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

Moderator: @RonellSmith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@oc2015   They’re finally learning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moderator: @tannerpetroff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@bravomedia1   NO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@bravomedia1   More Transparancy!

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

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

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

@tannerpetroff   Google+

@KristiKellogg   The eradication of Google authorship.

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

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

@jessesem   “Not provided”

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

Summary: How to Boost Search Traffic on #SEOchat

Moderator: @ajutah

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

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

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

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

@kkenyon86   Because Google continously changes.

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

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

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

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

@globalHMA   Be sure Google crawls the new site asap!

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

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

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

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

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

@bravomedia1   PPC for Immediate Results.

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

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

How much content should a new website launch with?

@TheBuyerGroup   Quality vs quantity

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

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

@bravomedia1   800 – 1200 Words Per Main Content Pages

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are some ways to increase CTR from Google search?

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

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

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

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

Does your SEO strategy involve video optimization? How?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moderator: @bloomreachinc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@bravomedia1 Direct Entry Point from #PPC & #Social

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@bravomedia1 @neilpatel Great Blog on subject.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@bravomedia1 Where EVER it Belongs!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moderator: @EricLanderSEO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@YoungbloodJoe   For hashtags: @RiteTag; For Reddit: Redective; For Content: FaqFox; more at

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

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

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

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

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

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

@gyitsakalakis   for the locals @MozLocal & @yext

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

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

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

@jacquesbouchard   Screaming *yawn* Frog is *yawn* so good, etc. for speed suggestions,GroupHigh for blog research.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@michelljernigan   Google Analytics, Screaming Frog, Ahrefs

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

@patrickcoombe   @ahrefs @screamingfrog and hmmmm…bash?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@gyitsakalakis   Easy. @googleanalytics (not provided).

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

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

Summary: Local SEO Best Practices on #SEOchat

Moderator: @ChrisJEverett

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@seanvanguilder   schema markup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@gyitsakalakis   Google My Business… @MozLocal @yext

@GregJLee   Love the county sheriff idea for .gov!

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

How have you used to improve #localseo for your clients/websites?

@mikecrimmins is my standard and something I train my staff on.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary: What You Need For a Killer Competitive Analysis on #SEOchat

Moderator: @randfish

What competitive analysis info is of greatest value/use to your marketing campaigns?

@CLRochelle   Top third party partnerships that are offering content and links.

@seanvanguilder   Keyword analysis. Seeing where competitors are outranking my client and that steers content creation and backlink analysis.
@randfish    +1. Do you manually do KW analysis on those sites? Use @SEMRush? Something else?
@seanvanguilder    Yes I do use SEMRush and of course @Moz. Then Excel to look for the overlaps and where they’re being outranked.

@patrickcoombe    The budget that they have for SEO / IM is very helpful, also what keyword targeting strgy. is actually working. Also what their content funnel looks like…everyone writes blog posts, but HOW they are using them can be very telling.
@randfish    Interesting… How would you uncover budget? Preferably without corporate espionage?
@patrickstox    There’s a pretty simple way to do this that works well in the car sales industry, ask.
@patrickcoombe    the question is…do you believe them? do you agree
@GregGifford    I’ve never seen anything that accurately shows budget other than direct access to AdWords/Facebook
@patrickcoombe    normally we don’t…but “in a perfect world / 3 wishes scenario” having their budget would be very helpful.

@Rhea    Top performing content, traffic driving terms (BEHAVIOR HINTS!), content strategies, growth strategies, link profiles. % of SERP overlap for competitive terms and the gaps + more informational “competitors” for more natural / awareness queries. message and whether that aligns with execution–are they an informed competitor w/a strategy? Here’s a gap analysis we’re doing w/KWs in the health space. Top 3 comps on left, client on right. Comp’s user data to validate persona, content that doesn’t perform visibly, retention efforts.

@ChrisJEverett    Competitive Keyword and Website Content Analysis.

@s4socialmedia    The best competitive analysis comprises customer study with emphasis on interest, reach, engagement and utility.

@kkenyon86   What are they/we doing better or different? This can be either keywords or social media.

@ajutah    I always run a gap analysis for content. What’s my competition writing about, and how can I do it better? Drives links, shares.
@randfish    Love it. What tools and/or processes do you use for that?
@ajutah    I have a custom Excel sheet with data from OSE on client, competitors. Top anchor text and backlinks helps build strategy.

@PeterThistle    What keyword set is working for them.

@Tinu    I like data that has context. Things that tell me WHY not just *what* – domain strength for example.

@emily_C27    Specifics of their content marketing efforts. Who’s mentioning them? What makes them different?

@nemofindsworld    Starting off with keyword research, then analyzing search competition for content strategy and comparing backlinks.

@scin383    I like Content Analysis…see whats questions the competitors are NOT answering sufficiently.

@ferkungamaboobo    • Unique Selling propositions • Subniche targets • Geographic Target Choice

@lisabuyer    Media coverage and top performing content and do something similar yet completely different

@deegs20    I like to look at competitors depth/quality of content, niche back links, and local presence.

@MyNameIsTylor    @brightedge has a feature that displays shared ranking keywords of sites ranking for keywords you’re targeting.
@nemofindsworld    Their keyword gap analysis feature in the data cube is great for finding new kw and content opportunties.

@tannerpetroff    Finding out where competitors are finding big wins, and how also where they are missing opportunities.

@desiredlex    what sort of questions people are asking in the competitor blog comments and then create content that answers them.

@randfish    For me: – Traffic to smaller competitors; – Their conversion+retention rates; – Which features/aspects their customers love/use.

What type of competitive data that you need is hardest to get (or least accurate)?

@CLRochelle    Def @SimilarWeb, newswires & then some good ‘ol Google & SM searching. User engagement. Third party tools always seem to be off or don’t paint a full picture.

@seanvanguilder    backlink data. have to use numerous tools to find competitor links and most of the time the data is outdated.

@patrickcoombe    also what do ya’ll think of my new wall deco? #SEO friendly enough?

