Summary: Apps- The New SEO Frontier on #SEOchat

Moderator: @BruceClayInc

Are apps part of your digital marketing plan at this point or in the future?

@emily_C27   Not for my agency at this very moment but I can definitely see a more immediate need for some of our clients.

@MatthewAYoung   Depends on the client. Most of my enterprise clients who focus on retention have apps, but not primary outreach mode. Apps are geared more towards repeat visits. Have you ever shopped on the amazon site on your phone? You used the app and not the site in a mobile browser.
@jacquesbouchard   They’re such an investment and a hard sell, and they don’t make sense for most businesses.
@KristiKellogg   While apps ARE an investment, if you get a user to download one, you’re top of mind, constantly with them, etc. If you can get them to buy in, apps are an amazing opportunity to be where your users are.
@MatthewAYoung   But how you get them to download is another issue (and form of SEO) entirely.
@BerkleyBikes   Not everyone needs an app. There’s gotta be a saturation point.
@MatthewAYoung   I think that saturation point happened a long time ago. Too many choices. Word of mouth is how i get apps. I dont know where to start when i go to the app store. Paralysis.
@Casieg   Same. Hear about it from friend, try it out, and if I like it, I keep it. Otherwise, it’s off my phone.
@CaitlinBoroden   I only have maybe a handful of extra apps installed on my phone. Am I the only one?
@KristiKellogg   I don’t have that many, but once it gets on my phone I never actually delete them.
@Berkleybikes   I’m super attentive to what apps I download. Even on a flagship phone, lots of apps = slower.

@samueljscott   Depends. Apps are delivery mechanisms for products. Do apps if you want people to be able to use the product on mobile devices.

@jacquesbouchard   No.

@Casieg   Not currently but for a few of our clients they are.

@BerkleyBikes   Not in the immediate future, but never say never.

@CaitlinBoroden   Sadly, none to speak of.

@BrianRBaker4   No. We work with SMB and focus on mobile friendly & responsive website design instead.

@billsebald   Apps are always a card to play for us.

@Randomhero180   Haven’t considered apps to be a part of our plan. Most of our clents are local businesses.
@emily_C27   Same for me here! Seems like everything is starting to localize these days though, even apps.

@JohnBertino   Talk about evergreen content – solve a need/intent w/ an app and collect links/shares/traffic for eternity.

@Jennifer_Asc   Not us, but some of our clients. Depends. If your client is Zynga, then it’s a must. If John Deere it’s not crucial.

@GoBrandify   Yes! And before the adoption rate grows, we encourage brands we work with to get involved too.

@igalst   Yes, both iOs and Android. Tradets prefer the apps experience, as they have to be updated constantly.

Google said links to a user’s apps may show up in SERPs beg. Feb. 26. Have you enabled deep links to an app?

@emily_C27   This new one from #Google seemed to have come up rather quickly; while it’s important, I’m not sure if it makes sense for all.

@billsebald   Yup. Also schema them up where you can.

@MatthewAYoung   not for the apps im working with. (sad face)

@Casieg   Our clients who are using apps are using them internally for sales teams. Less so marketing & def not SEO.

@igalst   Yes, about a year ago. Can’t wait for it to work with un-installed apps as well.
@BruceClayInc   If you’ve enabled deep linking, have you seen evidence of SERP visibility increasing since 2/26?
@igalst   A very slight increase, nothing drastic. In the photo – sessions from google to the app.
@BruceClayInc   Thanks for sharing the results. That’s a measurable increase from app deep links!

@BruceClayInc   This resource walks you through coding for deep linking.

@CaitlinBoroden   I came across this nifty one last night.
@paulaspeak   I do use my app all the time.

@paulaspeak   Google says people are spending more than 80 percent of their time on mobile in apps. That’s compelling.

@KristiKellogg   People on average install 26 apps on their phone (many apps are left out) & 5 percent of apps drive 92 percent of all app downloads.

@Casieg   If you’re interested in app indexing, definitely check out @justinrbriggs blog. Lots of good stuff.

When DOES developing an app make sense?

@GoBrandify   When your brand sees a way to help its customers. Apps take extra effort so you must give value through them.

@emily_C27   The more niche and focused your product or service is, the better. Apps need to be simplified and narrowed.

@MariaEisenhart   When the app is an additional resource to the consumer and adds new business benefit w/o taking away from other medias.

@MatthewAYoung   So existential, I love it. Reminds me of college. When content needs to be packaged for consumption for users.

@CJLio   When you have unique content or experience and a wide user base. If it’s already on your website, it shouldn’t be in the app.

@Randomhero180   If you have something to offer to the customer. An informational app isn’t fun for consumers.

@CrowdContent   When it makes your user/audience’s life easier. Ask your audience. Do they want an app? If so, start building.

@jacquesbouchard   When your site offers something unique and is “app”able, or it bypasses what would otherwise be a barrier to mobile usability.

@Jennifer_Asc   When the Co. is providing services remotely (ie. banking), yes. If people need to physically be there. (ice cream stand), no.

@JesseStoler   When the demand is there. No point in creating something if no one is going to see the value in it.

@tannerpetroff   An app makes sense when you have the budget & capabilities to do it right, & there’s a legitimate need for the app.

@KristiKellogg   If an app has exclusive content in the form of coupons, discounts, and free things, it’s always a good idea. Money talks.
@CaitlinBoroden   Target’s Cartwheel app is a great example of this.
@KristiKellogg   Yes Cartwheel is great. Victoria’s Secret and Macy’s also have awesome apps with exclusive content.
@MariaEisenhart   check out the @toryburch app it has awesome content updated frequently!

@irleslie   Depends on your goals. Can’t make a blanket yes or no statement on that.

@BerkleyBikes   When your site REALLY can’t offer the functionality that you need on mobile.

What reasons compel someone to download an app?

@emily_C27   What can the consumer get out of it? Discounts? Coupons? I think Delta and Starbucks!

@irleslie   Needs to solve a problem/make my life easier (that is unless it’s Candy Crush.)

@BerkleyBikes   Functionality that would be a major PITA on a mobile browser, or if the app is much better than the mobile version of the site.

@jacquesbouchard   This chat reminds me of a decade ago when SEO’s/webmasters were crazy about getting users to bookmark them.

@GoBrandify   In our experience, we work with multi-location brands. Users are looking for directions, reviews, deals& events.
@BruceClayInc   It’s worth pointing out that your approach is user-centric w/ apps that give users what they’re looking for. Smart.

@KristiKellogg   In order to have someone download an app, they need to know you even have it! Make sure you get the word out. And practically, that can mean optimizing a page promoting your app so that it shows up (fingers crossed) as a site link. Or, #traditional, have promo material in your business/store letting people know there is, in facts, an app to be downloaded!
@tannerpetroff   If it’s not showing up, you can use GWT to remove other sitelinks and give your app page a better chance.

