Summary: Back To School With SEO EDU on #SEOchat

How to get started & stay up-to-date in the SEO industry

Moderator: @caitlinboroden

How did you first get started in SEO? What drew you towards this career path?

@jpsherman   In ’98 was US Army PSYOP & was responsible for information dissemination (malaria, land mines, etc) on internet taught myself.

@MatthewAYoung   Honestly, I say down one day in 09 and was like, how can I make a career of messing around on the Internet?

@Tinu   By accident. I made a bet with two friends about early Google. I won the bet (had to do with getting a new site to rank. I was working at the IT help desk for the IMF at the time. Later switched over to the SEO side of reputation management. Worked for a lot of brands. Saturn, MGM Mirage- I worked at the Starbucks in DC where the shooting was in the 90s too.

@iankeir1   I first started at the suggestion of a friend. I love how it’s always changing, and things are new and fresh each day.

@KeelyMajor   My amazing internship at @DragonSearch 💁🏼 thanks to all who inspired me

@NicoleBlack414   First job out of college. Did writing and editing for a local SEO company for 2.5 years.

@PeterThistle   Worked at a company called Net Nanny, an early internet filter – became interested in how language is processed programatically.

@scott_phillips_    When I started building websites for clients

@LauraLeeSEO    ~10 years ago, first job out of college. Started #SEO team with my boss at WebMD — just the 2 of us.

@GetDoneDone   We were really proud of our content, and wanted to make sure it reached the people who would be interested in it.

I’m hearing a lot of people mention right out of college. Is SEO something that was taught in your classes?

@LauraLeeSEO   HA no. I was English/Spanish student in college =) Just happened to land in #SEO world

@iankeir1   nope, history major in college. came into #seo when i was looking for a new job

@jpsherman   Biology/ Anthro major in college – accidentally fell into SEO – however, the science part really does help w/ experimentation.

@MatthewAYoung   I have a masters in creative writing and wasn’t even aware of what SEO was, until I found content. But no, it wasnt a course offered. I pitched an SEO class to a local college once, but they were lukewarm on the idea.

@NicoleBlack414   Definitely not. I didn’t even know what SEO was until a month or two into the job. So I made a few mistakes at first.

@KeelyMajor   As a current college student, SEO is mentioned in books but never talked about in class #disappointing

@GetDoneDone   No, but it should be standard for anyone who wants to get into web copy.

@scott_phillips_   When i graduated from college SEO hadn’t quite been invented yet

How did you learn SEO? Internship, job training, mentor, course, on your own?

@GetDoneDone   On the job training, which was been so helpful. Getting real-life experience is key to understanding SEO. Love hearing where we all learned from. Now, it’s almost like if you don’t know it, you can’t survive/thrive with content.

@LauraLeeSEO   On the job testing/trail & error, conferences and seminars, and mentors! But mostly tests, trial and error.

@jpsherman   Learned seo on my own at first, but first SEO job was at an agency – where I had luminaries like @jennyhalasz teach me.

@iankeir1   I did a lot of reading and was lucky to get offered a chance by this great agency @DragonSearch. Also, had a lot of great mentors @CaitlinBoroden @jacquesbouchard @Sonray just to name a few.

@MatthewAYoung   At first tinkering, but I had the privilege of working for @BruceClayInc for a handful of years once upon a time.

@Tinu   In the beginning I was completely self taught- read things, did experiments. But then I started going to conferences.

@NicoleBlack414   I learned a lot at work, but the scope of my task was so narrow that I really had to get out there and read a lot to learn more.

You meet an aspiring SEO. What advice do you give them to get started?

@LauraLeeSEO   I’d tell them what my boss told me — be confident and stand by your decisions. But back your decisions with data!

@Tinu   Read up on the foundational knowledge, subscribe to industry blogs. Focus especially on industry publications with multiple viewpoints (MOZ, SEL, SEJ), hit a conference. Experiment. Test. At the same time don’t believe everything you read. Test everything. Believe results, what you can prove &/or what tests well.

@jpsherman   build a website and understand that first, grok information architecture, content & the tech, learn a bit of code. Build a space where you can completely screw it up, then recover. go black hat, then go white hat. try to rank for weird things.

@iankeir1   Read, Read, and test. There are a lot of great blogs and start tinkering with a site

@GetDoneDone   Be comfortable with change. What we learn today, may not perfectly apply tomorrow. Fall in love with perfecting your craft.

@NicoleBlack414   Literally no one knows everything about SEO, but there are amazing resources with data & proof that can help you keep learning.

Who has a degree in marketing – do you think this background has had a significant impact?

@iankeir1   While I don’t have a marketing degree (History) I feel that it’s been helpful. Helps me look at the data and draw conclusions

@CaitlinBoroden   I have a visual arts degree and I think it’s really helped in the creative realm of SEO.

@LauraLeeSEO   English degree – but it’s helpful! Because people seriously cannot spell!

@jpsherman   Science degree that helps me ask the creative types, that’s fantastic!! how can we measure/ test it? My dad was an english teacher, i knew the diff of an adj vs. adv when i was 4, he’s the reason i love semantics.

@NicoleBlack414   English degree here. If nothing else it’s helped me understand how to target and write for different audiences.

@scott_phillips_   Currently getting my degree in marketing from the School of Hard Knocks. Will let you know how it turns out!

Now that you are in the SEO industry. How do you stay up to date? Blogs? Books? Courses?

@LauraLeeSEO   Honestly, no books for me. Blogs, webmaster forums, conferences, and just doing my thing and learning every day.
@jpsherman   all of these plus meeting new seo folks, keeping in touch with mentors & transitioning to speaking at conferences.

@iankeir1   Blogs (love @Pocket and @feedly ) and listening to podcasts.

@NicoleBlack414   Mostly blogs. All the classics, @moz, @sejournal, and whatever else I stumble upon (but not always via @StumbleUpon).

I love that podcasts were mentioned! Anyone have any to share?

@iankeir1   Some of my favorites are @Searchtalklive @sejournal #MarketingNerds and Copy Blogger.

@jpsherman   I recently found a good seo podcast from @katetooncopy from AU – she’s brilliant & fun to listen to. Here’s the link. She recently did one w/ @dawnieando about AMP & it was really good.

Does your agency/company have a training program in place for new hires & current staff?

@LauraLeeSEO   New hires do some basic SEO training (with me!) and we also do monthly training sessions on what’s new. Level of training depends on the role of course. Writers get fairly regular training.

@iankeir1   We have monthly meetings and trainings on every possible aspect of SEO

@scott_phillips_   Marketing school with @neilpatel & @ericosiu short 10 min. daily episodes — easy to consume on the go

@NicoleBlack414   Any general advice for improving SEO in a small, specific niche industry?
@CaitlinBoroden   If it’s a client talk to their sales team. Find out the questions they get asked. It may spark something!

Summary: Getting The Most out of Your Content on #SEOchat

Moderator: @emily_C27

What’s the meaning of gated content?

@KaitlinAnne23   Thinking gated content is a form of requiring someone to share their personal information?

@colekraft0   Gated content is passowrd protected

@LauraLeeSEO   you fill out a form with some info in order to read the content

@emily_C27   My take? Gated content requires a user’s information before content can be consumed.

@SiteSeekerInc   Gated content serves the purpose of generating new, QUALIFIED leads who are interested in your product or service.

@MatthewAYoung   Gated content is content that exists behind a form of any kind. Also known as a major annoyance. The information wants to be free!
@Sydney_Zaruba   So gated content is how you are essentially going to target and find subscribers before they can look at content.
@MatthewAYoung   Depends on the kind of content – white papers, yes, but articles, forget it.

