Summary: Local Linkbuilding on #SEOchat

Moderator: @Sonray

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

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

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

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

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

@morgan_corbett   Neighborhood associations? Local bloggers?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary: Targeting Outreach for Social Traction on #SEOchat

Moderator: @theKelsinator

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

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

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

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

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

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

Would you consider your SEO and SMM strategies integrated?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What factors do you consider when you set SMM goals?

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

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

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

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

@kevinwaugh   Pinterest hands down, especially for eCommerce sites.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your tips on targeting strategic media relationships?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moderator: @lisabuyer

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

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

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

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

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

@paramaya   Outreach/link earning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@kevinwaugh   @Inboundorg and @GrowthHackers have great resources.

@lancemoore22   Moz Top 10

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

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

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

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

@paramaya   Webinars and conferences, too

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

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

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

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

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

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

@matthewayoung   YES! At least cover the basics.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are some of your favorite SEO books and courses?

@tannerpetroff   I love @DistilledU and course.pointblankseo.com by @PointBlankSEO.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@chelseabeaadams   ”Google Analytics All Day Long”

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

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

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

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

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

What is the top SEO mantra you live by?

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

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

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

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

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

@paramaya   Algorithms change. Integrity is forever.

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

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

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

@searchrook   @lisabuyer

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

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

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

Summary: Link Building in Difficult Niches on #SEOchat

Moderator: @stephbeadell

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

@stephbeadell   Mine – clown costumes.

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

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

@davidprohq   Pawnshops

@paramaya   DUI attorneys

@lancemoore22   Pediatric neuro surgery. It gives me a headache

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

@nateplaunt   Spine surgery device manufacturers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@directom   Competitive research and link reclamation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@paramaya   Bribe them with food?

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

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

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

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

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

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

@ryaninnz   Moz for analytics.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moderator: @ThunderActive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are your favorite tools for finding unnatural links?

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

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

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

@chrisjeverett   Ahrefs, WMT, OSE, SEO Spyglass.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@lindsaymineo   Both!

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

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

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

Summary: Effective Data Presentation on #SEOchat

Moderator: @anniecushing

@thompsonpaul   And joining us is “the woman who makes data sexy” – Ms Annie Cushing @anniecushing. She’s a long-time analytics specialist who has built a new career helping all of us learn to communicate data better.

@anniecushing   Great to be here w/ all of you lovely marketers! And thank you for the invite, @thompsonpaul!

What are the biggest mistakes you see in data reporting?

@anniecushing   The biggest mistake I see, by far, is loading up reports with too much unprocessed data. Loads of tables, charts, etc. with no insights. The report/dashboard recipient is assaulted with a wall of data w/ no idea what to do w/ it.

@paulaspeak   A mistake I see is not carefully reporting context & making general, sweeping claims. But data is for specific conditions.

@bruceclayinc   Mistake: listing facts w/out providing info on what they mean. More important than the raw data is what you need to DO with it.

@thompsonpaul   I was gonna say reporting stuff people don’t care about or can’t act on – so close.

@igalst   Reporting the same data over and over again with no conclusions. I see that alot.
@anniecushing   I see that a lot too. Tell people the story the data is telling YOU.

@plumlytics   True charts are pretty but if they lead to no wear they are just vanity data reports.
@anniecushing   I disagree. I think reports should be filled with charts and graphs over data dumps in tables. Easier to process.

@zoesoto   I think setting goals and representing them with data is the best way to do it.
@anniecushing   I couldn’t agree more! You’d be surprised at how many companies want a dashboard but have few goals in place.

@michaelburjack   Unless report is printed (ha!), let me _dig_ into the data to uncover meaning and understanding. No depth = no understanding.

What are the biggest differences between dashboards and reports?

@ericlanderseo   Dashboards are high level visuals of predictable metrics. Reports are run to identify the meaty, juicy data stories.
@anniecushing   Dashboards should give you details too but show more trends.

@paulaspeak   I think of a report as static data capturing a moment in time, and dashboards as a framework for always-current data. True?
@anniecushing   Yes, I agree w/ this wholeheartedly!

@thompsonpaul   I’ve always worked off assumption a dashboard is regularly updated data, but report is the analysis of the data?
@anniecushing   Dashboards should always include analysis of the data. Or they’ll become irrelevant. Some of this is semantics. Dashboards are a type of report – delivered regularly. They focus on bus obj’s and KPIs. Dashboards aren’t just for alarms and should be both actionable and tactical.
@tony_dwm   Dashboards reveal the story. Some on the surface, some by digging deeper. Reports tell the story to execs & CEO’s

@paulaspeak   Ha! But how do you make dashboards “actionable” and “tactical”? Care to elaborate (in 140 chars)?
@anniecushing   Make sure you tell recipients exactly what they should do. Use contextual elements to point out wins. Ignore the giant orange arrow (from a preso). But this was a chart I gave a client. This is a screenshot of their data before. All tables. That chart made them thousands of $$.
@thompsonpaul   Wow – perfect example of data puke vs data that leads to decision and action.
@anniecushing   It’s one of my faves. They were spending thousands on AdWords when MSN was converting MUCH better.

@ericlanderseo   Annie, do you find that dashboards need to improve or change over time?
@anniecushing   Absolutely. They need to be living organisms that keep pace w/ the company’s bus objectives. I default to whoever writes my check. :)

If we want to improve -what are the most important things to focus on when building dashboards?

@igalst   Visualizing the 20% that matter to you. I prefer to focus on the top 4-5 things only in dashboards.

@bruceclayinc   The most important thing to focus on are those that generate traffic: social, email, PPC etc. Focus your energy/maximize ROI.

@tony_dwm   This should change per client. What are the most important metrics for their business objectives & goals? eCom sales, Retail (site to increased footfall?), Pro Serv Lead Gen (submission forms), Charities (exposre/don’s)
@thompsonpaul   Agreed, Tony, but I was thinking Q3 more about conceptual approaches than specific inclusions.

@thompsonpaul   Any other ideas for conceptual approaches for good dashboards, as opposed to specific content?

@fighto   A good dashboard focuses on business goals and get straight to the point. You can save the insight for a phone call.
@fogelrivka   If your dashboard is interactive then you have to editorialize.
@anniecushing   Not sure what you mean. Although editorialize has neg connotations, you want to provide analysis.
@fogelrivka   Yes – I meant analysis. A few bullet points with call-outs.
@anniecushing   Agreed! Bosses and clients love playing w/ interactivity. It’s like permission marketing but w/ data. They get to control how much/little data they want to see. They go over really well.
@igalst   Yep, as kids, the C-level they like visuals. Credit to @aknecht – saw that in one of his slides once.

