Summary: Content Marketing and SEO on #SEOchat

Moderator: @AndreaMLehr

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

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

@BrianRBaker4   Content marketing aids SEO to link-building.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@RyanJones   SEO basically IS content marketing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@mysiteauditor   Definitely authority! Quality links over quantity, always

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moderator: @TheBuyerGroup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@BrianRBaker4   Internal linking, and site structure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@connieurway   Customize RSS feeds, hyperlinks optimize headlines.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@searchrook   Create different content for mobile, new platforms.

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

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

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

How do press releases tie in today’s SEO strategy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@BruceClayInc   Google Analytics > Content Drilldown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@sallyfalkow   Oh so that’s who you are!

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

@aodmarketing   “Did you email my contact?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moderator: @BruceClayInc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@MatthewAYoung   It’s acceptable under the right circumstances.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@AndrewDennis33   Don’t try to take shortcuts.

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

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

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

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

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

@TheBuyerGroup   Create good content.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@DavidProHQ   None – all links are good links.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@netvantage   A machete and beast mode.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary: Intersection of Branding & SEO on #SEOchat

Moderator: @nslettengren

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

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

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

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

@BruceClayInc   SEO can strengthen branding, absolutely.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moderator: @emily_C27

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@lancemoore22   Google+ is super important for local results.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@HeroicSearch   Google Analytics and GOALS!

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

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

@KristiKellogg   Gooogle Ananlytics —-> Social Referral Report.

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

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

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

@directom   We use GA to measure social efforts!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moderator: @denverish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are your favorite tactics for decreasing cart abandonment?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@KristiKellogg   Call Gary Illyes in a pinch.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are your favorite ecommerce platforms and payment gateway solutions?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary: Tool Time on #SEOchat

Moderator: @DragonSearch

Name your top 3 tools for getting started in SEO.

@EricLanderSEO   Google Webmaster Tools, Microsoft Excel and @sengineland

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

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

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

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

@MatthewAYoung   Google Search Console, Adwords and Screaming Frog

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

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

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

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

@CJLio   GWT, Analytics, and Screaming Frog.

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

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

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

@aodmarketing   Google webmaster tools, Analytics, and @moz

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

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

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

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

@SocialMichelleR   don’t forget wordpress plugins like Yoast

@SarasotaBiz   AuthorityLabs, Moz, GWT

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

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

@lancemoore22   @googleanalytics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@cjmonteblanco   Screaming Frog. Kermit agrees

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

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

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

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

What tools have really good support?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How often are you testing new tools?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do you vet new tools?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Favorite new tool you’ve tried recently?

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

@pjmckeown   Analytics Canvas (plugin for google sheets)

@directom   Is Google Search Console considered “new”?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@cjmonteblanco   shoutout to @ahrefs for being my new fave

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

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

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

@narenism   Really impressed with FAQfox http://faqfox.com/ Neat tool to mine questions posted by target users.

Do you divulge what tools you use with your client?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you have a tool budget?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who pays for tools? Clients?

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

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

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

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

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

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

@cjmonteblanco   Our tools are government funded

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

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

Moderator: @thompsonpaul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@Fitehal   Analytics and Page optimization are campaign savers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@BrianRBaker4   We CRO test our forms.

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

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

@searchrook   In-app notifications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@SarahFromDC   Constantly – you’ll become irrelevant otherwise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moderator: @shuey03

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@DragonSearch   Recently, we’ve been looking for reciprocal followers on Twitter and starting outreach that way. We’ve also gone for mid-level influencers and then done social ads with the content they produce.
@AJutah   Not all customers are social influencers. It’s about connecting with potential leads, not just Twitter addicts.
@SocialMichelleR   But you never know which happy customer might just become an influencer

@rickhardman   IMO – Personal touch is important enough not to “scale” w/automation – but tools help keep things organized & efficient.

@AJutah   Network with these influencers without having an agenda (at first). Be genuine, and offer to help them share their content.
@SocialMichelleR   Right. We saw value in what they had to say, that’s why we thought them influential.
@AJutah   Make friends with local media too. Local reporters are usually looking for experts to share insight for their stories.
@SocialMichelleR   HARO has been an awesome help to me lately.

@directom   Document everything about them. What they like, their interests. It helps to actually care who they are. Twitter is an amazing tool for engagement. Court them first and make sweet tweets together.

