Summary: How, When & What Resources to Use for GIFs to Excite Your Content on #SEOchat

Moderator: @MatthewAYoung

Why should you use GIFs?

@kkenyon86   1. Eyecatching 2. Emphasize other content 3. Too much fun not to!

@Affil4you   the best way to break the ice!

Is there a downside to including GIFs in content and social posts?

Do Animated GIFs Have a Place in Content Marketing?

@Tinu   Sometimes they Are content marketing, as are all types of images. Folks are getting creative- saw a Great howto GIF last week.
@MatthewAYoung   Yes, Good for jokes, but you can do so much more with Gifs

@Affil4you   I Say yes if your doing your own
@MatthewAYoung   Indeed. We will get to that. Don’t steal my thunder

Is there a difference in performance for content with/without GIFs?

@MatthewAYoung   True. Testing is always good in my book. And i almost posted this Seinfeld gif

@CaitlinBoroden   I personally feel like I remember content with GIFs better. That might just be me. Anyone else?

@MatthewAYoung   Great #strangerthings reference! Put this in your queue right now if you havent watched it, but i digress..

What impact do GIFs have on SEO?

@khepritech   Depends on your alt text?

@MatthewAYoung   I think the jury may be out. Clear benefit is to engagement, but what about technical SEO? Page load times, image optimization.

@Affil4you   Alt tex! and optimize for load time

What tools do you use to create GIFs?

@iankeir1   I’ve used @giphy before

@TheBuyerGroup   @giphy is one of our favorite gif makers

@MatthewAYoung   @YouTube allows you to create gifs from any video as well.

@_GreenRush_   @giphy and ScreenToGif are pretty good. Also @Adobe (cough, @MatthewAYoung)

Break out your favorite GIF!

Summary: How to Pick a Kick@$$ Domain on #SEOchat

Moderator: @BruceClayInc

Have you ever registered a domain?

@KristiKellogg   Yes, for myself (http://KristiKellogg.com )

@jpsherman   I’ve registered dozens of domains, both personally & professionally & few things are so mind-wracking.
@BruceClayInc   The domain registration process is troublesome?
@jpsherman   not so much the process, but getting the right mix of unique, memorable & descriptive

@paulaspeak   Yep, picked up a cute name that was unregistered at GoDaddy.

@MatthewAYoung   Absolutely – I’ve registered my fair share of domains

@kkenyon86   Yep, freelance clients!

@PeterThistle   Ok, starting with an easy one: yes, I have registered many domains!

@Maddigler   yes, just for my fashion blog though (http://www.chunkyandfunkymaddie.com )

@beaupedraza   Absolutely. First domain was in 2000, last one is slated for next week, by sheer coincidence

@Beymour   Too many to count. Seriously, I have a problem. The sad part is that most probably won’t ever amount to anything

What’s your worst horror story about starting a new domain?

@Maddigler   Well anything involving godaddy usually warrants horror stories when registering a domain
@gretchenfisk   how so? I’ve been thinking about going down the godaddy route.

@LauraLeeSEO   Indecisive clients

@jpsherman   a domain squatting company owned the domain for my name for 5 years before I was able to finally get it

@MatthewAYoung   God-awful domain names, ugh. Even worse, when clients ask for EMDs. Face, meet palm.

@kkenyon86   Luckily, I’ve only done just the one, and, so far, no hitches!

@jpsherman   had a client with a domain like keyword-keyword-keyword-keyword-dude’sname.com

@beaupedraza   I received a cease & desist letter from the handlers of a world-famous, Napster-feuding rock band for my parody site in 2000. The best part? I was close to 18! Using Flash, I created a game that allowed one to visually “hit” an outspoken member.

@Beymour   I work in the cannabis industry, so I bought cannabisediblearrangements.com + several others. Got a nice C&D from Edible Arrangements

@BruceClayInc   A client w/o consulting us got .net version of name & redirected at .com. Lost all Google rankings!

@BRAVOMedia1   Worse issue is when you’re wking w/ client who doesn’t own their domain it’s reg 2 old developer or YP’s

What tools do you use and how do you research the history of a domain?

@MatthewAYoung   Backlink profile tools are key in determining the efficacy of a domain – I use @ahrefs and @Majestic for sure. I remember a client I once had when I was with @BruceClayInc – bought a bad domain and Google thought it was an adult site.

@jpsherman   maybe i’m weird or doing it wrong, I love domains with a clean slate – of course a good archive + whois search is critical

@Beymour   Wayback Machine, backlink tools (OSE, @Majestic, @ahrefs), also @screamingfrog

@KristiKellogg   Another good tool to research domain history is http://archives.org

@BRAVOMedia1   Aside of whois – love the Wayback Machine https://archive.org/web/

What criteria do you consider when choosing a domain name?

@jpsherman   memorable, unique & descriptive – even when domain + urls w/ keywords helped a lot, avoided them. I love picking domains that can be translated into a brand, something that evokes a picture in someone’s head.
@LauraLeeSEO   I agree with all this. I really try to create something unique and catchy that plays into the client’s industry.

@Maddigler   Easy to remember, descriptive, and speaks to the brand

@VirginiaNussey   Length, simplicity, memorability, domain age, timelessness, keywords (used tastefully) Peep for tips

@beaupedraza   Zeitgeist & scope of the market. Better to be early on the scene & there for those who use vernacular. Vowel-dropping is passe.

@BRAVOMedia1   Choosing a domain that is the business name or closely represents the business

@kkenyon86   Relevancy, spelling, & most important consult the sarcastic part of my brain (how it could be taken).

@paulaspeak   Lots of good domain names don’t have keywords. Unique and easy to remember are more important, IMO. #branding ensues.

@PeterThistle   for domain names: invoke the KISS principle
@BruceClayInc   Simplicity is good! By “invoke the KISS principle” do you primarily mean keep domains short?

On the flip side, what types of things should you avoid when choosing a domain name?

@jpsherman   might be wandering into “get off my lawn territory” but overly clever TLDs

@LauraLeeSEO   With few exceptions…a domain that is purely a chain of keywords or a long tail kw phrase. Hate. Loathe.
@Beymour   yeah, but despite Google saying KW-rich domains don’t work, I’ve seen plenty of times they work REALLY well. Also, there’s evidence that KW-rich DBAs correlate with higher local pack rankings.
@BruceClayInc   Local #SEO and keyword-rich business names … just to complicate exact match domain discussions.

@BRAVOMedia1   Buying an old domain without researching the history on it

@beaupedraza   Obv accidental word merge (see Connery, Sean). Nebulous eye-glaze names like Initech. Bad domain history too.

@PeterThistle   Sometimes domain choice can be too specific, limiting later business expansion into new markets, services.

Have you or any clients you worked with been affected by an exact match domain (EMD) penalty?

@jpsherman   while at an agency, had a lot of clients post-penalty for EMD – 60% of the time, required migration

@beaupedraza   Sadly, know too many ppl still trying to sell sunglasses,etc on domains smacked down. Growing up in exurbs will do that to us.

Have you registered a domain with a TLD besides .com?

@Beymour   I recently purchased some .co domains, also a few .orgs, when approperiate. Never been a fan of .net – no particular reason

@BruceClayInc   In case you want to reference all the TLD options available to you

@VirginiaNussey   .yoga, .ninja … too clever as @jpsherman thinks, or fun options? Hmmm… I like options.
@jpsherman   options are good, but… i could just feel the eyerolls of the visitors … of course that could be my paranoia.

@beaupedraza   Yes! Also, a good friend of mine used his last name’s spelling as a resource and was able to use the .land TLD!

@BRAVOMedia1   I love .com but when it’s not available .best instead?

@jpsherman   I once bought a .ninja domain probably while under whiskey’s influence, worst $10 i ever spent.
@PeterThistle   Heh, what about .guru .rockstar .wizard .jedi .legend ?
@jpsherman   OMG, there’s a .jedi? I must have one now. (i’ll never learn)

@PeterThistle   I have one client with a .net. He’s very niche but honestly can’t say it’s having any negative impact at all vs a .com.
@BruceClayInc   .net is legit, especially with some decent age.

Do you register all the variations of a domain (.net, .org) or is that unnecessary?

@beaupedraza   Depends on the client & circumstance. For local wannabe politicos and friends w/presence, I have, but I have to draw line. Re: registering variations, I usually stop w the old school, unless there’s a perk in going new-school, I suppose.
@BruceClayInc   Seems a good way to cover the bases. .net, .org, .co, .biz, .com — that’ll do.

@RyanJones   I don’t think domain extension matters for SEO. Get what you like. Buy the others if you want to protect brand/trademark. I think they correlate but only because some are super cheap and why pay more for spam. But no causation.
@VirginiaNussey   so you haven’t seen evidence of blanket TLD discrimination? It’d be such a shame.

If a domain has a questionable past, what steps do you take to clean it up before launching it?

@beaupedraza   I cry. Then I hit hard. Disavows, noodp if older focus, push all aspects of content mktg to drive flame sites down. PPC helps.
@BruceClayInc   Plan of action for domain clean up when there’s a lurid history.

What are the worst or funniest (perhaps unintended) domain names you’ve seen?

@jpsherman   wish i remembered the domain, but at an agency, worked on a social network for swingers only

@beaupedraza   Not the best but buyagelessmale.com infomercials at 3am = “Why would I wanna buy a jealous male?”

@Beymour   Actually came across this list a couple months ago. Some really good ones here.
@paulaspeak   Oh those are some amazing #fails: Itscrap.com , Whorepresents.com …

Do you research copyrights before registering a domain to prevent trademark infringement?

@beaupedraza   70% of time. Speaking of, I like how @distilled and @dstld dance around naming conventions.

@BruceClayInc   We’ve got an article on How to Choose a Domain up on our site. Let us know if there’s anything you’d add.

@beaupedraza   Oh yeah, I almost forgot: If you buy a domain, make sure to check for subdomains. Ex: finance.youngmoney.com

Summary: Stuck in an SEO rut? We’ll talk Creatively Building an SEO Strategy on #SEOchat

Moderator: @OC2015

How do you work your own, personal creativity into your #SEO process?

@OC2015   Personally, I try to visualize and get as much as possible down on paper. Much easier to recognize patterns if its drawn for me.

@Sonray   most of my good ideas hit me while I’m cycling. exercise and being in the mountains grounds me & gives creativity.

