Summary: Does SocialMedia have a direct impact on SEO on #SEOchat

Moderator: @emily_C27

We already know the importance of socialmedia. Is there a social platform that is most important for SEO?

@SocialMichelleR   Google+, Twitter, & LinkedIn all provide interesting search dividends. G+ is also more visible in logged-in searches for people already connected to you on G+.

@n1ckm1ller   For multiple location businesses, I’ve found location specific Facebook business pages to perform well in the SERPs.

@AJutah   For organic search, developing a strategy for Google+ is important. Great post by @stonetemple about why G+ is important for search.

@KristiKellogg   It varies by brand/business/vertical. There’s no one-size-all solution that works for everyone. You have to experiment.
@n1ckm1ller   No doubt about it. Facebook works well for us, but puting more emphasis in G+ to see what happens.
@BruceClayInc   Like @KristiKellogg said, there’s no across-the-board solution; however, all brands should invest in G+ for ranking reasons.

@lancemoore22   It seems like Twitter is becoming more important now that it displays in Google serps.

@brooklynnholtz   I’ve always heard that having Google+ account is a big deal for SEO. Google might be partial to their own platforms?
@SocialMichelleR   G+ won’t directly affect ranking, but will get new content indexed quickly.
@MatthewAYoung   To add to that, this calls to mind the whole purpose of social. It’s not to rank but to get visibility.
@lancemoore22   I’ve been told that it does affect ranking if you have an inactive location page.

@directom   There’s a lot that goes into that! Industry, audience etc. With twitter & G+ posts to be indexed def worth looking into!

@MatthewAYoung   If you look at any of the @Searchmetrics accounting of ranking factors, Google+ has the highest impact of all places.

@lancemoore22   Google+ is super important for local results.

@ebiziq   Definitely leaning towards G+ since it makes sense that Google’s own platform would be given priority.

@creativecalif   It really depends on your audience & goals. G+ is good for local SEO, but Pinterest might be good for retail. Less about technical SEO, and more about shareability.

@TheBuyerGroup   Twitter is 1 of our faves especially since the news on Twitter in Google search now! Along w/ Google+!

Are there ways to boost your page authority using social media?

@SocialMichelleR   I just posted an article to LinkedIn about Tweets in Mobile Search. I think Twitter is going to provide some interesting opportunities to build brand authority. In general, social validation will help boost brand authority. Just keep in mind that there is no #SEO silver bullet. Social is one of several cogs in the big digital marketing machine. And it’s no small cog either, understaff it or neglect it and the rest of your digital efforts will suffer along with social.

@n1ckm1ller   I think Google My Business might be the most important thing to manage for local SEO.

@AJutah   You can boost page authority thru authoritative links, & social media helps place content in front of authoritative bloggers! Keep in mind that having tons of followers on social media ≠ SEO. It’s about using social as leverage. authority.
@n1ckm1ller   Getting content in front of key influencers is one of the best ways to leverage social and build authority IMO. Great point. And hopefully some of those followers share your content and get it to the right people.

@MatthewAYoung   The Eeffect is indirect at best. Brands with well cultivated presence in general are going to have hi authority anyway. Let’s see how this Twitter situation plays out as well. I think that’s going to get interesting real quick.

@alexpeerenboom   Having a strong, engaged audience (not necessarily size) can lead to more eyes on content & potential for more links.
@Head_Spit   Engaged and hopefully well-connected. Social Media is a conduit for a larger networking and connectivity process.

@BerkleyBikes   Get your sameAs schema in order for your social networks.

@directom   You should be using social to share the content (must provide value to audience) and then increase page rank by natural linking.

@creativecalif   If you use social to promote shares and eventually links and quotes, absolutely. However, there are a few social networks that can still earn you some followed links, if you work at it.

@Scottie907   The trick seems to be driving traffic and shares/links to a webpage, and your owned content.

@KristiKellogg   Social is part of the #digitialmarketing triumvirate: #SEO, #PPC, #SMM. Invest in it. It’s integral to branding & buzz.

@markdhansen   When my client has a post get popular on FB; appears they rank betr and get more organic trf. Seems short-lived. Couple days max.

How can a social media impact on #seo be measured?

@BruceClayInc   Use analytics to see what social platforms are driving the most traffic and invest further in them. Work what’s already working.
@n1ckm1ller   Agreed, but does that show the organic impact on traffic or more just social traffic growth? Hopefully both increase.

@HeroicSearch   Google Analytics and GOALS!

@pjmckeown   Utilizing your analytics solution. They map Social quite well (most do anyway).

@MatthewAYoung   A few different ways – referal traffic, engagement on posted pages.

@KristiKellogg   Gooogle Ananlytics —-> Social Referral Report.

@AJutah    Metrics to measure include >> • Organic search traffic • Referral traffic • Owned 1st page results

@pjmckeown   Social can impact direct too. People may see/hear something then type direct later, as well as search for it.
@SocialMichelleR   That’s the key IMHO, Social impacts search behavior.

@alexpeerenboom   As others have said, looks to analytics: traffic from social sources, engagement, and conversions.

@directom   We use GA to measure social efforts!

@SocialMichelleR   Very focused testing with new content. Track rank over time against another new content piece not socialized.

@CaitlinBoroden   I’ve seen nice boosts in organic branded keyword traffic. Great social = more visibility = more brand recognition & interest.

@n1ckm1ller   I use GA to monitor for trends in the various traffic sources following significant social media activity. And goals.

@creativecalif   It’s pretty tough to measure social impact on SEO. Rather, put your energy into measuring traffic, engagement, and conversions. Of course, measuring/tracking links gained is one way that you can determine the success of the social campaign for SEO.

@markdhansen   We use Avg Postision in GA and correlate with number or shares per day. Sketchy, but btr than nothing.

What are your favorite tools or metrics for measuring social media success?

@pjmckeown   Fav tool is customer interaction and feedback! Happy customers/influencers.

@n1ckm1ller   Google Analytics as @KristiKellogg said w/ the social referral report. Also evaluate pre-established social KPI’s for your biz. After social gains momentum, time on site, repeat visitors, pages/visit are good metrics for social engagement.

@SocialMichelleR   According to @marktraphagen the social impact on SEO is cumulative.

@AJutah   Again, I go back to my trusty spreadsheet. Record KPIs over time.

@BruceClayInc   Set up UTMs to make sure your social is doing what you want it to be doing. This isn’t just about traffic, but conversions.
@alexpeerenboom   UTMs are great for tying together specific marketing campaigns across platforms.

@alexpeerenboom   Start with the platforms themselves: Facebook Insight, Twitter Analytics, Pinterest Analytics.

@TheBuyerGroup   Top fave tools for content: Scribe, SEOToolSet, GoogleTrends + UberSuggest.

@denverish   Mashup data from GA and social platforms’ built-in tools in spreadsheet. I also like Sprout Social.

In Feb, Google struck another deal with Twitter. If all tweets become indexed, could that have a future impact on rankings?

@n1ckm1ller   Without a doubt. The SERPs & rankings are a real estate battle & tweets will take up more space.

@pjmckeown   Absolutely, trust factors, word of mouth factors, links, etc.

@emily_C27   Here’s a resource I found on this.

@MatthewAYoung   Perhaps, but im skeptical on ranking impact. Google may be looking for better ways to track trending topics. If google buys twitter, then it really becomes interesting.
@n1ckm1ller   It may not change rankings but I see a possibility of results getting pushed further down the page/below the fold.
@MatthewAYoung   Assuming tweets show up in the results, which they havent yet.
@n1ckm1ller   Very true. Still waiting.
@SocialMichelleR   Depends on what you search for and if you’re using desktop or mobile. They are on mobile.

@SocialMichelleR   A Tweet in search does not drive any traffic to anything other than a specific twitter account.

@ebiziq   Absolutely. More of a brand’s content in SERPs is always beneficial.

@AJutah   Site rankings? Maybe not, but Twitter posts will rank for terms, like G+ posts do now.

@BerkleyBikes   The way Google currently presents tweets doesn’t seem to have much benefit for rankings.
@SocialMichelleR   It rocks for branding, though. Brand association with topic. Build a habit that drive searches that are a cross between brand & keyword.

@directom   It will have some effect as it’s going to take up room somewhere… and we know it’s not going to intrude on the ppc ads!
@CaitlinBoroden   This is huge! From app listing to news listings and more. It takes forever to get to links sometimes.

@creativecalif   For news and time-sensitive posts, sure. But I believe all links in Twitter are no follow, so not directly. Of course, Google won’t tell us if Twitter will affect rank, so we’ll just have to wait and find out.

@markdhansen   Links to your content in lots of tweets might help lift the ranking of content and authority of domain. Just speculating.
@BerkleyBikes   Combined with native platform metrics (Likes, Faves, Shares) it might be worth something in the future.
@SocialMichelleR   Right now Photos get the best love in the Twitter carousel results.

@BruceClayInc   If tweets start showing up in SERPs then websites will have even more competition for space. So, in a word: yes. Even if you’re still ranking #4 for a term, if the SERP shows #1, #2, some tweets, then #3-10, suddenly #4 is below the fold.

@markdhansen   I think its more real estate taken up by the big guys, Wikipedia, G+, now Twitter. Tougher for the little guy to rank.

@denverish   If your brand reach on Twitter is extensive + your content widely shared by influencers, it could positively impact your SEO.

@markdhansen   I might be the only dummy here, but what are “social media co-citation mentions”?
@emily_C27   Getting mentioned on a blog or site without a hyperlink, could that still affect brand signals?
@denverish   yup. I’d expand that to say mention of brand without any live link to brand property, inc brand site.

@HeroicSearch   Great article on the topic of “co-citation”.

Does social media content, showing up in the SERPs, have an affect on a page’s SEO?

@SocialMichelleR   Easy answer: No, not directly. No one is an authority on everything, so even my validation for cooking content can’t carry the same weight as marketing content. That’s why Social does not directly affect ranking. I would suspect that VERIFIED account mentions are going to be more valuable. The trick is being sure that the mention belongs to an “official” account associated with a site.
@BerkleyBikes   Google can evaluate a social profile’s influence and assign higher equity to links in those posts. Facebook, Twitter, & G+ all verify, G+ is the only one that is even slightly clear about it. Can’t even request verification from FB or Twitter.
@Head_Spit   For sure. A verified account at 15K followers HAS to be worth more than a spam account at 250K.

@pjmckeown   I think the positive/negative sentiment will effect it.

@KristiKellogg   Get to know the SERP-osphere for your top terms. If those SERPs are full of Tweets, you’d better buy your social team more coffee!

@creativecalif   It doesn’t effect it directly, though it may push down some pages in the SERPs.

@BerkleyBikes   In the future, I suspect links in social posts will pass some equity, tied directly to post popularity.
@creativecalif   Somewhat disagree. Social is too easily manipulated for Google to trust it as.
@BerkleyBikes   Google is smart. They can evaluate the worth of a social post based on platform-speicifc metrics. Tool like Shared Count, together with Klout, could pass variable equity to links in social posts.

@denverish   If your brand reach on Twitter is extensive + your content widely shared by influencers, it could positively impact your SEO. You may also be able to get links in the index faster, depending on how Google will incorporate tweets in SERPs.

@directom   A Really great article on that topic by @Kissmetrics_

How realistic is it to get brand signals through social media co-citation mentions?

@denverish   If we are talking Local, pretty easy (and essential).

@alexpeerenboom   I think with any indexed content like G+ posts or tweets soon, there’s a chance for co-citation influence.

@n1ckm1ller   Depending on the site sharing, I think it can certainly influence ranking, but ranking THAT site, not yours, for your brand

@MatthewAYoung   I think it’s a realistic expectation to have, especially with G+.

@AJutah   Google uses citations as signals, so indexed social posts may have an effect on signals to a website.

What do you predict for the future of social media, in terms of it becoming a more integral part of SEO?

@pjmckeown   Just like real life, when you ask a friend about product x. You trust them. Same will be of social, Google will trust that.

@SocialMichelleR   Truthfully it’s already a bigger part of digital marketing that it’s given credit for.

@MatthewAYoung   Google will acquire Twitter and be able to deliver more relevant results faster based on what’s trending.

@BerkleyBikes   I kinda said this before, but links in social posts will provide backlink equity.

@HeroicSearch   We’re already moving into sites being their own publishing platforms (LI does this), more sites asking for your content. Your content, which you’ll provide because they already rank. …I got lost in my own train of thought. NVM.

@creativecalif   No specific predictions. We’ll see what trends arise, but we do know that social is integral to growing brand and traffic. SEO isn’t the be-all-end-all to web traffic, and too many people forget that. It’s just one cog in the wheel. Social is another.

@cjmonteblanco   I see @instagram still reigning for brand marketing. Ecommerce social media will definitely compete for business.
@SocialMichelleR   Even when FB, Twitter, & Pinterest are rolling out “buy” buttons?
@pjmckeown   Instagram/Snapchat is currently where the youngsters are, but that doesn’t mean they stay there.
@SocialMichelleR   That’s why Facebook buys up that stuff.

@denverish   I see Facebook making a bigger push to be seen as a search engine.

@TheBuyerGroup   Couldn’t have said it better. Trending could be replaced with the News button on Google search.

Summary: Practical SEO Solutions for Common eCommerce Headaches on #SEOchat

Moderator: @denverish

How do you scale content creation for a large product site where inventory is constantly changing?

@DragonSearch   Focus on the individual products less and the industry more.

@EricLanderSEO   Start at a high level – product categories and buyers’ needs. Then, layer in product group features – rarely singling out items. Content works when it’s targeting types of products or compares model series in place of exact item to item comparisons. To achieve scale, work in seasonality, annual guides, key release dates and incentive seasons (black friday, etc.)

@chriswtam   Easiest way is to pay someone to write the content. That or crowdsource it.
@CallMeLouzander   Exactly; that’s the beauty of enabling reviews. Let your customers write your content.
@markdhansen   Reviews are usually on same page as products. How effective are they at improving search visibility?
@RyanJones   This depends on how they’re implemented. many people implement them in a way that they don’t help.
@CallMeLouzander   Indexable reviews=relevant (usually) content that uses natural language and often answers questions.
@chriswtam   Extremely effective if you had no/dupe content prior.

@MatthewAYoung   Start large in the architectire, its easier to create content for categories than it if for individual products.

@KristiKellogg   When you’re talking thousands of pages, it makes more sense to hire top tier writers ($$$) for converting pages. Consider hiring cheaper for the lower priority pages.

@BrianRBaker4   Honestly, we don’t. Our client’s can’t afford custom content, so they generally use stock descriptions.
@paulaspeak   If they use stock descriptions, do they at least allow for user reviews to customize product pages?
@BrianRBaker4   yes, but getting user reviews to little-known site is difficult. We don’t have any large e-commerce sites ATM
@denverish   How is that working out for them? Do you use #UCG or anything else to add unique content?
@BrianRBaker4    Depends on DA. For clients that have a high DA already, they can get away with stock content. Lower DA sites not so much.

@markdhansen   Offer vendors space on your site to create content related to their products.

@Tinu   I mean when you’re talking just one product, you can be really direct and focused. When there are 100s you have to prioritize.

@SocialMichelleR   Formatting is easier to scale than the written content. Dial it down to easy to populate wizard. You can tell every time you land on a product page populated with stock copy. Reads like a robot wrote it. My e-com client would allow automated content in order to get the product up, and then had someone polish.
@EricLanderSEO   Agreed. That and the whole Mad Libs style of product copy is so painfully poor for consumers.
@RyanJones   I’ve had clients do that too. Everything goes up stock, and editors work off a prioritized product list to re-write.
@SocialMichelleR    ecom has some of the most SERIOUS work flows on the planet.

@RyanJones   Some of my large retail clients have product copywriters on staff writing them with training from the SEO team. With large retail sites , SEO is less about actually writing content and more about training and evangelizing.
@KristiKellogg   Respectfully disagree. If you’re selling Gucci; you’re not going to rank unless you write top content about Gucci.
@MatthewAYoung   Even then, it becomes an issue of intent. Unlikely you will outrank Gucci, even with all that content.
@directom   We imagine that selling a brand like Gucci suffers from competing against tons of black hat style sites.
@RyanJones   In those cases I challenge the client: “why are you a better result than the manufacturer?”
@MatthewAYoung   No point in having delusional clients. Good recipe for one and done clients.
@ZakNicola   Site structure and proper canonicalization, imo, are the biggest roles in a large retail site based on my exp.
@MatthewAYoung   Cant overlook the canonicals either. Its the rope to hang yourself with.

@directom   As high level as possible. Expanding to more detailed/niche features later on. It’s quite the undertaking, so pace yourself.

@AJutah   Option 1 > hire more writers. Option 2 > use blogger reviews. Also consider getting an agency on retainer to help scale content creation.

@cjmonteblanco   Ideally, focus on the main product pages for ecommerce sites. Tailor future products around that. Sufficient answer maybe?

What are your favorite tactics for decreasing cart abandonment?

@DragonSearch   Decrease the price by a small amount when it hits the shopping cart. Makes customers feel like they’re getting a deal. Instills sense of urgency. I also like retargeting via social. Talked about this a lot in a recent.
@MatthewAYoung   Amazon does this all the time with “coupons” where you can save $$ at the cart.
@n1ckm1ller   I don’t always love couponing but it does work to get people through the cart.