@emily_C27    Email marketing comp. data is a tougher one, yet so important! Maybe there’s a tools that gives back more than subscribing.

@kkenyon86    How they acquired SM followers. Really other than that, there’s usually a tool for it, @Moz or otherwise.
@randfish    Yeah; that’s a tough one. Would be fascinating to get that insight!
@ferkungamaboobo    one really commonly used outside of marketers is
@kkenyon86    Almost scared to find out our own!
@patrickcoombe    one small way would be to set a scraper to grab their ads even 10-20x per week (see ad type etc).
@emily_C27    With that, what about where exactly URLs are being shared on #socialmedia?; not just the shared count.

@Navahk    The competitors budget – what are they spending (in social) for those results.

@ajutah    How traffic is actually converting on the competitor’s site. Can estimate based on best practices, but always just a guess.

@ignivasolutions    Content quality, backlink sources, features/services competitor is offering, what is working for them say content etc.

@nemofindsworld    If i’m looking at competition in a niche market it can be challenging to find the keyword data/engagement metrics you need.
@untypicalman    or when it is a very niche market and the client doesn’t have direct competitors. That could be challenging.

What are your favorite tools for competitive intelligence (links, traffic, mentions, social, landing page monitoring, etc)?

@scin383    The level of ‘support’ from the company itself for overall SEO efforts vs the Competition (budget, time, dev hours, etc).

@Tinu    Mostly things that would fall under corporatre espionage lol. When will their budget run out? What are their converstion rates?
@randfish    Someone should definitely create a tool called “CorpEspionage” and offer those features 🙂
@Tinu    that would rock. If I get funding for that you get a cut. Followerwonk! Forgot that one. Tweetreach and Tweetbinder too.

@seanvanguilder    @semrush, @moz, @sproutsocial, @screamingfrog, url profiler, @ahrefs, and more.

@s4socialmedia    Website traffic and social signals.
@randfish    Which tools do you like for those?
@s4socialmedia    I prefer Google Analytics and Sprout Social

@bravomedia1    @Moz of course! And @spyfu, @screamingfrog

@emily_C27    @semrush for KW/monthly traffic and @Moz OSE for DA, PA, and backlinks. @BuzzSumo @kkenyon86 hmmm haven’t tried it for that but I’ll give it a go!

@Navahk    Just a few of my favorite #smm things @LikeAlyzer @googleanalytics @Talkwalker @BuzzSumo.

@nemofindsworld    @Majestic for links, @brightedge/@semrush for keywords, @screamingfrog for technical insight on competitors & @Moz for local.

@Rhea    @Moz, Web Explorer, @ahrefs, @BuzzSumo, @spyfu, @google(!), @getSTAT, @googlechrome (tools!), @msexcel

@Tinu    Moz obvi. Advanced version of the Keyword difficulty tool is underrated. Ahrefs for link loss. Buzzsumo. I miss Topsy.
@randfish    We were just talking about building the advanced SERPs analysis from KWD into h yesterday.

@RyanJones    I use a ton of tools: @semrush @ahrefs @Majestic @SimilarWeb to name a few.

@PeterThistle    @Moz, @semrush, Wayback Machine, a sense of how much and often competitors sites are being invested in.

@patrickcoombe    I <3 @followerwonk (social) OSE (links) and @semrush (traffic) …I also got a tour of @moz's new tool at #searchlove 🙂

@kkenyon86    @spyfu @Moz are probably my top 2.

@ajutah    • SpyFu – keywords • “Compete” – traffic estimates • SEMrush – competitive content ideas • ScreamingFrog – landing page ideas
@tannerpetroff    People never underestimate what you can do with @screamingfrog – It’s easily one of my most critical tools.
@ajutah    I also love using FreshKey for identifying awesome bottom-funnel keywords
@tannerpetroff   Is this a web tool or a desktop program?
@ajutah    Desktop. I run it on my Macbook at home. They have promos once in a while- I bought it for $9.99 when it was on sale.

@scottclark    Moz (woo hoo), SEMRush, SpyFu, BuzzSumo, Newsle.
@randfish    Curious — what do you do with Newsle? I haven’t checked them out in a long while.
@scottclark    Oh yeah..Newsle is now LinkedIn “connectionss in the news” – I encrg ppl to conn w competitors after confs & use it. Oh yeah..Newsle is now LinkedIn “connectionss in the news” – I encrg ppl to conn w competitors after confs & use it.

@scin383    Followerwonk, Mention, SEMRush, SEOClarity, Touchgraph (yes, touchgraph!

@deegs20    Clique Hunter, Open Site Explorer, Screaming Frog.
@randfish    Not familiar with CliqueHunter – what’s the scoop there?
@deegs20    @Majestic product, can compare up to 10 sites for a backlink analysis, pulls in tons of sort-able data:
@BruceClayInc    Interesting way to see relationships btw sites.

@BruceClayInc    Hi Rand et al! For comp research, the Research Summary tool in SEOToolSet analyzes multiple competitor landing pages at once.

@kidakaka    Root domain counts, link profile using @Moz.

@BruceClayInc    For link research, Majestic tops the list. We also watch all the SMM analytics for mentions, etc.

@rebeldotcom    We use Google Analytics, Alexa, Sprout Social and Social Rank.

@tannerpetroff    @semrush @moz @spyfu @SimilarWeb – I’m actually surprised fewer people are mentioning SEMrush.
@randfish    I think @semrush might be so ubiquitous as to be a given 🙂 @Moz @spyfu @SimilarWeb.

How do you ID which competitors to focus on? Big, entrenched players, smaller, but fast-rising sites, indirect competitors, etc?

@seanvanguilder    Depends on the client. But usually a mix of all those.

@lisabuyer    See who has been covered by the media recently – they means they are PRoactive.
@randfish    Smart! Any particular methodology you use for media tracking/comparison?
@lisabuyer    1.Media 2. Reporter 3. Engagement 4. Sentiment 5. Opportunity/Threat 5. Action 6. Twitter list

@s4socialmedia    For me, it would largely depend on the niche and company size and targeted location.

