Tag Archives: search industry

Conversion Conference London Keynotes

Conversion ConferenceConversion Conference 2012 has kicked things up a gear with the announcement of two amazing keynote speakers.  Running during Data Driven Business Week, Conversion Conference is focused on acceleration of online competitiveness through best practices, smarter adoption of web analytics and discovering better methods and technologies to provide detailed insights into your customers. Some of the other amazing conferences running that week include eMetrics Marketing Optimisation Summit and Predictive Analytics World.Prof. Wolfgang HenselerThe opening keynote is run by Professor Wolfgang Henseler of Sensory-Minds who is a recognised expert of natural user interface design, usability and user experience.  He is also a consultant to Google & Microsoft on what you will see in the next generation of interface designs.  His keynote will examine challenges the role of applications in multi-touch computing and future dimensions in user experience.Matthew Finlay, CEO of Rising Media responded about the keynote announcement “Professor Henseler is a global expert on customer and user-oriented e-business solutions as well as a user and brand experience specialist. He is creating the blueprint for the next generation of websites and as a result is in demand by global enterprises for his expertise in human-computer design.”also adding that“We are thrilled to have Professor Henseler open this year’s conference in what promises to be a very thought provoking keynote presentation.Nick HolzherrThe second keynote is being presented by Nick Holzherr of Whisk who has built a service to simplify the buying process for customers by converting recipes automatically into shopping lists within online supermarkets.Matthew Finlay, CEO of Rising Media was quoted saying that “Nick is one of the UK’s most innovative young entrepreneurs and his new venture Whisk is set to change the way people do their food shopping online. The foundation for Whisk’s success lies the company’s focus on strategic conversion and delegates will see how this is being implemented in this exciting new business.Nathalie NahaiA final speaker Nathahlie Nahai of Web Psychologist has been added as a keynote speaker for Conversion Conference London.  Nathahlie is an award-winning speaker with a background in digital strategy and psychology and one of the leading voices in her frield to have both academic and hands-on experience in online persuasion.  Nathahlie is also a member of #OglivyChange that utilisies cognitive psychology, social psychology and behavioural economics to produce behaviour interventions in real life.Conversion Conference 2012 Pass Options
  • Two Day Conversion Conference Pass (Access to Conversion Conference sessions and Expo Hall on 27th November AND 28th November)
  • One Day Conversion Conference Pass (Access to Conversion Conference sessions and Expo Hall on 27th November OR 28th November)
  • Combo Pass eMetrics (Access to Conversion Conference & eMetrics sessions + Expo Hall)
  • Super Combo Pass (Access to eMetrics, Conversion Conference AND Predictive Analytics World sessions + Expo Hall)
  • Exhibit Hall Only Pass (Access to Exhibition Hall Only - no conference sessions)
Conference Discount & Registration
Book early for London 2012 and save with our 15% Discount Code LOSTAGENCY12  and register for conference here
Conversion Conference Venue
Business Design Centre, Islington 52 Upper Street, London N1 0QH, United Kingdom Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7359 3535 Conversion Conference Social Media Links Follow them on twitter @ConvCon, and track the 2012 conversation with hashtag #ConvCon