@Tinu   We have a dirty mnemonic device for that where we replace the word Ask with the F word to teach people how to be good Askers. 10 secret rules for mastering the art of a skillful __k. Getting influencers to want to help is like trying to get a date to give you the goodies. Brute force techniques get you uggos. When they WANT to help and they CARE about helping? Your job is mostly just making it Stupid easy to participate. I should clarify that though. By “brute force” I mean just randomly verbally spamming everyone with “hey wanna date me.”

@rderdoski   Repeatable processes + building relationships. Influencers are people too! start forging a relationship you can use again. Always ‘get to know’ your influencer before reaching out and be transparent and real in our outreach – no spammy canned emails!

@rjonesx   Favorite them in twitter. Flattery is a wonderful drug.

@creativecalif   Return is so much greater when you invest in personalization. Worth it to spend time writing personal emails rather than form. We’d rather spend one hour building a real relationship with one influencer than one hour faking it with 100.

@tonyxrandall   This is one thing that i don’t care to scale. honestly, i just treat everyone i talk to equally regardless of “influence”.

@bill_slawski   Start following on social media, including lists/circles to make it easier to follow.

@beyondcontent   Money, gifting, event invites, flattery, promises, ego-stroking, whatever works

@tonyxrandall   Networking with only “influencers” is incredibly short sighted and so selfish. make friends with everyone, don’t be a jerk.
@bill_slawski   It’s funny; if you’re helpful to everyone, you may end up getting surprised by whom you’re helping.
@rderdoski   Agreed you can’t forget about the little guys – brand evangelists are a powerful thing
@tonyxrandall   yeah, idk, i’d rather become good friends w/ someone w/ little influence and benefit throughout their entire “growth”

@ebiziq   Be in it for your own enrichment and be authentic. Always be a value-adding member of the community first and foremost.

@Tony_DWM   By making it their journey as much as yours. Win / win on a personal & professional level. Inspire & support.

How do you scale social media efforts (following, engaging, etc.) without losing a personal touch?

@SocialMichelleR   Truth is, we don’t want influencers for a one night stand. We want a long term relationship. Treat them like friends.

@rjonesx   Persistence, show them you care about establishing that relationship.

@rickhardman   IMO – Personal touch is important enough not to “scale” w/automation – but tools help keep things organized & efficient
@creativecalif   What are your favorite tools for keeping things organized?
@rderdoski   So many tools so little time! It’s important to capture influencer interactions & build relationships I’ve used @RavenTools
@creativecalif   Thanks for the tip! We currently use @sproutsocial.

@Where2GetIt   First,establish firm goals/objectives for your social presence. This will keep your brand from seeming robotic.

@justinkofron   Keep an constant eye on what the community is talking about, and set aside dedicated time to be in the moment and interact live.

@Tinu   On the one hand, I think social scales to a point. It doesn’t do as well as a broadcast medium. But light touches help spark bigger things. I try to write everything as if speaking with 1 person. People do the same in kind. My way of scaling that personal touch is to choose a new handful of people to get deeper with every day. It’s not for everyone. But I’d rather have 1000 rock solid connections than 10,000 flaky ones. 1000 easy to convert or 1% of 100k harder converts are the exact same number.The person I know who the best at scaling the personal touch on social hands down in @amyvernon. @AmyVernon has an excellent guide on Slideshare to what she calls Narrowcasting. And @Zaibatsu is some kind of Social Sorcerer. From his celebrity followers to people who barely get Twitter they all LOVE him.
@AmyVernon   And here’s the Slideshare you referenced on #narrowcasting

@directom   Engagement, even on a personal level, is scalable. Engage with EVERYONE

@AJutah   Realize one person can’t do everything!

@Tony_DWM   Vulnerability & choosing to make everyone I speak to’s day a little better, if possible, w/o return..

@rderdoski   Using ed calendars, scheduling tools, alerts..you can boost efficiency-time saved there should be dedicated to being personal

@bill_slawski   Keep your expectations reasonable, your actions responsible, and your goals achievable. rinse. repeat.

@creativecalif   Build relationship w/ light touches on social media before diving in & making a more substantial relationship w/ an influencer.

@Tripp_Hamilton   Don’t send DMs that look like form-letters when you get a follow-back (I see this a lot). Looks really shady.

