Quick Guide to Smartphone & Mobile SEO

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mobile SEONeed to learn more about smartphone and mobile SEO best practices? Let’s start with a few statistics:

According to an infographic from Microsoft Tag, 51% of smartphone users are more likely to buy from a retailer with a mobile specific web site, however: only 4.8% of retailers have a mobile web site.

A recent study by Google, “The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users” reports 77% of smartphone users visit search engine websites followed by social networks. And nine out of ten smartphone searches results in an action (purchasing, visiting a business, etc.). Mobile use is growing faster than all of Google’s internal predictions, with YouTube seeing 200 million mobile playbacks a day, according to Eric Schmidt.

To capture the market, marketers and advertisers are increasingly allocating budget to mobile. In fact, eMarketer estimates total mobile advertising spending in the US will reach $1.1 billion this year, which is up 48% over 2010. Mobile search is forecasted to account for up to 10 percent of search budgets with Google capturing 97% of that market.

How can marketers take advantage of the opportunity with mobile search & optimization?

Of course there’s paid search advertising on mobile as there is on the web, but our focus here is on content, social and organic search, so the following tips will emphasize what you can do without advertising.

Fundamental SEO Best Practices – Effective site optimization applies for mobile sites as they would for desktop websites. Search engine accessibility, keywords, content and links all matter with mobile. Keep in mind screen real estate is smaller for keyword use in titles and descriptions. As a primer, check out this post from the Google Webmaster Central Blog, Making Websites More Mobile Friendly.

Mobile Friendly Website – First, decide if you need a dedicated mobile site or if you will present mobile users with a mobile friendly version of your existing site.  If you happen to know that a significant number of your customers use traditional mobile phones, then a dedicated mobile site may be warranted.  See the “Mobile Filters in Google Analytics” tip below for info on determining your website’s mobile activity.

mobile friendly website

A custom CSS file can usually accomplish a mobile friendly site for traditional, internet enabled mobile phones or it may be necessary to develop mobile specific pages.

Smartphones can view most websites as a desktop browser would, only smaller and may not need such customization. Another consideration is that some features, such as Flash content, will not display on an iPhone. Hopefully HTML5 adoption will address that.  While smartphone use is rapidly rising, there are still a very large number of traditional mobile phones in use. A “mobile friendly” site isn’t exactly a SEO tactic, but if people can’t view your site, there’ not much use in it attracting search traffic.

Mobile URLs & Content - Because of advice given by search engines, many Webmasters have their mobile sites detect user agent access via a mobile device and serve up a mobile friendly site using a different URL such as

  • m.mywebsite.com
  • www.mywebsite.com/mobile/

That is no longer necessary and website owners can present the appropriate content using the same URL. rel=canonical can be used for desktop content.  In all instances, the same content must be served to Googlebot and Googlebot-Mobile as what a user would see.  Advantages to a single URL include a single destination for link building and also to facilitate social sharing of pages via mobile phones meant for desktop consumption.

Mobile Keywords – When researching keywords, it’s worth considering that mobile search query strings, on average, are 25 percent shorter than desktop searches. As for mobile keyword research tools, Google’s keyword tool provides a mobile filtering option and the stats you see for Competition, Global and Local Monthly Searches, and Local Search Trends are all specific to the device filter you pick.

Google mobile keyword research

Mobile Formatting and Layout - There are many resources for mobile website development. If you want to test how your mobile friendly website will appear, then Mobile Moxie offers an array of handy tools for testing websites on mobile devices. Tools include: Keyword Research, Mobile HTML Code Grader, Mobile Search Engine Indexing & mSEO, Mobile Website Emulator and Phone Comparison, Mobile Search Engine Simulation and Results Comparison.

Mobile Content – In addition to testing the mobile user experience, it’s also important to test the effectiveness of your mobile content. Delivering mobile search traffic to pages is just the beginning with effective mobile marketing. Make sure the content users are interacting with resonates and inspires desired outcomes. Achieving mobile content effectiveness draws on content marketing best practices by knowing customers, their pain points and interests, keywords and social topics. Then apply that insight to your mobile content strategy. There are numerous mobile marketing case studies to draw ideas from to see what’s worked.

Mobile Site Map – Websites that serve only mobile content can provide Google with an XML sitemap.  Non mobile URLs should not be included, but URLs that return both mobile and non-mobile content can be included.

mobile sitemap

Mobile Filters in Google Analytics - On mobile analytics, Lori Ulloa says, “You can use Google Analytics to track your mobile visitors without creating a separate, filtered profile. You can get info such as those coming from mobile operating systems, mobile devices and even mobile carriers. If you do decide that an app is the right way to go, the Google Analytics for Mobile Apps SDKs make it easy for you to implement Google Analytics in your mobile apps.”

However, if you do want to use filters to extract mobile data (arguably to see if you have a mobile audience in the first place) then Google Analytics offers options in both standard and beta. Filters will inform you how much of your organic traffic is coming from mobile, how they interact with your content and if they’re converting.

Google Analytics Mobile

By 2012 mobile searches will account for 25% of global searches (Google Smartphone User Study). Consumer use of smart phones and tablets has skyrocketed and in keeping with best practices for changing customer information discovery, consumption and sharing needs, mobile marketing warrants serious consideration by companies of all sizes, industries and locations.

You’ve read my take on determining where to allocate search marketing resources before: If it can be searched, it can be optimized. That certainly means mobile search as much as it does search on the web. The question is, how and when your business will approach mobile marketing and more specifically, mobile SEO?

