Summary: Looking Ahead to Google 2015 on #SEOchat

Moderator: @dr_pete – Marketing Scientist and Google Chaser

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@pseo_inc   Google Now is already on desktops.

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

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

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

Moderator: @bloomreachinc

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

@matthewayoung   Usually between 20-40%

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

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

@dan_patterson   we’re >20%

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

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

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

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

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

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

@trainingceo   Responsive all the way!

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

@dan_patterson   Yes we are responsive.

@bruceclayinc   Responsive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@dan_patterson   SEO and also usability were a factor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who do you think does mobile experience well?

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

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

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

Summary: The Changing Landscape of Local SEO on #SEOchat

Moderator: @tannerpetroff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary: Tactical Social Ads on #SEOchat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@gobrandify   It can be challenging to promote without spamming.

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

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

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

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

@lancemoore22   Good article on ad retargeting

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

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

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

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

@thebuyergroup   .@LisaBuyer on Paying to Play

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

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

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

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

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

@helllonina   Use certain ads to target key publics.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@ericwagner1017   Highly targeted, customizable, interactive, viral.

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

@marcusbowlerhat   It’s all about Atlas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@erikacanfijn   @NissanUSA and @InfinitiGlobal

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

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

Summary: SMM and Publishing on #SEOchat

Moderator: @KelseyLibert

@kelseylibert   In #seochat today: the marketing industry in the context of a collaborative study by @BuzzSumo and @fractlagency, analyzing 2.6B shares.

Which two social networks are most important for your strategy and why?

@kmacwilkinson   Facebook and Twitter due to their popularity and reach among users. These platforms get the point across. I also think Linkedin is a great platform that is growing in numbers and opportunities.

@damarislopezpr   I’ve found that Facebook & Twitter are most important because I feel like most of my audience has those 2 platforms.
@jslopez2015   I agree with @DemarisLopezPR facebook and twitter are most imporant but then again it depends on your target audience.

@matthewayoung   This is all dependent on the target audience. FB and Twitter are defaults, but different audiences call for different channels.

@bruceclayinc   Our #SMM mix is in flux based on engagement we see & opportunities new feature releases present. Currently invest most: FB & G+. We’re looking to experiment with LinkedIn to add paid promotion and publisher platform to our efforts.

@rachvelasquez1   I most often use Facebook and Twitter because that is where the people I want to reach are most active.

@sonray   Depends on the campaign goals but largely Twitter and LinkedIn.
@kelseylibert   LinkedIn, very interesting! Targeting a lot of B2B?
@sonray   Yes, LinkedIn offers a strong way to target via paid & a search box that can drive lots of traffic from profiles.
@bruceclayinc    LinkedIn publisher platform & SEO

@zoberkat   FB and Twitter are good, but I find Tumblr and YouTube to be great platforms for different targets.

@kylerthomas_   I actually prefer Facebook and #Instagram. I like portraying my message using elaborate pictures.

@joerega   Facebook & Twitter because that’s where the audience is but Google+ when I want something in 6 seconds.

@suzyqschrim   I use facebook more often but I’m learning the value in the use of Twitter.

@kelseylibert   Most engaged platforms, in order: 1. Facebook 2. Twitter 3. Google+ 4. Pinterest 5. LinkedIn.

@kevinwaugh   For #ecommerce , Pinterest is a great lead gen, anf Facebook simply due to community size.

@joliva24   Facebook & Instagram because visual posts are so important & get lots of feedback.
@matthewayoung   Huge for younger demos!

@kateriawynn   I personally love visual social media. I prefer Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube for my information.

@paramaya   It definitely depends on the target audience. #SEOchat LinkedIn (better leads) & Twitter (keeping up with industry) for my biz.

@searchrook   The #SEO audience is most active on Twitter, so it’s #1 #2 would be G+ due to communities (better than LI groups).

@DigitalDionne   I know everyone will say FB and TW – but don’t sleep on @Pinterest – a strong image can drive traffic for sure. People love pictures. English will eventually be replaced with Emoji in all settings. Imagine divorce proceedings.

Do the engagement metrics change your opinion on Q1, why or why not?

@ericlanderseo   Yes, absolutely. Networks that permit tracking URLs & organic connectors require analysis and reactionary opt.

@kmacwilkinson   Yes, because if you are using a platform that doesn’t bring in $’s and results, then change needs to happen.

@joerega   No because different posts yield different responses.

@joliva24   The stats should definitely be taken into consideration, but so should your targeted demographics!

@jslopez2015   A little bit yes but I think within the next year LinkedIn will be number 1. Linkedin offers a way to branch out in your career professionally and a lot of businesses are plugged into it now.

@matthewayoung   Absolutely, they do. Gotta go where the audience is. This goes beyond content, and achieves context as @garyvee would say.

@damarislopezpr   Yes, you need to see where your content is doing the best and where it needs improving.
@sonray   totally; race strengths and improve weakness.

@kevinwaugh   Yes, one is lead gen and the other is brand building. Pinterest has no issue with links off of Pinterest, but Facebook does. Linkedin has kinks to work on. Groups for instance seem to be a lost cause (No tie in from main page).
@kelseylibert   Would you say engaging in discussions is a lost cause? I’ve heard the contrary from sales.
@kevinwaugh   Discussions are vital, but Linkedin ignores it. An email digest that has no content is only outreach. I think that is Linkedin’s struggle, converting it from a resume house to a community. I’m on Twitter to engage & learn, Facebook for family stuff, LinkedIn to get me noticed in a job search.

@searchrook   Engagement metrics should seriously influence your opinion *and* cause you to change it quickly.

@kylerthomas_   Yes, content needs to be built based on where it’s doing best.

@rachvelasquez1   Definitely. I want to be where my metrics say are the most beneficial.

@zoberkat   No, because the target market I want to focus on might be different from the most popular social media sites.

Have you noticed a specific content format or tone shared more on a specific social network?

@kmacwilkinson   Pictures win on Facebook and Twitter.

@sonray   Totally, each network reacts differently to content before you even consider how the vertical will react.

@matthewayoung   Yes, the other networks allow publishers to be more jovial, whereas linkedin has a tendency to be all business. Example, I share content on LinkedIn, but only as it relates to my audience and the inductry in which i reside. I think it comes down to creating personas and publishing content to support those personas per each social channel.

@dyannlesn   Linkedin provides us with a much more business/professional network while Facebook seems to be casual. What I love about twitter is that by choosing who you follow you can determine how casual/business oriented.

@joliva24   LinkedIn has a more professional and conservative tone, whereas the others can be more casual & humorous.

@jslopez2015   I would say sports updates are always on twitter and have them up by the second, other than that not really.

@damarislopezpr   I feel like a Tweet or FB post with a pictures does way better with engagement.

@paramaya   Every social network has it’s cultural differences, which affect sharing trends. Some are more nuanced than others.

@rachvelasquez1   I use LinkedIn solely as a professional resource but have a little bit more fun on other networks

@joerega   YES! Each platform has its own culture: Google+ allows for titles on posts, etc..
@bruceclayinc   Good point. Formatting options in G+ makes long-form, almost mini-blog posts fitting content.

@damarislopezpr   I feel like Facebook is more casual than Twitter from what I’ve observed.

@ericlanderseo   Absolutely, yes. Engagement on image posts on FB is producing. On LI, the interaction is limited to likes only.

@kylerthomas_   Yes, Facebook is more about sharing “funny” content, whereas Linkedln is all about business and networking.
@kmacwilkinson    Which do you think is more effective with their content?
@kylerthomas_   Honestly, I’m not 100 percent sure. I have a Linkdeln, but don’t utilize it as much as I should be.
@matthewayoung   That’s not to ignore that FB doesnt have its place in business – like when youre applying for a job lol.

@zoberkat   Definitely! There are different options for each social media site and different personalities too.
@dyannlesn   Thats a great way to describe it … “personalities”.

@seewynter   Certain platforms are more likely to have a creative and whimsical tone, esp those that are heavy on visuals like Pinterest.

@kelseylibert   We used @AlchemyAPI to analyze text, opinions & attitudes of the articles shared on each social network.

What topics do you see trending most on particular social networks?

@zoberkat   Pop Culture, Politics, Sports seem to be the top three I notice on social media.
@paramaya   Right. It’s why we need well-researched personas. We have to blast away our own assumptions.
@kelseylibert   Agreed! We started w/ 5 personas, though I think we need 50. I wonder how many personas are needed on avg?

@dyannlesn   I think current events trend the most on twitter, or at least trend there first…then Facebook.

@damarislopezpr   I’ve been seeing a lot of sports, national news and international news trending on Twitter lately.

@jslopez2015   You always know what is trending with celebrites, and sports once again, and how people feel about a show they are watching. Also whenever a national tragedy occurs that will trend for a couple of days.

@joerega   News, Complaints and, unfortunately, whatever the Kardashians are up to.

@kylerthomas_   I think Twitter is more hard-news, FB more social news, Instagram more #selfies.

@kmacwilkinson   Things trending on social networks are tailored by mostly season, sports #gogators, work, school, jobs.

@matthewayoung   Current events, mostly. If something’s happening, people will be talking, including brands (which is a fine line of course).

@paramaya   I want to answer every question with “It depends…” It depends on the network.
@nikipayne   I agree with @paramaya. Trending topics depend on what curated feeds you are following or that network’s feed algorithm.

@kevinwaugh   My trends on Facebook & Twitter are completely different, mostly due to network having a < 1% overlap.

@seewynter   Although the majority is pop culture, I am happy to say that social networks are starting to share world news more frequently.

@rachvelasquez1   I use Twitter to follow news so global news is what I see trending most often.

@kateriawynn   The topics I tend to see trending the most are scandals or leaked information. America loves gossip.

@kelseylibert   Our analysis of 2.6B shares showed the following keywords by social network.

@kylerthomas_   hmm – I always saw Twitter as the world-news center.

@kelseylibert   We also analyzed keyword usage by publisher headlines, and found:

@thekelsinator   Great article on Instagram being used to break news.

What top 5 publishers do you think dominate social media and why?