@Rhea , Google News, @KnowEm (check registered profiles), subscribe to comp’s feed in a @SlackHQ channel. ID competitors based on: true industry, aspirational, awareness & SERP comps (latter w/@getSTAT).

@STATrob    Why use that table instead of using the Competitive Landscape charts?

@Tinu    Whose weaknesses we can best exploit, what will have greatest mean effect, what’s most in line w stated/hidden goals. How well we can execute, give the tools we’ll have. Does content need to run through a compliance agency?

@patrickcoombe    we focus on #SMB so its usually obv. who we have to beat out. we look at rankings (not positions) and social metrics.

@Fliesentisch    for links I just love @lnkresearchtool

@emily_C27    I look at a competition combo of those with shared competitive kws and known industry competitors; large and small.

@LauraLeeSEO    Whoever I think is reasonable to compete with! If I am a big site, then a big competitor. If not, then a smaller one.
@randfish    I hear you. I always worry, even if I’m bigger, about the new entrants who are growing fast.
@LauraLeeSEO    I guess I should clarify not just “big” but established and high-quality. I look at the disruptive, smaller sites too.
@AliciaRagaller    Agree, Just because you’re big doesnt mean that you dont have to compete w/ smaller sites w/ good SEO & link building.
@LauraLeeSEO    Definitely! Like I said, whatever I think is reasonable given time, budget, etc =)

@tannerpetroff    All competition deserves some focus, otherwise someone will sneak past you.

@ndyjsimpson    I start by asking the client who they “think” are competitors

@aviw    related:

@PeterThistle    I like to get a representative sample of competitors: big, comparable size, direct business, keyword.

@thompsonpaul    Treat each of those groupings separately-visibility into each is important but strategy determines which one is focus.

@BruceClayInc    Google is the indicator of who your competition is. Choose your #SEO battles by kwd topic.

@kkenyon86    We start with who else is on reviews sites we use for our business and look for those who compete with us there.

@b_shumway    Google target kws/phrases, survey the landscape, identify targets, outcontent the competition, repeat.

@Navahk    I like the old school approach Trade show – checking out the newbies, who’s attending, how big the booth sizes, promos, etc.

@LollySpindler    We tend to look at HubSpot marketing grade, traffic rank, and linking domains (+ mozRank) to find our competition.

@Tinu    Budget. Timeframe. Available talent. (ninjas vs minutemen) How educated/cooperative is the client?

@bravomedia1    identify competitors in #1234 spots in Organic SERP 4 the most relevant keyword phrases i need 2 RANK 4

@nemofindsworld    Start by asking the client who they have identified, then conduct your own research in the SERPs to ID search competitors. Once you have a pool of competitors, combine and analyse the data you have on them and organize into tier groups to target.

@scin383    Depends, but usually try to go after a niche in the industry that the ‘big guys’ are neglecting or can be beat on.

Favorite graphs/visuals to show your team/manager/client illustrating competitive comparison?

@ajutah    Depends on the medium, but many small wins > a few big wins (over time at least). I like using SEMrush visualizations, but adding them to a custom slide deck that explains the reasons behind strategy.

@seanvanguilder    There are so many but similar to the insights questions I use graphs from @semrush, @moz (multiple ones).

@bravomedia1    SERP’s w/ Google Analytics.

@tannerpetroff    I’ve always loved OSE’s ‘Compare link metrics’. So easy to digest.

@Rhea    personal fave as well. Easiest way in a snapshot BUT this overwhelms MANY clients. Info overload
@tannerpetroff   Totally can. Especially when explaining diff between page, subdomain, and root domain metrics.
@Rhea    yup. I wish this existed in a simpler form.

@randfish    Still one of my favorite easy ones is Google Trends (e.g. Fitbit).

@scin383    I personally like Touchgraph’s charts to show who your competitors are on specific keywords.

@emily_C27    With so much numerical data to show, I categorize it brackets using graphs: On page metric, backlink metrics, social, local.

@PeterThistle    Those small line graphs showing Traffic and NumberOfKeywordsInTheTopTwenty work well.

@BruceClayInc    Agreed. Where there is a clear course change on terminology, Google Trends paints the picture clearly.

@LollySpindler    HubSpot’s Reporting Add On tool is pretty easy to use & user friendly.

@untypicalman    I’m all about using graphs/tables that are easy to digest & highlighting the client (so they can see where they are in comp.)

@Rhea    LOVE trends. Here’s a term targeted by client VS where the industry was going

@BruceClayInc    That’s the power of Google Trends! No one can argue with that graph. Perfect for C-suite presos.

@Rhea    I LOVE @Moz’s keyword difficulty tool.

@nemofindsworld    The storybuilder dashboards from @brightedge offer great visuals in graph/chart forms – clients always engage with them.

@randfish    Similarly, I like to use Fresh Web Explorer to show mentions/media+blog links over time.

@TheBuyerGroup    Take the data & customize w/ tools like @Visually & @canva.

@ajutah    I love @Moz’s pro tools, but I wish there were more practical tutorials on the blog that show tasks you can use them for.

@JimCorcoran    I like to look at social and content reach.

@robertvonheeren    One of the useful tools to prepare Venn diagrams especially for large datasets I use: Useful. custom made Venn diagramms (3 to 6 competitors) e.g. for keyword or backlink overlaps and strength comparison.

How do you track competitors’ progress vs. your own? Tools? Spreadsheets? Intermittent check-ins? Not at all?

@wonderwall7    The most successful clients I’ve seen are most focused on their own stuff, not what everyone else is doing.

@RyanJones    we use data visualization to show us vs competitors and opportunity.

@ajutah    I monitor the SERPs for keywords bringing me new search traffic (via Analytics), but don’t have a formal tracking process.

@bravomedia1    Yes Cking Competitors once in a while. I believe it is BEST 2 focus on ur own successes online & ROI.

