Rand Fishkin on search and social at SMB Seattle
Last week, Social Media Breakfast Seattle hosted our one-year anniversary event with guest speaker Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz. And as a special treat, Social Media Breakfast's worldwide founder, Bryan Person, was in attendance.
The topic was "Search + Social: How to Get More Action from Organic Marketing."
Ever timely, Fishkin avoided the broad, sweeping philosophical overviews and nailed down specific strategies and the results garnered from them. I love a man who says, "Check the data" before giving advice!
The content was so rich that I found myself taking notes in addition to Tweeting. My favorite gems:
- While others (including me) philosophize be generous and humble, Fishkin points out that you must at some point Tweet your own content if your goal is to drive traffic
- Additionally, Tweet relevant content. For example, Fishkin's Tweets don't have to be about SEOMoz but do have to be about his field of expertise, SEO.
- He has discovered that the more on-topic his Tweets are, the higher the clickthrough rate.
- He also discovered that shorter Tweets got higher clickthrough rates (but for both, your results may vary, so analyze before changing behavior).
- A good social media/SEO strategy: invest everywhere a little bit and then determine where the best value comes from for you (in his case, it was question sites such as Quora, Formspring, etc.)
Best takeaway quote:
"Our bread is buttered in the place that sends the conversions."
I interpreted this to mean that in order to determine the value and success of any type of SEO or social media participation, you must first determine what "success" means to you. That could be traffic, CTR, new visits, newsletter subscriptions, conversions, or something else. And throughout the talk, it became clear that Fishkin's approach is motivated not by philosophy but by data. "The answer is in the data," he said, pointing out that Facebook and Twitter can drive traffic, if that is your goal, but generally not as much as Google--at least not yet.
First Touch Attribution
Fishkin shared his own methods and results, including segmenting out search (SEO) and social (media). In his case, his analytics showed that as of yet, no one from a social source had resulted in a sale. However, he pointed out that that being said, first touch attribution was of ultimate importance in determining the value of social. That is, we realize that it takes about seven "touches" or points of media absorption or interaction before someone will purchase. Most companies attribute the last touch point before someone becomes a customer, but the first touch point is rarely known. Until now.
It turns out that by adding a few lines of code to Google Analytics, marketers can discover the potential customer's first touch attribution. Thank me for that later. ;-)
Or rather, thank Fishkin for the great info and for taking the time to share his world of expertise. What was your takeaway?