Circuit City benefits from link popularity: ad:tech New York speaker

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NEW YORK -- No search campaign is complete without search engine optimization, as more than half of all consumer search clicks are on the search results and not on ads.

Keeping that in mind, speakers at ad:tech New York's "SEO: Optimization Strategies and Tactics" panel offered insight into how to optimize and maximize overall search marketing efforts.

"Optimize the whole Web site," said Gary Smith, vice president of global sales ad marketing at YourAmigo, Pleasanton, CA.

Mr. Smith said that it is important to concentrate on the Long Tail, which focuses on the less niche products.

For example, 25 percent to 50 percent of total revenue at Amazon and Netflix is from the Long Tail products.

"Consumers need to find the tail," Mr. Smith said. "Every page must be optimized so that it can be found in the search engine."

Create a content-rich site to attract qualified traffic, he said.

Ellen Duffie-Fritz, director of online marketing at Circuit City Stores Inc., spoke about link popularity, touting a 74 percent year-over-year growth for the electronics retailer as a result of the company's optimization for link popularity.

"First, it is important to define your business strategy," Ms. Fritz said. "There are three different phases: internal, external and authoritative."

Internal optimization for link popularity starts with making all pages accessible and making sure that all links are text-based. Also remember to make sure that keyword phrases are in the anchor text, Ms. Fritz said.

External optimization for links starts with finding sites with the best vote of relevancy and obtaining links from these publishers. Marketers should remember to keep the links clean and simple, too.

With authoritative optimization it is important to create compelling content to encourage linking, Ms. Fritz said.

Brian Kaminski, managing director of search agency iProspect's San Francisco office, said many companies fail to analyze prior to executing.

"Planning and then executing makes a significant difference," he said. "Search is not simple and basic; it needs to combine elements in a certain way."

Throughout his experience, Mr. Kaminski has seen companies fail to cover the basics before moving on to more complex issues.

"It's important to focus on technology, metrics, audience, conversions and credibility," Mr. Kaminski said.

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