@SocialMichelleR   Let them leave and retarget on Facebook. Mobile-friendly cart. I can think of ways to use the roll-out of Messenger for Business to reach out on a personal level after cart abandonment. Seriously, do any of your clients track how much shopping starts on mobile, but completed on desktop? I think we are going to see more and more of that. Watch out Christmas shopping season.
@CallMeLouzander   Are you tracking multi-device/first-click attribution? Any insights?
@CaitlinBoroden   First-click attribution I check in on monthly. It’s always has some interesting finds.
@AJutah   I like time decay attribution model better since it’s closer to conversion point.
@SocialMichelleR   Honestly this is the thing that makes me crazy about tracking. I know it’s happening, but hard to follow.
@JeremyRiveraSEO   Review # of steps in the process – remove, merge, condense, shorten!

@CaitlinBoroden   Make sure your cart is fully functionally.. you’d be surprised.

@BruceClayInc   Look at funnel in analytics, identify the pain point. Find out where people are dropping off.
@EricLanderSEO   What @BruceClayInc said. Then, if lost, email incentives, social banner displays and escalating discounts get them back.

@AJutah   Identify *where* carts are abandoned, then test solution. Shorten process? Security? Found better $? The Mega Guide to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment.

@MatthewAYoung   Identify where people are exiting and look at the site like a human being. Ask why, then test solutions.

@CallMeLouzander   Great time to flex your email marketing muscle if you’ve got addresses. Wait a day or 2 then send reminder email.

@chriswtam   Big flashing red arrows pointing to “Pay Now” button.

@MarketingMeisha   User Testing – see if users are experiencing any issues during the conversion funnel; or, retarteting.

@denverish   I’d also look at decreasing page load times and increasing trust with reviews. Simple, I know. And effective.

What do you do when sales data in Good Analytics doesn’t match sales data in ecommerce platform?

@markdhansen   Does GA Ecommerce ever match up with your real checkout numbers? We use it as a guideline only.
@n1ckm1ller   Agreed, difficult to trust the GA numbers entirely. I use it as a reference point for the ecommerce platform.
@CaitlinBoroden   Unfortunately, returns often through everything off.

@MichaelBurjack   As with all metrics, need to have a source you trust as “the truth”. Then, it’s all ratios thereafter!

@BruceClayInc   Dig into the data to find the problem. Don’t stop looking until you fix it.

@KristiKellogg   Call Gary Illyes in a pinch.

@JeremyRiveraSEO   “Follow the money”. If the client can’t tell how much money they made, then they have a bigger problem.

@DragonSearch   It all seriousness, GA has its flaws. While it and eComm platforms use same terminology, they often report different stuff.

@MatthewAYoung   Look at the analytics data to ID if anything is missing, and when all else fails, get a new analytics platform.

@CallMeLouzander   Srsly tho, so long as you can trust 1 data source, I’d stick with that. Then like @MichaelBurjack said, it’s ratios from there.

@markdhansen   For accuracy, we often use as guideline only. Best bet is plugins provided by platform such as this.

Imagine that you’ve inherited a large product site with deep hierarchical navigation & shallow indexing? What do you do?

@CaitlinBoroden   Step #1: Check for sitemap.
@CallMeLouzander   And run status check on URLs in XML sitemap. I’m finding lots of 404s in XMLs lately.

@BruceClayInc   Determine “shallow indexing” is a problem. If it is, then prioritize pages & get them indexed.

@MatthewAYoung   Look at the viability of the navigation (blocked/not blocked). Address XML sitemap issues. Study internal linking structure.

@MichaelBurjack   Step back; re-grok overall internal link graph. Ensure juice flows to highest-value areas of the site. And mining onsite search is a highly focused repository of intent insight in the age of “Not Provided”.

@DragonSearch   What’s the user flow like on this site? Are PEOPLE navigating through this hierarchy? Look at site search stats: Are people searching for common things because they’re buried too deep and they can’t find them?
@CallMeLouzander   Also, does your internal search work? Try finding a specific product. If it’s hard, you’re losing sales/ranking.
@MatthewAYoung   And also ensure said searches are not allowed to be indexed.

@CallMeLouzander   look at how query strings/faceted search is handled. Is your CMS creating a bunch of indexable pages that are duplicates?

@SocialMichelleR   As the social marketer of the team, I’ll let the SEOs deal with structure and share to G+ to help index new stuff quick.

@directom   We like the sitemap route, but improving internal linking can do wonders. Almost like a user sitemap.
@MichaelBurjack   Agreed. XML sitemap + HTML sitemap great one-two punch.

@JeremyRiveraSEO   Compare a full crawl (ala @BeamUsUpCrawler or @screamingfrog ) with GWT index, site: results and Sitemap.

What are your favorite ecommerce platforms and payment gateway solutions?

@MatthewAYoung   Ive worked with Magento quite a bit, though the jury is still out. It works most of the time.
@CallMeLouzander   Agree with @MatthewAYoung; Magento has its strengths but plenty of weaknesses. Powerful, but giants aren’t always nimble.

@CaitlinBoroden   Honestly, I have a love/hate relationship with Shopify.

@directom   It varies, but we’re starting to love Shopify. Especially now since those buyable pins on Pinterest need an Shopify account. The only which has given us nightmares is Volusion. Amazon has one as well and it’s somehow WORSE. As of now, Shopify is the only one that will integrate. Others have to request waiting list.

@markdhansen   Honestly, WooCommerce has come a long way.
@SocialMichelleR   One of my small biz clients is using WooCommerse with their WordPress site.

@CallMeLouzander   General answer: make sure you learn how to set up/customize your platform properly; they’re not generally “plug n play.”

@mralexmiranda   Setting up Woocommerce and integrating with Stripe works bad a**. Besides… WordPress rocks!!

Summary: Tool Time on #SEOchat

Moderator: @DragonSearch

Name your top 3 tools for getting started in SEO.

@EricLanderSEO   Google Webmaster Tools, Microsoft Excel and @sengineland

@alexpeerenboom   My top 3 tools would be Screaming Frog, Open Site Explorer and Google Webmaster Tools

@BruceClayInc   A good crawler (Xenu, Screaming Frog); the keyword planner; and analytics access.

@jennyhalasz   Google (ahem) Search Console, Screaming Frog, Analytics. One I’ve been loving lately is uptime robot. So helpful to know when your clients’ site is down!!!

@LocalSEOJenny   My 3 faves are Google Webmaster Tools, MOZ, and @semrush, all 3 are easy to use and provide lots of value!

@MatthewAYoung   Google Search Console, Adwords and Screaming Frog

@CaitlinBoroden   Screaming Frog, GA, and Moz
@MatthewAYoung   Some love for Moz, yes! Im also into Searchmetrics too. Pretty robust, though I float between Searchmetrics and SEMRush.

@szahurones   Three I learned early that were helpful, though three is not enough! Screaming Frog, Open Site Explorer, SEMRush

@SWallaceSEO   WMT, Excel & Screaming Frog are go to tools!

@Tony_DWM   Top 3 tools for getting started in SEO: Google Search Console (prev GWMT), Google Analytics & @screamingfrog

@CJLio   GWT, Analytics, and Screaming Frog.

@directom   Our bread and butter tools are @Linkdex, @semrush, & @MajesticSEO. Extremely robust, we’d be lost without them.

@jacquesbouchard   That crazy screaming frog, for one. Google’s suite of tools (GA, GWMT, GTM, etc) is 2. Three would be Chrome and its plugins.

@GoBrandify   Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics and of course our platform!

@aodmarketing   Google webmaster tools, Analytics, and @moz

@creativecalif   Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, and common sense.

@SWallaceSEO   If I got to add a 4th go to tool I would also say @ahrefs

@tannerpetroff   Screaming Frog, My eyes, and Google advanced search operators.

@CallMeLouzander   Also, @tryMajestic has a great browser plugin that helps with off-page audits.

@SocialMichelleR   don’t forget wordpress plugins like Yoast

@SarasotaBiz   AuthorityLabs, Moz, GWT

@cjmonteblanco   Mine’s a do-over buuuuut… Screaming Frog, Google Search Console & Microsoft Office (Excel & Word for the win)

@AJutah   Essential tools for SEO >> • Google Spreadsheets • Reddit • Energy drink(s)

@lancemoore22   @googleanalytics

If you could only have ONE tool for SEO, what would it be?

@EricLanderSEO   A Google account with access to Search Console and their host of Apps.

@SocialMichelleR   I get you’re point, but there’s no one tool that will take care of everything an SEO needs

@MatthewAYoung   If I was on an desert island and could only have one tool with me it would be the Search Console

@CJLio   It would have to be something that encompassed almost everything, so I guess I would have to go with @Moz

@SWallaceSEO   Screaming Frog is pretty encompassing for on-page but I can’t imagine it w/o Excel

@emily_C27   Google Analytics for suureee, efforts don’t mean much without a good measurable

@alexpeerenboom   Tough call, but I would say Google (Analytics, GWT). Focus on making your own site the best possible.

@jacquesbouchard   ONE tool? Google Analytics. You can’t grow if you don’t know. Data drives and informs your strategy.

@Tony_DWM   Unfair question LOL! My one would be @screamingfrog (the time I save using this SEO masterpiece is just stupid!)

@jennyhalasz   My brain. After 15 years, my instincts are pretty good – data just confirms them most of the time.

@LocalSEOJenny   Only 1!?!! I guess that Google Search Console/ GWT wins out of greater necessity!

@directom   Google Analytics. It’s imposible to target pages to improve or how to make the UX better.

@dan_patterson   Only one… i’d probably go with Screaming Frog. Saves time

@cjmonteblanco   Screaming Frog. Kermit agrees

@BruceClayInc   If you could only have one, it would have to be Analytics.

@szahurones   one SEO tool? This is painful. Screaming Frog, Moz, or any analytics platform. I will flip a coin.

@AJutah   A computer. Can’t do SEO without it. :) Other tools can often be done manually with little or no cost!

@creativecalif   Webmaster Tools. You can see ranks, traffic, crawl errors, index status and more in one tool

What tools have really good support?

@jennyhalasz   one that hasn’t been mentioned is @awebranking. Love those guys. Support is great! One more is trustedwebproxies. No matter when one of my IPs wears out, they replace it immediately!

@CallMeLouzander   ScreamingFrog. GWT is slow to update, not always complete. An independent crawl is more reliable.

@SocialMichelleR   Bar-none @AuthorityLabs has one of the best support teams out there

@CaitlinBoroden   Can I say Screaming Frog for every question? They are super responsive on Twitter.
@jennyhalasz   +1 for @screamingfrog

@pjmckeown   Brightedge has decent support, Screaming Frog as well. If you have Google support, GAp is great.

@EricLanderSEO   @Moz staff and community are great, as are the folks behind @ahrefs @semrush @spyfu and Dan from @screamingfrog

@MatthewAYoung   @Searchmetrics has awesome support. I can reach out to them any time for dashboard templates, help, etc.

@LocalSEOJenny   I do a lot of local SEO, @bright_local has a great support forum/system and is very quick to respond to any inquiry!

@szahurones   I find Linkdex to have some of the best customer support I’ve experienced. SEMRush is solid too.
@jacquesbouchard   Now that you mention that, I’ve had good experiences with @lnkresearchtool as well.

@aodmarketing   we’ve found @moz and @gShiftLabs support to be outstanding

@jacquesbouchard   I find that @Moz and their team are particularly friendly and responsive – in person, on social, and otherwise.

@CJLio   I’ll say @SEOAware provides the best support seeing she works for the best out there!

@BruceClayInc   Majestic puts out amazing tutorials — they’re proactive approach is awesome

@directom   With a personal account rep who is available at what seems a moment’s notice, @Linkdex is just AWESOME

@Tony_DWM   Excellent SEO tool support: @semrush, @screamingfrog (another mention!), @RavenTools (another mention!) & @moz

@AJutah   SEO tools with good support >> • @moz • @citationlabs • @glip • @socialbro

@cjmonteblanco   @thebeccsd and I find that @Moz has the fastest support available. Yay Roger!

What tools have you used that had a steep learning curve?

@jennyhalasz   I decline to answer on the grounds that it may tend to incriminate me. (and those who follow me)
@MatthewAYoung   Haha, I work for Adobe so i will refrain from answering, at the advice of my counsel of course.

@CJLio   Probably Excel. There is just so much room for activities!

@EricLanderSEO   I’ve found the ability to immerse myself into @ahrefs and Search Console most. So many intricate aspects to get sucked in by. @ahrefs – I record data daily, and could create hours of research from subtle changes. So detailed & accessible!

@BruceClayInc   Analytics. It’s easy to do a shallow dive and think you’re deep, but becoming a power user takes work.
@SocialMichelleR   I was thinking that myself. GA is not as intuitive as it might seem

@szahurones   Analytics has a steep learning curve for truly powerful analysis.

@Tony_DWM   None to date. SEO tools worth their weight have excellent user manuals, online support & are pretty simple to use. I’d add that SEO’s often have to use diff CMS’s & a variety of tools, so “This is too hard!” doesn’t cut it.

@directom   SEMrush is a fantastic tool. Complex and still valuable. Not the easiest to pick up right away.

@jacquesbouchard   Google Tag Manager immediately comes to mind, but also Xenu. MS Excel too – its many features are too hidden.
@jennyhalasz   Oh GTM has been my nemesis lately… so complicated!

@dan_patterson   Xenu… I remember using that one! I used it before I found the frog. I liked the organization of frog better.

@CallMeLouzander   I really like the SEOTools plugin for Excel, but it can be a little tricky to work sometimes.

@creativecalif   Google Analytics – you can keep digging and finding new pieces of info to mine.

@LocalSEOJenny   Can I say Google Products! They’re always changing their forums and support avenues and interfaces!

How often are you testing new tools?

@dan_patterson   Not often enough ;( Too many options, too many expenses for them, and not enough time

@pjmckeown   As soon as I hear about them I try to get my hands dirty!

@EricLanderSEO   Always be testing. Each new tool likely has a unique perspective, so trials are necessary. Compare, contrast & subscribe.

@jennyhalasz   daily. Seriously, I come across something new every day. 90% don’t get more than 5 mins though… see Q4.

@MatthewAYoung   Pretty often, but I am set in my ways. My clients demand consistent sets of data

@SocialMichelleR   I tend to spend more time talking to others testing out tools than I spend testing myself

@directom   Until one tool stops working or isn’t configurable to your liking, we all stick with what we love.

@alexpeerenboom   I’m always open to looking at new tools. Love seeing blog posts that highlight features and use cases.

@emily_C27   “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is what I’ve gone by but It’s smart to keep a keen eye to new tools

@jacquesbouchard   As needed. But I’ll always need new tools as the industry changes, as I grow, and as I find current tools lacking.

@szahurones   Love testing new tools. SEO, CRO, Analytics, content tools. Spend time learning everyday. Curiosity is the best super power.

@thompsonpaul   I’ve cut way down on tool testing – easy to get lost chasing the new shiny instead of mastering what we have.

How do you vet new tools?

@pjmckeown   Ease of use, comparison to current tool suite, friendliness of support, cost, functionality. (no order given)

@CJLio   Like most marketing, it really has to have a unique functionality or selling proposition. Too many tools overlap.

@jennyhalasz   They get about 5 mins. If there are credits to run out or size limitations, I’m out. The sites I work with are too big. If it can save me more time in the long run than it costs to test it, it’s probably a winner. Recently was asked to test a new tool like our beloved @screamingfrog. It ran out of credits on the first pass of most impt site.

@jacquesbouchard   Tools vary too much for criteria. If it gets my job done completely, quickly, effectively, and cost-effectively, I’m happy.
@MatthewAYoung   Serioulsy. If something new comes along, im pretty sure the old tools will add it at some point

@szahurones   Vet by learning. If I can’t get my hands on it, it’ll be hard for me to really comprehend the value.

@EricLanderSEO   Honestly, use multiple credit cards and really dedicate yourself to trial periods. Sign up 3x before you commit – but invest. Record data daily from existing/competing tool. Check update frequency and then validate numbers. Best & fastest wins!

@CaitlinBoroden   First step: test what’s unique about the tool and see if it’s worth

@BerkleyBikes   I’m always comparing new tools to current tools. In what way is it better?

@MatthewAYoung   I want to know what a tool adds that I can’t live without. Nothing new? Im movin’ on

@Tony_DWM   Tool criteria: speed, insight, support, care (humans behind sw), regular updates, UX & co’s track record (dev)

@aodmarketing   We research what others are saying, contact support to rate responsiveness, exhaust all possible uses & benchmark.

@BruceClayInc   Is there unique value provided? Do they save time? Make the job easier? Are they cost effective?

@AJutah   Use a free trial to test the waters, and set benchmarks. If no progress by end of trial, part ways.

@creativecalif   We compare to our current favorite tool. If functionality goes above and beyond with ease, we may give it a try.

@tannerpetroff   Know what you want the tool to do, and then find out it’s capabilities with a test. If it doesn’t work, drop it.

Favorite new tool you’ve tried recently?

@jennyhalasz   Not an SEO tool, but I just tried Honey for the first time today. Awesome! Scours coupon sites for active coupon codes. Best seo tool is @spamflag. Simple, light, can’t live without it for link audits.

@pjmckeown   Analytics Canvas (plugin for google sheets)

@directom   Is Google Search Console considered “new”?