@MatthewAYoung   Form a narrative for SEO. People respond well to stories, especially if it can make them money
@jacquesbouchard   Yes! I also use the power of metaphors. #seochat Like this, from a real client conversation.

@PeterThistle   Mind mapping.

@jacquesbouchard   Curiosity is my superpower. When I find new data, or a new way of looking at it, I creatively assimilate it into my work.

@Affil4you   Honestly by working with clients and on topics that we have a passion about.

@iankeir1   For me it’s about looking for odd connections. Everything is connected in some way, so it’s looking for how that effects #seo

@BRAVOMedia1   Personally by being Inspired & Inspirit & a little classical music while working.

@_GreenRush_   It’s important to draw conclusions based on your own data. Don’t blindly trust SEO advice, regardless who it’s coming from.
@iankeir1   very true. SEO is constantly evolving, and those hard and fast rules become outdated fast.

@chrismaxson   I find myself trying to include memes into decks or requests. It lightens the mood.

Deliverables! Do they have to be boring spreadsheets? How do you create visualizations for better understanding & enjoyment?

@BerkleyBikes   I’ve been working on making deliverables shorter & more digestable whenever possible.

@chrismaxson   No boring spreadsheets! Charts & images are good. For words, less is more. Concise & to the point. Sometimes lots of data and explanation are needed. That’s what the appendix is for.

@MatthewAYoung   Deliverables should not be boring, period! SEO has a bad enough perception problem. Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve been using @adobe Slate to present recommendations to clients. Great visual format! Go to https://spark.adobe.com/ – gives peeps a way to easily create visual stories, images, video.

@jacquesbouchard   After @IAsummit, I’ve been inspired to visualize my data in new ways.The perspectives there really planted some seeds. Along with that, I try to make my reports educational and pieces of advocacy. That means including a narrative.

@OC2015   Branding is big. we make sure that while the information is there, it also looks professional & branded to increase buy-in.

@BRAVOMedia1   Ha! Love this one.Showing the client they R #1 organic spot for their most important query in the SERP!

@Affil4you   No you can make them fun and engaging for your team. Mind maps and webs are great. No you can make them fun and engaging for your team. Mind maps and webs are great.

@iankeir1   I’ve been trying to incorporate more graphs and charts to show data. Screenshots are also helpful.

@_GreenRush_   As long as you’re showing bottom line improvements (ROI), most clients wouldn’t care if you wrote it on a napkin in lipstick. The presentation isn’t as important as *what* you’re reporting. Vanity metrics, rankings & traffic are great – $$$ matters most.
@OC2015   What about increasing comprehension of where the ROI is coming from? #DataVisualization
@_GreenRush_   Totally! It’s important to highlight which specific tactics of your overall strategy are providing the most value

@emily_C27   I love the visuals, and clients appreciate them too. The more pie charts, the merrier!

How can #SEOs use #DesignThinking as a base for SEO strategy?

@Affil4you   Honestly when design and content come together the sales flow is so much smoother.

@jacquesbouchard   This is where the #uxdesign piece of SEO comes in: mobile compatibility, visitor retention, conversion optimization, etc. If you can’t create an engaging and visually relevant experience, it doesn’t matter how many visitors you bring in.

@chrismaxson   If it gets to the root of the customer (give people what they want), that pretty much aligns with the intent of search engines.

@_GreenRush_    We’re really on the precipice of search engines being able to effectively rank websites based on user signals. As this tech evolves, the line between SEO and UX/design will become increasingly blurred.
@jacquesbouchard   I think that’s been true for a year or two. Plus, good UX has always been connected to earning links.

@chrismaxson   It seems like a good way to put yourself in the mindset of the customer, which is good for every channel.

How important is it for #SEOs to be creatively educated and to practice creativity? (I.e. design/ux/ui)

@_GreenRush_   For sure! Ultimately that’s what matters most to users, & therefore Google. Might as well put your site ahead of the curve. At a minimum, SEOs should have a solid understanding how UX/design and consumer psychology work.
@untypicalman    and designers/creatives should now the bases of SEO and always keep updated on changes etc.

@chrismaxson   More important than ever! SEO is so much more than technical, and works better when users get what they want.
@_GreenRush_   Absolutely! It’s tough to “fake” a good UX. At least for now lol – you know how that goes.

@iankeir1   Creativity is important for SEO’s because SEO isn’t just about the data, but also needs to have the visitor in mind.

@untypicalman   Is your strategy easy to digest? Does it support a goal, tactics? Is it appealing? Does it match the brand voice? It is important to serve the info effectively but also offer the best experience. They should go together. I am also that voice in my team that always brings it up. I also do Lunch and Learn presentations about it.

@chrismaxson   Even if you don’t believe engagement signals influence rankings, conversions still matter for the bottom line & creative helps.

@jacquesbouchard   Creativity clearly benefits ANY SEO. But it’s also something that gives an SEO an edge, and we all have our share of “edges”.

@OC2015   Truth be told, I’m in #UX now, and not traditional #SEO. But I’m using skills from both every day to shape strategy.

@BRAVOMedia1   #SEO Creativity is intelligence having FUN!

Lets put this to practice then: Stuck on a keyword strategy; how do you move beyond the stereotypical ways of doing it?

@chrismaxson   Not always easy, but crowd sourcing can help. Show people a picture of your product and ask what they would search for.

@OC2015   I map out pages im working on (how they flow), label the user intent, doodle around, draw out flows, BOOM new keywords.

@chrismaxson   Look in social media for what people are talking about related to your product/service. What things are consistent? Market research might seem old school, but it can still work. Use technology to help: surveymonkey, reddit, forums, etc.

@_GreenRush_   Google autocomplete is great for KW insights and missed opportunities. Also, @Moz’s new keyword research tool is 100.

@untypicalman   Weird but – I do Image Search, see the auto complete and the image tags.

@BRAVOMedia1   Just SEARCH it!

@iankeir1   I usually try Google Autocomplete, or I come back to the page/s and take another look to make sure I haven’t missed something. I also find it helpful to dig into search queries in GA. Helpful to see what people are already searching for on my site.

@CloudKettle   Consider the problem or pain points your product solves – this will help you brainstorm what people could search to find you.

@untypicalman   Also think outside the box – use descriptive words that define your product/term. Ex: “Freckles” -> “brown spots on arms”

Summary: Conducting SEO Site Audits on #SEOchat

Moderator: @ChrisJEverett

In 2016, what are some shocking fundamental SEO mistakes you still find during SEO site audits?

@EricLanderSEO   The most prevalent issues are related to page titles, headings and URL composition. Simple but still SO effective. More shocking is that basics and fundamentals are nonexistent, but the client asks for help honing microdata. That’s happened.
@ChrisJEverett   It’s like hearing about a new gadget that’s come out and you have to have it!
@EricLanderSEO   It’s so true! This week, it’s all about AMP. And I’m just wondering when we can eliminate querystring URLs.

@seanvanguilder   Using keywords meta tag, no meta descriptions, redundant domains. list is too long for twitter. One more, using images for text. ugh!
@EricLanderSEO   Just wrapped a micro audit last week where I needed a 30 minute call to defend removal suggestion for KWs.

@TylerTafelsky   Blank/dupe titles and metas, for the obvi. No logical naming conventions. URLs that make you LOL. Part II. No fricken site map.
@EricLanderSEO   Same with this too. The fact that some sites can have upwards of ~35% of their URLs without titles astounds.

@bravomedia1   Too Many to List, Duplicate Meta, Dirty Code, Poor Page Speed, Non-mobile Friendly, Bad User Exp, ETC!
@ChrisJEverett   All are issues we still deal with here with prospective clients.

@MatthewAYoung   Lack of robots.txt, sitemaps, clean URLs, muddled navigation structure. Face, meet palm.

@iankeir1   Little understanding of why backlinks are useful, and how they can hurt. A colleague came across a site that had de-indexed the entire site in the robots.txt.
@MatthewAYoung   That recently happened with a site im working. We were blamed for de-indexation, when they added NOINDEX tags.
@EricLanderSEO   1st day on my current job 4 years ago, that happened. Task: Get site indexed. Fix? Remove the X-Robots tag.
@iankeir1   Such a simple fix, but so basic to being found. Seems like my job is education very often
@EricLanderSEO   That’s a great point. My auditing is not “This bad, fix” but more “This can be better, here’s why and how.”
@ChrisJEverett   I recently saw a site that “needed improved visibility” … 10 seconds to identify the No Index, No Follow.

@Tinu   Not shocking but keyword stuffing, no robots.txt file or XML site map, crap content, sad site architecture. List is Long.
@MatthewAYoung   I run into that a lot, where theyve taken a single page and optimized it with a single keyword. Old school SEO.

@cjmonteblanco   No Webmaster Tools setup for Google/Bing, plugins for adding metadata or redirects, and stock content. Very terrible.

@Rob_Bonham   Loads and loads of thin content that offer little to no value.

@thompsonpaul   Nine! different variations of the homepage indexed and diluting authority. For a major national site.
@EricLanderSEO   I’d worked on a similar client recently w/ a duplicative instance across www and non www and http and https.

@Affil4you   I find internal links are still frequently missed.

What are some of the most common “low hanging fruit” opportunities you find during SEO Site Audits?

@EricLanderSEO   Search console verification, titles, URL structure, XML Sitemaps, internal linking, META Desc, media optimization – in order.
@thompsonpaul   Yup, all that, plus upper/lower case, index.asp etc.
@EricLanderSEO   .aspx! That brought me back to managing ISAPI Rewrite in IIS, and now I feel… Old. Just really old.
@thompsonpaul   ISAPI Rewrite?? Dude… you ARE old! And that’s me right there in the rocking chair beside ya 🙂

@seanvanguilder   Ties into Q1, but refreshing evergreen content, de-duping titles/descriptions, internal link profile.

@Rob_Bonham   Cleaning up dup title tags, missing meta descriptions, redirecting internal broken links to relevant live content.

@bravomedia1   Add XML.Sitemap, Clean up Code, Condense Graphics, Alt Tag Images, H tags, Add G-Analytics, GSC, BingWMT. Just did a site audit client asks why does GSC show kw’s for viagra?? Um quick look -component injected bad rss feed into site!

@MatthewAYoung   Duplicate content has been a big one for me lately, esp with URLs and parameters. The canonical was invented for a reason.
@ChrisJEverett   So many development firms still don’t use canonical tags.

