, if relevant enough.
Regarding web search spam:
- Web search spamming techniques including keyword stuffing no longer work.
- Google is to improve organic search quality by identifying “content farms” through document-level classifier that will make it difficult for spammy on-page content to rank high in Google’s search engine results pages (SERP).
SEO must be built into your website development when creating your site:
- Browser support
- SEO strategies
- Site architecture (linking structures) and site navigation (includes breadcrumb navigation)
- Content outline / development
- Site / page design
- URL structure
- Social media / multimedia plans
Paid Search (PPC)
- Growth of display advertising
- Actionable attribution
- The dawn of “No” keywords
- Maturity of Facebook PPC
Inside Adwords listed the top 10 Google Adwords tool/feature innovations in 2010:
- Adwords Campaign Experiments
- Search Funnels
- Product Ads
- Adwords Call Metrics
- Click-to-call Phone Extensions
- Display Campaign Optimizer – Review Optimize Google Adwords content network ads for conversions
- Adwords Enhanced CPC
- Adwords Broad Match Modifier
- Adwords Automated Rules
- Adwords Remarketing
In both Google Adwords and Bing Adcenter:
- Ads’ click through rate (CTR) should be lowered for achieving better ROI in some cases.
With Bing Adcenter’s optimization and transition from Yahoo Search Marketing, apply:
Search Engines in APAC, China, Russia
APAC countries’ search marketing trends in 2011 include:
- In South Korea, Google dominates mobile search on smart phones – Smart phone users will reach 30 million by 2012.
- The demand of real-time search and social search in South Korea will increase.
- South Korea’s number 1 search engine Naver is to launch a paid search platform to replace Yahoo Search Marketing.
- Google has started to power Yahoo’s SEO / organic search results in Japan in December 2010.
- In APAC, Google dominates the English-speaking countries with search market share, but trails behind in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.
- Alibaba, China’s B2B search engine, claims to have overtaken Google for ad sales revenues in China.
- The Chinese language will soon take over English to become the Internet’s most popular language.
- The search traffic of Yandex Russia search engine may grow 30-40% in 2011.
Web Analytics for SEO and PPC
In both SEO and PPC, you need to understand the keywords that are leading visitors to your site and eventually driving conversions for your site.
- Most web analytics tools’ tracking includes Google Analytics works on last click attribution by default – All conversions are allocated to the last source of a visit for that visitor.
- Kenshoo Search offers Path To Conversion for keyword conversion attribution – Path To Conversion tracks the entire click-conversion path (from the first click to the conversion) across multiple paid search engines. Conversion credit weights can be distributed to keywords in the click-conversion path based on your keyword conversion attribution setup.
Third party web analytics tools have been becoming compulsory for all sizes of websites. Major web analytics tools including:
Web analytics guru Avinash Kaushik has this beginner’s guide to web analytics:
- Visit the website. Note objectives, customer experience, suckiness
- How good is the acquisition strategy? Traffic Sources Report
- How strongly do Visitors orbit the website? Visitor Loyalty & Recency
- What can I find that is broken and quickly fixable? Top Landing Pages
- What content makes us most money? $Index Value Metric
- How Sophisticated Is Their Search Strategy? Keyword Tag Clouds
- Are they making money or making noise? Goals & Goal Values
- Can the Marketing Budget be optimized? Campaign Conversions/Outcomes
- Are we helping the already convinced buyers? Funnel Visualization
- What are the unknown unknowns I am blind to? Analytics Intelligence
Kaushik also offers a list of analytics tools (including web analytics 2.0 tools) for SEO, PPC and mobile search:
- Google Analytics
- Yahoo Web Analytics
- Percent Mobile
- Google Webmaster Tools
- Bing Webmaster Tools
- Mongoose Metrics
- Google Website Optimizer
- PostRank Analytics
Regarding mobile apps tracking, Apple allows third-party web analytics vendors to collect data including Motally, Flurry, Distimo, Localytics and Medialets to collect data from iPhone 4.0 operating system, the default OS for iPhones and iPads.