@tannerpetroff   For me, I only download an app if it makes my life easier or better.

@lisabuyer   Makes life easier

@Casieg   Has to offer something that makes life easier and is better than the web experience.

@KristaNeher   It solves a problem.

@MatthewAYoung   App Store optimization (ASO) is a real thing and its been around for years. I am reminded of the iphone ads from years past – There’s an app for that LOL.

@Randomhero180   Makes getting info or ordering something easier, entertainment, Freebies/coupons.

@kenhkelly   It has to help improve someones life, either by entertainment or functional productivity.

@CJLio   Obviously word of mouth marketing needs to be immense already. Most users dload app and don’t come back after 2 weeks.
@MatthewAYoung   Ive seen this happen and its brutal. People read about it download it and never use again.
@lisabuyer   I am guilty of that, I have to do an app cleaning every 3 months.
@CJLio   It’s almost becoming an addiction. Have it just to have it withouthout really seeing the true value.

@samueljscott   To get downloads, put some benefit or feature in the app that is only in the app.

What are your strategies/tips when it comes to app store optimization?

@MatthewAYoung   There it is! Consider SEO 101 level items. Optimizing the titles and descriptions with keywords, using video and images. Also, linking to the app listing in Google and/or Apple is a good thing as well.

@lisabuyer   This is critical for max exposure.

@kenhkelly   As a consumer, I hate when someone puts reviews before description. I leave the app and move to the next. Description first! Show me what the app ACTUALLY looks like. Not some crazy rendition that’s miles away from the truth.

@CaitlinBoroden   Demo images are huge for me. Show me what the app looks like before I download it.

@BruceClayInc   We know reviews are critical to app store ranking.

@CJLio   You really need to put in the time with AppStore optimzation, descriptions, and screenshots. Cater to your audience! I hardly ever see companies politely asking for a review! If you deliver a great product/value, don’t be afraid to ask.

@MariaEisenhart   Too many times I have searched for an app I wanted to try but I don’t remember the name & it was lost forever. Offer something unique that is not offered unless you review an app.

@KristiKellogg   Again …. incentivize! If I can get something for free I WILL review your app. And I’m sure I’m not alone on this.

@samueljscott   Spread links in site footers to your app in app store & use the app category for the exact-match anchor text (Not really! :)

@KristaNeher   In-app prompts at the right time.

@igalst   Ask a returning user if he likes the app, ask to rate the app only if he does.

@CrowdContent   Build a killer app that deserves an awesome review, and/or ask the user to review once they have used app successfully. CTA!

How do analytics and tracking change when you’re looking at an app vs. a website?

@CaitlinBoroden   Can’t say I’ve implemented it myself but I found this useful for an overview.

@igalst   Well tracking is much harder, less tools are available. (Almost) no referrals or keyword data at all.

@CJLio   Never really monitored analytics for an app. But how hasn’t GA figured out the conundrum of app traffic to desktop yet?

Do you expect wearables to change how apps are developed and used in the future?

@GoBrandify   Definitely. Wearables& #IOT will make location even more important when it comes to app development/optimization.
@Jennifer_Asc   Location apps drain batteries it seems, on my phone anyway. Battery life will need to improve.
@GoBrandify   Definitely. That was a huge concern during the #AppleEvent as well!

@emily_C27   There will always be a shiny new toy to alter some of the ways we operate. Smart phones were a big one! The #applewatch now

@igalst   Personally yes, but it feels that people are skeptical since Google Glass.

@KristiKellogg   Hello, #InternetofThings
@lisabuyer   Can’t live without my #Fitbit
@Casieg   Agreed. I already have high expectations for my Fitbit app. I can’t imagine those expectations being lowered.

@MariaEisenhart    100%, As a consumer I would hope there is a clean and simplified version of the app for wearables.

@lisabuyer   Any apps that tie in health and fitness optimization and wearables are a huge play.

@JesseStoler   Absolutely. Any new app will not pick up steam if they aren’t designed for whatever smart wearable is fashionable at the time.

@CJLio   Great question! Honestly, I could see developers making two versions. One for mobile, one for wearables. Only necessities.
@Jennifer_Asc   And then you’ll have customers who want the streamlined wearable as a lean version for their mobile.

@Casieg   I think that like anything, companies will need to develop for where their users are. If they are using wearables, def.

Besides lack of use, what makes you remove an app from your mobile device?

@KristiKellogg   Bugs, for one.

@CaitlinBoroden   Too many ads! That I accidentally click on all of the time grr.

@CJLio   Battery use. Not worth it if it diminishes the rest of your daily mobile activities.

@lisabuyer   Over promise and under deliver. Despite all the bad publicity #yelp app receives, I love it and live by it for so many things – directions, phone#.

@GoBrandify   Privacy concerns, bad UX, little value. There are tons of reasons but no excuse to make these mistakes!

@kenhkelly   Bugs, popups/ads that hinder productivity, lack of support – to name a few.

Summary: International SEO on #SEOchat

Moderator: @JohnBertino

Why isn’t international SEO as simple as just repurposing your English website and translating your content and meta tags?

@emily_C27   Must consider things like..let’s see.. culture!

@BrianRBaker4   Different cultures react to different content and media in different ways. Language is also more complex than translating!
@Jennifer_Asc   Exactly. Translation is not always literal. “It’s raining cats and dogs.”, for example.

@MichaelBurjack   Must also consider content hierarchy in other languages/countries: “important” information isn’t the same across regions.

@Jennifer_Asc   Culture doesn’t work that way. You need to understand the local customer.

@igalst   In short? cultural differences. Localization is not just translation.

@CallMeLouzander   We find that search behaviors and “natural” market behaviors vary from country to country. Also, diff markets=diff content.

@BerkleyBikes   Different cultures, different holidays. Words have different meanings!

@BruceClayInc   Even translation isn’t so simple — you have to make sure you’re using the RIGHT language that the locals actually speak.
@BerkleyBikes   So many different dialects and/or geographical variations.
@MichaelBurjack   Colloquial language is so very important!

@AJutah   International searches require different strategies. SEO signals are going to be different in other markets. Annotations and meta data will also need to be set to the country/region you’re targeting.

@samueljscott   People in different countries prefer different UX / UI. It’s more than tags / text / subdomains / subfolders.
@JohnBertino   That’s interesting @samueljscott. I haven’t looked much at INTL differences as it relates to UX/UI.

@JohnBertino   I have found that even top products and services will vary by country. #1in US does not equal #1 internationally.

