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SEO Tips from the Experts' Pen

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What better way to kick off the holiday season than a massive SlideShare filled with the best SEO questions asked and answered from our popular AMAs. There's no shortage of expert insight with names like Rand Fishkin, Avinash Kaushik, Ann Smarty, Peep Laja and more!

SlideShare by HubSpot's @ninarstepanov.

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SEO Tips from the Experts' Pen

  1. 1. The Best of AMAs: SEO Edition
  2. 2. We’re in the spirit of giving! We’ve compiled a hefty handful of the best questions asked and answered from our SEO AMAs as a gift to you! We hope that you’ll enjoy this gift from the team!
  3. 3. Here’s the breakdown 1. Rand Fishkin Founder of Moz 2. Avinash Kaushik Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google 3. Tom Critchlow Digital & Art at Fiercely Curious 4. Ann Smarty Brand Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas 5. Dan Shure Owner/Consultant at Evolving SEO 6. Mackenzie Fogelson Founder & CEO of Mack Web. Blogger for Moz 7. Paul May Co-Founder of BuzzStream 8. Peep Laja Founder of ConversionXL 9. Paul Shapiro Organic Search Director at Catalyst 10. 2 Bonus Questions! 52questions!
  4. 4. First up, our very own...
  5. 5. Rand Fishkin Founder of Moz Words of Wisdom "Best way to sell something: don't sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect and trust of those who might buy.” tweet this!
  6. 6. Question “For someone trying to succeed in digital marketing, and more specifically SEO, what do you think is the one quality they should possess?” Crystal Ware Dog Lover, Chocolate Feen, Southern Belle, Adrenaline Junkie, Half Marathoner, Crohnie, Bookshelf Peruser, Head of SEO with @Location3 click here to see the original thread
  7. 7. Answer: “While I don't think I've always done my best with this quality, something I've strived hard for is empathy. There's a reason it's the most important value in TAGFEE - I think when people are able to empathize with others, they can do their best work in marketing, because they understand the problems their audience faces, the ways their message might be received, and how they can help before asking for anything in return.”
  8. 8. Question "What is your thought on recycling great content? ● Update an existing resource so it stays relevant ● Create a new, updated resource (and keep the old one untouched) ● Create a new, updated resource (and redirect the old one to it)" Francois Mathieu Startup marketing, data hacking, growth, automation & analytics. Marketing Programs Manager @Uberflip.
  9. 9. Answer: “I like C the best most of the time, and A sometimes. On occasion, if the content was particularly time-sensitive and historically interesting, I might do B. But yes, I really like the idea of recycling content to help it earn more attention.”
  10. 10. Question “Do you feel that Search Engine algorithms put too much emphasis on domain authority and backlinks. Makes it harder for new sites to rank, even if they have quality. I think algo needs much improvement.” Neil Blogging tips for the newbie. SImple, easy and useful.
  11. 11. Answer: “I'd agree that it's hard for new sites to rank, but I'm not sure that means the algos are broken. Human beings like familiarity and things they trust, so when they see new things, they're often skeptical at first. That's why engines like to reward sites that have earned brand awareness, attention, and trust, and why part of the SEO's work is to build those things in order to earn rankings.”
  12. 12. Question "If you had visits and related data from around 300 websites then what are the questions and answers you will try to find from the data? Like: 1. Trend of device used by visitors. 2. Percentage of visits from each search engine." Christy Kunjumon Inbound Marketer @TechWyse, SEO, Blogger, LinkBuilder
  13. 13. Answer: “I'd love to see: Relative share of social media sites Relative share of all traffic sources (search vs. social vs. referring sites vs. direct) Relative share of paid vs. organic sources Relative share of home page vs. internal page visits Relative time on site / pages per session Relative rates of conversion to various actions (if there are shared actions across many of the sites)”
  14. 14. Question “What do you think will be the best method for obtaining backlinks moving forward?” Mack Ayache Engineer, Marketer, Designer
  15. 15. Answer: “I think "link earning" in general is going to be the best, long- term method for growing that signal. By link earning, I mean doing things that will make people and organizations want to point to you/your work, and then making them aware of it. There are lots of ways to earn links without content. I covered some alternatives here (yikes! check out that horrible lack of facial hair) and here (oh thank god, that's better).”
