Summary: Influencers and SEO on #SEOchat

Moderator: @AndreaMLehr

In #SEOchat we’ll be discussing how influencers impact SEO and how to measure the success of this relationship.

Why should marketers care about building relationships with them?

@AndreeaC_T   Trust. People trust their peers/friends…more likely to convert. Cost. Build good relationships with influencers and it’s *Almost* free marketing.

@kg7maj   Influencers are advocates for your brand. They also magnify your brand & like you to know they’re doing so.
@AndreeaC_T   Also depends on if its b2b or b2c.

@AndreaMLehr   In a saturated industry, relationships with key influencers help set you apart–they’re essential to long-term brand awareness.

@MatthewAYoung   They are the people who could be your cheerleaders. Reaching them is key if you want to amplify your message. And besides, the internet is always better with friends.

@jonathanbentz   Influencers can instantly provide validity to your product, service, or piece of content. Like word of mouth, but at big scale.

@CaitlinBoroden   It makes your brand look more human! Sometimes I want to learn from others and not a brand.

@matthewdiehl   Converting influencers into advocates adds incredible value to the brand; oh yeah, and links.

@bravomedia1   I care about quality relationships with Influencers I know are experts in their respective fields – learn from the best.

@ExpWriters   Influencers are well respected industry professionals always being one step ahead. Marketers can learn a lot just by listening.

@SarahAThornburg   Knowing who the influencers are is just as important as having a relationship with them!

What criteria do they have to meet to be “high-impact?

@KristiKellogg   High-impact influencers have engaged followers that listen & act when they share or publish.
@BruceClayInc   Agreed. It’s about the quality of the followers, not just the quantity.

@kg7maj   A combination of followers, how much they genre with the followers & how much they talk about your brand. Not just one metric.
@AndreeaC_T   Followers too. Agree with @kg7maj, but quality of posts too. Keep in mind that sometimes influencers are busy in their “work” lives & aren’t always active. But when they are, it’s impactful.

@AndreeaC_T   Authority. Influencers must be “experts” and authoritative sources of knowledge in their perspective areas.

@AndreaMLehr   The size of their built-in audience is a big factor, but you must also consider engagement–large and unengaged has little value.
@MatthewAYoung   I always ask if they have an engaged audience in their space, and how does that audience build on that messaging.
@CaitlinBoroden   Absolutely! I’ve seen a big name send a quarter of the traffic that a small (but very enagaged) name did.

@CaitlinBoroden   They need to have an outlet to spread there message. Maybe it’s a blog, maybe it’s social. Either way, it’s got to be something.

@bravomedia1   High Impact Identify Influencers, Be Visible before asking them to participate, Tailor your outreach based on their receptivity.
@MatthewAYoung   It’s a 2 way street here. Have something to offer to influencers by way of your own engagement in the space.

@SarahAThornburg   Engagement! Are they just putting out content or are they asking questions, reposting content, engag with others about expertise.

@emily_C27   Do they have a following on their blog? Social media? What is their page rank? Are they getting hits?

@jonathanbentz   High social following of engaged people. Known leader in an industry or group. ++ if they write for a big pub or lead an assoc.

@KoMarketing   Influencers w/ a large, trusting audience are important!

what tools do you use to find key influencers?

@KristiKellogg   Klout & Kred are what we’ll all say, but moreover, target and ENGAGE with journalists so they’re listening when you need them.

@AndreeaC_T   Don’t be afraid to ID influencers using your CRM tools. If someone engaged on your site and they keep coming back, engage them!

@emily_C27   I’ve found @twitter @BuzzSumo and @buzzstream to be good places to start.

@kg7maj   Start with the basics, social media engagement, then go to a Twitter search. That’s without software & other tools. Klout & BuzzSumo are two good affordable tools to find influencers.

@AndreaMLehr   I love @BuzzSumo–you can look up influencers’ @Twitter handles and get their follower count, retweet ratio, and reply ratio. Also simply being social: see who your target audience is following on social media and update your targets accordingly.

@SarahAThornburg   Many tools and ways to find influencers. My fav is troll comments/blog articles but also you can use apps like @buzzsumo.

@jonathanbentz   @followerwonk. All Top. Top blogs lists or best of listicles from other leading pubs, bloggers, thought leaders.

@MatthewAYoung   I usually use a combo if @BuzzSumo and @followerwonk. Great tools. @Klout is a great way to quantify influence too.
@KoMarketing   @keyholeco is a good one too!

@JuliaEMcCoy   I use @BuzzSumo to find “top influencers”.. a button away. Almost 100% accurate. Also use @commun_it insights.

@bravomedia1   Love #Linkedin to start.

@ExpWriters   For finding influencers @BuzzSumo all the way!

When you start looking for influencers, you’ll find a ton–how do you scale outreach without losing a personal touch?

@KristiKellogg   Narrow your focus. This is another matter of quality over quantity.

@matthewdiehl   Look at the speaker lists for your industry conferences.

@AndreeaC_T   Influencers should already engage on your site so use that data to start creating messages based on their behavior. Use @kissmetrics and other tools to spot behaviors then your crm ( I use @pardot) for drip campaigns.

@kg7maj   Look for where you can get the most magnification & zero in on that. Stop where you see effort isn’t worth it.

@AndreaMLehr   Tools like @Buzzstream are very useful–maintain lists, keep track of previous contact, and easily personalize templated emails

@bravomedia1   Hang out where they are! For me it’s always a pleasure to hear @BruceClayInc talk #SEO! yay for #seochat

@MatthewAYoung   I like to target journos in a particular space. There’s a mutual need to get content out there.

@SarahAThornburg   Got to make it personable! Segment the list and target influencers where they have the most engagement.

@ExpWriters   You can use various tools to help you out but make sure to keep the engagement real! No matter how big you get, stay personal.

@JuliaEMcCoy   Always be personal. But you can automate foundations. Email skeletons for diff categories (bloggers, authors, speakers). My fave is directly tweeting them. Saying “hey what’s your email? I have an opportunity to discuss” seems to work well.
@kg7maj   Most of the time, they will reply & off-social engagement/conversation starts.

@matthewdiehl   Cross the influencers list with recent topical discussions, or #hashtags, to create targeted sub-groups.

How would you describe an influencer’s impact on SEO? Why is one essential to the other?

@AndreeaC_T   First, link building opps and higher conversions. Your keywords should also be pretty natural for influencers to use in their messaging…so boosting rank potential.

@AndreaMLehr   SEO works through links, and you earn those links by producing high-quality content that influencers will want to share.

@kg7maj   Higher influence, especially if website or blog is industry/product centric, it’s a gold mine. Links help big time, especially if high traffic & high in influence.

@SarahAThornburg   Influencer links can be very helpful to search rankings.

@jacquesbouchard   Influencers set the trends and best practices. As things reach “critical mass” they increase in relevance, and Google responds. When marketing, an influencer has access to a unique and loyal audience who trusts and respects them, driving quality traffic.
@bravomedia1   In a perfect world. It’s G who sets the standards then ppl run to it. mobile, security, etc.
@jacquesbouchard   Maybe, but I think it’s a two-way street. Google has to work with what’s out there, so one piece is reactive.
@bravomedia1   Nothing is a two way street with G. Maybe I’d agree on EU but certainly not in US.
@jacquesbouchard   Really? So Google did not react to the rise of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter? They set the standards?
@bravomedia1    Great point, hence G+ was born.
@BerkleyBikes   Whatever secret science is keeping G+ alive, we need to harness that power for the greater good.

@matthewdiehl   Don’t just target to have influencers share your stuff; create it with them!

@JuliaEMcCoy   More of a “social media”/ human impact if they just reshare, which can be massive exposure. Translates to SEO only if they link.

@BerkleyBikes   Referral traffic that converts, for example.

What are some ways to earn links through these relationships?

@AndreeaC_T   Ask your influencers to share experience and thoughts…through blog or article. Asking influencers for links is diff then mass emailing for links. Ask if it comes up naturally. Let them also offer it. Find projects look for partnership opps. They should get something out of it too.
@jacquesbouchard   Or just ask them for their opinions and let them shape your content. Think: HARO.

@AndreaMLehr   I like to offer opportunities for collaboration in upcoming projects. Quality over quantity–a link in front of a highly-engaged audience will help you earn more links through natural syndication. And quality should be considered when creating your content–you earn links through data-driven content people want to share.

@BerkleyBikes   Depends on the influencer. A blog placement, perhaps? And as for how you’d get that – send over some product, a free membership, invitation to an event, etc.

@JuliaEMcCoy   Establish that they like your content – ask for their thoughts. B) Ask them for a link! (This process worked on me before).

@ExpWriters   If you really have great content, some influencers might even quote you. Now that would get your link count trough the roof!

@jacquesbouchard   Egobait: talk about the influencers. Trailblazing: create the news they talk about. Controversey: Share opinions/predictions.

@SarahAThornburg   Sell the benefits! “earn” is the key. something really cool, something that will really impact their following.

What are some metrics you use to prove the value of these relationships and how they impact your SEO efforts

@kg7maj   Traffic & if possible conversions.

@AndreeaC_T   Revenue. Find ways to tie it back to that. Use CRM to do that. Website conversions too.

@SarahAThornburg   Referral traffic, conversions, revenue!

@bravomedia1   You’ve engaged these influencers if they talk w/ you.

@jacquesbouchard   Referral traffic to the pages w/the links, engagements in posts, engagement in retweeted materials, and external brand mentions.

@AndreaMLehr   Your content placed with a targeted influencer proves you’ve reached your existing audience; social shares proves their reach. Also if you find influencers coming to YOU for more content–there’s a whole lot of value in that.

@BerkleyBikes   I’ll be the lone SEO to say brand awareness. If they don’t convert immediately, do they convert via another channel later?

@matthewdiehl   On the softer, less SEO side – brand mentions, growth in your community and engagement.

@tonyxrandall   Am I the only one that thinks you should be writing less to impress “influencers” and more to impress your customers?

@ExpWriters   # of clicks, likes, shares, etc… all analytics, but the TRUE value is in the engagement that sparked from that relationship.

@JuliaEMcCoy   Heightened exposure, publicity, followers, real engagements, higher site traffic, but in the end, ROI.

Summary: The UX Force Awakens on #SEOchat

Moderator: @BruceClayInc

How do you define user experience?

@MatthewAYoung   Essential to SEO of course. UX is how real people engage and react to a site. Main question i ask of sites, Is it useful?

@EricLanderSEO   For me, UX is all about the subconscious feelings of a website visitor that we can influence with content, design, etc. A strong UX means that your (targeted) audience comes in, takes a desired action, and it’s a truly positive experience.
@Sonray   Time on site and pages viewed would be my second pick over desired action

@kim_cre8pc   User experience = all humans, no barriers, all devices, all search engines. The emphasis on human is one requirement. Most software and SEO ignores user experience with devices, search queries, video.
@steveplunkett   Would add search mode (i.e. voice) and need state (user intent) ?

@KristiKellogg   #UX = satisfaction of a customer interacting with your products & services. Are you findable? Usable? Aesthetically pleasing?
@EricLanderSEO   This is what I’m referring to as subconscious. An experience isn’t a direct thought, but a comfortability.
@amelm   UX start in SERPs & the experience should be pleasant from there to the last Page users’ visit.

@steveplunkett   A. Search Engine User Type (voice/typed entry) B. Device Type (mobile/tablet/desktop) C. Need State

@hussain4seo   User experience is how a person feels when interfacing with a anything

@Casieg   For me, UX is all about how a person interacts with their site. What they see, what they think, how they navigate, etc.

@AndreeaC_T   How a user interacts and identifying behaviors & patterns that lead to conversions

@TheBuyerGroup   It encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with your business & your services/products.

@CaitlinBoroden   Is it useful and it is intuitive?

@SarahMT1212   Every interaction that the user has with your product or website, either at your landing page or outside discussions.

@CaitlinBrehm   User experience = the more “human” reactions to a site (visually pleasing/ease of use/general feelings)

@ramirez_robert   User Experience = satisfying the visitor in every way possible. not only does a site have to be usable, it has to be remarkable

@DuaneForrester   It’s the impression visitors to your site are left with/presented with. First impressions count.
@steveplunkett   but.. what if they never click.. Google’s display is all hence no website interaction?
@DuaneForrester   Separate issue entirely – focused on UX on the site, not battling search monsters. ;)
@steveplunkett   ok coolness.. SEO focus switched from Websites to users.

@lisabuyer   Findable and usable many get with #UX, it’s the aesthetically pleasing that loses the game IMHO.

@BerkleyBikes   There are enough obstacles leading up to a conversion without a confusing homepage being part of the problem.

@ashleighnbarlow   UX is engaging your visitors reptilian brain and allowing them to effortlessly navigate your website.

@ExpWriters   User experience is what people get out of the website, the way they interact with it, what they are able to achieve through it.

Who is responsible for #UX optimization in an organization?

@EricLanderSEO   Is “Everyone” an appropriate answer? Many are involved, the key is who “owns it.” I find that varies by organization. If SEO is an in-house activity, it’s likely a creative, design and development team function. Agency? SEO’s and CRO’s lead. When no one “owns” UX formally, it’s up to the media channels accountable to results to pick it up and run.

@jennyhalasz   EVERYONE.

@ericward   There are times marketers are at the mercy of a UX they didn’t design. That’s when external inbound linking strategies can help.
@BruceClayInc   Great point! SEOs are lucky to have quite a wide and varied toolkit to improve rankings. None should be overlooked.

@Casieg   Unfortunately not everyone has a dedicated web designer or graphic design team. Sometimes we (SEO vendor) are providing UX recs.

@AndreeaC_T   Webmasters, designers, seos. What people fail to realize is that a website is a team effort.Everyone needs to be on the same page & educated on UX experience. Designers and SEOs need to be the best of friends for that reason.

@kim_cre8pc   Responsible for UX? Depends on company. Typically its the last thing considered, sadly. How many of you take your sites/software out in the real world during development? Do user testing? Use data based decisions?
@Casieg   More looking at data. Sadly not enough user testing (and by not enough I mean none).

@SarahMT1212   Everyone sould have a hand in it . some more than others. Everyone shoudl try to think of ux in either content design etc

@KristiKellogg   I think #UX is a part of everyone’s job. We should all take responsibility for it :)
@lisabuyer   Yes or else everyone blames the other.

@MatthewAYoung   All involved in the organization, from web team, to SEOs, to marketing, sales, customer service. All play a role in UX.

@CaitlinBrehm   The responsibility is shared by all—designers, developers, copywriters, SEOs…everyone!

@steveplunkett   What is being optimized? Mobile App? Map listings? Videos? Websites?

@lisabuyer   Dun dun dun… Who’s in charge?

@BerkleyBikes   Obviously anyone who uses this Google Analytics thing.

