Summary: Creative Linkbuilding Tactics on #SEOchat

Moderator: @ajutah

At what point in an SEO campaign do you start building links?

@BlueJeansPoet    As soon as you have good content to link to!

@tannerpetroff    Simplest answer: when I have something worth linking to.

@SocialMichelleR    You should have relationships in place to build linked content from in the planning stage.
@AndreeaC_T    Definitely! Identify link sources and build those before hand! Great advice!

@SarahFromDC    As soon as we have enough quality content to not look like idiots or spammers!

@AndreeaC_T    Immediately once you know your keywords and onsite pages are done. Linkbuilding takes time. Start as early as you can.

@CaitlinBoroden    Typically, it’s smart to get some of the big technical problems out of the way first. Then start. Also! Don’t build links until you have a strong understanding of the clients/your own audience.
@tannerpetroff    Yeah, no sense in building links to pages with dup. content or that will be 301’d down the road.
@CaitlinBoroden    Absolutely! A perfect example.

@netvantage   After the site audit is complete assessed. Site audit > link building.

@DavidProHQ   Well, you want to have your house in order before you bring people to it, so after on-page SEO is taken care of.

@OC2015   When you have something worth linking to. Concepts and prototypes deserve love too, but don’t bother if there is no value yet. Redirects can do wonders, but always be sure that you begin LB with the new site immediately.

@emily_C27   Following a content audit to know what stays & what needs to be optimized vs what is top qual.

@allmikehall   Get your keyword research and website audit taken care of. Sometimes websites don’t need much LB if in non-competitive industry.

@GoBrandify   First assess your current efforts, then use your analysis to build your links

@kotmseo   Backlinks affect domain authority, so something 2 look at in beginning; building new links tends 2 happen after on-page opts.

What are some FREE ways to identify link opportunities?

@SocialMichelleR   Twitter search for bloggers writing on related topics.
@DavidProHQ   This is one of my favorite tactics as well. IFTTT custom Twitter search to Google spreadsheet.

@MichaelBurjack   Can look at strong referring domains, maybe there’s a natural fit with someone already sending refs your way.

@AndreeaC_T   I use free tools to check competitor links and research those.

@BlueJeansPoet   Look at other sites that have content gaps your site fills and contact them

@netvantage   Use advanced search modifiers to collect lists of high quality link prospects

@PeterThistle   Understand the business, where it fits into the economic ecosystem, who cares about them, who do they care about.

@allmikehall   Ask the client to see if they can help with links. They might have some industry buddies that will happily link to them.
@CaitlinBoroden   Great point! They will also likely have an in on some of the niche (but still well know) industry websites, etc.

@SarahFromDC   We compare channel analytics (Facebook, website, etc) to see where our audience is going / coming from & build links from there.

@GoBrandify   Do some research on social media to see authoritative figures/sources to link to you.

@tannerpetroff   Google searches + Moz/OSE + @screamingfrog can give you some incredible insights on link opportunities.

@DavidProHQ   Competitor link analysis, broken link building, guest posting opportunities, link reclamation, some directory submissions.

@kotmseo   Ask friends/customers to share on social, link swap.

How do you qualify whether a particular link opportunity is worth pursuing?

@netvantage   Relevant? Non-manipulative? Updated? Probably a decent target.

@kotmseo   Check their domain authority to see if the effort is worth it.

@tannerpetroff   Relevance and context. Then I’ll look at things like DA and PA. If it’s not relevant, it’s not worth it.

@SocialMichelleR   Relevance is my top qualifier. Be sure to leave room for a little serendipity.

@SarahFromDC   Number crunching! Who’s saying what about them, how many quality followers do they have, etc.
@SocialMichelleR   I agree that we want influencers, but sometimes you have to let timing and availability decide.

@allmikehall   Great place to start is competitor co-citations. Find pages and websites that link to multiple competitors.

@AndreeaC_T   Start with page rank for a quick glance. Then look more deeply at their content & social presence.

@CaitlinBoroden   Relevancy, Authority, Strong social activity to help get it out there?

@OC2015   Use a 1 in 10 rule. Common sense and bit of research can go a long way to identifying worthwhile linking opportunities.

Let’s get specific. What are the metrics you use to qualify a good link opp?

@allmikehall   I use Majestic stats – Page TrustFlow is the first stat I look at

@AndreeaC_T   You can check @kred & @klout for deeper insight.

@Perfect_Search   Thoughtful research! Look at the source, the quality of their posts, and if it will provide good, unique content.

@DavidProHQ   Actually visiting the site. Checking backlinks with @moz, @ahrefs, & @tryMajestic – doing some Google searches for their site. Metrics: Look at DA, look at number of referring domains (not just links), Ahrefs Domain Rank, Majestic Trust Score.
@tannerpetroff    If a site doesn’t pass the eyeball test, the metrics mean nothing to me.
@netvantage   Yep! Finding ways to “see” the page first is ideal. Look at page data, urls to identify type of page before visiting.
@MichaelBurjack   Additionally: does it look like the site owners are contactable and responsive? Seems basic, but.
@DavidProHQ   Right, is contact info present? Which is an element the spam score for OSE looks for.

@tannerpetroff   DA, PA, mT # of LRD’s, # linking C-blocks, internal vs external links, etc.

How do you look for unlinked brand or product mentions?

@DavidProHQ   “[brand name]” -site: -site: Also, Talkwalker Alerts and Fresh Web Explorer.

@thompsonpaul   Setting up TalkWalker alerts for primary terms is usually where I start.

@CaitlinBoroden   I learned a nifty trick for @reddit recently. add .rss to the end of any subreddit to get the feed. From there use @IFTTT to monitor for keywords you specify.Example:

@ireyfish   Buzzsumo definitely for brand mentions

@tannerpetroff   Got a logo? Reverse image search! See who’s not linking. Scored many links that way.

@AJUTAH   I don’t use a lot of paid tools, but Open Site Explorer is indispensable for me for analyzing link opportunities. Use Fresh Web Explorer from @moz to find brand and product mentions. Then reach out for a link!
@DavidProHQ   I’m totally with you, but sometimes they’re link index is slow to update. I use @ahrefs and @tryMajestic as well.

@kotmseo   I use Google Alerts to find unlinked brand or product mentions.
@CaitlinBoroden   I don’t know if it’s just me but I never have much luck with Google Alerts.
@DavidProHQ   me neither. I use Talkwalker Alerts. Tons better.

@allmikehall   Can also look for mentions of owners of company, links to social media accounts but not websites.

@emily_C27   Did we mention ? + Google alerts

@GoBrandify   A few ways but the first thing to do is look on search engines. There are also tools like @Mention / @BuzzSumo.

Directories. Yay or nay? Why?

@AndreeaC_T   Nay mostly. Some are business sites are legit. But I tell companies to stay away from them.

@CaitlinBoroden   Ohh directories. Yes, some key ones. Don’t go crazy now and add it everywhere

@tannerpetroff   ‘Directories’ is a vague term. Local directories? Absolutely. Super mega web 2.0 directories? Steer clear

@DavidProHQ   I believe there are still a few directories that are worth submitting yourself to (i.e. DMOZ, Crunchbase, Yellowpage)

@AndreeaC_T   It makes sense for some depending on the industry, especially those associated w/ a publication.

@_Fidelitas   For local SEO, it’s imperative to submit biz info to directories. Outside of that, we like a few niche directories.

@netvantage   Sure there’s manipulative directories out there, but many your website should be in. Especially local businesses.

@SarahFromDC   Yes for local listings or niche – but those enormous directories that are just lists of every site under the sun are terrible.

@GoBrandify   For #localsearch- A big, loud YAY! Make sure that you are providing these directories with accurate & consistent data.

@emily_C27   Yay to a point. I’d say to make sure you’re listed in the major directories; don’t waste too much time on the little guys

@allmikehall   Ignoring links, some niche directories can be really important. Know many companies that get referral traffic from directories.

@PeterThistle   Some top level directories for local search, others may be worth cleaning up if already present but inaccurate (common!).

How about broken links and 404 pages. How can you find opportunities in your niche?

@_Fidelitas   One of our favorite ways is to help webmasters that have malware. This not only builds links but it builds relationships.

@ireyfish   we use ahrefs. Pretty effective

@emily_C27   As part of your outreach efforts, kindly inform a site if they are showing a 404 & provide them your relative link. Be helpful.
@AJUTAH   That’s key. Would linking to your site be helpful for *their* visitors?

@allmikehall   .Gov websites do a bad job with redirects. Backlink checker – top pages – 404 pages relevant to you.

@tannerpetroff   Broken link building is my favorite. Read this guide and tell me it isn’t awesome. My secret to broken link building is replacing a valuable resource that no longer exists. Check Wayback Machine.
@CaitlinBoroden   Blog posts with nicely formatted table of contents are the best. Big thumbs up.
@allmikehall   Also do a Google search – search tools – Custom date range.

@CaitlinBoroden   Pull your backlink portfolio from OSE, WMT, etc. Pull all the links into a txt doc and do a list crawl in @screamingfrog.

@netvantage   Finding relevant broken links can be tough. Xenu’s Check URL List feature is fantastic for identifying many BL’s on many pages.

@DavidProHQ   Plenty of opportunities. I like to build linkable assets/resources and build broken links with something very valuable

@GoBrandify   If you spot a broken link or 404, check the backlinks and focus on the getting the right link to the owner.

@ammicallef   Broken link building is really successful if your link is a relevant replacement. Check My Links extension to find broken links.

@kotmseo   You could also create a really cool 404 page that features your most popular content.

@thompsonpaul   Using a broken link checker browser extension while running through relevant WikiPedia pages finds gold.
@AJUTAH   Wikipedia links are tough :) How can you make sure they stick? Sometimes moderators can be territorial.
@tannerpetroff   Those are tough. Anything you write has to be extremely unbiased. Links stick better if they’re solid resources.
@thompsonpaul   Agreed re territorial WikiPedia moderators but much easier when replacing existing broken link w/ equivalent value resource
@MichaelBurjack   Of course all of Wikipedia’s links are nofollow … in theory

How can you stay “White Hat” and build links through a contest/giveaway?

@_Fidelitas   Email 200 blogs about your contest and let them know it’s beneficial for their audience. It will generate buzz and buzz=links. You could also create a unique contest that’s never been done before and get some PR for it (after you do some outreach).

@SarahFromDC   Ooo absolutely! Did this for a travel site – got specific travel bloggers to participate, embed a contest image/link, and tweet

@netvantage   Give away a product or service for free to key influencers and ask for them to review it.

@tannerpetroff   It’s always possible to stay white-hat with contests. Just get them in front of the right people.

What’s a good ratio of follow:nofollow links a site should have in their portfolio?

@markdhansen   What about review websites? Do links from these places (e.g., ) count for much?

@tannerpetroff   I don’t think there’s a golden ratio, but if all your links are follow, or all are nofollow, that could be a problem.

@SarahFromDC   We haven’t looked much into ratio yet (maybe we should?) but we generally go on a case-by-case basis for quality, etc.

Share your favorite linkbuilding resources and tools

@CaitlinBoroden   Sometimes it’s nice to go back to the basics and refresh.

@AJUTAH    This creative link building list from @PointBlankSEO is money.

@allmikehall   Check My Links + Link Clump (browser extensions), Co-citation tool from @CitationLabs.

@kotmseo   Well, I just started reading @Entrepreneur’s “Ultimate Guide to Link Building” by @ericward, so hoping to learn more about it.

@netvantage   For finding broken links: Xenu, Screaming Frog, Check My Links

Summary: Getting Creative with Low Budget SEO on #SEOchat

Moderator: @tannerpetroff

Whats the lowest budget you’re willing/able to work with? Where’s the ground floor?

@EricLanderSEO   For consulting work, I tend to start with $1,750 audits and expand from there. Retainers and monthly services begin at $500/mo. Also worth mentioning, many veterans in the space (myself included) provide work to non-profits at little to no charge.

@AndreeaC_T   I work with startups. It’s pretty close to 0.

@dan_patterson   Let’s say you’re a new blogger/site owner. Your budget might be $0.

@BerkleyBikes   You can work SEO on any budget…the question is how soon do you expect any results? For an agency…you have to provide a certain quality of work within a certain time frame, which is why minimums are higher.

@lancemoore22   Don’t have set numbers, but as advice…sometimes small accounts can turn into the greatest relationships.

@allmikehall   Budget = time. For an initial site audit, depending on size of site, probably need to spend at a minimum of 6-8 hours.

@milestech   Really depends on what the goals are. basic setup vs comprehensive outreach e.g. could depend on health of website (panda etc).

@tannerpetroff   As a consultant, it’s really hard to take anyone on for less than $1,000/mo but there are a few exceptions.
@AndreeaC_T   That’s my minimum too.

@ThinkSEM   This really depends on what they already have, what we’ve done for them, etc. Can’t put a # on it.

@AgentPalmer   I think it also depends on if they want you to do it, or teach them how to do it? One takes much longer than the other.

@Tripp_Hamilton   Depends on what the website needs in terms of SEO. On and off-site SEO can be quite pricey.

@markdhansen   For low price, you are basically a coach, telling client what to do, training them, while they do the work.

How do you address & manage expectations with small/non-existent budgets?

@dan_patterson   Back when I was an agency guy, it seemed like the low budget clients had the highest expectations. Always made me wonder what the sales guy said to them… you have to set the right expectations!
@tannerpetroff   The 20% of revenue that takes 80% of your time. Not worth it.
@ThinkSEM    …and took up the most time nit-picking via emails & calls. Why is that???

@AgentPalmer   Honesty.

@EricLanderSEO   Be clear and precise with priorities and influence/impact on client’s business goals. Do the most effective stuff first. In other words… Don’t focus on “nice to have” micro data layers & content revisions when the framework for SEO isn’t there. Key is, be honest. Be clear. Low priced SEO doesn’t work when value isn’t properly represented or delivered.

@AndreeaC_T   Clearly state that it takes time. I always say 3-6 months depending on difficulty.