@kmacwilkinson   I think that Buzzfeed dominates Facebook. I feel like every other post I see is from there.
@kylerthomas_   Amen to that. #Buzzfeed definitely dominates Facebook.
@seewynter   YES. I get drawn in by its “list” form. I can’t help but want to know the 9 reasons why Disney changed my life.

@damarislopezpr   @NPR is all over almost every social media platform although they don’t utilize all of them frequently. I also agree that BuzzFeed dominates Facebook. I can’t go on without seeing a BuzzFeed link.

@dyannlesn   I feel like it had a lot to do with who your friends are and what you look at on your own time. Mashable and EliteDaily are definitely in my top 5.

@ericlanderseo   Answers.com is doing a lot more on FB it seems, unsure how much of that is paid exposure though. Other sites doing well with social traffic? SI.com, CBS News, CNN, BuzzFeed.

@zoberkat   So many choices… I see a lot of @HuffingtonPost articles.

@matthewayoung   How can you name just 5? So many publishes with great content. I really enjoy @mashable and the @HuffingtonPost.

@jslopez2015   #buzzfeed, #MSN i know for sure dominate the social media world they always have something to say.

@rachvelasquez1   BuzzFeed and EliteDaily are all over my Facebook newsfeed.

@joerega   TMZ, Fox News Huffington Post, NPR and anyone who pays to be promoted.

@nikipayne   The answer to that largely depends on what kind of content you like as Facebook factors that into their algorithm.
@kelseylibert   We’re talking more big picture: who as a publisher has the most shares on their articles? Not in any individual newsfeed.

@kelseylibert   No single publisher has become omnipresent on all social networks.

@kelseylibert   Check out our full graph of “publisher shares by social network”:

For a top-tier publisher, how many FB shares does a successful article usually have?

@kmacwilkinson   That is a tough one..I would say that depends on the topic and size of the company and what group. If i had to guess I’m going to agree with @DamarisLopezPR and say at least 1,000.

@dyannlesn   Im stumped on this one…over 10,000?

@damarislopezpr   I feel like top tier publishers need normally have shares in the thousands.

@jslopez2015   I’m going to guess at least a couple thousand, especially if they are top-tier. But then again it depends on your target audience, and what they want.

@searchrook   Could easily be 10k. That said, FB shares are part of the success of the article, rather than outcome.

@matthewayoung   For top publishers im going to say over 100k, just a guess.

@joerega   Depends on the amount of followers but to be considered “successful,” I’d say at least 100.

@kelseylibert   We’re talking the top 190 publishers, think @BuzzFeed @HuffingtonPost @mashable and the like. Most publishers in our study averaged < 5,000 shares per article.

Do you find yourself, or your clients, taking a particular tone with content pitched to publishers?

@kateriawynn   I feel like you really can’t say. Sharing a lot on FB can be overwhelming so shares is always objective. Always, always, always! I see it everyday. It’s all about making the contact work for the audience. It’s cool to see in action.

@kmacwilkinson   The tone depends on the audience and the content that is being pitched.

@joliva24   Nowadays, I feel like online publishers are looking for funny, image-heavy content.
@kateriawynn   I feel the same way. Pictures are always a big hit because everyone’s attention spans is so limited.

@zoberkat   Yes. You should have a particular brand image to show in your tone of content.

@damarislopezpr   Of course content being pitched to CNN will have different tone than content pitched to BuzzFeed.

@matthewayoung   Yes, when I write blogs, I have to write for that audience. Goes without saying #seochat – but that shouldnt take away from style. A tip of the hat to @VirginiaNussey and @BzzContent for helping craft that voice.

@jslopez2015   The goal is to stay professional but I agree with the fact that it depends on the who and what.

@joerega   Yes. Brand voice is important so conveying tone needs to be reviewed.

@dyannlesn   Content is the most important factor, but it always depends on your audience. So yes.

@SeeWynter   Media pitches should model the behavior of a chameleon: they should fit the color/tone of the publisher.

@jslopez2015   I understand why though, as humans we tend to remember the negative over the positive.
@kelseylibert   This elaborates on that point.

@kelseylibert   News organizations tended to publish more negatively toned articles than any other type of outlet.

@kelseylibert   @BuzzFeed & @Upworthy published the most neutral articles. The most positive publisher was @Mashable

@joliva24   I can definitely tell. I see more tragedies than stories about puppies
@zoberkat   I’m not surprised. Articles about death and injustice are never a happy uplifting story.

@kelseylibert   Click here for interactive dashboards of all 2.6 billion shares: frc.tl/10lMbAm.

Summary: SEO Case Studies on #SEOchat

Moderator: @BruceClayInc

We’re organizing today’s chat into sections: first WHY, then HOW-TO, and last, case study EXAMPLES.

What’s the real value for a business in providing case studies?

@strydedotcom   It gives an objective understanding of a business’ problem and subsequent solution solution. Case Studies help overlay the business benefit of utilizing a service which achieved measurable results, clear proof is given.
@virginianussey   I like that, case studies illuminates a biz’s problem solving process.
@strydedotcom   Yes! Which is a difficult facet to communicate.

@matthewayoung   At a base level, speaking from an seo perspective, it’s relevant links to an engagement object. The value added is brand awareness, the tooting of one’s horn.
@bruceclayinc   Yes, case studies as a pure #SEO play.

@virginianussey   The biz value for providing case studies? Influence principles: authority and consensus. Testimonials of past success!
@thinksem   Testimonials are a huge benefit. Great answer!

@gobrandify   First and foremost, they help a business self-evaluate. And they can help position business as thought leaders.

@evanauerbach   The real value for a business to provide case studies to potential clients comes down to one thing. Results. Action Plans = Strategy | Case Study = Outcomes. Businesses want buy-in on results, not theory. Good case studies do that.

@nikipayne   From a business standpoint, case studies help validate credibility and demonstrates your ability to get results for a client.

@paramaya   Case studies can be a goldmine for SEO, but they provide social proof to prospects.
@bruceclayinc   Social proof+SEO content=win.

@lisabuyer   Case studies can also be a nice #PR play! Optimize for success!
@matthewayoung   I look at it like free advertising, proof is in the pudding kind of stuff. Either way, its critical.

Have you published case studies to show your or your company’s work on a client or project? Why or why not? Results?

@matthewayoung   Yes, I published a couple when I was at @BruceClayInc because who wouldnt want to advertise 300% increases in traffic. To my first point, as a matter of engagement objects and content marketing, there is a lot of potential value there.

@virginianussey   I have to admit that case studies is not our strongest stack in the @BruceClayInc content library.

@nikipayne   No, but I’m interested in learning about how to put an effective case study together.

@lisabuyer   Case studies take dedication to create and are proactive versus a reactive strategy, but worth the time and effort! Sometimes case studies that are too fluffy come across as #PR Spin, be sure to have solid numbers and measurement.
@strydedotcom   YES! Hence the distinction between “tooting” and factually reporting.
@dragonsearch   Good point. Some C-Level peeps only look at metrics; might not read the words at all and that’s OK!

@paramaya   Published for clients but not for us. Too much time spent on clients and not enough focus on our own, I guess. Case studies can draw unexpected traffic due to long-tail, driving new content strategies, new keyword focus.

@evanauerbach   Case Studies – to publish or not? Of course! Transparency builds client trust & client trust is a major key to success. Using case studies to show off your high-end clientele is a big no-no. I’ve see people do it, and its tacky.

@gobrandify   The more we promote the collateral, the more requests. It’s just a matter of bringing this info to their attention.

How often do prospective clients request to see your case studies? Is it more or less than in previous years?

@strydedotcom   We typically supply our prospects with case studies, it’s a great way for them to get to know how we operate.

@bruceclayinc   About 80% request a case study or a portfolio highlight. The case study could make or break point for a prospect client.

Are case studies becoming outdated in an era of online reviews? @NeilPatel wrote that many are “faked.” Are they trusted?

@strydedotcom   I feel as though only reviews are even more easily faked than a case study.

@paramaya   No reason to have either/or. Case studies can reinforce reviews and vice versa.

@matthewayoung   Contextually they are different, so i dont see one replacing the other, or becoming outdated. It is a good question, without playing politics with #s, how do you make incredible facts believable in a case study?

@virginianussey   I’d love to know more about this. I’ve never read many case studies when evaluating cos and yet always read reviews.

@alexpeerenboom   I think the best case studies can feature reviews/testimonials. Help tell a story about success.
@bruceclayinc   Yes, testimonial style quotes in our case studies brings the numbers and charts to life!
@evanauerbach   I like what i’m hearing, Alex. All case studies should tell stories – and why can’t reviews be a part of it?

@evanauerbach   If case studies can be faked, so can online reviews! Trust is built in the source of the information, not the medium.

@bruceclayinc   @NeilPatel just published a case study on how he used a case study to grow sales by 185%.

@dragonsearch   Faked case studies stick out like a sore thumb. Easy to spew metrics, but it’s the context that matters. Can’t fake that.
@matthewayoung   Agreed, i mean have you ever read a fake Yelp review – Dead giveaway.

@gobrandify   There’s no telling for sure! Some companies produce them to show authenticity, others may simply be faking.

@jacquesbouchard   If you DO have legitimate case studies, be vigilant for plagiarism of them. I’ve seen that often.

In general, what are the essential components for a case study?

@matthewayoung   Identify the issue and set the goals. Dont’ create a rudderless ship, er, case study. Define the actions taken to achieve the goals. Get a quote from the client about the success of the project, etc.

@bloomreachinc   It should be narrative, telling the story of goals, execution and results, but with a real focus on the people.

@strydedotcom   Remember to give enough history and background to adequately set up the issue addressed.

@gobrandify   History. Goals. Actions. Results. But always have a story.

@dragonsearch   Environment/Problem + Solution + Outcome = the main 3 chapters of the story.

@evanauerbach   Four elements of a good case study -Relatability -Tell a good story -Be consistent in your data -Talk strategy

@TurbanSEO   The Before and After photos! SEO plastic surgery!
@bruceclayinc   So we’re talking rankings, conversions … any other essential data to show?
@dragonsearch   Remember, the reader will verify with a vanity search. What if they get a diff result?
@paramaya   And they likely will get a different result.
@30lines   Too easy to manipulate those rankings, different for everyone. Focus on traffic and conversions instead.
@lisabuyer   #Truth! Before and after traffic always works. Also Time on site. Quality of traffic!