@DuaneForrester   Ideally, content, seo, design & social all play a role. Centralize with a leader and bake into all projects.
@steveplunkett   Then.. is handled by UX lead and creatives before SEOs ever get involved. =)
@cmo4hire   When SEO isn’t planned before design + creatives do their thing, has led to expensive rework.
@steveplunkett   SEO research done BEFORE creative & BEFORE UX based on need state and path to purchase =)

@ashleighnbarlow   UX designers lead the charge while working with marketing and development to ensure all user needs are met and anticipated.

@rdnaylor   I guess this depends on how big company is. I’d say #Marketing + #Sales need to collaborate.

@amelm   Everyone should be involved in UX not just the Designers.There are things that they may not know.It’s a collaborative efforts.
@steveplunkett   10 times out of 10 Analytics and UX have separate budgets from SEO. =)

@matthewdiehl   Divide responsibility to those who know their audience segment best; big diff between product vs. industry experiences.

@ericward   The guy who gets fired if the site underperforms ;)

How do you identify UX problems on your site?

@Casieg   I’d love to say we have frequent user testing but often it’s looking at flows and funnels in GA. Old company used heatmap tools.

@DuaneForrester   Test that shizzle! Seriously, test, test, test – tools abound. #seochat Seriously – biggest missed opportunity right here.
@lisabuyer   Right on! @DuaneForrester No more – “He said, she said.” Collaborate to #UX success.
@DuaneForrester   Leader needs big-picture view, each team contributes w/input from others. Output is balanced.

@AndreeaC_T   Test! Test! Test! Then use @moz crawl report and other tools. Check webmaster tools in bing and Search console in google.

@SarahMT1212   Still a novice , but when creating my 1st websites & projects, I ask my mom to click around the site. Not a internet native.

@BerkleyBikes   I’ve recently been spending more time looking at user flow patterns. So basic. So complex.

@steveplunkett   Normally SEOs don’t the UX people get error logs from the Analytics team.

@KristiKellogg   Have a test group use your site to achieve a goal & survey the results. Study how they interact with your site in real time.

@MatthewAYoung   Analytics and ABT – always be testing. Shout out to my friends at @AdobeTarget. 5 Second Test is a good way to get quick impressions on usability http://fivesecondtest.com.
@amelm   UX Tip: Before making any changes to your site…Track than Analyze using Analytics.The insights R there.

How do you ID #UX issues? Real world user testing?

@SarahMT1212   If she became flustuered, bored or especially confused, I took that qritique seriously

@MichelleRobbins   Proactively – analytics and conversion data; reactively – users contact you because they can’t find what they’re looking for.

@matthewdiehl   @CrazyEgg was one of the best tools I have used to understand what and where users are engaging with a page.

@jennyhalasz   Identify potential issues: bounce rates, exit pages, time on site anomalies, and what customer service is hearing.
@steveplunkett   in agencies.. this is the analytics team.. not the SEOs =)
@jennyhalasz   That’s just sad.
@steveplunkett   Efficient. actually.. for the last 5 years.. i read the reports.. adjust search traffic accordingly. think 20mil budgets.
@jennyhalasz   IMO, SEOs should be looking at the end result of their traffic gen. Otherwise how do they know it works?
@steveplunkett   By reading analytics reports? Are you doing onsite SEO? or data mining customer experience & correlating sales $$$$$? Do SEO audits, user persona development psycological user behavioral studies to inform analytics, they do data mining.

@EricLanderSEO   As @kim_cre8pc mentions, you need real world testing. Not jaded eyeballs and mindsets. Also, analytics of measurable value. Most frustrating aspect of UX problem solving is the “We’ll find out the problems when we’re live.” attitude. That’s lame.

@emily_C27   Check your goal funnels and exit pages in GA.

@kim_cre8pc   I use very little tools and never have as a UX tester. Mobile has to be done manually. Software functional, manual.

@KristiKellogg   One idea is to try http://usertesting.com ! But, also, even people in your office CAN work :)

@BruceClayInc   Relevant #SEO prediction by @builtvisible: software cos entering transformative period to cope w mobile, apps & tracking models

@ramirez_robert   Survey. Any first time user should be able to easily navigate your site, know what you offer + your value add + how to buy.

@ashleighnbarlow   Analytics are key! Analyzing user drop off and cross device behavior can often determine user pain points.

@amelm   When you have high targeted Traffic BUT Conversions R very Low & Users R leaving at high Bounce Rate.

@ExpWriters   What is your website trying to achieve? Now what % of visitors leave your website before that goal is accomplished? Use data!

What is the biggest mistake you see businesses making when it comes to UX

@jennyhalasz   Easy. Not fully testing mobile.
@steveplunkett   SEO is involved in pitch and research prior to understand user needs states and buyer purchasing cycle, informs UX.

@DuaneForrester   NOT testing, but thinking guessing will lead to solutions. No. Test. Test or fail
@MatthewAYoung   Knowing an audience is so critical to this, and something a lot of orgs overlook

@MatthewAYoung   Hubris. Thinking they know what users want without without asking or testing.

@Casieg   Not testing. Tools like @Optimizely make it so much easier to try new things on a site & find what users respond to.

@kim_cre8pc   UX is not understood. Management does not see its value until something breaks or conversions die.
@EricLanderSEO   This is so true! No one wants to believe that their work has led a visitor to feel blocked or frustrated.

@Sonray   Doing all of the things.

@EricLanderSEO   Set it and forget it. For SEO particularly, not changing layout, designs and CTAs can simply ruin a great SEO campaign.

@emily_C27   Focusing heavily on the design aspects (making it look pretty) and less on the functionality/navigation.
@MatthewAYoung   Throwing it out of balance. Great looking site, but poor acquisition channels. What ever happened to holistic marketing.

@rdnaylor   I see many companies miss the “Benefits” side to UX. Stop telling what you offer, show me the why.

@KristiKellogg   Biggest #UX mistake: thinking it’s all about usability. No. Rather, it’s about captivating and delighting users.
@EricLanderSEO   Another great point here. As much as frustration can be expressed in analytics, it can be suppressed, too.

@Navahk   Their own personal experience. No data just what they “think”

@kim_cre8pc   Companies don’t understand target users or devices or study cultures, global bandwidth, accessibility, mental models.

@dan_patterson   Not getting actual user feedback. You might know how to use the design, but if users don’t you’re screwed. They don’t live in your world.
@CaitlinBoroden   Exactly! It’s so easy to get caught up in it. You need to put yourself in the mind of a new user.
@MichelleRobbins   Remember that you’re never the target audience of your own creation – and understand who is.

@Beymour   Using really long forms on mobile. No one is filling out 20+ fields on their phone. Also, using too many CTA’s can be really confusing, especially when they’re redundant.

@ericward   A comment I make to clients about UX: “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good!” Websites are living things. Analyze can = paralyze.

@lisabuyer   Looking for perfection.

@BerkleyBikes   There’s definitely an intangible component of UX. Like “this website looks ugly.”

@ashleighnbarlow   Lack of user testing and A/B testing. Just because you think a new design will perform better doesn’t always mean it will!

@VincentAmmirato   No user testing and, for phablets, leaving nav at the top where the thumb can’t reach anymore.

@BryantGarvin   Mobile, Mobile, Mobile!
@jennyhalasz   Yes, Yes, Yes!

@steveplunkett   Not doing audience measurement and user persona development prior to doing SEO/UX. $$$$$$$$$ expensive mistake.

@vlahogiannis   Making UX to look like what the other guys are doing & assume it is right for their needs. There is no 1 size works for all UX.

@BruceClayInc   @mediadonis predicts UX is the focus of 2016, overtaking CRO.
@Navahk   Big picture quality
@VirginiaNussey   Yes! I totally got that too. CRO focuses on end of funnel. #UX optimizes the whole experience.
@BryantGarvin   I completely disagree. Good CRO focuses on the whole funnel. But most CRO peeps don’t.
@DuaneForrester   CRO has a different focus than UX – narower, tied closer to KPIs by nature. CRO focus “conversions”; UX focus “human interaction” – never totally in alignment. 1 human, 1 dollars. Conversion Rate Optimization – open more wallets wider. I maintain, less about site-wide usability.

@ExpWriters   Not giving people what they want. Your website has to be helpful and accessible to all kinds of audiences.

@thompsonpaul   Using a non-representational set of testers. Those most accessible to you are probably least appropriate.

@cmo4hire   Lack of up front plan that brings together marketing, SEO, UX, content, design, custom code objectives, best practices.

@keithgoode   Failing to test first and then developing in a silo without input from other teams.

@lisabuyer   “Don’t be afraid to put your product out there, -just launch,get feedback,iterate, rinse and repeat.” via @wikiwand best UX.

@ericward   Also, age of the user dictates perception of UX. My mom on Amazon vs me on Amazon produces different degrees of satisfaction.
@ashleighnbarlow   Age and gender play a huge role in UX. How I shop online vs. how my husband shops = huge difference.

@amelm   Sadly They have no idea why they need a #Redesign. They just use the word #UX as a Buzzword (no offense).

What is your biggest UX pet peeve as a user?

@MatthewAYoung   Lack of a mobile experience. Sites get an instant bounce from me. Egregious! Its 2016, c’mon!

@dan_patterson   I hate hate hate big menus that open when I hover and don’t go away!

@beaupedraza   When a page shifts down upon loading, causing bad clicks and frustration.

@KristiKellogg   UX Pet Peeve: Poor mobile experience: slow speed, tiny text, huge ads, or page elements that aren’t responsive.

@DuaneForrester   Not being mobile compliant. You are aware “hover” isn’t the same on mobile, right? And most devices don’t support it.

@kim_cre8pc   Ads…a constant argument in my world. And auto start videos, abundance of embedded links, sliders with no user controls.

@EricLanderSEO   Interruptive UI elements. Nav that fly out, CTAs that are pervasive. I’m an old man on the Internet. Crave simplicity 24/7

@bravomedia1   Big issue w/ UX Design is clients don’t understand it or its value. They choose CMS systems that reek havoc.

@matthewdiehl   Overly intrusive CTAs – like the one that popups up when you are trying to leave a site.

@jennyhalasz   I HATE being asked to give my email before I even get a chance to read the article. Wait! Give me value before you ask!

@ashleighnbarlow   Poor tablet touch screen experience. Not accounting for finger padding and scrolling. Prime example: @AEO filter menu.

@dan_patterson   Modals that take the whole screen and can’t close except for one tiny hard to see “x” in the corner.

@VincentAmmirato   Mega menus infuriate me. Stop designing for the desktop.

@ExpWriters   Not displaying a purpose of the website transparently as well as an ugly design are big minuses when it comes to UX.

@vlahogiannis   speed & page load time. Also: crippled mobile versions. Boo.

@dan_patterson   Videos that start playing automatically on a random place on the page. Sites that let ads pop up as you get further down the page, interrupting what you’re reading.

@lisabuyer   Dear @Forbes – the amount of effort to get to the article just isn’t right.
@steveplunkett   Actually @forbes does a good job, their purpose is to sell ads.. works one way on desktop and another on ipad.. sharing is easy..

@bill_slawski   My biggest UX pet peeve as a user? Poorly labeled site navigation.

@BerkleyBikes   Unnecessary landing pages! *cough* http://google.com/analytics *cough*

@steveplunkett   Auto play videos, pop ups. bad responsive design. shyort social media URLs with no brand identification.

@BerkleyBikes   While I’m bitching about UX I don’t like…how about those ad-riddled image galleries where every photo is paginated!?!?
@BerkleyBikes   20 images = 20 pages = 20x the ad impressions! (Bounce rate? What’s that?)

@kmullett   Content that just…ends. Lack of CTAs.

@dan_patterson   Sites that don’t have share buttons on their articles so i have to share to Twitter manually for example. Sites that don’t have their share buttons set up to actually include the title of the article so i have to input it myself.

Who’s doing 10X better UX

@lisabuyer   See what winners of best #UX @TheWebbyAwards, @wikiwand had to say.

@KristiKellogg   Best UX? Can we talk about @soulcycle? out of this world #UX! Bow down to whoever does their site, branding and marketing.

@EricLanderSEO   Is a tough one for me. I don’t notice great #UX normally, I just interact with it and do something. It’s bad UX that’s memorable.

@jennyhalasz   I <3 Redbox. Super useful and easy app and desktop site.

@VincentAmmirato   dontclick.it (this is a sarcastic answer)

@DuaneForrester   Probably everyone who outranks you. ;)

@MichelleRobbins   Apple

@KristiKellogg   Seriously — going to http://soul-cycle.com is like going to a party. Even their email marketing — I open every email.

@dan_patterson   Sites where the “Sign Up” button is huge, but the “Sign In” button for members is tiny or hard to find.

@lisabuyer   Well I guess @wikiwand must be doing something right with UX since they won the 2015 @TheWebbyAwards for UX.

@ashleighnbarlow   This is hard – more do it wrong than right. I would say @Nordstrom does a great job with cross device cart transferring.

@BruceClayInc   Now we’re going to dive deeper into specific aspects of UX — first up, speed. Speed is critical. Did you know Amazon found that they’d lose 1.6 billion dollars a year if their site slowed down by ONE second?

How are you decreasing load time?

@MatthewAYoung   Optimize your images, people. Especially on mobile!

@CaitlinBoroden   Optimize your images! No need for huge file sizes.

@EricLanderSEO   On mobile, Page load times and server efficiency is key here. Serve it fast, efficient and clean. Use CSS & HTML5, not images.

@KristiKellogg   Decrease load time: focus on the top of the fold. These should load in under one second. Rest of page can take longer.

@Sonray   Not loading a 2500 x 1500 pixel image and then displaying it at 250×150.

@steveplunkett   By going to user need states, mobile specific IA based on used intent. contact vs.catalogs on mobile.

@DuaneForrester   Build for mobile, strip code bloat, limit repetitive anything, massage images, short videos, examine your host.

@EricLanderSEO   I feel like I bring this up weekly, but we use Foundation and Grunt minify scripts to reduce bloat. Of course, Foundation is now recommending something newer than Grunt – but still – compress that code!

@kim_cre8pc   In addition to how to reduce load time, add Why. In USA, more people leaving Internet and relying on mobile phone only. More countries are just now getting online. Bandwidth different. Apps slow things down.

@MatthewAYoung   Many pages can decrease file size by ridding themselves of unnecessary code and white space in the HTML

@bill_slawski   Decreasing Page speed on sites by using the heuristics on Google’s online Page Speed tool.

@oc2015   An average site loses 70% of user population for every 1 second a page takes to load

Best secrets for getting people to scroll

@ExpWriters   Be visual and be interesting. Try to make people want more. Constantly provide value.

@KristiKellogg   Keep it scrolling by engaging users w/ top of fold elements. Start to fulfill the visitor’s needs out of the gate.

