Summary: Customer Discovery Funnel on #SEOchat

Moderator: @peoplesknees and @CaitlinBoroden from @DragonSearch

Every online biz has steps that people take to become a customer. What’s your # 1 conversion goal?

@Sonray   Making my clients oodles of money so they can swim through it like my friend here.

@andrea_tuttle   Our initial conversion goal is a form submission, expressing interest, but our #1 conversion goal is a signed contract!
@CaitlinBoroden   Yes, a form submission is an excellent first step in the funnel. Conversions often take time.

@JennineMiller   It varies for each client but a generic first goal is to get a request for more info, be it a download or contact form.
@peoplesknees    Yes, definitely. Good conversions are either us (the biz) getting more info or them (customer) receiving more info.

User experience on your website is key to keeping users on site & converting. What makes a great user experience? The worst?

@Sonray   It’s 2014, why are we still taking over screens and using popups?!?! The good is when a website tests every aspect in an effort to improve little by little.
@CallMeLouzander   Couldn’t agree more. Makes the user feel out of control. Don’t be that website!

@andrea_tuttle   Clear calls-to-action, intuitive navigation, NO POP UPS

@KevinWaugh   Simplicity and definition is a great UX to me, sometimes there is too much noise. This 100x times easier and better than a complete redesign.
@Sonray   It’s a responsible way to make sure those changes don’t get misinterpreted by search engines too

@Etela   The page has to provide what the user came for – know your users, what their needs are & give it to them on the landing page. And then you collect data and test continually.
@CaitlinBoroden   I always try and think in the users shoes. Okay, they’re sitting at their desk/on their phone. What will they do next?

@scottkrager   SPEED above all else. A zippy fast website is a happy website and happy visitors.

@CallMeLouzander   A site that knows why it exists. I’m surprised by how many sites are just a nest of content with no focus.

@JennineMiller   Better mobile experiences. This @Bruceclayinc blog explains it all.

Tell us about a situation where you discovered a conversion obstacle! What was it? How did you discover it?

@Sonray   Client was recommending products mid-checkout which confused users & caused abandonment; plotted the checkout.

@peoplesknees   Speaking of mobile (@JennineMiller) I once discovered on a site images were hoover only, click & sent to home page. #nogood
@JennineMiller   Really! That’s awful! Can you imagine the amount of potential clients lost from frustration?
@CaitlinBoroden   Another frustration with mobile.. fonts too tiny!

@Etela   CTA lead to a 404 page.

What’s your process of analyzing conversion funnels & obstacles? How do you identify things that others missed?

@Sonray   Call me old fashion but I manually map out the journey & variables then analyze GA if that was setup correctly.

@KevinWaugh   I walk through the process, over and over. The Book “Outside In” discusses this.

@peoplesknees   Sometimes I try to *be* the customer going through my website’s ideal conversion funnel. Step into their shoes.

@sydrenee5   I would look at it from a customers perspective and try to perfect what they are seeing. Go over it again and again.
@Etela   Yes, put yourself into the client’s shoes. Also examine the collected data, analyze and look for opportunities.

@JennineMiller   Test it yourself, have co-workers test, have clients test & then evaluate. Can’t fix it if you don’t know where it’s broken.

Do you ever think about it: Once a user converts, what do you want them to do next?

@Sonray   Enter the next funnel! Read a blog post, engage on social, hug someone.

@tomtheseoguy   Share, share and share again!

@KevinWaugh   Move to being a brand advocate (a commodity), which we can do by creating a post conversion experience to win over more. I want them to look like this.
@Sonray   Best use of a stock image I’ve seen in months! +1 good sir. +1!
@CallMeLouzander   Absolutely. Post-conversion like review (user-generated content) & feedback. Good source of ideas.

@sydrenee5   Have the best possible experience so they are willing to share and share and share again to maximize traffic. Maybe it’s because of my age but I have noticed that utilizing videos that catch customers attention works very well.

@JennineMiller   In a sweepstakes we’re running right now, once the person converts (enters) the next page makes it easy for them to share! I would forget otherwise and I’m happy to write something and appreciate their concern with my experience

@Etela   Depends on goals but be satisfied w/ the purchase so they return again, write review, share w/ their networks, become advocates.

Let’s touch on testing CTAs: What’s the biggest tip you’d give to a newbie?

@RiaFiscina   A/B test your heart out.

@Sonray   Pay attention to what the PPC team is doing.

@CallMeLouzander   Make the text descriptive. What will clicking get them and why do they want that outcome?

@sydrenee5   I AM a newbie so I would just find a pro and practice practice and get lots of great explanations from this chat.

@Etela   To actually DO it! So many times people just talk the talk but don’t actually do it

@JennineMiller   Re: CTAs #JustDoIt
@Sonray   lol, made me think of Nike’s robots.txt file.

What role do you see mobile taking in the conversion funnel? Any predictions for the future?

@KevinWaugh   It will reduce barrier of entry of being in front of a stationary place, it will expand times of opportunity also.

@sydrenee5   Is it safe to say I feel like mobile is just going to take over everything, everywhere.

@CallMeLouzander   Great question. Seems not all industries should expect same conv rate on mobile as desktop. Some users research on mobile but purchase on desktop. Thoughts? Optimizing for mobile is essential. But know your audience and how they shop.
@Sonray   It could change on product even but totally agree!
@peoplesknees   That’s true! And sometimes i’m in the store shopping and doing comparison shopping on my phone!
@CaitlinBoroden   I agree! For some reason I feel more comfortable entering credit card info on a desktop instead of my phone.
@KevinWaugh   Think that is generational, they want to call & place order out of fear of online, but we just place order on web.
@RiaFiscina   Not too sure on this. It’s difficult for me to enter my info on a mobile device, so I use my comp. It’s likely due to improper implementation of responsive design. Or lack of forethought about it.
@CallMeLouzander   Not necessarily. If product is really expensive, requires purchase orders or requisition forms, won’t sell on mobile.
@JennineMiller   I think it’s a combo of responsive design & safety. I feel like people can hack my phone more easily.
@JennineMiller   You can do mobile to in-store conversions too. @Target’s amazing app Cartwheel does just that.
@Sonray   My wife will not get off of that app. Drives me nuts when we’re in the store!
@JennineMiller   Haha nice, but you can see how mobile makes it happen @Sonray. I bought things I would have forgone because of good discounts.

Summary: MozCon themes & takeaways on #SEOchat

Moderator: @Sonray

With superb internet available, the social media component to mozcon was crazy! How did you follow along & could you keep up?

@noeticsound   I sadly didn’t tune in at all. hoping to catch up this weekend on the news. Some colleagues were there, and i’m hoping that some good writeups emerge. maybe you’ve got the hot links.

@RiaFiscina   I couldn’t keep up. I tried!

@alexpeerenboom   Dedicated hashtag column in my Tweetdeck and I just followed along as best as I could.

@aaronmarth   I kept my eye on the steady stream of conf tweets during. I’m planning on going thru all the decks, notes and blog posts now.

@Sonray   .@hallstigerts took EPIC #MozCon 2014 notes. Also, @gzlatin has been hunting for comments for his blog post rumored to drop tomorrow. Aaron was one of the most epic tweeters at #mozcon, his stream is worth the review! @sitecrafting.

@alexpeerenboom   All the decks are posted online.

One of the major takeaways I got was to TEST for yourself. How many of us are running regular tests? On what?

@KevinWaugh   ”Testing is not needed, we know our customer” – An out of touch marketing person. #theystillexist #theywontdie. It’s an ego thing, most time it is HIPPOs in an org. If they might be wrong, they shut down the dialogue.

@Sonray   Try, Experiment, Success, Teach…just made that up. Meant more along the lines of testing the theories we learn about to see how they apply/work for us.

@noeticsound   Nowadays i’m working with ads. testing is constant: sites, creative, timing. i love running parallel campaigns test v control. With SEO in enterprise, controlled testing is really challenging. so much of the work is education and buy in. I really value testing, but it just so rarely happened in SEO. when it did, it wasn’t controlled. maybe i was the problem.

@Sonray   What are you testing on Mobile? Speed? CTR? Conversions?
@lisabuyer   Mobile experience in social media channels.

@GoGetterVette   used to do buyer’s cycle, landing pages forms, but not actual Google or FB ads

@joshmccormack   Part of our biz is QA testing. Test on dozens of OS/Browser/hardware combos (mobile too) and see many problems. Web dev, QA testing & strategy. Mainly post dev, real users trying out sites on everything possible.

Theme 1: Big agencies & PR firms are coming for us. Are you taking this seriously? What evidence do you see?

@lisabuyer   Big agencies and PR firms need a crash course in #SEO and #Social because they tried to ignore change.

@Sonray   Do you follow PR or Mad Ave marketing firms? Are you building out your skills to match theirs?
@noeticsound   I guess i am a mad aver…not literally but at big global agency in NYC. don’t think the skills are so different though.
@GoGetterVette   What skills are necessary? Meaning SEO/PR/marktg hybrid workers? I do follow some PR and marketing agencies?
@Sonray   PR firms tend to have the relationships but SEO’s understand the value of links.
@KevinWaugh   I’ll add my thoughts: code (HTML at least) metadata, copywriting, site architecture, analytics.
@GoGetterVette   What I aim for. Jack of all trades,there’s a big demand for ppl who can see the big picture and execute well.
@JennineMiller   Yes & no. Build skills you need & have time to work on but don’t offer things you’re not going to be able to keep up with. Worst experience was working for a PR firm that decided out of the blue to offer social media services. Those poor clients.

Theme 2: Using social to yoink competitor’s strategy – where is your favorite place to go to steal your competitor’s cheese?

@Sonray   Examples included scraping competitors open twitter lists and finding similar communities via Open Graph.

@sydrenee5   I like using Facebook’s pages to follow feature, just to keep tabs and see what works that we could repurpose.
@Sonray   Do you track via IFTTT or just follow in your regular feed? What things excite you. I use IFTTT and Evernote; makes my stalking stealth and on my terms.
@sydrenee5   Using the regular feed right now, still trying to set up my formulas for IFTT, and just seeing what works for them! We follow via facebook interests so you don’t have to like competitors pages, don’t want to give them the extra help.

@noeticsound   Glad you brought this up. not using social per se, but derivation is often my first move. who’s good? what do they do?
@Sonray   Competitive stalking could easily be it’s own.
@joshmccormack   From my tenure on “Madison Avenue” big ad agencies are a facade with acct execs, designers and little else.

@lisabuyer   @followerwonk is kind of cool for 007 investigatiions. You can compare followers.
@Sonray   All My Tweets is great too!

Theme 3: Just do it. Goals, A/B testing & Content ideas – what or who inspires you to stay on your game & push your limits?