@Tinu   Rankings for long tail keywords that are converting. Hi! Can we just build from that?

@thompsonpaul   Fixing all the disastrous IIS default settings that ruin SEO – canonicalisation, single-case URLs, site speed. Fixing Google Analytics implementations for accurate data – can’t count # of sites w/ double tracking codes & no spam filtering.
@EricLanderSEO   Heh. In my audit questionnaire I often ask for IPs they use most and that opens up a similar can of worms.

@beaupedraza   Crawl depth/indexation issues via @screamingfrog and URL parameter woes. Can spot it a mile away now.

@iankeir1   For me it’s been adding title/meta tags, compress images, and a quick search for orphan content.

@Tinu   Speed. So often a simple fix.

@TylerTafelsky   Getting text on the page. Implementing #schema (especially for local SEO.) Uniquifying/keyword optimizing titles n’ metas.

@cjmonteblanco   Titles and metas! Especially after the latest Google update in the SERPs. I wrote a blog on the topic.

@cjmonteblanco   Image/video optimization is another major one. It’s too comoon that they lack such content or don’t have tags/descriptions.
@ChrisJEverett   Great point! People still miss simple things like Image ALTs and optimized file names.

@MatthewAYoung   Pages rendering with and without trailing slashes. Love that one like Chewie likes to smash this guitar.

@BerkleyBikes   Cross domain tracking is implemented wrong (often across two CMSes), so site sessions are inflated & conversion rate drops.

What are the most critical OFF-site optimization factors you look for when conducting SEO Audits?

@seanvanguilder   Backlink quality, NAP consistency, citaions.

@cjmonteblanco   How does their social presence look like on GMB, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Bing, and Yelp?

@EricLanderSEO   Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, & Google Analytics – then social accounts and link profile / velocity. Notion there being, get access to measure it all, then figure out where you’re at. Many audit buyers don’t have accounts. Honorable mention: The client as an off page factor. Was asked to improve rankings once for “(not provided)” once.
@bravomedia1   @EricLanderSEO Nailed it – No Google Properties – zero benchmarks
@beaupedraza   This + I love to see how biz fits into a bigger plan. Auto SEOs – think Tier 2/3. Boon for social/links.

@BerkleyBikes   Backlinks, Google My Business profiles if Local is a thing for the client.
@cjmonteblanco   Is local ever not a thing? Lol. It should be their primary goal to rank in their area before getting ambitious
@BerkleyBikes   Yes, if the site’s focus is national and not specific to one area. Think e-commerce.
@cjmonteblanco   Still like to include their HQ or area where founded in the description. People like knowing they’re local.
@BerkleyBikes   I disagree. If strictly e-commerce, there’s no reason for their HQ to rank locally. No reason to set up GMB.

@iankeir1   Looking at referrals in GA. Tells me a lot about a site.

@MatthewAYoung   Links and social footprint. I want to see the effectiveness of content. Visibility is often impacted by other marketing efforts, so I want to look at display, email campaigns, paid social, etc.

@TylerTafelsky   Pinpointing spam/unnatural backlinks as well as inaccurate and inconsistent citations. Proper tracking.

@beaupedraza   Esp when you have a major event w/ big social traction/shares. The uptick w links & imps = opp for fresh content visibility.

What are the 3 most essential tools you use for conducting #SEO Site Audits?

@iankeir1   Screaming Frog, Open Site Explorer, Google Analytics/WBT.

@EricLanderSEO   Easy: @screamingfrog @ahrefs and webpagetest.org
@EricLanderSEO   This of course assumes you have Google Analytics, Search Console, Bing WMT and AdWords access headed in.

@seanvanguilder   Only 3? @screamingfrog, @semrush, @ahrefs.

@MatthewAYoung   I use @screamingfrog for heavy data collection, @ahrefs and @semrush. And a bunch of others. So many tools.
@EricLanderSEO   Good point. @semrush & @spyfu in comprehensive audits w/ competitive and industry analysis.

@cjmonteblanco   Google Search Console/Analytics, @ahrefs @screamingfrog.

@thompsonpaul   Three tools – 1-BRAIN! 2-@ScreamingFrog, 3-@cognitiveseo. (Aside from GA & GSC/BWT)

@bravomedia1   #1 The SEO Expert Mind, W3C, G-Analytics/GSC (if ur lucky), @screamingfrog
@ChrisJEverett   Great point on the #SEO Mind @bravomedia1! If you don’t know what you’re doing the tools are worthless!

@beaupedraza   Screaming Frog, Majestic, SEMRush. Hon mention: Interns.

@TylerTafelsky   Ahrefs, Raven Tools, Google Webmaster Tools, to name a few of the essentials.

Approx what % of Websites you’ve done SEO audits on in 2016 a) use schema b) are mobile friendly?

@ChrisJEverett   It still shocks me how many websites aren’t mobile friendly.

@seanvanguilder   a) none, b) about 75%
@ChrisJEverett   Not even Local Business Markup?

@bravomedia1   Easy ? – None!

@iankeir1   I would say for a: 40-45%, and for b: 75%. It amazes me more people don’t use schema. It’s becoming more essential to be found in the era of semantic search.

@EricLanderSEO   Schema: Use it? ~50%. Without warnings/errors? 0%; Mobile? I’d say ~75% are mobile friendly in my limited estimate sample. I’d say that SSL/HTTPS, Schema/Microdata & Mobile/PageSpeed are the most frequent issues beyond the basics.

@Tinu   Ahrefs, Moz & a purchased hour of another professional’s time to double check my findings. 2 heads, all that.

@khepritech   We need way more focus on mobile for most clients than SEO.

@beaupedraza   a) <1%, b) 85% in Seattle, 60% in Houston. Both rising.

@TylerTafelsky   a) 5% b) 65%

@cjmonteblanco   Almost no mobile friendly clients. A lot of selling opportunities though.

@MatthewAYoung   a) 50% and b)%100. I think a follow up question is how many clients are using AMP?

What, if any, consideration do you give to Social Media when conducting SEO Site Audits?

@seanvanguilder   That’s part of the competitive analysis portion and it weighs fairly heavy for me. Honestly can’t stand klout and could tell you why offline. mostly around SM engagement and strategy.

@emily_C27   I check their social signals and make sure all sm profiles are linking to and from the primary domain.

@EricLanderSEO   Plenty! OpenGraph & TwitterCard support is a great primer for link profile development & increased velocity. Don’t overlook SEO for Facebook, Twitter & G+ profiles. That domain authority is vital!
@ChrisJEverett   Yet another set of meta data rarely used by development firms today… thank god for @yoast.
@cjmonteblanco   Did you notice that GMB removed the description field? Goodbye 100 DA exact match anchor text!
@EricLanderSEO   Yes! But beware that other sources (via Moz Local) have limitations still too (last time I checked)

@thompsonpaul   Social Media review is a separate module client can add to an audit. Done properly, it’s a whole second audit.
@EricLanderSEO   Great point. For my SEO audits, the default offering is using social to augment links / off site SEO.
@thompsonpaul   Yup – I include rudimentary “is shit connected and working” but beyond that takes serious investigation for value.
@EricLanderSEO   That’s one of the primary differentiators between my Micro SEO Audits and my Comprehensive SEO Audits.

@bravomedia1   A lot! Step 1) Connecting the properties on their site Step 2) Managing the social properties.

@TylerTafelsky   what @emily_C27 said. Social is a big deal for SEO, whether Google explicitly says so or not.

@iankeir1   Checking the site for OpenGraph tags and Twitter cards and making sure social icons direct properly (you’d be surprised).

@MatthewAYoung   I pay a lot of attention to it, social profile optimization can make or break ORM. Plus, metrics show efficacy of the content.

@beaupedraza   Competitive gap analysis, looking for social traction w/correlation via Majestic. Angles, angles, angles for days.

SEO Consultants: do you charge potential clients to conduct an audit, or do you do it to build trust?

@seanvanguilder   We’re an agency, but yes we bill potential clients for a full audit. I’ll do a mini-audit to lure them in.

@EricLanderSEO   Charge for it, but that’s because I’m often brought in as the white labeled audit provider for SEO shops. In either case, audits tend to pave the road for ongoing SEO campaigns and management / consulting. Auditing is 90% of my SEO consulting, but this is why a major component is prioritizing all recommendations.
@ChrisJEverett   To do it right, you have to invest the time. Free audits get you automated reports with no insight.
@bravomedia1   The audit is the benchmark to moving forward.
@EricLanderSEO   Which is why education is so important. My audits are now more than 70 pages long!
@thompsonpaul   My audit reports tend to hit about 75 pages too – plus exec summary, prioritisation roadmap & data appendix.

@MatthewAYoung   As a consultant at @adobe who bills time, we have to charge. I don’t make the rules, just do the audits.

@bravomedia1   BILLABLE!!!!

@beaupedraza   Pre-audit, contract, then full audit. How can you win hearts & minds and close the deal if you can’t speak to the decay.
@ChrisJEverett   Good point. If you can’t tell them why they should hire you, how will they know?

@iankeir1   We charge for a full audit, however, use a quick, high level audit to get people in the door.

@emily_C27   Good one! I take a shallow dive during an initial client presentation and then charge for a full in-depth audit.

@cjmonteblanco   @In2itiveDigital offers prospects with a complimentary audit. It helps give them the bigger picture of the value of our work.

@bensmith130   I’ve work with agencies and manage in-house and an audit should always be free. Builds trust and an easy job.

@thompsonpaul   Many clients coming/sent to me already know they have issues – that’s why they approach. The audit IS the job.

@DaljeetkKaur   no, we don’t charge as Seo audit is the thing that showcase our potential to clients & make them trust on us.

How much longer before Accelerated Mobile Pages will become a standard check for #SEO Site Audits?

@seanvanguilder   Already is for myself.

@EricLanderSEO   Given yesterday’s news, it’s “one day ago.” AMP is here to stay, and infecting PPC as well.
@seanvanguilder   Absolutely. I’ve been recommending it to our existing clients and in audits for about 6 months now.

@iankeir1   We are already recommending it for clients in audits.

@thompsonpaul   AMP is already a standard check – which pretty well all fail to meet at this point – some for good reason, others not.

@bravomedia1   AMP is still in it’s infancy -but important to keep eyes on it. Right now works 4 news 1 graphic 1 video.

@TylerTafelsky   I still think it’s a bit too early to tell. But it does look promising in the coming months (maybe weeks.)