@JohnziePat   Compartmentalize your resources.

@ThinkSEM   Right away. Be up-front about what you can do w/in the scope of their $$. Transparency is key.
@dan_patterson   I think it’s a desperation thing. When you only have $100, you NEED that $100 to work miracles.

@netvantage   Establish benchmarks, know where they stand already and establish how long it will take to see improvements.

@MatthewAYoung   That’s where the education piece comes in. You may not be able to do the work with limited budget, but you can teach others.

@AndreeaC_T   Depends on goals too…and market saturation.

@OC2015   Being transparent with the client. OR under promising & over delivering. Know what u can work w/ at the budget, strive to deliver at that level. W/e comes after, thats the bonus.

@BerkleyBikes   I’ve worked for friends for free before. With ZERO budget, I set all the rules!

@milestech   educate, understand goals, provide real world examples at a similar level of $. show expected results up front.

@SocialMichelleR   Expectations have to be managed regardless of budget SEO is not magic Takes time.

@allmikehall   SEO isn’t a small investment, and important to honestly educate small budget client on how long results will take.

@lancemoore22   Maybe the most difficult question you’ll ask today. You have to set expectations up front.

@tannerpetroff   Do my best to focus on one single thing, do it well, and explain the reality of the situation. Realism is key.

@dan_patterson   I always hated the phrase “manage expectations.” Usually that meant to me they were misled from the beginning. Can you get results with a small budget? Of course. Not as easily/quickly as 7-8 yrs ago, but you can. Takes time.
@allmikehall   Yep – smaller budgets work fine for smaller local businesses or websites targeting lower-competition audience.

@ThinkSEM   Right, it should be SET expectations; if you have to manage you’re probably already way off base.

@livnLASHETAloca   You have to be clear and upfront from the get go so everyone is clear on the expectations.

@luireyes1   Most important would be stating and understanding goals clearly.

How do you determine where your limited budget goes? Ex. Content, promotion, pizza, etc.

@AndreeaC_T   Onsite content first. Site infrastructure.

@AgentPalmer   It depends on what you’re hoping to accomplish how many people you have on your team & more but those 2 are the most important.

@allmikehall   First is an on site audit. Most important to set that up right before long term stuff like link building / content development.

@AndreeaC_T   months 2 and beyond more on external content & linkbuilding

@tannerpetroff   Look at what resources are already available, what relationships exist, and try to fill the gap with the budget.

@BerkleyBikes   First off, never slash the pizza budget. Never. When done eating pizza, go for the high return and low investment tasks first. Score some early wins for morale.

@dan_patterson   Fix onpage/arch problems first always. Then work on content. Manual outreach doesn’t have to cost a lot. The other thing with audits, outline the crucial things. No site is or can be perfect, so focus on what will do the most.

@CaitlinBoroden   It’s always a good idea to get the technical things in order first. You need a solid foundation to jump from.

@EricLanderSEO   Start with an audit and prioritize against impact. Then, start at the top. The most important is the most effective.

@MatthewAYoung   Depends on the needs. Usually first time clients have grave technical errors on the site. Triage.

@netvantage   On site SEO audit. Optimize meta data, internal links, body copy, GA setup – need to start on the right track. Occasionally client has already done an audit and the fundamentals are in a good place. Take it case by case.

@milestech   Audit 1st, then either 1. use $ to build up areas lacking OR 2. use $ to kick more ass in strong areas. depends on client goals.

@ThinkSEM   Depends on the client’s goals, the abilities of their current site, etc. We’d start off w/an audit.

@livnLASHETAloca   It would definitely depend on the needs of the client. Every client is different and may have different goals to reach.

@ammicallef   Where are the client’s biggest pain points and opportunities? start with what will have the greatest impact.

@FlyingSmitty    The initial budget should go to a site audit. Most people have no idea what they are doing.

@SocialMichelleR   Once basics are covered, budget and time need to be set aside for linkbuilding/relationships.

@kotmseo   I do what I can do myself, then outsource what I can’t/don’t want to do — stuff easy to delegate (e.g., content creation).

When you absolutely need more resources, how do you overcome objections and justify asking for more?

@dan_patterson   It all comes down to $$$. This also comes back to realistic expectations though. If it’s a new site, there is going to have to be time involved to get $$.
@ammicallef   Yes – prioritize by greatest impact. It likely won’t all be fixed immediately so outline the most important items.

@Sonray   I always try to make a business case & tie it back to revenue. Hard to say no to money that makes money.

@AndreeaC_T   I go to data…data trumps all.

@BerkleyBikes   Make the pitch! Reference previous results. Show them the data (and explain it!) Talk about projected outcomes.

@allmikehall   SEOs aren’t wizards (although clients tend to think that) Need the help and input from the client end to be successful.

@ThinkSEM   Is goals-to-budget realistic? If they want X done by Y time, it’ll cost Z. If $ isn’t there we need to realign their expectations & tell em how it’ll pan out w/their budget.

@misfttweek   The Numbers never lie, you have plenty of evidence of things that need to be fixed use that.

@EricLanderSEO   Long term commitments require long term resources. Hard conversations happen when you’re not showing clear value / ROI.

@SocialMichelleR   Time to put together reports & show them how efforts up to this point have earned them biz.

@milestech   Sometimes using competitor data helps spur more $ activity. paint a realistic picture, show what could be done with more $.
@markdhansen   I think this is very true. Many companies respond when learning that competitors are spending more. Its a wake-up call.

@lancemoore22   I think you have to have been upfront at first to have the credibility when asking for more resources.

@netvantage   We often get smaller client involved on content promotion and provide them guidance on the content they should be creating.

@MatthewAYoung   Create an SEO narrative. A site is never perfect, but it can at least be better than other sites. Then talk about money.
@tannerpetroff   True. Using competitors as benchmarks can help to convince additional spend as well.
@EricLanderSEO   Agree with @MatthewAYoung here; You need a clear path forward that’s understood. You can accelerate resource costs with growth.
@MatthewAYoung   People dont buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Hat tip to @simonsinek
@tannerpetroff   I’d argue on that. I believe people buy you as much as they buy what you do.
@dan_patterson   But that only goes so far. You still have to get results.
@tannerpetroff   Definitely. But it’s imperative someone believes in you during the sale.
@MatthewAYoung   Yes, show them the proof. Nothing wrong with that.
@EricLanderSEO   No appetite for complacency in SEO, but people DO hire thought leaders.
@dan_patterson   Yes. That’s all I’m saying. You may get hired, but can you stay hired?
@EricLanderSEO   Precisely. Might have earned it, but no one likes an overpriced has-been.

@kotmseo   If I need it, have the cash and think it’s a priority, I’ll submit a request to myself, then approve it.

@luireyes1   First you have to be certain and have strong reasoning behind it. Following that state your case clearly.

@markdhansen   If you have measurable results, its a lot easier to ask for more money #seochat

@FlyingSmitty   Present what you have done, map out the next strategies, time needed and a proposed budget.

@ammicallef   Use data to show what you’ve been able to do so far with limited resources & explain the potential success given more $/time.

What are some of the no/low-cost tricks you have up your sleeve?

@AndreeaC_T   I have writers who are not seo’s write and then tweak their content…call that intuitive keywords. Start building buzz on social. Twitter is awesome for identifying brand amabassadors who will write about you.

@EricLanderSEO   Start with Search Console first and some trials. Plenty of free trials of tools to help you prioritize and set some goals. Don’t overlook the value a data visualizer can provide. So much great information can be exported from Google SC and Analytics.

@ThinkSEM   Not a trick, but it IS free — we use @screamingfrog to get a lot of audit/assessment info on websites.

@milestech   Not really a trick, but having a good rolodex of influencer contacts in client industries can help get some links/ buzz

@OC2015   List of chrome extensions for easy/ little effort metrics that can make a huge difference in proving points.

@JohnziePat   Keywords derived from content from copywriters.

@misfttweek   using Google auto search is always a go to

@BerkleyBikes   @jacquesbouchard wrote a smart blog post about using Google “site:” searches for #SEO purposes.
@BerkleyBikes   Low cost & so easily available. Combine that with GA & Search Console – you’re off to a great start.

@netvantage   Cut internal costs/time it takes to do specific tasks. Saves time when person(s) on your team is knowledgeable in specific area.

@tannerpetroff   My biggest secret is no secret at all. Just getting the business owner involved and leveraging relationships they have.

@MatthewAYoung   Got not $ for SEO? GSC is the first place I’d go to.

@OC2015   Optimizing social platforms (not a full-on strategy) is easier and quicker than anyone ever thinks. Just the extra effort. Complete info, updated site links, relevant keywords within profiles; Basic aspects people fail to realize help CTR.

@Sonray   @crestodina just wrote a post about a classic GA tactic that can earn better rankings.

@allmikehall   Have different team members focus on specific industries. They’ll know all the great places to get links from experience. Sometimes links from client relationships end up being the best backlinks they’ll get!

Where are your favorite resources to find inspiration for low/no-cost SEO ideas?

@AndreeaC_T   Peeps…love @authoritylabs. Have a call with them at 2 est. @moz too. WooRank can be free. Periscope honey…you’ll find lots on periscope.

@lancemoore22   #seochat is one of my favorites! You guys rock!

@JohnziePat   Tweetchats I’ve come to find extremely beneficial

@misfttweek   @Moz is my go to for any SEO inspiration @randfish WBF are a must watch always

@milestech   Never underestimate the power of Youtube for SEO research. also, asking client salespeople can help with content/keyword ideas.

@BerkleyBikes   Site search will tell you a lot about what people are doing on your site (and what they’re looking for).

@luireyes1   Best resource I believe is always the more experienced team I have around me.

@lancemoore22   Taking a walk to get some fresh air.

@tannerpetroff   I usually just go read @PointBlankSEO – That kid is ridiculously creative. This or that.

@EricLanderSEO   Start w/ @sengineland @sejournal @WebmasterWorld @seroundtable. Amazing new content daily AND excellent communities present.

@Sonray   I dig @SERPWoo lately. Pretty cheap and yields useful knowledge/ideas.

@allmikehall   Plenty of great free keyword research and keyword generation tools out there.

@EricLanderSEO   If you can’t read up over time, start w/ this from @AnnieCushing – amazing auditing process & tools.
@tannerpetroff   Also love the HUGE list of must-have tools by @AnnieCushing.
@Sonray   The paid resources she creates are beyond fabulous too!
@EricLanderSEO   Agreed! @AnnieCushing is a class act and so informative; If the question weren’t budget oriented – I’d have recommended too.

@netvantage   Brainstorming sessions from peers – find out what works and what’s effective for SEO.

What are your favorite examples of great low budget SEO?

@netvantage   The small companies that didn’t get 1000’s of visits from our work but got big increases in leads.

@AndreeaC_T   @inviterbiz I got them ranking in a month after some killer, long hours for almsot nothing 2 yrs ago. Lots of story telling using seo.

@kotmseo   Get free trial subscription to your fav SEO tool, crawl potential client sites, then approach them w/ results & your services.

@luireyes1   The work that got great recognition without including itself in trends. Just purely on it’s great content.

@EricLanderSEO   Global site changes and template optimizations rolled out w/ one change across multiple pages are my favorite. Massive rewards.

@allmikehall   Conducted detailed keyword research & found unknown relevant opportunities, developed content, got great traffic.

Summary: Conducting a Content Audit to Boost SEO on #SEOchat

Moderator: @emily_C27

What does a content audit do for you?

@EricLanderSEO   In short, a content audit helps set the stage for successful SEO, content marketing and social media opportunities. A great content audit will highlight strengths, deficiencies and competitive opportunities to leverage and exploit, too.

@AndreeaC_T   Determines if our content is actually driving leads adn assists in generating revenue. Also helps determine if we’re using the right keywords.
@mcraegj   Do you consider different metrics for different parts of the nurturing funnel?
@AndreeaC_T   It’s a mix and depends on onsite vs external. Onsite: pgs sessions, bounce rate, kw, referral source.

@HeroicSearch   Content audits allow us to, most importantly, determine what’s working. What needs changing.

@BrianRBaker4   Realize content gaps for service based businesses, and helps expand the keywords we can rank for by adding strategic content. Content audits also help determine how effective existing content is.

@lisabuyer   Reality check! What you get from a content audit.

@tannerpetroff   Content audits help determine resources you have & the ones you don’t so you can put a winning strategy together.

@AndreaMLehr   Content audits help us figure out what’s working and what’s not–it’s the simple. Another bonus to a content audit–it helps us locate new opportunities.

@TheAgencyGuyInc   Content Auditing? Be sure to look at competitors, G Trends, segment by persona, and most of all segment by intent.

@CJLio   Gives a better perspective on the amount of work I need to do and also insights to the business on how much they need to do!

@AJutah   At the start of a campaign, a content audit lets you know what you already have to work with and build upon. Great step-by-step Content Audit guide from @quicksprout and @neilpatel.

@directom   It helps us assess the relative scale of how awesome our content is. If it’s good, repeat. Bad, fix it!

@milestech   Exposes gaps in offerings that we need to fill. if people want it and we aren’t writing about it – solve it.

@emily_C27   It allows you realize what’s performing well in order to tailor your content to your audience.

@BruceClayInc   A content audit identifies how your content is working (or not working) to achieve your SEO and digital marketing goals.

@samsitesearch   Audits show areas that are lacking that should be addressed, and whether content is actually driving leads/ meeting goals.

@creativecalif   Sometimes when we audit our content, we see that we can apply our better practiced writing skills to old content.

@KristiKellogg   Content is the foundation of any #SEO effort, so it’s critical to make sure it’s working how you intend it.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to content auditing?

@BerkleyBikes   Content quality is subjective. Evaluating subjective things often presents the same set of issues: everyone has a different definition of success. Telling our client’s “no… you REALLY shouldn’t write your own content.”
@CaitlinBoroden   A compromise for this is to let them write the first draft and then take over for the optimization.
@BrianRBaker4   We’ve resorted to that, but it comes with it’s own challenges.
@AndreeaC_T   True. But ultimately, the only opinion that matters are your visitors. Which chunk of content gets the most traction?
@BerkleyBikes   Even that is subjective. You can debate which KPI is more important, all day long.