@sydrenee5   My boss ;D @lisabuyer

@JennineMiller   My teammates and myself. We push our own limits and each other because we love getting things right. @thebuyergroup love!

@alexpeerenboom   The community. This chat, live tweets from Mozcon, Hangouts. It’s great seeing ideas and info being shared.

Theme 4: Technical SEO vs. Content – Which is providing you a greater return?

@DerekOstler   I have had huge success with Technical SEO with new clients. After the techincal stuff is done then we focus on content.

@JakubMovic   Technical SEO is always number one. Especially with clients with smaller budget

Many speakers were discussing how they improve communication via reporting – is this a focus of yours? What steps do you take?

@DerekOstler   Reporting is always good; however, reporting on the right things like traffic, sales, CRO, etc is what they really care about.
@Sonray   And educating on why those metrics matter!

@KevinWaugh   I try to tailor the report to the audience, senior people get cliff notes and pictures, peers get more detailed stuff.

@Etela   In reporting but also overall communications; we need to ensure they understand how what we do ties into their biz goals.

@RiaFiscina   Yes. I’ve developed quite a few new reports over the past year. The most important part is BE CLEAR.

Summary: Exclusive Publisher Research and Content Marketing Best Practices on #SEOchat

Moderator: @KelseyLibert

@KelseyLibert   The first half of the #SEOchat we’ll focus on #content creation, and the second half we’ll focus on how to get your content placed. The data in this #SEOchat is based off of an exclusive study I did with over 500 digital publishers.

How many stories do you think the average writer publishes per day?

@SEOAware   Good writers are okay writers?
@KelseyLibert   Great question. Let’s say the average top-tier writer at a Time, CNN, etc. So, great writers!
@SEOAware   I am honestly not sure. I do more than write :) If I only had writing to do I wonder if I could publish more.
@nikipayne   I wonder the same thing.

@MichelleDLowery   A top-tier writer likely doesn’t publish every day because top-tier content should take more than a few hours to create. Well, there are so many variables, too. What type of story? How long? For what type of venue? How much research is needed?
@nikipayne   Good point. A1: I honestly don’t think there is a one size fits all answer to this question.
@CallMeLouzander   I agree- short piece on something familiar vs new topic makes big difference.
@MichelleDLowery   Exactly. The existing knowledge the writer brings is important.
@SEOAware   Yeah, for me coming up with unique topics takes a good amount of time.
@MichelleDLowery   Ideation, research, editing…content creation is about much more than just the writing.
@SEOAware   I come up with topics & try to ensure my ideas are not similar to rehashed content.
@MichelleDLowery   Agreed. Sometimes, though, I think it’s possible to take existing content and write from a different perspective.
@BrianHarnish   I agree! Writing from a different perspective can create a unique spin on existing content ideas.
@SEOAware   I agree, but as soon as I feel like I am reading “rehashed” I am out of there :) @AlanBleiweiss Yeah its all about adding real value to an already written about topic.
@KelseyLibert   It’s also great to take one angle, and do a short study to expand upon it. Then you bring something new.
@MichelleDLowery   Exactly. Did the writer leave something out? Has something changed since original piece was published?
@KelseyLibert   It also gets a great discussion going, between two parties who may have different views.
@BrianHarnish   Hey – SEO is dead!!! Now that’s rehashed ;)
@russiansearchmk   Yes, we often use Russian content and offer a perspective for international clients.

@MatthewAYoung   Depends on whether theyre paid by the word
@nikipayne   Do people still do that? I don’t think I’ve ever been paid by word before
@MatthewAYoung   Yes, they do. Though I think theyre the wrong people you want writing your content.

@KristiKellogg   I write .5 #SEO stories a day … i.e. 2 a week … and that’s on a good week. Quality articles take time. I will say that news stories are a different creature. My all-time record was 12 stories in 1 day. That was a long day.

@tannerpetroff   I bet the “average” writer publishes more than once a day. Great writers take their time.
@KelseyLibert   Great point! It’s easy to do spinoff articles, but when writing high quality content, the research takes more time.

@AlanBleiweiss   Yeah one of my 4,000 word posts takes time. Not going to do that daily, or every week.
@MatthewAYoung   My posts have a tendency to be weighty tomes as well – nothing like 4k words though.
@AlanBleiweiss   Well to be fair, some of mine are shorter. Like 1500 to 2,000 words.
@MatthewAYoung   That’s about right for me. Sometimes drives the editors crazy when theyre looking for 450. I got a lot to say!

When pitching writers, do you usually pitch ideas to collaborate on, or do you pitch a finished asset?

@MatthewAYoung   A combination of both. I try to make ideas fresh with new perspectives.

@rymcgonagill   I like to pitch ideas for collaboration, especially when dealing with previous contacts.

@tannerpetroff   I try to pitch half-polished ideas. Open to collaboration, but polished enough that they can say yes/no.

@CallMeLouzander   At the very least you want to know that you’re writing to address a need or answer a question, so some collaboration is needed.

@PassionFruitCG   It’s a bit different for us because our content creation is aimed at clients, although we guest post here and there.

@KelseyLibert   Looks like most people are into collaborating, which is great because it’s what 70% of top tier writers want!

What characteristics does the perfect piece of content possess?

@CaroSamsing   Content creation has a context, good timing and is reader’s focused. You don’t get that combination right unless you iterate. The most important piece is that it’s relevant for your target audience.

@rymcgonagill   Original/exclusive research should always be #1.

@SEOAware   Actionable tips, sources, educational info.

@BruceClayInc   It anticipates audience needs & answers them. It is optimized for search. It is well researched and written. Includes graphics.

@MatthewAYoung   Part news, part opinion (though not much), part application, part relevance, and a whole lot of quality. You also have to speak to the audience as well. Know who you are writing for and sometimes the rest flows from that.
@KelseyLibert   Many content marketers struggle with targeting a campaign to the publisher’s audience, not their client’s agenda.
@MatthewAYoung   Exactly. It’s a fine line. Achieving the marketing/content objectives and keeping clients happy. As @garyvee would say, it’s not so much about content as it is about context.

@CallMeLouzander   Sometimes it’s about taking complex topics and making them more comprehensible; that can be a real value for readers.
@rymcgonagill   yes to this 1000 times! Making something more easily digestible is always a great tactic.

@AlanBleiweiss   Good content characteristics: add value, solve a problem, answer a question, evoke emotion. Depends on situation.

@KristiKellogg   It is valuable, unique, creative, thoughtful, edited- it cites quality sources. It is a useful resource. It is engaging.

@PassionFruitCG   It’s genuine. Not pandering to the audience, providing real value with both data and understanding behind it.
@CallMeLouzander   yes, gimmicks are a way of disguising that you’ve got nothing to say!

@PeterThistle   Perfect content contains something new to a given audience: factual information, or interpretation of, insights into.

@tannerpetroff   I think amazing content is the stuff that resonates with who you’re speaking to, whether it’s short, simple informative, etc.

What content formats do you find to be most successful? For example, infographics vs videos, etc?

@andrea_tuttle   I’ve found the most success with infographics or checklists.
@KelseyLibert   Is there a certain vertical you find checklists to work best in?
@andrea_tuttle   Markets who seek quick education or guidance. I find that checklists serve as bite-size instructional content.

@rymcgonagill   Formats that can effectively communicate the information as simply as possible. If this is a regular infographic, great.

@SEOAware   I find that meeting a need, offering a solution(s) and pleasing the visual eye often ends in success.

@alexpeerenboom   Content that involves the audience- surveys, interviews, etc. You get their expertise & help in promotion.
@CallMeLouzander   exactly. Audience engagement means audience investment.

@MatthewAYoung   This all depends on the audience you want to reach and where the audience resides. 9 second vids on Facebook are good for that audience, gifs on tumblr are good for that audience, etc.

@MichelleDLowery   Again, it depends on the information being conveyed, to whom, and for what purpose. Not all content is ideal for infographics.
@andrea_tuttle   Very true. But I have found that they get high CTR and perform the best in organic search.
@MichelleDLowery   But again, those stats would depend on the topic and the audience.

@BruceClayInc   Content dictates format. Some things work better in infographics (statistics) & others are better in video (real-time chats).
@MatthewAYoung   And context dictates the content.
@CallMeLouzander   @MatthewAYoung What was it you said about context first? Guess you’re onto something…audience determines content and format.
@MatthewAYoung   Yes, the content on the site is different than the content published on Twitter, FB, G+, Snapchat, Vine, Instagram. And so different are the audiences for each platform. Tell the same story across all and marketers miss out.

@CaroSamsing   Platforms play an important roll on the formatting of content. It’s important to be aware that every channel has it’s language.

@BradyDCallahan   Depends on industry of client, but find video works best mostly because it takes time/money & few do it well.

@russiansearchmk   We love providing info graphics when they are relevant to the content piece, especially when providing #marketresearch.

@SEOAware   I don’t think anything can be successful until you define your audiences and determine what they need and/or want.

@victorpan   Infographics, charts, listicles, case studies, blogs, how-tos… it really depends on the target audience’s favorite medium.

@KelseyLibert   Looks like everyone agrees that the audience should be the central focus point when deciding on content format.

@KelseyLibert   If you want to create something that can be widely syndicated, data visualizations are the way to go. #SEOchat (@tableau hint hint)

@KelseyLibert   Next up in the #SEOchat, let’s discuss how to get your #contentmarketing campaigns placed with high-authority publishers!

If you were to weigh the importance of networking before pitching, how important would it be?

@victorpan   Relationships pre-seed your success. If you’ve already established trust, content promotion is a breeze. Super important.

@PassionFruitCG   Very. Otherwise, you’re just cold calling, and no one enjoys that, least of all those being called.

@SEOAware   Networking is critical.

@tannerpetroff   For top-tier content, I’d go with 11 on a scale of 1-10.

@feviyu   Easy to pitch but who is going to listen unless they know you?

@victorpan   Kick-ass content will help you create relationships. Hard-selling content your target doesn’t care about loses them.

@vitaminEDU   Without networking, pitching is cold-calling. Relationships are everything!

@BradyDCallahan   Let’s be honest: pitching is an absolute crapshoot unless you’ve networked. Even HYPER-targeting your pitch is a low % rate.

@MatthewAYoung   Networking – its HUGE!

@stonetemple   Research related posts already exist on the site, figure out what you can write to fill a hole in their coverage.
@andrea_tuttle   Agreed! Also, refer to the publishers editorial calendars to see what topics they will be covering and when.

What channel(s) do you most frequently send your pitches through? or find to be most successful?