@beaupedraza   A good page outline with images and content to keep people hooked. If e-commerce, sections highlighting perks of product

@EricLanderSEO   Design in a way so that elements just slightly occupy the edge of the viewable area. It’s a visual tease.

@kmullett   Split content (so they see hinting of more) at common resolutions. Don’t disappoint them when they do scroll.

@kim_cre8pc   Provide good reasons to keep scrolling.

@steveplunkett   Thin content OR compelling CTA above the fold with blazing speed load times.. works every time.

@BruceClayInc   Another big factor in #UX is optimizing for #voicesearch. Stats show 55% of teens & 41% of adults use voice search at least 1X/day.

@amelm   Decreasing Load Time by Making sure you are not using unnecessary Scripts on your pages.

@ramirez_robert   Begin to fulfill query/ user intent above the fold. Make sure users know they found the right page when they hit your site!

@bill_slawski   Get visitors to scroll by increasing confidence that they will find what they are looking for on a page.

How have you adjusted your strategy to serve users searching via voice?

@KristiKellogg   Pose and answer questions on your ranked landing pages. FAQ pages are horrible at converting customers – stop relying on them.

@DuaneForrester   Put content just below the fold & tell them exactly where it is. Maybe half-expose it – it had better be compelling content tho. Voice search is still new – actual changes are limited because the algo focuses on select keywords, not every word. #exactmatch

@EricLanderSEO   Our clientele thankfully believes in long tail search – and with natural language selection more prominent, it’s an “easy” sell

@michelljernigan   Not only UX, but SEO in general as well. The way people search is evolving because of the rise of voice search.

@EricLanderSEO   To support audible queries, we’ve found that it’s okay to lead off with a question you intend to ask. It earns rankings

@BruceClayInc   Engagement objects are also integral to #UX … images, videos, #webdesign, etc. Wielded correctly, they can increase dwell time.

@michelljernigan   Voice search increases the importance of understanding the intent behind queries. we’re searching full sentences, not keywords.

What engagement objects are working best? Depends on client/niche, of course, but share successes you’ve seen.

@kim_cre8pc   Several of my clients swear by offering free downloads, ebooks, 1 hour consults. Big juicy button or popup (I hate popups)

@oc2015   Understanding user flow is the best advice I can give. Having a direct buyer path with minimal friction is the best engagement

@DuaneForrester   The usuals – images, video, reviews/ratings. Things that exactly match, or extend their original idea play well.

@ExpWriters   Provide a box where they can leave their email address for your newsletter. Its a great way to continue engagement.

@bravomedia1   Engagements seen on #LP built w/ clear call to action.

@matthewdiehl   I know someone said they hated mega nav but I’ve seen direct to conversion CTAs perform well in them #streamlineconversion.

What are your tips for creating video when a client’s budget is limited?

@kim_cre8pc   My locals hire young people who are amazing with their Apple devices and video. I edit and upload, but the kids are naturals.

@TheBuyerGroup   Make it authentic and showcase the inner fun of your company

@oc2015   Using #gifs! either those or short forms that can be used across platforms like #instagram or #twitter. Easy, fast, cheap.

@DuaneForrester   GoPro, authenticity – limit recording time as most cost is in editing time, less polish, more “real”. Learn to edit yourself.

@MichelleRobbins   Check your local college/films schools for students to hire as well.

@lisabuyer   With videos or images the biggest mistake is trying to be perfect. Just do it. Done is better than none.

@VirginiaNussey   SEO prediction by @richardbaxter how 10x #content isn’t even an option.

Best suggestions for creating graphics that don’t look stock photo garbage?

@KristiKellogg   Take your own photos, or use a site like stocksnap.io :) Get creative!

@EricLanderSEO   Get local and familiar. Personal. Online activity feels distant enough. Use your own imagery and make an immediate connection.

@kim_cre8pc   Play with Photoshop or photo editor. I always ask for natural settings, faces, smiling, people doing what they do in action. People like credible, authentic and can tell fake. You can be professional and fun..Raven Tools site is like that. Careful when copying site designs…their business and target market requirements may be very different.

@DuaneForrester   Learn the basics of photography. Repeat after me: a cell phone is not a camera! Get a decent camera, practice.

@ExpWriters   Try to learn as much as you can about design and practice a lot. No other way but through commitment.

@oc2015   Opting for animations or SVGs can be a great, engaging alternative to #shittystockphotos.

@beaupedraza   For e-commerce biz where warehouse & office are detached, take a visit and use nature. Set lighting, keep natural & applicable.

@kmullett   Hire someone who either knows what they are doing or can teach you. Learn how to shoot and edit. Get close! Please, please, I beg of you, learn to understand copyright. Don’t open your business (clients) up to risks.

@lisabuyer   Use @canva for images – Or repuropse @Snapchat videos saved to your camera roll – real-time experiences and moments. Good #UX is Good #PublicRelations. So Bad #UX is _________.

@ashleighnbarlow   @StocksyUnited is a great resource for more artistic images at affordable prices.

@VirginiaNussey   Copy designs you like & use @canva templates

Summary: SEO 2017: Getting one Year Ahead of the Competition on #SEOchat

Moderator: @rjonesx

Let’s start by looking in the past, what did you do in 2014 that is starting to pay off now?

@BrianRBaker4   Focused on user metrics – Conversion rate optimization, bounce rate, time on site, CTR etc.

@marktraphagen   Started an SEO education program for our entire staff. Yep, even our accounting department takes it! We also began a heavy focus on UX and UI.
@rjonesx   having the full team invested definitely pays dividends.
@tedois   I too find it easier to work with clients after training the whole staff (marketing, dev, social, content).
@marktraphagen   We developed a Semantic Content Optimization (SCO) tool in house to bring together topical relevancy & other factors. How it works way more than I could describe in a tweet ;-) See this.

@AndreeaC_T   Let’s see. I was teaching brands to start optimizing social with SEO keywords

@gooakcitytech   Writing long form content that provides value rather than clickbait.

@BruceClayInc   2014 was the year we made our site mobile responsive.

@adamkoontz   I started my business in 2014…so that’s starting to pay off now.

@EricLanderSEO   Code bloat reduction and general server responsiveness efficiencies. Technical SEO, sure, but super effective nowadays. Some SEO audit clients have also made “content marketing” more than an SEO driven line item. That’s helped ‘em.
@BrianRBaker4   Yes! We did that as well. Speed and usability was a big push for us.
@lancemoore22   Have you guys heard of Zurb? Zurb is a new web crm. Just learned about it the other day.
@EricLanderSEO   I couldn’t speak any more highly of it. Pair it with grunt for big time wins. Start here and then look into minify scripts w/ grunt here.
@AndreeaC_T   The conversations on content vs SEO came in 2014. Still going on– but adjust to think of them working together.

@lancemoore22   Invest in local and mobile friendly responsive websites.
@EricLanderSEO   Yessir, both by preference and sheer nature of the platform’s adoption.

@Tripp_Hamilton   Cleaned up a ton of websites’ back-link profiles, and the clients’ websites are now ranking instead of tanking.

@jakebohall   Focused on topical relevance in keyword diversity, investing in algo for site/link quality detection.

@bill_slawski   Started digging more deeply into learning about Schema vocabulary. It seems like it was a good decision at this point.

@AndreeaC_T   Fresh content on newer, more reputable sources– building relationships with external link sources. We started focus on natural language keywords too.

@JohnGibbings   My Local NAP listings are still relevant in 2016. I am also seeing a nice increase in the Bitcoin price!

@ExpWriters   We were focusing on growth and recruitment. The merit of hiring the right people then is an awesome copywriting team now.
@marktraphagen   Excellent. We also made major investments in getting top people on team.

@Ozaemotion   Gone are days when I concentrated on hardly on link building!

@cltaylor8   Dug in 2 consumer data from their first click to where they end up on the site + # of page views!

@BerkleyBikes   Piggyback on Bill’s answer. Some of the schema I was working on in 2014 suddenly looks more lucrative.

@rjonesx   Summary: UI/UX, Semantic Keyword Usage, Clean Link Profiles, Mobile, Fresh & Reputable Content and Staff Training all paid off.

What techniques do you think will die in 2016, making it useless for 2017?

@Tripp_Hamilton   Anything listed on Google’s Link Schemes page. The amount of people that still practice link spam is frustratingly high.

@gooakcitytech   Maybe not a technique but I HOPE that click-bait articles die. Complete waste of time for everyone.

@marktraphagen   Content for content’s sake is so dead; but I’m hoping that’s not news to anyone here
@tedois   I also hope that I’ll never hear stuff like “We need 10k visits, let’s build 100 1k/sess worth posts like these”

@AndreeaC_T   It’s been dead, but so many people still do it… article writing just for the sake of it for links.

@BrianRBaker4   Tough because not much has changed in the way we do things. I think locally we are focusing on citation quality vs. quanity. We’re focusing on content quality vs. quantity as well.
@rjonesx   What do you use to measure quality? both in content and citation/link?
@BrianRBaker4   More in-depth keyword research and catering to the searchers needs rather than pumping out content.

@tedois   Die is a harsh word, but w/ all this machine learning progress, heavy keyword research will fade into more of a topic-research.

@BerkleyBikes   Am I considered a pessimist if I say “organic social traffic?”

@EricLanderSEO   Content generalization is fading. Personalization is pairing w/ mobile and accessibility so much that it has to lose out in ’16.
@AndreeaC_T   You think that will go away? Check out this.
@EricLanderSEO   Heh, I see them listing it as “General-Topic Content Traffic Will Diminish.” What am I missing!? “But what content writers will have to focus on now is migrating away from general subjects…”
@AndreeaC_T   Here you go.

@JohnGibbings   Tiered comment spam link generation schemes. These should just roll over and pass.
@EricLanderSEO   Be warned; Negative SEO efforts are also prospering again w/ these initiatives.

@MatthewAYoung   Short form content will go the way of the Do-Do. Long-form is where the engagement’s at.

@fighto   I’m not sure anything will die that hasn’t already been dying for a while now.

@BrianRBaker4   More in-depth keyword research and catering to the searchers needs rather than pumping out content.

@bill_slawski   I’d like to see comment spamming finally die off, leaving comment sections for real meaningful conversations.

@rjonesx   I’m gonna chime in here and CTR manipulation is going to get hammered hard by Google.

@BruceClayInc   The SEO tactic to evolve most in 2016 is content. General keyword-based content matures to superspecialized, expert content.

@LaurDoh   Focusing on training about the importance of having a geo-targeted strategy. Clients are trending in that direction.

@ExpWriters   Black hat SEO practices are dying. Add block is taking care of banner ads. Focus is being put on quality, long form content.
@tannerpetroff   I’d be interested in seeing how ad revenues have been affected by adblock. I never surf without it!

@rjonesx   Summary. Short, low quality content, comment spam, referral spam and organic social all may be taking a hit in 2016.

What web technologies are new, but will be commonplace in 2017?

@EricLanderSEO   Is HTML5 too general? There are SO. MANY. WEBSITES. missing out – but early (and full) adopters are winning big.

@Ozaemotion   Social media spam won’t work. Engagement should be there!

@BrianRBaker4   Tools like hotjar that allow anyone to monitor user behavior and improve upon it.

@fighto   I’ve been working on getting Project AMP set-up. It’s going to be huge for anyone doing any serious publishing.
@EricLanderSEO   Need to echo this… AMP will be a big push for scalable properties in ’16 (and beyond).
@rjonesx   Do you think it will get heavy adoption or will it take a while like some other ambitious Google tech like spdy?
@fighto   Well, it’s only applicable to publishers really & it’s likely that the majority of them won’t adopt (think authorship). Though, I am impressed with how many partners there are w/ it implemented already. WP official plugin being worked on too.

@lancemoore22   The socialness of reviews. FB does a good job of showing our friends and what they think about a biz.

@marktraphagen   We anticipate the integration of machine learning algos into almost everything. A lot on that from @stonetemple in 2016.
@lancemoore22   Does this mean robots will control everything?!?
@marktraphagen   Machine learning not necessarily “robots.” Hper-efficient way of gaining new access & insights to info. Think of it as info processing where the machine keeps learning how to better process the info.

@BerkleyBikes   Stuff like Facebook’s Instant Articles and Google’s AMP will be much more common. Lots of load times still suck on mobile. As much as I *loathe* the idea of posting content on Facebook, Instant Articles load *really* freaking fast.
@EricLanderSEO   I agree. And the Facebook Notes for business could become powerful ranking properties for ’16, too.

@AndreeaC_T   Think Video and live streaming videos for SEO with sites like Katch and @blab to provide a source of external links.

@TheBuyerGroup   Wearable tech. Virtual Realty.
@BruceClayInc   What web technologies are new but will be common in 2017? A3: Wearables, Internet of Things, BLE/beacons.

@tedois   I see IFTTT popping everywhere for “marketing/community” management, so I’d say this would be it: srvice integration+automation. Remember Google published Tensor Flow last year, so probably a lot of AI bots will derive from that… fro content, links.

@JohnGibbings   Self driving vehicles! All the roombas driving around should have enough back-data to avoid major collisions.
@matthewdiehl   Self driving cars are a thing of the past, line up for your self flying drone.

@MatthewAYoung   Not new but will be vastly important. Voice search.

@gooakcitytech   Smart funnels for sure! Directing website viewers to the appropriate content based on how often/when they visited you.

@bill_slawski   Json-ld will be much more commonly used on webpages in the coming year. I suspect we will see more cross device tracking and audio watermarks.
@fighto   Yup! JSON-LD is much easier for developers to implement and Google is slowly accepting it for more things.
@bill_slawski   The KG Search API is a great discovery tool, to tell what Google has incorporated into their KG.

@jakebohall   Further “Appification” of information and services as mobile usage dominates consumer internet traffic.

@Navahk   Not new but will be common place – Voice Search.

@rjonesx   Summary. HTML5, AMP & Instant Articles, streaming, automation, internet of things, BLE/beacons, voice, user behavior monitoring.

@ExpWriters   Live video streaming is an up and coming trend that is here to stay.
@Tripp_Hamilton   Periscope definitely pioneered mainstream live video streaming, even Facebook came out with their own recently!

@Bravomedia1   Last yr tech was mobile, mobile, mobile. This yrs issue is all about security, security.G-Announcement use HTTPS.
@BerkleyBikes   Ya think we’ll see HTTPS become more of a ranking factor?
@bravomedia1   I think at most it will be a tie breaker
@adamkoontz   I’m wondering if HTTPS will give sites like yours more of a ranking boost in the future.
@adamkoontz   And I’m using @cloudflare for #HTTPS and @Moz doesn’t crawl my site with that particular config.

Getting ahead means knowing where they are now, how do you spy on competitors to out-pace them? tools? techniques?

