• http://wordswordsseowords.com/ Christopher

    It is confusing, even for a lot of internet marketers (like me! :). However, people are finally starting to create highly practical and valuable resources. One example: check out Mark Shaw’s excellent ebook: “Twitter Your Business: A Beginner’s Guide to Using Twitter Successfully to Promote You and Your Business.”

    I’ve summarized a lot of Mark’s excellent guidelines, tips and best practices in a post called “How Businesses & Entrepreneurs Can Be Effective With Twitter.” Interested readers can find the link here: hanghimwithhispencopywriter.wordswordsseowords.com/social-media/twitter-how-work-busineses-entrepreneurs-effective/

    I think there’s going to be a big and growing market for these types of practical how-to guides because social media marketing can’t really be outsourced (unless you want to pay a ton of money to insure quality and quality control). Most small business will need to do social media marketing on their own or with the help of a consultant to guide/coach them. Guides like Shaw’s can really help with do-it–yourself (and you almost always have to do it yourself) social media marketing.

  • http://www.search-usability.com/ Shari Thurow

    Mark-

    With all due respect, from an information architect’s point of view, this article was confusing…and I know SEO quite well.

    And I respectfully disagree with the following:

    “If you want to understand consumer intent, there is no substitute for doing exhaustive keyword research…”

    How about usability testing and diary tests? Log file analysis tells you what searchers do and how they might do things, but they do not explain why. I do not believe you should make a blanket statement that “exhaustive keyword research” reveals intent, and that there is no substitute for it.

    I’m all for keyword research, as I am an SEO. But I am careful to not take it out of context, because I am a usability professional and information architect as well.

    I’ve seen plenty of erroneous conclusions (and horrendous site architectures, labels, etc.) made in the name of “exhaustive keyword research.”

    My 2 cents.

  • http://MSprague.com Mark Sprague

    Shari,

    This is an article about what can be learned from exhaustive keyword research – nothing less, nothing more. It’s not a substitute for good architecture or usability. The more you understand about how people search for products and services the better off your are. This can influence information architecture – it’s not a substitute for it. This step is just the first of many important steps in developing excellent websites.

    In fact, SEO and usability play very specific roles in a complex website development cycle. The following link details my view on this.

    http://marksprague.wordpress.com/enterprise-seo/its-easy-to-fail-at-seo/

    The following points about good website development practice was extracted from this post. I think these mirror your comments about other aspects of website development.

    What World Class Websites have in Common:

    •They understand human search behavior in detail.
    •They have strategically invested in information architecture.
    •They have a commitment to develop and deploy high-quality content on a scheduled basis.
    •They understand the role quality visual design (UI) plays in successful user experiences.
    •They believe in human factors and conduct usability tests.
    •They don’t let technology impact products and services in a negative way (gratuitous use of web 2.0 gimmicks).
    •They have high engineering standards and validate their code before shipping.
    •They understand that SEO page markup has to be based upon quality content, not gimmicks.
    •They understand technically how crawlers and search technologies impact content find-ability.
    •They understand that a first-page search engine ranking has more to do with high-quality content and a superior user experience.

    My 3 cents.