@rymcgonagill   Email email email. Never call a writer without an invitation first.
@tannerpetroff   Not sure I agree with that for everything. For press, sometimes it’s easiest to call the hotline and pitch them.

@stonetemple   Email still works, but other channels are often better. InMail is really good, as is G+ since you can DM there. Short communications are definitely king. Your email is an INTERRUPTION!

@victorpan   Follow first on social media, pitch later on e-mail, share things relevant to them on social, 2-day follow-up on e-mail.
@MatthewAYoung   Word. Conversation, digital befriending are key – kind of the point of social anyway.

@MatthewAYoung   Social channels (PM) followed up with emails have always been a good outreach method for me.
@victorpan   If they’re interested, they’ll call you. Maybe. Short e-mails preferred if pitching to a journalist.

@victorpan   Though as short as your e-mail and headline may be, pitch with a story. Polish your hooks folks.

@KelseyLibert   Most writers want you to stay away from social media pitches. Instead, use SM to network weeks prior to the pitch.

Do you try to send your pitches at a specific time, or day of the week?

@victorpan   Depends on the person being pitched. Pitches are like ads. Good thing social media gives us hints on when’s a good/bad time. When there’s no prior relationship, first thing in the morning (8-9AM) or after lunch (1-2pm). Time zones matter!

@vitaminEDU   Tuesday-Thursday mornings. Fridays, too, if it’s necessary.

@victorpan   Caveat about general “best times to pitch” studies… they’re averages. They’re often not your type of audience either. The relationships you build shouldn’t be a statistic either.

@KelseyLibert   Make sure to check the writer’s timezone, and use @boomerang to schedule your email for the ideal time.

@KelseyLibert   We weren’t able to cover all of the takeaways today. Check out our @BuzzStream webinar for deeper insights.

@stonetemple   Question: who do you have create content for you? Rented writer, in-hour expert, or extranl expert?
@KelseyLibert   We mostly use internal writers, though we work with PhD’s when doing more advanced research.
@stonetemple   I like that approach. Internal people will know their stuff! Too much “blather” published these days.
@MichelleDLowery   External writers can know their stuff too. Depends on writer, their experience, and their methods. :-)

Summary: Authorship, Influence + Content Creators on #SEOchat

Moderator: @lisabuyer

@lisabuyer   If you liked this article on @sewatch Content Creators Ranking Checklist join #SEOchat

@marktraphagen   My in-depth article on why Google removed author photos from search

Google took away the mug shots last week, are they quietly killing authorship?

@BruceClayInc   Not at all … in fact, quite the opposite. “It’s a precursor to Google putting MORE value on authorship”- http://snip.ly/oDW

@marktraphagen   No. Authorship still works for one thing, just no photo. Author authority is a firm and long term goal of Google. I believe they may have decided until they can do real authorrank the photos were too strong a signal. Primary misconception is that authorship is a current ranking signal. Still long off from that. Google will serve no search rank factor before it’s time. Understanding author authority is a long term project.
@AllieGrayFree   Agreed Mark! Great article explaining the importance of author authority.

@CVContent   We believe it was a decision meant to enhance mobile search experience. #Authorship & #influence is alive and well.

@DragonSearch   Google just likes to keep us on our toes. Authorship is here to stay.

@ramirez_robert   Authorship is alive and well. Those using it just for the SERP photo are out of luck, but real authors should stick to it. One still gets a byline, and I for one think that’s worthwhile.

No author on blog posts? What are the first steps a brand do?

@BruceClayInc   Step 1: Add authors. Step 2: Have the authors set up Google Authorship immediately.

@KristiKellogg   Add authors! A blog w/ no bylines lacks transparency & authenticity – and today’s reader DEMANDS transparency and authenticity. I would go back and add them! You could add an editor’s note at the top, too, possibly.
@scottkrager   ”who wrote this” will be a part of the algorithm of the future. Even without photo, it’s worth it.
@marktraphagen   Totally agree!

@marktraphagen   I believe developing real authors identified w/ your brand needs to be a top priority. For one thing, you’re building a data set of trust for when Google does use author rank. More and more, people will come to trust first that content that has a real author connected to it.
@paulaspeak   Users will “retrain” (totally agree) & search engines will grow in author recognition and reward those worthy of it.

@lisabuyer   Some blogs, many actually, don’t have authors or even dates on blog posts!!!

@ChiDPI   Add authors whenever possible! If there is a huge workload, prioritize the best content and then work through it over time.

@CVContent   Think about your brand publication like a newsroom. You need real people behind your content, not just your brand. Brands need to leverage tools like ClearVoice, FollowerWonk etc. to find subject matter experts.

@AllieGrayFree   Identify your customers’ FAQs, find authoritative authors based on vertical, then develop content that answers Q’s.

Will you still be recommending clients use authorship markup? Why or why not?

@marktraphagen   Absolutely recommend still using authorship. Google still tracking authors for future author rank, for 1 thing. BTW, author photos can still show for G+ content in logged-in searches by people in your Google network. Seems to trigger most for people w/ whom you have engaged.
@primedesign   And ppl on G+ are more likely to see your articles in SERPs if they or someone in their network has +1′d your content. Google’s whole business model has to do with delivering personalized search results.

@ramirez_robert   If you are trying to frame yourself as an expert on a topic, authorship matters. Claiming ownership of your content is a must.

@OldhamJared   Absolutely! Authorship is part of Branding. Good Brands are built overtime. Authorship value will develop over time.

@ChiDPI   For sure! On top of other benefits, #authorship forces brands to focus and hone voice, branding, and message.

@CVContent   Yes! Authorship markup credits authors & offers authority for content. Here’s a good guide to check your authorship markup.

What are the credentials of a good author?

@marktraphagen   Sign of a good author: able to bring unique take on a topic that adds value. Another sign of a good author: earns regular columns on trusted industry sites. @stonetemple hired me partly b/c I bring w/ me strong writing history & rep. Now gets associated w/ STC brand. I think great content producers are writing themselves a valuable job ticket for their future.
@lisabuyer   Does high engagement = a good author?
@marktraphagen   It can, but not necessarily. Better sign: WHOM is engaging w/ that author?

@KristiKellogg   Bylines on high quality publications/sites are always a good sign. And … just read their writing. It should speak for itself.

@ChiDPI   What makes a good author very much depends on the brands history, industry, and competition.
@paulaspeak   Yes, “good” is relative term. But certainly Google interprets “authority” in context of a subject/field.

@OldhamJared   A good author offers consistency and innovation to a subject like @marktraphagen on #authorship and other topics.

@CVContent   Balance your editorial team based on your org’s needs. For outsourcing make sure theyre a) experts and b) quality.

@nikipayne   Let’s not forget social reach and influence. A good author is also ENGAGING. Isn’t that want content marketing is all about?

@DragonSearch   Not a “sexy” answer, but: Consistency! You can be an excellent writer, but you need to be consistent to build readership.

@ferkungamaboobo   Prolific (unique index pages), Insightful (links, social sharing), timely (topic/keyword choice).

Should a brand hire in-house content creators or outsource?

@BruceClayInc   If you have the resources, in-house creator(s) are valuable. An in-house team can coordinate w/ analysts 7 work collaboratively. We have a strong team of writers: @VirginiaNussey, @KristiKellogg, @paulaspeak, @ChelseaBeaAdams @NikiPayne. #TeamWork

@ericlanderseo   Outsource if you need to get buy-in on content, but IMO you need long term in house dedication to make it work. Integrate!

@nikipayne   In-house content creators are the way to go. No one knows your business better than someone who lives and breathes it with you.
@DragonSearch   Yes! Because *sometimes* the best perspective is an outside perspective :)
@lisabuyer   Yes when you are too close to the brand sometimes things get blurry!

@paulaspeak   SMB owners often have trouble finding time to write content, can’t see the forest either. In that case, outsource works.

@ZipTrigger   If doing outsource you’d need a strong guide to keep voice consistent. Personas, etc.

@primedesign   Depends on their goals! As a marketing agency, our goal is to show we know our stuff – thus, in-house is better.

@marktraphagen   Don’t outsource content to just anyone. Do strong research, develop a relationship.

@OldhamJared   I like inhouse writers who know the brand. Use #outsourcing for consulting like — Video creative and other specialties.

@AllieGrayFree   Balance on your business’ needs. In house=good for governance, outsourcers=great for topical experts & leveraging influence.

@Mreowlynn   If a brand can juggle in-house content creators that would be ideal. Imagine how much easier it would be get content tweaked. Not to mention an in-house content creator would already know the voice of the brand.

@ChiDPI   In-house = great, but realistically…better to get content out there. Outsource if biz is unwilling/unable to focus on it.

@seanmcginnis   My belief is you get passion and expertise by keeping content creation in house. Hard to replace those two w external. Additionally, some internal employees would love side projects like that – so, cultural/employee win.

@ramirez_robert   In-house writers are always your best bet, but a good freelance writer can craft compelling content on any subject.

@DanielleLeitch   If good matching/selection process done in advance, have seen outsourced writers (agency) produce relevant + passionate content.

What about press releases (real ones), should they have an author associated?

@marktraphagen   W/ recent Press Release site penalties, Google made clear that quality of PR’s needs to come up bigtime. For the future, press releases need to add real value, like an article. Can’t just be broadcasting anymore.
@paulaspeak   Will adding an author to a press release raise its quality (in SE’s eyes)?
@marktraphagen   Possibly, but for now I think the quality of the content in the release is most important.
@lisabuyer   What about the press release published on the company website, should it have an author?
@marktraphagen   If it’s in the form of a PR, then no. But should be written at that quality.

@primedesign   Generally it is assumed the author of a press release is the press contact, unless it’s a huge corporation, no? As a side note, the walls between advertising and journalistic content seem ever weaker….this worries me.

@BruceClayInc   Press releases shouldn’t have an author, but rather a contact person (such as a marketing/content manager) listed at the bottom.
@marktraphagen   Good point. But PR’s should be written like they’re written by a “real author” even if not named.
@primedesign   and should follow the basic rule for a PR — it’s something that’s actually NEWSWORTHY.

@CVContent   With the influx of content on the web, associating content w credible authors is essential for press releases, blogs.

@AllieGrayFree   True – (Primary) studies/research accomodates the need for info vs product annoucement.

@KristiKellogg   Speaking of press releases … wrote this last week: How to Write a Press Release that Entices #Media.
@paulaspeak   Your article takes PRs a step further, into a new life form as the seed for an article. That’s the best scenario.

@ramirez_robert   I don’t think press releases need authorship. Publisher tags are for content about brands. Author tags for content on topics.

What are some of your favorite tools for authorship and content creation?

@scottkrager   Structured Data Testing Tool for sure.