Summary: Mistakes, missed opportunities and messaging to clients on #SEOchat

Moderator: @bloomreachinc

“A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals to discovery.” James Joyce

Do you distinguish between mistakes (like typos) and mistakes (like strategic)?

@Casieg   Of course. A mistake in a blog post is very different than a mistake in direction of a program. Different consequences.

@MatthewAYoung   Yes, one cost more money than the other. Admittedly though, as a grammarian, typos are intolerable.

@directom   Despite both being mistakes, one carries more weight in severity.

@EricLanderSEO   Absolutely, yes. Distinguish them in your labeling… Ex: Errors can be corrected. Mistakes are learning opportunities.

@BruceClayInc   The best part about a typo is you can go back in and edit it with ease … strategy mistakes aren’t usually so simple.

@CaitlinBoroden   Absolutely. Small typos can go undetected by users. Larger problems not so much.

@BerkleyBikes   We try to avoid both, but one has more dire consequences! Using the wrong version of “their” is minor. An ad slogan promoting rape culture is a REAL BIG problem.

@emily_C27   Any mistake is still a mistake. The type of mistake may affect the negative or, in tun, positive level of impact it may have.

@tannerpetroff   Yes, sometimes strategic mistakes are subjective, more like learning experiences. Typos are just oversight. Very different.

@BrianRBaker4   Keep track of your data. Constantly test, adjust, and optimize!

@AJutah   Clients may appreciate the transparency when a mistake is made, but they usually want to see a proactive response.

@creativecalif   Small mistakes can be corrected & not indicative of your abilities. Strategic mistakes are a sign of needing to develop foresight and taking the time to learn.

@Randomhero180   One is much easier and quicker to fix and the other may take a while to notice.

@AdamOnTheKeys   You plan for minor mistakes, and develop a process for fixing them. Strategic mistakes though can be damaging.

@jacquesbouchard   Yes, although the two types of mistakes aren’t mutually exclusive. For example, a missing semicolon in a CSS file.

@GoBrandify   For us consistent/clean location info is a constant effort and strategic mistakes spawn from these small errors.

How do you learn from each mistake and operationalize what you learned?

@Casieg   I think when you make a type mistake, you are super aware going forward. The bigger ones are often harder to see immediately.

@MatthewAYoung   I think it’s all in defining process to create sound products. Review both work and strategies with multiple people.

@KristiKellogg   The best part of a mistake is that you can learn. Communicate success &mistakes to team members so you learn from one another.

@directom   Step one is confronting the issue and identifying the cause. Refer back to your processes.

Agencies, gurus, friends, consultants, Moz, how do you deal with conflicting SEO advice?

@KristiKellogg   Flip a coin. Get to know your sources; if you hear something suspicious, see how if authorities are weighing in. Look for evidence.
@BruceClayInc   Yes — and if there’s even a hint of #blackhat, ignore that advice and go with the other.

@BerkleyBikes   Recognize that very little of what we know is set in stone & that it changes CONSTANTLY. Plus, every scenario is different.

@AJutah   SEO is like the field of medicine, in that we have research and best practices to follow, which are industry standards.

@jacquesbouchard   Ultimately, I take my OWN advice. If the solution fits my personal observations and is good for the user, I run with it. And like medicine, you can get two different opinions from two reputable doctors.

@AJutah   And like medicine, you can get two different opinions from two reputable doctors. It seems like there’s always a shiny new object to try, but common sense and best practices still win at the end of the day.

@EricLanderSEO   Important to level-set with environmental variables. B2B, B2C, eCom, etc. & technologies have different requirements.

@Casieg   Depends on what it is but sometimes it’s worth listening the reasoning. SEO can be quite subjective.

@MatthewAYoung   Rely on the SEO basics as your guiding principles.

@directom   Data is data. From there, intuition must be trusted. If your intuition is flawed, time to reevaluate.

@tannerpetroff   Know best practices, know there’s always another way, determine risk tolerance, do your homework, make an educated decision.

@dan_patterson   Watch out for “shiny object” advice. Don’t just jump on something because you read an article that just wanted attention.

@creativecalif   Use common sense, test yourself, and at the very least, follow webmaster guidelines. If the big G or others say not to do something, don’t risk it.