  16. 16. Question "What metrics would you or MOZ recommend to use when reporting on content success? How can i weight it? Lastly, is it wise to show a client all of this data?" Dan Hugo Sydney-based #ContentMarketing strategist. Tweeter of #SEO news. Author and scholar of humanities.
  17. 17. Answer: “We use something called "1Metric" to kinda-sorta measure all these things together. Dr. Pete did a great presentation on it here. It mashes up lots of all three of the types of things you bucketed and then builds a correlation between those numbers and overall performance in our funnel. I think Matt Brown and Jay Leary from Moz are working on a way to actually turn that into a product in the future :-)”
  18. 18. Question “What are the most important KPIs to point a client to when you are helping them earn links and content opportunities for the purposes of rankings, traffic, and brand awareness? In other words, when performing top of the funnel targeted digital marketing for the purposes of (business goals X, Y, and Z), how do you best prove your worth in the beginning of the journey?” Nicholas Chimonas Director of Product Development at Page One Power,Marketing and Advertising
  19. 19. Answer: “Metrics - check out this post: the-broken-culture-of-seo-metrics-whiteboard-friday That's pretty much how I like to break things down from a metrics perspective, and I think it can scale from the very small to the very big companies.”
  20. 20. Question “How do you see SEO evolving in the future?” Mack Ayache Engineer, Marketer, Designer
  21. 21. Answer: “I think the technical optimization elements of SEO will always be with us, and that the engines will continue changing - creating new opportunities and shutting down old ones (e.g. schema vs. authorship). But, I also think SEO will get more complex and become more and more a part of all the other marketing and amplification investments organizations make. Those who succeed will be the ones that can best leverage all the marketing they do to work in concert with their SEO, and that means a lot of coordination and people around companies listening to SEOs, which will be uncomfortable. I suspect that will limit the success most can achieve, but it will also create huge opportunity + reward for those who can do it.”
  22. 22. Question “Do you think that Linkless SEO has any merits? If so - how far out do you think we are from that?” William Harris VP of #Marketing for @DollarHobbyz - I tweet about #GrowthHacking #Entrepreneur #Startup #SaaS #SEO #ContentMarketing #SocialMedia #Ecommerce
  23. 23. Answer: “Yes(ish). I think you can do lots of good things to set yourself up for success without pro-active link acquisition and outreach. But I think it will be hard to compete with a wholly link-unaware strategy unless your competition is also mostly link-unaware. It feels like we're still years away from a truly "don't even think about links" future.”
  24. 24. Question “Do you think gaining links through replacing broken ones are worth an effort?” Mert Gürel Istanbul based line producer and production manager for TV and film
  25. 25. Answer: “I've been really impressed with a lot of stuff Brian's published over the years. The "Moving Man Method" post describes something I'd always heard of as "broken link building" or the more awkward "broken link link building." I think it's a perfectly legit tactic and one that can help make lots of sites better, not just your own, which is great for the web. Here's another great post on the topic from Russ Jones:”
  26. 26. Question “Have you done any research, or have an opinion on, the benefits/advantages of creating content using 1st person language in the titles vs. 3rd person? Based on Hummingbird, mobile, and a whole host of devices that recognize voice commands, I would imagine that search queries are starting to look a little more like “I want to know what the best xyz is..”, “I'm looking for inbound marketing consulting help.” So in turn, my question is, are there organic/SERP advantages to creating content with titles that are written in the 1st person and might look like: “I'm Looking for Inbound Help: 5 Things to Consider" or “I Want to Learn About SEO: Top 3 Resources to Review”” Aaron Mandelbaum Founder & CEO SMB Advisors ; Inbound Sales, Marketing & Branding strategies for Small & Mid Size Businesses @HubSpot Partner - Boston
  27. 27. Answer: “I'm a fan of permanent redirects. I believe search engines love them too.”
  28. 28. Question “What do you see as being the biggest threat/challenge to the SEO profession in the coming years, and do you feel it represents greater opportunity for the cream to rise to the top, or danger signs that the industry needs to take heed of?” Ed Leake Motorsport fan, real coffee drinker, loves long walks to the bank. I talk Digital Marketing, SEO, PPC, SEM, Content & doughnuts | Managing Director - @Midas_UK
  29. 29. Answer: “Biggest threat/challenge to SEO - my guess is that the biggest threat is that a closed network (like Facebook) enters the search market and wins significant share. Google may have crept into some evil over the last decade, but they are still, by and large, an open platform where competition is (even if biased) at least possible. Facebook would be a different story, and given how FB's treated other players in their ecosystem (brand reach, Zynga, etc), I think we'd have serious cause for concern. It's a paradox, because I want more strong competition with Google, but I fear it coming from a closed system of any kind.”