@KristiKellogg   In Japan, for example, many users prefer video to text, we’ve learned. You have to change the way you serve up the content.

@CinziaIAnderson   Translating is not the same as localizing content. Some content can’t be translated and retain the same message. Localization!
@BrianRBaker4   Good answer!!! Yes, localization = conversions! Thanks for sharing!

@DavidProHQ   For one, culture plays a big role in the language you use. Also, languages don’t always translate the right way.

@gShiftLabs   Yes, translation is not enough. Different countries have various dialect for keywords that can impact local SEO.

Discuss the pros and cons of targeting by language VS country. When is targeting by language ideal? and visa versa?

@MichaelBurjack   To really get local, need to target both country and language!

@Ajutah   Need to understand the culture, & how locals search for products and services. Search engines need to return the BEST results. Even cultural nuances. Spanish language is so wide and varied across borders.
@CallMeLouzander   Great point. Some languages are localized, others widespread. Which lang/area you targ will determine your strategy.

@CallMeLouzander   If only this could be answered in 140 char’s. Depends on which language; how widely spoken is it/how many dialects?

@BerkleyBikes   One client has a FB following that’s 28% US-based and 77% English speaking. UK and AUS add another 10% at most.
@BerkleyBikes   In other words, language and country are not directly correlated.

@igalst   In finance we use green and red to indicate market’s up/down. Our korean edition uses red and blue – a cultural thing. Case by case, in many countries, like Brazil, they are so proud, that you can’t just give them a “Portuguese” edition.

@CaitlinBoroden   By country could be the perfect set up for an ecommerce site especially if shipping is involved.

@emily_C27   Targeting by lang can reach a more gen population but dialect differs between regions and countries.

@BrianRBaker4   Target country for local/cultural specefic product/service and language for culturally neutral subjects.

@DavidProHQ   Targeting by language can help build credibility with audience and targeting by country would help target more locally.

@BruceClayInc   If a language is spoken in many countries, it’s best to target by language. If it varies by country, target by country.
@MichaelBurjack   By language risks: neighbourhood vs neighborhood, diapers vs. nappies, etc. (US/Can/UK). Done wrong feels impersonal.

@connieurway   Target keywords. Localize or translate languages, depends on results.

@everettackerman   Well obviously some countries use different languages or dialects of a language so that must be taken into mind.

@CinziaIAnderson   Target a language if you want to target the same language across different countries, regions, cultures, etc.

@gShiftLabs   They should go hand-in-hand. Target a country, using targeted language. Be more strategic to be sincere in your approach.

@samueljscott   Language alone is best when you can’t build something for every possible language/country pair.

@jacquesbouchard   Companies often build multinational websites but rarely target multiple languages. I’d love to see more Spanish in US sites.

With International SEO, when is it best to use subdomains VS Sub-Directorys VS ccTLD

@MichaelBurjack   ccTLD has the most localized appearance. I’d rather visit a .ca than a or and make sure your hreflang tags are all in order…!! Subdirectory consideration — if you do a poor job (publish pages with high bounce, poor CTR) can reflect on whole domain.

@CaitlinBoroden   I’ve always found great success with the hreflang tag. Any others?

@JohnBertino   Lang-targetting via subdomain = more tech and $ resources + maintenance + link authority. Subdirectories lower maintenance.
@directom   Agreed on lower maintenance, but sometimes a good way to test the waters before moving to a new ccTLD!
@mattymow   Google is moving (slowly) with passing authority through sub domains. thoughts on when that’ll be a reality?
@rob   saw some interesting data on early February eCommerce update. Manufacturer sub domains got left behind.

@BruceClayInc   Since subdomains are different domains they won’t pass all authority. This method bears some risk.

@AJutah   It’s easier to segregate your web structure with sub-domains, and ensure the right pages display in SERPs with hreflang=, etc.

@BrianRBaker4   Also make sure you setup international targeting in GWMT!

@KristiKellogg   ccTLD can impart trust and a local feel.

@CallMeLouzander   How big do you need to be/how many resources available? ccTLD=local feel/trustworthy, but it’s a new site.

@directom   SO many pros/cons for both options, but subdirectory can be better if your domain is already strong.
@AJutah   True. Decision needs to be made based on current strengths. Switching from subdirectories to subdomains could be risky.
@CallMeLouzander   Agreed. Subdomain won’t get main site’s authority, so if you are still building brand recognition, subdirectory=best.

@jacquesbouchard   I don’t recommend subdomains or folders. Use separate websites for different countries, and that or a translator for languages.
@BrianRBaker4   but then you have to build up the domain authority for each one… how do you handle that?
@CallMeLouzander   if you’re starting to build branding, test subdirectories then build up to diff sites I’d think.
@jacquesbouchard   So you’d build the pages on the site and then redirect to a new domain when it hit “critical mass”?
@CallMeLouzander   Depends on circumstance, might make sense. Redirects are problematic but you may need to test 1st.

@igalst   We switched from ccTLDs to sub domains because of a domain change, saw a lot, but not a direct impact on rankings over time.

@TrinityInsight   There are pros and cons of both, but Google prefers ccTLD.

@CinziaIAnderson   ccTLD = most positive impact, since it also sends specific local signals to SEs, but most expensive & time consuming.

What are some of the questions and considerations marketers should assess before choosing to enter a new INTL market?

@Jennifer_Asc   Do we understand the local market? Are there local boots on ground who have executive management’s ear?

@rob   Product demand, competition, local laws, local cultures.

@MichaelBurjack   Go where your users are. And where you can access or build expertise. Grow carefully, do a good job on each before adding more!

@AJutah   Keyword research, competitive analysis, search potential for the market, local regulations, etc.

@igalst   Competition, market volume, familiarity, and time difference.

@CinziaIAnderson   Do you have the bandwidth & resources to successfully setup & maintain a site for an international audience? Do you have in-house or other resources that can assist with setup, marketing efforts, maintenance, social engagement, etc?

@KVelez1   Traffic & biz objectives = Do the visits & opptys warrant the addtnl resources to invest in that locale?

@CaitlinBoroden   Consider seasonality. Does seasonality effect your new targets differently?
@AJutah   How true. Christmas is in the summer in Australia!

@BrianRBaker4   Forreal though- Do you understand the market, culture, and language enough to be effective?

@Picanza   Language barriers, cultural barriers, content consumption differences, and different ideologies regarding business.
@BerkleyBikes   Yes, that research should be first and foremost. Then explore how internet regulations may differ from brick & mortar.

@CrowdContent   Ask: Is your target audience intl? If so, does it require an entire strategy shift or does it compliment existing campaigns?

@directom   Any existing presence/traffic? Understanding of the culture/language? Competition? Potential ROI?