@kamkett   Gated means not shared publicly.

@millanda   Basically there’s something a user has to do before accessing the content, like providing an email address. Great for lead gen.

@NicoleBlack414   Any content that needs a key to unlock it, whether that be a form, special permission, a private forum, whatever

@hagner_alex   is something that requires users to give info. Phone number, email.

@tang_tang94   Requiring users to give their info in order to access content, limiting for feedback & interactions between you and user.

What are the pros of gated content for B2B? Are there any cons?

@LauraLeeSEO   The big pro IMO is getting leads for sales! The con — ain’t nobody got time for gated content. There’s an element of trust too. I don’t know you. I don’t trust you yet. Why give you my info before you prove yourself?

@MatthewAYoung   Pro, lead gen, as long as sales has the follow through. Cons, bad UX.

@hagner_alex   some pro’s would being able to sell analytic information for ad purposes

@colekraft0   The pros are amazing! You can get peoples info before they get the info they want.

@tang_tang94   Higher quality of users, they’re invested in your content. Also filters out bots.

@NicoleBlack414   Pro – You’re garnering leads that are actually interested in what your business has to offer.

@PabloFuen1103   The pros are that only people that are interested in the topic will receive the information making it more efficient. A con would be that it may deter those individuals that are hesitant to share their information.

@SiteSeekerInc   A pro of gated content is you can set up a lead scoring system for B2B prospects.

@kelseybleetzow   I think it would potentially scare off people who are on the fence about you/your brand/your product.

@ryanndonahue   pros are more information/subsctiptions to your website, but cons are extra time that might be offputting to some users.

@EricLanderSEO   Cons? Loss of potential search traffic to you deepest and most resourceful content. Losing out on knowledge graph SERP presentations as an authoritative source is a big loss, IMO.

@Parth_Harpale   Pro- gain info on who is looking at your content. Con- lose consumers that want free content all the time.

@KaitlinAnne23   Leads may tend to be more serious/lucrative. Gated content may garner profit, but definitely has to be quality material.

@TheBuyerGroup   Pro: lead generator Con: if not done right you could lose a user to a competitor

@emily_C27   Con- May be difficult to build authority and trust from the top of the funnel without that visibility.

@dcarvajaldiez   Pro: Data is kept “safe” and one can keep track.. Con: Ugh, I have to login?

@MatthewAYoung   Another con that could prove fatal for mobile are intrusive interstitials.

@anorus_uf   If I don’t know you, I have to protect myself. Trust isn’t free!

@carrie_renees   Pro: you can gather information about who is reading/ interacting with your content.

@Sydney_Zaruba   I feel like you have to already have a pretty good following to use gated content.

@LifeWithKay   On the audience side. Gated content can make the audience uncomfortable and even run them off in extreme circumstances.

@matthewpfiore   Solution to building trust/interest. Don’t put everything outside of the gate. Start relationship, offer more behind the gate.

Does your gated content fit somewhere within the classic funnel?

@SiteSeekerInc   Gated content can fall anywhere in the funnel – just be sure to keep your audience in mind. If they don’t like it, scrap it!

@EricLanderSEO   For lead gen? Yes. But it’s gotta move folks deeper without serving as a detriment to overall content and site usability. As stated earlier, it’s tough to establish trust when you’re constantly asking folks for their information.
@NicoleBlack414   Especially deep information. I’m a big fan of a minimalist approach to info collection. Keep it to a name and email.

@hannah_ogden22   Definitely the top of the funnel.

@Ant0616   Top of the funnel but not for long.

@Sydney_Zaruba   I’m going to go with middle of the funnel generally, but I’m guessing there’s always exceptions.

@sackhoe   I’d say the middle of the funnel, curious to see what you guys think.

@tang_tang94   Depends on how gated the info is, only email is required? Personal details? I think it’s an in-between the middle/tip of tunnel.

@emily_C27   I’m hearing that trust comes first! Doesn’t that just apply to all aspects of life?

@Parth_Harpale   Gated content should be in the middle of the funnel usually, gated content should entice consumers further.

@kelseybleetzow   I know I’m significantly more likely to provide my info if you give me something first. I want know what you have to offer!

@millanda   I don’t think of content types re: the funnel; any type can work — it’s what you’re saying that matters (broad or specific?).

@thompsonpaul   Gated is just like the subscription popup. Pointless as first interaction, but useful as addtnl step further down trust funnel.

@UFschiffman   I think starting at the top of the funnel will gain loyalty and as trust increases you can move it down the funnel.

@v_allbritton   I think most gated content would fall into the middle of the funnel, but can fit anywhere in the funnel.

@anorus_uf   Yes at the beginning for a small amount of time.

@BrandonJMcK   Imo gated content belongs in the middle of the funnel. Give me insight and spark curiousity in the top of the funnel 1st.

@saraheeverts   I’d definitely say that hated content would go in the middle of the funnel. There is always give and take with trust.

How do you get the most leverage out of your gated content?

@PabloFuen1103   You must provide valuable content while not asking for too much from them.

@millanda   Have it supplement an actionable content campaign. Provide more, specific tips to those very interested and wanting to engage.

@hagner_alex   Keep your gated content minimal. Name and email to start.

@hannahcolson1   An important step would be to create a strong relationship and trust with your followers.

@matthewpfiore   Learn more about your customers from the content they view/download.

@EricLanderSEO   Make gated content more attractive by bundling up content, providing it in different forms and connecting it to lead automation. Also, make it easy to unlock the gate. Single sign on; Sign in w/ Google or Facebook, etc. Make it immediately accessible.

@colekraft0   First establish trust with your followers so they aren’t creeped out about what you’re asking! Also, make them want to know!

@Parth_Harpale   Having quality gated content leads to buzz and that leads to more people checking enticed into looking at your gated content.

@emily_C27   Host it on an optimized landing page to help drive traffic

@NicoleBlack414   You supplement the crap out of it. Targeted campaigns, blog posts to build it up, the promise of a value exchange.

@hannah_ogden22   You need to share content that is valuable but in a way that is not requiring too much.

@kelhar13   Providing content that provokes a response or more interest would be a way to leverage gated #content b/c buzz is generated.

@anorus_uf   You need to make your gated info intriguing.

@kelseybleetzow   Hype! (but make sure your content lives up to it….)

@gemrosier   getting feedback from loyal followers.

@LauraLeeSEO   One idea would be to make it a series (it has to offer lots of value), but if it were great, I’d come back for part 2!

@TylerTafelsky   Niche-ify the f*ck out of the content (audience targeting) and ensure the landing page is seamless and low risk.

@UFschiffman   Building great ungated content can luir your audience to want more and trust your gated content. Always about that trust.

@SiteSeekerInc   Want people to view your gated content? Tease the crap out of it. Top 10 (Blank)? Give away 3 of them for free.

@jpsherman   Make sure to build good templates with excellent, compelling abstracts & non-gated content to draw interest.

@v_allbritton   Content must be desirable for people to want to view it & must have trust with audience so they will want to view it.

@saraheeverts   you really have to keep your audience engaged and create a hype about it

What are the components of a successful LP to host your gated content?

@colekraft0   Something intriguing, something inspiring

@LauraLeeSEO   If the landing page offers me an answer or solution to my problem, I’m more likely to give my info (but you’d better deliver!)

@kamkett   Enticing headlines and engaging visuals.

@hannahcolson1   Visual appeal is definitely important for any landing page.

@matthewpfiore   Know your audience/tolerance for personal info, demonstrate value behind the wall.

@Talia_UF   It needs to be self-explanatory. Pressing “back” is all too easy.

