Summary: Social Traffic Analytics and Monitoring Tools on #SEOchat

Moderator: @KristiKellogg and @BruceClayInc

As you monitor your social activity, what social-related KPIs are you looking for? Followers? Shares? Traffic? etc.

@kkenyon86   Definitely looking for interaction, build our brand awareness. If they turn into a follower – bonus.
@BruceClayInc   By “turn into follower” do you mean in the SM network, or in general (like customer, advocate)?
@kkenyon86   SM network – the business I’m in, it’s all about being top of mind for micromoments.

@madelineg_sea   We’re looking at followers, interactions, and shares as well.
@CaitlinBoroden   Interaction and engagement is a huge one! We don’t want to be talking into the abyss.

@KristiKellogg   I’m tracking social traffic, as well as followers, retweets, shares, interaction with influencers, etc. I’m paying attention to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram — though Instagram doesn’t provide much data.
@iankeir1   I agree. You have to look at the entire social media picture as a whole.
@madelineg_sea   Totally. Looking at all of the metrics together is where you’ll get your real insights.

@jonfoulds   reach, clicks, shares, growth in followers over time

@PeterThistle   Engagement/Interaction

@Navahk   Website clicks

@nemofindsworld   Depends on business objectives and the social media platform being used..but ultimately helping to cultivate brand awareness.

@kg7maj   Followers… what portion of them engage via RTs & at mentions. Less concerned about followers as base is formed for engagement. If the website is key for revenue generation, link clicks are monitored. Can’t be the only thing you’re putting on social.

@digishapatel288   for brand awareness and getting more engagement followers are important.

Are you paying for a subscription to any tool? What do you get from it that you couldn’t get for free?

@CaitlinBoroden   We use the premium version of @hootsuite around the office. The calendar scheduling tool is a lifesaver.

@Navahk   Yes! Better reporting

@TheBuyerGroup   You can customize reporting with paid tools.

@iankeir1   We use @Brandwatch at our office. It’s helpful in seeing advanced reach metrics.
@paulaspeak   I haven’t heard of @Brandwatch before. Is it a rep. mgmt. tool mostly?
@iankeir1   to an extent, yes. would definitely recommend checking out a demo.
@Brandwatch   Hi Paula! We’re a social listening tool. We help brands gather data from organic convos across the web.

@Magencyllc   We love @hootsuite and @RavenTools.

@BruceClayInc   Okay, we’ve got people paying for @HootSuite Pro and @RavenTools. What else?

@kkenyon86   Not for SM, but website analytics.

@madelineg_sea   @SproutSocial and @AudienseCo for their reporting capabilities.
@KristiKellogg   LOVE @SproutSocial!

@VirtualPBX   Our primary KPIs are engagements and traffic.

@kg7maj   For social analytics, Facebook Insights & Twitter Analytics are powerful. A few good ones for Instagram are available.

@jonfoulds   Depends on the client and how extensive their needs are for reporting/scheduling/etc. Some do, some don’t. We’ve used NUVI, Sprout Social, Hootsuite.

@digishapatel288   I am using @socialpilot_co for social media activity and fb branding.

@ebiziq   Big fan of @SproutSocial. Their inbox system is the best. Plus great collaborative tools and reporting. FWIW we’re curious about @MeetSOCI too. Seems like a great tool for an agency solution. Has anyone given them a try?

@kg7maj   My favorite Instagram analytics tool is iconosquare ( ). Iconosquare is free, shows followers/unfollowers & engagement figures. For inbound traffic & web analytics, Abobe SiteCatalyst is powerful.

@VirtualPBX   Followerwonk allows marketers to grow their Twitter followers with their target customers.

@tannerpetroff   I haven’t used NUVI in a couple of years, but last time I did it had a long way to go.

@DavidProHQ   I use/pay for @semrush @moz Followerwonk, @SproutSocial, @simplymeasured @RavenTools and use @hootsuite and @buffer.
@KristiKellogg   Do you use each for different purposes? Which is the best?
@DavidProHQ   I LOVE @semrush – Audits, keyword tracking & research , SEO ideas, ad ideas, brand mentions, GREAT reports, etc.

@netvantage   @SproutSocial is our go-to for social media.

@Magencyllc   @RavenTools allows white labeled reporting & combines many kinds of analytics in 1 place.

@kg7maj   Apparently you have to pay for some iconosquare features. Love Facebook Insights. Very comprehensive & provides a lot of good details (including when your followers are FB). I’m not a big Instagram user, so the pay part is new to me. Platform still useful when used.
@paulaspeak   Similarly, I like the insights in Google+ for that network. Lots of detail!

@jimit_ab   I use @mentohq. its new and advanced social media scheduling tool which generates content based on your products.

What tools (paid or free) monitor social referrer traffic and conversions on your website best?

@DavidProHQ   Google Analytics and Facebook Conversion Tracking.

@netvantage   Definitely Google Analytics. It is an all in one tracker for traffic, conversions, etc.

@KristiKellogg   I have yet to see a tool do something (in regards to social traffic tracking) that good old Google Analytics couldn’t do.
@kg7maj   For traffic, Google Analytics can’t be beat, but some brands need a more powerful solution, like Adobe. it has a lot more complex powerful features. It costs a lot of money. I know Toyota & American express use it.
@CaitlinBoroden   the same issue was brought up in the @inboundorg thread

@CaitlinBoroden   Well, I can say, that I don’t think it’s GA. I’m constantly seeing mismatches for FB ads data.

@Magencyllc   @googleanalytics does it really well for free and you can also integrate that into @RavenTools

@tannerpetroff   You can never go wrong with proper setup of @googleanalytics and Google Tag Manager.

@jonfoulds   Something I’d love to figure out how to do better! Currently using Facebook insights often and Google Analytics.

@karo_linab   Google Analytics is the best starting point, our acquisition team also uses @Marketo and @Tableau to get super granular.

@bl_bennett12   Anyone using SEMrush new social integrations in their account? we haven’t connected yet, would appreciate feedback/experience.

@PeterThistle   Google Analytics – allows easy comparison of social traffic to performance of all other channels: organic, paid, etc.

@nemofindsworld   GA offers a wealth of data for free, especially for traffic. We also use @brightedge for measuring impact of likes/shares on FB.

@ebiziq   Google Analytics is the go-to, with well thought out URL tagging of course.
@tannerpetroff   Exactly. All your mismatched tracking issues can be solved with the wonderful world of URL tagging.

Have you been able to use reports from social monitoring tools to prove ROI to the C-suite?

@kg7maj   Yes, I have. It varies from business to business. It can be inbound traffic to company promotions.

@ebiziq   We’ve found the task feature in @SproutSocial is very helpful for this oddly enough. Tracking the journey and so on.

@netvantage   Yes, from @sproutsocial as well as Facebook, Google+ & Twitter’s analytics. (Twitter’s analytics is so underrated).

What tools do you use to identify influencers?

@kg7maj   This is one I need help with.

@karo_linab   @simplymeasured has great influencer reports for Twitter. Twitter analytics is a great free option!

@ebiziq   Ok, we’re starting to sound like an advertisement for @SproutSocial but… you guessed it. Never overlook the Discovery tab.

@tannerpetroff   Used to use Topsy until it died :( Now I’m using Followerwonk.
@kg7maj   Awesome for crowdsourcing & social data.

@kg7maj   I’ve been trying @Zoomph as of late. Very good for locating influencers, hashtag analytics, demographics & content.

@paulaspeak   It depends on the industry. But it looks like @Onalytica might be a good one based on

@KristiKellogg   I don’t use tools to find influencers. But, admittedly, I only am looking for influencers in an industry I already know. If I was pinpointing influencers for a client, i.e. a different industry, I think a tool would be critical.

@netvantage   Followerwonk from @Moz is a great tool for identifying influencers and helping with social growth.
@DavidProHQ   Apr 21 I’ll say that @Moz has definitely been bringing innovation to the internet marketing sphere, not just SEO.

@jonfoulds   Great question. Haven’t found a good tool personally. My social peeps here may have but not on the reg.

@DavidProHQ   @buzzstream @buzzsumo @ninjaoutreach @ahrefs and @followerwonk
@seanvanguilder   @buzzstream @buzzsumo @ninjaoutreach @ahrefs @followerwonk love all of those

@jimit_ab   I am big fan of @copromote to identify influencers.

What’s one thing that you haven’t been able to find from a social analytics tool?

@kg7maj   Potential followers/influencers who engage. Seen a lot of potential ones when searching, only to see no at mentions or RTs. Not analytics related, but tool related. Wish there was a way to schedule to Instagram. Tools exist to remind you to post. You can schedule, but only to get a notification via mobile to post. It then opens Instagram to post in real-time.
@NuviSteve   Since its mobile based there isn’t a tool that does it directly. Ours allows you to push content to a mobile device though. Here’s some fun visuals I gathered on it.

@sociallyclimb   accurate sentiment analysis – hard to get that one right!
@PeterThistle   There was a LOT of interest and promise around “sentiment” 5 years ago – but gone quiet since hard to do.

@DavidProHQ   I’d like to have better reporting on Instagram & Pinterest. All social channels integrated. Platforms leave 1 or 2 out.

@VirtualPBX   Keyword tracking across all of our social channels.

@jonfoulds   Accurate sentiment is a difficult one as well as site conversions if an E-commerce site. Other than Google Analytics that is.

@sociallyclimb   Why can’t more social networks provide something basic like a history of the number of followers? Many don’t!

@jimit_ab   it’s hard to identify how much time user has spent on our post for viewing. I do not find such thing in any analytics tool
@tannerpetroff   Behavior > Site Content > All Pages > Avg Time on Page – is that not what you’re looking for
@jimit_ab   Those are helpful to understand the behaviour of our own web page. It’s hard to identify time spent on your FB posts by users
@tannerpetroff   Ah, for social. Not on-site. That makes more sense.
@kg7maj   That figure isn’t accurate though.
@tannerpetroff   Oh boy, if we want to start digging into accuracy
@kg7maj   No argument Google Analytics isn’t the most accurate, but very good as a guide.

@ebiziq   A tool for a high volume agency that organizes content by industry/other segment. Although I think @MeetSOCI does that? Oh, and more insights/features for instagram of course.

@netvantage   Like most have said, accurate sentiments and categorization options to help better understand conversations would help.

Can you share an example of how you’ve leveraged data gathered from a social analytics tool? How has it affected your strategy?

@jonfoulds   Learning what types of social content works better for which audiences. i.e. what converts on Twitter may not work for FB!

@karo_linab   We’ve used social data to find our KPI benchmarks to help measure our monthly performance and optimize/troubleshoot if needed.

@kg7maj   It’s impacted the timing of social posts/activity & the type of content I post on social.

@netvantage   We leverage social data to help predict what content works best with our audience! It’s key to understand your audience.

@sociallyclimb   We’ve used industry keyword data to find audiences & events where discussed to build social ad campaigns around.

@VirtualPBX   We use Buffer Analytics to track the content that is “popular” to our audience. For example, Our audience loves sports cars so we post about sports cars every now and then.

Do you use the tools for your business, for your clients or for both?

@iankeir1   Both in our case

@sociallyclimb   YES to all! Why not also monitor for mentions of your own name as well! See where you’re an influence!

@jonfoulds   As a digital marketing agency, both.

@netvantage   Yes, we use the tools for both Netvantage and clients!

@kg7maj   Mainly for business purposes. Will occasionally look at personal out of curiosity (or look at new features).

What social media tools that we haven’t mentioned could you not live without?

@KristiKellogg   @Tweepi, @ClicktoTweet, @CoSchedule, @Canva. Oh thought of another one! Gramblr lets you post to Instagram via your PC — but it’s glitchy.

@sociallyclimb   Not a social media tool, but we couldn’t integrate all the information without good ol’ Excel.
@bl_bennett12   If you use Excel, & data gets more complex, highly recommend @Tableau.. multiple APIs integrations to sync data
@BruceClayInc   Agreed! Excel is a workhorse we can’t live without, either.

@kg7maj   TweetDeck, FaceBook Pages Manager app, Facebook Business Manager.

@jimit_ab   again @mentohq i can live without for their aweson tweet generation and ecomm integration feature

@karo_linab   @meetedgar is a life saver when it comes to content scheduling for Twitter! So it’s a one time thing, you don’t have to schedule individual tweets! Just add and remove content within categories. Oh! and @Canva! How could i forget about the best graphic design tool and it’s FREE!
@jimit_ab   You should checkout @socialpilot_co if content scheduling is the main aim. it supports FB, Pinterest, Tumblr.

@VirtualPBX   Creative apps such as Canva and Pablo are a necessity.
@kg7maj   Second @canva. Very easy for a non-creative to create graphics.

@netvantage   People keep talking about tools for @Pinterest. Although it’s strictly Pinterest, @TailwindApp has been helpful for us!

@digishapatel288   recently I found @mentohq. It’s a really awesome tool for online sellers! I can’t live without.

@nemofindsworld   I cannot speak highly enough about @canva, great tool for creating compelling visuals – easy to use and a good free version.

Are you worried about “dark” social referrer data? Taking any steps to bring it to light?

@kg7maj   Yes, very much so, especially with the increase in “direct” traffic. Can be any reasons for it being “Direct.”

Summary: Accellerated Mobile Pages on #SEOchat

Moderator: @MatthewAYoung

What are Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and what do they do?

@CaitlinBoroden   They are fast – perfect for mobile devices! They provide a more stripped down version of a page with basic styling features.

@seanvanguilder   It’s all about speed

@iankeir1   They are a great way to get your content found on mobile devices

@BruceClayInc   AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages — it’s currently available to news publishers and makes for a better mobile experience.
@MatthewAYoung   Better is right. UX is key here, especially when it comes to SEO.

@nemofindsworld   AMP is a project to create fast-loading mobile pages using stripped-down forms of HTML. AMP could also be seen as an open source response to Facebook’s instant articles.

@michelljernigan   Accelerated mobile pages are ideal for ranking well with newsworthy content.

@kg7maj   AMP is quick, easy, user friendly way to get content on mobile for publishers. One misconception about AMP, from talking to people, is it’s only for mobile & only for publishers. Not for your mom & pops.

@KristiKellogg   #AMP: open source project geared toward enabling publishers to load articles instantly for mobile readers.

How does AMP directly/indirectly affect SEO?

@KristiKellogg   If Google says “this is important & you should do this,” the #SEO community jumps to it – especially with today’s focus on mobile. At Dallas State of Search, @Methode revealed #AMP IS the next big thing. h/t @jenstar
@BruceClayInc   Considering Google #AMP for #SEO? Read our full article on #AMP!

@kg7maj   AMP is another way of getting your published content out there. It’s extra exposure, thinking you may go to the site eventually.

@BerkleyBikes   I think the current implications are greater than rankings and affect digital marketing as a whole. For example: more limited analytics, remarketing options, etc.

@seanvanguilder   AMP is another piece of Usability with SEO. HTTPS/2 will be next.

@iankeir1   It’s about getting your content out there, and seen by more people

@MatthewAYoung   AMP also offers an incredible UX opportunity for sites, and Google has been known to look at usability factors

@nemofindsworld   AMP definitely offers more consideration with UX but it also really helps with exposure on news-related queries.