@CallMeLouzander   I admit it’s hard to tell clients they need an audit when they don’t think they do. Tips, anyone?
@tannerpetroff   Easiest is point out 3-5 issues you see without completing a full audit. Make sure you let them know that usually where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
@CallMeLouzander   Do you include subjectives e.g “no one would want to read your clunky writing?”
@tannerpetroff   Try to steer clear, but if it’s relevant and you have industry examples of better ways..

@CJLio   Overall, just piecing together the story that their content tells and goals they want/wanted to achieve.

@BrianRBaker4   Thinking outside the box. It’s difficult to do when you’ve worked on a site for a while.

@tannerpetroff   Biggest challenge is deciding how to allocate resources to which project. So many important pieces!

@EricLanderSEO   Informing clients on how truly connected SEO and content are. Many don’t “get it” outside of our industry.

@ammicallef   Putting yourself in the target market’s shoes and determining if the content is truly what the audience wants to read.

@AndreaMLehr   The effectiveness of social shares is hard to gauge–did you earn the shares through bots or genuine interest?
@AndreeaC_T   Right and if you did get traction–determine by bounce rate if it was a bot or human.

@cjmonteblanco   Making sure that the content follows Google’s best practices and updates when the website theme sucks.

@samsitesearch   Sometimes ‘adding more value’ to content you deem to already be awesome/is performing well can be difficult.

@BlueJeansPoet   Making improvements that could backfire and harm areas where you already rank.

@AJutah   One big challenge is collaborating with other departments to contribute content. Lots of perspectives that could be added!
@tannerpetroff   Then when you start getting contributions things can get real messy if you’re not careful.
@AJutah   For sure. Gotta start monitoring images, post quality, legal compliance, etc. Starts getting hectic!
@tannerpetroff   Quickly becomes the job of an entire department.

@milestech   Resource allocation can be a big issue for some companies, should always be taken into accoun.

@Randomhero180   Communicating the importance of content to the client. Also, gauging what will work with a new target audience.

@directom   Older content ported over from an older web design. Broken links galore, Batman! Also judging ease of readability. Target user might understand it perfectly, so do you write for them or dumb it down?

@BruceClayInc   Lack of resources or time. Or, simply, not making it a priority when it should be. Or lack of awareness about state of content.

@creativecalif   While tools help, finding duplicate content can be tough. When the site is HUGE, tough to make sure all content is unique.

@KristiKellogg   Challenge: when a business owner writes content and it’s bad, but they cling to it as if it’s a baby. Stick to what you know.

How often do you perform content audits?

@AndreeaC_T   Monthly

@HeroicSearch   At least once a month.

@EricLanderSEO   They’re ongoing; Competitive balance is always changing – and so too are the data markers used in auditing content. It’s important to know who ELSE is involved though (creative, copy, design, social, etc.) and get them to regularly commit.

@AndreeaC_T   Small one at the end of the month with montly reporting. Then bigger audits every 3 months.

@tannerpetroff   Formal audits once a quarter. Mental audits constantly.

@BrianRBaker4   Maybe bi-yearly? Really whenever we feel necessary depending on the client.

@CJLio   I usually start with GA and GWT to see best performing content currently on site. This helps give some foundation.

@cjmonteblanco   Performing content audits as often as I’ve been walking my dog. Sadly, I don’t have a dog.

@peace_reddy   Monthly would be ideal to understand and analyse.

@Randomhero180   I work for a very small agency. I try to do one once every couple months if time allows.

@lisabuyer   I like to look monthly to see if any #PR content from the company #newsroom had a lift.

@creativecalif   Always during client intake, but after that, we do so on an as-needed basis. Traffic or rank changes are some triggers that we need to do an audit.
@cjmonteblanco   You gotta stay on top of the analytics, so you can either recommend or make changes directly for the better.

@AndreaMLehr   Ongoing–some campaigns explode and we start looking at what worked immediately; others are slower and need more time for stats.

@TheAgencyGuyInc   Сontent audit every 6 months and then develop strategy off of this. Test and iterate 6 months later.

@samsitesearch   Really depends on how much content you have, but if it’s less than once a month you’re losing out. cost/benefit of time spent.

@BlueJeansPoet   It’s difficult to schedule when you’re pivoting and reacting to algo changes and news within your space–it’s constant.

@milestech   The more often the better!!

@AJutah   Big audit at start, then monthly and quarterly. Should continually monitor and adjust strategy as dictated by what’s working.

How do you audit content specifically for seo purposes?

@EricLanderSEO   Last summer @moz published a great walkthrough on content audits by @balibones. Worth your time! I enjoy aspects of @moz @semrush & @spyfu for content auditing, but at a barebones level it BEGINS with Google Search Console.

@AndreeaC_T   Tie kw by funnel from source to lead, to conversion. Page session and new traffic by kw is big too that indicates content authority.

@AndreaMLehr   We look at what keywords pages are ranking for and then compare them to which keywords they “should” be ranking for.

@BruceClayInc    Make sure your pages aren’t resulting in soft 404s by checking the Crawl Errors Report in Search Console.

@BrianRBaker4   H1,H2,H3, Alt Text, Title Text, Anchor Text, Interlinking, LSI keywords, All The Things. To elaborate on my answer – Making sure on-page best practices are there, and monitor their performance.

@BlueJeansPoet   Evaluate titles for ranking kws and relationship with copy. Pair GA and Screaming Frog to speed this up. Lots of practical advice here. Keep user experience at forefront: are site users connecting to the content they want?

@cjmonteblanco   Target for relevant service keywords, optimizing titles/metas/images, and of course creating top-notch, user-friendly content.

@directom   Content and SEO go hand in hand (duh), so try to assess older content to see if worth repurposing or to start fresh.

@peace_reddy   Monitoring traffic gained by the keywords and their SERP changes.

@samsitesearch   Look for gaps in data/ if competition increased. see if there are any new keywords/ search trends that can be integrated.

@CTrappe   The best in #contentmarketing monitor analytics live and respond in real time.

@AJutah   Competitive analyses reveals how your content can overtake your competitors’! Take their articles and make yours even better.

@CJLio   Before I dive into GA and Search Console, I tend to ask the client, what audience are you creating this for? As SEO’s, we all know proper on-page. We can get the traffic there. But how do you know what to audit w/out the audience.

@milestech   Tools like Moz, Majestic, Screaming Frog can be invaluable. BuzzSumo for finding new influencers to share with too.

@CallMeLouzander   Look for cross-linking opportunities. Make old content relevant w/ updates/corrections, re-promote.

@Randomhero180   Creating content that the audience will interact with while targeting relevant keywords through page title, H tags, etc.

@creativecalif   With our eyeballs mostly. Use tools to check headers & article length, but read it to make sure it’s written for ppl, not robots.

What is the best way to handle out-dated content?

@AndreeaC_T   I write new content around it…linking back and discuss changes. We do that with @inviterbiz too especially around SEO and Email working together through blogs and onsite tweaks.

@BerkleyBikes   Refresh if possible. If you can’t, I often suggest leaving it up and making a note that it is outdated.

@EricLanderSEO   Upcycle it or prune it. The telling factors are hidden away in Search Console and your analytics. Be careful not to throw content away too soon, though. It’s easy to think something’s worthless without data.

@BrianRBaker4   Update it.

@HeroicSearch   Recycle, Reuse, and Repurpose!
@lisabuyer   I love this! My motto.

@CaitlinBoroden   This very much depends on the content but there are opportunities for refreshing old content. Definitely!

@tannerpetroff   That’s subjective. Could be refresh, repurpose, link to new version, leave it alone and let it die, etc.

@emily_C27   First check to see if the page is ranking!

@AndreaMLehr   We’ll usually produce campaigns that explicitly say they’re an update to an old one, especially if it performed well initially.

@Randomhero180   Post an update. If there is enough content it’s a great opportunity to link back to a previous post.

@AJutah   If it’s old news, link it to an evergreen page/post. Or just delete it if it’s not getting much traffic or conversions. Competitive analyses reveals how your content can overtake your competitors’! Take their articles and make yours even better.
@directom   Except in those niches where the content doesn’t exist…yet. Getting to be a leader is great…hard though.
@tannerpetroff   I’m not usually a fan of straight up deleting content. Sometimes it’s the right move, though.

@cjmonteblanco   For outdated content that’s still of quality, you can refer back to it in future posts. Get the link juices flowing! Speaking of new content, here are 13 Social Media Practices for Engaging Business Audiences.

@CallMeLouzander   Yep, update or get rid of it. If you update it, you should promote the updated version to let ppl know.

@samsitesearch   Always look to refresh- new keywords, data, messaging if written in the 90s and no longer ‘hip’. useful once, useful again!

@creativecalif   We leave it. Dated content can still be stable content that has history. It’s better to refresh than to remove. If the content has a shelf life, sometimes it’s a lost cause. If it can be updated or extracted into evergreen, do it.

@ammicallef   Just being old isn’t the issue, but outdated is. if it’s no longer relevant, then it’s no longer beneficial to keep.
@AndreeaC_T   Sometimes removing does more harm in terms of backlinks tied to that page. Better to update instead.
@milestech   Could create a new piece on a similar topic & mention the old piece, could actually be useful to be outdated e.g. SEO trends.
@CallMeLouzander   I respectfully disagree. When hit by Panda, there are times when you just have too much content. Sure, look at links, redirect if necessary, but there are times to clean out the attic, for sure.
@AndreeaC_T   I’ve never been hit yet so I haven’t had that issue

@BlueJeansPoet   Old content + improved and updated content X Design = Awesome.

@peace_reddy   Use 301 redirects if its listing in 1st page or else leave it as it is.

What do you do about content that is of good quality, but not performing well?

@AndreeaC_T   Figure out why and test new keywords, title, images. Check Google trends even to see if topic is even relevant.

@EricLanderSEO   Test it. Test it’s layout, placement, internal linking and optimization. Make sure it has a chance to perform before judging it. If it’s not great as it stands, chunk it out, break it up or dive even deeper. Good elements lead to great pieces.
@AndreaMLehr   Great advice on breaking it up–sometimes your audience wants more of one idea in particular!
@AJutah   Testing is a huge part of effective content marketing. Should be a regular thing.
@EricLanderSEO   Completely agree – both on a larger scale (site/category) and on a piece scale (page/post).

@AndreaMLehr   A great place to start is by looking at the comments section–what is your audience saying they would like to see more of? Also compare the content to something that performed well–what are key similarities and glaring distinctions?

@BruceClayInc   Content can be great, but if it’s not using the right keyword, your users won’t find it. Speak their language. Do KW research.

@BerkleyBikes   “Not performing well” is super broad. The first thing is to figure out why it’s not living up to expectations.

@creativecalif   Promote it! Social, direct marketing, pitches, etc.

@AJutah   Identify a new demographic to market to via Facebook, update the content and run an ad to see if it gets traction. Also “not performing well” needs to be defined. Likes & RTs don’t always lead to conversions!

@BlueJeansPoet   Well-written, factual content can fail if it’s not related to site user needs.

@lisabuyer   Optimize,socialize and publicize – add some social paid to it as a strategy.

@emily_C27   There’s always an option to Reuse, recycle, repurpose! Might look good as an infographic.

@Randomhero180   Test different elements to try and improve performance. Things like title, page layout, images, etc.
@BlueJeansPoet   Maybe add to that list tone- the writing may be too academic, salesy, or casual. Sometimes an easy fix.

@samsitesearch   If 100% sure it’s good quality, asking influencers (you know) to take a look and provide their opinion/ share could help boost.

@cjmonteblanco   Have inbound links to pages that are ranking well. Again, juice it up.

@tannerpetroff   Was it promoted well? If it was, then test and see if you can make incremental improvements. Keep promoting ’til it dies.

@CallMeLouzander   What makes it good quality? Is it relevant for your site? How does it fit into your funnels/themes? Have you promoted it well?

@milestech   There’s always a new trend, so try to include something super new to get attention (on social). Revamp content titles.

@directom   Assuming it’s actually good, distribution is the issue. Influencers, paid ads, etc. Plug your stuff appropriately!
@samsitesearch   right, if it’s worth refreshing, do it. but obviously consider that it’s 100% the right option. don’t waste time.

What’s a good number of content pieces you should have before conducting an audit?

@HeroicSearch   I don’t think there’s a minimum. An audit is there to help you find what is lacking. That might include content!

@tannerpetroff   Any. If you don’t have much content, the audit becomes less about what you have, more about what you’re missing.

@KristiKellogg   There’s no no minimum. Even one page can be improved.

@EricLanderSEO   In my experience, content gap analyses really come into play on sites of ~30+ pages. Smaller than that, and KWR is needed more.
@tannerpetroff   Even with that many pages, I’d still include kw research.
@EricLanderSEO   Apologize for underplaying the role of KW research in content audits. All sites can use it, but smaller sites need it more, IMO. General content audit rule of thumb: Smaller sites need content built from keyword research; Larger sites need help pruning.

@AndreeaC_T   I don’t think there is a set number. It really depends on the org and how much content is being generated.

@AndreaMLehr   Depends on the end goal–if you’re looking to compare assets, you’d only need one campaign with something dynamic and static. Client side though, you’d want a few to compare–especially if you’re trying to convince them on one idea over another.

@Randomhero180   No minimum, but it’s hard to improve sites with little content. The answer may be developing an initial content strategy.

@cjmonteblanco   I don’t think there’s a magic number. Make regular audits to ensure your content is still getting the recognition it deserves!

@samsitesearch   maybe there’s not really a ‘good number’ because an audit can still be useful even with 1 piece.

@BlueJeansPoet   Agree with no minimum, but you need KPIs to evaluate whether goals are being met.

@milestech   It really depends on the goals of the audit and what you want to accomplish, plus resources you have to perform it.

