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How To Use The Marketing Funnel For SEO & Inbound Marketing

Marketing Funnel This month, I'm going to discuss content marketing strategy as it relates to search engine optimization. A lot of businesses get this wrong by focusing too tightly on the sales parts of the marketing funnel. With PPC, Money Buys Placement Before I get into SEO, let's examine PPC as a contrasting approach. In paid search, you rent access to a search engine's audience. That means, unless you're doing a branding campaign, conversions and ROI are paramount. This makes it logical to begin with keywords possessing high searcher intent for buying. Once you get your selling keywords running on all c [...]


Moz Search Ranking Factors Survey: Page Authority, Google +1′s & Links Lead

moz Moz announced the release of the full 2013 search ranking factors study they have been working on throughout the year. Keep in mind, this is comprised of sending out a survey to 120 SEO experts, asking them to rank each factor on a scale of importance. Moz then uses that data, alongside of their correlation metrics to come up with a list of the most important ranking factors based on the responses. This does not mean the list represents the actual most important ranking factors. In fact, one of the top factors listed, Google +1's, has been claimed to not be a direct, unpersonalized, rank [...]


Organic Vs. Paid: What $10 Million In Search Revenue For Hewlett-Packard Tells Us

click-share-top-position It certainly isn't the first look at the relationship between paid and organic search, but new a new study by Resolution Media and Kenshoo claims to put an end to the debate over whether paid search campaigns cannibalize organic revenue or add incremental value, even when organic visibility is substantial. Search agency Resolution Media and Kenshoo, a marketing technology company, analyzed a year's worth of US paid and organic campaign data from Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) of Hewlett Packard (HP). The data set included only clicks and visits in instances where both a paid listing and a [...]


Study Shows No Clear Evidence That Google+ Drives Ranking

google-plus-featured At SMX Advanced, I presented results from a study we had done that convinced me that links in shares from Google Plus and Facebook behave like traditional web-based links. My statements at SMX Advanced were later disputed by Matt Cutts during his keynote interview by Danny Sullivan, leading to a live discussion -- Matt even invited me up on stage during the keynote: [caption id="attachment_171790" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Image Credit: BruceClay.com[/caption] As a result of my keynote visitation, Matt and I agreed that I would rerun the study, this time with some guidance from hi [...]


How Search Engines Work — Really!

how-search-engines-work For those of us in SEO (or aspiring to be), there are a lot of little details that fill our days. Server architecture, 301 redirects, 404 errors, title tags, and various other things. Sometimes, we forget to sit back and figure out what it all means. Add to that the fact that most SEOs were never trained, but just picked things up "on the job," and it's no surprise that most SEOs don't really know how search engines work. When's the last time you sat down and considered how search engines (like Google) really work? For me, it was last month, while writing the post about a recent Google W [...]


SEO Checklist For Startup Websites

Focus Your SEO on Revenue and Profit Startups have a lot going on. Staffing, outreach, overhead, paperwork, development, testing, financing -- and that's just before lunch. Regardless of the industry, startups are by their nature volatile businesses that are stuck bootstrapping much of the heavy lifting early on in their lifecycle. [caption id="attachment_141624" align="alignright" width="200"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] While entrepreneurs are experts in their given fields and may even know quite a bit about conducting business online, it's unlikely that they are worried about SEO considerations. However, you don't n [...]


What It Takes To Create A Winning Mobile SEO Strategy: 5 Questions With Humana’s Mobile Manager

5-Questions According to a study conducted by Pure Oxygen Labs earlier this year, Humana was one of only six top 100 Fortune 500 companies whose website met Google's mobile SEO requirements. In light of Google's focus on mobile, mobile SEO is something all companies should be considering - not just Fortune 500 organizations, and definitely more than six percent of the top 100 Fortune 500. It was only a few months ago when Google's head of Web spam Matt Cutts told an audience at the SMX West Conference, "You really need to be thinking about mobile. We’re starting to think a lot about mobile." Googl [...]


SEO Ambiguity & Pattern Recognition

seo-ambiguity As search marketers, we constantly have to deal with ambiguity -- whether trying to reverse engineer a Google algorithm or simply prioritize and forecast the impact of the SEO recommendations we're making. In this article, we're going to explore what drives SEO ambiguity. Spoiler alert: some major survival skills are required. When dealing with SEO ambiguity, it's important first to note that the human brain is predisposed to seeking out meaningful and meaningless patterns. This concept, defined as "patternicity" by Skeptic Magazine founder, Michael Shermer, potentially creates two types of [...]


6 SEO Challenges Every Business Owner & Marketer Must Contend With In 2014

seo-featured There isn't much left of this year. Companies that haven't started planning their marketing strategy and budgeting for 2014 must begin soon. When it comes to online marketing, most businesses rely excessively upon Web analytics to decide what was (or wasn't) effective. What they find affects future decisions about where to invest time and money. Even radical decisions like firing internal staff, replacing an SEO consultant/agency, or doing away with SEO altogether are made on the basis of data thrown up by their stats package. SEO consultants like ourselves need to report results and pro [...]


9 Things We Should Never Stop Doing in Link Building

link-building-tactics1 A couple of months ago, I went on a little rant. (It happens sometimes; I'm looking into it.) I was overwhelmed by the responses that little column generated, with others picking up my rally cry to eliminate super shady link building practices. But commenters were also quick to point out that there is a lot of focus these days on what not to do. "We know (or should know) what not to do, but when left with only those options, you're peppered with client requests to bulk up link building efforts." He's so right. It seems as though for every 15 articles there are about what not to do in lin [...]