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Quick Guide to Smartphone & Mobile SEO | http://www.toprankblog.com

Driving Social Media & Customer Acquisition Throughout the Customer Lifecycle

June 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Online Marketing, Social Media

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Customer Hourglass Framework Altimeter GroupI received an invite to CrowdFactory’s “Driving Social Media & Customer Acquisition Throughout the Customer Lifecycle” webinar yesterday with Jeremiah Owyang from Altimeter Group and  Sanjay Dholakia, CEO of CrowdFactory and decided to liveblog it.

Jeremiah has pioneered a lot of the social media thinking found in progressive companies today and his blog, Web Strategist, is known to senior business and agency marketing executives world-wide. I’ve been reading it for many years. This webinar addressed several key issues from a social engagement and commerce perspective and promised to share how marketers are using social media to engage customers and prospects across the entire lifecycle.

Customer acquisition isn’t a just a linear path through a sales funnel any more. Social engagement and sharing opportunities exist wherever content is published, interactions and brand/consumer communications occur. Realizing how to incorporate social elements to facilitate engagement and sharing helps brands extend their reach and enlist customers to advocate for them.

Sanjay opened things up stating that driving engagement is essential throughout the customer experience, not just at the top of the funnel. Crowd Factory provides software that facilitates social promotion and engagement of all marketing content.

Jeremiah shared that when marketers come to the table, they often apply social media efforts in a piecemeal way. It’s important to involve the entire customer lifecycle and to think about the entire customer journey.

Altimeter asked 140 social strategists: What 3 go to marketing social strategy objectives will you focus on most in 2011? Responses were led by Website Integration (46.7%), followed by Ongoing Dialog with Customers (43.4%) and Listening/Learning About Customers (37.7%)

social media tactics

Source: Altimeter Group

The Customer Hourglass Framework

The challenge is that companies continue to build tactics in silos. Public Relations, Branding, Ecommerce and other groups might be building different social experiences for the same brand. These individual efforts result in an incomplete customer experience.

The traditional purchase funnel is outdated. Think about how we can use that funnel to be more effective, ala “Flip the Funnel” (Joseph Jaffe). The Customer Hourglass is a model for this alternative thinking and looks at the entire customer experience: Awareness, Consideration, Intent, Purchase, Support, Loyalty, Advocacy. Jeremiah’s presentation explores each of these brand and customer experiences as it relates to social media.

Awareness: Customers & prospects may not know who you are, so the goal is to become top of mind. A great example: AmEx OPEN Forum surfaces small business owner discussions and networking opportunities. This community enables small business owners to connect with each other and gain insights and expertise from thought leader contributed content.

Awareness Key Takeaways:

  • Expect paid media such as advertising to fuel the Awareness phase
  • Often rely on content about lifestyle and pain points of customers

Consideration: It’s about letting customers advocate for you. Leverage your customer’s content. Example: Epson has included customer reviews. Visitors who interacted with reviews were 67% more likely to convert. They also had a 25% higher average order value. The downside of other people’s content is you lose control.

Consideration Takeaways:

  • Repurpose your product inventory information an apply it to the real world
  • Aggregate 3rd party reviews to your corporate website
  • Repurpose your reviews on your corporate website to 3rd party websites and blogs: extend and repurpose

Intent: Customer interactions with ecommerce content provides opportunities to share their intent with relevant networks.  Example: Levi’s incorporates the “Like” button. Shoppers can “Like” and post comments about products straight to their Facebook wall. Customers see an instant shopping cart based on previous friend’s “Likes”. The caveat is that the data isn’t always correct, but is improving. Levi’s isn’t sharing performance numbers but they’re continuing this activity, so something is happening for them to warrant continued investment.

Intent Takeaways:

  • While still emerging, social features are fueling sales efforts by adding richer context to the customer experience
  • Expect next gen apps to pre-populate wish lists and shopping carts

Purchase - Tapping into friends at POP (point of purchase). This is where to connect with customers at the point of decision in the ecommerce experience. An example is Facebook launching group buying deals.  Another is Sony using group buying incentives to promote an album launch (Britney Spears). If a visitor got 5 friends to pre-order they all get 20% off.  Sony reports a 50% traffic bump at launch.

Purchase Takeaways:

  • Social features allow friends to share point of purchase with others
  • WOM (word of mouth) can be measured and attributed to individuals
  • Expect in the future that virtual currency or virtual goods will offer consumers discounts or exclusive deals

Support: Using these technologies to encourage customers to have a great experience. Example: Wells Fargo – @askwellsfargo is used to listen to customers and offer assistance. In the regulated space there are important concerns around privacy, so conversations are often taken to private chat or channels. Q/A tools, forums and similar applications can be used to encourage customers to support each other.

Support Takeaways:

  • Reduce support costs by giving information to consumers on hand
  • Use a tiered approach” load up FAQ first. Follow up providing the ability for them to conduct peer to peer support. Provide them with direct to company support when the first 2 avenues have been exhausted

Loyalty: The social application to this phase extends to multiple areas. Example: Hilton developed a mobile application “Top Guests”, which is basically a white label version of Foursquare for the hospitality industry. HHonors members can give a Facebook friend 25% off Doubletree B&B reservation once they check in.

Loyalty Takeaways:

  • Loyalty programs of the past are based on long term commitment and total potential spending value
  • In the future, companies will factor in game mechanics, badging

Advocacy: Another phase that extends to multiple areas, involves enabling customers to serve as brand ambassadors.  Example: TurboTax Inner Circul uses a community management tool.

