Thursday, February 21, 2008

SES London - Keep an eye on the brand

If you have ever seen a presentation on SEM you will almost certainly have seen the heat map showing where users' eyes go.

The classic screen shows quite clearly a red cloud in the top left indicating that the top three organic (or paid if up there) listings get the eyeballs.

Well that's all changed. Now with blended search, often referred to as Universal search as in Google Universal, where images, vidoes, news, blogs, maps etc appear in the listings the eyeballs are attracted to other areas of the screen.

See Enquiro Research.

Simply put, an image on position #4, for example, grabs attention above (or should that be below) and beyond the top three listings.

This is a great opportunity to get exposure through social media optimisation.

Travel operators can as such grab the eyeballs then the clicks through placement of GOOD and tagged pictures/videos of resorts on Flickr, YouTube.

But there's a “but”. It also means that Reputation Management is more important now then ever.

Bad reports whether in blogs, on YouTube or in mainstream media will shoot into the SERPs on your brand name complete with imagery. And don't think it can't happen to you.

In the next five years 83% of companies will face a crisis that will negatively affect their share price by 20-30%, according to Oxford Metrica.

Datamonitor report that 33% of people who lose trust in a brand will actively campaign on the internet against that company - and that figure is on the rise.

The lesson is simple you need to be ready to deal with a crisis far more rapidly then before - quite how you do that get's a little more complex...

That's my last blog from SES so sorry to finish on an alarmist note but if there's one lesson from these three days it's that, now more then ever and for good and for bad, you can't take your (tracked) eye off your brand on the internet.

Matt Brocklehurst, marketing director, Latitude Group

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