Summary: Building Relationships for Links, Guest Posts, & Social Influence on #SEOchat

Moderator: @AJutah

Why should marketers care about relationship building?

@MatthewAYoung   Without the relationship, there’s no reason for the customer to buy what youre sellin.

@shuey03   Because relationships trump everything else. If you can get people to know you care about them and to trust you, you can get them to buy into what you’re trying to do. I totally stole that from this video. Seriously changed the way I approach business and marketing.

@NedFL   Because it costs 10 times as much to get a new customer than it does to retain one.

@KristiKellogg   Relationships are the base of everything. They’re the starting point for every opportunity. Relationships are ESP. important for millenials, who can spot BS a mile away. You can’t market to them the way you do baby boomers.

@cuteculturechic   In a saturated industry, the relationships set you apart from all other vendors with equivalent services/products.

@MatthewAYoung   People dont buy products, they buy you. Not building relationships is where most social media marketing fails. It’s where most orgs fall short.

@NedFL   People buy from whom they know and you need a relationship for that. Relationships are esp important in the B2B world. They need to be tended to via socmed. Relationships in biz is like farming, you have to continually cultivate the crops.

@samueljscott   Because all marketing is about people in the end and not algorithms. But here’s the other side: very few brands can build relationships. No one wants a relationship with their detergent.

@igalst   1. Long term brand awareness building. 2. Friends around the world making. 3. Mentions & links!

@directom   People buy from people…especially people they like!

@MilwaukeePPC   Connecting with your users will earn dedication and build your brand.

@lancemoore22   It’s all about relationships. Relationships make what we do.

@AJutah   I like the term “conversation marketing”, coined by @portentint. You can’t build relationships if you’re shouting all the time!

@BruceClayInc   The basis of engagement —one of the chief objectives in marketing—is a relationship. You MUST invest in building relationships. Practically, relationship-building in marketing means actually caring about your audience and investing in them.

@cpgetz   People do businesses with brands they trust. You don’t trust someone you have no relationship with.

Is it worth building relationships with the media?

@MatthewAYoung   Yes. Only serves to amplify messaging, and get more people to potentially trust in your brand and marketing message.

@KristiKellogg   You must build relationships w/ the media. I mean, unless you don’t want to be quoted in a HuffPo or Forbes article. As a journalist, I have a SEA of companies to research, interview, etc. But if we have a relationship, I’m going to go to you 1st.

@cuteculturechic   Absolutely: Traditional media contacts can give an excellent boost to the efforts you do online. But it’s often a favor.

@samueljscott   Of course. The best links are just by-products of doing good PR and publicity.

@emily_C27   It’s worth building relationships with those on all sides of the industry; you never know when you might need coverage!

@NedFL   Media is also another means to share your content. I’m not saying media is lazy, but if you can help them do job by providing info, they will repay in kind.

@cpgetz   Of course. Journalists turn to people they have relationships with to get sources, story ideas, etc.

@BruceClayInc   Building relationships with the media is part of our ongoing PR strategy. Very worthwhile. You WANT to be cited as an expert.

@spyder_trap   It’s worth building relationships with the media if it’s genuine, like in any relationship. It can’t be one way.

@AJutah   Aside from link opportunities, radio, print and TV journos have tremendous influence in the community.

@directom   Absolutely, your customers are listening to what they say! The media plays a big part in getting ‘the word’ out there.

@AndreaMLehr   Absolutely. It helps with promoting your brand/story, but be sure it doesn’t become one sided. Give more without expectations.

@kougarov   Absolutely. PR is an integral part of link outreach in the post-Penguin world.

@TheMingleMaster   Building relationships is not enough. Successful people are careful to build the RIGHT relationships.

How can you find relevant communities within your industry? Forums? Google+? Trade shows?

@fighto   There is a Reddit community for EVERYTHING. Just saying. It’s a pretty good starting point and can help identify others.
@AJutah   I LOVE Reddit. Goldmine of content ideas, and people who love to talk about them.

@MatthewAYoung   Depends on the industry, but you can always count on review sites, qa sites, social communities etc.

@cpgetz   Twitter chats can be extraordinarily helpful in finding relevant communities.
@NedFL   True about Twitter chats but people not only have to be on twitter but also find chat.

@cuteculturechic   I’ve had great luck with G+ communities and Quora. Very engaged niche audiences.

@samueljscott   One of my favorite ways: Find the relevant Quora topic and ask questions like that and more for audience research.

@AndreaMLehr   @twitter is one the of my biggest tools. See who other industry professionals follow, who is retweeting my posts, etc.

@kougarov   Depends on the industry. I’d start with LinkedIn for most professional verticals.

@spyder_trap   One way to find relevant online communities is to connect in person. Those connections will lead to online insights.

@JesseStoler   I would say G+ is the best place for communities. It might be the only way in which G+ is the best place for anything.

@My_Binesta    Ask the people around you! Best way to find social communities is to ask social communities.

How do you keep track of all these communities? Spreadsheets? Tools? Post-it notes?

@cuteculturechic   I liked using Buzzstream when my agency had it, but then I left. I usually keep my contact notes in Evernote or spreadsheets.

@emily_C27   #Google spreadsheets! Share your resources with your team.

@AndreaMLehr   Spreadsheets, spreadsheets, spreadsheets.

@My_Binesta   Google docs, so I can access the notes from any computer.

@JesseStoler   I’ll echo spreadsheets, but I also like making a calendar that reminds me 2 spend time in all of the various communities.

Can you use blog commenting as leverage for a future guest post?

@alexpeerenboom   When done right, blog commenting is one avenue to build relationships. Provide value, not just “great post!” Add additional insight, supporting stats they might have missed, etc. But you can also add thoughtful, constructive arguments to their point. Keep the conversation going.
@BruceClayInc   YES — that is comments at their best — a method to keep the conversation going and pull in more voices.

@emily_C27   Of course! Engagement prior to pitch is key. Don’t Spray & Pray!

@MatthewAYoung   Absolutely. Just need to make sure your comments are substantive. Be content-forward. If you know your audience, then will have no problem engaging with your content.

@NedFL   Some are turning off blog commenting bc of the troll factor.
@cuteculturechic   Most of the comments I get on my blogs after the first week are comment spam with sketchy links. It’s annoying.

@AndreaMLehr   I’ve used blog comments to prove how engaging my guest post was on a site, and then earned the opportunity for more posts.

@My_Binesta   Absolutely! Leaving thoughtful blog comments is one of the best ways to network and build relationships online.

@cuteculturechic   Blog comments that are generic or insincere are essentially comment spam. If you comment, take time and mean what you say.

@JesseStoler   Absolutely. In fact, I feel blog comments are where the best digital relationships can be born.

@manishw2gi   Absolutely. If you see a community member with insight and value, have them guest post and take it a step further.

@samueljscott   One good comment of mine on a @Moz post led to an invite to write there which led to a speaker invitation at SMX and more.

What are ways to build links through relationship and community building?

@NedFL   The best way is the old fashioned engagement, build the links through engaging others.

@samueljscott   Do all of that without thinking about links directly and you’ll get the best long-term results.

@spyder_trap   Link building done well is an arduous task of finding relevant sites, cultivating an authentic relationship, then asking.

@My_Binesta   Once you build a solid relationship, you can just ask them for a link. No need to beat around the bush.

@cuteculturechic   Focus on quality over quantity. It’s better to have 1 engaged relationship than 10 stagnant ones.
@NedFL   So true about Quality. It’s all about how deep you build the relationships

@AndreaMLehr   Don’t think about what you’re going to get out of the relationship–especially links; that’s how you’ll get more.

@AJutah   I’ll throw out one method I use. Crawl sites in your network, find broken links and offer them pages from your own site.

@tonyxrandall   Can’t get more simple. just show the person you’re asking for a link that you actually give a shit about them beyond a link.

@alexpeerenboom   One way not talked about – USING the relationship itself. Build content like an interview, include people in your network and relationships you’ve built. People love talking about themselves and will share that content. You get links and social media mentions.

How can you prove value of relationship building to your boss or client?

@JesseStoler   Explain the opportunities that have opened up BEYOND links that the relationships you’ve forged have created.

@samueljscott   Depends on the reason for the building. If it’s for PR then use PR metrics. If it’s for X purpose than use X metric.

@tonyxrandall   Ask them if they’ve ever had a friend help them in ANY aspect of their life. tell them to apply that to digital relationships.

@MatthewAYoung   Brand sentiment analysis, but its tricky. I tend to steer convos away from ROI of qualitative inititaives. Same with social. Its difficult to say that this community building at this time netted x amount of revenue. Focus on the process.

@kougarov   Frame it traditionally, such as as networking, brand/business/partner development and/or endorsement/sponsorship development.

@emily_C27   Examples of successful vs. unsuccessful #pitches should show that very thing.

@AndreaMLehr   Show how many contacts we’ve gained by one of my previous guest posts; the relationship with that editor becomes invaluable.
@alexpeerenboom   To someone not in SEO, that could seem counterintuitive, but it’s so true!

Can you use Analytics to show the value of an engaged, active community?

@BruceClayInc   Definitely — pull up the social referrals report.

@MatthewAYoung   Yes, the numbers will show how people reacted/engaged to things like content shared socially.

@AndreaMLehr   High analytics can show what your highly-engaged community likes and focus your content for future projects.

Summary: What we know about mobile SEO on #SEOchat

Moderator: @bloomreachinc

What does “mobile SEO” mean to you?

@MatthewAYoung   Many things but the most important is facilitating mobile UX as a means of mobile SEO. If you dont deliver to the expected mobile UX (load times, tap targets, etc) then google will not look kindly.
@tannerpetroff   I think a lot of people overlook load times on mobile devices. It’s a big deal!

@BruceClayInc   It means making your website mobile-friendly & capitalizing on the rapid-fire growth of mobile search.

@brysonmeunier   great topic! Most of what we know about mobile SEO is here.

@derekacosta23   Improving visibility for your website.

@tannerpetroff   Short answer – Optimizing a website to function seamlessly and appear in mobile search.

@paramaya   Mobile SEO = Ensuring your business/brand/product gets the optimal exposure in mobile SERPs for targeted searches.

@kristikellogg   It means attention to load time #less than1sec, optimizing for local and creating design that makes sense on small screens. GET REVIEWS!!! Be on Google Maps! Target local keywords!

@JamesonBBates   In essence, making sure you are able to get in front of you audience on all the appropriate channels.

@lisabuyer   It’s a #PR thing, getting more visibility from your mobile audience in search results and more.

@thefocusgroupms   Mobile SEO means not shorting the mobile experience – it must be seamless from desktop to phone.

@sonray   Serving the user at the right time with the right message formatted for a telephone!

@izzzymendez   Increasing the chances of your business being the top search result when people reach for their smartphones.

@parchetnic   Having a mobile/tablet friendly website, strong UX and easily found.

@alexpeerenboom   Mobile SEO involves more context: where someone is, what device, what’s their goal?
@tannerpetroff   It’s tough to tackle. Mobile is the king of contextual search.

@ericlanderseo   With “mobile friendly” showing in Google’s SERPs, its clear you need to focus on usability and comprehension in limited space. Remember, more search is conducted in mobile environments these days. You can’t slouch!