@beaupedraza   Now. Soon. Until they’re rendered redundant by tech innovations re: request/response, but I wouldn’t hold breath.

@seanvanguilder   Being that it is integrated into GSC, can count on it being a ranking factor for all.

Looking into the future, what optimization factors do you see gaining importance for #SEO Site Audits?

@EricLanderSEO   HTTP/2 support and deeper reviews into PageSpeed Insights.

@bravomedia1   HTTPS, Mobile & Page Speed.

@iankeir1   increased focus on speed, http2, and necessity of schema

@ChrisJEverett   Saw a stat in a tweet today that said only 30 percent of pages indexed are SSL.

@thompsonpaul   Yea, AMP, retargeting/conversion tracking pixels, voice search applicability, new schemas, https/TLS/http2.
@ChrisJEverett   Love the point on voice search applicability. Definitely headed that direction

@cjmonteblanco   Mobile friendly navigation menus! Check out my blog on restructing and optimizing your menu.

@beaupedraza   Protocol, speed (Site/Page/AMP), user engagement via Big Data. Last one is the challenge. Take Stats/SQL/R classes & dive.

@TylerTafelsky   Proper use of schema markup. Secure site. Mobile optimization. The connection of social media.

Summary: Why Content Strategy Is a Brand Builder, Not an SEO Accessory on #SEOchat

Moderator: @RonellSmith

@RonellSmith   Content strategy has been a hot topic for the last few years, but most brands/agencies were only paying lip service to it. It was too often an add-on to an SEO agreement or something brands half-heartedly committed to. Lately, however, I’m seeing more brands demand real, holistic content strategy & more agencies scramble to deliver it.

Weird as it seems, content strategy (even now) means different things to different brands. Why do you think that is?

@RonellSmith   It’s easy to lump it in w/content marketing strategy b/c we’re conditioned to view creation > strategy. W/o content strategy, it’s impossible to (a) know if the brand is headed in the right direction or (b) enjoy lasting success.

@oc2015   Content strategy is everything from the blogs you write, the social posts, the marketing message, & the brand tone

@chrismaxson   So many avenues for content to reach consumers. Each brand might need content strategy in several different areas.

@kkenyon86   I think it can depend on what the brands strengths are. If they are better at video, that’s their content and so on.

@Tinu   There’s not really a central consistent definition. & different brands have different needs & approaches.

@Rob_Bonham   I think its really dependant on the brand’s audience. Develop content that resonates. There is no one size fits all approach.

@AmccartPPC   Content these days is typically part of a much bigger omnichannel strategy. Content needs to flex more to fit those strategies.

@olinjdowns   Brands have different personalities and audiences. Brands need to find the best channel and message to reach their audience.

@dan_shure   Content Strategy is a tool that can help a huge variety of biz/marketing goals, & those goals differ among brands.

What does content strategy mean for you/your brand? Do you view it as essential to SEO/marketing success?

@RonellSmith   Content strategy is your brand’s guidepost ensuring that every element of marketing is aligned and providing value. It’s essential for brands committed to consistently putting their best foot forward and besting the competition.

@kkenyon86   My brand would say content is blogging and SM. We do our best to inform our customers about our industry & related industries.

@AmccartPPC   Building familiarity and trust with potential customers. Providing a pressure-free gateway to better understand your business. and of course, that strategy just happens to build links and keywords at the same time, not the other way around.

@Rob_Bonham   Solid content strategy is paramount to SEO success. Without content your website’s ranking potential is null.

@oc2015   Generally speaking, content strategy has moved under the umbrella of production. Blog, videos, marketing, labels, products etc. SEO should always be involved in understanding your audience and target. Keep content natural but be sure to hit the target.

@EricLanderSEO   In short, content strategy refers to having an objective and measurability to gauge the success of the content you create.

More brands are FINALLY committing to content strategy—alongside SEO, not simply as a part of SEO. Why do you think that is?

@oc2015   They’re finally learning.

@EricLanderSEO   Because more players and traffic mediums are in play.

@MaryBowling   because many brands look first for cheap and easy and listen to SEOs who want to sell cheap and easy to them.

@RonellSmith   From my experience, these are brands who realized something was amiss that they couldn’t account for. Many now realize content strategy has tentacles running through the entire biz, from HR to sales, not simply marketing.

@kkenyon86   SEO used to be solely about your website – now there are other areas in play.

@AmccartPPC   I think brands are finally realizing the power of dwell time and social sharing for SEO rankings. More value on UX these days. For their part, the search giants have done a good job of selling the value of those tools and the danger of unnatural links too.

@searchrook   Content has slowly but surely started to “work” more than link building for #SEO, as Google promised.
@RonellSmith   It was never billed as a quick fix, though. Those who had that mindset should have been disappointed.
@searchrook   However, many brands still want “an estimate” by when their content strategy/marketing will “start bringing results”.
@RonellSmith   So much of what matters won’t always be measurable. Like trying to measure not eating junk food at the ind. level.
@searchrook   can’t beat that analogy!
@Tinu   True, a lot of things can’t be tracked in conventional ways, even with all the attribution advances.
@RonellSmith   Indeed, value and measurability are not necessarily conjoined.
@Tinu   & it’s hard to express that sometimes. Just because it can’t be measured doesn’t mean it’s not valuable.

@Rob_Bonham   Organic traffic can yield lower CPA than other channels and brands are realizing SEO is the result of content done right.

@khepritech   Because content is more than just getting a good index. You have to education and entertain your audience.

@dan_shure   Not all content impacts SEO & not all SEO impacts content. They’re not mutually exclusive but some practiced it that way.

SEO pwned content strategy for years. Now that it’s recognized as vital, how will you make clear it can stand on its own?

@searchrook   By pointing out results on other digital channels. However, #contentmarketing works BEST with SEO!

@RonellSmith   I’m sharing how it provides clarity and direction to all levels/layers of the business.

@Hirendream   content drives links for a long term. Safe and good for a longer time
@RonellSmith   Yes, and we have to separate content from content strategy. One adds value; the other IS valuable.
@Hirendream   yup if content is well worth for readers and if they find it helpful then you get links automatically for long enough.

@Tinu   That involves setting up tracking from the beginning & showing the impact of content strategy directly & indirectly.

@AmccartPPC   Search engines provide great studies of those doing things right. Bring key stakeholders those samples as “we can do this too”.

Content strategy is a brand builder, esp. when you consider it helps build connectedness inside & outside the biz. Agree?

@Tinu   I would agree. Particularly if the strategy is implemented in a way that involves all content, not only digital assets.

@RonellSmith   It’s ability to ensure a brand’s alignment with core goals and the needs of prospects makes it a powerful weapon. It also helps guard against “waste” in the form of doing things that won’t add to the bottom line. If what you’re about to do doesn’t align with your core goals, you never start it. No need to wait on data.

@searchrook   Not totally w.r.t. “connectedness” but definitely Yes on brand awareness, voice/message and recall.

@Hirendream   to create actionable content with clear message with different statistics which drives loyal audience to your site.

@dan_shure   Content strategy is a HUGE brand builder esp when you brand the content w/unique words (ie: Skyscraper Technique).

In the fight to get found in the SERPs, content strategy can help our brands stick out for consistency & excellence. Agree?

@RonellSmith   I share with brands that SEO might get you found, but content strategy will help you get chosen. We must move beyond placement in the SERPs and focus on being the top-of-mind choice for those who could use our services. When give content strategy the chair at the table it deserves, we become the sought-after choice, not merely a link or a blog.

@searchrook   Keyword research, multiple content formats & structured data, anyone?

Summary: What’s Changed in Search Marketing in 2016 on #SEOchat

Moderator: @tannerpetroff

What are the biggest updates you’ve seen in search marketing this year so far?

@bravomedia1   Whew quite a bit, some of highlights have included AMP, major changes to PPC & local search 2 name a few. Changes in #Local #Search have been dramatic w/ the explosion of Mobile. Voice searching is populating the LS market.

@tannerpetroff   Biggest changes I’ve seen/felt have been to AdWords, a couple of unnamed algo updates, and a mobile friendly refresh.

@EricLanderSEO   For me, I’m really enjoying the mobile and server performance focus of Google w/ PageSpeed Insights and Search Console updates. While there have been many small updates, for me, it’s the authentication and data details shared w/ GA. Mobile Friendly Update (#2, I think) in early May was significant for a few clients – and I’m thrilled.
@tannerpetroff   Yeah, I feel like this mobile update is what really should have been called ‘Mobilegeddon’ – 2015 was a joke.

@jessesem   AMP, 4:3 Adwords layout, green ad labels, featured snippet explosion, continued focus on quality content and site speed.

@chrismaxson   More local results for branded queries, especially on mobile have been a noticeable change, but that goes back to last year.

@kkenyon86   Microsoft buying LinkedIn, Google taking away the sidebar ads, and all the other crazy stuff Google’s done this year for PPC.
@tannerpetroff   Yeah, I don’t think anyone would have pegged this as the year sidebar ads in Google SERPs would go away.

@BruceClayInc   The removal of right-side Ads was a big one, as well as the new lengths for title tags and meta descriptions.
@EricLanderSEO   Really good ones here. Being more SEO focused, I’d forgotten about right rail removals.

@khepritech   The improvement of social marketing Facebook and twitter ads.

We’ve more updates, but fewer algo updates over the last 18 months than we’ve seen in years. Why do you think that is?

@CaitlinBoroden   I imagine there’s been algo testing that’s gone under the radar which give Google the ability to refine and refine.

@EricLanderSEO   Simply Google doing what they said they would! Less “one time” updates and moving to rolling updates. At risk of sounding like a broken record, we benefited from a Google mLab event in April. Changed my view on EVERYTHING.
@tannerpetroff   The times are definitely changing! And I’m excited to see the crazy stuff. I mean, testing black links? wtf?
@EricLanderSEO   Seriously. I’m thinking it’s a contrast, mobile focused change there. In short? Focus on page load times. 3G speeds, under 2 seconds is ideal. And don’t forget HTTPS, either. Think about AMP. It’s a thing, but most sites fail to serve AMP content. The alternative (and benefit) is to have a FAST site.
@tannerpetroff   I think you’re right – there’s no sign of mobile traffic tapering off, so it’s a huge focus.
@tannerpetroff   AMP pages have been surprisingly inaccessible/difficult to implement for most. I’ve been really surprised.
@EricLanderSEO   It doesn’t help that so few content management systems have bogus plugins and modules widely deployed.
@bravomedia1   Page Speed is a huge issue. AMP needs to grow up a bit. Presently useful for serving up news content. Lots of limitations for sites.