Specifically for an SEO client success story, what data or metrics do you collect for the case study?

@matthewayoung   Analytics data is good, but conversion data is HUGE. Case studies should address how a project affected the bottom line.
@dragonsearch   YES! It’s all about the conversions. Great opportunity to get the new prospect thinking right.

@marcusbowlerhat   The metrics have to be born of the goals. The metrics exist only to validate how you used SEO to get what the client wanted.
@dragonsearch   A good point about how/when to show what case studies to who.

How do you put together a case study? Do you have a process for case study production? When do you start?

@matthewayoung   I admit case studies are never front of mind when I start a project, but it’s wise to try and get a case study from all clients.

@gobrandify   We take real client successes stories. Work with clients to produce collateral we’re both proud of.
@matthewayoung   So important to keep in mind – case studies are mutually beneficial.

@virginianussey   A case study may start b4 u know it’s 1. Treat every project like a potential CS in the making. Baseline measurements for all! A process for case study production… Baseline @ start of project, see success, get client approval, collect data, make pretty.

@marcusbowlerhat   If the goals are well defined and the project well documented then you should already have the bones.

How do you persuade your client or customer to be profiled in a case study?

@strydedotcom   Typically, when a client’s situation is stellar enough to be featured in a case study, they happily oblige.

@evanauerbach   Any successful case study should make your client look like the real winner. Do the work first. Present it to them with their goals in mine, not yours. If they’re happy, you’re happy.
@dragonsearch   The client = the hero in the story.
@matthewayoung   I like that “hero of the story”. I may use that one day…with your permission of course.

@matthewayoung   When the project has been successful and you have great rapport with clients, persuasion comes easy.
@paulaspeak   Some clients don’t want the public knowing they’re using an #SEO firm and refuse. Right?
@matthewayoung   That’s a possibility, but in my experience, no client of mine has refused the free publicity. But as @VirginiaNussey said, enterprise clients may be a little hesitant.

@lisabuyer   That is tough, because they don’t want competitors to know. Maybe offer an incentive at the beginning.

@virginianussey   Sometimes with big cos you run into NDAs and case studies are a no, which is too bad.

@gobrandify   We position the case studies as opportunities for brands to show that they are industry leaders, not followers.

If your clients develop their own case studies, do you optimize them for just the client name or other (eg: “best x co”)?

@strydedotcom   We haven’t encountered that quite yet. Our clients typically look to our content writers to be a big part of the process.

@matthewayoung   Both I think, but its not enough to rely soley on long tail and brand. Social pushes can play a big part as well.

@virginianussey   I’d think case study content could work for #SEO on both fronts that way.

@paramaya   Clients often leave out valuable info in case studies, so we help them optimize or write for them. An example would be a hyperlocal client who leaves out location-related info (city, state, etc) in case studies.
@paulaspeak   Yes, good service to provide. It’s always hard to write about yourself in any circumstance.
@paramaya   Copywriting is incorporated into our SEO services. #seochat “Let us rewrite that for you….”

@marcusbowlerhat   Easy – free exposure aka SEO!

What are the greatest challenges or obstacles you encounter with creating case studies?

@strydedotcom   Finding/creating eye-pleasing methods of data presentation

@matthewayoung   Making the time to research and create a case study. Could never seem to do it with my workload – had to force myself.

@virginianussey   For us it’s getting @BruceClayInc’s biggest clients to agree to be named. More powerful when the client is named.

@paramaya   Walking the fine line between too much info and too little.

@dragonsearch   Greatest challenge from a #bizdev perspective is needing one from an account manager RIGHT NOW! Better to create w/o need.

Share one of your own case studies and explain why it’s good. Link to it, if applicable

@gobrandify   We just put out two awesome case studies check them out!

@virginianussey   We got lucky when an independent research firm asked to interview our testimonial clients. Considered our top testimonial client relationships, got feedback on Quality of Work, Ability to Meet Deadlines, Value for $.
@paulaspeak   Those 4 testimonials were better than case studies, and pretty detailed, too.
@matthewayoung   I remember Sylvan and Soundproof Cow very fondly. Thos were good projects.

What other company’s case studies do you admire and why?

@paulaspeak   Hubspot’s case studies have nice online presentation & great client quotes.

Summary: SEO Mobile Matters on #SEOchat

Moderator: @Lisabuyer

BrightEdge data tells us that mobile is outpacing desktop x10. How are you preparing for that?

@kristikellogg   The mobile market will generate an est. $261 billion more in ’15 than in ’12. DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO IMPROVE YOUR MOBILE NOW.

@bruceclayinc   Invest in the user experience. Optimize for page speed, have a mobile checkout, clickable phone numbers, clear contact info.
@sonray   agree; prepping the simple things makes the roi case stronger too.

@matthewayoung   First and foremost have a site that delivers to mobile UX. It’s a loaded answer i know. Optimize images, espcially if youre running responsive. It’ll weigh you down if youre not careful.

@suzzicks   Biggest thing is to have a mobile strategy and test it for crawlability. Google likes Responsive design because it is easiest to crawl, & easiest for users. Even w/o responsive strive for these goals.

@hortensesoulier   Mobile sites first with responsive designs, improved loading speed and mobile-soecific features.

@crbawden   Building out better mobile conversion options, because conversions are what really matter right??

@kevinwaugh   Modifying design, but also content to reduce wordiness.

@trinityinsight   Page load times are going to be key, as will checkout security for #ecommerce mobile sites.

@jenninemiller   First step, we’ve been trying to upgrade all of our sites with responsive design.

@sonray   shorten urls and make money.

On a scale of 1-10, how prepared are brands for mobile users?

@bruceclayinc   From what we’re seeing, most major brands are prepared for mobile with responsive sites or apps. Small biz not as much.
@kristikellogg   Agree with @BruceClayInc — major brands get it. @Target, for example, even made a separate app (Cartwheel) just for couponing.

@suzzicks   I’m going with…most brands 3 or 4. Even big brands are missing the boat.
@crbawden   I’d agree, and even when there’s awareness the turnover time is often way too long.
@trinityinsight   3 or 4 sounds right.. most brands are prepared for #mobile shopping, but not buying! Mobile conversion rates are low.
@suzzicks   @TrinityInsight People convert offline from mobile a lot of the time.

@dan_patterson   Seems like it’s all over the place. Some brands have adapted, a lot haven’t. The ones that haven’t stand out.
@jenninemiller   Same @dan_patterson! I think sites that don’t become mobile optimized are going to see really high bounce rates =/
@5le   Even something like creating a mobile team takes months of planning.

@matthewayoung   5/10. All I know is that I get furious when a brand does not have a mobile site. Automatic Bounce! Some brands I’ve talked to are not that impressed with the 15-20% of traffic from mobile devices. It’s a shame.

@sonray   5 – I’m finding equal mix between not aware, aware, have a mobile option, have a mobile strategy.
@kevinwaugh   @Sonray is right, but also I am finding the “don’t care” crowd as well, which makes it -10.

@lisabuyer   Looks like brands are all over the place when it comes to Mobile SEO.

@5le   I think brands are aware of the shift to mobile, but big companies move very slowly in actually making changes.
@dan_patterson   I’m guessing a lot of the older companies have major tech hurdles to overcome to do it.

@jenninemiller   4/10 because everyone else is saying 5. Agree w/ @BruceClayInc. Big brands are getting there, small businesses need guidance.

@bryantgarvin   Ways brands really fail with mobile is by simply not changing the input type on form fields for mobile.

@kmullett   We generally get a wide mix, but for multi-site, dealer network clients, it is frequently “not at all prepared.”

@igalst   Advertisers are having a hard time adapting to mobile too. It simply takes more time for the bigger brands.
@callmelouzander   Appsolutely not! Part of mobile strategy is detemining if an app is best for your users.
@bryantgarvin   But “creating an app” should not be a standalone #mobilestrategy but rather complementary.

How can brands best SHIFT into a mobile SEO and social strategy? Where do they start?

@bruceclayinc   First off, don’t forget the basics of #SEO & #Social – they apply no matter the device. That being said … content on a mobile device should be shorter — it’s a better user experience on mobile.

@5le   First they have to build a mobile team. They need someone that is focused on mobile and not just a side job.
@dan_patterson   For sure. And that’s for the ones that are trying to do it right. Just takes time to adapt old systems to new tech.
@5le   Super relevant post about what news sites are doing to improve mobile.

@matthewayoung   Start by determining what kind of experience is most applicable to users – mdot, responsive, app, etc. As for social, learn how to deliver content to users per that platform, or as @garyvee would say, ‘context is king’. Dont forget analytics, especially if an org is running an app as its main point of mobile user engagement.
@fogelrivka   Well responsive is usually better than m.dot and an app is usually a second step after a responsive site.

@fogelrivka   Use responsive design to avoid needing much of a shift.Social is a different story and requires building up a team.
@matthewayoung   Yes, but not all experiences call for responsive, especially for ecommerce sites.

@crbawden   Going to differ for each brand, we’ve found it best to transition one section at a time then testing to ensure success. Make sure you’re solving specific problems with mobile transition, don’t just put up mobile content so it’s there.

@kmullett   Start with analytic/audience research. How to best solve their problems & answer questions on mobile & desktop. What’s dif? Please keep in mind that RWD is “A” method that reduces common SEO mistakes, it is not “THE” only option.
@lisabuyer   What a concept! Starting with analytics first to see what’s going on! :) I love it!

@callmelouzander   Figure out what it’s like to use your site on mobile device. Try it on your own mobile devices & segment data in analytics.

@gobrandify   Start looking into responsive design and the best networks for the brand to start participating within.

@kristikellogg   As to content being shorter, absolutely. The LATimes launched a completely redesigned site. Articles are read with side-swiping. Content on mobile shouldn’t be one longggggg block of text — it should be in navigable chunks. WITH PICTURES. AND VIDEOS.
@bryantgarvin   To that point though mobile sites had better damn well account for mobile internet speeds and adjust accordingly.