@CallMeLouzander   @raventools Schema Creator, and . May not be new, but new to me. @seanmalseed built a great Rich Snippet Tester that’s pretty handy. Found it at .

@BerkleyBikes   I started using @Domotalk recently. Very powerful resource.

@jacquesbouchard   I was pleasantly surprised with @TweetBinder for hashtag research, although I wish I could do bulk searching more easily.

@szahurones   Siteliner for current content analysis (duplicate, common) nTopic for post analysis prior to publishing. SERPTurkey another.

@tonyxrandall   I’ve been playing around with link theif lately

@MatthewAYoung   Recently started using @TrackMaven for social and competitive research. Pretty awesome stuff.

@tannerpetroff   Not new, but @bright_local recently made my toolbox, and this isn’t an SEO tool, but it’s awesome.

@cjmonteblanco   shoutout to @ahrefs for being my new fave

@EricLanderSEO   Not sure how new it is – or if it’s just new to me – but I love @BuzzSumo for content marketing, ideas, etc.

@Tony_DWM   @seanmalseed’s Mobile Friendly SERP Testing Tool – Rank Tank pure brilliance

@CJLio   If anything, I try new WP plugins more frequently than SEO tools to help cut down on time. Schema creator plugin is essential!

@narenism   Really impressed with FAQfox Neat tool to mine questions posted by target users.

Do you divulge what tools you use with your client?

@jennyhalasz   Sure, why not? It’s just a starting point. They still need me to analyze the results.

@pjmckeown   When I worked agency, generally no unless asked. Now I’m in-house, some, not all.

@tannerpetroff   If it serves a purpose to share it, then yes. If not, I leave it off the table. So many tools it can get really confusing.

@EricLanderSEO   Yes. This industry has enough of a stigma on it’s own to not be 100% clear and candid on data and sources. We control nothing.

@MatthewAYoung   Never. SEO is magic! But seriously. I disclose what tools I use.

@SWallaceSEO   When appropriate – usually as it makes sense in explaining our recommendations and where research / data came from

@BerkleyBikes   I never HIDE tools, but I don’t always bring them up if it’s not important.

@jacquesbouchard   Yup. I think the SEO community is strong because we’re so willing to collaborate. We are few; there’s enough space for everyone

@directom   Some, yes. But most tools will just go over their heads. Their thing is running their business, not how we technically do ours.

@aodmarketing   We don’t keep much from clients. It’s not the tools but the person using them that makes a campaign successful.

@szahurones   yes. I’m a big fan of transparency and think it important for client (or execs) to know where the data comes from. Build trust.

@CJLio   Depends how savvy the client is about SEO. I usually try not to include it unless they ask.
@tannerpetroff   My experience is most ‘SEO savvy’ clients think they get it but just get in way over their head when I talk detail.

@thompsonpaul   Don’t hide which tools, but don’t bring it up. Like asking a photographer what camera he uses – does it matter? Nope.

@DragonSearch   We’ll always tell them if they want to know. Often, they want a house. They don’t care if we use screws or nails to build it.

@jacquesbouchard   With clients, if they ask, I divulge. Usually I try not to complicate things with unnecessary variables while consulting.

@Tony_DWM   Not all of them. Why? If their sales have increased greatly due to our good SEO work, they really don’t care. Clients want results. Period. Does a solicitor tell you books they’ve read or do you focus on his track-record?

@Ajutah   However, your own branded tools can help with client retention.

@narenism   Don’t divulge unless they ask for it. Anyway data from the tools is useless without the skills to analyze it.

@pjmckeown   I can spend an hour explaining tools to them, or actually do work. Time to teach vs time to do.

@aodmarketing   We view educating our clients as a big part of our mandate. The more they understand how we help, the stronger the relationship

Do you have a tool budget?

@jennyhalasz   as little as possible. I’m totally willing to pay for a great tool that makes my life easier or my time more billable.
@jacquesbouchard   It’s not uncommon for a tool to run 50k+. Very hard to pitch the ROI of that in a corporate setting.
@jennyhalasz   I know. Even in a non-corporate setting, I often fail to see the ROI in 50K+.

@pjmckeown   absolutely! We are a large corp, and tools budget is a must and is reviewed regularly.

@MatthewAYoung   No, but that doesnt mean I dont have to justify the cost to the people who sign the checks

@creativecalif   Not a budget, per se. If a tool has a positive return on the cost, then we invest. Could be time saved or actual $$.

@jacquesbouchard   Of course! Although some of it is flexible to empower agility.

@aodmarketing   having a budget for everything (including tools) is essential to managing costs and keeping prices competitive

@szahurones   No real budget, but can’t go crazy. Many different types of tools. CRO, UX, SEO that a tight budget would hinder possibilities

@tannerpetroff   No specified budget. If it makes sense, it goes in the toolbox. But I’m pretty picky about the ones I pay for.

@CaitlinBoroden   We do but you’ve got to take advantage of some of the free tools out there as well.

@SWallaceSEO   No set budget but we review cost for each tool and especially as we’re adding new ones. Need to be able to justify costs

CJLio Absolutely,other wise you get tool happy. We usually break the tool into a class and then compare to make sure not overlapping.

@tannerpetroff   I’d wager that 85% of my toolbox consists of free tools.

@AJutah   If you can attribute an increase in conversions/revenue to a tool, budget shouldn’t be a factor.

@Tony_DWM   SEO tools tell you a lot about the team (or lack of) behind them. Excellent ppl + great work = excellent tools

Who pays for tools? Clients?

@pjmckeown   Ultimately the client always pays for the tool, one way or another.

@szahurones   Being in-house we just purchase or build. In agency life, we took on the cost of our tools. Clients almost never paid.

@directom   If we use a tool, we probably use it for more than one client. No sense charging them for it.

@CJLio   Depends on where you work. If for yourself, then you pay for it, but it’s technically adjusted in the billing price.

@jacquesbouchard   Ultimately, if your money comes from clients and your tools cost money, “yes” is always the answer to that one.

@DragonSearch   Sometimes we’ll bill the tool cost directly to clients, if we use it on a small number of them.

@cjmonteblanco   Our tools are government funded

@Tony_DWM   Indirectly, yes. They pay us to help them, we purchase tools to do so w/ funds frm our biz’s. Same as any biz

Summary: Conversion Optimization as part of the “new” SEO on #SEOchat

Moderator: @thompsonpaul

Why should or shouldn’t Conversion Optimisation be considered part of the “new” SEO?

@pjmckeown   Because we like to show ROI for what they are paying us. Everything should be optimized for conversion.

@MatthewAYoung   Should be considered because it may allow orgs to see $$ value in SEO efforst. You cant just say to a client, i got you traffic, see ya. Bad business to not go the distance.

@JeremyRiveraSEO   If you’re not connecting your efforts to revenue, then you’re not able to show your value to client/boss.
@pjmckeown   Not always about revenue. Conversions could be something else too.
@JeremyRiveraSEO   That’s partially true, i.e. newsletters and such – However, those softleads -> real leads -> revenue. If your “softleads” don’t actually move any needles on revenue (even indirectly) then re-evaluate IMO.
@pjmckeown   We have sites that have nothing to do with revenue. Sometimes it’s just about getting info out.
@JeremyRiveraSEO   Touche’ I wasn’t thinking about something like a non-profit – where the product “sold” is just awareness. In those cases, do you find it’s more about meeting your client’s exposure/reach expectations?
@pjmckeown   For sure, came from Gov’t where it was all about getting the message out.

@BrianRBaker4   CRO SHOULD be part of the new SEO because user metrics are the #1 Ranking Factor, DUH!

@lisabuyer   I thought conversion optimization always was part of #SEO – if that is the KPI.
@MatthewAYoung   I kinda thought the same thing too. SEO has incorporated a lot, #CRO is just another thing.
@lisabuyer   One goes with the other. How can you do CRO without SEO being part of it.
@pjmckeown   Totally agreed! If SEO !=CRO, whats the point?
@EricLanderSEO   They’re related and connected, but CRO is NOT an exclusive element of SEO, IMO.
@MatthewAYoung   Organic alone wont pay the bills.
@thompsonpaul   No, not “exclusively” part of SEO, but SEO needs to include CRO?
@MatthewAYoung   Yes, CRO can be exclusive and be part of the larger SEO process.

@cjmonteblanco   Conversion optimization will make sites more user-friendly and more likely to be indexed by search engines. It’s a win-win!
@jacquesbouchard   Right – the type of thinking that promotes good SEO is often parallel to the way a CRO should think.

@jacquesbouchard   SEO’s are involved in data that uniquely positions us for CRO consulting and Google Organic is a top converting traffic source. That being said, we shouldn’t be the ONLY people considering #CRO. Design, PPC, etc. should also be involved.

@CallMeLouzander   Conversions, properly understood, show site relevance. SEs send traffic to relevant sites. Converting users=higher dwell times.

@thompsonpaul   To me, Conversion Optimisation is the obvious next step in SEO – for when there isn’t already data about “what’s best to do next”

@EricLanderSEO   Conversion (Rate) Optimization (or “CRO”) isn’t an SEO element b/c it’s a digital factor of UX presented to many media types. Conversion optimization is no more or less a part of SEO than “design”.
@pjmckeown   Good SEO helps Good UX if the SEO knows what they are doing.
@EricLanderSEO   Debatable. @pjmckeown – I want my designers and UI/UX folks working on CRO, not my SEOs.
@pjmckeown   Ya, we don’t have designers who understand CRO, and just got a UX guy, so have to help often. I get it though.
@jacquesbouchard   What’s the point of ranking for keywords if we don’t know if they bring conversions?
@BerkleyBikes   Brand awareness! Who needs conversions when you have brand awareness?
@EricLanderSEO   All – CRO is not “conversions.” It’s improving conversion rates. That needs to be differentiated here. SEO is a marketing medium – not one only dedicated to conversions. “CRO” is NOT “C” The optimization process is much larger than simple “proving conversions.” I give up explaining further.
@tannerpetroff   SEO is just one medium, but if it’s silo’d it isn’t as effective.
@pjmckeown   If SEO is silod, find another place to work that gets it.
@thompsonpaul   CRO isn’t about measuring conversions though-it’s about using testing methodologies to IMPROVE them.
@jacquesbouchard   Example: I justify the value of page speed enhancements or responsive updates with CRO and traffic.

@SarahFromDC   Should *definitely* be part of #SEO – improves UX and gives clients / customers tangible data to show your value.

@ebiziq   b/c all the SEO in the world won’t mean a thing if landing pages are not optimised to lead to conversions.

@MarketingMeisha   We’ve considered this dilemma internally many times… We tend to blur the lines betweek #seo / #analytics / & #CRO
@jacquesbouchard   I’d like to see more blurred lines in marketing. Let’s get everyone collaborating more.

@alexpeerenboom   Whether PPC or SEO, CRO should always be a focus. Strive for a better site whether that’s engagement or business metrics.

@BruceClayInc   CRO is a chief concern for any #digitalmarketer. Conversions are, after all, how you prove the value of what you’re doing.
@jacquesbouchard   Often, but what’s the CRO of a successful site migration? How do you measure a preventative linkspam cleanup?
@BruceClayInc   If you migrate a site, CRO *should* always improve, even if only slightly. What are your thoughts?
@jacquesbouchard   I think that sometimes there’s a traffic drop after a site relaunch, and it’s a SEO’s job to minimize that drop.
@markdhansen   True, traffic often does drop – in my experience. Even with the best redesigns Why is that?
@MatthewAYoung   If URLs change, Google has to reindex URLs – takes time.
@markdhansen   Not much time, though, right? Couple days maybe?
@CallMeLouzander   Depends on site’s history. Could be months if site was static before.
@MatthewAYoung   Depends on the size of the site. I’ve had sits bounce back in a week, some much longer.
@jacquesbouchard   I saw one site drop for 6 moths, then turn out 56% growth YOY.
@jacquesbouchard   Right, but minimizing loss is hard to prove with conversion numbers. How do you know how much traffic you saved?
@CallMeLouzander   In general, the success of a migration is determined in raw traffic/rankings, IMHO.
@jacquesbouchard   Also CRO and other factors. If a blog’s added, it could be a year+ before the ingestment pays off.
@MatthewAYoung   Content certainly is playing the long game.
@jacquesbouchard   Blogs build momentum – @randfish would suggest it could take many years to get going.

@creativecalif   It should, b/c it doesn’t matter how many people you bring to your site, if you can’t get them to do something actionable. Who cares if 1,000,000 people see my new product, if nobody is compelled to buy it? Difficult to actually prove the value of your work if you don’t have quality conversions.

@CrowdContent   CRO is a must because it allows companies to measure, track, and, most importantly, improve.

@thompsonpaul   Interesting to see almost unanimous opinion that CRO is integral to SEO! Certainly wasn’t the case when I asked couple years ago
@alexpeerenboom   That might parallel the shift in (not provided). Focus is no longer on rankings, but user intent, engagement, data.

How many of us do at least some kind of testing/CRO work as part of regular responsibilities? Email? PPC? Landing Pages?

@alexpeerenboom   That might parallel the shift in (not provided). Focus is no longer on rankings, but user intent, engagement, data.

@pjmckeown   What’s the point of doing if you are not testing? We test to death. Test, optimize, determine what works, repeat.

@CaitlinBoroden   A/B testing is a must and it’s fun! A little race to see which performs better. I can’t be the only one?

@SarahFromDC   That’s probably 80% of what I do, haha! Especially for email – our #nonprofit friends depend on it.

@MarketingMeisha   Yes to both! Testing testing testing! Would love ideas on how to incorporate this more into the #seo end of things.

@EricLanderSEO   Understanding how traffic types, sources and entry points influence conversions are required testing for any SEO.

@creativecalif   I’m always tweaking web page structure, page titles, AdWords and so on to get better results. Sometimes too much.

@directom   I like to see the difference of how the smallest changes can change results when A/B testing! It is exciting!
@CaitlinBoroden   I completely agree. VWO makes it so easy to peek in and watch the results. I’m sure plenty others do too. Exciting!

@MatthewAYoung   Landing pages for sure – CRO is a must, and lets not forget landing page optimization while we’re at it. Shout out to @tim_ash.

@Fitehal   Analytics and Page optimization are campaign savers

@KristiKellogg   There is no end to #SEO, and subsequently there can be no end to #CRO. Your site will never be perfect, but it can be No. 1

@CallMeLouzander   Not so much A/B but always test to improve conversions & site navigation. If they don’t convert on 1 page, maybe on the next. Also, let’s make sure we’re considering micro-conversions; a sale/newsletter signup aren’t the only options!

@jacquesbouchard   I often feel like CRO is half my job and most of the value. Sometimes traffic drops mean BETTER traffic, and more conversions.

@JeremyRiveraSEO   I find digging into the Adwords campaign always helps me come up with ideas for organic SEO conversion efforts.
@tannerpetroff   I do the same, but I’ve noticed high converting paid terms aren’t always great for organic.

@thompsonpaul   I try to work on CRO constantly – to provide an antidote to the HiPPO problem of “I think we should do “this” instead.” Whenever I hear “I think” my mind immediately goes to “then let’s test rather than guess or go only with gut.”

@markdhansen   As biz founder, I do testing/CRO all the time, on ALL marketing. Should do way more. Easy to get stuck in ruts doing same old.

@thompsonpaul   What other areas besides PPC, email, landing pages do you find for CRO opportunities?
@pjmckeown   We test social posts and videos as well.
@directom   contact forms, requests for information, downloads of resources etc

How do you bring up the need for CRO with clients/stakeholders?

@BrianRBaker4   We CRO test our forms.

@cjmonteblanco   Quality newsletters are a start. Keeps the business fresh in my mind, so long as they’re sending out quality content.

@pjmckeown   Luckily we don’t have that issue, our c-suite gets it, we’ve proven it over and over.

@searchrook   In-app notifications

@MatthewAYoung   Path analysis – point out where people are exiting on their way to conversion and try to plug the holes.

@SarahFromDC   I mostly work with nonprofits, so usually CRO is 1st thing discussed – “Want more donations? Do this.” Start with small, easy changes and report, report, report – almost always they’re happy to build from there.

@EricLanderSEO   Marketing is proven with results. Whether conversions, lift, reach, etc. If you’re into business generated, you need CRO.

@gaurav8k   Nothing I’m going to do for CRO is going to affect my domain authority, my page authority, or spam analysis negatively. If, over time, you are improving the happiness(conversion) of your visitors, Google will reward you.

@jacquesbouchard   With as much data as I can muster, both internally and from studies/sources. It’s a hard sell to be sure.

@Tony_DWM   We lead w/ their market share (or lack of). The higher you go in an organisation, the more they focus on rev/profit. That’s why CEO or director buy-in is essential. Decisions can then be made based on conv’s & results w/ adj’s after.

@lisabuyer   Ask them if they are currently happy with #CRO #ROI. They might answer with blank stares.

@BruceClayInc   You can’t argue with hard data. Share data with them that supports the need to focus on #CRO.

@cjmonteblanco   Emphasize the stages throughout the purchase funnel. CRO is just as important as an aspect when bringing in customers

@creativecalif   For one, digging into their traffic, showing them what their users are doing, then comparing it to their non-online numbers.

@searchrook   Show them what the competition is doing and set them thinking if it’ll work for them. Always works
@jacquesbouchard   Yes! Competitive analysis is such a powerful tool.