@BruceClayInc    Have to plug our Ranking Monitor here. It tracks your rankings & top 30 sites for your kwds over time.

@LollySpindler    HubSpot (I swear I’m not a HubSpot robot!) and BuzzSumo.

@scin383    Most of our clients are just happy to be getting better quality traffic to their sites, they stop caring about comp lol.

@Rhea    only track competition w/annual strategy review. My $.02: use the data, make a plan, execute. Setup notifications, but FOCUS. It’s unrealistic to not look at competition. You need to understand industry trends. #SEOChat It’s not a daily/monthly activity though.

Summary: Cross-team collaboration on #SEOchat

Moderator: @CaitlinBoroden

How do keep your marketing teams connecting – close proximity? daily check-ins? weekly scrums? project management tools?

@s4socialmedia   A cross-team collaboration plays a great role. Recently, read an article on offline tactics for better online mktg. It would be always great to have market data ready for #SEO planning. This would be only done with cross team collaboration.

@tannerpetroff   Cross team collaboration is tricky, so I’m pumped for this one! Vastly different methods based on agency vs in-house vs contractors/freelancers, etc. On big projects, I prefer weekly inter-team scrums, and daily small team scrums.
@AJUTAH   True, especially if you’re working remotely.

@thompsonpaul   Cross-team communication – the mythical beast of SEO/Web Marketing .

@AJUTAH   Yes, yes and yes. Marketing can be effective within a silo. We started doing mid-week scrums at @followfoxtail, and ending the week with related trainings.

@madelineg_sea   All of the above. Open spaces in a marketing environment are helpful for cross-team communication.

@jpsherman   In larger orgs start by offering presos (with lunch) to other teams, sales, engineering, etc. Show how search & seo can be a force multiplier to their efforts, show them the value & how it affects them. Be transparent in your work, share your plans, your successes, failures – show others that seo makes their job easier.
@jacquesbouchard   Good point. When I worked in-house for an enterprise-level, training was a powerful outreach tool as well. And follow up when they cooperate to show data that proves that the collab made a positive difference.

@evanauerbach   Not to spill the beans on the @DragonSearch blueprints, but open-floored seating has been key for cross-team collabos.

@BRAVOMedia1   All of the Above! Love @basecamp, @toggl, @Skype & my #Droid

@iankeir1   I think that scrums and check-ins help to facilitate collaboration. Search and seo work best together!

@knelmerraji   Collaboration is key. To make sure our team’s on the same page, we use a #Scrum methodology & hold daily stand ups to check in.

@jacquesbouchard   Close proximity, shared chat rooms, extracurricular integration, company meetings, and lots of knowledge sharing.

@rajnijjer   Chat for checkins & weekly scrum, projects managed w/ tool like @flowapp everyone has kanban visibility.

@igalst   Daily stand up meetings, Jira for everything, round table meetings for team brainstorming, 1 Pocket account to share news/posts.

@GreatDentalWeb   We live by @teamwork (Projects and Desk) and @SlackHQ! Both platforms allow for constant communication and organization.

@Think_Tank_Mktg   daily check-ins, we use slack and FB messenger, bi-weekly department meetings, luncheons, communication is queen! Don’t be afraid to walk into someone’s office. Either. Never forget the face 2 face.

CaitlinBoroden So it looks like a mix of meetings and project management tools. So my natural next #seochat question would be….

What project management tools are you using and what sets them apart from the rest?

@iankeir1   @basecamp is crucial for us so that everyone has access to the data they need
@igalst   I once contacted them to ask for a sharing feature between users, they didn’t go for it but a single account worked well.
@CaitlinBoroden   I think they have recently added the functionally to share. I could be wrong though.

@jpsherman   Trello, Jira & #opensource video conferencing tool Bluejeans – Also some internal CMS to share content.

@jacquesbouchard   Freckle, Basecamp, Trello, and creative application of Google Docs. Basecamp and GDocs in particular are great for collab.
@AJUTAH   Do you use Basecamp and Trello together?
@jacquesbouchard   No, it varies by client. Some use one or the other to collab with us. We use BC for internal stuff as well. #seochat

@bl_bennett12   Our internal team uses Drive for collaborative pieces & big projects. JIRA for task assignments, @slack for immediate.

@AJUTAH   Google Calendar to plan my day, and @teamwork for task management and milestone planning.

@BRAVOMedia1   Scrum is often thought of as methodology, I see it more as a UX for managing. My Fav is @basecamp & @toggl – Keeps us on the same page & record time!

@Think_Tank_Mktg   We use @google documents and Teamwork. Great products for greater efficiency.

@thebbsagency   We use @teamwork. Is a breeze to use and gives us the ability to communicate, share files, and keep up to date on work.

@madelineg_sea   We use @basecamp – It’s simple and easy to use. Makes onboarding new team members easy

@igalst   We use #Jira after trying so many. I feel it’s better for cross team work. Still, #GoogleDrive is used a lot more often.

For the agency crowd: how do you structure your account management? Do you have a rep from each department? SEO, PPC, Dev etc.

@knelmerraji   Yes, definitely. Each person on the team has a speciality to bring the best service possible.

@jpsherman   At larger agencies, i worked in “cells” 1 SEO, 1 dev, 2 acct managers 1 team lead – the leads worked w/ other team leads.
@CaitlinBoroden   This is really interesting! @DragonSearch is on the smaller side so it’s great to see how others scale up.

@s4socialmedia   It is good to have individual rep for every department, as it would make account management easy and better.

@jacquesbouchard   We generally have reps by department, particularly between SEO and PPC. Rarely, one rep will do double duty.

@tannerpetroff   Best I’ve seen is one person to manage relationship, and ‘specialists’ who answer detailed project questions from each dept.
@jacquesbouchard   I’ve been on the client side of that, and it can be frustrating to have to always work with a middle man.
@tannerpetroff   Me too, and it’s tough. But it’s necessary unless you hire a contractor or work with a tiny agency.
@jacquesbouchard   Why necessary?
@tannerpetroff   Ever tried getting access to all 50 people that touch your campaign on large project?
@jacquesbouchard   And each one is an expert? That seems like too many hands in the decision-making pot.
@tannerpetroff   Not necessarily decision makers, but fulfillers. They’re the ones that really know what’s happening.