@bryantgarvin   Mobile shouldn’t be just shrunk down & a changed layout but a completely different user experience.

@trinityinsight   Create a strategy centered around #UX. It’s all about giving the user what they need & finding a company that can implement!

@suzzicks   Start by making every conversion possible on a mobile phone and tablet.
@virginianussey   That sounds awesome, and maybe a tweet isn’t the format to expand, but I wish I knew more about what that meant.

@brightedge   Do not take a one-size-fits-all approach to mobile measurement. Conversions vary dramatically.

@kevinwaugh   Understand how customers act on mobile. Example: CTAs should be the size of a thumb.

What are the biggest roadblocks when it comes to optimizing for mobile?

@dan_patterson   RESOURCES
@bryantgarvin   Especially when management doesn’t see the full picture. i.e cross device conversions.

@bruceclayinc   Clients that don’t see the need for mobile. Lack of resources and/or money.

@matthewayoung   Poor UX – slow load times, uncompressed images, clickable elements too close together, no clear action on the page, etc. What I like to tell clients.

@kristikellogg   A bad desktop site to begin with.

@hortensesoulier   Resources! Shift to responsive design or mobile app creation is complex. Also figure out the relationship btw desktop/mobil.

@5le   Not understanding mobile usage.
@lisabuyer   Social PR Crazy though, mobile is now a business life necessity.

@crbawden   Getting trigger happy without proper planning. Not a roadblock in it self but creates many other roadblocks.

@jenninemiller   Agree with everyone on resources and I’ll raise you “educating the clients.” But showing the value shouldn’t be a tough sell.

@kevinwaugh   Speed, no one wants to wait anymore.

@kristikellogg   And yes, everyone’s mentioning load time — let’s remember it’s 1 SECOND on mobile. As @LisaBuyer said … Snooze and LOSE

@suzzicks   Developers who don’t know what they don’t know. Trusting mobile developers to make good decisions for SEO is very risky.

@kmullett   Selecting the right partner(s) that aren’t just doing what’s popular, but understands what they should be doing. Have an independent SEO review sites a prospective partner has done recently for technical SEO aptitude.

@bryantgarvin   Mobile in many cases is still very research-centric, so you need to tell the story well to be able to get the resources you need.

@brightedge   ”Misconfigured websites lost 68% of smartphone traffic”. “27% of Websites Are Misconfigured for Smartphones, Still Massive Opps For Traffic.” – Our free report download. Our CEO @jimyu will be sharing more Mobile SEO insights at #SMX in October.
@kristikellogg   I interviewed @JimYu (CEO of @BrightEdge) on his upcoming Mobile #SEO session at @SMX. Get the scoop.

@gobrandify   Convincing a client that mobile/responsive=not just a trend. And moving away from the original site’s UI/UX.

What are the ultimate Do’s and Don’ts for mobile SEO in 2015?

@suzzicks   Do test your site on multiple phones and tablets, on iOS and Android. Do use Google PageSpeed to get direct feedback from Google about your site. Do crawl your site with mobile user-agents –Do track your m.site.com results separately in WMT. Do report regularly on the desktop/tablet/mobile organic traffic split. Don’t rely on apps for mobile conversions — Don’t have faulty redirects — Don’t have slow load time. Mobile SERPS are changing. Try a ‘retailer + product’ search on your phone. Its crazy.

@bruceclayinc   DO use responsive design. DO optimize for speed. DON’T use Ajax. DON’T redirect to your homepage.

@dan_patterson   The Ultimate Don’ts: Don’t Ignore it’s importance. Don’t Ignore making it a priority.

@kristikellogg   DO optimize your CTA’s for mobile. DO have SHORTER quality content that is created with the MOBILE user in mind.

@callmelouzander   Make sure all mobile users get appropriate exp. 1 client sent ipads to desktop site, android tablets to mobile. Big no-no.

@crbawden   Test, then test again, unfamiliar territory that’s changing continually so testing is essential! Don’t overlook customer’s differing intent from each device, same visitor may use 3-4 devises at different stages.

@mumar_khan   The most important thing for Mobile SEO in 2015 will be “Technical SEO”

@5le   Do make your whole funnel responsive. It doesn’t help just to have a homepage look good on mobile, but not conversion funnel.

@brightedge   Do: Utilize all mobile data at your disposal. Track, measure and optimize/optimize and measure. Don’t: Take your eye off the SERP. Do not take a one-size-fits-all approach to mobile measurement.

@kevinwaugh   Don’t get crazy on mobile, keep it simple. Save the fireworks for the desktop.

@kmullett   Don’t think of RWD, by itself, as SEO. It is part of the bigger technical and conversion methodology. Do put yourself in the customers shoes. What would they want to see, and what are they trying to find when mobile.

@bryantgarvin   Shouldn’t have to be said… but Don’t have a site made with flash.
@kevinwaugh   Don’t forget intro pages with crazy sequences. It’s vogue now.

@igalst   Do use rel=”alternate” & canonical between the relevant pages.

@trinityinsight   Do test the taxonomy and architecture of your site’s navigation with users before implementing.

What type of content works best for mobile?

@hortensesoulier   Visual content, images, videos, easy to share. Shorter form content easy to consume.

@gobrandify   Short, digestable info. Videos and photos.

@matthewayoung   Objective driven content #seochat Users are looking for something specific. Keep it short and sweet and to the point.

@suzzicks   Quick-loading and easy to read. Simple forms, and simple calls to action.
@virginianussey   Can I ask what the best practices are for video re: mobile experience? Recommended? Useful?

@dan_patterson   Keep in mind that paragraphs compress on a smaller screen. Long blocks make my eyes bleed.

@bruceclayinc   Short content that gets to the point. PICTURES. VIDEOS. And make sure to use a simple layout with straightforward design.

@callmelouzander   It depends on how your customers use mobile. I’ll read entire article on my phone; most people want snippets.

@kevinwaugh   Quick content with light on the images. Customer wants to come in, read, maybe share or convert, then leave. Like a speed run. Also make sure the font is easy to read, don’t pick an obscure font.

@kristikellogg   Consider @BuzzFeed content. The articles are really just lists with pictures — and admit it, we all <3 those asinine articles.
@dan_patterson   Except the gif ones. Those struggle on mobile and desktop sometimes.

@lisabuyer   Say yes to @slideshare and @Haikudeck for visual mobile content.

@trinityinsight   Buyer’s guides including simple how to’s and ideas for inspiration. & Supply visitors w/ plenty of product information!

@bryantgarvin   downloadable PDFs… am I right?
@danbarker   PDFs often do fine on mobile.
@callmelouzander   Speaking of going into a rage…that makes me mad, PDFs on a phone. Too much trouble.
@bryantgarvin   Absolutely! PDFs just don’t yell – responsive, mobile-optimized, design to me.

How can marketers best benchmark and measure for mobile?

@danbarker   Most of the same type of content works on mobile as on desktop; the *format* of that content should often differ. The usual way is: segment the two in Google Analytics. You can get 85% of what you need there.

@bruceclayinc   Measure page speed with Google’s page speed tool and, as always, look at Google Analytics — but segment by device!

@suzzicks   @Brightedge and @SearchMetrics are both good. If not, WMT, GA and Omniture – same old, same old! Add in GooglePageSpeed though.

@kevinwaugh   Make sure it performs better over time. If speed is 2 seconds at start, strive for 1 second etc.

@brightedge   Check out theses free #Share14 mobile sessions presentations – Password is BEshare14. There is some great content from @RosettaMktg @richnaimy.

@trinityinsight   When starting out, speed time and bounce rate are going to be the KPIs.

@kmullett   Adding to @bruceclayinc: yslow, pingdom, gtmetrix, mobitest, check on older devices, 3g (not just wifi), etc.

As we head into 2015, what are some trends in mobile optimization that marketers need to know about?

@suzzicks   Single-page mobile architecture. This is WAY harder to SEO and much riskier.
@callmelouzander   Agreed. New/flashy tech is not always good for your site, and I’ll be glad when parallax/infinite scroll goes away.
@suzzicks   I don’t hate infinite scroll or single page architecture – they are ok for users, but HARD or IMPOSSIBLe for bots.

@matthewayoung   For complex, enterprise level sites, adaptive mobile sites may be the way to go. Omnichannel marketing will be huge in ’15 as well. Hummingbird, all the way!

@trinityinsight   Push notifications are a great boon to mobile apps & largely unused by businesses atm.

@danbarker   The big one: higher res/bigger screen iphones. Similarish to Samsung S4/S5/Note, which often convert higher.

@kevinwaugh   Screen sizes and content relation (does a title cut-off too soon?)

@bruceclayinc   5-6 word phrases are being searched more than 2-3 word phrases — indicating a rise in voice-assisted search (Siri).
@callmelouzander   Exactly; so we can stop trying to rank for that 1 cherished keyword, it’s about concepts and long tail now.
@suzzicks   Following up on # of words in queries – even typing people form questions in mobile; “Can my dog eat avacado”

@thompsonpaul   Remember, even if you set Google Analytics to speedtest 100% of visits it’ll ignore safari-based visits. Use RUM like Pingdom.

Do you have any tips for how bloggers can best serve the mobile reader?

@suzzicks   Get responsive blog templates, and focus on readability and load time. OG tags and twitter cards. Always sharing desktop url and not mobile. Testing shares for mobile-frendliness in iOS FB app.

@kevinwaugh   I know you want to share content, but don’t beat me in the face with it.

@matthewayoung   Get a template (WordPress) that also has built in responsive. Done.

@kmullett   Always look to solve problems, answer questions, and entertain if possible while doing so. And test, test, test. If recommending responsive (RWD), please educate on the other factors too. RWD by itself isn’t SEO. It can be done well or wrong.

@igalst   Google wear and the iWatch. Will be more and more relevant for app developers over time.

@danbarker   Generally, bigger text works nicely, ‘short & sweet’ is a myth: longreads work just as well/better on mobile.