@KristiKellogg   Though there have been less announced algo updates, I don’t think that necessarily means there have actually been less updates.
@EricLanderSEO   Agree! With rolling updates, there is a lot of SERP variance happening across different spaces. Exciting!

@chrismaxson   More machine learning, less human-driven updates. Probably all happening behind the scenes.

@jessesem   “Fewer” is subjective. They’re just smaller and ongoing now. At least when it comes to quality. Still waiting on Penguin though. We know G is using AI and deep learning to serve up the explosion of featured snippets. Which is why some are so bad.
@tannerpetroff   True, but it’s new technology. Will only get better with time.

@kotmseo   Just waiting for RankBrain to grow up and take over the algorithm.

@iankeir1   I feel like Google is having an easier time cutting through the junk, & is learning more. Decreases the need for major updates.

@tannerpetroff   I think RankBrain is just doing its thing. And doing it well, leaving devs with time to do the UX stuff.

@kkenyon86   Like what others have said, I think it has to do with getting a better focus on mobile.

@bravomedia1   G is using more AI than previously. This can be seen in RankBrain.

@Rob_Bonham   My take is.. Algo Updates = Google content optimizing & Layout Updates = Google now conversion rate optimizing

Do you think this signifies the end of the ‘algorithm wars’ between marketers and Google?

@EricLanderSEO   No way. We’ll see more conspiracy theory out there now, with one-offs and anecdotes being labeled as sweeping changes.

@tannerpetroff   Yes and no. I think there will always be algo hunters, but overall, user-focused marketing is here to stay.

@Rob_Bonham   I dont think algorithm wars are over but its def dying down. Google cleaned up & now waiting to see what RankBrain does.

@CaitlinBoroden   I feel like Penguin is coming and then the shift to more rolling updates will begin. But, who knows.

@kotmseo   Google has always said make great content & is now more able to identify it and rank it higher. Less shortcuts for SEOs.

@bravomedia1   NO

@kkenyon86   No, there will always be something we as marketers won’t like that Google does/changes. Can’t make us all happy @ the same time.
@tannerpetroff   And that will always be the case if we rely on traffic to come from a source owned by someone else.
@EricLanderSEO   @BuzzFeed agrees, and folks like @Outbrain and @taboola will help take your money to ensure this is true.

So what updates do you expect to see in Q3 and Q4?

@EricLanderSEO   Revolutionary SERP display changes. A growing majority of search traffic is mobile; Google needs to accommodate that. As an example, SiteLinks style displays for apps, tap to call links, etc should all be expected sooner than later.

@jessesem   Additional Google shopping “optimizations” as we head into the holiday season.
@tannerpetroff   I’ve actually been dreading that. Holiday prep is just around the corner and I’m concerned what that might bring.

@tannerpetroff   I’m expecting more of the same. More mobile focused changes, shakeups to AdWords, more tests.

@bravomedia1   Faster websites, structured data, PPC helping to rank.
@tannerpetroff   Haven’t personally. I’d be interested in hearing what that process has looked like for others.
@EricLanderSEO   I have. WordPress, used the Automatic plugin, and then needed custom code to appease the GCS errors.

@Affil4you   I would not be surprised if we see better tracking in stats from paid advertisments from third party publishers.

@BruceClayInc   It’s possible we’ll see the removal of the right hand-column entirely. Google is testing a new design where everything on desktop is boxed and traditional knowledge panels on right move to left.
@CaitlinBoroden   My bets are on this definitely happening.
@BruceClayInc   @Dr_Pete, @KristiKellogg and @PaulaSpeak talked about SERP changes like these a couple weeks ago:

@iankeir1   I’m hoping that we’ll soon see voice search data showing up in GA as Google has promised.

@chrismaxson   Google seems to really be pushing AMP, so I’d expect that to continue. And if we’re lucky, maybe more than 90 days in Search Console.
@thompsonpaul   Agreed on AMP – seeing hints that AMP for product pages coming in near future.

@thompsonpaul   I think we’ll see actual mobile page speed become a (not insignificant) ranking factor for mobile itself before end of year.
@EricLanderSEO   Same. And don’t dummy test with Google’s tools only. Use http://www.webpagetest.org/ or @gtmetrix to test 3G.

If you were head of search quality at Google, what changes would you push from here on out?

@tannerpetroff   I’d bring organic results above the fold 100% of the time, and making ads look like ads again. Guess I’m just an idealist.

@EricLanderSEO   More details & tools around link profiles. We know they’re still important, but Google hides too much. Even if it’s just more tools let people know what’s bad & help cleanup the mess that is link building.

@bravomedia1   More Transparancy!

@thompsonpaul   For mobile speed analysis – synthetic tools pretty useless. Instrument Analytics to track 100% pageviews peed. Real user speed!

@KristiKellogg   Wouldn’t it be nice if we could wake up in a Google world where it was always people-first, algorithm-second? Google wants to see websites how people see them. An SEO strategy that is UX-driven will see the most long-term impact.

If you could reverse just one update Google has made, which would it be?

@tannerpetroff   Google+

@KristiKellogg   The eradication of Google authorship.

@CaitlinBoroden   I wish I could have seen authorship markup played out longer. I wanted to see the direction it could have gone.

@BruceClayInc   Google’s move to secure search and the removal of keyword data. Said Everyone. Ever. #NotProvided

@jessesem   “Not provided”

@EricLanderSEO   Great question. I’m so used to reacting to them, I’m not sure I can imagine current life any other way. If answering this looking prior to 2016, I’d say that the Florida update was the most significant. Abandoning the “Do no evil” mantra. Profits before people have stained Google’s legacy.

Summary: How to Boost Search Traffic on #SEOchat

Moderator: @ajutah

Why do you think I chose the topic of *traffic* for today’s SEOChat?

@EricLanderSEO   Because #SEOChat has strayed too far from it’s roots, and you want us to focus on what matters most? Also, traffic is both the goal, and an ingredient for effective SEO.

@MatthewAYoung   Becuase traffic is really the point of SEO
@ajutah   The right kind of traffic definitely is.

@Tinu   I’d imagine because people often pick strategies that yield great eye candy, even prestige, but not traffic/sales/converts.

@kkenyon86   Because Google continously changes.

@globalHMA   Attracting the right traffic can make or break the influence of a brand online.

@ajutah   I’ve often seen clients use traffic as a KPI when measuring the success of their SEO campaign.

When launching a new website, how can you rapidly increase traffic from search?

@EricLanderSEO   I’d recommend focusing on accessibility and indexation first (code, XML sitemaps, etc.), then content syndication and outreach. That’s to say, Search Console is key. Know what’s wrong before improving upon what’s “right.”

@globalHMA   Be sure Google crawls the new site asap!

@MatthewAYoung   Technical underpinnings – make sure site’s crawlable, structure is sound, get your GSC ducks in a row, etc. Testing should not take a backseat when doing anything with SEO, especially on-page.

@Tinu   Create into the content deficit, get links from staff contributions to publications, guest posts on blogs. Also don’t forget the basics about the site itself, XML map, site speed, architecture, robots.txt file, broken links scan.

@cmo4hire   We often generate traffic for new sites with press releases, article announcements, blog posts, social media.
@EricLanderSEO   This is true — They’re all safe backlinks that can be easily scaled & syndicated, thus eliminating sandbox.

@kkenyon86   Focusing on 3-5 keywords/phrases, and incorporating them WELL. Then promote the heck out of it.
@MatthewAYoung   Keyword research for sure. Aligning content by user intent is key.

@TheBuyerGroup   Press release, blog post, update #socialmedia covers (happy #SocialMediaDay), social posts.

@bravomedia1   PPC for Immediate Results.

@cmo4hire   If our client has a budget, paid advertising works well, incl Adwords, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter.

@ajutah   One effective way is testing a variety of content topics/formats, then using Analytics to double down on the best performing.

How much content should a new website launch with?

@TheBuyerGroup   Quality vs quantity

@MatthewAYoung   Enough to reflect whats natural to the population of sites. Theres no cookie cutter way to approach content, even with word count. Do your research, see what ranks and 1-up competitors. There should be enough content to support the topics, at least at a foundational level. Or at least enough content so people dont ask.
@PeterThistle   Yup, competitors, correct amount of content is whatever it takes to compete. Could be a lot, or not so much.

@EricLanderSEO   On a brand new domain, focus on the top level nav items and “necessary” pages first. About us, Contact, etc.

@bravomedia1   800 – 1200 Words Per Main Content Pages

@kkenyon86   I would say go for a minimum of 350 words per page. Don’t keyword stuff, but make sure to have good headers & a clear message. Also, make sure to have the “basics” like About Us, Contact Us, Services/Products, etc.

@EricLanderSEO   Be sufficiently useful in terms of depth of content, but not verbose or written for a keyword set or engines. Users first.

@ajutah   How many blog posts should you have written before a site launches?
@EricLanderSEO   Maybe this is lower than expected, but I’d say 3 to 5 general ones, and at least one per each category.
@ajutah   I’d agree.
@bravomedia1   At Least One New One!

What is Google’s definition of an “In-Depth Article”?

@EricLanderSEO   Significant in length and topical coverage, an IDA needs to also have strong Schema / micro data support in place. I’ve seen plenty of content marked up to support FAQs also being used within IDA onebox’s in SERPs; Though less so recently.

@MatthewAYoung   Content fully exploring a topic marked up with schema, and dont forget your long tail KWs. IDAs are always on the table as long as they can be executed well and marketed. I’ve had the misfortune of reading in depth articles that are pure rubbish. Nothing evokes the rolling of eyes like bad content.

@ajutah   Are in-depth articles/brand journalism part of your strategy? Why or why not?
@EricLanderSEO   For some clients, yes. The ones in Google News, who had benefitted from author attribution in SERPs.
@bravomedia1   Yes & No, only if the client can support them.

@bravomedia1   In-depth articles by G-standards offer the highest quality of content that supports the subject.

@PeterThistle   I’m gonna throw in citations, citing sources.

What are some ways to increase CTR from Google search?

@bravomedia1   Great SERP, Awesome Content Page, Clear Call to Action!