For the inhouse crowd: how do you facilitate collaboration and keep to goals?

@AJUTAH   Best if organic/paid strategies managed by one team and one point of contact.
@bl_bennett12   Agreed… we have an Acquisition team across organic and paid channels for all things, makes communication more fluid.

@knelmerraji   There is too much change and evolution in digital marketing to expect one person to be the true expert in more than 1 thing. It’s all about knowing the client and communicating with them the way that they feel comfortable.

@Think_Tank_Mktg   We keep goals because our bottom line is client satisfaction and industry participation.

@BRAVOMedia1   Aside of Software we’ve discussed, Open Communication, Mindfulness, & Conscious Thinking

@bl_bennett12   Our marketing structure requires collaboration btwn Content/Acquisition/Creative/MarTech. We have PM’s to handle scope of.

@s4socialmedia   Having individual rep would also make knowledge sharing better with deep domain insights. When it comes to inhouse, make other teams part of the process to attain desired success.

@madelineg_sea   Our relationship managers are the ones working day-to-day on the account. We know the account and can speak to it.

@jacquesbouchard   Inclusion through education and candid sharing of data – even when it’s not good data. I take the role of an in-house.

One of the closest teams I work with is PPC. What tips and tricks have you learned from PPC?

@bl_bennett12   Ad text can help give insights on Metadata, and discover new KW through SQR. Gotta bounce to a meeting. Till next week, all.

@AJUTAH   PPC data is a goldmine for bottom funnel keyword opportunities.

@BRAVOMedia1   Not Really a Trick But I’ve Screensharedw/ My Team Aspects of #PPC that are Relevant to Organic #SEO. We’re all talking the same thing. #PPC is GREAT for #Keywords!

@s4socialmedia   For me great PPC recipe consists of right keywords, precise ad copies and well structured landing page.

@rajnijjer   Cross Functional Check-ins and results reporting so everyone is aligned.

@CaitlinBoroden   A recent tip I heard was to learn from the PPC teams title & meta skills. They usually do much more testing and refining. You can also learn a lot from their keyword targeting. What keywords are getting volume? Have high CTR? etc.

@jpsherman   Wanna collaborate with #ppc teams? work w/ who runs your onsite search to get hyper relevant queries. An SEO that works well with a good PPC pro will collaborate to focus on high conversion words to optimize naturally.
@tannerpetroff   I love site search metrics. It’s rare that people really utilize them to the fullest
@jpsherman   at Red Hat, it’s an area that I spend the most time on, optimizing on-site search – i get such great data.

@jacquesbouchard   PPC is excellent at creating clear ROI reports and keeping it about metrics. I try to use that mentality more often.

@madelineg_sea   #seo & #ppc go hand in hand. You can align your strategies for improved performance & increase brand recognition. We produced a webinar on the benefits of aligning #SEO & #PPC strategy – check it out.
@jacquesbouchard   Really, SEO is a glue that brings together, PPC, Contentn Strategy, Design, IA, UXD, brand, social, etc.

@igalst   To focus on ROI.

SEO & Social go hand in hand too. How can Social help SEO and vise versa? How do you bring your initiatives together?

@iankeir1   Social can drive traffic to help SEO, and good SEO can give Social a boost.

@AJUTAH   I’ve been looking at Suggested Bid in Adwords planner. Higher bids typically see more competition which can = more conversions. Social visibility can sometimes lead to more visibility in search engines. ie link opportunities, tweets in Google SERPs, etc. Paid social can also give you insights into audience targeting and keyword opportunities.
@tannerpetroff   Love looking at PPC data when conversion tracking is set up correctly.
@CaitlinBoroden   Also seeing links to Facebook embedded videos in the SERPS too!

@jpsherman   the collaboration & transparency between #seo, #social, #ppc & other tactics is THE key for excellence.

@s4socialmedia   The common thread that keeps #seo and social together is #content.
@jacquesbouchard   And networking. I can’t tell you how many guest posts and outreach efforts on social won me big SEO success.

@madelineg_sea   A cohesive multi-channel strategy can be key for success in the digital space.

@igalst   For new products/pages, Social is super helpful in spreading the word out. So important for branded searches for SEO.

@BRAVOMedia1   Social is what ppl are talking about/ interested in Use knowledge 2 Optimize 4 that Subject/Query on LP.

@jacquesbouchard   SEO and Social converge on the blog 100%, and should be working together on every content calendar. Along with that, SEO’s bring the data that can show social success, help us understand user journey, and which venues work.

Speaking of collaborating – every project requires some brainstorming. Do you brainstorm with the full marketing team and why?

@BRAVOMedia1   Brainstorm with everyone who Cares! #Clients, #Team, My Mother!

@jpsherman   small brainstorming group, turned into a preso, turned into a constructive critique & action plan. In a larger org, the process can take a day or longer – depending on schedules – rarely more than a week.

@s4socialmedia   You need to make everyone part of the process to achieve desired results. Collaboration is the key.

@knelmerraji   We absoultely brainstorm as an entire agency. Ppl think differently and may spark another person to come up with a great idea.

@igalst   Not always but trying to. A diverse team will have such a wide range of experiences that you can’t know who’ll crack it.

@AJUTAH   Absolutely collab with the full team. Good marketing happens when it’s cross-channel.

How do you keep your brainstorm/collaboration meetings on track? Any method to the madness?

@jpsherman   Semper Gumby – always be flexible. For brainstorming meetings always start off with a good description of: Task, Condition, Standards. Hit all 3 = good meeting.

@tannerpetroff   I always have these meetings 1.5hrs before lunch, with the promise that upon successful completion we all go out for lunch.

@BRAVOMedia1   A Pre-Meeting Outline of What the Meeting is about w/ Accountability & Next Steps.