How One Brand Switched A Million URLs & Lived To Tell About It: 5 Questions With HomeAdvisor.com

http-url-web-featured Last year, home improvement company HomeAdvisor.com underwent a monumental rebranding effort that included switching more than 10 million URLS from their previous company name to their new brand. With over $200 million in revenue at risk and thirteen years worth of online brand equity, HomeAdvisor.com's CEO Chris Terrill and CTO Brandon Ridenour understood switching the site's URL would be a major undertaking, but necessary to establish the best foundation for building a stronger online brand presence. "We needed to narrow our brand's focus," said Terrill, "We know it's the strongest bra [...]


Penalized & Sad: When To Abandon The Sinking SEO Ship

Penalized and Sad Sometimes the captain can’t afford to go down with the ship, no matter the temptation or emotional investment. Every few weeks, I receive another hopeless phone call from another desperate webmaster. Since Penguin, I've seen more ships go down than I care to count. Websites that have delved too deeply into black hat SEO and spam tactics of the past have paid a heavy fine -- for many, the ultimate price. So, how do you know when it's time to abandon the sinking ship? Well, let me walk you through it the same way I do on calls. But please, bear in mind that this is only my professi [...]


Demystifying Link Disavowals, Penalties & More

disavow-links-featured [caption id="attachment_169618" align="alignright" width="269"] Google Webmaster Hangout[/caption] Findings from a recent Google Webmaster Hangout on Air (video) demystify link disavowals, penalties and more. Read on for the official word from John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst from Google and friend to webmasters everywhere. First, Some Background Last month, I introduced Five Steps To Clean Up Your Links like A Techie. The commenters on the post had a lot of good questions, and I wanted to begin this month with a few clarifications. First, the development of that list was meant [...]


The Concept Of Sameness & Why It Should Matter

Angry Search User! Long ago and far away, there was a world where there was no Web. Back in those early years (such as the 1960's through the mid-1990s), there were certain basic concepts that guided the world of marketing. One of the facts of life during those times was that each market space tended to support somewhere between three and five major brands, and no more. The major brands were the ones competing for general merchandise or services on a national or global scale. Regardless of where you went, they were there. There were other companies in these market spaces, too, but they operated in a niche fas [...]


Search Engine Land’s Guide To SEO Explained In New Slideshow Format

Earlier this month, we announced the addition of Mobile as a new SEO element in the 2013 Edition of the Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors, following a Google announcement that mobile site optimization is a factor in search rankings. The Search Engine Land Guide to SEO explains each of the success factors in more detail over the course of nine chapters, filled with additional resource links, SEO tips and tutorials in each area. Now, we've transformed our Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors and Guide To SEO into a quick slideshow format which summarizes each of th [...]


SEOs Say Links Rule Now, Content & Authorship Will Rule Later, In Moz 2013 Ranking Survey

Image via Crestock.com  under license Matt from Moz (formerly SEOmoz) has released a preview of some of the data from their search ranking factors survey they produce every other year or so. The preview shows us that SEOs still place the most value on links and then keywords on the page. But looking toward the future, content and authorship will play a much larger roll. In this year's study, which should be fully released at the end of the summer, Moz surveyed 120 different SEOs on various ranking factors. Here are some of the highlights from the preview of the survey: SEOs Breakdown Google Ranking Algorithm As you can see fr [...]


50 Percent Of Companies Struggling With SEO Aren’t Integrating Social Media [Survey]

seo-social-media What's one key difference between companies that are successful with SEO and those that aren't? According to a new study from Ascend2, it's this: Successful companies integrate social media into SEO strategies and tactics more extensively than companies that struggle with SEO. The research agency surveyed almost 600 business and marketing professionals around the world late last month, and asked the group to rate their own companies' SEO success. The survey compares answers from the 15 percent that said they're "very successful" with SEO and the 18 percent that said they're "not successf [...]


2013 Search Awards Comes To The US With Nominations Open Through July 19

US Search Awards 2013 The 2013 US Search Awards are now accepting nominations from organizations, agencies and individuals for search campaigns conducted in the US. The awards include 22 different categories, along with a Grand Prix prize which will be awarded to the best entry among the 22 categories. The deadline for entries is July 19, with the shortlist of winners to be announced Friday, September 6, 2013. Entries will be judged by a panel of 15 search industry experts, including Mel Carson of Delightful Communications, Bruce Clay of Bruce Clay Inc., UseTheData.com publisher Bryan Eisenberg, Moz CEO Rand Fis [...]


Infographic: 2013 SEO Ranking Factors, From SearchMetrics

us_ranking_factors_2013 The folks at SearchMetrics have released their SEO ranking factors for 2013. This is their ranking correlation study they worked on for the past 3-months, right after the second-generation Penguin update was pushed out by Google. Want to understand everything that was in it? They've got an infographic for that (click to enlarge): The key takeaways from their study included: Keyword domains and keyword links have lost relevance Brands are the exception to many rules Social signals continue to correlate very well with better rankings Good content is always important: it comes down t [...]


Only 6% Of Top 100 Fortune 500 Companies Have Sites That Comply With Google’s Mobile Requirements

mobile-break-broken-featured Last month at the SMX Advanced Conference in Seattle, the head of Google's webspam team Matt Cutts briefed the audience on the importance of mobile SEO. "You really need to be thinking about mobile," said Cutts during his keynote session, "We're starting to think a lot about mobile." Not only is Google's head of webspam encouraging companies to make mobile SEO a priority, a recent post on Google's Webmaster Central Blog confirmed the upcoming changes, "We plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users." In light [...]


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