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Date: Friday, 10 Oct 2014 01:00

Pubcon Liveblog: SEO Mosh Pit was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

It’s Pubcon’s 15th birthday (and the final panel), and you know it’s a party when there’s beer and cake and an SEO Mosh Pit, a Q&A session where conference attendees get to ask their questions of some of digital marketing’s best minds and leaders, including Bruce Clay, about the current SEO state of affairs.

A panel of

A panel of digital marketing’s best minds at Pubcon’s SEO Mosh Pit

Leading the charge is moderator, Brett Tabke, Pubcon CEO. Introducing the SEO Mosh Pit panel and their predictions for SEO in 2015:

Bruce Clay, President, Bruce Clay, Inc.

The industry will be 90 percent mobile within a year, and it will change everything.

Gareth Hoyle, Co Founder / CEO, LinkRisk / Marketing Signals

Google will give more clarity to updates and Matt Cutts was kicked out because of Penguin!

Joe Laratro, President, Tandem Interactive

Just introduces himself, no predictions.

Jenny Halasz, President, JLH Marketing

A Dismal prediction: the divide between SMB and enterprise will widen and it will be hard for small businesses to compete in the space.

Tony Wright, CEO/Founder, WrightIMCG

He welcomes the Google overlords, as it takes content from websites and displays it for its own monetization.

Eric Enge, CEO, Stone Temple Consulting Corporation

Dramatic expansion in Knowledge Traph and answer boxes. More structured snippets, and more webmasters won’t like it.

Mike Grehan, CMO & Managing Director, ACRONYM

Matt Cutts is a multi-millionaire and doesn’t need to work anymore.

Greg Boser, President & Co-founder, Foundation Digital, LLC

Mobile is going to be huge, predatory aggregation is going to be huge, and we will all be here moaning about Google and its products.

First Question from Brett Tabke: Is SEO dead? Should it be called something else?

GARETH HOYLE – SEO is never going to be dead, it’s just going to change what we do. It’s never going to die, and will become 5 spots as opposed to 10.

ERIC ENGE – SEO is never going to die, but there are new technologies coming out that someone needs to be on the front lines of trying to figure out, discovering new ways to get traffic. The SEOs of tomorrow will always be figuring out new stuff.

JENNY HALASZ – SEO will never go away. There is an intersection between content that people want to see and availability of the content. There is also “Subject Experience Optimization.”

BRUCE CLAY – Many years ago he said “SEO is dead as long as it’s alone.” Because SEO is part of larger digital marking, there is always something new. Every Monday, SEO is a brand new industry. As long as there are web pages, there will be SEO, and it will be integrated with all forms of digital marketing.

TONY WRIGHT – SEO has come back from the dead so many times. If you can’t adapt to change, then you are in the wrong business. To most, SEO is dead, but to the rest of us, we figure out what works, and we implement it. SEO is not dead as an industry.

MIKE GREHAN – Danny Sullivan was in his office recently, and together they reminisced over an interview from 14 years ago and they couldn’t recognize what SEO was.

Next Question: Does Google have too much power and influence in our lives?

JENNY HALASZ – A simple “yes.”

GARETH HOYLE – Google in the EU has created a great barrier to entry, but we don’t need to use Google. But we keep coming back to it.

TONY WRIGHT – He was in PR with Microsoft, and fought antitrust action against the company in the 90s, and Microsoft was taken down by 2 guys in a garage, not the government. This is the cycle, but no one knows what’s going to replace Google.

ERIC ENGE – There needs to be something dramatically different, but we don’t know what it is. Google will run out of runway eventually.

MIKE GREHAN – In ‘06 Google stopped calling themselves a search engine; they are a digital marketing company now. Google has made so many changes, but they’re not for us, they’re for the user. Hummingbird is not meant for people with a keyboard, because we are talking into mobile phones.

BRUCE CLAY – Asks how many people owe their jobs to google changing all the time? Most raise their hand. Of course.

Next Question: How is mobile changing the game for marketers?

ERIC ENGE – It changes the website fundamentally, based on mobile users and devices. Organizations without mobile are already behind and will feel the financial pinch next year.

TONY WRIGHT – Makes a prediction that 2x the mobile analytics tools at the conference next year.

JENNY HALASZ – We need to consider where the customer is and the context of how they are using devices.

JOE LARATRO – Very few are starting to scratch the surface in mobile behavior. Important issues need to be addressed as a result of this new behavior. The greatest opportunity for mobile is building direct connections with users.

MIKE GREHAN – Google does parlor tricks, they don’t actually answer real questions. Example – is it moral for girls to take the pill? See what answers you get. Google is just a database.

ERIC ENGE – Build your own audience, no matter the platform – this is how businesses succeed.

TONY WRIGHT – Web presence should be the center of your universe. You will avoid a lot of problems if you execute on this concept.

BRUCE CLAY – What if Google decides that organic is no longer needed on mobile phones? That changes our lives dramatically, and there’s nothing to prevent that from happening.

MIKE GREHAN – Does Google have all the power? What about Baidu, and Yandex? He’s a new grandfather again for the fifth time (congratulations), and never sees his grandkids open a mobile browser. It’s all apps.

Up next from Brett Tabke: What would be the top recommendations for earning money in the coming year?

BRUCE CLAY – Get better at PPC. He believes that people will get squeezed out of organic, because Google is not in the business of giving away free traffic. The problem is competition, and we are going to have to spend more money to make more money. Because Google doesn’t make money on organic, the real estate on SERPs will be shrinking

MIKE GREHAN – Everyone is a publisher, and creating your audience. Build your own audience.

GARETH HOYLE – Paid social. Not all people hang out on Google. Use the context of different social platforms to increase presence. If you can make a website, you can make money.

TONEY WRIGHT – There are big opportunities to create better websites. And websites that work on mobile. People need sites that just work.

ERIC ENGE – Yes, create an audience, but how do you do that? We should all strive solve problems without asking a penny.

JENNY HALASZ – Diversify. Build content, audience build, brand build. Mobile marketing. Do not be solely dependent on Google for your audience.

BRUCE CLAY – For brick and mortars, be afraid of Amazon. They are opening up a brick and mortar on 34th Street in NYC. Do not underestimate the ability of large online companies to jump into real life.

Audience Questions

Do you think there will be any profit in semantic optimization for the Knowledge Graph?

JENNY HALASZ – Google has developed a knowledge base on how to properly implement schema. Google recognizes the need to make it easier.

MIKE GREHAN – If Google understands the intent of a query, then structured data is not necessary.

ERIC ENGE – Google is getting good at understanding how likely a user is to be satisfied based on UX, which is somewhat outside the realm of schema. This validates the research by Searchmetics on co-occurrence.

MIKE GREHAN – Co-occurrence has been around for forever, but as the lexicon changes, how does Google adapt? One third of queries everyday Google has never seen before. Keywords used to be strong, but Google thrives on end user data. How media is consumed is the most important thing, which is why content is so important.

Q: Where will marketing strategy be on wearables next year?

TONY LARATRO – Don’t be a glass hole.

TONY WRIGHT – Looks forward to the day he can optimize his fridge.

ERIC ENGE – Consider all searches as voice search, because no one types things on their watch.

JENNY HALASZ – Voice and video

Q: Can Siri compete with Google? Will Facebook create a search engine?

ERIC ENGE –  He published a study using 3000 keywords running on Google, Cortana, and Sir – Google answered 58% of questions, Siri 29%, Cortana 21%. But were the questions fully answered? Google: 83%,  Siri: 40%,  Cortana: 20%

TONY WRIGHT – Facebook will have a Knowledge Graph type function.

MIKE GREHAN – You are tapping into a network of trust, so a Facebook search engine will be powerful.

Q: Why does SEO matter more than just to SEOs? How does a company that doesn’t want to invest in SEO do so?

TONY LARATRO – There are a lot of roadblocks, and sometimes SEO is not the best way, like with competing with Google products. No breaking that ceiling. You have to find opportunities to get through to the organization.

JENNY HALASZ – SEO is about marketing. Companies should continue to invest in it because understanding customers never changes.

TONY WRIGHT – SEO is not an island. If it is, you will fail. You must be able to integrate. Requires more than just on-page optimization. It’s about web presence, which must include an all of the above strategy.

ERIC ENGE – If there are big competitors in front of you on the SERPs, you’re not going to win that battle. You must find the battles you can win in the space.

GARETH HOYLE – Buy ads. Maybe SEO is not the right avenue depending on the topic/keyword. SEO is the glue that brings everything together. Everyone needs to speak to everyone. Google what you want to rank for and assess where you need to place your SEO efforts.

That’s it, nothing but applause for the SEO Mosh Pit. Entertaining as always, and happy 15th birthday Pubcon!

Author: "Matthew Young" Tags: "SEO, Liveblog, Pubcon Las Vegas 2014"
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Date: Friday, 10 Oct 2014 00:24

Pubcon Keynote Liveblog: Jay Baer, Author of ‘Youtility’ — Help Not Hype was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Jay Baer at Pubcon Las Vegas 2014

Jay Baer at Pubcon Las Vegas 2014

Jay Baer, president of Convince & Convert, opens the keynote by explaining that marketing is more challenging than ever – attention spans are shorter, consumers demand more knowledge, and what worked twenty years ago won’t work today. In a keynote packed with real-world examples, Baer shows how brands are wielding transparency and “Youtility” to build trust and business.

There are three enormous obstacles to great marketing. Being a great marketer is harder than ever. There are three enormous obstacles to great marketing.

1. Reach is fragmented.

It is way harder to reach audiences today than it used to be. In 1977, the No. 1 television show (Happy Days) had a 31.5 rating. In 1987, The Cosby Show had a 27.8 rating. In 1997, Seinfeld had a 21.7 rating. In 2007, American Idol had 16.1 rating. In 2011, Sunday Night Football with Al Michaels had a 12. As of May 2014.

We spend more time looking at phone and computers that we do at televisions. People are doing their own thing, and it’s more difficult to reach them.

2. Marketing and customer service have collided.

Ten years ago, what would you do if you stayed at a bad hotel? You would write a letter or call customer service. But today, the Internet has enabled us to be passive aggressive. We take to the web to write reviews like this:

jay-baer-pubcon-bad-review

Customer service is now a spectator sport. All the trust and awareness you build with your Internet marketing can be undercut by a review like this.

3. Competition for Attention

Our personal and our professional lives have converged in unprecedented ways. When social feeds are filled with posts from both companies and friends, you’re not competing against other companies – you’re competing against everything. You are competing against people that your audience actually love; are you more interesting to them than their husbands and wives?

Stop being amazing and start trying to be useful. Amazing isn’t a strategy – useful is. The difference between helping and selling is just two letters – but those two letters make all the difference. When you help someone, you create a customer relationship for life. It’s not about right now. It’s about lifetime relationships.

Baer shares an example. Hilton has a Twitter handle called @HiltonSuggests, and the whole aim of the Twitter account is to help people with traveling questions. Hilton called together 20 employees to look for ways to help travelers in their spare time via Twitter. The aim is to help, not sell.

jay-baer-pubcon-slide-be-useful

Herein, Hilton is playing the long game. Hilton is making relationships. Notice in the above example, Hilton doesn’t mention their own properties.

Youtility

Youtility: marketing so useful that people would pay for it.

Make marketing that people cherish rather than marketing people tolerate.

Useful articles are forwarded 30% more than average. We are wired to appreciate youtility.

Do you have the courage to create youtility?

Consider the Clorox: Find a Stain/Take a Spin app. It give you information on how to remove a stain. Clorox determined that they are not always the best answer. And if Clorox was always that answer, moreover, that would change the experience of the app. Clorox considered sharing coupons through the app, too, but decided not to – because it would make it an ad, rather than a piece of Youtility.

3 Ways You Can Create Youtility

1. Self-Serve Information

We crave information like never before. Google interviewed tens of thousands of users and found that the average American consumer need 5.3 sources of information (review, article, testimony from friend) before making a purchase (2010). In 2011, they needed 10.4.