@s4socialmedia   The meetings should be followed with constant email threads to keep everyone the same page.

@knelmerraji   We usually have to bring food to keep people engaged! But I think it’s about including everyone and being excited.

@jacquesbouchard   By preparing beforehand, and providing the notes/outlines/expectations that will help everyone else do the same. Guide it.

@igalst   Only one person is speaking, and one person is typing. Always set up a follow up before you leave the meeting room.

How do you facilitate continued learning across teams?

@tannerpetroff   Going back to food as a motivator… Lunch and learn!
@CaitlinBoroden   Lunch and Learns are always a fantastic idea @tannerpetroff! Who teaches them – your team? other local industry members?
@tannerpetroff   Done it several ways, but I really like rotating between departments, one person prepares and teaches.
@CaitlinBoroden   I really like this approach. Nice and well rounded.

@BRAVOMedia1   Openness “Sharing is Caring”. Always Remember the 3 G’s, growth, graditude & giving.

@emily_C27   Monthly all-agency training sessions where we talk trends in a specific area.

@jacquesbouchard   Cross training for subjects that are relevant to multiple departments, like analytics, Google Tag Manager, keywords, etc.

@s4socialmedia   Through multiple ways: Team building games, knowledge series, Q&As, polls, blogs etc. Games that build trust, make teams familiar to each other, tests their character, create proxy mkt situations.

@CaitlinBoroden   We have training sessions where everyone is invited from Biz Dev to Design and anywhere inbetween.

@jpsherman   critical to create a culture of openness, transparency, accountability & sharing – in all things. Encourage people to publish, invite critique from ppl you trust, love the fact that critique is polish 🙂
@tannerpetroff   Love this approach. I hate how much we praise success and belittle ‘less than perfect’ – It’s a necessary step.
@jpsherman   my mantra (in that i repeat it to myself to make me relax) is “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”.

@knelmerraji   Sending team members to relevant conferences and encouraging them to take time each day to research and read about trends.
@CaitlinBoroden   Every Monday morning after my emails, I take an hour to catch up on all the industry and trends. I love it!
@knelmerraji   It’s so important because it seems like trends are changing quickly. If you fall behind, you’re in big trouble!

@AJUTAH   When I’m training on SEO, I like creating a test website to experiment on.
@tannerpetroff   Yes, create a sandbox environment people can screw up and mess with without consequences!

@igalst   Blocking out blocks of time to learn and for tutorials. Today you read, tomorrow you tell everyone how it works. Always works.

Summary: How to Create Content Like a Chewbacca Mom on #SEOchat

Moderator: @MatthewAYoung

Why do you think the Chewbacca Mom video was viewed over 140M times?

@tannerpetroff    Genuinely, I’m not sure. I haven’t even seen it…

@MatthewAYoung    Personally, i think there’s something be said about content that makes people feel something. Its contagious.

@EricLanderSEO    It blends pop culture with a cult like, generational following. Candace Payne’s authenticity speaks volumes too. Genuine. Authentic. Real. No fancy cameras, props or scripts. Just honest to goodness passion.
@MatthewAYoung    Yeah, the star wars thing helps, but authenticity is key, and brands can learn alot from this. And the original format was live video, which is pretty cool.
@EricLanderSEO   Don’t overlook that! Facebook has been annoying about live videos and notifications, too. Virality ensued

@s4socialmedia    For me, it’s right mix of excitement, exclusivity and content.

@Tony_DWM    The unabated joy of witnessing humans simply having a laugh. And the power of sharing that delight socially

@tannerpetroff    Alright, now that I’ve watched the video, I totally get why people connect with it. That was awesome.

@kkenyon86    It’s an everyday person just showing joy in something and sharing!

@rajnijjer    Combine Star Wars, the biggest media brand in the world + Happiness + Nerds = Contagious over the Internet.
@MatthewAYoung    It’s a pretty kitsch toy too. You open your mouth and you sound like chewie. Life’s simple pleasure.

What qualities does shareable content have in common?

@tannerpetroff    Most shareable content evokes emotion. Next most shareable content is extremely useful.
@MatthewAYoung    Agreed. Dont be afraid to create content that makes your audience feel something. It’s what brands want.
@EricLanderSEO   See also, Donald Trump’s media coverage.
@tannerpetroff    Especially when it comes to ads, if your audience doesn’t feel something it’s hard to get traction.

@kkenyon86    Relatable, enjoyable, & personable. If people can relate to it, it’s something that’s close to home, and most of all enjoyable!

@EricLanderSEO    Emotional appeal to an audience. It could incite rage or cause insane amounts of laughter, as we’ve seen. Sharing content often triggers an emotional attachment in either supporting/opposing the gist of the content shared.
@MatthewAYoung    Make them angry too – not all content should be beer and skittles. Good point.

@s4socialmedia   The best quality is to create awareness and answer popular curiosity.
@MatthewAYoung   Thats especially good for micormoments.

@BrandifyChat   All shareable and shared content invokes interest. This can be through key words, emotions, visuals or more.

@bravomedia1   Shareable Content is Engaging to target audience and adds value

@rajnijjer    To create shareable content, start with Persona, then address their needs by invoking curiosity.
@MatthewAYoung   Knowing the audience is key in creating content that resonates and invites reaction. Yes!

Is there a formula to follow for content to go viral?

@EricLanderSEO    Of course! Try, fail, try, fail again, try, fail harder, try, fail miserably. And then luck out. Now, you can certainly increase your chances of success – but viral content ignites when it’s beyond your control.

@tannerpetroff    Cover all your bases, throw in something crazy, and hope it sticks.

@kkenyon86    I think #ChewbaccaMom is just another great example that who knows what will go viral. I think it’s also about knowing your audience, but nothing is guaranteed to go viral.
@MatthewAYoung   But when we distill it down, there are things we can learn to bake into viral content, yes?
@tannerpetroff    I’ve been in meetings where the goal was “to get this video to go viral” and I just can’t help but laugh.