@michaelburjack   A good dashboard leads to insights. A bad dashboard only generates questions (which, once answered, should be dashboarded).

What are the most important/most useful tools for communicating complex data effectively?

@michaelburjack   It’s rare that a proper time-series graph can’t answer a question. Important to chose carefully what’s on the Y-axis though.
@anniecushing   They certainly serve a purpose but can be rudimentary. Segmentation often requires text-based categories.

@thompsonpaul   I’m struggling to automate the data part of reports so can spend more focus on doing/reporting analysis.
@anniecushing   Most marketers are. But so much money is lost in manually gathering data. I automate ALL of the data collection w/ APIs, so I can spend my brain power on analysis.

@bruceclayinc   @avinash did a great article on this topic: Analysis To Insights To Action, Faster! All about visuals. Visuals (images, infographics) take the data to the next level. Also, they’re incredibly shareable.

@fogelrivka   Do you play with secondary axes in client-facing interactive charts?
@michaelburjack   I’m in-house so client-facing is management-facing. And yes, absolutely.
@anniecushing   Influential I use secondary axes a lot! E.g, sessions vs bounce rate, revenue vs conversion rate.
@fogelrivka   And then just educate that this is relative, not absolute! I find that last step a bit more difficult.

@tony_dwm   Using custom dashboards w/ software like @RavenTools (w/ annotations) can save tons of time (& expense).
@paulaspeak   Re: tools, agree with @Tony_DWM, but our analysts use SEOToolSet (proprietary). Best of both worlds: data rich + custom rpts.

@thompsonpaul   Would be remiss if didn’t mention Annie’s whole course on using APIs to collect data/turn into solid reports. She’s incredibly generous with tools/templates/how tos over there.
@anniecushing   The course also includes weekly office hours where you can ask anything. So you get 40+ hrs of access to me.

Any suggestions for what to do if people aren’t reading/acting on your reports?

@fogelrivka   Make your reports actionable, and present them to the person responsible for performance.

@alanbleiweiss   If clients/team members don’t read / act on reports, see if your reports are overwhelming them. Clients / team may need more guidance, education to know how to read / act on reports. If they don’t read/act on reports after all that, it’s time to wash your hands of responsibility.
@anniecushing   Yes, exactly. The report should serve as the talking points for your client calls/meetings.

@thompsonpaul   I like to check up & see if there’s somebody else who should get it instead – or a different version.
@anniecushing   Exactly. I always ask if anyone will be viewing from a Mac. If so, I make sure I don’t use Mac-unfriendly featurse

@tony_dwm   Remind them of why they hired you in 1st place. If they’re not reading/acting, what’s their percption of success?

What are other resources to learn more about data visualisation?

@anniecushing   My Excel heroes are @MrExcel, @contextures, @onlinetrainingh, and @excelisfun. You can also learn a lot from them.

Summary: Looking Ahead to Google 2015 on #SEOchat

Moderator: @dr_pete – Marketing Scientist and Google Chaser

@dr_pete   Another big year almost behind us. Finally got a Penguin refresh, big changes to Knowledge Graph, News, and Local. Let’s recap.

Will you be more or less worried about algo updates (Panda, Penguin, etc.) in 2015?

@timbiden   Less. Though I’m not doing SEO for clients anymore. So my opinion probably doesn’t count for much.

@d50media   Less worried. Most of the changes have been where the industry is headed. These aren’t “red alert” updates.

@markstjohnson   Less. Algo is just a reflection of what sites should be doing anyway. We try and stay ahead of the curve. I think just saying that also doesn’t matter is a bit simplistic but it’s more about looking at the motivation behind algo changes. And then anticipating the sorts of changes that might be made in the future. Staying a step ahead.

@ericlanderseo   Less worried. There are fewer major issues and rolling algorithms make it less significant when one update occurs.

@kristikellogg   If you don’t break any rules and you focus on creating quality content, you don’t have to worry about the algo updates.
@danleibson   If only that were true with Pigeon.
@dr_pete   So, I disagree with that. New features, verticals, etc. have high impact even on white-hat SEO. Rules can change. I think that’s valid when it comes to punitive updates/penalties, certainly.
@kristikellogg   I was referring to algo updates :) (“Panda, Penguin, etc.”). Obviously you have to stay on your toes in general.
@dr_pete   Fair enough. I think some updates are getting grayer, but most still focus on core problem areas that are avoidable.

@mattstannard   Personally I am less worried as I now use #bing but obviously for clients its important.

@ryanayres53   Less. We focus on what we can control and that wins in the long run. Follow best practices and ride the waves.

@dr_pete   One thing I’m seeing is that changes are more targeted – very high-impact for smaller groups. You have to know what affects you. As I said in a post about Penguin 3.0, it’s like unemployment. If rate drops from 7% to 5% but you’re jobless, % doesn’t matter.

@bruceclayinc   The key is to be agile — always stay on top #algo news and you won’t get caught by surprise.
@dr_pete   Agreed – maybe only 5% impacts you, but you’ve got to know which 5% it is

@1petemcallister   Less worried about Panda & Penguin but more worried about SERP real estate and Google acting as affiliates.
@timbiden   You hit the nail on the head.

@dr_pete   Ok, let’s dive into some specifics. Big changes in Knowledge Graph this year, and I’m going to give some examples. Case in point – new, scraped answer boxes. Here’s one with an image and a brand call-out. Here’s a brand new one that expands to include related topics. Here’s a query where almost everything about the fold is KG or answer box.

How are you adjusting your SEO strategy in 2015 because of the Knowledge Graph?

@dr_pete   This is what I see for “title search” (expanded).

@timbiden   This is what I see when I search “Title Search”. #LOL

@thos003   Reviews. In all seriousness, for local companies the knowledge graph that shows up focuses on G+ which is: Image, Map, & Reviews.
@dr_pete   Yeah, and I think the local KG can actually be great – builds credibility, gets people to your location/hours faster.
@thos003   Do you believe it is worth a SMB’s time and energy to attempt to gain a spot in Google’s knowledge graph?
@dr_pete   Local? Yeah, I think so. Really dominates that brand SERP and adds a ton of credibility, IMO. Plus most of those things you’d do to get in the local KG have other SEO/brand benefits.
@thos003   Aside from their own KG.. Like getting into the related articles section for say “pest control”, seems tough. And yes, every location should be aware of what shows in their own knowledge graph.

@ericlanderseo   Content authority is key. You need blended quality, attribution, links/socialization & properly structured data.

@digitaldionne   I wish I could say I had some sweeping plan, but I find I am so overwhelmed just trying to get folks on fleek with basics.
@dr_pete   I think that’s the pain most of us feel. How do you do it all?
@bruceclayinc   Don’t chase the #algo, but stay agile and be ready for changes — for example, Google authorship. Expect shakeups.