Does using AMP help rankings?

@CaitlinBoroden   Rankings in the way that articles get featured in one of the top carousels in search, yes.
@MatthewAYoung   Which is a big vote of confidence if youre a publisher, no doubt.

How do you sell clients/orgs on implementing AMP?

@MatthewAYoung   To @KristiKellog s point, tell them that Google has been talking about this for months. “it’s the next big thing” in mobile

@yourwillowtree   #amp increase the UX which means a potential for more sharing and more exposure

@iankeir1   When the future of search is mobile, AMP is a good way to get ahead of the curve.

@KristiKellogg   #SEO clients need to hear that updating NOW gets them ahead of the curve. @maileohye said this yesterday.
@kg7maj   Being ahead of the curve also allows you & the client to test things out, trial & error. Win win for all.
@nemofindsworld   Exactly. Investing now will benefit clients in the future as rank signals for mobile usability increase.

@CaitlinBoroden   No plans for clients yet (doesn’t fit needs) but I’d like to test the WP Plugin so I have some experience. Anyone use it?

@kkenyon86   How do you convince your manager of the importance of AMP (in house marketing, small company)
@MatthewAYoung   I would point to the past. Orgs thought the same thing about RWD, until mobilegeddon.

@nemofindsworld   Impact of not opting into AMP – decrease in organic impressions/clicks as AMP carousel + paid search pushes org listings down

@kg7maj   Educate on the organic opportunity, user friendliness & potential for increased traffic.

What does AMP mean for content marketing?

@MatthewAYoung   More to the point, How does AMP change the way content is created, or optimized?

@nemofindsworld   Content marketers will have to think about attracting CTR on AMP results with engaging headlines, hero image and intro copy.

@kg7maj   Content will have to be optimized for AMP to Google standards. The type of content shouldn’t change, especially if it’s working.

How does a brand leverage AMP even if they’re not in Google News?

@kg7maj   Blog articles, especially if the brand produces a lot of articles.

@MatthewAYoung   We talked preparedness earlier. What’s to say Google doesnt come out and say this is the standard for all mobile content pages
@iankeir1   It’s a good point @MatthewAYoung, better to start implementing now.
@PeterThistle   Expect they’re testing/developing in the News vertical, will deploy in general web later.
@MatthewAYoung   As I would expect. Much like Instant articles.

Let’s talk analytics for a second. How do you track AMP KPIs?

@MatthewAYoung   Well, since i have the floor no one will mind a shameless plug. @AdobeAnalytics has the ability to track AMP pages.

@seanvanguilder   I would think load time, organic referrals on mobile, time on site, etc.

@kg7maj   Clicks & views. Curious to know more about tolls & extensions used to compile in KPIs specifically for AMP.

Look into your crystal ball– what’s next for AMP?

@MatthewAYoung   I for one think that AMP goes for wider implementation, especially since FB Instant Articles is open to all publishers.

@iankeir1   I think that AMP will become more the norm, and at some point could become a ranking signal for Google
@MatthewAYoung   Anything related to Google dialing it up to 11 again in May with regard to mobile perhaps.
@iankeir1   I personally don’t think it will be a serious update, but they are definitely getting serious about mobile.

Summary: Mobilegeddon on #SEOchat

Moderator: @Sonray

Google pre-announced #mobilegeddon which was usual – was it helpful?

@EricLanderSEO   While mobilegeddon wasn’t as drastic as feared, it helped folks to prioritize mobile efforts. I think that’s a good thing. At @d50media we had clients respond by shifting dollars to solving for mobile. Was great for that.
@Sonray   I’d agree, it made brands take mobile more seriously even if they weren’t ready to do so.

@thebbsagency   It was helpful as it gave people time to adjust their websites to fit the needed criteria.

@CaitlinBoroden   Along with the announcement they followed up with a huge push to educate. This was great on their part.

@KristiKellogg   Any announcement from Google is always helpful. It gives a glimpse into what they’re prioritizing & allows SEOs to plan accordingly

@seanvanguilder   Helped in that it gave people time to account for the update.

@SarahAThornburg   Helpful to lend more ammunition to convince clients to go mobile!

@BerkleyBikes   Let’s be real, Google was telling us what we already knew. A small penalty was basically a kick in the ass to get people to do what they already knew needed to be done. Or, moving to mobile-friendliness was already in the works. But you know how long those things take. I don’t know that the announcement actually came early enough for a lot of clients to make the change in time.
@CaitlinBoroden   I think it was a 2 to 3 month lead in. But, yeah, you’re right. Larger companies in particular need more time.

@TheBuyerGroup   Always helpful to give time for planning! “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

@nemofindsworld   It was great to get a heads-up on the update from @Google and the guidance they offered on getting prepared was good follow-up. The impact of the update wasn’t as big as initially anticipated, I expect the signals to increase in importance though.

How has mobilegeddon changed your strategies; do you advise with mobile in mind?

@EricLanderSEO   For content, yes. For SEO, yes. So… YES. Majority of search and use happens on mobile. Cater to the largest audiences.
@Sonray   so a mobile first mentality across the board?
@EricLanderSEO   So long as the audience metrics support as much, yes.
@BerkleyBikes   Especially for local SEO. So many local-oriented searches happen on mobile.

@seanvanguilder   Yes, but not because of #mobilegeddon. The multi-device has been part of the discussion prior to.

@SarahAThornburg   Usually for design and content we think mobile first. #UX

@CaitlinBoroden   Yes, mobile can no longer take second priority. Desktop + Mobile are equally important now.

@creativecalif   We’d be bad at our jobs if we never considered mobile before #mobilegeddon. So it’s mostly the same.
@Sonray   I could argue that it isn’t right for all brands right now but it is something that should be a part of strategy.

@BerkleyBikes   I’m trying to be better than Google wants by looking at #mobilegeddon as the bare minimum for acceptability.
@PeterThistle   Google’s bar is more technical than experiential / promotional / marketing.

@kkenyon86   Because of the research involved with the type of service we offer, not really. Most people are still using desktop to find us.

@thebbsagency   Our sites were mobile-responsive but #Mobilegeddon was a great way to convince new to clients to jump on the mobile wagon.

@lighthousewebms   We all should make our content easier to access across multiple devices. The when and where is more important than ever now. Online has made it easier to keep up with competitors. But most SMB is busy working their biz to keep up with it all.

@madelineg_sea   Similar to all channels, a mobile-first strategy is crucial.

@BruceClayInc   The biggest change is increased emphasis more than anything; mobile-friendly is now even more urgent.

@KristiKellogg   The announcement doesn’t change the strategy — mobile-friendly should have been a part of all our strategy aat this point. It did, however, give us even more ammo in convincing clients. “See, clients, #Google agrees with us!”

@nemofindsworld   Placing more thought into how the mobile experience is for the end-user in regards to the purpose behind their search journey. As has been mentioned, passing standards test is the bare minimum – more thought needs to be placed on overall experience.

Are you worried about the upcoming mobile update?

@iankeir1   I’m not worried. just another good way to emphasize to clients that mobile should be a part of their strategy.

@EricLanderSEO   Not at all. Google’s new Search Console rendering options make it all pretty tough to mess up.

@SarahAThornburg   No. But I will watch to see if anything was impacted.

@creativecalif   Like all updates, if you follow guidelines from the beginning, instead of being reactive, there’s nothing to fret about. It may drive more new clients to hire SEOs though. So I may worry about having enough time.

@CaitlinBoroden   The last update was so underwhelming that I think many won’t fret. But, that means, many could have their guard down.

@BerkleyBikes   I’m really wondering how impactful this update will be. Most clients are currently mobile-friendly, so no serious worries.

@KristiKellogg   Not worried about the mobile update at all. If anything we’ll rank higher.

Do you think this update will be stronger than the last?

@BerkleyBikes   I sure hope so. Maybe the last one was the soft pitch before the fastball?

@EricLanderSEO   Not sure if I want it to be “stronger,” or simply “more comprehensive.” I think a lot of bad mobile sites are doing too well.

@creativecalif   Beats me. Whenever our community thinks something will have a large effect, it never does. So I’ve stopped guessing.

@thompsonpaul   I have to assume so – think the crawlers have been tweaked to understand more mobile signals.

@seanvanguilder   Not worried but do hope they boost the signal like they say. And get their tools in synch for better insights.

@nemofindsworld   I think the update will be stronger and will get progressively stronger each year as thought on mobile exp becomes mainstream. First update could be seen as @Google trying to get the industry to take mobile seriously – hence weak initial signal.

@lighthousewebms   I hope so. We need to knock the ones that aren’t doing it correctly. Reward the ones that are.

What lessons were learned in the last update?

@EricLanderSEO   You’re naive to think they’ll ever be fully transparent on organic search. But, I do think May’s update is significant.

@creativecalif   I’m an apologist. They give enough info to let us know what’s needed, but not enough to let spammers mess it up for everyone.

@seanvanguilder   At the risk of sounding pessimistic, i think it’s a bit of both. G has their agenda.

@iankeir1   Google is telling us what they want to deliver better results to users because they know that SEO will fall in line. However, we should be delivering a better experience to users, so Google has a point.

@lighthousewebms   Honestly I think it is a mixture of both. Take what they say but wait for proof in what they say.

@BerkleyBikes   Personally? I’m waiting for #mobilegeddon 2017. Love me a good trilogy.

@KristiKellogg   It’s intel. SEOs goal & Google’s goal align: to provide high quality, useful content. We get traffic, people keep using Google.

@kkenyon86   I think they’re looking to please the consumer 1st but don’t want to “bite the hand that feeds them” by pulling the rug from us.

@BruceClayInc   Google likes one-size-fits all solutions. That being said, it’s crazy to not offer a mobile-friendly website.

@jacquesbouchard   A little of both. I think the days of drastic overnight changes are gone forever. This will be a slow rollout, like the others.

@creativecalif   With mobile, it was more of getting us to fall in line by scaring us. With other updates, I think they like messing with us.

What has been the biggest hurdle to clear with the shift to mobile?

@creativecalif   Getting clients with old .asp and html websites to pay for an update to something from the 2010’s. Show me the money!!! Oh and don’t get me started on all these new devices with their funky resolutions. Love spending hours adjusting my CSS.

@thebbsagency   Convincing other people mobile is worth it.

@seanvanguilder   Same hurdles as with mobile app seo, getting clients to understand the value

@kkenyon86   Since I wasn’t around during the initial creation of the site, making sure all the ducks are in a row, feather by feather.

@BruceClayInc   It’s 100% slow to implement clients. They’re standing in their own way.

@CaitlinBoroden   Time. Going mobile can take lots of time (esp. bigger sites).

@thompsonpaul   The overhype of the first mobilegeddon sure didn’t do us any favours as SEOs. Hurt credibility. Did it to ourselves.

@BerkleyBikes   Pagespeed. *Drops mic, walks out*
@KristiKellogg   Got a freshly published article on page speed issues right here.

@jacquesbouchard   The fact that a shift to mobile almost always means a site redesign — which is slow and expensive.

@nemofindsworld   One hurdle has been the cost of site redesign to cater to the mobile friendly update – which can be off-putting to clients.

Will mobile offer us more opportunities or does it further fracture SEO?

@Sonray   Personally, I’ve been fascinated with the rise of mobile banking in the third world & things like this.

@BerkleyBikes   More opps. (Although mobile technologies are starting to look like bike industry standards, amirite?)

@thebbsagency   Opportunities, Google is using mobile to get information to parts of the world that didn’t have access to it before. Their AMP update alone has potential to deliver your content to parts of the world it would’ve never seen otherwise.
@jacquesbouchard   Good call. it’s definitely increasing the size of the Local SEO pie.More local data = more local search.

@jacquesbouchard   It complicates matters with challenges/opportunities like Mobile First, site speed issues, and separate algorithms.

@nemofindsworld   It provides a lot of new areas to explore – esp when coupled with voice search and the effect mobile has had on local search.

@madelineg_sea   Absolutely! More opportunity to get your message in front of the customer

@JaredMiley   Fracture, the intent of a mobile visitor can be so entirely different than someone on desktop.
@thompsonpaul   Agree – mobile is now the “third audience” in many cases – with desktop and the SEs the other two.

Mobile Payments option – cool, scary or unknown?

@kkenyon86   Definitely adds to the challenges, but isn’t that what keeps the creative juices flowing?

@GregEMartinez   Pftft. What about them using in store cameras for payments? That’s straight out of minority report.

@BerkleyBikes   I’m doing zero ecommerce right now. So not really.

@gregsnewby   How to Properly Track PayPal & Other Off-Site Purchases in GA via @seerinteractive

@CaitlinBoroden   I think it’s pretty cool but I’ve been weary to use it myself.

@jacquesbouchard   Not so far, but great idea.

What does the future hold? What is your craziest prediction?

@jacquesbouchard   There will be SO MUCH more. We’re cavemen who just discovered iron 10 years ago. We’re still catching up with our advancement. How will mobile integrate with transit, stores, home security, tourism, etc. once companies build around your exact location?

@KristiKellogg   At the Google Dance there was a meeting between prominent SEOs & Googlers. I think this indicates a move toward working together.

@kkenyon86   More searches will be done thru mobile, but I think there will always be a need for desktop.

@iankeir1   I don’t think we’ve arrived at the future of mobile yet. not sure what the future holds though.

@BruceClayInc   Digital assistants like Google Now & Siri are going to make more decisions on what content to serve users, making #SEO harder.

@thompsonpaul   Really hope Goog doens’t go overboard. Still plenty of situations where desktop is & will be primary. Don’t ruin it

@thebbsagency   The future of mobile is happening right now with Google’s AMP.

Summary: Building Trust with Clients and Users Through SEO on #SEOchat

Moderators: @oc2015

Clients aren’t always trusting in SEO efforts. What do you do to help dispel skepticism about the effectiveness of SEO?

@KristiKellogg   Show what your competitors are doing and how they’re succeeding. Can’t argue with data.

@seanvanguilder   Case studies and competitive analysis

@creativecalif   Our first action is using testimonials. Using other local businesses that new clients can talk to about results helps a ton.

@kkenyon86   For starters, consumers aren’t as trusting of ads. SEO gives consumers more control – they search, they pick, so you need to make sure you make an appearance when searching!

@ajutah   3 things: 1. Case studies; 2. Testimonials; 3. Transparency. Show clients you’re focusing on business outcomes, like conversions & ROI, not just search traffic.
@creativecalif   Right. My quote is “would you rather bring in 10,000 people and sell to 5, or 1,000 and sell to 50?”

@tannerpetroff   Education and transparency. Teach basic principles, why it’s effective, and what you do.

@BruceClayInc   If client asks what good is SEO pull analytics data to show gaps and losses where organic traffic is lacking. #MoneyOnTheTable

@britewritelight   Creating quality content is a big part of search, providing benefits for consumers and clients alike.

@oc2015   I agree with the data approach, but also should be utilizing case studies that show the legitimate SEO strategies

@madelineg_sea   Case studies are huge. Real life examples go a long way

@creativecalif   Data can confuse a lot of clients. Make sure to show real world, relatable examples.