@AndreeaC_T   You can use @authoritylabs to watch competitors. Well loves. Remember there is @buffer too.

@jakebohall   @semrush continues to make competitive intelligence wonderfully accessible.

@tedois   I use @semrush to learn what content is ranking better for competitors, and also link/social monitoring tools. If I had the cash I’d look for Hitwise tool, once used it and it was awesome.

@oc2015   Good old fashioned observational learning (that and something like @ahrefs helps)

@gooakcitytech   We monitor all our competition with a combination of a simple rss feed aggregator and ping.io.

@Tripp_Hamilton   @SEMRush & KeywordSpy for rankings / keywords; @AHREFS, @tryMajestic, & Open Site Explorer (@Moz) for back-links.
@thompsonpaul   Seriously have a look at @CognitiveSEO too – combines ahrefs, OSE and Majestic link data on one tool.

@EricLanderSEO   With pointers from @AnnieCushing I’ve really honed the use of @screamingfrog to identify URLs w/ specific code usage. Using “Custom” fields to fin URLs matching criteria. Sample.

@emily_C27   Starting with @nuvi soon for social competitive spying **cough** monitoring. Anyone tried it?

@lancemoore22   I like Google Alerts and run ranking reports by keywords too.

@matthewdiehl   @BuzzSumo has great monitoring and comparison tools to see how competitor content is performing and stacks up against yours.

@Ozaemotion   I do use @ahrefs and Google alert for this process!
@thompsonpaul   Oh man – you guys need to check out Talkwalker as a replacement for Google Alters. No comparison.
@tannerpetroff   Just recommended this to one of my clients yesterday. Google Alerts are garbage.

@rjonesx   I’ll drop in this little tool for watching your competitors for changes.

@MatthewAYoung   I use @TrackMaven, @semrush and @Searchmetrics for all my spying needs

@JohnGibbings   Content Gap Analysis highlight content your competitors utilize that you completely lack. Great way to find new oppotunities!

@ExpWriters   We can check with @BuzzSumo or @semrush but we focus more on the market and the audience and try to overcome their expectations.

@tonyxrandall   Knowing what ur competitors are doing is always a necessity. using that info as a means of copying means you’re already losing.

@rjonesx   Summary. Content Gap Analysis, Screaming Frog, Hitwise, Google Alerts, AHrefs/SEMRush, BuzzSumo, SearchMetrics, CognitiveSEO.

@getSTAT   We wrote a paper on how to reverse-engineering competitors’ SEO strategies.

If you are spying on them, they are on you. What strategies are hard for competitors to reproduce, even if they seem them?

@Tripp_Hamilton   Non-automated back-link analyses. If you let the machines do all the work, the machines win.
@BerkleyBikes   I use Screaming to crawl lists of backlinks & evaluate their accuracy. Those databases often seem outdated.
@Tripp_Hamilton   I use some automation such as ScreamingFrog (or @Removeem), I’m more referencing an automating link scoring system.

@oc2015   Unparalleled product/ service/ people

@jakebohall   Relationships, quality of content and link dev, press exposure

@AndreeaC_T   How about not using exact phrase keywords. Make it difficult to detect which kws you’re using with natural lang writing.

@EricLanderSEO   Technical SEO can be replicated easily, but content and research isn’t immediately evident to an untrained eye. Hard work pays. It’s like asking your favorite restaurant for a recipe. Just because you know HOW to make it doesn’t mean you CAN do it as well.
@BerkleyBikes   Like taking keywords and making them into content worth reading. You still have to be able to write.

@lancemoore22   Original content and ideas!

@MatthewAYoung   Most content just plain sucks. Find the audience and engage them with something that resonates.
@AndreeaC_T   And use data to back up your justification for said content.Think stats from email with links onsite, article clicks.
@MatthewAYoung   Yes. All great content starts with data and research. How else are you going to find your audience?

@AndreeaC_T   Backing up your content with reputable data. Even go as far to (passively) discredit their data with reputable stats/sources.

@tedois   No one can copy your UVP! Learning the most about costumers rather than competitors, and solving customers problems first.

@TheBuyerGroup   Customer service. What is coming next.
@MatthewAYoung   Online meets off line. Reminds me of @garyvee and the Thank You Economy. A true differentiating factor!

@JohnGibbings   Having true Subject Matter Experts on your team can really elevate your business. Second rate experts will not convert as well

@tonyxrandall   Marketing strategies can ALWAYS be copied. a good product, customer service, and business practice are much more difficult. also, let ur competitors copy you. fuck it. if their strategy is so dependent on what you’re doing then you’re winning.
@BerkleyBikes   “If you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes.”
@rjonesx   Unless you go blind, which, really isn’t any better, but, you know, technically speaking.

@matthewdiehl   Collaboration involving real-world human connections: if they are working with you, they are less likely to work with comp.

@IamDeeMC   Links! Sure you can see them but it’s how they got there that is difficult to replicate (unless they suck of course!).

@emily_C27   Genuine engagement. Listening, commenting on social/blog posts, contributing, building relationships.

@ExpWriters   It might be that it’s more about the execution then about the strategy. High quality work can’t be reproduced that easy.

@marktraphagen   We’ve built huge capacity for doing big data studies. Very difficult for competition to reproduce.

@Ozaemotion   Paid links! :) Sometimes tight budget don’t allow you to build link which you get from competitor!

@bill_slawski   Understanding and fleshing out entities in a rich manner can make a difference.

@rjonesx   Summary. Product/Service/People, Engagement, Relationship-built links, deep data, using keyword variants not exact match.

How do you “future proof” your SEO in 2016 so it pays dividends in 2017?

@jakebohall   Become/stay valuable — best product, authority, etc…. and then build relationships that evangelize those things.

@Tripp_Hamilton   Abide by Google’s (and other search engines’) webmaster guidelines. Stop scheming for easy links and earn good links.

@EricLanderSEO   Step out of your comfort zone. Be eager to try new things in moderation and diligent enough to see when they work. I really like to monitor YoY changes in The Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors too as a guide.

@adamkoontz   Evergreen content that offers real, lasting value.

@tedois   Taking time to really solve people’s problems, no matter how: text/video/image/tool, then traffic and links shall come.

@gooakcitytech   That one is easy! I write content for humans not robots. I design website for humans not robots.

@JohnGibbings   Quality content that speaks to your vertical / users will always remain supreme and relevant in the SERPs

@AndreeaC_T   Take data from now and be willing to experiment with new tech. Ex: Periscope video on blog content that did well. Pay attention to the smallest behavior change and then by all means darlings…play!! Be the first to do something and prove ROI. Video will gain quite a bit, but it will change constantly between now and 2017. Keep up and adjust accordingly.

@LaurDoh   Investing in evergreen content is “future proof”. Usually in the form of how-to guides and actionable long-form content.

@matthewdiehl   Focus on your audience, provide them with the most valuable content and experience so they continue to advocate for your brand. Talked about monitoring competitors, how about monitor yourself. Use your data to find 2015 successes for future proofing.

@Ozaemotion   Generate engaging content which drives people to give link back to you. Ultimately, you’ll get the natural links!

@jakebohall   You have to be personal… relationships with customers builds brand advocates. Prepare for web 2b referral based experiences.
@AndreeaC_T   Yes to the brand advocates. Takes a bit of time and effort, but well worth the investment in the end.Think linkbuilding.

@oc2015   Innovate, change the game, stay fresh: however you want to put it, you have to keep moving forward with business goals

@Navahk   Early adopter. Quality over quantity. Stay focused. Work hard, play hard. Collaborate with smart & creative peeps. Educate.

@BerkleyBikes   Create killer content, because that shit never dies (believe me, I know it’s much easier said than done).

@rjonesx   Summary. Actually solve problems, be bold, quality content, experiment, YoY analysis, get personal, innovate.

@ExpWriters   Never stop learning and improving! Here’s the review of the most recent major SEO update from @google.

What is on no one’s radar, but should be?

@gooakcitytech   After speaking to @randfish at great length about this…schema…schema…It’s still very much under the radar.

@Tripp_Hamilton   2016 Penguin algorithm update… who am I kidding? This is on everyone’s radar!

@lancemoore22   What hasn’t been a priority but will be is schema markup.

@AndreeaC_T   Also…interactive videos. Check out #socialchat post on it. It can and will be optimized for SEO. I already use scopes in optimized SEO content.
@BerkleyBikes   I agree that video is still uncharted territory for a lot of people/marketers/brands/etc.

@rjonesx   I’m going to chime in on this one and say predictive analytics like this.

@oc2015   The integration of SEO & CRO. Why drive traffic to a non-conversion optimized site? Can’t have tunnel vision in digital world.

@EricLanderSEO   Thorough SEO auditing. Sites are scaling larger and small problems are growing exponentially. You have to mind the store. Like “Schema.” Good answer, but you can’t just implement it moving forward. SEO is a site wide application.

@tedois   Millenials and learning their havits… what if snapchat/instagram let people buy there? how’d you solve that?

@ExpWriters   Marketing trough internet of things. One day your refrigerator is going to suggest you a specific a brand of milk.

@Navahk   Virtual. Showcase products before they are completed and get users feedback. R&D faster than realtime.

@bill_slawski   What is on no one’s radar but should be – the Schema extension process. You can learn more about Schema Extension by following the schema blog.

@matthewdiehl   User behavior tools, like @CrazyEgg, so you can see how your site is actually used. The test and personalize.

@rjonesx   Summary. Virtual and interactive videos, predictive analytics, schema/extension, internet of things, CRO.

Summary: Preparing for 2016 on #SEOchat

Moderator: @Sonray

What are you going to stop, continue & start doing in 2016?

@oc2015   Stop: trying to learn everything at once. Continue: incorporate more UX work into recommendations. Start: Testing more.
@BerkleyBikes   I’m with @oc2015 – trying to learn fewer things, but get REALLY good at them.

@evanauerbach   Stop: Measuring too many KPIs at once. Continue: Adding Social Markup Everywhere. Start: Testing Everything.

@lancemoore22   More focus on the long term investment in local SEO.

@AndreaMLehr   Stop: Overthinking. Continue: Measuring. Start: Expanding new ways to measure success.

@TheBuyerGroup   Continue measuring results.

@tannerpetroff   Stop spreading too thin. Continue learning. Start focusing on one thing at a time.

@Navahk   Start being more “useful” – shout out to @DuaneForrester for that tip!

What was the biggest surprise of 2016?

@BerkleyBikes   Mobilegeddon’s colossally pathetic impact.
@Beymour   Nailed it w/ the anticlimactic mobilegeddon update. But also, Google removing location filters was pretty lame.

@AgentPalmer   The lack of Mobilegeddon follow through.

@ExpWriters   People are expecting better content and more value out of their favorite brands. It is happening really fast.

@BruceClayInc   No Penguin refresh for the whole year was, if not a total surprise, at least a big disappointment.

@Sonray   The biggest surprise for me was just how awesome voice search has become. I could be late to that.

@tannerpetroff   Biggest surprise for me is how little my processes changed.

@AndreaMLehr   The amount of consumers that still enjoy mailers as a means to attract business (see our study here)

@gyitsakalakis   I’m regularly surprised how well #spammish still works.

What changes are your clients (or boss) making for 2016?

@oc2015   Hopefully changes (for the better) in their thinking about #CRO and pushing data collecting and analysis at a great scale.

@BruceClayInc   More involvement with search engine ads (PPC) and social promotion as a necessary partner to organic SEO.

@AndreaMLehr   We’re relaunching a company blog–some of our client work might not get fully used and it’s a great way for us to repurpose it. Yeah, the end goal is to divide it into three sections: strategists, outreach, and agency best practices.

@siddlal   Clients are wanting ASO (App Store Optimization). Deep linking of web serps with apps. Mobile 1st Strategy.

@lancemoore22   Focus on quality content and mobile friendliness.
@BruceClayInc   These are definite marketing priorities for 2016.

@Beymour   We’ll see a shift from informational to actionable content. Long-form, keyword-rich content is beyond dead, it’s an urban legend.
@siddlal   Not necessarily! depends on the site & topic. Information content that is USEFUL is always effective.
@Beymour   Let me clarify: if you’re relying on widely known facts or public domain info., you’ll die out. For instance, it doesn’t benefit a mechanic to have a whole page discussing the benefits of a brake service. In most cases, people are looking for quick solutions to their problems, not lengthy information pages.

Social content is more readily indexed – does this matter w direct-to-platform publishing?

@jacquesbouchard   If you have content and want it indexed, it needs to be on social. Prep your social shares before the content goes live.
@BruceClayInc   Good point. Our content team uses CoSchedule to schedule SM promotion for each blog post, w/ text & images.

@Beymour   From an ORM perspective, social/search integration can help brands improve branded search results, pushing down Yelp + others.

@BerkleyBikes   I like how Google is showing search results in the search results.

@siddlal   Absolutely there is more of a tie-in between social & SEO. But how much data before it becomes data overload? I am thinking along the lines of finite bandwidth. What all does SE index? What is relevant?
@jacquesbouchard   If it’s worth sharing, it may be worth indexing. Google will discern index-worthiness on social same as on static.

Visual vs. written content – where are your priorities in 2016?

@oc2015   Visual content and site engagement. You could be the Shakespeare of title tags but no one cares if your site is crap design.

@lancemoore22   Both. Some people learn by pictures and text. Google likes both too. They have SEO value.

@ExpWriters   Well written content followed with epic visuals is the way to go in 2016!

@jacquesbouchard   If you know me, you know the answer is “Both at once”. But let’s also consider what’s appropriate for the specific content.

@yankeerudy   Written content can have more effective SEO benefits, but visual content is more effective at engaging viewers.
@jacquesbouchard   Written content is also necessary in some applications. A visual-only Wikipedia would not engage OR perform.

@siddlal   Everyone knows about -A Pic is worth a 1000 words. For humans we need visuals but for SE content is impt. Balance!

@BerkleyBikes   Search engines still can’t decipher images. They tried – it looked like a Jimi Hendrix acid trip. Maybe unrelated, but I’m hoping 2016 sees the death of listicles.

@Beymour   I’ve started to see a shift away from image-heavy site design. ie Instead of several floated images, they’ll use a powerful hero.

@BruceClayInc   Many web designs are going to huge images, less text. Have to be careful not to diminish value for SEO of text content. But most imp content question is what will satisfy the user’s need best. That’s Google’s priority, and varies by topic.
@jacquesbouchard   I think that’s a fine approach to a home page, honestly. Just get the “invisible” SEO right and look holisitically.

@AndreaMLehr   Can I cheat and say a combo? More compelling visuals (stop it, IGs!) to complement a guest post.

@emily_C27   I combo of both! I at least to try to add a header image for every piece of more text-heavy content.

Is real time Panda or Penguin a good thing for digital marketing?

