Category: Digital Media & Marketing

Any post related to digital marketing, media, search marketing etc.

International Search Summit Oslo (4)

The last block of the International Search Summit in Oslo is on its way.

Yet another great case study presented by Pontus Kristiansson, Avail Intelligence: European landscape – Behavioral Merchandising and On Site Optimisation. I asked Pontus earlier what they are doing and, in a nutshell, he explained that they analyse the search behaviour and from that data Avail makes sure that the “product pictures” shown on e-commerce sites are relevant to the user. And, therefore, they increase the conversion rate for their clients.


Wow, this is great. This goes beyond testing what Divolution spoke about at our International Search Summit in London 2008. So now we cannot only test your site on which frames and boxes convert best for your target audience, you can also determine which pictures in the box that converts best will increase the conversion on top of the design. I hope that makes sense?!


Now, does SEO, PPC, e-commerce etc. work – Andy Atkins-Krueger of WebCertain now speaks about Tracking – An Overview of the importance of synchronised tracking and how search patterns are different in different regions. He also introduces WebCertain’s newest product Global Central, the only tracking tool that compares “apples with apples” for various campaigns in various countries, and shows all those results in ONE screen.

Tracking is still very important to see your visitors journey, your conversion rate, the bounce rate etc. – all your KPIs need to be measured and analysed to ensure you are doing the right thing to rectify any campaigns towards achieving your ROI.

Before the round up, Jørgen Brunborg-Næss of Synlighet speaks about Airline – Tracking challenges and KPI differences in a multinational campaign.

Jørgen has worked with clients such as Norwegian (airline), (newspaper) and Gooba (auction). His presentation focuses on “Norwegian Air Shuttle” for whom Synlighet manages the PPC campaign. Really, the key summaries are:

– acknowledge that each market has its own characteristics
– build a common campaign structure that allows you to easily transfer learning from one market to another
– measure, report and compare on details

Summarising the event, host John Brenne and Andy Atkins-Krueger round up the well organised and well presented day. Real life case studies on SEO and PPC, international campaigns and tracking. Which factors to consider for international search marketing and ways of converting visitors into customers.

Another great event for the search marketing industry is over. Not long until WebCertain opens its doors for the International Search Marketing Summit focusing on International Social Media Campaigns and Developments in the British Library in London.

Bookmark our site,, and register today to join our event on the 14th of May 2009 with an incredible early bird price of only £345.

Also, feel free to register for WebCertain’s newsletter Secrets.

I will go to the networking event now, having a glass of vino to round up the day and discuss search marketing issues … before heading back to London shortly.

Have a good weekend everyone.

International Search Summit Oslo (3)

The afternoon here in Oslo starts off with “SEO Howlers”. Andy from WebCertain, Kristjan from Nordic eMarketingg and Sergey from start off to point out interesting facts of what they found on various international sites, such as teh “formula to lose money” and “robot.txt that just don’t work”.

It is hard to summarise a session whilst moderating it at the same time. However, the howlers point out common or not so common mistakes made by search marketers across the world.

Since I am moderating, after listening earlier at the International Search Summit, I only briefly summarise the key points (sorry). If you want to be involved, register today for our London International Search Summit, the early bird discount expires on the 31st of March 2009

Following form there is speaker Beate Lofseik of outlines an interesting case study about for their SEO efforts. Beate is an experienced Webmaster and Public Affairs officer and worked for IM Skaugen, Oslo Stock Exchange and Terra-Gruppen.

She focuses on the main categories of:
– Technical
– URLs
– Links

Regarding content, telling a story and giving things people want to read about. It shows, as Peter outlines in his session below, that content is still king. And, that it is so important. Good content, keyword rich with specific messages. Combining it with the above, e.g. a good URL structure in a search engine friendly CMS with lots of links. Basic, but very effective SEO!

The last session before the afternoon coffee break is about “Roadmap: Working with clients to realise their international potential”. WebCertain’s Client Services Manager Paul Reeve together with Peter Kersbergen, SEO Strategist, speak about synchronising the search marketing activities for clients and why the centralised approach of WebCertain works better than a non centralised approach.