@bravomedia1   Viral content is HAS to stimulate & engage the audience enough so that they WANT to Share it.

@s4socialmedia   The formula is to think like a publisher and act like a marketer. Your #content need to address your audience.
@MatthewAYoung   I would also add to that to create content like a human being.

@EricLanderSEO    Think of the word viral, and consider how something can spread through the masses. Viral content is a (good) virus for content.

How would you describe your content strategy? What role does content marketing play?

@EricLanderSEO   So much to say on this one… Our content strategy starts with audience needs, then hits on business needs. Can’t serve ourselves before a visitor’s. Produce media to assist your core audience in doing/learning/feeling something – and tease actions from it. Then motivate or incentivize your audience to do those things contextually. You become their energy source in a sense. he “strategy” is layering in repeatable process, improving your skills and growing your audience and engagement. Content is content. Marketing is marketing. Strategy is what connects the two – positively or negatively.

@kkenyon86   I’m a #copywriter. It’s the main part of my strategy!

@jakebohall    There is no recipe for viral… it is a side effect of great content, timing, and luck. Content Strategy: Provide value, show authority. Identify audience information needs, demonstrate/highlight thought leadership.
@MatthewAYoung    Good point. Chance plays a big role, and I think we can learn things from random events.

@s4socialmedia    My #content strategy would be user-centric which will convert my #ContentMarketing efforts into user #engagement.

@BrandifyChat   Our content is produced with data/user value in mind. We aim to give our readers informative/actionable content.

@bravomedia1   Holistic! Content marketing HAS to stimulate ur audience to achieve desired effect.
@MatthewAYoung    I like the holistic approach, especially as it relates to biz goals. Balance in all things.
@BrandifyChat   Yes! This traces back to one question: Do you understand who your readers are?
@Bravomedia1   Just answered this in a Guest Blog with @ErenMckay yesterday! Check it out.

What types of content have been most effective for you/your clients? Wh

@EricLanderSEO    Long form investigative pieces, multimedia posts (w/ imagery or video) and infographics have been our best performers. And getting back to our roots, OPTIMIZED content has been the most successful. Invest in SEO of your media.

@jakebohall    Depends on the client industry and the persona targeted… Step 1: Know your audience, then the “type” becomes clear.
@MatthewAYoung    Authority is a big one, especially as it relates to how SEs view a site. Yes, it all starts with knowing who you’re reaching and how. My process always starts with research/listening.
@jakebohall    Not just SEs. You want customers to know you are the expert. Why we tell clients to write their own content.
@MatthewAYoung    True, no one is more intimately acquainted with their industries than clients. They just need nudging.

@s4socialmedia   I have been focussing more on #UGC for its authenticity, trust factor and reliability

@kkenyon86    Relevant, whether to the industry, events, or, if you’re lucky, the two together.

@bravomedia1   Content again that engages the targeted audience enuf so that they convert!

Any tips on how brands can use live video to reach an audience?

@EricLanderSEO    Facebook and YouTube are both great if you can get the following in place to help see it (go live at the right time). The great thing about live video, too, is that it has an interestingly long lifecycle. Many people will revisit to recall exp.
@MatthewAYoung   Perhaps one of the engines behind the 140M Chewbacca Mom view, no?
@EricLanderSEO   For sure. Just ask every major network that has since had #ChewbaccaMom on since her video went live.

@s4socialmedia   Excitement, education, reward and feedback.

@ErenMckay   This post helps those learning FB live.

@bravomedia1   On #Website, #YouTube & other #SocailMedia Platforms where the auidence hangs out!
@MatthewAYoung   That’s right – context is equal to content.

It may not get 140M views, but how do you measure the success of published content?

@EricLanderSEO    Engagement, links, replies, shares, conversions. All depends on the business objectives, if there are any.
@MatthewAYoung   Thats a dangerous game. Let’s hope there are biz objectives
@EricLanderSEO    You took the bait! Candace had no business objectives w/ #ChewbaccaMom – so how come that’s successful?
@bravomedia1   Yeah there are! Biz Goals, Mission & Purpose, Meeting the target audience expectations.
@EricLanderSEO    But “business” is a word of suggestion, no? Earning likes on Facebook (Candace Payne) isn’t for business. My point being, sometimes engagement is simply a self gratifying result of amazing content.

@kkenyon86    When you’ve reached the RIGHT people, creating buzz that leads to phone calls-sales-inquiries.

@s4socialmedia    The best measurement is to understand #customer reactions. There is something beyond numbers.

@emily_C27   Are users engaged? Have you received any publicity..positive or negative?
@MatthewAYoung   This gets into good old fashion PR. Love it. Sometimes you have to pound the pavement with content Marketing

@ErenMckay   Depends on the goals, may be brand awareness for large corps, it may be email optins & phone calls for small biz. Go back, rewrite it to make it better, change images, titles & subheadings then republish & socialize new post.
@MatthewAYoung   Yes, no such thing as a bad idea, just poorly executed ones. Go back and tweak!
@bravomedia1   Tweak, Test, Re-Work, Re-publish & keep fingers crossed!

What do you do with content that falls flat?

@bravomedia1   TEST & Re-Work Content so that it meets the users goals

@jakebohall    Every piece of content should have goals defined before creation.. and you can measure success based on meeting those goals.
@MatthewAYoung   All part of setting expectations.
@jakebohall    When you create content, set a date for revisiting (lifecycle). Know that you’ll get another chance when it pops up again. Content always gets revisited, success or failure.. this is how we keep things evergreen.

@BrandifyChat   Much like any other kind of marketing, the key is to evolve. Think of ways to refresh and repurpose content.

@s4socialmedia   Experiment with ideas.

@kkenyon86    If you think there may be some life in it, try to revise. Otherwise, pretend it never happened.

@EricLanderSEO    Repurpose it down the line. Extract it’s value and reinvest. The key with content that falls flat is to learn why it happened, and then prevent the same from happening down the line.
@MatthewAYoung   Those who do not learn from History…also create bad content? Cant remember how that one goes.