Turbo Tax Inner Circle

Another Advocacy example is Microsoft MVP – Most Valuable Professional. Every year 4,000 MVPs are nominated by peers, employees, and other MVPs then selected by an internal panel. Term of service is 1 year. It gets customers to do the work of evangelizing the brand.

Advocacy Takeaway:

  • The holy grail of marketing, this is the lowest cost of acquisition, most effective marketing

Summary: Remember that customers are behaving in new ways, in new places and have new expectations. Think beyond the silos.

Sanjay asks:  Where do customers spend their time?

customer online destinations

There are a number of social applications and tactics social media marketers use to engage customers online including:

  • Sweepstakes
  • Special Offers
  • Social Shopping
  • Viral Video
  • Media Boost
  • Share Stories
  • Wishlists
  • Ratings & Reviews
  • Badging

Channels used to deploy these applications and tactics include: Website, Facebook, Display Ads, Mobile, Landing, Email. These tactics and channels extend across the customer lifecycle.

Marketers can create the ability during the ecommerce experience, to engage with social network friends (Facebook) for opinions. An example is the Rachel Ray website where customers can tap into their Facebook network during the purchase experience for advice.

Rachel Ray Facebook Integration

Tips on engaging customers throughout the lifecycle:

  • Fuel the top of the funnel (awareness) with paid media
  • Identify intent through social action
  • Offer the option to share your purchase event on the ecommerce thank you page – give them an incentive
  • When customers rate your content, encourage them to share that activity with their social networks
  • Drive loyalty with earned prizes and status
  • Call to arms – encourage fans to come together to reach a particular goal – game, recognition
  • Drive advocacy through story telling – encourage customers to tell & share their stories

Social data across the lifecycle is critical to success. Think about social as an “Add-in” or extension to what you are already doing at each stage – not a separate thing. (I would recommend SEO and Social Media Optimization in the same way).

Use the right social engagement for the right touch point – all from a single place so you have a common set of data about your customers. Use analytics and real-time feedback to determine what works and what doesn’t.

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Optimize & Socialize: Social Media SEO Tips For Large Organizations

June 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Online Marketing, SEO, Social Media, social SEO

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Social Media SEOWith nearly 50% of consumers reporting that both search and social media influence purchases, Social Media and SEO are hot topics for most online marketing firms. But there’s a world of difference between the notions of social dominance, super-powered with search ubiquity and the ability to successfully implement – especially in large companies.

One of the most common issues is that social media efforts themselves are often uncoordinated activities, let alone working in sync with search engine optimization.  Additionally, many online marketing consultants are accustomed to Social Media or SEO projects for small and medium sized businesses, which is a very different thing than working with a large or complex organization.  Being prepared to adapt independent and coordinated social media and SEO processes requires a unique combination of organizational finesse, adaptability and subject matter expertise.

Enterprise marketing initiatives typically involve multiple stakeholders, layers of approval and messaging guidelines that can stifle ambitious social content optimization and promotion.

However, it is possible to make significant progress in a reasonable amount of time with the right mix of planning, communication and expertise. Once departments or business units have an understanding of common and individual goals, confidence in allocating resources, adjusting processes, training, building out reporting and forecasting potential outcomes can open up a wide range of Social SEO opportunities. The key is to understand the nature of the business and how a coordinated social media and SEO effort can help the company solve problems and achieve goals.

To that end, here are 5 Tips to Empower Enterprise Social Media SEO:

1. Education

There is no substitute for an informed online marketing client, especially when it comes to coordinated Social Media & Content Optimization for Search. It’s essential that key contacts understand how today’s “Google Panda” and social-influenced SEO works and what the potential business benefits are to the organization.

Companies create content to communicate with the outside world for a variety of reasons: far beyond sales and marketing purposes.  Improving the relevant “findability” of content, both on and off the corporate sites, via search and social discovery across departments (Public Relations, Human Resources, Customer Service, Investor Relations, Community Relations, etc) can improve reach and desired outcomes. That lift in reach and engagement for other corporate content producers can help motivate those involved outside of marketing to execute social SEO best practices.

2. Advocates

With nearly 1 in every 6 minutes spent online on a social network and Facebook reporting over 750 million users, there are social media advocates and super users in every organization. Most companies have implemented some kind of SEO effort as well.

To gain support, it’s important that online marketers leverage individuals that have demonstrated a personal and/or profession interest in social media and are excited about the program to help “sell” the benefits throughout the organization. Tapping into SEO advocates works the same way. As evangelists for corporate site optimization and social media engagement, client side team members can use various tools to spread the “Social SEO” message, whether it is progress reports, internal update meetings or brown bag training sessions.

3. Results

Suggesting that a large corporation implement overall coordinated Social & SEO is often unrealistic, so such efforts can start by identifying high impact areas of opportunity. Is there a fledgling blog that’s showing promise but could boost traffic with basic SEO?  Or are there social networks building relationships that could be involved with sharing links to relevant corporate website content? Links & social sharing can boost search visibility.

Showing results at multiple stages in the program with careful attention to those areas of focus for respective decision makers, can help motivate support for people and resources. Imaging being able to improve traffic to a blog pet project for a Marketing VP by 50% though smart SEO & social sharing. Success inspires more success (and support for expansion).

