How has your keyword research evolved to become more user centric?
@AJutah Moving away from Google Keyword Planner to communities, forums and other places to mine potential keywords helps a ton. Also using Analytics to look at your own site search queries helps identify good keyword ideas.
@lancemoore22 Google is increasingly focusing on user intent instead of robot search terms. Ex: Google auto complete. I focus on local keyword strategies too. It’s important to remember the mobile market too. They search differently.
@Where2GetIt You said it! A1. We know the importance of local intent and base our clients’ keyword strategies around it.
@directom Can we really treat mobile users as a different persona? Mobile should really be targeted as users in the research phase.
@lancemoore22 I think it depends on the biz. A biz in a touristy place might have a dif strategy. Thoughts? I really meant more of a local than solely mobile one.
@creativecalif True. If you’re on your phone, the need/search is more immediate rather than desktop which is more research-based.
@BrianRBaker4 Gather keywords from GWMT Also looking at forums, and other places where people discuss the topic.
@Tinu Don’t know that I was ever NOT user centric. My philosophy’s always been write great content for your target, Then tweak for SEO. BUT. I do take into account context more, local, mobile. If helping a restaurant chain, how does it need to differ by locale?
@AlanBleiweiss You’re spot on! User centric HAS evolved to more local, mobile.
@markdhansen We look at personas and try to identify keywords based on the language they use.
@directom It HAS to be user centric. Just because you want to rank for a keyword doesn’t mean your user is using that keyword. If you don’t know your target, you’re surely going to miss. With regards to mobile: mobile users are researching, then convert on desktops.
@AlanBleiweiss Proper SEO keyword research should have ALWAYS been user centric.
@KristiKellogg Personalized results demand we focus on the USER, not just keywords. Get to know how/ why they search. Anticipate their needs.
@shuey03 We like to look for less head keywords, and more long tail, specifically question based strings.
@DragonSearch Long tail, long tail, long tail. @mcgswagg did a killer presentation at #SearchLove on the keywords that your top referral pages rank for.
@creativecalif Instead of just searching for “most searched” terms, we spend extra time looking at intent. We may ignore the most popular search terms, instead focusing on relevancy.
@alexpeerenboom I take a little more time to consider all possible meanings & context of different audience, user intent.
@creativecalif Agree! We also have to tell our clients that industry lingo may not match up with the user’s search terms.
@BruceClayInc Mobile has played a major role in this – there’s no such thing as an non-personalized search on mobile. Persona research is key.
@rderdoski Talk to your client, ask the sales team what the most common questions are, types of phrases used, find discussions online.
@cjmonteblanco Understand why we exist as a business, offered services, and users intent behind utilizing them.
@melaniensaxe Google instant is a great way to see exactly what humans are searching for right now.
@mwilton13 I’ve started using communities, Q&A sites, Analytics demographic data, etc. in addition to Keyword Planner.
@Tony_DWM Implicit / explicit needs, matching the offline journey / experiences / emotions of the searcher. Offline to online = win.
@shuey03 I love that… many marketers overlook the offline journey.
@Tony_DWM Thats why marketing (offline & online) is the core of KW research. Many never step back to u/stand their customers journey.
What precautions do you take when optimizing your web pages to ensure they resonate with people, not just the search engines?
@dan_patterson Design for people first. Search engines don’t buy anything.
@AJutah A/B testing is important. Test design, copy and CTAs continuously. Most visitors hate jargon. Explain your products & services in modern, everyday language. Check out this WP plugin.
@DragonSearch Images. Alt text is great for search engines, but the quality of the image is crucial for users. Engines don’t see that.
@Tinu I read every word of copy aloud at some point. People subvocalize when they read. if it doesn’t sound right, it won’t fly. I also think: what would make me care about this if I was into this content? How could I make it more useful? Aesthetics & knowing your audience are helpful. On 1 of my sites I have older retirees who hate pics for some reason. Split test a million times then just asked them. One guy said he thought sites with images were talking down to him.
@mwilton13 Don’t obsess over your keywords and SEO. Create the content for your user and then tweek for SEO later if you really have to.