@AJutah   Again, it depends on a lot of factors. How often are you posting on social media? How much content are you curating? How large is your writing crew? How much $ do you have for content promotion/AdWords? There’s no magic number.

How do you work through all the content of a larger site?

@EricLanderSEO   Prioritize based on traffic, link equity and ranking success & signals. Then, work topically based on keyword matrixes. Important: Panda is 4 yrs old & Panda 4.2 just 1 mo old. Still plenty Google’s doing to tweak algorithms for understanding content. It’s easy for us to over-invest in Google rhetoric when conducting content audits – but there’s much more at stake than a SERP.

@ammicallef   Conduct a landing page audit and look at content on pages that are losing traffic first bc these are top priority.

@HeroicSearch   A piece at a time. Unless you have a team, and you can break it up a bit more.

@BlueJeansPoet   Start with using the best performing pages based on GA, then evaluate KWs you want to rank for.

@Randomhero180   Go for the low hanging fruit first. Then it’s time and making sure you have enough resources.
@cjmonteblanco   Even if content is lacking, there’s lots of room for improving it with rich, relevant and unique information.

@AndreaMLehr   Determine which pages you want to drive conversions and start from there

@AndreeaC_T   Be super organized!! Rely on good data from @moz, @authoritylabs to determine which pages are driving the most traction. Setup funnels for specific pages that drive leads and potential behavior paths.

@tannerpetroff   Take a deep breath and grab some coffee. Prioritize existing content and dive in. Check trends and find gaps in content.

@samsitesearch   Establish from your KPIs which pieces are performing best to worse (vice versa) and go from there. depends on resources though.

@milestech   Many times a good idea is just to follow the site’s navigational structure and address content pieces as they come up that way.

@BruceClayInc   Prioritize main pages first!

@cjmonteblanco   You’re going to have to break it down, starting with the main service pages. Pay attention to rankings, too.

Do you find it difficult to convince clients/c-suites to justify the time needed to spend on content audits?

@ammicallef   Easier than justifying other SEO tactics, bc most would agree that content is king.

@tannerpetroff   Surprisingly I don’t have much push-back on audits. Trouble is dedicating serious resources to creation/promotion.

@AndreeaC_T   No. They want to know what’s working and what isn’t.

@EricLanderSEO   I struggle selling my SEO/content audits daily. Notions of pumping out more content is more tempting than fixing what’s broken.
@tannerpetroff   Especially when it comes to branding & voice. A lot of SEOs just ignore that & it blows me away.

@AndreaMLehr   It’s not difficult finding the time as much as explaining what’s in the audit and why we should choose one strategy vs another.
@EricLanderSEO   @AndreaMLehr nails it here; The investment buy-off is contingent upon having key players invested in the underlying plan.

@cjmonteblanco   It’s often a no-brainer. Content is tangible and easy to see and understand for clients. What’s difficult is ongoing updates.

@Randomhero180   Depends on the client. But most just want do what will generate the best results.

@directom   Shouldn’t be. They hired us to write content, so we gotta show them how we’re doing. That whole…”ROI” thing.

@samsitesearch   Not had a ton of difficulty. provide some data and say ‘hey this is what we could get out of it with XYZ resources’.

@milestech   Many clients are open to an audit because a commitment to discovery/ improvement means progress.

What tools or platforms do you use for content audits?

@AndreeaC_T   Google Analtyics, @authoritylabs, @moz are the ones I use

@EricLanderSEO   For an SEO content audit, you need to leverage Google’s Search Console. It’s free and always updated w/ Google’s unique view. 3rd party tools & resources are great supplements, including @buzzsumo @moz @semrush and @spyfu. Just use your own data, too! Props on the @screamingfrog suggestion. The new GA integration is amazing for auditing purposes!

@AndreeaC_T   You guys @authoritylabs has a Now Provided report for pages that is GOLD!! love it!

@cjmonteblanco   Microsoft Excel does wonders despite its lackluster.

@emily_C27   GA and GWT comparison, along with @screamingfrog are my go-to’s.

@Randomhero180   Google Sheets, Google Search Console and Google Analytics.

@tannerpetroff   @screamingfrog @moz @googleanalytics @googlewmc and many, many others.

@AndreaMLehr   Simple @google searches and @moz are two big ones.
@CallMeLouzander   Exactly. A “site: ” + keyword reveals what on your site Google associates with that keyword.

@samsitesearch   I have actually just started using Screaming Frog and have found a ton of value in it from an SEO content audit standpoint.
@tannerpetroff   It will change your life. Best crawler around.

@misfttweek   I am a huge fan of SEMrush

Summary: Reporting & Data Analysis for Marketers on #SEOchat

Moderator: @ToriCushing

What are you top struggles with data analysis?

@singerswings   We drive traffic to a website which funnels users to our actual ecommerce site… a lot of info gets lost in translation. So looking at which landing page it came from is helpful, and creating custom landing pages.

@StefSettanni   Big struggles with finding REAL referral traffic in Google Analytics and filtering out spam bots for smaller clients. Giving additional color to analytics data through Google Search Console, SEO Software, SEMrush can also be a challenge at times.
@paulaspeak   True! Can’t wait for @googlewmc to fix the referrer spam problem.

@SocialMichelleR   Just the bulk of data available is a struggle. How do I track what’s most valuable.

@GoBrandify   For many marketers, the issue is honing in on relevant data to create next steps and strategies. When it comes to local, marketers lack tools that help them sort AND evaluate their data.

@BruceClayInc   Making sense of the numbers. Finding wisdom in the data. Of course, not provided doesn’t help. Educating clients up front makes all the difference. Also, provide customized reports they can understand. We actually require new SEO clients to attend our SEOToolSet Training course. No extra fee; it’s incl w/ their contract.
@aknecht   Old saying “A well educate customer is my best customer”.

@markdhansen   Distilling what’s important in the data and presenting to clients effectively.

@netvantage   Spam referrals in GA has been an issue as of late. Particularly in WP websites it seems. Started using plugins to help.

@tannerpetroff   Biggest problem is determining the metrics that matter most, and making sense of them when you’ve got them.

@creativecalif   Disseminating between real visitors and robots or the wrong visitors can be tough at times.
@markdhansen   Yes, the Google Analytics spam problem is out of hand.

@directom   Struggles? Automation. We know our KPI’s, but right now reporting is a manual process.

@aknecht   Making sure the client understands complex data & it`s meaning as well as I do when don`t understand analytics. I always like try to give my clients a 1-2 days of training course on the basics of using & understanding analytics.
@directom   Definitely a good idea in terms of transparency, too. We like setting them up with custom dashboards in GA!
@aknecht   Yes custom dashboards are nice, but if the client doesn’t know what the number mean or how to use they’re a useless tool.

@sozenpost   Figuring out which analytical platforms work best to produce the data your business is looking for to grow its target audience.

@milestech   Big data can sometimes be too big. important to block out the noise and focus on the things that matter to your client/company

@allmikehall   Clients often want to look at all the data. Important to focus on not what’s interesting but what’s important.

@Tinu   Dealing with missing datasets I could rely on before (not provided) & translating my finds into English.

@stekenwright   Numbers in GA don’t match actual revenue because of returns etc. Don’t always have visibility of the real takings. Trying to focus on outcomes not outputs. Sometimes meaningful metrics are ignored to zone in on things like link targets.

@cltaylor8   Helping clients understand metrics & that testing is required to develop strong marketing strategies.

@mysiteauditor   Our customers often struggle with translating data into actionable insights for their clients.
@markdhansen   Define goals TOGETHER with client. Set them up in Google Analytics. Report on these.

@keithgoode   Not knowing what might have happened to affect rankings and traffic outside of my purview (i.e Dev changes).

@JessicaKandler   Convincing clients of the importance of secondary + tertiary metrics- leads + revenue matter, but so does traffic, engagement.

How many clients/ceos/managers do you think actually look at your reporting? How do you increase the number?

@singerswings   At least 1 of 5 look at mine :) Sat down with each country mgr to see what info they want & made sure they understand each #.

@kotmseo   I don’t think anyone in the C-suite views my reporting. If I could tie visits to high dollars, they would.

@milestech   Tell a meaningful story with reporting – instead of just of metrics, make it relatable to biz performance. increase interest!

@pjmckeown   I use tracking links with my reports to see how many people actually view them. Unless I bring them to them, very little. Most of my reports are in Google Docs, so it’s easy to do that way.

@JessicaKandler   A colleague had a CEO literally melt down on a call bc he didn’t get basic metrics. Knowing who you’re talking to is SO vital. After that incident, we created a metric cheat sheet + stuck solely to leads, revenue + major gains for CEO convos.
@markdhansen   Good approach. Notes (story) intermixed with charts/tables help. Notes can include stock definitions of all metrics.

@netvantage   We seek feedback especially on the first few reports. If haven’t heard from client in a while always reach out before they do.

@SocialMichelleR   Sadly, decision makers are far too happy to set and forget and trust that we will make magic happen.

@markdhansen   Clients look at data if they collaborated with you to define the goals/conversions being reported on.

@directom   We like to think most if not all are reading them. The key here is make them care about the numbers.

@BruceClayInc   We maintain regular contact with our clients to make sure they are fully abreast of our SEO reporting. The SEOToolSet reports make it easier for us to show SEO progress that’s relevant to client execs. We designed them!

@aknecht   All look at it & then file it way. Lucky if 1 or 2 actually read it & are to prepared to take action based on it.

@keithgoode   Depends on co. size, mgmt style, data-savvy, etc. But you increase viewing by producing reports that are relevant. CEOs may only want to see Revenue +/-, Share of Voice, etc. CMOs may care more about competitive landscape, etc.

@creativecalif   Most clients like to see their ranks rise then use the general “feel” of business as a gauge. Most don’t really look at the data. Sometimes a client is being seen more (impressions), sometimes that we’re better at targeting their market (actions) & so on.

@allmikehall   Understand if there is specific info they are looking for. Specific landing pages? Link building? Avoid cookie cutter reporting.
@markdhansen   Everybody keeps saying that rankings are misleading these days. But, clients still insist on seeing them!

@Tinu   I think execs look at the summary. To gain more, have to make the report show what they care about.

@GoBrandify   If marketers aren’t showing value and analysis through their reports, they may look but not SEE the importance.

@cltaylor8   Have a conversation to support reporting. This builds their trust in your expertise & recommendations.

@SocialMichelleR   from #periscope Do you think that CEOs and decision makers would read if there was a compelling data story?
@pjmckeown   Nope. They are too busy. Only want it when there is an issue. Then all hell breaks loose.
@markdhansen   @pjmckeown I respectfully disagree. Many CEOs are data driven. Just need to include data they care about / understand. Think KPIs.
@pjmckeown   I agree, not saying all are not. Went through KPIs data many times with ours, but just don’t read. Previous ones have.
@aknecht   @pjmckeown Some CEOs are data driven & I love those CEOs, just not enough or they don’t understand the data.
@emcgillivray   @markdhansen @pjmckeown You gotta tie the data back to the company’s greater goals & talk about the numbers they care about.
@aknecht   Most CEOs don’t read reports they don’t have the time. They want 1/2 -1 page of easy to understand visuals.
@markdhansen   Yes, absolutely, story is key. Makes it more interesting and less work to understand the data.
@GoBrandify   Yes! We add color to the story w/ a Brand Score for each location evaluated. Anyone at any level can understand.

@denverish   I’m a big believer of the power of the interactive exec summary. Lots of times they only read that, but it’s get read! And use lots of visuals.

@kotmseo   I don’t think anyone in the C-suite views my reporting. If I could tie visits to high dollars, they would.
@ToriCushing   Tying data to revenue is not as easy task sometimes.
@kotmseo   No, esp when there are so many other tactics driving traffic 2 the website. I’m tasked to put a dollar to SEO traffic.

@ammicallef   Focus on YoY changes. Be able to explain trends and what you’re doing to impact them.

What tools make data easier to manage?

@milestech   Pivot tables in excel are great!
@ToriCushing   Pivot tables are the actual best!!

@pjmckeown   Tools that help automate where you can. Analytics Canvas in Google Docs works well.

@emily_C27   GA! but always when compared against Webmaster tools.

@keithgoode   At the enterprise level, you really need a platform to be able to manage the data without that being your only task. Not just dashboards. Compiling the data from various sources too. I.e. Ranking, Analytics, Search Console, etc.
@GoBrandify   Yes! If enterprises get caught up in the data coming in, they can’t move forward w/ strategies going out.

@SocialMichelleR   I love dashboards, myself. I need something that’s already automated based on performance we need to track.

@markdhansen   Shameless plug for @Megalytic. Our tool makes it fast and easy to create great client reports.

@ammicallef   Well graphs make data easier to digest. Trend lines of YoY & MoM changes are easy to understand visuals.

@GoBrandify   We’re a bit biased, but Brandify puts #localsearch #data into context.

@netvantage   Good screenshot software! Jing from @Techsmith is great for that.

@directom   Google Analytics. Ya know, because we’re trend setters. But we also love @Linkdex for KW tracking!

@kotmseo   Currently using @brightedge at work, which is great. Learning @moz for side work.

@allmikehall   For reporting on link prospecting activity SEO Tools for Excel helps you provide metrics.

@mysiteauditor   For SEO audit data, our tool uses a clean layout + visuals so the data is super clear to your clients (shameless plug).

What are your top data functions/formulas?

@aknecht   The most appropriate for the client & their digital properties. I look primarily at growth KPIs + ROI breakdowns.

@pjmckeown   vlookups, concat, hyperlink, ifs and others mixed with SEOTOOLS for Excel. Can’t forget SEOTools for Excel. And now @screamingfrog includes GA connectivity, but so far it’s been flaky.
@AnalyticsEdge   Worth looking at AnalyticsEdge while you’re browsing. Excel automation.

@BruceClayInc   VLookup.

@milestech   Had a lot of good use out of concatenate recently.

@KristiKellogg   Neil Bosma’s SEO Tools plugin.