@stratrev   Optimized for mobile & shows up on relevant search.

@sandrayobando   Mobile SEO means being accessible efficiently to parties that are on the go. Making your content mobile-compatible.

@wtfalke   It ill make your website more user-friendly, and I think that’s key when communicating with your audience.

@tony_dwm   Not leaving money on the table when your audience searches for what you do & your competitors offer a better UX.

Anyone care to share some benchmarks or ballparks? How much of your organic search traffic is mobile?

@derekacosta23   About 90% of my searches are done on my phone #seochat I am always on the go.

@michaeljfrankin   SEO mobile is fundamental in our field because search is the number-one web-based activity on our lovely phones!

@paramaya   Clients mobile organic search traffic ranging from ~35% up to ~55%.

@randomhero180   It ranges from site to site, but easily over half of all of our sites traffic is mobile.

What does “mobile SEO” fall in your customer’s priority list?

@matthewayoung   Secondary to desktop, which breaks my heart because we are in a mobile first world (sad face).
@tannerpetroff   It’s funny because these are the people who refuse to put budget into mobile but they search on mobile and expect to find a restaurant within 300 yards of the office.

@ericlanderseo   Priority is based on opportunity + flexibility to convert on mobile user experiences. Google’s WMT has really done well to inform site owners and marketers on what issues SHOULD be top of mind, too.

@paramaya   In many industries, mobile SEO should be the #1 priority. Design/optimize for mobile first, desktop second.
@tony_dwm   That’s just it. We show some clients that approx 60% of their traffic is mobile & they wonder why bounce rate is high.

@caitlinboroden   Unfortunately, a good amount of time mobile is not on their radar. GA data helps! Show them the breakdown. Get them excited.
@ericlanderseo   Agreed. Web Page Optimizer (or whatever that’s all called now) is an awesome tool for us.

@kg7maj   My customers I’ve been dealing with is a number 1 priority. All new websites have been responsive.

@tannerpetroff   Most of the time it’s been low on the list. Alwas brought up as an ‘important item’ but rarely given the full go-ahead.
@matthewayoung   Consistent with my experience. We need to make believers out of them.

@thefocusgroupms   We prioritize by client and industry, but we find first we have to get web ready & functional, mobile is a part of that now.

@sonray   For a few of my clients it’s becoming important/ The messages that Goog is sending has motivated a few.
@matthewayoung   This is definitely helping. Had a client get a warning in mobile Serps. They were motivated then.

@stratrev   Most #Smallbiz clients R not tech natives so mobile is way behind

@derekacosta23   Usually second to desktop mostly depending on the customer.

@jmclaughlin32   From my observation working on the DU website, mobile is a lower priority . However, I believe we need to adapt to the times.

@claire_dunlap   Mobile is slowly becoming more important for the customer as technology changes.Customers are changing their outlook.

@lisabuyer   Brands don’t have a choice, mobile SEO is a priority. Do or die.

@nicoleemartins   Proof is in the data… According @pewinternet over 65% of adult cell owners use phones to go online.

@activeash15   88 percent using smartphones to conduct local searches according to @ClickZ

In your 2015 planning, what percentage of your time do you think you’ll spend on mobile?

@matthewayoung   Right now its about 50/50 because most of my client sites are responsive.

@activeash15   I would guess 70-75% of time. Especially in #PR because of the #travel.

@randomhero180   I think with mobile becoming more important, I think 40-50% is worth spending.

@ericlanderseo   Varies by client, but I’d say 50% is on site level items and content, ~25% are platform specifics (mobile/desktop).

@chelseylfreeman   100% just kidding, but not really. Probably 90/10.

@jmclaughlin32   I would spend 60% on mobile. I think it’s definitely where we are headed. For example: I booked my SB flight entirely through mobile last night. This would have been unheard of several years ago.

@tannerpetroff   If I were able to really plan it, I’d say 60%+. Realistically though, maybe 25%.

@wtfalke   I would say is about 60/40 because some clients aren’t responsive and some are, depending on the site.

@kkuchenbaur   I spend over 75% on mobile #seochat smart phone, tablets, phablets FTW!

@connorjhachey   In 2015, a considerable amount of time spent on workflow will on mobile. I’d say around 60% of all work efforts.

@thefocusgroupms   Honest answer as close to 50% as we can get. #seochat it needs to be equal.

@spyder_trap   100% of our planning and strategy contains a “mobile-first” mentality. It’s become that important.

What are the main things you’re doing to address mobile SEO? Page speed is fast? No popups? Others?

@bruceclayinc   Page speed of course. It’s also important to focus on keywords related to mobile search, which can differ from PC search.

@randomhero180   Page speed is a big one for sure. The other is optimizing the information so it’s easy for mobile users to find.

@gobrandify   Anything that has to do with user experience. Visuals, content, actual location data.

@kelseymharrell   Please, God, no pop-ups in mobile SEO! Location, location, location! As a mobile user, I want to be able to easily find your business preferably by a link to Google maps.

@caitlinboroden   A menu that functions seamlessly! A site with a poor mobile navigation system = a frustrated Caitlin. Also, make the contact info easy to find on mobile. Add that phone number right to the top so I can click and call with ease!

@wtfalke   Page speed, no popups, USER FRIENDLY Some site try to make things too complex, simplicity is key and content is king.

@brysonmeunier   Fixing mobile usability errors in Google Webmaster Tools, and addressing different content needs.

@izzzymendez   Page speed! Your customer can always move on to the next site if yours is taking too long.

@sonray   Speed & responding to how searchers search via mobile differently than desktop. Different keywords, typing vs voice, etc.

@tannerpetroff   The short list – Page speed. Schema markup. Design and user experience. Local optimization (if applicable).
@matthewayoung   I dont know of any data, but Goog put out some good info on tap targets.

@matthewayoung   Page load time is huge. Number 1 thing. Eliminate interstitial. Clear concise CTAs, evenly spaced tap targets.

@nicoleemartins   I certainly hope those conditions are a given. I’d prioritize exclusive mobile content and unique interface. Reward your users!

@jmclaughlin32   I would say fast page speed and simple readability are a must. The organization of the page is very important

@paramaya   Heed Google’s advice re:mobile opt issues. #seochat Responsive design, readable text, clickable buttons, schema markup. Optimize for conversational search. This becomes more important as people default to voice search on mobile devices. Optimize for local search, page speed optimization. Think about the types of queries people search on the go. Make sure phone numbers are clickable.

@bruceclayinc   Yes, CLEAR calls to action.

@chelseylfreeman   Speed, yes. Also text formatting that fits the screen is huge in my mobile seo life.

@jmclaughlin32   If mobile sites aren’t well organized users will opt for the full version at the bottom of the page or become frustrated.

@LaurenBakerUF   I’ve noticed mobile popups that will suddenly appear over the “next page” button. I can definitely do without those.
@ericlanderseo   Agreed. There are an increasing number of interruptive interstitials on mobile that remind me of old school tactics.

@cdumervil   Page speed & lack of POPUPS are important but SIMPLICITY is crucial. If it takes 2 mins to decipher, it has lost my attention.

@spyder_trap   Big part of mobile optimization is knowing the goals of the site & its users. Have that & you can design to meet those goals.

@qihangchen   Number 1 thing is page speed. I will lose interest if the page doesn’t load in 10 secs.

@jonas419   Don’t make me expand the screen to 200% just so I can tap a link without accidentally tapping something else.

@kristikellogg   You know who is a page speed culprit? TIME. How is that even possible? EVERY time I go to read a TIME article I leave.
@matthewayoung In most cases 5 seconds is a luxury for bad mobile UX. Threshold is 1.5 second.

What are the challenges you see in mobile SEO?

@sonray   Tools, Testing, Analytics…wearables will bring in similar issues IMO.

@cdumervil   Limited attention spans!!!!!

@thefocusgroupms   Product confusion -client needs to understand the importance of mobile reach & what to expect as positive results.

@david__corbin   The challenge just like in anything is to make sure that you get in front of the right people!

@tmclennan_pr   Making sure the content YOU think the people want is really what THEY want!

@matthewayoung   No mobile site at all is a common difficulty I experience. Shame. Orgs not willing to make the investment in improving mobile presence.
@thefocusgroupms   We call that unintentional mobile, if you have a site but no thought about it on a mobile, you’re losing $.
@stratrev   How do you quantify the loss of revenue?
@thefocusgroupms   We look at target audiences, identify user base & show the piece of pie they aren’t reaching w/ GA tools.
@matthewayoung   Hard to correlate traffic to hard dollars, but its possible through bounce rate, exits within funnel.
@bloomreachinc   It’s not always a loss of revenue but a shift to where the conversion takes place.
@tannerpetroff   You can also use projections like est. conversion rates, but that’s far from perfect.
@matthewayoung   Some tools like @semrush calculate value of keywords too.

@wtfalke   Challenges include “immediate” use, because now “immediate” is half of a second whereas in the past “immediate” was 10 seconds.

@chelseylfreeman   Getting more than just young adults on board.

@derekacosta23   Getting more people to fully transition to mobile or at least making mobile a priority.

@randomhero180   Ensuring a great UX for all devices sizes. So many new sizes all the time.

@paramaya   SEO is becoming about a lot more than smartphones and tablets. Search is going to be everywhere on everything.

@claire_dunlap   A big challenge with Mobile SEO is making sure the content is relevant to the consumer!

@jonas419   Also difficult to account for which words may autopopulate as search type in search terms.

@spyder_trap   A big challenge for mobile is simply educating the general #smallbiz population on its necessity–and adding it to budget!

@gobrandify   Brands who are not seeing mobile as a way to make their connections consumer RELEVANT. Need to utilize Big Data.
@matthewayoung   Cant forget about BIG DATA. Now the currency of the land, and for the students, makes for a good job.

@jonas419   Also difficult to account for which words may autopopulate as search type in search terms.

@nicoleemartins   Standing out, but that’s a challenge within any medium you choose to participate in.

@wtfalke   For younger generations, advertising via text is a great way to gain a lot of interest.

@derekacosta23   Sticking out and being different while not causing a clutter on your page.

@rob_bonham   Working with out of date dev platforms clients are unwilling to move away from.

@dragonsearch   Just because a site passes Google’s mobile-friendly test, does not guarantee it is mobile-friendly.

Are you changing content strategy for mobile SEO? Shortening title tags? Making more short-form content?

@gobrandify   Definitely! Every channel needs the appropriate content. Mobile=shorter, more easily digestable.

@david__corbin   Of course! All content should be optimized for the device!

@cdumervil   Absolutely! If content is King, adaptation is Queen!

@chelseylfreeman   Yes, the customer/reader gives you only a few seconds to interest them. The more short and to the point the better.

@derekacosta23   An absolute must, you have to do whats necessary to have a top notch mobile site.

@jonas419   A little. My take: Easier if you develop a separate mobile site, harder if you just go responsive.

@randomhero180   Not changing content so much as how people get to the content form the mobile menu or home page of the site.

@kg7maj   People have shorter attention span on mobile. Shorter, the better, but not too short where you don’t share what you want.

