Here is the latest news on rankings. I’m hoping that in 2009 more businesses will look beyond how they rank and instead focus on qualified traffic. Perhaps instead of focusing on a Page 1 result, how about working on those terms that actually drive business and make money? I’m just saying.
A friend of mine on Twitter @researchgoddess sent me these questions to answer as part of an interview – so I am posting the interview here, and she’ll post hers on her site. Enjoy!
1. How long have you been working in internet marketing and what attracted you to it?
I started in publishing in 1995 and launched magazine websites. In 2000 I started at MaineToday.com as Audience Development Manager, primarily focused on driving new traffic to the site. Thanks to @seosylph for inspiration, I started SEO full-time less than a year ago with HMG Search Marketing, a boutique search agency in Portland, ME. So I’m one of the few with a strong marketing background, not a tech background. I can mess my way around code, but definitely not like some of the SEO people I follow.
2. In your opinion, what’s the measure of a good SEO/PR/Blogging professional?
A good SEO professional is someone who is well-versed in Webmaster guidelines, understands client goals, and does not take themselves too seriously. There’s always more to learn.
3. Whose blog do you read the most?
There are so many it’s hard to pick just one, it really depends what mood I’m in, or what kind of information I’m looking for. I’m a fan of @ericlander and @leeodden Top Rank Marketing Blog . I also enjoy @lisabarone, she is a gorgeous writer.
4. What’s your best “SEO secret” or blogging tactic?
There’s a secret? Please tell me! Seriously, I started blogging in the past year – and it is work, but so far it’s paid off in terms of at least establishing a presence for myself. That sounds egocentric, however it’s necessary in any professional realm. Learning and not being intimidated to write is probably the best tactic I can share. If you’re well-read, you can share valuable “info snacks” (that’s an Avinash Kaushik term) presenting what kind of information is important to you.
5. Search engine algorithms are getting smarter, and a lot of people predict Organic SEO services will become obsolete. How do you plan to adapt?
I have a hard time believing it will become obsolete. Websites are still being built, and they need to be built well. Granted the technology changes and gets better, but it’s only as good as the people behind it. SEO is also about marketing, people for get that. Businesses need to connect with customers, and as long as there’s money being spent, marketing is not going to go away.
6. Please describe the biggest challenge you face in your current job.
My biggest challenge right now is keeping up. Managing multiple clients with different needs requires changing gears often. I also would like a great way to pitch social media as part of an SEO package. Just haven’t gotten around to doing that.
7. Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in SEO, but doesn’t have a background in it, on how to get started in this field?
The only way to get to know it is to start learning and practicing SEO on a regular basis, network with knowledgeable people. The best way to do this is to start a blog, learn analytics and get on Twitter. I’ve discovered and networked with some fabulous people who are generous with advice.
8. If you could rank for any keyword phrase you don’t currently rank for, what would it be?
9. Assuming you had never gone into (what you do now), what would you be doing now (professionally)?
I’d be an artist, painting probably, and wondering why I have no money.
10. Do you have any interest in politics? (Or what’s your favorite professional sports team if you don’t want to answer the politics thing).
I’ve always been a Boston Red Sox fan. Growing up right outside of Boston will do that to you. You could hate baseball and still love the Red Sox.
Thank you to @MelaniePhung for writing the questions. And thanks to the following for their participation:
@almacy Digital Strategy Expert
@melaniephung DC SEO Strategist
@martinbowling Zima lover
@utahseopro Utah SEO Consultant
@fairminder Boston Website Design and SEO
@cyandle Google Adwords Professional
@jackleblond VP of Internet Strategy
@djpaisley Digital Communications Strategist
@vinceblackham Utah SEO Expert
@melanienathan Edmonton SEO Expert
@researchgoddess Staffing Social Media Specialist
@monicawright Maine SEO Expert
Last week we did a quick local SEO 101 presentation/training session where a highly-regarded PR firm attended. We were happy to see them, and had an engaging conversation on the impact of SEO and social media in the PR landscape.
But this in itself presents a challenge for anyone who works for a search marketing firm. With the growing comfort level for search marketing and social media at agencies and internal marketing departments, how does an SEO firm work with a client who already uses an advertising agency or PR firm that offer the same services? Do you “consult” on the projects that are already “optimized” by other agencies? Do you start offering these other services, expanding solely from search (such as social media efforts)? If so, how do you introduce social media as part of a search strategy? Do you provide the content development and syndication service as part of social media plans?
