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SEO Rewind Friday – Top SEO Stories August 27 – 31, 2012

  
  
  

Top seo stories august 27   31 resized 600

We’ve got some awesome stuff in this weeks issue.  Be thoroughly entertained by the role playing dungeons and dragons-esc SEO game, learn how to beat out your competitors by uncovering hot trending keywords, see how a B2B company in a boring niche tackles SEO challenges, find new creative ways to get authority backlinks, free your ecommerce site from the snares of Panda, and that’s just the beginning.

SEO The Game

Awesome infographic that breaks down SEO practioners from “The Big White Hat” with “Viral Social Media Campaign” being his special attack, to “The Corporate Overload” wielding his “Search Engine Submission” special attack.  This is a fun and entertaining look at the wide spectrum of people and businesses doing SEO in our industry.

Keyword Research for Emerging Trends

This is one of the best articles I’ve read on Keyword Research in a while.  Ross Hudgens, who I’m a big fan of, explains a killer technique for doing research to find the topics and keywords that people in your industry are talking about NOW.  Spotting these trends before they get saturated and creating content around them (Being First Movers), Ross explains, has accounted for over half of the organic traffic for clients he’s worked with.  This is a must read.

Case Study:  A B2B Tackles Their Biggest SEO Challenge with a Unique Campaign

If you’re a B2B company or doing SEO for a B2B company, you’ve probably faced the challenge of getting your customers engaged with your website, product, or brand.  Especially if you’re in a boring niche that no one cares about.  To take the next step in your SEO efforts it’s going to take some serious brainstorming in order come up with a fun and interesting idea to attract attention.  But Don’t be discouraged it can be done and it can be done in just about any niche.  This post is a prime example.  Learn how a company that makes ID badges WONK, WONK, was able to come up with a fun and creative way to garner attention and grab tons of social shares and links for their business.

How to Find Authority Websites & Get Links From Them

Learn how to spot an authority site, find out the 4 major types of authority sites, and get 3 real life examples of how businesses might acquire links from these authority sites.   The real life examples really got my wheels turning about ideas for getting links from these authority sites.  Unsure on how to approach these authority sites for links?   No worries the author covers that too, giving you 4 ways to approach these sites.

How To Free Your E-Commerce Site from Google’s Panda

Are you one of the unfortunate e-commerce owners hit by Google’s Panda?  If so, read this post.  This article gives real life actionable steps given by an e-commerce owner who was hit by Panda, losing over 60% of his traffic overnight, but was able to recover after taking the exact steps detailed in the article.

5 Reasons Product Reviews Should Be Your Core Linking Strategy

Product reviews are an excellent way to build links, gain exposure, and increase targeted traffic for your websites.  This article details the 5 big reasons why product reviews should be an integral part of your link building and marketing strategy and exactly how to go about getting these reviews.

The Battle of The SERPS

“The SERP is the battleground of search marketing.”  “The battle for the visitor. It’s a direct battle with all your competitors. And you have to make sure you’re properly armed to be able to come out on top every time.”  This post gives you the instruments you need and the game plan to follow in order to win this battle against your competitors.  Great read with actionable tips.

Getting Site Architecture Right

Very nice post explaining techniques for structuring websites with searcher intent in mind.  The author explains that site architecture for SEO is based around language visitors use, so you should always start with thorough keyword research, followed by grouping the keywords into thematic units, then build data based navigation, and also use site navigation everywhere (read for clarification).  Finally the post ends with some great tips on beating Panda and Penguin with great site architecture.

Guest Blogging – Enough is Enough

While I don’t 100% agree with the author in this post, he brings up a good point.  Are we overdoing Guest blogging as a link building tactic?  With the launch of Google’s Penguin update it seems like the one safe haven that most SEO’s are flocking to in droves.  Will there be a point where this tactic becomes oversaturated and the bubble bursts?  Whether you agree or not this post is an interesting read and the overarching theme is, variety, utilize tactics other than guest blogging to ensure long term success.  There’s also some pretty awesome link building pro tips in the last few paragraphs, so read all the way through.

Did we miss anything this week?  Let us know below.

What types of posts would you like more of?  Linkbuilding? Keyword Research?  Google News? Tell us and we'll make it happen!

Related Posts:

SEO Rewind Friday – Top SEO Stories for August 20 – 24, 2012

SEO Rewind Friday – Top SEO Stories for August 13 – 17, 2012

SEO Rewind Friday – Top SEO Stories for August 6 – 10, 2012

Facebook Rolls Out Search Ads for Major Advertisers

  
  
  

While their IPO continues to drop and rumors mount about CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s next move, Facebook’s latest attempt to up the advertising anty comes in the form of paid search ads. Facebook advertising got a lot of flack for lack of ROI and usage since the company began publicly trading. 

Last week, Facebook officially launched it’s own version of PPC ads called Sponsored Results. While it’s highly doubtful that Sponsored Results will give Google AdWords a run for its money, this has potential to be a good Facebook advertising test once the feature is made readily available to the masses. Right now, only major advertisers like Match.com and Zynga are able to access this feature.