@CaitlinBoroden   Avoid S.O.S. – Shiny Object Syndrome. Learned that from SearchLove

@henryoloughlin   I usually go with the basics – good content, the right keywords, internal linking – then check Moz for more technical stuff.

@MatthewAYoung   Approach claims with skepticism and try to qualify/confirm as best you can.

@MackSnapMatt   Research.Cross reference. Experiment. When all else fails, ask my direct supervisor. In my experience, SEO seems largely subjective. And there are always fringe factors that can totally change everything.

@Randomhero180   It’s a constantly changing industry I like to stick with best practices as a baseline before anything else.

@AdamOnTheKeys   As long as my focus is always on the target audience and addressing their needs first, it’s hard to go too far astray.

What was your costliest mistake (to either $ or reputation) in SEO?

@EricLanderSEO   Most costly mistake I’ve been involved? Uncovering an X-robots header disallow that prevented a $800k site from going “live”

@Casieg   I once forgot to turn a paid campaign off…accidentally spent about $8k. Not too bad but thought I was gonna be in trouble. Biggest SEO mistake – letting a client dictate the program. Didn’t manage it properly & in turn it wasn’t successful.
@EricLanderSEO   @Casieg just reminded: Once went to lunch w/o a budget cap running broad match “travel” terms in AdWords. VERY expensive lunch.

@MatthewAYoung   I’ll bite. It’s not a single thing, but a series of things that cause clients to leave after only a year.

@BrianRBaker4   I think the biggest mistake is getting a client’s site penalized. Never done it personally but my old company has (many times!). Another common mistake I see is accidentally robot txt blocking the whole site.
@Casieg   Ugh yes! We had a client who was using us for social. Their SEO company left it on the new site & deindexed site.

@henryoloughlin   Just not knowing what I was doing when I started doing SEO/content yet still taking clients, I’d say. Another mistake – trying to predict results for one client from another industry. So much about SEO success is competition.

@CaitlinBoroden   The biggest problem I’ve come across is the noindex tag accidentally being added to the site.

@chriswtam   Not properly managing expectations.

@Tinu   My costliest mistake is always the failure to set realistic expectations, then follow up to make sure they’re understood. Any other mistake I made had that at its roots.

@jacquesbouchard   My greatest _lesson_ has been to focus on long-term, sustainable strategy and not overreacting over month-over-month metrics.

@BerkleyBikes   Not super costly, but one time I coded a bunch of schema & used the wrong quotations (the curly ones) – none of it worked.

@AJutah   I consulted with a client that I didn’t properly vet at the onset. Lesson: be picky with who you work with.

@AdamOnTheKeys   Costly mistake – putting in way more hours than we billed for a client.

@searchrook   Not upselling associated marketing services more frequently. Missed learning as well as profit opportunities.

What was the biggest risk you took that paid off in SEO?

@BerkleyBikes   I find myself taking more risks on social. I’ve pushed the limits on a client’s comfort level to produce great content.

@Casieg   Funny enough, going back to previous answer – spending too much time on a project. Solidified relationship & drove results. Turned into long term client…and we no longer need to spend too much time on them.
@EricLanderSEO   Re; A4: @Casieg – if you mean scary as all hell, you’re right. Could work 90+ hour weeks one week & 4 hrs. the next. Crazy times.

@szahurones   Push for a different writing style (team) on our most important pages. Focused on semantic connectivity. Improved rankings.

@MatthewAYoung   Changing the architecture and internal linking structures of a site. Shout out to @BruceClayInc and siloing!

@AJutah   Ecommerce client was with another agency that built a ton of spammy links. I recommended starting over with a new domain/brand. They were understandably upset; we ended up parting ways. I knew my recommendation was in their best interest, though.

@jacquesbouchard   Adding noindex tags to 24,000 garbage pages on a site I managed. At the time, it was terrifying, but traffic went up strongly.

@EricLanderSEO   Quit the 1st SEO agency I founded & became an affiliate for 3+ years. Learned technical SEO items I’d never otherwise know. When it’s all on you, there’s no one to blame and all the learning in the world. Back in 2003, that was a great call to make.

@directom   It may seem straightforward, but when you have ALOT of content and decide to make a site migration.

@henryoloughlin   That’s a good one. We’re about to do that with a client. I just hope it works at this point.