@SarahAThornburg   Transparency, honesty and supporting documentation from G or others in the industry. Depends on the specific tactic.

@wpsitecare   A1 We just provide them with results

What kind of tactics can be used to ensure a client campiagn is trust building for users, while still creating conversions?

@kkenyon86   Including educational & informational content. Don’t sell to people, help them to learn about you & product/service 1st.

@ajutah   As marketers, we need to consider the entire sales funnel. Create content for cold, warm and hot traffic, then nurture. If your business has physical locations, make sure your citations are accurate, and post pics on your Google Local page. Consider your brand’s online reputation. Do you check the reviews? What’s on page 1 in search for the company name?
@oc2015   Giving a face for the company, even a location is a huge trust building aspect

@madelineg_sea   Quality content – Making sure your site has relevant content to what you’re users are searching

@SarahAThornburg   It has to be honest. Creating a campaign for something that is true and deliverable targeting the right audience.

@seanvanguilder   Content that answers searcher’s questions. And avoid speaking about how great your offering is but focus on how it solves their problem.

@Navahk   One tactic is to create content tailored to your audience. Give them what they want to read and do your research.

@creativecalif   Always make sure to answer the visitor’s questions (via search) immediately, and w/authority. Good content and a clear message.

@britewritelight   Yes, providing users with something useful or interesting will enhance any campaign

@michelljernigan   Brand voice is important for building trust with users. Be consistent and speak to them like an actual person

@creativecalif   Oh, and don’t hide who you are. Put a face to your website, especially if you’re a local business.

@emily_C27   Provide kw targeted, yet quality content that provides solutions to problems and answers to questions

@SarahAThornburg   tactics – use data or testimonials, real imagery, linked from real partners, customer story telling

@KristiKellogg   Research what the users need/want; if you do a good job at creating content that serves those needs, they’ll convert.

@lancemoore22   Educate them! Transparency of what is being done.

@BruceClayInc   If you provide what the user is looking for, that’s an automatic trust signal.

@CaitlinBoroden   Make sure your contact information is easily available. If all the contact info is hidden I lose trust fast!

@nemofindsworld   Matching user intent to search queries – research types of content users are seeking through site search, form submits & serps.

@jacquesbouchard   Deliver quality content, followup after conversion and develop relationships. Relationships are extremely powerful for trust.

How do get clients to trust the data if you can’t provide specific projections (Given limited info directly from SEs)?

@lancemoore22   Build confidence through education and show what improvements have been made and what they mean for ROI
@oc2015   What about larger companies that may be more heavily bottom-lined focused?
@lancemoore22   I think the same process can be applied. Small biz owners want the bottom line to move too.
@oc2015   True. I’ll rephrase then: what about larger companies less concerned with digitally driven sales?
@lancemoore22   Not sure. I primarily work with small biz that want to drive digital sales. Also you have to know your client and what results you can show to make the happy until the “real” results kick in.

@hollafaye   Looking at historical trends is a great indication of what worked and what didn’t.

@SarahAThornburg   I get as much data as I possible can then conservatively estimate and ensure they understand the data is estimates.

@KristiKellogg   It’s the SEO’s responsibility to educate those clients that #SEO is a process and results don’t happen overnight.

@fighto   You can provide projections, or at least estimates given a set of circumstances/scenarios. Minimum outcome+maximum outcome.

@BruceClayInc   Another way to build trust is to provide references from #SEO clients who have benefited & thrived from your work. #SocialProof

@jacquesbouchard   Trust is not episodic; baby steps may be necessary. Educate the client when you can, report, and build your accountability i it.

@TheBuyerGroup   Set expectations from day one.

@ajutah   Set the right expectations about organic marketing from the beginning, and supplement with PPC along the way. Show them case studies of online vs traditional. How much could $100 on Facebook do, vs. a $10k billboard?

@michelljernigan   Let them know how important their feedback is. Typically the more engaged the client is with our work, the faster we see results.

@nemofindsworld   If projections are difficult, looking at Year over year data can be helpful to compare and chart progress for clients.

@bennisaurus   Try and address the clients immediate concerns. This will show you know their pain points and should increase buy in.

@tannerpetroff   Show case studies and correlations that appear to have causation as well. Inform as well as is possible.

With some many spam SEO services, how do you deal with clients even thinking about using one to “help”?

@tannerpetroff   I have a couple clients who had horrible experiences I use as examples of what not to do and what could happen if they do.

@creativecalif   We focus on being personal, local, and showing examples of clients who got burned by spam services. The clients we want are the ones who want an active partner, not an impersonal overseas cheap service anyway.

@bennisaurus   Show them the work they will get with spam services. I emailed one of these services and asked for example work. It was awful

@SarahAThornburg   Talk to them about potential consequences and case studies to back it up. Enough brands have been burned and talk about it.

@britewritelight   Answering a question w/ a question:As search improves and personalizes will SEO blend with content creation & marketing?

@lancemoore22   Be really honest say tell them that if it sounds too good to be true then it is. SEO is a race not a 100 yard dash.

@michelljernigan   Education. They’re black hat tactics that search engines can identify and they will risk being penalized in rankings.
@nemofindsworld   I agree, and at that point the key emphasis would be educating clients to realistic timelines for results

@kkenyon86   Helping them understand that they won’t have the same control over content with a “guaranteed” company. Cleaning it up=no bueno
@bravomedia1   true but very challenging to persuade them. My client dropped 60% in organic b4 they started listening

@jacquesbouchard   I find this is a non-issue. Once you engage them in a high-level conversation and educate them, your way just makes more sense. Page 1 SERPs also don’t mean much. What keyword? From what location, and on what device? History on/off? Search is complicated.

@ajutah   Plenty of case studies from brands hit by Google search penalties. There’s a right and wrong way to build brand equity.

@KristiKellogg   Again, it’s a matter of education. They need to know what’s at stake if they take shortcuts.
@BruceClayInc   If you #spam, you WILL get caught. And then you’ll have to bend over backwards to regain trust.

@lancemoore22   Tell the client that if a company promises this then run!

@madelineg_sea   Educate them on why that wouldn’t be a good choice. If they are hell bent on trying it. Let them. They’ll be back

@bravomedia1   Yikes! Just dealt w/ that. Very Challenging.

Users know spam when they see it. What strategies in Meta creation do you use to build immediate trust?

@creativecalif   One exercise we do is to have our clients write down all the common questions their customers ask. Then we answer them.
@nemofindsworld   This is so important. Shifting the focus onto the end user and serving them to fulfill their needs

@britewritelight   Creating content that people want to engage with, not just passively consume.

@tannerpetroff   I write targeted copy for people, not just search engines.

@SarahAThornburg   I use the truth of the page in titles and descriptions. Let’s users know what they can expect when they reach the site.

@KristiKellogg   If possible, always opt for hand-crafted, unique titles/descriptions.
@BruceClayInc   True, but remember there’s limited applicability for trust building, since Google rewrites metas so often.

@ajutah   Make a promise in the page description, then deliver on that promise when the user clicks through. Add schema markup to your content. Nothing gets more clicks like [5 stars] next to your listing.
@creativecalif   But don’t spam every page with review stars. Make sure it’s useful to the end-user. Though all of my blogs are 5 stars.

@michelljernigan   The meta data should represent the content on the page. Otherwise, it’s just clickbait and the bounce rate will suffer

@jacquesbouchard   Write in full sentences, speak to the persona, and use a brand voice. Use the imperative to move them to the next step.

@JeremyRiveraSEO   The biggest step is to actually add unique meta titles and descriptions to ALL the pages. Yes. Every page. Do it. Serious.

@thompsonpaul   The sales team and especially the call centre/support teams are GOLD MINES for the actual terminology/topics customers care about
@JeremyRiveraSEO   I love talking to customer support reps, they’re always so shocked when I start asking them about the ?s the field

What are some best practices for getting *Search Engines* to trust you?

@madelineg_sea   Quality, Relevant Content

@bennisaurus   Links pointing to your content that people actually use. Not just spam but real useful pathways.

@CaitlinBoroden   Keep your code clean, avoid crawl errors, and have strong and relevant content.

@CaitlinBoroden   Oh, and schema. Help them learn more about your site.

@JeremyRiveraSEO   Review top ranking competitors, review their links & duplicate the BEST of them. Then pursue unique links.

@ajutah   Become an authority on a subject by curating and creating content across a variety of media. Author rank is still a thing.

@creativecalif   Get authority sites to talk about you (backlinks). Write good content (relevance). Have good structure. Easy peasy.

@britewritelight   Google+ Authorship, lots of engagement on social media, good online reviews, and quality relevant content!

@KristiKellogg   The best way to get the search engines to trust you is to get the users to trust you. #TwoAlgoWorld

@JeremyRiveraSEO   You’re not going to have their trust until you establish a broad, relevant link profile. #OutreachRules

@bravomedia1   Follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines as closely as possible.

@TheBuyerGroup   Good tailored content that has a little bit of paid behind.

@thompsonpaul   Give SEs site architecture that lets ‘em understand hierarchy & importance of content. Keep seeing huge totally flat sites #fail

@SarahAThornburg   good links, no code issues, logical site architecture, unique title tags, organized content, unique content, to name a few

@jacquesbouchard   Off-Site: Get on wikis if possible, BBB, and chambers of commerce. Get on Google & Bing Places and Yelp where applicable. On-Site: Clean code, fast & responsive. Listen to Search Console. Build in schema and social markup, and no black/gray hat SEO.

@bennisaurus   Don’t duplicate pages or spread content across a lot of pages. Show SE’s that your content is specific and unique.

Summary: Creating Content for RankBrain on #SEOchat

Moderators: @RonellSmith & @rjonesx

If you had to sum up RankBrain in one sentence for your clients, what would it be?

@EricLanderSEO   A learning AI system for improving relevancy to users within Google’s core algorithms and result sets.

@jpsherman   RankBrain is a layer of artificial understanding that sits on top of the classic Google Algo, focusing on intent / behavior.
@rjonesx   as long as it “performs tasks that normally require human intelligence”, I think we can call it AI. I certainly mean it only in the broadest sense when I use AI.

@MarketingMeisha   “RankBrain” refers to Google’s machine learning program (AI) designed to help them better understand & improve search results

@jacquesbouchard   RankBrain is Google’s movement to begin to think of their algorithm like an AI instead of a robot.

@lancemoore22   It’s an AI

@rjonesx   A machine-learned process to convert ambiguous queries to those more easily understood by Google’s traditional algorithm.

@RonellSmith   For added understanding of RankBrain, check out @stonetemple’s @Moz post It does feel hyped, but I also which more content strategists harnessed RankBrain’s potential.

@Darren_Moloney   don’t believe the hype and get back to work comes to mind

@dan_shure   RankBrain understands / re-writes queries before serving up results to more accurately match the intent of the user.

@BruceClayInc   RankBrain is Google’s most advanced way to understand unfamiliar queries to provide relevant results.

@TurbanSEO   The search tech of the future.

@madelineg_sea   A component of Google’s algorithm focusing on user intent, that helps to process search results

@paulaspeak   RankBrain is high-tech software that can interpret anything people tell it, w/ increasing accuracy (currently used for search).
@MatthewAYoung   And it provides the ability for the algo to learn and make connections to indexed content

What’s one SEO “Best Practice” that you’ve found simply doesn’t work post RankBrain?

@iqseo   Nothing identified as yet

@dan_shure   Nothing

@AlanBleiweiss   All best practices to my knowledge, still work post RankBrain

@bennisaurus   Nothing really. Still way too early in the grand scheme of things to pull concrete data.

@iqseo   Business as usua

@rjonesx   I got one, the idea of “One page – One keyword”. Was this the final death blow, or just kicking an already dead horse?
@AlanBleiweiss   when was “one page, one keyword” ever a best practice? I’ve been helping clients get three, four, eight phrases ranked per page for years when done properly. It’s over-stuffing phrases to force it that kills multi-phrase one-page ranking.

@RonellSmith   “Measuring everything” … The key is to measure what matters. Making a priority of everything means nothing is a priority.

@anvilmedia   I have not noticed any significant changes yet

@jacquesbouchard   It’s made tracking keyword rankings less relevant. What a “ranking” is blurs more as the searches are interpreted for me.

@EricLanderSEO   None.

@jpsherman   not so much a tactic, but keyword research has become less list-based & more understanding what you’re talking about

@MatthewAYoung   Nothing different, but RankBrain affirms what we knew, and that’s to optimize for long tail.

@jbobbink   meta Keywords, oh wait… Minor languages will keep benefitting oldskool factors. Google News enough language data to input in RankBrain framework.

@AndreeaC_T   If SEOs were keeping up with how consumers search, Rankbrian isn’t an issue. We’ve been searching using natural language for a few years. I’ve been coaching SMBs on this for years. No impact.
@bennisaurus   EXACTLY. Rankbrain shouldn’t effect you much at all. Optimize for users, not algorithms.
@AlanBleiweiss   but remember algorithms do attempt to emulate user experience
@bennisaurus   True. But algos learn from user experience, not dictate it.
@AlanBleiweiss   Yes, however they can’t “see” the way “humans” do – so technical SEO matters as well

@randfish   I still really like “one page; one search intent” (an updated version of that old rule).
@AlanBleiweiss   that’s a great perspective Rand. One intent – can have many words to describe it.

@seanvanguilder   Nothing has changed. Still about the user’s intent and how people actually search.

How do you find semantically related terms for RankBrain optimization?

@iqseo   Same as before RankBrain. The same search concepts that yield the best results. There is no RankBrain optimisation, but I have heard mutterings of RandBrain – perhaps this should be investigated!

@RonellSmith   First, by homing in on the intent of searchers relative to my product or service

@jacquesbouchard   Google suggest helps, as well as competitive research to see what language audiences are using.

@dan_shure   I don’t really think “rankbrain optimization” is a thing, but love Google Search Analytics for related terms. Also for related terms, find main wiki page of topic, put in tagcloud generator or SEM Rush.

@seanvanguilder   I find it interesting that we’re talking about RankBrain optimization. It should be end user optimization.

@RonellSmith   What are they trying to accomplish? What are their core needs? How is my brand uniquely qualified to help them. From there, we can discern the language/terms they are most likely to use for a search that would bring them to our site.
@AlanBleiweiss   Why fixate on “RankBrain” or “RankBrain optimization”? It’s a distraction from human dialogue
@paulaspeak   I agree with you, but it’s a trending subject that stimulates more eyes/ears to the conversation.
@AlanBleiweiss   it’s great to research, toxic outside that when most don’t use critical thinking

@kmullett   Google still needs to present quality sites, the ones people want, who don’t care about their changes. Keep providing value. Build on a solid base. Optimize content for value. Solve people’s problems, answer questions, evoke emotion, & entertain.

@rjonesx   I like tools like AlchemyAPI, nTopic, and Moz’s “related topics” feature to start..

@anvilmedia   I have not changed my process on keyword development. Still delivers best keywords IMO.

@jbobbink   Create personas, customer journey and scrape the web to see what people require in terms of information and use as terminology.

