I’ve blogged in the past about linking offline TV campaigns with online search, there have been some success and some failures. The last week I’ve noticed a campaign by Stella Artois (Mother London the agency behind the ads) who’ve used a slightly different slant on the ‘search online’ technique.

Rather than asking viewers to search online, Stella Artois asked them to search on YouTube. Different to the easier ‘search online’ used in the past but an idea that could deliver a better conversion with less chance of the user ending up at the wrong result.

Visibility

To gain visibility Stella have a PPC and a number one ranking on the natural SERP for ‘recyclage de luxe’, the PPC also shows for related searches such as ‘stella advert’.

search-for-recyclage-de-luxe

At the bottom of the 1st page is the video from YouTube. That should rank in the main SERP’s soon.

video-result-for-recyclage-de-luxe

On YouTube they have a the number one spot for “recyclage de luxe”.

you-tube-recyclage-de-luxe

Execution of Natural SERP

So it seems like a well executed plan. Why? – the page was published before the TV ads started to run.

The web page appears to be first indexed on 09/08/09. Find to find this out search for the page with the option dates set between 09/08/09 and 09/08/09.

Picture 3

Having the page up early gives it time to achieve the ranking. In this case the search term in question ‘recyclage de luxe’ had no previous competition but getting the page up early ensures the number 1 position. It’s hard to tell if this was planned by Mother London.

The video was placed online later, November 22, 2009, so just before the TV ads started. Ranking on YouTube is slightly different to the natural SERP’s you don’t need to have the video live for long to get it ranking in the search results. It helps but as there is no competition on YouTube for ‘recyclage de luxe’ putting it on late worked.

The Results

Nothing so far on Google insights, there should be a spike in searches for ‘recyclage de luxe’.

On YouTube the main video has 3,164 views, a 4.5 out of 5 rating from a total of 26 ratings. From the 25 comments so far 10 are positive, 5 neutral and 10 negative, so split down the middle.

However one comment did sum up my first reaction to the campaign;

“got told about this but it was real hard to find. Its very cool”

Which may be due to having to remember ‘recyclage de luxe’ which is a French phrase. The ‘search online’ query needs to be something memorable and easy to spell. Past campaigns such as the Orange ‘I am’ or the Monsters V Aliens ‘MVA’ failed on too generic phrases but this campaign may fail due to the complexity of the ‘search online’ query.

Learning points to take from this campaign.

  1. – Nice idea for search YouTube, this could diversify to Vimeo, Facebook, twitter etc
  2. – Having the SEO page up early helps to get the ranking
  3. – Use a range of key phrases for your PPC campaign, not just the ‘search online’ query
  4. – Don’t ask the viewer to search for something too complicated e.g. a phrase in a foreign Language
Posted in SEO.

This week Matt Cutts confirmed that natural search will start to look at the speed of your site as ranking factor. It’s something thats been in the pipeline, and an obvious change if you’ve been following the “let’s make the web faster” drive from Google.

fast-bolt

I think it’s a great move, there’s nothing more frustrating than a slow Internet connection or a slow site. If you head over to the “let make the web faster” from Google there are instructions to how to make your site faster some are a little complicated such as compressing JavaScript and CSS, HTTP caching, minimizing browser reflow etc.

If you know what your doing then thats great but if your an average webmaster here are five simple tips to speed your site up for Google and users.

1. Optimizing Images

Optimizing images is a simple process, there are two methods. Reduce white space, rather than giving your image a boarder or space crop the image tight and then use CSS to create boarder and positioning.

Save in the correct format, rather than using JPG’s GIF’s can be sometimes reduce file sizes for logo and simple images. Using “save for web” setting on programs such as Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop will enable you get the best size while not compromising on quality. To get old images into a compressed format use a bulk process, remember to keep the file names the same and if changing extensions add re-directs to preserve image rankings.

2. Don’t use tables

When making the HTML output of pages don’t be tempted into using tables to display data. With a bit of skill you can recreate the same thing in CSS. A great article gives 13 reasons why CSS is better than table the number 1 being faster load times.

3. Navigation

Two points with navigation, a) how many items in the navigation can effect load time. Listing every single category and subcategory in some sites would create a huge navigation over 100+ items. Only link to the top levels on every page and other relevant pages, a good example of this in action is the BBC site, go into the sport sections to see..

b) Coding of the navigation is also important. Using Flash or JavaScript (all the code) is a no go, using css with a little JavaScript can create efficient drops downs, even better don’t use drop downs just a plain navigation will keep load times down. Remember that navigation is on every page so improving navigation improves load time on every page in the site.

3. Reduce loads form external sites

Each http request adds time to the load of your site, this includes loading items from a different site. Where possible host images on your own site, don’t have multiple tracking codes, try not to pull twitter / RSS feeds into every page.

4. Move External JavaScript and CSS to external files

By placing the JavaScript and CSS in an external file users and search engines don’t have to load it on each page load. You place the code in a file either .js or .css and link to in the head of the page e.g.

5. Get a decent server

Yes it costs money but if you’ve spent time on the last 4 points they might have no effect if your server is slow. To get a good indication of speed ask the company for some high traffic example site and go on them at peak traffic times. Ask if any are “digg proof” and the specifications of the server.

Over all these 5 points might make a difference but the objective is to make improvements to lots of different areas, added together they will make a difference to the speed of your site.

I’ve recently started working in Manchester City center so been looking at Google maps for local places to eat at dinner. As ever, the first place to look is Google Maps. After a few clicks on locations strangely See Tickets, a ticket sales company seems to have claimed a lot of local listings that have nothing to do with them, thus having a link to their site.

Each one links to seetickets.com
see-tickets-google-maps-spam

Looking at the locations is it possible that See Tickets could sell ticket for the Palace Theatre, but not for 5th Ave a nightclub or Retro Bar.

A search for “see tickets” with the map in Manchester brings up some great results:

Piccadilly Gardens (Bus stop and open space)

Piccadilly-gardens-seetickets

The old ODEON on Oxford road which shut down about five years ago.

old-odeon-seetickets

The big wheel in the Triangle

manchester-big-wheel

and Long Legs a gentlemen’s club.

long-legs-seetickets

All of the links go to http://www.seetickets.com/see/index.asp? and it looks like see tickets haven’t stopped there, they’ve done the same for locations in London too!

parliament-square

You can imagine tourists trying to buy a ticket from See Tickets to go to Parliament for the day!

Anyone else getting this for their location? Go to your local area on Google maps and search “see tickets”