@pseo_inc   ”Voice search and natural language search will continue to expand rapidly.” Article on Searchengineland.

@chelseabeaadams   Getting serious about symantic markup and entities is a great way to adjust for the ’15 knowledge panel. As a low-fi solution, I’m using on-page tables a lot to take advantage of structured snippets.

@paulaspeak   Regarding the KG taking over everything above the fold, it’s scary for SEO until you realize in mobile, people scroll.
@dr_pete   I’d argue, though, that in mobile people may be more inclined to take a quick answer and leave.

@joseph_klok   Any idea why Google has reverted to showing multiple same domain listings in SERPs since September? Ex: Google [patagonia shirts]
@dr_pete   Seems to vary wildly from day-to-day. Google tweaks domain “diversity” all the time.

@TurbanSEO   Adjustments aren’t needed in 2015 if content is gold and semantic structured data was coded correctly.
@dr_pete   What if your semantic data causes Google to scrape your content, and that answer kills your CTR? Playing devil’s advocate, but I think the situation is much more complex in some verticals than good content/code.

@egabbert   We always did this, but when targeting a keyword, try to start the post with a “What is X?” section and define the term.

@dr_pete   I think SERP awareness is critical. Answer boxes may only impact a couple percent, but if it’s your money term it’s huge.
@ozaemotion   I’m not sure that Google will keep going with answer box in future as they’re not generating result perfectly.
@1petemcallister I am very rarely satisfied with an answer box, need to click through 90% of the time.
@chelseabeaadams   I think they’ll take the answer box to the next level. Remember, they’re wrkng toward the “Star Trek computer” answer engine.
@paulaspeak   Google always refines and improves. Answer boxes will get better over time. We can’t wish them away.

@bruceclayinc   The Knowledge Graph is BIG. Use it to your advantage by creating in-depth content, implementing structured data, incl. tables.

@thompsonpaul   I’m actually pretty concerned with how willing Google now is to steal content from sites to keep eyeballs on their own properties.

@kristikellogg   Use consistent structure, link logically, use tables to present data in a templated way to create a consistent feel.

How will your local SEO strategy change in 2015? Will you be more or less focused on local?

@gyitsakalakis   Pigeon has made mess. Directories, DA and spammers are winning. DA = Domain Authority. Survey data.

@ericlanderseo   Absolutely has to, yes. There’s a movement reminiscent of inferred citations that local will continue to be built on. Hyperlocal comment & reviews in predictable work environments will help Google & others to expand review accuracy.

@directom   Because of the rise in mobile, local will be more important in 2015

@joseph_klok   Consistent for my industry since Sept. Had been a 8 months with only 1 domain listing. Curious if others are seeing same?
@dr_pete   Huh, interesting – I haven’t seen major drops/gains across the board. Google keeps tweaking SERP-by-SERP.

@dr_pete   FYI, testing suggests Google may kill the local carousel, and replace it with this (2 examples)

@d50media   Local SEO will need social more than ever. Google+ reviews will prove to be more important for leads.
@directom   Google+ reviews are extremely important. But do you see a rise in the usage of Google+ as a platform?
@d50media   Not many customers use it. Regardless, post there. It’s important for SEO (we’ve seen Google+ posts on page 1 of SERPs). Such a grey area though. You aren’t supposed to run contests for them, so it’s up to the client to encourage G+ reviews.

@bruceclayinc   Make sure your listings in directories have accurate data b/c they’re probably going to outrank you in local search. Spend time focusing on getting good listings in respectable local directories so your contact & business info is easy to find.
@thompsonpaul   Yea, right up until Yelp nukes those good reviews and exchanges them for negative. Actually-get Yelp reviews from users who already have many reviews. Otherwise nearly always filtered out.

@1petemcallister   No traffic for anyone but Wikipedia and advertisers then. Just need to wait for Wikipedia to inevitably get shafted now.

@kristikellogg   Go after citations, mentions and REVIEWS. Mobile traffic is soaring — local search is paramount.

@thos003   Seems the google carousel’s orientation may vary based on device/screen, no?
@dr_pete   Carousels are definitely mobile-inspired, and make much more sense on mobile. Desktop implementation is odd at best.

@chelseabeaadams   I think we need to mention mobile content optimization when talking about local in 2015. The two go hand in hand for conversion.

@cgrcreative   With the rise in mobile traffic and the value coming from review sites like Yelp, a local strategy is an absolute necessity.

@dr_pete   Paid is also evolving, and is encroaching on organic. I’ll give some examples. Here’s a new paid carousel (in testing) – much bigger footprint than paid shopping currently.

@dr_pete   Here’s another paid (PLA) format in testing – large, full-screen.

@dr_pete   We’re seeing paid elements pop up in the Knowledge Graph, like buying songs or TV episodes and we’re seeing KG entries that are almost completely paid, like this single-product listing.

@markstjohnson   What does the filter button offer? That would be new for the SERP or am I being dumb?
@dr_pete   I’m not entirely sure, because it’s broken on my capture. We see them on some PLAs – price, features, etc

@youngbloodjoe   Yes, but also looking beyond local serps. Looking at FB local, local app adoption, and local data optimization.

Are you being hit by new paid elements, and how will you adjust in 2015?

@1petemcallister   Glad they clearly marked it as sponsored in a light grey font in the top right hand corner of the ad section.

@ramirez_robert   If you can’t beat’m, join’m? Paid campaigns should be part of any online marketing strategy. In some verticals, is a necessity.

@cgrcreative   May not be new, but the ability to advertise and promote on Facebook has definitely opened doors to new opportunities.

@dr_pete   If you sell a physical product, I think you’re going to see big changes ahead. Plus, if you’re in hotel, travel, credit cards, insurance, music, TV, movies, mortgages, SEO… Well, you know, just everybody, basically.

@lisabuyer   Sometimes the best #PR is paying to reach the right audience at the right time on the right channel.

Have you been impacted by the “In The News” update? Seeing some major shake-ups with big publishers.

@dr_pete   Sites like Reddit and Twitter now qualify as news sources, in some cases (and often not in a good way). Did a search for “cheese” the other day, and top news results was an article on Reddit about a sandwich in Brooklyn. It wasn’t even an article that took off. It was basically just “Hey, we made a new sandwich.”

@hellemans   PPC is now should be an integral part of overall digital strategy in 2015! Bing Ads just got +1 by Ebay dumping Google Ads.

@chelseabeaadams   We (@BruceClayInc) have been listed “In The News” for artilces that are query relevant, but not “news.”

How do you think intelligent agents and voice search will impact SEO (Siri, Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa…)?