In this blog, we’ll explain the following:

  • How it Works and Appears on Facebook
  • API Documentation
  • The likelihood of a Facebook PPC vs. Google AdWords Faceoff
  • How to Prepare for the Full Launch

How it All Works and Appears on Facebook

When you go to the search box on Facebook and type in keywords, you will see a drop down listing of organic and paid advertisements that looks something like this…

facebook sponsored results zynga

Facebook’s paid search results are identified as such in the bold typeface above the search result. Prior to last Wednesday, this result was nonexistent. Once clicked, the paid ad leads users to either an official page, app, or place. The ad will NOT route the user offsite.

Here’s what Facebook had to say in a private message to marketers that we found on HubSpot’s blog:

Sponsored Results gives brands the ability to buy ads in search results, bringing more awareness and traffic to your App, Page, or Place. Sponsored Results give you:

1. Expanded distribution of your message, with placement in one of the most used features on Facebook.

2. The ability to target what people are looking for, by appearing alongside related Apps, Pages, and Places.

3. Flexibility to customize your landing destination, such as a specific tab on your Page.

Brands are not able to drive offsite using this product, but you will have the ability to drive to specific Pages, Tabs, and Canvas Applications.

This message doesn’t include what’s probably the most intriguing point of this new feature. Sponsored Results can appear ABOVE organic results. The example below shows how a search for ‘OKCupid’ a dating site triggers a Sponsored Result ad for Match.com’s app above any mention of OKCupid.

facebook sponsored search results first resized 600

Stealing search traffic in this way has some potential to drive traffic to Facebook pages, apps, and places. 

API Documentation

Something else to look forward to is the integration of Sponsored Results with Power Editor. In a recent ‘Platform Update,’ Facebook announced plans to do just that.

Facebook API

The likelihood of a Facebook PPC vs. Google AdWords Faceoff

The main reason I find it hard to get truly excited about Sponsored Results is the lack of success I’ve experienced firsthand with Facebook’s advertising tools AND the prevalence of Google AdWords.

There is a great sense among industry leaders and marketers that Facebook is grasping at straws to keep it’s IPO from completely bottoming out. Zuckerberg recently commented on the situation. While optimism seems to still live on at Facebook, the rest of us aren’t so sure this boat isn’t sinking.

The other source of doubt in Sponsored Results is the immense popularity and high usage rates of Google AdWords. The war between Google and Facebook continues to blaze on and right now Google is the clear winner. The fact that Facebook search results do not appear in Google Search results is obviously hurting the virality of Facebook pages, apps, and places.

Google’s SEO prowess and forethought has made it the go-to resource for online search and local marketing. They’re reporting 100 billion searches per month. Just think about it, when you’re looking for a directions, menus, and reviews for that new Italian restaurant around the corner, your first instinct is to go to Google Search or your Google Search App. NOT Facebook search.

Facebook search is typically used to find official Facebook pages and people that you are already familiar with. It’s highly unlikely that Sponsored Results will surpass Google AdWords any time in the near future or at all.

How to Prepare for the Full Launch of Sponsored Results

Since Sponsored Results are only available to a limited audience at the moment, the rest of us have some time to map out a plan of action.

First off, decide if your paid ad will take people to your app, page or place. If you’re a restaurant, a page or place is a better option because business information like hours of operation, phone number, customer recommendations, etc. are readily available. If you have an app that has a competitor, link your paid ad to that under common search queries for you competitor, similar to the Match.com example above. It’s a pretty neat way to steal your opponent’s traffic and possibly convert their customers.

If you have a tab that links to your website, test a paid ad out here as well. Right now, Sponsored Ads cannot link to outside websites, but Facebook hasn’t stated anything about linking to a tab that links out to your site. It’s worth a try.

Facebook has us all waiting in the wings until this feature rolls out to the masses. We’ll keep you posted. Stay tuned for more social media updates.

Related Posts: 

Monitoring Social Media for Market Research and Content Ideas

Facebook Rolls Out Mobile-Only Ads

6 Easy Steps to Create Custom Tabs for Facebook Business Pages

weaposre-social-media-junkies-too

How to Boost Your Social, Local, Mobile Marketing Presence TODAY

  
  
  

Yet another fancy marketing term has emerged on the scene in recent months.  tips for boosting your solomo, your social, local, mobile presence

SoLoMo – short for social, local, and mobile – refers to the growing trend of targeting consumers based on their location through mobile devices and social networks. The concept of SoLoMo gained some valuable mileage over the past few months due to a recent report released by Localeze (a trusted business listings identity management provider for local search) and 15miles (a leader in local, mobile, and social marketing solutions).   

According to the Local Search Usage Study findings, online business listings are a worthy investment for local businesses.

Localeze/15miles administered an online survey to 4,000 consumers to find out their mobile and tablet local search usage. The study provides insightful data about how online listings are increasingly becoming a source of trusted local business information. 

The findings of that study note the following:

  • Tablet owners are the most active local searchers.
  • Tablets themselves are critical assets throughout all stages of the local business search and purchase cycle.
  • 86 percent of respondents make a purchase form their most recent tablet-based local search.

Of course, this is great news for businesses that hopped on the tablet and mobile bandwagon early. But it’s not enough to simply have a tablet friendly version of your business website. The implications these findings hold for the potential return for investing time and resources into populating business listings is enough to make the case for doing so expeditiously.