Another example could involve shared search & social keyword glossaries from the Marketing team that have helped improve online visibility for PR, Job Listings or Customer Support content for one business or division. That exercise can help apply updated processes for other groups.

Coordination between social media community managers and marketers with SEO expertise is the frontline of Social SEO impact.  There are numerous SEO opportunities for large web sites and off-site social participation. Showing progress will help create momentum and buy-in from others in the organization.

4. Availability

Large scale Social SEO implementation can be daunting and involve many opportunities for outside subject matter expertise. Online Marketing consultants need to be available to client contacts in various mediums. For example, IM or text messaging so when he/she needs information during a meeting, questions can be answered quickly.  GotoMeetings, training or support via conference call are also helpful in providing timely information for internal meetings and decision making.

Many Social & SEO engagements involve an audit and meetings at specified intervals – but little communication in between. Being available at opportune times supports your client side contact as they represent corporate Search and Social Media leadership, empowering them to get agency recommendations implemented.

5. Content Creation & Curation

A Social Media & SEO Roadmap often requires agencies to provide assistance with implementation or support of internal training. Many large company social media marketing and SEO groups are understaffed or simply 100% allocated with current work.  Wether it’s web pages, blog posts or social content like Tweets, be prepared to create content specifically for social media and optimization initiatives.  The needs for the creation of content in such a scenario can include: presentations, newsletters, images and even training sessions.

Repurposing content, crowdsourcing and curation are also effective resources to fuel coordinated social media and search optimization. Curation can involve aggregation and annotation of industry news or it can be the repurposing of useful content from within the organization – from different departments or groups.  If there’s content being created, it can be optimized and socialized for relevant improvements in discovery and engagement.

It takes considerable resources and talent to execute and manage a successful enterprise Social SEO project. Not many consultancies are prepared for the demands in communication, education and patience. It can also be a challenge to manage the billable time for the kind of support recommended here, so setting expectations and parameters up front is essential.

Large scale Social SEO takes an equal measure of search engine optimization and social media marketing smarts as it does the ability to navigate complex organizations. By empowering client side advocates with knowledge, tools and ongoing resources to promote Social SEO processes and results, large company social media optimization projects can see a better return on their agency investment.

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Latest Tweets from Click4SEO

June 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Twitter

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Due to overwhelming spam, the clickforseoblog twitter account has been removed and a new twitter account willl be set up asap. Meanwhile, here are some of the latest posts from click4seo:

Useful twitter tool http://t.co/WgIejNI Free SEO Tools http://t.co/EA3v490 2 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Rapidly publish Google-friendly, fast-loading, high-ranking websites that literally take minutes to get up and running http://t.co/XN46xLr 3 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

8 Social SEO Questions Public Relations Pros Need the Answers To

June 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Online Marketing, Online PR, SEO, SEO Tips, social SEO

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Social SEO PR TipsIn the course of providing expertise and advice, I’ve really come to believe that it’s more important now than ever for Public Relations professionals to accelerate their knowledge of SEO and Social Media. The storytelling business is a competitive one and great messaging isn’t realized until it connects with influencers and those in a position to propagate it. Both SEO and Social Media facilitate discovery of news and information, so PR pros can boost reach and impact by becoming Social SEO savvy.

Thanks to an invite from Justin Goldsborough and Heather Whaling, I participated in a #pr20chat chat this week to talk mostly about SEO and PR with a hint of social media. For Twitter chats, I prepare by getting the questions to be asked in advance and then I answer them in a “tweet ready” format so I can be as useful as possible during the chat itself. That prep makes for a good blog post too :)

What are some simple, basic principles of SEO that PR ppl need to understand/implement?

  • I’d like to start with: Social is hot, but Google handles 10 billion+ queries /mo, so SEO is far from “dead”
  • For a good foundation, check out these 10 SEO tips for PR Pros
  • SEO Basics: Search results vary for users based on location, logged in, history – ranking is an iffy metric
  • SEO Basics: Research keywords & focus optimization efforts: 1-2 topics per page
  • SEO Basics: Use keywords & variants in titles, headings, body copy & links to the page
  • SEO Basics: Create, optimize, socialize & promote for links. Track web analytics, social monitoring
  • Also, check out this SEO Guide for PR (pdf)

When it comes to PR & SEO, what do PR people do wrong? Tips for improvement?

  • #fail: Focusing solely on press releases for SEO. If it’s searchable, it can be SEO’d
  • #fail: Only writing press releases AP style. Also try an article format & send via @PRWeb (client)
  • #fail: Overuse keywords, ignore link building, discount impact of social on SEO
  • Tips: Create keyword glossary & train writers on basic SEO copywriting & linking
  • Tips: Include web pages, releases, images, video, PDFs, MS Word Docs
  • Tips: ID a destination page as a topic target & build content, links around it

What are some tips & tools to help PR people discover the best/most relevant keywords?

  • Keywords should empathize with the intended audience: journos, bloggers, consumers
  • Think about keywords for search and social topics for conversations. Sometimes they’re the same
  • Keyword Tools: Google Keyword Tool (includes mobile)
  • Keyword Tools: wordtracker.com wordstream.com keyworddiscovery.com & semrush.com (for competitors)
  • Keyword Tools: Übersuggest (via SEJ) leverages Google Suggest
  • Once you have keywords, you’ll need: Keyword Glossary & Editorial Plan

What are some SEO best practices to ensure the *right* people (not just more ppl) find your site/content? (via @kaczynski)

  • Attract the “right” people via search to PR content through relevant keyword selection & optimization
  • Knowing your target audience means knowing their keywords. Optimize for the “pull”
  • Understand what keywords & topics reflect your target audience interest & focus on that

Google recently intro’d Google Instant Pages. What does this mean for SEO? PR?