@KristiKellogg   For the content itself … my favorite tools are my brain and the Keyword Planner.
@Sonray   Agree, plus analytics, trends, serps etc. Reading demographic studies and other reports also spurs creativity and content ideas for me.

@primedesign   Curation: @hootsuite. I’d lose my mind without it.
@8keith   Use their Curation tools definitely .. but not to share, @HootSuite works best for multiple channels.

@marktraphagen   For finding authoritative authors check out new ClearVoice tool.
@lisabuyer   Check out this article mentions ClearVoice.

@paulaspeak   For ideas: G+ and Tweetdeck streams. For SEO: I run every page thru SEOToolSet Single Page Analyzer, then tweak.

@KristiKellogg   For PROMOTION of the content … @HaikuDeck, @Canva, @Pixlr, @TweetDeck, @Sniply, @BufferApp, @Tweepi, @Hashtagify.
@marktraphagen   Seconding the @HaikuDeck & @canva love!

@OldhamJared   I’m loving #buzzsumo for insights on the types of content in industries that are getting social buzz.
@nikipayne   I love @BuzzSumo too. One of my favorite tools to see what’s trending in social media for any given topic.

@Mreowlynn   @SproutSocial has been a blessing.

@AllieGrayFree   Here’s another good article on influencer #marketing tools.

@primedesign   How ’bout a shout-out for good old fashioned e-mail marketing, which isn’t sexy but WORKS.

Is a high @Klout score an indication of authentic influence?

@BruceClayInc   A @klout score reflects quality of interaction and provides an idea of how you’re performing socially. It’s useful. @KristiKellogg recently broke down how a @Klout score is established.
@Sonray   Type of interaction is important; mine went up ~30 points after the birth of my son – not relevant to my job.
@paulaspeak   I disagree that @klout scores reflect quality, though may get better. A rough indicator of online activity only.

@Sonray   It can be manipulated but I’ve found it useful for finding opportunities more than anything else.
@lisabuyer   I agree and think @klout is a good benchmark to watch your topics of influence also has some cool content suggestions.

@KristiKellogg   LOVVVVVVE @Klout. Yes. It is a great measurement tool. Sure, it can be manipulated, but so can everything.

@paulaspeak   I no longer consider Klout valid for measuring clout. If I post a new puppy pic on FB, my score goes way up.

@8keith   Klout is like a thermometer .. gives you an indication but not a complete story on the weather.

@CVContent   @Klout is a good judge of social influence, but it doesn’t judge how viral actual content is.

@marktraphagen   A lot of influencers on G+ suspect that @Klout undervalues that network. I use Facebook only for friends/family, but if I disconnect it my Klout score falls. #fail
@MichaelKitces   I thought the issue is simply that @Klout can’t effectively “score” G+ due to Google API limitations?
@marktraphagen   That may be, but still makes Klout less relevant for us.

@paulaspeak   All of our Klout scores just went up by interacting on.
@lisabuyer   There is #Chrome plugin for @klout and you can see everyone’s Klout score on Twitter stream.

How can authors improve scores of influence?

@marktraphagen   Key is building real relationships w/ other relevant influencers. Be very useful to them! No substitute for being on top of your industry. Can’t become trusted author w/o constant self-education.
@lisabuyer   Especially this industry! Brands hiring online marketers are so vulnerable to fakes.
@Sonray   Constant learning and understanding then your own testing is HUGE, totally agree.
@marktraphagen   Great point. At @stonetemple we’re investing heavily in resources to do more testing
@Sonray   With the losses of data and dirty data you can’t beat owning your own data.

@BruceClayInc   Publish & promote consistently. Foster relationships through meaningful interaction. Have a unique, engaging voice.

@CVContent   Frequency, quality, authority of site, proper markup & claiming your @CVContent profile all will do you justice here. Also: continue contributing compelling content with your authorship correctly marked up.

@Mreowlynn   How about the cliche: Content is king. Producing relevant, sharable and quality content that provides value.
@lisabuyer   Authorship is now king!

@primedesign   Participate, interact, respond, ask questions, make intelligent observations… like @marktraphagen is suggesting, LEARN.

@DanielleLeitch   Consistently produce original, authentic and relevant content (ties to your name) w/ splashes of How-To’s for added user-value.

Ask anything!

@ramirez_robert   When will authorrank become a reality? Will it look anything like we are all thinking it will?
@marktraphagen   @ramirez_robert I think it still may be years off. Also think at early stages it may only boost top authors in each vertical.
@ramirez_robert   You think they might roll it out across some verticals first? Published medical professionals seem like a good fit?
@marktraphagen   Quite possibly. Apply it where it is easiest to guage trust & authority.
@Sonray   There is a lot of misconception & bad practices there…not sure authorank would help that vertical.
@marktraphagen   Then a good example of why author ranking is trickier than people think.

@ZipTrigger   Agent Rank patent is from 2005 – http://goo.gl/35hCqV – any evidence Google is developing it?
@marktraphagen   What we’ve heard from Google is that developing the right metrics is harder than people think. But as recenlty as past few weeks @mattcutts said it remains a priority to figure out.

Summary: SEO Education on #SEOchat

Moderator: @BruceClayInc

How much formal training is necessary for an SEO?

@sandiegoseo   I don’t think any formal training is “needed” but it can sure help separate fact from fiction.

@MatthewAYoung   Formal training is essential, but a moderate amount is sufficient. SEOs have to learn by doing and sometimes failing.

@Sonray   It can be helpful if the degree adds value (I went for Phys ED) but DESIRE to learn is more valuable.

@MindyDWeinstein   I think some form of formal training is needed. Hands on is huge, though.

@treycopeland   No formal training is needed. read seo blogs. technical experience does help. former web dev turned seo here.

@paulaspeak   Some formal training (by experts) can keep “SEOs” from doing unethical things ignorantly, don’t you think?

@Tony_DWM   I think that knowledge of biz & training in marketing are pre-req of SEO training. The “why” is key & these help.

@cshel   I think everything you need to know can be learned outside of a classroom, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to know.

@LanceMoore22   I would say it’s not a formal training, but an art and science.

@KevinWaugh   Based on the college students on my team, I’m glad it is not covered. I had to reteach HTML, which is bad.

@CallMeLouzander   Fundamentals don’t change; don’t try to game the system, serve good content, keep up with tech changes.

If there is formal training, what does that look like? An apprenticeship? An internship? Something else?

@MatthewAYoung   The Bruce Clay SEO training of course! Which I took a few times in my day.

@mindydweinstein   To me, formal training looks like an internship. Reading, studying and watching those w/ experience in action. Regarding higher ed, I actually went through “SEO” textbooks. They are all outdated as soon as they go to print.

@CaitlinBoroden   I began with an internship. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to dig in and learn!

@Sonray   I spoke at @SearchDecoder ‘s NYU master’s level class. I was super impressed with the class & quality. I think it’s offered every semester but not sure. Studies digital marketing as a whole.

@sandiegoseo   I would think formal training would consist of a combo of hands on experience, and lessons on what NOT to do & why.

@paulaspeak   That sounds like a one-time special class vs. regular course, right? Maybe that would work.

@KevinWaugh   Workshops might be the closest to formal, easy to get into, gives you wings, and lets you go.

@scottcowley   I teach SEO, but I wish there were an ecommerce site to just hand to the students and let them optimize. The system is imperfect.

@LysaChester   I think formal classroom fundamentals in SEO is great, but most learning is done through internships and entry level jobs.

When was the first time you heard “SEO?” What made you want to dive in?

@sandiegoseo   When an ecom client wanted the service. No one was offering it, so I figured I’d learn it. over 14 yrs ago.

@Sonray   Working at a bike shop during the winter & was looking for ‘busy work’; started w/ ebay and local search.

@Tony_DWM   Late nineties. Primarily a fascination with words & their meaning, coupled with a deep interest in marketing.

@KristiKellogg   The first time I heard SEO was a week before my interview with @BruceClayInc. SEO, SEM, SMM, PPC, etc. #TooManyAcronyms

@MatthewAYoung   At an old job, the sales and marketing director asked if I could rewrite content on the site with SEO in mind. She asked if I knew what SEO was, I lied and said sure…

@LysaChester   First time I heard of SEO was when I went for a job interview asking me about SEO and Social Media experience 1 1/2 ago.

@CallMeLouzander   When I first heard “SEO” I asked programmer friend about it; he didn’t even know white hat SEO existed.

@DigitalDionne   It was 2010 or so. I was still a journo with AP. I was intrigued by strategic word use to “catch” someone. Like fishing. I eventually decided I liked the concept of words that made money. And my career in news was soon dunzo. lol

@KevinWaugh   I heard of it at a job interview for an #ecommerce site, so I decided I should really learn it. Never stopped learning since

@crbawden   Learned of #SEO from a drunk friend who said people make money by getting sites listed on Google. And here I am now.

After you heard those three magic letters, how did your SEO training begin? Online? With a book? With a course?

@Sonray   Read all the blog posts until they become boring. Experimented and failed often which was the best learning.

@scottcowley   I had informal job training, but I bought SEO for Dummies and read at night. My wife would write quizzes for me.

@CaitlinBoroden   My training kicked off with @sonray and @dragonsearch! Reading lots of blogs and books as well.

@BruceClayInc   Along with more than 4,000 students, have attended our SEOToolSet Training course since 2000.

@MindyDWeinstein   You also learn a lot at SEO conferences by networking. A collection of knowledge all in one place.

@paulaspeak   @smx sets the standard IMO for Internet marketing conferences. Even @dannysullivan & @mattcutts are there.

@KristiKellogg   Fun and random fact — March is the busiest month for #SEO conferences. How do I know? I made the #InternetMarketing Conference Calendar.

What about learning at Internet marketing conferences? Which ones do you attend, and are they worth the price?

@Sonray   Depends on your knowledge level and the level of the conf. Some are duds, some are FANTASTIC.

@KevinWaugh   I went to Internet Retailer Web Design conference last year and the SEO part was high level, nothing in part of new tricks. Score: 6/10.

@MindyDWeinstein   SMX and Pubcon conferences are always great. SMX Advanced is one I highly recommend.

@scottcowley   I think everyone should go to PubCon and SMX at least once. Conference have dminishing knowledge returns over time.
@btabke   I disagree – they get better with age, because you build up a network of trusted peers – that’s educational!
@DavidWallace   Yep I have to agree with @btabke on that one!
@scottcowley   We’re on the same page. The marginal info value of sessions may decline over time, but the peer factor is priceless.

@Tony_DWM   For networking, insights & peer-to-peer comms, most are great. I’ve attended #BrightonSEO & #Searchlove in UK – both fab.