SEO Desktop Tools

This a review of one of the leading platforms that I've trusted for my SEO research and client campaigns over the past 4 years but has actually been in the market since 2002.  The platform I continue to trust for my SEO tasks has been Advanced Web Rankings and it's sister package Advanced Link Manager. One platform I use for checking my keyword rankings and the other I use for monitoring and link building campaigns but also for analysis of competitors websites. This is not the only package I use but it's one platform that I've been consistently using over the past 4 years and certainly wonder sometimes how I can do my analysis without it.Go Desktop or go homeSome of the many reasons that I've been such a fan of their platforms is they run a desktop application which means that when my internet connection goes down or I need have to access their data offline I'm able to, unlike many of their competitors which are built on web 2.0 platforms. They offer the most powerful seo software in the business and I've stuck with it as it offers the hardcore analysis you need to get the best data possible to make the right decisions, no need to wait 2-3 months for new data it can be mined and ready for analysis in just a few hours. If you have done something wrong such as tracking the wrong keywords you can make a change such as add in an extra keyword and re-run the update to get a fresh batch of ranking reports.  The other benefit is that once the data is in place and you have to track a new competitor you can just drop their domain or URL into the platform and it will map them against your existing keyword data.The performance of desktop software compared to web 2.0 is one of the other reasons that I prefer to do my hardcore analysis in a dedicated platform, just as you export your data to Excel when you want to do real number crunching.SEO software suitable for the paranoidWhile it's not a massive concern for myself currently, there are a number of people in the industry that are reluctant to use web-based SEO platforms as the T&Cs can imply that they in fact own all your SEO data.  I have found there is also the bonus feature of AWR is that your campaign SEO data is stored locally so there is no concern that other people are able to access your tracking data so the package is perfect for the paranoid marketers and those who may need to keep such data private.Main benefits of SEO Desktop Tools?My main reason why I love the AWR and ALM platforms and continue to use them and recommend them is that their platform is that it is available offline, but that it also offers enterprise/hardcore crawling & keeps my data stored locally. While the upgrade process can sometimes be a bit time-consuming the other advantage of running a desktop version is that you are not force upgraded to the latest version without consent.  This forced upgrade of web 2.0 properties often causes users a lot of head ache as they might be happy with the current features and interface and having to go through a major change and re-learning process does not feature on their weekly to do list. It's also another great source for tracking how some of your sites or your competitors sites have been hit by recent Panda 2.5 updates.Primary Benefits of Web Rankings & Link Manager
  • Search engine rankings on your desktop
  • Most accurate, reliable and comprehensive seo data
  • Automated SEO reports for make your reporting process faster
  • offering automated data backups to safe guard your search data
  • always improving and rolling out progressive updates/refinements
  • access to the most comprehensive and accurate keyword research tools
  • data privacy is ensured as all data is stored locally no-one has access to it
  • add personal touches to your SEO reports and deliver straight to their inbox
Why website owners should use Advanced Web Ranking
  • Keyword research tool
  • search engine friendly
  • Choose from more than 2000 search engines
  • Import keywords from file, URLs, websites or automatically
  • Get automatic keyword suggestions from Google
  • Sort all keywords by priority
  • Manage your keywords and create compound keywords
  • Get keyword data from WordTracker
  • View information in interactive reports
  • Quick overview of website ranking
  • only gather the relevant results
  • evaluate your competitors before optimising your web page
  • request new custom search engines
  • quickly analyse your website and learn how to improve it
  • query Google Maps to check local rankings
Why SEOs should use Advanced Web Ranking
  • Google preview search engine
  • use multiple proxy servers to decrease update time
  • constantly monitor search engine updates
  • get onpage analysis for keywords
  • email your customers automatically
  • export your ranking reports in multiple formates
  • automatically upload client reports via FTP
  • schedule updates for multiple projects at the same time
  • easily organise hundreds of projects
  • manage multiple user profiles
  • setup automatic triggers to send special reports
  • export your data to your in-house tools
  • get the same result your customers see in their part of the world
  • schedule updates to be done while you are away from your computer
  • use multiple API keys for search engines
Caphyon continuously improving their platformThere have been some amazing updates to their platform since I previously reviewed it back in April 2010, but the biggest change has been the move to the new interface which has increased some functionality but also streamlined some work processes. The new platform is much similar to popular web 2.0 interfaces and offers a far simpler interface for daily tasks and the analysis while taking a bit more to adjust if you are used to the old platform does make it quicker to do quick analysis.  The biggest difference I've seen over the years is the radical improvement in the platforms ability to deal with massive amounts of historical data as some of my projects have 3+ years of tracking data.
Advanced Web Ranking (Old Interface)

Advanced Web Ranking (Old Interface)

Advanced Web Ranking (New Interface)

Advanced Web Ranking (New Interface)