@jpsherman   Appeal to emotion that’s linked to the buying cycle phase 1: information 2: refinement 3: selection 4: value comparison

@Parth_Harpale   I’d say don’t overload your users. Make the info they want the focus an overloaded page is a quick exit for me. Visuals are key to keeping people interested. Gifs, infographics,not just a block of text.

@EricLanderSEO   Show screenshots, depth in num of pages, benefits to access, etc., Unlocking the gate is “selling” users & building trust. Also, if someone unlocks one gate – give them a master key of sorts and track what they’re accessing! Let them get to more.

@sackhoe   Make it interesting, but also easy to navigate.

@saraheeverts   You have to keep everything relevant and make it intrigue people.

@TylerTafelsky   Memes. Really funny memes.

@ryanndonahue   Easy log in to Google, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for sharing; eye-catching visuals, relevant content.

@theashleebenson   The goal is to draw in users, so set goals and test test test! Find out what works and what doesn’t.

@tang_tang94   Aesthetically pleasing photos and font. I know for me, less is more.

@dcarvajaldiez   Give them just enough, but leave room for more! Keep em’ coming back.

@v_allbritton   landing pages should be visually appealing w/ adequate & relevant information to gated content

@Sydney_Zaruba   Infographics are super important and something everyone should incorporate always!

@millanda   Keep it straightforward, easy to navigate, and CLEAN. Clean as a Kidz Bop album, y’all.

@kelseybleetzow   Your buttons had better be easy to find, it should be clear where they lead & most importantly WORK, no broken links!

@NicoleBlack414   A killer headline, teaser information, testimonials, a slick design, enticing CTAs. @unbounce has some beautiful templates.

@jpsherman   but consider the audience/ content expectations ie: tech/ software is different than ecomm or B2B. Also, since this is #seochat make sure you have the right code on landing pages to avoid indexing errors/ duplication.

@BrandonJMcK   Very clear, effective communication. I want to know WHAT I’m getting out of submitting my info.

@SavannahSchield   I think quality over quantity is important

How do you optimize your landing pages?

@EricLanderSEO   Use CrazyEgg, Optimizely, etc. to test. And then make sure you’re working on internal link popularity and internal linking. Also, watch on-page analytics, track click events & path analysis to see where folks aren’t converting or need convincing.

@NicoleBlack414   You can’t undervalue long-tail kw research. Know your target audience. Optimize it visually as well, know the page hot

@TylerTafelsky   With clear value proposition and brilliant copy.

@hagner_alex   Use bullet points. Make it easy for skimmers and scanners to know whats being offered.

@matthewpfiore   Test before (prototype), track during, revise as needed.

@theashleebenson   Target your market and Tailor to that audience- speak their language

@LauraLeeSEO   Long-tail keyword research targeted to your specific audience (Question format is pretty effective). You may be getting to this but I’d look at analytics data too to be sure users are actually engaging with the page.

@jpsherman   Select the primary KPI and make sure each element supports the KPI – just an intro class to statistics isn’t enough. An obscure tactic, but measure time on page as a spectrum & line up conversions on that line, measure optimal time on page.

@UFschiffman   Keeping your LP clear, concise, simple and VISUAL

@kamkett   Using keywords that is tailored to your audience

@Parth_Harpale   Test your pages, do research to see what works, listen to your users if they have feedback.

@theashleebenson   Make it pretty! Everyone is attracted to pretty! Be creative. Be innovative!

@SiteSeekerInc   A/B test CTAs, update SEO tags, ensure page loads quickly, keep your CTA / goal conversion tactic above the fold…just a few!

@tang_tang94   Don’t overload users with information and color. Minimalistic is my style.

@KaitlinAnne23   Good visuals I feel are always a boost-particularly gifs or photos. In addition, witty captions and content!

@dcarvajaldiez   Make sure your page works and create content optimized for your audience.

A user’s info can be a lot to ask for. What are the questions your ask yourself to ensure the content’s value before gating it?

@Ant0616   Ask them something I would be comfortable answering myself.

@tang_tang94   Is the quality of my work high enough to justify gating it? Will users leave satisfied afterwards?

@hagner_alex   would I give my name, number, and email to have access to this content?

@LauraLeeSEO   Would *I give up *MY info for this? Ok I got their email… now what? Be sure you know! Also doesn’t hurt to have a Plan B because (gasp) sometimes Plan A content doesn’t do what you think it will!

@theashleebenson   Is it sustainable? Will we exceed their expectations? Is it worth their time?

@emily_C27   How do we plan to use the user info? What’s the minimum info we could ask for? How available is this content info, elsewhere?

@NicoleBlack414   Is there information here that can’t be found anywhere else? Will this information make a meaningful difference to someone?

@Parth_Harpale   Ask yourself is this piece of content enticing enough to draw people past the gate.

@PabloFuen1103   Is the content something they would be better off knowing?

@SiteSeekerInc   Does the user know exactly what they’re getting? Would I give my email for this content? Will this content entice engagement?

@millanda   When people read this, can they *do* something with the information? Is it truly actionable and relevant to what they need?

@EricLanderSEO   “Can we make outreach authentic and valuable once someone has entered the walled garden, or will we disappoint them?” Otherwise, you’ve got potential to hurt your brand’s trust a bit and users feel more negatively than if content was free.

@jpsherman   If this information was leaked, hacked or sold, would I be ok with that? do I trust the org to handle it responsibly?

@v_allbritton   Would I want to give up my information for this content?

@thompsonpaul   Have I made it absolutely clear to my visitor how their data will & will not be used? They’re gonna suspect the worst otherwise.

@nadie_rae   info. shouldn’t be too demanding–basic user profile connections to sm sites give enough info without red flags to most users

@gemrosier   Can the user find this content elsewhere that does not require their information?

What are some of the most successful content types that you’ve seen? Gated or not?

@LauraLeeSEO   This might be nerdy but I LOVE white paper-type content that offers detailed comparisons of things. Saves me time!! Why don’t you give me your contact info and I’ll provide some great examples!

@PabloFuen1103   Videos and other visuals are the most successful content types I have seen

@EricLanderSEO   Downloadable, printable, 8.5″ x 11″ PDFs. I want my content printed and pinned to a cubicle wall or handed out in meetings. : That usually makes “cheat sheets,” resource guides and best practice documentation very effective for lead gen downloadables. The content should be valuable, but flirt with the thought of, “I need these folks to help me out if I get in over my head.” On the entire other side of the spectrum, saas-style tools and online resources are super effective, too.

@theashleebenson   Someone said it earlier. Memes, memes, memes.

@Parth_Harpale   Video series are a good example. @RoosterTeeth has free content but also great gated content that draws people in. @burnie Has a vlog series @RoosterTeeth that provides behind the scenes info but can only be accessed by members that sign in.

@millanda   Data visualizations. Charts/graphs/maps that take large amount of info and distill it down into insights we can use.

@Talia_UF   The blackout Tweet by @Oreo

@anorus_uf   Visual appeal is what drawls people in!

@kelseybleetzow   Photos are my personal fave, but videos garner A LOT of engagement too.

@matthewpfiore   Content that helps solve a problem/make a decision — know your customer personas and their pain points.

Summary: Tips for filling the Top of the Funnel Markeing on #SEOchat

Moderator: @JohnBertino

What does targeted and successful “top of the funnel marketing” look like to you?

@dukeandtheduck   An active ocial media presence, blog posts, emailing, SEO, advertising, attending events. Getting attention.
@JohnBertino   attending events. Smart. Offline meets online. Tell us more about your SEO approach.

@iankeir1   Customers who are engaging with content, and becoming more qualified leads.

@BRAVOMedia1   #SEO

Search queries tell marketers where perspective buyers are in the funnel. What phrases/words indicate a Top of Funnel intent?