@blueprintmarket   There worth x5 the cost. I got so much out of #SearchLove #Boston so much I signed up for SL #SanDiego days after @distilled.

@DigitalDionne   I’ve done Digital Summit and Digital Atlanta. I’ve learned good stuff. But really wanna hit SMX.

What is the most important lesson you had to learn as you gained experience as an SEO?

@Sonray   Hustle wins. Pick yourself up off the mat when you fail big and be willing to put yourself back out there.

@MatthewAYoung   How to distill complex SEO concepts to clients so they could understand them. You can learn all you want about SEO, but if you aren’t good at client services, then expertise means little.

@frpainchaud   Quality over quantity, conversions over rankings.

@sandiegoseo   Test everything no matter what youve heard.

@KristiKellogg   At first, I was hesitant to trade clever titles for optimized ones — until I saw keyword optimization maximizes reach!

@Tony_DWM   That it wasn’t about me. It was about helping clients achieve online results. If they won, I won. If not, why?

@nikipayne   Most important lesson learned: Don’t ever buy links!!!

@ScottCowley   SEO is one piece of a gigantic pie. It works better for some than others. 85% of it doesn’t change. People in SEO are awesome.

@CallMeLouzander   SEO has to work in conjunction with marketing and development to be effective.

When did it seem that the training wheels had come off and that you warranted the title “SEO”?

@sandiegoseo   The first time a client referred me to a friend of theirs, then again when a firm gave me continued pay days.

@Sonray   When my clients started seeing sustained traffic & conversion increases month over month.

@LysaChester   When I started creating SEO marketing campaigns on my own and they paid off! FTW!

@mindydweinstein   When I was no longer the one asking the questions, but was the one answering them (and I was seeing results).

@crbawden   When I could finally hold conversations on industry events, probably took at least 6 months of research and reading.

@DigitalDionne   When I started having my own ideas. I’m still just two years in. But it’s like a kid… when they’re a baby, they just listen. But by 11, they have their own thoughts. When I got my own thoughts, I felt like an SEO.

@KristiKellogg   When I saw my articles begin to rank #1.

@MatthewAYoung   When SEO became my state of mind.

When did it seem that the training wheels had come off and that you warranted the title “SEO”?

@lancemoore22   Be willing to learn. Always learn.

@KristiKellogg   Carefully consider you’re going to learn from.

@MatthewAYoung   Learn all you can from the white hat community on what do right, also attend #SEOchat every Thurs!

@mindydweinstein   Work with an SEO company that is willing to train you. Take your time, study and when you are ready, get your hands dirty.

@Sonray   Never say no to the opportunities that come your way; be giving with your knowledge.

@sandiegoseo   Learn the technical side as well as learning analytics to show what your work has been producing

@DigitalDionne   Develop mentors you can trust. Do the white hat – but learn the black hat too. There’s value in knowing the good and bad.

How do you continue your SEO education?

@djpaisley   Follow and engage with OLD School SEOs still in the game working at the top levels of the industry!!

@sandiegoseo   With no job ever “done” continued work is the best education, but shows, blogs, and articles help too.

@Sonray   Building up and teaching my team, sharing what we’ve learned whenever and however possible. Helping others.

Where do you think SEO education is headed? Is this going to be something the class of 2025 will major in?

@Sonray   Depends on what happens w higher ed & peeps opinions; self learners will always be but degrees will add legitimacy

@MindyDWeinstein   I believe more colleges will start to offer SEO education. Things change, of course, but students need a foundation.

@KevinWaugh   I think it will baked into the Marketing Degrees, along with other digital endeavors.

Summary: Combining Research with Audience Research on #SEOchat

Moderator: @mattgratt

Disclaimer from @Lyena : In an effort to focus on the content of the chat and keep readers from experiencing seisures, I am leaving out animated gifs that illustrate the conversation. Sorry, Matt. The collection was quite remarkable.

@mattgratt   As we internet marketing becomes more sophisticated and competitive, we need to remember that ‘traffic is people too.’ And that’s what we’ll talk about today on #SEOChat – thinking more broadly about keyword research in a full-funnel marketing process.

What tools & processes are you using to gather keywords and assess their volume, today in 2014?

@dan_patterson   Call me old-fashioned, but I still reference the Google keyword planner for ideas on volume estimates.
@Sonray   me too. Trends, and ye’ol SERP can help inform as well.
@mattgratt   The Google Keyword tool is a classic. Bing also has a rad excel extension for kw research.

@crbawden   Honestly, Google’s suggestions from the search bar help me most, but just signed up for @SEMrush and that’s been great.

@takartem   I obviously use http://keywordtool.io/ to find long-tail keywords and Keyword Planner to get the search volume – both are free.

@BruceClayInc   We use the SEOToolSet (about to get an upgrade to version 6!) and the Adwords Keyword Planner.

@MatthewAYoung   Adwords keyword planner is good-ish, not as good as it used to be. But it has new features that target platform-specific behavior. I also use SEM Rush to pull long lists of KW data – good for filling in the gaps, esp. with longtail.

@mattgratt   I think the suggestion tools – soovle, ubersuggest, keywordtool.io – are really valuable for expanding queries.

@DragonSearch   Definitely a process that’s been evolving of recent at DragonSearch- keyword planner, google auto suggest, trends, etc.
@mattgratt   .@AndrewChen actually has a great piece on assesing company traction with Google Trends.

@nikipayne   I’m doing keyword research right now too! Using Keyword Planner to start, then SEOToolSet.

@KristiKellogg   AdWords Keyword Planner

@lancemoore22   Jaaxy gives: monthly searches, estimated traffic, number of competitors, and a rating factor of ranking for a term.

@dan_patterson   No one mentioned WordStream… I don’t use it but i know some people like it.

@Sonray   Anyone do any demographic targeting in relationship to their keyword process?
@gregsnewby   Oddly enough, Facebook ad builder is great for helping with that. In a nutshell, I build an ad around the terms or “interests” I’m targeting, add in my target demo. And geo target; decide if the audience is the right size. May have to write a blog about it.

@mattgratt   .@jonoalderson sent me to an interesting term classfier tool today. Looks helpful for bigger sites.

What tools & processes are you using to understand your audience? Social media, email, competitive, surveys, etc?

@mattgratt   Personally I’m a big advocate of starting with your email list and using @FullContactAPI to add social and demographic data.

@MatthewAYoung   Clients know their audience the best. I like to have honest conversations with them – usually puts me on the right path. Researching consecutive queries is also a good way to understand psychology behind audience – helps with hummingbird too.

@KevinWaugh   This seems to be easier in B2B ecommerce. Survey’s and visit data help, when they buy, jackpot.

@Sonray   GA Demographics Tag helps inform; surveys, client docs, competitive & research can be HUGE in solidifying strategy.

@BruceClayInc   In addition to keyword research, we look at surveys, social media analytics, content performance and more. Furthermore, in-person surveys have given us insightful data about real personas who attend our SEO training.

@takartem   I believe search intent describes your audience a lot – http://keywordtool.io/ comes into play. Also talking to ppl. Search query report from webmaster tools will definitely be handy.

@mattgratt   One of my favorite pieces on this topic comes from @AimClear.

@Sonray   Census and market data are widely underused too IMO.

@KristiKellogg   The content drilldown report within Google Analytics is a GOLD MINE of info on what your readers want to read more of. I also like to look at what content is getting shared the most or getting max engagement- that, too, shows where interest lies. I will have to take a look at @qualaroo!

@DragonSearch   We’re big fans of @Brandwatch & constantly listening in to what users are saying. Great for content ideas too!

@mattgratt   I’m hearing surveys, census data, GA demographics tags, client docs, customer & non-customer interviews.

@gregsnewby   Sitewide search queries in GA are great to see if your current content is meeting needs and easy to find.

How do you map keywords to your purchase funnel? To audiences and personas? How do you put the data together?

@mattgratt   I start at the back of the funnel. I use ubersuggest or keywordtool io to find brand related searches and try to answer those. Then I start putting keywords into buckets, around use cases and buyer personas. Another thing to look at is posts that consistently send you converting traffic- what search terms do they get traffic from? @iPullRank has written some really excellent material about this topic.

@KevinWaugh   (Analytics + Order Data) along with channel. When adding new segments, you can forecast visits and possible revenue from them.

@MatthewAYoung   Assigning specific keywords sets to silos. The deeper the silo, the more longtail the KW. Don’t forget semantics either! Excel is especially useful for mapping of this nature as well.

@ianhowells   Competitors bidding on a term w/>$1 CPC = commercial, stuff they rank on but don’t bid on are likely somewhere up the funnel.

@crbawden   Pay close attention to qualifiers as natural search and intent discovery grows.. i.e. reviews, info, or purchase.

@BruceClayInc   #PPC take – we match keyword sets to conversion metrics. Some keywords aredirect revenue drivers while others drive branding.

How do you combine audience analysis and keyword research together to create a content strategy?

@KristiKellogg   Audience analysis gives you a framework to know WHO you’re writing to — and keyword research dictates WHAT to write about. That’s where long-tail research comes in super handy.

@MatthewAYoung   @randfish has a great whiteboard friday on this subject – perfect for hummingbird too!

@mattgratt   Personally I put keywords into buckets by person and funnel stage, and ask myself, “What does this person want?” “And what do I want them to do next, that drives business value? And how do I align those two goals?” I think the real challenge comes from keywords with multiple intents and high volume – they can be like Don Quixote’s windmills. The other thing I see a lot here is client executives wanting categorical keywords with low intent, like “analytics” or something.

@takartem   Create landing pages that would target several long-tail keywords, obviously keeping in mind who is your audience.
@Sonray   I find it’s more accurate for identifying CTR issues than gathering KW info but agree about the struggle!

@sageandsavvy   Content Strat =Go where your target market is and include the keywords they are searching for.

@crbawden   I think I’d need more than 140 characters to answer that one ;) Lots and lots of segmenting both keywords and traffic.

@ianhowells   You should know audience from your overall biz planning – KW research should just give specifics on language + suggestions.

@paulaspeak   To match keywords & personas, the “how” is the trick. Gut instincts are involved, then test topics & prove with analytics.

Summary: Measuring SEO Value of Publishers & Links on #SEOchat

Moderator: @JohnBertino

I don’t condone evaluating publishers on a single SEO metric but if you had to, what would it be? PR? DA? Relevance? Traffic?

@KevinWaugh   Force me to one metric, it would be traffic, the most direct to conversions.

