First, let’s start with a coupon for 20% off of AuthorityLabs for one year!
Any new customers can use coupon code “pubcon2015” for 20% off of our tools through 10-01-2016.
We are bringing 5 from our AuthorityLabs team to Pubcon Las Vegas 2015!
Check out the team pictures below so you know what we look like and come say hello at Pubcon! We have also provided Twitter handles for communications at Pubcon, day or night. We will be at the conference daily, at networking events and at Epic Dinner. Also, make sure to join us for the AuthorityLabs networking event and free drinks on Oct. 7, at 6pm at the Breeze Bar in TI.
Melissa and Michelle will be speaking at Pubcon and their session details are below.
Does social media affect SEO and rankings? This question has been argued by the online marketing industry for years. Some argue there’s statistical evidence that proves social media has a correlation with SEO and rankings, whereas others oppose the idea due to Google’s Matt Cutts’ statement video discussing the subject. Where do you stand? Do you think what is shared on Facebook can have an effect on where a website ranks?
To help continue the debate, we asked two SEO’s and two Social Media Gurus what they thought on the subject. Although some of their answers were similar, some were boldly different based on their SEO and Social Media backgrounds. Read on to learn what SEO’s Jim Stewart, of StewArt Media and Greg Gifford of DealerOn, Social Media Gurus Samantha Kerstetter of OrganikSEO and Jenn Herman of Jenn’s Trends had to say.
How Do You Start a New Client Campaign – With an SEO Strategy or Social Media Campaign First?
Jim: I would create your SEO strategy first as it will inform your social strategy. Good SEO starts with understanding buyer personas and what keywords they search for. When you begin publishing on social you use those keywords there as well.
Samantha:The first step is to make sure their website lends itself to a successful search and social media campaign. It’s essential to review the site to make sure it’s setup to accommodate human users and search engines appropriately. The SEO campaign and social campaign go hand-in-hand after this step (and don’t forget about the essential content marketing campaign). The next step is to create valuable, consistent content, optimize it properly and then promote via social.
Greg: A social media campaign is a PART of a solid SEO strategy. We always include social media as a part of our SEO service. Sure, Google says there’s nothing there, but there’s simply too much anecdotal evidence that social makes a difference. Plus, it’s just good marketing (when done right). And, social’s important for link building as well. We just don’t see any way to separate the two any more – one depends on the other.
Jenn: In general, I would tend to lean towards promoting a social media campaign before an SEO strategy. This is based on personal experience and client experiences. I have found that building an online social media presence, developing the brand awareness, and using this platform to build quality website traffic is more effective in overall search results. I have found that the more people write for SEO and keywords the less value they create in their content
Have You Ever Seen Social Media Affect Rankings Firsthand?
Jim: Not directly. They do impact though. Think of a video that someone tells you to look up because they saw it in social. Typically they’ll say “just search for..”
Samantha: Absolutely. When our team at Organik SEO analyzes Google Analytics for clients that have a dedicated Facebook campaign and advertising budget, we find that a good amount of referral traffic is often from Facebook. This increase certainly helps the client’s website become more relevant in search. We specifically focus on sharing great blogs that spark conversations, encourage engagement and to drive traffic back to the website.
Greg: With our own clients, no. I’ve been a part of several tests though, and in every case, pages got indexed and ranked purely on social signals (the pages were “islands” with no inbound links and shouldn’t have been able to be indexed).
Jenn: I do not have an advanced SEO strategy (gasp, I know!). The only thing I use is Yoast SEO. However, if you search for anything related to Instagram, and specific social media questions my website will appear in the top search results. If I didn’t have a powerful and strategic social media presence, I don’t think the same results would happen from an SEO strategy alone. It is through the social shares, social proof, and repeated website traffic generated through social media that my blogs develop the basis for strong search results.
Do You Think There is Relationship Between SEO and Social Media Marketing?
Jim: They feed one another. People discover in search and bring back into social. People discover in social and then look for more information via search.
Samantha: Yes, and it’s a big one. You need a successful SEO campaign to make sure your site and content is optimized. Social helps fuel the fire by spreading the content across the Internet.
Greg: Yep. Too much evidence to the contrary… BUT – even if we’re all wrong, there’s definitely a symbiotic relationship there… social feeds off of SEO, and SEO feeds off of social. With all the huge benefits that social brings (when done correctly), why would any business NOT want to make it a part of their online marketing mix?
Jenn: I absolutely believe there is a correlation between SEO and SMM. My blog will consistently rank high in search results and these results drive up to 2/3 of my daily website traffic. Because I have built a trustworthy website, with social proof in the number of shares, regular traffic (generated from social media), and a consistent creation of new content, my site consistently gets ranked higher in searches than other sites, many of which invest a lot in their SEO strategies.
Where Do You See the Future of SEO and SMM?
Jim: Social is so important for getting people to share your content and backlink to it. This sends signals to the search engines that the content is worth taking note of. Broadly speaking search happens inside social as well which is why keyword selection is so important. A lot of search is now happening via interfaces like SIri. You need to be creating great content and reaching out to your communities so you get found when people are looking.