@ebiziq   CRO is oftentimes easier to explain to customers because the end result is more tangible. Stats & numbers are our friends.

@CaitlinBoroden   Introducing the idea of A/B testing as opposed to a site redesign tends to be an easy steps clients are willing to take.

@thompsonpaul   Often like to start off by walking them through a simple time-of-send split test for their email newsletter. The light goes on. Then extrapolate to other kinds of things we can test. Something simple they immediately get heads around promotes later buy-in.

@markdhansen   Usually clients/stakeholders as me for CRO! They want it. But often think SEO is abt traffic and CRO only about lower funnel.

@BerkleyBikes   Clients don’t like to hear about a drop in traffic as a good thing. You really have to pitch & focus on increased revenue. “We’ve done all this work to drive traffic and now you want LESS?”

What are the biggest sources of resistance to adding testing/CRO? Cost? IT? Awareness? Skills? How do you address these?

@pjmckeown   IT is the biggest challenge, so is development.

@EricLanderSEO   Resistance only exists when there’s misunderstanding. @lisabuyer said it best to last question.

@CallMeLouzander   IT/Skills. Inflexible templates on client sites = conversion rates drop, & all the mockups in the world won’t save #CRO.

@tannerpetroff   “Our site already converts at 1.5%! We’re doing great, we just need more traffic.” -My client

@KristiKellogg   Sometimes the C-Suite that gets in the way. CEO X wants this color, that font, etc. But it should be what the CUSTOMER wants.

@emily_C27   For startups, one of biggest would be processes; making sure you’re able to track & measure before you test.

@searchrook   None of these. The biggest problem is estimating ROI. Hard to let someone fix what doesn’t appear broken.

@MatthewAYoung   Budget. CRO is often an afterthought in large orgs who are hyperfocused on other DM areas

@SarahFromDC   Understanding of issue – clients know they need to improve #seo but hope it’s an immediate fix

@markdhansen   IT/Developers – folks for whom CRO creates more (usually coding) work. Can sometimes get around it using tools like @Optimizely.

@jacquesbouchard   CRO is “new” and confusing to many, and managers (decision-makers) are often too overburdened. It’s perceived as accessory.

@cjmonteblanco   I also find that without quality content and a user-friendly site, then how are people going to convert at all?

@creativecalif   Often we see that systems of tracking CRO were never in place, so it’s a big commitment of time & resources to just get started. Add that to the fact that many are embarrassed that they haven’t tracked, or are afraid of results of an initial report. All of which can make it difficult to get started!

@M_chelleJH   Getting companies to realize why CRO is important & valuable can be oh so frustrating.

How often are folks running tests? For specific campaigns? Constantly? Never? Do you foresee frequency changing?

@SarahFromDC   Constantly – you’ll become irrelevant otherwise

@JakubMovic   if you want to win with competitors you need to test all the time

@creativecalif   The problem with testing anything in the world of #SEO is it takes a lot of time to get good results. For instance, we did a test on footer links ( ) and it took many months just to get the data we needed.

@thompsonpaul   I really find at first running 1 or 2 tests is enough so not to overwhelm. Good results often lead to too many testing requests.

@pjmckeown   use PPC to test your SEO. Different creatives, titles, on page, etc… Costs money, but pays in the end.

@gaurav8k   don’t just focus on the amount of conversions, be sure to check what the tests are doing to your revenue as well. if havin just 2 conversions a day is making you more money than having 4(lower value) conversions a day,u’ll go for 2 conversions. don’t stop testing your weekends; all data is important. Just make sure you leave your tests running for at least a week.

@BruceClayInc   Test run until you get significant data, and don’t let results from 1 test contaminate other tests. So be careful w/ frequency!

@jacquesbouchard   As often as the data and client allows. I like to see at least a hundred conversions first, even for tiny clients.

@pjmckeown   drive the traffic with paid if client can afford to.
@thompsonpaul   Yup – but sometimes paid traffic will behave differently than organic too – which adds another confounding factor
@pjmckeown   sometimes yes, but I’d rather pay to run a test then leave a shitty page out there, then let the seo add up to prove
@thompsonpaul   Absolutely agree. Just need to take the differences into account where possible

@searchrook   Run tests *as often as* you’re sure you’ll implement correctly, measure, decide on next steps, and follow through

The nature of conversion optimisation requires tools – what are your favourites for different areas of work?

@MatthewAYoung   I like to use 5 Second Tests to gather initial data. Just to see if users “get it”

@cjmonteblanco    @BrianRBaker4 @erikapdx and I at @In2itiveSearch utilize @ConstantContact for newsletter and @googleanalytics for PPC

@CaitlinBoroden   Visual Web Optimizer has been my go to. Yet again I’d be up for testing more.

@thompsonpaul   I’m finding Landing Page services (Unbounce etc) that remove the dependence on IT/devs are making a big difference. I love using MailChimp’s easy-to-demonstrate email split testing capabilities to really show what can be split and tested. Superb article from ConversionXL on coming up with more winning tests by using data to decide what to test. Unbounce’s notes from their current Conversion Road Trip are also solid.

@searchrook   @Optimizely for landing page structure. Campaign > Segments > Experiments for AdWords.

@gaurav8k   I like Optimizely(A/B testing tool) allows you to quickly and easily perform experiments on content and pages of your website. also as it provides data on the companies using your website, via IP lookup.

@creativecalif   Don’t forget the old-fashioned “how did you hear about us” question that the business should ask.

@BruceClayInc   On topic — > @KristiKellogg interviewed @purnavirji on #CRO last week

Summary: SEO For Humans: Integrating Personable Tactics Into A Technical Strategy on #SEOchat

Moderator: @shuey03

How has your keyword research evolved to become more user centric?

@AJutah   Moving away from Google Keyword Planner to communities, forums and other places to mine potential keywords helps a ton. Also using Analytics to look at your own site search queries helps identify good keyword ideas.

@lancemoore22   Google is increasingly focusing on user intent instead of robot search terms. Ex: Google auto complete. I focus on local keyword strategies too. It’s important to remember the mobile market too. They search differently.
@Where2GetIt   You said it! A1. We know the importance of local intent and base our clients’ keyword strategies around it.
@directom   Can we really treat mobile users as a different persona? Mobile should really be targeted as users in the research phase.
@lancemoore22   I think it depends on the biz. A biz in a touristy place might have a dif strategy. Thoughts? I really meant more of a local than solely mobile one.
@creativecalif    True. If you’re on your phone, the need/search is more immediate rather than desktop which is more research-based.

@BrianRBaker4   Gather keywords from GWMT Also looking at forums, and other places where people discuss the topic.

@Tinu   Don’t know that I was ever NOT user centric. My philosophy’s always been write great content for your target, Then tweak for SEO. BUT. I do take into account context more, local, mobile. If helping a restaurant chain, how does it need to differ by locale?
@AlanBleiweiss   You’re spot on! User centric HAS evolved to more local, mobile.

@markdhansen   We look at personas and try to identify keywords based on the language they use.

@directom   It HAS to be user centric. Just because you want to rank for a keyword doesn’t mean your user is using that keyword. If you don’t know your target, you’re surely going to miss. With regards to mobile: mobile users are researching, then convert on desktops.

@AlanBleiweiss   Proper SEO keyword research should have ALWAYS been user centric.

@KristiKellogg   Personalized results demand we focus on the USER, not just keywords. Get to know how/ why they search. Anticipate their needs.

@shuey03   We like to look for less head keywords, and more long tail, specifically question based strings.

@DragonSearch   Long tail, long tail, long tail. @mcgswagg did a killer presentation at #SearchLove on the keywords that your top referral pages rank for.

@creativecalif   Instead of just searching for “most searched” terms, we spend extra time looking at intent. We may ignore the most popular search terms, instead focusing on relevancy.

@alexpeerenboom   I take a little more time to consider all possible meanings & context of different audience, user intent.
@creativecalif   Agree! We also have to tell our clients that industry lingo may not match up with the user’s search terms.

@BruceClayInc   Mobile has played a major role in this – there’s no such thing as an non-personalized search on mobile. Persona research is key.

@rderdoski   Talk to your client, ask the sales team what the most common questions are, types of phrases used, find discussions online.

@cjmonteblanco   Understand why we exist as a business, offered services, and users intent behind utilizing them.

@melaniensaxe   Google instant is a great way to see exactly what humans are searching for right now.

@mwilton13   I’ve started using communities, Q&A sites, Analytics demographic data, etc. in addition to Keyword Planner.

@Tony_DWM   Implicit / explicit needs, matching the offline journey / experiences / emotions of the searcher. Offline to online = win.
@shuey03   I love that… many marketers overlook the offline journey.
@Tony_DWM   Thats why marketing (offline & online) is the core of KW research. Many never step back to u/stand their customers journey.

What precautions do you take when optimizing your web pages to ensure they resonate with people, not just the search engines?

@dan_patterson   Design for people first. Search engines don’t buy anything.

@AJutah   A/B testing is important. Test design, copy and CTAs continuously. Most visitors hate jargon. Explain your products & services in modern, everyday language. Check out this WP plugin.

@DragonSearch   Images. Alt text is great for search engines, but the quality of the image is crucial for users. Engines don’t see that.

@Tinu   I read every word of copy aloud at some point. People subvocalize when they read. if it doesn’t sound right, it won’t fly. I also think: what would make me care about this if I was into this content? How could I make it more useful? Aesthetics & knowing your audience are helpful. On 1 of my sites I have older retirees who hate pics for some reason. Split test a million times then just asked them. One guy said he thought sites with images were talking down to him.

@mwilton13   Don’t obsess over your keywords and SEO. Create the content for your user and then tweek for SEO later if you really have to.

@SocialMichelleR   I write and create for people. They are the ones that comment and share. The brands that really get it, hire writers. I keep the “conversation” in my head. Who am I writing for, how would they respond to what I wrote?
@shuey03   Another overlooked step by many marketers. there’s power in reading it outloud.
@BrianRBaker4   great technique! It’s hard to get in that mindframe for me
@SocialMichelleR   Not everyone is a writer at heart. Just like I would be a disaster at coding

@rderdoski   Always go back to the purpose of the page when creating/reviewing content – are you providing the info they are looking for. And again go back to what sales said about language being used, pain points, common questions -is your content addressing this.

@directom   Write like a person. If you don’t, it’ll just look spammy.

@BruceClayInc   Write with the user in mind. That’s the first priority- that ensures it will resonate. Use good writers. That’s what they do.

@pjmckeown   For textual content, write how you speak. For me, I often dictate content into something like Dragon.
@dan_patterson   It really is good to read copy outloud. You can catch a lot of things that way. I’ve rewritten so many things after reading them out loud. It made sense in my head until I read it that way.

@markdhansen   Have a writing/editing process. Prose first. SEO second. But, SEO informs the prose you decide to write.

@creativecalif   We have a team with different perspectives look them over and offer feedback. That way we don’t get too focused & miss the mark. Every time someone searches, they’re asking a question. Did you answer that question, or just “word vomit” info onto the screen?

@emily_C27   Apart from using tools like Analytics and Webmaster tools, stay well-read in your industry. Use @feedly.

@CaitlinBoroden   I think a nice visual display should not be overlooked! Paragraph upon paragraph can be daunting. Break things up!

@KristiKellogg   Keep keywords in mind, but don’t let them override what a user would actually want to read. Write what you’d like to read.
@SocialMichelleR   Keywords inform topic. Stay on topic and keywords take care of themselves for the most part.

@melaniensaxe   Avoid industry jargon and make sure the reading level is appropriate.

@tonyxrandall   Design is cool & all but as a user, a fancy site is secondary to me. give me an informative About page w/o all the fancy shit. Also if your page “links” are just filters that bring me to a specific place on the same page, i’m gonna be frustrated.
@CaitlinBoroden   Especially with FAQ pages. Table of content is beyond helpful.
@SocialMichelleR   Not to mention the fancy shit slows page load on mobile.
@dan_patterson   It’s true, sometimes design can be a distraction. It should highlight and amplify, not take the place of content
@bill_slawski   Buildiing a good FAQ can be a lot of work, but worth the effort, especially if people ask.

@Tony_DWM   A) Study / research white papers or industry periodicals & ask people who deal with clients on the front line.

What types of content seems to perform well in the search engines but have high user engagement and why?

@pjmckeown   Easy to consume, and lengthy content work well for us. If formatted well. Videos also rock for us.
@cjmonteblanco   If companies produced quality videos and visuals, search engines can make them more accessible to users.

@AJutah   LISTS! Most people hate “listicles”, but well-researched and valuable lists can perform very well in the SERPs.
@alexpeerenboom   Good evergreen content as well, depending on the topic. World moves fast, lists can be updated.
@BrianRBaker4   Good point, Alex! #SEOChat Evergreen content is important for SEO, NOT social though
@AJutah   Unless you count referral traffic from Pinterest.

@creativecalif   Our most popular articles have been “how to” guides. Teach someone HOW to do something, don’t just tell them to do it.

@KristiKellogg   Have unique content that anticipates and addresses a user’s interests or questions. Make your content go above and beyond.
@BruceClayInc   That can mean adding images, infographics, insights from influencers, curation, et. Serve the reader.

@emily_C27   Blog posts are always a go-to. Video can have a high user engagement and that can boost search rank.

@Tony_DWM   Those types that, more than any others, answer the searchers query emphatically, clearly & compel them take action. The types that, literally, make you want to shout out “this!”. If searchers do this, they’ll act, share &/or amplify it. Our best client content is a mixture of rich media (video, pdf’s, sign ups etc) covering all senses.
@rderdoski   Videos generally do really well across a wide audience too
@Tony_DWM   Esp for those industries where visuals / testimonials are key

@DragonSearch   [NUMBER] Ways to [ADJECTIVE] Your [NOUN] on [PLATFORM]. As noted, if the content is truly great, it will perform well almost anywhere.

@directom   Gonna straightforward on this one. GOOD. CONTENT. Also helps if it’s indexable. Quite standard, but we love blogs.

@dan_patterson   I think you first have to think about what kind of “engagement” you’re looking for. Different content types have dif engagement.

@BrianRBaker4   Our best performing content has been CASE STUDIES! #SEOChat like this one.

@markdhansen   Technical “how to” posts. The readers are trying to learn – so they stay on page. Good “how tos” can become evergreen.

@Tinu   When I do the writing, I get both high engagement and great search results from long form content and images, period. Had 2 clients who did everything my audit said Except maintain and 301 their image library. Took them a year to recover.
@BrianRBaker4   Really? What industry was it? I feel like that is heavily industry specefic
@Tinu   1- nonprofit client that has a lot of animal pics on their site. 2- had a site with a lot of tables/charts people refer to. Then there was a site I used to have that summarized the post in images with text. So it depends on how one uses images.

@bill_slawski   Blog posts that specifically address your audiences pain points and problems.
@DragonSearch   We sat down with a client’s support team and brainstormed content ideas from real world customer queries.

@rderdoski   Resource hubs that address a need, how to’s for a common problem (think local search), evergreen content.

@ebiziq   Question-answering content provides opportunities for using keywords naturally. Once again, usefulness for the end user is key!

@rderdoski   Building out a great ‘about’ page can perform surprisingly well – people like people!

@Where2GetIt   For clients—location pages that give all-in-one contextual, actionable info to searchers get engagement.

How do you scale influencer outreach without losing a personal touch?

@AJutah   Ask company contacts for access to any archived content, including brochures, past ad campaigns and research.

@SocialMichelleR   I spend time with them in social settings like #SEOchat. Seriously, though. I do try to connect via Twitter, LinkedIn, G+ something & share what they do before I ever email or ask.

@emily_C27   Create a list of industry blogs to actually follow! Start leaving comments long before reaching out.
@CaitlinBoroden   How do you keep up with this? Do you target a few blogs a day?
@emily_C27   Yep! Just by making it part of the daily routine. Track using a tool like @buzzstream or just by using tags in Gmail.

@Tinu   We split into teams, usually 1 to 15 people & get to know people before we ask them for anything. Especially with blogger relations or high profile influencers we try to pick only people we actually give a crap about. If it works out, great. We light promote a few things, feel them out, support where we can, THEN ask.

@BrianRBaker4   BuzzStream. But I ALWAYS add personal touches to the email reachout. I never used canned emails for the entire thing.

@BruceClayInc   Do you already KNOW an influencer? Start there. If you’re interested in a prospective influencer, figure out how YOU can help them.

@DragonSearch   Recently, we’ve been looking for reciprocal followers on Twitter and starting outreach that way. We’ve also gone for mid-level influencers and then done social ads with the content they produce.
@AJutah   Not all customers are social influencers. It’s about connecting with potential leads, not just Twitter addicts.
@SocialMichelleR   But you never know which happy customer might just become an influencer

@rickhardman   IMO – Personal touch is important enough not to “scale” w/automation – but tools help keep things organized & efficient.

@AJutah   Network with these influencers without having an agenda (at first). Be genuine, and offer to help them share their content.
@SocialMichelleR   Right. We saw value in what they had to say, that’s why we thought them influential.
@AJutah   Make friends with local media too. Local reporters are usually looking for experts to share insight for their stories.
@SocialMichelleR   HARO has been an awesome help to me lately.

@directom   Document everything about them. What they like, their interests. It helps to actually care who they are. Twitter is an amazing tool for engagement. Court them first and make sweet tweets together.