Every single person here has access to all the world’s information at all times in their hands, via smartphone. Today customers are hyper researching everything, because why wouldn’t they? There’s no barrier to research.

Mobile data usage doubled in 2013. Today, if you make a bad decision (bad restaurant, bad hotel, bad sweater), you’re just lazy. All the information is right there.

Baer shares an anecdote. He was recently watching “Orange is the New Black” and wanted to know where he had seen one of the actresses before. He simply looked her up on IMDB on his phone. After getting the information he wanted, he considered the fact that before the Internet, this would have been impossible. He wondered what it would have taken to get the answer – he determined at least four hours to go to the library and scour information. He reasoned that he wouldn’t have done that, and would have just settled on “I don’t know.”

But today, “I don’t know” is no longer an acceptable answer for anything. Your phone knows, Siri knows, and we all have to know.

He shares an anecdote about a swimming pool and spa company that was on the brink of going out of business. They decided to write blog posts on every customer question they fielded. On evenings and weekends, they wrote 400 blog posts (they now have well over 1000 blog posts). Those 400 posts turned their business around. They now have more traffic than any other swimming pool company in the world.

B2B customers contact a sales rep only after 70% of the purchase decision has been made (Sirius Decisions 2012).

The better you teach, the more you’ll sell. Relationships are created with information first, people second.

2. Transparency and Humanity

The truth always comes out. There’s nowhere to hide. It didn’t used to be that way. Smart marketers realize, then, that they need to come out with the truth first. Smart marketers choose to be radically transparent.

This is Domino’s entire marketing message: “Hey, our pizza used to suck. Now, not so much.”

Trust is the prism through which all business success must pass. Without trust, nothing else matters – not search rankings, not price, not anything. The best way to keep trust is to be radically transparent and give away useful information.

McDonald’s has a functionality on their Canadian website where consumers can ask any question. And the questions are not easy.

“Maybe you could post a picture of these happy ‘family farms’ in which you say your animals are raised with the best care?”

In the old days of marketing, businesses would have run away from questions like this. Now they run toward them. What did McDonald’s do? They made a video showing McDonald’s Canadian Senior VP Jeff Kroll visiting a farm in Canada where the animals are raised.

Since implementing this Q & A functionality, the trust rating in Canada has gone up 31%.

3. Real-Time Relevancy

Be hyper relevant in some particular circumstance. Take, for example, The Corcoran Group. Every time it rains in New York City, they share a tweet that directs people to a very useful piece of content they created.

jay-baer-pubcon-real-time-relevancy

Nowhere in the article do they attempt to sell – but they’re creating relationships by being useful. And relationships like this lead to top-of-mind recall.

Great Youtility can transcend the transaction. Give yourself permission to make the story bigger – you don’t just have to talk about your own stuff. You can talk about other things that are relevant and useful.

Focus on what people really need. Nobody ever, in the history of the world, has ever needed socks. But everybody in the history of world has needed their feet to be warmer. Know the real need. Know your customers better than you already do.

We are surrounded by data, but we are starved for insights. We have more data than ever before, but every time we run a report we are by definition treating our customers as a number and they are more than that. If you are not regularly having conversations with customers in person or on the phone, you are doing it wrong. Talking to them will lead you to amazing, useful ideas that can help them.

Content is fire, social media is gasoline. Remember, you’re competing for attention against people’s real friends,

Twitter was not created to be the world’s shortest press release outlet. The only reason brands are even tolerated in social is because it keeps us free for the rest of us.

Youtility is a process, not a project. Inspiration doesn’t respond to meeting requests.

Baer’s book, Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help Not Hype, is a NY Times best-selling business book.

Author: "Kristi Kellogg" Tags: "Internet Marketing Optimization, Liveblo..."
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Date: Friday, 10 Oct 2014 00:18

Pubcon Liveblog: Link Building Without a Penalty was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Rhea Drysdale, CEO of Outspoken Media, Joe Youngblood, founder of Winner Winner Chicken Dinner, and Russ Jones, chief technology officer at Virante, are going to talk link building in this Pubcon Las Vegas 2014 session. But first a disclaimer from Bruce Clay, session moderator and Bruce Clay, Inc. president: if you are going to build links, proceed with caution. The tactics mentioned herein are for your information; Bruce Clay, Inc. does not endorse any of these tactics.

A session on link building presented at Pubcon

Tactics shared at a session on link building at Pubcon should be considered with caution.

“When you’re dealing with inbound links you have to consider whether the links are organic or inorganic to your site’s theme. You have to understand the policies of the search engines relative to possible penalties. You wouldn’t want to overwhelmingly support a single technique. You have to use any technique in moderation,” Clay advises. “You shouldn’t go from one to sixty links overnight on one technique – that sends a signal to the search engine that you’re involved in a heavy link development program and it could ultimately lead to a penalty. Follow the Google Guidelines. Links should be good for your users, contribute to your site content and make sense.”

Rhea Drysdale

Editor’s note: Coverage included here is only a partial reporting of Drysdale’s presentation due to Jay Baer’s keynote address running long.

Don’t just pay attention to Google Guidelines, Drysdale asserts. Pay attention to the actual law – make sure you understand the expectations for giveaways and contests. Take the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as seriously (if not more seriously) than you do Google Guidelines.

Build a real business. You need to have a firm grasp and understanding of your brand/business. What we do as marketers ends up becoming business strategy. SEOs go into a meeting and are asked to build backlinks. What SEOs need to know, though, is who are the client’s audience and what content resources we have to give them.

Invest in diverse growth strategies. Marketing strategy has to be robust.

Russ Jones: Broken Link Building

“Broken link building is a link building tactic where a marketer contacts a webmaster who has a broken link on his/her site and recommends one or more alternatives that include his/her target site.” (Moz)

Why Broken Link Builders Succeed Where Others Do Not

Prospecting

  1. Identify broad and related keywords to prospect for resource pages related to your topic. TOOL: Use nTopic to find words and phrases that occur on content like yours.
  2. Find resource pages. Use smart search queries to identify resource pages related to your topic. TOOL: Brokenlinkbuilding.com
  3. You can outreach to the resource page to tell them about their broken link, or you can look up the backlinks to broken.com on Majstic, Moz and ahrefs and reach out to all of them about their broken link.

Panda Rules

Find what the page used to look like and examine the content. Follow the Panda guidelines to make your new version even better. Consider:

  • Was this content written by experts?
  • Would you consider this content trustworthy?
  • Is this page an authority on the issue?
  • Would you see this content in print?
  • Are there any obvious errors on the page?

You’ll have more success if you create a replacement piece of content that is superior to the first.

Use Archive.org to determine relevancy, quality and potential for improvement.

Contact Finding

Finding good webmaster contact information is one of the most difficult parts in this process. Consider outsourcing it. Try Mechanical Turk or the outreach app in brokenlinkbuilding.com.

Finding the right outreach style can dramatically improve your conversion rate!

  • Long form: take the time to personalize a long email that will explain why your new piece of content is better than the first. This is the most successful strategy, but also the most time-consuming.
  • Short form: simple and quick heads up
  • Slow play: send an email that says you have a broken link, but don’t tell them what the broken link is or offer a replacement. Then, the webmaster is likely to email back and ask
  • Double tap: webmasters don’t need a nudge – they need a complaint. Create a false demand by sending complaint emails from email addresses (that aren’t yours).

Follow Basic Ethical Rules

  • Don’t spam
  • Don’t commit fraud
  • Don’t steal content

Joe Youngblood: The Royal Guide to Google Safe Link Building

Youngblood offers four different link building strategies.

Scholarship Link Building

  1. Set up the scholarship via scholarship management service.
  2. Create a page on your website describing the scholarship.
  3. Find targets on .edu sites to link to your scholarship page.
  4. Get listed in scholarship search engines and directories.
  5. Use scholarship-related content to drive links.

Interview Link Building

Google has slapped down guest blogging. Interview link building is a very similar concept, but it’s much better.

  1. Join the FindExpertsToInterview.com email list and MyBlogU.
  2. Seek out an expert to interview and arrange how you’re going to do the interview (phone, email, Google Hangout, Tinychat, in person, etc.)
  3. Write up some ideas for questions you’ll want to talk about and let the person you’re interviewing know your rough idea of how the interview will go so they know what to expect.
  4. Once the interview is done publish it and ask them to share socially.
  5. Use that interview for outward-facing communication to show that you are a go-to source for this information.

Photo Credit Link Building

This is a passive strategy. Find images that people are looking for. Use Ubersuggest.com. Find a highly trafficked image request that you can create.

  1. Use UberSuggest.org set to “images,” and type in a base query.
  2. Take list of all applicable keywords and put them in Google AdWords Keyword Planner under “Get search volume for a list of keywords or group them into ad groups.”
  3. Sort by search volume and fin image keywords that match content you’re creating such as blog posts, articles, product pages, etc.
  4. Find image queries that currently don’t have a lot of good results.
  5. Make the images and publish them on your site with ALT and Title tags.
  6. Do reverse image searches at least once a month to find new websites that have used your image and ask for a photo credit with a link to the original article.

Reddit Link Building

Reddit was accepted into Google News, and journalists are paying increasing attention to Reddit.

  1. Look at the types of content shared on any of the default sub-Reddits such as DataIsBeautiful.
  2. Create content that matches that sub-Reddit and target Reddit users to share the content on your behalf (some allow you to self-submit also).
  3. Once your content is shared, join in the conversation about the content.
  4. Encourage upvotes on your content by sharing it in social media (but don’t ask for upvotes – the Reddit community heavily frowns on this).
  5. Consider using Reddit ads to target a sub-Reddit with thank you’s, special discounts, etc. for sharing and liking your content.

 

Author: "Kristi Kellogg" Tags: "Internet Marketing Optimization, Liveblo..."
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Date: Friday, 10 Oct 2014 00:15

Pubcon Liveblog: Jason Calacanis on Startups that Save the World was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Jason Calacanis is an angel investor who has invested in companies including Uber, ChartBeat, Whisper, SignPost and Thumbtack. He invests $10 million a year. He meets with 15 companies a week. He’s currently focusing a lot of his effort into Inside.com, a news curation service.

“I spend a lot of my time thinking bigger,” Calacanis says. “And a lot of that has to do with watching Google say ‘I have absolutely no limit to my ambition.’ I spend a lot of time meeting with startups and founders … And that puts me in a unique position to be optimistic and opportunistic.”

Jason Calacanis at Pubcon

Jason Calacanis delivering his Pubcon keynote address

Calacanis’s keynote is unique – it’s not tactical or strategy-driven. It’s steeped in reality and meant to simply inspire and inform the audience of the amazing progress that startups and forward-thinking companies are bringing to the world in the areas of six global problems.

Startups, he asserts, will solve our world’s problems rather than governments. His keynote, which is meant to inspire us, will cover major advances by tech and startup companies.

“A lot of the stuff in science fiction is becoming our reality today. You can see it in the pace in which we have to respond in our industry. Amazing opportunities are coming our way … We are at the safest, wealthiest and most optimistic time in the history of our planet and species,” Calacanis shares.

Startups Save the World

Global Problem #1: Cancer

Cancer is the second most common killer of Americans after heart disease. In 2014, 585,000 Americans will die from cancer and 1.6 million new cases will be diagnosed.

  • COTA (Children’s Organ Transplant Association): Allows doctors to look at big data associated with cancer – this data helps them know what’s causing the cancer and how to treat it more effectively. This generation might be the last generation to see cancer as a fatal disease.
  • D-Wave Systems: Looks at DNA and creates custom solutions for patients. It’s twenty years away.
  • Immunophotonics: Labels the cancerous cells in your body and creates a virus to kill those cells.

Global Problem #2: Climate Change

Humans are causing extra warming in ocean, land and atmosphere. Rising sea levels are disrupting farming and food, species migration and extinction. Current emissions rate will yield dangerous temper rises by 2100.

