Tag: oslo

Sunday Column (3)

What a week. It went so quickly that I don’t believe it is Sunday again.

After us renovating the hall last weekend, the dust was still settling all week. However, it is nice to see what we are capable of doing in the house and how we can improve our living space with little effort.

Also, I am getting quite excited about my veggies and hope I can put them out in the garden soon. It is amazing how much they have grown already!

On Tuesday I went to the Social Media World Forum in London. An interesting show and conference but we only went for a few hours to listen to some seminars. Social Media Marketing is still not the biggest part of Search or Online Marketing but a growing sector. With Twitter being ever so popular at the moment, Social Media is becoming more important for the marketing mix. But, will it ever be a part of the marketing that takes off on its own? We will see what 2009 brings.

I keep reading the Razorfish Digital Outlook Report 2009. Ad Exchanges and Social Media are still the most interesting and the most to watch areas for 2009. Definitely something to watch out for in the future.

On Thursday I flew Ryanair to Oslo. We had our International Search Summit there, the first one outside London. Btw Ryanair, the flight was not too bad. However, the 2 hours to Stansted Airport and then 2 hours from the airport to Oslo in a bus were annoying.

The Summit however was great. What a great event. Good speakers, interesting discussions and good to see the Buzz in the Norwegian/Scandinavian Online and Digital Marketing world. Great to be connected here and we are all looking forward to the next event on the 14th of May in London.

From Oslo we took off to the North to Norefjell, about 1.5 hours drive. Admittedly, I had to look at a map to see where I am, so here we go:


View Larger Map

Scary 😉 I like Norway though. Not that I have seen too much, but the people are very friendly and the scenery is nice. And, we have snow here. Lots of snow. It is amazing. And, they can cope with it, not like in London, lol.

Here is the view outside my window, early in the morning:

snow-in-norjefell

I was supposed to go skiing this morning but think I opt for the safer option, e.g. to go for a walk. Not that I do downhill skiing anyway, but cross country skiing would have been good. The place we are staying is great. a nice little flat with a fireplace, our own sauna and self catering – ideal for a group to chill out in the snow!

What did I miss this week? Honestly, besides my wife who stayed at home, my cats. They have been cute lately and I have to say, they really grow on me. They are growing anyway but they get really pally at the moment. Hansel more than Gretel, she seems a little bit shy.

My wife sent me this picture whilst I was away:

hansel

And, she sent me a picture of our baby – the latest scan. Everything seems to be ok with it. We cannot wait!

baby-scan

So, summa summarum, a really nice week. A tat busy but overall really nice. Have a great Sunday night, good to be back home, sitting on the couch and chilling. Let’s see what next week brings.

Cheers
Volker

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.

pontus-avail

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?!

behavioural-targeting

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:
content
– 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 🙂

peter-and-paul

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:

http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm
http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

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.

Sunday Column (2)

Here we go again, my 2nd column. A week into March already and it has been a busy week.

Work is very busy and I try to not spend too much time there. Not because I don’t like it but because I need to unwind and have a life too. Guess it comes down to work life balance.

However, I am off with work to Oslo next week, for our first non-UK based International Search Summit. Very exciting!

My first 5 weeks of Tai Chi are over as well. And I absolutely love it. Shame I cannot go next week, but the course continuous for at least another 5 weeks, probably forever. I really enjoy it.

What else is happening? I planted another raspberry and a blackberry bush in the garden. Also cut the grass, got rid of some fungus growing on our wall and put some fertiliser on the grass. So the garden is ready for my veggies. I planted the seeds in little pots, so hopefully they will come out nicely soon.

Jen is nesting and decided to decorate the hall. I ended up sanding the floor in the entrance area and we removed the carpet there and on the stairs. Now we got dust all over the house – I guess the reason why I hate DIY is because of all the dirt and I am very particular in what is being done and how it is done. So I am never really satisfied with what I have done. If that makes sense 🙂

I guess these are the main news from our end. Would love to hear from people what they are up to. Just this week I connected with someone I went to High School with in the US, about 15 years ago. Time flies and you seem to lose touch with so many people you once liked. Shame, isn’t it?

Last night we went out to a friend’s 30th birthday party. Hardly made it in time running late with the sanding. But it was good to be out and have a few Paulaner Hefeweizen and catch up with some great people. Good chat about the industry and developments too. Very interesting.

Today we really just chilled. After trying to rid the living room from some dust – a nightmare. But the hall is done. Still the painting and stairs etc. to do, but the dirty, dusty stuff is done.

Am on the road a lot next week, so might be quieter than usual in the blog. Speak soon,
Volker