  30. 30. Question “How do you think search will change in the next 5 years? - and do you think those changes will affect people who focus on quality content over "the latest trick".” Gabriel Ferland Website Design, Development and Marketing
  31. 31. Answer: “Search in 5 years! Bah! I can barely predict out one year due to how fast this industry moves. That said, I think deep learning is going to be a big part of how engines evolve and because of that, we're going to see much less "do X to tweak signal Y and move rankings" and much more "how do all these disparate things that earn me attention, trust, amplification, and engagement seem to somehow affect my SEO?!" Even Googlers who work on search quality and web spam won't be able to explain what's in the algorithm, because the machine will be learning and growing on its own... Welcome to the unsupervised future!”
  32. 32. Question “In your opinion, for someone approaching SEO with a basic understanding of it, what's the ideal time allocation between keeping up with the latest news and reading blogs vs. actually doing & testing things by themselves?” Massimo Chieruzzi Inbound marketer, Facebook Ads Expert, founder & Ceo @AdEspresso, #500Strong
  33. 33. Answer: “When I was coming up in the field, I spent a tremendous amount of time reading and participating in forums and blog comments and writing blog posts of my own. I think some people learn through that consumption and participation process, and that's cool. I do agree that you also want to get your feet wet - I had clients whose website SEO I was working on at the time, so that helped me. I'd certainly advise anyone starting out to also invest some energy in publishing a site - even just a hobby- related-blog or passion project website - and working on its content, social media reach, links, and UX. You'll learn a ton doing the hands-on work. I don't, however, believe there's some ideal formula for balancing between the two. For some people it's 80/20 one way, for others, it's 20/80 the other way - we all learn differently :-)”
  34. 34. Question “What do you think the future of search might look like?” Kyle Menchaca Content Marketer, Engineer at None
  35. 35. Answer: “One future in search would be an advancement from location-aware (which we have now), to context and visual- field aware (think the display this guy had).”
  36. 36. Avinash Kaushik Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google Words of Wisdom "You win customer confidence by solving their problem (not yours). " tweet this!
  37. 37. Question “Is it wise to no index / no follow microsites which are used primarily for paid campaigns? What if they are getting some organic traffic that converts?” Neil Moree I like design, css, analytics, adwords, & french!
  38. 38. Answer: “Think about your content strategy (same content in different places, only one place), think about fragmentation of your presence on serps, think of confusion for customers, and other such things. I would never make the decision based solely on my search engine optimization strategy. I would think about customer experience first, the overall business strategy second and then implications on SEO.”
  39. 39. Question “Do you see semantics search replacing current search in the next 3-5 years? And how may this impact SEO & analytics?” Monil Co-Founder -Market Motive, Digital Marketing Evangelist
  40. 40. Answer: “Here's the wikipedia definition for semantic search: "Semantic search seeks to improve search accuracy by understanding searcher intent and the contextual meaning of terms as they appear in the searchable dataspace, whether on the Web or within a closed system, to generate more relevant results." If you reflect on it for a few mins I'm sure you'll agree that with every passing day, with every little step that Google/Bing/Baidu/Yandex take, search has been becoming semantic for the last couple of years at least. The process might even be accelerating. In terms of SEO, I think the very core of SEO (content creation, earning unbegged for links, having a social platform with engaged audiences, et al) will remain important. There might be new nuances that crop up here or there, more data we can share with the various webmaster tools, but we all adapt to them pretty easily.”
  41. 41. Question “Are redirects on domain levels, i.e. from http://domain, https://domain and www.domain to "" best managed via a 301, without (SEO) risks?” Richard Anderson Digital marketing manager at Trelleborg. Squash player, husband & father, and dreaming of doing an ironman
  42. 42. Answer: “I'm a fan of Permanent redirects. I believe search engines love them too.”