  • Google Instant Pages only speeds display of SERPs you click. Very little impact on today’s SEO

How should PR pros balance social media vs SEO? Should one “lead” and the other support/follow?

  • Optimize & Socialize based on customer centric search keywords & social topics. It’s yin/yang
  • Social Media & SEO work together, but the lead tactic depends on intended outcomes
  • Both SEO & Social affect info discovery. Social media facilitates engagement & influences SEO
  • Marketing often owns SEO, PR owns Social. Cross-training is essential

Explain the process you follow to create & promote content marketing initiatives. How does SEO fit into that?

  • Content Marketing starts with my magic 8-ball. I just do what it tells me :)
  • Oh wait, here you go: 10 Steps to Better Content Marketing & SEO
  • Content plans are aided by keywords & social topics so creators can be inspired

Fill in the blank: _____ is the #1 thing all PR ppl need to start doing to improve SEO

  • That kind of question is trouble. There’s no #1 thing anymore. But then again …
  • If you focus on just one thing, you’ll get burned when that one thing changes
  • It comes down to relevance and network. The right keyword & content mix + social network for sharing = the WIN

We have some of the smartest marketers and public relations pros on the web reading this blog. What Tweets would you post in response to these questions? What questions along the lines of PR and SEO would you like answered?

Thanks to @prtini for her roundup of the chat, which you can find here: “14 PR & SEO Tweetable Tips“.

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8 Social SEO Questions Public Relations Pros Need the Answers To | http://www.toprankblog.com

Effective Use of Keywords in Content Marketing

Keywords Content Marketing

Wordle Cloud Using the Text of This Article

I recently had an interesting discussion with Ron Jones who is writing a book specifically on using keywords for online marketing called “Keyword Intelligence“. He was researching for the content marketing portion of the book and we talked about where keywords fit. These kinds of discussions are great for blog posts so here are a few ideas for you on keywords, SEO, Social Media and content.

Content marketing is customer centric and therefore often focused not only on creating information to educate prospects and customers about product/service features and benefits, but also about topics of interest relevant to the situations that cause people to need or want those products and services.

Effective content marketing informs prospective buyers of what they need to know in order to help them arrive at a logical conclusion to buy and recommend. Relevant and engaging content facilitates that outcome.

“Great content isn’t great until it’s discovered and shared.”

Understanding the information needs of the customers you’re trying to reach is the first step in creating a great editorial plan. The role of keywords in a content marketing program come into play as a manifestation of knowing what customers are interested in and what their pain points are. What are they searching for? What are they talking about on the social web?

Great content is best optimized, so to speak, for the intended reader first and foremost. At the same time, that content is thoughtful about keywords that can attract new readers through search and social recommendations. Great content is amazing. Great content that is findable and shareable is even better.

Here’s an Example Scenario:  Company 1 2 3 wants to focus on “Round Widgets”

  • Target Customers Care About Round Widgets That Cost Less and are Environmentally Safe
  • Target Customers Search for “round widgets”, “low cost widgets”, “green widgets”, “environmentally safe widgets”
  • Target Customers Socially Discuss “save money on widgets”, “widget impact on the environment”
  • The Content Plan Outlines An Array of Content Objects Supporting Search Keywords & Social Topics
  • Content Plan Tactical Execution: Blog Hub, Video Tips, Shared Customer Widget Photos, Facebook Page for Widget Environmental Tips, Email Tips & Issues Newsletter, Widget Deals Twitter Account, Guest Blog Posts Using Target Keywords on Widget Blogs, Contributed Articles to Consumer & Environmental Publications on Widget Cost Saving Tips and Being “Green”

By coordinating customer needs with content creation, optimization and social publishing, there’s a much greater and more relevant reach for the investment.

Keywords guide content optimization for findability through search engines as well as a focus on topics that customers care about and are discussing on the social web. Keywords are also useful guides for the blogger and publication outreach.

Keywords drive the “optimize and socialize” efforts of content marketers to share, promote and increase the reach of information that is relevant for customers who may buy or refer brand products and services.

The mistake online marketers often make is to solely lead with keywords (vs. customer needs) thinking that optimizing for the most popular phrases are all that is needed to maximize customer reach. High ranking content that doesn’t resonate with readers to share or with customers to buy and refer isn’t an effective approach. Also, customer information needs will vary according to where they are in the research and buying process.

Keywords and topics change over time so even after a customer is acquired, it’s important to monitor, measure and refine as needed.

My question for you: Are your content marketing and optimization efforts focused solely on high popularity count keywords? Are you digging into both search keywords and social topics as you formulate your content marketing strategy?

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35 Smart Social Media Business & Consumer Insights from @BrianSolis

June 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Online Marketing, Social Media

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Brian Solis

Engage or Die

1. Our opportunity with social media is to do something more meaningful than just “marketing”.

2. Social media is not here to save you. It’s not here to make your business matter again. That’s your job. Social media are the tools to help you connect and engage.

3. Each social platform is its own community. What we do on the social web isn’t about social media at large, but cultivating community within each distinct platform. If this was easy, we wouldn’t be here.

4. Where to start: What makes you/your business so special?

5. This is not a social destination situation. On the social web, you’ve really go to be compelling to engage or visitors will just leave and go somewhere else.