@thefocusgroupms   We try to find the medium, 1 plan to rule them all but we understand the benefits of specialization when neede.

@samantha_kafka   I think because mobile is so on the go, everything has to be quick and concise in order to keep your audience interested.

@tmclennan_pr   Yes, you HAVE to! Many platforms will limit the amount of content you can include. Adapt to what you’re working with for SEO.

@dragonsearch   Shorter content for mobile can work, but don’t forget about desktop users either! Folks WILL read long content if it’s good.

@matthewayoung   Shortening content, yes. No one likes a scrolling monster.

@jonas419   You kind of have to separate consumer content from professional content too – there’s stuff you WANT and stuff you NEED.

@jmclaughlin32   Whatever is necessary for optimal readability. Shorter titles, reduced formatting all fit that category.

@thompsonpaul   Don’t forget, mobile refers to device, not necessarily context. Many are comfortably reading long-form on tablet on the couch.

How are you deciding what elements to keep on page for your mobile sites? Recommendation widgets, reviews, etc.? Why?

@derekacosta23   Try to eliminate the glitz and the glam of your site, straight to the point content.

@lizaherth   Without a doubt! Customization and personalizing is key.

@tmclennan_pr   Keep visuals! People want something quick & easy. Visuals draw people in & are easy to grasp.

@matthewayoung   Depends on the type of mobile. Users are intent driven. Must have clear CTAs on page load, regardless of other elements.

@cdumervil   Keep the most capturing/relevant info. If the bait is good, consumers will click the link to find out more.

@sandrayobando   The message should be the first thing the customer receives. Extra content is just that; extra.

@chelseylfreeman   More content, less noise. Keep visuals because that is the “first impression”.

@randomhero180   Trying to keep the the info that most people are looking for. The reasons why people are coming to your site.

@stratrev   Give them what they need in mobile – short & sweet – to the point.

@thompsonpaul   True mobile (i.e. on the go) tends to value action over research. Click to call & other immediate CTAs are critical.

Summary: Competitive Analysis For Link Development & Content Marketing on #SEOchat

Moderator: @shuey03

In what ways has competitive analysis helped you formulate a backlink and/or content marketing strategy?

@EricLanderSEO   Competitive audits & SWOT analyses really help to show opportunities and hazards to detour, particularly in link building. @AnnieCushing’s list of audit resources here (see: competitive analysis tab) is a great resource.
@shuey03   What kinds of things are you looking at in your SWOT analysis?
@EricLanderSEO   AHREFs, lost links over time & more recently – some of the new profiles loaded into SEMRush. Learning lots there.

@Mark_Garwell   I use buzzsumo for this a lot! It’s a great tool for working our what interests customers.

@alexpeerenboom   It helps pinpoint strategies/tactics competitors have used to get links. New ideas for clients.
@jacquesbouchard   Finding that respected competitors are doing it is a huge motivational point in getting them on board.
@jessesem   Use Buzzsumo to find content pieces that have links and are poorly designed. Redo & go after their backlinks.

@samueljscott   Focus less on competitors and more on your target audience. You want attention on whatever sites they visit.
@jacquesbouchard   I like it, but it’s a very blunt-object approach. Blend it with a more targeted strategy.
@shuey03   I love that… your competition is any website that your audience engages with. Next question for you is, how do you find those sites?
@samueljscott   Research the audience & create a persona that includes the sites they visit.
@AJutah   For SEO and content, a competitive analysis really shows what I can and should be doing better than my competitors. @aleyda has a great workflow for SEO.
@ty_kilgore   Once you’ve figured out the main competitors & money terms it isn’t long. You first need to know what you need to beat.
@AJutah   I base my content marketing plan using @backlinko ‘s Skyscraper technique.

@jacquesbouchard   It shows me and the client what’s successful enough for competitors to pursue in earnest, and builds my case for client buy-in.

@BruceClayInc   Competitive analysis is a good place 2 begin brainstorming content ideas; where are they missing the mark? getting it right?

@paramaya   We use competitive analysis to find influencers, outreach opportunities, new link opportunities, keyword research, etc. Competitive analysis is good for finding content gaps as well. This can be gold when used in conjunction with personas and good old-fashioned keyword research.

@jessesem   Really all link building starts with knowing who you need to outrank & understanding what’s working for them.

@tannerpetroff   Find successful content/subjects that can be done better. Find broken links and many other opportunities.

@ty_kilgore   Every SERP is different and every strategy needs to be different as well. Competitive Analysis has to be done for each term.

@stratrev   Impacts strategy, then drives the tactical with content marketing/link building.

@GregKristan   Competitive Analysis helped me build new ways to keep my audience on my page. This included adding videos, images, etc.

@KristiKellogg   Find the content they bring to the table, and use it as a jumping off point for even better content. May the best writer win.
@jacquesbouchard   I like to read the comments on articles I want to beat to see what was missed, so I can address that on mine.
@jessesem   Amazon can be a great source for customer intent around product sets as well.
@EricLanderSEO   BuzzSumo has been fun for this type of content research for me, too. Great suggestion!

@igalst   First of all to generate ideas for new referring sites.

@ThinkSEM   Gives us ideas (for a new market/client, say) where we can obtain links we haven’t thought of.

@Tony_DWM   Gap analysis. Competitors have “x focus” content, but the market-place is demanding “y focus” content (answers / help).

What tools do you find most helpful when performing competitive analysis and why?

@Mark_Garwell   Big fan of #Buzzsumo and #Swayy also love #pidatametrics

@Tony_DWM   @buzzsumo provides the content. @followerwonk provides influencer info, as does research in G+, Google Trends/Insights. But before any of the previous, get a whiteboard & marker & (semantically) connect co’s, content & relationships.

@Beymour   @BuzzSumo @followerwonk All great tools here.

@jessesem   ahrefs for backlinks, SEMRush for KW research, Buzzsumo for content. Combine the data for insights. I’ve been using the ShareMetric Chrome ext a lot. It integrates with Moz, SEMRush, Social, and ahrefs.

@CaitlinBoroden   I always start with a good ol’ crawl from @Moz Open Site Explorer.

@samueljscott   Build, promote, and publicize a site the delights its target audience and rankings will take care of themselves. PR software like Cision, Vocus and Meltwater is great for finding sites read by a given audience.

@alexpeerenboom   I’ve always used a combination of tools – OSE, Ahrefs, Majestic, GWT. Combine & filter out duplicates. Some tools pick up links other don’t.

@igalst   @Ahrefs for pure links, @SimilarWeb for referrals & Geo data.
@Beymour   I really like Moz’s toolbar plugin w/ the SERP overlay. Great for quickly sizing up a site.

@BruceClayInc   Our FREE Top-Ranked Websites Tool is a starting place to identify keyword competitors.

@ThinkSEM   We love @RavenTools! It’s chock-full of info we find useful, including backlink data (via @Moz) & page authority, etc.

@EricLanderSEO   I rely most on: @ahrefs @Moz @BuzzSumo @spyfu @semrush – but again, @AnnieCushing’s tools.

@stratrev   We love us some @Moz for ease of use including the reports.

@paramaya   You can’t beat Google SERPs as the jumping off point for competitive analysis. Search long-tail variations. OSE, Ahrefs, SEMRush for backlinks, keyword targeted, etc. I love to use Screaming Frog to see what competitors are targeting and how the site is structured.
@jacquesbouchard   I use it to find out what KINDS of content they’re doing. White papers? Videos? Case studies? etc.

@ty_kilgore   I like screaming frog & majestic
@jessesem   Screaming frog is great. We’ve been giving DeepCrawl a try and I like it much better though. Shows clean up progress.

@tannerpetroff   OSE. Google searches. BuzzSumo. GWT. Screaming Frog. Many more, but I use those all the time.

@AJutah   SEO – can’t beat @moz OSE. Content – Screaming Frog crawl, , Topsy.

@jacquesbouchard   I use @screamingfrog to find if they’re A/B testing, for signs of active SEO work and to see if they’re maintaining their site. Nobody is going to mention Spyfu?
@EricLanderSEO   I did! I did! I swear, I did!
@paramaya   There’s so much value in paying attention to what comes up in the SERPs for different types of queries.
@jacquesbouchard   And for evaluating how savvy the competitor is. Focus your energies on the smart ones.

@Tony_DWM   @buzzsumo provides the content. @followerwonk provides influencer info, as does research in G+, Google Trends/Insights. But before any of the previous, get a whiteboard & marker & (semantically) connect co’s, content & relationships.

How often do you perform competitive analysis and why?

@igalst   I use Moz’s DA metric every day, but honestly I prefer Ahrefs to analyze links. This is an ongoing project. We have at least one team member every day who analyzes what our competition does.
@samueljscott   Really? I use PageRank and DA less and less. If it’s a site read by the target audience, that’s most important. Give me a site read by target audience w low DA over irrelevant high DA site any day.

@EricLanderSEO   Analysis is run monthly when a client is in maintenance mode – or, when SERPs / changes require new data.

@tannerpetroff   Any time I create a new big content project, begin working with a client, or once a quarter at minimum just ’cause.

@Ajutah   I think you have a huge advantage online over your competitors if you continually analyze.
@EricLanderSEO   Great point. I’m always amazed at how many agencies and contractors operate in a vacuum – and LIKE to do so.
@Ajutah   And often, as the expert, it’s about educating your clients about the importance of the research.
@EricLanderSEO   So true. It’s like complaining about the weather, but not understanding seasons or ignoring meteorology.
@jacquesbouchard   That applies to overlooking the need for reputation management as well.
@Beymour   Agreed. Way too many brands are reactive with ORM.

@paramaya   Competitive analysis is part of our audits and an ongoing part of our process for retainer clients.
@CaitlinBoroden   We often give a quick preview of the competition in our audits and follow up with a doc dedicated to it.

What are the different metrics/indicators you use to identify quality competitive link opportunities?

@AJutah   If it’s a reference link in a guest post, I look at social followers, comment interaction, and try to find out # of email subs.
@jessesem   I think that social interaction is really undervalued. If it’s an opp and they have no audience, then who cares.
@AJutah   Although I place a higher value on email list over social followers these days. Followers can be bought!
@jessesem   Yeah interaction over followers. Hard to know list size most of the time.
@AJutah   True, but if you have a good relationship with the site owner, they’re likely to share that info with you.

@EricLanderSEO   New/Lost link analysis on @ahrefs is very helpful. From there, check domain records (and key users) in BuzzSumo. You can learn a lot on who to interact with, what to share, what to write – and WHEN to pounce. Also, what to ignore. Don’t overlook PA & DA over time (@Moz helps here) and utilize OpenSite Explorer to investigate influential inbound links. Both @Moz Pro & @ahrefs help us to analyze historical link profiles (layered, too, with many competitors) quite well.

@CaitlinBoroden   Engagement! If the content doesn’t gain any it’s a good indication something is missing.
@shuey03   What are the best engagement metrics?
@CaitlinBoroden   Comments, has the post been shared via social. Props to whoever mentioned ShareMetric. Checking it out now!
@Beymour   I’d say bounce rate, time on page, returning visits, goal completions, to name a few.
@shuey03   Those are hard metrics to get for your competitors
@Beymour   Oh whoops, missed that part lol. Then I’d say you’re limited to link metrics and social engagement.