@ramirez_robert   Write strong titles, summaries and break your content up with eye-catching headings. Make it easier for mobile users to read.

@trinityinsight   Make it easy as possible to leave comments & share content on social.
@callmelouzander   Agreed- just make sure you’re monitoring the comments for spam.

Moving forward, what mobile optimization strategies should we leave behind?

@bruceclayinc   Be leery of widgets and plugins – they can create broken or poorly rendered pages.
@kristikellogg   Agree with @BruceClayInc. If you do use a plugin or widget, go through considerable testing. We also need to move beyond the basics — mobile users are sophisticated and expect top-tier UX and updates. AND … let’s say goodbye to Flash. “Bye Flash.”

@suzzicks   Single-page mobile sites that tell people to download the app (Bleh!)

@hortensesoulier   Pop ups on mobile that are improssible to close! Done with that.

@matthewayoung   What Google might consider faulty redirects. Weak interstitials. The idea that responsive is the end all, be all for mobile. Good UX takes precedence.

@trinityinsight   Transitioning into the PC version of the site without warning – no thank you!

@ramirez_robert   Still see sites forwarding users to mobile homepage when target page doesn’t exist on mobile site. Big no-no.

@jenninemiller   Links that start a download when clicked. I think I have 10 copies of someone’s resume saved on my phone from that.

@danbarker   Generally people are more comfortable scrolling on mobile, ‘above the fold’ a fading phrase. ‘link opens in new window’ another thing that’s lessened quite a lot, and people get more annoyed about on mobile.

What do brands NEED to have ready by 2015 for mobile SEO? THE MUST LIST

@kmullett   Analytics and resources to research, measure, test, and adjust mobile efforts as needed.

@danbarker   Pagination of long pages fading a little (unless done via lazy loading). Ideally: your ‘mobile’ strategy needs to be folded into your overall strategy. the two are no longer separate.

@zoesoto   Accessible and readable from every device, good UX on mobile, not because it’s responsive it means they have it done.

@suzzicks   An arsenal of testing devices, crawlers, and analytics.

@matthewayoung   Fast load times, image optimization, esp on RWD, Objective driven content, no faulty redirects, and actually have mobile.

Recommended readings – books, white papers, blog posts, conference sessions on Mobile SEO?

@suzzicks   Dude – My book is still great!

@lisabuyer   Check out the mobile sessions and tracks @SMX East and @pubcon Vegas

@bruceclayinc   Recent look at 8 Common Mobile Website Pitfalls to Avoid for #SEO.

@callmelouzander   @BridgetRandolph has good stuff on understanding what method’s best for your business.

@trinityinsight   Recent post on our blog – 2014 Mobile Sales Up 79.9% for #eCommerce Leaders, Nearly Half From Apps.

@matthewayoung   I like the Mobile section on @Marketingland

@danbarker   @lukew’s books are good. running a bunch of mobile user tests via (eg) @usertesting, or face-to-face very valuable.

@brightedge   The Majority of Search Traffic Will Soon Be Mobile – BrightEge Mobile Share Report.

@callmelouzander   Here’s a cheat sheet for mobile design on BCI blog.
@matthewayoung   One plug deserves another.

@virginianussey   I liveblogged a lively sesh @SMX West in March on app store optimization & SEO for mobile apps.

@jserramktg   Review: #BuzzSumo Ups The Ante In Content Analysis – @larrykim

Summary: Pitching Bloggers and Journalists on #SEOchat

Moderator: @stephbeadell from Buzzstream

It’s not just about *what* you pitch but *who* you pitch to. How do you find bloggers and journalists to reach out to?

@dan_patterson   I’m sure a lot of people still use HARO. I know there are plenty of other services as well. If you have a good PR team or contracted firm, they should have relationships already as well. Work with them.

@ThinkSEM   Look at bloggers & journalists who are relevant to your industry. If possible, cultivate a relationship first. Social is our favorite because we can consistently & authentically interact w/ influencers in blogging & journalism.
@stephbeadell   Social is great, too, because you can engage quickly (and not get buried in somebody’s inbox)

@KristiKellogg   If you’re trying get them to write content for you, Google & LinkedIn. Do the work to identify high-quality writers by reading. You’re not going to find THE BEST writers on places like Crowdsource, for example. They’re useful for some projects, though.
@ThinkSEM   Yes! Also, make each pitch unique to the writer by researching before the pitch.

@stephbeadell   I agree, it’s so much easier when you already have relationships. Google & social media are a great place to start.

@mikecassidy   I know a lot more about being pitched than pitching, but identify those who write about what ur pitching. Their work is out there.
@dan_patterson   So I’m curious.. as someone that get’s pitched, what tactics/approaches stand out to you?
@mikecassidy   Hearing from those who understood my work & my audience.

@GoBrandify   Research. Separate who is responding to conversation &who is generating it. Engage with both but pitch to generators.
@stephbeadell   Finding the source is a great tactic. Where do you begin? On social? Google?
@GoBrandify   We use our niche news outlets in addition to Google and social.

@TrinityInsight   Blogger networks are great for discovering local influencers, like @PSMMoms & @PhillyBlogLove!

@contentbycara   Social Media. Twitter is best.
@lisabuyer   It helps when they have a strong presence.

Lots of people talked about leveraging relationships. What are some of your favorite tactics for building them?

@BruceClayInc   If your aim is to get media exposure, engage with targeted journalists on social media — that’s one tactic. Following them and providing them with valuable insights. If you see they’re writing a story and you have expertise, reach out.
@stephbeadell   What type of engagement works best for you? Replies, RTs, asking questions?
@ThinkSEM   Retweeting their content is great, but what’s even better is starting a conversation.
@BruceClayInc   Agreed. No “tactics” per se, but more efforts to show our authenticity. Try to be where they are & show our value.
@stephbeadell   I use TweetDeck quite a bit for influencer stalking.
@BruceClayInc   TweetDeck is great, absolutely. And you can look to Klout scores, as well, to help identify influencers.

@TrinityInsight   Our golden rule is to never start a conversation by diving right into business! Always take time to catch up & see what’s new.

@AndreaMLehr   Always send a follow up thanking for the post, continue to connect with them on Twitter by RTing stories, etc.

@mikecassidy   Occasionally sending stories, ideas that might not necessarily benefit you/your clients is helpful.
@stephbeadell   I think that’s a great tactic. It also has the benefit of making you a resource and a subject matter expert for them.

@KristiKellogg   Best way to catch a journo’s attention is through a GOOD press release.
@mikecassidy   Releases are still important. A bad one will kill you.
@stephbeadell   Do you find that sending releases via wire services still works? Or is email better?
@mikecassidy   I always preferred email. Editors are more on top of wires. I’d rather it be “my story” than an ed’s.
@KristiKellogg   Wire, no questions asked. I AM a journalist, and I have never followed up on PR-y email. EVER. It’s tantamount to spam.
@stephbeadell   Curios, lots of people saying social media is key. Do you like it when people pitch you via social?
@KristiKellogg   I’ve never actually had someone pitch to me via social — but I have had them ask questions about PR/SEO/SMM- and I happily answer.
@mikecassidy   Secret is to not send a PR-y email. Handcraft it. Know your audience etc. Tho I could be in a email-liking miniority.
@KristiKellogg   That makes sense. If like, it was a targeted ACTUAL email, not just spammy, I could dig it.
@lisabuyer   @tekgroup study says journalist actually favor PR email comm – I know, crazy.
@stephbeadell   I can see that. Email is a lot easier to track and follow up on. Thanks!!
@lisabuyer   Social is good to connect or you can quick pitch DM.

@dancsummers   Treat bloggers with repsect, and leverage your genuine shared interests. Dont look to build only onesided relationships

@JennineMiller   Agree w/ everyone about using social. Also send them other info they may be interested in, even if it’s not your own stuff.

@stephbeadell   Looks like checking in with journalists and sending them relevant articles/tips (not about your own brand) helps a lot.

@dan_patterson   Sounds like the short story is to use wires and direct outreach. Probably varies by industry a little, too?
@stephbeadell   And likely by how popular (and overwhelmed with pitches) the blogger/journalist is.
@lisabuyer   Social too.

@hallstigerts   Building the best + strongest relationships require authenticity, time, and generosity. Be helpful before you ask for a favor.

@contentbycara   To build a relationship, you need to make it about them before you ever make it about you.

How do you prioritize bloggers and journalists? What are the metrics and/or signals that matter most to you & your brand(s)?

@lisabuyer   Where your audience is matters most.
@stephbeadell   Do you look at follower cnts & then combine that with what you know about customers? How do you find where audience is?
@GoBrandify   Think about who your audience is paying more attention to and interacting more with.

@BruceClayInc   Obvious knowledge & experience in the field they’re covering. If we’re hiring them, an understanding of SEO/keyword research.

@AuthorityLabs   Skill levels, relevancy & writing abilities are critical. There is no “priority” w/out these things.

@AdamDince   It’s all about having topical authority, being high-quality and building relationships with journalists. Surveys will help you find out what your audience reads. From there, find out who those journos follow and read.
@hallstigerts   In your exp., when is the most effective time and what is the best way to serve up an audience survey?
@stephbeadell   Great question. We’ve promoted customer feedback surveys in our newsletters before. That worked well.
@AdamDince   SurveyMonkey (if you have email addresses). Google Surveys, if you don’t.
@hallstigerts   I like that idea: offering useful content before, at the time of the ask instead of a standalone ask.
@Tony_DWM   The easier you make it for them to say ‘yes’ the more they’ll say it. Ie saying ‘no’ = dumb.
@AdamDince   Agreed! However, if you’ve already built up trust & goodwill, asking is fine. Keep the ask simple.

@KristiKellogg   A good journalist should be smart. Succinct but engaging. Objective. Relentless in their pursuit of the truth. Ever curious.

@TrinityInsight   In ecommerce, we prioritize those with a strong online presence & following that will result in increased traffic/click-thrus

@lisabuyer   If it’s a media outlet that your target audience pays attention to – blogger, journalist, contributor are the same value.