@MatthewAYoung   Write engaging, active titles and descriptions inclusive of the target phrases.

@EricLanderSEO   META Descriptions, Settings within Search Console & working to get your rich snippets dialed in. Then? Internal link popularity. Descriptions should be succinct, enticing, and action oriented. Be motivational in your copywriting there! Importance of META Descriptions can be thought of this way: Would you ever let Google write your AdWords description for you?
@thompsonpaul   I’m with @EricLanderSEO – well-thought-out meta descriptions are an awfully frequently missed opportunity. Mini calls-to-action.
@MatthewAYoung   Good point! Build the trust factors and own the SERP – rich answers, KG entries, ad space all great opportunities.
@PeterThistle   Absolutely, SERP listings are basically ads so write ’em up properly, and test!

@michelljernigan   Titles should be written for users – not kw-stuffed. Including the query as a question can be successful for info-based queries.

Does your SEO strategy involve video optimization? How?

@EricLanderSEO   Yes; We make use of video content for mobile and desktop users in different ways (w/ different data attached)

@bravomedia1   Absolutely – On the Site & on YouTube.
@EricLanderSEO   YES. If you’re using YouTube for videos, there’s a whole host of things you can do within YouTube to help.

@TheBuyerGroup   One way is to do live video and make sure before you go live you add an optimized headline. Another one: Create playlists & optimize those descriptions!

Do you target other countries or languages in your SEO strategy?

@EricLanderSEO   Int’l clients or franchises need to leverage Search Console targeting, language encoding, etc. for optimal SEO. So, yes.

@bravomedia1   Only if necessary – otherwise, I’ll exclude areas where lots of hits are coming from Russia China.

Summary: Landing Pages: Building, Best Practices and Results on #SEOchat

Moderator: @bloomreachinc

Who owns building landing pages in your org? What platform/tool do they use to build?

@kkenyon86 I do, we use @WordPress beause it’s where our site was built.

@ChrisJEverett A mixture of Content Strategy, Creative & Analytics Folks work together on landing page design & implementation.
@bloomreachinc Sounds like all the right people. Once the plan is in place, who tactically builds it?
@ChrisJEverett We have in-house developers who handle landing page implementation.

@EricLanderSEO At @d50media our development & digital media teams own landing page development. They’re using FoundationPress iterations. In my consulting work, landing pages vary greatly – most frequently falling within the native or existing set of tools.

@jacquesbouchard We all own it, depending on the purpose. PPC landing pages go to one department, content-based are another. For clients, sometimes we build them, or they do. For our own site, we all have a say, but one dept. leads.

@Affil4you Creative and marketing work closely with some of our clients

@MattLacuesta The marketing team builds the LPs with the Kentico framework built by dev with copy from creative.

Are there any tactical or technical hurdles to building and launching landing pages?

@EricLanderSEO Yes. As a consultant, I most frequently run into issues with 3rd party plugins, GTM containers and teaching about exclusions. At @d50media we tend to already have most roadblocks out of the way before LP development begins.

@jacquesbouchard Working within the various CMS’s of our clients can be a big challenge. Sometimes it’s not even possible to negotiate it.
@bloomreachinc In those cases, do you just hand off creative to their teams to physically build.
@jacquesbouchard It’s more that we don’t have access to their CMS’s and their IT lacks bandwidth/training. Creative is no problem.

@officialryguy having the speed you need in client approval! Client buy-in is key to successful ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING!

What entry point is your biz focused on most when it comes to landing pages: Email organic, PPC, social?

@ChrisJEverett Primarily PPC, Email, & Social Campaigns but we also have worked on LPs for Direct Offline as well

@EricLanderSEO For the agency, we’re an even split of paid social / content marketing and traditional PPC. LOTS more happening in mobile now. Following @d50media’s mLab event w/ our AdWords team, we realized that page speed & code efficiency was key.

@kkenyon86 Although we have social aspects, we tend to focus more on organic or PPC for landing pages.

@jacquesbouchard It depends on the campaign. Very often, it’s PPC, but for some webinars, for example, E-mail or even LinkedIn is the focuys.

@MattLacuesta We create the most for PPC and Paid Social, gotta provide most relevant content based on Ad Copy.

@bravomedia1 Direct Entry Point from #PPC & #Social

@officialryguy I would say PPC and email marketing, but you’d have to ask @erikapdx!!

@khepritech Not much to say here.. We focus on helping them understand what pages are working and generating leads or sales. we push for never just having one.

What metrics do you use to determine success of a landing page? How does that change by channel?

@ChrisJEverett It depends on the mission of the campaign, but certainly whatever “conversion” is defined by.

@EricLanderSEO Awesome question. At a very high level – paid media LPs are geared for conversion; Organic LPs are geared for user engagement. For paid media pages, we look at bounce, conversion rate, on-page goals and events, etc. Need to PROVE interaction. For organic pages, we look more at time on page, repeat sessions, navigation paths, etc. Conversions, too.
@jacquesbouchard Time on page is tricky – an increase may mean they simply had a harder time finding what they wanted.
@bloomreachinc Interesting. Are the organic LPs more content and less product?
@EricLanderSEO Almost always, yes. I’d also consider top level ranking SEO pages in this bucket;
@jacquesbouchard You say something like “top-level ranking SEO pages” where I work, and it definitely wouldn’t go over well.

@khepritech Anything from leads,Email sign ups/ sales etc

@jacquesbouchard Depends on the campaign, but the simple answer is we define the “conversion”, and success is built and developed around that.

@officialryguy conversion rate…. maybe a little CTR and take a look at rank a little… I come to #SEOchat for the comments on this one!!

@kkenyon86 Because of the nature of our business (auto shipping) we go by number orders gained from the landing pages.

@bravomedia1 A/B Testing Landing Page for Performance – Use Google Analytics to see what’s working – what’s not!

On your landing pages what content is resonating most: videos, graphics, pictures, product (singular) or products (plural)?

@Affil4you Honestly the most enticing deals you can offer and a nice mix of customer education. Also depends if your buying traffic to the page or looking for organic rank.

@EricLanderSEO For paid search, big above the fold CTA’s and vivid imagery. For paid social, content sprinkled with mini infographic elements.

@bravomedia1 Great Offer Combined w/ Awesome Video, Give Away & Beautiful Graphic-that makes the user WANT to engage.

@MattLacuesta Depends on campaign, but video seems to have best engagement and conversion.

@kkenyon86 Again because of the nature of the business, content. Pictures help, but being able to give details & explanation is important.

@jacquesbouchard I mean, that’s all nice. But focus on the landing page being a strong piece of a larger digital strategy. Make it make sense.

@khepritech I think it really depends on the purpose of the landing page and how you are sourcing your traffic. you really have to keep in mind that some times you may not hit the goal you set but find other interesting data. I have seen landing pages that taking a high #Seo rank but never generate leads. But still get the company great exposure.

@officialryguy Custom imagery for sure. We work with a lot of designers, and the images are top hits. We are exploring more video.

Are you using subtitles to appease those who can’t or won’t have sound?

@bravomedia1 @neilpatel Great Blog on subject.

@MattLacuesta No subtitles, but a transcription on organic pages has been working well from and SEO perspective

@jacquesbouchard Is video niche specific? Example: if they’re likely to see the page on a train, is sound restrictive.
@bloomreachinc A recent survey showed a staggering number of people prefer to watch w sound off (from cubes, trains, etc?)

@officialryguy In @youtube videos, we have been adding cards with CTA to product pages and it seems to be working for us 🙂

@Affil4you I think your golden as long as you don’t have auto play. Also using video hosting services that are search friendly are great.

How are you personalizing landing pages? (Or are you even to that stage yet?)

@bravomedia1 Content Creation that Speaks Directly to Target Audience! ie., “CT Homeowners…”

Where do you normally place primary messaging: H1 or H2, text or image, etc?

@bravomedia1 Where EVER it Belongs!

@Affil4you I think a nice mix of both will serve you the best

@khepritech Once again are you going for #PPC traffic or just straight organic. Did you set them up coming in from social etc

How long do you normally keep landing pages live? When do you retire them?

@jacquesbouchard For PPC, as long as the campaign. For Organic, as long as the content is no longer stale.
@kkenyon86 Agreed – Landing pages aren’t a “set it and forget it” part of a campaign!

@bravomedia1 If they apply@ a later (seasonal) date, keep! if not 301 redirect 2 the next best page related 2 old pg

Summary: Using Tools, Resources and 3rd Parties to Improve SEO on #SEOchat

Moderator: @EricLanderSEO

How many different resources (people, vendors, tools) are actively working on your SEO campaigns?

@kg7maj   Myself right now using all things Google products. I’ve had as much as 3-4 people & multiple tools. In the past, Google tools, SEM Rush, designers developing landing pages. SEO focused Google Keyword Planner Secondary SEO tools, Google Webmaster Tools/Search Console & Google Analytics.

@tannerpetroff   If we throw tools in the mix, at least a dozen at any given time.
@EricLanderSEO   Whoa. That’s a lot! Later on, I’ll be asking which of those 12 are the most important.

@emily_C27   PPL: 4; Vendors: 0; Tools: 16,343829 (roughly ;))

@kkenyon86   Counting me-1, tools-5, vendors-1 (web people for all the coding and stuff!)

@ChrisJEverett   At least a Dozen Tools, 2 Full Time Staffers Who work for me and dozens of contractors who specialize

@fighto   Jun 2 People – 2 to 3; Vendors – 1 to 2; Tools – 1 to 2 consolidated via APIs (1 to 5 at a time).

@EddyDeMelo   For our clients, 10+, at least.

@CaitlinBoroden   Depending on the size of client but typically 3-4 people and a handful or so of tools.

@Tinu   Including the execution team for the SEO side of reputation management? About 125. Only because the temp worker team is elastic. We have a much smaller team for regular SEO. But we usually sub-contract.

@bravomedia1   SEO Resources #GoogleAnalytics Search Console Bing WMT, Rocking Programmer & Me SEO Diva!

@Randomhero180   Tools – around 12, People – 2 or 3, Vendors – 0.

@YoungbloodJoe   People: 3-5; Tools: 25-40; Vendors: 1.

@thompsonpaul   It’s me, plus a 8 or 9 tools depending on the client’s needs (solo consultant).

@jacquesbouchard   I have a huge range of clients. It ranges between me and a few tools to possibly 100 people, dozens of tools, and many vendors.