@FlyingSmitty   I’ll cut back the snark, most agencies I’ve worked for have the “best tool in the industry” and just scrape free data.
@BruceClayInc   Justin, just for the record, our SEOToolSet doesn’t scrape; it uses paid APIs. Guilty as charged, though, for promoting them.
@FlyingSmitty   I’m just a hater ;) I’ve worked for several small agencies that had bigger bark than bite. No direct attacks were intended.

@ToriCushing   Mine is INDEX(MATCH) formula in Excel.

@markdhansen   Micro conversions (form completions, email signups) r top data funcs. Really just goals. Big insight abt what creates engagement.

@aknecht   Everyone forgets about annotation. It helps give meaning to the data. Need better annotation tools.

Where can we draw the line between useful amount of data and an opulence?

@keithgoode   Again, this goes back to appropriate story-telling. All data can be useful with the right audience.
@markdhansen   Absolutely! It is almost meaningless to discuss the value of data without also considering the audience.

@GoBrandify   It really depends on the marketers’ objectives. You can use a lot of data if you need to use a lot of data.

@ReviewTrackers   Between useful data and data that is easy-to-use. If we can obtain it, but not use it easily, how useful is it?

@directom   Teaching clients how to look at data should provide insights on their relative ability to understand it.

@milestech   It’s that difference between that data that you absolutely 100% need vs. the ‘nice to have’ but rarely use. less is more.

@netvantage   Sometimes in the amount of time it takes to put the report together. Literally takes away from the time spent doing SEO!

@kotmseo   Knowledge is knowing everything a tool *can* report on. Wisdom is knowing which data you *should* report on.

@ammicallef   Focus on KPIs and leave out “fluff.” Consider what’s important to the client and give insight on that.

@creativecalif   We have to cater the data to each clients’ needs. Some need comprehensive reports, some just need to hear “everything is fine.” The hardest part is learning the relationship and needs of each.

@allmikehall   When going over a report in person with a client, what data do you focus on? Everything else might not be relevant.

Does having branded colors and good organization make a difference in reporting when the number are the same?

@aknecht   It’s not what you say, but how you say it. So 100% yes!!!!!

@pjmckeown   Once you get the data right, absolutely. Keep things consistent so ppl know what to expect.

@FlyingSmitty   That’s why UI and UX departments exist.

@markdhansen   I didn’t used to think so, but a lot of people care deeply about the branding. The right branding conveys credibility.

@denverish   Absolutely! You need to present the report so that it appeals to visual learners. And organize it so it is both easy to scan (executive summary, ahem) AND dig into the details if desired/needed.

@JessicaKandler   100%, absolutely, yes! For a consultant, it helps instill your value + credibility.

@creativecalif   Yes. Clients LOVE little green upward arrows!

@BruceClayInc   Good presentation is great, but it’s no subsitute for actual results.

@milestech   yes -being as professional as possible develops trust, so more likely to get data driven recommendations implemented

@kotmseo   Yes. That’s like asking if I should wear pants during a presentation. Presentation matters!

@StephenHoops   To be honest, anything you create should be an opportunity for appropriate branding. Consistency is key.

@ammicallef   Absolutely. As SEOs we see things in data others don’t. Branding/colors help make our main points clear to our audience.

Summary: Content Marketing and SEO on #SEOchat

Moderator: @AndreaMLehr

Topic: how content marketing and SEO complement each other and how to measure the success of this relationship.

Relationship between SEO and content marketing: what connects the two? Are there any key distinctions?

@BrianRBaker4   Content marketing aids SEO to link-building.

@milestech   They complement each other! content marketing = making awesome stuff people want to read. SEO = making sure they can find it.

@AndreaMLehr   In one simple phrase, SEO and content marketing are connected on “quality over quantity”. SEO works through links, and you earn those links by producing high-quality content.

@AndreeaC_T   Content marketing has become SEO really. Offsite content– guest blogging, articles in legitmate sources, offsite blogs, that’s content that shoudl be SEO optimized too.

@Casieg   Content marketing helps drive an SEO program. Understanding the content you’re producing & for whom is key.

@SocialMichelleR   What connects content and SEO is the human element.

@emily_C27   SEO and CM go hand in hand. Using Keywords to optimize content is just one example.

@KristiKellogg   You can’t do #SEO without content — it’s impossible. There’d be nothing to optimize.

@RyanJones   SEO basically IS content marketing.

@EricLanderSEO   Successful SEO requires quality content & quality content is rewarded with SEO traffic. In other words, if “SEO” & “Content Marketing” were Facebook friends, their relationship status would be “It’s complicated.”

@netvantage   They go hand-in-hand. Content marketing can lead to links to improve SEO.

@cltaylor8   A connection is relevancy. Content needs to be of current interest to the audience unless they will not seek out content online.

@BruceClayInc   SEO & content go hand-in-hand. Always have, always will.

@allmikehall   Keywords are a key distinction. Content created from kw research data does leaps and bounds better than without kw research.

@AJutah   SEO is the discipline of optimizing for search engines, while Content Marketing is focused on marketing through content.

@utahphotobank   Content & SEO are connected in purpose and vision, but executed differently.

@alexpeerenboom   You can also look at externally and internally: optimizing your own content (internal) and the links it generates (external).

@mwilton13   SEO is a task. Content marketing is a larger strategy. SEO will help content marketing, but u could technically do it without.

@JesseStoler   Content marketing is an essential component of a successful SEO campaign. Of the internet is a vehicle, content is the fuel.

@creativecalif   Simply put, SEO needs content, and content marketing is made up of content. There’s a lot of overlap to use to your advantage.

@markdhansen   Search algorithms now are sophisticated, so technical seo is less important and its mostly abt content marketing.

@cjmonteblanco   Content marketing is becoming the norm, but throwing in SEO into the mix to drives up traffic and ranking.

Given the strong relationship between the two, what are some ways you integrate SEO into your content marketing efforts?

@AndreeaC_T   Because it’s more than just text: images & Video too, using alt descriptions and titles, etc.

@netvantage   We always have “leftover keywords” not used on product/service pages. Fantastic for content marketing.
@LiveOptim_US   We always have “leftover keywords” not used on product/service pages. Fantastic for content marketing.

@SocialMichelleR   It’s the semantics, not just keywords but the meaning behind the keyword. We find that long tail keywords work really well for tightly targeted audience segments. From #Periscope tested tags. Found that less than 5 tags actually rank better than stuffing tags.

@AndreeaC_T   Ex Youtube — optimized descriptions, titles, tags. Then when shared, you get that SEO boost

@AJutah   Always add longtail keywords into your content. Reddit and Wikipedia are great resources for research.

@AndreaMLehr   Keywords: research them and utilize them strategically throughout your content; remember they should sound natural, not stuffed.

@CaitlinBoroden   Make sure your content is easily understood by readers but also the search bots.

@EricLanderSEO   Content marketers can’t be limited to keyword strategies. Success require authentic audience engagement strategies. To integrate SEO, you’ll need to focus on well structured content that reads well, makes sense and addresses audience needs.

@utahphotobank   Try to consider search intent when crafting your content. This includes search engines, Facebook search, image search, etc.

@Casieg   Content allows us to answer the questions our users have (and are searching for). Content marketing helps us reach those users.

@DevDawg   Integration? Shouldn’t they already be integrated? Seperating the two seems foolish.

@TheBuyerGroup   Choose one primary keyword phrase per press release or article. Keep in mind that your brand isn’t always the keyword!

@mwilton13   Consider your outreach/link opportunities as you’re developing your content marketing strategies.
@DevDawg   I’d say consider users first and will they enjoy the content and that’s it.
@mwilton13   For sure, but if u want to partner with media or blog outlets for your campaign it doesnt hurt toinclude this in planning.

@allmikehall   Content marketing can always be used to answer questions – long tail keywords – of your target audience.

@JesseStoler   It’s important 2 create content/titles that r searchable. Don’t just write what u want 2 write, write what people want 2 read.

@milestech   Use the right keywords NATURALLY in the content – make it amazing. Then plenty of quality outreach to the right people.

@alexpeerenboom   SEO also includes HOW your audiences consumes the content. Just reading, or more interactive with video, interactive graph?

@RyanJones   Don’t ask “how can I make this rank for __” Ask “what do people searching __ expect?” Then write/build that.

@creativecalif   Integrate SEO and CM by prioritizing content based on most commonly researched topics, never forgetting about readability.

Keywords seem like a popular way to integrate the two. How do you determine your keywords, and frequently do you update them?

@EricLanderSEO   It may not be a popular opinion, but I don’t let content marketing’s START w/ focus on keywords. Audiences, yes. Keywords, no.
@AndreaMLehr   Agreed–starting on keywords made lead you down a “bot” path over more human connections.

@AndreeaC_T   Existing data from GA, competitor research–what they’re using in their content. Experiment– type in a search phrase and see what else Google serves up. Don’t forget google trends. Don’t be afraid of offline efforts either. Listen to sales/customer service & ID what phrases they’re using.

@DevDawg   You should use your keywords based on search traffic, conversation data, what users are searching, your industry, etc.

@AJutah   I’m a big fan of analyzing site search queries. What are people looking for when they’re searching on your site?

@utahphotobank   Your core list of terms will usually stay consistent, but long tail queries will change depending on season, news cycle, etc.

@cltaylor8   It’s about audience behavior. Knowing your audience allows you to choose keywords that they are most likely to search for.

@SocialMichelleR   Social media listening is a key part of how we continue to identify topics and create relevant content.

@netvantage    Ask your client what they think their audience would be searching for. Also use GA and WMT for keyword ideas. Determine keyword priorities by keyword volumes, competition levels and common sense. Adwords Keyword Planner comes in handy.

@allmikehall   Use tools. I love – use their questions section. Then establish top keyword targets and develop content.

@singerswings   Bing webmaster tools gives good insight. See the long tails people are using to find you, answer their questions.

@markdhansen   Get keywords from personas. Study how real ppl in ur audience talk and write. Get inside their heads.

@milestech   Come up with the topic/ idea first, then look into keywords. is pretty good.

@Casieg   I like to find what people are asking & the keywords/phrases they are using in those questions/comments.

@AndreaMLehr   Look at posts on targeted sites to determine what they’re talking about; use Google Trends to add focus and context to each word. Also simply being social: listen to what your target audience is saying on socal media and update your keywords accordingly.
@utahphotobank   Polls are great for research! Ask your Facebook community a question and note their answers.
@TheBuyerGroup   Absolutely! Create Twitter lists for each market segment allowing you to be more targeted in your analysis.

@cjmonteblanco   Find low-medium competitive keywords in @adwords. LSI keywords, too!

@Navahk   There are great tools like Scribe And @BruceClayInc SEOToolSet

@mwilton13   Go beyond keyword tools. Explore audience needs. What questions are they asking online? What do they search on your site?

@jennyhalasz   I thought this might be relevant for your discussion! via @stonetemple: Interview of me over on the BrightEdge blog on why content marketing is the key to success.

Aside from keywords, your SEO efforts can be elevated through high-quality content. How do you ensure your content adds value?

@AJutah   Make sure your posts are actionable enough to answer the initial question, but also go above and beyond with value.

@EricLanderSEO   Added value comes from quality recording and analysis of analytics, social sharing & commentary review and link building. I’d also advocate for understanding how content structure and layout can aid both users and SEO potential on page.

@AndreeaC_T   Stay away from blatant sales pitches. Make it “human”. I focus on making content educational and being a thought leader, linking to relevant pgs. Those pgs should have calls 2 action. Use annotations in GA to big/notable content features.

@SocialMichelleR   Touch more learning styles. Create written content, images, video, and podcasts.

@BruceClayInc   Link to appropriate content for FURTHER reading, include calls to action that keep them on your site. Add pics. Slides. Videos.

@utahphotobank   Watch your Analytics. Look at top 10 posts each month, and review bounce rate, time on page, exit page & other KPIs.

@CaitlinBoroden   If possible.. ask around. Figure out what your customers needs and wants are.

@milestech   If you haven’t worked your fingers to the bone trying to answer your target audience’s questions, you’re doing it wrong

@mysiteauditor   Actionable tips and resources, data, and real life case studies.

@jessesem   Make sure your content is not easily replicable. Teach vs tell. Does your content answer a user’s query so completely that they don’t need to hit the back button and refine their search?

@JesseStoler   Make sure it’s engaging. make sure it’s informative. make sure it’s beneficial 2 readers. + make sure it has Ryan Gosling memes.
@jessesem   Ryan Gosling memes are a key component of the online marketing toolbelt.

@netvantage   Analytics! Review bounce rates, time on site, pages per visit and determine what content was successful and why.

@DavidProHQ   To add value, you have to understand a reader’s needs, wants, and beliefs. Having your customer personas nailed down. Think of all the objections a reader could have and answer all of them in the article.

@Navahk   Listening to your audience can give you insight + testing it with snippets of tweets or FB posts to see if they’re engaged.

@cjmonteblanco   Hyperlinks, high-quality images with text, and rich content in the body that exceeds the expectations of the user’s query.

@AndreaMLehr   If your content answers specific questions while also leaving room for interpretation and discussion, you’ve added value.

@alexpeerenboom   Bloomberg’s “What is Code” is great example of value beyond keywords.

What are some of the popular metrics you use to measure a campaign’s success?

@AndreeaC_T   Set up content origins in GA and track conversions. If using a crm– look at where your conversions came from. Did they read a content? A blog? Add that to SEO conversions. I track SEO conversions based attribution–where conversions came from & note if it was offsite or onsite.
@pjmckeown   Let’s not get too fancy now. CRM able to track that. LOL I have this headache everyday.
@AndreeaC_T   LOL I double check my CRM’s data to be keep them honest
@pjmckeown   We are in the process of redoing CRM, I attended a meeting last week (they’ve been 9mos in dev) and mentioned lead scoring. Their response: What’s that?
@AndreeaC_T   UGH. Oh my. No words. I have to constantly give my CRM reps lessons in marketing.

@SocialMichelleR   Referral traffic. How did the content propagate across the digital spaces. From #Periscope GA tracking where traffic comes from and how long they stay.