@paramaya   Domain authority, site quality and topical relevance are critical when evaluation link opportunities.
@Tony_DWM   Absolutely, as are subject-matter-expertise / social shares on those authority domains & “explicit” referral traffic.
@CaitlinBoroden   YES! Overall site quality is key and should not be overlooked.

@jessesem   I also look at the site’s topic set. Does it make sense for them to be linking to me? Can it deliver traffic through the link?

@ThinkSEM   In conjunction with domain/page authority we look at citation flow to determine quality links.
@shuey03   Why is citation flow important?
@ThinkSEM   By knowing the “importance” of a page based on the links pointing to it.

@jacquesbouchard   What does the link do besides just being a link? Bring referral traffic? Help build a relationship? Do double duty with them.

@Beymour   I’ve been on a HARO binge lately. Lots of really great linking opportunities.
@CaitlinBoroden   We are constantly sharing HARO opps throughout the office. You never know what you could find. Great stuff.
@tannerpetroff   HARO can be gold from time to time. But you’ve always got to be watching.

@samueljscott   If the link will not refer relevant referral traffic, then I don’t want it.
@Tony_DWM   +10 That’s why editorially-vetted content, by smart journalists who know the needs of their aud, should be pursued.

@tannerpetroff   Moz metrics, engagement metrics, then the ‘eye test’ – Gotta be relevant.
@shuey03   I think “eye test” is the most overlooked tactic. automation and being too busy has made “not valuable” to some.

@ty_kilgore   I look at the following link information – top page authority & high domain authority. These have to be bringing in traffic.

@fighto   Lately, i’ve been finding great opportunity by just examining link overlaps between competitiors. is a helpful tool for finding link overlap. Moz also just introduced a new feature that helps.

What are the different metrics/indicators you look at to determine if a content topic is worth pursuing?

@samueljscott   If the content addresses a pain point, need, search query, etc. of the target audience.

@BruceClayInc   Search volume. But more importantly, does the content make sense? Is it helpful? Does it belong? It’s not all about #s.

@KristiKellogg   Will the content benefit the user and is it searched for? It’s the same story as always- doing keyword research &being useful.

@igalst   Pageviews, Shares, Comments. #Seochat. – Then Boune rate, Time on site, new visitors.

@tannerpetroff   Search volume. Relevance. # of posts on topic getting links. Where links are coming from. # of sites getting links on topic.

@jacquesbouchard   Do people OUTSIDE the company care? Is it something valuable and unique? Is there a presence around the planned content medium?

@AJutah   # of backlinks and social shares to the sites’ best performing content, and then how can I make that content better on my site. Then, go out and pitch your content to the sites that link to your competitors, and tell them you have a better resource.

@paramaya   New/frequent topics user-generated content? New queries in GWT? Reviews? Thorough persona research helps.

@Tony_DWM   Aside from @buzzsumo I ask 1) Is amplification possible? 2) Is this “flash-in-the-pan” or evergreen? 3) Is it unique?

@ThinkSEM   Engagement! Not just Tweets, RTs (& “likes”), but links acquired from amplification, etc.

@Beymour   Once again, @BuzzSumo. You can see how specific topics perform and also who the top sharers are. Good for outreach, too.

@emily_C27   What kind of #content is being discussed on Twitter? Always check what’s trending #hashtags.

@fighto   Obv. answer = search vol. Also: is the #1 ranking page good & can I do better? Is similar content being shared on social? If a site is ranking to x # of your competitors, then it’s likely a good link opportunity for you.

@ty_kilgore   If it’s going to bring the right traffic to your site then it’s worth pursuing. Knowing your audience!

What are the best written resources out there that would help a NOOB with competitive link development?

@alexpeerenboom   Moz blog has always been a great resource, too many great posts to list here.

@KristiKellogg   Basically the legions of articles on the @BruceClayInc blog.

@jacquesbouchard   Seek ye the wisdom of @Casieg – she knows her stuff when it comes to competitive analysis.

@KristiKellogg   In fact, I interviewed @debramastaler on link building yesterday.

@tannerpetroff   This one’s a bit old, but dives into some specifics. Solid guide.

@stratrev   @Moz blogs still help us.

@kougarov   As many in-depth articles on Penguin as possible. @Moz algorithm change tracker good place to start.

@alexpeerenboom   Ultimate Guide to Link Building by @ericward & @GarrettFrench is great too!

@Beymour   @buzzstream is really good. Also, this post by @paddymoogan is pretty amazing.

@AJutah   “3 Pillars of SEO Competitive Analysis” by @JoshuaCMcCoy. Also monitor their content production.

@paramaya   Can’t think of any, but I’m added loads of stuff to @Pocket right now.

@Tony_DWM   This by @jamesagate is excellent for noobs, as is this by @ChrisLDyson.

@BruceClayInc   Great resource for competitive link development by @neilpatel.

Summary: Finding the Right Influencers for Outreach on #SEOchat

Moderator: @tannerpetroff

A lot of people overlook how many types of influencers there are. How do you which type is right for your project?

@tannerpetroff   I try to find one that my buyer wants to hear from, whether they’re in my industry or not. Saw this infographic awhile ago and thought it was great at identifying different types of influencers.

@matthewayoung   I think the kind of outreach you do is dependent on what will resonate best with your target audience.
@tannerpetroff   It’s what’s tough about outreach. It’s all so subjective.
@matthewayoung   I know. I find you constantly have to justify w/ clients choosing some influences over others.

@caitlinboroden   Always consider the company’s voice. Are they fun, sassy, serious? This will influence who you set your sights on.

@jacquesbouchard   No universal answer. Their receptiveness and quality of work, combined with relevance to me and their influence are factor in.

@directom   You MUST research your audience to determine where to even begin outreach.

@ericlanderseo   Not sure I understand the question. Identifying influencers varies too greatly for me to have a default playbook there. Audience segments & personas, and then – social activity. Follow the current to get the lay of the land.

@CJLio   Influencer will vary by audience. We make sure our persona is set first.
@tannerpetroff   Personas help clarify the entire process, definitely.
@bruceclayinc   Def step 1.

@paulaspeak   Who’s avail/willing to influence for a brand impacts choice, right? But we’re here to learn how to go beyond network limits.

How do you put together a list of influencers? What are your go-to places to find influencers?

@matthewayoung   I start by monitoring trending topics and identifying who has significant reach/amplification/engagement.

@bruceclayinc   ID journos & pubs, writers, bloggers, celebrities from major to niche through research. Put yourself in persona’s shoes.

@tonyxrandall   Honestly, i’m pretty lazy with this one. i like to check out other people’s twitter lists.

@cjlio   The obvious is @followerwonk.

@lancemoore22   Ask the client.

@ericlanderseo   SproutSocial, Klout (shudder) and oddly, AHREFs, too. Look at link sharing activity at a user account level to topical sites.
@cjlio   Big fan of Ahrefs! We should be using SEO knowledge of keyword research and backlinks and apply to influencers.

@jacquesbouchard   This can very wildly by industry. The first step is to find out the most popular _formats_ of the industry, and seek within.

What tools do you find most helpful in finding influencers?

@tannerpetroff   Followerwonk, Buzzsumo and Klout are all go-tos of mine. I’ve heard good stuff about Topsy & Little Bird.
@paulaspeak   Topsy is a great search engine for tweets. They also have other options, but I use it all the time to search Twitter.
@paulaspeak   Kred is another measurement of social influence (per @KristiKellogg) Klout scores skyrocket w/ cute baby/puppy pics on FB, but don’t count in-depth convo in G+.

@tonyxrandall   for finding influencer twitter lists search things like “[industry] influencer” then select Timelines. Best “tool” on twitter.

@jamesonbbates   We’ve been using BuzzSumo more and more for both content research and link building

@directom   @Linkdex we LOVE them! Awesome product and AMAZING customer service! Top notch they are!!

How do you decide who to reach out to first? Any metrics you use to determine relevance?

@devdawg   I look at who is actually interacting and not just sharing their own content and being self centered for starters.
@tannerpetroff   Definitely worth looking at who is sharing content they don’t own.

@caitlinboroden   A quality audience and engagement are essential.
@tannerpetroff   Totally true. Without engagement, they’re not really influencers, just an account with an audience.

@digitaldionne   When I venture into social, I look to Followerwonk or SocialMention to figure how often someone is shared.

Are there any red flags that would keep you from reaching out to an otherwise suitable influencer?

@devdawg   If they were self centered, had personal values that I hated; like being a crazy racis. Honestly unless you seem like the coordinator of Loser Palooza, I’ll talk to you.

@tannerpetroff   If any numbers looks artificial, like if a lot of shares look like they come from fake accounts, I drop them from the list.

@digitaldionne   Too few followed. If you never follow people, you might be a social snob who won’t reshare.

@BruceClayInc   We’ve debated involvement due to level of professionalism & brand reputation.
@tannerpetroff   Definitely. Tough call when an influencer could be gold, but you might not want your brand associated with them.

How do you decide which medium to use to reach out to influencers?

@directom   Research where the target audience is – lot’s of factors: age, interests, geo etc.

@tannerpetroff   If I already know them, I probably know the best way to reach them. If not, wherever they hang out most. Twitter, IG, FB, etc.

@cjlio   I always go for email. Character limit hinders. As long as you’re email is genuine, and not templated or spammy, it’s the best.

@digitaldionne   I don’t have any formal persona dev training, but I do form my own lil personas and dream up which social channels they use.

@bruceclayinc   Twitter, Google+, contact form, email — anywhere to make an intro
@tannerpetroff   The hardest part is definitely the intro! Once you’ve opened a line of communication it’s easy to chat.

How do you decide the right pitch to send to an influencer?

@tannerpetroff   Approach 1 – Ask for nothing, just introduce or mention something they created/shared I like. Approach 2 – Pitch a single, well thought out idea and see if I can get buy-in.

@directom   We tend not to use a pitch – genuine and friendly works best! An opening compliment NEVER hurts!!

@jamesonbbates   Really subjective. I decide who I want get then i stalk them a bit and find the channels they like. I try the quieter channels. G+ for example is a pretty quiet front for people, but they still usually get and pay attention to notificaitons.

@cjlio   To me it’s A/B testing with reaching out. Some intros work better than others. Fine tune over time for best results. But I’ve always wanted to try the rebel Snapchat intro! Still need to work up the courage for that one!

@bruceclayinc   Depends on the reason for reaching out. Try a long game; build relationships when you don’t *need* anything — yet.
@paulaspeak   Building relationships when you don’t *need* anything … like participating in.
@bruceclayinc   Exactly. The old standard: build real relationships. Once upon a time we called them friends.

Influencers aren’t always in the middle of your industry. Do you approach influencers in an adjacent industry any differently?

@bruceclayinc   Shout out to @lisabuyer & #SocialPRsecrets, a go-to resource for us when it comes to influencer outreach.