The new platform has been scaled right back to focus on the 6 key aspects of your campaigns, but it is a learning curve when you are switching from the old version to the new interface and some of your standard seo ranking features take a bit more digging to find them first time round.  The only aspect which is not yet possible is to customise the primary icons or create shortcut icons for common reports that you might need for your day-to-day tasks. The only 2 new features that are not showing in the screenshot are the backlink reports and google analytics data that you can now import into AWR so you can start to have a central platform for making analysis on how your SEO campaigns are performing.Why not use Multiple IPs?One of the issues with running desktop software is that you risk having your IP address blacklisted by Google for scraping its SERPs but also it can take far longer to do a complete your ranking update.  But after struggling with this issue for a number of years I finally made the jump to multiple IPs and I haven't looked back, besides a few technical hiccups with the supply of some below average IPs the process has been fairly awesome and i'm considering how much I can scale this process up so I can get updates done in minutes and not hours?Advanced Web Ranking Update History
  • Version 8.5 (Sep 29th, 2011) - Import SEOmoz Linkscape backlink data, synchronise ranking data with Google Analytics data
  • Version 8.1 (June 14th, 2011) - Improved printable reports user interface, ability to display best position in charts for multiple date reports, ability to copy/paste keywords from Project settings, ability to modify an existing keyword, browser manager
  • Version 8.0 (April 18th, 2011) - Redesigned the application User Interface, Over 1000 improvements to usability and design, new and improved scheduler service, search from location in Google
  • Version 7.5 (October 5th, 2010) - overview printable report grouped by keyword category, Google Suggest for countries, Website Optimisation Overview (Top 10 comparison), Export to HTML for the Website Optimisation
  • Version 7.4 (August 10th, 2010) - Overview chart, the Website Optimisation report, ability to get keywords from the Google Webmaster Tools API, ability to display not ranked items in the multiple dates chart, Overview by keyword category, ability to display mozRank in reports, FTP over SSL
  • Version 7.3 (May 28th, 2010) - ability to group proxies by category, SEMRush API for keyword suggestion, Bing API, FTP profiles per project, table summary to the competition report, XSLT transformation for the competition report, ability to import local search engines from CSV, ability to import Google Preview locations from CSV
Advanced Link Manager Update History
  • Version 7.5 (October 5th, 2010) - Website Optimisation Overview (Top 10 comparison), Export to HTML for the Website Optimisation, ability to gather up to 10000 links from SEOMoz
  • Version 7.4 (August 10th, 2010) - the Website Optimisation report, FTP over SSL, ability to run only Rank updates, the index page by default to a project, ability to update broken links on scheduler
  • Version 7.3 (May 28th, 2010) - ability to gather links from a SEOMoz Pro account, mozRank column to interactive Unverified Referrers and Referrers reports, Bing API integration, proxy server categories, Automatically add the meta keywords and the title as keywords on a new project, progress for FTP files uploading
It's free so why not try it?
As no-one want's to take the dive into a new platform without some insight like most of the leading SEO platforms they do offer a free 30 day trial download, which includes both Advanced Web Ranking and Advanced Link Manager. I suggest you take it for a spin and see how this can help your day-to-day SEO tasks and certainly make end of month reporting that much easier.

Yahoo Clues for SEO

Yahoo Clues LogoYahoo has today rolled out an updated to their Buzz platform that put's it far ahead of Google Trends and Google Real-time and the usability places it in the grasp of being useful to everyone who is able to operate a mouse.  I really love the potential power of the platform combined with its pure simplicity with huge vaults of almost real-time demographic data and is large enough that I can see what users in Queensland, Australia are looking putting it on par with many enterprise social media platforms.The platform is very much pitched around what celebrities get the most buzz but I see the platform has some very powerful features outside the paparazzi knowing who to stalk online for the next high of traffic to their fashion blogs.  If you are involved in marketing or search you should be testing some of your primary keywords to see what insights you can learn and measure this against your Facebook fan page analytic data to gauge the variance in the data, but I can tell you damn it's cool!What it Yahoo Clues tells you
  • what other popular queries relate to your term
  • what is the previous search query before your term
  • what is the next likely query after your term
What can I do with Top Trends?
This platform is very cool because it offers the ability to quickly filter through data to find most popular search queries and then drill down by time period, gender, age range, location and even category of interest.  If you were a Melbourne based travel site looking for content ideas of what to write about you could see what are the current top search queries but also where you should considering buying PPC traffic or adding to your weekly email newsletter.
Melbourne Most Popular City Search Queries

Melbourne Most Popular City Search Queries

There are some limitations currently around the depth of categories but this will hopefully increase as more data is added to the platform, so best you look at using "trends" to find specific keywords or terms in more detail.
What can I do with Trends Analysis?
I have run two quick sample queries to show you if you were looking to understand the demographics of people who are searching for SEO online and even where you might be targeting your Facebook Ads you can do in an instant.
Yahoo SEO Trends

Yahoo SEO Trends

SEO versus PPC Traffic

SEO versus PPC Traffic

See Yahoo Clues in Action!I did a video review of the platform and how you can use Top Trends & Trends Analysis for your keyword or article research, but also so you know more about your Facebook demographic before you start targeting them via Facebook Ads, please check it out below and then go and play with it for yourself.