@BerkleyBikes   Local regulations could be huge. Especially for products like alcohol, etc.

@connieurway   Start w/research, target countries, audiences, keywords.

@jacquesbouchard   Is there market interest & search volume there that justifies a country-specific web presence & dividing resources?

@mignacs   Will it affect current operations and how?

One challenge is making sure you are using the right interpretation/translation of English KW in foreign dialect. Tips there?

@Picanza   DO NOT HIRE A FREELANCER … find a native speaking translation agency. It costs money because it saves money.
@CinziaIAnderson   Good point!And the money spent is well worth it, because it will yield the best results!
@Picanza   If you think hiring a professional is expensive, try hiring a freelancer. over and over and over and over again. We need to remember that it isn’t about a lack of resources, but a lack of resourcefulness.
@Jennifer_Asc   To add to that. The universities may be a place to start with referrals for a native speaking agency.

@rob   Leverage local/native speakers to help with content development.

@Jennifer_Asc   You need someone local who understands the dialect with native proficiency for QA.

@emily_C27   That is where googtranslate is never useful. Find out from locals; it’s been the best way for me.

@MichaelBurjack   Gut-check against other local competition; if they’re using words you’re not, you’re probably missing the boat!

@BrianRBaker4   Make sure a NATIVE writes, or at a very least REVIEWS any visible content! So simple, but so often looked over.

@AJutah   Get some boots on the ground. You can do SEO from anywhere in the world, but working with locals is always best.

@connieurway   Proofread. Is it (keyword) universal?

@CallMeLouzander   Gotta get some locals to work with. translators (esp software based) struggle with slang, verbal shorthand.

@igalst   Local employees. No shotcuts here. Really. From expirience.

@directom   Competitive research. And/or partner with or hire someone who understands the culture and language along with SEO.

@jacquesbouchard   There’s no replacement for a native speaker, but you could always Google the KW for context. Image search is great here.
@igalst    In many cases it finds a problem if there is one. Also exact search, with quotation marks “”. If no one else is using it, there might be a problem with the translation.
@jacquesbouchard   Sometimes, there’s NO translation. Example: There’s no Spanish word/phrase for “crawlspace”.

@CinziaIAnderson   If feasible, use local resources. Check local competition, use native speakers & high-quality translation/localization agency.

@gShiftLabs   We just launched an official partner reseller in Mexico for this very reason. They understand the market much more than us.
@Jennifer_Asc   Smart move. The best executive teams understand what they do know, as well as what they don’t know: thus partnering.

Lets hear some International SEO recommendations for best way to get an existing English blog translated into a new language

@CallMeLouzander   I’d start w/ someone from target market reading thru blog, to flag anything that won’t resonate or translate well. Prioritize.

@AJutah   Freelance writers. Can’t run it through Google Translate. Odesk is a great resource. You can also run a local ad (Craigslist, newspaper classifieds, etc.) and look for local writers.

@rob   Choose the right platform, consider local hosted solutions to gain immediate local benefit. Consider not a direct 1:1 copy and conduct a localized content marketing plan.

@JohnBertino   I have used Craigslist US before to source speakers of foreign languages to translate and it worked very well.

@Picanza   I like the idea of using a local university. Gets a young & hungry student experience, and usually is affordable.

@jacquesbouchard   If the company is there, you’ll usually have a “native”. If they can’t do it, di a long-term relationship with a freelancer.

@CrowdContent   Freelance writers. Machine translators don’t do content translation justice. It’s all about authenticity for your audience!

@AJutah   Textbroker also offers international content options, like Portuguese, Spanish, German and others.

What are some of the most popular International Social Media sites that are not common in US but very popular oversees?

@CallMeLouzander   Line is the king of social in Japan, so says our BCI Japan office.

@directom   QQ and Wechat in China.

@BerkleyBikes   I learned recently that Xing is a popular site in Germany similar to LinkedIn.

@rob   Orkut, Netlog, XING, Hi5, @SinaWeiboo, RenRen, Douban, Vkontakte
@BerkleyBikes   I’ve seen Vkontakte drive substantial traffic.

@AJutah   Acc’d to this report, the social network Qzone has 712-million active users in China alone.

@JohnBertino   An image doesn’t need a translation. Pictures and graphics are much easier to for international audiences to understand.
@Jennifer_Asc   It depends on what you’re selling. Hats? Pictures are great. MRI machines? You’re going to need some serious text.
@CallMeLouzander   Well put! Context determines content. (This quote made my day, BTW.)

@igalst   VK for Russia, Weibo for China, Mixi in Japan

What are some great tools- (free or paid – that international search and social marketers can leverage to help with campaigns?

@rob   In a “Robots” sense, links are links, so many of the same tools apply vs. content marketing perspective is very different game. @Moz, @AHREFs, @screamingfrog, @seoClarity etc. can all be useful!
@CinziaIAnderson   @Moz @ahrefs @screamingfrog @seoClarity Agree! Also, all tools offered by Google, especially Webmaster Tools.

@directom   Country-specific tools like the keyword tool for Yandex.

@AJutah   Screaming Frog can help you with page/site optimization, while mind mapping programs can visualize architecture.

Vagish @Moz @tryMajestic SERPS @screamingfrog.

@JohnBertino   For more INTL SEO tips please come visit us in San Diego at 3/31 Experts Pane.

@samueljscott   @OHT is good translating!

Summary: Changing State of the Online Marketing Job Market on #SEOchat

Moderator: @islaisreading

How tight is the SEO/digital marketing job market in your area? Has that changed recently?

@AgentPalmer   It’s changing… It’s always been a bit of a club. You’re either in or you’re out. But recently, there are holes in the armor. Increased competition hasn’t raised the level of quality. I’ve seen too many who’ve read ONE article & think themselves experts.

@MatthewAYoung   I think the market is wide open, especially if you’re good at your job. Orgs are hungry for good SEOs/content people. I just saw an article the other day about the number of available positions and its grown a lot this past year.
@CallMeLouzander   Agree w/ @MatthewAYoung – if you know what you’re doing, there is work. Tho I find lots of jobs look for PPC & Organic combo.

@AJutah   They don’t call northern Utah “Silicon Slopes” for nothing. There are plenty of great agencies with lots of opportunities.

@lancemoore22   Skill sets are becoming more in depth. Digital marketing is very diverse in offerings.

@samueljscott   In the Startup Nation (Israel), there’s a huge demand for digital marketers – especially those with English/European languages.

@EricLanderSEO   In the greater Boston area, it’s wide open. Tons of opportunities in search and social.