@caitlinboroden   Going backwards but Rapportive is a great Chrome extension for outreach. Pop in the email and see where they are on social w/ ease.
@tannerpetroff   I’ve struggled with Rapportive since LinkedIn functionality was chopped in half. :-/
@caitlinboroden   Huh. I haven’t noticed any issues on my end yet. Strange.

@tannerpetroff   For those influencers, I always build a relationship before asking for something.

What are some of your favorite resources on finding influencers and outreach?

@tannerpetroff   Infographic on types on influencers I shared earlier.

@bruceclayinc   Shout out to @lisabuyer & #SocialPRsecrets, a go-to resource for us when it comes to influencer outreach.

Summary: Random SEO Questions on #SEOchat

Moderator: @dan_patterson

What metrics are most important to you for tracking the success of your SEO efforts?

@matthewayoung   Organic traffic, obvi, but I also look at user engagement metrics to measure value of the traffic.
@directom   Absolutely! Engagement metrics explain a lot!
@kevinwaugh   With bounce rate being such a violate metric, drilling down to why it is so high can be a daunting task.
@matthewayoung   Agreed but its so much fun to wear the UX hat sometimes. This is a good challenge ive encountered many times.
@igalst   It’s about time for companies to understand how strong the connection between UX & SEO is.

@bruceclayinc   Depends on client. Conversions, time on page, traffic, # of new visits within organic search.
@dan_patterson   Can you give some examples of client types and what differs?
@bruceclayinc   Sure. For example, with ecommerce, conversions & revenue. With a resource site, traffic to specific silos.
@jacquesbouchard   With ecommerce, I would still think that community-building metrics would still be key.
@kristikellogg   Re: community ROI: Facebook introduced a new metric, conversion lift measurement, but only to big brands.

@sauravrimal   I like to divide it to primary and secondary goals (primary – leads, conversions and traffic & secondary would be rankings).

@directom   Organic sessions, pageviews, & conversions – Referreal & Social Traffic.

@hannahjthorpe   Keyword position spread is a big one for us, shows potential for future growth & helps recognise if big wins poss. Distribution of rankings, combined with traffic levels of course.
@jacquesbouchard   Do you find that keyword positioning is still relevant with mobile and contextual search in place?
@hannahjthorpe   Can’t be the only success indicator by any means but I still find v relevant for building strategy.
@matthewayoung   Sure. And it can provide answers to some really tough questions. And good luck keeping referral traffic from social too.
@bruceclayinc   However, it’s hard to tie a ROI to community building and social efforts.

@igalst   Depends on many things, but in general organic traffic growth over time.

@verbality   Conversions, leads, compliments, handshakes, and subliminal pats on backs.

@jamesonbbates   Depends on campaign – Have to combine multiple metrics (e.g. increased impressions -> increased org traffic -> impr conv. rate).

@kristikellogg   Remember it’s important for businesses to define goals (& attribution) in analytics so that you can track what led to success. Which referring sites lead to conversions? Where are people falling out of the conversion funnel?
@sonray   One of my clients gets a consistent 11% conversion rate from Wikipedia – consistent traffic and conversions from a brand page which links to the site.

What do you think are going to be the big changes in SEO for 2015?

@caitlinboroden   Mobile, mobile, mobile. Google is really pushing it in my opinion and rightfully so.
@lancemoore22   Having consistent NAP, onpage optimization, local links, and a strategy.

@jacquesbouchard   Google is going to act less like an algorithm and more like rtificial intelligence in this & future years. Context will be king.

@matthewayoung   Mobile is money. It’ll just become bigger in ’15, and let’s not forget the pending Google mobile algo either.
@dan_patterson   What do you think will change with the new mobile algo?
@matthewayoung   We also may experience a decrease in mobile branded traffic because knowleged graph takes up the entire screen. There are worse things, you could not have a mobile friendly site at all…

@bruceclayinc   Big changes in 2015? Mobile results satisfaction will be more important than any other technical issue. Google results will be entirely made up of pages that are mobile friendly, fast, & answer questions.
@paulaspeak   John Mueller just said next Penguin update would happen “faster,” but not necessarily announced.

@dragonsearch   Trends in #SEO this year? How search engines will be indexing social posts.

@jamesonbbates   Optimizing for User intent. Also expect to see new and clever methods for collecting site attention, new varieties of content?

@kristikellogg   On-page video will be more heavily weighted as a ranking signal as bandwidth capacity today allows for video 2 b served to all.

@kevinwaugh   I think a trend that could happen is Google super-ceding product queries with all shopping ads. Essentially cut out Amazon.

@directom   Check out our 2015 Predictions…each member of the team gave a thought.

How are you optimizing for mobile?

@matthewayoung   Ensuring that mobile UX is up to snuff. Mobile UX=Mobile SEO. I think i wrote an article on that once… Though, I dont discriminate againts RWD, clients just have a tendency to trip on their laces when it comes to performance. This also depends on the intent of the site. I would never recommend an ecomm site go RWD. There’s no worse internet hell. Look at amazon’s mobile site. They went for dynamic serving – not quite m-dot, not quit RWD.
@dan_patterson   Yeah, there are situations where a full mobile version really is better.

@lancemoore22   Responsive!

@jamesonbbates   Sadly there are still a lot of unresponsive sites. At this point we’ll be happy when we can get clients to upgrade their site.

@dragonsearch   Start with the basics that Google has been pushing. Surprising how many sites don’t meet that basic set of criteria.

@dan_patterson   Quick poll: 1- Responsive 2- Mobile version 3- Other solution. 1 is my vote.
@jamesonbbates   Agreed. Anyone check out Google Material Design? Adds interesting functions
@matthewayoung   3 – other. I like adaptive, aka dynamic serving.
@directom   Responsive all the way!
@dragonsearch   Chalk up a vote for responsive from this Dragon.

@sauravrimal   Responsive design & dynamic serving #seochat but before that it’s important to understand performances in different devices.

@verbality   “Responsive” is the easy answer. Testing, testing, and testing after testing is the reality.

@jacquesbouchard   By revisiting mobile sites vs. responsive. Responsive loads up to four times faster in mobile and is not always the answer.

@caitlinboroden   One of the basics – easy to navigate. So frustrating when a website main nav doesn’t translate to mobile well.

@gregemartinez   Responsive + server side components. You get the flexibility responsive offers, but the optimizations mobile specific allows.

What are some SEO myths you still see that you wish would go away?

@matthewayoung   SEO is dead. Also from a client side – “We want to rank #1 for all our terms.”

@bruceclayinc   “Just optimize the meta tags and you’ll rank.” “Keyword stuffing and link purchasing still work.” “Google hates me and my site.”

@jamesonbbates   “Yeah traffic is great… but what about my rankings for these 3 phrases?”

@kristikellogg   “I need to link to all of my other sites in the footer.” How about the notion that ANYONE can just whip up good content?

@dragonsearch   This year…I’d like to abolish the term “ranking reports.”
@jacquesbouchard   My sites went up 25-40% on Google organic last year without looking at keyword rankings once.
@paulaspeak   “Too much focus” on rankings misleads. But unbiased ranking data is still important apples-to-apples.

@lancemoore22   Putting a hundred zip codes on the homepage to rank in local. Another firm told me they could get me #1.

@jacquesbouchard   That SEO is something that can be done in isolation. That it’s not a collaborative, consultative role.

@kevinwaugh   It’s all about number of links. Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong. “Get me/you on the first page of Google”, this is the first page of Google: No one gets there.

@sauravrimal   Ranking #1 gets me more traffic so get me there! or maybe more links!

@verbality   SEO is the cheapest aspect of digital marketing.
@matthewayoung   Ooo, I love this one – SEO is free so we dont have to pay for traffic.

@kristikellogg   POSSIBLE #SEO Myth: Matt Cutts is coming back.

Have you found some new tools in the last year or so that have changed the way you work?

@jamesonbbates   IFTTT is an ever evolving tool. Constantly finding new uses.
@sauravrimal   Here are some wonderful recipes from @SeerInteractive.

@kristikellogg   KeywordTool.IO

@directom   We have become quite fond of @Linkdex Great platform with a lot of data and stellar customer support staff! They go over and above. @canva is also a great tool that we started using for social media for ourselves & clients – Easy graphics etc!

@caitlinboroden   @Pocket has kept me up to date on reading like never before. Great tool and incredibly easy to use on desktop and their app.

@matthewayoung   There was a pretty big update to the SEO Tools for Excel that was just released. Oldie but goodie. The new Google mobile UX tool is getting heavy rotation with me.

@sauravrimal   @semrush and @buzzsumo have been wonderful additions to host of others.
@directom   We started using @semrush this past year too, AWESOME TOOL with GREAT INSIGHTS!

@sonray   @KeywordStudio is a sweet tool which is coming. I’m excited about digging in with @Linkdex too.

@dragonsearch    I coded A LOT of schema this year. This guy was my best friend. The new #StructuredDataTestingTool is the rare sequel that’s better than the original. Earlier this month I found an excuse to use Xenu Link Sleuth again.

Summary: Local Linkbuilding on #SEOchat

Moderator: @Sonray

Deciding on a starting point can be the hardest part – where do you start your search for geo-centric link gold?

@sonray   Chamber of Commerce is my usual go-to hub to find out who’s who & who I need to know.

@matthewayoung   Start by defining an audience for content, looking at successful local competitors in the linking space.
@sonray   yes! There are a few national groups that have local chapters… BNI, Toastmasters..

@jacquesbouchard   Obvious answer, but I’d start with local listings on Bing, Yahoo, Google, Yelp – easy wins before you get your hands dirty.

@caitlinboroden   Backlink analysis of other local competitors. Check out their links should be a good jumping off point. I’m a fan of local hashtags to find out who’s tweeting about specific topics/areas.

@morgan_corbett   Neighborhood associations? Local bloggers?

DragonSearch Find people/organizations/sites related to the site you’re working on. Active on social? Where? What are their profiles? I’m a fan of local hashtags to find out who’s tweeting about specific topics/areas.

@mikeramsey   Type in the city name and look Google stuff and see what sites are ranking on pages 1,2,3 and generally you’ll find targets.

@tony_dwm   First thing I do is ask for a list of key contacts in priority order inc biz placed (if B2B). Natural local links ;)

@kg7maj   First, look for the audience: demographics, exact communities, common characteristics between those two & your service. Look at the webmaster tools & see what keywords people have used to find your site. Fill in the blanks with new content.

@kristikellogg   From personal experience, I can tell you that sometimes you literally have to “take a walk” with Google Maps to look at a place.

@gobrandify   Research higher ranking links within that particular niche.Take reviews, social, local pages and locators into account.

Do you have a process for learning more about your client? Do you try to highlight achievements or use current relationships?

@Sonray   I’ve found that newspaper interviews/people highlights are good at crossing platforms & building links. Help a journo out! It can work on the flip-flop too. You can feature others in “your” community to earn links (& shares).

@bradydcallahan   Keep an open, two-way line of communication going with client at all times! Nothing like a good Q/A session. Be sure to have understanding of industry, products/services, see how competitors (from client’s mouth and top of SERP) talk.

@bruceclayinc   Dig deep — your job is to know everything about that client and leverage their selling points within content. Recently, a client had a whole swath of amazing videos that they never mentioned- until I found them accidentally on YouTube.