@chrismaxson   For products it might be phrases including “features” or “specs” – just looking for info.

@BRAVOMedia1   Buy Now!

@dukeandtheduck   We make videos so for @dukeandtheduck it would be something like “portfolio”, “pricing”,”past clients”.

@iankeir1   Most of the “what” queries tend to indicate top of funnel searches. I would also say shorter queries tend to indicate more top of funnel. Longer queries tend to come as they move down the funnel.

How do you adjust your blogging efforts to speak to customers in the Top of the Funnel?

@SEM_SanDiego   for TOFU blogging, avoid landing pages that sell and intimidate with too much content.
@JohnBertino   Good call @SEM_SanDiego Also resist trying to convert prospects to a sale on a page aimed at generating awareness.

@scott_phillips_   keyword research

@BRAVOMedia1   Getting it – Top Level – Asking SERP’s for the Inbound effort to a site? yes? if so, Brand Name.
@JohnBertino   Thanks @BRAVOMedia1, although Branded queries tend to show that someone is further along in funnel. Likely ‘Consideration” stage.
@BRAVOMedia1   Look at Actual Keyword Phased Searches in Google Search Console is a great start.

@dukeandtheduck   Don’t use industry specific terms/hyperlink them to a page that defines them. Also USE IMAGES AND VIDEO.

@iankeir1   I would say some solid keyword research on what people are searching for, and how your competitors are answering these ?’S

@chrismaxson   Blog gives you a chance to write top funnel informational/educational content. Not sales-driven (bottom funnel).

@SCmarketingclub   We recommend bumping up the onpage inner-linking to push prospects further into a site. Encourage more time on site.
@iankeir1   that’s a really good idea! incorporate some CRO.

What are your favorite tools for uncovering those Top of Funnel keyword gems?

@BRAVOMedia1   Google Search Console. Top of Funnel Keyword Research with Google Trends.

@dukeandtheduck   Check your analytics to see what people like most about your site/social media pages.

@scott_phillips_   interested to hear what people are using beyond google keyword planner. Keep hearing about @answerthepublic have to try. A little creeped out by dude on the homepage!

@chrismaxson   Also, research the competition using something like @semrush to see if you’re missing anything.

@iankeir1   Moz Keyword Tool is really helpful, and nothing beats Google Suggest/checking the SERPs #oldfashioned. I would say looking at what content is getting the most engagement from new visitors, & analysis of why those pages are popular.

@TheAgencyGuyInc   @MarketMuseCo is incredibly useful for keyword research at all stages of the funnel #TopicModeling

How can we best leverage social media to help further or Top of the Funnel marketing efforts?

@scott_phillips_   Using google tag manager & always drive traffic back to your best content & landing pages
@JohnBertino   GTM is critical. Huge time saver!

@SEM_SanDiego   it’s all about distribution! Use social media channel that gets right message in front of right person, right time

@dukeandtheduck   Find networking groups and events, put your best material onilne in the right place at the right time.

@BRAVOMedia1   Create a Promotional Offer& Blast it across all social channels where your ideal target audience resides
@SEM_SanDiego   I don’t know @BRAVOMedia1, people at the top of the funnel don’t want to be sold. They want to be educated.
@JohnBertino   I tend to agree with @SEM_SanDiego. Sorry @BRAVOMedia1
@BRAVOMedia1   Guess on Stuck on trying to grab a conversion! It’s all good! Realize i’m reaching for the end result.

@kin_hr   Join networks and existing communities that would be interested. Be social – don’t use social media as a billboard, engage!
@iankeir1   Yes! You have to be a part of the conversation before you try to use those communities to sell
@JohnBertino   Yes! @kin_hr It’s about engagement. People are not looking to be sold things on social media. Tell stories and add value.

What metrics do you use to measure successful marketing directed toward the Top of the Funnel?

@iankeir1   New followers, increase in traffic to top of funnel pages, and movement from these landing pages further into the site.

@TheAgencyGuyInc   An increase in branded search queries is a good indication of successful awareness campaigns.

@kin_hr   Bounce rates, and also movement through the site. Also for social, new ENGAGED followers who interact w/ our content!

@dukeandtheduck   Time spent on the site, # views on a video, # of shares, higher engagement, new followers/page likes.

What type of industries lend themselves to lead nurturing through the funnel VS direct response conversion?

@SEM_SanDiego   the longer the sales cycle, the more lead nurturing through the funnel matters!
@JohnBertino   for sure! The more expensive and difficult a purchase is, the more automation and nurturing matter!

@dukeandtheduck   Video. A client has to feel good about us & we have to understand their message before we animate it.

@BRAVOMedia1   Any type of service industry or B2B vs B2C.

@TheAgencyGuyInc   Exactly! When we help brands source agencies, we look for agencies that understand content/ SEO for complex service businesses.

Summary: How, When & What Resources to Use for GIFs to Excite Your Content on #SEOchat

Moderator: @MatthewAYoung

Why should you use GIFs?

@kkenyon86   1. Eyecatching 2. Emphasize other content 3. Too much fun not to!

@Affil4you   the best way to break the ice!

Is there a downside to including GIFs in content and social posts?

Do Animated GIFs Have a Place in Content Marketing?

@Tinu   Sometimes they Are content marketing, as are all types of images. Folks are getting creative- saw a Great howto GIF last week.
@MatthewAYoung   Yes, Good for jokes, but you can do so much more with Gifs

@Affil4you   I Say yes if your doing your own
@MatthewAYoung   Indeed. We will get to that. Don’t steal my thunder

Is there a difference in performance for content with/without GIFs?

@MatthewAYoung   True. Testing is always good in my book. And i almost posted this Seinfeld gif

@CaitlinBoroden   I personally feel like I remember content with GIFs better. That might just be me. Anyone else?

@MatthewAYoung   Great #strangerthings reference! Put this in your queue right now if you havent watched it, but i digress..

What impact do GIFs have on SEO?

@khepritech   Depends on your alt text?

@MatthewAYoung   I think the jury may be out. Clear benefit is to engagement, but what about technical SEO? Page load times, image optimization.

@Affil4you   Alt tex! and optimize for load time

What tools do you use to create GIFs?

@iankeir1   I’ve used @giphy before

@TheBuyerGroup   @giphy is one of our favorite gif makers

@MatthewAYoung   @YouTube allows you to create gifs from any video as well.

@_GreenRush_   @giphy and ScreenToGif are pretty good. Also @Adobe (cough, @MatthewAYoung)

Break out your favorite GIF!

Summary: How to Pick a Kick@$$ Domain on #SEOchat

Moderator: @BruceClayInc

Have you ever registered a domain?

@KristiKellogg   Yes, for myself (http://KristiKellogg.com )

@jpsherman   I’ve registered dozens of domains, both personally & professionally & few things are so mind-wracking.
@BruceClayInc   The domain registration process is troublesome?
@jpsherman   not so much the process, but getting the right mix of unique, memorable & descriptive

@paulaspeak   Yep, picked up a cute name that was unregistered at GoDaddy.

@MatthewAYoung   Absolutely – I’ve registered my fair share of domains

@kkenyon86   Yep, freelance clients!

@PeterThistle   Ok, starting with an easy one: yes, I have registered many domains!

@Maddigler   yes, just for my fashion blog though (http://www.chunkyandfunkymaddie.com )

@beaupedraza   Absolutely. First domain was in 2000, last one is slated for next week, by sheer coincidence

@Beymour   Too many to count. Seriously, I have a problem. The sad part is that most probably won’t ever amount to anything

What’s your worst horror story about starting a new domain?