6. Social media is an earned privilege. It’s not a right, but a rite of passage. We have to compete for that Like or Follow every single day.

7. Why do people unlike brands on Facebook?  Study: ExactTarget & cotweet (pdf) They post too often and posts are too promotional.

8. It’s not just about engagement, it’s about being engaging. So, how are you going to gain the attention of your community? What will will you do to keep their attention?

9. Social media just facilitates conversation, connection and community. Those things existed long before the social web.

10. There are three types of customers on the social web: Traditional Consumer, Online Consumer, Social Customer.

11. The social customer requires that you teach them what they don’t know and give them something they can’t get elsewhere. They won’t come to you. You must go to them.

12. Social consumers spend 1.5x than regular online consumers. They see the world differently and bring it to life through use of social technologies. They connect what you do as brands to their networks of influence.

The Roles of the Social Consumer

The Roles of the Social Consumer – Brian Solis

13. For the Social Consumer, it’s an audience with audiences. Marketing to a social consumer isn’t just marketing to that person, it’s marketing to their network as well.

14. Listening is more than monitoring, reports. What are your customers saying? Where are they tapping into the community for reviews, preferences?

15. Common metrics tracked with listening tools: Mentions, keywords, sentiment, share of voice, sentiment. What’s missing? The why and what’s in it for the customer?

16. Eighty percent of businesses are operating with a social media plan that looks like: Twitter? check. Facebook? check. That’s not a plan, it’s a plan to fail.

17. Social marketing: intell, insight, ideation, interation

18. “People” are the missing P to the 4 P’s of marketing. Product, Price, People, Promotion.

19. For the social customer it’s the end of the destination era. It’s time to build bridges between their social communities.

20. Social consumers are beginning to be rewarded for status. Example: Klout score that gets you an upgrade at the Palms hotel in Vegas.

21. Influence is an easy way to engage in a 1 to many format. But a better way is 1 to 1 to many. It’s about introducing value to the right people.

22. Do something exciting! Get off your ass and engage your passions.

23. The important question is: “Who’s influencing your market at the peer level?” Not popularity or influence. Influence is not popularity and vice versa. “Likes” are not influence.

24. Influence is the capacity to change behavior, affect outcomes. Your job is to bridge cause and effect.

25. Vocus study: “What Makes an Influencer” (pdf) The most important factor of influence is ability to publish useful, compelling information.

26. Three tools to find influencers: mPACT, Klout, research.ly

27. We’re moving away from social graph (popularity) to the “interest graph”.

28. Connect to the right people in the right way. You have to invest in these experiences.

29. Would you tweet your mission statement? think about what your company means to the social space. why would someone want to connect with you, align themselves with you?

30. It’s not just about engagement but giving people something to engage around. Every company is a media company. Tom Foremski

31. Context is King: Treat each community individually. It leaves you wanting more, not spam.

32. Continually invest in content and engagement. Make things worth sharing so they extend beyond the influencer. They always know you’re there. and you leave them wanting more.

33. When it comes to ROI, the “R” is business value, not just $.

34. The future of business is not created, it’s co-created.

35. Your leadership is key in social business.

These insights were captured during one of Brian’s recent keynote presentations and rather than liveblog a transcription, I thought I’d pull out the “‘truisms” that Brian is so well known for sharing. Thank you Brian for your leadership and insights.

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© Online Marketing Blog, 2011. |
35 Smart Social Media Business & Consumer Insights from @BrianSolis | http://www.toprankblog.com

How To Get Backlinks: 3000+ Backlinks FREE!

June 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Link Building

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“The FREE Backlink System” that’s what Jonathan
calls it:


This VERY SHORT and REFRESHING video course
will show you how to get backlinks and build 3000+ backlinks
to your site for FREE!

You won’t need to buy any software and you
surely do NOT need to spend a lot of time
in creating those backlinks to your sites.

In fact, all the methods he suggests in this
course are whitehat and amazingly simple.


Let me share with you what one of the fellow
warriors has to say about this course:


“Grabbed this and just finished going through
the videos and here’s my take.

Just grab this. There’s some nice gold nuggets
here. I even had a couple of “Doh” moments
about a couple of these that I was aware of
but put in the “too hard” basket because of
the setup.

But since the emergence of the resource solution
Jon shows I did not think of these again or how
one could be the solution to the other.

Possibility for hundreds of links each month
with these free solutions.

Well worth the money in my opinion.”


I’m very confident that when you’ll apply the
methods that Jonathan is going to teach you inside,
you’ll be able to save hundreds of dollars on
backlinking campaigns! Know how to get backlinks easily every day!


These methods simply WORK and you do NOT
need to spend a lot of money to get your site
rank on page ONE in Google!

In fact, all the methods that he reveals in this
course are absolutely FREE and easy to do!

So go ahead and secure your copy right NOW
before he closes this WSO, How To Get Backlinks: 3000+ Backlinks FREE!:


To Your Success,

Stephen davies MSc

SES Toronto: Smart Mobile Marketing

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Mobile Marketing Panel at SES TorontoThe “Smart Mobile Marketing” session was a panel discussion, moderated by TopRank CEO Lee Odden. To begin the discussion, Lee opened with a question for the room of 80+, “How many people in the room have developed a mobile version of a site?” 3-4 hands slowly raise. And with that, the stage is set: There is a lot of learning to do surrounding mobile marketing.

