I attended the Search Engine Strategies 2005 Conference & Expo in San Jose last week. If you didn't get a chance to go, here are some highlights.
Search marketing is increasing complex and difficult to do in house. Frustration levels are growing as Google adds new features, competition heats up and new search engines must be evaluated.
Most Popular Products
Related to the growing level of frustration, optimization tools are hot. Lots of companies are trying to solve the management problem. Bid optimization, page optimization and advertising optimization tools were widely available on the show floor. While these tools give advertisers confidence that they are getting the best possible ROI, they are complex to master, and expensive. Small paid search advertisers are at an increasing disadvantage as large corporations and agencies with access to tools and talent pay less and dominate inventory.
If you are considering optimization tools, take a look at: Offermatica, Kefta, Atlas OnePoint, Efficient Frontier, Direct Response, Omniture, and SearchForce.
All the sessions were well attended and, for the most part, filled with practical information to help in search marketing. I got the most out of "Big Site/Big Brand" featuring the experiences of IBM and Intel. If you would like to learn more, Mike Moran of IBM and Bill Hunt of Global Strategies International have written a book of best practices for setting up a search marketing campaign. It's called Search Engine Marketing, Inc., Driving Search Traffic to Your Company's Web Site.
Best of Show
AdGooRoo wins my best of show award. If you are running Google or Yahoo paid search campaigns, you should check this advertising intelligence tool out. AdGooRoo tracks all search advertising activity in any given industry helping you to generate the highest possible return on advertising investment. You can:
> Learn what keywords your competitors are targeting
> Monitor competitors and affiliates for trademark violations
> Improve your ad copy to boost click-through rates
> Compare two advertisers campaigns side-by-side
They have a 10 day trial. Give it a whirl. The eBook "Master the Art of AdWords" is also worth a read. It provides a good perspective on how to optimize your campaign so that you don't overspend with Google.
The Google Dance was VERY young, fun and well organized. The event was well attended by Google employees, customers, and others interested at a peak inside the campus.
That’s it for Search Engine Strategies 2005. I’m glad to be back in the office.