@SocialMichelleR I write and create for people. They are the ones that comment and share. The brands that really get it, hire writers. I keep the “conversation” in my head. Who am I writing for, how would they respond to what I wrote?
@shuey03 Another overlooked step by many marketers. there’s power in reading it outloud.
@BrianRBaker4 great technique! It’s hard to get in that mindframe for me
@SocialMichelleR Not everyone is a writer at heart. Just like I would be a disaster at coding
@rderdoski Always go back to the purpose of the page when creating/reviewing content – are you providing the info they are looking for. And again go back to what sales said about language being used, pain points, common questions -is your content addressing this.
@directom Write like a person. If you don’t, it’ll just look spammy.
@BruceClayInc Write with the user in mind. That’s the first priority- that ensures it will resonate. Use good writers. That’s what they do.
@pjmckeown For textual content, write how you speak. For me, I often dictate content into something like Dragon.
@dan_patterson It really is good to read copy outloud. You can catch a lot of things that way. I’ve rewritten so many things after reading them out loud. It made sense in my head until I read it that way.
@markdhansen Have a writing/editing process. Prose first. SEO second. But, SEO informs the prose you decide to write.
@creativecalif We have a team with different perspectives look them over and offer feedback. That way we don’t get too focused & miss the mark. Every time someone searches, they’re asking a question. Did you answer that question, or just “word vomit” info onto the screen?
@emily_C27 Apart from using tools like Analytics and Webmaster tools, stay well-read in your industry. Use @feedly.
@CaitlinBoroden I think a nice visual display should not be overlooked! Paragraph upon paragraph can be daunting. Break things up!
@KristiKellogg Keep keywords in mind, but don’t let them override what a user would actually want to read. Write what you’d like to read.
@SocialMichelleR Keywords inform topic. Stay on topic and keywords take care of themselves for the most part.
@melaniensaxe Avoid industry jargon and make sure the reading level is appropriate.
@tonyxrandall Design is cool & all but as a user, a fancy site is secondary to me. give me an informative About page w/o all the fancy shit. Also if your page “links” are just filters that bring me to a specific place on the same page, i’m gonna be frustrated.
@CaitlinBoroden Especially with FAQ pages. Table of content is beyond helpful.
@SocialMichelleR Not to mention the fancy shit slows page load on mobile.
@dan_patterson It’s true, sometimes design can be a distraction. It should highlight and amplify, not take the place of content
@bill_slawski Buildiing a good FAQ can be a lot of work, but worth the effort, especially if people ask.
@Tony_DWM A) Study / research white papers or industry periodicals & ask people who deal with clients on the front line.
What types of content seems to perform well in the search engines but have high user engagement and why?
@pjmckeown Easy to consume, and lengthy content work well for us. If formatted well. Videos also rock for us.
@cjmonteblanco If companies produced quality videos and visuals, search engines can make them more accessible to users.
@AJutah LISTS! Most people hate “listicles”, but well-researched and valuable lists can perform very well in the SERPs.
@alexpeerenboom Good evergreen content as well, depending on the topic. World moves fast, lists can be updated.
@BrianRBaker4 Good point, Alex! #SEOChat Evergreen content is important for SEO, NOT social though
@AJutah Unless you count referral traffic from Pinterest.
@creativecalif Our most popular articles have been “how to” guides. Teach someone HOW to do something, don’t just tell them to do it.
@KristiKellogg Have unique content that anticipates and addresses a user’s interests or questions. Make your content go above and beyond.
@BruceClayInc That can mean adding images, infographics, insights from influencers, curation, et. Serve the reader.
@emily_C27 Blog posts are always a go-to. Video can have a high user engagement and that can boost search rank.
@Tony_DWM Those types that, more than any others, answer the searchers query emphatically, clearly & compel them take action. The types that, literally, make you want to shout out “this!”. If searchers do this, they’ll act, share &/or amplify it. Our best client content is a mixture of rich media (video, pdf’s, sign ups etc) covering all senses.
