The future of search

This week’s installment isn’t about problem solving. It’s about the where we’re headed in the world of online marketing in the next 12 months.

As we do every year, Reseo closed its doors for two days last week and flew up to Sydney to hear from some of the best and brightest search marketing people in the world.

Key takeaways?

Social media marketing is the new frontier.

As if you didn’t know it already, social media marketing is the next big thing, where opportunity abounds if you get your tactical mix right. Probably the best quote came from the highly entertaining Marty Weintraub from aimclear marketing who said (and I paraphrase):

“Most of you are in the search marketing industry right? Well, get your head around Facebook advertising fast. It’s going to be your new career within the next 12 months”.

There’s no doubt Marty could talk under six feet of wet cement; he’s incredible!

The controversial, but also highly articulate and engaging Dennis Yu spoke to us about the concept of “attribution” which basically means that if you perform high levels of Facebook advertising for example, you’ll see a corresponding lift in conversions from other online channels, like AdWords.

The lift in conversions can be attributed to your Facebook advertising even though it’s not directly creating conversions directly through that particular advertising channel.

The key takeaway was the bargain that ‘is’ Facebook advertising. Some of these guys really go for it, racking up 30 million ad impressions for clients every day for very low CPM spend compared to traditional banner advertising.

The next big thing this year is the continued rise of mobile search. Cindy Krum from Rank Mobile spoke about the incredible penetration and rise of mobile search activity and how to get your mobile website to rank well in the mobile search results (which uses a different ranking algorithm than a normal desktop/laptop computer result).

She also took us through the paid search landscape, or PPC for mobile devices which we’ve done a fair bit of at Reseo, but not to the level of sophistication she presented.

After the event we did a little networking on a harbour cruise, and I was honoured to share a glass of red with a couple of legends in the analytics industry, Rod Jacka from Panalysis and Jim Sterne from Targeting.com. I read Jim Sterne’s now legendary book Web Metrics a few years ago when I was working for Lonely Planet which helped me to get involved in an analytics project at the time.

Using Jim’s book, I was able to unlock about $200k worth of extra revenue for Lonely Planet annually. I still constantly refer to it to this day.

Seriously, all the sessions were fantastic, from real time search marketing tactics to the now legendary “site clinics”. I highly recommend anyone who has an interest in online marketing trundling along in 2011.

For more Online Sales expert advice, click here.

Chris Thomas heads up Reseo, a search engine optimisation  company which specialises in creating and maintaining Google AdWords campaigns and Search Engine Optimisation campaigns for a range of corporate clients.

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