The session panel consisted of 2 leaders and veterans of the mobile marketing industry, Deborah Hall and Michael J. O’Farrell.

Deborah Hall

Hall founded web2mobile 3 years ago, frustrated with the user experience when trying to access a site via a smart phone. One of the greatest challenges she noticed was the upload speed, or lack thereof, of sites.

Here are some interesting stats Hall shared regarding when users access their mobile device:

  • 80% while shopping in stores
  • 17% during movies
  • 14% while on a plane
  • 7% while in church

Maybe most interesting to mobile marketers, 17% of users have showed a store clerk an image of the product they wish to purchase! This stat is indicative of many of the fringe benefits mobile marketing offers brands. Although these 17% of users didn’t transact via their mobile device, they certainly were informed and aspired through mobile marketing.

To inspire the audience, Hall pointed out a few companies that are emerging as leaders in leveraging mobile technology and highlighted GetGlue. For those new to GetGlue, it is a social network for entertainment where users can check into locations as well as check into “things” (e.g. wine, Will Ferell movies, chess, etc.). The end result is a network where people can theoretically find people in close proximity with similar interests.

Michael J. O’Farell

O’Farrell’s professional experience with mobile predates text messaging and he is the founder of The Mobile Institute – a company that helps clients develop strategies for the mobile marketplace.

During his presentation he, similar to Hall, shared many compelling stats about the growth of mobile marketing. As the session opened for QA, O’Farrell and a crowd member pointed out an interesting benefit to mobile marketing revealed by data collected by Google on search habits: mobile use doesn’t dip. Unlike desktop search, where use on weekends, holidays and evenings drop significantly. That’s simply not the case with mobile, where users are consistent and unrelenting in their activity. These images tell the tale.

As the session continued, the next question needed to be asked. With a timid crowd, Lee thankfully stepped to the plate and asked “What are some tips for the audience on how they can get started?” Both O’Farrell and Hall agreed that the first step is research.

Google Analytics provides data on mobile traffic. Marketers should leverage these numbers to form a picture of their current mobile audience and prioritize their efforts accordingly. That is to say, a company with 3 visitors from mobile devices is not likely to invest the same resources into mobile as a company that has 30,000 mobile visitors.

The next step is understanding how your audience uses mobile. Google Analytics provides data on what Operating Systems (OS) visitors use. This is important and should have a big role in your mobile marketing approach, as different OS’s will require different specs for a mobile site.

Finally, get out there and try. O’Farell and Hall recommend a phased approach where marketers can dip their toes in the water by testing different mobile strategies. There will undoubtedly be some misses at the outset of any mobile marketing effort, but as mobile use continues to grow, there is no denying that it is time take the leap.

Canada is following the United States in adopting smart phones, with 50% of the Canadian population expected to own a smart phone in 2014 (55% is expected in the US).

To learn more, check out these top mobile marketing resources.

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© Online Marketing Blog, 2011. |
SES Toronto: Smart Mobile Marketing | http://www.toprankblog.com

Custom Facebook Profile Pics – 7 Tips to Optimizing Your Page Profile Picture

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Recently, we have been receiving many requests for customizing social media profiles including Facebook Page profile pictures.
The big benefit is that Facebook doesn’t have many restrictions on image size, so the dimensions can really work to your benefit and give your page a lot of flavor.
Tips for Maximizing Facbeook Profile Pictures:
* We like adding white-space […]

SES Toronto: Killer Facebook Targeting Tactics

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Killer Facebook Targeting Tactics at SES TorontoWARNING: This post is based on a Marty Weintraub presentation.  If you have seen Marty present, then you understand the warning and are probably smiling.  For those of you who have not, just remember you were warned, although this text doesn’t do justice to Marty IRL.

All kidding aside, Weintraub, CEO of aimClear, is a talented presenter that has a passion for his subject matter, Facebook.  In “Killer Facebook Targeting Tactics” at SES Toronto, Weintraub focused primarily on behavioral targeting. You know, identifying the behavior of your ideal audience and target/market accordingly. Sounds simple until you consider the millions of ways a marketer can slice and dice audience segments in Facebook.

Facebook marketing is a big topic and this presentation was specifically focused on Facebook ad targeting.

One rally cry heard throughout the session was “PPC is to SEO, as Facbook Ads are to social SEO.” Weintraub explains that much like how PPC can spike traffic and help point out opportunities (i.e. keywords that produce at a high rate) and weaknesses (i.e. pages that convert at a relatively low rate), Facebook Ads can do the same for social SEO.

The heart of the session was highlighting unique ways to use Facebook to reach target audiences. But before we get into some of Weintraub’s more creative examples of behavioral targeting, let me point you to some interesting user stats shared during the session regarding the wide dispersion of English speaking Facebook users.  Did you know that there are 13.4 million English speaking Facebook users in the Phillipines alone! The English speaking social media audience is larger than most think.

With the scope of the English speaking Facebook audience in mind, let’s look at some unique examples of how a brand can engage in Facebook Ads.

Literal/Safe Targeting

A hockey equipment company looking to increase online sales could easily turn to Facebook and target men and women who ‘like’ hockey. Or, a music and event promotion company selling Justin Bieber tickets would be wise run ads aimed at girls aged 12-15.

This may not be an groundbreaking approach, but the truth is that this is the safest and most reliable way of targeting an audience.