Apture Helps with Highlights

Apture Logo

One of the cool plugins I noticed last week on the WSJ was Apture, it was being used to link to a relevant YouTube clip. What I liked about the plugin was that it did not open a new tab or take me away from the article it simply opened a popup window. The advantage is the user experience is improved but also the visitor is much more likely to stay on your website. Apture advise that their plugin offers publishers around 2-3 times more engagement on average.

Apture already has publisher integrations with

  • Scribd
  • Venture Beat
  • The New York Times
  • The Financial Times
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Economist

Limited scalability with manual tagging
One of the issues that publishers have flagged in the past about Apture is that it can be too much work to create each of the Apture links manually. While it's great to have control over what content or sites you link out to, it's also very time-consuming if the whole process is manual. It seems that a number of the publishers don't always make full use of the plugin and how extensively it is used often comes down to the writer or editor who needs to be more proactive.

Plugin makes it scalable
Back in August 2010 Apture rolled out the first version of their Browser plugin. This meant that it was possible for anyone with the plugin to enable Apture links on any page. this is an improvement on the previous version which only allowed searches within Apture content with the same version of Apture installed.

Apture Highlights Chrome Plugin
There is currently 25,312 Chrome users with the plugin and the audience is growing at around 1,081 weekly installs. You can download the Apture chrome browser plugin here.

Apture Highlights Firefox Plugin
There is currently 366,684 Firefox users with the plugin and the audience is growing at around 20,175 weekly installs. You can download the Apture Firefox browser plugin here.

Search quickly through content

One of the advantages of the plugin for SEOs is that you can quickly define terms and source content directly from within the CMS to bulk out the article you are writing. You don't have to even highlight the whole word as Apture is smart enough to highlight the whole phrase or keyword. The auto-round feature for your text selection ensures you can highlight text recklessly but still get the right results.

Apture expanded screenshot

Get more information in one place
Once you have highlighted the phrase you can get information from Wikipedia, YouTube, Google Images and Twitter by clicking the Learn More icon. The Apture window also offers results from both Google & Bing which is useful for quick research.

Apture SocialLinks "Beta"
One of the cool new features they are rolling out is Apture SocialLinks (beta). The Apture Highlights automatically turns the most popular search terms into links. The other advantage of this new sociallinks is that it offers click analytics data.

Apture SocialLinks Plugin

Apture Plugins don't work with AdBlockers

One of the downside to any technology like this is that because of how it operates, many Ad blocking plugins prevent it from functioning correctly. The problem is that many basic users won't have the patience or technical expertise to implement the work around so it will work with Ad blockers installed.

CMS Plugins still needed?

I believe that there is still a need for website owners to have a reasonable amount of control over what external content you are linking to but also to expand the platform beyond just those who have the browser plugin. It would be useful to specify a certain list of keywords that should always be changed to a SocialLink where possible.  Similar to Affiliate or Kontera style plugins I should be able to advise of keywords or phrases not to auto tag.

So I suggest you check it out as it's a fairly nifty little browser plugin and you will wonder how you did without it soon enough.

Bing Auto SERPs

Bing Autos LogoWhile the world turns back to Detroit for the 2011 North American International Auto Show, we see a new feature being rolled out from Bing that adds in an enhanced auto result to it's decision engine. It seems that this move follows their Farecast platform that presents much of the information you need to book flights, hotels or holidays, but is not yet as closely integrated within the search results.   It is interesting that this Auto product wasn't released sooner as it does seem a much smarter way to search for a new car or fall in love with the Ford Mustang once again.Below is the current standard Bing search result for a "2010 Ford Mustang", but you can now see a new tab "Autos" showing just next to "Web" at the top of the search results.  The new Bing results don't currently blend the Auto results into the standard results but keep the results more transparent by segmenting them into a new Autos tab.Bing Standard ResultThe new Bing Autos results are shown in the two screenshots below and are vastly visually different from the standard Bing results but the primary bits of information are already showing in the standard search results but this may increase as Bing understands user behaviours and preferences overtime. Just as Google is able to adjust and adapt their product quickly due to the sheer volume of users testing it's platform as Bing grows expect to see more radical changes to new products like Bing Autos occurring faster.
New Bing Auto Results

