Tag: linkedin

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), VG.no (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, www.internationalsearchsummit.com, 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 Zett.no 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 MakingWaves.com outlines an interesting case study about VisitNorway.com 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 Seobra.no,
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 Origo.no (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 never.no 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.

Stress Management – Music

As you can see, stress management seems to be a popular topic. Why?

I think it is because I get fed up being stressed about things. Work, home, cats, garden, house – whatever the case might be. So, I was looking for an article on stress management and music. I bought some Buddhist Chanting CDs the other day and noticed that listening to them in the background whilst working on proposals, presentations or emails, actually calms me down.

On this site there is a whole lot to read about stress relief management with music. It really works.

So I dug a bit deeper into something I did at uni: Brainwaves! I used to have this programme Brain Wave Generator installed on my laptop. Every time I got tired or could not concentrate on my studies, I used to listen to some “waves” to make me more active, more alert. It worked well. So I installed it again to see if it helps me with my presentations and proposals too. I let you know.

Stress is caused if you are in the beta brainwaves. So aim is to reduce the waves to alpha waves. And, music as well as this brain wave generator really can help you with that. The generator even offers headache treatment and increasing of creativity. Awesome.

It comes highly recommended from my own experience at uni, so why should it not work at work?


Stress Management – Overtime

I just recently wrote about stress management. Just when I finished the story I came along an article in the Metro, the free daily newspaper on the 25th of February.

“Overtime ‘is as bad as tobacco’ for dementia” – it says that Britons work some of the longest hours in Europe. This increases dementia later in life. Allegedly the effects of overtime are as bad as smoking on the brain’s ability to process information. They quote a figure from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health of 55 hours a week, e.g. comparing that to working 40 hours a week, makes a significant difference in the functioning of the brain.

This study is supported by Prof Cooper of Lancaster University who says that long hours are not only bad for your health but also bad on your performance. One needs a rest to recuperate.

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.


Resources for Life – Life map

As a coach for personal development I am very interested in all sorts of theories. In the recent issue of the Saturday Financial Times I found an article about the perfect small home and this guy in Iowa who lives in a very small trailer.

However, looking through the website I found a life map which got my attention. It plans out what your focus in life is an why and how….. – really it is a “wheel of life”.

The “normal wheel of life”, used by most coaches looks like that:


It examines certain areas of your life and analyses where you are happy with, e.g. in this example from Dave where the family part of the wheel is almost 100% in terms of achievement and happiness, whilst the money part still needs development. Anyhow, the wheel of life focuses on: career, money, health, partner, family, friends, learning and environment. You can add or remove categories, e.g. if you study “studying” or if you do a lot of sports it could be “basketball” for instance additional to health.

Now, the other wheel I found at the Resources for life, has very similar categories: Lifeways, Health, Career, Finance, Relationship, Activism and Effectiveness. I like that split.

The reason for that is the way it starts with Lifeways and the determination about your belief system. Like me being a Buddhist. It then takes you on to health and career as well as finance like the “normal coaching wheel”. However, it then splits more into relationship in general, taking into consideration the relationship in general, e.g. family and partnership.

I find the category of “activism” very interesting: Something you would die for, something you are passionate about. Exactly, how many people just live and don’t know what they really like? What they want? What makes them tick? Wow, how can we go ahead and become passionate about something. What gets you up in the morning and gets you going? What is your biggest achievement today. How can you change things today to make a better tomorrow? That is great stuff!

Effective Living is the last category. Reminds me of Buddhism in terms of letting go of material value. How can you achieve more with less?

I am sure you come across more different life maps and wheels. And, giving our lives, each wheel will be different and every map and category means something different for everyone. However, it is good to take some time, sit down and draw your own map. And, think about the passion and your life style. Anything you can improve? It is not all about finance and career. Or, can you integrate your activism and effective living into the career and finance category? Get what they call a holistic living system.

Whilst the above example of a holistic life is about Gregory’s life and approach to a “small, simple, sustainable” life I would like to take the idea a bit further.

The holistic life approach and your areas of life that map out your life should really aim at your personal life. It should identify areas that are important to you, and most likely family/relationship, career and finance would be. However, holistic mans that you need to integrate all parts in the “full circle”. It is your life where each part is dependable from the other. Means you need to have a holistic view of your life.

Ask us today for some life coaching and goal setting.

cb consulting London

I have been asked over the last few days, what cb consulting really is? What am I doing as a marketing and management consultant?

It is both a playing field for SEO and web design but also my first own company. I founded it not short of 2 years ago to start selling some of my services, e.g. performance coaching, life coaching, career coaching, trainings and seminars, to some friends and corporates.

However, at that time and even now, I am still working full time to earn my living that way. And, I do not really want to change that or give up the security of my day job.

cb consulting really is a good way of showing off my skills and offering them to the greater world. I have excelled in helping people achieving their dreams, dream jobs and personal goals.

Also, I am about to start my first online marketing consulting project – keep your fingers crossed. Combining the right tools to reach the objectives.

Coaching is not always the easiest thing to do. You don’t really want to tell people what to do but be there for guidance and helping them to identify their own goals. Only if the goal has been clarified you can lay out the path for them with the client playing the mayor part. There is no use of a coach outlining any steps to a client if the client does not know where they are going.

Sometimes clients get set-backs. Getting them back on their feet, visualising their goals and get them to re-focus is a great challenge. Only who has been down and got himself up again understand how to it is to be on the floor, not knowing what to do and where to go.

Particularly in the recession career coaching becomes very important. So tune in and let me know how I can help you today?

career coaching….continued


This last week was quite busy so I thought I pick up the topic of career coaching again. Found this interesting blog, Grow Rich Me?! It’s all about following your dreams and making the most of your life. Which in all fairness is good.

But, looking at coaching, you structure your dreams. You need to really. If you search for Career Coaching you find all sorts of sites. But what would it mean for me or cb consulting?

I have written a lot about coaching in this blog and for me it means to really give yourself some focus.

Starting with a good hour of sitting down and writing up what you want to do? What you like to do? What are you good in? What are you not good in? That gives you a good basis for defining your goals.

Goals: where do you want to be? What drives you? What gets you up in the morning? Where do you see yourself in 3, 5, 10 years time – or 20 even?

From there we work backwards. NLP does that quite often. Imagine you were already in a situation you want to be in, how did you get there?

And work it out. Step by step. Baby-steps. And, we will help you planning steps out. Where to look for a new job, how to tune your CV and cover letter, how to prepare for the interview.

That is what we do. And, in a recession that becomes more and more important.


On the one hand you want to stay put and do not move, on the other hand you want to see where is the recession going. Be ready when you get made redundant or if you think your company is going down. Be the first to hit the road running. Maybe just to be prepared to do nothing as you might have more influence once you get out of the recession with your current job.

What ever motivates you, contact us today and we sort something out!