@jacquesbouchard   Definitely a win. We get more immediate feedback on where we’re improving and it stops hurting when we stop breaking the rules.

@ExpWriters   It is a real thing, and we all have to adapt, especially with new Rank Brain algorithm on the way. In general it’s a good thing since it’s penalizing low quality, stuffed content.

@siddlal   100% Greatness if Real time is achieved!

@BruceClayInc   A real-time Penguin would mean SEOs could show timely results when lifting client sites out of link penalties.

@Beymour   Depends who your’re asking lol. For those hit, yes (faster recovery). For the competition, not so much. Fair? Yes.
@BruceClayInc   And it would cripple those who practice negative SEO (at least for sites that monitor & prune their link profiles).
@jacquesbouchard   “Oh, it’ll be here someday. Google hasn’t updated for eight months; could be any day now.” Or at least until they think of the next new thing. “Black Hat is Dead” is almost as old as “SEO is dead”.

@thompsonpaul   Realtime Penguin/Panda – depends entirely whether they get it right or not. Getting screwed faster doesn’t seem like a win.

What was your favorite read of 2015? book, blog post, tweet, whatever!

@BruceClayInc   Many web designs are going to huge images, less text. Have to be careful not to diminish value for SEO of text content
@jacquesbouchard   I think that’s a fine approach to a home page, honestly. Just get the “invisible” SEO right and look holisitically.
@BruceClayInc   It can be … but will a text-stripped homepage be as strong as others? Depends on the keyword & what’s natural.
@jacquesbouchard   I think it’s possible, within reason, if the rest of the site is sending the proper signals.

@AndreaMLehr   @contently’s Winter Quarterly was hands down the most stunning thing I’ve seen and read all year.

@ExpWriters   You need to check this out: The Top 60 Content Marketers You Should Be Following on @twitter

@siddlal   Try this on Growth Hacking & marginal improvements

@jacquesbouchard   I read this awesome article in Discover Magazine about how animals adapt to their environment, and how we can use that in tech.

Summary: Which Tools Would You Stuff in Your Fellow SEO’s Stockings? on #SEOchat

Moderator: @thompsonpaul

A core need for any SEO – KEYWORDS! Research tools, tracking, discovery, organising… Whatcha got?

@BrianRBaker4   Our favorite is currently Search Console for Keyword Research + Discovery. Also like Ahrefs Positions Explorer + SEMRush to see what keywords competitors are ranking for rank tracking, we use BrightLocal, which isn’t the best… For Organization we use Excel.

@thompsonpaul   For me, almost always start w/ keywordtool.io. Let’s me expand beyond my preconceptions really quickly.
@BrianRBaker4   I like that one too! Or ubersuggest. Search console, the search analytics feature is great for finding keywords we already “sort of” rank for – then focus on those.

@ajutah   Here’s my list of KW tools.

  • @longtailpro
  • Google Ad Planner
  • Google Suggest
  • Wikipedia
  • Reddit

@thompsonpaul   What do get out of using Reddit? Very curious.
@ajutah   To find KW opportunities, I’ll take the URL for a subreddit and plug it into the Google Keyword tool. I’m more interested in finding transactional keywords, so @MerchantWords is a neat tool for that.
@BrianRBaker4   Yes! I’ll do that too. Often gives some really good, unique keywords.
@ajutah   You can also set up Site Search in Analytics and see what your visitors are trying to find.

@BrandifyChat   We love the ‘similar keywords’ in @Hubspot ‘s Keywords tool!

@AgentPalmer   Common sense. The most logical and often left out tool in the bag.

@KristiKellogg   @BruceClayInc has an entire SUITE of free SEO tools for keyword research, competitor analysis and more.
@BruceClayInc   We like our tools, too :) We’re also fans of KeywordTool.io

@ExpWriters   @SEMrush is our go-to tool for providing background/fundamental SEO research.

@tannerpetroff   Most people don’t realize the power of the AdWords keyword planner. You can do a lot with what they give you.
@BrianRBaker4   The data is often REALLY off from our experience.
@tannerpetroff   Right, but just because the data is off doesn’t mean it can’t be an indicator of what’s happening.
@BrianRBaker4   True, true! We’re finding Search Console is pretty off too.
@tannerpetroff   Oh man, I’d say search console data is 10x worse than kw planner data. Just garbage.
@mchellejernigan   This article gave a lot of insight into how to interpret KW Planner’s data.

@emily_C27   just got a new tool; Seed Keywords.

@mchellejernigan   Definitely Keyword Planner, Keywordtool.io, Ubersuggest. Soovle is interesting too.

@RazeMedia   FreshKey and Ubersuggest! FK gives you new ideas and sorts on popularity.

@getSTAT   We use SEMrush & Keywords Planner for research. We track, segment, and report in STAT, or export the data and parse it in csv.

@thompsonpaul   Anybody got a local rank tracker they’re really happy with to tuck in my wee stocking?
@BrianRBaker4   We use BrightLocal for local tracking – tracks Google, Bing, and Yahoo organic + maps listings.
@manishologies   A bit biased, but @GoBrandify can help boost your local ranking strategy!

@fighto   For keyword research, I use this tool called Knime With APIs.

What kinds of social media-related tools would you tuck in that stocking to make next year better & easier?

@KristiKellogg   So many. So so many. How about a subscription to @Tweepi to manage my followers?

@BruceClayInc   @CoSchedule is a present sure to please #socialmedia mavens. Promote content across channels seamlessly straight from WordPress.
@thompsonpaul   Always liked Bing’s keyword tool as it’s drawn from real organic search, not just paid search.

@ajutah   Here’s my social tools list: @hootsuite, @buffer, @SocialBro. Great tools to build community & follow influencers.

@BrianRBaker4   I don’t do much with social media… I just use Buffer, which I LOVE!
@BrandifyChat   Thoughts on Buffer’s newest acquisiton?

@thompsonpaul   For social, I’m just getting my head around all the ways BuzzSumo can be used for research & outreach planning.

@tannerpetroff   I don’t know how I’d function without TweetDeck.
@thompsonpaul   I should probably go back and re-review TweetDeck. Used the original for couple years, but didn’t like the changes.
@tannerpetroff   It’s definitely not like it used to be. Some changes for the better, some for the worse. But still the best.

@BrandifyChat   Instagram is getting bigger for brands! Tools to measure success on it will become important!

@RazeMedia   To add visuals to posts Pablo 2.0 is a free app to create great images that are unique and unmarked.

@ExpWriters   @socialmention = cool tool for discovering trends on social media. It also shows what kind of sentiment are people expressing.

@WarrenWhitlock   manageflitter: more filters and options than anything I’ve seen. I use it.

@fighto   I was a big fan of Impactana. It is like BuzzSumo on steroids, but i DO like the BuzzSumo tweet count solution too. hmm. You can essentially automate everything, pull in way more data, from various sources, and render it how you want. It’s not for the “basic SEO”, but you also don’t have to be a full out developer to make good use of it.

Broadening it out a bit – Content Management/Marketing goodies for Santa to include?

@AgentPalmer   A magic elf that can write quality content, so I don’t have to.

@ajutah   Just started using the @ThriveThemes Content Builder, and LOVE it. If I had the $, and gift it to everyone Oprah-style.

@BruceClayInc   The keyword research tool is particularly useful as it pulls from multiple sources: Google, Bing and Bing Ads.

@KristiKellogg   Ooooh #content presents. How about adding the @TweetThis app to your WordPress? Or using @sniply? So many useful tools.
@thompsonpaul   Like TweetThis but sniply needs to die in a fire.
@BruceClayInc   These are great. And another good plugin is @yoast. Gives you an at-a-glance #SEO look at your content.
@ajutah   I like Yoast, but I wish it was a lighter plugin. I’ve always liked SEO Ultimate, but it doesn’t have the XML Sitemap feature that Yoast has which is crucial if you’re working with a site that doesn’t give you FTP!
@tannerpetroff   I wish it were lighter, too, but I still think it’s the best value plugin out there.
@thompsonpaul   And Yoast’s last update problems left a really sour taste. It may be going beyond it’s mandate for me.

@fighto   I really like using Trello to manage content calendars and other stuff.

Your best gift ideas for data collection and analytics to really make the holidays merry?

@AgentPalmer   Someone else who will do it for me.
@WarrenWhitlock   Biz Tools hardly a “gift”.

@WarrenWhitlock   Watson

@thompsonpaul   Coaching client pointed me to Lucky Orange heatmaps/conversion funnel tracking. Interesting. And really looking forward to making some time to thoroughly test out HotJar – they’re doing some innovative things too.

@RazeMedia   Open Web isn’t bad and I have recently started to get familiar with this aspect of bit.ly

@thompsonpaul   Anybody still paying any attention to Klout for analytics?
@fighto   I prefer the @followerwonk social authority metric personally. The followerwonk metric.
@tannerpetroff   I gave up on Klout once they decided to become a partial syndication platform.

@ExpWriters   Again, when it comes to data and analytics we go with the @semrush but even the front interface of twitter can be useful.

Number-crunching and reporting tools you’d gift your fellow SEO’s?

@BrianRBaker4   I definitely need people’s opinions for Q5. We use RavenTools now, which is super, super buggy.
@tannerpetroff   I’ve always loved what Raven was supposed to do… But never loved it in practice.

@ajutah   For reporting, set up some custom Analytics dashboards and send a PDF with your analysis.

@JerryatEngage   I’d like santa to deliver a web based webmaster tools data grabber. :) Our custom api works but would love something lighter.
@thompsonpaul   Amen! There is a script you host on a webserver but it takes some serious setup. A plugin for Google Sheets?!
@JerryatEngage   Amen! My dreams are much bigger tho! But that would be a start. #seochat I want to be able to dynamically generate reports.
@fighto   I built this, although, its not web based.

@fighto   I hate to beat a dead horse, but Knime is the all purpose data collection/analysis/reporting tool of choice. Mix in some Google, SEMRush, and Rank Tracking APIs in there. Make pretty graphs with R scripting and LateX reports.

@thompsonpaul   If you guys haven’t seen Cyfe, you really should check it out-superb for real-time dashboards from dozens of sources. And cheap! My final answer to better reporting- @AnnieCushing’s report/dashboard creation course :) Now THAT’s an Xmas gift keeps on giving.

Something we don’t talk about a lot – got some project management magic you could toss into that overstuffed stocking?

@fighto   I’d love to get my team fully on a Trello + Slack combo for project management purposes… It’s been a hard sell.

@ajutah   I use Trello for day to day tasks, Glip for long term project tracking and collab, and Google Calendar to set benchmark dates.

@thompsonpaul   For full featured project management, I’m still hooked on Intervals but Asana tempts me.

Summary: Keeping up with schema, rich answers, html5, java & more on #SEOchat

Moderator: @bloomreachinc

What changes in our world are on your mind? Anything “hair on fire” level of concern or opportunity?

@MatthewAYoung   Im loving the news about RankBrain. Machine learning FTW. Basically, it allows google to better deal with queries it has never before seen, which is about 15% of them. Oh, and it’s also the third most important part of the algorithm. Here’s a great article about how it affects entity search.
@CallMeLouzander   Wonder if any of those new KWDs were never before seen in Google (aka RankBrain fodde)
@MatthewAYoung   Possible. But I think it’s more of the unnamed, unconfirmed core algo updates.
@BruceClayInc   Two Big changes come to mind: Machine learning algorithms & Predictive search: here.
@tannerpetroff   Here’s a decent post I just found.
@CaitlinBoroden   This is a good intro

@CallMeLouzander   I’ve been thinking about Android M & private indexing.

@kotmseo   An imminent corporate acquisition will wipe out all the work I’ve done for the current site — as we switch to a new domain.

What are you doing with http://schema.org?

@CaitlinBoroden   JSON-LD all the way! Really looking forward to continued roll outs supporting the language.

@CallMeLouzander   Finding other resources to make sense of it. That website is so confusing! @RavenTools has the excellent http://schema-creator.org/ .

@MatthewAYoung   Using googles schema helper and testing tools. Theyve saved my life on a couple occasions.

@oc2015   Still trying to convince clients to let us use it (schema)

@kotmseo   Implemented schema on homepage & discovered crawlability issues. Also testing on articles w/ little success so far. The trouble on our site is implementing schema automatically on all articles, for example, by changing CMS. Tough ask.

@CallMeLouzander   Love this extensive guide to schema.

@EricLanderSEO   Schema has been crucial for us in triggering enhanced SERPs, particularly around locations (“Place”) for a national client. Shout out to @sejournal for this piece. We built an initial local SEO application for content w/ that. Client and internal education has supported in business development and internal education for related teams (SEM, Analytics). Related – be careful of sites/services/apps trying to scrape your schema data, too. Seen that on the rise for financial sites.

@ammicallef   Primarily recommend it for reviews and products. Rich snippets.

@ramirez_robert   I love finding new schemas I didn’t know existed & utilizing them. Hotels? Check. Furniture Stores? Yup. Plumbers? Got that too.

How has Rich Answers changed your strategy? Are you changing content specifically for it?

@EricLanderSEO   We’ve identified a LARGE amount of content to re/write based on ubersuggest and SERPs composition.

@CallMeLouzander   Hard one. Sites that publish stats & make & on ads- if they write FOR Knowledge Graph, goodbye $$. Time for hard decisions!

@kotmseo   Some of our FAQ pages appear as rich answers & drive major traffic. Convinced web team to prioritize them & add conversion.

@CaitlinBoroden   Interested to hear peoples thoughts on this one. I admit I haven’t done a deep dive into strategy just yet.

@ammicallef   While we want to capture traffic, we want it to be qualified. by optimizing for rich answers, it may be all info-based queries which makes it difficult..because not all info-based queries will be qualified and ready to convert.

@ramirez_robert   Hopefully your content already answers RichAnswer questions naturally. Hard to get that result if you are not an authority.

@OC2015   Product based for the clients we do use it for. Best thing is we don’t have to change content

@ExpWriters   More content that is better researched/in depth & answers the given topic/question, for our content clients and our own blog.

How has HTML 5 changed your strategy? Tactics?

@EricLanderSEO   For content – pagination/sequential declaration has helped. We earn more SEO referrals to p.1 of content now as a result. We have also moved to some specific WordPress frameworks to make better use of page sections and content organization. Likely a coincidence, but we’re also seemingly a mobile-first organization now. I can’t credit HTML5 fully, but it’s helped. We’ve benefitted from doing so, but if you’re a competitor reading this? No. Not even a little.

@MatthewAYoung   I have to admit, not much. The fundamentals are still there. Clients are moving towards it, but not quickly.
@CallMeLouzander   I’m with @MatthewAYoung. Most clients just aren’t there yet. I had 1 client looking at http2 & html5 but that’s rare.