Simply put, online business listings are one more way to drive traffic to your website AND capture local customers who have immediate intention of purchasing.  

If you’re still having trouble drawing your own conclusions about the value of these findings, keep reading. We’ve got a few actionable thoughts below. 

1.    Complete Business Listings on the Top 10 Business Listing Sites

    Fully completed business listings on the major local directories are definitely a good idea considering these recent data findings. If consumers are searching online for fast information, you should make sure yours is accurate and up-to-date.  Google + Local, Bing Local, and Yahoo Local are a good starting place.  Here is a list of the top places to list your business by city and by business category.

    2.    Optimize Your Website for Tablets and Mobile Devices

      Consumers are searching for businesses online using tablets and smartphones. This means your website should be optimized for tablet and mobile screen sizes. It’s a worthy investment and if you’re serious about taking advantage of the SoLoMo revolution, you’ll be willing to make this investment.

      3.    Create Backlinks on Social Profiles

        Social media is not just a fad. The purpose of social media in online marketing is to funnel customers and potential customers back to your business website. By dropping links to your content on Twitter and Facebook, you increase your chances of making a seamless transition from a social setting to making an actual sale online.

        Here's a cool Pinterest board of SoLoMo infographics that do a great job of explaining the concept visually. 

        SoLoMo Tools for Businesses & Marketers: 

        When it comes to social, local, and mobile tools, there are more than enough variety and options to go around. Tools like Yelp, Foursquare, Google+, Living Social, and Groupon are already highly successful and pretty much your go-to resources. 

        Here are a few not-so-familiar SoLoMo tools:

        ThinkNear

        "At ThinkNear, we help advertisers reach consumers based on where they are, what they are doing, and what is happening around them. We call it "Situational Targeting" and it allows advertisers to talk to consumers while taking into account their real world interactions.

        Situational Targeting is not just great for advertisers, but more importantly, it ensures that consumers see ads relevant to what they are doing and thinking. This leads to some amazing results, like 4x industry average CTRs and through the roof conversions."


         

        GoMo 

        "When users aren’t accessing the Internet on their desktops, they’re on mobile devices and tablets. If you are not mobilized, your users could be consuming content from other sites, even possibly a competitor. Having a mobile-optimized website gives your users the ability to connect with you wherever they are, on whatever device. This provides users consistent experiences across devices and keeps them coming back."

        AppeAR  

        "The AppeAR platform transforms 3D models into interactive objects that come to life on mobile devices. AppeAR leverages keystone images, called “trackables”, which are encoded as a series of points. These images can be printed on paper, clothing, or viewed electronically from a website. When the device’s camera is focused on the trackable image from any angle, the AppeAR library recognizes the image and executes the associated augmented reality experiences."

        AppeAR

        Related Posts: 

        New 2012 Data: Social, Local, Mobile Search Trend On the Rise

        Mobile Sites Vs. Mobile Apps: Which Is Best For Your Business? 

        How Mobile-Friendly Sites Help Businesses Connect With Customers

         

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        SEO Rewind Friday – Top SEO Stories for August 20 – 24, 2012

          
          
          

        Top seo stories august 20   24We found some really great posts for you this week, and a good mix too. Check out this issue to find the latest SEO industry statistics, learn an awesome local SEO strategy for dominating your local competitors, learn how to build your first 500 links, get some link building ideas you may have never thought of, find out what the big buzz around Semantic SEO is about and how to get started, read some of the big SEO stories we missed this month, and lots more...

        2012 SEO Industry Survey

        SEOmoz released the results from their biennial SEO and internet marketing industry survey this week.   Pretty interesting read whether you’re in the industry or not, but we had to add it to the mix since it only comes around every two years.  Some of the data you might find informative are top tools used by SEO’s by category and price, how most SEO’s get their training and education, and average salaries.

        Catching Up With Your Local Competitors & Automating Citation Discovery

        If you’re doing local SEO aka Google Places optimization aka Google + local optimization then this is an absolute must read.  This article describes a simple straight forward tactic for finding all of your competitor’s citations so you can rank higher in local results.  Not only does the post show you how to find what citations your competitors have now, but also track the citations they acquire next month and the month after, so that you know what you need to do in order to out hustle them.

        The First 500 Links

        This is a nice short post from Rand Fishkin’s blog.  The point he is trying to make is that “if the first 500 links that point to your site aren’t authentically earned, you’re screwed.”   Simply put, if you’re acquiring manipulative links in your first few hundred, it puts your website at much higher risk of getting your hand slapped and your site “sandboxed” by algo updates like Penguin.  He also gives a nice visual link scale to show which strategies are safe to use for the first 500 links to a new website. It’s a quick read and well worth it.

        50 + Things Every Link Builder Needs To Know

        Link Building is a hard and tedious process.  A lot of marketing agencies like to outsource this aspect of SEO because link building alone can be a full time job.  There are tons of people online promoting themselves as link builders, and people are desperate for help.  But before you go out and hire an “expert,” make sure they know most of the points in this list or you could end up with a bunch of spam links that you have to pay twice as much to have it removed.

