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Search Engine Optimization :: Lyndsay Walker :: Toronto, Ontario

What email would look like today – Google Wave

Yesterday Google announced a new product at it’s I/O conference- Google Wave.

What is Google Wave? As developer Lars Rasmussen says, it’s “what email would look like if it were invented today.”

That’s the short answer. The long answer is really really long and I’m told barely makes a dent in what Wave will eventually be offering.

The idea is to take your email and instant messaging providers and put it into one place. This may sound familiar, as apps like Digsby and the new Trillian Astraand even FriendFeed provide services like this. What sets Wave appart from the rest is online collaboration.

With real-time online collaboration, Google Wave allows users to edit, comment and chat simultaneously. It integrates almost all email and instant messaging applications (with the exception of Microsoft) as long as it is HTML 5 compliant.

This is all just in Phase 1. Phase 2 will see Google inviting developers to learn and add to this open source application. The success and groth of the product will come from the input of those who are using it. Should these first two phases go well, Google will evolve Wave into a communication platform. There’s more information at www.waveprotocol.org.

This looks really exciting but unfortunately, won’t be available for public use for a little bit longer. You can apply to become a tester by going to the Google Wave site. I’m hoping to be one of those initial users and look forward to sharing my experience with you!

SMX Advanced and SES Toronto

It was a bit odd at first to go from traveling somewhere almost every weekend to not going anywhere in three months. I admit, it’s been nice, but I’m feeling the itch to get out out of Winnipeg lately!

Good thing it’s almost June. I’m attending back to back conferences next week. From June 2-3, it’s Search Marketing Expo Advanced in Seattle and from June 8-9, it’s Search Engine Strategies in Toronto.

SMX Advanced will be a big change from what I’m used to at conferences. For one, there are four of us sharing a suite. Will there be sleep? Ha, I would guess not. Pillow fights in our underwear? Well I don’t want to crush anyone’s dreams, so I won’t comment. Haha. But for the first time in a while, I’m not speaking at the conference I’m attending. I think this will take off a lot of pressure and I can just sit back and absorb the info. Given that this is an advanced show, I felt that was extra important.

And, as usual, I’ll be speaking at SES Toronto. This time I’m speaking on a site clinic. This is awesome because I won’t have to prepare a presentation. Plus I love doing site audits! The best part about SES Toronto is that it’s TORONTO. Home. Oh, sweet home. I will take in every siren, horn honking and close call with a taxi.

If you’re going to be at either of these shows, be sure to come on up and say hi!

Choosing the Right Keywords

Online advertising is a completely different game from traditional offline media. You have a far greater ability to target and segment beyond geographic (newspapers), demographic (magazines) and time (TV/radio). What really distinguishes online advertising is the ability to target keywords.

Keywords come in different shapes and sizes but are vital to any type of web marketing campaign. When compiling a list of keywords and keyphrases, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Misspellings
  • Plurals, synonyms
  • Adding locations to words and phrases (for geotargeting and local search)
  • Avoid too general of terms (example: If you’re a used car dealership in Red Deer Alberta, targeting the keywords “cars” is most likely unattainable with many online marketing methods)
  • Avoid focusing ONLY on long-tail terms. Long-tail is great – such as “used car dealership red deer” but it’s really easy to let it get out of hand. Do you really think more than maybe 0-2 people are searching for “used ford pinto 1977 red deer county alberta canada”?

Your keyword list will change depending on what type of online marketing you’re doing. With search engine optimization, you’re going to want those long-tail terms on your site. With paid search, you have a bit more flexibility (especially since you have the ability to assign a category to your keywords – more on that another day).

Another major strategy that is far too often forgotten when planning keywords is making a list of negative keywords. Negative keywords are words that you DON’T want to be associated with. For instance, an airline would not want to be associated with the word “crash”. Therefore, the word “crash” would be placed on the negative keyword list. To compile your list of negative keywords, follow the guidelines mentioned above.

My final keyword tip is probably the most important – WHEN do plan your keyword strategy. You shouldn’t even be starting any sort of online marketing campaign without a solid keyword list. Your keywords determine the who what and where of your online marketing campaign. They are your guide and without them, your campaign will be lost.

Two new search engines on the horizon – look out Google

For many, many years, Google has had a strangle hold on the search engine market, accounting for at least 60% of market share worldwide. Many other search engines have come and gone, all with the intention of taking that market share away. Not surprisingly, no one has yet succeeded.

However, there are two upcoming search engines that could change everything.

Announced on March 5, 2009, Wolfram Alpha is calling itself a “computational knowledge engine”. What does that mean?? It means it’s taken the technologies that search engines like Google have made and is taking them to a new level by implementing a whole new kind of search technology.

Twitter’s making an algorithm! A wise move by this very fast growing social networking site. Already, many people are turning to Twitter Search for their search queries. The benefit of doing this is finding the most recent information related to the keyword you’ve searching for, posted by people are are conversing about the topic. If Twitter can pull this off, they can become the next big power house.

Keep your eyes open, I think it’s going to be a very exciting time.

Where I've Been and Where I'm Going

I’ve done the whole “I know I’ve been busy but I’m sure I’ll post more” thing, but it’s time to be honest!

Two months ago, I joined Canada’s Web Shop as the Director of Online Marketing. And it’s fantastic! I feel like I’m in a place that’s a great fit and working with clients is a fresh change from working in-house.

Part of my role is contributing regularly to both the blog and email newsletter for the Web Shop. On top of that, I’m also guest blogging biweekly over at Search Engine Journal.

Given that I’ve always said “I’m not a writer!” this has been quite a change! I figure one of two things will happen – either this blog will go quiet, or I’ll become so inspired about my new writing skills, I’ll be writing all the time.

So I’m going to leave you with that suspense. Stick around!

Exercise your Brand with Social Media

In a recent guest post over at Search Engine Journal, I look at several hurdles to clear when implementing social media in-house.

Because social medai tools like Twitter and Facebook really do need to be maintained by an internal employee, you may think that there’s no point in hiring a company to help with it. But actually, many of those hurdles can be overcome with the help of an online marketing company that knows social media inside and out.

One of the hardest part of implementing social media is selling it to the powers that be. An online marketing firm can help you with that – armed with stats and success stories, we can apply strategies to your company. Once the project is given the go ahead-, you have to decide what social networking sites to use and how to set them up. Surprisingly, there’s a lot of strategy that goes behind this. An online marketing company will know this. Finally, for those who want to do it just for the sake of doing it, there’s a lot of training and education involved. We can help you with that too.

Every day, we see more and more stories popping up about small businesses making major gains through social media sites like Twitter. Do you really want to miss out on that?

Check out my article titled Six Hurdles to Clear When Exercising Your Brand In-House and see how that applies to you.