@milestech   Depends on the type of content and what stage of the funnel is being targeted. could be lead volume, could be social signals. If influencers and your target audience are picking it up and sharing it, then it’s a success!

@Casieg   Leads/Sales are obviously top priority but getting people into funnel is also a plus. Did they come back?
@EricLanderSEO   This. You should all find ways to see how marketed content aids in (viewthrough/assisted) conversions!

@EricLanderSEO   Go way beyond the default and include author metrics, engagement depth and organic social enrollment.

@MarketingMeisha   Engagement metrics (time on page, etc.), Social metrics (sharing, etc.), and conversion metrics (sales, etc.) are all important!

@cltaylor8   Share-ability! You’ve hit the jackpot when your audience values your content enough to share w/their network.

@markdhansen   Set up goals in Google Analytics. Content marketing and SEO should be measured against specific micro-goals.

@jessesem   New referring domains, social shares, revenue/goal success events, CTR, time on page, bounce rate.

@netvantage   Organic & referral traffic, both month-to-month & year-to-year. Conversions are also a good metric to look at.

@RyanJones   Sales. because, at the end of the day, why else do the campaign?
@pjmckeown   Some places it’s about awareness, Non-profits, etc. My old place didn’t sell.
@RyanJones   Replace sales with otherwise main goal of website. donations, leads, etc.

@mysiteauditor   To measure content success, look at traffic, engagement (ie time on site), social shares, + conversions in google analytics.

@allmikehall   Year over year metrics (of all kinds). So many businesses are seasonal – have to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples.
@AndreaMLehr   LOVE this. Always want to keep in mind the larger picture–after all, campaigns should be part of a bigger strategy.

@AJutah   That’s a good question, but *metrics* don’t always equal Key Performance Indicators (KPI).

@AndreaMLehr   In a study from @fractlagency and @moz, leads, high-quality links, and social shares were at the top.

@cjmonteblanco   Tracking conversions (shares, comments, new subscriptions, purchases, visitor rate, time on site) after sharing new content.

@utahphotobank   Focus on things that end in results: conversions, appointments, leads, $$$.

@SocialMichelleR   Tracking traffic by device is also important. Are you serving your mobile audience?

@JesseStoler   Shares and links account for two of my favorites, but conversions are most important, whatever conversions may mean to yr site. As my man Alec Baldwin says, “Always Be Converting.”

Some indicated the number of links. In terms of total links vs. the authority of a link, which would you argue is more valuable?

@AndreeaC_T   Authority hands down. If u want external links, reach out to influential ppl with high social following and PARTNER with them on content linking back.

@EricLanderSEO   Both, with certain context. Quality for editorial links, volume for social shares and op/ed bloggers. There are some “quality link builders” out there who would love to have you believe otherwise.
@AJutah   Building links is still an important part of SEO. Definitely a right and wrong way to do it, though.
@EricLanderSEO   Completely agree – and I’m one of the few I know who would still prefer to hire legitimate link builders. I would always argue if there’s new content being generated, I always want more outreach specialists.

@AndreeaC_T   If the focus is quantity of links, you get trapped into bad linking.

@MarketingMeisha   I tend to lead towards quality over quantity, though ideally both.

@AJutah   Lots of *naturally* acquired links = valuable content, but site authority is determined by link authority.

@SocialMichelleR   Quality, authority, and relevance are far and away more important than pure quantity of links. From #periscope tons of non relevant poor quality links will actually hurt you.

@creativecalif   Visits, bounce rate, time on site, conversions. The usual! Authority, by far. Not only is it weighed more heavily, but you actually have a chance of referral traffic from popular sites.

@AlanBleiweiss   Quantity cannot be superior to quality if the quality is strong enough. 1 can be more valuable than 1,000. Quality links bring real, relevant traffic AND off-site authority signals. Quality links will RARELY jeopardize a site (except when Google screws up). Quantity will USUALLY do so. Quantity instead of quality is NOT a noble SEO goal with links. It’s a shiny object vortex of wasted resources. Quantity link pursuit inevitably leads to toxic, false patterns, paints a target on the site. Quantity link pursuit inevitably leads to fake attempts at quality.

@allmikehall   I’d throw in an additional link metric – relevancy. Majestic, Ahrefs, etc. are pushing relevancy metrics to help link builders.

@jessesem   Authoritative, relevant link is better than many, many low authority links.

@AndreaMLehr   Google favors the quality of your content more than the quantity, so I’d argue the same when it comes to links. High-authority publishers tend to have highly-engaged followers as well, so content amplification is also stronger.

@cjmonteblanco   Quality > quantity. But if you’re winning over localities, quantity may also deem valuable.

@Navahk   Authority = quality ..we all know how that saying goes.

@mysiteauditor   Definitely authority! Quality links over quantity, always

@JadedTLC   Since the beginning of sustainable SEO – links should always be quality.

@BruceClayInc   We pulled together recent wisdom on #linkbuilding, including quotes from many: Linkbuilding and Thoughts on Linkbuilding.

Another popular metric is total social shares. How would you explain the value of shares to an industry outsider?

@AJutah   Social share counts can be manipulated. I approach it as a trust-building metric. How does social really affect bottom line?

@pjmckeown   Same as IRL. You tell two friends, they tell two friends and so on. Same as content distribution.

@EricLanderSEO   Focus on the social reach and influencer of key shares and the lost link volume over time for active accounts. Ebb & flow.

@RyanJones   It’s all about LITRE Method: Limited, Influential, Trusted, Relevant, Essential. The LITRE method is however, only 0.946X as good as @AlanBleiweiss QUART method.

@netvantage   Social share is virtual word of mouth. It’s like a snowball effect and sharing keeps building up the snowball.

@SocialMichelleR   While bots will help you rank initially, it is the social vote of human confidence that you really need.

@CaitlinBoroden   Social shares are today’s word of mouth recommendations. You need people to spread your message.
@RyanJones   Majority rule does not work in mental institutions. See reddit or /b or American elections.
@CaitlinBoroden   Well you got me there :)

@milestech   Social shares are only valuable if they’re from real people.

@AlanBleiweiss   Social shares are a next-frontier of authority and trust signals vital to success with or without SEO involved. Social shares on scale lead to more organic search already. In the future, a likely direct off-site signal. Social shares also show up in existing multi-channel funnel data in analytics.

@TheBuyerGroup   Through organic and paid Reach via social insights. How more people will see your content when shared. Especially influencers!

@AndreaMLehr   Your content on a targeted site guarantees you’ve reached your existing audience; social shares reaches an untapped audience.

@AndreaMLehr   For more insights, here is a link to the study I mentioned earlier.

Summary: Optimizing your brand’s newsroom for search visibility on #SEOchat

Moderator: @TheBuyerGroup

Why is SEO a vital part of today’s public relations strategy?

@sallyfalkow   Search is now the most used and most trusted source of news and info so SEO has to be a part of PR. Your news and branded content must be found when ppl have what Google calls “micro-moments’ and search for answers. Read more about micro moments. Great PR content earns links. Google values editorial links.

@MatthewAYoung   SEO and PR have a common goal and that’s to increase visibility for a brand. SEO and PR are also goo bedfellows for link earning – though you may not want to “ask” for links anymore…just sayin’.

@SocialMichelleR   Both SEO and social media are avenues for discovery, especially when a brand makes the news. Nothing in the digital world exists on its own. Each bit of digital content affects all the others.

@KristiKellogg   SEO is the butter to your PR bread. You can’t have successful #PR without strategic digital marketing in today’s world.

@BrianRBaker4   I would say that PR strategy is necessary for #SEO … Thinking linkbuilding? Not the other way around.

@BruceClayInc   You can’t have an amazing #PR presence online if no one can find it — #SEO MUST be strategically applied.

@Marty_Marketing   SEO allows you to reach new users by showing up better in search results. In 2014, PR firms saw a 45% decrease in net profit due when not utilizing SEO in content strategies via @mashable.

@milestech   Without good SEO, PR efforts may have less of a reach. Let’s get the message out to as many people as possible!

@getSTAT   We found that Google Universal News Results often dominate the top of the SERPs for trending topics. We even did a little research to prove it. PR is a very important part of an SEO strategy.

@searchrook   Anyone noticed who drives the most traffic to news sites? That’s right – search engines!

@Marty_Marketing   90% of PR firms utilize SEO in their PR efforts for niche specific content to reach users and demonstrate value in 2013. If you conduct a proper SEO strategy, you will see ranking increase; abide by @google guidelines though.

@AJutah   Brands can be proactive with their online reputations by using SEO.

@aodmarketing   Web-based media/content publishers are huge. SEO is a great way to leverage their voices & gain search authority for your brand.

@Head_Spit   People — ideally the right people — need to find your brand. Why PR something that won’t draw prime eyes? Dollars wasted.

How can you get a brand’s online newsroom to rank on page 1 of Google when searching a brand’s name?

@Marty_Marketing   Also utilize branding in content for brand recognition and algo recognition. If you create unique, valuable, niche specific, and audience specific content, people will share/link to it. Increased SEO.

@KristiKellogg   Keyword optimization! And in general, let’s not forget your brand should work to OWN page 1 of the SERP for its name.
@BruceClayInc   Like @KristiKellogg said, keyword optimization. Apply #SEO best practices to content in your newsroom.

@BrianRBaker4   Internal linking, and site structure.

@CallMeLouzander   First step: make sure newsroom is engaging. If people like reading it, they’ll dwell on the page. Step 2: link to the page.

@searchrook   Consistently publish your take on industry news and keep doing something newsworthy.
@CallMeLouzander   Well said. Consistency and frequency. Make a schedule and stick to it.

@MatthewAYoung   Try to influence the site links. Branded searches will more often than not return homepages. Sitelinks are your best shot.

@AJutah   SEO best practices! Links and citations to the newsroom section and articles are a good start.

@sallyfalkow   Ensure the newsroom passes the Google mobile-friendly test.

@milestech   Killer on page work. Plus do something awesome that spurs some good shares/ linking – like making a 3D printed dinosaur.

@Tinu   Treat it like any other web-accessible asset & fill it with multimedia content people would read & link to as well.

How can SEO + PR pros work together to optimize press center to attract journalists searching story ideas

@Marty_Marketing   Create collaborative work environments and have the teams work together and brainstorm/educate each other. When creating content, make sure it is SEO ready and sharable/linkable and you should see success.

@sallyfalkow   PR can provide keywords that journalists use in related stories. SEO team can help optimize blog posts and articles. PR folk can do research for queries, intent statements etc in social and feed that to SEO. Evaluate your newsroom against this checklist so it meets the needs of media.

@AJutah   De-silo your workflow. Both departments have a common goal in creating value for site visitors.

@SocialMichelleR   Because nothing can exist in a digital vacuum, build a cross-disciplinary team.
@paulaspeak   Yes! Create a project-based, interdept’l team with goals to meet together. Meet regularly.
@AJutah   The best marketing teams are collaborative and individually specialized.

@Head_Spit   Mutual understanding. One hand has to know the basic WHATs and WHYs of the other for the results to be seamless.

@searchrook   That’s one area where intent and keywords are still closely intertwined. Get your kw research right, Increase DA.
@MatthewAYoung   Doesn’t matter to me. What good is page 1 if you’re not going to fight for #1.

@KristiKellogg   If you have an online pressroom, Journos are going to check it out. Content should be written with reporters AND SEO in mind.

@connieurway   Customize RSS feeds, hyperlinks optimize headlines.

@CallMeLouzander   Write a case study/white paper/infographic & get PR to publicize it. Journalists can reference it, discuss ramifications, etc.

@aodmarketing   PR professionals are often unaware of SEO best practices & linking guidelines. Having an open and informed dialogue is key!

@BruceClayInc   Again, all #SEO best practices should be applied to a press release or piece of content that’s posted in the online newsroom.

@Tinu   How can they NOT? For reputation management issues I won’t even do the SEO part unless a PR company is involved. If you’re doing publicity without thinking about how it will be discovered (which is often via search) you’re half-assing it. @Cision had an event last month that featured people from the @USAtoday newsdesk. They search just like the rest of us. They use alerts, want to see who to call, need graphics, video, just like anyone. We have to cater to what their needs are.

@milestech   Realize that both disciplines are dependent on each other. So stop thinking of it as SEO & PR, and more SEOPR.

97% of journalists say it is important for an organization to have an online newsroom, how can SEO increase exposure?

@SocialMichelleR   Need to go beyond SEO and develop relationships w/journalists Builds trust in your newsroom. Think like a journalist when developing content. They will search terminology that they are familiar with.

@sallyfalkow   98% of journalists start researching a story on Google. SEO makes your content visible in those searches. Connect with journos on social and watch what they’re writing about. Use those keywords in your content.

@milestech   Figure out what kind of questions are asked around your content, and include some relatable keyword variations. Keyword research is pretty important – Google Trends can help identify breakouts in a particular area. Then network to the max!

@searchrook   Post secondary content on major publications linking back to primary content (better quality) on your newsroom.

@BruceClayInc   The #media starts research with #Google, just like everyone else. So #rank – with what you want – when they search your name. Why Press Releases Still Matter to SEO and How to Write a Press Release that Entices Media.

@AJutah   I often use search engines to find stories to pitch to my news director. Brand’s content should tee up story for the reporter.

@aodmarketing   Optimizing newsroom content for search brings in organic traffic, which can be HUGE if you target the right audience/keywords.

@KristiKellogg   Keepkeywords in mind — if you refer to something as some obscure term but media’s searching for something else, that’s a fail.

What are some of today’s SEO best practices that public relations pros should know?

@jessiecliu   6 SEO Tips That Helped Us Double Our Blog Traffic In Less Than A Year.

@KristiKellogg   #SEO for press release tip: There should only be one link in press release and that should be to the brand itself. Don’t spam. SEO for press release tip: Don’t forget the meta.
@searchrook   and one more to the product page please?
@KristiKellogg   No, unfortunately. Don’t worry — every savvy journalist can find that page from your actual site.