@Tinu   We have a dirty mnemonic device for that where we replace the word Ask with the F word to teach people how to be good Askers. 10 secret rules for mastering the art of a skillful __k. Getting influencers to want to help is like trying to get a date to give you the goodies. Brute force techniques get you uggos. When they WANT to help and they CARE about helping? Your job is mostly just making it Stupid easy to participate. I should clarify that though. By “brute force” I mean just randomly verbally spamming everyone with “hey wanna date me.”

@rderdoski   Repeatable processes + building relationships. Influencers are people too! start forging a relationship you can use again. Always ‘get to know’ your influencer before reaching out and be transparent and real in our outreach – no spammy canned emails!

@rjonesx   Favorite them in twitter. Flattery is a wonderful drug.

@creativecalif   Return is so much greater when you invest in personalization. Worth it to spend time writing personal emails rather than form. We’d rather spend one hour building a real relationship with one influencer than one hour faking it with 100.

@tonyxrandall   This is one thing that i don’t care to scale. honestly, i just treat everyone i talk to equally regardless of “influence”.

@bill_slawski   Start following on social media, including lists/circles to make it easier to follow.

@beyondcontent   Money, gifting, event invites, flattery, promises, ego-stroking, whatever works

@tonyxrandall   Networking with only “influencers” is incredibly short sighted and so selfish. make friends with everyone, don’t be a jerk.
@bill_slawski   It’s funny; if you’re helpful to everyone, you may end up getting surprised by whom you’re helping.
@rderdoski   Agreed you can’t forget about the little guys – brand evangelists are a powerful thing
@tonyxrandall   yeah, idk, i’d rather become good friends w/ someone w/ little influence and benefit throughout their entire “growth”

@ebiziq   Be in it for your own enrichment and be authentic. Always be a value-adding member of the community first and foremost.

@Tony_DWM   By making it their journey as much as yours. Win / win on a personal & professional level. Inspire & support.

How do you scale social media efforts (following, engaging, etc.) without losing a personal touch?

@SocialMichelleR   Truth is, we don’t want influencers for a one night stand. We want a long term relationship. Treat them like friends.

@rjonesx   Persistence, show them you care about establishing that relationship.

@rickhardman   IMO – Personal touch is important enough not to “scale” w/automation – but tools help keep things organized & efficient
@creativecalif   What are your favorite tools for keeping things organized?
@rderdoski   So many tools so little time! It’s important to capture influencer interactions & build relationships I’ve used @RavenTools
@creativecalif   Thanks for the tip! We currently use @sproutsocial.

@Where2GetIt   First,establish firm goals/objectives for your social presence. This will keep your brand from seeming robotic.

@justinkofron   Keep an constant eye on what the community is talking about, and set aside dedicated time to be in the moment and interact live.

@Tinu   On the one hand, I think social scales to a point. It doesn’t do as well as a broadcast medium. But light touches help spark bigger things. I try to write everything as if speaking with 1 person. People do the same in kind. My way of scaling that personal touch is to choose a new handful of people to get deeper with every day. It’s not for everyone. But I’d rather have 1000 rock solid connections than 10,000 flaky ones. 1000 easy to convert or 1% of 100k harder converts are the exact same number.The person I know who the best at scaling the personal touch on social hands down in @amyvernon. @AmyVernon has an excellent guide on Slideshare to what she calls Narrowcasting. And @Zaibatsu is some kind of Social Sorcerer. From his celebrity followers to people who barely get Twitter they all LOVE him.
@AmyVernon   And here’s the Slideshare you referenced on #narrowcasting

@directom   Engagement, even on a personal level, is scalable. Engage with EVERYONE

@AJutah   Realize one person can’t do everything!

@Tony_DWM   Vulnerability & choosing to make everyone I speak to’s day a little better, if possible, w/o return..

@rderdoski   Using ed calendars, scheduling tools, can boost efficiency-time saved there should be dedicated to being personal

@bill_slawski   Keep your expectations reasonable, your actions responsible, and your goals achievable. rinse. repeat.

@creativecalif   Build relationship w/ light touches on social media before diving in & making a more substantial relationship w/ an influencer.

@Tripp_Hamilton   Don’t send DMs that look like form-letters when you get a follow-back (I see this a lot). Looks really shady.

Summary: Mistakes, missed opportunities and messaging to clients on #SEOchat

Moderator: @bloomreachinc

“A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals to discovery.” James Joyce

Do you distinguish between mistakes (like typos) and mistakes (like strategic)?

@Casieg   Of course. A mistake in a blog post is very different than a mistake in direction of a program. Different consequences.

@MatthewAYoung   Yes, one cost more money than the other. Admittedly though, as a grammarian, typos are intolerable.

@directom   Despite both being mistakes, one carries more weight in severity.

@EricLanderSEO   Absolutely, yes. Distinguish them in your labeling… Ex: Errors can be corrected. Mistakes are learning opportunities.

@BruceClayInc   The best part about a typo is you can go back in and edit it with ease … strategy mistakes aren’t usually so simple.

@CaitlinBoroden   Absolutely. Small typos can go undetected by users. Larger problems not so much.

@BerkleyBikes   We try to avoid both, but one has more dire consequences! Using the wrong version of “their” is minor. An ad slogan promoting rape culture is a REAL BIG problem.

@emily_C27   Any mistake is still a mistake. The type of mistake may affect the negative or, in tun, positive level of impact it may have.

@tannerpetroff   Yes, sometimes strategic mistakes are subjective, more like learning experiences. Typos are just oversight. Very different.

@BrianRBaker4   Keep track of your data. Constantly test, adjust, and optimize!

@AJutah   Clients may appreciate the transparency when a mistake is made, but they usually want to see a proactive response.

@creativecalif   Small mistakes can be corrected & not indicative of your abilities. Strategic mistakes are a sign of needing to develop foresight and taking the time to learn.

@Randomhero180   One is much easier and quicker to fix and the other may take a while to notice.

@AdamOnTheKeys   You plan for minor mistakes, and develop a process for fixing them. Strategic mistakes though can be damaging.

@jacquesbouchard   Yes, although the two types of mistakes aren’t mutually exclusive. For example, a missing semicolon in a CSS file.

@GoBrandify   For us consistent/clean location info is a constant effort and strategic mistakes spawn from these small errors.

How do you learn from each mistake and operationalize what you learned?

@Casieg   I think when you make a type mistake, you are super aware going forward. The bigger ones are often harder to see immediately.

@MatthewAYoung   I think it’s all in defining process to create sound products. Review both work and strategies with multiple people.

@KristiKellogg   The best part of a mistake is that you can learn. Communicate success &mistakes to team members so you learn from one another.

@directom   Step one is confronting the issue and identifying the cause. Refer back to your processes.

Agencies, gurus, friends, consultants, Moz, how do you deal with conflicting SEO advice?

@KristiKellogg   Flip a coin. Get to know your sources; if you hear something suspicious, see how if authorities are weighing in. Look for evidence.
@BruceClayInc   Yes — and if there’s even a hint of #blackhat, ignore that advice and go with the other.

@BerkleyBikes   Recognize that very little of what we know is set in stone & that it changes CONSTANTLY. Plus, every scenario is different.

@AJutah   SEO is like the field of medicine, in that we have research and best practices to follow, which are industry standards.

@jacquesbouchard   Ultimately, I take my OWN advice. If the solution fits my personal observations and is good for the user, I run with it. And like medicine, you can get two different opinions from two reputable doctors.

@AJutah   And like medicine, you can get two different opinions from two reputable doctors. It seems like there’s always a shiny new object to try, but common sense and best practices still win at the end of the day.

@EricLanderSEO   Important to level-set with environmental variables. B2B, B2C, eCom, etc. & technologies have different requirements.

@Casieg   Depends on what it is but sometimes it’s worth listening the reasoning. SEO can be quite subjective.

@MatthewAYoung   Rely on the SEO basics as your guiding principles.

@directom   Data is data. From there, intuition must be trusted. If your intuition is flawed, time to reevaluate.

@tannerpetroff   Know best practices, know there’s always another way, determine risk tolerance, do your homework, make an educated decision.

@dan_patterson   Watch out for “shiny object” advice. Don’t just jump on something because you read an article that just wanted attention.

@creativecalif   Use common sense, test yourself, and at the very least, follow webmaster guidelines. If the big G or others say not to do something, don’t risk it.

@CaitlinBoroden   Avoid S.O.S. – Shiny Object Syndrome. Learned that from SearchLove

@henryoloughlin   I usually go with the basics – good content, the right keywords, internal linking – then check Moz for more technical stuff.

@MatthewAYoung   Approach claims with skepticism and try to qualify/confirm as best you can.

@MackSnapMatt   Research.Cross reference. Experiment. When all else fails, ask my direct supervisor. In my experience, SEO seems largely subjective. And there are always fringe factors that can totally change everything.

@Randomhero180   It’s a constantly changing industry I like to stick with best practices as a baseline before anything else.

@AdamOnTheKeys   As long as my focus is always on the target audience and addressing their needs first, it’s hard to go too far astray.

What was your costliest mistake (to either $ or reputation) in SEO?

@EricLanderSEO   Most costly mistake I’ve been involved? Uncovering an X-robots header disallow that prevented a $800k site from going “live”

@Casieg   I once forgot to turn a paid campaign off…accidentally spent about $8k. Not too bad but thought I was gonna be in trouble. Biggest SEO mistake – letting a client dictate the program. Didn’t manage it properly & in turn it wasn’t successful.
@EricLanderSEO   @Casieg just reminded: Once went to lunch w/o a budget cap running broad match “travel” terms in AdWords. VERY expensive lunch.

@MatthewAYoung   I’ll bite. It’s not a single thing, but a series of things that cause clients to leave after only a year.

@BrianRBaker4   I think the biggest mistake is getting a client’s site penalized. Never done it personally but my old company has (many times!). Another common mistake I see is accidentally robot txt blocking the whole site.
@Casieg   Ugh yes! We had a client who was using us for social. Their SEO company left it on the new site & deindexed site.

@henryoloughlin   Just not knowing what I was doing when I started doing SEO/content yet still taking clients, I’d say. Another mistake – trying to predict results for one client from another industry. So much about SEO success is competition.

@CaitlinBoroden   The biggest problem I’ve come across is the noindex tag accidentally being added to the site.

@chriswtam   Not properly managing expectations.

@Tinu   My costliest mistake is always the failure to set realistic expectations, then follow up to make sure they’re understood. Any other mistake I made had that at its roots.

@jacquesbouchard   My greatest _lesson_ has been to focus on long-term, sustainable strategy and not overreacting over month-over-month metrics.

@BerkleyBikes   Not super costly, but one time I coded a bunch of schema & used the wrong quotations (the curly ones) – none of it worked.

@AJutah   I consulted with a client that I didn’t properly vet at the onset. Lesson: be picky with who you work with.

@AdamOnTheKeys   Costly mistake – putting in way more hours than we billed for a client.

@searchrook   Not upselling associated marketing services more frequently. Missed learning as well as profit opportunities.

What was the biggest risk you took that paid off in SEO?

@BerkleyBikes   I find myself taking more risks on social. I’ve pushed the limits on a client’s comfort level to produce great content.

@Casieg   Funny enough, going back to previous answer – spending too much time on a project. Solidified relationship & drove results. Turned into long term client…and we no longer need to spend too much time on them.
@EricLanderSEO   Re; A4: @Casieg – if you mean scary as all hell, you’re right. Could work 90+ hour weeks one week & 4 hrs. the next. Crazy times.

@szahurones   Push for a different writing style (team) on our most important pages. Focused on semantic connectivity. Improved rankings.

@MatthewAYoung   Changing the architecture and internal linking structures of a site. Shout out to @BruceClayInc and siloing!

@AJutah   Ecommerce client was with another agency that built a ton of spammy links. I recommended starting over with a new domain/brand. They were understandably upset; we ended up parting ways. I knew my recommendation was in their best interest, though.

@jacquesbouchard   Adding noindex tags to 24,000 garbage pages on a site I managed. At the time, it was terrifying, but traffic went up strongly.

@EricLanderSEO   Quit the 1st SEO agency I founded & became an affiliate for 3+ years. Learned technical SEO items I’d never otherwise know. When it’s all on you, there’s no one to blame and all the learning in the world. Back in 2003, that was a great call to make.

@directom   It may seem straightforward, but when you have ALOT of content and decide to make a site migration.

@henryoloughlin   That’s a good one. We’re about to do that with a client. I just hope it works at this point.

@searchrook   Using exact match anchor text on links from content to landing pages. Works* if you have branded links too.

@creativecalif   Moving from in-house to starting an agency. Big leap to think my knowledge from working with one company could apply to others and I risked failing miserably. Luckily, it paid off well in the end.

@AdamOnTheKeys   Collaborating with social and PPC for a client. Cross promotion really drove organic results.

@BrianRBaker4   I would say removing or disavowing links – always scary!

@Tinu   Being less analytical and focusing solely on the quality of content short term. I’m often petrified of that. & usually wrong.

What is the one thing you regret not doing?

@henryoloughlin   I wish I knew, and I’d try it out.

@jacquesbouchard    I regret that I didn’t start reading SEO blogs regularly until I was in SEO for a about 3 years. Word of mouth is not enough.

@AJutah   Not getting into affiliate marketing sooner.

@BrianRBaker4   Not taking enough risks. Being successful in #SEO requires taking risks, and thats something I am sometimes uncomfortable with!

@MatthewAYoung   Not being able to connect the dots. SEO touches so much and it’s to the benefits of clients to know enough to be dangerous. Thinking of SEO as existing in a vacuum is also regrettable.

@directom   For us, not collaborating with our #PPC team on a more consistent basis. Getting caught up can hide good opportunities.

@creativecalif   Having patience with the process of getting results. Accelerating the process will only hurt you.

@alexpeerenboom   When they don’t follow through on content creation. They remain stagnant when competitors are consistently producing, engaging.

@CaitlinBoroden   Not being ‘pushy’ enough with certain clients. Some are too cautious. I wish I’d been more vocal with my thoughts.

What is the one thing you regret your client not doing (that you advised)?

@EricLanderSEO   Writing more. Had wrote 800+ articles across major sites on SEO from 2002 – 2008, then moved on. It’s held me back because. I missed commentary & challenges that kept me fresh. I became complacent with what I knew about SEO. Now, it’s learning 24/7.

@Casieg   Too many to capture in one #seochat.

@searchrook   Profiteering with directory and article submission.

@jacquesbouchard   Building their content strategy from chaos into a guided, proactive campaign.

@directom   Low hanging fruit here, but listening to us about adopting mobile-friendly design.

How did you explain your mistakes to your boss? To your clients?

@Casieg   Own up. Go in with an apology and more importantly, a solution.

@MatthewAYoung   Boss, I made the wrong recommendation. Here’s how im going to fix it. Own up to your mistakes.

@emily_C27   Always show transparency, followed by an immediate back-up plan!;) Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your boss/co workers.
@Casieg   Yes! Ask your boss for help if you need it. That’s part of their job.

@searchrook   By stating it clearly, keeping it short, apologizing and suggesting a solution.

@AJutah   Set the right expectations at the beginning, and they’ll view minor “mistakes” as the ebb and flow of a fluid campaign. Be transparent, thoroughly explain what happened, and proactively present a solution. I’d say clients care more about their bottom line than if it was a teachable moment for their SEO manager.

@szahurones   Apologize. Explain why it happened (lack of knowledge, time, resources, etc). Explain how it won’t happen again. Prove it.

@directom   Embrace mistakes. Own them. Have a plan of attack. Succed. Win!

@TheShitSEO   I always tell the client that Google is doing a dance and that rankings will resume in a few months. By that time I’m well gone.

@jacquesbouchard   Point blank. Admitting mistakes, owning them, and presenting sensible solutions are important parts of building trust.

@EricLanderSEO   As a director, I tend to help get passed those mistakes – not present them upwards to CEO. But, I’d recommend that you use judgment when you bring them up. Explain the rationale, expectation and then focus on learnings. Everythings a learning experience. As a leader, you need to show how mistakes create opportunities for you and the organization to grow from.

@AdamOnTheKeys   Blame the intern? In all seriousness, bring solutions to your boss, not problems.

@bloomreachinc   Own it. Teach the lesson you learned. Present the plan of action.

@creativecalif   Just be upfront and honest, and show them that you learned from it.

@TheShitSEO   Tell client that the $20K they spent with you went on building valuable relationships that will stand the test of time with G. SEOs are scared of clients. Stamp your authority and dominance by slapping them in the face then saying “I’m here to rank!!!”

@directom   Nice to see so many other SEO professionals agreeing on tackling mistakes.

Summary: Images: Exploring Free And Paid Options For Your Content on #SEOchat

Moderator: @AJutah

What role does visual content have in marketing?

@ThinkSEM   Visual plays a HUGE role in marketing! Tweets/blog posts get more shares/reads/etc; 1,000 words and all that.

@EricLanderSEO   Content’s visual presentation has a long standing role in SEO. From code bloat to CSS to rich media & now HTML5 – it’s critical. In today’s world, an SEO needs to understand how to present chunked content to appease users’ diverse topical interests. And cater to their short attention spans!

@CaitlinBoroden   Visuals are huge! They grab your attention and hopefully fast.