@jacquesbouchard   I recently switched jobs — there was a tremendous demand in greater NYC for SEO’s. I was able to be very picky about my move. Senior level is especially in demand, but I was lowballed often in pay. We need to communicate the level we’re at.

@BerkleyBikes   For the Kingston office, @DragonSearch is the major player in the area. Not a lot of SEO jobs in the immediate vicinity. For the NYC office, well, you know.

@directom   It’s absolutely becoming more competitive. The job duties continue to change and involve having several different skill sets.

@ThinkSEM   There are many opportunities for digital marketers in MN. We see companies advertise job positions every day!
@jacquesbouchard   There are literally NO experienced SEO’s looking for work in northern Florida. I worked remotely for a Florida-based company. When I left, they hired in Texas because of no local talent.
@ThinkSEM   Really? It’s so interesting that it really depends on location!
@directom   It really does! We are in a small WV city and we’ve seen the competition pick up recently.
@islaisreading   I’m not sure, though I’ve noticed a LOT more content jobs lately. Better economy?
@ThinkSEM   I’ve also seen that SEO is in the top 5 skills to have on your resume. Maybe that too?

@islaisreading   Read this great article abt SEO salaries and I was wondering if it’ll lead everyone to flock to the industry.

@EricLanderSEO   What’s the remote job market like, in everyone’s opinion?
@MatthewAYoung   As a remote worker for @adobe It works out quite nicely. Not sure about the general market. I think it skews towards the office job. That’s one thing I miss though – the extemporaneous nature of the office. Its like jazz.
@AgentPalmer   Remote is where it’s at. Too many in-house SEO jobs get saddled with many other responsibilities.

@AJutah   The @moz 2015 Online Marketing Industry Survey has good insights into the biz for a investigating noob.

What do you think about hiring people with no SEO experience (for any kind of online mktg) & teaching them SEO?

@EricLanderSEO   SEO tends to grow from existing knowledge at entry level positions IMO. HTML coder, designer, etc. into SEO. To clarify, previous experience OR passion for HTML, design, etc. is the best gateway in my experience for SEO career growth.

@BerkleyBikes   We all know you’re never truly done training. Nevertheless I can’t imagine hiring someone with ZERO experience.

@AgentPalmer   It’s much easier to hire someone with some SEO knowledge and then spend time and $$ to keep them up-to-date!
@BerkleyBikes   Totally agree. It’s not hard to acquire the most basic of SEO knowledge and go from there.

@ThinkSEM   It depends on the training you’re looking for. Some have experience w/ formal training. Others are self-taught.

@samueljscott   You need bright, smart people who can learn something new quickly b/c SEO needs web dev, social, PR, content, analytics.

@AJutah   The skills needed for digital marketing can be found in anyone. I’d rather train them right the 1st time. I was lucky @shuey03 gave me a start when I had no experience. I’m grateful for the chance to learn and grow. Pro tip for new SEOs: start your own site. The best experience is gained firsthand, and you’ll be more confident in the long run.

@CallMeLouzander   I was pretty green when I started, so I can’t disparage the practice…just be patient, b/c SEO isn’t a weekend course.

@MatthewAYoung   This is a matter of philosophy. When I started with @BruceClayInc many years ago, they prefer to bring you up.

@BerkleyBikes   A hiree has to make some effort – read articles or tutorials, be active on social media, know marketing practices, etc.
@ThinkSEM   Wouldn’t a person with zero SEO experience at least try to learn the tools of the trade online?

@lancemoore22   I’ve seen people hired with no SEO experience do well. It’s all up to the person hired. How willing and ability to learn.

@darenhillhouse   I just started in SEO, and when I got started I had no clue what I was doing. Luckily I found someone to teach me.
@CaitlinBoroden   A combination of having a mentor and taking the initiative to learn yourself is key!

@CaitlinBoroden   Hire an inexperienced intern that shows potential and guide them through the process. Could end up being a win-win.
@MatthewAYoung   I totally agree! You dont have to spend time and money unlearning bad habits.
@CaitlinBoroden   I was one of those interns. Worked out wonderfully for me. It was an amazing experience with @DragonSearch!

@islaisreading   There’ve been a couple of good resources lately on investing in team and hiring.

@samueljscott   The benefit of hiring SEO newbies is that they haven’t been brainwashed into doing keyword or link spam (as many have).

@AdamOnTheKeys   We’re located next to a university with plenty of advertising and marketing students eager to learn SEO, too.
@kwanstaa   I was never exposed to SEO in University and I think that makes it hard for students to start a career in it too.
@ThinkSEM   Especially since if you wrote a textbook on SEO, parts would be outdated when you published & taught it.

@OvickAlam   Top 10 Seo Quotes By Experts

@jacquesbouchard   They must be willing to learn and open to a mentor. If you have that resource on the team, willing to train, then go for it.

How did you get started in SEO/online mktg?

@MatthewAYoung   I got started in SEO because someone knew I had an MFA and they wanted me to write for their site.

@EricLanderSEO   In ’98 I took a gig as a designer. Boss needed traffic to the sites I was designing.. and then… BOOM!

@AgentPalmer   It’s an important part of running your own site, as well as others.

@CallMeLouzander   My SEO invitation came from @MatthewAYoung.

@AdamOnTheKeys   Journalism major here, SEO was never on my radar. Now I have to try and teach it to my team.

@jacquesbouchard   I started out as a former English teacher gone content writer. Taught myself how to build a website and learned SEO from there.

@lancemoore22   Laid off several years ago and landed an awesome ground level job.

@samueljscott   Create and grow a personal site on some topic. Read, learn & test! (So you won’t harm your company or client sites at first!)

@emily_c27   As a freshie on the market, I was looking to work for a “marketing agency” of any kind. Had never even heard of SEO eeek!

@kwanstaa   I started as an Intern actually and learned so much! Even as a community manager, I have to be knowledgeable in SEO.

What can and cannot be taught on the job?

@ThinkSEM   Principles of white hat SEO can be taught but the field changes with Google updates so you must always learn.

@BerkleyBikes   You can’t teach ambition. You can teach best practices and history. You can’t always teach critical thinking and creativity.

@AgentPalmer   There are some great lessons that you only learn through failure. Not immediately. But I can remember the moments of learning from failure. Not the lessons, just the moments. I know that a lot has been done to hamper Black Hat, but I still see it from time to time and it just makes me sad. But most of those take time and energy, that equals what it would be like to do it White Hat anyway!

@EricLanderSEO   It’s tough to learn the important historical lessons of things like monthly Google updates, WMW importance & Florida updates. Example: When I started in SEO, Google simply didn’t exist. That’s not something folks can understand.