@traHanSolo   It’s definitely best to consider all & not discount a whole field. There’s value to be had in many channels. In all honesty, I’m not sure I can just pick one. I don’t ever evaluate based on just one metric. Just 1 won’t tell full story.
@CaitlinBoroden   I agree. I first try and get a feel for the whole without looking into any one metric – a gut feeling and then metrics. I’ll use the cliche gun-to-the-head euphemism….. Had to pick one.
@traHanSolo   I might just end up dead ;) Ok, ok…traffic. w/ analytics you can get a whole lot of info from traffic data

@semdave   I would say relevance is first and foremost.

@crbawden   I’d say CPA, but that feels like cheating since it’s derived from two other metrics.

@tannerpetroff   That’s tough, but I’d have to say “the eyeball test” and check for quality/relevance.
@JohnBertino   Another vote for “eyeball test” / “gut feel” as first and foremost. quality indicator – Interesting.

@JohnBertino   QUICK POLL: Which software do you trust the most for link valuation? Moz? ahref? Majestic? LinkResearchTools? other? – why?
@traHanSolo   I trust @Moz. Comes from overall trust in them as a company w/ being on top of data/trends.
@BruceClayInc   For link research, Majestic and Ahref are reliable (in addition to Bing/Google WT).
@crbawden   Good question, I’m testing Moz, SEMrush and SpyFu all right now, but cognitiveSEO used to be my choice.

@JohnBertino   Quick plug for @backlinko – gr8 post on establishing site trust.

SEOs often snicker when Alexa Rank is mentioned. But if AR measures traffic, and traffic correlates authority, where does that leave AR?

@JohnBertino   I’m always surprised by how many SEOs scoff at PR and yet there is a whole school out there that still swears by it.

@annathegreat3   I think PR is misunderstood. SEOs see Google smacking PR and they see it as not as valuable.

@joshmccormack   PR as in spamming “press releases” is not valuable. Beyond that it’s very valuable.

@tannerpetroff   Isn’t AR based only on traffic with the Alexa toolbar installed? Or is that just from days past?

@awg   I think that’s what AR did–not sure on current practice. I just look at it as lukewarm data that’s skewed.

@semdave   I don’t ever look at AR. should I?
@awg   You could, but it’s an older service that no one really uses anymore. Well, at least we don’t.

Per January video by Cutts, FB/Twit signal are not part of algo. What is ur stance on impact of content engagement on link val?

@crbawden   Social mentions of URL are still counted short term I believe? just not likes/follows, so engagement’s still important.

@BruceClayInc   Engagement on FB/Twitter may correlate with, not impact, SERP rankings. Quality/relevance attracts all eyes (SEs and users).

@crbawden   Even if you consider FB/Twit as no follow links, it’s ultimately more awareness and (hopefully) targeted enteractions.
@KevinWaugh   I would almost consider it lead gen. You get the traffic and hope to convert them.

@tannerpetroff   While social might not be huge for ranking, it can still drive traffic, which is sort of the point. While social might not be huge for ranking, it can still drive traffic, which is sort of the point.

@traHanSolo   It may not impact seo for the time being, but social shares/links do help build brand awareness.

@semdave   Agree with everyone else. I don’t really care if FB/Twitter is part of Google’s algo. Still drives trafficand engagement.

@emcgillivray   If something’s truly hot on social, it’s typically breaking news & that’s going to show in SERPs.

In your opinion: How much impact do you think ‘author rank/authority’ has on the link value of NON-mktg-industry-related posts?

@JohnBertino   I’m a bit skeptical on big G’s ability to accurately measure auth-authority in verticals where author markup is rarely used.

@awg   Not much link juice wise, but I think the author’s name is something users get attached to. And then builds from there. The more users click on it and find it relevant, the more likely they are to share, etc and so forth.

@MatthewAYoung   I think Google has enough phds on the payroll to measure, I just don’t think Google values it highly, so minimal impact.

@KevinWaugh   I think authorship has great link and CTR influence. People may grow weary of nameless posts. (Same with paper editorials). Markup is a tool or means to an end. Getting the first jump on the comps makes the lead harder to overcome.

@CaitlinBoroden   Yes! RT Not much link juice wise, but I think the author’s name is something users get attached to. And then builds from there.

@crbawden   I question auth-authority measure when vertical like SEO touches all industries, I’m technically in software. I’d much rather look for relevancy as well, I just don’t have faith that search engines truly do that.

@raunakguha   Great content, natural link building, etc are all part of a holistic marketing process.

@JohnBertino   POLL: In terms of link equity, rank these factors in order of importance: TotalLinkRootDomain | PR | ContentRelevancy
@awg   I preface this with my role here (SEO Analyst): ContentRelevancy | TotalLinkRootDomain | PR
@CaitlinBoroden   My vote: ContentRelevancy, TotalLinkRootDomain, & PR
@MatthewAYoung   Conent > Total Links > PR
@crbawden   Unfortunately just as you listed them, relevant content won’t get seen without authoritative domain and links.

@JohnBertino   Google News sites are some of the most trusted on the internet. Any opinions on how to capture links from GN sites? For a site to be included in Google News, they have to undergo a rigorous manual review before getting in.
@MatthewAYoung   Post on G+ RE current event – posts will often times appear along side news stories in Google News, can increase awareness for site.

@JohnBertino   Very interested in what @Linkdex is doing, incorporating authorship and social influence into it’s platform. Has anyone used it? Similarly, I want to get back to discussion about preferred platform. Moz vs ahrefs vs Majestic vs other. What do you guys prefer?
@raunakguha   Have used Majestic. I simply love it. I believe a combination of @MajesticSEO and Market Samurai is really a killer.
@MatthewAYoung   Combination of Majestic and GWT.
@awg   We use Majestic and SEMrush.

@JohnBertino   Poll: How many of you strictly rely on link earning through content marketing vs link building?
@raunakguha   We do both.
@MatthewAYoung   Is there any form of link building that hasn’t been targeted by Google?
@JohnBertino   Sure, broken link building comes to mind @MatthewAYoung. @PointBlankSEO has some great information available on this.
@raunakguha   As long as the link building can be made to “seem natural” it will never be targeted.
@crbawden   We used to rely on just content but it’s not effective enough, I’m working on a strategy to change that now.

Summary: Technical SEO Audits on #SEOchat

Moderator: @PaigeCWilley

How important are tech audits to your (or clients’) overall strategy?

@ST_U2   Rapidly growing in importance, planning a major platform overhaul in coming months, so helps us roadmap.

@Sonray   It’s how I start 95% of my projects.

@BruceClayInc   They’re not just important — they’re necessary. Everything begins with a technical assessment.

@alexpeerenboom   Very important, right along with a complete assessment of how sites are measuring performance.

@BeamUsUpCrawler   Technical audits really fit as the backbone to your on-site optimization. If you’re skipping that, then you’re doing it wrong.

@JennineMiller   We start all of our projects with audits and tech is a HUGE part of it. Basically takes up the first month with new clients.

@lancemoore22   Extremely. You have to know where your client stands before you begin the adventure with them.

@dan_patterson   It’s naturally a huge part. You have to get the site fixed first so you can get the most benefit from everything else.

@conradoconnell   Super important. It’s usually the first step after we get our hands on GA, webmaster tools, ect.

@KevinWaugh   The highest of importance, all that UX and content won’t mean squat if the tech side is crap.The other benefit of doing tech audits is the appreciation for good developers/code, and it can weed out the fly by night folks.

@feviyu   Technical audits are the foundation of every online campaign.

@gregdixson   An SEO Audit is often the essential first step in getting a baseline on how the site stands in search.

@rywalk1   Very important to lay the foundation for strategy. Becoming more frequently requested to show the client as well.

@KevinDoory   Most important part of starting a campaign.Imagine trying to build a house without a blueprint. Tech SEO audits are a must.

What is the most common or overlooked technical problem you encounter?

@dan_patterson   I think duplication in one form or another is still a very common thing when I look over sites.

@Sonray   Crawlability, incorrect redirects, dirty sitemaps, canonical issues, GA code in the footer!

@lyena   The biggest challenge I had was multi-domain duplicate content mess and tracking past SEO efforts to optimize all of them.

@ST_U2   I’ve found sites without robots.txt and 404 pages and proper redirects. That’s always fun. And a new one I just found yesterday, two different versions of GA, one in header, one in footer! Hidden URL rewriting rules are also fun. I’d love to use UTM tags but they just return a white page.
@KevinWaugh   Even worse, 5 year plus old GA code that skews analytics
@noeticsound   I’ve found sites with robots.txt disallowing every spider from every piece of content. “why is my site not indexed?”

@BruceClayInc   Canonicalization of URLS and having duplicate content issues.

@lancemoore22   Title tag, url, and content don’t match.

@awg   GA code in the wrong place is our biggest, followed by soft 300 errors, outdated sitemaps, and robots.txt issues.

@maryi   Website images that aren’t optimized. They are too big and killing website load speed.

@feviyu   The most common that i’ve encountered is canonical URLS and a kazillion duplicates

@gregdixson   Still find sites with www & non-www versions. blog on a subdirectory is always a classic too.

@KevinDoory   Uncovering the jumbled efforts of previous marketing efforts that don’t fix problems just add more.

@KristiKellogg   Things as simple as having a URL that reads /MyAmazingSite instead of My-Amazing-Site — so simple to fix! Also, hello, speaking of images, optimize that file name!!!! (but not the ALT tag.

@jedkent   Awful pagination, incorrect redirects, no canonical URLs, blocked content in robots.txt, and duplicate everything!

Sounds like duplicates and canonicalization problems are common technical errors. Suggestions for cleaning them up? Tools?

@dan_patterson   Depends on the problem for cleanup. For most sites Screaming Frog does a great job identifying the problem.
@alexpeerenboom   Best guide I’ve read on what Screaming Frog can do.
@Sonray   @SEERInteractive have a fantastic guide (which might need an update now)

@awg   Screaming Frog SEO Spider is my go-to program for locating it. We’ve also been using Website Auditor. As to fixing duplicate content issues, it’s a case by case basis.

@conradoconnell   @screamingfrog, Excel, patience, webmaster tools and a drink.

@Sonray   Link Sluth and DeepCrawl are solid tools too

@gregdixson   I’ll use Screaming Frog to detect most things, Moz Analytics will highlight some duplicates to further investigate too.

@alexpeerenboom   I’m testing Raven Tools currently, and there’s a site audit function with duplicate content. Just testing it now, but pulls in issues with meta data, crawling, page speed, etc.
@conradoconnell   I really like the raven tool suite, but the site auditor function seems to overreport dupe content.

@BeamUsUpCrawler   @raventools posted a VERY fair review of 10 audit tools. From us, to @MOZ and the Frog.

@NickJM34   Check My Listing Score. Great for NAP cleanups.

What new element have you recently added to your technical audits? Why?

@BeamUsUpCrawler   OG tags, twitter cards, Pinterest rich snippets, rel=publisher, rel=author, page level schema.