@directom   We have a set of standard questions & always conduct a kick off call to highlight USPs, target audience, etc.

@jacquesbouchard   I look to see what will garner enthusiasm – or crush it – with the client. Brand restrictions can be a big obstacle, as can PR.

@MikeRamsey   When we take on a client we have a 50+ questionnaire that helps us get to know the company & the community. Sometimes quick answers. Which can say a lot about them as well. It’s a great test to learn about people. Clients that won’t spend an hour with you answering questions won’t ever be willing to do something worth doing. You can’t pay your way to understanding. It takes time. No way around that.
@lancemoore22   Sometimes I have issues just getting verifications completed.

@kristikellogg   To this point of discovery, I wrote this article on how to interview a client for the first time.

Anchor text – are you geo-targeting your anchor text? How are you preventing over optimization? Any rules to live by?

@bradydcallahan   Prevent over-optimization by not worrying about anchor text. Rather, focus on geo-specifc domains (local news, papers, blogs).

@bruceclayinc   If there is a geotargeted category, then geotargeted anchor text makes sense. 1 or 2 times is sufficient on a page.

@MatthewAYoung    Not necessarily. I think algo understands query intent and location better than ever For sure, let your schema and content carry a site. Don’t rely exact match anchor text. It’s soo 2009.

@jacquesbouchard Definitely not. Even if that still flies today, I fear the day when a Google update sends us scrambling to remove the anchors. Also, it seems to me like Google will become sophisticated enough to understand the context of the link from the page & site.

@sonray   Sounds like we’re all in agreement on Q3 – natural is best.

Reviews, Local Sponsorships, Bloggers, Coupons can provide links – what is your ideal mix or do you focus on one bucket?

@tony_dwm   We focus on 1) researching their indstry 2) SWOT analysis & 3) finding gaps where demand but no supply (no boilerplate)

@jacquesbouchard   Too many eggs in one basket sets of red flags. And remember when press release links were devalued? Keep it diverse & stay safe.

@bradydcallahan   If budget is there, local sponsorships and blogs most ideal mix for relevant, good links. But Reviews CRUCIAL for campaign.

@sonray   Also, searching for job postings…many colleges accept job postings which will give you another .edu link & a candidate.

@bradydcallahan   Yep, best way to go about earning reviews, IMO? Leveraging offline touchpoints w/ biz’s customers.
@sonray   We’ve done this w art festivals: map for bathrooms, galleries, places to eat. Works well and can be updated.

Searching where others aren’t searching; do you hunt unconventional link opps? What is ‘outside the box’ these days?

@sonray   Your Q&A comes in handy: exchange testimonials from service providers: janitorial serv, catering, car rentals, plumbers.

@dragonsearch   Always keep an ear to the streets and stay agile. Is your product/industry trending? Hashtags you can hop on?

@caitlinboroden   I’ve found great information on city specific subreddits. You never know what unique infor, sites, etc. that you can find.

Creating resources – what are some of the best ‘linkbait’ resources you’ve created or seen that are geo focused?

@Sonray   Corporate park, strip or actual mall have a website? Usually geo focused and an easy geo link to earn.

@directom   We created a Geo based blog for a client,Use blog to feature local businesses-reach out via email/social and 9 out of 10 link back.

@jacquesbouchard   Things that double as a public service, such as local maps and current event listings. Personal photos of local events.

@sonray   I’ll leave you with one final thought: Everyone in #seochat today is a local resource for someone else. Use those relationships!

Summary: Targeting Outreach for Social Traction on #SEOchat

Moderator: @theKelsinator

How has social media impacted your SEO and content strategies? Or has it?

@kg7maj   Social media has provided me with ideas for blog entries, plus the SEO impact on Google+. Social media is for networking & connecting with your audience. SEO plays a part, but not everything. Only a piece of the puzzle.

@ericlanderseo   Social has influenced traditional link building significantly. It’s also reinforced audience targeting and content strategy. Social has also created new technical necessities in SEO. Microdata, FB OpenGraph support, etc. to execute social sharing.

@kristikellogg   #SocialMedia is part and parcel of #content strategy. Having one without the other is like having a cookie but no milk.

@directom   Social meida helps you identify what your target audience is talking about – leads you to know what content to create!

@cjlio   I wouldn’t consider social the new linkbuilding, but all three are powerful when done correctly. @BuzzSumo is my favorite tool.

Would you consider your SEO and SMM strategies integrated?

@ericlanderseo   Not always, no. An integrated campaign (to me) requires SEO, PPC< Display, etc. in addition to social. But it’s not always just tied to SEO as opposed to another media channel. Much of SMM’s success can be more tied to paid promotions. If you’re compiling an owned & earned media strategy though, SEO and social HAVE to be working together. Paid social is strongest on FB for us at @d50media. Particularly when partnered with retargeting vendors (AdRoll). I don’t see SMM as a link building replacement, but certainly an involved practice.
@thekelsinator   How significantly do you think SMM contributes to linkbuilding? Any predictions for the future?
@ericlanderseo   It just serves as an ecosystem of new (and lost) links as profiles share content. Its part of the link graph.

@bruceclayinc   SEO, SMM and SEM are all integrated. When you get all three spheres working together, it’s a powerful #digitalmarketing entity.

@davidprohq   Not that much, but hopefully changes like that can be put into place. I’m a big believer in the full integration. We are in the process of putting a system into place so SMM and SEO can be more integrated for clients.

@dragonsearch   Not always, but very frequently. Creating value in our content for others, often leads to shares & link building.

@directom   The more we experiment with marketing integration the better! VERY Exciting results across all areas.

@theKelsinator   Fun fact: We asked publishers which metrics matter most for their content.They said pageviews, then social.

When it comes to SMM benchmarks, what do you think are the most important goals? How about your clients?

@bruceclayinc   Engagement is the most important metric. Followers, likes, circles, etc. are all good to see grow, but engagement is No. 1.

@ericlanderseo   SMM is so much deeper than likes, shares and the page view metrics you’ve shown. Attribution is key. We’ve found a lot of success in clearly attributing social links w/ UTM parameters for long term tracking and ROI calc.

@kg7maj   With Twitter showing up in search results & Google+ SEO impact, it’s important. That varies from site to site…. could be sales, some could be pageviews, some could be engagement on social platforms. The number of followers doesn’t matter as long as they’re engaged & enjoying content.

@dragonsearch   Referrals from social is one of our top metrics. So is engagement.

@DavidProHQ   Most important goals for me is engagement. I also like to see visits to website from SMM and if it produced conversions.
@kg7maj   If you’re not getting impressions, it’s useless. Nothing will happen with no eyeballs.

@thekelsinator   Great quote from Tuesday’s #digitalcampfire (did you tune in?) – different type of content discussion, but the insight resounds: @AMLWhere on engagement and success:

What factors do you consider when you set SMM goals?

@ericlanderseo   Audience size & capture ability. In today’s world you need a social referral to interact on your domain to record vital metrics. You can’t score those ever-so-important page views with 100 fans and no SMM budget. New campaigns need to incorporate growth projections, audience targeting and supporting conversational follow-up (staffing). With social you simply cannot facilitate growth without investing in responsiveness that is timely, in-brand and considerate. tl;dr — You cannot fake it. Social isn’t a marketing medium, it’s a way of life for a generation. Be present & immersed in it.
@kg7maj   People think this stuff is free. It’s not. A few bucks makes a difference.
@ericlanderseo   Great point by @kg7maj… Successful social is not free, but it’s also FAR from expensive if done right. Invest early and own it!
@dragonsearch   Totally agree. Authenticity is crucial. Younger generations’ bullshit meters are very keen.
@ericlanderseo   Authenticity requires brute honesty. Set expectations on response times, use of the channels, etc.

@dragonsearch   Social goals are based on the client, their budget and expectations. We aim to provide excellent value across the board.

Target audiences, social channel, buying cycle, vertical, etc?

@kg7maj   Too many variables there. What’s the business, objective & where’s the audience? Remember, YouTube is both a search engine & a social network. Video is very powerful.

@kevinwaugh   Pinterest hands down, especially for eCommerce sites.

@EricLanderSEO   For lead generation, it’s Facebook. For content promotion: Twitter. For SEO influence: Google+ community development. For branding, its got to be a blitz incorporating media specific outlets including YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
@thekelsinator   Why do you think these strategies work better on different platforms? Curious
@ericlanderseo   At its core audiences want different things. I for one would hate #seochat activity in a FB environment. It’s all stylistic.

@bruceclayinc   We get a lot of meaningful engagement through Google+ and LinkedIn. We focus our effort on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, with some attention paid to Pinterest as of late.

@DavidProHQ   I’m an Adwords guy myself, but Facebook has produced good results for most clients. I was talking paid social in my last tweet. Google+ communities is highly underrated and overlooked by many. I have a goal to engage more on LinkedIn personally. For particular clients, I’m looking at expanding in that area as well. The main thing is to pick 2-3 and dominate them! I found the usefulness of G+ communities through a personal project and realized it’s power!

@kevinwaugh   By being visual first, Pinterests helps in selling products since pictures is vital to selling a product.

@directom   Platforms should be decided after identifying your target audience – some platforms work better for certain industries.

@theKelsinator   Here’s one reason verticals are important to consider when you set sharing benchmarks:

@theKelsinator   There’s no question that Facebook is the obvious platform to achieve high share numbers:

@theKelsinator   That’s not true for every vertical though. A publisher with a social following on the right platform in the right vertical and mean a difference of 1000s of shares.

@ericlanderseo   Do you feel though that shares are superficial? What good is a blind share (or RT) if there’s no interaction?

Your tips on targeting strategic media relationships?

@ericlanderseo   Observe before blindly interjecting. No one like a blind braggart or interruptor. Learn your audience and then be genuine.

@davidprohq   Joining in on the conversion and let people know you’re not a brand, but a person!

@kevinwaugh   Bring value, don’t spam and definitely don’t try to bully the narrative.

@kg7maj   Look for who at mentions you & writes about you. Connect with them & RT when they’re talking about your brand. Yes, that’s part of the engagement & relationship nurturing process. Sprout Social is good. Was leaning to free, as last resort for some with low budgets. Upload those same videos to Facebook. Directly uploaded videos gets much more engagement.
@directom   We have seen engagement quadruple when we directly upload videos for ourselves and clients.

@thekelsinator   Hundreds of publishers that they wish marketers did more research on the beats they cover.

Summary: SEO Education Guides Conferences and Learning for 2015 on #SEOchat

Moderator: @lisabuyer

Which area of SEO do you or clients need more help with in 2015?

@bruceclayinc   We need more help spreading the white hat gospel.

@kristikellogg   In general, I think people need to most help with site performance and structured markup.

@clearvoice   Our clients know they need #SEO, the challenge now is integrating white-hat SEO practices into the background of every process.

@virginianussey   More resources! With a massive site, even this SEO agency has a mile-long queue of SEO to-dos eg local SEO, updating content.

@paramaya   Outreach/link earning.

@tannerpetroff   Expectation management. No matter how many times I set expectations, they always seem just a bit unrealistic. But I’m glad I did that, because now they seem to get that it just doesn’t make sense to track.

