Search is an enormous subject and we could easily spend a week discussing all its various aspects!
But we have whittled the long list of topics down to those which are vital to gain a sound understanding of search and to develop an effective strategy for your business going forward.
Thursday 21 February
11:00-12:30 – SESSION 1
Introduction of Search Lab programme, facilitators and participants
Peter and Maciej will introduce themselves, and run through the planned programme. As this is designed to be an interactive event, participants can introduce themselves, their companies and describe what they hope to get out of the sessions.
This session will set the context of the Lab, and explain the importance of search to today’s classified media businesses and present the latest information on search volumes and trends. The group will discuss the challenges and opportunities search presents.
How Search works
The science bit… A brief technical explanation of the search process, the criteria by which search engines evaluate and rank content, and a glossary of commonly-used terms that you’ll be hearing a lot more of over the next two days. A chance to ask all the questions about all the TLA’s (three-letter acronyms) that abound in search.
12:30-14.00 – LUNCH
14:00-15:30 – SESSION 2
The “golden rules” of SEO best practice, how the Google algorithm works, the relative importance of tagging and link-building, and why you should practise “white-hat” SEO and avoid the “black-hat” variety. Follow these and you won’t go far wrong…
Search-related statistics and measuring the results
What do you need to measure? Which are the key figures which will deliver real results to your bottom line? What tools are available to track and manage your search programmes? How can you interpret the results and learn to maximize both quantity and quality traffic? A guide to the key metrics that you will need to track to ensure the success of your search efforts and the effective use of programmes such as Google Analytics.
15:30 – 16.00 – COFFEE-BREAK
16.00-17.30 – SESSION 3
The Quoka story
A case-study from a large German group which, advised by Bluerank, has carried out extensive work on its search strategy in recent months and is now reaping the reward – real-life lessons from a real publisher! Lots of opportunity for questions afterwards…
19.00 – Meet in the bar for the Group Dinner
Friday 22 February
09:00-10:30 – SESSION 1
Search Clinic introduction
This is where you test out your knowledge on other classified sites. Peter and Maciej will outline the task objectives and the sites to be reviewed before participants split into small groups to develop an effective search strategy.
Integrating Search into marketing
This session will look at the practicalities of implementing search within your organisation and deciding who owns the function. Is responsibility for search a marketing or IT-led function? If these two groups of very different people have joint responsibility, how can you ensure that they work together most effectively? Plus all the considerations that come into play with an SEM campaign – can you buy a good search ranking? What’s the value of a paid versus a natural search result? How can you spend your marketing budget wisely to deliver the best possible quality traffic to your site? All your questions answered…
10:30-11.00 – COFFEE-BREAK
11:00-12:30 – SESSION 2
Search challenges for classified sites
What are the specific issues that classified media publishers need to address when developing a search strategy? Understand the value of the most commonly used keywords and discover how users search (and find your rivals’ sites) so that you can adapt your approach.
Search within a website
Getting users to your website is half the battle, keeping them there with an intuitive and efficient internal search function is the next (very important) step. This session will examine typical user behaviour on classified media sites, detail the principal do’s and don’t’s, and explode some common myths. Including demonstrations from participant sites…
How to profit from Search – the Friday-Ads story
How can you get a piece of the search action? Learn how you can easily deploy (or even build your own) software to serve relevant paying ads onto specific pages of your site. A case-study will walk you through the various steps and help you avoid the pitfalls.
12:30-14.00 – LUNCH
14:00-15:30 – SESSION 3
Search Clinic feedback
Your chance to share the strategy that your group developed for one of the sample sites, and receive feedback from your fellow delegates, and a score from Peter and Maciej. Prizes for the best-scoring team!
Final opportunity for questions and comments as participants outline what they plan to do with what they’ve learned from the Lab.