@rderdoski Videos generally do really well across a wide audience too
@Tony_DWM Esp for those industries where visuals / testimonials are key
@DragonSearch [NUMBER] Ways to [ADJECTIVE] Your [NOUN] on [PLATFORM]. As noted, if the content is truly great, it will perform well almost anywhere.
@directom Gonna straightforward on this one. GOOD. CONTENT. Also helps if it’s indexable. Quite standard, but we love blogs.
@dan_patterson I think you first have to think about what kind of “engagement” you’re looking for. Different content types have dif engagement.
@BrianRBaker4 Our best performing content has been CASE STUDIES! #SEOChat like this one.
@markdhansen Technical “how to” posts. The readers are trying to learn – so they stay on page. Good “how tos” can become evergreen.
@Tinu When I do the writing, I get both high engagement and great search results from long form content and images, period. Had 2 clients who did everything my audit said Except maintain and 301 their image library. Took them a year to recover.
@BrianRBaker4 Really? What industry was it? I feel like that is heavily industry specefic
@Tinu 1- nonprofit client that has a lot of animal pics on their site. 2- had a site with a lot of tables/charts people refer to. Then there was a site I used to have that summarized the post in images with text. So it depends on how one uses images.
@bill_slawski Blog posts that specifically address your audiences pain points and problems.
@DragonSearch We sat down with a client’s support team and brainstormed content ideas from real world customer queries.
@rderdoski Resource hubs that address a need, how to’s for a common problem (think local search), evergreen content.
@ebiziq Question-answering content provides opportunities for using keywords naturally. Once again, usefulness for the end user is key!
@rderdoski Building out a great ‘about’ page can perform surprisingly well – people like people!
@Where2GetIt For clients—location pages that give all-in-one contextual, actionable info to searchers get engagement.
How do you scale influencer outreach without losing a personal touch?
@AJutah Ask company contacts for access to any archived content, including brochures, past ad campaigns and research.
@SocialMichelleR I spend time with them in social settings like #SEOchat. Seriously, though. I do try to connect via Twitter, LinkedIn, G+ something & share what they do before I ever email or ask.
@emily_C27 Create a list of industry blogs to actually follow! Start leaving comments long before reaching out.
@CaitlinBoroden How do you keep up with this? Do you target a few blogs a day?
@emily_C27 Yep! Just by making it part of the daily routine. Track using a tool like @buzzstream or just by using tags in Gmail.
@Tinu We split into teams, usually 1 to 15 people & get to know people before we ask them for anything. Especially with blogger relations or high profile influencers we try to pick only people we actually give a crap about. If it works out, great. We light promote a few things, feel them out, support where we can, THEN ask.
@BrianRBaker4 BuzzStream. But I ALWAYS add personal touches to the email reachout. I never used canned emails for the entire thing.
@BruceClayInc Do you already KNOW an influencer? Start there. If you’re interested in a prospective influencer, figure out how YOU can help them.
@DragonSearch Recently, we’ve been looking for reciprocal followers on Twitter and starting outreach that way. We’ve also gone for mid-level influencers and then done social ads with the content they produce.
@AJutah Not all customers are social influencers. It’s about connecting with potential leads, not just Twitter addicts.
@SocialMichelleR But you never know which happy customer might just become an influencer
@rickhardman IMO – Personal touch is important enough not to “scale” w/automation – but tools help keep things organized & efficient.
@AJutah Network with these influencers without having an agenda (at first). Be genuine, and offer to help them share their content.
@SocialMichelleR Right. We saw value in what they had to say, that’s why we thought them influential.
@AJutah Make friends with local media too. Local reporters are usually looking for experts to share insight for their stories.
@SocialMichelleR HARO has been an awesome help to me lately.
@directom Document everything about them. What they like, their interests. It helps to actually care who they are. Twitter is an amazing tool for engagement. Court them first and make sweet tweets together.