WebCertain is the only international search marketing agency offering over 32 languages in house and work on all international campaigns from one location with native speakers. Paul points out which impact the agency structure has on the way agencies can work on international campaigns, drawing on his 20 year’s experience in the travel industry and managing their online marketing.

The advantages of centralised operations are:

– No time zone issues
– 1 point of contact
– Dedicated search linguists and native speakers
– Synchronised search, working on PPC and SEO campaigns across various countries
– The centralised approach allows to turn on e.g. one PPC campaign in Japan whilst turning the one in Brazil off
Centralised global tracking

But also, coming from a client services point of view, Paul outlines “what good clients are”. Simliar to Efva this morning, he outlines how important it is to form a partnership between the agency and the client to improve the overall marketing and making search part of the overall marketing mix.

Peter concludes the first part of the afternoon with the key factors to be considered running international campaigns. He points out the importance of:

– Domain choice
– Domain names
– Local hosting
– Language choice
– Language tags
– Webmaster Tools
– Localised URLs
– Content
– Duplicate Content
– Local Links
– Country Selector
– Dynamic SEO

Some members of the audience are pictured here 🙂


International Search Summit Oslo (2)

After the first part of the Summit we are back in Oslo for the 2nd part.

The second part of the International Search Summit in Oslo hosted by WebCertain, the leading international search marketing specialists, starts with a case study:

Gard Jenssen from,
shows us “How to use SEO for B2B sales support internationally”. Gard
was VP Product Development at Yahoo! Europe, VP Product at Kelkoo, National Expert at European Commission in charge of the
EC’s first web site, Chief Development Editor at (Telenor Media) and created the first version of the Norwegian Government’s web site in 1994.

His session discusses the Search Journey, starting with the user’s intention and search, looking at the results and finding and buying. Particularly the B2B sector he points out are “professional buyers” and do thorough research. Often their product search is very “long tail”. So in order to attract any visitors to your site, you need to make sure you have a good keyword strategy and using AdWords for “learning” and for leads. A good strategy is always to run some AdWords to see which keywords are converting and then use them for PPC as well as SEO.

Gard uses his client as a case study and how he improved their campaigns. Very impressive results for a B2B client!

Following up from Gard is Kristjan Mar Hauksson from Nordic eMarketing. He presents a case study on “What you need from an CMS to make it SEO friendly?”.

A “crawlable” CMS is key:

– overcoming indexing barriers
– relevant, good HTML/xHTML
– accessibility
– site and information architecture
– content, right keywords
– links, in and out!

Jens Peter Nielsen from Dynamic Web has a very interesting case study about “Assisting clients with multiple domains using a CMS platform to reach its global potential in search”.

Jens has over 10 years experience in the industry and his case study about company having 120 stores in 45 countries. The main challenges were:

– 40 languages
– over 200 domains and its domain structure
– adjusting the CMS
– 301 redirects
– 404 error pages

The results for his clients, after 27 weeks, he is looking at:
– 30% increase in visitors
– 25% more visitors from search engines

Off for a networking lunch now. The audience here in Oslo is very high calibre. International Search Marketeers from leading Scandinavian companies that run international campaigns and work on multilingual search marketing projects.

Don’t forget, the next MUST ATTEND event for International Search Marketeers is taking place on the 14th of May 2009 in the British Library in London.

Early Bird Discount of £345 is available until end of March 2009!

International Search Summit Oslo (1)

Today, the 1st International Search Summit outside London takes place – in Oslo, Norway. WebCertain, the multilingual search marketing specialist, hosts the 3rd International Search Summit after 2 successful events in the British Library in London 2008.

2009 will see the next London event, International Search Summit on the 14th of May in the British Library. Speakers there include Bebo, Linkedin and Plaxo as well as international search specialists speaking about Twitter, Facebook, and other social media marketing tendencies and techniques.