@searchrook   Using exact match anchor text on links from content to landing pages. Works* if you have branded links too.

@creativecalif   Moving from in-house to starting an agency. Big leap to think my knowledge from working with one company could apply to others and I risked failing miserably. Luckily, it paid off well in the end.

@AdamOnTheKeys   Collaborating with social and PPC for a client. Cross promotion really drove organic results.

@BrianRBaker4   I would say removing or disavowing links – always scary!

@Tinu   Being less analytical and focusing solely on the quality of content short term. I’m often petrified of that. & usually wrong.

What is the one thing you regret not doing?

@henryoloughlin   I wish I knew, and I’d try it out.

@jacquesbouchard    I regret that I didn’t start reading SEO blogs regularly until I was in SEO for a about 3 years. Word of mouth is not enough.

@AJutah   Not getting into affiliate marketing sooner.

@BrianRBaker4   Not taking enough risks. Being successful in #SEO requires taking risks, and thats something I am sometimes uncomfortable with!

@MatthewAYoung   Not being able to connect the dots. SEO touches so much and it’s to the benefits of clients to know enough to be dangerous. Thinking of SEO as existing in a vacuum is also regrettable.

@directom   For us, not collaborating with our #PPC team on a more consistent basis. Getting caught up can hide good opportunities.

@creativecalif   Having patience with the process of getting results. Accelerating the process will only hurt you.

@alexpeerenboom   When they don’t follow through on content creation. They remain stagnant when competitors are consistently producing, engaging.

@CaitlinBoroden   Not being ‘pushy’ enough with certain clients. Some are too cautious. I wish I’d been more vocal with my thoughts.

What is the one thing you regret your client not doing (that you advised)?

@EricLanderSEO   Writing more. Had wrote 800+ articles across major sites on SEO from 2002 – 2008, then moved on. It’s held me back because. I missed commentary & challenges that kept me fresh. I became complacent with what I knew about SEO. Now, it’s learning 24/7.

@Casieg   Too many to capture in one #seochat.

@searchrook   Profiteering with directory and article submission.

@jacquesbouchard   Building their content strategy from chaos into a guided, proactive campaign.

@directom   Low hanging fruit here, but listening to us about adopting mobile-friendly design.

How did you explain your mistakes to your boss? To your clients?

@Casieg   Own up. Go in with an apology and more importantly, a solution.

@MatthewAYoung   Boss, I made the wrong recommendation. Here’s how im going to fix it. Own up to your mistakes.

@emily_C27   Always show transparency, followed by an immediate back-up plan!;) Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your boss/co workers.
@Casieg   Yes! Ask your boss for help if you need it. That’s part of their job.

@searchrook   By stating it clearly, keeping it short, apologizing and suggesting a solution.

@AJutah   Set the right expectations at the beginning, and they’ll view minor “mistakes” as the ebb and flow of a fluid campaign. Be transparent, thoroughly explain what happened, and proactively present a solution. I’d say clients care more about their bottom line than if it was a teachable moment for their SEO manager.

@szahurones   Apologize. Explain why it happened (lack of knowledge, time, resources, etc). Explain how it won’t happen again. Prove it.

@directom   Embrace mistakes. Own them. Have a plan of attack. Succed. Win!

@TheShitSEO   I always tell the client that Google is doing a dance and that rankings will resume in a few months. By that time I’m well gone.

@jacquesbouchard   Point blank. Admitting mistakes, owning them, and presenting sensible solutions are important parts of building trust.

@EricLanderSEO   As a director, I tend to help get passed those mistakes – not present them upwards to CEO. But, I’d recommend that you use judgment when you bring them up. Explain the rationale, expectation and then focus on learnings. Everythings a learning experience. As a leader, you need to show how mistakes create opportunities for you and the organization to grow from.

@AdamOnTheKeys   Blame the intern? In all seriousness, bring solutions to your boss, not problems.

@bloomreachinc   Own it. Teach the lesson you learned. Present the plan of action.

@creativecalif   Just be upfront and honest, and show them that you learned from it.

@TheShitSEO   Tell client that the $20K they spent with you went on building valuable relationships that will stand the test of time with G. SEOs are scared of clients. Stamp your authority and dominance by slapping them in the face then saying “I’m here to rank!!!”

@directom   Nice to see so many other SEO professionals agreeing on tackling mistakes.