@mattnesmith   Moving clients away from using rankings as the main metric of success. Too many variables – location, search history, etc. But I’m glad I did that, because now they seem to get that it just doesn’t make sense to track.

@gobrandify   Enterprise clients always struggle with #localseo . But in 2015, this needs to be a priority.

But I’m glad I did that, because now they seem to get that it just doesn’t make sense to track.

@thos003   How do you check for SEO credentials? … Ask @lisabuyer first. In all seriousness… Reach out to others in the industry for a reference.

@thinksem   SEO credentials can take the form of case studies, testimonials, referrals, etc. All make your work portfolio stronger.

@bruceclayinc   Any worthwhile SEO should be able to answer these SEO interview questions with ease.

@ty_kilgore   The proof is in the pudding! If you’re good clients, co-workers, peers will verify your SEO credentials!

@virginianussey   Ask questions where they must prove knowledge of search engines & opportunities. Like @ClearVoice says “convo shows knowledge”.

What are some of your favorite #SEO education outlets and why?

@ty_kilgore   Mentors, experience, daily reading the RIGHT SEO blogs, and test, test, test, test.. Did I say test?
@thos003   I fired a SEO company that was getting results, because I didn’t like the way they were doing it.

@searchrook   If u manage to read all posts on SEL that’s more than enough!

@paramaya   @moz @sengineland @sewatch Google+ Local search group #seochat <- to name a few

@clearvoice   We love @moz of course, but also find the best knowledge comes from multiple channels – keep a finger on the pulse of SEO!

@kevinwaugh   @Inboundorg and @GrowthHackers have great resources.

@lancemoore22   Moz Top 10

@virginianussey   Just signed up for @sejournal Summit Santa Monica in Feb. New series. Anyone else heard of it?

@matthewayoung   @Moz @sengineland are a couple excellent resources. Go to a conference if you can, or take the @BruceClayInc training.

@tannerpetroff   All the main outlets have already been said, but I love @DistilledU and by @PointBlankSEO.

@bruceclayinc   Some great blogs and news sites: Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, WordStream, the Stone Temple Consulting blog.

@paramaya   Webinars and conferences, too

@gobrandify   So many to highlight, we regularly keep up with @StreetFight @BIAKelsey @Localsearchassoc.

Big question: Should #SEO be part of higher education in colleges and universities?

@kristikellogg   Absolutely, #SEO should be a part of college. It should be mandatory for marketing & digital journalism, & available for IT.

@bruceclayinc   Marketing courses should evolve alongside of new media. Yes — it’s necessary.

@thos003   YES.
@lisabuyer   My @UF students for my #SMM class loved the week I covered #SEO – they felt it was critical.
@thos003   Absolutely. I would love to sit in on your week! … I think at least one course on #SEO should be required for MKT.

@mattnesmith   I read a lot outside of just SEO – psychology, management, sales, etc. and tie pieces into SEO strategies for clients.

@matthewayoung   YES! At least cover the basics.

@searchrook   Never! That would take the fun out of it! And we already have more know-it-alls than we need.

@virginianussey   Omgosh yes #seochat If I learned then some portion of what I know now… I’d be a more equipped job candidate.

@d50media   Absolutely. Students need to understandbest SEO practices so they can be effective marketers. @gallaugher at BC teaches this.

@paramaya   #SEO should certainly be part of higher ed, but curriculum must be agile. Change is the one thing guaranteed with SEO.

@d50media   We can help as SEOs. Offer days when students can visit you & shadow. Give them the hands on experience. We partnered with @danjalbert at BC to host 2 students & show them the ropes in Jan. See if other schools offer sim. things.

In @sengineland survey ly 82 % reported plans to hire additional SEO staff, who is training the newbies?

@bruceclayinc   Senior #SEO analysts are integral to training and guiding new analysts.

@matthewayoung   Hopefully the expert SEOs in the company. I’ve been in a position to train, but I encourage new SEOs to self educate as well.

@tannerpetroff   I hire and train in-house teams for my clients. Anywhere between 3 and 5 at a time.

@lancemoore22   We are! I have a new person I am training now. I love teaching and doing SEO.

@lisabuyer   Should we just all start #SEOchat University?
@matthewayoung   I’m down. Let’s make this happen.

@searchrook   Just give them a year’s worth of @sengineland to read.

What can be done to improve SEO training and education in 2015?

@matthewayoung   SEO cannot be taught in a vacuum. It’s only a small, albeit important, part of the online marketing universe.

@bruceclayinc   Consider attending a conference! SO valuable. Check out the 2015 #SEO conference calendar.

@paramaya   I’d like to see more about ethics in #SEO training and client relations.

@tannerpetroff   I learn visually, and I think a lot more hands-on training would go a long way.

What does a small business need to know about SEO in 2015?

@ericlanderseo   Connectivity. Everything needs to be super, super connected, particularly with Google accounts & WMT extensions.

@gobrandify   Thanks to mobile, customers are searching for local brands more than ever. We’ll discuss this in #BrandifyChat soon!

@kristikellogg   First and foremost, #SMBs need a clear business plan — that will inform their digital marketing strategy. SMBs also CANNOT forget mobile — keep that load time under 1 second or suffer the consequences.

@Sonray   SEO isn’t about keywords and rankings anymore!

@bruceclayinc   #SMBs need to be aware of the changes to local and stay on top of them at all times. They also need SPEED & PERFORMANCE.

@jacobkcurtis   Write and create visual content for people to read, not bots to crawl. Take full advantage of video SEO in 2015.

@ramirez_robert   That #Seo is a long-term endeavor that has a much better chance to succeed if it is part of larger digital marketing strategy.

@JacobkCurtis   Write and create visual content for people to read, not bots to crawl. Take full advantage of video SEO in 2015.

@paramaya   ROI, not rankings…. Link earning, not link building …. Topical authority, not keyword density.

@adeletiblier   SEO shouldn’t be an afterthought. It needs to be part of the site buildout along w/ a defined path for users.

@ferkungamaboobo   Ignore 99% of what you read about SEO. “SoLoMo” not future, already been here. Offline marketing totally affects SEO metrics.

@virginianussey   SMB can be their own advocate via understanding. To that end: best step-by-step SEO Tutorial on the web!

@tannerpetroff   Local cannot be ignored any longer! Nor can content, though I think a lot more companies are realizing that.

How much does the #CMO need to know about #SEO in 2015?

@kevinwaugh   CMOs need to know enough about SEO to understand investment and impact, like every other discipline.

@d50media   Now-a-days, what does a #CMO mean? We need to make sure that’s clear, right?
@kevinwaugh   To avoid conflict and debate, I feel the CMO should be the top person in an org for marketing. To avoid conflict and debate, I feel the CMO should be the top person in an org for marketing.

@matthewayoung   Enough to be dangerous…but not too dangerous. I like my CMOs educated in the impact of SEO done right. I dont want them approaching with misguided SEO info from ’07.

@GoBrandify   As much as possible. Everyone should learn as much SEO as possible to build brand presence from every facet of a biz.
@lisabuyer   Agreed @GoBrandify but sometimes the #CMO leans too much on reports and people around him/her versus understanding #SEO
@GoBrandify   Good point, Lisa. Then the more the understanding of SEO, the better these reports will serve them.

@tannerpetroff   The CMO needs to know the value to allocate appropriate resources, and they need to know how to measure success.

@paramaya   CMO needs a holistic understanding of what affects SEO.

What are some of your favorite SEO books and courses?

@tannerpetroff   I love @DistilledU and by @PointBlankSEO.

@matthewayoung   For the more advanced reader, I like @tim_ash Landing Page Optimization. Also, @StoneyD has a great book – The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist Period!

@chelseabeaadams   I love “Optimize” by @leeodden. My copy is covered in tabs and I use it often as a go-to reference guide. :I also got a lot from “You Should Test That” by @chrisgoward and “Google Semantic Search” by @DavidAmerland.

@sonray   David Ogilvy’s Confessions of an Advertising Man. I have a man crush on @SearchDecoder’s SEO Like I’m 5. And who doesn’t love a little @BruceClayInc ?

@d50media   Inbound Marketing by @dharmesh & @bhalligan is a good one for everyone to read & set the foundation. Social folks absolutely need to read Likable Social Media by @DaveKerpen.

@gregkristan   My favorite SEO book that I have ever read was SEO Secrets by Danny Dover. That is a great book for beginners!

If you could create your own #SEO conference session, what would it be?

@tannerpetroff   “Watch the best [content marketer, link builder, strategist, etc] work for an hour.” I would pay thousands to go to a conference that was made entirely of sessions like that.

@paramaya   “A deep dive into keyword research in the age of Hummingbird.”

@chelseabeaadams   “Google Analytics All Day Long”

@d50media   SEO and Philosophy: Do the good to avoid evil.

@matthewayoung   What the evolution of mobile search means for your business.

@tony_dwm   “How to create incredible value for your clients: relationships, biz acumen & consultancy”

@kevinwaugh   “Crap in SEO that needs to stop” A basic rant session.

@bryantgarvin   A session helping SEO peeps understand that Paid (PPC) isn’t as easy as everyone thinks it is.

What is the top SEO mantra you live by?

@bruceclayinc   “SEO is not simply ‘nice to have.’ Lack of SEO is a bug on your site.” – Bruce Clay

@matthewayoung   SEOs: cleaning up the Internet one site at a time

@adeletiblier   It’s all about the customer/audience. Make it good, make easy, make it useful

@d50media   It’s more of mantra for social: Keep the social in social media. It’s a dialogue, not a monologue.

@tannerpetroff   It’s not magic and it’s not voodoo. It’s hard work, and when you do it right it creates lasting results.

@paramaya   Algorithms change. Integrity is forever.

@sonray   “Dig a little deeper when you think you can’t dig no more”

@kevinwaugh   Don’t be afraid to add personality to your content, you’re a human being, it’s ok to write like one.

.Best #SEO educators to follow in 2015 on Twitter?

@searchrook   @lisabuyer

@tannerpetroff   Wow, that’s tough. For education, I say follow @Inboundorg and start watching who contributes a lot.

@bruceclayinc   @DragonSearch, @ericenge, @sonray, @marktraphagen, @davidamerland, @Rhea, @ipullrank, @larrykim & so many more.

@paramaya   @randfish @ipullrank @jaysondemers @mblumenthal @dr_pete @stoneyD @dannysullivan @rustybrick @bill_slawski

Summary: Link Building in Difficult Niches on #SEOchat

Moderator: @stephbeadell

What are some of the most difficult industries for link building that you’e worked in?

@stephbeadell   Mine – clown costumes.

@sonray   Casino parties, breast augmentation and mobile self storage!

@matthewayoung   I had a difficult time getting into link acquisition in custom bedding. Just couldnt win with that one. Small mom and pop health insurance brokerages.

@davidprohq   Pawnshops

@paramaya   DUI attorneys

@lancemoore22   Pediatric neuro surgery. It gives me a headache

@bruceclayinc   Broadly speaking, e-commerce can be tough because it’s easy to look “spammy.”

