Authors Of Search Engine Marketing Talk

Mike Moran and Bill Hunt, authors of the new edition of  “Search Engine Marketing, Inc.: Driving Search Traffic to Your Company’s Web Site,”spoke to WebProNews about some of the changes they have seen in the industry since their last book in 2005.

How has social media impacted search engine marketing?

Mike Moran: It’s interesting because all the consultants that dove into search marketing a few years ago have now made the trek into social media marketing. I think that the basic idea that you can get attention from doing things for free that resonated with search engine optimizers is the same idea that makes social media so appealing.

The same people who liked the idea of crafting a good Web page to be found by search are excited at the prospect of a blog entry that attracts subscribers. I think that the public relations skill of knowing how to tell a story is the common thread between organic search and social media. If you know the kinds of things that interest your customer, you can create those stories so that search engines find them, but your customers will pass them along as well.

I think that social media has made search marketing more interesting because it’s provided another way to get value from the good content you needed to create for search marketing anyway.

Do you see value in SEM and social media?

MM: Nah, I think it’s all a fad. Oh wait, we wrote a book about it, so we probably think there’s something going on here. Over the last few years almost everyone has discovered the excitement of getting qualified Web traffic without having to pay for advertising (with organic search and social media), or by paying much less than with other forms of advertising (with paid search).

But the real fun begins when you combine social media with search marketing. You can use your search-savvy techniques to get attention for your social media and, in turn, your social media success can bring you links to your Web content, which helps search marketing. I would go on to describe how your now-improved search marketing might further help your social media, but I’m concerned you might get dizzy.

Bill Hunt: Mike nailed it, many are looking to it as the new “it” technique and are moving on past search.  The reality is the better you optimize your content the more it will be found in the engines and the repositories for the different media types.

If you look at the whole chain of events you can see the linkages of the two.  For example, we recently worked with a client on a press release that had wide distribution and was picked up by a number of bloggers which reviewed the product. This was followed by a TV commercial that was added to YouTube. The aggregation of all of these has a cross-link value as well as creating nearly 1,500 new doorways into the site.

What do you believe are the best social media tools for SEM?

MM: I don’t think that any tool is the best in all situations. In the new chapter of the second edition of Search Engine Marketing, Inc. that we devoted to social media, we tried to cover a wide range of tools so that you could choose the ones that work best for your business, which you’ll find out only through experimentation. Most companies can benefit from blogging and microblogging (Twitter and friends), because those tools get your expertise out there front and center.

The things that you know are usually more interesting than that page from your sales catalog, so that kind of content not only develops a following for your company, but also attracts more links than the average Web page does. If your people are the key to your business, such as in consulting, using Facebook, Linked In, and other social networks might be a great way to show off your people.

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