Ted Ulle On The Continued Importance Of SEO Amidst Social Media Convergence

Summary by Lane R. Ellis

Video interview by Vanessa Zamora

Ted Ulle, senior search analyst at New York-based social media agency Converseon, recently sat down with WebmasterWorld video content producer Vanessa Zamora to share some of his latest observations about search engine optimization (SEO) and social media.

During their interview, conducted at November’s popular PubCon search and social media conference in Las Vegas, Ulle shared his thoughts on how the crowds of PubCon attendees have been getting better each year in large part because of an increased desire to soak up new search and social media information.

Ulle also told Zamora why he feels that the strength of session panels at the PubCon event has also grown through the years, providing an overwhelming amount of top content to attendees.

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Ulle spoke about the troubles that can arise as clients try to implement the changes they need to make in order to improve their Web site’s search optimization, and how consulting for corporate change can help break through many of those obstacles.

The interview saw Ulle sharing some of Converseon’s techniques for bringing search engine optimization enthusiasm to oftentimes resistant corporate IT departments, as Ulle’s organic SEO team member Mike Moran, co-author of Search Engine Marketing, Inc., discovered when he was able to make positive changes at technology giant IBM by improving interdepartmental communication and showing key people firsthand how SEO works.

Ulle spoke to Zamora about the importance of tracking SEO performance by using good reporting and analytics tools, and why discipline, measurement of return on investment (ROI) and planning are each necessary components when businesses begin using social media for marketing.

Ulle also discussed the importance of businesses reading what consumers are writing about a business before jumping head first into the social media space themselves.

Ulle told how Converseon has had success using a custom conversation mining tool, developed over a five year period, to monitor hundreds of social media Web sites and aggregate the relevant information that they contain.

The video interview also featured Ulle speaking with Zamora about the disparity that can exist between the vocabularies used inside a corporation and those used by the marketplace that firm is targeting, and how SEO can bring better results when a Web site’s content and social media strategy use the terminology common to a marketplace.

Ulle went on to share some of his experiences in doing online reputation management over the last six years, and how Converseon goes about measuring some things not typically examined by other reputation management firms, such as a detailed positive to negative content tracking system the firm uses in its sentiment analysis tool.

Ulle said that he surmises similar techniques are likely to be put in place by the leading search engine firms over the coming years.

Before concluding their PubCon Las Vegas 2009 interview, Ulle spoke about a convergence of sorts that the collective Web is bringing together daily through the use of such innovations as unified online logins and passwords, and about how he feels that SEO and the value it brings to businesses and consumers will continue to grow in importance.