  • Oroeco: Will create plants that take more carbon out of the atmosphere than the plants that exist today. Currently, Oroeco has created a tobacco plant that glows in the dark by gene sequence modification.
  • Global Forest Watch: Crowd source techniques mapping every square mile of the planet’s forest and the forest density – then we’ll know in real time when people are destroying the forest and where we need to plant more trees.

Global Problem #3: Energy

Germany had a number of days last year where more than 50% of their energy came from renewable energy. Calacanis is not nervous about energy. Nuclear energy is hundreds of time safer than coal energy. France is 90% nuclear energy.

  • Nest: Learning algo and customization can help us use less energy.
  • Opower: Realtime app for looking at use of energy in your home, your city, your appliances, by room – it will be built into your outlets. The algo will know the energy patterns of each appliance.
  • SolarCity: Stores solar power in your batteries.

Global Problem #4: Hunger

One in nine humans goes to bed hungry every night. One in six Americans is food insecure. We will need 70 percent more food by 2060.

  • Bitty Foods: creating cookies made with cricket flour – flours made from ground up crickets. The crickets create a protein-based flour that is sustainable and less costly.
  • Hampton Creek Foods: Fake eggs – when you mix into a cookie or baked good, you can’t tell the difference.
  • Food Cowboy: Matches people that need food with people throwing food away.

Global Problem #5: Jobs

There is a perception that there will always be jobs – it’s not true. The technology has caused the eradication of a lot of jobs. The efficiency of the American work is extraordinary today and jobs are going away. Occupy Wall Street was a moment of civil unrest.

  • Airbnb: People in NYC are renting their apartments for $100-$300 dollars a night and making a ton of money. We have changed as a society. Hotel stays would have cost much more in the nineties – now you get jet off to Japan and not even worry about where you’re staying – there will be an Airbnb nearby.
  • Uber: People are moving to cities with Uber, Lyft and Sidecar because the drivers are netting $20 or $30 an hour – well above the minimum wage. Calacanis recently rode with a driver who moved to San Francisco from Atlanta to get a job with Uber to raise money for his family. He’d been out of work and he saw Uber as the solution to his family’s troubles. He’s calculated he’ll be out of debt in six months, and move back home. Moral of the story? These jobs are saving people who can’t get work.
  • Thumbtack: You type what you want (anything from design to tennis instruction), they send the request in detail to a bunch of freelancers, and you can buy their services. There are people on their platform that are making significant amounts of money through their talents.

Global Problem #6: Repression

More than 1.6 billion people in the world have no say in how they are governed. Citizens asserting rights suffer harassment and persecution without recourse. In 2012, one in six people lived in countries without free press.

  • Twitter, Facebook and YouTube: It’s the new Amnesty International – people take to Twitter and let people know when injustices are occurring. You can’t hide your bad behavior when it’s broadcast publicly for millions by citizens. Government can’t ignore it when we all know about it.

Jason Calacanis’s Final Thoughts

“I am in shock over how many things that needed to change have, in fact, changed. It’s an amazing time for entrepreneurs.”

  • Dare to be great.
  • Do big things.
  • Think even bigger.

“Our work is hard, but it’s lifting the world up.”

Author: "Kristi Kellogg" Tags: "Internet Marketing Optimization, Liveblo..."
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Date: Friday, 10 Oct 2014 00:09

Pubcon Liveblog: Utilizing Personas in Social Media Contests was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Direct from Collegis Education, online community specialist Kendall Bird and inbound marketing specialist Katy Katz are going to dive into personas – why they matter, how to leverage them in social media contests and more.

Kendall Bird and Katy Katz at Pubcon Las Vegas 2014

Kendall Bird and Katy Katz at Pubcon Las Vegas 2014

Knowing your personas at a really detailed level is important. Personas should play into all your social media efforts, Bird and Katz explain.

What Is a Persona?

“A buyer persona is a semi-functional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.” –Hubspot

Persona research is taking data and turning it into a person. That person is your persona and you think about him or her whenever you’re creating your content.

Create a Persona

  • Conduct target market research:
    • Surveys
    • Creating gated content
    • Analyzing social behavior
    • Utilizing an external partner (like Simmons Data)
  • Divide results into persona buckets
  • Create a story for each aspect that you identify
  • Edit, edit, edit
  • Make the personas personal and detailed
  • Name
  • Job title and where they work
  • Details about their role
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Salary
  • Location
  • Education
  • Family
  • Values and fears

What a Persona Should Include

Be best friends with your persona – you’re targeting them constantly. You want to build a relationship. Have images of them.

Social media is where your customers are. It’s where you, then, conduct customer service! 71% of customers ended a business relationship because of poor customer service (according to Forbes), and only 23% of customers think that a company values their business (according to CBS News). Responsive social media is a key differentiator.

Personas and Social Media Contests

What do personas have to do with social media contests? If you don’t understand your personas, your social media contest is likely to fail. One of the most common reasons why business fail to gain ROI from their social media marketing efforts is their failure to fashion their content to target specific personas (according to SquareFish).

Social Media Contest Fails

  • Audi: They did a social media contest targeting and featuring hipsters. Rather than using a photo of a car, they used a photo of a hipster and came under fire. They weren’t adhering to what their personas wanted to see. Their actual persona should be 30 to 40-year-old businessman – that’s the demographic that buys their cars.
  • Molson Canadian: This beer purveyor held a contest asking fans to promote Molson Canadian. They invited college students to share pictures and show why their school is the number one party school and feature the drink. It really didn’t work. In fact, it was a PR nightmare for the colleges. They should have been targeting their actual personas – beer-drinking fisherman, downhome people.

Persona-Driven Social Media Content Successes

User-generated content is trusted 50% than traditional media. (Crowdtap). UGC is an excellent way to collect creative material for marketing purposes or to get photos of your products on the social web to drive sales and brand engagement (Mashable). When you understand you persona … it gets your audience is excited. You’re speaking to them.

  • Eggo Waffles: Kellogg’s held a contest, people were invited to share pictures of their Eggo creations/recipes. This spoke to the 30-something moms that Katz and Bird envision are the persona that Kellogg’s was targeting. The contest was wildly successful, and it is because Kellogg’s understood their personas.
  • Brush Buddies: Brush buddies is a singing tooth brush. The brand held a karaoke contest where users posted videos of themselves singing with toothbrush, and users voted. There were only 30 contestants, and it drove 23,000,000 impressions and garnered 65,300 votes. Again, Brush Buddies understood their audience: teenage girls who love to post videos of themselves and sing.

5 Things You Need to Know About Personas

  1. They should be a person, not a segment.
  2. Know their input and their outputs.
  3. Understand their story.
  4. Be personal to what they care about.
  5. All content should be directed at a persona.
Author: "Kristi Kellogg" Tags: "Social Media Marketing, Liveblog, Pubcon..."
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Date: Thursday, 09 Oct 2014 00:42

Pubcon Liveblog: Real-Time Content Marketing with Wearables & Google Glass was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

When it comes to wearables, devices and technology are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and Internet marketers are embarking on a new frontier: real-time marketing. Rob Garner, Chief Strategy Officer at Advice Interactive, is going to take the Pubcon Las Vegas 2014 audience on a tour of the real-time marketing landscape in this afternoon session.

Rob Garner at Pubcon Las Vegas 2014

Rob Garner at Pubcon Las Vegas 2014

Elements of Real-time Marketing

We’re shifting from passive to real-time engagement. Wearables represent a new kind of content marketing. It’s app-based, mobile, experiential, location-driven and context-driven. It brings immediate physical world experience into social, search and content consumption spaces.

Technologies Driving the Wearable Tech Change

  • RFID
    Bluetooth
  • Beacons (active and passive)
  • Smart things (communicative objects)
  • The Internet of Things
  • Gesture and touch control
  • Local digital marketing

Did you know there is a smart mattress in development? $20 million dollars has been invested into it. The smart mattress does not degenerate, but gets better with time. It learns how you sleep and adjusts to your body and sleep patterns. It molds to your body.

Experience Generated Content (EGC)

  • Fitness trackers
  • Google Glass
  • Smart watches
  • Health and wellness apps
  • Gamification of many physical actions and tasks

Garner talks about a pest control companies whose technicians wear Google Glass while rooting around attics and what they see is displayed downstairs for the client.

How can you implement EGC for your business?

Thing-Generated Content (TGC)

In a world of the “Internet of Things,” content will be passively generated by context of the things in a physical space, whether it is a room or location. It will happen in real time, based on the arrangement and interconnection of smart things in a space or across spaces.

In many ways, EGC and TGC is the second coming of the Internet. Content marketing opportunity and innovation abounds.

Google Glass

Google Now is an intelligent layer that coordinates multiple services into contextually useful information that shows up as cards on Google Glass.

Types of cards:

  • TV listings
  • Currency
  • Public transit
  • Nearby attractions
  • Place info
  • Public alerts
  • Stocks
  • Flight status
  • Hotel info
  • Events
  • Restaurant reservations
  • Weather
  • Breaking news
  • Appointments
  • Birthdays

Google Glass is like a mobile phone on your face. Garner talks about how Google Glass alerts him immediately his flight is delayed. He calls the device intuitive. You can take a picture by winking.

Common reactions to Google Glass that Garner has experienced:

  • Delight
  • Curiosity
  • Fear
  • Uncertainty
  • Bewilderment
  • Overwhelming excitement

 

 

Author: "Kristi Kellogg" Tags: "Internet Marketing Optimization, Liveblo..."
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Date: Wednesday, 08 Oct 2014 23:54

Pubcon Liveblog: Link Building through Press Outreach was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Rob Woods, SEO consultant, will share insights on press outreach that leads to strong links in this Pubcon Las Vegas 2014 session.

Rob Woods at Pubcon Las Vegas 2014

Rob Woods at Pubcon Las Vegas 2014

Why do Press Outreach?

  • One of the few authoritative links left that are guaranteed to stay safe for the foreseeable future
  • Press links have good link equity
  • One link can lead to many links
  • Don’t just focus on link equity – traffic is good, too, as are citations
  • Press links are important for small, local sites as well as big, national sites

Caveat: Going after press links are hard work, take time and money, and you are going to face rejection from reporters.

Getting Ready

Have something to say. A lot of people think they can reach out to the press without having something to say. Whatever you’re pitching must be newsworthy. You have to be helpful, know your stuff, and build a decent press page.

Press Page Must-Haves

  • Basic explanation of who you are
  • Proof of why you are an expert
  • Social proof if you have it (we have 100,000 Twitter followers, etc.)
  • Include the assets a writer would need (logos, infographics, images)
  • Contact info

What to Talk About

  • Leverage current events
  • Leverage seasonal events
  • Site or app launch
  • Major events

Finding the Right Journalists

Search for your major keywords and comb through the SERP results (10 pages deep even) and find articles on your subject. You can also comb through Google News results.

Find out as much as you can about the journalist. Journalists and bloggers get a ton of inquiries – differentiate yourself by knowing how to get their attention by getting to know what they write about, what they’re interested in.

Look at their Twitter, their LinkedIn, their bio pages, etc. Maybe you’ll find a commonality that you can mention in your initial correspondence (for example, perhaps you went to same college or root for the same sports team).

Associated Press and Reuters should be your top targets. If you’re reaching out to them, make sure to write custom, carefully crafted emails.

Remember:

  • Be useful.
  • Be timely.
  • Be available. Reporters work weird hours. Be there for them when they want you.
  • Don’t be afraid to give away the farm. Give them lots of information up front.
  • Respond quickly.