Lateral/Creative Targeting

Thinking beyond the obvious association, lateral targeting uses some logical assumptions.  For example, from our previous example, Facebook users who ‘like’ hockey are likely to be receptive to ads winter jackets. Hockey is primarily played areas of the world with colder climates. People in colder climates need to stay warm. Winter jackets to the rescue!

Using this approach requires creativity and a willingness to take a chance.

Negative Sentiment/General Disdain Targeting

Fans of the Facebook page I Hate My Neighbor – click the link if you don’t think it’s a real page – are certainly good prospects for a privacy fence company, if not a moat installation company. We know this because of the things that they indicated they don’t like. But let’s take it a step further. Facebook users who ‘like’ the I Hate My Neighbor page are also likely the audience that would be happy to pick up the latest Lewis Black comedy album.

Undoubtedly the least conventional and most dangerous approach to reaching audiences through Facebook Ads.  Proceed with extreme caution if you choose this road and be very transparent with the brand you represent regarding your approach.

These are just a few of the examples shared in the “Killer Facebook Targeting Tactics” session. The underlying message through it all was that Facebook is big and there are opportunities throughout this massive network.  Facebook has 700+ million users. I’m convinced that Weintraub will have figured out some way to market each and every user by the time my plane lands in Minneapolis.

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© Online Marketing Blog, 2011. |
SES Toronto: Killer Facebook Targeting Tactics | http://www.toprankblog.com

SES Toronto: Competitive SEO Analysis

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Competitive Analysis Panel at SES TorontoReally, truly understanding the competitive landscape can help pave the way for a successful search engine marketing program.

Chris Boggs led a panel discussion at SES Toronto on Competitive Analysis – What tips and tools can get you the vital competitive information that every SEO needs. According to Boggs, “Competitive analysis is one of the most exciting and important tactics (SEOs) can do.

The session was segmented into 3 areas of focus: on site research,off site research and PPC research.

On Site Research

Marios Alexandrou, Rosetta

When conducting on site (i.e. within your competitor’s site) competitive analysis, start by:

1) Asking yourself, “what companies should I look at?”  Compete.com can come in handy here.  Enter a handful of competitors and look for companies with high traffic. These are the companies that will likely have characteristics that will help inform your SEO approach.

2) Assessing your competitors site.  Be sure to divide on site components into 3 categories: Content, Technical and Internal Links.  By segmenting, you can more easily identify their strengths, as well as their areas of weakness.

3) Crawling competitor sites by leveraging crawler tools like Xemu.  This will help determine:

  • size of site
  • links to internal pages
  • popular search term pages
  • Google Index

Once you have conducted your research, create a matrix to get a full picture of the competitive landscape. Do this by listing your competitors within excel on the y-axis and cross reference them against criteria (x-axis) like: Targets Long Tail, Optimized Title Tags, Internal Linking, Image Content, etc.

Off Site Research

Ross Dunn, StepForth Web Marketing

One of the most important elements to consider when performing off site research (i.e. looking at factors outside your competitor’s website) is quantity and quality of their external links.

Like on site research, off site analysis by identifying the competitors.  One way to determine your competition is to enter core phrases like “mountain bikes” as well as long tail phrases like “brand x mountain bike parts”. Survey the search engine results page (SERP) for top ranking businesses.  Be sure to weed out wikipedia and other non-competitive sites.

Now that you understand the different players, follow Ross’s tips for off site analysis.

1) Create Advanced Reports within Majestic SEO for each competitor and export the list to excel

2) Manually review top 50 links for each competitor and ask yourself:

  • is their anchor text relevant?
  • is their relevant on page content?
  • do they have quality on page content?

3) Find and highlight shared links among 3 competitors (hub links). These links are likely attainable and have value for your search results.

4) Look for biased links (i.e. hundreds of supposed different all linking to the same page with the exact same anchor text should raise some flags)

Don’t recreate the wheel.  Learn from your competition’s link efforts to elevate your online strategy.

PPC Research

Matt Van Wagner, FindMeFaster

Start your PPC research with the mindset that to succeed you need to go beyond obvious questions like “what keywords are my competitors buying?” to ask questions like “where is the biggest area of opportunity?” Both questions are important, but the latter will help you look past competitive data to focus on the opportunities that can be gleaned from your research.

Quality PPC research tools are plenty, but before you start your research, arm yourself with questions that will help you hone in on key aspects of PPC.

How many ads are they running? How many different messages/offers do they present? Are they using best practices (i.e. do relevant keywords appear in ad titles)? How often do they present new ads? Do they react to bid changes?

With these types of question in mind, here’s a list of some of Van Wagner’s favorite tools for competitive PPC research:

  • AdGooroo
  • Compete
  • iSpionage.com
  • Keyword Competitor
  • Keyword Spy
  • Comscore

Walking into this session, I have to admit that I was looking for the silver-bullet.  The one tool that does EVERYTHING.  The truth, as we all know, is that although there are powerful competitive research programs, your approach to competitive analysis is truly your most powerful tool. Learn from competitors by researching their efforts with a laser-like focus.

To borrow a line from Alexanderou, “copying your competitors doesn’t make you better than them.  It makes you the same.” Determine their strengths.  Determine their weaknesses.  Incorporate these lessons to take your program to another level.

You can learn more about different competitive intelligence tools by reading the “Competitive Intelligence – Search Insider Summit” post.

Stay tuned for more posts from SES Toronto. Follow @TopRank and #sesto on Twitter for real time updates.

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© Online Marketing Blog, 2011. |
SES Toronto: Competitive SEO Analysis | http://www.toprankblog.com

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