@lyena   Mobile visibility and performance. Why? Because it is more important than ever.
@PaigeCWilley   Even Google has added mobile UX scores to their page speed analysis tool.
@lyena   Yes. And http://usertesting.com does great job evaluating mobile usability.
@Sonray   We also include “Mobile makes up xx% of your traffic” to give some reference.
@noeticsound   For some of my clients, it’s over 50% (not including tablets).

@Sonray   Domain expatriation and who is tied to the account. Lots of owners have no clue.

@awg    The generation of the GA tracking code implemented on client site. Because older versions are going to be losing support, so we’re rather update at our own pace.

@BruceClayInc   Mobile site analysis/ recommendations. Mobile considerations are too important, regardless of your niche/ market, to ignore.

@conradoconnell   Something I added recently was the fetch & render feature in webmaster tools. Just as important: follow up reminders to see if fixing technical issues resulted in more organic traffic.
@KristiKellogg   Fetch and Render you say? Why, we made a video on that very subject.

@feviyu   Social Media and Mobile Metrics. FB Likes, Twitter shares, Google+ shares, etc. @moz has a cool tool. Just fyi i had a client who had a competitor and all they did was Google+ shares and they were killing it on SERPs. Latest panda release killed the site, its invisible now… this was last year.
@paulaspeak   Jun 5

@feviyu    The direct tie between G+ and Google Search is proven for SEO. Per DannySullivan “It’s dumb not to be on G+”

@gregdixson   Page Speed & performance, Social metrics and visibility and tips for improvements there.

@crbawden   Working on link structure… that’s a whole beast by itself to analyze.

@PaigeCWilley   Sounds like social, mobile, and links are the most popular for recent adds to technical audits.

What technical elements are important for social media?

@BeamUsUpCrawler   The OG, Twitter Cards, and snippet markup.

@lyena   Easy way to share, correct OG tags, interface with most important channels. Oh, and speed. If the feature crashes your browser – bad experience.
@KevinDoory   Especially speed across all platforms. Need to maintain a solid UX everywhere.

@dan_patterson   I’d typically look at what kind of activity they’re getting on social for their content. Are buttons visible? etc. Also compare that with their competitors.

@conradoconnell   og:metadata, filling out info tweets/fb shares, images for all platforms, quick load time on SM icons & widgets. Not showing negative social proof (hide share counts until 25+).
@PaigeCWilley   Quick load times on SM icons and widgets is a good one, especially for bulky plugins!

@ST_U2   I’m ecommerce, but a lot of social is crippled for my site. Future ideals. Developing a list of all the things I’ll need. Lightweight social share icons is big as well, drastically reduced load times on some product pages.
@dan_patterson   Nothing wrong with that. Sometimes you have to just work with what you have and hope to get it in later

@BruceClayInc   Adding OG tags to blog posts (or schema) makes link shares in Google+ include large picture, hyperlinked.

@PaigeCWilley   Anyone using an atypical social platform, not just the big ones? I like Keep.com for eCommerce – a great social platform similar to Pinterest but with more of an eCommerce focus? Like Pinterest, but you can actually find the source of stuff and buy it!
@Sonray   I may or may not have had a client on J-Date…depends on the goals, micro segments, etc.
@conradoconnell   wanelo is a similar one for ecomm.

@gregdixson   Surprising how often the basics of a properly filled out and consistent profile across social are missed.

@ST_U2   My demo is probably the biggest challenge I have when it comes to social and what I “should” be doing. They don’t relate. Pinterest and Twitter? Nothing. Reddit and G+? Quite a bit actually. Males 25-65 who primarily are in law enforcement, security, veterans. they are a peculiar bunch.
@Sonray   There is a Reddit for everyone. Good way to test and fail fast.
@ST_U2   Reddit is easily the most entitled, toxic environment online, my PR skills go out the window if they hide behind screens.

What are some results you’ve seen from technical audit implementation?

@BruceClayInc   Rankings.

@lyena   Results: more pages indexed, better SERPs visibility (esp. local with schemas), more traffic through keyword relevancy.
@PaigeCWilley   More pages indexed means more opportunity for traffic to those pages.
@lyena   More indexed pages also increases site and page authority and Google crawls the site more often. There is also converting opportunity. For local – better map visibility through G+ page merge and optimization as well as NAP consistency efforts.
@conradoconnell   maybe – can be dangerous advice though. Don’t want thin pages just to have them
@lyena   True. But often the site has more valuable pages than indexed. Strategic approach helps conversions.

@dan_patterson   Better crawlability, better rankings, better visibility. Fixing a crappy site is a huge deal, helps in so many areas.

@crbawden   Addition of canonicals after finding dupe content resulting fewer URL variations getting indexed. I’ve also found some interesting redirects that were previously unknown while running technical audits.

@BeamUsUpCrawler   Increased indexed pages from 6 to 2,000 for 2,000 page ecommerce site, and then traffic and rankings improved.

@feviyu   Sometimes something as easy as fixing the canonical url yields increased visibility (from Page 2 to 1). other times, im scratching my head and screaming WTF Google!

@KevinDoory   Converting traffic increase. Increase in brand footprint. Overall positive feedback from client’s customers.

@gregdixson   In local search map results thanks to consistent NAP implementation and schema markup.

@Tony_DWM   More client calls, enquiries, demos, event attendance, overall online exposure. Rankings is not the goal, results are.

What is your favorite tech seo subject to review or improve? Why?

@Sonray   Schema and Competitive Stalking.

@dan_patterson   I like figuring out what might be causing a weird duplication issue and figuring out how to fix it.

@lyena   My favorite is call-to-action (which is not very SEO-like). Titles and meta descriptions for SEO. And OG tags. I like code.
@Sonray   It’s marketing! We’re marketers!!

@Sonray   Really useful for checking redirects and XML sitemaps too @screamingfrog

@awg   I also like to focus on URL structure.

@noeticsound   Semantic markup in all forms (OG, twitter cards, rich pins, DC, FOAF, GoodRelations, etc.)

@conradoconnell   Removed 4k pages in dupe content, saw category pages increase in traffic almost 100%.

@BruceClayInc   Improving site architecture (aka, siloing). Makes a huge difference in keyword relevance & site rankings.

@gregdixson   I enjoy all technical SEO, a good site architecture and URL structure is very pleasing! cleaning up WordPress always fun.
@BeamUsUpCrawler   What are your thoughts on using – hyphens in urls?
@Sonray   not sure I understand; hyphens > underscores > crammed words
@KristiKellogg   You SHOULD use hyphens in URLS – an underscore is NOT the same thing to Google

What are the heavy-hitting elements you include in every technical audit?

@Tony_DWM   Why do technical SEO, if not for convo’s? Always start w/ convo goals & then work backwards. Tech as & where req ;)

@lyena   Crawlability, pages indexed, link profile, social signals, converting landing pages, PPC/SEO interactions, conversion funnel. I also like to analyze multi-channel conversions and revenue potential.

@BruceClayInc   Comprehensive competitive research, keyword research, silo structure analysis, and link analysis.

@KevinDoory   Be careful not “cookie cutter” audits. Every technical audit has different actions points. Key is client implementation.

Summary: Recent Google Changes on #SEOchat

Moderator: @SEOAware

We all know Panda 4.0 was released last week, what are your thoughts on this update?

@Sonray   It’s interesting that they rolled it out and announced it since Panda is supposedly baked into the algo.

@conradoconnell   I have not seen any ripples in the 30-40 sites I look at frequently: my industry seems to be unaffected.

@KevinWaugh   So far, nothing has changed for me, I think any shakeout that may happen has happened.

@lancemoore22   What’s the best article you’ve read on the updates?
@SEOAware   Honestly, I haven’t found a lot that have given me a lot of great info. I did enjoy @sugarrae’s recent post on it. Sadly most articles I have read are repeats, if you or anyone knows of a great article on Panda 4.0 let me know :)

@BruceClayInc   Joining the convo late sorry! a1 – we think Panda is a GOOD thing that is going to increase the integrity of the SERP.

@Tony_DWM   For those who ‘get’ content that helps, solves problms & inspires, no big deal. For others, Panda 1 was wake-up call!
@SEOAware   Do you think inexperienced SEOs are the problem, lazy people or people that have no clue? I wonder how Google expects all small businesses to keep up with all the rules. Especially non-techies.
@awg   The most important things are just learning the basics of SEO. So many people skip that step. Just going through the Moz & Google starter guides would help immensely, for clients and new SEO’s.
@SEOAware   Yes, I think there are plenty of good sites out there to learn from, but people have to be picky.

@KristiKellogg   I interviewed SEO manager @MindyDWeinstein last week on what site owners can do if they’re affected.

@nikipayne   I think the Pando 4.0 gives quality SEO writers a competitive advantage against amateur writers. It’s a good thing.
@SEOAware   I like Panda for that as well, but I am worried about businesses that can’t afford to complete. I think Google is setting up the net to be a win for the “rich” for lack of a better word.
@Tony_DWM   Depends which advice small biz listen to & act on. Also depends on current sate of site. Penguin is meant to *reward*.

It has been said Panda 4.0 is laying groundwork for future changes. What changes should we all be watching/planning for?

@BruceClayInc   Google will keep turning the dial until there are no irrelevant results in the SERP — he who has the best content will win.
@SEO_HOG   The problem is in local search most results in first 3 or 4 pages are relevant.
@SEOAware   I don’t know if that was the focus of the update.
@SEO_HOG   content will win but our culture is getting away from reading :( doesnt make sense
@SEOAware   Very true! So how do we reach all audiences while pleasing the mighty google?
@KevinWaugh   It’s become a vids and images world, with text being a seasoning.
@SEOAware   We all know google is watching images, videos & text. It is a must to incorporate all of them.
@paulaspeak   As a writer, I say NOOOO! A picture may be worth 1000 words, but text still communicates best.
@SEOAware   But, for visual learners text is not appealing. You have to reach them all. We will always need writers, but we have to do more too, IMO.
@SEO_HOG   You lose your visitors without the images, buttons and videos.
@KevinWaugh   I agree, but with things like Buzzfeed which has a 2:1 text to image ratio, it affects UX.

@paulaspeak   Just in … another algo update may be in process now, Penguin-related. See @dr_pete …

@conradoconnell   My feeling is that there will hopefully be a future for higher quality content on lower-authority domains to rank higher.

@awg   This might be out there, but what if the Panda roll-out was based off of query changes after hummingbird release? Hummingbird narrowed querrant intent significantly. Possible that the results chosen had a different structure than before. Panda is based off of dupe content, so they may have filtered out more results from ignored entries in serps. Also makes me wonder about how page setup comes into play here.