@dr_pete   H/T to @YoungbloodJoe on that one – lot of talk about Amazon’s new “Echo” device this week. Will we find ourselves optimizing for voice appliances soon, especially for consumer products?

@thompsonpaul   Longer tail queries & more natural search query terms for sure – re impact of Siri, Cortana, Echo etc.
@dr_pete   Yeah, good point – voice drove Hummingbird, to some extent, so it’s already impacting us daily.

@pseo_inc   Google Now is already on desktops.

@callmelouzander   Entity- and Concept-based optimizing rather than words or short phrases. New Mac OS (and Google Now) blend mobile & desktop.

@bruceclayinc   They already have impacted #SEO. Post-Hummingbird we should be focused on long-tail and answering queries in our content.

Summary: The Mobile Experience & Potential Role in Search Rankings on #SEOchat

Moderator: @bloomreachinc

What % of organic search traffic is now mobile on your (or your client’s) site?

@matthewayoung   Usually between 20-40%

@bruceclayinc   Mobile traffic is up and climbing across the board for ALL our clients.

@trainingceo   About 24% here (just checked) excluding table.

@dan_patterson   we’re >20%

@crbawden   A little under 10%, but growing as we move more content to responsive.
@bloomreachinc   Interesting. That’s on the low side. What type of site/content is the site?
@crbawden   Software, so we consider it very low, but as we build mobile experience mobile traffic noticeably increasing.
@kevinwaugh   Same numbers here, ecommerce site with low organic ranking. Overall mobile is above 30%.

@callmelouzander   Varies by client, but 10-40%. Whether tablet=mobile depends on how your site is served to users, I’d think.

@trainingceo   For us, tablet is around 5% of total. Pretty minimal compared to mobile.

@bloomreachinc   Mobile traffic is at 45-50% going up!

@kristikellogg   Some of our ecommerce sites see as much as 50% coming from mobile.

Is your site responsive? Or do you have an “m.dot” site?

@trainingceo   Responsive all the way!

@matthewayoung   All sites are responsive and those that arent are moving that direction.

@dan_patterson   Yes we are responsive.

@bruceclayinc   Responsive.

@trainingceo   Both Google and Bing made it clear long ago that m.dot sites aren’t the way to go.

@crbawden   Responsive, we decided that our customers would benefit more from the same experience rather than just mobile focus.

@kevinwaugh   Nope, not even a mobile version at this time. Development of one is a pipe dream.
@matthewayoung   so true for a lot org

@lancemoore22   Is there a better way than responsive?
@matthewayoung   Depends on the intent of the site – Dynamic serving may be better suited for ecommerce than RWD.
@callmelouzander   Frankly, it depends. Some news sites are too big for responsive. But in general it’s great way to go.

@kristikellogg   Most sites are going responsive. While that’s preferred configuration, the chief thing is UX. UX should determine the design.
@matthewayoung   Mobile UX = Mobile SEO

@jessesem   m.dot atm. We’re working on a 3 screen responsive though.

@lisabuyer   Most responsive. @copyblogger has a cool new platform #Rainmaker that seems interesting for brands to make an easy switch.

For those who’ve gone responsive, was SEO a factor in that decision?

@dan_patterson   SEO and also usability were a factor.

@crbawden   That factor was second only to what we felt the customers were asking for

@trainingceo   Usability and cool factor were probably more at the forefront, but SEO definitely a major consideration.

@bruceclayinc   From an #seo perspective, responsive design offers much cleaner code.

@chelseabeaadams   SEO & #UX. Google is serious about delivering optimal experience & it won’t rank sites w/ poor UX highly.
@matthewayoung   They’ve already added mobile UX reporting to GWT.
@trainingceo   Not to mention non-optimal sites won’t get as many long clicks which are also somewhere in that algorithm.

From a mobile experience perspective, has your company (or customer) focused on the mobile site? App? Or both?

@crbawden   Both, we started putting out apps and that was partially what helped us justify responsive content on the site.

@trainingceo   We’re still pretty young, so focused on the mobile web experience here

@matthewayoung   Client sites are informational so responsive works for initial entries, but for repeat interaction, apps are recommended.

@trainingceo   Before leaving the agency space, I saw more brands focused on mobile web as opposed to apps, but app discussions increasing. Whether website or app, must always give the customer a reason for using it.

@callmelouzander   So far mostly mobile experience. Still a lot of growth to be done in App Store Optimization.

@bloomreachinc   More so focused on a mobile site vs an app. Some of our bigger clients are vice versa!

@bruceclayinc   Apps are great, but they have to make sense. You should only implement them if they’re going to be useful for your audience.
@matthewayoung   Agree, why would you order from amazons mobile (dynamic serving) site? App is better suited for mobile experience.
@chelseabeaadams   Fun Fact! Some things – like Kindle eBooks – you HAVE to order from Amazon mobile site; can’t DL them from the app. Amazon is actually a great case study of a biz that requires both a mobile site & an app. Not ideal UX, but IIWII.

@igalst   The focus for the past 2 years was on apps (both app stores), now on a new revised m. site.

@alanbleiweiss   Most sites I audit still have poor process times desktop and mobile. Most sites don’t have responsive yet. Many that do get code wrong and cause new crawl problem. Also poor mobile UX. Use @googlewmc new mobile UX reports and Google Page speed insights tool to help. With @Googlewmc mobile UX reports you see which pages have which problems. If u go responsive be sure u don’t unintentionally screw up crawl, unique URL/Title/H1 needs w/endless scroll. Check @Googlewmc error reports – they have smartphone specific error info (404, 403, 500, etc). Don’t do responsive/fluid design just for SEO. Don’t block CSS /JavaScript from crawlers. Also test mobile speeds with WebPageTest.org’s mobile emulator.

@chelseabeaadams    We focus on the mobile site b/c it makes more sense for our biz. For eCom, an app often makes a lot of sense. Many stats we’re seeing flying around these days are in ref to App traffic. IE: “mobile taffic passes PC”! That’s APP traffic.

@crbawden   Since our mobile experience is new we’ve focused on overall mobile traffic + pages per visit to measure initial appeal. And carefully moving to which content has garnished the most mobile interaction.
@bloomreachinc   Yes, those engagement metrics are key, especially when you consider mobile influence on desktop and in-store.

@kristikellogg   Page Time! Mobile sites should load in ONE SECOND or your users will leave.

@callmelouzander   Make sure you’ve got attribution figured out. Low conversion rate on mobile don’t always mean bad UX. Some users might research on mobile, purchase on desktop.
@trainingceo   Making the transition easier (wishlist, saved cart, etc) is a key for that behavior.
@crbawden   We see that quite frequently especially since we do a lot of B2B business.

