As catalogers, you know the importance of search engine marketing for your Web sites and ultimately on your revenue. But technological advances and users’ preferences can make a difference in search engine results, page algorithms and spiders, as well as search engine optimization and overall SEM strategies.
Manoj Jasra, director of technology at Enquiro Search Solutions, a search engine marketing firm in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, recently shared his thoughts on SEM changes in a blog entry. He warns marketers of some key factors to watch for:
*Growth of personalized search. Because this is becoming more prominent, Web site operators have to work hard on Web site messaging to lure their target audience and keep them on the site. They’ll also have to keep a close watch on the competition to make sure their message and offerings are comparable.
*Importance of rich content. Jasra notes that rich media such as audio, video, Podcasts, Flash and AJAX are getting more popular. The trend will continue to increase, he says, because the rich content will eventually be “all spiderable by search engines.”
*The wonderful world of widgets. Jasra says everyone loves widgets and just about every Web site has some. He predicts there will be more interactive widgets from Google, Yahoo and MSN.
*Test your site. Marketing professionals should be using focus groups, A/B testing, eye tracking and other ways to test the usability of their sites — and to keep them fresh. “If your site doesn’t cut it,” Jasra notes, “visitors will simply move to the next one.”