Search Engine Marketing Archive

Escaping To The Country (of Iceland!)


This week is going to be awesome for all of us!

Awesome for me because on Thursday I fly with Ashley and some of the finest minds in online marketing to Reykjavik in Iceland for the Reykjavik Internet Marketing Conference.

Awesome for you, because you’re going to have the laugh of your life on Friday 20th at 5.15pm if you watch BBC 2 and catch us touring the wilds of East Sussex looking for a house to escape to with Alastair Appleton of “Cash in the Attic” fame!

You can see some of the photos of the four day shoot here and the funny thing is, because we’re at the conference, folks over here in the UK will be the first to see the show so please let us know what you think/laughed at.

To be honest it’s a little nerve-wracking as there was so much footage there could be many angles they could take – I just hope me quoting Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump by accident has made it to the cutting room floor!

As for the conference, well Kristjan Mar Hauksson has done a great job assembling the likes of Rand Fishkin, Shari Thurow, Anne Kennedy, Dixon Jones, Andy Atkins-Kruger and Adam Lasnik to inject some internet marketing know-how into the Icelandic marketing community.

I’ll be speaking on online youth marketing with Sion Portman from Nike which I’m looking forward to enormously!

Have to say, Kristjan continues to be one of the best loved, jolliest and most generous people in the industry.

He’ll be in New York for SES so say hi and buy him a beer or 5!


Microsoft Advertising Video – Navigating Digital



When I’m out and about and people ask me what I do, I say I talk about Microsoft Advertising.

Having people understand we’re so much more than just “software & computers” and that we’re well placed at the cutting edge of digital marketing has been a challenge, but recent announcements like the Microsoft Media Network have shown people that, when it comes to advertising, we’re not just about MSN.

This new video says tells the brand story very nicely indeed!

Let me know what you think…..

Newbie SEM With Greg Jarboe From SEO-PR.Com

 Greg Jarboe at SES Chicago 2007 (2)Won’t make it to SES Chicago this year. 🙁

I’ve done so much travelling in 2008 I’m hanging up my noise-cancelling headphones and staying in Blighty for December – right up until I fly to Seattle for Christmas that is!

One fellow who will be there is Greg Jarboe from SEO-PR. Greg is one of the nicest men in search. His warm and steady charm creates the perfect atmosphere to teach what can initially be quite a complicated – and dry! – form of marketing.

He’ll be giving the SEM Master Class for marketers new to the channel on the second day of the conference.

As someone who has been in the industry for eight years, I sometimes find it difficult to articulate the basics from a beginner’s standpoint, so I caught up with Greg in Vegas to ask three very simple questions…..


MelC – With the economy in such turmoil right now, I guess you’d have to work harder to encourage marketers to invest in a new channel. So how would you go about persuading newcomers to SEM that their time and energy will be well spent?

GJ – A recession is both a challenge and an opportunity.  The challenge is obvious: Marketers need to do more with less.  But the opportunity to is persuade marketers that investing in a new channel or technique will increase their marketing ROI.  For example, I recently spoke at the 2008 PRSA International Conference in Detroit. 

My topic was: What’s the ROI on Your Press Release?  And I shared some case studies of press releases that generated a measurable ROI. This includes optimized press releases that generated $200 million in qualified leads for Symmetricom’s chip-scale atomic clocks, more than $2.5 million in ticket sales for Southwest Airlines, and almost 1.3 million searches for “florists” on

I also explained how combining blog outreach with press release optimization generated a record 450,000 unique visitors to The Christian Science Monitor, more than 88,000 entries into Parents magazine’s cutest kid in America photo contest, and a record 1,100 attendees to the Wharton Economic Summit

The most effective way to persuade newcomers to SEM that their time and energy will be well spent is to show them the money.

MelC – Getting started is always a tad daunting so what advice do you have for folks taking their first steps in search?

GJ – Start by taking baby steps. 

You need to build a case that the ROI of search engine marketing (SEM) is significant.  So, start with a modest pay-per-click advertising campaign on Google, Yahoo! and  Microsoft adCenter. 

You’ll see measurable results in a month.  That can be leveraged to build the case for investing in search engine optimization (SEO), which may take a couple of months before you see a measurable ROI.  Then, you can build the case for press release optimization, blog optimization, and video optimization. 

But for all of these steps in search, measure results in website traffic, lead generation or online sales.  Ranking #1 may feel good, but it doesn’t make the cash register ring.


MelC – Once your campaign is live, what three things should one look out for, and concentrate on, in order to get the very best return on investment?

GJ – The first thing you should look out for is “clicks.”  How many clicks did I get? 

But, in order to get the very best ROI you need to concentrate on conversions.  What percentage of my clicks converted to leads or sales? 

Then, you need to move to ROI.  Where do I get the biggest bang for my bucks? 

Once you know which tactics or terms are generating conversions cost-effectively you can manage your entire marketing mix — from PPC ads, to SEO programs, to PR campaigns.

MelC – Thanks Greg and good luck in Chicago!

SMX London – PubCon – SES Chicago 2008


In these lean economic times, even Microsoft isn’t mad enough to keep flying me back and forth across the pond at every drop of a Tweet, so I won’t be going to SES Chicago in December this year.

I will be there in spirit though, but will miss the insight, chat and revelry in the snow! There are some great speakers lined up and it’s not somewhere I’ve been before so maybe next year! 🙂


December will be a quiet month for me as we wrap up 2009 after what I’m sure will be some great times at SMX London and PubCon which I will be attending.


Check out the adCenter Blog in a couple of days for some insight into what we’ll be talking about in a couple of weeks in Covent Garden!

Win John Lewis Vouchers With Big Snap 2 Live Search!


The Windows Live Search team in the UK have launched Big Snap II at

In partnership with leading UK retailer John Lewis they’re offering 24 prizes per day from £25 up with daily £500 prizes.

One lucky winner will walk away with a £1000 shopping spree every week!

The idea is to drive awareness of Live Search and to increase leads for advertisers who advertise on Microsoft adCenter.


The first campaign, earlier this year, saw searches grow by a 3rd during the 8 week period and this one will be running till 5th January to take advantage of the Christmas buying season!


The game is based on the card game Snap!

The way it works is that consumers search for product and services and Live Search generates random cards at the top of the page.

If the cards match that’s a SNAP!!

If they don’t you LOSE – simple huh?


As my colleague Marie Thirwall says: “ was a hugely successful mechanic to increase consumer awareness and understanding of all the cool features we have built into Microsoft Live Search. By engaging consumers in a fun, rewarding way we managed to double our search volumes, reaping huge rewards for our advertisers.”


Check it out at

Dinner Next Week With Dave Naylor & Joost De Valk!


This is a picture of Gordon Ramsey’s place at Claridges in London 🙂

Now Dave has offered to buy some lucky winner AND a friend dinner next week while he’s down for A4U.

The newly married & exhausted Joost De Valk will also be there to add a bit of European sophistication to the evening’s proceedings because Dave and I are from England – not Europe!

All you have to do is leave a comment on Dave’s blog telling him why you want to have dinner with us!

Apparently Dave wants me to choose the venue – anyone got any ideas?

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