Samantha: SMM is already being more heavily incorporated in search, as is evident by the recent change to Google that allows you to see companies’ tweets when searching for their name. More marketers are continuing to realize that you can’t focus on one element of digital marketing to have a successful campaign. You must take a holistic approach. The trifecta, to me is content marketing, SEO and social media.
Greg: I think it’s obvious that social signals will become more weighted in the ranking algorithm – as soon as Google figures out how to keep people from gaming the signals. I’m a firm believer of the fact that the ONLY reason they’re not more powerful now is because Google can’t figure that piece of the puzzle out yet… At some point in the future, social signals will displace links as the most important gauge of value.
Jenn: I think we’ll continue to see more value from social media affecting SEO and search rankings. Search engines will continue to update their algorithms, taking more stock in the social proof (shares and traffic from social media). As we continue to rely more and more on social media for our news sources and entertainment, search rankings will need to adapt to this perception of value in providing relevant content in search results.
In Five Words or Less, How Would Describe the Relationship Between SEO and SMM?
Jim: Social & Search have a symbiotic relationship.
Samantha: A holistic approach to a successful digital marketing campaign. Sorry. That’s nine.
Greg: They both start with S (← Well said, Greg!)
Jenn: Social media positively impacts SEO.
What side of the fence do you stand on? Comment below to share your thoughts about the effects of social media and SEO.
Keywords have a lot to do with SEO. Using the wrong keywords can cost you conversions, while utilizing the right keywords can increase web traffic and rankings. Although they are primarily used for Adwords, keywords can be placed throughout websites, in blog posts, and social media updates. Embedding keywords in such places can help improve where a website ranks, as long as it’s done in a professional manner, avoiding keyword stuffing and spamming.
There are several tools available to help generate SEO keywords specific to your business and industry, but at some point you’ll need to take a break from spreadsheets and get creative. Using data, analytics, and brainstorming you can create successful keywords to improve your SEO. Follow the steps below to stay on top of keyword trends and discover new phrases to add to your online marketing.
Start With Search Engines
Search engines can be your friend, especially when it comes to research. Type in one of your business’ frequently asked questions into Google and see what kind of results automatically appear in the drop down as you type. The drop down displays popular search phrases based on an initial word or phrase you entered. Using Google’s search engine will give you new keyword phrases people are already searching for.
While you’re on Google, scroll down to the bottom of the page until you see, “Searches Related To”. This section is exactly what it says and displays searches that are related to your search. When you’re running out of keyword options and need new inspiration head to Google and start searching.
Think Like Your Customer
Sometimes your customers know more about your business than you do. When you’re consumed with the structure and functionality of the every-day tasks it’s can be difficult to separate yourself and see the company from the outside. Take a few moments to look at the business through a customer’s perspective to get a better idea of new keyword phrases. Answering the following questions will give you a better idea of your customers thinking behavior and what they might type into search engines.
What is your customer searching for?
What are some of the most asked questions about your business?
What type of language and slang, if any, would they include?
Does the customer have a high reading level?
What does your customer need? Is there a specific product they would come to you for?
What else does your customer buy on a regular basis? Taking a deeper look at what other types of items your customer would be interested in can create new keyword phrases you hadn’t thought of pairing before.
Break Out the Notebook
Get old fashioned, grab an old fashioned, and start writing down different keywords using a pen and paper. In an environment you can feel creative in jot down what your business is about. Then, explain a few of your goals, what you want to achieve for yourself and for your customers. Describe some of your products and where you get them from (local companies, international resellers, etc.). Read through your notes and pick out new keyword phrases. These phrases may not be the highest searched, but will generate new terms to add to your website and Adwords account.
When practicing this exercise, try answering the following 10 questions to help further improve your keyword brainstorm session:
Describe your business in 5 words.
Now, describe the business in 3.
Use 1 word to describe your business.
Describe your competitor in one sentence.
Now, describe them in 3 words. Note: Refrain from using foul language 😉
Describe your industry to someone who is new to it.
Tell that person why they should join the industry.
Give them 5 words to describe the industry you’re a part of.
How would you describe your business to your mother using one sentence?
What do you think you’re most popular keywords are?
Divide Your Business Into Topics
Create a list of topics that relate to your business and industry. These topics can be generalized ideas or broad topics. Bloggers will easily be able to do this, as the idea is similar to creating a new blog topic. For example, an SEO agency can have a topic list like this:
How to Rank Number One
How to Increase Your SEO
Best Practices For SEO
What it’s Like to be Matt Cutts
See how easy it is to create 5 unique keyword phrases from brainstorming topic ideas? Once you have a list of topic ideas, develop sub-topics and categories for each section. This will give you more specific keywords generated from a basic topic idea.
Category: Ranking on Page One
Topic: How to Rank Number One
Sub-Topic: Is it possible rank on page one?