Tools

  • Muckrack: a good place to find journalists on Twitter, searching by “beat” or niche. Through Muckrack you can save lists and create alerts
  • Followerwonk: search Twitter bios by keyword
  • Use Vocus or Cision to find journalists and their contact info

Acing Your Interview

  • Be prepared for written, phone, Skype or live interviews
  • Make and use notes
  • Know your stuff
  • Be professional
  • Be flexible with your time. If they want 8 p.m. … be there at 8 p.m.
  • Get media training of public speaking experience
  • Practice
  • Bend over backwards
  • Have unique data or insight they can’t get anywhere else
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for the link

 

Author: "Kristi Kellogg" Tags: "SEO, Link Building, Liveblog, Pubcon Las..."
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Date: Wednesday, 08 Oct 2014 21:17

Pubcon Liveblog: Pinterest and Other Missed Social SEO Opportunities was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Have an interest in Pinterest? You should – there are 70 million users are Pinterest, and their business is up for grabs. John Rampton, editor-at-large at Search Engine Journal, Stephan Spencer, vice president of SEO at Covario, and Cynthia Johnson, director of social media marketing at RankLab, share their insights on wielding Pinterest for to drive traffic, build community and boost sales.

pinterest-cynthia-johnson-john-rampton-stephan-spencer-pubcon

Cynthia Johnson, John Rampton and Stephan Spencer at Pubcon Las Vegas 2014

Stephan Spencer on Pinterest Magic: 20+ Tips and Tricks that Will Amaze and Astound You

  • The boards in the top row will get the most views. If you’re a sizeable brand, you might have several boards, and the boards you want to get traffic should be in that top row.
  • Your descriptions are not only important for SEO – if you have great descriptions you can show in Pinterest newsletters.
  • Vertical images perform better. Consider longer pins, but don’t make them too long.
  • Text on photos instantly jazzes up the photos and are more likely to attract attention. Only choose text that complements the photo – it’s easy to choose something bad.

Content Ideas and How to Spread Content

Take advantages of the popularity of memes, quotes and infographics

Create your own memes with online tools:

  • Canva
  • Pinstamatic (only for Pinterest)
  • ly

Get content out there by interacting with influencers. Don’t have influential followers? Tag an influencer’s Twitter handle and then tweet out the pin!

To every turn there is a season. Seasonal items do fantastically on Pinterest. Be about a month ahead. Don’t be like Kohl’s and post Christmas tree pins in August. Do consider organizing your boards by season.

Enabling Rich Pins

Rich pins should show a little taste to what is on the website. Rich pins can highlight:

  • Business location
  • Real time pricing
  • Article snippets
  • Movie ratings
  • Pinboards managed by several contributors
  • Invite key influencers to pin to it
  • Shows on every contributor’s page

Group Pinboards

Avoid pinning at dinner time – your audience is mostly women and that’s not a good time. Focus on early mornings or weekends.

The tool Ahalogy lets marketers:

  • Schedule pins
  • Edit photos
  • License content

John Rampton: 13 Tips to Rock Your Pinterest Account

  1. Connect all your accounts and share.
  2. Tag other pinners in your posts. (You can only tag those you are friends with).
  3. Like and comment on other people’s pins. 99% of the time you should be like, sharing, pinning and commenting – you should only be promoting yourself 1% of the time. It’s about building community, not promoting yourself.
  4. Write an informative description. Use hashtags.
  5. Tip iPhone apps to create beautiful pics. Rampton’s favorite apps are PicArt, Over, and BeautifulMess. Creating beautiful art leads to more engagement.
  6. Auto add a Pin It Button to every photo. User Pinterest Image Pinner.
  7. Replace your site with your website URL.
  8. Add the price to your products. Consider changing the price on oft-pinned items by a penny – everyone pinning
  9. Pin images of trending news in your niche.
  10. Postris – Use this to see trends in your particular niche and gin inspiration for what people are searching and actually repining. Typically things start trending on Instagram and move to Pinterest. Posris is a tool for Instagram, but
  11. Use ViralTag. Let’s your schedule out pins in advance.
  12. Use NinjaPinner. This will automatically follow unfollow and like pins. PS Don’t unfollow people – there’s no point. Use NinjaPinner to follow those that follow you.
  13. Here is a 1 hour a week Pinterest Plan – Use Viral Tag to schedule pins of the next 7 days. Go to Pinterest, visit 30 to 50 pins that are popular to your niche and comment. Next, go to NinjaPinner and have it follow people that add you. Go into Google Analytics and check you stats.
  14. Make sure your pins are visible to search. Turn privacy off.
  15. Make sure Your Account is set up as business page
  16. Verify your website.
  17. Name your boards with keywords. Use location mode
  18. Use keywords in your pin descriptions.
  19. File names become your image name – change the file name to something relevant.
  20. Create boards with repins only. They show up in search results.
  21. Map your pins. Pinterest maps are powered by Foursquare – switch on the “add a map” functionality.
  22. Share your boards.
  23. Adjust your Pinterest strategy to support mobile traffic. 75% of Pinterest users will access Pinterest from a mobile device.
  24. Keep your four best boards in the first four slots on your profile – why? Because those are the boards you see on mobile.
  25. Consider your character limits. On iOS you only see up to 100 characters, on Android 125
  26. Size your image appropriately.
  27. Make sure you website is mobile-friendly. They’re likely going to be coming to your site via Pinterest on a mobile device – don’t send them to a bad user experience.

Cynthia Johnson: 14 Pinterest Tips to Expand Your Reach

  1. Make sure your pins are visible to search. Turn privacy off.
  2. Make sure Your Account is set up as business page
  3. Verify your website.
  4. Name your boards with keywords. Use location mode
  5. Use keywords in your pin descriptions.
  6. File names become your image name – change the file name to something relevant.
  7. Create boards with repins only. They show up in search results.
  8. Map your pins. Pinterest maps are powered by Foursquare – switch on the “add a map” functionality.
  9. Share your boards.
  10. Adjust your Pinterest strategy to support mobile traffic. 75% of Pinterest users will access Pinterest from a mobile device.
  11. Keep your four best boards in the first four slots on your profile – why? Because those are the boards you see on mobile.
  12. Consider your character limits. On iOS you only see up to 100 characters, on Android 125
  13. Size your image appropriately.
  14. Make sure you website is mobile-friendly. They’re likely going to be coming to your site via Pinterest on a mobile device – don’t send them to a bad user experience.
Author: "Kristi Kellogg" Tags: "Social Media Marketing, Liveblog, Pubcon..."
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Date: Wednesday, 08 Oct 2014 20:15

Pubcon Liveblog: Search Algorithm Chaos & Keyword (Not Provided) was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

In this Pubcon Las Vegas session, Bruce Clay (president of Bruce Clay, Inc.), Prashant Puri (co-founder of AdLift) and Jake Bohall (vice president of marketing at Virante) are going to talk about an always-hot topic in SEO: Keyword data (Not Provided). Clay explains why he thinks (Not Provided) is not that big of a deal. Puri shares fresh ideas for gathering up more keyword data, regardless of keyword data provision by Google. And Bohall talks about chaos theory and how it applies to SEO.

jake-bohall-prashant-puri-bruce-clay-pubcon

Jake Bohall, Prashant Puri and Bruce Clay at Pubcon session Taming Algo Chaos and (Not Provided)

Bruce Clay: “Provided” Is a Fallacy and So Is (Not Provided)

Clay tells us that the very idea of (Not Provided) is a fallacy; definitive, black-and-white keyword data was never available to us – why? Because for the past six years, Google has been modifying our SERP results based on data and search history. Note the following link that began showing up in 2008:

not provided in google

We know that web history and location have been a long-time disruption. When you consider these disruptions, you realize that analytics data can be somewhat misleading.

Consider this: if you search for “drug rehab” you get research papers, but if you search for drug rehab in Hollywood, you get local rehab centers. Google assumes that people searching “drug rehab” in Hollywood are looking for a center, rather than researching, and that’s based on Google’s understanding of these searchers’ IP addresses.

The moral of the story is that all along, our SERP results have been modified based on Google’s interpretation of their search history and location.

Dealing with Web History

Google Instant shows what is actually being queried. Use it to find out what related terms people are searching for. SEOs need to care about those related queries, as well. Google Instant shows us those.

not provided and keywords

Google Instant

Google Instant is 100% query based. We can look at it to see the frequency of a query. It is manipulatable. As we go through web history, we can see the words — in descending sequence by continuation — that people search often. If they make sense for our page, we need to integrate these queries onto our pages.

Dealing with Locations

As you search in different cities, you get all sorts of different results. One of the things you might want to do is set your location in different metros and see how it effects the SERP. Moreover, you have to account for the fact that the meaning of a word in one city might take on a different meaning in another city. Every geolocation effects the SERP.

This is a major factor in the mobile landscape. Mobile will disrupt everything. It’s already disrupting everything. Mobile results are based on intent. Is the intent shopping? Researching? Google determines this on the fly.

Traffic, Not Keywords

We’re not selling keywords; we’re selling traffic. Attribution matters. Specifically, high traffic and low bounce rate is what we’re after.

As to pinpointing keywords that are driving our traffic, we can come very close, but there’s no way to identify a single keyword. We can identify, for example, a group of four keywords, but that’s as close as we can come.

One landing page can rank for multiple keywords. It’s difficult to say I got this traffic because of this keyword. The correlation is hard to prove.

And remember:

  • 20% of searches each day are new or haven’t been conducted in 6 months.
  • 70% of queries have no exact match keywords.
  • 5% of users queries are greater than 3 words.

There is a significant difference between data and wisdom; we can look at the data and realize provided didn’t mean as much as we thought. “Provided” was a fallacy.

Prashant Puri: Sources of Keyword Data

Google said (Not Provided) was only going to affect 10% of data, but according to Puri it, in fact, affects 90%. How do you get more data? Puri suggests downloading search query data on monthly basis. The data is rolling, so you have to keep up with it.

Maximize Your Search Query Data

The way to maximize your search query data is to dive deep into the categories on your site.

Use the folder level URLs as separate websites — this lets you get a lot more data.

Pury shares that with one client, there were 6,572 pieces of search data available. After listing folder level URLs as separate websites and de-duping, that number rose to 16,514.

You will get 80% more search query data, and the process takes less than ten minutes.

Understanding the Attribution Model

“The only use for last click attribution now is to get you fired. Avoid it. ” —Avinash Kaushik

Attribution segments show that 35% of conversions have more than one touch point. The majority of your conversions could happen at the first click, but there are a lot that have multiple click attribution.

You need to figure out which attribution model works for you. There’s no one-size-fits-all model.

Takeaways

  • Set up Google Webmaster Tools and extract historical data
  • Set up folder level/category structure on Google Webmaster Tools
  • Understand page level metrics for your top landing pages
  • Analyze the data for three segments: Not Provided, Brand and Non-Brand
  • Leverage an attribution model that works for your website

Jake Bohall on Chaos Theory

Chaos Theory: the branch of mathematics that deals with complex systems whose behavior is highly sensitive to slight changes in conditions, so that small alterations can give rise to strikingly great consequences.

The internet is chaos — and Google is attempting to make sense of that chaos.

Google is trying to organize chaos through its algorithm.

And yet Eric Schmidt testified before Congress that there were more than 500 unnamed changes, and yet there were only 8 named changes. It’s a growing war between Google and spammers.

Are SEOs the bad guys or the good guys? Bohall points out that most SEOs, by the very nature of their optimization efforts, are violating Google’s guidelines. Every time we work for links, he asks, are we not attempting to manipulate links? That is against Google’s terms of service. So, we need to be smarter than the algorithm and evolve. You have to evolve with the times. Meaning better content and better links. Better content means greater relevance and better links means greater authorities.

We should not fall prey to fear, uncertainty and doubt. We must move forward and make great content.

Quality Content Matters

  • Unique. Implement rich snippets, micro data and UGC.
  • Relevant. Topical relevancy
  • Authority. Share and create authority socially.

Bohall talks about the idea of broken link building — finding pages that existed in the past that was linked to significantly, but no longer exist. Create something new based on this abandoned content, and then ask people to update their links to your content.

Author: "Kristi Kellogg" Tags: "SEO, Liveblog, Pubcon Las Vegas 2014"
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Date: Wednesday, 08 Oct 2014 20:12

Pubcon Keynote Liveblog: Chris Brogan on Mission-Driven Execution was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Chris Brogan, CEO of Owner Media Group, opens the Wednesday morning keynote with a discussion of spirit and war. He recalls the Spartan war – the training, the vigilance, the stacked odds – and quotes King Leonidas: “Action produces the appetite for more action.”