@nateplaunt   Spine surgery device manufacturers.

When you get one of these difficult assignments, where do you go for link building ideas?

@matthewayoung   There’s a sweet spreadsheet i have with a risk-reward matrix of over 300 link building ideas. Dont know how I came by it… I like to also look to competitors in the space to see what sites of note are linking to them.
@lancemoore22   When you find those links do you or your client reach out “asking” for a link?
@matthewayoung   I’ve emailed and called, as have my clients. It shouldnt be arbitrary though, give something to link to.
@sonray   I try to get an email address from the client to offer legitimacy.

@davidprohq   First stop, finding web mentions of my clients where they’re not linked and ask for a link back. I also search for “best [business – industry] in [city]” – Then do some outreach to get my client listed. Competitor link analysis as well. @moz tools to find web mentions as well as “business name” -site:businesssite – lot’s of citations though. That query is for a Google search by the way. I’m not big on directories, but I do make sure they’re listed in DMOZ.
@paramaya   Depends on the directory. Some are critical.

@thinksem   Hm. I could tell you that, but then I’d have to kill you. No, seriously. I’m kidding. FWIW, I think we need to be asking ourselves, should we still be doing “traditional” link building these days?
@chelseabeaadams   Y.E.S.

@paramaya   Fnd out where competitor’s backlinks come from and find out where the target audience lives online.

@d50media   A step below the obvious. Had experience with an article about divorce. Could have gone to counselors, but went to lawyers.

@lancemoore22   Their competitors, ‘Google’ niche sites, & find local forums and directories that make sense.

@bruceclayinc   Start with content audit — are you creating things worth linking to? Do competition comparison & survey your client/customer.
@thinksem   YES! “content worth linking to” <– extremely important, especially in the coming year, IMO.
@chelseabeaadams   I like the content audit angle, @BruceClayInc. The heart L.B. needs to be writing about topics your niche wants to reference.

@sonray   I go for a long bike ride and think through it. Note underused assets and draw on previous successes. I also dig through my contacts list and black box of luminaries to see who I know and who I need to know.

@directom   Competitive research and link reclamation.

@kristikellogg   First, understand the user’s intent w/ searches. Develop link magnets by finding out what’s missing or could be done better.

@d50media   Don’t be afraid to get on the phone. Team member @StephStMartin wrote article on phone-based outreach.

Is content king in these cases? What do you do if there isn’t budget/resources for content?

@matthewayoung   If there isnt $$ for content, there isnt $$ for SEO. Equal to content’s importance is the context for that content.

@thinksem   If no $$ for content, we use the old content (assuming it exists) but sprinkle it w/”SEO”. Not ideal but better than nothing.

@d50media   Absolutely. Strong content = good resources. And people will link to something they think is valuable for their audience. If you don’t have a budget, think socially. Connect with people & find opportunities for links/articles through social.

@directom   We try to find a useful resource our clients offer, maybe a glossary or infographic we can get out there.

@paramaya   Rework existing content into something new. Improve conversions. Improve technical… to name a few.

@bruceclayinc   If there aren’t resources for content, make them. Resources/budget are integral to #SEO. Find a way.

@davidprohq   Make a budget for it! :) Try to valuitize what is already on the site so I could do outreach sufficiently. Worthy noting – a lot of sites that rank high, aren’t content centric. It’s not the content but the value a website provides.

@kristikellogg   If you REALLY can’t afford content, find a great writer & trade services. Or get an English-major intern. Get creative.

@chelseabeaadams   You can’t acquire links to content if there isn’t content worth linking to; it’s pretty simple. I like the repurposing tips.

Sometimes bloggers/journos are hesitant to link to the site you’re promoting. How do you get them to overcome their objections?

@paramaya   Bribe them with food?

@davidprohq   Always has to be a win-win. The win for them is the value their giving their readers for the valuable business they mention. There should be somewhat of a relationship their first. Like @wilreynolds said in a presentation – stalk em’!
@chelseabeaadams   Well – I think that all goes back to “how do we define content,” David. They don’t have to be *article* centric, but surely the page needs content (meat; value) worth linking to.
@davidprohq   Definitely something there – there was an article I read of websites with no content ranking high – I’ll find it.

@stephbeadell   In e-commerce, I find that having a content-only section of the site (like a blog) and pushing that really helps.

@sonray   I never mention the link, it’s always about helping and serving a need. The link then becomes a fringe benefit. I want traffic & conversions, traffic or a citation <—- that's my gold ring with linkbuilding. I talk about it in PR terms. Most understand relationship building and working together.
@chelseabeaadams   Pitch it as creating X that adds value to the community in order to extend reach & attract the right audience.

@d50media   Give them a link first. Have them do a guest blog with links on your site. Tis the season: You give before you receive.

@matthewayoung   As @garyvee would say, stop trying to close on the first try like a 19 yo guy. Build relationships, they matter.

What tools do you rely on most for these difficult link building tasks?

@ryaninnz   Moz for analytics.

@sonray   Twitter, IFTTT, hustle and patience; analysis and rebooting. Spreadsheets.

@matthewayoung   Majestic, especially now that it categorizes links from different sites – good for niche research.

@paramaya   OSE, ahrefs, majestic for competitive research and a lot of good old-fashioned searching.

@davidprohq   My gmail account – Also finding people that share related articles by using @followerwonk and @BuzzSumo for shareable articles.

@bruceclayinc   @MajesticSEO deserves a shout out, for sure.
@lancemoore22   Any advantages of using Majestic over OSE?
@bruceclayinc   Majestic has more data — it will catch the most links.

@davidprohq   OSE, @MajesticSEO, and @ahrefs – I use all of them. I have San Diego clients – landing a link on a major website featuring the best seafood restaurants in San Diego.

@sonray   I create a lot of feeds and alerts; push a lot of things to Evernote. Depends on who I’m stalking and how.

@kristikellogg   Find competitor’s referer domains in majesticSEO & perform “site:” searches w/ kywds to find related pages that are linking.

@chelseabeaadams   Oh, and one last shameless plug. Learn more about link building in the new @BruceClayInc #SEO tutorial

Summary: Google Updates – Panda, Penguin, & Pigeon on #SEOchat

Moderator: @ThunderActive

Has the Penguin 2.0 or 3.0 update hurt too many innocent sites?

@bruceclayinc   That’s a hard question. What does “innocent” mean here, really? There are definitely innocent sites that were impacted.
@thunderactive   Innocent as in didn’t intend to “game the system.”

@directom   We haven’t seen actual “innocent” sites get hit, however we have seen sites get hit quite hard due to spammy links. It doesn’t seem that submitting domains to the disavow tool helps very much either!

@paramaya   Of the three, I think Pigeon has done the most harm to sites that were already adhering to best practices.
@gobrandify   See your point. We’ve seen that Pigeon’s restrictions have left ‘droppings’ on many unsuspecting/innocent sites.

@ramirez_robert   Many sites impacted who hired shady SEOs in good faith & got burned. Company’s can’t claim ignorance tho. must know guidelines.
@directom   Exactly! We have clients in that very same situation!

@matthewayoung   Intent has nothing to do with it, I think. All sites have bad links, and not knowing is not an excuse to Google.

@chrisjeverett   I have seen the impact of negative SEO first hand. People penalized by Penguin for competitors spamming their sites.

What are your favorite tools for finding unnatural links?

@matthewayoung   I like Majestic. It’s always a good one. Especially now that it provides context for linking domains by categorizing by topic.

@alexpeerenboom   No 1 tool is going to find everything. Combo of GWT, Moz, Ahrefs, Majestic.

@bruceclayinc   @tryMajestic and ahrefs are the tools our #SEO analysts rely on for backlink profile analysis.

@chrisjeverett   Ahrefs, WMT, OSE, SEO Spyglass.

@ramirez_robert   Majestic, Ahrefs, GWT pull from as many sources as possible. Finding bad links is manual process though. No quick way to prune.

Panda 4.1 aimed for “great diversity of high-quality small & medium sized sites”. Has anyone seen this result IRL?

@bruceclayinc   Tough one. For 1 data point, see the 90-day downward trend of domain diversity from @Moz. Domain diversity can also be hard to suss out with increasing personalization, search history & circle-influenced results.

@searchrook   Nope. If anything, they’re out of reckoning. And why should “size” have anything to do with quality?

@matthewayoung   Not really. I’ve had sites benefit, but I cant point to one specific thing; Google rolled out 3 algo updates at the same time.

@directom   Seems that the only the slightest movement (upwards) comes with each of #panda updates for the small to mid-sized sites.
@thundermax   I’ve seen similar changes with each update. Here’s SEL’s list of updated through late Sept.

@chelseabeaadams   Some good Panda 4.1 IRL data in this @Marketingland article.

Has anyone seen the effects of the new Google Maps quality guidelines yet?

@gobrandify   Not anything significant yet. @Philrozek and other local SEOS suggest we wait a bit more and see.

@lindsaymineo   Not yet. There’s speculation as to how much Google will enforce the new guideline changes. Enforcement speculation from an #InsideLocal webinar this week, also mentioned here.
@bruceclayinc   Agree with @LindsayMineo. Does this guideline change effect biz? Is it a rule that needs to be enforced or does it affect rank?
@lindsaymineo   I feel there are too many special conditions and Google hasn’t laid out specific enough guidelines for businesses.

@bruceclayinc   Regarding Google Maps & Google My Business optimizations, read @localseoguide’s. Gist: GMB is small % traffic.
@chelseabeaadams   Interesting insight, @BruceClayInc! The concept of GMB not being the number one priority for local optimization is a big shift.

Do you think these new Maps guidelines are an extension of the Pigeon update?

@ChelseaBeaAdams   Pigeon has a major impact on local. And the GMB guidelines update will impact local. But do they overlap..? Well… not necessarily. Do YOU think these new Maps guidelines are an extension of the Pigeon update?
@thunderactive   We think they’re definitely related, but too soon to tell how close they are on the update family tree.

@directom   SEOs spent so much time optimizing for local and Google continues to change things…local pack search results come and go.

@ramirez_robert   #Google has always had trouble getting local right. The new guidelines are more about better organized local listings.

Has there been spillover from Pirate Update 2 into sites that aren’t only copywritten content?

@paulaspeak   Whoa, I haven’t heard of the Pirate Update. What’s that?
@matthewayoung   Pirate was a pretty sweet update. One of my clients showed a lift post release. It’s actually the second release – meant to fight piracy of content.
@thunderactive   The Pirate 2 update penalized sites deemed to be violating copyright laws. More here.

Do you fear future Google updates or look forward to them?

@thundermax   Ha! That’s like asking about the dentist!
@chelseabeaadams   Perfect answer, @ThunderMax. Sometimes the dentist ends up making things better, but bobody *looks forward to* going.

@lindsaymineo   Both!

@directom   Keeps us on our toes..we just tread lightly. If we follow ALL best practices there “SHOULDN’T” be any reason for fear!!

@kevinknechtion   No sense in fearing what we can’t accurately predict. Good UX and quality content will prevail. Robots scare me though. A lot.

@matthewayoung   I get a little excited, especially when clients may benefit, but i love sharing the info with them the most.