@connieurway   Keep informed on @Google Panda updates long-tail keywords #SEOChat don’t be too wordy.

@sallyfalkow   Write tight headlines. No longer than 57 characters. Place keyword close to the beginning. Check that all pages in your newsroom pass the mobile test, not just the homepage.

@AJutah   Keywords are important for search engine traffic. Important to *optimize* all press (even quotes!)

@searchrook   Create different content for mobile, new platforms.

@milestech   Content always has to be super high quality, informative, and helpful. Thin content = a waste of time. Be aware of Panda!

@aodmarketing   rel=”nofollow” links in paid-for media. Here’s an article.

@markdhansen   Press releases are an opportunity to create links from authoritative sites; work to get the story behind the release covered.

How do press releases tie in today’s SEO strategy

@sallyfalkow   The days of using press releases for SEO are over. Google regards links in releases as paid links. Do standard media relations and get 3rd party coverage off a release. those editorial links are good. How to use Twitter for Media Relations.
@markdhansen   But some news sites will write stories from your press release, and those links are solid. Takes work.

@paulaspeak   Press releases can’t have lots of followed links to your site anymore; obviously that’s Penguin bait. Maybe one brand link OK.

@searchrook   Traditional press releases are dead. Send mini-releases on social media and targeted emails to journos.

@KristiKellogg   News articles have 3X mores more credibility and 6X more readership than paid advertising. Can you miss out on that?
@paulaspeak   Journalists for the win! Important to develop those relationships with niche reporters.
@BruceClayInc   Yes! Use #SEO to get to press release in front of the journalist who will turn it into news.

@AJutah   GOOD press releases provide value and show your company is remarkable. Just like your other content.

@milestech   Still relevant if you have something groundbreaking to share, but only share with quality sources.

@aodmarketing   Press releases build brand awareness and increase the probability of being featured editorially. Both are major wins!

What are some tips in measuring the performance of a company’s online newsroom?

@BruceClayInc   Google Analytics > Content Drilldown

@tannerpetroff   Measure social mentions, links, traffic, and correlate with rev/conversions.

@KristiKellogg   Whether or not the press releases get picked up by the media. That’s the most important metric & the point of the whole thing. #RandomKindofRelatedFact: The first press release was issued in 1806 after a railroad crash left 50 dead.

@aodmarketing   Newsrooms should be tagging URLs and tracking the referral traffic, while using social analytics to measure social reach

@sallyfalkow    Measurement is vital. PR pros need to make measurement and analytics a priority. We need to measure more than just pick up and coverage. We need to measure outcomes. We’re developing a new PR Measurement Dashboard for GA so it’s easier for PR folk to do their measurement.

@searchrook   A7x Measure content popularity, reach and engagement with @BuzzSumo @Brandwatch @Mention @Talkwalker

@markdhansen   Use analytics tagging (UTM params) for all shared news, particularly on social. Only way to accurately measure inbound traffic.

@milestech   Look at social signals. Shares in particular show if you’re doing a good enough job or not – people won’t share boring stuff

@AJutah   KPIs center around community management, incl. sentiment, mentions, SERP real estate & keyword traffic.

Public Relations and SEO are in the same room, what is the first thing the say to each other?

@sallyfalkow   Oh so that’s who you are!

@Navahk   Seo says to PR … I can’t find you!

@aodmarketing   “Did you email my contact?”

@AJutah   “What do we want to achieve, and how do we measure our progress?”

@milestech   PR: Hello! SEO: Hey, hi, hello, howdy

What are some mobile/social trends in otimizing a company’s public relations?

@markdhansen   Don’t ignore dark social. Particularly whatsapp – growing force; really hard to track/measure.

@milestech   Images say a thousand words in PR efforts, but make sure they are optimized for mobile (load times) or they’re worth zero.

Summary: What does off-page SEO & link building mean in the Penguin age on #SEOchat

Moderator: @BruceClayInc

Has the Penguin update simplified the link building process for you or made it harder to tread?

@MatthewAYoung   Neither hard nor easy. By having a content-forward link earning strategy, nothing has really changed.
@BruceClayInc   “Content-forward link earning strategy” – We like that.

@CallMeLouzander   Agree with @MatthewAYoung. If you’ve always been cautious, this is nothing new. But I’ve always been of a cautious mind.

@DavidProHQ   I think it’s made it easier actually. It’s pretty cut and dry, no in between on the links I need to build.

@BrianRBaker4   Harder to tread, but easier to explain to clients. Having the threat of a penalty makes it easier to go after quality links.

@vengat_owen   Obviously simplified to stand out from spamers / junk link builders.
@BruceClayInc   Penguin does seem to have drawn some hard lines that makes communication to clients easie.

@EricLanderSEO   My clients tend to view content quality & social engagement as triggers for quality links . So in short, it’s beneficial for me.

@creativecalif   Definitely more difficult. I now have to scrutinize every site before I look to get a link on it.
@CallMeLouzander   good point @creativecalif: check prospects not only for their content, but link profile too. Don’t want penalty by association.
@BruceClayInc   Penguin made link building harder? Here’s a site that would agree.

@DragonSearch   We’ve always avoided shady links. So not much has changed.

@netvantage   Depends on a website to website basis – need to pay close attention to sites that dabbled in bad link building in the past.

Do you think link building is a black-hat technique?

@EricLanderSEO   No, and it never has been. People push envelopes across marketing initiatives – link building is essential, but far from black. To be clear, aspects of SEO can be pushed in gray / black areas. It’s up to us to ethically provide quality services & results.

@hallstigerts   Link building can be a white hat or black hat technique depending on how it’s executed.

@BrianRBaker4   Difficult Question. It’s all about the intent behind the link-building.

@MatthewAYoung   Depends on who you ask. Google says Dont build links, but the irony is that the algo is built on them.

@KristiKellogg   Personally, I feel time is better spent investing in creating quality #content and promoting it than link building. My logic being that if you build something amazing, links will be a byproduct naturally.

@CallMeLouzander   I’ve always been suspicious of link building campaigns, TBH. Find relevant directories, sure. But how systematic can you be? Google’s pretty clear they’re looking for organic links, and those have to be cultivated, not synthesized.

@ramirez_robert   The term “linkbuilding” has some baggage, but it is not inherently black hat. Still prefer “link earning”. All about intent.
@MatthewAYoung   I prefer the term ‘link earning’. Rolls off the tongue, not so much baggage.
@BrianRBaker4   I prefer link earning – goes with my answer about intent behind the link building.
@markdhansen   Totally agree. “link earning” is a way better term.

@TheBuyerGroup   It could be if you don’t know what you’re doing.

@mysiteauditor   It depends! If you’re still trying to buy links or submit to directories, go home. Create awesome content that EARNS links.

@DragonSearch   It can be either depending on how you go about it. A little strategic PR goes a long way.

@hallstigerts   Link building that’s beneficial to users, the websites, and the search engines alike – that’s white hat (and a great approach).

@netvantage   Providing value to users = white-hat. Only trying to manipulate rankings = black-hat.

@creativecalif   Not at all. Most link-building we do is local directories, media quotes, social. If we don’t pursue these, they’ll never happen. In other words, you can’t naturally get links if you don’t promote yourself.
@CallMeLouzander   That seems solid to me. Local dir are relevant trust signals for SEs as well as users.

@nslettengren   When I think of “link building” I think of Online PR. Identify industry leaders online and find angles to pitch.

Do you think it’s acceptable to ask for links? When and how?

@BruceClayInc   Earlier this month, Google Portugal advised SEOs that natural links must be asked for “the right way”.

@BrianRBaker4   Of course it’s acceptable, just don’t be pushy!

@EricLanderSEO   Yes, asking when relevancy is clear & there’s a visitor value added to the host site. All require direct, quality conversations.

@MatthewAYoung   It’s acceptable under the right circumstances.

@hallstigerts   Focus not on the link itself but the benefit of mentioning your content when “asking for a link”. What’s in it for them? Relationship building first, link building second.
@CallMeLouzander   Well said. People are more likely to link when they know & trust you, and see the value you provide.
@hallstigerts   Yes! The best links require more work than just an ask. But anything worth doing takes work.
@BruceClayInc   Link earning hierarchy of needs.

@creativecalif   If you’re used as a resource for an article or page, there’s nothing wrong with asking for link attribution. Scratch my back. Imagine writing a paper in college without citing your references.

@JesseStoler   It’s absolutely okay to manually promote yourself in an effort to obtain links, and should always be okay

@netvantage   Absolutely. When you can provide value to their users – By asking in a personable way.

@dragonsearch    I like to barter. Provide something in exchange then ask for a link in return.

@mysiteauditor   Valuable content created through real relationships is a powerful online PR tactic, and totally acceptable.

@allmikehall   Broken link building is helping webmasters with their sites and promoting your own content – great trade off.

@AndrewDennis33   When you have a resource that would be valuable to a specific audience, it’s absolutely acceptable to promote it to them.

@JaredCarrizales   Hell yes. As long as it provides value to the end user, and/or for traffic earning efforts. How = suggest, don’t be pushy.

If you could offer one piece of advice for link building in a Penguin world, what would it be?

@EricLanderSEO   Stop emulating what others are or have been doing. Developing a unique approach in your space has explosive opportunities.

@JesseStoler   Think of the people first. Link building is MUCH easier when you engage your community and do things to better the web at large.

@HeroicSearch   One of our favorite ways to earn links is @HARO / Help a Reporter Out but there are still many ways. Guest blogging still valid.
@BrianRBaker4   I tried this, but its so hard to track for multiple partners. We couldn’t make it work with our hourly budgets.
@JaredCarrizales   That’s true, but some Gmail filters + the HARO backend can help some. But yes, still tough.
@HeroicSearch   Can definitely understand that. We’ve managed to make it work for our clients, so we stick to it.

@netvantage   If you have to question if a site is a good link prospect, the answer is probably no.

@nslettengren   You never get what you don’t ask for… as is life. When you add value, ask for the link or brand mention.

@AndrewDennis33   Don’t try to take shortcuts.

@MatthewAYoung   Patience, my young SEO. Quality and relevant links take time.

@allmikehall   Start with the audience in mind first and foremost. Develop your link building strategy around that.

@BrianRBaker4   Focus on existing relationships, link reclamation, and natural links. Go after low hanging fruit for max effect.

@KristiKellogg   Link building advice: Be aware of who’s linking to you at all times. It’s your responsibility.
@DragonSearch   And fire up the Disavow engine when needed.

@VirginiaNussey   I defer to @MatthewAYoung’s earlier advice: Approach linkbuilding as a content-forward link-earning strategy.

@TheBuyerGroup   Create good content.

@nslettengren   Link relevant content to relevant content. Industry site =>Industry page w/link =>Your web page supporting content.

@tonyxrandall   Actually read G’s guidelines & familiarize yourself w/ what Penguin doesnt like. That’ll give you a huge clue as to what WORKS.

To remove weak links for Google Penguin recovery, how much time do you spend pruning links vs. disavowing links?

@CallMeLouzander   Depends on whether you’ve got a penalty or not.

@MatthewAYoung   The pruning takes way longer than the disavowing. Plus you have to account for the time a site remains penalized before the next Penguin refresh. So, yes, a long time.

@CallMeLouzander   Sites hit with penalty=more strict w/ disavow. Google sometimes flags sites that are OK, so there’s no easy answer to this.

@nslettengren   Webmaster outreach and removal is where we see the biggest impact in ranking recovery and traffic.

@EricLanderSEO   Very sensitive issue to be handled per site. Many sites don’t require disavows – and when used – I fear a red flag is raised.
@MatthewAYoung   Especially if one wasnt warranted. Hey Google, look at my bad links. May I have a penalty?
@EricLanderSEO   Exactly. Reminds me of when @mattcutts shared my NoFollow being a red flag post on @sejournal
@CallMeLouzander   I don’t know that I agree w/ the logic, but I know that building good links can overcome bad links. Here’s post from ‘08 on nofollow matter. Think same could apply w/ disavow.
@MatthewAYoung   But you get it right? Why would you submit a disavow if you weren’t penalized?

@vengat_owen   Your tool made as simpler task.
@BruceClayInc   Are you talking about ?
@vengat_owen   yes. Its nice tool really.we were injected by link farm and the helped us a lot. Thanks for such tool.
@BruceClayInc   We’re so glad to hear it helped you!

@netvantage   Depends on the penalty and size of backlink profile. We outreach to sites at least once when we see a link we don’t like.

@AndrewDennis33   Don’t forget, continue to acquire good links as u do cleanup. Must replace lost link equity as bad links could be propping u up.

@ramirez_robert   Actually removing bad links from the internet > disavowing links. Google rewards cleaning links sooner than relying on disavow.

@tonyxrandall   My advice is to just stop participating in white-hat SEO twitter chats if your site is hit by Penguin.

@allmikehall   If you can get bad links removed, it’s much more effective than disavowing – so usually time well spent.

@BrianRBaker4   Penalties and the disavow process are a nightmare. Talking about it further will put me in a tailspin. My last company basically guaranteed a penalty with every linkbuilding package sold, so I became quite familiar with this.

@DavidProHQ   None – all links are good links.

@creativecalif   I immediately disavow, then send a request to the webmaster. You’ll go nuts trying to get bad links removed. Disavow & move on.

@BRAVOMedia1   How would one know definitely know if they were “hit” by Penguin?
@EricLanderSEO   Check the (Webmaster Tools) Search Console messages.
@dan_shure   I don’t think WMT gives notices for Penguin. You can check out all the known Penguins on the change history.

@tonyxrandall   idk, i guess i’d just rather spend my time strategizing and educating myself than stressing about a possible penalty.

What link pruning tools do you rely on? How do you identify weakest links?

@BrianRBaker4   I’m loving @Moz spam analysis tool – GREAT starting spot + Manual Ahrefs review

@JesseStoler   Well @Marie_Haynes just made this black list, and the SEO community owes her a thank you.

@MatthewAYoung   I use a combination of @tryMajestic @ahrefs and Google Search Console. Can’t forget Excel either.