@Maddigler   Well anything involving godaddy usually warrants horror stories when registering a domain
@gretchenfisk   how so? I’ve been thinking about going down the godaddy route.

@LauraLeeSEO   Indecisive clients

@jpsherman   a domain squatting company owned the domain for my name for 5 years before I was able to finally get it

@MatthewAYoung   God-awful domain names, ugh. Even worse, when clients ask for EMDs. Face, meet palm.

@kkenyon86   Luckily, I’ve only done just the one, and, so far, no hitches!

@jpsherman   had a client with a domain like keyword-keyword-keyword-keyword-dude’sname.com

@beaupedraza   I received a cease & desist letter from the handlers of a world-famous, Napster-feuding rock band for my parody site in 2000. The best part? I was close to 18! Using Flash, I created a game that allowed one to visually “hit” an outspoken member.

@Beymour   I work in the cannabis industry, so I bought cannabisediblearrangements.com + several others. Got a nice C&D from Edible Arrangements

@BruceClayInc   A client w/o consulting us got .net version of name & redirected at .com. Lost all Google rankings!

@BRAVOMedia1   Worse issue is when you’re wking w/ client who doesn’t own their domain it’s reg 2 old developer or YP’s

What tools do you use and how do you research the history of a domain?

@MatthewAYoung   Backlink profile tools are key in determining the efficacy of a domain – I use @ahrefs and @Majestic for sure. I remember a client I once had when I was with @BruceClayInc – bought a bad domain and Google thought it was an adult site.

@jpsherman   maybe i’m weird or doing it wrong, I love domains with a clean slate – of course a good archive + whois search is critical

@Beymour   Wayback Machine, backlink tools (OSE, @Majestic, @ahrefs), also @screamingfrog

@KristiKellogg   Another good tool to research domain history is http://archives.org

@BRAVOMedia1   Aside of whois – love the Wayback Machine https://archive.org/web/

What criteria do you consider when choosing a domain name?

@jpsherman   memorable, unique & descriptive – even when domain + urls w/ keywords helped a lot, avoided them. I love picking domains that can be translated into a brand, something that evokes a picture in someone’s head.
@LauraLeeSEO   I agree with all this. I really try to create something unique and catchy that plays into the client’s industry.

@Maddigler   Easy to remember, descriptive, and speaks to the brand

@VirginiaNussey   Length, simplicity, memorability, domain age, timelessness, keywords (used tastefully) Peep for tips

@beaupedraza   Zeitgeist & scope of the market. Better to be early on the scene & there for those who use vernacular. Vowel-dropping is passe.

@BRAVOMedia1   Choosing a domain that is the business name or closely represents the business

@kkenyon86   Relevancy, spelling, & most important consult the sarcastic part of my brain (how it could be taken).

@paulaspeak   Lots of good domain names don’t have keywords. Unique and easy to remember are more important, IMO. #branding ensues.

@PeterThistle   for domain names: invoke the KISS principle
@BruceClayInc   Simplicity is good! By “invoke the KISS principle” do you primarily mean keep domains short?

On the flip side, what types of things should you avoid when choosing a domain name?

@jpsherman   might be wandering into “get off my lawn territory” but overly clever TLDs

@LauraLeeSEO   With few exceptions…a domain that is purely a chain of keywords or a long tail kw phrase. Hate. Loathe.
@Beymour   yeah, but despite Google saying KW-rich domains don’t work, I’ve seen plenty of times they work REALLY well. Also, there’s evidence that KW-rich DBAs correlate with higher local pack rankings.
@BruceClayInc   Local #SEO and keyword-rich business names … just to complicate exact match domain discussions.

@BRAVOMedia1   Buying an old domain without researching the history on it

@beaupedraza   Obv accidental word merge (see Connery, Sean). Nebulous eye-glaze names like Initech. Bad domain history too.

@PeterThistle   Sometimes domain choice can be too specific, limiting later business expansion into new markets, services.

Have you or any clients you worked with been affected by an exact match domain (EMD) penalty?

@jpsherman   while at an agency, had a lot of clients post-penalty for EMD – 60% of the time, required migration

@beaupedraza   Sadly, know too many ppl still trying to sell sunglasses,etc on domains smacked down. Growing up in exurbs will do that to us.

Have you registered a domain with a TLD besides .com?

@Beymour   I recently purchased some .co domains, also a few .orgs, when approperiate. Never been a fan of .net – no particular reason

@BruceClayInc   In case you want to reference all the TLD options available to you

@VirginiaNussey   .yoga, .ninja … too clever as @jpsherman thinks, or fun options? Hmmm… I like options.
@jpsherman   options are good, but… i could just feel the eyerolls of the visitors … of course that could be my paranoia.

@beaupedraza   Yes! Also, a good friend of mine used his last name’s spelling as a resource and was able to use the .land TLD!

@BRAVOMedia1   I love .com but when it’s not available .best instead?

@jpsherman   I once bought a .ninja domain probably while under whiskey’s influence, worst $10 i ever spent.
@PeterThistle   Heh, what about .guru .rockstar .wizard .jedi .legend ?
@jpsherman   OMG, there’s a .jedi? I must have one now. (i’ll never learn)

@PeterThistle   I have one client with a .net. He’s very niche but honestly can’t say it’s having any negative impact at all vs a .com.
@BruceClayInc   .net is legit, especially with some decent age.

Do you register all the variations of a domain (.net, .org) or is that unnecessary?

@beaupedraza   Depends on the client & circumstance. For local wannabe politicos and friends w/presence, I have, but I have to draw line. Re: registering variations, I usually stop w the old school, unless there’s a perk in going new-school, I suppose.
@BruceClayInc   Seems a good way to cover the bases. .net, .org, .co, .biz, .com — that’ll do.

@RyanJones   I don’t think domain extension matters for SEO. Get what you like. Buy the others if you want to protect brand/trademark. I think they correlate but only because some are super cheap and why pay more for spam. But no causation.
@VirginiaNussey   so you haven’t seen evidence of blanket TLD discrimination? It’d be such a shame.

If a domain has a questionable past, what steps do you take to clean it up before launching it?

@beaupedraza   I cry. Then I hit hard. Disavows, noodp if older focus, push all aspects of content mktg to drive flame sites down. PPC helps.
@BruceClayInc   Plan of action for domain clean up when there’s a lurid history.

What are the worst or funniest (perhaps unintended) domain names you’ve seen?

@jpsherman   wish i remembered the domain, but at an agency, worked on a social network for swingers only

@beaupedraza   Not the best but buyagelessmale.com infomercials at 3am = “Why would I wanna buy a jealous male?”

@Beymour   Actually came across this list a couple months ago. Some really good ones here.
@paulaspeak   Oh those are some amazing #fails: Itscrap.com , Whorepresents.com …

Do you research copyrights before registering a domain to prevent trademark infringement?

@beaupedraza   70% of time. Speaking of, I like how @distilled and @dstld dance around naming conventions.

@BruceClayInc   We’ve got an article on How to Choose a Domain up on our site. Let us know if there’s anything you’d add.

@beaupedraza   Oh yeah, I almost forgot: If you buy a domain, make sure to check for subdomains. Ex: finance.youngmoney.com

Summary: Stuck in an SEO rut? We’ll talk Creatively Building an SEO Strategy on #SEOchat

Moderator: @OC2015

How do you work your own, personal creativity into your #SEO process?

@OC2015   Personally, I try to visualize and get as much as possible down on paper. Much easier to recognize patterns if its drawn for me.

@Sonray   most of my good ideas hit me while I’m cycling. exercise and being in the mountains grounds me & gives creativity.

@MatthewAYoung   Form a narrative for SEO. People respond well to stories, especially if it can make them money
@jacquesbouchard   Yes! I also use the power of metaphors. #seochat Like this, from a real client conversation.