New Bing Auto Results

Bing Auto Reviews

Bing Auto Reviews

You can see from the hyperlinks from the page that much of the information is still being drawn in via Autos.MSN.com but using the Bing platform they are able to make the data more searchable and the usability has also been greatly improved with a much lighter and quicker loading interface than the old Autos.MSN.com portal. While much of the owner reviews information is been linked from Autos.MSN.com it still prevents a lot of information in a nice clean, clear and concise way and it's mostly free of advertising except for 2 at the top right side. The auto reviews tab does allow for some fairly cool analysis of your car with owner ratings & reviews and even video reviews of your car.How does Google compare against Bing Auto?The closest comparison that I could find was Google Shopping tab but that seems to be mostly occupied with Die Cast Metal Collectibles and some Ford Mustang spare parts, not really anything spectacular at this stage.
Google Shopping Results

Google Shopping Results

What could make Bing Auto better?While it's clear that the platform has just launched and will certainly undergo some massive changes, here are a few initial points that I wished had been there at launch, including a comparison engine where you can view multiple cars side by site.  I can understand that they are being more commercial sensitive to their commercial partners and don't yet want to ruin them by launching a loan comparision website as Google did covered in more detail in my post Google Mortgage Rates.The left side menu offers 3 primary filters for Auto Results
  1. Model (sorted by Price)
  2. Competitors
  3. Model years (sorted by year)
Suggested Bing Auto Improvements
  • It would be great to see some new types of filters - fuel type, drivetrain, transmission, seating, coupe?
  • It would be useful to see 3 call to action buttons (Buy, Lease, Rent) even as sponsored links/sites
  • Consider using language specific to regions such as outside the USA "Bing Cars" instead of "Bing Autos"
It's very interesting to see how Bing is working to differentiate it's platform from Google but based on this Auto platform they could expand quickly to other verticals quickly and easily using data within the MSN network.  I suggest you check out the Ford Mustang and have a play around with their platform, just remember you may have to set your preference for country to USA by the link at the top right if you are based outside USA.