@CallMeLouzander   You can’t teach work ethic. You CAN teach communication skills, but shouldn’t have to.
@MatthewAYoung   Absolutely. I think we can throw soft skills in their too. Gotta know how to win hearts and minds.
@CallMeLouzander   Entitlement has no place in SEO. You can accuse Google of hating you & still not rank. Tough to correct bad attitude.

@MatthewAYoung   You cant teach client services #SEOchat Ive tried to teach and failed and lost clients.

@directom   The flexibility to stay up to date with Google’s changes as well as the curiosity and the drive that it takes to be an SEO. You have to LOVE the game, it’s like being a detective – NOTHING Black & White about SEO! That can’t be taught!

@AdamOnTheKeys   Hired as a copywriter. Realized I could learn SEO in my spare time and use my coworkers as a resource.

@jacquesbouchard   You’re taught best practices. The nuances, the patience needed to wait and see, and the BS filter for “news” are all hands-on.

@emily_c27   Good communication skills come rather naturally and are hard to teach, they can be fine tuned though.

What professional development do you recommend to new digital marketers? How do you stay fresh?

@AgentPalmer   Twitter Chats like this one and others help, because those who love SEO, love to talk about and share info.

@AJutah   Network. The best education I’ve received is the direct kind. Start an Amazon affiliate site, create content, build an email list, optimize it and write guest posts for it.

@EricLanderSEO   I would recommend Google Partners’ training materials. While AdWords & GA focused, it’s very helpful for context. Also strongly encourage familiarity w/ PMP certifications. Knowing how to manage multiple work streams s key these days. I’d ALSO recommend learning how to cancel trial subscriptions before expiration. Many great tools help you learn as you go!

@MatthewAYoung   Attend conferences and join a community of passionate people.
@kwanstaa   Conferences are great, but what would you recommend new comers who might not have the financial support for that?
@CaitlinBoroden   See if a local college has any sort of events you could participate in. Typically free and lots to learn.
@MatthewAYoung   Well, SEJ summits are free, just long waiting lists #SEOchat You could join meetups, but be careful. I went to the #SEJSummit in Santa Monica a couple weeks ago and it was amazing.
@kwanstaa   Oh I didnt know that! TY. I’ve been hesitant of meetups…Have you had bad experiences?
@MatthewAYoung   Only a couple times. For the most part its been a good experience. Jut use your discretion before signing up.

@samueljscott   Too many SEOs don’t know coding. Example: They can say you need an XML sitemap but cannot actually build one. Almost all “off-page” SEO and “outreach” is just PR & publicity by other names. Learn PR & publicity. My two @Moz essays here might help! One and two.
@jacquesbouchard   SEO’s have to learn SO much. UX, Design, Coding, etc. It comes with time & drive.

@lancemoore22   Forums, Twitter chats, blogs, @Moz, and conferences.
@MatthewAYoung   I’ve only had the opportunity to go to Pubcon and the recent SEJ Summit, though SMX and Adobe Summit are on my list.

@jacquesbouchard   Read blogs, ask questions until people are sick of you, learn a little about ALL departments, share knowledge, and learn HTML.

@CaitlinBoroden   Conferences, reading, and dare I say – seochatting.

@directom   Conferences, blogs, news, chats, social media, colleagues etc! (Just be sure to weed out the not so worthy info sources).

@BerkleyBikes   Find some SEO people and stalk them on social. Read the @Moz guide. Retweet some SEO people and play on their egos. We love that stuff.

What blogs/conferences/etc do you recommend to newbie SEOs and digital marketers? Why?

@AgentPalmer   I think is a must for all, not just newbies.

@EricLanderSEO   As a speaker of previous @smx and @affiliatesummit conferences, I’d have to say them, hands down. The local marketplace though is filled with meet-ups and professional organizations that can be life changing. For blogs and resources, I’d recommend @BruceClayInc #seochat (literally, this chat) @sejournal @sengineland @Marketingland et. all. Another resource often overlooked is @ThinkwithGoogle – I love seeing all the cool things happening there! Two other favorites of mine? @rustybrick’s @seroundtable and @larrykim’s @WordStream blog.

@ThinkSEM   We highly recommend the #MNSummit! @MnSEARCH is a rock star community for digital marketers!

@KristiKellogg   Definitely . There are literally thousands of how-to articles and guides on all aspects of #SEO & more.

@kwanstaa   As a newbie, I recommend the @Moz blog and their white board fridays!

@BruceClayInc   @SMX is a great conference. This calendar has ALL the #digitalmarketing conferences for ’15. Speaking of Hangouts, Bruce did one yesterday with @DavidAmerland. They talked #SEO for an hour!

@BerkleyBikes   I advocate more for hangouts/chats/webinars than anything.
@noeticsound    I’m with that. connect online. helps to develop relevant skills anyway. in-person is great, but online is essential.

@directom    GWT blog is great stuff for technical side of #SEO! @seroundtable always great for quick Google updates!

@MatthewAYoung   Pubcon provides an excellent smorgasbord of digital marketing tracks, Plus, its Vegas.

@jacquesbouchard   I find SEMNE to be worthwhile, and I’ve been to @smx East 6 years in a row so far. I’ve heard wonderful things about @moz con.

@directom   I attended @DigitalEast last year and gained a lot of helpful insights and knowledge! We are quite fond of the ‘Found Blog‘ too!

@samueljscott   Pro tip: Keep an eye on the #mozcon hashtag the day after the @Moz conference. There’s often a huge discount for next year.

@SEOAware   @Pubcon and Mozcon are great.

Are you seeing more or less marketing outsourced to agencies? How does that affect your work?

@BerkleyBikes   We work with a lot of in-house folks @DragonSearch. We handle the (oft complex) SEO side which frees them up to do other mktg.

@EricLanderSEO   As an agency’s digital lead, there’s never enough. As a consultant, there’s never enough work to review. Overall, I think the old DIY’ers are turning to agencies now more than ever. The larger clients have in-house ops setup.

@AJutah   Design work can be outsourced, and content can sometimes be scaled, but majority of work should be hands-on if possible.

@MatthewAYoung   I work at an agency and there will always be an org that requires expertise.

@directom   We are an agency – we only work with white hat tactics – we don’t have cookie cutter packages- we take pride in our ethics!

@islaisreading   Last thing, if you haven’t already taken the online marketing industry survey, please help us help you.

@jacquesbouchard   Large companies are trending more towards in-house SEO’s, while mid-sized and smaller ones are seeing the value of agencies.

Summary: Google’s move to make mobile-friendly a major ranking signal on #SEOchat

Moderator: @thompsonpaul

Last week Google announced mobile-friendly as ranking signal w/ “significant impact” Will it affect you?

Google announcement: Finding more mobile-friendly search results.