        10 High Quality Link Building Tactics

        This post contains some excellent link building ideas, several of which I haven’t heard before.  These tactics include some creative ways for grabbing easy .edu links which we all could use.  One of my favorite tactics mentioned is to launch a Startup Competition or Event.  These types of events get a lot of publicity and media buzz the weeks leading up to the event grabbing your site a lot of great incoming links.

        E-Comm Websites:  Step Up Your Q4 Content Game (and Build Links, too!)

        You can always rely on the guys over at Seer Interactive to push out great content, and this post is no different.  The tactics described in this post would work great for E-commerce sites and really any type site I can think of.  Ryan Fontana explains how to identify which keywords have been most profitable for your site.  Then he shows you how to create killer content around those keywords that will not only help with rankings and traffic, but also earn you revenue and build links at the same time.  Great job Ryan.

        Search Queries Alerts In Webmaster Tools

        This was an announcement made on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog Monday afternoon.  It basically states that whenever sudden spikes or drops in traffic to a websites top pages occur, whether it be due to falling demand of a product, technical issues that need to be resolved, or whatever the case may be, webmasters will now receive notifications in their Google Webmaster Tools account.  This will be extremely helpful as it can be difficult to constantly monitor the health of a site.

        Getting Started With Semantic SEO

        There’s been a lot of buzz in the SEO community around Google’s semantic search, or the use of artificial intelligence in order to understand search intent and the meaning of a query.  This is huge topic and will change the way we do SEO.  Semantic SEO refers to structuring your website to help search engines better understand the semantic nature of your content.  This post shares a list of different resources and tools to help you educate yourself and get started with Semantic SEO.

        SERP Crowding & Shrinkage:  It’s Not Your Imagination

        Recently there has been an uptick in chatter of people reporting only 7 vs. 10 results on some SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).  This uptick seems to coincide with the appearance of expanded site-links, or additional listings for the same domain that lead further within a particular site beyond the main listing shown for that site.  These results also seem to be more prevalent on, but not exclusive to branded SERPs.  In this article, Dr. Pete does a great job explaining this phenomenon and what it might mean for your business.

        Gianluca Forelli’s Super Search Update

        Want to read the big SEO stories that we missed?  Here’s a curated list of Gianluca Fiorelli’s favorite SEO stories from August 1st – August 18th.  It looks like we definitely let some great SEO posts slip through the cracks.  There’s also some pretty cool Twitter tips and tricks included.

        We'd love to know what kind of stories you'd like more of.  Do you want more link building articles? Ecommerce SEO? Google + optimization?  Let us know below!

        Did we miss any valuable SEO stories that would help our audience?  Let us know about it in the comment section below

        Related Posts:

        SEO Rewind Friday – Top SEO Stories for August 13 – 17, 2012

        SEO Rewind Friday – Top SEO Stories for August 6 – 10, 2012

        SEO Rewind Friday – Top SEO Stories for July 30 - August 3, 2012

         

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        Google+ Pages and Profiles Upgraded With Custom URLs

          
          
          

        Google+ finally decided to roll out make the change that will undoubtedly delight marketers everywhere - custom URLs for pages and profiles. This is a first step in a more branded direction for the one-year old social network.describe the image

        While we all knew this was inevitability, the reality of no longer having to deal with the awkward, ugly URLs (https://plus.google.com/110463090892012135729/posts) is welcomed nonetheless.

        The news broke on the profile of Google employee Saurabh Sharma on August 13.

        Limited Number of Verified Profiles and Pages

        Although this is welcome news, the change won’t take effect for all Google+ users right away. In the official announcement, Sharma stated the following: “At first, we’re introducing custom URLs to a limited number of verified profiles and pages. But over time we plan to offer custom URLs to many more brands and individuals, so please stay tuned!”  

        Big brand names such as Hugo Boss(google.com/+hugoboss), David Beckham(google.com/+davidbeckham), Toyota(google.com/+toyota), and Delta Airlines (google.com/+delta) already received the Google+ update. Comments from Google+ users run the gamut of excited about the update to angry that there’s a delay for the little guys.

        It’s here that we noticed some Google+ users are confused on how to become a verified Google+ profile or page.

        How to verify your Google+ page 

        Before you can even get in line for a Google+ custom URL, you need to have a verified page. Google+ allows business and organizations to verify pages by completing a simple request form. Verified profiles and pages are noted by a verification badge that looks like this verification badge.

        Step 1: Complete the online verification request form.

        Step 2: Wait for your postcard in the mail.

        Step 3: Enter your verification code on your Google+ page. 

        It’s that simple.

        The only thing left to do is join the rest of us in waiting for Google+ to offer custom URLs to more users. 

        Related Posts: 

        Why Your Business Should Join Google+ Today

         

         

        Hootsuite Adds All Google+ Pages for Social Media Management

        The 6 Step Guide to Generating Online Reviews on Google+ Local Pages

         

        free-ebook-quotsocial-media-tune-up

        SEO Rewind Friday – Top SEO Stories for August 13 – 17, 2012

          
          
          

        SEO top stories for August 13 - 17, 2012This week lands us right in the middle of SES San Francisco 2012, a killer SEO conference put on by the guys at Search Engine Land.  We will cover some of the highlights in this week’s rewind, but if you want more SEO goodness from this conference, check out the SES coverage at Search Engine Watch here and Bruce Clay’s Blog.  In this issue you’ll get some SES conference love, hear about Google’s latest algo update, learn how to transition your company from old school SEO to what works now, get some non-content based link ideas, learn how to do some seriously scalable link prospecting for FREE, and more.  So read on my friends and enjoy.