Trunk.ly – Link Engine

Trunk.ly LogoEveryone know the pain in having to search back through hundreds of past tweets trying to find exactly what was that link URL that you ReTweeted that you need to use right now or want to help out friend request on Twitter as someone looking for that exact URL. Well Trunk.ly has created what I term as a "Link Engine" where you are able to make all the links you have shared socially to be search-able.  Most people freely admit that Twitter's search functionality is fairly limited and and most platforms don't allow for searching across multiple data sources from a single search window but Trunk.ly appears to have solved that issue.It was highlighted today in a Tweet via Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz who made the bold prediction that this platform could get big.  I would have to agree with his statement as I was able to create an account, follow a few suitable friends it suggested and add in my RSS feed from my blog and all my previous tweets in less than 5 minutes.  The point is that the website got the usability down to a fine art and my account is created and progressively expanding my history of links. It was covered by RWW back in December last year but didn't seem to make that much press elsewhere until more recently when a number of members in the SEO and Marketing industry such as Rand started promoting their use of the tool.  While Trunk.ly was first created to deal with the pending death of Delicious it also emails you to start to manage the ever growing mountain of links shared via social media in a personal link engine.Trunk.ly InterfaceYou can see below a partial screenshot of the interface with the ability to tab between your own links or those friends you chose to follow with a enhanced search as you type module to find links via keyword. Their search platform is very powerful and allows you to conduct a search via keywords, phrases, partial domains extensions, link urls, link title, text of the tweet and even text on the linked page. That's right if you share a link but can only remember what is the content on the page you can now discover this using Trunk.ly along with who else shared the link, total number of shares, ability to delete the link or edit the link details.Trunk.ly LinksThe downside is that at this stage you can only view Friends links and cannot search through them as a whole group but can click on a user and you can quickly search through any of their links from all the sources they have connected to Trunk.ly.  You can see in the screenshot below you can see you bio, one web link, location and the total number of your links that are now searchable via Trunk.ly and anyone you are following or following you.  The image is powered by Gravatar.com which makes it easy to ensure you have a consistent profile picture across a number of web 2.0 properties, but it is slow to update and may require a click on the "check this gravatar" to speed up the refresh.Trunk.ly ProfileWhat about no results?It's kinda cool that Trunk.ly thought outside the box when it provided the zero results screen as it encourages users that if they just connected it may take several hours to process your initial links but you should also connect to some social networks.  The more data they have the better your results will be and the more data they will have to refine their search algorithms and suggested users you should consider following, but it would be great if it then could allow you to click and search the links of those friends you are following.No Trunk.ly ResultsWho else shared the Links?Trunk.ly offers a far more advanced understanding of who has shared a particular link, but is limited to those who are Trunk.ly users.  But you can start to see the potential of the platform as you can start to see how the value of the link stats will grow with more users joining Trunk.ly, including how many people shared the links, when it was first shared and who first shared it. This can be useful to complement platforms like Bit.ly for measuring your social media campaigns as many users may select to share links generated by other shortners such as TinyURL or FB.me or via a standard link and the sharing data could not be captured.Shared by the following Trunk.ly users...Edit Trunk.ly LinksIt is possible to retro-actively edit links stored within your Trunk.ly platform to fix incorrect titles, update URLs, descriptions or add tags to improve the search results.  It's important to note that any #Hashtags used in a tweet will be automatically added as a tag for the link saving you time, but also making it possible to search based on Hashtag later to see what related links you shared. While it may not be used much it is useful as often a link URL Title might not be accurate or the note/text related to the tweet might be incorrect or scrapped from a site's meta description providing no real value on what the link relates to.Edit Trunk.ly LinksTrunk.ly supports what platforms?It's great that one of the key benefits of the platform is the ability to connect multiple social platforms, book marks and even RSS feeds. Trunk.ly makes it easy to import your blog URLs for a searchable record of what links you included and when you added those links and has tested it with WordPress, Posterous, Tumblr & Instapaper. It is likely that other platforms such as Reddit, Digg, Linkedin and email might be added in the future as the platform expands it's userbase and demand for alternative platforms rises.  Most websites these days do provide a public RSS so it's easy to add these to your Trunk.ly connections and you could potentially add your favourite RSS feeds to monitor what links are being shared/promoted without having to read the article.
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feeds
  • Delicious
  • PinBoard
Trunk.ly ConnectionsYou can easily load your links from 5 main networks within just a few minutes via their authorisation page but at peak times Trunk.ly advises you might have to wait a few hours.  I found that this was not the case and unlike a number of other web 2.0 platforms within just minutes I had access to both everyone link I have ever included in this blog and also every link I have tweeted via @TheLostAgency.  This was a great start to using a new platform and now that I have authorised these 2 accounts Trunk.ly will continue to check these services for new links every few hours.Existing Trunk.ly ConnectionsYou can see above that as part of the transparency of the Trunk.ly model it lists what connections you have linked to your account, when it was last updated, when it was last checked and the type of connection it is.  This is useful in your search results as you can see what platforms that you might have shared that link by including Facebook, Delicious, Twitter or Pinboard.Trunk.ly Limitations & Privacy WarningsWhen you first connect Trunk.ly to Twitter they can store your last 3,200 tweets but you are unable to search any links prior to this due to Twitter limitations but can capture everything from that point forward.  If you delete or unfavour a tweet once it is in Trunk.ly this will not automatically remove it.  You cannot currently extract with the Facebook API any links that you just selected to Like but did not comment on, also no privacy settings are followed so any links you share will be stored and available to all Trunk.ly users. If you don't wish to have your links that you share public you can set your Trunk.ly profile to private. The advice from the developers is that Trunk.ly will continue to grow and look at privacy features but you can read about it in more detail here.Discover my Shared LinksIf you find that you want to see what links I have shared on this blog or via Twitter you can see my Trunk.ly links here, and don't forget to signup and test the platform for yourself.

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