@Tinu We have a dirty mnemonic device for that where we replace the word Ask with the F word to teach people how to be good Askers. 10 secret rules for mastering the art of a skillful __k. Getting influencers to want to help is like trying to get a date to give you the goodies. Brute force techniques get you uggos. When they WANT to help and they CARE about helping? Your job is mostly just making it Stupid easy to participate. I should clarify that though. By “brute force” I mean just randomly verbally spamming everyone with “hey wanna date me.”
@rderdoski Repeatable processes + building relationships. Influencers are people too! start forging a relationship you can use again. Always ‘get to know’ your influencer before reaching out and be transparent and real in our outreach – no spammy canned emails!
@rjonesx Favorite them in twitter. Flattery is a wonderful drug.
@creativecalif Return is so much greater when you invest in personalization. Worth it to spend time writing personal emails rather than form. We’d rather spend one hour building a real relationship with one influencer than one hour faking it with 100.
@tonyxrandall This is one thing that i don’t care to scale. honestly, i just treat everyone i talk to equally regardless of “influence”.
@bill_slawski Start following on social media, including lists/circles to make it easier to follow.
@beyondcontent Money, gifting, event invites, flattery, promises, ego-stroking, whatever works
@tonyxrandall Networking with only “influencers” is incredibly short sighted and so selfish. make friends with everyone, don’t be a jerk.
@bill_slawski It’s funny; if you’re helpful to everyone, you may end up getting surprised by whom you’re helping.
@rderdoski Agreed you can’t forget about the little guys – brand evangelists are a powerful thing
@tonyxrandall yeah, idk, i’d rather become good friends w/ someone w/ little influence and benefit throughout their entire “growth”
@ebiziq Be in it for your own enrichment and be authentic. Always be a value-adding member of the community first and foremost.
@Tony_DWM By making it their journey as much as yours. Win / win on a personal & professional level. Inspire & support.
How do you scale social media efforts (following, engaging, etc.) without losing a personal touch?
@SocialMichelleR Truth is, we don’t want influencers for a one night stand. We want a long term relationship. Treat them like friends.
@rjonesx Persistence, show them you care about establishing that relationship.
@rickhardman IMO – Personal touch is important enough not to “scale” w/automation – but tools help keep things organized & efficient
@creativecalif What are your favorite tools for keeping things organized?
@rderdoski So many tools so little time! It’s important to capture influencer interactions & build relationships I’ve used @RavenTools
@creativecalif Thanks for the tip! We currently use @sproutsocial.
@Where2GetIt First,establish firm goals/objectives for your social presence. This will keep your brand from seeming robotic.
@justinkofron Keep an constant eye on what the community is talking about, and set aside dedicated time to be in the moment and interact live.
@Tinu On the one hand, I think social scales to a point. It doesn’t do as well as a broadcast medium. But light touches help spark bigger things. I try to write everything as if speaking with 1 person. People do the same in kind. My way of scaling that personal touch is to choose a new handful of people to get deeper with every day. It’s not for everyone. But I’d rather have 1000 rock solid connections than 10,000 flaky ones. 1000 easy to convert or 1% of 100k harder converts are the exact same number.The person I know who the best at scaling the personal touch on social hands down in @amyvernon. @AmyVernon has an excellent guide on Slideshare to what she calls Narrowcasting. And @Zaibatsu is some kind of Social Sorcerer. From his celebrity followers to people who barely get Twitter they all LOVE him.
@AmyVernon And here’s the Slideshare you referenced on #narrowcasting
@directom Engagement, even on a personal level, is scalable. Engage with EVERYONE
@AJutah Realize one person can’t do everything!
@Tony_DWM Vulnerability & choosing to make everyone I speak to’s day a little better, if possible, w/o return..
@rderdoski Using ed calendars, scheduling tools, alerts..you can boost efficiency-time saved there should be dedicated to being personal
@bill_slawski Keep your expectations reasonable, your actions responsible, and your goals achievable. rinse. repeat.
@creativecalif Build relationship w/ light touches on social media before diving in & making a more substantial relationship w/ an influencer.
@Tripp_Hamilton Don’t send DMs that look like form-letters when you get a follow-back (I see this a lot). Looks really shady.