@MatthewAYoung   Not me personally, but clients, yes. One has a pesky Mobile waring in GWT.
@lancemoore22   I have tested a few of my clients sites. They failed. Lots of opportunity to improve for mobile.
@MatthewAYoung   I call that job security lol!

@thompsonpaul   I know we’ve all been seeing the ramp up of mobile significance, but this kinda puts a deadline on it.
@MatthewAYoung   Absolutely, it’s significant because Google rarely puts release dates on algo updates ahead of time.

@lyena   All my local clients are mobile-optimized. A couple do not have schema – I am curious to see what happens.

@MichaelBurjack   We’ve already seen the impact of SERPs tagged “Mobile-Friendly” in terms of CTR; rank signal will up the ante. Another consideration is “Mobile-friendly” tag vs other markup (eg “Last Modified” or “Count” schema); which tag works best?

@alexpeerenboom   Our agency site is responsive, most clients are responsive, but could lead to more projects for those needing to adapt.

@mrgoracke   Doing a site redeisgn, so mobile is definitely part of the equation; however, our prospects are primarily desktop users.
@CaitlinBoroden   Explaining the importance of mobile for those that don’t have the traffic to back it up. Tricky. How do you tackle this?

@jacquesbouchard   It affects us all. If a site isn’t mobile ready, you’re gonna have a bad day. If it is, you’re going to steal some traffic.

@tannerpetroff   Yes, hopefully for the better. Lots of focus on mobile optimized websites for my clients. Still could use more focus though.

@AJutah   This is great news for large websites that aren’t wholly mobile friendly, since the algo is run on a page-level basis.
@tannerpetroff   Not sure if that’s good or bad. “All pages must be mobile friendly.
@thompsonpaul   I read that as NOT all pages must be mobile-friendly – so there could be some leeway for less essential.
@AJutah   Makes it look like only the mobile-friendly pages will benefit from the update.
@thompsonpaul   Yup – everything I see says this is specifically for mobile rankings only.
@tannerpetroff   Right, but if half the pgs on a site aren’t mobile friendly, will that hurt in mobile results? Or will it help the pages that ARE optimized? That’s the question.
@directom   About the page by page part? We saw @sengineland article about 3 hours ago.

@DragonSearch   Some clients have sites that are great on mobile, others not so much. Now we wait and see how big the algorithm change will be.
@MichaelBurjack   We measured significant referral gains/losses when pages gain/lose “Mobile-Friendly” tag. It’s real.
@jacquesbouchard   I think it’ll start out slow, and Google will add strength as they “move” the web in that direction.

@KG7MAJ   It should benefit the websites I work on as the only options we give are responsive. It something we promote actually! It’s about time Google made an emphasis. Wonder how many will ignore the warnings or don’t care.
@MatthewAYoung   They have in the past but nothing this firm, which kinda makes it a big deal.

@directom   Our site is mobile friendly, may have a few clients that could feel it, but we are always pushing for mobile-friendly!!

Google’s Gary Illyes says “April 21st is a very important day.” Is it fair to give 8 weeks notice for something this big?

@lyena   Google has been talking about importance of mobile for years. 8 weeks is fair enough.
@tannerpetroff   Good point. Maybe they’ll just be dropping the hammer come Apr 21.

@MichaelBurjack   8 weeks online = 3 years of real time, right?

@alexpeerenboom   Hard to say. Mobile has been trending up for a long time, sites have had plenty of time to adapt. Certainly small sites running on platforms like WordPress might be faster to adapt, just get a new theme.
@jacquesbouchard   I see a lot of “responsive” themes that fail Google’s mobile friendly test, though. Caching issues, and items being too close together to be easily “touched” in mobile come to mind.

@directom   Google has been talking about this for a long time coming… I think a majority of us in the SEO community were NOT surprised!

@mrgoracke   Having any notice is good. Benefits us a ton, bc we are making redesign deicsions later this month.

@MatthewAYoung   I think it’s clear that Google is in the habit of ripping the bandaid off, not peeling it slowly. Fair is irrelevant to them.
@jacquesbouchard   I can’t think of the last big change they made that didn’t have YEARS of precedence. Well, except authorship removal.
@MatthewAYoung   I know, right? We all kind of knew this was coming. Mobile friendliness has always been a thing to Google.
@jacquesbouchard   And they’ve been applying CTR-influencing changes for a long time now for mobile search results.
@MatthewAYoung   Interestingly enough though, branded search is not largely affected. Intent may trump all. Just a theory.

@tannerpetroff   Compared to no notice for other big updates? Any notice is absolutely fair. Generous, even. I think the biggest difference is it will make some people get off the fence.
@CaitlinBoroden   Exactly! Especially if they wait till after April. The traffic change should be the big push.

@thompsonpaul   I kinda suspect for those who aren’t mobile ready, 8 weeks or 18 weeks probably wouldn’t have made much difference? At least this is a real-time algo so if you miss the April 21 window, won’t have to wait a year to recover, like Penguin.

@JesseStoler   Uh, yeah. We should be grateful whenever Google gives us notice for anything ever.

@AJutah   I think all algo updates are common sense. If you’re following SEO best practices, nothing is going to catch you off guard.

@kg7maj   It can take a while to buildout those sites, depending on how big it is. Seen some done in a week & some in 6 months.
@jacquesbouchard   I’ve seen big companies take a whole year to launch.

@mrgoracke   Will be interesting to see whether sites jump on the mobile bandwagon as quickly as they did the HTTPS bandwagon.
@MichaelBurjack   Sites jumped on the HTTPS bandwagon?
@mrgoracke   HTTPS as a ranking signal 8/6/2014
@MichaelBurjack   I know :-) but I was unaware there’s a bandwagon. I’ve seen few converts and limited upside from reports.

@thompsonpaul   Thinking about enterprise-level sites who will struggle with this (@Moz, anyone?) A new opportunity for small agile sites?
@tannerpetroff   Probably only a short-lived opportunity. I think necessity will cause people (like @moz) to adapt quickly.

@TheBuyerGroup   Are you ready? Take the mobile-friendly test.

How much will your plans and strategy change short-term as a result of this announcement?

@MichaelBurjack   Lots of work on analytics and investment in tea leaf readers!
@mrgoracke   I heard of many early adopters, but many issues/bumps in the process. Agree – limited converage on results.

@kg7maj   No impact… been doing it. Just another reason to convince clients/companies.

@mrgoracke   Maybe? Dealing with redirects and the original issues in GWT, losing social mentions/likes/ etc. – still lot of work.

@MatthewAYoung   No changes. Staying the course. Clients I work with already have RWD in the works. Should be fine…eventually.