@matthewayoung   Maile Ohye has a great couple of vids on how to use GA to assess poor mobile UX. Large tap targets, objective driven (short) content, fast load times, no popups, etc.
@kevinwaugh   This, CTAs should be the size of a thumb print. Many sites ignore this.

@bruceclayinc   Google’s pagespeed insights tool helps you see how Google determines mobile UX. Pay attention to amount of visitors, conversions and bounce rate looking at segmented traffic.

@chelseabeaadams   Conversion! If your mobile site has great UX w/ CTA buttons ATF, strong filtering, & easy forms you should see conversion wins. Another mobile win = site speed! Google wants your ATF content to load in UNDER ONE SECOND! If you’re making their 1s rec: #Win. Reference Doc. I don’t consider user testing a way to gauge analytical success; I consider user testing a means to increase conversion.
@bloomreachinc   Possibly. But it can also give a human, narrative voice to the metrics. Powerful stuff when sharing internally

@kristikellogg   The mobile user prefers short blocks of text, not lengthy missives. Keep it clean and to the point, and swipable.

@callmelouzander   #rant I know it’s been said but please no PDFs on your mobile site! I’m talking to you, menus that automatically download!

@bloomreachinc   Anyone using qualitative approaches, like @usertesting, to see what their visitors really think?
@crbawden   Yep, both Qualtrix and UserZoom, helps a lot, but also not fully representative of population.

Rank in order of importance for mobile experience (most to least): Site search, navigation, recommendations, personalization.

@trainingceo   Navigation, Site Search, Recommendations = Personalization in my opinion.
@chelseabeaadams   I thought of “recommendations” as “local” — but, yes, it would still be personalized based on geo.

@crbawden   Loaded question b/c they vary in importance at different stages of the visit, but I’d lean toward mobile navigation.

@kevinwaugh   Navigation, personalization, search, recommendations. Navigation because people still do that.

@callmelouzander   Navigation, Personalization, Search, Recommendation. If your nav makes sense then search shouldn’t be needed too often.
@chelseabeaadams   Think of the REI app/mobile site. Just b/c their toggle menu works great doesn’t mean search is expendable. Users search when they’re ready to make a conversion. They know what they want already; do you have it? [search]. It’s just another one of those things “it all depends.” [On your biz; your goals; your format; etc.].
@callmelouzander   I thought of Amazon too. Depends on business, size of site. For most sites, tho, nav is more important, imho.

@bruceclayinc   Navigation, recommendations (esp. if targeting local), site search, personalization. It depends on your vertical. Check out our Mobile SEO Checklist, freshly published this week.

@bloomreachinc   As a benchmark for importance of mobile search, we see 15% of mobile visitors use search but they are 45% of mobile revenue.

@chelseabeaadams   User Testing can be an epiphanic experience that catalyzes change; Didn’t meant to imply it was expendable.

Who do you think does mobile experience well?

@chelseabeaadams   REI — the mobile site and the app. I reference them several times in my recent mobile article.

@crbawden   Onstar, because their mobile site is m.onstar.com so looks like monster. But mobile experience it aweful.

@kristikellogg   Buzzfeed. Vogue. NYTimes. AirBnb. Paypal. Facebook

Summary: The Changing Landscape of Local SEO on #SEOchat

Moderator: @tannerpetroff

Let’s talk Pigeon – who has seen changes in traffic or rankings? Any industries seeing big gains or losses?

@marcusbowlerhat   Not a huge difference in the UK. Still a lot of spammy results. More important than ever to have citations optimised for users.

@tannerpetroff   I’ve noticed significant changes in the results with local packs, but only minor dips/gains in traffic.

@hortensesoulier   Saw big changes for 1 in the tourism industry (less traffic to local pages) but not confident that it’s 100% Pigeon related.
@tannerpetroff   Interesting. If not Pigeon related, do you think it was manual action or algorithmic?
@hortensesoulier   No manual action but I’m thinking seasonality, ripples from lesser spend on display/PPC. Mobile traffic took a big hit. Organic traffic was the most impacted though and especially mobile.

@ericlanderseo   Only observations are when packs get smaller in SERPs to expose problems where multiple listings show (verified and unverified).
@marcusbowlerhat   Yep, more important than ever to have the authoritative citations dialled in and 100% consistent.

@matthewayoung   Not much to report with my clients specifically, but that doesnt mean there werent changes. Im sure if I set my search sip to my local area, it would show more of an impact – set to US right now, smh.

@paramaya   We heard from a few clients post-Pigeon who check rankings, but the fluctuation didn’t really translate to lost conversions.

Is there anything you’ve stopped doing entirely for local businesses since Pigeon?

@tannerpetroff   Truth be told, I’ve stopped ignoring Google+ and hoping it would just go away.

@paramaya   Not at all. We were already placing an emphasis on optimizing client listings on the top citation sites.

@matthewayoung   Optimizing for local terms. Pigeon and personalization are more than picking up the slack. With Hummingbird’s conversational components and Pigeon, Google understands query without having local keywords on site.

@ericlanderseo   Stopped working directly w/ Google, actually. We see stronger success leveraging @Moz Local & similar platforms. Post update, centralized listing management is far more effective than (hoping) to see Google update on its own for local. Google updates it’s algo and results, we stop working with them directly. Go figure.
@tannerpetroff   Good call. Did you have negative experiences working directly with G? Or just better results elsewhere?
@ericlanderseo   Better results in the form of faster updates, resolved conflicts, and (anecdotally, perhaps) ranking in small packs.

@hortensesoulier   Would definitely not ignore G+ especially with increasing personalization which has a big impact on local visibility.
@d50media   You may be able to ignore G+ from an SEO listing perspective, but wouldn’t recommend ignoring it for social.
@hortensesoulier   Agreed, but from a local search perspective, G is a data hub and cannot be ignored if only for presence and consistency.
@matthewayoung   Though G+ has its own place in SEO – search experience optimization (picked that up from #pubcon)

@bruceclayinc   The job is still the same. There’s nothing our analysts have pulled back from.
@marcusbowlerhat   Totally agree, nothing has really changed with regards to what you have to do. Quality is and always was important.

How do you feel on-page SEO is changing for local businesses?

@bruceclayinc   Local keywords should continue to be optimized for local pages. Name, address, phone numbers should continue to be consistent.

@hortensesoulier   On-page local is not about local terms anymore but structured data and consistency in business information.

@marcusbowlerhat   It’s not, that’s the point. NAP on every page, optimised page titles, think of the user. Domain authority plays a bigger part.

@tannerpetroff   I think site-wide optimization is more important than before, no more “title, headings & schema on just home page” business.