@directom   With the growth of Instagram and Facebook video, visual content is where the user’s attention is. So it’s VITAL. Users’ attention spans are dwindling at an alarming rate. Better grab them while you can!

@SocialMichelleR   The visual has every roll to play in marketing. Packing, logos, design, video, social… It’s all images.

@paulaspeak   A big one! Look at @NeilPatel — some of the arguably best written text out there, but still packed full of images.

@creativecalif   Content w/ visuals perform better than those without across platforms! Visuals are consistently written content’s secret weapon.

@blogambitions   These days visual marketing is the most important driver. Unfortunately, for us lacking visual talent.

@BruceClayInc   Visuals = impact, attention, #boom

@noeticsound   Cvideo, animated gifs, images…the web’s gone visual. pinterest, youtube, instagram, vine are visual-first platforms.
@SocialMichelleR   The web and the world have always been visual. Search engines are catching up to the human experience.

@creativecalif   A weak visual is a sure way to have the user quickly scroll past your content.

@DragonSearch   I try to include a visual with everything these days. So_much_more_engagement.

Images and photos are licensed differently. How can you find out if you can use an image?

@ThinkSEM   If it’s not yours, do DILIGENT research. Can use Google’s search tools as a quick-&-dirty way; ALWAYS give credit tho’.

@EricLanderSEO   With regards to SEO, start with Google’s Reverse Image search and see where it’s used – and ALWAYS check embedded META data.
@BruceClayInc   Google Reverse Image search, noting that.
@EricLanderSEO   I’ve found some nefarious folks who save an image, clear out META content embedded and claim ownership. Beware!
@noeticsound   Yeah, often it’s better just to pay for stock than investigating to verify legitimacy “for free.”
@EricLanderSEO   Understand that, but original images trump stock, IMO all day long. Can’t beat authenticity. But if you’re using your own images, check for those hot linking directly to your images and be aggressive w/ C&D notes.

@noeticsound   As in what tools can you use? either make yourself, grab stuff with clear open licensing, or pay for stock getty et al.

@creativecalif   A good rule for free images is to use sites that make the licensing info readily available like Wikicommons and Flickr.

@SocialMichelleR   Always use a service, trying to find an original via search can be a nightmare.

@directom   Hopefully an image is already marked for resuse in Google images. This isn’t always the case.

@AJutah   FYI, explains image licenses and how to use photos the right way.

@paulaspeak   It can take some digging and the will to find out. Be careful, because “Creative Commons” has many license levels.

@creativecalif   A step up from Google Reverse Image Search is Wolfram Alpha’s reverse search. Displays entity data.

How do you make sure your company is being compliant with image licensing?

@ThinkSEM   By doing your research before ever posting an image anywhere (unless you’re using your own photography/designs/images).

@EricLanderSEO   For purchased rights photography we maintain an image bank w/ all use recorded & links to original licenses. Ext: In the sense of providing unique content – yes. Images are content, and well done – Image search can be a huge win.

@directom   Not so much an issue for a small agency. Processes should dictate sourcing protocols.

@BruceClayInc   Our process for obtaining images incl purchasing (*the right*) image licenses + a collection of free-for-all sources

@creativecalif   Establish company-wide guidelines for sourcing photos and stick to specific sources.
@directom   THIS. Processes shall always be your savior. Get it right and get everyone on board with accepted protocols.

@SocialMichelleR   Image usage should be part of the editorial process. Part of editor /community Mgr duties. Our editors took care of image purchases and then we had an archive of all kinds of things we were clear to use.

@AJutah   Does license compliance fall under the realm of SEO? Should consultants/agencies educate brands about it?
@ThinkSEM   Depends on how big the biz is. Regardless, rules need to be put in place for how images are obtained, etc.
@SocialMichelleR   Absolutely consultants need to educate clients about image compliance.
@BruceClayInc   We’ve made image selection a conscious process as a team. We all know the risks of using illegal images & it’s top of mind.

@Where2GetIt   Compliance is important for providing valuable content. Be transparent/help clients understand its role.

@creativecalif   While not part of SEO proper, licensing often does become a peripheral part of the job. Should educate brands about licensing when possible. They usually appreciate knowing you’re ensuring their content ethical.

Where do you find Creative Commons images?

@EricLanderSEO   Flickr Advanced Image search. Check the right boxes, be selective and that’s the best source, IMO. For the #SEOChat users looking for that Flickr tool – here’s a direct link: … – Then click on “any license.”
@paulaspeak   Also, most Flickr images require attribution, so be sure to put links in caption to creator, license.
@EricLanderSEO   YES! -> All Creative Commons imagery requires some attribution. Check your source
@BruceClayInc   For CC images, our image editorial guidelines include how to source. See

@ThinkSEM   Flickr, 500px, …or any myriad of Google searches for same.

@AJutah   Check out this list of free images by @dustntv

@AdamOnTheKeys   I use PhotoPin, it makes finding creative commons easy as well as attribution.

@CaitlinBoroden   I’ve used this site in the past but you all are making me question everything ;)

@creativecalif   Flickr’s The Commons and Creative Commons pages, Wikicommons, & use of Google Images’ licensing filter.

How do you optimize your images for SEO?

@EricLanderSEO   The 2002 basics of ALT tags still apply, but you need to include micro data layers when possible, too. And now that mobile is *such* a priority, consider SVGs & scalable vector imagery to support retina displays & reduce Kbs.
@ThinkSEM   Major reason for so many hating RWD. They think it’s the technology; it’s the massive images!
@CaitlinBoroden   You’ve got me googling. micro data layers = image schema?
@EricLanderSEO   Yes! Take a deep er dive here, too –
@Where2GetIt   Sidenote: Thoughts on the newest #schema updates?

@ThinkSEM   1–make sure they’re correctly compressed (save for web) so as not to slow load time. 2–use good alt text. 3–name them well.

@emily_C27   Give them all descriptions to start!

@directom   Considering the avg page load time. Don’t let the image size destroy the UX because you wanted a pretty picture.

@creativecalif   Adding proper keywords to image names and tags. Easy way to make a significant difference.

What are some good ways to repurpose your content into shareable images?

@SocialMichelleR   Make sure images are Pinterest-friendly. Turn written text into slide shows or video. My go-to is @canva.

@EricLanderSEO   Simple graphics w/ text that fully supports FB’s OpenGraph and Twitter card resolutions. Also, no more than 20% text on image.
@SocialMichelleR   Facebook, Twitter, AND Pinterest all use the OpenGraph markup :) That’s what I call bank for your buck.
@directom   Although the 20% mainly refers to Facebook, it’s generally an awesome guideline for text on images.
@EricLanderSEO   20% rule – @directom – Yes. The key is to have 1 image that works for all. Then when you need to pay on FB for push, it’s done.

@BruceClayInc   Regular #SEOChat -er @MatthewAYoung has the answers: #1 Thing You Can Do to Improve Mobile UX: Image Optimization. For blog content we use @yoast WordPress SEO plugin & always include an image with FB OG & Twitter Card markup.

@ThinkSEM   Turn content into images/infographics; put them on Pinterest/Flickr/Tumblr; turn them into slideshares.

@creativecalif   Big part is making sure images are optimized for the platform. Tweak dimensions so they fit perfectly to FB & Twitter’s formats.

How can you make stock photos look…less like stock photos?

@SocialMichelleR   hehehehehe did I mention @canva ? Yeah that too

@CaitlinBoroden   Snapseed is great app to spruce up your phone images right from your phone. Android and iOS. Experiment with different crops and/or aspect ratios. They can change it up a bit. Also, when overlaying with text play around with font to spice things up as well.

@EricLanderSEO   GREAT question. I’d recommend cropping, framing, overlays and desaturating all but most important element in pic IF ALLOWED. I can’t tell you how many images I buy big versions of just to crop and utilize a well composed rectangular section of.

@ThinkSEM   PhotoShop, Canva, PicMonkey…shoot, even SnagIt or PowerPoint if you have to!

@DustinNay   Don’t use stock photos. A7: filters, crop, b/w (depends on use). I hate stock photos so I avoid if I can. Also, remember to pay attention to which CC license the image uses, if altering a free CC image.

@AJutah   Good Quora thread on this topic.

@directom   Use your gut in selecting your image. If it looks cheesy, it probably looks like a stock photo.

@creativecalif   To make stock images feel less sterile, we use elements of them to create larger image w more personality. Or we make a minor, personal change that relates to its usage like with this Chris Farley reference.

What can you do if you don’t have the budget for a stock photo service?

@ThinkSEM   Find free images to use & make them your own in Canva/etc. Or, better yet: TAKE your own! Personalized & custom touch.

@SocialMichelleR   Shoot more of your own photographs and create your own visuals.

@BruceClayInc   For free images, we’ve been liking a lot of these sources rounded up by @HubSpot.

@EricLanderSEO   Exchange link equity (via attribution) for the images you can license for free… Or get creative and use your smartphone!

@AJutah   Why not create your own stock photo bank? Offer photos for brand mentions, no-follow links or social shares!

@DustinNay   CC obviously, also , (formerly, There are also occasionally corporate sites or photo bloggers who share CC images on their sites (search intitle: + filetype. Also, caution: not all CC images on CC sites (like Flickr) are actually CC. We received Getty letters for images an intern found on Flickr thinking they were CC. Be careful (reverse image search b4 use).
@paulaspeak   As long as you check the license restrictions. “CC” doesn’t mean “use it however you want for free.”

@directom   Sometimes photos of real scenes/objects aren’t necessary. GIMP is always free.

Viral images like memes are great, but how can you impact your site’s conversion rates?

@AJutah   Here’s a “stock photo” I took and turned into a Pinterest image. Got some delicious el lotes out of it too!

@EricLanderSEO   Viral images acquire traffic, not convert on it. For user focused imagery, rely on @nngroup. Regarding this link – Know that conventions become conventions why? Because they work!
@AJutah   It’s all about attribution though! Map out the conversion path in Analytics.

@ThinkSEM   and do more of what works :) As with any conversion rate influencer (or detractor!). Pay attention.

@directom   This is a PSA; STOP USING MEMES. It comes off as cringey and they are wrought with terrible attempts at humor.
@noeticsound   The definition of meme has really transformed over the past few years.

@creativecalif   For more, check out our blog we posted yesterday on this topic.

Summary: Mobile SEO on #SEOchat

Moderator: @dan_patterson

How does mobile SEO differ from desktop SEO?

@ThinkSEM   It’s the same except visitors find you w/a different device. You’ve still got to follow optimization “best practices,” etc.

@SocialMichelleR   For one thing search behaviors and keywords are not the same desktop vs mobile Think voice search on mobile. Personally I think that search intent can be very different desktop vs mobile. While I might search for a great hamburger on my phone, I won’t do that on desktop. But I won’t go searching for research for a blog post I’m writing on my phone. That’s serious desktop work.

@CJLio   More about UX and UI, while still focusing on delivering content that’s valuable and a reflection of your desktop site.

@pjmckeown   Different experiences. Keep it short and to the point, who wants to read pages of text on mobile.

@MatthewAYoung   OK, following SEO 101 still works, but mobile has more considerations for short attention spans – more intent driven, esp local. Much of the SEO is taken care of esp w/ RWD. CRO comes into play during and after. I think there may be more technical considerations with UX and speed, ie “mobile friendliness”.

@dan_patterson   For those joining us that aren’t familiar with the acronym RWD, it’s “Responsive Web Design”

@BruceClayInc   The main difference is the context; it’s a question of WHERE you’re meeting your user & tailoring that content to the context.

@AgentPalmer   I don’t think it does. It’s still based on content. And serving that content to a user… But I could be in the minority. All I know is that I do not use my phone as anything other than a communication device. Searches happen on my computer.
@dan_patterson   Seems the overall trend is going the other way though. More and more search is happening on mobile.
@SocialMichelleR   What about getting directions on google maps? I think mobile has changed what we have to consider as “search”
@AgentPalmer   Fair point. @SocialMichelleR I’ve used my phone for directions. I do not search for content on my phone, like research type stuff.

@thompsonpaul    So much of mobile search is also about local for SMB clients.

@chriswtam   Search intent is the big differentiator.

@KristiKellogg   There are different priorities at play — mobile means EVEN MORE speed. Content that is created to be consumed on the go, etc.

@kougarov   I’d say it’s the same principles, but adapted for the different intent of mobile users plus usability and relevance challenges.

@AJutah   Often it’s different search intent. Mobile users tend to use different queries and context.
@pjmckeown   We haven’t seen many different queries between the two yet, but I suspect we will.
@AJutah   Think of those searching for local restaurants with their mobile device, vs. those back at the office on a desktop.
@pjmckeown   Oh absolutely, I do it as well. But from our biz perspective, mobile and desktop are pretty similar so far.
@ThinkSEM   I’d wager the queries are similar; INTENT is different. Search for restaurants on desktop/mobile=where is it?
@dan_patterson   I think it’s important to note that every business can be a little different in all this.
@AJutah   For sure. I’m drawing on my own habits. Desktop= [restaurants in Salt Lake City] vs mobile= [restaurants]
@pjmckeown   Agreed for sure. Our biggest user base is Ipad, our biggest conversion base is desktop.
@dan_patterson   I use Yelp for searching for restaurants more than I do Google.
@paulaspeak   So do I. Reviews give so much information, but of course aren’t available for all bus. types.

@EricLanderSEO   Different indexes, different search behaviors, different web usage abilities, different… Everything!

@DragonSearch   Often more urgency in mobile search. Lots of stuff I wouldn’t bother with on my phone, unless I needed it quickly or remotely.

@propecta   Agree that the basics are the same, but some might need to focus a little more local, keywords/intent may be different.

@ChelleDear   Mobile affects everyone very differently from desktop.Local is integrated heavily into search.Results vary widely from desktop.

How do you do decide whether to go responsive or mobile-specific site? Which do you prefer and why?

@ThinkSEM   We only do RWD. Our clients are lead-gen focused, so ALL devices need to be able to access sites. Only way to go for us.

@BruceClayInc   The answer is entirely dependent on the site and its content. The chief metric should be user experience.
@KristiKellogg   UX is chief concern. BUT if you can do responsive design (Google’s preference), all the better.

@kougarov   I’d always go responsive. Managing mobile/desktop subdomains is an unnecessary extra challenge. I’d only spool up an m. if desktop was too far gone and redesign wasn’t in the cards due to time/budget/resource.
@ThinkSEM   Agreed. Of course, our clientele is such that RWD works 100% of the time. I can see where it might not for some. That’s a good point to make. Worked at a place that had a LOT of clients like that.
@pjmckeown   Do you change the content based on screen size? Potential lost opportunity if not.
@kougarov   If I was doing the spec, I would absolutely granulize it that far down.

@SocialMichelleR   Honest answer is that it depends greatly on the site and the business they do.

@MatthewAYoung   This depends on the intent of the site – like ecommerce. Wouldnt touch that with an 10 foot RWD pole.

@AgentPalmer   It usually depends, but I prefer responsive, because it maintains a similar UI across all devices, making it consistent.

@CaitlinBoroden   If possible A/B test. A client did a huge overhaul including responsive but the .mobi is still killing it in conversions.
@paulaspeak   Was the content the same in both A/B? Was it organic traffic that made diff, or what?
@CaitlinBoroden   50/50 split sending mobile traffic to .mobi and .com. The .mobi is much more simplified and lead to more contact fills.
@paulaspeak   In A/B test of .mobi vs. responsive mobile site, makes sense that better UX –> more conversions.
@CaitlinBoroden   Exactly but still a surprise for us! The .mobi has a really outdated feel to it and the .com is much more slick.

@CJLio   It has a lot to do with resources. RWD is great bc you can guarantee almost every page is mobile, but takes a lot more time.

@alexpeerenboom   We’ve simply joined the responsive camp for a while now, have been ahead of the curve.

@KristiKellogg   Google’s Gary Illyes has made it VERY clear that there are no penalties for NOT using responsive design, however.
@MatthewAYoung   They prefer it because it requires less index resources, just to add to this thought.

@DragonSearch   I’m a personal fan of RWD. Offers more consistency with the desktop site, plus less to keep track of.
@ThinkSEM   Right. It’s ONE website, designed/developed such that it offers the best UX regardless of device. BOOM. Done.
@MatthewAYoung   I agree, I prefer it. If done right, its so much easier and less resource heavy.

What are some examples where you think a mobile specific site could be better than responsive?

@SocialMichelleR   e-comm like amazon and eBay.

@MatthewAYoung   Amazons site is adaptive (dynamic serving) and they pull it off wonderfully, but in most cases, use the app.

@ChelleDear   When you want to deliver less content for a cleaner experience, I suppose.
@ThinkSEM   But w/RWD you can denote how much content/which content to show users. That’s the beauty of it. That’s exactly what you can do w/RWD: different layout for best functionality based on screen size.
@ChelleDear   So you can chunk your content differently? Break out paras differently for easy reading?
@ThinkSEM   Sure. Layout/functionality/content/nav/etc. are all denoted to lay out “this way” dependent on screen. But, again: you HAVE to have a designer/developer who’s good at RWD. Otherwise it won’t be good UX.
@MatthewAYoung   Its possible to have RWD and have it not be mobile friendly, which is at the heart of this. It’s all controlled through stylesheets and breakpoints based on screen size.