The Oslo event on international search kicks off with John Brenne from the WebCertain Oslo office introducing the event and pointing out issues related to “going global”:

– Research
– Language
– Localisation aspects
– Currency
– Methods of payment

Following on from that, WebCertain’s MD Andy Atkins-Krueger, is speaking about “Guidelines for Setting up sites for international markets”. Andy points out the huge opportunity globally online:

Also, in terms of tracking domain names, the most growth is seen in emerging markets such as China, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, and India but also in Germany. Languages used online are still lead by English but followed by Chinese, Spanish, Japanese and French. Further in the top 10 are German, Arabic, Portuguese, Korean and Italian. So the European top languages, English and FIGS (French, Italian, German Spanish) plus Chinese are still the key languages online. Andy points out that the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China), as mentioned above, have a huge potential for online business!

Brazil for instance has a fast growing Internet user base but also their most popular social network, Orkut, has about 20m users!

Even Russia’s social networks, Odnoklassniki and Vkkontake, have around 18 million and 14 million users respectively. Russia is still a market where Google still hasn’t been able to catch up with Yandex from being the most used Search Engine!

China’s leading sarch engine is still Baidu . Andy concludes his interesting presentation about the right coding, long tail in different countries, SEO localisation, local link building, and further tips to run international campaigns and choosing / avoiding localisation problems. For some languages, there are no translation for certain terms. My most favourite example is “weekend break” which just does not have translation into German, however there are localisations, e.g. “ein Wochenende wegfahren”, “Wochenend Reise”.

Efva Gabrielsson works for Lawson Software and manages their web content and online marketing. She is responsible for the online marketing activities, including SEO and SEM. Main aims and objectives for her is to increase relevant visitors to their site, reduce the bounce rate and being in control of critical parts, e.g. PPC Management and landing pages.

Efva points out the difficulties in house teams face, e.g. getting funding and understanding from top management for online marketing. Also, she outlines how to chose an agency and what questions to ask them:

– Who is dealing with my account?
– How would you optimise costs?
– How do you track conversions and which tools do you use?
– What track record do you have?
– How do you handle global campaigns? Native speakers?
– Do you offer bespoke reporting?
– Do you offer multi variable testing?
– Can you show me your track record/references?
– Can I keep my (ad words) account/own my account?
– Have you worked with similar clients in the field? Experience?
– How do you get me top rankings? White hat techniques?
– Do you take the overall marketing strategy into consideration?

Important aspects are to integrate:

– PR and communication
– Advertising
– Marketing and Strategy
– Goals per business unit
– Integrate IT and other systems

She concludes that it is important to work in partnership with the agency and compares the advantages / disadvantages of outsourcing Search Marketing or to do it in house – or both.

Her lessons learned are summarised as:

– Be a demanding customer.
– Rewrite the contract until you feel good.
– Evaluate the agency and strategic expert – consider changing if you are not happy.
– Consider doing (at least part of it) yourself.
– Rely on your program and not on the people executing it.

This concludes the first part of the International Search Summit in Oslo.

Inbound Marketing – push versus pull

I am a little behind writing about things. But Hubspot who has built itself a good reputation for inbound marketing over the last while, has done a webinar about “Measuring Inbound Marketing 101“.

Coming from a telemarketing background and being a strong believer that outbound marketing works, I am not denying that inbound marketing might be more effective. The “push versus pull” approach. I agree that email marketing, Radio and TV adverts are not working as well anymore. Direct Mail I believe is still a viable outbound marketing tool as it lands directly on your desk and is used less often by companies these days. So it might be on its way back?!

What is inbound marketing? Using “pull marketing techniques” such as

a) Social media: twitter, Facebook, Linkedin
b) Search Marketing (SEO/PPC): being found rather than finding the client
c) Bringing content to people, e.g. blogs, PR, videos or podcasts

Those information need to be found, using the right “tags” by the people that are potential clients for your services. E.g. instead of you phoning 100 people a day and hoping that 10% are interested in your service, you wait until they come to you. But does that work?