@BruceClayInc   In-depth content informed by keyword/query tools. Start w/Google suggestions & related lists, plus keyword tools.

@searchrook   You can’t optimize for #RankBrain coz it handles queries “never seen before.” Since it is machine-learning and therefore constantly in flux, you shouldn’t try to chase it.

@RyanJones   we don’t do rankbrain optimization. that’s not a thing. we understand what our users are looking for then create that. It’s all about keyword research, understanding user intent, mapping that to the consumer journey, and comp. gap analysis. I mean, if there’s several relevant terms for one topic, yeah include them if it’s natural sounding and fits. All these SEOs talking about optimizing for rankbrain but couldn’t even summarize what a neural network is. I’m not doing anything for rankbrain that I haven’t already been doing for years.
@MatthewAYoung   Exactly. RankBrain simply understands a lot better queries that Google has never seen before

@MatthewAYoung is a pretty robust tool, but there is no difference in optimization pre and post rank brain
@kmullett   I like, but find myself using Answer The Public more.

@bennisaurus   You don’t really optimize for Rankbrain as much as you use it to understand how Google thinks users search and react.

@paulaspeak   In addition to what others have suggested … I like tool for related questions, filtered by country.

@AndreeaC_T   Gotta brag on my @AuthorityLabs peeps. I use a combo of their Now Provided report, Search console and other tools

@AndreeaC_T   I also listen to sales calls and demos and see what phrases potential customers are saying.

Do you think RankBrain helps or hurts sites that rely on the long-tail?

@RyanJones   I think rankbrain helps the long tail – by understanding the query and removing the head sites that aren’t relevant. Example: site might be really relevant for 1 word in your query, but not relevant for your query. Rankbrain fixes that. Pre rank brain a query x without z would surface results of x WITH z. so this change helps smaller long tail sites. if you have really specific content, rankbrain should be a help for you. If you have broad content, probably not. My understanding of rankbrain is that it’s more about result corpus selection than it is about ordering.

@iqseo   In theory, it should help Google interpret the more complex longtal

@fighto   Bleh. Assuming there is query re-writing going on, it could “hurt” sites that EXPLOITED long tail queries, but could also help

@dan_shure   ALL sites rely on longtail, and yes, it helps the ones where the keyword-> content match is more accurate
@AndreeaC_T   It also helps reach various phrases with long tail. One long tail can bring in several other searches

@bennisaurus   Speculation. But I think it will help since it creates better bridges between like minded queries. Long tail gets easier. Your content can be less about including all related long tail terms and more about content. Rankbrain SHOULD help the synapses.

@AndreeaC_T   Helps!!! We’re getting better at addressing user intent. Love it!

@seanvanguilder   Too soon to tell, but initially it helps

@AlanBleiweiss   the best practice rules have not changed as a result of RankBrain. Maybe clarified for some people

@jacquesbouchard   Helps. Long-tail is the new short-tail when Google gets what the content is about & delivers it to the ENTIRE relevant audience

@jpsherman   the operative phrase is “rely on the long-tail” – in that case it hurts, that tactic tends to ignore deep topic relationships. If the long tail strategy is a part of the content, existing in context, then RankBrain will help. long tail reliance will hurt. an example. “garbage collection” is a civic service & a process in Java – RankBrain will make this query more useful more often.

@MatthewAYoung   Helps, and it’s a relief. Becuase RB better understands queries its never seen, there’s less of an emphasis on volume.

@AlanBleiweiss   NOBODY can know if RankBrain helps or hurts directly. We don’t have the algorithms. Don’t get lost in thinking you can pin ANY ranking on RankBrain. It’s fairy dust thinking.
@kmullett   Agreed, meanwhile people still don’t get location based SERP variations for nav, trans, & informational queries.
@AlanBleiweiss   Some are stuck on RankBrain while not even grasping the danger of dupe content for cryin out loud :-)
@MatthewAYoung   Google will give you the rope to hang yourself with. It’s the danger of being a catastrophist in SEO.

@AlanBleiweiss   @kmullett Google will give you the rope to hang yourself with. It’s the danger of being a catastrophist in SEO

@AlanBleiweiss   @kmullett Google will give you the rope to hang yourself with. It’s the danger of being a catastrophist in SEO

@dan_shure   For anyone wanting to better understand the idea of RankBrain highly suggest you watch this.

@RonellSmith   RankBrain is a gift to sites using long-tail phrases since it excels at better interpreting & translating multi-word queries.
@AlanBleiweiss   It IS vital to help others learn the concepts. It’s dangerous to fixate on RankBrain as a thing.

What should a new “Best Practices for SEO” include in a post-RankBrain industry?

@iqseo   If it’s working at the moment, continue on that path. For the most part, nothing should need to be changed. But if anything, spend more time concentrating on making sure questions are answered as fully as possible.

@AlanBleiweiss   A “new” best practices (post rankbrain) should include everything that should have been there beforehand. If anything, this is a case where people need to reevaluate old notions of what best practices means.

@seanvanguilder   Same as it has been for the past 5+ years. Useful content that focuses on helping accomplish an answer or user’s task.

@AndreeaC_T   Haha such a loaded question. Let’s start with ensure that content is easily readable. KWs should flow smoothly when read aloud. I’m a video gal so make sure videos are optimized too because video content boosts conversion.

@madelineg_sea   Continue the emphasis on user intent. Help to ensure your content is being served when your customers look for it.

@jacquesbouchard   Focus on context, quality, and improving user behavior. If you’ve still be writing any “SEO Content” stop almost all of it.

@TurbanSEO   Producing high quality, information focused content is now more important than it ever was, post RankBrain.

@RyanJones   I don’t think rankbrain changes SEO at all. Not if you were doing it right to begin with. Stop chasing algorithms. chase users.

@rjonesx   I think “being thorough”. Follow me on this… in the past, X keyword determined a page’s relevance, now X+(related terms) do. Thus, potentially, fully relevant content will cover the semantic network of words/phrases exhaustively, not just one word.

@bennisaurus   That it is time to stop chasing the latest trends and start using common sense. Make content for users, not SERPS.

@RonellSmith   Know they audience and their needs better than the competition. As a content strategist, RankBrain’s main impact will be to refocus me on intent over terms.

@nemofindsworld   Developing specific content that is based on deep research and understanding of your target user’s needs and intent.

@anvilmedia   I think that the Best Practices are still the same but there is heavier focus on content development.

@fighto   Same ol’ best practices yo.

@jpsherman   I start w/ this question. “how do people look for the things I’m really good at providing” then try to answer those questions.

@BruceClayInc   Focus less on broad, high-volume/competitive keywords. Answer user questions and reap the long-tail benefits. (This isn’t new).

@MatthewAYoung   You want to know what the ‘new’ best practices are? @randfish did a whiteboard friday from Dec 2013.

@AlanBleiweiss   EVERYTHING you need to know about RankBrain in ONE tweet from @dannysullivan

@nemofindsworld   content should be able to fully answer all aspects of the users search and help them complete the objective behind that search

Did Google’s announcement that it was using RankBrain to interpret search queries change your approach to content creation?

@seanvanguilder   No

@AndreeaC_T   Not in the slightest. Sorry Google, I was already writing and using content that way.

@tedois   IMHO RankBrain depends heavily on user behavior, so I think UX is the best way to improve. Running satisfaction polls definitely took a larger chunk of time, and reading other quality signals too.

@bennisaurus   No. until high quality content aimed at users is no longer relevant, no Google update will change my content design.

@BruceClayInc   In a word, no.

@AlanBleiweiss   I pray that if anything, it only helped people improve content in ways that should have been done years ago. I fear some people have, instead, been trying to now game RankBrain as well though.

@RonellSmith   No. I’ve always been audience-/community-(& their needs) first, which better helps me discern intent.

@jacquesbouchard   Nope.

@jpsherman   the only things RB has influenced change in has been how content is presented to users to make its value clearer

@iqseo   Nope! Once I understood what it was doing, it was just same old, same old. Nothing needs to change.

@anvilmedia   Not really as I have always felt that content is king and solid SEO should focus on quality content.

@TurbanSEO   Absolutely not, its biz as usual with 2x DEEP content subjects & tailoring to possible intents. Let RankBrain do its AI thing.

@RonellSmith   What it has changed are clients’ and prospects’ views on simply keywords, keywords, keywords in the content they seek to create. It opened the door to having them think more broadly.

@rjonesx   Two words – markov chains
@TheGonzoSEO   place crap bets, horn bets, and yo bets. #WorldSeriesofDice

@victorpan   No and it shouldn’t. We’ve moved beyond keywords and focused on user intent

@workboxsf   IMO, despite tools and data, creating great content that users love is (and probably always will be) the toughest part of SEO.

@RyanJones   in the early days SEO used to be about little tricks. It’s not anymore. it’s real marketing. It’s hard. You have to do real work.
@AlanBleiweiss   no SEO (actual optimization) was NEVER about the tricks. You know this.
@kmullett   … for some people. It was painful to watch tricks work, when some of us have always pushed value.
@Thos003   not according to BlackHatWorld.. They are still selling link wheels!
@RyanJones   and link wheels still work. for a few weeks until your site goes into a black hole and you have to start over.
@Thos003   are you suggesting negative SEO tactics work?
@RyanJones   only if the site is already doing other negative stuff. Then yes. I haven’t seen proof otherwise.

@nemofindsworld   Algo changes come and go, fulfilling a user’s needs has always been the main objective – it’s a core part of @google’s mission.

What do you think will be the future of AI in Search Engines? And how can you prepare for it?

@iqseo   Voice queries are on the up. Think about how you would ask something to a person. Can you translate this to page copy?

@bennisaurus   Probably cloning a human brain and just plugging that straight in. Interpreting the meaning of terms as they relate to the user. “Open late” means something abstract not just words to search for.

@rjonesx   I think it will start to underlay primary ranking components – ML/AI used to determine link quality, content relevancy, etc. The ranking factors will remain the same, but how they are measured will not.

@jpsherman   the future of AI in search will be an integration to the Internet of Things – giving predictive mobile notifications

@RonellSmith   They will only get better at interpreting queries. I hope we, as content marketers, get better at creating content to match those queries.

@Navahk   Voice. Hello Siri can you tell my fridge to order milk & eggs for me? ✔️Groceries done.

@AlanBleiweiss   The future of AI in search engines is unknown. However to be safe, I’m building my prepper supplies

@AndreeaC_T   Same as we are now. Focus on user experience. AI will fall in line with that eventually #SEOChat. Another shiny object

@anvilmedia   I think AI use is inevitable and I think that SEO’s continue to use best practices and be flexible to change.

@lancemoore22   The future AI is totally personalized results. Creepy. Simple. Smart.

@TheShitSEO   Google can’t read. Chill out people.

@RyanJones   the future of AI in search is verbs. users doing something. “I need a place with good pad thai that’s open late”

@victorpan   Imagine walking into a store and then product comparisons, reviews, and suggestions are set for you based on your preferences.

@workboxsf   We’ll probably run around like headless chickens, then relax and get back to work

@jpsherman   AI in search “Alexa, i want to lose 10 lbs, please prepare a grocery list and workout plan”

@jbobbink   collect as much market specific data as you can. Thats what Google is doing too

@jacquesbouchard   The return of personalization. Like Facebook, Google will find new ways to _know_ you, and will use them to impact your results

@victorpan   “Answers” come to you without a query, but simply by your GPS routine, credit card history, and iBeacons you interact with.

Summary: Organic + Paid: Collaboration Required on #SEOchat

Moderator: @bloomreachinc

The search user experience increasingly blends organic and paid. How has that impacted your strategy?

@AndreeaC_T   Search and paid usually increase leads…mostly organic. Paid visual increases organic clicks. Paid is also a great place to start building traction on new kws you want to rank for organically. Custom PPC landing pages can also serve SEO value.

@oc2015   Paid should be a staple in the organic strategy, especially for gathering content ideas that you may not have thought of. CTR for top organic results that also have a top paid result are also typically higher than just top organic.

@kennyhyder   I became first in impression share in my vertical for PPC

@misfttweek   with organic getting pushed further done the fold Paid should be used to drive more organic for returning consumers
@AndreeaC_T   Organic listings just got a boost. Fewer ads on top, more on bottom

@yankeerudy   Evidence that despite denigrating SEO-ers Google wants their cut of seo$$$

@kkenyon86   With the newest update from Google for paid, I’m just staying tuned.

@BrianRBaker4   Use Paid + SEO at the beginning of a project. Paid drives instant traffic and shows ROI sooner.

@cjmonteblanco   Up-sale! Companies seeking for a better UX for their site will utilize both SEO and PPC. PPC answers the search query while SEO provides rich, relevant content and CTA for higher conversions.

@ThinkSEM   It’s been our strategy for years to blend organic w/ paid search. They complement each other well!

@bravomedia1   Google’s SERP changes it is imperative to have high relevancy of the Search query to the Landing Page content.

How has that increasingly blended experience impacted your tactical execution?

@kkenyon86   I still feel organic/SEO needs to be top priority, with PPC for support.
@BrianRBaker4   Well said! This is why we like launching PPC with SEO – it helps fill the gaps before SEO kicks in.
@bl_bennett12   Living in both SEO and SEM roles currently, there is a balance. PPC can complement SEO on low ranking, high comp words.

@AndreeaC_T   Companies SHOULD cross train SEO & PPC. @netsolcares did that when I was there.
@nemofindsworld   This is important, departments shouldn’t be silos – they should be working together on a cohesive strategy
@AndreeaC_T   Right! Easier for smaller SMBs to do this. Or create a search dept that combines both.
@nemofindsworld   SMBs benefit from more flexibility – The SEO and PPC specialists sit next to each other in our offices.

@cjmonteblanco   Shift our CRO efforts towards creating unique landing pages and paid search ads.

@bravomedia1   Now more than ever intgrating “high value” queries into the LP content.

Are you aligned between paid and organic search people?

@BrianRBaker4   Our company is working on more closely integrating PPC/SEO. However, not many clients want to pay for both.

@ThinkSEM   Aligned meaning we know budgets/meaning/data for each? Yes. Always.

@kkenyon86   Since I AM the Marketing Dept, yes. Although, I am a Gemini.

@PeterThistle   I’ve been doing both PPC and SEO for nine years, leading an agency team, and now independently – so yes, high alignment!

@cjmonteblanco   Aligned like the constellations!

@EricLanderSEO   Yes. At @d50media we do a great job of prepping environments leverage both paid and organic w/ analytics. Folks often overlook the value of pushing paid traffic to organic environments for additional marketing and analytics.

@bravomedia1   PPC & SEO have always had a relationship – like a marriage so paid search & seo need to communicate.

@AndreeaC_T   Oh yeah!!! And have been for years.

Do you look to organic to pick up more of the load in the torso and tail, where paid is less prominent?

@emily_C27   We use #PPC tools like Adwords Keyword Planner as a reference to measure kw competition in our SEO efforts.
@thompsonpaul   Gotta be careful there though-soley commercial intent of keyword planner can cause you to miss big organic opportunities
@AndreeaC_T   I don’t rely solely on Keyword planner. I use @AuthorityLabs Now Provided report for more kw research.
@emily_C27   oh for sure! It’s just used as an additional reference. There are plenty of other great organic methods.