        Spotlight Keynote With Matt Cutts #SESSF

        This week SEO’s from around the world converged on San Francisco for the SES Conference & Expo 2012.  Audience’s got a huge surprise when they were treated to a keynote presentation by wait for it, wait for it… Google’s Matt Cutts.  Matt joined Incisive Media Global VP to discuss Panda, Penguin, social signals, duplicate content, transparency, and more.  Later Matt and Mike were joined on stage by Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land and Brett Tabke of WebmasterWorld for some very insightful Q&A.  Click on the link above to hear the rest of what these SEO heavyweights talked about.

        Semantic Search:  Schemas and CMS – Increase Engagement, Freshen Content

        This post comes to us from Bruce Clay’s blog coverage of an SES San Francisco presentation by Benu Aggarwal.  Benu explained how to leverage sematic search and schema markup to gain a competitive advantage for your keyword phrases.  There were some tasty nuggets in this presentation that could be implemented today to help improve your rankings.

        The Emanuel Update:  Google Will Penalize Sites Repeatedly Accused of Copyright Infringement

        Google rolled out it’s latest penalty that targets sites having a large number of “takedown” requests submitted against it.  The “takedown” requests are part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act protecting copyrighted material against being pirated on the internet.  What types of sites are going to be hit you may be wondering?  Well, Google created a Google Transparency Report site and said that these types of sites that have the most requests against them were probably a good starting point.  Check out the post to learn more about this latest algo update.

        Transitioning To A Content Strategy

        In the Post-Penguin world we live in, the days of aggressive link building and thin content are over.  Businesses must make the shift into a longer term strategy, a content strategy, and it’s not easy.  Ross Hudgen’s does an awesome job applying the “Minimum Viable Product” concept to explaining how businesses can quickly transition from the old way of doing SEO which no longer works to a more effective longer lasting Content Strategy.  The “Ah Ha” moments in this post are priceless.  I love the tip on how to get renowned writers to guest post on your behalf.  Do Not Miss This Post!

        Non-Content Based Link Opportunities Are Often Missed

        Here at SearchDog Marketing we preach blogging and content marketing as the foundation of link building, but what if you have a client that refuses to pay for content creation and promotion?  How do you get links in that situation?  If you’ve every asked yourself that question, Eric Ward gives you some great ideas here in this post to get you thinking about some different ways to acquire links.  Take a look.

        Crushed Link Prospecting With Free Tools

        Want to do link prospecting on the cheap?  This post has most definitely got you covered.  This article includes some excellent tips and tools on how to do scalable link prospecting for FREE.  You could easily apply of these techniques to the various link building strategies and come up with a huge list of potential link prospects, so definitely give it a read.

        What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About Natural Linking

        Want to know what a natural backlink profile looks like?  This post does an excellent job of analyzing the backlink profiles of 15 pages from Wikipedia, arguably one of the most naturally linked to websites on the internet.  The author looks at page and domain rank distribution, link relevancy, anchor text distribution, Dofollow/nofollow ratio, and social signals to give us the blueprint to model our own link profiles after.

        How To Force Google To Recrawl Your Site

        Finally corrected those crawl errors found in your Webmaster tools report?  Recently blocked a bunch of pages creating duplicate content issues?  Got a new awesome resource that you want indexed quickly?  These are just some of the reasons why an SEO or webmaster might want to force the Googlebot to recrawl their site.  In the past SEO’s used pinging services or resubmitted XML sitemaps to accomplish this, and that was iffy at best.  Well as of a year ago, webmasters and SEO’s can force the Googlebot to recrawl websites almost immediately with a new feature called “Submit URL to Index.”  This is an extremely useful tool.  Read more about how to use it in this post.

        Google + Starts Rolling Out Vanity URLs (Finally)

        Can’t stand those long ugly Google + URLs?  Well your prayers have been answered my friends, SORT OF…  Google + recently rolled out the ability to claim vanity URLs for big brands and celebrities, so unless you’re on that list, you’ll just have to wait a little longer.  Sorry!

        Did we miss anything this week?  Leave your comments and share your favorite SEO posts of the week below.  Happy Friday!!

        quotseo-checklist-for-small-businessq

        New 2012 Data: Social, Local, Mobile Search Trend On the Rise

          
          
          

        The explosion of social, local, and mobile platforms and devices is the driving force that motivates consumers to search online for products, services and the business that provide them. You can see them almost anywhere (despite current laws) with their eyes glued to a screen in search of business product reviews, discounts and deals, and the quickest route to get there.

        It’s the same force that drives our desire for fast information. The days of thumbing through the Yellow Pages or calling the operator are no more. The SoLoMo revolution has caused consumers to adopt new devices and methods to find local business information.

        local, mobile, and social search using tablets and smartphones on the rise

        Searching for information on-the-go using social, local, and mobile technology backed by smart phone and tablet devices is not only commonplace, it’s natural.