@ericlanderseo   I’m seeing more inferred citations and 3rd party reviews being aggregated by Google *and* other sources. So, Google sees the info, infers it to be true (branded site, list of locations) & then imports that into maps. I’ve seen addresses on domains begin to create new listings on Google Maps, for example – serving as a citation. It’s spotty but believe it or not, pigeon seems to like big brands! #notnewforgoogle.

@paramaya   It has always been important that sites are optimized for queries with local intent. It’s just much more important now.

@matthewayoung   More of an emphasis on rich snippets now. This is a must for any local business, not to mention Google My Business as well. Ensuring proper schema markup is implemented, and testing it through the structured data tool is key. Local isnt just about on-page. So many off page things orgs can do – G+ brand page, claiming maps listings, Yelp!, etc.

@kristikellogg   I wrote about the NAP some months back in this local #SEO guide — still applies.

@callmelouzander   Not Local specific, but Google introduced Structured Snippets which gain you more space in the SERP. Shows G cares about structure.

@crystalware   Still the same game. Local pages optimized with local keywords, NAP, schema. Presenting right content for decision validation.

Do you feel a changing weight in links or citations for local businesses?

@ericlanderseo   Haven’t seen enough to draw any direction or conclusions, sadly.
@tannerpetroff   At least it doesn’t seem like anything has been devalued though, right?
@ericlanderseo   Not yet for us, no. It could be more a product of our clients’ markets though.

@tannerpetroff   I think links and domain authority are going much further than before – AKA brands.

@d50media   Yelp, Google Reviews, etc. are going to become more & more important for businesses. Those stars stick out.
@jeremyriveraseo   Remember that you COULD build a 3rd party site that hosts reviews in a niche industry you operate within. Don’t forget that stars also appear for good Schema markup and use of those reviews on site.

@sonray   Quality > quantity still rules in the local space. Placements that go beyond digital are the best IMO. Getting off site reviews within the service area can help get you away from centernoid basis and extend local reach.

@paramaya   I think co-occurrence is becoming just as important as links and citations, especially in directory listings.
@hortensesoulier   Co-occurence could definitely be a factor -is in Google Books & might be expanded.
@tannerpetroff   Lots of talk of co-occurrence and co-citation lately. Any studies you can point us to?
@paramaya   Not handy. Will have to find.

@bruceclayinc   Importance is increasing. As mobile search continues to climb, a strong local presence (complete w/ strong links) is paramount.

@marcusbowlerhat   Get involved with local businesses & organisations. Get the links & citations competitors can’t easily copy.

Has your local SEO reporting changed in recent months? Why or why not?

@ericlanderseo   YES. Leverage those third party toolsets. Again, @Moz Local is great. We’ve begun using Bridg as well.

@tannerpetroff   I’ve started including Clicks for Driving Directions & GMB impressions thanks to a post by @GregGifford

@ericlanderseo   Reporting on local requires more than Google Places & Google Analytics – and listings *live* in SO MANY places.

@sonray   Nope, still all about that traffic and conversions, no treble.
@tannerpetroff   I always find CTR tough to measure accurately, regardless of what data you think you have.

@matthewayoung   Yes, but not to the extent that everything has changed. Minor shifts. Then again, I dont have a lot of local clients.
@tannerpetroff   Seems like most changes I make to reporting are minor shifts. Best not to shake things up too much.

@crystalware   Not really, reporting is about meeting goals. A change in tactics doesn’t necessarily result in a change to the reporting.

@marcusbowlerhat   not really other than putting more focus on reviews & reputation aspects. Local often just part of a bigger picture.

@paramaya   Local SEO reporting has changed for specific clients but only where it informs specific business goals. Reporting hasn’t changed in response to any algorithm changes. “User is the new centroid” is only possible because people carry a location-tracking device wherever they go.

What impact do you feel changing technology/devices will have on local SEO?

@matthewayoung   Mobile is a huge impact on local. Hummingbird was designed with mobile at the center. And Google drops the mic. Case and point. Majority of searches on mobile are of a local intent. This was a no brainer for Google. Also the teen demo loves voice search.
@tannerpetroff   For sure. It’d be interesting to see correlation between timing of Hummingbird & # of locally focused searches.

@bruceclayinc   The fact that mobile search has exceeded desktop search is definitely a game changer. SEOs have no choice but to pay a lot of attention to SEO for mobile.
@sonray   I think we’re going to see a faster/greater adoption with wearables than we’ve seen with mobile.

@sonray   Mobile and wearables are the ultimate in personalized search.
@tannerpetroff   Glad you brought that up. I think local search will become the ultimate in personalized search in time.

@kristikellogg   As wearables become more commonplace, that will also affect SEO, esp. local – only time will tell how exactly.

@marcusbowlerhat   Local is all about mobile – who Google’s a taxi on there desktop? Some niches are more local than others. Google pushing voice hard in UK with TV adverts. My kids often search with voice first.

What tools do you use to help manage your local search campaigns?

@tannerpetroff   I couldn’t do what I do without @whitespark or @MozLocal

@paramaya   Google spreadsheets more than anything else, also @bright_local.

@marcusbowlerhat   UK friendly tools are few & far between / flakey. Google search operators do the job admirably.

Summary: Tactical Social Ads on #SEOchat

Moderator: @Sonray – Jason White, Director of SEO @DragonSearch in beautiful NY.

@sonray   Let’s kick the tires & light the fires on this #seochat – tactical social ads & how they help achieve #SEO goals.

How many are currently running social media ads and what are your primary goals? If not, why not? Planning to do so?

@sofiarattes   I recently planned a social media campaign for my summer internship that is launching now!

@ericlanderseo   We do plenty of social advertising @d50media. Most are focused on lead gen opportunities which makes retargeting key.

@nikbernstein92   I am interested in running social media ads for a start up company that I am working for, but need to learn more info.

@trainingceo   Not running social ads yet, but plan to. (We just launched and are focused on organic social at the moment).

@strydedotcom   We’re running dozens of ads at the moment, for our clients. Goals vary from page likes, to blog traffic, etc.

@jenninemiller   Running ads for all clients. Main goals is higher CTR to website for conversions, signups, requests for more info, etc

@kevinwaugh   I’m not and not in the future at this time. Mostly I see it as spam in the newsfeed. I’m more content based myself.

@marcusbowlerhat   Yup. Goals vary, mostly more page likes, some general exposure. Targeting people who like X can be powerful. Need to think beyond ads – it’s not always to sell something. Approach dependant upon goals.

@kevin_douglasuf   Im not using ads but I want my social media pages to blow up beyond just the #uf campus Any ways to maximize views for my vines
@trainingceo   One rec – spend the time to engage with others in the Vine community. Also, try to connect with Vine compilers.