Chris Brogan at Pubcon Las Vegas 2014

Chris Brogan at Pubcon Las Vegas 2014

Recently, Brogan began competing in Spartan races, modern adventure races that are a cross between running a marathon and getting beat up. There’s a certain shoe that you can only get after completing three Spartan races that becomes a coveted goal of many racers. People are eager to talk about their participation in a Spartan race, and it becomes a lifestyle.

CrossFit is similar – how do you know if someone’s a CrossFitter? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you. As with Spartan races, CrossFit enthusiasts adopt CrossFit as a lifestyle and are more than eager to spread the word on social media and talk up the CrossFit life.

CrossFit and Spartan races, Brogan says, are prime examples of brands that have a mission and a story – they’re so much more than simply a membership to a gym – and that’s why people are willing to spend $150 on Crossfit when an inexpensive gym can cost $10 a month.

Keep the mission alive with content and participation. Make the users the content creators. The CrossFitters and Spartan racers are telling the brand story.

Brand vs. Mission

Brand is the outward expression of a mission. Mission is what drives your deepest purpose. Match these well for excellence.

Mission is the mast. Service fills the sails. Content is the drum that calls us together.

Mission and service together is the best it can be.

Make Content Drive Mission

Business is about belonging. CrossFitters feel like they belong to something.

Give people something bigger than the sales pitch and they’ll sell it FOR you.

But YOU have to believe, too.

Start with a need. Owners struggle with making the best use of their freedom and learning how to best serve a community.

Side note: entrepreneurs are crappy with their time – they spend time as if it’s infinite and money as if it’s finite.

The Russell Simmons Method of Marketing

Brogan shares an anecdote – when he gave free webinars, he would have about 100 attendees. When he decided to charge $20 for the webinar, he had more than 600 signups. There’s obviously a lesson there. The small charge made it feel like a value add.

Moreover, in the webinars, Brogan was pitching a $1,000 product. He was working with very different price points, which he refers to as the Russell Simmons method of marketing – because you can find Russell Simmons products in both Kmart and Nordstrom.

Messaging

Brogan includes messages like this on his site: “We equip owners for success. Not people. Not us. This is a mission. We serve owners and help them own the game they most want to win.”

Doesn’t this sound more interesting than “we want to help you with your business?” What’s on your website? Is it something someone would put on a flag and follow behind? Is it a true mission that people can believe in?

Connection

When you hit reply on Chris Brogan’s newsletter, you are able to reply directly to Brogan. Brogan points out that this is important – and 80% of the time, the people who reply are the same people who are going to be willing to open their wallets.

Author: "Kristi Kellogg" Tags: "Internet Marketing Optimization, Liveblo..."
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Date: Wednesday, 08 Oct 2014 00:45

Pubcon Liveblog: New Mobile Behavior and Click-to-Call Strategies was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Learn how to enhance your mobile marketing strategies and PPC campaigns with click-to-call extensions (and why they matter so much) as Jason Spievak (CEO of Invoca) and Daryl Colwell (Senior Vice President, Matomy Media Group) take the Pubcon stage to talk mobile search advertising.

Jason Spievak: Mobile Changes Everything

Jason Spievak

Jason Spievak

Mobile is the default platform for both consumer and business interactions.

It’s not that the path to purchase has migrated to the smartphone. It’s that it has evolved entirely.

More than 30 billion calls occurred to businesses in the past year. You can’t understand how business is performing unless you can connect the online media source that drove them.

Click-to-Call Enhances Your Campaign in 3 Ways

  1. Drive immediate action through click-to-call. Make it easy for customers to reach you through their preferred channel. 47% of mobile users will explore other brands if there is no phone number associate with the business’ search results (Google Mobile Playbook 2013).
  2. Improve Customer Experience. Stop pushing forms.
  3. Use Data. Don’t optimize on assumptions. Use real data. Know the ads, keywords, and landing pages that are driving calls.

Daryl Colwell: Back to the Future with Pay-Per-Call Marketing

Daryl Colwell at Pubcon

Daryl Colwell

The average American consumer spends 34 hours a month browsing the Internet on a mobile device (source: Direct Marketing News). By 2018, mobile search will drive 73 billion inbound calls to advertisers (source: BIA/Kelsey).

Old vs. New Media: Inbound Calls

Google is extremely concerned with how users experience mobile – Google asks you to rate a phone call after placing it through a click-to-call.

Back to the Future: What Worked Then Works Now

In classified ads, for example, you see features, benefits, and phone number. The clients and needs are the same – the method is different. Now we put that same information in a PPC ad.

Why Getting Leads Via Calls Matters

Phone calls have a higher payout than traditional lead generation. It’s a small “real estate” investment for a big return.

There are 30-50% conversion rates on a call.

In order to track your calls, give your media partner a unique phone number for consumers to call. Then you can identify all the calls that your call extensions are driving.

Advertiser Benefits of Leads Generated Through Call Extensions

  • Cost effective
  • ROI Focused
  • 100% connection rate with interested and engaged consumers
  • Consumers who dial in are further along the sales funnel
  • Higher transparency into lead (call) quality
Author: "Kristi Kellogg" Tags: "Paid Search/Online Ads, Liveblog, Mobile..."
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Date: Tuesday, 07 Oct 2014 19:57

Pubcon Keynote Liveblog: The Importance of ‘Buyer Legends’ with Jeffrey Eisenberg was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

“Buyer legends” are what marketer and bestselling author Jeffrey Eisenberg calls the narratives that craft a customer journey – and it’s also the name the company that he runs with his brother. In this morning’s keynote, Eisenberg will dive into buyer legends, exploring why they matter and what goes into them.

buyer-legends-pubcon-600

“Buyer Legends: The Executive Storyteller’s Guide”

People want wisdom. What they’re always looking for is one thing – they love to hear one thing – do this little thing and everything will work. They just love to take one nugget that makes a huge impact on their business.

But we don’t have just one thing.

There’s so much that goes into online marketing, and marketing at large:

  • Copywriting
  • Testing and experimentation
  • Search marketing
  • Social media
  • Design and layout
  • Psychology, human behavior and persuasion
  • Marketing and branding
  • Sales Presentation
  • Usability and user experiences
  • Information architecture
  • Business and web analytics

Finding one thing leads to a feeling of celebration — a feeling where everything went right. Think the 1986 Mets. A world series is a great metaphor for how to run a business – every marketing success comes from a long-term campaign for success. It’s about doing a lot of things right, not just one thing right.

Buyer Legends

Knowing that there can be no one single thing that makes or break marketing, buyer legends become all the more important. Buyer legends are the narrative that craft a customer journey, but they’re also an integral business process.

“Buyer Legends is a business process that combines the emotional power of storytelling with hard data to open new opportunities, spot gaps and optimize your sales and marketing.

Buyer Legends communicate the brand’s story intent and critical touch point responsibilities within every level of an organization from the boardroom to the stockroom.

Buyer Legends deliver improved execution, communications, testing and provide a big boost to the bottom line.”

jeffrey-eisenberg-pubcon-far-300

Jeffrey Eisenberg, “Buyer Legends: The Executive Storyteller’s Guide”

Why You Can’t Look at Hard Data Alone

The problem with hard data is that we’re looking through a quantitative lens and throw out empathy. This isn’t an opinion; there have been studies that definitively show when one part of the brain is turned on, the other side is turned off. You need to pay attention to both sides.

You need to tell stories. Stories lead to neural coupling, mirroring, dopamine production and increased cortex activity.

Conversion is a Journey, Not a Destination

“Conversion rate is a measure of your ability to persuade visitors to take the action you want them to take. It’s a reflection of your effectiveness and customer satisfaction. For you to achieve your goals, visitors must first achieve theirs.” —Bryan Eisenberg at ClickZ 2001

When thinking about personas, don’t just think about the personas – be the persona. Experience it.

Eisenberg thinks Amazon does a great job of this, and calls Amazon the most customer-centric company he can think of. He quotes CEO Jeff Bezos: “The most important single things is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company.”

Hard data shows that customer experience leaders have a far greater ROI than customer experience laggards.

Amazon’s model works. Realize:

  • Amazon has a 13 percent higher American Customer satisfaction index than competitors.
  • Amazon has seven times the category depth of competitors.
  • Amazon’s prices are 5 to 14 percent lower than their competitors.

10 Essential Elements of a Buyer Legend

  1. Who?
  2. Their purpose and objectives
  3. The sequence of steps in their plan
  4. The rational for their plan
  5. Key decisions
  6. Emotional struggles
  7. Anti-goals (the pre-mortem – what you don’t want to happen)
  8. Constraints and considerations
  9. Reasonable alternatives
  10. How will you measure it?

Why are buyer legends Important? A buyer legend:

  • Improves communication. Everyone gets the big picture and the details.
  • Improves execution. Direction communication instead of implied instructions.
  • Improves testing. Better variations to test, and if variations fail look to assumptions.
  • Makes more money. Improved experiences increase conversions and are worth the investment of time upfront.

Read more about buyer legends in the aptly titled eBook “Buyer Legends,” to be released Oct. 27, by Jeffrey Eisenberg and Brian Eisenberg.

Author: "Kristi Kellogg" Tags: "Internet Marketing Optimization, Liveblo..."
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Date: Tuesday, 07 Oct 2014 19:54

Pubcon Liveblog: SEO Copywriting Style Guide — Tools & Tricks for SEO Writers was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Mindy Weinstein, SEO Manager of Bruce Clay, Inc., and Lindsay Mineo, senior search strategist at ThunderActive, share tips and tools for SEO copywriting. Their lessons help writers craft content for people that’s also rich for search engines.

Lindsay Mineo and Mindy Weinstein answer questions at Pubcon Las Vegas

Lindsay Mineo and Mindy Weinstein answer questions at Pubcon Las Vegas

Mindy Weinstein: 4 Tips that Address the Human Element of Content Marketing

Whether you’re writing an article, a blog post, your home page … where do you start? You need to start with the human element.

Copywriting Tip #1: Listen to Your Audience

You have to know what your audience wants to hear from you. You need to understand them.

“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” —Ralph Nichols

How do you listen to your audience?

  • Learn everything you can about your target audience
  • Plan to write about topics and answer questions your audience cares about
  • Content must show that you understand what your prospects or customers want and or need to hear
  • Be empathetic

Close your eyes and imagine the people you’re talking to – your competitors aren’t doing that. You need to build trust and empathize above all else.

This goes beyond saying “Welcome to Our Website” – there are more than 18 million sites boasting this, and it does nothing for the visitor.

Don’t start writing until you’ve answered these questions:

  • What does your audience want or need?
  • What do they expect?
  • How can your website help them?

Your first sentence is huge – that’s when you’re going to capture someone and get them to keep reading. And in that sentence, it needs to address why they’re there and what they need.

Listen to your audience by:

  • Using Social Media. This is the closest you’ll get to reading people’s minds.
  • Conducting Surveys. Obtain comments and feedback. Get insights into what they care about. Get to know them.
  • Customer Service. Hear from the front lines.
  • Focus Groups. Discover perceptions.
  • Reach out to your existing customers.
Mindy Weinstein

Bruce Clay, Inc. SEO Manager Mindy Weinstein shares her four top tips for copywriting at Pubcon Las Vegas 2014.

Copywriting Tip #2: Research Your Keywords

Target the right keywords. Know the demographic behind the keywords. Don’t neglect the associated keywords (synonyms).

Weinstein’s keyword research tools:

  • Brainstorming
  • Bing Ads Intelligence
  • Keyword Tool I/O
  • Soovle
  • KSP Tool
  • Google AdWords Keyword Planner
  • Google Trends
  • Google Instant

Copywriting Tip #3: Create Your BluePrint

Each keyword is different. You need to understand the intent. You also need to know what the search engines are rewarding. Review the top ranked pages. Determine the normal behavior of your competitors.