@ramirez_robert   Semantic tags in html5 are interesting, but very hard to justify cost of revising templates with no evidence of return (yet).
@EricLanderSEO   Both @MatthewAYoung & @ramirez_robert touch on a challenge: Migrating clients/content to full HTML5 w/o provable ROI.

@seanhecking   Mobile-friendly HTML 5 was recommended, mobile-sorta-friendly was the result. Developer execution is key.

With bots potentially crawling JavaScript, how has this changed your strategy? Tactics?

@EricLanderSEO   Grunt. Minify it all, get it off page if possible – and make it as efficiently deliverable as possible. We’ve had a great 2015 by moving to FoundationPress and pushing all CSS and JS through grunt. Like… Really great.
@oc2015   Just have to ensure you’re not sacrificing site speed when you do

@MatthewAYoung   Potentially? This is a done deal. But I agree with @EricLanderSEO – reduce it as much as you can. Speed is key.

@kotmseo   We’re in the process of unblocking JS files in the robots.txt file. Can’t tell if they’re crawlable, if they’re being blocked.
@MatthewAYoung   You can always fetch & render pages in GSC. That might give you some clues
@kotmseo   Yeah, F&R doesn’t show our pop-up mega menu, but says some of our JS files are blocked. Fixing is a long process.
@MatthewAYoung   Indeed it is. But your mobile rankings will thank you in the end.

@seanhecking   Minified & Bootstrap for some good speed improvement.

What’s a current “trick” you think won’t last (to clarify, naming one is not an admission of using it)?

@seanhecking   Buying niche domain names and parking a 2,000+ word article to rank. This can’t last.

@EricLanderSEO   The resurgence of full-window takeover CTAs preventing content view through organic channels is making an ugly comeback.

@kotmseo   I don’t think schema markup will last, if it’s not automated through CMS. Too complicated for most folks to implement.

Summary: The Keyword Challenge, How to Compete for Your Site’s Searchability on #SEOchat

Moderator: @emily_C27

When starting off on a brand new #seochat campaign, at what point does keyword research come into play?

@oc2015   The very first thing (after scope and goals). KW research sets up everything from search strategy to content to social.

@EricLanderSEO   Keyword research (and more appropriately, topical research) needs to start out of the gate IMO. Point being that search is becoming less and less about singular keywords – and more topically focused. I love using @ubersuggest for expanding from a keyword into a larger topical view of content needs.

@CallMeLouzander   From the start. Start with ranking baseline that you’ll keep thru project. Then figure out what pages rank for what terms. Even as keywrd set grows, still good to keep that initial kwd set from the start so you can compare apples to apples.

@samsitesearch   I think it’s hugely important to perform, but after you understand your target audience and the questions they need answering.
@oc2015   Totally agree. Also extremely important to keep intent in mind and user position in the buyer journey.

@Randomhero180   This should be the first task in your project management system for a new project.

@LemayPatrick   I imagine it’s important to immediately define useful keywords to base your campaign around, as you will use them throughout.

@milestech   It’s the foundation of your strategy. You need to know what people are searching for to better target them.

@StoreCoach   I would say right off the bat. Allows you to better develop a proper strategy for who to target in the campaign.

What are your favorite tools for finding keywords and phrases that you are already ranking for?

@emily_C27   I’ve always begun with semrush as my go-to.

@AntoniaStiedaSa   Majestic and SEMrush

@CaitlinBoroden   Someone showed me http://answerthepublic.com/ on a previous #seochat. Great resource!

@Randomhero180   Google Search Console for me. I would like to hear about some others.

@dan_patterson   Use GWT. If you really want to see what you’re currently ranking for GWT is the place to go IMO.
@BerkleyBikes   I like GWT, but have so much distrust in some of their metrics. Have you found their ranking metrics to be accurate?
@dan_patterson   I figure all ranking metrics are just an indication
@CaitlinBoroden   Agreed. I’ve seen some weird discrepancies.
@CallMeLouzander   Rankings are inaccurate for sure, but good place to find new kwd opportunities.

@StoreCoach   Semrush is where I do my research. The detail and ease of use makes it a great tool.

@CallMeLouzander   I like @spyfu and Search Console.

@samsitesearch   I’m a fan of @semrush for this kind of kw research.

@seanvanguilder   For new clients, after I’ve done a complete audit of their site and competitor analysis.

@seanvanguilder   semrush and keywordtool.io

@kkopacz1   SEMRush. It tells you the keywords that your competitors use most effectively.

@EricLanderSEO   Would again say that you need to be using @ubersuggest for this!

@kotmseo   I use @brightedge to see what keywords our site is currently ranking for.

How do scale the competitiveness of keywords for which you would like your brand to be found?

@TheBuyerGroup   SEOToolSet and Buzzomo! SEOToolSet has a free version too!

@dan_patterson   I think you have to just compile a lot of data, look at as many metrics you can, and then prioritize. I like Moz’s keyword difficulty tool.

@oc2015   Tougher than relying on @Moz bar, but certainly helpful. Overall though, you have to mindful of consistently ranked comps.

@EricLanderSEO   While arbitrary, the competitive scores in @spyfu @semrush and @ahrefs are all quite useful over time

@seanvanguilder   If there is a PPC campaign running I’ll pull in the data for paid vs organic. Also use SEMRush to pull in competitor keywords.

@seanvanguilder   I don’t pay attention to competitive scores. I focus on whether or not the core keyword phrase aligns to the company’s personas.

@samsitesearch   Tools can give you a score. but i like to do it manually- look at top 4 results links/content to see quality & effort to beat.

@CallMeLouzander   I look at competitive scores, b/c sometimes you find kywds that are being missed by competition but are still valuable. Plus you have to be realistic w/ expectations. Small co likely can’t rank for top-tier kywds in national space.

@kotmseo   I use @Moz toolbar to see DA/PA of sites already ranking for the keyword and evaluate our chances of beating them.

@kkopacz1   Create a list of top 5 or top 10 primary keywords. Run SEOmoz keyword difficulty tool for each keyword.

@ajutah   Supplement your organic strategy with pay-per-click, and adjust either side to remain competitive.

@Navahk   @BruceClayInc said this at Pubcon, “There’s a difference between data & wisdom” Understand them first!

What factors do you consider in determining whether SEO or PPC is best to put your brand/clients’ dollars toward?

@seanvanguilder   Ideally both. Need both to ensure maximum exposure to grow the client’s brand.

@kotmseo   I don’t have the reference, but I’ve always heard your CTR is higher if you appear in both organic & paid spots for a keyword.
@samsitesearch   yeah @seerinteractive did a study on that a while back.
@ajutah   Here’s a @sengineland post on that very topic

@strydedotcom   What factors do you consider in determining whether SEO or PPC is best to put your brand/clients’ dollars toward?

@seanvanguilder   But also use PPC for testing landing pages and ad copy that can be used for SEO. That and where in the funnel the keywords fall. I believe the data came from a study Google did.

@oc2015   Target audience and intent. Less need for SEO hours when you want to focus on retargeting (with PPC) to users who know you.

@CallMeLouzander   This is all changing I think, but PPC is importnt source of traffic esp when recovering from penalty or poor org performance. PPC rant: PLEASE make sure your PPC landing pages match the ad copy! I hate it when clients burn money.

@AJUTAH&NBSP;&NBSP;&NBSP;Budget is a big factor. Low $ spend on content might move the needle, but won’t do much for ROI on the PPC side.

@CaitlinBoroden   A startup needs both from my experience. PPC leads the way until organic picks up speed.

@samsitesearch   Could look at timeframes, budget amount, what type of campaign it is (ecommerce, branding). need to understand the goals first.

@dan_patterson   I figure SEO is a long play. PPC is more immediate. Both have their place.

What is the value of branded vs. non branded traffic driven by keywords and how do you track and measure each?

@dan_patterson   Branded traffic is typically the “closer.” Non-brand is where you grow your awareness. They both have a ton of value but have to be measured differently.
@ajutah   Also depends where the searchers are in the sales funnel. Could use branded terms in 1st touchpoint, ie radio ads.
@dan_patterson   Definitely. I’m not saying that brand is only a closer, just more than NB from what I usually see.
@CallMeLouzander   Don’t forget podcasts! Lots of startups are marketing to podcast audiences pretty hard, so they must be seeing ROI.

@kotmseo   I pay more attention to non-branded. Should already perform well for branded; branded makes up greater % of traffic; no comp.

@emily_C27   For tracking paid, it’s nice that GA can auto-segment Brand Paid Search vs. Generic Paid Search.

@samsitesearch   It’s a question of searcher intent & branding success. value varies for every company. track in @semrush/ look at conversions.

@CaitlinBoroden   Not often enough – I’ll admit that. Need to put this into my workflow more often.

@kkopacz1   Both are valuable, although branded keywords are near the top. SEOMonitor is a nice tool use to track.

@CallMeLouzander   This is where Srch Console helps. My kwd list might lose ranking but I get more organic traffic; time for a new kwd list.

What is the average life of your kw list used across content, social media, & link-building? When do you reassess & rebuild?

@seanvanguilder   Monthly, sometimes more depending on algo updates.

@dan_patterson   I think it’s important to watch search trends over time. If a phrase is declining, start transitioning to something else.

@samsitesearch   Probably on a monthly basis, if not a bit less

@kotmseo   Not for a while. I inherited an existing list of keywords & just finished a 3-month process of new kw research site-wide.

@emily_C27   I’ve been doing about 4 months as a general rule for full kw research/landscape/grouping etc.

@ajutah   Keyword research should be a continuous process. Revise monthly, reassess quarterly.

What KW tools do you use to optimize your social channels? Do the KWs differ from those used throughout your blog/site content?

@oc2015   Same tools that I use when putting together an initial list. Only difference is exploring #hastags for some extra exposure.

@kotmseo   Just started optimizing YouTube videos for same KWs as site. Hopefully, results in organic, paid & video will increase CTR.

@samsitesearch   I’d use ubersuggest/keywordtool.io to uncover longer tail, question keywords for social. great for ‘how to’ type content.

Summary: The Paradox of Being Data-led: Is It Holding Back Your Content Marketing Efforts? on #SEOchat

Moderator: @RonellSmith

When we hear or see the words “data-led,” what does it mean? What image does it conjure in your mind’s eye?

@MichaelBurjack   For me, data led means following the lines. I think there’s a careful nuance between being “data-blinded” vs. “data-led”. Data should support, not limit, tactics & ideas.
@StoreCoach   an excellent point. Let it solidify the ideas and strategies you already have in place.
@ajutah    True, and data can sometimes be noise. I can stare at Analytics all day, but without the right KPIs, it’s a waste.

@CaitlinBoroden   When I hear ‘data-led’ all i can picture is Google Analytics.

@EricLanderSEO   For me “data-led” or similar, suggests that there are numbers to validate a direction – not (only) an emotional response. “Data-led” items are scientifically or mathematically based. Opinions and emotions aren’t factoring elements.

@RonellSmith   I think of someone being led around via a ring through the nose, with no control over their own actions. I tend to see and think of these brands as mechanical, lacking engagement. Data is important; it’s not all-important. Data is great at telling us what worked, not what will work. Creativity is also need. Data-informed means we use data as an important element for determining which content we create. Data doesn’t drive the bus. I hope more brands are pulling together teams from disparate parts of the business, including sales and customer service. I’m paying more and more attention to customer service numbers and underserved markets/audiences figures.

@emily_C27   When I think data, I first think raw numbers..not personable- understanding personas etc.

@AndreaMLehr   When I hear “data-led,” I automatically picture some of our previous research campaigns that outline industry trends. But I also think of someone throwing that word around because they can and think they should.
@emily_C27   yes! “Here are the top KWs we need to be using..” But what does that mean to or say about the actual buyer?

@SarahFromDC   Spreadsheets, Google Analytics, Facebook Insights… all that fun stuff that helps guide a smart campaign. Also important to note that data-led doesn’t have to mean “without creativity” – but that data informs & guides the campaign.

@netvantage   “Data-led” seems to be making decisions primary based on figures, such as GA, WMT & rankings in our industry.

@SocialMichelleR    Data-lead hopefully means that we are paying attention to results and behavior and allowing that to guide decision making.

@StoreCoach   Data-led to me means making decisions solely off the numbers and disregarding any personal or emotional factors.

@ajutah   “Data-led” means every action taken is the result of planning and reporting working in tandem.

@seanvanguilder   IMO, data-led uses metrics to inform decisions. actionable and measurable changes.

@AndreeaC_T   Granular data. The process of from getting the viewers attention, kw used, behavior, conversion.

@amelm   The first image is the huge amount of Analytics Data that you have to go through & excract insights from! too Much.

In practice, what does being data-led mean for your brand, or for brands you know to be data-led?

@EricLanderSEO   Being a data driven organization means that you’re proving points based on data, not speculating based on emotional responses.

@SarahFromDC   Being able to track progress, show tangible results, and make informed changes quickly.
@MichaelBurjack   Good point. Being able to show measurable results to stakeholders reduces the hidden “magical mystery” from SEO.

@danieljflowers   Being overjoyed when your assumptions are proven wrong.

@oc2015   Being lead by data is using what is at your disposal to better a customer exp (conversions). Flows, engagement metrics etc. Also being able to make assumptions & say whoops thats wrong, lets fix it instead of carrying on.

@MichaelBurjack   Teamwork standpoint: less ego, more results. Let the data speak! (except when it’s unclear, but that never happens, amirite?)
@danieljflowers   Good point! It’s a nice corrective to the roles we subconsciously assume while working in groups.
@MichaelBurjack   I don’t think that word means what you think it means :-) but agree entirely.
@danieljflowers   well, perhaps “not silently ashamed” would be more fitting, but I’m trying to exude some positive.

@AndreeaC_T   In practice it means following the numbers. What actions drive conversions, repeating those actions and testing new ones.

@ajutah   I’d say being data-led means you’re working for measurable outcomes, not just crossing items off a checklist.
@MichaelBurjack   Yes! Easy for that to happen. Have to measure the right stuff, and understand the story it’s telling you. Requires skill.

@seanvanguilder   Companies tend to get in the way of themselves when they make assumptions about what their customers want/need. data-led is along the lines of usability study. providing the business with information that will increase their brand.

@RonellSmith   I tend to see and think of these brands as mechanical, lacking engagement.

@AndreaMLehr   To me, data-led means making marketing decisions based on tangible information or trends; there is no ‘let’s just try this’.

@netvantage   Using facts & figures to determine the effectiveness of your brand’s decisions then using that data to make future decisions.

@CaitlinBoroden   Being data-led should not mean testing is out of the question. Test and use the data to validate your predictions.

@StoreCoach   Being data-driven means analyzing the numbers and actually putting them into practical use for your company.