        Newly released survey data from 4,000 online surveys proves this rather obvious nature to be true. This is very welcome confirmation for marketers and business owners everywhere.

        Localeze, a business listings identity management provider for local search, and 15 miles, a leader in SoLoMo marketing solutions, shared their findings during a special joint SMX West presentation. 

        What’s Driving Local Search and Buying Power?

        The study shows that tablet users are the most active local searchers. Sixty-four (64) percent of tablet users use the devices for local search on a weekly basis.

        Eighty-six (86) percent of tablet users make purchases using information found from their tablet-based local search.

        As for smartphone users…

        The need for fast information is the primary reason 61 percent of surveyed consumers used smartphones to conduct local searches. Not only that, 49 percent of consumers who used tablets and mobile devices said they accessed local search information through apps.

        But which apps are consumers using? Are more consumers conducting local-app based searches than local-web based?

        According to a Search Engine Land blog, the surveyed consumers had to select from a list of predetermined set of app choices, so not all options were considered. See the findings below.

        local app based search

        Source: comScore, Localeze, 15 Miles

        Google Maps, Yahoo, and Mapquest are the top three apps used for local business searches conducted on smart phones and tablets. What’s especially interesting is how far down the list Yelp and Urban Spoon landed. The very nature of these sites are designed on the SoLoMo philosophy, so it would be a reasonable guess that they would receive higher usage. That’s just not so.

        Daily deals and online couponing are said to be on the decline by some, but businesses continue to see success with these tools. According to this year’s findings, 86 percent of those surveyed said they have or will purchase deals from Groupon or Living Social. 

        Trustworthy Search and Relevant Search Results Matter

        This study shows that 61 percent of online searchers consider local search results to be more relevant and 58 percent consider local search results to be more trustworthy than paid or general results. In fact, when searching for local businesses using a mobile device, the most vital data is surprisingly the business name, address, and phone number.

        The implications for local search on social networking sites is just as promising. The survey shows that 63 percent of those on social networks are more likely to use a business if they have information on a social networking site.

        Conclusions Drawn

        Despite speculation about the ROI of social, local, and mobile marketing campaigns, the data clearly shows that consumers are actively using mobile devices to search for local business information. The facts are clear: business listings have value, mobile apps have value, social networking sites have value, online deals/coupons have value, online reviews have value.

        It’s up to you as a business owner or marketer to capitalize on the facts. SearchDog Marketing is here to help guide your way. 

        Related Posts:

        Mobile Sites Vs. Mobile Apps: Which Is Best For Your Business?

        Google+ Local Pages Replace Google Places: Helpful Info for Business Owners

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        SEO Rewind Friday – Top SEO Stories for August 6 – 10, 2012

          
          
          

        Top SEO stories for August 6 - 10, 2012This week you will find the secret places to start learning SEO,  some big SEO no no’s, find out why local marketing is important and local tactics to start implementing, learn how to control your online reputation, get an outstanding guide on ecommerce video, learn how to rank that video, and finally a new broken linkbuilding strategy.  So go ahead, get your learn on!

        Learning SEO – Where to Start

        People always ask me, where is the best place to learn SEO?  Are there any good places that teach SEO?  This post is a great start for novices trying to break into the SEO field and learn the craft.  Paddy Moogan from Distilled gives you some great tips and outstanding resources for getting started.  Also check out Instantelearning.com, they have some great material on SEO, social media, and other marketing disciplines.

        10 Old SEO Methods You Need To Stop

        We are now living in a Post Panda/Penguin world.  The days of trying to out think Google are over.  If you want to be successful at SEO you have to start focusing on “good marketing” and STOP trying to beat the algorithm.  This post breaks down 10 old SEO methods that no longer work and now do more harm than good, so STOP DOING THEM NOW!

        How Big is the Geo-Opportunity?

        This a short article, and while I would have liked it to be a little more helpful as far as describing tactics on how to take advantage of the “Geo-Opportunity,” I think it shines the light on something businesses should be aware of.  There is a huge shift by search engines to localize search engine results, and rightly so.  So to market our businesses effectively, we need to be thinking about strategies to target those local SERPS.  Here’s a great infographic detailing the huge opportunity local marketing presents.

        3 Hyperlocal Networks SMBs Should Partake In

        While this post is only partially about SEO, I thought it was a great follow up to the Geo-Opportunity post.  This post gives 3 local marketing tactics small businesses should be using today.  So check it out and implement.

        Infographic:  How To Rank For Your Name In Google (Hint: Use Social Media Sites)

        Did you know that 1 billion names are searched everyday?  “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”  Control your online reputation and the information people find about you when searching your name by owning the search results for your name.  This awesome infographic shows you just how to do that using social media profiles.  This data driven graphic breaksdown all the social media profiles that rank highest in the search engines so that you can use those social profiles to grab yet another piece of search real estate for your name.

        Video Content For Ecommerce Sites = Improved Search Results + Increased Sales

        This is an awesome post for ecommerce sites.  One of the biggest problems with ecommerce SEO is creating unique content for product pages.  Well problem solved let me introduce ecommerce video.  In this post, George Aspland does an excellent job of explaining the benefits of ecommerce video, what types of videos they should be creating, where to host the videos, and how to produce these videos.   This is the one of the best go to guides for ecommerce video I’ve found, so if you own an ecommerce site don’t miss this article.