@AJutah   Radio listeners often just want to stream the station, so in that case a standalone site/app will do the trick. Also hotel listings sites need a UI that is designed from scratch, that a responsive version of the desktop can’t provide. You can also use rel=”alternate” to serve mobile devices.

@AgentPalmer   I’m sure they exist. But I do NOT want the user confused, when they’ve been to the site on desktop & come back on mobile.

@SocialMichelleR   Just because it’s responsive, may not make purchase buttons finger-friendly. If you are looking for money to change hands, you need to be sure mobile can convert. If content consumption is the goal RWD rocks.
@ThinkSEM   True…but that’s not a RWD problem, that’s a designer/developer problem Need to have a good design/dev.

@kougarov   If converting traffic is ~60% or more mobile, I’d do dedicated mobile. Or mobile-first responsive, to be precise. With old sites, someone extremely clever and creative could probably sneak mobile responsive code into an aging desktop design.

@KristiKellogg   Speaking of Amazon, MozCast is anticipating they get slammed – only 62% of their URLs are mobile-friendly.

@DragonSearch   I think the benefits of mobile-specific are outweighed by the drawbacks. Of course, there are always exceptions.

With “mobilegeddon” upon us, have you seen any negative effects?

@pjmckeown   Nothing as of yet, but constantly on the watch for it.
@SocialMichelleR    What tools do you use to watch for changes in mobile ranking?
@pjmckeown   BrightEdge, manual, and GWT (mobile keyword info).
@bensmith130   Authority Labs and Search Metrics for me.

@BruceClayInc   Not yet, no shakeup. However, it’s important to remember Google said it would take a week for the roll-out to be complete.

@CaitlinBoroden   Nothing major just yet.

@thompsonpaul   I think to many people missed Google’s repeated statement that this update would be a rolling process. Too many seem to be assuming because sky hasn’t fallen within 2 days that nothing’s gonna happen.
@dan_patterson   I thought that was pretty clear. Mainly just wondering if there have been any early casualties noticed.
@thompsonpaul   I’m seeing a LOT of posts claiming it is a bust. (Fishkin’s comments on Moz a prime example).

@EricLanderSEO   Not for our clients, but we’re seeing an increased amount of rushed execution in competitive sets. Pushing bad mobile in haste.

@DragonSearch   Too early to tell yet. Not enough sample data following the claimed date of the change (4/21)

@ThinkSEM   Not w/our site our clients’, since we’ve been using RWD for 3+ years. Besides, “full effecs” haven’t taken place yet.

@MatthewAYoung   All is quiet so far. Did the analysis and worst case, the org wont lose much traffic anyway. RWD launching soon thank goodness.
@paulaspeak   I’d imagine most searches for Adobe products use brand-name queries, no? Those results shouldn’t fall (IMO).
@MatthewAYoung   Exactly, intent is key driver of the results, and brand search is heavy on intent. This is confirmed by Google btw.

@alexpeerenboom   Don’t anticipate any negative effects, with most sites being RWD. Tested them in Google’s mobile tool as well.

@KristiKellogg   Slight fluctuations, but remember, people in our industry are monitoring all this RIGHT NOW – which can create false inflation. Changes, I’ll be checking MozCast on the daily for a global forecast.

@CJLio   I RT’d this the other day: Google’s “Mobile-Friendly” Update Could Impact Over 40% Of Fortune 500. Initially, we may not see much in the first week. But who knows when Google pushes updates, so it could flex a lot.

@propecta   Little changes for now, but Google has said that it will take about a week to roll out. Still waiting.

For clients/sites that end up being hit by “mobilegeddon,” what is your recovery plan?

@EricLanderSEO   Stay focused on verifiable, technically oriented information. It’s too early to get caught up in supposed algorithm factors.

@SocialMichelleR   From what I understand recovery from this hit won’t be like recovering from “penalties”.
@paulaspeak   Right. I read that Google said every time they crawl a page it can be qualified as “mobile-friendly.” No waiting!

@propecta   Assuming the site is mobile-friendly it’s going to take some personalized keyword+user intent research.

@BruceClayInc   Complete overhaul. OR prioritize pages & get important mobile-friendly (m., responsive template, dynamic serving- w/e works)

@AgentPalmer   We all know that this isn’t the end! For SEO change is a constant! That’s just the way it goes.

@ThinkSEM   If we designed it, it’s mobile-friendly. If it gets hit by “MG,” then we need to speed up the site or make another tiny tweak.
@thompsonpaul   Google was pretty clear THAT speed wasn’t a measure in this version of the mobile-friendly criteria.
@ThinkSEM   Which is interesting; one of the major factors in their own Pagespeed Insights for mobile-friendliness test is speed
@thompsonpaul   Oh, yea – in general fully agree mobile speed is critical – just wasn’t part of this specific mobile-friendly algo update
@ThinkSEM   Yup. Run sites thru Pagespeed Insights, fix speed issues, all of a sudden it’s a wonder site. Always fix speed!
@ThinkSEM   Almost forgot. Did search & site was NOT listed as mobile-friendly. But it IS. Ran it thru Pagespeed; speed issues.
@thompsonpaul   That’s interesting – though seeing a number of recently updated sites showing non-MF because haven’t been re-crawled yet.

@emily_c27   Some good news to recover:”Google will most likely reprocess new mobile-friendly pages quickly” – Moz

@AJutah   Identify reason for rankings/traffic loss, then create a plan to optimize the site’s mobile experience to increase conversions.

@DragonSearch   First step would *probably* be to figure out if there’s low-hanging fruit and easy wins to be had. Second step would *probably* be to identify key pages (read: money-makers) and work on fixing those first.

How do you get stubborn clients on-board with being more mobile-friendly?

@SocialMichelleR   Show them that their competitors just jumped over them in rankings or demonstrate that beating competitors to the mobile-friendly punch will have immediate benefits.

@EricLanderSEO   Screenshots of the Google Mobile- Friendly and Page Speed Insights results (red, failure, etc.) have been great for this. If you show them real live evidence that Google’s not pleased, it’s as solid as an argument as you can have to improve.

@CaitlinBoroden   Scare them! just kidding :) It’s a process of explaining the benefits and it that doesn’t take using some data to back it. If they are tracking key goals show them the different in conversion rate/totals between mobile and desktop helps too.

@alexpeerenboom   Educate them on news like the mobile update, make sure they understand the data in their own GA, show them competitors.

@chriswtam   Not agency-side, but I imagine this works: “Are you willing to risk a drop of XX% of mobile traffic?”

@CJLio   Combination of analytics and competitors. Nothing shows urgency like a high bounce rate and percentage of mobile traffic.

@pjmckeown   After the fact, show them the drop in conversions/revenue. #SEOChat Oh and since they still care, show rankings.

@AJutah   Case studies and testimonials go a long way. Also use a deep voice to show your authority. Google Analytics dashboards are great visualizations of where traffic comes from. This is a good one.

@BruceClayInc   Using analytics, figure out how much revenue has come from mobile over the last 3 months. Explain that number will only grow.

@paulaspeak   @melaniensaxe says the best way is to write convincing blog posts. I tend to agree.

@DragonSearch   Show them a graph depicting traffic drop as a result of mobile-friendliness. Visual data always helps. If possible, determine a dollar value in lost revenue from lost mobile traffic. That gets trickier though.

@MatthewAYoung   Search for their main KWs on mobile and show them how they dont rank thanks to Mobilegeddon

@tycarsons   Show clients the data. % of mobile users visiting the site. Desktop vs. Tablet vs. Mobile conversion rates and volume.

@krystalvadhar   Easy, show them #SEOanalytics from both cases & they’ll jump on board real quick

What do you think are going to be the next big changes for SEO in the mobile arena?

@AJutah   I see the term “mobile” disappearing from our vocabulary. Desktop computers may go the way of the dinosaur IMO.

@EricLanderSEO   More differentiation in SERPs. “Mobile friendly” labels & colored box lines will give way to usable features & tappable actions.

@DragonSearch   I’d like to see Google get smarter and recognize sites that pass it’s M-F test, but still suck on mobile.

@BruceClayInc   The algo will becoming better at understanding UX. sites blocking resources from crawls will lose ranking.

@CaitlinBoroden   I’m interested to see how much wearable tech is adopted. It could end up being a huge influence!

@CJLio   You probably be seeing more schema purely dedicated to mobile as well. I think that will play a huge part in rankings.

@propecta   There’s this. Google is about to complete their big data machine.

@MatthewAYoung   Local will drive mobile search queries even more and voice search will directly influence how we deliver content.

Summary: Getting Started with Schema Markup on #SEOchat

Moderator: @tannerpetroff

What’s the difference between Schema, microdata, and rich snippets?

@BruceClayInc   Schema is a vocabulary. Microformats is a syntax. Rich Snippets are what you hope to gain from using them.
@KristiKellogg   Yes — and when you use all three of them together, that makes SEO strategy.

@CallMeLouzander   Schema is the language, microdata the way you use it, and snippets are what you get if used properly. lets you pick microdata, JSON,or RDF-a to implement on your site. If you’re new to schema, get to know and trying out different things.

@AJutah   Schema = vocabulary. Microdata = formatting. Rich snippets = how these display in Google SERPs.

@tannerpetroff   Microdata is the syntax, Schema defines what syntax is available, and Rich snippets are the extra bits in SERPs.

@creativecalif   Schema is the language used to push microdata to the search engines, which then display the data as rich snippets.

@GoBrandify   Schema allows shared vocabularies and is based on microdata. Rich snippets provide extra data.

Why is Schema markup important to you and your business?

@alexpeerenboom   Schema provides an extra layer of understanding to the search engines, whether or not you get rich snippets from it.
@tannerpetroff   Good point. Most people think of Schema as a means to rich snippets, but a lot of markup doesn’t provide snippets.

@KristiKellogg   At a basic level, it affords you control over the way your site is represented in the SERP.
@tannerpetroff   More control in the days of ever-changing results pages is a big deal!

@RyanDahlen   Large brand w answer box results, knowledge graph entries, but also have smaller biz that need reviews, event snips, loc deets.
@alexpeerenboom   Yes, it helps Google build its Knowledge Graph as well.

@BruceClayInc   By allowing you to control reviews, ratings, event details, etc. you can optimize your SERP presence and drive CTR.

@tannerpetroff   It gives Google and searchers insight as to what my content really means, hopefully giving them more reason to click through.

@CallMeLouzander   Great way to publicize upcoming events/promotions. Using Event markup, you can get dates & times in SERPs.
@tannerpetroff   Have you seen an increase in attendance because of the snippets?
@CallMeLouzander   Sorry, no data at hand; but if you’ve got events planned, Google might scrape the content anyway, why not markup?
@tannerpetroff   Great point! If you ever do a study, keep us posted. That would be cool data to see.

@GoBrandify   We encourage schema because it gives more control on your visibility in SERPs and drive clicks. We can all agree that marking up reviews is great to highlight customer experiences. Customers trust each other!

@KristiKellogg   Let’s not forget that #Schema is the ONLY way to modify your breadcrumb URLs for the mobile SERP.

@creativecalif   My favorite schema is the review markup – those 5 stars look really good in search engine results! Prioritizes the sexy stuff! Communicates to SE which info on web page is important, & helps display attractive info in the SERPs.

@thompsonpaul   Don’t forget Schema is also the only way to get your site’s internal search box into the SERP instead of the deadly general one.
@CallMeLouzander   Just make sure your internal search works! A big task for some sites w/ terrible internal search. Good point tho.

Have you implemented Schema markup before? If so, what do you use most frequently and find most effective? If not, why not?

@MichaelBurjack   Review markup is great; the stars are eye-catching. Also price markup; last-modified markup; breadcrumbs; etc.

@BruceClayInc   For local businesses, we find location markup extremely important AND effective. For e-commerce, reviews and ratings are big.

@CallMeLouzander   Users rate/reviewing your product/service not only gets ratings but lets you crowdsource your content creation! I have found it can take long time to get rich snippets after implementing ratings markup. Sometimes months.

@GoBrandify   Marking up anything from hours to local sales & promotions is also effective. Mark up what customers want to see.

@creativecalif   We always use the local business markup for customers – helps solidify local SEO signals. Another cog in the wheel of #localseo!

@marcusbowlerhat   Location for local businesses and reviews for ecommerce / insurance or anyone relevant. Reviews are the real win.

@thompsonpaul   Definitely Local Business markup, plus events and reviews are most common Schema markup used for clients. The thing if you don’t have the internal search Schema – SERP search box will lead YOUR visitors to more competitors.

Which rich snippets in results pages do you find most useful as a user?

@MichaelBurjack   As a user, I like seeing *anything* :-) it gives me confidence that the destination site has thought about their content a bit.

@alexpeerenboom   I find reviews, events, and recipe snippets most useful. Knowledge Graph is a great product too.
@tannerpetroff   If I cooked, I would love recipe snippets. Unfortunately, I have the equivalent of two left feet in the kitchen.

@tannerpetroff   Reviews for products, publish dates, and location snippets are all ones I look at frequently.

@BruceClayInc   Across verticals, anything that allows you to stand out in the SERP. Is that video? stars? product count? Depends on industry. Say you’re doing e-commerce in particular – power shoppers will be more drawn to ratings, most likely. So optimize accordingly.

@EricLanderSEO   In general, reviews are best – but specifically software & app reviews with ratings, votes, cost, etc. It’s naturally “mobile”.

@melaniensaxe   As a user, I like images, ratings, yeah almost anything.

@marcusbowlerhat   Reviews by a country mile. Local is often dominated by local results so less scope for snippets. Reviews make me want to click.

@creativecalif   Local business markup is useful to quickly see a company’s hours, location, number, etc when doing a search.
@tannerpetroff   I love local business markup. It’s an incredible time saver.

When you’re not the one implementing changes, how do you get buy-in to spend resources implementing Schema?

@EricLanderSEO   Visuals showing the SERP potential, especially competitive. Clients LOVE to see how to dominate more real estate for free.

@tannerpetroff   I show examples of what snippets will look like, case studies with CTRs, and some simple math using webmaster tools data.

@BruceClayInc   Sometimes it’s as simple as telling them you want to publicize content they’ve already created. Made videos? Mark ‘em up so they show up in SERP. Implemented reviews? Throw some schema on that.

@creativecalif   Schema is v. easy to implement, esp. using CMS like #WordPress. Just need to show them how. Minimal resources w/ great benefits. we like the All-In-One WP plugin. Makes it easy to implement Schema on a page-by-page basis.
@tannerpetroff   Very true. Some WP plugins even implement almost everything for you.

If you are the one implementing Schema, what are some of the best tools & resources to guide you?

@BerkleyBikes   I love this schema cheat sheet. Also, @Notepad_plus is an absolute MUST.

@creativecalif   All-In-One #Wordpress plugin all the way! Easy to implement Schema on a page-by-page basis.

@CallMeLouzander and ; and a code validator like Notepad++ to test!

@tannerpetroff   This post on the Kiss Metrics blog is pretty helpful

@BruceClayInc and a testing tool, plus Yoast to see how WordPress will handle breadcrumbs.

@creativecalif   Also use Google’s guide to know what you can actually use for the SERPs.

Where do you think the future of rich snippets in search results is headed?

@BerkleyBikes   Search results will be increasingly media-based and less text focused.

@KristiKellogg   Anyone need a Schema how-to? See “How to Use Schema Markup to Improve Your Website Visibility in Search”

@CallMeLouzander   Google is recoding sites to optimize them; so they’re looking to integrate SERPs & sites more closely. So I think SERPs will ultimately help drive conversions for sites that are up to date. Convert from SERPS? Why not.

@BruceClayInc   Google wants the SERPs to be interactive. If you keep up to date, you can let Google be a conduit for your conversions.

@creativecalif   We think as Google expands its Knowledge Graphs, rich snippets will be more important to users, & will decrease CTR in the SERPs.

Summary: The life of an SEO on #SEOchat

Moderator: @CaitlinBoroden

What does your day to day work look like?

@Casieg   It varies between internal meetings, client meetings, and actual client work but no day is ever the same. #bestpart
@jgambacurta   I agree, it’s rarely the same for me as well, though meetings are pretty infrequent for me (thankfully!).

@jgambacurta   Day to day? Collaborating with content team, exploring intersection of SEO & PR, competitive analyses.

@BruceClayInc   3 days a week the SEO analyst team starts the day sharing internal learnings regarding new developments & client findings.
@CaitlinBoroden   That sounds great! We typically start each Monday with a team scrum and cap it with a Friday sharejam.
@Casieg   Us too! Monday morning all hands meeting FTW.

@AJutah   #SEO day-to-day: 1. Read a blog post 2. Review day’s goals 3. Respond to email 4. Get workin’. The key to staying organized is using a project management system. There’s so much chaos that can often throw your day for a loop. I like to keep things simple, so @Trello works great for me. For collaboration, we just started using @TeamGlip.
@jgambacurta   I agree. We’re a huge fan of @wrike here at @Postali!
@NusigmaLabs   We love @insightlyapp and use it for all our Project Mgmt needs and yes @trello for notes.
@AJutah   Trello is great for task management. You can create projects for each client to keep track of tasks.

@emily_C27   site opts, link-building, meetings, & constant email checking!

@directom   My day to day kind of resembles a roller coaster… or maybe even a tornado! #seochat Best said, “no day is EVER the same!”

@theguycornernyc   Updating website bios, blog posts and social media.