@jenninemiller   It’s all about the dark posts (promoted only, not on timeline) & exclusion targeting so you avoid spamming. Proud to announce that our typical reach of 20-30k usually results in less than 2 ‘hide posts’! CTR is pretty good but it depends on your bid & budget. Right now seeing higher CTR promoting page link posts (up 100%).

@gobrandify   We’ll occasionally promote social ads for our content (chats, whitepapers etc) since our clients are primarily brands.

@erikacanfijn   I am not currently running any ads, but I’m not managing any company or community accounts. They can come off as spam though.

@lancemoore22   Using Facebook to retarget people who’ve visited a website.

@KevinWaugh   Doesn’t Facebook restrict some brand’s timeline access to paid even if someone “likes” them?
@jenninemiller   Organic reach is down @KevinWaugh but a little spend goes a long way when you target existing fans. Sad but true.
@kevinwaugh   That is the part that irks me with Facebook, the acquisition costs are sunk but now have no return.

What is/was your greatest hurdle to overcome when setting up social ads? Students: What do you struggle with?

@ericlanderseo   Ad approval. Every medium has different requirements on imagery, text, etc. Lots to learn with rejected ads. We learned a lot recently regarding promoted content w/ imagery. i.e., text in the image cannot exceed x%. Perception is that you can pay to promote anything, and that’s far from true. FB tends to be quite strict. (Another learning) tracking attribution on leads generated in social can also be very messy. GA on it’s own won’t work.
@trainingceo   But the Multi-Channel Attribution Modeling tool can help (though not perfect)
@ericlanderseo   Sure can, but only in certain environments. Something on-site is needed to validate platform numbers.
@trainingceo   And a good CRM setup so you can confirm the ROI generated from those leads.
@amirlearner   Brand lift gets a bit more difficult, even with tools.

@strydedotcom   Getting the audience right. Laser-targeting takes a bit more time, but the ROI is huge.
@sonray   The success is within getting the audience just right and slicing/dicing the messaging.

@jenninemiller   Power Editor! I feel like I’m relearning it every time but we always figure it out.

@marcusbowlerhat   You need a plan and clear goals before going to the adverts – with clarity what you want what you need to do is way clearer.

@helllonina   Ad restrictions on Facebook.
@jenninemiller   Agreed w/ @helllonina. I swear I’m using only 20% text! Bookmark FB grid tool.

@sofiarattes   It’s hard to follow the fine line between spamming your friends and promoting your brand.

@hayley_zagacki   I struggle with having enough content and having a limited reach beyond UF to use ads in the first place.

@erikacanfijn   I’m only using personal accounts, but I think making sure you are getting your target audience engaged and not seen as spam.

@starkey_ellis   Turning friendships into professional relationships without turning brand into spam.

@mahiza_moore   Using social media to direct more relevant traffic to your blogs or website

@gobrandify   It can be challenging to promote without spamming.

@francesca923   Finding the right medium to reach out to target audiences.

@kevin_douglasuf   Deciding when it’s worth it to start paying for ads and when the content you have is good enough to warrant investment.

@lizclancy_   Finding a balance between getting your message out and spamming. Hard to do when you are trying to build an audience from zero

@mahiza_moore   My biggest struggle is personalizing with my target audience without sounding robotic or too much like an advertisement.
@delia_albert   How can we make the content more interesting and personal?
@__ohmickey__   Thats when you change things up a little. Altering a tweet or post helps make it more personal.
@marcusbowlerhat   You have to have more to offer as a reason to follow the account. Ask the question – why would someone follow me?

@lancemoore22   Good article on ad retargeting

@berniezilio   Social Ads are depended on reaching the right audience! The interest targeting is the hard / finding the right customer!

Some/all social advertising platforms are geared to increase vanity social metrics, how are you using ads to increase traffic?

@sydneybrodie   what do you mean by vanity social metrics? What is that exactly?
@sonray   Vanity metrics are usually considered a follower since counting followers is vanity providing little value w/o engagement

@strydedotcom   For FB, you can target ads specifically for clicks to your blog/website, thus increasing traffic. Obviously, you need stellar copy and content, but that’s a given.

@thebuyergroup   .@LisaBuyer on Paying to Play

@lancemoore22   Try and offer them a reason to visit your website…a free consultation, free advice, sale, something of value. Visually appealing and not over spamming- ads are bait on the hook- have to reel the traffic in.
@__ohmickey__   yes but you have to be careful not to spam. Just remember to personalize it a bit!
@delia_albert   Try and offer them a reason to visit your website…a free consultation, free advice, sale, something of value.
@strydedotcom   Great advice, a call to action is necessary!
@sophianapoles   make the content interactive so they are more likely to share.

@trainingceo   Always keep focused on why you’re on social – driving traffic to site? Pay attention to clicks. A/B test like crazy! Focusing on community engagement? Whole different set of metrics (like comments and shares).

@gobrandify   We always advise brands to geo-target their advertising and pay attention to #LOCAL factors to ensure effective ads

@erikacanfijn   I would say using ads to promote an offer or incentive to actually go to your page. Like if a store has a 20% code.

@jenninemiller   Twitter Promoted Tweet option is doing well and I love that it’s PPC. Just make sure the Tweet clearly explains the landing page.

@helllonina   Use certain ads to target key publics.

@berniezilio   I think it’s a push and pull system. Don’t give all the info at once. Give enough to keep clients coming to you.

@ericlanderseo   Driving to content w/ FB Insights has been great for us. Drive traffic now, get access to them later.

@nikipayne   Social ads should be geared toward engagement, not vanity metrics.

@lanibuildafort   Social ads convey the importance of branding! Using the right words in your ad can cement the brand leads to increasing traffic.

@bruceclayinc   We’ve used Facebook campaigns for “Clicks to Website” & “Event Responses” which require those actions.

Better to keep users on the same social network or do you nudge them elsewhere? Success or horror stories?

@trainingceo   Let social users engage where they’re comfortable, but make other channels/options clear. “Don’t like being limited to 140 chars? Join the convo on FB” (or G+, LI, etc.) is a common msg I’ve seen for cross-pollination.

@mahiza_moore   It is imp. to vary social networks but only on platforms that your target audience is active on or it will be useless.

@lanibuildafort   It is better to mix it up & use different platforms & def success stories! invite the consumers, don’t scare them away.

@ericlanderseo   Retargeting across multiple networks is super creepy. Finding ways to connect networks w/interactions is awesome. Example: Drive content for sharing w/ Tweet oriented messaging. Once there, push to FB w/ commentary.

@strydedotcom   Good question! We don’t have people jumping form platform to platform. A content or campaign has a very specific purpose and intended platform. Channel integration is necessary at times but there needs to a focus.