@EricLanderSEO   Organic’s role in paid search is for discovery (more affordable than broad match) and cost savings over time. It certainly works, but not when you’re in a cost-cutting mode or can’t afford to dedicate the spend. SQRs do help tho.

@BrianRBaker4   I have no idea what this question is asking.

@AndreeaC_T   I think organic will increase, especially with NLP.

@thompsonpaul   Have had massive success in past w/ PPC for torso & tail… but not sure how that’s going to play out now w/ no sidebar. Plus, research tools for PPC do such crappy job w/ long-tail. Organic a little stronger there.
@EricLanderSEO   Great point. Assuming CPCs are still largely unchanged since the switch, it’s a shit show at the moment.
@AndreeaC_T   PPC is going to feel the pain of that. Bid prices are reported to increase. Smart rev gen for Google.
@bravomedia1   yeah it is! Definitely – CPC is higher, Relevancy is more important.

@ThinkSEM   Depends on the client’s needs and how their traffic (paid OR organic) converts. Can’t generalize this.
@bennisaurus   Exactly. Client goals should be the main focus and the strategy should align accordingly. Not the other way around.

@bravomedia1   Organic Rankings are the best! when you are unable to “Rank” for a specific search query PPC is best.

@bennisaurus   To me, PPC can and should be used to focus on long tail keywords where there is little content or means to promote it. Organic search should be used when there is already sufficient information in the SERP and you can piggyback off that exposure.

What does your paid team learn from you? What do you learn from them?

@bravomedia1   I handle both! Which makes it easier to manage – both SEO & PPC for our clients!

@bl_bennett12   Paid can experiment quickly w/ ad text, and share ad text testing on CTR response rates, then SEO can use it to update metas.

@ThinkSEM   SEO + PPC teams should always work together — collaborate on KWs, content, etc. Lots to learn for both

@EricLanderSEO   Paid team learns about multiple visit behaviors, results of A/B tests and social activity on back end of visits. PPC also leverages Search Console data to predictably write and expect better clickthrough rates on new ad units.

@kkenyon86   Since I’ve always done more organic/SEO, paid is a good way to continue keeping the competition on their toes.

@nemofindsworld   It’s great to use PPC to test kws before targeting them organically. Quick feedback on kw performance

@bennisaurus   PPC can help organic by targeting higher conversion terms and getting them to the information that organic provides.

@cjmonteblanco   According to @AngeliqueGlade from our #PPC team, a great takeaway is the importance of citations and reviews.

@thompsonpaul   Question for others who handle both PPC/SEO – do you find time constraints become a problem trying to effectively take care of both?
@EricLanderSEO   Yes. Recently at the agency in fact, they had to re-organize to get me back to being more focused on SEO. Organic needs have grown – and having my time split to also manage a PPC team of 6 didn’t make sense. Like most agencies, we need to be fluid in how we serve our customers – and I do know more SEO than PPC.
@aknecht   What you don’t have unlimited time, resources and budget? Isn’t that what all clients give you #Sarcasim
@thompsonpaul   It’s a lot about time to stay fully current w/ all the technical know-how needed for each, as well as implementation time.
@aknecht   Agree & the problem comes when your next deep in executing each to pay attention & learn about what’s next.
@bl_bennett12   I’m able to use my resources aka other teams to help with the technical sides. Educating empowers all, saves time.
@bravomedia1   Actually No – because you are able to easily “tweak” them both – with the knowledge you have.
@cjmonteblanco   I only handle SEO, but I can only imagine the constant mind shift needed to keep up with both!

Do you see this changing dynamics between your Paid and SEO teams (if so, how)?

@ThinkSEM   As the SEs dynamically change their SERPs/rules/algorithms, so must we adapt as PPC & SEO experts.

@kkenyon86   Yep, my intern will get lots of great experience.

@bravomedia1   Only in “high value” search query terms

@bl_bennett12   Out of this question, as i’m the Search dept. ;-) I’m working closely with our Dev, Content and Social teams for consistent UX

@bennisaurus   Yes. They have different reaches. It important that the goal is aligned between them but that their paths to get their differ.

@nemofindsworld   We have knowledge shares between PPC/SEO specialists, close seating in office, and team meetings to discuss account strategy.

Summary: How to do on-page optimization in 2016 on #SEOchat

Summary: How to do on-page optimization in 2016 on #SEOchat

Moderator: @randfish

What are you doing to optimize pages (keywords, content, UX, etc) in 2016 that you didn’t do 3-4 years ago?

@MatthewAYoung   De-emphasizing KW optimization and focusing on optimizing for topics and people, not search engines. More content personalization – delivering the right content to the right people on the right device at the right time.

@oc2015   Big shift — Focusing on user intent more than just the keyword|category|brand. Really a shift to truthful marketing when you think about it.

@SarahAThornburg   Less exact match keyword pages/links and more topical pages/links

@BrianRBaker4   Focusing on user-engagement. Shorter sentences, copywriting techniques, forgetting about keyword density and including keywords. Let’s not forget page-speed! That has been a huge focus for me :)

@kg7maj   UI/UX, mobile… mobile… mobile, looking at why the user is there & what they want.

@ajutah   Multimedia, LSI, epic evergreen content that will continually work for me.

@BrandifyChat   For one thing, we’re focusing heavily on integrating customer reviews and ratings into local page content.

@PeterThistle   Thinking more about concepts than keywords, character strings.

@samueljscott   I think about the human being long before I even start to think about search engines.

@CaitlinBoroden   A lot more thought on how people are searching and coming across the content – voice search being one of the big ones.

@Ozaemotion   Before we optimize for search engine now it turns into humans!

@SeoAlba   Schema markup onpage.

@egabbert   specifically optimizing for featured snippets

@tayeebkhan   Solving users problems, Satisfying users with content and optimizing for Mobile

@rock_hawk   Less focus on exact match KW. More focus on user intent and implementing schema data.

@robertvonheeren   relaunching for better responsive layout on desktop and optimizing mobile compatibility

@Beymour   I’ve been trying to hyperlocalize site content, now that Google is putting more emphasis/weight on locally relevant content

@ime_wsm   Mobile, mobile and more mobile

@ajutah   Still optimizing for search, but increasing budgets for PPC, social ads is necessary in 2016.

What tools or processes are you using to identify related topics/keywords for inclusion on a page?

@randfish   e.g. if I’m trying to rank a page about lemurs, I know it’s important to include words like “Madagascar,” “Primates,” “Aye-Aye,” etc.

@kg7maj   The Google Keyword Tool in AdWords is the first & last place. Free & accurate, straight from the source.

@MatthewAYoung   I look to the outside, so anything the provides awesome comp. data like @Moz, @TrackMaven, and @semrush

@SarahAThornburg   Common sense, suggest, buzzsumo, adwords kw tool, etc.

@misfttweek   I tend to stick to SEMrush for competitive research on keywords

@CaitlinBoroden   Suggest search and related search still remain the big ones for me (well, at least the starting point).

@KristiKellogg   The SEOToolSet … use the research summary tool to see repeated phrases on competitor pages.

@samueljscott   I find people in my target audience. I ask, “If you were searching Google for X, what would you want to see in the results?”
@CaitlinBoroden   Also, a great question to ask your client when onboarding!

@oc2015   Ol’ fashioned research and user insights but @Moz & @ahrefs content explorers help

@tayeebkhan   Reddit, Social Media Trends in related niche specially Google +

@Ozaemotion   I do use @keywordtoolio, Google autocomplete, ubbersuggest and keywords planner tool!

@ajutah   Research your customer avatars, then spend time on Reddit to find other topics they’re interested in.

@serptwerker   SEMRush, Brightedge

@ThinkSEM   Keyword Planner, autosuggest, related searches, GA data, etc.

@egabbert   literally just google the word and look at the related searches at the bottom of the serp!

@BruceClayInc   The SEOToolSet also offers the multipage analyzer that shows where competitors are winning and how.

@rock_hawk, Google Trends, and Buzzsumo’s topic trending all helpful in identifying KW and topics.
@CaitlinBoroden   Google Trends is one of those tools that always slips my mind. Any tips?
@rock_hawk   Yes! They revamped it last year to include real-time topic trends. They even include a category filter to show top stories.

@oozn   Adwords KWT, Buzzsumo, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Answer The Public, Quora,, semrush & searchmetrics.. yeah all of’em.

@Beymour   I’ve been spending more time on peripheral intent. IMO, it’s the ‘long tail’ of user intent. Broader, in-depth topics

@ajutah   I recently started using FreshKey to identify related KWs on platforms like Amazon, YouTube, etc.
@ThinkSEM   Depends on your industry + your mobile users’ intent. I’d start with GA for that; otherwise lots of local focus, etc.

@michelljernigan   Definitely Ahrefs Content Explorer to see what related topics are being discussed by the audience.

@ime_wsm   I use #GoogleTrends to get KW variations based on interest rate, group’em by search intent and write to match the page purpose

@randfish   Clarification on Q2: Not talking about KW research for targeting new KWs, rather about finding related terms/phrases for onpage SEO

@robertvonheeren for German semantically related keywords, socialmention social tools like e.g.keyhole 4 hashtag-relations

@MatthewAYoung   Clarified. It’s totally low tech and from the 20th century, but I revert to using a thesaurus

@SarahMcDUK   I use ‘answer the public’ to find good keywords and FAQ suggestions, also asking customers too!

@misfttweek   Clarified: Nothing beats googles related topics, search for a existing keyword and let it tell you other ways of searching

@SmittyQ14   Soovle. @serpstat’s tool has a cool bit that shows organic keywords section. Both help give real-world context to the keywords

@SarahAThornburg   I use buzzsumo, search for a broad topic and see what’s most popular

@SWallaceSEO   Don’t forget about just Googling to see what’s already ranking well for related topics / phrases

@thompsonpaul   Mining the site’s internal search engine results for underserved topics or missing elements. Beauty of the internal search results is they’re in the voice/terms/interests your own prequalified visitors already use.

@martpapart    Soovle Search suggestions and completions from the top providers on the internet

@michelljernigan   I like to plug content into the Positions Explorer and see what related keywords that content is ranking for

You’re doing SEO for (book I just read+loved). What’s the best, KW-targeted title you can come up with?

@MatthewAYoung   Title: Solve Problems in Less Time | The Sprint Book

@oc2015   “Creative problem solving; Develop problem solving skills with Sprint”
@ThinkSEM   Sprint the book or Sprint the cell service provider? ;)
@oc2015   Context clues! No related results to cell providers so must be a different thing!
@oc2015   Alt A3: The Sprint Book: Becomes a Creative Problem Solving Guru

@ThinkSEM   Sprint Book: Critical Business Questions Answered

@tayeebkhan   “The Sprint Book, Become the Best Problem Solver in just 5 days”

@rock_hawk   Book;Books;Bestseller;Novel;NonFiction;Writing;Publication;Manual;Brochure;Periodical;News;Tome #SoundofCredibilityCrashing
@ThinkSEM   Did you, an SEO, just walk into a bar, pub, ale house and order a beer, brew, drinks?
@rock_hawk   I honestly would probably just use the book title: The Sprint Book: Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas

@SarahAThornburg   Business Problem Solving in only 5 days | The Sprint Book

@robertvonheeren   Big problems? A guide full of smart and fast problem solving ideas

@CaitlinBoroden   Learn How Startups Problem Solve in Less Time + Industry Examples | The Sprint Book

@paulaspeak   The Sprint Book: Problem Solving Answers Learned from Watching Business Startups ??

@ajutah   I’d put the main KW at the beginning of the title, and that might mean scrapping “Sprint”. Although it’s a balance between branding and SEO. Isn’t that usually the case?

@Beymour   Solve Any Business Problem in 5 Days or Less | The Sprint Book

@BrandifyChat   The Sprint Book | Become a Problem Solver in Your Startup

@ime_wsm   “The Sprint Book: A Guide to Solving Big Problems in 5 Days”

@PeterThistle   Process Mapping – New Solution: The Sprint Book

@oozn   “The Sprint Book: Get things done 2 days earlier than the writer of The Holy Book”
@SarahAThornburg   Ha! It would be rad if you could rank for “bible” or “the holy book”!

@randfish   Tough one right? Best I got right now is: “Sprint: A New Book on How Google learned to Design & Test New Products in Just 5 Days.”

When writing titles/headlines, do you find there’s still conflict between what you need for SEO vs. branding & conversion-focus?

@oc2015   Absolutely. Have to balance the tech and subjective. Can’t sell out to keywords anymore and try to fool the user

@gyitsakalakis   yes

@MatthewAYoung   Yes, it’s a delicate dance, but that’s why H2s were invented
@ThinkSEM   That said, as @oligardner is wont to do: switch your H1 & H2. Oftentimes H2s work better as H1s
@MatthewAYoung   Good point. Either way, it’s a complementary relationship.

@SarahAThornburg   Yes. Headlines and Titles need to be more readable than in years past. Users see right through stuffing

@ThinkSEM   Always a balance! SEO is segueing into UX+you need branding+conversions are what drive your biz.

@nick_eubanks   OMFG yes. best keywords to align intent/funnel are generally far and away from eloquent value props

@SWallaceSEO   Often I find there’s conflict btwn what the client thinks we need for SEO and what’s inline with best practices & UX

@tayeebkhan   There is no conflict between, unless you are giving the user a complete idea of what the article is about.

@rock_hawk   I have more issues with compliance removing KW and changing context. I like to utilize subheads for value props/brand/conv. I spend less time worrying about SEOing the title. Does it sound natural and relevant? Avoid that clickbait!

@serptwerker   No. Relevance rules. There is always a clear and creative way to employ keywords that expresses a page’s intention.

@ajutah   Nothing beats a strong, community-focused brand that creates unique experiences for their customers. I think it’s important to start writing content without any rules. Let the creativity flow, and then tweak for search. It also depends on if you’re writing sales copy / page content vs. a blog post.

@robertvonheeren   yes, especially in B2B-business with broader topics like e.g. “sustainable cities” – so many target groups

@thompsonpaul   Yup – the mechanics still require some focus on appropriate keyword usage in titles, while hitting the brand/conversion needs

@Beymour   Sometimes. But it’s usually when I’m including qualifiers. i.e. Dentists in New York may look weird/unnatural as a headline

@full_rack   Yes, curious about singular vs plural. Ex. someone searching “metal work bench” finding our “metal work benches”

@BrandifyChat   At times, yes. Building rich/valuable content for consumers is not always conceptualized from an SEO POV.

@misfttweek   if you are following the trend of Customer first i dont think there should be any issue or conflicts

@PeterThistle   Yes, two different purposes in a handful of characters!

@SmittyQ14   Ideally SEO should fit in naturally. Making conversion-focused copy gel w/ branding is harder. CTAs are crucial but often icky

@ime_wsm   It depends on the approach you need. I go for the intent. If user has the intent of convert my headline will give’em the chance

@LynnSuderman   There should be a balance, a harmony. Too much either way and you sound like a robot or it won’t be spidered

@michelljernigan   Not much conflict anymore now that we’re focusing on user intent, but it’s still a balancing act.