@stephbeadell   Agreed, relevance is important. But does anybody look at metrics like domain authority, comments, or follower counts, too?
@AuthorityLabs   Those are important, but what matters most to us are people that can provide the information our readers need/want.
@AndreaMLehr   DA is huge for us.
@hallstigerts   I’ve looked at DA and Twitter chatter before taking writing guest post contributions. But now I’m changing that to a focus on my connection to the requester and who their audience is.
@TrinityInsight   Yep, we do! Also look @ the relevancy of topics they cover – typically niche writers > jacks/jills of all trades
@AndreaMLehr   We use DA to determine whether or not a publisher deserves an exclusive.
@stephbeadell   I use domain authority as a gauge of how big or small a site is, especially when trying to understand new verticals.

@contentbycara   I look for 3 things: Are they talking about things that matter? Do they have a following? Do they engage with it?

In your mind, what are the elements of a great pitch?

@lisabuyer   Short, succinct, clear and personal are no BS are elements of a great pitch?

@GoBrandify   Something succinct, informative and powerful.

@Tony_DWM   Past post depth & detail, social engagement (approachable) & influence within subject area & routes to contact.

@AuthorityLabs   Will comment on what we reject “We can write on any topic” & “We have been published on…” sites we don’t respect.

@KristiKellogg   Concise. To the point. Hype-free. If you’re hiring them, a clear statement of what’s expected, $, etc. Professional. Friendly.

@AndreaMLehr   Elements of a great pitch? It won’t sound like a pitch.
@lisabuyer   Right! Like you are actually trying to help them.

@contentbycara   A great pitch includes why it’s beneficial to both parties.

@stephbeadell   Short, straightforward, and professional seem to be what everyone agrees makes a great pitch.

@Tony_DWM   Know thy prospect, don’t talk ‘white scarves’ to ‘red hat wearers’, short yet engaging (Time = Money) & WIIFM. WIIFM = What’s in it for me? Must be answered & pitch must show a clear win/win. Prep for questions & answers.

@KevinWaugh   A great pitch should highlight the benefits for them, not you. “How To Win Friends & Influence People” covers this.

@dancsummers   Help them see the value for their site, audience, etc, without being pushy, and without sounding like your using a template.

@TrinityInsight   The best pitches spell out exactly why they should care & make next steps for promotion as easy as possible!

@mikecassidy   Oh, and a great pitch doesn’t start, “Dear [name],…” I got one today.
@KevinWaugh   Don’t forget “I hope you are doing well”, that always comes off as spam.
@TrinityInsight   What greeting do you prefer from those you aren’t personally familiar with?
@KevinWaugh   Tell me exactly who you are and have some social proof. 99% of spammers can’t do that. Show me.
@mikecassidy   I’m partial to “Mike,” … but yes opening with the reason I’d find the pitch interesting is good. Citing relevant work I’ve published is fine, actually.

What’s your process for managing the pitching process? What tools do you use?

@AndreaMLehr   @google streak. We also continually update a spreadsheet that has publishers divided by verticals.
@lisabuyer   I JUST started using Streak about 2 months ago!!! Love it.

@stephbeadell   I use @BuzzSumo and @Followerwonk for research then @BuzzStream for relationship mgmt & pitching. I use TweetDeck a lot, too.

@Tony_DWM   @BuzzSumo @Followerwonk @BuzzStream. Yep, use all these power-houses too, except TweetDeck.

Do follow-ups actually work? When do you send them? What should they say?

@lisabuyer   How about a handwritten note!

@Tony_DWM   They can, but timing is key. Too short & you’re pushy. Too long & they forget (if they noted you in 1st place). What to say is dependent on initial pitch & what the ‘next steps’ were. Initial email should have advancements.
@stephbeadell   Agreed. My industry is small. I’m always afraid of looking pushy, so I err on the side of caution.
@hallstigerts   I limit myself to one follow-up, and send 7-10 days after my initial email. Usually comes off well.

@AndreaMLehr   I’ll send additional assets in follow ups, or a screenshot that shows the topic is trending via @google.
@stephbeadell   I like that, adding value rather than just looking pushy or needy!

@TrinityInsight   Follow-ups work like a charm – just shoot over a quick sentence or two to jog the recipient’s memory.

@contentbycara   Quick personal follow ups do work. People are busy; reminders never hurt.

@JennineMiller   The when depends on the situation but always follow up! Something short like telling them you shared their piece on social.

@RonellSmith   Follow-ups CAN work, but are most effective if a relationship is in place first.

What are some of the most important points you stress when training new employees on how to pitch?

@AndreaMLehr   Personalize it; add value; make it short.

@TurbanSEO   Pitching has changed its course.. we educate with data points which could benefit in short term or long run.

@Tony_DWM   Being themselves but paramount: KNOW who it is their pitching to. Ppl relate to ppl, not posts. Ppl = long term. Or a superior knowledge of the land-scape is known or via a FOAF influencer intro (warm).

@stephbeadell   I always encourage people to pitch like they’re writing to a busy, friendly, colleague. Keeps voice human and not too salesy.
@JennineMiller   Yes! Busy journalists appreciate getting to the point & being real. Don’t treat them like your personal media outlet.

@RonellSmith   Like a journo: “Get to know your beat.” Build relationships w/key contacts before they are needed. Greatest examples of this are NFL and political reporters. PR folks miss that. Seen it for years.
@hallstigerts   Some of my best relatnshps were developed online; then meeting in-person solidifies. But online relationships do take more work to make an impression. #SoMuchNoise
@RonellSmith   Begins w/the desire to build a relationship. You can make it work from there.
@AdamDince   Also, don’t be afraid to ask a connection for an introduction via LinkedIn.
@hallstigerts   WAY better than a default direct connection request. Too many of those. No context.

@JennineMiller   Research! Make sure you’re not wasting your efforts or their time pitching to the wrong people & please spell their name right!

@contentbycara   Take the time to listen first. Then personalize.

@TrinityInsight   Make every email thoughtful & flawless! Also, it’s important to keep track of positive correspondences for future use.

@stephbeadell   I feel like I can’t talk about pitching/training without sharing this great post from @Kevin_Raposo. So good.

@JennineMiller   Not just about pitching but @crestodina makes some great points about pitching in this @BruceClayInc vid.

Summary: State of SEO: Recent Events & Future Outlooks on #SEOchat

Moderator: Dan Summers of @Elevated_Com

Recently Google decided to stop supporting authorship in their SERPs. Do you feel that author rank exists despite this change?

@KristiKellogg   Matt Cutts has been very clear that Google is invested in developing the algo to reward good authors. So, I think in one way or another, it’s coming eventually. How Google is looking at authorship doesn’t really effect us, though — we still have to create unique, high-quality content. From a #contentmarketing perspective, nothing has changed.
@FogelRivka   Do you think that a different entity optimization algo, or a revamped author rank, will resurface in future?
@Elevated_Com   I definitely think we will see this emerge again, exactly how is hard to say though!
@gregdixson   But the code on the sites should still be marked up accordingly surely.
@KristiKellogg   What we know, according to John Mueller, is that it does no harm … so, yes, why not keep doing it.
@FogelRivka   Well, you wouldn’t implement more, because $. But you don’t need to take it down
@gregdixson   I’d prob still suggest implementing it. Code which makes sense is win & if they use author ranking win+
@FogelRivka   If client’s going to put their dollars somewhere, I’m not going to push for authorship though.

@dan_patterson   I think it still exists in some regard, just the way they’re trying to figure it out has changed.

@strydedotcom   It is interesting how much time Google invested in Author Rank, making all us marketers a bit more hesitant to jump ship.

@gregdixson   Yes author rank is definitely there despite authorship removal. Google will make sense of content by author.

@yankeerudy   While they aren’t using it now as a signal, they sure collected a bunch of data about it. Can’t imagine they won’t use that.
@strydedotcom   Yes. Just because searchers don’t see, doesn’t mean Google isn’t using it.
@KevinWaugh   Even if Google says the data does not count, that does not mean it does not count.

@igalst   yes, just a visual update until they will realize what to do with the SERPs design. Google needs this authority factor.

@Jason_Pruitt   Do any other SEO epxerts notice any ranking difference in how a site is created through hand-coding, DreamWeaver, or Muse?
@DigitalDionne   I’ve heard there’s no particular benefit, though I know CMSs seem to lend themselves to random codebloat.

@BruceClayInc   Google still has interest in rewarding published experts w/ better rankings, but will look at signals other than rel=author.
@Tony_DWM   Indeed, plus Google’s data extraction process does a far better job of finding & connecting identities & entities.
@FogelRivka   Yes, but are those experts domain-level or still cross-site? Sorry, was asking about G rewarding published experts (Bruce Clay) or what you call entities.
@Tony_DWM   Published experts regardless of domain or cross-site ie subject-matter expert entities (both co’s & ppl).

Pigeon Update @whitespark reported 23.4% drop in local pack results. What other impacts have you noticed?

Whitespark report

@gregdixson no cases in point but interesting to see how different industry sectors were affected by Pigeon & whitespark’s studies.

@GoBrandify   @Mblumenthal noted, “One major change was a shifting of the calculations for distance around a search.” Interesting.

@BruceClayInc   Post-pigeon, directory sites are on the rise. Yelp has definitely gained more visibility.

What steps have you taken to secure your site in light of HTTPS as a ranking signal. How big of an impact do you expect to see?

@KevinWaugh   The rankings increase maybe minimal at best, but sites that handle any info should be secure, even in using 3rd party APIs.
@HortenseSoulier   Agreed it’s a necessity for ecommerce, banking, etc type of site handling private info.

@strydedotcom   Being that it is a “lightweight” signal, it may not be worth the effort to switch over.

@HortenseSoulier   Don’t see it as a priority right now. Difficult & expensive implementation for established sites for little expected results.

@FogelRivka   It’s a question of whether the negative impact from a sitewide 301 to HTTPS will see higher benefit from the new use of HTTPS.
@KevinWaugh   Not only that, but tracking could be affected by the change.
@FogelRivka   And interagency! Making sure analytics people make changes, pricing out the URL change with dev, etc.

@paulaspeak   Not all sites should go the secure route & get the slight boost. Many have written about it; lots of pros & cons to consider.