@ISODevelopers   Too many! Our favorites are @moz and @googleanalytics. They help us easily identify our audience and SEO opportunities.

@YoungbloodJoe   have ranges we can consider?
@EricLanderSEO   Ranges by client, or based on some other factors?
@YoungbloodJoe   annual budget ranges? think exact amounts is kind of private for most of us.
@EricLanderSEO   Completely understood, @YoungbloodJoe – How about percentages for tools vs. people vs. software
@YoungbloodJoe   Tools: 25%; People: 50%; Innovation: 25%.

@EricLanderSEO   There’s a lot of different answers to Q1, which I expected. To help us understand how 12 tools are possible, lets move on.

What is your organization’s total annual budget for the SEO resources currently used?

@kkenyon86   That, unfortunately, is a taboo word here. @Moz is pretty great! @googleanalytics is a big help! I’m in-house!
@EricLanderSEO   Agreed, I’ve been using @Moz for years and they’ve always earned a spot in my budgets.
@thompsonpaul   Interesting comments about Moz – I’ve been using it for years but it’s likely on the way out. Still no proper shared account system.
@Tinu   We greatly reduced our costs with @Moz. And who can live w/o @randfish & Friday whiteboards. c’mon.

@bravomedia1   Best Resources are the people who know what they are doing & software to garner Business Intelligence to make it all work. That is a variable since SEO is so tightly linked to programming – it depends on the client & the site.

@jacquesbouchard   I don’t know the answer to that. We do vary the tools by client as well, and direct our budget to help pay for them as needed.

@Tinu   Annual resources not including humans… $4k. Annual price of all external paid SW tools etc. The biggest chunk is @moz. also Ahrefs, free tools, internal things, services.

@kg7maj   I’m in-house as well. The budget is what we can simply afford.

@fighto   I’m agency-side, mostly enterprise clients

@patrickcoombe   well, we use licenses for @screamingfrog Scrapebox, @ahrefs and a few others so not that much

Most tools cover the basics well. Which tools offer you unique benefits or services?

@kkenyon86   I feel like @Moz has good diversity. I was actually showing our intern their system today, forgot about all the tools!

@bravomedia1   My Favorite Tools are FREE! G-Analytics, GSC, BingWMT, @Screamingfrog, @w3c & human intelligence!
@kkenyon86   @screamingfrog @w3c Free is helpful.
@EricLanderSEO   Do yo find many clients have Bing WMT setup? Many of ours do not, sadly.
@bravomedia1   I set them up for Bing Webmaster Tools. If one relies only on the client – stuff doesn’t get done! Since i’m strictly White Hat only – I make sure it’s all in the clients name/website – everything! Right down to the host.
@patrickcoombe   the ones that have 10% or more referral traffic from Bing, we’ll set it up OR if they ask specifically.
@EricLanderSEO   I’ve had clients who simply cannot comprehend why they need a microsoft account.

@YoungbloodJoe   For hashtags: @RiteTag; For Reddit: Redective; For Content: FaqFox; more at http://ToolHighlightTuesday.com

@thompsonpaul   Been using @CognitiveSEO more & more. Aggregates link data from all 3 major sources & provides effective way to manually review.

@EricLanderSEO   I’ve always <3 Open Site Explorer from @Moz myself, that’s what keeps me there. Good stuff from @RavenTools & their auditor, too.

@kg7maj   Back in my agency days, very very few had Google Analytics and/or Webmaster Tools established.

@nemofindsworld   GA, GSC, Brightedge and most of all – @screamingfrog. The API integration of GA/GSC with screaming frog has been a great update.
@thompsonpaul   Gotta agree w/ @nemofindsworld the @screamingfrog integration with GA and GSC is like gold. As is new ability to schedule crawls
@EricLanderSEO   I love @screamingfrog as well. Finding that @DeepCrawl and @RavenTools provide a Saas version of similar.

@emily_C27   @semrush provides a great interactive visual display that I find unique. Great for taking screenshots and sharing with clients too.

@YoungbloodJoe   http://Majestic.com is a great tool as well as SEMRush, sort of must haves for any SEO. How did I forget about BuiltWith?
@EricLanderSEO   Agreed. I’d also lump in @spyfu into that bucket, too. I also make use of @DeepCrawl often nowadays.
@nemofindsworld   Yes to both of them! Using Majestic for backlink audits and competitive research is excellent.

@gyitsakalakis   for the locals @MozLocal & @yext

@TheBuyerGroup   @SlackHQ offers great benefits for communicating with teams internally & externally.

@EddyDeMelo   @Moz, @screamingfrog, and @PitchboxApp are some of my favorites, now.

@fighto   Jun 2 The way I use tools, the differentiator ends up being the amount of data I can extract. Makes tools like SEMRush valued.

@jacquesbouchard   Screaming *yawn* Frog is *yawn* so good, etc. http://webpagetest.org for speed suggestions,GroupHigh for blog research.

What considerations factor into your decision to spend money on external tools or resources?

@gyitsakalakis   Do they help us meet our clients’ business objectives.

@kg7maj   1 Do we need it; 2 Cost; 3 What’s the potential return

@ChrisJEverett   Scope of the Project, Time we Have, Cost Associated, and Effectiveness of the Tool.

@TheBuyerGroup   Will it save the team time? Does it make everyone more productive? How does it integrate w/other tools.
@EricLanderSEO   Integration is so key these day, especially with many tools looking to leverage same sources in diff ways.

@jacquesbouchard   Do I have a solid, client(s)-approved strategy that will need this a LOT in a way that justifies the spend? If yes, then go.
@patrickcoombe   no matter what tool I find (and love) I still find myself using Pingdom for website speed.
@thompsonpaul   Be very careful w/ Pingdom – it’s a totally synthetic result – bears no relation to real user speed.
@jacquesbouchard   But so’s http://webpagetest.org , right?
@thompsonpaul   Nope – completely different – especially if you customise WPT’s ability to define connection speed. Pingdom runs tests directly off internet backbone – speed and latency no real user will ever see.

@EddyDeMelo   Will it save me time, make me more efficient, of provide me with insights that would be difficult to get elsewhere?

@APJussaume   Affordability, potential value gained for client, ease of use, & seemless integration with popular social platforms

@bravomedia1   Only consider spending $ on something essential to the project Tools NOT necessary when the best R FREE

@kkenyon86   Me-Easy to use, lots of options. Boss-ROI (do we get leads/quotes to orders by using it)
@EricLanderSEO   Great point. Many SEO tools are data specific, not business results oriented.
@kkenyon86   When it’s not something I specialize in (ex: coding, html, etc) or when my plate gets too full (ex: hire an intern)

@EricLanderSEO   Also, to summarize answers to Q4… TIME is MONEY!

@TrinityInsight   Is it something our whole office can use (sometimes simultaneously)? Does it make our jobs easier?

@ISODevelopers   Picking keywords is critical. We look for functions that compliment our clients’ goals and expedite our marketing process.

@trinityinsight   #shamelessplug but our Chrome Extension is super helpful when auditing new clients.

What special circumstances lead you to seek third party consultants or agencies?

@YoungbloodJoe   We’re usually the third party… but I guess if a needed talent isn’t on staff or easily hired.

@patrickcoombe   great ? – for e.g. we had an IIS / ASP server that needed optimizing, which is totally foreign to me / us. OR if the job is too large for our agency, we will refer it out (and maybe get a finders fee of course). Another recent e.g. we had a website that was integrated with a CRM so we consulted with the CRM maker.
@EricLanderSEO   Specialty tools are important. I’ve had lots off success w/ @Moz Local recently – no one else provides same.

@kg7maj   Resources, skill level & workload. Believe it or not, money isn’t the driving factor, but still is.

@jacquesbouchard   At previous jobs, when they did it cheaper, faster, and/or better than we could. Cheaper/faster: linkspam cleanup.

@michelljernigan   Langauage barriers. There’s a lot you can do to optimize for international w/o being fluent, but translators can really help.

@bravomedia1   When the Expertise needed is not on our team Then we collaborate & eventually they become part of R team!

@ChrisJEverett   If a client wants a service outside our core competency or we have a relationship that adds value.

@TheBuyerGroup   When internal teams don’t have expertise in an area you find one that does &keeps up w/ fast moving changes of the digital world.

You’re starting a new SEO campaign and can ONLY choose 3 resources (or tools) to use. What are they?

@bravomedia1   GoogleAnalytics, GSC, W3C. W3C sets the standards – which Google eventually follows!
@YoungbloodJoe   except for in regards to voice search. Google is ignoring VoiceXML, standard since 1999.

@Navahk   @BruceClayInc free seo tool set, @buzzsumo and @googleanalytics

@gyitsakalakis   Depends, but @googleanalytics, @screamingfrog & @urlprofiler (w/ @moz, @Majestic @ahrefs piped in…)

@ISODevelopers   1. Google Analytics 2. Moz 3. Google PageSpeed Insights

@ChrisJEverett   @ahrefs , @screamingfrog , @Moz if I had to choose only 3. These cover most bases.

@emily_C27   ooo tough one! I’d have to go with @screamingfrog @Moz PRO and @semrush. Ahh I forgot GA! Can’t be done without that.
@EricLanderSEO   We are too much alike in that regard. @raventools new auditor is really fighting to get in my top 3

@jacquesbouchard   Screaming Frog, Google Analytics/Search Console, http://webpagetest.org . I’m cheating a little bit, but I see GA and GSC as basically one package. Like it’s Microsoft Office.

@michelljernigan   Google Analytics, Screaming Frog, Ahrefs

@YoungbloodJoe   1. Our live roadmap (API dash) 2. Client’s own tracker (Moz/Ahref) 3. Screaming Frog/Xenu. We ask our clients to own all of their tracking accounts (i.e. @Moz) so they have data in perpetuity. Saves us $$ too.
@EricLanderSEO   Often overlooked, but @Moz ’s campaign manager is so reliable.

@patrickcoombe   @ahrefs @screamingfrog and hmmmm…bash?

@Tinu   @Moz. They have two tools that I trust implicitly and one very underrated one that has no equal. (kwd difficulty). Google. Webmaster tools, Analytics, etc. Not as great for data as it once was but helpful. Humans. If I can’t have more than three tools the third is human intelligence & labor. I’ll outsource, subcontract. There are some things I can’t rely on just automation and software for – I need both intelligent SEO people & worker bees.