@delia_albert   I think it’s about segmenting and reaching different audiences where they prefer.

@jenninemiller   Lol, G+ is slow to grow so we’ll throw the occasional “join the conversation, join our community” on other networks.

@bruceclayinc   Depends on the goal of the particular communication. Do Know or Go? “Do” would require a nudge to that conversion point.

@kevin_douglasuf   Depends on the content you create. I split between YouTube and vine and I like to use Twitter and fb as a promotion platform.

@eitanschapsis   Def keep on same social media. Their influence on 1 social media site they’re active on can be totally nonexistent on another.

@sonray   I’ve had decent success sending twitter users to a G+ post that links to a blog post. More analysis is found on g+ post. The expanded commentary is key to making it work as it’s not the best usability but the metrics can be nice. And then refine the campaign off of the data collected! Tweet has the hook for G+. I usually do it when I’m RT content for a second time. Helps G+ growth (sometimes).

@jenninemiller   Hosting a contest on one platform, heck yeah. You have a fan base elsewhere, use it to help your campaign.

@nikbernstein92   I think moving from one to another is fine because it attracts all different types of audiences.

@nikipayne   Users have no reason to go to another network if they are getting the same value on their preferred network. Users need a reason to follow you elsewhere. What can they get from you on one network that they can’t get on another?

@lizclancy_   People prefer different types of SM outlets. Let options be known but make sure each outlet has a clear target audience.

@francesca923   Different platforms for different measures. Mixing it has worked great. I’ve been able to reach audiences w/ varied interests.

@marcusbowlerhat   It all depends on the goal. Tie each campaign to a relevant landing page.

Do you find the data gained from a social campaign applicable to other marketing channels?

@jenninemiller   Yes. Which posts got the most attention helps us format messaging on other platforms. Also, email collection rocks for retarget. If you have an email they’ve already opted in & said “I’m interested in your post” so it shouldn’t bother them. Also, don’t use every email list in every campaign to avoid spamming. You can also exclude email lists. It’s the most expensive but also the most qualified targeting you can do! Build your email lists SEOchat-ers!

@paramaya   Any data that helps you better understand your target audience is applicable to other marketing campaigns.
@jenninemiller   Sure @paramaya! You can upload your email lists to FB & Twitter and then target them w/ your ads vs. targeting everyone.

@trainingceo   Social data can be useful for content marketing and email, since they start with user engagement.

@strydedotcom   Perhaps not channels, but other departments for sure! Data from social helps with content writing, SEO, email marketing, etc.

@bruceclayinc   Good question. Interested in others’ thoughts. We’ve used social data to build personas.

@marcusbowlerhat   There is a temptation to generalise but social is just another tool to get in front of folks. You still need an offer / usp. Success or failure the data should be useful. Even if it only shows what doesn’t work. It can also be a cheap way to A/B test offers, ad text etc.

@kevin_douglasuf   Learning from past marketing campaigns mistakes definitely help alter the strategies for future ones.

@lancemoore22   Yes. Easy to compare across channels and observe which ads are not performing well at all.

@trainingceo   I like it, as long as it’s presented as a choice and not a requirement to engage with the brand.

@ericlanderseo   YES! The data always differs from search marketing (paid and organic) because it’s another layer of audience exposure.

@lizclancy_   Yes. See what works, what doesn’t. Even if it just helps you understand your target audience better – what do they respond to?

@francesca923   Data helps manage how you market & advertise your content. The more you know, the better success rate.

What improvements do you see coming from social ads in the next six months?

@jenninemiller   There is so much happening to Twitter Ads right now. Not sure what to expect but it’s definitely going in the right direction. Personally, as a Facebook & Twitter user, I’m hoping that brands will learn to do better social ads ;) I clicked a link for a coat I liked yesterday & it brought me to view all coats. I would have bought the one but got annoyed and left. I’m also hoping G+ will get rid of there 1,000 followers before advertising rule. The ads could help reach our targets.
@strydedotcom   I hope so, we haven’t seen as much success with Twitter’s ads as we have with FB.
@jenninemiller   True but our new Twitter rep has been very helpful.

@ericlanderseo   It’s all about Facebook & what they can do with Atlas. $3B digital advertising market and Google dominates. New blood! I also believe that Yahoo! Gemini is a tip of the cap; More native social adverting (perhaps on own sites) would be key. The great thing about YHOO Gemini is that big time CPC keywords are still very cheap for that reason. Wild west.

@trainingceo   I think we’ll see more focused targeting & better integration (they’ll feel less like ads). At least I hope.

@berniezilio   More shifting from organic to paid. That’s for sure. Brands might also focus more on maintaining brand loyalty.

@ericwagner1017   Highly targeted, customizable, interactive, viral.

@eitanschapsis   I’ve been seeing corporate Tumblr accounts hone in on audiences in better and smarter ways, through adapted humor/graphics.
@delia_albert   Interesting! Tumblr seems to attract a very niche audience.
@francesca923   I’m noticing the same thing with the use of #gifs and memes. They definitely help to grab the audience’s attention.
@delia_albert   Agreed! I think that’s the way to reach our generation. We LOVE GIFs.
@eitanschapsis   I’ve seen a Coca-Cola ad, with just a great GIF, get GREAT impressions JUST bc of the quality of the GIF.

@marcusbowlerhat   It’s all about Atlas.

@erikacanfijn   I think there’s so much going on social media, so it will become more specific and harder to get those ads.

@kevin_douglasuf   Hoping to see more creative content that don’t stick out like a sore thumb on my timeline.

Time to love on somebody – give a shout out to a brand or practitioner who you think is ‘doing social ads right’

@eitanschapsis   Tumblr has a different dynamic than other SM sites. For a popular account, check out @DennysDiner- they do it right.
@lizclancy_   @DennysDiner — unconventional but funny and appealing to younger customers

@eitanschapsis   New_Fork_City on Insta for NY foodies, @DennysDiner on Tumblr for WEIRD humor

@jenninemiller   Shameless self plugin to @LisaBuyer of @TheBuyerGroup. Learned so much from them!

@berniezilio   @Oreo – you guys get it.
@jenninemiller   Love! KitKats too

@ericlanderseo   I’d cast my vote w/ EA Sports. The FIFA & Madden advertising / landing page experiences have been revolutionary in ’14. They’ve also managed to innovate at an incredibly high level of scale. Massive, international audiences.

@__ohmickey__   I can tell you who doesn’t. @KimKardashian @KrisJenner spam my Facebook. I had to unfollow them.

@erikacanfijn   @NissanUSA and @InfinitiGlobal

@amirlearner   for e-com I have a big time crush on @DollarShaveClub

@francesca923   Example @LanaDelRey with @CocaCola gif. Intentional? I think it works.

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