Sub-Topic: Best tactics for ranking
Check Google Webmaster Tools
Google provides several tools for online marketers to analyze performance and rankings. Their Webmaster Tools has a section made specifically to keyword data. By logging in, you’re able to see what keywords are performing best on your website, and which ones aren’t. If you’re using Adwords you can use this information to better allocate budget, as well.
Successful search campaigns rely on both knowing where you rank for terms and which terms the engines>think your pages are about. Authority Labs is a tool to help bridge the gap between ranking and keyword research. Discover new keywords, keyword phrases, and even those annoying Not-Provided keywords.
With Not-Provided becoming the norm for keyword data in analytics tools, Authority Labs’ Now-Provided report is now a key part of any SEO toolkit. Focusing efforts on pages and keywords that already have some traction in the engines can be quick wins that pay off in a big way. By combining rankings, Google Analytics, volume, and competition data, Authority Labs is able to highlight your important keyword opportunities. Easily add these keywords to your rank tracking so you know where you stand with your SEO efforts.
Re-do the above steps frequently so you’re constantly using the most up-to-date keywords. Check how each keyword performs over time through data and analytics, as well. It’s important to frequently update your keyword spreadsheet to stay on top of new trends and ahead of the competition.
Melissa Fach: Can you give us a brief overview of what retargeting is in PPC and Social Media?
Sean says the best explanation he as for retargeting, remarketing, or remessaging in digital marketing is this: digital advertising that engages a customer or prospect with custom messaging based on previously acquired information. There’s three parts to that definition. First is real engagement, this is never the first interaction that a brand has with a person online. Because it is at least a second interaction, brands have some information, or common history, with that person to base the message and engagement on. For PPC in particular, that messaging could be display ads via the Google Display Network or search ads in Google and Bing. In display, you can create very customized messaging to present at the right time on the right sight to the right niche of your audience. In search, you can overlay keywords with a particular remarketing list.
Rachel adds that paid social media retargeting works much the same way. The particular targeted audience is defined by interactions they’ve had with your brand’s website, email, or social media. Both Facebook and Twitter use forms of custom audiences that you can either upload as a defined list or create using code embedded in your website.
MF: How do businesses choose where they should retarget – PPC, Social, or both?
Rachel comments that the decision to use retargeted advertising in PPC, Social Media, or both really has to do with where the brand or client is at that moment. What do they need to accomplish? What goals and key performance indicators have they set for themselves? Audience preferences also have to be taken into account to ensure that you are getting the most effective and efficient use of that advertising spend. If your audience isn’t active on Twitter, there is little need to spend money remarketing in Twitter. If your brand does not have a significant social community, then PPC is probably a better option for paid remessaging.
Sean expands on those ideas by adding that a particular channel should not be ruled out strictly based on your brand’s activity in that channel. Take the time to do the market research and test the channels to discover just how much of an audience your brand actually has on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn before ruling out those options. If you have yet to be active, you may not be aware of the warm audience available to your brand in a particular channel.
MF: Is retargeting a good advertising option for everyone, then?
Sean continues by reminding us that retargeting works for companies that have tons of website traffic as well as for small businesses with very niche communities. Sometimes are the more niche and local the better. When your audience is already very small and specific, there’s no need to segment it. Segmentation becomes necessary when you have huge groups of people spread across large geographic areas. In many ways retargeting can be easier for the small local businesses than it can be or enterprise brands.
Rachel reminds that testing is everything. Very small budgets can still be used to find exactly where is the best use of retargeting efforts. The barrier to entry is low for businesses of all sizes. The customization means highly effective use of ad dollars no matter the size and reach of your brand.
Rachel and Sean both had a great deal of information to share about tools they use and common mistakes to avoid. There were also several valuable viewer questions you won’t want to miss. Be sure and check out the entire video or listen to the podcast, and share your thoughts in the comments.
As someone that has attended many conferences and has done blogging and social sharing from the conferences I know how crazy things can get. Pubcon is the largest conference I have ever been to and because there is so much to focus on I find it is helpful to get some prep done ahead of time.
So, I am going to give some tips on using the Pubcon agenda to help you prepare and find the info you need faster for social sharing and live-blogging. If you are planning a schedule of sessions ahead of time and know you won’t be deviating from it you might has well have the speaker’s info handy for fast writing or tweeting.
Pro Tip: If you are blogging having the bios and links done ahead of time saves you precious time.
The Agenda Grid: Links to All Kinds of Info
The Pubcon session grid is located here. Many people see it as a flat agenda and I am going to show you how to get more out of it. In the screen shot below you can each of the titles for sessions are actually a link to session details.
Those links lead to the session details page where you get more info about what the speakers are going to discuss, but there are links to the nitty gritty data you need.
See Ann Smarty?
If you click on her name you get everything you need to know for blogging and tweeting – her job title, a link to her website, her bio and her Twitter handle.
So There You Go!
We hope you have a fantastic time and we hope this tidbit of info will save you some work time (and searching for info) while you are there. Also check out the Pubcon itinerary builder. Please reach out if you have any questions. Our team will be all over Pubcon, so come say hello and make sure to come see us for free drinks on Oct. 7th at 6pm.