Summary: How to Create “Pillar Content” for Links, Traffic & Leads on #SEOchat

Moderator: @AJUTAH

@AJUTAH   We’re talking Pillar Content today. My definition: A piece of content on a website that consistently drives links, traffic and leads via search engines & social media.

Let’s start with the WHAT. What is your own definition of Pillar Content?

@jpsherman   related, but a bit different – pillar content is the topics/ concepts/ products from which other content branches from

@madelineg_sea   Evergreen content that is timeless and drives traffic to your site

@seanvanguilder   Centers of Excellent, how to guides, core blog topics around your service offerings. Think of Moz’s seo for beginner’s guide.

@emily_C27   Pillar content is a more robust form of content that can be broken down into smaller pieces for repurposing. ebook>>blog post

Now the HOW. How would you use data to research what the topic if your Pillar Content should be?

@seanvanguilder   Competitive keyword analysis, look at overlapping themes/topics and use @answerthepublic to find a series of questions on theme.

@emily_C27   Keep up on your reading and listen to the pain points within the industry. Topics should be interesting, yet still broad.

@jpsherman   Generally don’t start w/ data, but by being embedded in related communities gives you insight. this is a critical & valuable difference between in-house & agency content dev – very good point!

@EricLanderSEO   Pillar content tends to be the base for which phrases and long tail queries are built from. A top level category, for example

@madelineg_sea   Learn about what visitors are searching for and expand around those keywords/phrases. Start with your core products/services and write blog articles on them!

@duel   Understanding your customer’s wants & needs. Value proposition canvas is a good framework to use.

What *types* of keywords would you incorporate into your Pillar Content?

@EricLanderSEO   Less about keywords and more about answering queries that appear as Google search suggestions for the pillar terms. So, for “guayusa” you’d look to discuss side effects., health benefits, guayusa vs yerba mate, etc.
@AJUTAH   I agree with the 2nd part of this, but could you explain why “less about keywords”?
@EricLanderSEO   Simply a desire to think less about keywords and more about searchers’ needs. I’m anti-keyword-density man! So, if you have a page about “guayusa,” you don’t need to hammer that home to reinforce 2nd layer IMO.
@AJUTAH   IMO, keywords = searchers’ needs
@EricLanderSEO   True. And KWs ARE critically important. But keywords can also be used interchangeably at times.
@AJUTAH   Keywords are important to research for pillar content, in order to target visitors in different parts of the sales funnel.
@EricLanderSEO   Again, agreed. Just be mindful of search suggestions to guide you. and UberSuggest = key!
@AnInternetRobot   I get queasy whenever anyone asks “What Keyword density should I aim for?” It’s the past coming back to haunt us.
@jacobwarwick   Can you blame folks for not staying up to speed on technical SEO?
@AnInternetRobot   “Keyword Density” is not technical SEO. It’s clumsy correlation. It’s “Guru Garbage”.
@jacobwarwick   I agree, but the general misconception is that all SEO is “too technical” to understand.
@AnInternetRobot   I think that’s our fault. You make it sound like wizardry and people throw money at you.
@jacobwarwick   It’s not that it’s wizardry, but like other tactics, it requires learning curve to understand.
@EricLanderSEO   Not sure what the points of contention are here. We’re all in agreement that it needs to go, yes?
jacobwarwick I think the way the industry tends to talk about SEO can be complicated Need to make it relatable.
@AnInternetRobot   So say we all.

@jpsherman   First step is to understand the intent of humans using keywords – transactional, informational, other. I tend to see keywords as the vehicles through which intent is communicated – optimize for inquisitive people, not engines. However, since keywords are still important, focusing on the types of keyword phrases that serve to answer a need.

What on-page SEO elements are important for Pillar Content?

@EricLanderSEO   Title tags (still, SO MUCH so), a single H1, tight and compact URL, listed elements and structured data.

@madelineg_sea   Relevant title tags, content, h1s, etc…

@seanvanguilder   Lots of pretty pictures :D. quality content, videos with schema markup and transcript.

@jpsherman   yes, the basics are still critical, but don’t forget video, images & other media types.

@emily_C27   Did someone say internal linking?
@jpsherman   yasss, internal linking that creates relational connections for search engines to understand #seochat very good!
@JesseTeske   Internal linking is under valued. Some of the biggest wins Ive seen are from building the right links on the right pages.
@EricLanderSEO    No, we need to keep the family recipe secret, dammit! Really though, we’ve seen how key that is recently.

@JesseTeske   Message matching with kws. KWs aren’t dead but you need to be strategic with them. Meta data. Write and design for the user.

What are some practical ways to supercharge the authority of this Pillar Content right out of the gate?

@JesseTeske   Ensure your content targets the customer journey so that you build authority. Promote the right content on relevant platforms.

Should this Pillar Content drive organic search traffic, or use it in a funnel with a landing page and opt-in?

@EricLanderSEO   Why can’t “both” be a good answer here?
@AJUTAH   If it’s behind a gate, you wouldn’t want it to be indexed.
@EricLanderSEO   Fair, wasn’t sure that you meant a walled garden; But even so – couldn’t the same content serve both.
@emily_C27   The beauty of repurposing.

@emily_C27   What do you think about doing both? ebook for lead gen. Super post for organic traffic?
@jacobwarwick   Both is good, you don’t need to limit it directly to ebooks though.

@AJUTAH   So maybe we define “Pillar Content” differently than a lead magnet?
@EricLanderSEO   I think so. “lead magnet” is restrictive to lead gen. I’m thinking local search, ecom, lead gen, et. all.
@AJUTAH   But the goal of SEO is also to generate leads. See @DigitalMktr definition

What are some tools you can use to create Pillar Content?

@AJUTAH   I **love** Content Builder from @ThriveThemes – @authorityhackr

What are some examples of Pillar Content that you’ve come across?

@AJUTAH   For more info about Pillar Content, read this @copyblogger post