@PeterThistle   Mind mapping.

@jacquesbouchard   Curiosity is my superpower. When I find new data, or a new way of looking at it, I creatively assimilate it into my work.

@Affil4you   Honestly by working with clients and on topics that we have a passion about.

@iankeir1   For me it’s about looking for odd connections. Everything is connected in some way, so it’s looking for how that effects #seo

@BRAVOMedia1   Personally by being Inspired & Inspirit & a little classical music while working.

@_GreenRush_   It’s important to draw conclusions based on your own data. Don’t blindly trust SEO advice, regardless who it’s coming from.
@iankeir1   very true. SEO is constantly evolving, and those hard and fast rules become outdated fast.

@chrismaxson   I find myself trying to include memes into decks or requests. It lightens the mood.

Deliverables! Do they have to be boring spreadsheets? How do you create visualizations for better understanding & enjoyment?

@BerkleyBikes   I’ve been working on making deliverables shorter & more digestable whenever possible.

@chrismaxson   No boring spreadsheets! Charts & images are good. For words, less is more. Concise & to the point. Sometimes lots of data and explanation are needed. That’s what the appendix is for.

@MatthewAYoung   Deliverables should not be boring, period! SEO has a bad enough perception problem. Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve been using @adobe Slate to present recommendations to clients. Great visual format! Go to https://spark.adobe.com/ – gives peeps a way to easily create visual stories, images, video.

@jacquesbouchard   After @IAsummit, I’ve been inspired to visualize my data in new ways.The perspectives there really planted some seeds. Along with that, I try to make my reports educational and pieces of advocacy. That means including a narrative.

@OC2015   Branding is big. we make sure that while the information is there, it also looks professional & branded to increase buy-in.

@BRAVOMedia1   Ha! Love this one.Showing the client they R #1 organic spot for their most important query in the SERP!

@Affil4you   No you can make them fun and engaging for your team. Mind maps and webs are great. No you can make them fun and engaging for your team. Mind maps and webs are great.

@iankeir1   I’ve been trying to incorporate more graphs and charts to show data. Screenshots are also helpful.

@_GreenRush_   As long as you’re showing bottom line improvements (ROI), most clients wouldn’t care if you wrote it on a napkin in lipstick. The presentation isn’t as important as *what* you’re reporting. Vanity metrics, rankings & traffic are great – $$$ matters most.
@OC2015   What about increasing comprehension of where the ROI is coming from? #DataVisualization
@_GreenRush_   Totally! It’s important to highlight which specific tactics of your overall strategy are providing the most value

@emily_C27   I love the visuals, and clients appreciate them too. The more pie charts, the merrier!

How can #SEOs use #DesignThinking as a base for SEO strategy?

@Affil4you   Honestly when design and content come together the sales flow is so much smoother.

@jacquesbouchard   This is where the #uxdesign piece of SEO comes in: mobile compatibility, visitor retention, conversion optimization, etc. If you can’t create an engaging and visually relevant experience, it doesn’t matter how many visitors you bring in.

@chrismaxson   If it gets to the root of the customer (give people what they want), that pretty much aligns with the intent of search engines.

@_GreenRush_    We’re really on the precipice of search engines being able to effectively rank websites based on user signals. As this tech evolves, the line between SEO and UX/design will become increasingly blurred.
@jacquesbouchard   I think that’s been true for a year or two. Plus, good UX has always been connected to earning links.

@chrismaxson   It seems like a good way to put yourself in the mindset of the customer, which is good for every channel.

How important is it for #SEOs to be creatively educated and to practice creativity? (I.e. design/ux/ui)

@_GreenRush_   For sure! Ultimately that’s what matters most to users, & therefore Google. Might as well put your site ahead of the curve. At a minimum, SEOs should have a solid understanding how UX/design and consumer psychology work.
@untypicalman    and designers/creatives should now the bases of SEO and always keep updated on changes etc.

@chrismaxson   More important than ever! SEO is so much more than technical, and works better when users get what they want.
@_GreenRush_   Absolutely! It’s tough to “fake” a good UX. At least for now lol – you know how that goes.

@iankeir1   Creativity is important for SEO’s because SEO isn’t just about the data, but also needs to have the visitor in mind.

@untypicalman   Is your strategy easy to digest? Does it support a goal, tactics? Is it appealing? Does it match the brand voice? It is important to serve the info effectively but also offer the best experience. They should go together. I am also that voice in my team that always brings it up. I also do Lunch and Learn presentations about it.

@chrismaxson   Even if you don’t believe engagement signals influence rankings, conversions still matter for the bottom line & creative helps.

@jacquesbouchard   Creativity clearly benefits ANY SEO. But it’s also something that gives an SEO an edge, and we all have our share of “edges”.

@OC2015   Truth be told, I’m in #UX now, and not traditional #SEO. But I’m using skills from both every day to shape strategy.

@BRAVOMedia1   #SEO Creativity is intelligence having FUN!

Lets put this to practice then: Stuck on a keyword strategy; how do you move beyond the stereotypical ways of doing it?

@chrismaxson   Not always easy, but crowd sourcing can help. Show people a picture of your product and ask what they would search for.

@OC2015   I map out pages im working on (how they flow), label the user intent, doodle around, draw out flows, BOOM new keywords.

@chrismaxson   Look in social media for what people are talking about related to your product/service. What things are consistent? Market research might seem old school, but it can still work. Use technology to help: surveymonkey, reddit, forums, etc.

@_GreenRush_   Google autocomplete is great for KW insights and missed opportunities. Also, @Moz’s new keyword research tool is 100.

@untypicalman   Weird but – I do Image Search, see the auto complete and the image tags.

@BRAVOMedia1   Just SEARCH it!

@iankeir1   I usually try Google Autocomplete, or I come back to the page/s and take another look to make sure I haven’t missed something. I also find it helpful to dig into search queries in GA. Helpful to see what people are already searching for on my site.

@CloudKettle   Consider the problem or pain points your product solves – this will help you brainstorm what people could search to find you.

@untypicalman   Also think outside the box – use descriptive words that define your product/term. Ex: “Freckles” -> “brown spots on arms”

Summary: Conducting SEO Site Audits on #SEOchat

Moderator: @ChrisJEverett

In 2016, what are some shocking fundamental SEO mistakes you still find during SEO site audits?

@EricLanderSEO   The most prevalent issues are related to page titles, headings and URL composition. Simple but still SO effective. More shocking is that basics and fundamentals are nonexistent, but the client asks for help honing microdata. That’s happened.
@ChrisJEverett   It’s like hearing about a new gadget that’s come out and you have to have it!
@EricLanderSEO   It’s so true! This week, it’s all about AMP. And I’m just wondering when we can eliminate querystring URLs.

@seanvanguilder   Using keywords meta tag, no meta descriptions, redundant domains. list is too long for twitter. One more, using images for text. ugh!
@EricLanderSEO   Just wrapped a micro audit last week where I needed a 30 minute call to defend removal suggestion for KWs.

@TylerTafelsky   Blank/dupe titles and metas, for the obvi. No logical naming conventions. URLs that make you LOL. Part II. No fricken site map.
@EricLanderSEO   Same with this too. The fact that some sites can have upwards of ~35% of their URLs without titles astounds.

@bravomedia1   Too Many to List, Duplicate Meta, Dirty Code, Poor Page Speed, Non-mobile Friendly, Bad User Exp, ETC!
@ChrisJEverett   All are issues we still deal with here with prospective clients.

@MatthewAYoung   Lack of robots.txt, sitemaps, clean URLs, muddled navigation structure. Face, meet palm.