Weinstein’s recommended analysis tools:

  • SEOToolSet Single Page Analyzer
  • Internet Marketing Ninjas On-Page Optimization Tool
  • WooRank Website Review
  • Microsoft Word and Excel (get organized)
  • Google advanced Search (allows you to look at reading level. This functionality was added when Panda came out – that signals that reading level matters to Google. You need to make sure your content’s reading level is appropriate by looking at the reading level of the already ranking pages)

Copywriting Tip #4: Develop Magnetic Content

Stay focused on your audience and incorporate the “You” attitude – that means that when you’re communicating, keep your audience (the “you”) at the forefront of your mind. Don’t focus on yourself – be ready to answer questions, such as:

  • Why should they listen?
  • Why should they care?
  • Why was this message even created in the first place?

Use the appropriate tone and messaging. Engage and connect. Create an editorial calendar – otherwise you’re going about things blindly.

Discover your headline’s emotional marketing value with one of Weinstein’s favorite tools: Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer. Studies show that headlines with a higher EMV have more social shares.

Lindsay Mineo: Tools and Tricks for SEO Writers

Lindsay Mineo at Pubcon

Lindsay Mineo at Pubcon Las Vegas 2014

Whether you’re writing for a brand or an agency you’re likely going to be reporting to someone who doesn’t understand SEO.

Persona Building

Relate to your audience as human beings – they’re the ones who are visiting your website and converting, not robots.

Keyword Research

Find the topics you should be addressing with the AdWords Keyword Planner. It’s free, and helps you find new keywords. Get traffic estimates for keywords and search volume, as well.

Finding the Right Voice

Connect with your audience as people. Ask you client or brand what voice they prefer to use. They might want to be humorous. They might want to be uber professional. Find out at the start so you know what tone to wield.

  • If you’re writing for a legal or medical site, still try to have personality in the writing – avoid sounding like an encyclopedia.
  • If you are able to write in humorous tone, make sure not to be insensitive. Brands who use the wrong hashtag or photo or words can come under fire.

Scope Out the Competition

  • Find out what you can do better. Try using Facebook Graph Search for competitor analysis.
  • All of your content should have some visual aspect to it.
  • Make sure to use white space.
  • Fully understand the language you’re speaking in. Are you writing regional content? Make sure your terms and/or slang is appropriate for the region. This really is important if you are outsourcing your content.
  • Write for the people, not the robots.
  • Use Title tags and Meta Descriptions; use your keywords but don’t stuff them.

Measuring Your Results

Mineo’s list of recommended tools:

  • Quora
  • Content Idea Generator
  • Google+ Communities
  • com
  • Your competitors’ social media accounts
  • Majestic SEO
  • Buffer’s Big List of 1879 Words that Convert
  • Title Tag Planner
  • Read-Able.com
  • Open Site Explorer
  • Content Idea Generator
  • Mail Chimp or Survey Monkey
  • Optimizely
Author: "Kristi Kellogg" Tags: "SEO, Liveblog, Pubcon Las Vegas 2014"
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Date: Tuesday, 07 Oct 2014 19:42

Pubcon Las Vegas 2014 Liveblog Schedule & Where We’ll Be was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

The Bruce Clay, Inc. team will be speaking, liveblogging and exhibiting at this week’s Pubcon Las Vegas. If you’ll be there, heads up that Google reps will be fielding questions about AdWords and Analytics at the the BCI booth 207 Wednesday from 12-2 p.m. 

bruce clay inc pubcon las vegas 2014

You can also catch our President Bruce Clay and SEO Manager Mindy Weinstein, SEM Manager Michael Shore and Lead Sr. SEO Analyst Robert Ramirez, in Booth 207 in the Exhibit Hall. If you have any questions on SEO, SEM, SMM, content marketing or anything else Internet marketing-related, stop by the booth and fire away. We’d love to find out how we can help you grow your business.

Presentations on SEO Copywriting, Linkbuilding and What to Do about Penalties and Google’s Algo Flux

Bruce Clay and Mindy Weinstein will speaking and moderating several sessions. If you’re looking for insights into SEO, take a look at these sessions:

Mindy Weinstein’s Pubcon Speaking Schedule

Tuesday, October 7

10:15-11:25 Copywriting Style Guide – Tools & Tricks for SEO Writers (Salon E)

2:30-3:45 Tomorrow’s SEO Today – Social Search and Beyond (Salon C)

3:50-4:50 (Moderating) Blog Content Editorial Management (Salon E)

Bruce Clay’s Pubcon Speaking Schedule

Tuesday, October 7

12:05-12:40 What to Do About Penalties (Exhibit Hall Demo Theater)

2:30-3:45 Taming Algo Chaos and [Not Provided] (Salon A)

Thursday, October 9

11:00-12:00 Linkbuilding without a Penalty (Salon C)

3:00-3:50 SEO Mosh Pit

Pubcon Las Vegas 2014 Liveblogging Schedule

For those not attending Pubcon (or looking for copious session notes), check back on the BCI Blog all week long for liveblog coverage. Bruce Clay, Inc. blogger Kristi Kellogg will be liveblogging sessions as they happen.

Day 1: Tuesday, Oct. 7

Time Pubcon Las Vegas Session
9 a.m.

Keynote: Jeffrey Eisenberg and the Importance of Buyer Legends

10:15 a.m. Copywriting Style Guide: Tools and Tricks for SEO Writers
2:30 p.m. Taming Algo Chaos and (Not Provided)
3:50 p.m. New Mobile Behavior and Click to Call Strategies

 

Day 2: Wednesday, Oct. 8

Time Pubcon Las Vegas Session
9 a.m.

Keynote: Chris Brogan

10:30 a.m. Pinterest and Other Missed Social SEO Opportunities
1:10 p.m. Keynote: Jason Calacanis
2:45 p.m. Link Building Via a Press Outreach Campaign
3:15 p.m Optimizing for Google Glass and Wearable Technology

 

Day 3: Thursday, Oct. 9

Time Pubcon Las Vegas Session
10 a.m.

Keynote: Jay Baer

11 a.m. Linkbuilding without a Penalty
1:40 p.m. Utilizing Personas in Social Media Contests
3 p.m. SEO Mosh Pit — Guest Liveblogger Matthew Young

 

Author: "Bruce Clay, Inc." Tags: "Internet Marketing Optimization, Liveblo..."
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Date: Monday, 06 Oct 2014 23:28

Opportunity Alert! Ask Google AdWords and Analytics Questions in Person at BCI’s Pubcon Booth was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

How often can you chat search advertising face to face with Google? Google representatives are answering your questions in Bruce Clay, Inc.’s Pubcon booth 207 on Wednesday, Oct. 8, from noon to 2 p.m.

ASK GOOGLE AT PUBCON

Search marketing industry conferences like this week’s Pubcon Las Vegas are an opportunity to move your own SEM game to a new level of effectiveness. By attending Pubcon sessions you expect to hear cutting-edge tactics from marketing wizards in your field, and you may chase down some face-to-face time with these experts at the conference hotel bar. That’s the payoff of conference attendance. It’s not as common to get in face-time with Google employees, but now, at our booth Wednesday, you can ask Google AdWords reps your questions.

We’re excited to be hosting this special in-person opportunity with Google as part of the Google Partners program. Google’s experts will be answering questions about:

  • Current and recent AdWords announcements or features, such as callout extensions and phone tracking
  • Google Shopping, the transition from PLAs along with holiday or seasonal AdWords advice
  • Google Analytics best practices as they apply to AdWords campaign management
  • Leveraging Google Analytics to improve AdWords performance

Sort out your Google AdWords issues with Google reps and Bruce Clay, Inc. this Wednesday at Pubcon Las Vegas.

If you don’t already have plans to attend Pubcon, we’ve got you covered! Get 20% off registration with the code rc-1330920. For an Expo Hall pass on Wednesday only, registration (before discount) is just $75. We look forward to meeting with you there and sharing our booth with Google!

Author: "Virginia Nussey" Tags: "Paid Search/Online Ads, AdWords, Google,..."
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Date: Monday, 06 Oct 2014 17:56

What Content Goes Hot on Google+? was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Answering BuzzFeed Founder Jonah Peretti’s Question

Editor’s Note: There’s been a lot of conversation about this post on our Google+ page. Check out the comments here: http://goo.gl/C5LXCW

In the keynote at SMX East this week, BuzzFeed Founder Jonah Peretti talked with Search Engine Land Founding Editor Danny Sullivan about social media, SEO and going viral. In the middle of the conversation, Peretti talked about Google+ in less-than-flattering terms.

I think we (the Internet marketing community) should talk about what he said. Not because his criticism mocked the social network, but because it was constructive.

First, the mockery … Some of Peretti’s comments on Google+ became Twitter soundbites that sounded pretty negative:

Tweet by Amy Vernon

Tweet by Matt McGee

Looking for the Google+ Sweet Spot

However, context is everything. Those tweets by Amy Vernon, Matt McGee and others were accurate as far as they went, but it’s tough to tell the whole story in 140 characters.

In context, Peretti was talking about Google+ in comparison to Twitter and Pinterest. BuzzFeed, the master of viral content (e.g., the Dear Kitten video produced for Friskies), knows what types of content work on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. But according to Peretti, they haven’t yet figured out what content goes hot on Google+.

In context, Peretti was talking about the “general” nature of content on Google+. It isn’t a social network about “food, DIY, or holidays,” as Pinterest is. Google+ isn’t about “real-time news and live events”; that’s Twitter’s life blood. What Peretti said he doesn’t know is this: What’s the “core energy” of Google+?

He has a legitimate point. Since Google+ is about “general” topics, Peretti said he wouldn’t know what to put a team on to try to develop the channel. Danny Sullivan responded in a half-joking manner that Google+ content was primarily “things about Google.” Indeed, some of the top G-plussers I have circled talk mostly about Google+, its many features, and how to use them.

As a blogger, I’ve written about the SEO and branding benefits of Google+. Its key value, as Danny mentioned, is the social network’s tight integration with all other Google products. Particularly because of the connection with Google Search and YouTube, Google+ makes sense for anyone who cares about search engine optimization. But in an era when social channels can drive a huge amount of traffic to your website (a la BuzzFeed), reaching the right audience with the right content is just as important as SEO concerns. And knowing the “sweet spot” of each social media channel — the content types those people hunger for — must influence where you invest your content marketing time and energy. And the question remains: what types of content are G-plussers hungry to consume?

Author: "Paula Allen" Tags: "Social Media Marketing"
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Date: Friday, 03 Oct 2014 19:11

SMX East Liveblog: At Meet the Search Engines Session, Google Says Penguin May Come Next Week was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

BREAKING NEWS: Google says Penguin Update could come next week.

When Danny Sullivan and an audience of search marketers have a public forum to ask questions of Bing and Google reps and search marketing industry veterans, you can learn something. Here’s a snippet from the session that just happened at SMX East:

Danny Sullivan: “When can we expect that overdue Penguin update, Gary?”

Gary Illyes (Webmaster Trends Analyst, Google): “Soon.  Very soon. Maybe next week.”

Read the rest of this frank, PowerPoint-free Q&A session to learn why Gary Illyes called the next Penguin a “delightful update.” Moderated by Danny Sullivan, this highly-engaged discussion, fielded a range of questions, from SMX first-timers to seasoned search veterans.

danny sullivan, vincent wehren, janet driscoll miller, bruce clay, ellen white, gary illyes

Danny Sullivan, Vincent Wehren, Janet Driscoll Miller, Bruce Clay, Ellen White, Gary Illyes (left to right)

Speakers:

  • Bruce Clay, President, Bruce Clay, Inc. (@bruceclayinc)
  • Janet Driscoll Miller, President and CEO, Marketing Mojo (@janetdmiller)
  • Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst, Google (@methode)
  • Vincent Wehren, Lead Program Manager, Bing Webmaster Tools, Microsoft (@vincentwehren)
  • Ellen White, Director, Organic Search (SEO), Team Detroit / Ford Motor Company (@ellenreathwhite)

Moderator: Danny Sullivan, Founding Editor, Search Engine Land (@dannysullivan)

Introduction and Words from Danny Sullivan

In true form, and in fully  integrated fashion, the session opens with the announcement that this is the first session ever at SMX that paired SEOs with Search Engines together in the same session. Although in previous years sessions like this have been conducted, the SEO panelists and search engine reps were separated. Danny jokingly points out that the two search engine representatives, Wehren (Bing) and Illyes (Google), were seated at each end of the panel, separated by the three SEOs.

