On Wednesday, October 29, John Thyfault, vice president of Search & Social Strategy for Beasley Direct Marketing, will moderate a DMA Certification Workshop following the 2014 DMA Annual Conference, October 25-29 in San Diego, CA. The following is a summary of Part 1 of this valuable workshop. 

You and your competitors are in a race to the finish to gain customers’ attention and win their business, and most of them are running this race over the Internet. In all honesty, you and your competitors are also in a race to stay abreast of rapid changes implemented by the “Powers That Be” on the Internet: search engines. To win this race, you need a finely tuned and ultra-fast race car—a website that smokes because it’s everywhere your customers are looking: higher in the search results with the most appealing content.

To tune this car, you need to know how search engines work. Search engines analyze text and compare it to other text around the Web. How the text is presented is important, but of greater importance is quality: solid, relevant content that is well written, targeted to your customer and as unique to your company as possible. After creating your content, you need to evaluate it in the context of other, similar websites. You also need to identify those who might wish to reference your content on their own sites and determine how best to reach out to these site owners.

When it’s done right, content is the high-octane fuel for your racecar. When Google, Yahoo! or Bing looks at your content, they will look for the content that you have highlighted in various ways—headlines, subheads, metadata, key words, etc. They will look to see if these highlights are on or near your home page—or farther from it. How many internal links do you have from one page to others, and are these links related to your primary messaging?

Because content is so important, take the time to do keyword research to understand how others are speaking about your primary subjects, and what kind of language and topics they associate with your kind of business. There are a lot of tools you can use to help, including Google’s Suggestion Tool,, and more. Then make sure your high-octane fuel goes into the most efficient engine you can create. This means using SEO-friendly design that allows an efficient engine to deliver content to viewers. Use the technical aspects of your site to focus search engines on your most important content.

We’ll go into detail on all of this during the first part of the workshop. We’ll also talk about how to optimize your online architecture, the relationship between pages on your site, and how to use the directory on your site to create an understandable road map the search engines will use to interpret and understand the content on your site.

To learn more about how to increase your website search rankings, read our guide: Boosting SEO with an Organic Search Site Review.

Next up: summary of Part 2 of John’s workshop on “Keeping Pace with the Search Engines: Search Engine Marketing and the Race Track of Change.”

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John Thyfault, VP Search and Social Marketing, Beasley Direct Marketing

John Thyfault, VP Search and Social Marketing, Beasley Direct Marketing

This post was authored by John Thyfault, Vice President of Search & Social Strategy, of Beasley Direct Marketing. Contact John at

John has more than 18 years of marketing, sales and product development experience, and he brings a proven track record of successful campaign, program and product development expertise. His knowledge of search engine optimization and marketing, combined with an in-depth understanding of customer identification, market analysis and segmentation, allows him to deliver high returns on our client’s marketing investment for both business-to-consumer and business-to-business markets.

Prior to working with Beasley Direct, John was Senior Client Services Project Director at, a first wave baby boomer lifestyle and community website. At ThirdAge he successfully led major client sponsorships for Fortune 100 companies in healthcare (Tylenol), financial services (American Century), technology (Intel & IBM) and consumer products areas (Revlon & Viactive). He was responsible for strategic and tactical goal setting, project management, new product creation and web site production. John previously worked in Channel Marketing and National Account Sales for IDG Books Worldwide, the publishers of the immensely popular “…For Dummies” book series. Additionally, he managed the wholesale distributor sales channel for Tor/Forge Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press.


John is active in local marketing associations, including the Direct Marketing Association, the Business Marketing Association and is currently serving on the board of directors for the Silicon Valley American Marketing Association.

John has taught search engine marketing fundamentals extensively. He has led workshops for the Silicon Valley American Marketing Association, Northern California Direct Marketing Association ( and the Business Marketing Association. He also teaches Search Engine Marketing at (UCSC Extension, Silicon Valley).