@AmccartPPC   If you’re having trouble trying to meet both, what it really means is it’s time for a separate conversion landing page IMO.

Do you think Google is using CTR, pogo-sticking, engagement, or other user/usage-based data to rank pages today? Which one(s)?

@ThinkSEM   Probably not as heavily as they WILL in the future; I see that’s the way they (& all SEs) are moving. Also, re: pogo-sticking…is Google using THEIR (outdated) definition of bounce rate? High BR doesn’t always = bad.

@oc2015   If they’re not already they should be very soon

@SarahAThornburg   I think ctr and pogo-sticking for sure!

@SWallaceSEO   Absolutely! Long clicks v.s short clicks and CTR are definitely taken into account and weight will probably continue to grow

@AmccartPPC   I’ll just leave this right here. By which I mean, Dwell time is definitely a significantly underrated factor.

@JoMarieT   ctr and engagement.

@CaitlinBoroden   I think it’s a natural next step to everything else they use. As for right now – I get the feeling they have been testing it.

@tayeebkhan   I believe google uses CTR and Engagement data to rank pages. I don’t know about other data’s

@LauraLeeSEO   CTR, yes. Pogo-sticking, probably. I think it’s going to become increasingly relevant data that influences rankings.

@Ozaemotion   CTR is a ranking factor as Google has already confirmed!

@KyleRisley   Yup – exact match intitle signals are still strong and matter for domains w/o strong backlink profiles.

@jtinbound   I was kinda hoping you had the answer to this one.

@misfttweek   I think time on page has to be a ranking factor for sure, shows the user found what they intended to find…usually
@LauraLeeSEO   Agree but then — does very little time on page mean they found the answer fast or that they didn’t find it at all?
@misfttweek   great question, It may depend on the type of search. is it e-commerce or something a knowledge graph can answer

@MatthewAYoung   You bet your bottom dollar they are. How is bad UX relevant to query and intent? It’s not.
@oc2015   It might not be relevant to intent but with the emphasis on good content and trust building, UX is a major marker.
@ajutah   Clickbait titles still work great for top-of-funnel content, as long as you’re providing value to the readers.
@MatthewAYoung   Then the type of content you’re advocating is the exception and not the rule.
@ThinkSEM   And therein lies the rub — providing valuable content AFTER the clickbait title.

@robertvonheeren   yes, serp CTR, engagement, website usability factors and soon also accessibility (ADA and others).

@tayeebkhan   CTR, Engagement and Pogo Sticking are used for sure.

@ajutah   Google wants to serve *their* users with quality, so any data that shows *your* posts aren’t quality will hurt your rankings.

@BrandifyChat   Of course! User-centricity is the reality of today’s rankings. Google wants to know what users care about.

@PeterThistle   In practical terms, I’m proceeding on the assumption that organic CTR matters.

@ime_wsm   All of them. If #Google is focused on the user. What other insights would be more accurate to rank pages than user-usage data?

@serptwerker   All of the above, to an extent. I think Google wants to use any signal that can serve as a proxy for human opinion.

@AndyWatson_UK   I think defo pogo-sticking. everything else seems so plausible and this is Google after all.

@rock_hawk   I feel like all are utilized to some extent. To what degree is the question. You can’t just focus on one thing to rule the SERP

@BrodieTyler   If it’s trackable and explains user intent, it’s difficult to see how Google wouldn’t use this data for rankings.

@Growth_HQ   I also have my own beliefs about them using proximity and social connection to your audience as a ranking factor

@thompsonpaul   Thing about CTR is – I don’t care if it’s a ranking factor. I’m going to optimise for it regardless.

@Beymour   I think Google is prob using CTR and short vs. long clicks. I’d also bet that they factor in the # direct branded searches

@lethalwit   Answer is yes. What I want to know is, why has Google been so obtuse in explaining how they use these factors.

What are some favorite examples of content you’ve seen that have great on-page SEO, great UX, & great engagement.

@randfish   Some of mine:
1) Visual Intro to Machine Learning
2) In a Single Bound
3) The Largest Vocabulary in Hip Hop
4) Trip Finder

@robertvonheeren   example 1 (not affiliated):

@ajutah   This (very appropriate for today’s discussion) post by @backlinko

@rock_hawk   I love a lot of the Grantland pieces before they took it down.

@SarahAThornburg   I usually look at an overall marketing program. @uhaul has a great brand/site/marketing program Also @Airbnb and @ILovePacifica

@robertvonheeren probably done with angular.js

Summary: Migrations, Moves, Redesigns and Relaunches: Making Major Site Changes on #SEOchat

Moderator: @BerkleyBikes

What are some reasons a site might undergo a redesign, relaunch or migration?

@EricLanderSEO   Redesigns should be routine every few years, in the least. Other changes result from server and/or platform (inc. CMS) changes. Most migrations I’ve been part of have been for SEO, marketing or sales automation services or analytical purposes.

@MatthewAYoung   Design is stale, UX needs work, switching to Adobe Experience Manager (wink). As a former @BruceClayInc employee, how can I forget new information architecture. I feel shame.

@emily_C27   UX experience is a big one, functionality and overall look & feel are a few things to conside.

@Casieg   Several clients as of late – Outdated and/or looking to be mobile friendly.

@dan_patterson   there are all sorts of reasons for a redesign. Updating the brand’s look, rebranding, etc.

@lancemoore22   Site was designed in the 90s, not mobile friendly, or poor architecture.

@ebiziq   Why, poor or outdated SEO of course! That and to fix a poorly converting site.

@ExpWriters   A site might undergo a redesign when rebranding, to enhance user experience, or just to get a fresh look!

@BerkleyBikes   One of my education clients this past year moved from a .com URL to a .edu URL. We were definitely excited about that. Mobile-friendliness, another very popular answer to Q1, especially following “Mobilegeddon” last year.

@destineebullard   A site might undergo these certain changes to enhance their brand or improve it!

@AlanBleiweiss   Sites often undergo redesign, relaunch or migration after 1 of my audits find a bazillion issues.

@tilLAME   To adapt to new technology and allow easier site navigation for users.

@tonyxrandall   “Hey, maybe all of this SEO isn’t working as well as it could be because our visitors are repulsed our website!”
@BerkleyBikes   This can be tough to tell them sometimes. I’ve heard it called ugly baby syndrome. AKA, “your baby is ugly.”
@tonyxrandall   I try to get bloggers/webmasters/site owners to say it so i can just forward an email from someone else to them LOL.

@CallMeLouzander   Migrate or Redesign when the existing design hinders rather than helps objectives.

@ecrissman_prod   with the way the markets and audience preferences are changing, platforms should undergo a revamp or redesign often to keep up

@Kylieemorgan   In order to revitalize the brand, make mobile friendly or just make general improvements.

@wtfseo   we re-design whenever there’s a new award we want to apply for. can’t win them twice with the same site.

@RosauraYapur   To keep up with what’s trending as a company reinvents itself. Thinking of brands like Dominos who not long ago rebranded.

@SocialAly   Sometimes a company may want to redesign their site to keep up with current trends and refresh their image to customers.

@ItsMJAlmenara   A site might go a redesign to uplift its brand and possibly reconnect the brand to their audience. A redesign could make it easier for the user to navigate the website. I know some sites I’ve visited are not simple enough.

@LindsayMineo   UX, organization needs, merger/acquisition, loads of budget no one knows what to do with (lol).

@matthewdiehl   Companies, markets and products evolve. So should your site and user experience. Because testing proved a new site design or infrastructure improved conversion.

@jpsherman   a redesign was essential to improve our customers’ mobile habits, with a good side benefit of increasing site speed.

@BriJA2442   Probably for branding issues. If maybe they didn’t have a lot of traffic on their site so they needed to make it better.

@cecilunauf   Many popular sites are now being accessed through mobile devices. This could cause an org to rethink how users navigate online.

@RyanJones   a redesign usually means a new platform that supports a lot more features that the old one didn’t.

@bravomedia1   Update Look & Feel, enhance user experience, mobile friendly, AMP, HTTPS, new content creation and more.

@dbmantica   A site might go into redesign because they want to fix know problems and improve themselves.

@DagmarGatell   changes its niche focus, had no site structure in the first place, not mobile optimized or moves to a new platform/CMS

@samueljscott   During a major rebranding.

@Molls_Robinson   Redesign could be for rebranding purposes, improving for user’s mobile habits, or just trying to get a fresh look.

@fl_bakht   Give your audience something new. Your site & user experience should evolve together, sometimes things need an upgrade.

Where does a redesign or migration start? Dev company? The organization who owns the site? SEO team?

@EricLanderSEO   Varies greatly based on the primary reason for the redesign. Key is to trust the subject matter experts that can work together. Example: We can often stray from our disciplines. As an SEO, I think I know good UI/UX, but I’m by no means an expert.

@MatthewAYoung   I think it depends on the need, but at one point everyone joins the party.

@Casieg   We typically don’t push for clients to redesign. Typically comes from marketing team. We do help define needs & w/ transition.

@ecrissman_prod   In this generation, everyone is deserving of an opinion or a push; if the need is there, anyone can speak up and rebrand.

@wtfseo   most re-designs start when somebody on the dev team wants to add a new technology or acronym to his resume.

@bravomedia1   Redesign Starts with an IDEA!

@BerkleyBikes   In some cases, our SEO team will determine that a site is underperforming because of design, and recommend a change. In other instances, a client has said “our CMS is old and cannot handle what you’re recommending” and decide on a migration.
@CaitlinBoroden   Old CMS’s but also those that are so user friendly that they are seriously limited. Sorry, those on Wix.

@ebiziq   Depends on the reason for said redesign/migration. Bad SEO? SEO Team. Rebrand/Poor Conversions? Owning Entity.

@AlanBleiweiss   wherever it starts, a redesign requires dev, design, overall marketing, SEO & Social dialogue up front! I routinely get hired to audit sites redesigned without proper SEO considerations & I find major problems. The problem isn’t a chosen CMS. Devs who don’t properly test for speed, crawlability, etc
@CallMeLouzander   My experience, too. Complex CMS, especially, require specialized customization to work properly. Translation: $$$
@AlanBleiweiss   “We went responsive.” me: “Oh look – your speeds now fail.” or “Oh look – 4 million new 404s”. “Oh look – you forgot to redirect the old domain.” “Oh look – you let the staging site get indexed.” “Oh look – your new domain & old domain now have endless loop redirects between them.” “Did anybody do a test crawl before launch?” “What’s that?”

@samueljscott   1. Design storyboards the big picture. 2. Development creates it. 3. SEO checks all the technical stuff during the process.

@DagmarGatell   In my experience, seeing a site failing makes push for site’s relaunch/redesign. Decreasing traffic, ranking & conversions.

@CallMeLouzander   Depends who sees the need, but becomes shared project. Start with research, how users interact w ur site, etc.

@jpsherman   a redesign can be essential when your website no longer serves the breadth of new opportunities/ questions in your audience

@ajutah   Each dept. has a say, but the buck stops with the SEO team. Leads/revenue depend on a clean transition.

@matthewdiehl   Typically started by internal stakeholders wanting to improve KPIs; but, a collaborative process until launch.

@BruceClayInc   Redesign starts with market research. Know your market & architect accordingly.

@lancemoore22   It should be a collaborative effort. Each department needs to have a voice.

@wtfseo   another reason for a re-design: your main competitor did it.

@ItsMJAlmenara   The redesign starts when their is a problem or something that needs to be fixed.

@ExpWriters   It depends on who feels there is a need for a redesign and why. It could be related to site performance or just a refresh.

@emily_C27   In my experience, its starts at design, then the SEO team takes it from there and checks performance.

@cecilunauf   If SEO team is doing its job but the site’s traffic isn’t on par, then the push to redesign follows. Data, data, data!

@Kylieemorgan   I think it is often a collaboration of many to redesign. The initial idea could come from users who are dissatisfied.

@tilLAME   I feel like it depends on the situation. Any of these places could be a logical starting point. (Lame answer, I know :P)
@BerkleyBikes   It’s the perfect answer: there is no single starting point, and every scenario is different.

@abbywilsey   I think SEO team has a lot to do with it redesign, but collaboration within different teams is essential.

@LindsayMineo   Usually SEO team has reasons (conversions), but I’ve heard design team calling out an old/ugly site before.

@rsharpe21   Anyone has the power to push for a redesign and/or migration. If a website is failing, it is important to make changes.

@mtdono   probably driven from the need for more conversions or other KPI’s

@ajutah   Although SEO today is more integrated, so it includes CRO, design, etc. Consultants should consider and respect all angles.

@DogOfSEO   Let’s be real, a lot of SEOs have no business influencing the design of a website.

@jpsherman   as users’ expectations, ways of consumption, conversion, connection habits change, redesign can improve new emerging behaviors

@SocialAly   The optimal redesign of a website starts with the SEO team analyzing site traffic, then development takes over and designs

@oc2015   Experience, experience, experience. Good SEO means nothing without great #UX and design

What are the top 3 things you focus on when planning a migration or redesign?

@MatthewAYoung   Information architecture, proper redirection, and pretty much all of technical SEO

@EricLanderSEO   Preserving value (both content and conversion areas), improving UI (reduce lost conv.) and accessibility (mobile, AMP, etc.)

@wtfseo   1. ensuring I hit my bonus metric 2. setting goals we know we can hit 3. taking credit / placing blame.

@ItsMJAlmenara   (1) It has to be user friendly, (2) it has create a connection with your audience and (3) it has to work!

@tilLAME   The cost, the design, the perspective of the website users.

@CaitlinBoroden   1. Making sure no redirects fall through the cracks, 2. User experience, 3. and lots of QC along the way.

@destineebullard   The consumer, your content and of course all things technical!

@DagmarGatell   fixing SEO errors & site issues, niche focus/site structure, UX

@ExpWriters   Making sure it’s user-friendly and operating properly. And of course, consider the cost

@BrandifyChat   User experience, link consistency, organic search performance pre/post migration

@ajutah   • Boost conversions • Which pages to 301 redirect • Improve site architecture

@abbywilsey    Making sure the redesign cost is reasonable is always important.

@cecilunauf   Migration/Redesign should consider: 1. Easy navigation 2. Content 3. Audience

@AlanBleiweiss   Top three priorities for a site redesign: 1) User Experience 2) User Experience 3) User Experience

@bravomedia1   1) Preserving SEO 2) Website UX 3) User Experience

@BriJA2442   I would have to say the top 3 thing to focus on is your consumers, your product, & accessibility.

@BruceClayInc   Top 3: 1.Retain the good. (Content AND URLs). 2.Improve the bad (speed, navigation). 3.Get your sitemaps straight.

@SocialAly   In a redesign a company should never forget their values, keep it user friendly, and maintain a positive, but refreshed image

@patrickcoombe   1. speed of new server 2. data continuity 3. hmmmm…permalinks?

@lightngmcqueen   Aesthetic appealing layout, catchy headlines and great content.

How often do you deal with relaunches?

@BerkleyBikes   If you do SEO in-house, I apologize, because this is probably a lame question for you.