Negative SEO? Fact or Fiction?

From the opening bell, we immediately hit the ground running.  The first question from the audience was posed to the entire panel:

Q: We’ve had two negative backlink attacks and a ton of negative links aimed at our site. Do you (the panel) recommend using a disavow tool or something else?

Bruce Clay fielded the question by quickly explaining to the audience a top-level view of his thoughts on negative SEO. He made it clear that if a company’s portfolio is indeed filled with negative links and they are five years old already, they may be of your own doing, and not as a result of an attack.

New Algorithm Update: Coming Next Week?

With the gloves off, Danny cut right to the chase and posed the next question directly to Gary Illyes:

Q: When can we expect that overdue Penguin update, Gary?

Illyes replied quickly, “Soon.  Very soon. Maybe next week,” and explained that the next update will be a “delightful update.” He adds that Google has probably made updates every single week or every single month since the last update, attacking sites on all sides, however, the new “maybe out next week” penalty is aimed to make both users and webmaster’s lives easier. “We want webmasters and users to be happy,” concluded Illyes, to a cheer of claps and laughs.

Note: One of the most talked about points after the session was Illyes statement that it may already be too late to disavow for the upcoming Penguin update.

On the Importance of User Experience (UX)

An audience question on the state of 404 errors quickly evolved into the importance of user experience.  Some highlights of the panelist comments on the immediate future of UX:

  • For Google, UX will become more and more important in the near future, “Maybe even by next week,” Illyes joked.
  • It’s not a bad thing to let your site trigger 404 errors, especially from a user experience.
  • Don’t neglect mobile. Mobile UX will become incredibly important to everyone, especially soon.

On the Proper Use of Structured Data

Shifting from the topic of penalties, the panel discussion got lively, addressing this question on structured data:

Q: If we add structured data to an event that occurs yearly, do we update the data or create a whole new page?

In the case of an event like SMX, where people might be interested in the history of the event, creating a new page will improve the benefits for the user. In addition, adding new structured data to the pre-existing page may not make much of a difference in search. However, when that event is over, that year’s agenda will be archived to its own page and the next year’s event agenda will maintain the link equity on the same canonical agenda page, illustrating the concept of “evergreen”.

Lightning Round

The final five minutes of the session including a lightning round of quick, short-answer questions. The questions came in fast, and the responses came in even faster. Here’s a short recap of the lightning fast Q&A.

Q: Is it possible for Google to give some progress reports on the status of disavows?

A: Yes. – Gary Illyes

Q: Can we expect that to happen?

A: I will examine that internally. – Gary Illyes

Q: Do mobile-deep links allow searches to crawl deeper into native mobile apps?

A: Yes, to Android apps. No, to iPhone apps. – Gary Illyes

Q: Hey Bing, how do you feel about what Google’s doing with https? Are you going to give boosts as well?

A: Having secure sites is a good idea, we love the idea. But we index what the user is looking for, so the answer is no. – Vincent Wehren

Q: What exactly was new in Panda 4.1?

A: I did not know. – Gary Illyes

A: I haven’t seen a difference. – Bruce Clay

Q: Has mobile search volume passed desktop?

A: I cannot recall, I can’t access my deep memory. – Gary Illyes

Q: Do the Search Engines prefer absolute linking over relative linking?

A: It doesn’t matter. – Gary Illyes

A: We don’t see a difference. – Vincent Wehren

Author: "Evan Auerbach" Tags: "SEO, Bing, Google, Liveblog, SMX East 20..."
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Date: Thursday, 02 Oct 2014 20:56

SMX East Liveblog: Deconstructing Pigeon, Google’s New Local Search Algorithm was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

In July, the quality of Google local search results took a turn for the worse, experts say. The cause? A pesky little creature called the Pigeon Update crawled into the maps, local packs and authoritative one boxes. Learn what changed for searches with generic terms, geolocally modified terms, and see some of the wacky-broken results that have cropped up since Pigeon landed.

pigeon-panel

Adam Dorman, David Mihm and Andrew Shotland at the Deconstructing Pigeon session at SMX East

Moderator: Matt McGee, Editor In Chief, Search Engine Land & Marketing Land (@mattmcgee)

Speakers:

  • Adam Dorfman, SVP – Product & Technology, SIM Partners (@phixed)
  • David Mihm, Director of Local Search Strategy, Moz (@davidmihm)
  • Andrew Shotland, President, Local SEO Guide (@localseoguide)

Pigeon Analysis by David Mihm: Back to the Future

David Mihm looks at 4 things about Pigeon for this presentation:

  1. What Google said
  2. What Mozcast says
  3. What the experts say
  4. Takeaways

1. What Google Told Search Engine Land about the Local Search Update

  1. Web ranking signals are going up
  2. Knowledge Graph behavior going up
  3. Some change to distance location parameters

Let’s look at how these 3 things hold up to the results of his analysis of search results according to Moz data.

  1. The query “day spa san francisco” shows a very similar set of results in local Google Maps and web rankings. This looks like supporting evidence for what Google said.
  1. Knowledge Graph: it’s clear there was an update. There are now some strange results like an answer box for a query where it doesn’t really make sense (e.g., “DWI attorney new Orleans” is not a query that should get an answer box). Google is definitely ratcheting up the KG signals, but it isn’t getting it right yet.
  1. Andrew Shotland’s article “Is your local business ready for Google’s neighborhood algorithm?” shows good evidence of the truth of No. 3. Searching for “convenience store,” a general term, gives you a tight radius of results to your location. By adding a geomodifier, results open to a larger radius. This is true for carousel results as well.

2. What Mozcast Shows

Dr. Pete is the Moz mad scientist. He pulled some data that showed a 23% drop in total results showing local packs.

pigeon-update-mozcast-data

Frequency of local pack results before Pigeon in blue and after Pigeon in yellow

There was a fairly even breakdown of gains and losses. Losses were often on real-estate related terms while branded terms saw gains in packs and one boxes.

Takeaway: If you’re a brand with physical locations in a given market, if you can make your physical locations clear to Google you’re likely to get authoritative one box or in the packs.

Here’s an example of a generic term that gained local authoritative one boxes: “boats for sale” search in Connecticut gives an authoritative one box to Jack Regan’s Yacht Shop. The best guess as to why is Google is using a signal from Acxiom, a known data aggregator Google uses for local data.

3. What the Experts Say

Every year David Mihm surveys the local search industry experts about local search ranking factors (LSRF) that are gaining and losing importance. Here are the generally agreed upon winners and losers this year.

2014 LSRF Big Winners:

  • Domain authority
  • Proximity to searcher
  • Quality of inbound links

2014 LSRF Big Losers:

  • Proximity to centroid
  • Physical address in city of search
  • Verified GMB pages
  • Quantity of structured citations
  • Proximity to other businesses in industry

He sees Pigeon as an amplification of Hummingbird — that is, a strong brand preference. Web signals like links have never been good at identifying worthy local businesses. Directories’ internal links are more powerful than all but a handful of inbound links.

What about pack results? Spammers who know Google’s playbook are the ones winning.

To recap:

pigeon-mihm-recap

Pigeon Analysis by Andrew Shotland

Andrew Shotland does local SEO for both big sites and little local ones. In May, local pack results disappeared for a lot of real estate-related queries. That seemed freaky, and not good for his real estate clients. Over 30 days they pulled this data for 24 real estate clients.

Traffic of real estate clients:

pigeon-shotland-real-estate-traffic

Impressions according to GWT:

pigeon-shotland-real-estate-impressions

Clicks according to GWT:

pigeon-shotland-real-estate-clicks

They saw the same pattern for roofing clients and moving company clients.

The analysis:

  • Traffic was going up even though local pack results had disappeared.
  • Pigeon was awesome for sites that lost head terms and were getting long-tail traffic.
  • Seemed to be seasonality at play.
  • Impressions jacked up after Pigeon.
  • Traffic started to drop as impressions started to drop.
  • Their conclusion from the data is that nothing really changed in terms of performance for roofing and moving company clients.

What about directories?

If you lose pack results, directories will naturally rise up; that probably happened for stronger directories like Yelp and Trip Advisor, but it turned out that for most smaller directories, the rankings hadn’t gone up, and some lost traffic post-Pigeon.

pigeon-shotland-directory-traffic

For most directories they work with and those they’ve talked to, Pigeon was +/- 5%.

pigeon-shotland-directory-data

And a notable difference after Pigeon is that there’s plenty of spam! He himself made some fake listings to test with fake addresses and exact match domains set up with a Yext power listing; those fake results got up in pack rankings in about 3 days.

Key Learning: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive You Crazy

There are cases where Google’s backend data set is broken, and the only fix is to wait for Google to figure out what’s broken and fix it.

Pigeon Analysis by Adam Dorfman

Adam Dorfman’s presentation is available at: http://bit.do/pigeon.

For the following findings he analyzed:

  • Sample size of 5000 location pages
  • Data collection timeline: 2 weeks pre-Pigeon, Pigeon (7/24), 2 weeks post-Pigeon

He likes to take Matt Cutts and Google at their word to believe that any changes by Google are meant to improve quality of search results. So, he doesn’t worry as much about a change to quantity of traffic, but rather looks to see indications of improvement in quality of traffic; that is, if (on-page) conversion rate goes up.

Analysis of Pigeon traffic and conversion rate shifts:

  • Traffic: -5.71%
  • Conversion rate: -6%

Oops.

What difference makers to measure?

  1. Business detail
  2. Offsite factor
  3. Onsite factor

Business detail

They looked at an effect from a business’s distance from centroid, or center of city. In:

  • Small markets there was a massive drop with distance of 20 miles or more from city center
  • Suburban areas there was a narrowing of search results to near the city center
  • Large markets there was a slight preference for locations just outside of urban city centers, dropping off outside of 20-mile radius
pigeon-update-moz

Note the drop-off of performance when businesses in small cities were more than 15 miles from city center.

pigeon-mid-distance-centroid

Note the drop-off of performance when businesses in mid-sized metros were more than 20 miles from city center.

Offsite factors

If you’re a new business and you have no links, you really need a few links to get into the game. Page authority matters. External factors are increasing in importance.

Onsite factors

ZIP code served and area served are two things local clients often have on site. They that found having multiple ZIP codes, up to 3, helped conversions. Likewise, listing more areas served was a big boost to performance.

pigeon-zip-displayed

Conversions occurred when businesses listed one, two or three ZIP codes and dropped off when four or more ZIP codes were listed.

pigeon-areas-served

On-page optimization still matters. Over-optimization is being targeted. Keep experimenting.

Takeaways

  • Pigeon Update doesn’t equal improved SERPs.
  • Where your business is still matters.
  • Attach your business to strong domains where possible. This is called “barnacling,” attaching yourself to strong domains.
  • And don’t over-optimize your location pages.
  • Experiment with what you’re doing on your website and location pages.
Author: "Virginia Nussey" Tags: "Internet Marketing Optimization, Liveblo..."
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Date: Thursday, 02 Oct 2014 20:32

SMX East Liveblog: 25 Smart Examples of Structured Data You Can Use Now was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Have you reviewed your website inventory and implemented structured data markup wherever applicable? If you haven’t, then maybe it should be next on your SEO to-do list. In this session, presenters go over some of the structured data types you might want to start using right now. Perhaps most important to your decision of whether or not you need to add markup now, speaker Mike Arnesen shares how to track the ROI of rich snippets. By connecting Google Analytics to your structured markup via Google Tag Manager, you’ll find holes and gaps in your rich snippets and also be able to set goals for them. (I’ll catch as many examples as my fingers can possibly capture.)