        Winning the Video Thumbnail in Google Universal Search

        So now you know why you should be creating video and what types of videos to create from reading the article above, and I found the perfect follow up.  This SEOmoz post outlines the strategies you need to know in order to land a video thumbnail on the coveted first page of Google.  Great stuff!

        Creative Broken Link Building Tips With Jon Cooper

        If you keep up with the SEO community then you’ve probably heard of the phenom Jon Cooper.  This recent high school graduate is a member of the upper echelon of SEO minds in the world, and the target of many agencies and big brands looking to hire some serious talent. 

        In this article Jon once again uncovers a killer technique for uncovering broking link building opportunities using blogrolls.  Using this technique you can quickly build a large list of prospects for one of the more effective link building strategies there is.

        Related Posts:

        SEO Rewind Friday – Top SEO Stories for July 30 - August 3, 2012

        SEO Rewind Friday – Top SEO Stories for July 23 – 27, 2012

        SEO Rewind Friday – Top SEO Stories for July 16 – 20, 2012

         

         

        quotseo-checklist-for-small-businessq

        How Auto-Publishing Blogs Increases Lead Generation

          
          
          

        Even the most novice inbound marketer knows that blogging is a sure way to generate leads online. What you may not know is something Hubspot discovered from a recent analysis of their customers – companies that publish blog posts to social media get 50% more leads than companies that don’t.

        While that's great news, it does raise questions about exactly how these companies balanced auto-publishing with the rest of their social media content. Auto-publishing is a proven method of generating a substantial amount of more leads, but it's important not to let auto-publishing overwhelm your overall social media strategy. 

        In this blog, we'll present Hubspot's findings, four auto-publishing tools, and discuss a few best practices for integrating auto-publishing into your lead generation strategy. 

        Hubspot's findings represent an analysis of 8,892 B2B and B2C businesses. Check out the chart below which details the effectiveness of social media scheduling. 

        hubspot data 2

         

        In an analysis of 3,308 B2B and B2C businesses, Hubspot found that companies who use auto-publishing tools to schedule their social media posts have 3 times as many leads as those that don’t. 

        hubspot data

        While this data leaves many questions unanswered, the marketing takeaway is crystal clear. What everyone has been telling you about developing a content marketing strategy is CORRECT. This aspect of your content cycle is your last step, but shouldn’t be discounted as unimportant to the overall campaign. 

        Now that you know auto-publishing is the way to go, you must decide which auto-publishing tools work best for you and your social media sites. We’ll provide you a breakdown of sites that are great for auto-publishing your blog.

         

        Hootsuite

         hootsuite auto-publishing tool

         

        TweetDeck

         tweetdeck auto-publishing tools

        Seesmic Ping

        seesmic auto-publishing tool 

        Awareness 

        awareness auto-publishing tool

        Before you start scheduling posts, you should be aware of the pros and cons of auto-publishing on social media. Even though Hubspot is reporting a 50% advantage, it's important to know some best practices for auto-publishing and potential cons of allowing this tactic to overweigh your other posts.

        Pros of Auto-Publishing

        • Saves Time: A more obvious benefit of auto-publishing is the time it saves, which allows you to make effective use of your work day.

        • Consistent Posts: With so many things to do on your marketing checklist, it can be a hassle to keep up with it all AND publish individually on every social media site you have. Auto-publishing allows you to post on a regular basis with little effort. 

        Cons of Auto-Publishing

        • Less Interaction: It's an obvious given that the more social media posts you schedule to release automatically, the less you'll post live. 

        • Bot-Like Behavior: If all your social media posts are scheduled, your fans or followers will be able to tell. The downside of auto-publishing is that it looks as if a bot is controlling your page and this is not a good image to project.

        Marketing Takeaway

        As you adopt auto-publishing your blog posts as a lead generation tactic, remember not to let it overwhelm your overall social media strategy. Auto-publishing saves time and keeps your social media presence up-to-date, but if not used sparringly it can negatively impact your presence. 

        We’d love to know what auto-publishing tools work best for you and why! Let us know in the comment box below!

        SEO Rewind Friday – Top SEO Stories for July 30 - August 3, 2012

          
          
          

        top SEO storiesThis week started out pretty quiet in the SEO community we follow.  My theory is that this is partly due to an industry hangover from MozCon 2012, which from the sounds of it was an amazing conference.   Even though the week started out slow, the stars aligned and what we found ended up being an excellent guide to launching any SEO campaign, so without further ado…

        How To Conduct an On-Page Site Audit

        There are three steps that should be taken when starting any SEO campaign are:

        1. On-page SEO audit
        2. Technical Site audit
        3. Link audit

        This article focuses on the first step in launching an SEO campaign, the on-page site audit.  The writer teaches  you how to do a quick top level on-page audit from meta tags, to duplicate title tags, to keyword mapping and cannibalization.  Next week the second part of this series focusing on the technical site audit comes out, so we’ll be sure to include it in our next issue.  But lucky you, we’ve got some excellent articles in this issue that cover the link audit, so keep readingJ

        15 Tips to Speed Up Your Website

        As we all know, site speed is a one of the many factors that search engines look at when determining where to rank sites.  A fast site improves the overall site quality and improves user experience.  Here are 15 tips and tricks that can help you decrease the load time on your websites.

