What's Next for You?
Get experience. Learn more. It's that simple. No one becomes a strong practitioner in any area with working at the craft. The craft of search marketing is no exception.
If you have begun executing your first campaign as you have read this book, you are already developing experience. As you have learned, it is critical that you measure everything you do so that you can see what's working and what's not. Using the techniques we have shown you, you can see how to do more of the "hits" and less of the "misses."
Undoubtedly, you learn a lot by doing things yourself, but don't overlook the benefit of hiring your experience. You can hire folks for your search marketing team that have more experience than you do. You can also hire a search marketing vendor to assist you along the way. Seek search marketing mentors wherever you go.
It is amazing how constant practice is often enough to develop the skills you need for any craft. Use the techniques we showed you in this book and repeat them over and over in your search marketing campaigns. You will gradually improve your results. Over time, you will develop excellent search marketing judgmentyou will even learn when you should ignore the techniques we have taught!
If you have chosen the right goals for your site, and the right Web conversions to measure your success, you can track the results of every search marketing campaign. You can analyze those results and act on that knowledge to improve with each new campaign.
No matter how much you have learned, you can always learn more. No matter how many tips we have crammed into this book, you should know that there is so much that we have left out. We have given you plenty to get started and maybe even explained concepts that some experts do not know, but search marketing is constructed from a whole range of details. There is always another way of designing your Web site that causes a crawling problemand the workaround you need to know to fix it. Some smart person will always be figuring out a new bidding strategy for paid searchmaybe one that is perfect for the situation you are in. Just about everything we have explained can be done some other way, and maybe that way would be better for you than the way we have shown.
If you still believe that you know everything about search marketing, just wait a minutesomething will change. Even search marketing experts need to constantly learn what's new in this ever-changing field. If you need any convincing, just flip back to the beginning of this chapter and go over the trends that might change search marketing someday.
If you are keeping up with the changes happening in search marketing, you will know about what is coming before it hits and you will have time to think about what you will do differently. Do you want to be prepared, or caught flat-footed? There are new developments in search marketing every dayyou need to keep up with what's going on to make sure that you will not be caught napping by your competitors. Two places to start are the Web sites of the authors:
Bill Hunt (www.globalstrategies.com). Bill's well-respected Global Strategies International search consultancy is a good company to contact for any search marketing need.
Mike Moran (www.mikemoran.com). Mike's Web site offers insights into the latest trends, and his free e-mail newsletter provides tips that you can use long after you have closed this book. You can also head for www.mikemoran.com/updates to see corrections and significant industry changes since this book was published.
But if you are tired of listening to us, we don't blame you. Luckily, there is no shortage of other voices and helpful tools. You and your central search team can benefit from the vast amount of information available on search marketing, which we outline in the rest of this chapter.
The quickest way to get up to speed in search marketing is to attend a conference. For a crash course, here are several excellent choices:
Search Engine Strategies (www.jupiterevents.com). By far the largest and most comprehensive event, SES is held eight times each year (in Chicago, London, Munich, New York, San Jose, Stockholm, Tokyo, and Toronto), moderated by Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman of Search Engine Watch (www.searchenginewatch.com). Each conference lasts three to four days and features presentations and discussions for both novice and expert search marketers. In addition to the formal agenda, networking events each evening are designed for you to pick the brains of experts. Around $600 per day
PubCon (www.webmasterworld.com). More technical than SES, catering to more to Web Developers and Affiliate marketers, PubCon (now officially called "WebmasterWorld's World of Search") grew out of after-hours networking at the various search conferences into a three-day event that stands on its own, held twice each year in London and one U.S. city. For Webmasters and other technical experts, this event is the valuable one for solving problems, learning new techniques, and keeping up with where the search marketing is headed. As low as $500 to attend
AD:TECH (www.ad-tech.com). A very large event devoted to online advertising, AdTech has added search engine marketing segments in recent years. These introductory sessions are targeted at marketing managers and advertising agencies that want to start learning search marketing. AD:TECH is held for three days three times each year in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. As low as $1,000 to attend
Suchmaschinen-Marketing (www.suchmaschinen-marketing.com). Originating in Zurich before spreading to Bulgaria and Germany, it is held twice a year and lasts two days. More intimate than European SES, some believe that it is easier for companies to get their questions answered than in a larger forum. This event also offers one-on-one consulting with the attendees and some of the presenters during specific "clinic" sessions. Around 750 to attend
eMetrics Summit (www.emetrics.org). Jim Sterne holds the definitive conference on Web metrics and analytics in London and Santa Barbara, both in June for three days. This conference is broader than just search marketing, but all search marketers must understand metrics to be successful. Around $2000 to attend
Conferences are great, but if your budget is lower, you can use other information sources, including some free resources:
Search Engine Watch (www.searchenginewatch.com). Danny Sullivan is probably the best known search expert in the worldthis is his Web site. Known for its industry statistics, Search Engine Watch offers free and paid newsletters as well as free and paid Web articles. The site's forum has become an excellent source of information for those with specific questions. $99 for a one-year subscription
High Rankings Advisor (www.highrankings.com). Jill Whalen offers a free newsletter, Web site, and open forum for discussion. The site provides great advice on search-friendly copy writing, and the forum is well known for helping search marketers solve knotty problems. Free
Search Engine Lowdown (www.searchenginelowdown.com). Andy Beal's blog covers every news story and event in the search marketing industry. Free
e-Marketing News (www.e-marketing-news.co.uk). Mike Grehan offers a free newsletter and Web site that features interviews and insights into the technology behind the search engines, explained so that search marketers can take advantage.
Search Engine Journal (www.searchenginejournal.com). Several writers update this blog on a daily basis. Known for interesting perspectives on the latest search marketing news. Free
Search Engine News (www.searchengine-news.com). Planet Ocean Communications offer a monthly subscription-only newsletter. Subscribers also get access to a search marketing tactics manual with detailed search engine guidelines and other reference material. $97 for a six-month subscription
Search Engine Round Table (www.seroundtable.com). The brainchild of Barry Schwartz, the site aggregates the best commentary from various forums into a central location. This is a daily "must read" for anyone in search marketing. Barry and his team also do an excellent job of recapping the highlights of the major search conferences. Free
Traffick (www.traffick.com). A longstanding commentary site, home to several bloggers with regular insights into events in the search marketing industry. Free
WebmasterWorld (www.webmasterworld.com). Brett Tabke and a series of moderators monitor excellent free discussion areas, and also host subscription discussions known for the presence of top search marketing pros. This is the top resource for Webmasters and other technical personnel. $149 for a one-year subscription
WebProNews (www.webpronews.com). This site offers news stories on all Internet technology subjects, including search marketing. Updated daily, the extensive search marketing section features news and forums. Free