@iankeir1   Little understanding of why backlinks are useful, and how they can hurt. A colleague came across a site that had de-indexed the entire site in the robots.txt.
@MatthewAYoung   That recently happened with a site im working. We were blamed for de-indexation, when they added NOINDEX tags.
@EricLanderSEO   1st day on my current job 4 years ago, that happened. Task: Get site indexed. Fix? Remove the X-Robots tag.
@iankeir1   Such a simple fix, but so basic to being found. Seems like my job is education very often
@EricLanderSEO   That’s a great point. My auditing is not “This bad, fix” but more “This can be better, here’s why and how.”
@ChrisJEverett   I recently saw a site that “needed improved visibility” … 10 seconds to identify the No Index, No Follow.

@Tinu   Not shocking but keyword stuffing, no robots.txt file or XML site map, crap content, sad site architecture. List is Long.
@MatthewAYoung   I run into that a lot, where theyve taken a single page and optimized it with a single keyword. Old school SEO.

@cjmonteblanco   No Webmaster Tools setup for Google/Bing, plugins for adding metadata or redirects, and stock content. Very terrible.

@Rob_Bonham   Loads and loads of thin content that offer little to no value.

@thompsonpaul   Nine! different variations of the homepage indexed and diluting authority. For a major national site.
@EricLanderSEO   I’d worked on a similar client recently w/ a duplicative instance across www and non www and http and https.

@Affil4you   I find internal links are still frequently missed.

What are some of the most common “low hanging fruit” opportunities you find during SEO Site Audits?

@EricLanderSEO   Search console verification, titles, URL structure, XML Sitemaps, internal linking, META Desc, media optimization – in order.
@thompsonpaul   Yup, all that, plus upper/lower case, index.asp etc.
@EricLanderSEO   .aspx! That brought me back to managing ISAPI Rewrite in IIS, and now I feel… Old. Just really old.
@thompsonpaul   ISAPI Rewrite?? Dude… you ARE old! And that’s me right there in the rocking chair beside ya 🙂

@seanvanguilder   Ties into Q1, but refreshing evergreen content, de-duping titles/descriptions, internal link profile.

@Rob_Bonham   Cleaning up dup title tags, missing meta descriptions, redirecting internal broken links to relevant live content.

@bravomedia1   Add XML.Sitemap, Clean up Code, Condense Graphics, Alt Tag Images, H tags, Add G-Analytics, GSC, BingWMT. Just did a site audit client asks why does GSC show kw’s for viagra?? Um quick look -component injected bad rss feed into site!

@MatthewAYoung   Duplicate content has been a big one for me lately, esp with URLs and parameters. The canonical was invented for a reason.
@ChrisJEverett   So many development firms still don’t use canonical tags.

@Tinu   Rankings for long tail keywords that are converting. Hi! Can we just build from that?

@thompsonpaul   Fixing all the disastrous IIS default settings that ruin SEO – canonicalisation, single-case URLs, site speed. Fixing Google Analytics implementations for accurate data – can’t count # of sites w/ double tracking codes & no spam filtering.
@EricLanderSEO   Heh. In my audit questionnaire I often ask for IPs they use most and that opens up a similar can of worms.

@beaupedraza   Crawl depth/indexation issues via @screamingfrog and URL parameter woes. Can spot it a mile away now.

@iankeir1   For me it’s been adding title/meta tags, compress images, and a quick search for orphan content.

@Tinu   Speed. So often a simple fix.

@TylerTafelsky   Getting text on the page. Implementing #schema (especially for local SEO.) Uniquifying/keyword optimizing titles n’ metas.

@cjmonteblanco   Titles and metas! Especially after the latest Google update in the SERPs. I wrote a blog on the topic.

@cjmonteblanco   Image/video optimization is another major one. It’s too comoon that they lack such content or don’t have tags/descriptions.
@ChrisJEverett   Great point! People still miss simple things like Image ALTs and optimized file names.

@MatthewAYoung   Pages rendering with and without trailing slashes. Love that one like Chewie likes to smash this guitar.

@BerkleyBikes   Cross domain tracking is implemented wrong (often across two CMSes), so site sessions are inflated & conversion rate drops.

What are the most critical OFF-site optimization factors you look for when conducting SEO Audits?

@seanvanguilder   Backlink quality, NAP consistency, citaions.

@cjmonteblanco   How does their social presence look like on GMB, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Bing, and Yelp?

@EricLanderSEO   Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, & Google Analytics – then social accounts and link profile / velocity. Notion there being, get access to measure it all, then figure out where you’re at. Many audit buyers don’t have accounts. Honorable mention: The client as an off page factor. Was asked to improve rankings once for “(not provided)” once.
@bravomedia1   @EricLanderSEO Nailed it – No Google Properties – zero benchmarks
@beaupedraza   This + I love to see how biz fits into a bigger plan. Auto SEOs – think Tier 2/3. Boon for social/links.

@BerkleyBikes   Backlinks, Google My Business profiles if Local is a thing for the client.
@cjmonteblanco   Is local ever not a thing? Lol. It should be their primary goal to rank in their area before getting ambitious
@BerkleyBikes   Yes, if the site’s focus is national and not specific to one area. Think e-commerce.
@cjmonteblanco   Still like to include their HQ or area where founded in the description. People like knowing they’re local.
@BerkleyBikes   I disagree. If strictly e-commerce, there’s no reason for their HQ to rank locally. No reason to set up GMB.

@iankeir1   Looking at referrals in GA. Tells me a lot about a site.

@MatthewAYoung   Links and social footprint. I want to see the effectiveness of content. Visibility is often impacted by other marketing efforts, so I want to look at display, email campaigns, paid social, etc.

@TylerTafelsky   Pinpointing spam/unnatural backlinks as well as inaccurate and inconsistent citations. Proper tracking.

@beaupedraza   Esp when you have a major event w/ big social traction/shares. The uptick w links & imps = opp for fresh content visibility.

What are the 3 most essential tools you use for conducting #SEO Site Audits?

@iankeir1   Screaming Frog, Open Site Explorer, Google Analytics/WBT.

@EricLanderSEO   Easy: @screamingfrog @ahrefs and webpagetest.org
@EricLanderSEO   This of course assumes you have Google Analytics, Search Console, Bing WMT and AdWords access headed in.

@seanvanguilder   Only 3? @screamingfrog, @semrush, @ahrefs.

@MatthewAYoung   I use @screamingfrog for heavy data collection, @ahrefs and @semrush. And a bunch of others. So many tools.
@EricLanderSEO   Good point. @semrush & @spyfu in comprehensive audits w/ competitive and industry analysis.

@cjmonteblanco   Google Search Console/Analytics, @ahrefs @screamingfrog.

@thompsonpaul   Three tools – 1-BRAIN! 2-@ScreamingFrog, 3-@cognitiveseo. (Aside from GA & GSC/BWT)

@bravomedia1   #1 The SEO Expert Mind, W3C, G-Analytics/GSC (if ur lucky), @screamingfrog
@ChrisJEverett   Great point on the #SEO Mind @bravomedia1! If you don’t know what you’re doing the tools are worthless!

@beaupedraza   Screaming Frog, Majestic, SEMRush. Hon mention: Interns.

@TylerTafelsky   Ahrefs, Raven Tools, Google Webmaster Tools, to name a few of the essentials.

Approx what % of Websites you’ve done SEO audits on in 2016 a) use schema b) are mobile friendly?

@ChrisJEverett   It still shocks me how many websites aren’t mobile friendly.

@seanvanguilder   a) none, b) about 75%
@ChrisJEverett   Not even Local Business Markup?

@bravomedia1   Easy ? – None!