@gregdixson   I’m not satisfied there’s enough of a positive impact from moving to HTTPS. It’s way down on the list of to-do’s.
@paulaspeak   Yes, agreed, but if you take payments on your site, of course you go HTTPS (same as before the announcement).
@gregdixson   yes agreed! payments make it a given part of web dev.
@KevinWaugh   Unless the software has it built in or you know what you are doing, I would not even consider it.

@BruceClayInc   Test HTTPS and make sure it is secure — use third party tools for verification. An unsecured https site with failed security can be at risk with Google.

@gregdixson   side question: would anyone like to explain why HTTPS needs relative URL’s?
@Elevated_Com   It is not required, it just makes the transition easier from http to https
@KevinWaugh   Correct, relative URLS also can reduce 404s in HTTP->HTTPS and domain changes.
@gregdixson   I see, but surely relative URL’s worse for on-page SEO? Just wondering why they can’t be absolute.
@Elevated_Com   It has no direct impact on your on-page seo, it just makes life easier for developers and testing.

@yankeerudy   Don’t plan on wasting time setting up a cert if the site doesn’t need it, just to get a slight boost.

@KristiKellogg   All YMYL pages should have HTTPS. It may be too soon to tell how much of a ranking boost https will give, but I suspect it will grow over time.

@igalst   I’m not really buying it to be honest, and no plans for it at the moment as we already had one 301 (domain change)

What common pitfalls have you experienced, or seen others experience, while attempting to move their site to HTTPS?

@HortenseSoulier   Haven’t really dealt with it first hand but I would assume redirect strategy is the priority and could be a problem for some.

@strydedotcom   We’ve seen issues with crawling and indexing, but nothing so major that it can’t be avoided.

@BruceClayInc   Clients sometimes implement https but end up indexing both http and https for same pages. This, obv, causes issues. And then we fix it.

In the future will implied links (entity mentions) hold as much weight as links currently do? What importance do they have now?

@HortenseSoulier   With semantic search, data will be more easily extracted than now & links won’t be as necessary to identify/connect entities. So will move toward less weight for actual links. For now they are still a major factor but the more mentions the better!
@Elevated_Com   So do you think “mention building” might be easier than traditional “link building”?
@HortenseSoulier   It’s still hard to get people’s interest but easier to get mentions since people are so scared to link to wrong site.

@gregdixson   ”as much weight” could be a bit too far, but definitely a factor. It would be more a decrease in backlink weighting we’ll see.

@BruceClayInc   With the removal of rel=author, we know that Google will likely be looking for other ways to determine expertise and authority.

@yankeerudy   Citations in all their forms will become more of a ranking factor, at least until trolls & such mess them up.
@Elevated_Com   Kind of holds true for most known ranking factors I guess.

@igalst   Only if Google will really be able to interpret the context of the mentions, they are not there yet.
@paulaspeak   I wouldn’t underestimate what Google is capable of. They are disregarding rel=author bc they don’t need our tags anymore.
@HortenseSoulier   They still need tags or some type of data. They are not yet at the level of fully understanding implicit data.
@paulaspeak   Well, some tags, yes. Google still looks at rel=publisher, for instance.

If linking went away as a ranking signal altogether, in what way would your SEO focus & efforts change?

@strydedotcom   I hate to say it, but it does come down to quality content here. With links removed from the picture.

@KristiKellogg   From a content perspective, it wouldn’t change at all. Content would still be high-quality/optimized for search and readers. The anchor text situation would change dramatically, too.
@paulaspeak   Within a website, though, links & anchor text would still inform SEs of subjects & hierarchy.

@yankeerudy   Unlikely IMHO, but if it did we’re still doing quality content, solid coding, and building credibility.

@BruceClayInc   Ultimately, software would have to be rewritten to look for citations rather than links.

@Elevated_Com   Sounds like everyone is thinking Content. Anything else you might do?
@HortenseSoulier   Social will definitely get bigger in my opinion. Not necessarily as ranking factor but as identity marker.
@gregdixson   Social would need to become a factor to replace links too. But I’d say links as ranking are here to stay.

@KevinWaugh   If linking went away as ranking signal, I would still do it becuase it can bring in traffic, which trumps ranking.
@gregdixson   True, but linking for ranking is how Google makes sense of things. They don’t care for traffic.

What SEO tactic do you do today that you feel will still be effective 5 years from now? Looking for more than just “Content”!

@HortenseSoulier   Everything that has to do with technical setup i.e site architecture, URL structure, meta, schema, page speed, UX, etc.
@gregdixson   I agree with @HortenseSoulier Technical SEO. Good markup, schema and microdata, Page speed & site performace.

@strydedotcom   Building relationships with others in the industry.
@paulaspeak   Yes, building rels & engagement through social media in conjunction w/ web content = forever SEO strategy.

@BruceClayInc   What would NOT change is the necessity to research/read/learn heavily — DAILY — to keep up with the latest algo changes. Also, practically, user-friendly navigation, HTML sitemaps, SEO elements like page titles, H1 tags, meta tags, etc.

@KevinWaugh   Augmented reality searching through Google Glass will be huge in 2018. Place your blog stickers everywhere, get traffic!

@TurbanSEO   Structured Data, Schema may still be used five years down the road hopefully!

@yankeerudy   I guess my 3 legged stool is still valid.

@KristiKellogg   Optimizing for mobile devices will only increase in importance. Opportunities in mobile will expand. Consider that in 5 years people will probably have web-enabled watches, smart cars, smart appliances, etc. (re: “mobile”). Furthermore, I know we’re not talking content, BUT -SEO is where UX and crawlability come together. Content will still matter.
@strydedotcom   Mobile is driving huge traffic from social, so ensuring optimization across platforms and devices is paramount.

@igalst   Mentions on the biggest sites (PR), social signals, mobile (+wear) compatibility.

Summary: On-page Search vs. Social Sharing on #SEOchat

Moderator: @jennita

How do you ensure your content looks great both in the SERPs + when shared on social networks

@8keith    SERP’s & Social can be a challenge – keywords vs great headings.

@jesephm    Luckily when talking WordPress @yoast’s plugin allows simple customization of meta/og/card tags – So that’s where I live.
@8keith   @Yoast is to #SEO what HomeDepot is the the home renovator. #Access #Strategy #easy
@jennyhalasz   I love @Yoast, but I think a lot of people still implement it incorrectly
@8keith   Jenny, so true, this is where you & all great coaches come in! @Yoast provides PRO training & plenty of YouTube vids avail.

@BradyDCallahan   Can you make sure content looks good in SERPs now? Post-rich snippet reduction? Social: twitter cards + open graph.
@jennita   you can get the right title, description, internal links, etc!
@BradyDCallahan   Yes! For sure, I was thinking of visuals. Yes, absolutely: title, descriptions, sitelinks, authorship, all important.
@paulaspeak   SERP result isn’t as snazzy w/o rich snippets, for sure! Back to basics w/ Title & Description using search keyword

@strydedotcom   We optimize for SERPs first, then pay attention on each network it’s shared. We also brainstorm extensively on how to integrate keywords into creative headlines.

@HortenseSoulier   Structured data! Twitter cards, Open Graph & Schema are a must for enhanced results in SERPs and social sharing. Of course also pay attention to titles, description & images (having the right size is important, especially on Google+).

@BruceClayInc   Use open graph tags to dictate the photo and snippet that will be seen via social sharing.

@jesephm   We altered our feature image dimensions for optimal display on social. When applicable though, we upload custom image on share.

@ramirez_robert   Writing custom OG tags can be helpful. The message on displayed SERPs and socail shares can (and should) be unique.
@strydedotcom   Rarely. Social shares get very specialized depending on the platform.
@jennita   Hmm if you use OG and twitter cards, you’re pretty well covered. You can TOTALLY customize!

@PearlyWrites   Create site content targeting visitors.On social, make sure the wording / visual (social content) is speaking to your community. For site content, a strategy should be created targeting the buyer persona(s) through validation & research. In social, same content can be promoted to target your community,depending on the network & past research of what engages.

@gregdixson   Titles & Meta descriptions are key for SERP visibility then correct markup for Social.

@jennyhalasz   I think making additional tweetable snippets is a good idea too.
@jesephm    easily sharable but also easy on the eyes for readers. It’s a win-win
@lisabuyer   It’s why #PR + #Social + #SEO is so yummy together!

@semxer   For SERPs, we take care of meta, title so it looks good … for #socialmedia, we make use of snippets like twitter card.

@BRIMagency   Optimizing content for SERPS + #socialmedia all starts with proper keyword research. Start w/ good keywords & meta-data!

@AuthorityLabs    You have to care about both. Shares bring immediate traffic & help w/branding. The SERPs bring long-term traffic.

How do you measure the *value* of the SERP vs. the share? Do you even care about both?

@jesephm    the SERP has long term value in sustained traffic. The share is more personal, increases exposure and well, we know who did it. A combination of @sproutsocial @buzzsumo and Twitter Analytics
@8keith    Love @sproutsocial .. Love @Buzzsumo .. I recommend both

@HortenseSoulier    SERP value is more about bringing targeted traffic while social shares are for brand exposure and expanding your reach.

@jennyhalasz   SERP is mass audience, Social is targeted.

@jennita   haha so which is it ladies? I think they’re more similar than you think.


@jennyhalasz    LOL, I guess we’re both right.
@lisabuyer   Hilarious – when done right both bring targeted traffic.
@FogelRivka    It also depends on your client KPIs. Bottom line for your business, too, after all.
@HortenseSoulier    Haha, still going with mine. SERPs bring traffic from specific queries you rank for – more targeted.
@jennyhalasz    Yeah, but I argue that social is a more targeted user base. People chose to follow you.
@jennita    not only your followers see your tweets or your content
@jennyhalasz    Well your follower sees your content. and then they RT and their followers see it, and so on and on.
@jennita    exactly, which expands your exposure.
@HortenseSoulier    Exactly with new Twitter tests you can see tweets from people your friends follow for example, same with G+.