Yes and No. From my opinion if you are operating in a niche, it is much easier for people to find you as you are very special in what you do. However, if you are not in a niche, e.g. you are a mortgage provider, you might want to use “push marketing” because you need to create the brand awareness and get in people’s faces. Unless you have a USP (unique selling point) that is working well and makes you stand out from the crowd and attracts (pulls) prospects in.

So, bottom line would be: create a product or serve people’s needs. Position it in above and against your competitors and wait for prospects to find you.

Now, in the webinar from Hubspot, they are speaking about how to measure it. I think that is really the tricky bit. Having a great brand or product you might generate “followers” on twitter or Facebook and you could get request, but how do you measure the direct impact?

Of course you could look at the acquisition costs or the costs per action, e.g. how many leads are coming through the door due to your marketing efforts. Question is: what if no one comes through the door? What if your target audience not looking “online”. I guess the overall concept of your marketing strategy, as always, depends a lot on your demographics too.

The latter can be measured – one from your research and also through analytics. Because if you use analytics correctly you find out how long people spend on your side, which pages they visit and what time of the day the traffic is generated. Where is their exit point?

Behavioural targeting can play a role here, as you might want to target a certain demographic and target audience based on their online behaviour? But that is a topic for another time.

So yes, you can measure the reach but you cannot measure the impact, or can you? Maybe you can. Because Search Marketing is measurable and your referrals from social media is too. And, if one of those are not working in your favour, you need to step up the game in that channel.

To sum up – when and how does inbound marketing work?

1. know your prospect/client base
2. if they are online users (and most are nowadays), find the channels they use
3. use those channels to establish your profile
4. make yourself and your proposition “search-able” in the chosen channels
5. make yourself aware to your target audience with the right “keywords”/sales proposition
6. measure the impact
7. close the deal

Thanks for this lesson. If you want to find out more about which digital or online marketing channel works for you, visit cb consulting.


Twitter Twitter Tools

Twitter seems to become more and more popular. And, you can check how well you are doing with that social media tool, too! Here is a list from justtweetit.

Volker’s Twitter Profile

The Twitter Grader by my friends from Hubspot puts me on rank 118,561 out of 1.2 m – not sure if that is good or not.

Tweetstats shows you not only the amount of tweets, but your density per day and who you tweet to most. Very useful tool.

Follow Cost is a tool that suggests how annoying it is to follow someone. I tweet on average about 4.1 times a day. So not too bad is it??

Have you ever wondered who follows you back and who doesn’t? You add all those people and then no one follows you back? Test the FriendorFollow Application! Really disappointed that some of my friends do not follow me back 🙁

@davidsegal and I are competing for followers at the moment. So best tool to use is TwitterLeague. It really shows you how much popular I am, lol!

And, ever wondered how much influence you have on Twitter? Try Twitter Influence. Very interesting to see how you compare. Similar to the Twitter Grader above really.

Last but not least I tested the Tweet Wheel! At least I tried. But Twitter timed out. Too many requests per hour, lol ;-( But I will try again and then post the results.

Hope you enjoy. Don’t forget to leave a comment if you like the tools or found better ones. Also, let me know how I compare, tweet it and follow me!

Volker Ballueder

Saturday Blurb

Oh dear. What have I done all day??

I played with some plugins this morning and got a 404 🙁 Luckily my friend Gerda noticed it just in time for me to turn of the wrong 301 🙂

So really, my intentions today were to finalise my SEO settings for the blog but need to read and modify the plugin a little bit more. Got stuck trying to modify my background at my twitter profile. Didn’t really work either.

Guess I have to learn more about php, cms, abc and def 😉 For a non-techie I am not doing too badly, do I?

So, before I spend the next few hours trying to bring more content on this page, I rather stop, open a nice red wine, get dressed for tonight and spend a nice evening with my wife and another “expecting couple”.

We even bought our first diapers today, better getting used to spending money for diapers, wipes etc. before the little (big) one arrives.

Content to follow tomorrow, as a 301 😉