@EricLanderSEO   My go to tool is @ahrefs for link quality, research and competitive/shared reviews. Then Excel.

@CallMeLouzander   I also check Analytics to see how much/what type of traffic I’m getting from a link before removing. Cost/benefit analysis.

@netvantage   A machete and beast mode.

@dan_shure   @billsebald has a great process for finding bad links here using @cognitiveSEO.

Do you always recommend a site submit a Google disavow file?

@connieurway   What is a disavow file, exactly?
@BruceClayInc   Hi Constance. A disavow file lets you tell search engines of any inbound links you want to disassociate with in cases of spam.

@EricLanderSEO   No. Rarely. I need to see a direct correlation of a Penguin release date and traffic and/or rankings loss to even consider it. Trying to “perfect” a decade-old link profile that’s already working is like airbrushing over an antique’s patina to fake it.
@CallMeLouzander   The subtext is that links aren’t all about PR, but traffic, too. SEOs get tunnel vision & forget UX sometimes.
@MatthewAYoung   SEO can’t be deserted on an island in the sea of digital marketing.

@MatthewAYoung   Depends on the penalty situation. If not penalized, no disavow. Pruning for sure though, in all cases. Everyone’s got skeletons.
@CallMeLouzander   Clarification: it’s on a search engine-specific basis. Disavowing in Google says nothing to Bing, etc.

@netvantage   No. We only go disavow route if we suspect a penalty is in place.

@callmelouzander   People don’t realize that disavowing/removing links=loss of traffic/rankings. Sometimes the gain is worth that hit, but not always. Make sure you know what you’re doing before disavowing.

@tonyxrandall   I wouldn’t before a penalty actually happens – unless something malicious (negative) is happening.

@creativecalif   If there are bad links to disavow, yes. Many fear it draws G’s attn where it wouldn’t otherwise be, but I’ve seen no evidence. A lot of mistrust of Google comes from people who are black or grey-hat w/ no basis in normal webmaster activities.
@CallMeLouzander   So true. I get so mad when I hear black-hats w/ sense of entitlement complain about loss of traffic.

Would you want to know if any site has disavowed you? How many disavowals would it take before you were alarmed?

@MatthewAYoung   Yes, especially in cases where you suspect negative SEO. I would want to be notified immediately.

@dan_shure   Yes, to show clients “hey – I told you so! People think your site is spammy”

@allmikehall   Google says we have nothing to fear from being disavowed. OK Google. I wouldn’t care unless I knew my website was spammy.
@CallMeLouzander   That doesn’t mean getting disavowed is safe. It could hurt your reputation online. Got to maintain your authority.

@CallMeLouzander   Yes, esp if it were part of a pattern. Might be bad SEO, maybe my baby is ugly. But getting disavowed is a call to action.

@JesseStoler   Yes, I would like to know. There’s no reason to be oblivious in this respect imo.
@BruceClayInc   Would you like to know if your site has been disavowed? There’s a tool for that.

@tonyxrandall   Of course. but then again, i’m crazy enough that i’d want someone to tell me if they saw someone suspicious outside my house.

@EricLanderSEO   No. If you know what a disavow is, you should be comfortable w/ your own site. Feeling “alarmed” is not a productive state.

@creativecalif   I think I’d see many other signs that my site was spammy long before I noticed disavows.

Google has stated that data from disavow files is NOT part of the quality algorithm. Do you believe it? Could that change?

@MatthewAYoung   Anything could change. It’s Google. You can’t see me, but I’m wildly shrugging right now.

@CallMeLouzander   I haven’t seen direct correlation. But as part of online reputation, I’m sure it can come to bite you in the…server logs.

@EricLanderSEO   Change is inevitable. So too are algorithm hypotheses. As an SEO, you focus on what you can control – and stay the course. Don’t mean to suggest that you don’t innovate your approach, but you cannot obsess on what you don’t know & be successful.

@DragonSearch   Pretend your client somehow gets added to the list of low-quality disavow sites. Imagine trying to get out of THAT penalty.
@MatthewAYoung   I think Google has a pretty good idea of what a good and bad site is, even without the disavow
@CallMeLouzander   That’s why Google SAYS they don’t use disavow as trust signal; too easy to use for negative SEO.

@ramirez_robert   I actually believe Google on this one. They probably do use disavow data to help tweak their algo to better ID inorganic links.

Summary: Intersection of Branding & SEO on #SEOchat

Moderator: @nslettengren

Are we at a place where branding and SEO need each other?

@jtcg   Yes, absolutely. Customers build repeat relationships with brands they trust and respect. Trust comes from a strong brand positioning and a consistent experience throughout the customer journey.

@jacobwarwick   I’m not sure that we have ever been at a place where branding and SEO didn’t need each other.

@SocialMichelleR   Unequivocally yes! Nothing in digital marketing exists in a vacuum.

@BruceClayInc   SEO can strengthen branding, absolutely.

@gaurav8k   Yes, Incorporating both sides dilutes the prominence of both. SEO should remain the focus of any early-stage, while the incorporation of branding should appear later in the evolution.

@creativecalif   Yes. Google favors brand and branded search terms. We are seeing fewer exact match results and more branded these days. Plus, users are getting smarter at searching, and know when a site is generic and made just to target keywords.
@Jennifer_Asc   To follow up on @creativecalif . Consumers forgive odd branding if you’re a hot dog cart. If big biz or IT, you’ll alienate consumers.
@creativecalif   Well-said. Big businesses are under a microscope on a daily basis.
@Jennifer_Asc   As they should be. More responsibility demands more accountability.

@markdhansen   Ah, but good branding strengthens SEO also. Strong brands have a much easier time ranking well.
@Tony_DWM   Not if their online profile is poor. Poor tech SEO or on page non-relevancy would hold them back (personal experience)
@markdhansen   DWM Good point, I believe it. But what strong brands have poor tech SEO these days?
@Tony_DWM   Often those w/ thousands or hundreds of thousands of pgs. Common issues: dup content, no/poor use of REL= directives and deep URLs that are never crawled. Therefore, brand or non-brand (what is a “brand” anyway?) they won’t get as much traffic as wanted.

@ammicallef   Yes, use SEO to strengthen your brand, and use your brand to increase click throughs on the SERP.
@bensmith130   If someone doesn’t know your brand, they are less likely to engage with you. Enforce the brand.
@SocialMichelleR   And if they spot your brand “in the wild” they might be curious enough to look you up online and begin to engage.
@bensmith130   Exactly! Particular if you have written engaging content that resonates with them.

@seosem   Given the knowledge graph and the ability to strengthen the listing through SEO def help branding.

@VibeBranding   Yes! Branding & SEO come together to form a unique identity that allows for consistency and engagement.

Where are we seeing intersections between traditional marketing / Branding and SEO / Digital?

@SocialMichelleR   Mobile is driving all kinds of these intersections. We see something in our environment look for more.

@CaitlinBoroden   The collision of tv and social has been interesting. Dropping hashtags on the end of commercial have become common.

@jtcg   Cross-platform campaigns need consistent brand messaging. SEO & digital drive traffic to convert.
@SocialMichelleR   That include consistent brand voice and visual across all marketing channels.

@creativecalif   On a small scale, your titles & meta descriptions are like your “tagline or jingle” – if done well, you can increase conversions.

@Sonray   We’re seeing optimization for semantic search which helps pull together offline into online authority.

@AllAboutFi   Is it possible to have a strategy that exists in only one space? We choose the tools that make sense for our brand.
@Sonray   Gotta make hay with whatcha got! Optimizing the random details can provide huge wins elsewhere.
@Jennifer_Asc   Absolutely. If your biz sells MRI machines, twitter can’t be your primary #custserv platform.

@JohnBertino   Brand mentions next to certain keyword phrases WITHOUT links may very well be the future of SEO. Perhaps even the present.

@SmallWebStrat   Obvious with realtors: Specific address searches imply they found out about listing offline. Funnel starts at signage.

@jacobwarwick   I was and always will be about brand first. Anyone can make a product, but do you like who makes it?
@jtcg   A strong brand could be the reason why a customer selects one product over the other. SEO is the path to get there.

@Inboundorg   Build relationships, do things that don’t scale (talk to everyone), bring in content ideas. Stay active- never sleep!

@trentw1099   The intersection is where copy is turned into optimized content, when the content reflects your brand across the digital world.

What makes large brands reliable search partners for search engine results?

@jacobwarwick   You can piggy back on their success and share linking strategies.

@creativecalif   Large brands are talked about & shared a lot, & put a ton of effort into marketing. Those things are the backbone of quality SEO.
@SocialMichelleR   And they have the budgets to pull them off.
@creativecalif   Yep, you could say the budget is the backbone/facilitator of all those efforts!
@Jennifer_Asc   You have to bring ROI numbers to the table to get Exec buy in.

@JohnBertino   Strong Brand = familiarity -> familiarity = increased CTR and traffic -> increased CTR and traffic = rankings. It’s hard but yes! Small brand can carve out a reputation with a specific topic or keywrd cluster and then achieve similar success.
@Jennifer_Asc   If small retailer uses hyperlocal keywords, they can grab niche, customers. I’ve seen that, it pulled from big biz.

@BruceClayInc   Strong trust signals. Large brands tend to carry A LOT of natural links.

@CaitlinBoroden   Big brands often have the social signals as well to back them up.

@Head_Spit   Identity and awareness often function as prerequisites for legitimacy when considering new brands/products.

@SEM_SanDiego   Branded SERPS tend to garner great click-through. And as click-through increases, so does the SERP position for said brand!

@jtcg   Large brands have better UGC to organically drive SEO. Loyal customers will talk about the brands they love online.

@VibeBranding   Large brands usually have an engaged following/community who will promote the company and drive SEO socially.

Where do you focus your time online more, building a brand or building traffic, why?

@strydedotcom   Building a brand really should have a “why” focus. The WHY should always trump traffic.
@creativecalif   Yes. “Why” and, “is this information valuable to my audience/followers?”

@marian_sterk   Depends on how established the brand is. You can’t build awareness without qualified traffic.
@nslettengren    Great point! Perhaps building traffic to test your brand in a start-up scenario is a strong option. You can’t build qualified traffic / awareness without a clear audience target.

@creativecalif   Building a brand. Good content, marketing, social, etc = more traffic.

@BruceClayInc   The two go hand-in-hand. Since our specialty is SEO, we focus on traffic first. But branding is ALWAYS a consideration.

@TheAgencyGuyInc   Two sides to the same coin @nslettengren. If I have a long-term focus, I’m going brand. Short, then traffic.
@jtcg   Long-term brand building should always be at the root of your campaign strategy.

@AntoniaStiedaSa   W/o a focused brand what are you driving traffic to? Will you convert if they don’t connect w/brand?
@jtcg   They may convert with good SEO/UX/UI, but they will not remember the experience without branding.

@markdhansen   As CEO of a startup, traffic = revenue, so that’s gotta be the focus. But agree with @JohnBertino – building niche brand too.

@SmallWebStrat   1 drives other, so best expected return in situation eg Ski resort content 4 brand on 4th of July, converting traffic for NewYrs

@sallyfalkow   You need both. Traffic with no brand value won’t convert. Brand without any traffic gets you return. You can build brand value with good original content. Public and Google see you as an authority on a topic.

@ammicallef   If you’re trying to raise brand awareness, focus on traffic. Otherwise, building the brand will naturally increase traffic.

@Head_Spit   What good is a highway without any quality exits? Insane traffic with no destinations defeats the purpose.

@VibeBranding   Build your brand first, THEN build traffic. You need a strong foundation before you can branch out.

@RahulReply   If you focus for long term then choose brand …… traffic is short term but also required.

@trentw1099   If you build it they will come! Building your brand should come first, if there isnt a clear brand what am i doing on your site?
@AllAboutFi   True for every audience? You can have an underdeveloped brand and still have the answers/niche products I’m looking for.
@trentw1099   You can never say anything is true for everybody. but underdeveloped brands would lack the authority to drive me to their site.
@brooklynnholtz   I think I’ve noticed a difference of opinion when it comes to defining “brand”, esp. in #seochat today. I’m a brand new marketer still trying to figure it all out. I think “brand” is our story.
@Jennifer_Asc   Branding varies by industry. Cars, ice cream, tractor companies have different Seo needs.

@JohnBertino   As @seobythesea says “Build a brand, and Google may treat your business as a unique entity and provide you with a knowledge panel.”

Does branding add the human element SEO needs and the search engines crave?

@AntoniaStiedaSa   It does. Branding is why you have loyal consumers. The brand is what they connect with.

@strydedotcom   S. engines will develop the sophistication to show the most personalized results #adaptivecontent

@creativecalif   Yes. Brand helps identify you & to promote trust. Sure, you can fake traffic, but action and conversion demands a solid brand.

Are personas still a hot ticket strategy to guide SEO campaigns, how has it evolved?

@iPullRank   I can assure you good marketing never goes out of style.

@JohnBertino   @MOZ did a fantastic whiteboard on Brand as a Ranking Factor. One more great resource on intersection of branding & SEO

How can branding agencies and digital agencies work together to strengthen each other’s offerings?

@ammicallef   Use the brand story to create authentic digital campaigns that align with both agencies’ goals.

@creativecalif   Communicate communicate communicate. Instead of telling each other what to do, tell why and show results. Branding may focus more on personality, whereas digital excels at getting personality “found.” Lots of crossover of course.

@JohnBertino   Branding agencies should at least consider SEO KWs as KWs can unearth the key questions customers are asking.

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

Moderator: @emily_C27

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@lancemoore22   Google+ is super important for local results.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@HeroicSearch   Google Analytics and GOALS!

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

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

@KristiKellogg   Gooogle Ananlytics —-> Social Referral Report.

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

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

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

@directom   We use GA to measure social efforts!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moderator: @denverish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are your favorite tactics for decreasing cart abandonment?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@KristiKellogg   Call Gary Illyes in a pinch.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are your favorite ecommerce platforms and payment gateway solutions?

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

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

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

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

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

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