        Understanding Your Link Profile – Part One

        We cheated a little bit on this one.  This article was actually from last month, but the article below popped onto our radar and they’re such awesome posts we had to share. 

        Before starting any link building project you really need to understand your websites link profile and what’s going on behind the scenes so that you can make informed decisions based on real information instead of just throwing something against the wall to see if it sticks.  This article shows you how to gather your link data and using excel, analyze that data to understand the overall strength of your link profile, determine whether your links are live or dead, and make informed decisions on which if any links should be removed.  This is a must read for anyone starting a link building campaign.

        Understanding Your Link Profile – Part Two

        Part 2 of the “Understanding Your Link Profile” series takes a little deeper into our link profile analysis.  In this post Jon Quinton shows us how to use excel and our link data to find site-wide links, categorize our anchor text to spot “Over Cooked” exact match anchor text, and help us uncover links from blog networks.  All of which seem to be big issues with the Penguin Update, so this is great information for sites that might have been hit.

        What Everyone Needs To Know About Good, Bad, and Bland Links

        This post breaks down todays popular linkbuilding methods.  Tom Schmitz explains what each of these link building techniques are, how the search engines perceive them, and whether or not you should include them in your SEO strategy.  Great read for anyone starting out in SEO and linkbuilding and trying to understand what works and what doesn’t.

        Use SEOmoz Toolbar & Google Analytics for 301 Redirect Opportunities

        The guys over at Ties.com wrote a great post that is very easy to implement even for novices.  It shows you step by step how to identify pages that target the same keywords that might be cannibalizing traffic and rankings from each other, how to identify which one you should pass all the page authority to, and then how to 301 redirect in order to generate even more traffic for the chosen page.  They even show proof of traffic and ranking increase.   Use this method if you have a large ecommerce site like Ties.com.

        MozCon 2012 Wrapup

        What better way to get over a SEO hangover than a little hair of the dog that bit you.  This is a great post giving you a glimpse inside one of the best SEO conferences in the world.  It actually makes me very jealous to read this post but there’s some great photos to browse through, a link to download all the presentations (tons of valuable content here), links to liveblogs from the events with some very interesting posts, and a collection of all the tweets compiled from the weekend.  This is an excellent MozCon and SEO resource, almost as good as being there.

        quotseo-checklist-for-small-businessq

        Hootsuite Adds All Google+ Pages for Social Media Management

          
          
          


        Auto-publishing to Google+ just got easier since Hootsuite integrated Google+ Pages. Now nearly 5 million Google+ users can manage their accounts from Hootsiute.

        Last year, Google+ Pages were integrated with Hootsuite, but that was only for 200 Enterprise pages. All Hootsuite users, regardless of whether they are under the Free or Enterprise plan, can manage their Google+ page directly from the dashboard.  This change was motivated by requests from over 12,000 Hootsuite users for Google+ Pages to be added.

        “It was painful because obviously we have a lot of users that wanted to use this,” said Hootsuite’s VP of Business Development Greg Gunn. “But it was good tension because it showed a lot of desire to interact between businesses and consumers.”

        Thankfully the social media management company complied, making life easier for social media manager everywhere.

        In this blog, you’ll learn the definition of auto-publishing, how to add Google+ Pages to your Hootsuite dashboard, and what features are available to you.

        What Is Auto-Publishing?

        Simply put, auto-publishing is the process of scheduling a message (blog, tweet, or otherwise) to automatically release on certain websites chosen by you. Instead of posting your message manually on each website you want it to circulate, when you use an auto-publishing application such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, it will send your message automatically.

        How to Add Google+ Pages to the Hootsuite Dashboard:

        1. Login to your Hootsuite account
        2. Find ‘My Social Networks’
        3. Click ‘+Add a Social Network’

        It’s that easy. 

        Now that Google+ is added to your dashboard, let’s explore the array of features you can manage directly from Hootsuite.

        Publish Messages to Your Circles

        google  hootsuite4 resized 600One of the neat things about Google+ is that it allows you to target specific audiences with certain messages by using the Circle filter. Whether you’re posting to certain circles or publicly, Hootsuite allows you to see public user activity and pop-up user profiles and company pages. 

        Manage Your Circles

        google  hootsuite resized 600In-dash circle management allows you to add, edit or remove circles without ever leaving the simplistic interface of Hootsuite. You can also add or remove individual users from circles.

        Measure Your Impact Using Google+ Analytics

        google  hootsuite2 resized 600

        Google+ provides five in-dash analytic modules to measure results.

        • Daily posts
        • Daily aggregated comments
        • Daily aggregated +1’s
        • Daily aggregated reshares
        • Circle growth

        Advanced Search Ability

        Monitoring is made-easy now that users can create custom keyword or phrase searches within public posts and specific content streams.

        Google+ has remained a contender in the battle for social media dominance. They continue to give users reasons to join their community of 5 million plus and Hootsuite management is only another point in their favor.

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