@chriswtam   Catching up on industry news, check emails, analytics, team standup, then working on daily goals.

@AlanBleiweiss   What does my day look like as an SEO? Chaos. Total and utter chaos. #ThisSEOLife.

@creativecalif   Reading the latest SEO news, checking rankings, reviewing analytics, building relationships, and consuming far too much coffee.

@alexpeerenboom   Coming from a web-dev firm, it’s a lot of on-site SEO work (keyword research, competitive analysis, meta data, analytics). But also a lot of research, following news, and groups like.

@kimberleeann   Responding to emails/calls with clients take up most of my mornings and then I dive into Analytics, reporting.

@igalst   Coffee, stats, emails, blogs, to do list, meeting, task1, 2, 3, checking out the web, meeting, task4, calls, walk, emails, home.

@whirledview   Day to day: tons of emails and scrambling to hit deadlines. Never enough focus on my own business!

@jacquesbouchard   Client work. A good metaphor would be the movie How To Train Your Dragon. Each has their own need – all are challenging.

How do you keep the lines of communication open between your team and clients? Any tips?

@Casieg   Internally, we all sit next to each so that’s easy. For clients, we use Basecamp, email, and for some, gchat. And Google drive. Lots of shared docs.

@emily_C27   Lots of CCing

@chriswtam   Daily 15m team standups for transparency.
@jacquesbouchard   Daily standups can be very disruptive for productivity. How do you best mange your workflow with them?
@chriswtam   We start our days off with them. The key is to keep them very short and tactical.
@jacquesbouchard   Cool. It’s so easy to have those run over or become unproductive. I had some mediocre experiences with dailies.
@Casieg   same. I didn’t love them when we did them at my old co but they were in morning so was over quickly.
@chriswtam   Yeah, definitely needs strict moderation. It’s been working for us though.

@alexpeerenboom   We use Basecamp primarily for project management and client communication. @SlackHQ has been a game changer though for internal team communication!

@AJutah   Hand-deliver reports if you can, and reach out by phone often. Emails tend to get lost in the shuffle. Also, I recommend a good ol’ pad of paper and pen. Write out your day’s goals, and cross them off one by one.
@CaitlinBoroden   Emails disappear just like socks in the wash I swear.

@whirledview   Many of my clients have their own collaboration software, like Basecamp, JIRA, etc. You’ve got to be adaptable!

@mlscarzello   Delegation and group messaging/email. Gdrive!!!

@cate   We’re big fans of Slack to streamline internal communications.

@jgambacurta   CC’ing and @SlackHQ help us with staying on top of all the latest client/team news.

@kimberleeann   Our team uses @SlackHQ, I highly reccomend it!

@igalst   With a daily stand up meeting, shared docs, open door policy

@AlanBleiweiss   How do I keep info flowing btw clients & my team? By being an sole proprietor. No pesky team. Of course, having no team means nobody to catch my bad grammar. Like “An sole proprietor”.

@creativecalif   Each of our team members keep open lines of communication with our clients, including email and phone calls. Each client has their own communication system. For one, we communicate through Slack. Internally, most of our communication is verbal/email-centric. And can’t forget about our famous whiteboard!
@Casieg   Same here. We try to use BC but some use Teamwork, Box, Dropbox, ect.
@creativecalif   Same! We’re surprised our Dropbox hasn’t runneth over yet. Luckily, we now have 2 tb at our disposal!
@jacquesbouchard   I found box and dropbox weren’t collaborative as GDrive when my job had it. I used ti for big storage only.

@jacquesbouchard   Keeping everyone involved but keeping communication concise so people read it. Build personal connections with all contacts.

@ThinkSEM   Obvs. intro of team to clientele, exchanging of emails/numbers is important.

@BruceClayInc   Thanks for all the productivity & communication tool referrals chatters! Have to check these out. We’re a Basecamp+email group. Pro tip! Sync Basecamp @37signals to Google Calendar. You’ll see Basecamp to-dos & events in GCal!
@jacquesbouchard   Basecamp can be powerful! I used to be a big fan of 5pm when I used it.

@directom    We use client touch points -min. 4 on a monthly basis – 2 email & 2 calls to keep regular contact! Communication is key! We really rely on @RedboothHQ for task management and sharing common information in the notes section.

How often are you all going in and checking on GA, your tool of choice, PM systems? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?

@cate   I depend on weekly scheduled check-ins. Otherwise I tend to get sucked down the rabbit hole of spending too much time on it.

@kimberleeann   Definitely monthly, but if I have the time I will go through weekly and just check that everything is tracking correctly.

@Casieg   So much time in GA. Definitely multiple times daily but that’s across multiple accounts. Varies per client.

@ChelseaLikeNY   Keep an eye on them daily to make sure there aren’t problems or areas for action, but report weekly!

@whirledview   Constantly checking all the things!

@CJLio   You need to be checking GA and GWT daily IMO. Same with PM. Metrics are our biggest asset, needs to be daily.

@AlanBleiweiss   How often do I check GA, other tools, etc.? Way too often. #ItsAnObsession Actually, I monitor dozens of client accounts. Maybe 1x/month or less #NoTimeForThat. I DO check most client accounts every time someone screams “Hey was there a Google update?”

@AJutah   Check Analytics often, but don’t get hung up on traffic. Set action items for the week based on KPIs, not just metrics.

@jgambacurta   I check GA 2-3x a week, and I check @Wrike + @todoist multiple times per day.

@chriswtam   All things daily.

@ThinkSEM   For PPC clients, checking GA daily; for SEO it’s weekly. Also GWT & other tools.

@igalst   All tools including GA are split to 2, a daily quick check, and a weekly deeper report. A couple of things are checked monthly.
@AJutah   Custom dashboards for Analytics are great for that. Do you have any favorites?
@CaitlinBoroden   I’ve found some great ecommerce dashboards that save a ton of time
@igalst   Absolutely. We customized a few, top content, changes in traffic channels etc etc.
@AJutah   Check out these Analytics dashboards.

@creativecalif   We check WMT, GA, rank reports, and backlinks daily. Better to identify problems quickly and address them immediately.

@directom   GA daily for each client, focusing on the specific tasks and end goals. Measuring success and failures.

@jacquesbouchard   Depends on the client – some almost daily, some every week or so. More monitoring after big changes on the site or in Google.

@HeatherMktg   We check GA reports weekly, monthly and quarterly.

How do you keep up with all of the latest in our industry?

@kimberleeann   Twitter, constantly checking twitter when I have down time to see quick updates of whats going on in the industry.

@Casieg   I spend ~1 hour a day going through my feed reader. And of course the Twitters. We also have an internal email distribution list where we share news/articles with the team.

@AlanBleiweiss   I keep up with industry changes by only working on client stuff 10 – 20 hours a week at most.

@BerkleyBikes   #seochat of course!

@meg_furey   We have a Weekly Download where we discuss new SEO tools and cool articles written by others in the industry!

@chriswtam   @feedly is amazing for this. I also have my own @SlackHQ channel for all things SEO to keep the team updated.
@alexpeerenboom   Same, plus channels for web design, web development.
@alexpeerenboom   Feedly is a daily go-to ever since Google Reader shut down. I’ll read shorter, breaking-news type stuff right away, then save longer articles for later.
@cate   Same here. I dig @Flipboard as well.

@ThinkSEM   Need 2 set aside time every week (day?;) to read up on latest n’ greatest. Also push for the boss to send you to good conf.
@jgambacurta   Agreed. Any conferences you’d recommend? I went to @smx Advanced last June, fantastic experience + learned a lot.

@jgambacurta   SEO-related news on Feedly + Twitter. That’s all I have time for at the moment! Conferences can be great too.

@creativecalif   We follow key sites, like @seroundtable, @sewatch, Google’s Webmaster Forums, and run our own experiments occasionally!

@whirledview   Too hard for me to follow everything. I try focus on specific areas and people and know everything there is to know about them. And I follow @rustybrick and creatively use @IFTTT and @feedly.

@cate   A good feed reader/industry news app is critical for catching useful articles. Twitter chats are also an awesome tool!

@jacquesbouchard   I browse ~16 SEO blogs in @TheOldReader daily, and I talk a lot. Share your knowledge, and others reciprocate.

@ChelleDear   I read a lot of industry blogs, LI communities, & Google+ communities. I also take in a lot of slideshare content.

@directom   Google Alerts are set for specific searches & I use blog subscriptions. Every morning begins with @seroundtable daily recaps!

Anyone want to share their go to sources for information?

@cate   @Moz and @crestodina on @orbiteers always has great stuff.

@AlanBleiweiss   Following great sources like @sengineland, @sejournal, @jenstar, etc. helps a lot in keeping up with industry. Lots of great sources. Others include @Moz @Rustybrick @Marketingland. @pjmckeown @HeroicSearch @sengineland @sejournal @jenstar I don’t care for @Inboundorg due to lack of balance “thumb down” option.

@Casieg   @sengineland @moz @rustybrick @stonetemple … so many more…

@AJutah   @inboundorg and @rustybrick for SEO news, and my trusty RSS feeds of my favorite sites. I look up to: @cmicontent, @backlinko, @sengineland, @jasonacidre, @bruceclayinc, @stonetemple.

@CJLio   @Mike_Arnesen for schema. @ericward for links. @randfish for overall content strategy. @jacquesbouchard for ideas/problems!

@CaitlinBoroden   @mlscarzello Constantly. Probably too often.

@tonyxrandall , , . also there’s a cool app called Nuzzel. The big seo blogs are great if you want to read the same article spun 1000 different ways.

@creativecalif   Our social media strategist is constantly finding industry articles via Twitter; pins them to a private pinboard to read later. For social media and online marketing news, we like @hootsuite @fastcompany @contently @mashable.

@BerkleyBikes   @cate @Moz I too enjoy the @crestodina/@orbiteers blogs. I put together a few twitter lists of different industry resources for @DragonSearch. IIRC, they’re public.

@jacquesbouchard   I’m fans of @JShehata @debramastaler @seosmarty and @Casieg. For blogs, @rustybrick and @Moz are my starting points.

@pjmckeown   @HeroicSearch @AlanBleiweiss @sengineland @sejournal @jenstar Don’t forget @Inboundorg. Follow hashtags too. #AtomicChat #SocialChat, #SMX.

@ThinkSEM   @moz, @sengineland, anything @neilpatel writes, @unbounce for conversion stuff, @semrush, lots more!

@meg_furey   I spend a lot of time on Twitter checking out SEO thought leaders are reading and sharing with followers!

@CJLio   Some other good sources: @billsebald @EricLanderSEO and @neilpatel.

@jgambacurta   @Moz @randfish @sejournal @sewatch @searchinfluence are my go-to resources for latest SEO industry news.

@ChelleDear   Recommend SEO by the sea, Blind Five year old, @dr_pete, @semrush, @seobook.

@BrettASnyder   @nshivar puts together a solid roundup every week that I almost always find at least 1 solid resource.

@directom   Shoutout to: @Linkdex @semrush @sengineland @rustybrick @googlewmc I could really just keep going on!

@whirledview   Go-to information sources: @bill_slawski, @seoskeptic, @ajkohn, @adamsherk, so many others.

How do you network best – online, conferences, meet ups?

@emily_C27   I’ve always done best in person. Love to attend industry-related conferences and get that face to face.

@cate   Definitely a combination. Without an in-person component to networking I find the connection isn’t as strong.

@jacquesbouchard   My best networking contacts are current/former coworkers and people I worked with through guest blogs. Events, not as often.

@Casieg   Conferences are my fave but Twitter definitely gives you the ability to “meet” people beforehand. I should clarify…conferences but specifically the post conference events, where alcohol is involved.
@jacquesbouchard   How do you meet people at conferences? My connections are about 95% superficial from them.
@ThinkSEM   Find out who the speakers are; Tweet that you’re excited to hear them speak; walk up & introduce w/handle
@Casieg   I usually just go up to people and start talking to them. Esp if we’ve met online. Many have turned into real friends.
@jacquesbouchard   I do all that! Usually, it takes me 3+ times before they have any idea who I am, lol. Almost everyone I know in my personal life I met from online. But professionally I’m not as savvy there.
@igalst   I made a few very interesting connections and even friends at SMX, both Israel and New York.

@pjmckeown   I’ve made my best contacts over dinner at conferences, then follow digitally.

@ThinkSEM   Most of our networking is via Twitter (ahem, in chats ;) BUT it’s always best to meet IRL. Conferences, local meet-ups, etc.

@jgambacurta   I enjoy meet-ups and conferences for networking!

@CJLio   All are great. Explain to your parents what you do and have them tell their friends. It’s honestly the best foot in door.

@ChelseaLikeNY   Online! Twitter and LinkedIn specifically are great ways to find common ground, then reach out, smartly of course.

@AlanBleiweiss   Networking is critical to this work. Establish real relationships (all the cliche’ methods are valid). I prefer to start engaging (Twitter, FB, G+ – whatever works for you) then get to conferences, meetups.

@AJutah   I’ve been to conferences, meet-ups and seminars, but Twitter chats are still the best for networking/learning.

@ChelleDear   Used to be twitter. I thought Google+ was dead until last week. I’ve found very active communities and met many experts there.
@kimberleeann   Same! I had written Google+ off but the communities for certain industries seem to be alive and well.

@davidmalmborg   Running and being a part of #SLCSEM has been a big deal for my networking.

Any tips for the conference newbie to many connections?

@Casieg   Everyone has to start somewhere. The biggest thing is to not be intimidated and join the conversations happening. My first conference I connected with @AaronFriedman before & met up at show. Just one person can make you more comfortable. This industry is full of friendly folks.

@HeroicSearch   Just have to go out and meet the people. Introduce yourself and begin a chat.

@cate   Connect online to offline! Put your handle on your name tag & focus on turning Twitter friends into f2f connections.

@AJutah   Get out of your hotel room and meet people! Personal interactions can be great learning opportunities.

@ThinkSEM   Find out who’s going from community b4, meet up in person. Same w/speakers. Go to after-conference happy hour. Beer=friends.

@emily_C27   Conferences can be dull. Be attentive to those who seem to be engaged & interacting. Those are the peeps you want to talk to.

@CaitlinBoroden   I have had great chats just sitting in my seat waiting for the speakers to start. Talk to your neighbors!

@creativecalif   Live tweeting conferences w/ valuable quotes & takeaways helps start convo online, makes nice segue to in-person relationships. Sticking around afterward provides a great opp. to make connections w/ peers. Also, pose one-on-one questions to panelists, etc.

@jgambacurta   Don’t feel like you have to meet everyone – have real conversations. I hate when people flighty/looking for the big guys.
@jacquesbouchard   YES. And I’ve had very little correlation between how “big” the person and how useful the connection has been.

@CJLio   If you recognize someone from a blog post, let that be the introduction. Comment on how you like their piece or had questions. Also look for others tweeting in the same session as you. You can collaborate/discuss on the session.

@jacquesbouchard   Take notes on who you meet immediately. Help others whenever possible. Follow up with a thoughtful tweet/e-mail afterwards.

@igalst   I found this post by @dr_pete.

@davidmalmborg   Use twitter to meet people around the globe, and conferences to meet them in person.

@tonyxrandall   Ditch your business card. replace it with getting peoples’ email and adding them to your contacts immediately, & vice versa.

How do you stay involved build relationships with some great fellow SEOs?

@chriswtam   Grab coffee whenever possible.

@AJutah   Twitter chats, for one! I’ve meet a lot of great SEOs each week who are clearly smarter.

@pjmckeown   That’s the difficult part. Thank god for Twitter, FB and LI. #seochat I have twitter lists of ppl I meet and where.

@directom   Has been the BEST way to meet my fellow SEO’s! blog comments, webinars, and hangouts are useful as well.

@igalst   Social Media of course, but also emails, calls, and meet the person for beer when you’re in town!

@ChelleDear   I’ve found that other SEOs like to group video chat. Google hangouts are a thing for them. And twitter chats to an extent. I’ve found a # of hangouts through the G+ communities. Webinars seem to be big on some sites w/ participation.

@ThinkSEM   Social media makes it SUPER-easy to reach out, ask ?, comment, mention, stay on the radar, etc.

@AaronFriedman   I actually started hosting hangouts 1:1 w/ ppl I connect with. I call it #chatsacrosstheworld. Actually once convinced @mattcutts to join me. We had a blast! I promised @mattcutts I wouldn’t talk about SEO. so we just… talked. It was fun!

@CJLio   Don’t be afraid to jump in on a conversation, whether it be Twitter or blog comments. Add value to the conversation though.

@tonyxrandall   Maintain connections and treat everyone like they matter regardless of any level of “influence” you want to pin on them.

@AJutah   Which Twitter chats do you participate in?
@Casieg   I personally am flighty on them but @Fassooo does #bufferchat #semruschat #seochat weekly on behalf of @KoMarketing
@jacquesbouchard   @Fassooo @KoMarketing SEMRushchat is great. I wish I could make more time for it.

@creativecalif   We help & connect with fellow SEOs within communities like @reddit. Enjoy working w/ other professionals to solve tough probs.

@jacquesbouchard   I meet them on their terms & participate in a valuable way. Be where they’re active (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, their blog).

@AlanBleiweiss   I connect 1 on 1 digitally via Twitter and FB DMs and email, SMS text. For group connection, I jump into #SEOChat, #SocialChat and recently #boogiesocial and instigate trouble where I can.

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