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International Search Summit takes place in Oslo

Today, the 1st International Search Summit to take place outside London gets gonig – in Oslo, Norway. WebCertain, the multilingual search marketing specialist, hosts the 3rd International Search Summit following 2 successful events in the British Library in London 2008.

The next London event, International Search Summit – Social Media will take place on the 14th of May at the British Library, close to St Pancras Station. Speakers there include representatives from Bebo, Linkedin and Plaxo as well as more international search specialists who will speak about the impact of Twitter, Facebook, and how to maximise the opportunities of social media marketing.

The Oslo event on international search kicks off with John Brenne, who manages the WebCertain Oslo office, introducing the event and highlighting issues related to “going global”:

- Research
– Language
– Localisation
– Currency
– Methods of payment

Following on from that, WebCertain’s MD Andy Atkins-Krueger, is speaking about “Guidelines for setting up sites for international markets”. Andy will emphasises the huge opportunity of the global market:

Also, in terms of tracking domain names, the most growth has been seen in the emerging markets, particularly, China, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, and India. Languages used online are still led by English (as expected ) followed by Chinese, Spanish, Japanese and French. Also in the top 10 are German, Arabic, Portuguese, Korean and Italian. So the European top languages, English and which WebCertain refers to as FIGS (French, Italian, German Spanish) plus Chinese are still the key languages online.

Andy points out that the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China), , have a massive potential for online business!

Brazil, for example, has a fast growing web user base and it’s worth noting that their most popular social network, Orkut, already has about 20 million users!

Even Russia’s social networking sites, Odnoklassniki and Vkkontake, have approximately 18 million and 14 million users respectively.

Google still hasn’t been able to catch up with Yandex in Russia, despite concerted effort.

China’s leading sarch engine continues to be Baidu . Andy concludes this thought-provoking presentation by discussing coding strategies, long tail in different countries, SEO localisation, localised link building, and providing many more tips about how to avoid localisation problems when running international web marketing campaigns.

Translation is a major issue.
In many cases, there are no actual translation for certain terms. Volker Ballueder, Business Development Manager for WebCertain offers a favourite example: “weekend break” simply does not have a translation in German, however there are localisations, e.g. “ein Wochenende wegfahren”, “Wochenend Reise”.

Efva Gabrielsson works for Lawson Software managing their web content and online marketing. She is responsible for their online marketing activities.

Efva points out the difficulties in-house web marketing teams face with procuring funding for online marketing and with the lack of understanding about activities from senior management .

Also, Efva outlines how to chose an we marketing agency and what questions to ask them:

- Who will deal with my account?
– How to optimise costs?
– How do you track conversions and which tools do you use?
– What is your track record?
– How do you manage global campaigns? Do you use native speakers?
– Do you offer bespoke reporting options?
– Do you offer multi variable testing?
– Can you show me your track record/references?
– Can I keep my (ad words) account/own my account?
– Have you worked with similar clients in the field? Experience?
– How do you get me top rankings? White hat techniques?
– Do you take the overall marketing strategy into consideration?

Important aspects are to integrate:

- PR and communication
– Advertising
– Marketing and Strategy
– Goals per business unit
– Integrate IT and other systems

Efva concludes that it is important to work in partnership with the agency and compares the advantages / disadvantages of outsourcing Search Marketing or to do it in house – or both.

Her lessons learned are summarised as:

- Be a demanding customer.
– Rewrite the contract until you feel good.
– Evaluate the agency and strategic expert – consider changing if you are not happy.
– Consider doing (at least part of it) yourself.
– Rely on your program and not on the people executing it.

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