@abbywilsey   User friendly, simple yet effective, quality content

@EricLanderSEO   Not often. Perhaps 2 to 3 each year.
@tannerpetroff   Wow, really? I feel like I’m handling 1-2 relaunches a month. Already had 4 this year.
@EricLanderSEO   Yes. Tends to be a product of (my lack of consistent) auditing business & being dedicated to big agency client.

@matthewdiehl   Constantly! Either whole or parts of sites are being updated on a continual basis

@ExpWriters   A full site relaunch doesn’t happen often, but minor changes are made as necessary.

@LindsayMineo   Apparently it’s the thing to do right now.

@RyanJones   at least one client per month lately. we’ve done a lot of re-platforms these days.

@tilLAME   A few times a month, I’m guessing? Depending on the site

@MatthewAYoung   I deal with redesigns 4-5 times a year. Too large an undertaking for most of my enterprise clients.

@PeterThistle   Often! An SEO refresh is often inspired by the same business need that inspires a site relaunch.

@ajutah   The site should constantly evolve, but too many changes can be bad for business.

@BerkleyBikes   This year I had a hand in 4 redesigns/relaunches/migrations.

@ItsMJAlmenara   I’ve been part of 3 relaunches over the past few months.

@tonyxrandall   Honestly, probably a solid 50% of our clients come to us either during or after some sort of website change.

@abbywilsey   I helped with one relaunch this past year as part of an internship. Wasn’t large scale, though.

@bravomedia1   With the Changes in Search & Technology We’re Deep into Redesigns doing 3 now

@DagmarGatell   Avg once a month. It’s often not worth to work/fix a site if the issues are too big. More economical & effective to relaunch.

@dbmantica   Redesigning makes people what to explore the new content.

@patrickcoombe   SEOchat not often, much more migrations than relaunches.

What’s the number one most common problem you see with site relaunches or migrations?

@Casieg   Unsurprisingly – not consulting the SEO team or ignoring what the SEO team recommended. Hello full site disallow.
@jpsherman   true story, once had a redesign happen where the dev never implemented a “noindex” & built it live
@Casieg   Haha yup! Have seen that one too. Like hey – you know your dev site is indexed right
@BerkleyBikes   Hey, why aren’t all our pages indexed? *No pagination anywhere on site* *No XML sitemap* *No HTML sitemap*

@ecrissman_prod   with migrations, I personally will find myself becoming lost or impatient as a consumer and might sway to another outlet
@ItsMJAlmenara   I know especially if the user uses the site frequently. Relearning where everything is could be a headache

@ItsMJAlmenara   They make things more complicated then they have to be. They dont work!

@tonyxrandall   Links. Internal and incoming. There’s almost always a lot of links to fix.

@tilLAME   I’ve seen a lot of user complaints about the redesigns/new layouts, if that counts.

@EricLanderSEO   The holding pattern groups go into when a new site is in the works. SEO needs to be continuous with any site, even dying ones.

@ExpWriters   Many forget to take their users into consideration. You want to make sure you’re giving them a great site experience. Don’t forget to double-check for any broken links!

@AlanBleiweiss   Top problem I find with relaunches: devs / teams failing to do half or more of the tasks my audit spelled out.

@PeterThistle   Not objectively assessing current site value and ensuring it carries over!

@RosauraYapur   too many 404’s. Also optimization for mobil not being a priority because launching becomes more important than usability

@Casieg   I’d also say lack of team coordination. No user testing, no SEO review…just launching

@matt_bentley   Mistaking normal transitional fluctuations for a new (horrifying) normal.

@BruceClayInc   All the wrong redirects in all the wrong places

@lightngmcqueen   The best sites are usually the simplest ones

@DagmarGatell   Site isn’t structured because no SEO strategy was developed in the 1st place

@fl_bakht   Probably confusion from regular visitors who are used to a certain design already. (Educated guess?)

@BriJA2442   If they didn’t fix the problem or if they change the brand too much and consumers are too use to the original brand.

How often do you encounter delays in site relaunches?

@CaitlinBoroden   Currently waiting on a 3 month+ delay. The client sure has patients with their dev

@EricLanderSEO   I really want to say, “Every milestone not owned by the SEO group.” But, that’s unfair. Too frequently, though, for sure.
@PeterThistle   Or performing QA when there’s no time left to actually fix anything difficult anyway

@Casieg   Me when someone says their new site will be done this quarter

@oc2015   Every. Single. Deadline. Ever. When planning a relaunch, know in your head that it will take at least 6+ more weeks
@RosauraYapur   happened at the agency I interned a couple summers ago at a client presentation! yikes!

@BerkleyBikes   If anyone says anything less than 100% of the time, I’m calling bullshit.

@tilLAME   Only 99% of the time.

@DagmarGatell   Avg 3-month delay with site relaunch

@tonyxrandall   It’s always “two more weeks”
@CaitlinBoroden   a client finally give in after doing this and switch to: coming soon. He had to admit he needed to be more realistic.

@ExpWriters   Something is always bound to hold you up. It’s better to put in the extra time to make sure it’s great before launching.

@matthewdiehl   I liken it to owning a house. Take what ever you think and double the cost and timeline.

@AlanBleiweiss   I have clients fully TWO YEARS working on redesign/relaunch.

@MatthewAYoung   There Be Delays, and then this is what I do

@jpsherman   a three month delay when someone realizes someone was supposed to implement analytics

@igalst   Just as with home renovations, you don’t REALLY know how much money and time it will take.

@dbmantica   There is aways a delay on site relaunches

How do you deal with those delays?

@Casieg   The key is to not rely on the timeline. Don’t stop making change or suggesting updates because a redesign is “coming”

@BerkleyBikes   As for me? I like IPAs, but I’ll settle for a pilsner with a shot of whiskey on the side.

@AlanBleiweiss   I don’t have to deal with relaunch delays. I have other clients needing audits

@oc2015   Quietly in my brain

@tannerpetroff   I usually just cry. But seriously, just keep moving forward until the goal is reached.

@tonyxrandall   usually just talk shit about it in the next twitter chat i participate in. that’s usually how it goes. i start throwing a tantrum & someone comes along to either call me an idiot or vent w/ me.

@EricLanderSEO   Don’t wait for a predecessor in the plan to get started. Be ready to move, & visible about the impact & costs.

@ExpWriters   You just have to keep moving forward!

@tilLAME   Refresh the page. If that doesn’t work, throw my laptop out the nearest window. (Jk, I just give up.)

@lightngmcqueen   I’m no stranger to all-nighters

@ItsMJAlmenara   Drink the pain away

@BruceClayInc   Delays can be opportunities to squeeze in more fixes.

@jpsherman   step 1 – go to the gym, step 2 – invent new profanities, step 3 – turn up my industrial music playlist step 4 – fix it.

Worst relaunch experience you’ve ever had?

@AlanBleiweiss   as an auditor, I don’t have “worst” relaunch experiences.

@tannerpetroff   Immediately following successful server migration: “Take the whole site down asap, we didn’t get approval from corporate.”

@CaitlinBoroden   We bury those deep and never talk about them again

@Casieg   Hmmm…not sure there’s just one that stands out really.

@CallMeLouzander   Worst experience? The last one.

@tilLAME   Hmm. Does Myspace count?

@jpsherman   built a new site, fast, mobile friendly, good content- last minute, client hired a freelance dev cause site “needed more flash”

@matthewdiehl   See everything listed in #SEOHorrorStories.

@oc2015   Client moved 3 different subdomains to single domain (Great!) but the amount of duplicate content (BAD)

@thompsonpaul   Hosting migration went from 3 > 7 months, $100k to over 600k for sites that were then completely rebuilt again 8 mos later.

@LindsayMineo   Switched developers, used SEO-unfriendly platform, very little SEO consulting (or even heads up), it got ugly

Summary: The New vs. The Old – the Evolution of SEO on #SEOchat

Moderator: @CaitlinBoroden

What old SEO tactics where you more than excited to see go?

@Sonray   Copy written for spiders and not humans! People/agencies who guarantee rankings. later tater!

@EricLanderSEO   I’d echo @Sonray here. Content that feels like a bad game of Mad Libs has no place on our Internet. Others that are nice to see gone include excessing template links, less than ethical off-page optimization and fake social SEO.

@AndreeaC_T   Awww yes. Anchor text stuffing. So unnatural. GOOD SEO writers can write using keywords naturally.

@SarahAThornburg   Bad link building.

@sarah_bounaim   More links in one post=higher retweets. Definitely not the case anymore!

@KristiKellogg    All the spam tactics. All the illicit acquisitions of links. We’re in a new age of authenticity and usefulness and it rocks.

@PeterThistle   Automated link building via blog spam, never did do that

@AndreeaC_T   SEO is about ORGANIC placement. Hence…nothing is guaranteed.

@BruceClayInc   Create separate pages for stems of words & synonyms — SO not useful for users & a huge waste of time.

@HadarArazi   More pages meaning more traffic. I prefer quality over quantity any day of the week.

@anvilmedia   paying for links, ghost text, stealing content

@cmo4hire   Bad, fluffy “content.” At least keyword stuffing was hidden to visitors so it didn’t insult them.

What SEO tactics have stood the test of time?

@ExpWriters   Robotic-sounding copy. It’s important to focus on creating high-quality content and adding keywords in naturally. No stuffing!

@CaitlinBoroden   I enjoy the task of redoing overly optimized copy. So much red pen but great to give content a fresh start.

@PeterThistle   Playing ball with Google

@gyitsakalakis   Technical SEO

@EricLanderSEO   Content for users, information accessibility, hierarchical clustering of content, and clean, well composed HTML syntax.

@getSTAT   Really great content, written for readers.

@AndreeaC_T   Good copy that gets shared. I started pushing SEO content that goes viral with brand ambassadors a LONG time ago. Still works.

@SarahAThornburg   Schema seems to be going strong.. as well as HTML elements, titles, etc.

@gyitsakalakis   Don’t Disallow: /

@chillingbreeze   Internal Linking/Image optimization

@MikaylaMott   I love external linking. Helps me keep my train of thought

@AndreeaC_T   Meta data– Titles, descriptions, H1 tags.

@sarah_bounaim   Great content written for readers directly w/ pictures, links and engagement will always stand the test of time.

@BruceClayInc   High quality content never fails, nor does strategic siloing.

@ExpWriters   Creating high-quality content is key. Adding a meta description and utilizing headings are helpful as well.

@tonyxrandall   technical/on-site SEO combined effective website promotion will never not be a relevant strategy.

@XYPsyche   High quality #ContentMarketing. Articles, infographics, videos on very relevant sites.

@jacquesbouchard   Clean code. Computers have gotten faster, but we expect more with speed, efficiciency, and compatability.

@katspeaks_   . Great content with visual media

@AndreeaC_T   Visual as in #video. Good content + video= higher engagement & conversions

How much of your time/budget spent fixing ‘Old SEO?’

@AndreeaC_T   Honestly, very little. I’d rather devote time in creating new content that boosts lead gen efforts.

@EricLanderSEO   Very little of my time, actually. I prefer to extract SEO value and recreate content and opportunities as opposed to restoring. The trouble with fixing old SEO, is that it targeted old SE algorithms. Times, algos and content needs change, too.

@AndreeaC_T   I’ll go in and tweak meta data for top tier nav pages every now and then

@EricLanderSEO   For sure; I see top level page maintenance as a different topic altogether. Too powerful to allow to go stale

@jacquesbouchard   Sure, but if you leave terrible backlinks or thin, spammy content in place, for example, doesn’t that drag you down?

@EricLanderSEO   Yes – it will absolutely hurt you if left in place. You need to deal with those items swiftly. So I don’t see it as a time suck, just something to do and move on from ASAFP.

@SarahAThornburg   Not much. Out with the old! Focusing on lasting changes and finding under performing pages.

@jacquesbouchard   But isn’t removing of old stuff the same as fixing it? Removing those spammy local pages, for example, takes time!

@jacquesbouchard   Between content optimization, removing thin content (more pages = more traffic is the old way), bad links, etc? At least 20-30%

@anvilmedia   Too much! Duplicate content alone takes hours depending on size of site

@thompsonpaul   “Content is King”? Bullshit. Top Quality, contextually relevant, well optimised content is king. Rest is crap.

@chillingbreeze   Question for agencies? it’s hardly fully clean if spoilt once with “old” stuff. Too bad -> Start over.

@PeterThistle   Varies, new clients sometimes 80%, exiting clients none!

@HadarArazi   Although organizations may spend a lot of time and money fixing old SEO, this is an important investment for longterm success

@ExpWriters   Every so often it’s good to updated old content. You want to make sure it’s optimized efficiently! It can be very helpful to go back and update old (yet still relevant) content that you’d like to receive a boost in traffic.

@AndreeaC_T   Find content that brought in leads/conversions & repurpose or write fresh similar content.

@ExpWriters   Personally, I like to update a few pieces of old content monthly. Whether it’s making SEO tweaks or copy updates.

@tonyxrandall   Not a lot, to be honest, save for any major problems I notice. I prefer to focus on the current search climate

@katspeaks_   Depending on the size of the organization or company. It could lead to rebranding. However older SEO content can be reposted if relevant to audience. Can potential create more exposure for org. or company.

Are there any old SEO tricks that fell out of style but still work? Hidden treasures?

@EricLanderSEO   Nav links still carry too much power, IMO. I also worry that a TLD’s domain authority is too high of a consideration on social. Meaning that setting up crap profiles on FB, Twitter, et. all immediately rank too easily for things.

@jacquesbouchard   Agreed on both. I wish nav links weren’t the “first” link in the code, and the only Google considers for anchor text.

@tonyxrandall   Old SEO strategies that still work? Like probably 90% of them (to some degree at least) honestly. No joke, one of my client’s competitors is ranking for a relatively high vol. query with hidden keywords on their homepage.

@BruceClayInc   Probably not for long

@anvilmedia   Links are still king for increasing rankings. Page Titles still have influence on SERP listings

@chillingbreeze   Target phrase used within first 25 words on the page. Sickly successful

@SarahAThornburg   links still work but you have to be more careful these days. Also alt text! It has saved my life if done correctly.

@DevDawg   Honestly searching old brand names for client’s has worked mroe than I thought it would

What SEO updates have had the most foundational change on the industry?

@EricLanderSEO   This is easy: The movement from monthly, named Google updates to rolling and layered updates and algorithm releases.

@DevDawg   Panda was a big influencer

@AndreeaC_T   Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird. Seriously…SEO leads were the #1 driver for sales last year for us. No Joke.

@anvilmedia   Panda and Hummingbird.

@EricLanderSEO   Love seeing all the Panda and Penguin mentions for this. Google has released hundreds of iterations of these. Believe it or not, Google really did at one time update their SERPs about once each month. It was both crazy and awesome. It’s not the upcoming moves to rolling updates but rather the abandonment of planned monthly updates we all knew about. Rolling updates: Updates to Google/Bing that are continuous and layered as opposed to simply flipping a switch one time only.

@CaitlinBoroden   This is going to be huge and I hate that it keeps getting pushed back!