Of course, the folks in this arena are well-versed in social and the impact on search, but once presented with a potential client who has enough understanding to be dangerous (yet still confused), the challenge of _not_ sounding obtuse and buzz-wordy is a big one.
I’ve done a little research on social media specifics that you can actually offer as a service, but most service descriptions I’ve found (mostly from agencies) have been very broad, with lots of marketing-speak that just make my eyes roll.
As you can imagine, this could go in many different directions, and would love to hear your thoughts, or if you’ve come across the same challenges. I’ll be happy to compile the results and share the feedback.
I was reading SEOBook’s post on how to migrate blogs from Blogger to WordPress , excited to see a step-by-step process for something I really need to get on since WordPress provides a lot more flexibility and customization. But once I saw the first step, I started to panic:
Step 1: Download and install WordPress (also requires setting up a MySQL database).
Umm, I don’t have a clue on how to set up a MySQL database. Or hack CSS by hand, or create conditional php statements, or rewrite .htaccess files. So how am I supposed to take advantage of the SEO benefits WordPress provides when I’m technically lost?
I consider myself technically-savvy, many colleagues and friends can attest to that. But after I read that blog post I started thinking of the value of marketing vs. technology. Where does search marketing really fall? If I had the best, most up-to-date technology, will search follow? It’ll help I’m sure, but unless I create value, fill a need, and engage with community, does it really matter?
So I’m still considering WordPress because it really is better. But what I may just do is just provide a static link back to Blogger. That sounds nasty, it won’t be well-optimized, but I just don’t have time to learn php. I could always just stick with Blogger and forget about WordPress altogether. Unless someone out there feels generous and wants to help – I’ll be happy to reciprocate.
Blending listings from news, images, video, local listings and book search engines, Universal Search from Google will be delivering video more often to the top spots. There are steps to take when thinking about marketing video online, which extends a lot further than just creating a channel on YouTube.
Basic SEO tactics still apply – video optimization really uses mainstream search optimization
Write a relevant, but catchy, video title: Use related key phrases that is relevant to your product, service or brand.
Optimize with tags: Tag your video with key phrases that people are likely to use or based on keyword research. No need to hold back on tags.
Don’t forget your video file name and meta description: Use keywords in your video file name. And don’t forget your thumbnails too.
Develop inbound and cross links: Use keywords as anchor text to link to your video from other areas of your site.
Provide transcripts: This may be difficult to put right on the page, but you could provide an outline of the transcript with the option to download the full version. This helps optimize the copy on the page.
Video best practices help with marketing and SEO
Keep videos short: Rule of thumb is five minutes max online. 1-3 minute segments is better. If it’s a longer segment, break it out into multiple clips. Use good titles and tags, and provide thumbnails for each segment with descriptive highlights. It’s easier for users to pick up where they left off without having to go back to the beginning. Also it offers the opportunity to use more keywords, and helps when users are viewing video on mobile devices.
Use video as an entry point to your other content: Post videos on YouTube, vMix, FaceBook, etc. to provide links back to your site and other content.
YouTube it: YouTube own more than half of all video traffic online. If you post to any user-generated video site make it YouTube. Video search engines are already there, including Google.
Try the Google Video Upload Program: it’s a great tool to upload batch video.
Provide a video sitemap.
Syndicate your video with RSS: Use a publishing tool that supports a Media RSS output, and the optional Media RSS enclosures related to SEO. The most important fields for optimizing video data are the title, description, and keywords.
Offer social bookmarking tools: Provide icons and options to digg, StumbleUpon, delicious, technorati (for blogs), Facebook, etc.
Be viral: Provide the option for users to embed the video code onto their own site.
Brand your video: You’re going through the trouble of creating the video and syndicating it, make it yours and put your logo on it.
Allow comments AND ratings: Videos that receive higher ratings from users are the ones that users tend to favorite and save.
Measurement – who is watching your video and how often?
Now that your video is well-optimized, it’s time to do some tracking. Segments you want to measure for video activity include:
– Overall and individual time spent
– Most watched videos
– Videos with both the highest conversion rate (call-to-action) and the highest abandonment rate
– Failure rates (number of people who could not open the video in their browser)
– If you capture ratings and comments, include the most popular videos with the most feedback.
If you can, create a special section for your video content (subdomain, video site map, video archive on your site, etc.), in order to track how many people are watching your videos. Any web analytics software package can measure this, including Google Analytics. And ifyou use FeedBurner for RSS, it offers trackable items the free package, including measuring total subscribers and total downloads.
Need more? Check out other these sources:
There are many more, please share.