@iankeir1   I would say for a: 40-45%, and for b: 75%. It amazes me more people don’t use schema. It’s becoming more essential to be found in the era of semantic search.

@EricLanderSEO   Schema: Use it? ~50%. Without warnings/errors? 0%; Mobile? I’d say ~75% are mobile friendly in my limited estimate sample. I’d say that SSL/HTTPS, Schema/Microdata & Mobile/PageSpeed are the most frequent issues beyond the basics.

@Tinu   Ahrefs, Moz & a purchased hour of another professional’s time to double check my findings. 2 heads, all that.

@khepritech   We need way more focus on mobile for most clients than SEO.

@beaupedraza   a) <1%, b) 85% in Seattle, 60% in Houston. Both rising.

@TylerTafelsky   a) 5% b) 65%

@cjmonteblanco   Almost no mobile friendly clients. A lot of selling opportunities though.

@MatthewAYoung   a) 50% and b)%100. I think a follow up question is how many clients are using AMP?

What, if any, consideration do you give to Social Media when conducting SEO Site Audits?

@seanvanguilder   That’s part of the competitive analysis portion and it weighs fairly heavy for me. Honestly can’t stand klout and could tell you why offline. mostly around SM engagement and strategy.

@emily_C27   I check their social signals and make sure all sm profiles are linking to and from the primary domain.

@EricLanderSEO   Plenty! OpenGraph & TwitterCard support is a great primer for link profile development & increased velocity. Don’t overlook SEO for Facebook, Twitter & G+ profiles. That domain authority is vital!
@ChrisJEverett   Yet another set of meta data rarely used by development firms today… thank god for @yoast.
@cjmonteblanco   Did you notice that GMB removed the description field? Goodbye 100 DA exact match anchor text!
@EricLanderSEO   Yes! But beware that other sources (via Moz Local) have limitations still too (last time I checked)

@thompsonpaul   Social Media review is a separate module client can add to an audit. Done properly, it’s a whole second audit.
@EricLanderSEO   Great point. For my SEO audits, the default offering is using social to augment links / off site SEO.
@thompsonpaul   Yup – I include rudimentary “is shit connected and working” but beyond that takes serious investigation for value.
@EricLanderSEO   That’s one of the primary differentiators between my Micro SEO Audits and my Comprehensive SEO Audits.

@bravomedia1   A lot! Step 1) Connecting the properties on their site Step 2) Managing the social properties.

@TylerTafelsky   what @emily_C27 said. Social is a big deal for SEO, whether Google explicitly says so or not.

@iankeir1   Checking the site for OpenGraph tags and Twitter cards and making sure social icons direct properly (you’d be surprised).

@MatthewAYoung   I pay a lot of attention to it, social profile optimization can make or break ORM. Plus, metrics show efficacy of the content.

@beaupedraza   Competitive gap analysis, looking for social traction w/correlation via Majestic. Angles, angles, angles for days.

SEO Consultants: do you charge potential clients to conduct an audit, or do you do it to build trust?

@seanvanguilder   We’re an agency, but yes we bill potential clients for a full audit. I’ll do a mini-audit to lure them in.

@EricLanderSEO   Charge for it, but that’s because I’m often brought in as the white labeled audit provider for SEO shops. In either case, audits tend to pave the road for ongoing SEO campaigns and management / consulting. Auditing is 90% of my SEO consulting, but this is why a major component is prioritizing all recommendations.
@ChrisJEverett   To do it right, you have to invest the time. Free audits get you automated reports with no insight.
@bravomedia1   The audit is the benchmark to moving forward.
@EricLanderSEO   Which is why education is so important. My audits are now more than 70 pages long!
@thompsonpaul   My audit reports tend to hit about 75 pages too – plus exec summary, prioritisation roadmap & data appendix.

@MatthewAYoung   As a consultant at @adobe who bills time, we have to charge. I don’t make the rules, just do the audits.

@bravomedia1   BILLABLE!!!!

@beaupedraza   Pre-audit, contract, then full audit. How can you win hearts & minds and close the deal if you can’t speak to the decay.
@ChrisJEverett   Good point. If you can’t tell them why they should hire you, how will they know?

@iankeir1   We charge for a full audit, however, use a quick, high level audit to get people in the door.

@emily_C27   Good one! I take a shallow dive during an initial client presentation and then charge for a full in-depth audit.

@cjmonteblanco   @In2itiveDigital offers prospects with a complimentary audit. It helps give them the bigger picture of the value of our work.

@bensmith130   I’ve work with agencies and manage in-house and an audit should always be free. Builds trust and an easy job.

@thompsonpaul   Many clients coming/sent to me already know they have issues – that’s why they approach. The audit IS the job.

@DaljeetkKaur   no, we don’t charge as Seo audit is the thing that showcase our potential to clients & make them trust on us.

How much longer before Accelerated Mobile Pages will become a standard check for #SEO Site Audits?

@seanvanguilder   Already is for myself.

@EricLanderSEO   Given yesterday’s news, it’s “one day ago.” AMP is here to stay, and infecting PPC as well.
@seanvanguilder   Absolutely. I’ve been recommending it to our existing clients and in audits for about 6 months now.

@iankeir1   We are already recommending it for clients in audits.

@thompsonpaul   AMP is already a standard check – which pretty well all fail to meet at this point – some for good reason, others not.

@bravomedia1   AMP is still in it’s infancy -but important to keep eyes on it. Right now works 4 news 1 graphic 1 video.

@TylerTafelsky   I still think it’s a bit too early to tell. But it does look promising in the coming months (maybe weeks.)

@beaupedraza   Now. Soon. Until they’re rendered redundant by tech innovations re: request/response, but I wouldn’t hold breath.

@seanvanguilder   Being that it is integrated into GSC, can count on it being a ranking factor for all.

Looking into the future, what optimization factors do you see gaining importance for #SEO Site Audits?

@EricLanderSEO   HTTP/2 support and deeper reviews into PageSpeed Insights.

@bravomedia1   HTTPS, Mobile & Page Speed.

@iankeir1   increased focus on speed, http2, and necessity of schema

@ChrisJEverett   Saw a stat in a tweet today that said only 30 percent of pages indexed are SSL.

@thompsonpaul   Yea, AMP, retargeting/conversion tracking pixels, voice search applicability, new schemas, https/TLS/http2.
@ChrisJEverett   Love the point on voice search applicability. Definitely headed that direction

@cjmonteblanco   Mobile friendly navigation menus! Check out my blog on restructing and optimizing your menu.

@beaupedraza   Protocol, speed (Site/Page/AMP), user engagement via Big Data. Last one is the challenge. Take Stats/SQL/R classes & dive.

@TylerTafelsky   Proper use of schema markup. Secure site. Mobile optimization. The connection of social media.

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

Moderator: @RonellSmith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@oc2015   They’re finally learning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moderator: @tannerpetroff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@bravomedia1   NO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@bravomedia1   More Transparancy!

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

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

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

@tannerpetroff   Google+

@KristiKellogg   The eradication of Google authorship.

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

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

@jessesem   “Not provided”

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

Summary: How to Boost Search Traffic on #SEOchat

Moderator: @ajutah

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

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

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

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

@kkenyon86   Because Google continously changes.

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

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

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

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

@globalHMA   Be sure Google crawls the new site asap!

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

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

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

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

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

@bravomedia1   PPC for Immediate Results.

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

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

How much content should a new website launch with?

@TheBuyerGroup   Quality vs quantity

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

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

@bravomedia1   800 – 1200 Words Per Main Content Pages

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are some ways to increase CTR from Google search?

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

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

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

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

Does your SEO strategy involve video optimization? How?

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

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

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

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

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

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