@susinow   It hasn’t happened properly yet but I think we’re going to start really feeling ‘mobilegeddon’ over time

@SarahAThornburg   Panda

@ExpWriters   Panda had a huge influence.

@KristiKellogg   While not an outright update, what was more impactful that the move to “not provided” was pretty significant!

@jacquesbouchard   Google Tag Manger, possibly. It’s really making it easy to focus on user behavior, and put them first.

@thompsonpaul   Agree with @EricLanderSEO – the move to rolling, real-time updates. Actaully a good thing as forces us to stop chasing algo.

@BruceClayInc   Hummingbird swept in silently but changed #SEO from strings to things. That was foundational.

@chillingbreeze    Panda raised the alert, big time.

@sarah_bounaim   Maybe we are in the process of discovering what will make the greatest impact. I’m curious to know!

what SEO changes are you excited to see?

@AndreeaC_T   More cohesive effort between mobile & multi screens in gen. Better video optimization including image capturing SHOWING kw

@thompsonpaul   Honestly, IMO, we make ourselves and our industry look like idiots with the constant speculation about algo changes & chasing.

@SarahAThornburg   I get most excited learning about rankbrain and machine learning.

@EricLanderSEO   More publicity. Google to Alphabet was an example; More attention on search further validates and promotes our growing industry. There are now SEO courses offered. It’s part of educational curriculum. Budget line items, too! That’s awesome. As an older SEO now too, people use my experience to audit SEO work and results. Earlier in my career that was impossible.

@DevDawg   I’m excited to see how social & seo intermingle more and on a personal level, people be held more accountable.

@shelbypulleyuf   I’m excited to see local SEO continuing to take off!

@CaitlinBoroden   I’m most intrigued by all the possibilities that come along with voice search.

@EricLanderSEO   Voice, mobile, adaptive content, AMP, personalization… There’s simply too much to be excited about, IMO.

@jacquesbouchard   I’m excited to see what RankBrain does in the future. I think that’s going to create a much more quality-driven experience.

@PeterThistle   Semantics, AI-like Search Engine behaviour.

@kaylalovely_   To continue to see brands expanding and taking advantage of the endless opportunities on all the up and coming social avenues.

@BruceClayInc   Looking forward to real-time #Penguin for a faster update after cleaning up a site.

@thompsonpaul   Combination of voice search and machine learning…. search and SEO are going to change completely.

@MikaylaMott   SEO based off previously searched topics from users devices.

@tonyxrandall   honestly, even if i have no idea what changes Google has in store, I’m excited for all of them. Keep it fresh!

@katspeaks_   It’d be interesting to see parental control on SEO to protect children from predator sites or inappropriate content

How have newer SEO elements help shape your approach to SEO?

@AndreeaC_T   Honestly it promotes quality content.

@AndreeaC_T   Quality content means direct conversions

@MikaylaMott   I think mobile enhances the importance of SEO because the web is always at users finger tips.

@anvilmedia   It makes you think about what the consumer needs to see in order to convert vs. what search engines want

@SarahAThornburg   It’s all about the UX on mobile, site speed, readable content, responsive, etc.

@EricLanderSEO   Mobile & AMP are exciting. Establishing a development model for SEO is a great way to scale long term. When we focus on what we can control, we’re more effective. It eliminates being worried when you can change what’s”wrong.”

@jacquesbouchard   New SEO helps the “good guys” win by better marrying UX and SEO. Snippets, useful info, engaging content, etc. now = rankings.

@tonyxrandall   Google answers to users, not SEOs, thus SEOs should welcome updates bc if you’re doing your job right, you’ll be rewarded.

@ExpWriters   It helps you to focus on consistently providing quality content. That really is key to bringing in readers & keeping them. Focus on portraying yourself as an authority figure in your niche by providing valuable content.

@seosem   creating deep authoritative content that users digest, share and convert on no matter the device platform is key

@PeterThistle   A lot of new is about moving the industry away from keywords and toward concepts which is awesome and a lot more interesting.

@katspeaks_   Mobile elements helps make any content accessible and easier to navigate for users.

@BruceClayInc   SEO technical tasks such as #schema have added more layers, more to-do items, but are new opportunities in the SERP.

How has the way you have used the keyword research data changed in the last 5 years?

@EricLanderSEO   When I focus on keywords, I start with @ubersuggest and then rely on traditional KW tools. Search suggestions are SO powerful. Internet users desire instant gratification. If an SE suggests something close without typing it all out, they’ll jump at it.

@SarahAThornburg   I get to focus more on the topic using multiple types of words instead of exact matching to keyword queries. Social tools also help with kw research to understand what other topics people engage with related to a specific topic.

@jacquesbouchard   I find myself using answer box research now as often as keyword research. I take keywords MUCH less seriously, as well.In fact, keyword research more informs me about how people are talking about a topic, and helps identify content opportunities.

@anvilmedia   you need to look at what content and brands appear in search listings, can’t just focus on search volume

@ExpWriters   There are more tools nowadays that make keyword research easier. We’re able to find the best keywords for our content.

@tonyxrandall   For me it’s become keyword focus within onsite optimization. content always explores long tail, or no specific keywords at all.

Summary: Influencers and SEO on #SEOchat

Moderator: @AndreaMLehr

In #SEOchat we’ll be discussing how influencers impact SEO and how to measure the success of this relationship.

Why should marketers care about building relationships with them?

@AndreeaC_T   Trust. People trust their peers/friends…more likely to convert. Cost. Build good relationships with influencers and it’s *Almost* free marketing.

@kg7maj   Influencers are advocates for your brand. They also magnify your brand & like you to know they’re doing so.
@AndreeaC_T   Also depends on if its b2b or b2c.

@AndreaMLehr   In a saturated industry, relationships with key influencers help set you apart–they’re essential to long-term brand awareness.

@MatthewAYoung   They are the people who could be your cheerleaders. Reaching them is key if you want to amplify your message. And besides, the internet is always better with friends.

@jonathanbentz   Influencers can instantly provide validity to your product, service, or piece of content. Like word of mouth, but at big scale.

@CaitlinBoroden   It makes your brand look more human! Sometimes I want to learn from others and not a brand.

@matthewdiehl   Converting influencers into advocates adds incredible value to the brand; oh yeah, and links.

@bravomedia1   I care about quality relationships with Influencers I know are experts in their respective fields – learn from the best.

@ExpWriters   Influencers are well respected industry professionals always being one step ahead. Marketers can learn a lot just by listening.

@SarahAThornburg   Knowing who the influencers are is just as important as having a relationship with them!

What criteria do they have to meet to be “high-impact?

@KristiKellogg   High-impact influencers have engaged followers that listen & act when they share or publish.
@BruceClayInc   Agreed. It’s about the quality of the followers, not just the quantity.

@kg7maj   A combination of followers, how much they genre with the followers & how much they talk about your brand. Not just one metric.
@AndreeaC_T   Followers too. Agree with @kg7maj, but quality of posts too. Keep in mind that sometimes influencers are busy in their “work” lives & aren’t always active. But when they are, it’s impactful.

@AndreeaC_T   Authority. Influencers must be “experts” and authoritative sources of knowledge in their perspective areas.

@AndreaMLehr   The size of their built-in audience is a big factor, but you must also consider engagement–large and unengaged has little value.
@MatthewAYoung   I always ask if they have an engaged audience in their space, and how does that audience build on that messaging.
@CaitlinBoroden   Absolutely! I’ve seen a big name send a quarter of the traffic that a small (but very enagaged) name did.

@CaitlinBoroden   They need to have an outlet to spread there message. Maybe it’s a blog, maybe it’s social. Either way, it’s got to be something.

@bravomedia1   High Impact Identify Influencers, Be Visible before asking them to participate, Tailor your outreach based on their receptivity.
@MatthewAYoung   It’s a 2 way street here. Have something to offer to influencers by way of your own engagement in the space.

@SarahAThornburg   Engagement! Are they just putting out content or are they asking questions, reposting content, engag with others about expertise.

@emily_C27   Do they have a following on their blog? Social media? What is their page rank? Are they getting hits?

@jonathanbentz   High social following of engaged people. Known leader in an industry or group. ++ if they write for a big pub or lead an assoc.

@KoMarketing   Influencers w/ a large, trusting audience are important!

what tools do you use to find key influencers?

@KristiKellogg   Klout & Kred are what we’ll all say, but moreover, target and ENGAGE with journalists so they’re listening when you need them.

@AndreeaC_T   Don’t be afraid to ID influencers using your CRM tools. If someone engaged on your site and they keep coming back, engage them!

@emily_C27   I’ve found @twitter @BuzzSumo and @buzzstream to be good places to start.

@kg7maj   Start with the basics, social media engagement, then go to a Twitter search. That’s without software & other tools. Klout & BuzzSumo are two good affordable tools to find influencers.

@AndreaMLehr   I love @BuzzSumo–you can look up influencers’ @Twitter handles and get their follower count, retweet ratio, and reply ratio. Also simply being social: see who your target audience is following on social media and update your targets accordingly.

@SarahAThornburg   Many tools and ways to find influencers. My fav is troll comments/blog articles but also you can use apps like @buzzsumo.

@jonathanbentz   @followerwonk. All Top. Top blogs lists or best of listicles from other leading pubs, bloggers, thought leaders.

@MatthewAYoung   I usually use a combo if @BuzzSumo and @followerwonk. Great tools. @Klout is a great way to quantify influence too.
@KoMarketing   @keyholeco is a good one too!

@JuliaEMcCoy   I use @BuzzSumo to find “top influencers”.. a button away. Almost 100% accurate. Also use @commun_it insights.

@bravomedia1   Love #Linkedin to start.

@ExpWriters   For finding influencers @BuzzSumo all the way!

When you start looking for influencers, you’ll find a ton–how do you scale outreach without losing a personal touch?

@KristiKellogg   Narrow your focus. This is another matter of quality over quantity.

@matthewdiehl   Look at the speaker lists for your industry conferences.

@AndreeaC_T   Influencers should already engage on your site so use that data to start creating messages based on their behavior. Use @kissmetrics and other tools to spot behaviors then your crm ( I use @pardot) for drip campaigns.

@kg7maj   Look for where you can get the most magnification & zero in on that. Stop where you see effort isn’t worth it.

@AndreaMLehr   Tools like @Buzzstream are very useful–maintain lists, keep track of previous contact, and easily personalize templated emails

@bravomedia1   Hang out where they are! For me it’s always a pleasure to hear @BruceClayInc talk #SEO! yay for #seochat

@MatthewAYoung   I like to target journos in a particular space. There’s a mutual need to get content out there.

@SarahAThornburg   Got to make it personable! Segment the list and target influencers where they have the most engagement.

@ExpWriters   You can use various tools to help you out but make sure to keep the engagement real! No matter how big you get, stay personal.

@JuliaEMcCoy   Always be personal. But you can automate foundations. Email skeletons for diff categories (bloggers, authors, speakers). My fave is directly tweeting them. Saying “hey what’s your email? I have an opportunity to discuss” seems to work well.
@kg7maj   Most of the time, they will reply & off-social engagement/conversation starts.

@matthewdiehl   Cross the influencers list with recent topical discussions, or #hashtags, to create targeted sub-groups.

How would you describe an influencer’s impact on SEO? Why is one essential to the other?

@AndreeaC_T   First, link building opps and higher conversions. Your keywords should also be pretty natural for influencers to use in their messaging…so boosting rank potential.

@AndreaMLehr   SEO works through links, and you earn those links by producing high-quality content that influencers will want to share.

@kg7maj   Higher influence, especially if website or blog is industry/product centric, it’s a gold mine. Links help big time, especially if high traffic & high in influence.

@SarahAThornburg   Influencer links can be very helpful to search rankings.

@jacquesbouchard   Influencers set the trends and best practices. As things reach “critical mass” they increase in relevance, and Google responds. When marketing, an influencer has access to a unique and loyal audience who trusts and respects them, driving quality traffic.
@bravomedia1   In a perfect world. It’s G who sets the standards then ppl run to it. mobile, security, etc.
@jacquesbouchard   Maybe, but I think it’s a two-way street. Google has to work with what’s out there, so one piece is reactive.
@bravomedia1   Nothing is a two way street with G. Maybe I’d agree on EU but certainly not in US.
@jacquesbouchard   Really? So Google did not react to the rise of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter? They set the standards?
@bravomedia1    Great point, hence G+ was born.
@BerkleyBikes   Whatever secret science is keeping G+ alive, we need to harness that power for the greater good.

@matthewdiehl   Don’t just target to have influencers share your stuff; create it with them!

@JuliaEMcCoy   More of a “social media”/ human impact if they just reshare, which can be massive exposure. Translates to SEO only if they link.

@BerkleyBikes   Referral traffic that converts, for example.

What are some ways to earn links through these relationships?

@AndreeaC_T   Ask your influencers to share experience and thoughts…through blog or article. Asking influencers for links is diff then mass emailing for links. Ask if it comes up naturally. Let them also offer it. Find projects look for partnership opps. They should get something out of it too.
@jacquesbouchard   Or just ask them for their opinions and let them shape your content. Think: HARO.

@AndreaMLehr   I like to offer opportunities for collaboration in upcoming projects. Quality over quantity–a link in front of a highly-engaged audience will help you earn more links through natural syndication. And quality should be considered when creating your content–you earn links through data-driven content people want to share.

@BerkleyBikes   Depends on the influencer. A blog placement, perhaps? And as for how you’d get that – send over some product, a free membership, invitation to an event, etc.

@JuliaEMcCoy   Establish that they like your content – ask for their thoughts. B) Ask them for a link! (This process worked on me before).

@ExpWriters   If you really have great content, some influencers might even quote you. Now that would get your link count trough the roof!

@jacquesbouchard   Egobait: talk about the influencers. Trailblazing: create the news they talk about. Controversey: Share opinions/predictions.

@SarahAThornburg   Sell the benefits! “earn” is the key. something really cool, something that will really impact their following.

What are some metrics you use to prove the value of these relationships and how they impact your SEO efforts

@kg7maj   Traffic & if possible conversions.

@AndreeaC_T   Revenue. Find ways to tie it back to that. Use CRM to do that. Website conversions too.

@SarahAThornburg   Referral traffic, conversions, revenue!

@bravomedia1   You’ve engaged these influencers if they talk w/ you.

@jacquesbouchard   Referral traffic to the pages w/the links, engagements in posts, engagement in retweeted materials, and external brand mentions.

@AndreaMLehr   Your content placed with a targeted influencer proves you’ve reached your existing audience; social shares proves their reach. Also if you find influencers coming to YOU for more content–there’s a whole lot of value in that.

@BerkleyBikes   I’ll be the lone SEO to say brand awareness. If they don’t convert immediately, do they convert via another channel later?

@matthewdiehl   On the softer, less SEO side – brand mentions, growth in your community and engagement.

@tonyxrandall   Am I the only one that thinks you should be writing less to impress “influencers” and more to impress your customers?

@ExpWriters   # of clicks, likes, shares, etc… all analytics, but the TRUE value is in the engagement that sparked from that relationship.

@JuliaEMcCoy   Heightened exposure, publicity, followers, real engagements, higher site traffic, but in the end, ROI.