@RonellSmith    As a consultant, I’ve experienced these brands as the most unwilling to be creative, try new things. It also makes me think of lazy marketers who insist on mindlessly creating whatever content the numbers suggest. If numbers are all you have, numbers are ALL you can rely on. IMO, these brands walk around with hammers, looking for nails. Also, using the data to inform the process means we open the door for creativity, which often entails untested ideas. We must also challenge “What the numbers say” by asking “What other elements are needed to get a complete picture?” There is great merit in looking at segments of the market that are untapped but who would be receptive to your product/service.

If being data-led is so great, why do brands struggle to create content that meets the threshold of attention from prospects?

@AndreeaC_T   They struggle with what to measure and how to get that data. Tracking can be tricky sometimes. They probably don’t really know their audience either. That is constant knowledge growth and involves time segmenting.

@oc2015   Just becuase you have the data does NOT mean you know how to use it. I’ve got a hammer and chisel but can’t carve David.

@EricLanderSEO   Brand marketing needs to resonate with emotional appeal. Data can support that, but traditionally isn’t a creative function.

@netvantage   People are driven by emotions, not data. Data doesn’t necessary mean you will reach your target audience.
@seanvanguilder   It is and even surprising. Need a foundation to build the house.

@SarahFromDC   Knowing how to interpret the data & create content that’s both interesting and applicable to the audience – difficult for many.

@tannerpetroff   Using data to determine content you should create does not mean you are great at creating content.

@danieljflowers   All the data in the world cannot create a great idea. Integrating knowledge and creativity is tough, can feel counterintuitive.

@RonellSmith   Those segments won’t show up in your data (yet!), though

@victorpan   Agreed – there needs to be a match between data and storytelling. In my case, I also see a huge issue with outreach.

@katkins415   Probably don’t understand their buyers well enough, or don’t evaluate the competitive content they need to beat.
@AndreeaC_T   Great point about competitive content!! Getting a grasp on competitor data can help structure your strategy too.

@SocialMichelleR   I love what @themarkclevey said… You don’t know what you don’t know Take a risk and create fresh data.

@AndreaMLehr   The kick is to look at the data but find new ways you can use it–a trend in infographics doesn’t mean just pump out boring IGs.

@ammicallef   Data is great and we should formulate ideas based on it, but it isn’t the only component in understanding your audience.

@victorpan   Just because you create it, doesn’t mean they’ll come. If you create a piece of content and nothing links to it…does it exist?

@ajutah   It’s the difference between focusing on *metrics* vs. *KPIs*. Creating content for KPIs will produce measurable outcomes.

Is it possible that being data-informed is really what we’re after? That is, using data to help us make effective decisions.

@CaitlinBoroden   Data informed is a great way of putting it.

@AndreeaC_T   Informed is a better term, so yes. But our decisions need to be “data-driven”. We need the data to inform us of what works, what doesn’t. How our audience reaches and converts. Then use that data to continue.

@RonellSmith   Huge h/t to one of the coolest, brightest people I know, @MatthewJBrown, for a great talk on being data-informed at #ConfadMN.

@AndreaMLehr   Definitely agree–we don’t want to rely on it, but it should help guide us in the right direction creatively.

@SarahFromDC   Yup! May need to change up the wording on my website now…data-informed or data-guided sounds so much better than data-driven.

@oc2015   Data will always be helpful, but making effective decisions, espc. in marketing, can be a whole other beast.

@victorpan   Data can provide the signs and symptoms – it’s up to the experts to make the diagnosis or ask for more tests.

@thompsonpaul   When action will only be taken when data “proves” it’s a sure bet, we’re taking the lazy way out.

@DavidProHQ   I believe being data informed is very important in decisions. Numbers don’t lie. They tell a story for the past & present.
@tannerpetroff   It’s easy to create your own story for the data, though. You have to know the context to get the right story from data.

What you doing to ensure data has an important role in the content marketing process, but does is not the focal point?

@AndreeaC_T   Review conversions and identify content that drove the conversion. Then test other ideas to maximize efforts. Also guide/educate others that SEO takes time and it really consists of multiple ways SEO impacts conversions.

@oc2015   A/B testing is a good example. the focus is on trying new content but data driven results.

@victorpan   Always relate the data back to the audience. Tell that story of what is happening. Then segment. Tell more stories. e.g. People don’t know what they want yet. We should create things they will aspire for. Create search terms that don’t exist yet.
@AndreeaC_T   Even find the data with anomalies. That’s the data you test…esp if the value of the conversion is high.
@MichaelBurjack   Yes, this. Going back to creativity: often it’s exactly the outliers in the data where the “Ah hah!”s are buried.

@netvantage   Read feedback. For example, don’t focus on the number of comments, but what the comments say.

@SarahFromDC   Lots of A/B testing and segmenting, then re-segmenting, and…maybe running content by my family to see if it sounds robotic.

@_Fidelitas   Tracking KPIs/Reporting is our way of using data to make decisions. Goal setting (your #1 goal?) helps keep us focused. -David

@SocialMichelleR   Data isn’t a focal point. It’s a compass via @amelm

What are some of those other elements your brand is using alongside data to make better content marketing decisions?

@amelm   By making sure you use data as a compass so that you make sure you don’t get away from your main goals.

@AndreeaC_T   Value of conversions. How big are the deals you closed. Partner sentiment for those of us who work with partners. Even audience sentiment and reputation.

@victorpan   Strategic decisions matter. Just because your target is interested in X content, doesn’t mean your Brand should play there.

Summary: Keep On Keeping ‘Em On: SEO and User Retention on #SEOchat

Moderator: @BerkleyBikes

Regarding user retention, what metrics do you focus on?

@netvantage   Bounce rate in GA is one of the biggest we look at followed by pages per session and time on-site.
@BerkleyBikes   Bounce rate can be key. especially on a page-by-page basis.

@Sonray   Bounce Rate, Time on Site, Pages Per Vist….I really like the Multi-Channel Funnels.

@BerkleyBikes   I often find myself looking at time on site. New user percentage too, although it’s not always the best metric.
@netvantage   New user percentage is a good one. Helps you determine if you’re reaching a new audience or if users are coming back.

@CaitlinBoroden   Conversions for returning vs. new users. I’ve been getting into using advanced segments more. Some hidden gems can be found this way.

@SarahFromDC   Bounce rate, time on site / specific pages, new vs. returning coupled with location.

@directom   For now, we usually focus on bounce rate and time on site. But we’re open to examining others!

@BrandifyChat   Length, returning users and any social acquisition! Traffic from social! We like to see who is reading and from which social channels. Followers are important too.

@EricLanderSEO   Retention is tough to measure w/ off the shelf tools like GA. Get pervasive w/cookies & track “engagement” on REPEAT sessions.

How much do you focus on user retention? Why?

@BruceClayInc   Probably not enough! It costs more to earn a new customer than to keep a happy one!

@BrandifyChat   It’s a priority for both us and our clients to ensure that our content is giving value and gaining in retention.

@EricLanderSEO   Users warrant attention once they’ve visited multiple times and have hit funnel entry points. We then engage more directly.
@CaitlinBoroden   I must admit that sounds awesome and scary at the same time. I need to read up on tracking/implementation.
@EricLanderSEO   For sure. Cookies and server logs and hidden form fields… Oh my!

@Sonray   Depends on where in the funnel. I’m more interested in getting in the multi touch points before the conversion.

@netvantage   It varies; some clients won’t have return visitors depending on their services.

@directom   We’ve realized it has not been a priority, but we’re moving towards placing more focus on it as we expand content strategies.
@BerkleyBikes   It’s funny because SEO is traditionally about acquiring users. Keeping them around is the next step!

@LindsayMineo   If it’s a 1-time purchase product/service we’ll look at customer happiness (reviews, social metrics) more than user retention.

What are some of the most common reasons people leave websites?

@Sonray   All of the things @neilpatel says not to do but does anyway.

@CaitlinBoroden   Slow! And I have to add.. when did pop ups become a thing again?!
@BruceClayInc   They’re more pervasive than ever! #justsayno to pop ups.
@directom   If we’re talking about email lightboxes, couldn’t we time them to show up after a set parameter?
@CaitlinBoroden   That’s a start! I personally like the pop up at the bottom over the in your face right in the middle.
@directom   Definitely not right as the page renders.

@EricLanderSEO   At the risk of validating too much of what Google & Yahoo! are doing – incompatibility or uselessness on mobile devices. Be hesitant to lump everything into “user experience” though. Sometimes your content is out of whack and you need to be aware. I’d add too, you need to be efficient with coding if you plan to capture all the user data and engagement points. Get grunt!

@SocialMichelleR   That piece of content wasn’t what they were looking for. Either factor will turn a user off.

@SarahFromDC   In general? Crappy navigation, slow load times, not mobile friendly, content not useful.

@netvantage   Poor website design causing people to not be able to find what they really want.

@BrandifyChat   Invaluable content, slow load time, too many sign ups or forms, difficult to navigate. The reasons are endless.
@BerkleyBikes   I think slow load time is a really popular one, especially on ad-heavy sites.

@directom   Slow, too many ads, no perceived value, lack of CTAs for next actions. List could be endless! Also, some clients are concerned with lead gen. Should we aim for repeat visits from captured leads?
@BerkleyBikes   This is a really great point. Continuing conversions via email or other channels.

@KevinKnechtion   Poor UX.

@dan_patterson   I leave websites when I realize (or perceive) that they aren’t what i was looking for.

@thompsonpaul   Huge issue I constantly confront on client sites-trying to stuff every page into primary nav = decision paralysis for visitor.

@emily_C27   With an average human attention span of 8 secs, if you haven’t grasped theirs by providing the answer right away, they’re gone.

@MilwaukeePPC   Page takes forever to load, 1st impressions don’t match what the user wanted, exact product/service isn’t visible immediately.

How do you track down problem areas related to user retention?

@EricLanderSEO   Start w/ highest value visitors first; The ones who have entered your funnel – and then eliminate exit opportunities & causes. Be sure to assign click events if you do. Many users leave tabs open for hours inflating stats. I’m always testing new funnel visualization tools too. I love data, but I often need to see things in front of my dumb face!
@MilwaukeePPC   Make sure your external links open up in new tabs.
@dan_patterson   Go beyond Bounce Rate. Set up event tracking, Optimizely, Crazy Egg, etc and track what people are interaction with on the page. Keep in mind that not everyone is going to buy on a first visit. But are the engaging with the page like you want?

@emily_C27   Measure what content/landing pages are best performing..try to model that with the rest.

@egaal   Too many ads, pop ads, irrelevant ads, especially if they cover the content they came for.

@netvantage   We’ve used Crazy Egg for client sites. Provides you with a lot of valuable data to determine what is working and what isn’t.

@Sonray   Landing page vs conversions; CTR reports – what pages are below the site ave? Patch those holes first.

@SarahFromDC   Goals, AB testing, replicating what works from good pages onto problem pages

@thompsonpaul   In addition to quantitative (exit page, bounce, heatmapping) solve for user frustration with quick survey question. “Did you accomplish what you came here for? If not, why not?”

@BerkleyBikes   Mapping user flow can be very important here. And plugging holes like 404 errors, etc.

@BrandifyChat   Track down problem areas.Pages optimized/ images have tags?Marked up with Schema? Duplicate the successful strategies.

Let’s talk about your 404 page: What’s your strategy with it?

@EricLanderSEO   I’ve long advocated to support Google’s recommendations here. – Pay attention to HTTP response codes! Clever 404 pages are cool, but increase bounce rates. Get clever and useful and thats the pot of gold right there.

@dan_patterson   Please please please keep your branding on your 404 page! Nothing worse than a plain server response. Also, please please please don’t just republish your home page content with a 200 OK status for your 404 page.. (saw this recently).

@dan_shure   Make sure it actually returns a 404 code. Sounds simple, but many sites get this wrong and it causes technical issues.

@netvantage   Have one that grabs users attention & keeps them there. Ours features our Account Manager @allmikehall.

@LindsayMineo   I love a 404 page that doesn’t take itself too seriously. But it also needs to be helpful with a nice link.

@SarahFromDC   Track where 404s are coming from & set up 301s till you can change that referral link. Also brand it & offer useful links.

@BrandifyChat   One strategy that we use to encourage users to keep browsing is to provide links to popular cont on 404 err pgs.

@thompsonpaul   For 404 pages, make CERTAIN Analytics tracking code is in place. Then set up an alert in GA Intelligence Report to notify if up.

@ammicallef   Provide links to other important areas of the website to help users find what they were actually looking for.

@emily_C27   Redirect or at least come up with a cute custom 404 page.

@MilwaukeePPC   Don’t like when it redirects to home page. It’s okay to tell users the page doesn’t exist but give options to go to other pages.

@directom   Assuming correct response served, we like to keep it fun or encourage a next step to take.

@BerkleyBikes   I like Coca Cola’s 404 page. Very visually engaging, like an easter egg.
@EricLanderSEO   Holy crap. Not sure I’ve seen an old school HTML image map in years. Those 404 hipsters!

How do you feel about pop-up ads for email sign ups? Effective or annoying?

@dan_patterson   Annoying
@BerkleyBikes   Or the ones that are vindictive…”No, I don’t want to sign up for the world’s best email list and get free stuff.”

@BrandifyChat   Annoying for customers if they don’t know it’s coming. Helpful for brands if users actually fill the form.

@CaitlinBoroden   No pop up!

@emily_C27   True they can be effective, but come off a little spammy to me, maybe just from being on the other side.

@directom   They CAN be awesome. As long they trigger after set time or if the user has reached the end. Not on every page.
@ammicallef   plus, the annoying pop-ups could potentially push away users who do want to continue coming back.

@MilwaukeePPC   Can be effective on people who already love your brand. If it’s a newcomer you’re proposing before the first date. Big turn off

@LindsayMineo   *I* think they’re super annoying. But is it one of those “if it didn’t work we wouldn’t do it” things? If I’m giving up my email address I want something good for it. Make it worth the risk!

@BerkleyBikes   I generally find them annoying. More so when they’re in the middle of something I’m reading.

@ammicallef   Annoying. If the user wants to have that type of notification/reminder about the brand, they will find out how to sign up.

@SarahFromDC   Haaate when they show up in the first 3 seconds or at the top of the page. Fan of popovers at the end of article tho

@thompsonpaul   Like most marketing tactics-popups can be useful and acceptable or downright stupid. Exit intent for email after user has read!

@scottdseo   Test, test, and test again. Don’t take the opinions of random SEO “gurus”. I’ve learned so much by testing on my own.

@EricLanderSEO   They’re annoying but effective. They’re also less intrusive than the following-scrollers and light boxes you can’t close.

@MilwaukeePPC   Do the research. If your email campaign numbers are awful why risk scaring someone away for a signup that won’t convert later.

@netvantage   Companies will keep doing it because they work, especially if the customer receives an offer for signing up.