Moderator: Elisabeth Osmeloski, Director of Audience Development, Third Door Media, Inc. (@elisabethos)

Speakers:

  • Mike Arnesen, SEO Team Manager, SwellPath (@mike_arnesen)
  • Justin Briggs, Sr. Manager, Organic Marketing, Getty Images (@justinrbriggs)
  • Samuel Edwards, Online Media Strategist, Tenthwave Digital (@samuel_quincy)

7 Examples of Structured Data You Can Implement Today

Samuel Edwards works at a full service marketing agency.

A Brief Overview of Structured Data

It’s info formatted in a universally understandable way; abiding by a predetermined set of rules that define data types and the relations between them. Users understand the context of content on a given page, while search engines aren’t always able to discern the difference between “seal” musician, animal, approval. Do a search for “seal” and look at the funny hybrid result.

Rich Snippets are available for recipe, product, review, event — you’ve probably seen this before.

1. Review Rich Snippet

When review info is marked up, Google can present that info on a SERP. We see star rating, number of reviews. The main topic of the page has to be about a specific product/service. Can’t be in the adult industry. If the markup contains a single review, the reviewer’s name has to be legitimate.

2. Product Rich Snippets

Merchants can give search engines product info for rich snippets. Aggregate rating, total reviews, item price, item availability, and essentially endless qualities. Whatever you markup for crawlers you want displayed to the user as well. Product markup on product listing or category pages aren’t displayed. Has to be on the individual product page.

3. Event Rich Snippets

Day, dates, name of event, venue of event and city of the event. You can also markup performer, doorTime, startDate, location. Info has to be as detailed as possible. Event names aren’t supported if you include something like a call to action.

4. Job Listings Rich Snippets

Listings, company, job title, location. Can also add hiring organization, base salary, industry, and more.

5. Restaurant Rich Snippets

Ratings, number of reviews, price range. Can also add address, rating value, rating count.

6. Application Rich Snippets

Image, rating, number of reviews, offer and prices. Can add OS, reviews, screenshot of app. You have to incorporate at least 2 of the following properties: aggregate rating, offer, OS or software application category.

7. Recipe Rich Snippets: A Case Study with Duncan Hines

Ratings, total reviews, calories, minutes to cook and a lot more, as you can see in the slide:

recipe rich snippets

You may be thinking that sounds great but do I need to display structured data on all the appropriate pages? Yes.

Everyone is doing it! Prior to implementation, Tenthwave analyzed the top 263 organic search terms driving traffic to DuncanHines.com from Google and we found that at least one result on page had structured data.

Getting Started

  1. Used schema for recipe and looked through the item properties applicable.
  2. Sitewide implementation via a template with HTML markup, the schema tags as well as placeholders into which the server injects the actual recipe data when rendering the recipe detail page. Nearly all the pages on the site are UGC so this template stamped structured data on all new pages.
  3. Validate using the Structured Data Testing Tool.

Early Results

Markup was implemented in mid February. Organic search traffic from Google increased by 35.07% from Jan. prior and YOY increase was 93.46%. Plus quite a few specific results saw increases above the average, like 73.56% to 389% for Mountain Dew cake recipe.

Observe Ranking Increases: While Google claims adding markup doesn’t affect rankings, they found that 75% of 263 terms analyzed in the test saw an improvement in search rankings within two weeks of implementing Schema markup.

GWT is your best friend. Use it to validate the code you’re implementing. Use the testing tool, use Fetch as Google to crawl and find errors, then fix the errors reported.

Apps and Structured Markup

Justin Briggs will talk about conversational search and entities as mobile is moving to cross the tipping point and the majority of our traffic will come from mobile devices. The data we’re getting is more personal, too. It has access to location, email, applications. Search can execute functions, get into your apps, play songs, schedule invites, get into your email.

Conversational Search: users speak directly into search. the search is aware of hotel reservation ability. it understands that the hotel is an entity (known location) and it’s location aware.

App Indexing (Android apps): SE will know the apps installed and which are used most frequently; when you open a result from a SERP it may open the page in your HuffPo app, for instance.

Creating Indexable Apps

There’s an App URL format. Set up deep linking inside of an application. It can support multiple types of schemes. It can support a host path that takes you into the app. The control file for app deep linking is AndroidManifest.xml. When your app is crawlable and indexable, the next step is attaching that to web pages. Use JSON-LD for this. JSON-LD is a lightweight linking data structure. Implementation is effectively the same as corresponding mdot pages.

When you have a crawlable, indexable app you can add App Indexing API. This sends user behavior back to Google. Another consideration is noindexing sections of your app.

Leveraging App Actions

How do we get to a world where you tell your mobile “OK Google drive to Grandma’s house” and it opens a map app and controls the car. Or, just open the app Spotify to play the song you tell it to play. The Knowledge Graph is where it begins. KG means Google understands relationships and actions that can be applied to different types of entities.

Schema in email: Structured data in emails can appear in search results. If you send yourself an email with details about your trip to San Francisco, opening up Google Now will give you weather for SF.

8 More Ways to Implement and Track Structured Data

Mike Arnesen will talk about something that bridges the gap between SEO and analytics. Who has a plan to track the ROI of structured data on your site? You can see the impact of structured data by using Google Tag Manager, a way to deliver tags on your site so you don’t have to engage a development team every time you want to make a change to your site. You have container code for Google Tag Manager and then pushing changes go through tag manager interface which is pushed out through the container tag. bit.ly/semantic-hobbit

mike arnesen at smx east 2014

Mike Arnesen on stage at SMX East 2014

1. Audit and Discovery — Let’s see what we have here.

Use analytcis and Screaming Frog to identify prime targets for improvement.  You may have a blog, events, case studies. Look at the content types you can implement structured data on.

2. Implementation Plan

What content on your site is important? Trick question! It’s all important!

Build templates and guides you can use for all content types.

3. Events — Decide which events matter to you

When you’ve identified events on your site, go to GTM to create a tag name, type and web property ID for GA. Then select track type event, giving values that are recorded in GA such as category and action (like “person markup on-page”). You then select firing rules (like “has person markup rule”). Rule name and conditions (event that “equals gtm.dom” then fire the macro).

4. Start tracking — Set tag manager to listen for structured data

Custom JavaScript Macro: Detect schema.org markup on page and the result is true or false (do or don’t fire).

Creation order and naming conventions for  Macros, Rules and Tags: has to be created in that order.

5. Groupings — Keep track of each grouping

When you have this tracking and baseline info coming into GA, setup dynamic content grouping in GTM.

6. Goals — Create a goal to track performance

7. Watch the crawl – keep monitoring Google’s crawling to ID missing data or errors.

8. All Powerful Search — one sitelink to rule them all. Google rolled out a new feature, a site search box. SItes with a lot of popularity and navigational searches. This sends the user to a site: search for that website. A lot of publishers are nervous because the sercher is staying in Google longer. But instead, you’re making a handoff into your direct interal search experience. You have that visitor, staying on your site, and all the search traffic data (no not provided). Create a custom HTML tag in GTM to get Google to handoff search to site’s internal search.

Author: "Virginia Nussey" Tags: "SEO, Liveblog, SMX East 2014"
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Date: Thursday, 02 Oct 2014 19:41

SMX East Liveblog: Google’s Gary Illyes Talks HTTPS & the Future of Secure Search; SEO VIPS Share Data/Experiences with HTTPS was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

ATTN: INSIGHTS FROM GOOGLE, STRAIGHT AHEAD. Googler Gary Illyes, who we can blame for the HTTPS ranking boost, talks about the future of secure search, Google’s thoughts on secure search, passes along a message from John Mueller, and talks about the possible return of keyword data (scroll to Q & A at end). Eric Enge says he’s seen “no material change” in moving to secure search, and Raza Zaidi weighs in on RSS and WordPress in relation to secure search.

google on https smx east

Speakers:

  • Eric Enge, CEO, Stone Temple Consulting (@stonetemple)
  • Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst, Google (@methode)
  • Raza Zaidi, VP of Product & Technology, Gigaom (@rzaidi)

Gary Illyes: Insights from Google

“You can blame me for the HTTPS ranking boost.”

Humans have basic needs. Maslow came up with the hierarchy of needs:

  • Self-actualization
  • Esteem
  • Love/Belonging
  • Safety
  • Physiological

We have a basic need for security.

Twitter uses HTTPS for all users by default. Facebook uses HTTPS for all users.

At Google, we had really deep discussions about HTTPS. As a ranking signal, it affects less than 1% of queries. It’s a very lightweight symbol. Relevance and high-quality content are much stronger signals.

In 2014, Search Engine Roundtable migrated to HTTPS.

Later, Cloudfare announced they made SSL available for all customers.

Less than 10% of the discovered URLS are HTTPS – this is a crazily low number. Over time, this should reach 100%. 30% of the queries have at least one HTTPS in the results. I want this to increase.

Objections from Webmasters to HTTPS

  1. It slows things down. Illyes points out that Google is obsessed with speed — “We are obsessed with speed. We care about every single millisecond.” To that end, he asserts that it is entirely possible to implement secure search and maintain speed.
  2. It’s just not worth it (my site is just a blog, a small news site, etc.). If humans have a basic need for security, how can you possibly say it’s not worth it? It’s a basic need.
  3. It’s complicated. It’s really not. I have a degree in journalism; I managed to switch my site in four hours — if I can do it, you can do it, too. If you can’t, I’m very sure your hosting company can do it.

What’s next?

We need to think big – we need to implement moonshot thinking. We want to brave things and things that no one has dared to do before.

Google has Been Brainstorming

If you are going to shop on a site would you go through the checkout process on HTTP? You would probably not. Would you give your login credentials to a page that’s not secure? I wouldn’t. A broken certificate means no certificate at all – we might want to start pointing out to our users if they are going to an insecure page, on all browsers, not just Chrome. This is something we’re thinking about.

Message from John Mueller (via Illyes)

“We heard reports that after switching to HTTPS some people’s rankings dropped. We are actively looking into these reports. We don’t see any correlation to migration. HTTPS should be very transparent and not painful at all. For some people it worked brilliantly and I know that for most sites, it has to work because our index will just handle it well.”

Raza Zaidi

WordPress

  • WordPress VIPS’s implementation of HTTPS uses Server Name Indication (SNI)
    • Not supported on XP and old version of IE
    • Warnings will be present to user resulting in lost traffic
  • Also can support HTTP Strict Transport Security HSTS
    • This degrades gracefully so no traffic loss
  • Using WordPress plugin to forward all HTTP traffic (from bookmarks, old links, etc.) to HTTPS

RSS Readers

  • Historical users will have subscribed to the HTP version
  • The feeds will be broken; users will need to manually resubscribe to the feeds
  • Place FAQs prominently on the site

Eric Enge: HTTPS as a Ranking Factor (or Not)

Stone Temple Consulting switched its own site and tracked URLs, looking at the date the HTTPS was switched over by Google.

We found that of 12 pages indexed, there were 6 improved rankings, 5 got worse, and 1 had no change. There was no material change.

Data from SEO Clarity’s study on HTTPS (looking at 218 million sites including GoDaddy) also showed that SEO Clarity went through no material change.

Stone Temple Consulting found that Digicert had provided Stone Temple Consulting with extended validation SSL Certificate by default. This has a stricter level of validation, caused a 2-day delay in the HTTPS switch, and SSLGuru flagged the certificate as an issue.


In Q & A, someone asks Illyes: “If everything is HTTPS can we please get back our keyword data?

Illyes: “We are in talks with our execs about it. That’s all I can say. I can’t make any promises.”

Author: "Kristi Kellogg" Tags: "SEO, Liveblog, SMX East 2014"
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