@KristiKellogg   As for social sharing, that is also a key metric — a lot of shares means you’re writing what your audience WANTS to see.
@FogelRivka    not necessarily. if users are interested in oem but all they see is editorial in the first slots, then they scroll. And that makes all the difference.

@veratusk    I measure the SERP in relation to $ made vs measure share by lifetime/loyal customers.

@BradyDCallahan    Traffic! Even better: conversions!

@8keith    Yes, SERP is priority but then Social Snippets use fun catchy headings, keywords if possible.

@BruceClayInc    Both are very important. Don’t think SEO VS Social; they’re sides of the same coin. The best Internet marketing is holistic.

@PearlyWrites   Measuring SERP vs share opens doors to what content works best in search vs social. Offers new ideas that may have not been thought of otherwise for content, chats, contests, quarterly surveys, etc.

@_WordMistress    There’s a lot of talk about which metrics to measure but what do you tell the small business owner with an already full plate?
@FogelRivka    Always sales, and direct line from traffic to sales through some correlation slides.
@jesephm    metrics can be time consuming but they can save time and money in the long run if interpreted properly
@paulaspeak    Truth. SMBs can be overwhelmed! They have more direct access to customers to ask what brought them, though!
@_WordMistress    That’s a great point. It’s important to make that connection with customers; helps you determine future campaigns.

@gregdixson   SEO’s value the SERP more, that said without the Social shares, results are going to be limited. You can quickly test & get a feel for what will resonate on Social, that can then feed into your SEO strategy.

Who does a great job w/ social sharing title & description different than the title tag & meta description?

@jennyhalasz   In my circles, @stonetemple and @AndyBeal do a great job of this.

@jennita    Huffington Post does this well sometimes, and I know Disney does as well.

@KristiKellogg    Unfortunately, I’m not in the habit of comparing other companies’ social descriptions vs. their meta descriptions. Really, though, no one should be relying on JUST descriptions when sharing socially — the shares should be tailored to each individual platform and offer more than a description. In that vein, @MarkTraphagen, @PaulaSpeak and @BruceClayInc are particularly savvy at Google+ sharing – they add value.
@jennyhalasz    That’s a great point. Part of what I dont’ like about automated apps. I share differently depending on the channel. Twitter vs. Linkedin for ex… very different.
@jennita    it’s Twitter cards vs OG tags – you can make them different and focused
@jesephm    FB and Twitter shouldn’t be linked for marketing uses. They’re completely different.
@noeticsound    I like to write my share text, not use the autopopulation, still think pubs should suggest something.

@jennita    Often times companies use this as a way to change the social title to be more click-baity.
@KristiKellogg    I typically ignore “click-bait” titles — I’m imm. turned off by them, which is apparently the norm in light of FB’s statement.

@semxer    Have seen Niel Patel coming up with some great titles.

@8keith    Click-Baiting is an Integrity Issue .. if you, your biz, brand is integrous you won’t do it nor recommend it.
@FogelRivka   Unless your business is about click-bait and people are reading you for it. e.g., buzzfeed, upworthy.
@8keith    Excellent Point – but then by definition, clicking on the link wasn’t baiting me, right?
@FogelRivka   It’s only baiting if title doesn’t reflect content. A dramatic title might just be a better title. It gets you to click

@HortenseSoulier    If you’re a major publisher full customization for each social platform can become extremely time consuming though.

@KeriMorgret    I don’t like the way HuffPo changes the titles so much for sharing, however.
@jennyhalasz   Yeah, I’m turned off if the title in social doesn’t match the content.
@jennita   but is that because we’re SEOs I wonder?
@jennyhalasz   Maybe, but it feels more personal than that. I’m offended the pub wasted my time.
@8keith    I feel its ok so long as the titles are in line with the content I’m about to read.

@AuthorityLabs    Sad thing is clients don’t seem to get that snazzy titles that bring lots of non-quality traffic are not the best thing.
@jennita    so how do you help them understand?
@AuthorityLabs    Explain & explain. Lots of traffic doesn’t equal an ROI. Too many people are focused on big traffic numbers. Education is important.
@8keith    lower bounce rate by … um .. more dramatic titles in the “Related Content” section .. haha!
@AuthorityLabs    Shocked that at this point in our industry businesses are still focused on traffic only.
@jennita    luckily not all businesses.
@AuthorityLabs   Yes, thankful for that. Don’t follow the Buzzfeeds of the world!
@jennita   Sometimes they actually have good content! It’s rare, but it does happen

@BRIMagency    Social title/descrip. are proven to have better CTR when posed as a question, or if they involve a number (Ex: “5 Ways To…”)

@8keith    What I coach: I prefer someone LIKE my FB page after reading an engaging piece of content – not a fake like by just asking.
@jennita   yea yea I’m glad FB did away with that like before reading junk
@noeticsound    yeah, fake likes are the result of social metrics as a goal, not as a means to a deeper relationship.

@PearlyWrites    Using an interesting point from the content to post on social (depending on network) I find works if it’s actually in the piece.

With FB using engagement to crack down on click-bait headlines, will Google take a similar approach to SERPs?

@jesephm    With some of the technical aspects behind the change I wouldn’t be surprised if Google is already weighing bounce/time on page.

@jennyhalasz    I’m inclined to say no. Unless you mean Google News SERPs?

@ramirez_robert    Google already is using user engagement to judge the value of content. Low dwell time is like bamboo to Panda.

@KeriMorgret    I think Google already has, to a degree. They change title tags to match query.

@noeticsound    i think it’s facebook taking a google-like approach.

@HortenseSoulier    They are already doing it – Semantic search means better understanding and ability to see discrepancies between titles/content

@jennita    Q4 addition: Google is always measuring quality right? Will they use bounce rate as a sign of engagement?
@8keith    but a bounce isn’t always a bad.. If the article is read – mission accomplished, right? When I look at my bounces and see 60-90 avg time on page, I know we’re good.
@jennita    for sure, it’s in addition to time on site
@semxer    bounce rate is little tricky, as it can vary from site to site. different for blog and different for service website.
@Ozaemotion    No, Google is not considering a analytics data.
@jennyhalasz   I believe they already have been using “bounce-back” as a metric for some time. Before we get too crazy here, there’s a diff between bounce rate and bounce back. Bounce rate comes from GA – private data.

@Ozaemotion    I don’t think so because Google is now becoming knowledge engine rather than saying search engine.

@strydedotcom   There’s a key difference in the method of interaction with content via SERPs and FB that changes priorities.

@gregdixson    Google’s goals are different from facebook. They serve up the results of a search query, whereas FB is to keep users on. That said there must be some big bounce on clickbaity content, so Google may start to discount that in rankings sure.
@jennita   hmm you don’t think Google wants to keep you on google?
@gregdixson    Of course, but what’s the alternative? Bing haha. seriously though FB needs to maintain stickiness so a clean newsfeed.
@FogelRivka    Knowledge Graph. You could keep clicking around KG links in the research phase and never leave.
@ramirez_robert    Google’s goal is to give the best SERP possible. They want you to keep using Google. Not stay on the SERP.
@gregdixson    Agreed, so they also look to clean the SERPs of clickbait. Just not sure how they’d factor into the algo.

@paulaspeak    FB created the click-bait problem in the first place. There’s a great analysis by @EliFennell.

@TurbanSEO    Google I think are a step ahead in this arena for click bait, all they have to do is test it and make it vigorous in algo.

@BigRyanPark    Though I hate blatant click bait, where is the line drawn between drama and bait?
@jennita    that’s a great question. I don’t mind a dramatic title if the content is good!!
@FogelRivka   Dramatic titles get click-through (often immediate goal), though of course you’d build toward low bounce rate.

@jennyhalasz    here’s the thing though. Most of the time those clickbaity titles get you stuck in an endless loop of “you may also like”.

@KeriMorgret    A lot of times, I open a link from FB in an incognito window to minimize tracking/retargeting. Might mess with their metrics.

@jennita    If you see a click-bait/dramatic title on social, you click on it, & it has amazing content that you’d expect, is that ok?
@KristiKellogg    Yes — but that seems to be the exception, not the rule
@strydedotcom    Yes. I think the underlying definition of click-bait is a catchy title with ZERO substance.
@jennyhalasz    it’s ok, but inside I’m annoyed with myself for following it.
@DigitalD_    click bait is click bait. What is ideal and expected for one user is complete nonsense for someone else.
@gregdixson    Absolutely! I hate clickbait, yet for some it’s the only content on the web they’re ingesting & regurgitating!

@KristiKellogg    I think that, as a journalist, I just can’t get on board with headlines that are deceptive and flout journalism 101. One solution, I suppose, would be to use these “clickbait” headlines WITH a subheading that provides actual information. Which would only work, of course, if the article actually held merit.

@PearlyWrites    Legit social posting that actually gives you what you expect when you get to the content? That = awesome!

@SPoulton    IMO, clickbait really means bait & switch – if the content rocks then they have me hook, line & sinker!

@paulaspeak    Speaking of writing good click-bait titles :) Here’s a tool to measure EMV h/t @mindydweinstein

We care about engagement in social, but what about in search? What engagement metrics matter most for both?

@jennyhalasz   Time on site definitely. And conversion is still the ultimate.

@Ozaemotion   Goals

@AuthorityLabs   I want a discussion from organic traffic – comment, question, interaction, and moving on to a related article. And for sales, clearly move on through the site and buy.

@jesephm   This is an ‘easy answer’ but it really depends on the goal of the content. Is it sales? branding? news? Set goals per campaign

@KeriMorgret    Honestly, one of the metrics I care about is did they engage with my CTA or checkout page.

@BradyDCallahan    Time on site, bounce and exit rate, and returning visitors. Of course, converting goals. Depends on page’s purpose.

@FogelRivka    engagement: time on site,bounce rate,exit rate. also you want the next pages to match the intended conversion funnel.

@gregdixson    Overall Social growth, follower / fan count + Shares and measuring back on site > Time on site, bounce.

@BruceClayInc    For search, setting (and meeting) conversion goals, bounce rate, and overall traffic increases are key engagement metrics.

@TurbanSEO    Engagement is valid more in search than in social. It begins with the time the visitor sees the title on SERP.

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