@TrinityInsight   Great question! We pick Google Analytics, Screaming Frog + Ahrefs!

@officialryguy   Search Console, Long-tail Pro, Screaming Frog (or I use @robhammond’s SEO Crawler too)

@nemofindsworld   I hope to never be restricted to just 3 but… @semrush. @majestic and @screamingfrog – API integration for GA/GSC

How have you been able to leverage software or vendors to help grow your team’s capabilities?

@EddyDeMelo   Leveraging contractors and vendors for various forms of content creation – whether text or visual – has allowed us to scale up.

@ChrisJEverett   Building relationships and networking has helped us expand further into social and inbound channels

@bravomedia1   Of Course! Only take on ppl who are smarter than me in their line of expertise!
@YoungbloodJoe   reporting in SC != open standards or even good reporting :/

@kkenyon86   I think it all boils down to specialities and talents. If it’s something you’re team doesn’t do, no experience, etc

@patrickcoombe   most of the growth we experience is from non-#SEO software #SEOchat such as @basecamp or @ProsperWorks. oh let’s not forget my favorite: @Skype (username: patrickcoombe) I’m not a fan of these new fangled chat apps.
@TrinityInsight   Yes! <3 @basecamp, @teamwork & @HipChat for internal communications

@TrinityInsight   We’re fans of automation marketing software that streamlines processes while still allowing us the reins for personalization!

What recent changes in SEO have necessitated the use of 3rd parties most?

@bravomedia1   Tough ? as SEO is both TECHNICAL & MARKETING combined as an expert in SEO you have to know both. What affects SEO? EVERYTHING! UX, Code, Design, Copy, User Exp, ETC.
@YoungbloodJoe   & becoming PR, Packaging, Branding, Distribution, and R&D. @fighto had a good write up on AMP.. where is that link Paul?
@fighto   My Search Engine Land post on AMP.

@emily_C27   The number of changes alone calls for a need. Sometimes its good to just have a fresh pair of eyes and a second opinion.

@YoungbloodJoe   I’d rather pull all nighters learning & staying ahead than to rely on third parties.

@Tinu   Mobile and local. And SEO ready images. Hard to find images that are both fast loading and eye catching.

@EricLanderSEO   Recent emphasis on mobile speed has forced many folks to consider 3rd parties recently. Do you see the same?
@patrickcoombe   not for all in one, but smaller stuff like CDNs or maybe these responsive image frameworks etc

What’s the best/worst experience you’ve had using a third party resource?

@gyitsakalakis   Easy. @googleanalytics (not provided).

@bravomedia1   Worst when client adds 3rd party into mix, Yoodle, YP, Spam Stuff! Makes me crazed!

@Tinu   Best experience? @moz. When I got cancer I had to reduce my costs and pause my account for a while. They worked with me. I know I sound like a fangirl but @moz has earned it. & through their collaborative SEO reports that they have a braintrust.

Summary: Local SEO Best Practices on #SEOchat

Moderator: @ChrisJEverett

Multi-Location/City Businesses: When to use Local Landing Pages, when to use Subdomains/separate sites?

@GregJLee   Same brand=same domain.DA trumps other signals.Citations/links will boost DA. Same city=same page.Optimize page for city/metro.

@EricLanderSEO   Larger franchises w/ many locations & web based services/apps skew to subdomains; Single business w/ fewer skew subfolder. Elaborating, businesses with location finders, ordering, different inventory, etc. benefit most from subdomains.

@mikecrimmins   A few years ago it was all subdomains or separate sites. Now I want separate landing pages. I should note, most of my clients are small to medium sized biz so they don’t have a ton of locations.

@jonfoulds   I love using optimized folder structure (state/city/etc) instead of separate sites for easy navigation and avoiding confusion. If it’s the same brand, subdomain could work for separate categories, but then local folders off of that.

@s4socialmedia   Multi domains can be useful for multi locations business while local landing pages can be used for city business.

What are some of the challenges facing businesses with multiple locations within the same city?

@mikecrimmins   Going after the same keywords. Something I’ve had issues with in both organic and paid.

@EricLanderSEO   Overlapping radial footprints; Old search technology reliant on pure distance, not roads, neighborhoods, etc.

@GregJLee   W/many nearby locations NAP easily mixed up by public & other sources.Pushes Google to post wrong info.

@Affil4you   I would think trying to stay away from using the same copy. Especially if you own both locations etc.
@GregJLee   Great point @Affil4you . Unique descriptions is a pain in neck for 100s locations. Especially locations that all do the same thing!

@s4socialmedia   Stable #seo strategy, right #keywords targeting, etc.

@jonfoulds   Major challenge is on the site (landing pages) – differentiating between locations is so important for content/UX.
@ChrisJEverett   In this case, would you use a Neighborhood name, zip code, N/S/E/W?
@jonfoulds   Neighborhood, yes – gearing content toward the location as being an expert in the particular area and why.

@PeterThistle   Competing with themselves. One location does fine, another not. Hard to explain to clients why one is being neglected!
@khepritech   Exactly! Had to tell that from just a bad location.

@nemofindsworld   The locations competing with one another and targeting similar keywords. Providing unique, valuable content for the locations.

We all know the importance of citations & links, but IYO what are the most underrated ranking factors?

@EricLanderSEO   Comprehension. Use @Moz Local to syndicate changes, but complete FAR more than the minimum information needed. Rewards await. In other words, use tools to save time on monotonous tasks, reinvest that time on improving every detail possible.

@GregJLee   Brand authority! – is there a wikipedia page? + Positive reviews & social signals add to that.

@khepritech   My personal opinion is to be tied in with local blogs and sites…. Foodie blogs, Travel sites etc based upon business. Respond to critics and reviews on blogs for local things not just the big 5.

@s4socialmedia   Interlinking of the website #content should have more value.

@seanvanguilder   schema markup

@jonfoulds   Reviews – might impact carousel visibility, map CTR, etc.. Also structured data for locations (could impact if not already).

Do you handle citation cleanup in-house? If not, Pros/Cons come from outsourcing citation work?

@khepritech   It seems in some ways we have lost the ability to reach out to our local influences and such because we are stuck in the numbers.

@seanvanguilder   We leave that to the client or partner with an agency. borders too close on reputation management.

@mikecrimmins   We do it in house with tools like Moz Local. Haven’t gotten to where we need help. Plus, I like making sure it’s done 100%

@emily_C27   Pros ease Con: less control/more back and forth with site screening.

@jonfoulds   As an agency, it depends on client’s need and # of locations. Pros and cons to every tool, but budget is important to them!

@Affil4you   I say in house. Honestly do you want some one outside of your company culture handling this?
@ChrisJEverett   Totally agree. If you hire trainable people, you should be able to keep it in-house.

Aside from Yext & Moz Local, what other citation building aggregators should SEOs consider using?

@GregJLee   U can still get a FREE Yahoo Local Listing. Just keep clicking U’ll find it

@emily_C27   @whitespark can be tedious when filtering through listings but it’s worked. Also, @moz OSE for looking at competition.

@jonfoulds   Recommend @Momentfeed for large companies w/ lots of locations. MozLocal for maybe a couple of locations.

@ChrisJEverett   Does anyone use @bright_local to manage citations?
@emily_C27   Oh yeah, I’ve used it to start with; seems to deliver a shorter, more quality list. Thx for reminding me!
@ChrisJEverett   You’re right @emily_C27 I think it’s like $65/mo

What are some of your favorite sources and methods for earning local backlinks?

@mikecrimmins   local influencers, articles that mention the client but don’t have a link, etc. Small city and we have an active social media dept, so it’s often finding someone that has a connection.

@gyitsakalakis   participation with local orgs (volunteering, sponsorships, scholarships, etc). Publish local (hyper-local topics, language, etc).
@ChrisJEverett   Doing good in the community and earning links? That’s a winwin

@khepritech   Go out to local events or host local events. Host your local bloggers group if you can. Run contests with local influences in your business arena. Get social!
@ChrisJEverett   Great points for earning local links!

@Affil4you   Instead of just typing about your local area get your support behind some events in your area

@jonfoulds   Depends on company, but engage real community with events, volunteering, etc. and people will share. Utilize site for content. Also, social is often local now – engage community on Foursquare, Instagram, etc.

@emily_C27   I still think guest-posting is a great method if you can find an opportunity for less than $1,000.00!!

What are the top 3 local SEO tools (aggregators, competitive, reviews) you can’t live without?

@khepritech   Want that .edu love start sponsoring local school events! Want .gov donate to the county sheriff or city etc. It is not just good for your business it is good for your community that helps your business thrive.

@gyitsakalakis   Google My Business… @MozLocal @yext

@GregJLee   Love the county sheriff idea for .gov!

@jonfoulds   Google My Business (most important one imo!), Local ranking tool like Moz, & good ol’ Excel for data manipulation.

How have you used http://Schema.org to improve #localseo for your clients/websites?

@mikecrimmins   http://schema.org is my standard and something I train my staff on.

@BKVadvertising   Adding schema to contact info, reviews and events are essential to local SEO-maximizes Google Knowledge Panel.

@jonfoulds   My goal – implement structured data for every local client. So important for geo searches and impacting knowledge graph.

The Specific Local Biz schemas are somewhat limited (dentist, childcare). Which would you like to see?

@khepritech   Honestly childcare is huge. More for legal as well.

@gyitsakalakis   here’s one we use a lot: https://schema.org/LegalService. but answer directly /seoagency.

@ChrisJEverett   Clarified: What NEW Specific Local Business Types would you like to see added?

@jonfoulds   Museums or concert venues would be awesome, more stuff for tourism.

@GregJLee   review stars for a service (not product or business) would be cool.

@emily_C27   Yes! I’d like to see more treatment, software, and education options for clients I work with.

Parting Shots: What is the top local SEO tip for 2016 you can leave us with?

@gyitsakalakis   for local links, don’t obsess over domain authority… Focus on localness and relevance.

@khepritech   Don’t just do business in your local community. Be in your local community

@Affil4you   Don’t just listen to the numbers. Listen to the users..> They will tell you everything

@GregJLee   Google See Inside – streetview inside can be really cool for your client
@ChrisJEverett   Customers like to know what to expect when they get to your place of business, as well!

@jonfoulds   Always focus on how you can positively impact the local community and local user. Great UX and share-ability will follow.

@BKVadvertising   Local SEO needs to be an ongoing brand building effort + social activity.