What advice would you have for businesses that have been impacted by the lasted update?

@RyanJones   It’s time to re-think your approach. stop chasing algorithms, think sustainable approaches. Change the approach. instead of how do I rank for [term]? ask what to people searching [term] expect? then build that. 2 rules. content: if it doesn’t add value for the user, kill it. Links: If they aren’t sending visitors, don’t build them.

@awg   Perform full content audit and check for dupe content. Shouldn’t be at more that 30% similar if at all possible.

@conradoconnell   I’d recommend they review their site with a fine tooth comb with @screamingfrog for pages that don’t need to be indexed.

@KevinWaugh   Play a long game (content, content, content), don’t try to cheat a company with mountains more resources than you.
@awg   One issue our clients have is that they have manufacturer provided content and that should be good enough. Thing is that in a brick and mortar you can get away with using it. On the web, not so much.
@Tony_DWM   Most times manufacturer content will only benefit the manufacturer. If they are getting content from the vendor, see who else is using the text verbatim, and show them. Some industries are behind the times though. I think the most important thing is to learn what resonates w/ a target audience. SEO & content follows.
@awg   Yes. Personas need to be developed.
@KevinWaugh   I am saying create your content and find your voice, don’t look for solutions that require little or no work, cause you lose. First persona’s, then market research & target industry investigation. Then UX, SEO & content. Must lead w/ ppl.
@SEOAware   Great article on Personas via @ipullrank
@Tony_DWM   Leading w/ people, their problems, concerns, issues, challenges, desires & fears etc content often reveals itself. The secret w/ consultants is the word “consult”: not tell, enforce or bully. Sharing & collab key.

@BruceClayInc   Objectively look at your site and identify any thin content or duplicate content. Make sure you’re providing quality content.

@SEOAware   No matter what you approach, text, images, video, make sure you are meeting your customers’ needs. Bottom line, make money. Nothing replaces talking to your customers when it comes to keyword & marketing research, IMO.

@SEO_HOG   Grow your site, review your internal links for over optimization, social sharing & UX has to come into play at some point.

@billsebald   Rethink the content shortcuts you’re taking & develop out a team of marketers to give your site true value and voice.

@nikipayne   I think some businesses owners are too focused on their own objectives that they forget about those of their clients.

@inflatemouse   Revisit your customers, refine your content and fix the technical aspects of your SEO.

How do you explain & handle things differently with clients due to Panda? Any advice for new SEOs?

@BruceClayInc   Keep your clients up to date and be prepared to answer any questions they might have by keeping up with industry news.
@Sonray   agree, transparency and education can come in many different ways – reports, calls, newsletters, social etc.

@MUmar_Khan   Give special focus on content’s quality, avoid content spinning and spammin. I still have the clients who love to interfere in content creation.

@RyanJones   All clients are resistant until you show them the potential value.

@SEO_HOG   It is a great way to get them more involved, help with content – we need to explain Google is changing so campaigns change too.

@inflatemouse   Panda made little change in my recs. I was already telling clients that content has to have purpose for the reader.

@Tony_DWM   I’ve always taken the approach: get clients to open up & help them transfer indusry IQ to online. Panda solved.
@Sonray   You can’t beat the natural passion that oozes out of a client about their product/services!

@SEOAware   When I am searching I am trying to find an answer to a question. Businesses, answer all questions in your content. Ask current, past and potential clients what they want to know, write about it! Sales people know what answers people want too!

Do you believe that Google is trying to do what is best for users, themselves or both?

@RyanJones   In Google’s view, what’s best for users IS what’s best for Google.

@BruceClayInc   Both — Google is in the business of making money, so it benefits them to be the best … and that, in turn, benefits the user.

@KevinWaugh   As a publicly traded company with shareholders, themselves 1000 times over.

@danbarker   Their users = large percentage of the planet. They probably have 10,000 projects ongoing. Lots of nuance in there.

@nikipayne   A little of both. Let’s not forget that Google is still a for-profit organization despite its good intentions.
@SEOAware   So you think they have some good intentions? I am afraid they are focused on the big brands & forget the small business.

@conradoconnell   Despite my tin hat most of the time, I think they know that user exp. is *critical* to their success. Now with adwords… diff story.

@Tony_DWM   The biggest problem we have re Panda? It’s neg perception. Help people embrace & use it to win online, instead of fearing it! I think that’s 1/2 the problem – what “they” say. Doing what’s right for your target clients = relevance & semantic proof.

@SEOAware   If you are newer to the SEO world attend some conferences and listen to the conversations, lots to learn from the bar.

@scottclark   Mid-slog ambushes set stage for obstacles from those w/minimal experience. w/o content foundations, bigger plans die.

Anyone had a site or client impacted by panda 4.0? Do you feel bad for Ebay?

@awg   Only one, and we’re not even positive it’s attributed to Panda 4.0. Otherwise other sites are going strong.

@MUmar_Khan   Didn’t work on the panda 4.0 site but love to work on it. Ebay wasn’t doing a good job but the punishment is harsh.

If you were going to name the next update which animal would you choose?

@RyanJones   Skunk

@awg   Trout

@Sonray   I’d be fun to have an Elephant ‘in the room’

@SEO_HOG   new update should be called wild boar.

Summary: Panda4/PayDayLoans update on #SEOchat

Moderator: @thompsonpaul

@thompsonpaul   Everyone’s aware Google’s Panda 4 algo update released on Tuesday – affecting up to 7.5% of queries.

Who has noticed effects from Panda 4 or Payday Loans update so far this week?

@thompsonpaul   I’ve got 1 client I’m watching – something’s happening I suspect, but they get such daily fluctuations gonna need more info.

@Sonray   No agency clients got hit but some prospective clients have; some sites I track that had penalties saw gains. Easing of previous damage is a better way to say it. They still aren’t where they should be but huge progress.

@BrockbankJames   On one site in particular, although it had never been affected negatively by panda but recently had a manual lifted!

@Scripti_VR   Haven’t seen any significant changes with any clients yet.

@gregdixson   Nothing I can see as yet, but I’d like to see if that’s still the case next week.

@kmullett   Initial findings show our clients seem to have benefited from other sites caught via Panda. No losses. This happens a lot with algo changes when refreshes reconsider what should rank. Remember, no longer getting credit for bad links, duplicate content, etc isn’t a penalization, it is change.

@joshmccormack   Not this week, but clients of mine have recently experienced serious impact from Google search algorithm changes. Negative impact. I think they flew too close to the guest blogging area in their model. We do web dev. It’s hard when a site is undergoing massive change to know exact causes in changes in traffic. Tricky.

@ashbuckles   The algo updates have been pretty uneventful for us this week. We’ve seen some lift overall but it’s been anti-climactic. We’re also actively updating things right now so it’s hard to tell if it’s the algo change or the updates we’re publishing.

@thompsonpaul   Detective question – in general, how long have you found it takes for a big algo change to potentially show up on client data?
@BrockbankJames   Anything from a day to a week to start seeing something!
@Sonray   Sometimes it’s as the penalty is being rolled out but mostly it takes a few days to really verify.
@ashbuckles   When I worked on the agency side, it could take several days to see effects in some client accounts.
@rampage_dugan   The largest span of time I have seen, has been about 4 days.

@thompsonpaul   Wondering why Goog released both Spammy Queries and Panda updates so close together?
@BrockbankJames   I’m expecting Penguim VERY soon for a Big G Tripple Whammy Spam Attack!
@ashbuckles   Probably not intentional but Google seems to be obfuscating more and more data. It’s possible.

@thompsonpaul   How many of the rest of you think there’s a bog Penguin release coming soon as well?
@BrockbankJames   Within days I reckon. Bring on as many as they want…I’ve only ever seen positive impact in the updates!
@ashbuckles   I’m surprised it’s almost June and nothing so far. So, yeah, I think it’s coming.
@rywalk1   I expected Penguin before any sort of Panda announcement again. Penguin is coming soon IMO.
@rywalk1   If I were a betting man I’d say before the end of June.

@thompsonpaul   Here’s @marketingland post on big winners & losers from Panda 4. Some “cleanup”.

How are you going to handle these new updates w/ clients? Sigh of relief? Educational campaign?

@Scripti_VR   If something hits and makes a big change, it would definitely be an opportunity for an educational campaign. It’s a task to have to explain things to a client. But if they’re really interested, they’ll listen.

@thompsonpaul   I always struggle with how to inform clients about these algo updates without scaring/confusing the crap out of ‘em.

@kmullett   Not perfect, but at least we can finally say Google is trying to put teeth behind words. So client, don’t test them. Either way, we can now at least say to clients…G is on the warpath. In other words. I look *less* the fool telling clients, don’t do blackhat.
@Thos003   Staying in good books is great if you are winning there. But can you afford to play by the rules and lose?
@kmullett   totally. But companies that accept monies for helping gray-blackhat put themselves at huge risk. I’ve told clients to go that way (alone) if they need too, but to prepare for when it gets caught. It will/did.
@Thos003   agree. calculated risk either way. I believe most always play by the rules if they can win by the rules.

@gregdixson   Educating clients is a cornerstone of SEO Consulting. Algo updates only make for more time in the classroom :)

@Sonray   Education and transparency is a full time job. Updates shouldn’t be discussed only when they happen.

@ashbuckles   Educate. Inform them of the changes, educate on how to win. It’s a pivotal time against competitors.

@thompsonpaul   Fun trivia: Panda algo not named for the bear, but for Google Engineer who created it- guy named Navneet Panda.

Are these highly publicized updates more about cleaning up SERPS or about scaring sites into submission?

@Scripti_VR   I want to say it’s a combination of both. Intentions of cleaning up SERPS with the added bonus of scaring sites.

@KevinWaugh   It is 2 fold: increase barrier of entry to rank in organic, and push people to adwords.

@kmullett   Lot’s of reasons, not the least of which was that enough people knew how to game G based on G’s own playbook. Quality suffered.

@ashbuckles   There’s no question Google is after Adwords revenue as would be expected. The last 3 years have brought little to no better results but their revenues have soared from ~$40b to ~$70b.
@kmullett   oh, I’d have to politely disagree that there haven’t been any improvements. Especially in light competition areas. Pligg and scuttle sites, fractionally snipped content from mutliple sites, blank WP EMD sites, all lowered.
@ashbuckles   Not saying no improvements but mostly exchanging one bad result for another. Slight of hand like.

Will you be doing anything different as a result of these two updates?

@gregdixson   Continue monitoring for changes & keep on the right side of Google.

@CharlieWCohn   No intended change – still focusing on quality content, authoritative links, and user experience

@kmullett   not really. Sound cliche’ but we are already focused on the right things I believe.