@AJutah   Big brands may want to think about mobile-friendly micro sites for specific products/services.
@tannerpetroff   Oooh, hadn’t thought about that. Good thought.
@lyena   That would be a lot of work. I wonder, if there are resources to support multiple sites.

@tannerpetroff   I’ll be pushing the fence-sitters to make a move.

@AgentPalmer   Not at all… Maintain the course!

@thompsonpaul   For a couple of my clients – will probably accelerate projects already in the works a bit but nothing major. I’m betting even existing friendly sites will find there’s work to be done to clean up to new standard.

@jacquesbouchard   Not much, except that I’ll have “pain of loss” and “urgency of news” in my arsenal when advocating mobile design.

Although Illyes says “to the best of my knowledge” desktop won’t be affected, are you concerned it might?

@MatthewAYoung   Not really, as long as you stick to the SEO standards sites in desktop shouldnt be affected greatly.

@directom   There’s always a possibility that desktop can be affected, however we’re not too worried.

@thompsonpaul   I really hope they do manage to isolate this to Mobile -adding confusion to desktop right now would be very unfair and unmanageable. To the best of my knowledge = don’t shoot me when I turn out to be wrong.

@AgentPalmer   Not really. I’m still under the assumption that it will only effect mobile search… But my head may be in the sand…

@MatthewAYoung   It might be misdirection too. Remember the pirate updates? Yeah no one else does either. It’s plausible to think that Google may release something in tandem. Last major release saw 3 updates at once.

@thompsonpaul   How to use Webmaster Tools’ new Search Impact Report to diagnose mobile ranking demotions (via @glenngabe)

@tannerpetroff   Not really. If they roll out a sneaky panda/penguin refresh at the same time it could be confusing, but not a big concern to me.

@AJutah   It may, but there are ways to make sure search engines can tell the difference, like rel=”alternate”, mobile XML sitemap, etc.
@thompsonpaul   Excellent point re: making sure your desktop site clearly differentiated, if using mobile URLs.

@buzzflymedia   RWD ain’t the only way: Gary Illyes “reiterated that responsive design does not have a ranking benefit.”

@jacquesbouchard   Even Superbowl ads affect desktop traffic. Mobile is just one phase of the research/buy cycle. Mobile now, desktop later.

The Goog’s also now using info from indexed apps as ranking factor for signed-in users with the app installed. Seen any effect?

@thompsonpaul   Here’s some more info on the indexing of Apps. The announcement of the new App indexing was kinda snuck in at the end of the mobile-friendly ranking post.

@directom   Here is an article from @venturebeat about ranking apps
@thompsonpaul   This wasn’t so much about ranking apps as about indexing their content and surfacing it in SERPS.
@directom   here is more information from Google developers

@lyena   You would expect that all brand’s online properties would be considered as a part of “entity” authority. Internet of Things will eventually push everything under one brand umbrella.

@MatthewAYoung   Nothing yet. Not many clients with native apps. Will have to check with the one that does. To the to-do list!

Google also announced they’re building a new mobile-only search index. Good or bad to have indexes split this way?

@lyena   Devices are split, so split indexes might be ok. I bet, they are going for better speed and relevancy for mobile results. Surely, both indexes will be connected. If Google ever needed to merge them, they will.

@mrgoracke   Bad – if I do a search on mobile bc on the go, once back at my desk, I would want to see the same/similar results.
@thompsonpaul   I question the split indexes since as @mrgoracke points out, we use our devices so interchangeably.
@lyena   Device layer and index layer do not need to be one and the same. Similar to the multiple Internet layers, we will not notice the back end “magic” – just the UX.

@tannerpetroff   I think it’s the first step in further personalizing mobile SERPs. I’m indifferent toward it for now.

@AJutah   Search intent on mobile is different than desktop, but it seems like all hardware is going to be “mobile” at some point!

@jacquesbouchard   One part “Sounds like a lot of work for them.” and another part “With personalized search, isn’t that a thing already?”

@MichaelBurjack   I think it would be great; user signals and intent vary by device; separate indices give SEOs more flexibility in targeting. Last redux: Even if there are 2 (3, 4…) indices, the site can choose whether to give different signals or not; more choice > less. That relates to user/customer choice. As a “manufacturer” I want the choice in how to present my product.

@MatthewAYoung   Not sure about this one, but I understand why Google is doing it. No opinions as of yet.

@thompsonpaul   So… bottom line, will this upcoming change make your life as a web marketer harder or easier?
@CaitlinBoroden   Time will tell :) But overall, a bit of both.
@jacquesbouchard   Easier. I’ll be doing the same things I’m doing now, but with a stronger case to make it happen.
@tannerpetroff   Just adds another layer. Should clarify things when we have real world data, make things more black & white.
@marcusbowlerhat   Google is thinking about their users – if you are doing the same then its just business as usual.
@lyena   Focus on what you can control: mobile-friendly website optimized for customers. Don’t worry about Google games.
@thompsonpaul   I think this will bring another layer of work for me – I forsee a bunch of mobile seo audits in my near future. I just think the definition of “mobile-friendly” got a bit tighter. So some more tech work to accomplish.
@MichaelBurjack   Greater complexity = more interesting work, no? SEO was boring back in the directory-submission era.

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

Moderator: @AJutah

Why should marketers care about relationship building?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is it worth building relationships with the media?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@AndreaMLehr   Spreadsheets, spreadsheets, spreadsheets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@BruceClayInc   Definitely — pull up the social referrals report.

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

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

Summary: What we know about mobile SEO on #SEOchat

Moderator: @bloomreachinc

What does “mobile SEO” mean to you?

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

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

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

@derekacosta23   Improving visibility for your website.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@bruceclayinc   Yes, CLEAR calls to action.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are the challenges you see in mobile SEO?

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

@cdumervil   Limited attention spans!!!!!

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

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

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

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

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

@chelseylfreeman   Getting more than just young adults on board.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moderator: @shuey03

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@Beymour   @BuzzSumo @followerwonk All great tools here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How often do you perform competitive analysis and why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@stratrev   @Moz blogs still help us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary: Finding the Right Influencers for Outreach on #SEOchat

Moderator: @tannerpetroff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@cjlio   The obvious is @followerwonk.

@lancemoore22   Ask the client.

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

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

What tools do you find most helpful in finding influencers?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@tannerpetroff   Infographic on types on influencers I shared earlier.

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

Summary: Random SEO Questions on #SEOchat

Moderator: @dan_patterson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How are you optimizing for mobile?

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

@lancemoore22   Responsive!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@kristikellogg   KeywordTool.IO

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary: Local Linkbuilding on #SEOchat

Moderator: @Sonray

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

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

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

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

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

@morgan_corbett   Neighborhood associations? Local bloggers?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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