Supporting search engine marketing (SEM) globally in multiple markets will become a focus for many agencies this year. Not all, however, will have the opportunity to tap Ming Lei's expertise. Lei, Baidu's former chief architect for the search engine, stepped into an advisory role for BrightEdge at the end of December to help the company take SEO international.
Jim Yu, BrightEdge CEO and former Salesforce.com exec, met Lei at Stanford through school events and a love for search. "Lei was the founding architect, literally one of the first engineers," he says.
Lei will assist BrightEdge develop products for marketers in China, as well as those in United States wanting to reach a global market. Of the 100 clients BrightEdge serves, between 50% and 60% want to take SEO campaigns global to support their enterprise clients. Most will start their campaigns in the U.S. and move them slowly into other countries.
Epicore, which makes enterprise resource planning software, will expand its SEO strategy globally. Yu says the company supports operations in about 150 countries. It can become challenging.
BrightEdge will take global its enterprise Software as a Service (SaaS) SEO platform, BrightEdge SEO Platform, which launched last year. The move will provide marketers' visibility into the global performance of campaigns, from content writers to Web developers in countries outside the United States.
The single reporting suite provides a dashboard to view campaigns, reporting tools, shared SEO metrics, and a rolled up view for the CMO to understand how to allocate SEO budgets across regions. "An in-country infrastructure will allow marketers to get high data quality, which is important when you're looking at international SEO," Yu says. "So when we're reporting on Google in the U.K., we're looking at the data from that location, not the U.S."
BrightEdge isn't the only company starting to roll out search engine marketing tools to support global campaigns. Earlier this week, Performics, the search and performance marketing agency of ZenithOptimedia, owned by Publicis Groupe, announced plans to expand support globally.