@StoreCoach   I feel like it can depend on how it is presented. Overall though, more annoying than effective.

What are some of your favorite tactics to keep people coming back?

@netvantage   Provide a positive user experience; fast & easy to use website. First impressions are important.

@BrandifyChat   It’s all bout engagement! We talk to our community to keep them wanting and reading more of our content.

@EricLanderSEO   Email marketing. Social marketing. And remarketing to cookie pools of your most faithful users on new content & resources.

@thompsonpaul   Smart retargeting! Don’t be creepy/over the top, but strategic retargeting based on what they viewed/did can bring ‘em back. Top quality, contextually relevant, well optimised content is king. The rest is crap.

@StoreCoach   Email marketing has been successful for us. The more personal you can make it, the better.

@LindsayMineo   Honestly, you have to have something worth going back for. The best marketing in the world won’t fix a poor product.

@SarahFromDC   Fun language, email signup, and social – also long-form articles if they make sense for certain clients

@MilwaukeePPC   Provide a good experience (offline too if it applies). Building your brand will build natural sharing and users to come back.

@CaitlinBoroden   If you’re ecommerce. Give me a special offer (coupon, discount, sale) and I’ll come back.

@directom   Quick wins = retargeting. Long term = content. And yeah, that’s a cop out, but that’s how we’d sum it up.

Let’s talk cross-channel. Do you use remarketing? How often and through which channels?

@EricLanderSEO   Yes! Love to use remarketing services like @AdRoll due to their FB retargeting options. We are invested in content marketing. For remarketing, understand limitations of some networks. You need maximum reach to really get someone’s attention these days.

@BrandifyChat   Absolutely. Our clients are keen on manuevering ad tactics between desktop and mobile, social, apps and more.

@MilwaukeePPC   Yes! Does your site have a 100% conversion rate? No. So bring those users back and block out the ones who already converted.

@BerkleyBikes   Adwords is a common choice. I’m a big believer in retargeting with paid social media.
@thompsonpaul   Yup Facebook custom audiences esp.

@LindsayMineo   Ugh yes. I’ll unsubscribe, but if I’m not off the list in a few days I use the spam button liberally.

@MilwaukeePPC   And don’t forget RLSA or search remarketing within Google or Bing. It’s not all just display ads on other sites.

Are shrinking attention spans posing a threat to user retention?

@EricLanderSEO   No, shrinking attention spans are posing a threat to efficient web design and user experience conventions.

@Sonray   When you are optimizing a page for a user who skims, then yes, it’s already happened.

@directom   Mktg has always been an attention game. The important thing is to shift focus to where user’s attention is shifting.

@LindsayMineo   Philosophical answer – Are attention spans really shrinking or is there just that much crap to sift through?

@StoreCoach   I think so. You have such a small window to hook someone. It can be tough to find the right recipe.

@netvantage   Yes, yes, yes, yes yes. People want info/products/services now! If they can’t find it right away, they will go elsewhere.

@thompsonpaul   Philosophical answer-so many visitors expect what they want to be quick/easy. Often its simply more complex than they admit.

@ammicallef   That and the fact that there’s always going to be something newer to try instead. Your brand will become old news really fast.

@LindsayMineo   Actual answer – Yeah, probably. But hopefully having an awesome product/service, and customer service will help keep them.

Summary: How to Win More Search Results in Visual Social on #SEOchat

Moderator: @lisabuyer

Beyond search engines: How are you optimizing to get found in visual social networks?

@BruceClayInc   Make sure you save the file name of the image with the words you want to be found for in search!
@lisabuyer   So many times this is a true blue winner!

@HeroicSearch   We try to make up infographics, especially for our clients. They tend to spread easily.
@megafterwine   I use @canva all the time. They are fantastic – especially now that they opened up options for #brands and #teams!

@oc2015   High-quality images & #hashtags are an easy way to get noticed by non-followers. Search for the #bufferchat from yesterday! awesome resources being talked about for visuals and infographs.

@simmonet   If you’re serious about being found, topic research, paid & hashtag strategies are mandates!

@AndreeaC_T   Keywords in title, description, and also keywords in associated hashtags.

@CaitlinBoroden   Some good old hashtags in Instagram! Speaking of IG – anyone experiment with ads yet?

@StoreCoach   Saving an image under a relevant title is key. Matching it to your alt text is a great way to keep track.

@netvantage   Any catching graphic is a great addition to a post. It is important to use an alt tag for that image too!

@VirginiaNussey   I tend to use the same SEO + marketing principles in all my posts & images. Weigh descriptive words with interest getting ones.

@fighto   Pay attention to image dimensions (depending on social networks), use social mircodata (like OGP), and pay attention to KWs. For KWs, segment Google Trends by Image Search & use suggestion from Google image auto-complete. Pinterest suggestions also rec.

@ExpWriters   Optimize kws in all image titles. Infographics are a huge tool for visual SEO. Optimize the file names for infographic uploads.

@EricLanderSEO   File names are key, and then focus on media specific XML sitemaps and Search Console data. Finally, optimize use in media

@katkins415   research social influencers

We’re living in a visual, mobile, social world. Which visual network’s trending up for your brand/why?

@HeroicSearch   We haven’t dabbled in the real visual platforms, IG or Pinterest, but Twitter seems to be doing a lot for us, otherwise.

@AndreeaC_T   You have to hop on the video bandwagon– #Periscope @blab Take those videos & integrate with email provided by @inviterbiz.

@VirginiaNussey   Check it out #seochat! @BruceClayInc just launched IG https://instagram.com/bruceclayinc/ Looking to other digital agency brands for inspo.

@oc2015   #Instagram is growing at a faster rate than Facebook was at the same age. Use it.

@EricLanderSEO   Instagram is trending up across the board as more advertisers are being accepted into their native ads platforms.
@simmonet   IG currently an expensive proposition for ads. Waiting for affordable control.
@EricLanderSEO   For brands less consumer oriented, Facebook has been showing good returns w/ minimal boost investments, too.

@simmonet   For us @Pinterest rocks! Our mantra “Dream. Discover. Design.” Aligns with opportunities in the platform.

@StoreCoach   GIFs on Google+ have always performed well for me. People seem to just eat it up.

@ExpWriters   We started a biz Instagram 2 months ago. 200 organic followers & a client inquiry already. Don’t overlook this visual platform!

@netvantage   Infographics on @Pinterest do really well for us.

@anandan22   Instagram is picking up well. Thanks to filter effects and advertising features.

@setupablogtoday   Pinterest sends huge amounts of traffic to my blog as I design shareable images for my post.

@emily_C27   Pinterest and Insta for visuals, potential for Twitter too, since not everyone incorporates them.

Pinworthy: “Pinterest is the new Google” says @GuyKawasaki. Agree? Share Pinterest optimization tips.

@HeroicSearch   Def use hashtags. Use keywords in your board title and descript. as well as in pins. But not too many!

@AndreeaC_T   It definitely can be…especially for how-to’s and #ecom.

@EricLanderSEO   Pinterest doesn’t work for a large audience, though. Boards can rank, but exposure is limited. Reminds me of StumbleUpon.

@netvantage   The image is the most important part. @Pinterest is visual first!

@KristiKellogg   Vertical images perform better on #Pinterest (the majority of people access it from mobile). Ideal size: 735 X 1102 pixels.

@Navahk   Just pin it! On avg. Pinners spend $50 per order— higher than orders that come from Facebook & Twitter.

@oc2015   Completely dependent on market. #Pinterest is still 70% female users.
@lisabuyer   Males are starting to #Discover #Pinterest
@oc2015   I agree (myself included) but I have a correction: as of Oct 2015, 85% female users!
@EricLanderSEO   “Starting” while so many women have begun to abandon regular use of the service.

@anandan22   I dont agree. Its beneficial only in limited industries. Its penetration in Eastern countries is ltd.
@AndreeaC_T   There is definitely a more segmented audience for sure.

@BruceClayInc   Use rich pins. Optimize source URL. Align boards with #Pinterest categories. More tips here.
@simmonet   Aligning it’s wPinterest categories is key. But make board titles clickeworthy too!

@ExpWriters   We’ve created a “board” for each of our services, ie Blogging, Social Media, etc, & pin relevant daily blogs. Gr8 traffic source.

@fighto   No way! It’s definitely a sweet social network, but Guy Kawasaki tends to get really excited and then abandons things.

@simmonet   Ahem. It’s not new Google. But. Great discovery & branding platform. Board names need to inspire clicks.

SEO Insta Pause: How are you leveraging the power of Instagram for your brand?

@HeroicSearch   We haven’t picked it up for ourselves yet. There is definitely a big market there. Just not ours.. yet.

@emily_C27   More audience engagement- giveaways-like & follow..etc

@anandan22   We at @hcltech are using it for #employerbranding, #events, expressing business propositions creatively.

@oc2015   #Instagram not only reaches new users and delights current users, but has a signif larger focus on #millennials and younger gen. Insta also allows for much more targeted content if you want it.

@EricLanderSEO   As @simmonet pointed out, the cost of IG is too high for most. Leverage hashtags for maximum reach.

@simmonet   It hasn’t been brilliant. But we’re plodding and hopeful.

Living in a Millennial world: How do we get found – optimize – in apps like Snapchat?

@EricLanderSEO   Mostly unrelated – but there’s a huge @Snapchat billboard in the Boston area. Other cities seeing the same?

@HeroicSearch   Tough. Other than a name, I’m not sure its really possible to optimize SnapChat, yet. Would love to hear thoughts from. However if you drive people to snapchat.. or create compelling content there, people may come to you. Ex: Create a funny snap story, people may want to show it, begin talking about it elsewhere.

@ExpWriters   Natural engagement. Searching for high traffic #s, liking and following posters. Posting high quality imgs with high traffic #s. Snapchat is a great storytelling platform. However, not for everyone & all brands. Time can be spent better on other platforms.

@lisabuyer   Leveraging other social networks and cross promoting can drive activity to @Snapchat – but it is tough!
@EricLanderSEO   Agreed. I’ve mostly notice athletes making the crossover to populate their accounts there – but brands have trouble.

@StoreCoach   Having a consistent story which is entertaining and informative is a good start on creating brand awareness.

@simmonet   Don’t think we get discovered easily. But we can leverage for content / brand which may lead to discovery.

Sources: VSMM is becoming competitive, what are some of your favorite visual sources, platforms?

@Navahk   Create visuals (aka snaps) to make a Snapchat Story.

@lisabuyer   We are @canva lovers – I want people to stop finding out about it! So it’s our little secret.

@Navahk    <3 @Canva

@DanielleLeitch   It may not be new or sexy, but YouTube is a great #VSMM platform for our clients. Lots of opptys and wide audience there.

Tool: What tools do you use to create and optimize visuals?

@CaitlinBoroden   Images are huge on @reddit and lead to sweet sweet karma if done right. Blatant promotions do not go over well on Reddit. Keep it subtle and take the opportunity to engage.. a lot! WhatTheFont is nifty! Also, @theleagueof has some fantastic fonts for image overlays.
@oc2015   @Photoshop & @Illustrator for visuals that have some wiggle room. @buffer Pablo for visuals when I’m in a pinch.

@emily_C27   Canva’ the best! How do you all optimize your @canva images?
@lisabuyer   Sizing, file names, filters are good starters.

@StoreCoach   Love the versatility @canva provides. Excellent tool for creating awesome infographics.

@ExpWriters   @Adobe suite can’t be beat. Next is @canva. Optimizing = WP Yoast plugins.

@Navahk   Size tool: For ex. if I want the largest font for FB ads, the tool I use is FB Text overlay.

Hacks: What are some visual hacks you use to get the best results in social?

@KristiKellogg   Here is a whole LIST of design tips for the non-designer from @DustinWStout.

@oc2015   Infographics are great, using a pop-culture reference once in a while helps. Generally, just make awesome visual content.
@simmonet   We had fun with an interactive ‘infographic’ & popular culture. #GameOfHomes

@ExpWriters   Simple visual hack. We re-purpose infographics for a lot more traction = upload as blog & @SlideShare & guest blog.

@Navahk   @Canva layouts, saves so much time. Using Emojis in your social messaging! They make you more likable (or favoriteable) via @larrykim #Pubcon

Brand: How can you use visuals to make a brand statement?

@simmonet   How can you without? Okay you can… but people remember visuals over text x a lot.

@oc2015   Visuals elicit emotional responses#branding can make or break your company, so invest in design.

@Navahk   A picture is worth a 1000 words. The is real-time w/ a low attention span. Say it with an image!

@lisabuyer   @Ekaterina used certain tints on images when she was Social Media Leader @ Intel to make images stand out and be brand centric.

@ExpWriters   Tell a story. Involve cartoons, drawings, doodles. Be unique, fun. Our Arabian nights character.

Bottom Line: How can you increase conversions using visuals?

@oc2015   Bottom line, good visuals & #design make people happy. happy people convert

@CaitlinBoroden   Good visuals catch my eye. If you have my attention I just may convert.

@katkins415   It’s almost impossible to get conversions without visuals. Make them unique and engaging.

@HeroicSearch   Good visuals catch the attention. Keep catching their attention. Get them into your funnel.

@simmonet   It’s additive. We promote pins on Pinterest and they drive visits / conversions.

@Navahk   Add a CTA in your image.

@Shortoutloud   Color, Color, Color. Using something that pops draws your audience in.

Measure: How do we know when visuals are working?

@emily_C27   Social response is always a good indicator..likes, faves, rt’s, followers!

@oc2015   Much tougher to answer, especially visuals on social. #Twitter and FB show you engagement metrics but analytics wise is harder.

@HeroicSearch   Traffic increases from where ever you’ve posted your visual. Clicks. Increases in engagement. Even possibly sales.

@ExpWriters   People comment positively. They share, rt, engage with your visuals. Actual engagement = visuals are working.

@kkopacz1   How do you create visuals if you are not saavy with photo shop & other tools?
@HeroicSearch   Tools like @Canva can help you get started.

Books and Blogs: Call out your favorite resources of keeping up with visuals

@oc2015   @Behance, @fromupnorth just to name a couple that have daily updates.

@CaitlinBoroden   Looks for round up posts on your topic of choice. Usually some great inspiration hidden within.

@ExpWriters   @Canva has a design school. It’s pretty sweet. Some of the @Adobe blogs are great to follow for tips/knowledge, too.

@Navahk   Art of Social Media @PegFitzpatrick @GuyKawasaki, @Canva blog, & your book #SocialPRSecrets.

@kkopacz1   The key is to design each visual in a way that asks your fans or followers take some sort of action; Download, Subscribe, Comment.

@lisabuyer   I like The Power of Visual Storytelling by @Ekaterina and also The Art of Social by @GuyKawasaki and @PegFitzpatrick

@daphnecastillo   Digging the @shuttlerock blog.