  43. 43. Question “Can you please tell us what's happening with the ios6 'almost all search traffic counted as direct' issue? It causes so many measurement issues it's unreal.” Dan Barker “I'm a big fan of ecommerce, emarketing, ebusiness, & selected other words beginning with e.”
  44. 44. Answer: “As analysts we have what we get. We make the best of it. I'm not sure the situation is so dire (even if it all goes zero) that we can't improve our mobile experiences or our mobile seo strategy.”
  45. 45. Question “What's the best way to forecast for unpaid/inbound channels?” Jonathon Colman “Product UX + Content Strategy at Facebook. Keynote speaker, Webby Award winner, introvert by nature, feminist by choice. Powered by coffee + @mhuhta.”
  46. 46. Answer: “1. If there is enough data (say over 18 months) you can take even the basic forecasting tools in Excel and forecast the past purely based on past performance. A little dangerous, but works fine as a baseline. 2. I spend a lot of time trying to understand where the company is investing money and how much (initiatives and people) and then based on past performance I create multipliers to apply to future performance. When we had x guys doing SEO we got from xx,xxx to xxx,xxx in xx months, now we have x+ so we can expect blahblah more. 3. I focus a lot on the competitive landscape. Not only where the industry and trends are going, but specifically how fast my competitors are individually growing, where their increases are coming from etc.”
  47. 47. Tom Critchlow Digital & Art at Fiercely Curious Words of Wisdom “Forget about LINK BUILDING and all that buzzword bingo - just identify 5 really important people that could make a difference to your business and reach out to them. Be nice. It'll come back around.” tweet this!
  48. 48. Question “What are your Top Three Things Businesses Should Do to Enhance Their Rank on a Google Search?” Ashley Teatum Native New Yorker in Colorful Colorado | Writer | Sports Nerd | Co-Founder of #DigitalContent Provider @GuidingType | Marketing Manager @ConundrumPress
  49. 49. Answer: 1. Keywords 2. Link 3. More of 1 & 2
  50. 50. Question “Do you think as an industry we're any further along? Where do you think the search industry is headed now in 2015? How can we do better?” Dan Shure “SEO/Marketing. Husband. Musician. Hip hop lover. Cat servent.”
  51. 51. Answer: “Well I still think there's room to do more interesting things than just SEO - if you look at what companies like SEER, Distilled, Built visible Etc. are doing there's some really exceptional content, PR and marketing coming out of them and that's what I think the industry should aspire to.”
  52. 52. Question “[After "Not Provided"] How do you think companies should measure online branded traffic?” Emily Ross Mama. Geek. Rower. Yogi. Will sleep when dead. Day job? Communications Director @whatclinic #leanin #health #tech
  53. 53. Answer: “I think you should cry into your whisky at night like every other SEO since the advent of not provided. I still recall Matt Cutts being all ‘it's only ever going to be a tiny percentage!!’ HAHAHAHOHGODOHGOD.”
  54. 54. Ann Smarty Brand Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas Words of Wisdom “I am sure there are lots of theories and strategies behind community building but I am guided by only one "Give, give, give, and don't even expect anything back" tweet this!
  55. 55. Question “How vital is content's role in SEO?” Julia McCoy CEO of @ExpWriters, . Dedicated to rising above mediocre in a sea of content. Wife and mom to a baby cherub.
  56. 56. Answer: “Content is the foundation. You can't do any SEO, PR, etc without having content. That's where you start.”
  57. 57. Question “What do you believe the pros and cons are of hosting a SaaS company's help/support articles on their website vs. hosting them on a site like Zendesk? We use Zendesk now (The help center is currently receiving about 4 times the traffic per month as our company website).” Johnny Page Entrepreneur and Marketer focused on Growth. Sharing about business, fitness, and real life. @sharesilvertrac
  58. 58. Answer: “I like having all my content on my site (whenever I can). That's why I don't even use Disqus for comments... so I am biased here... If I were you, I'd definitely move the content. If I were you, I'd definitely move the content.”
  59. 59. Question “What do you consider the number one mistake being made by content marketers while trying to optimize their website for SEO?” Ross Morrone Director of Marketing @youngstownstate & Prof @brandeisu in Strategic Analytics.
  60. 60. Answer: “Saving money on content :)”
  61. 61. Question “I have a couple of websites [where] everything was done completely wrong, the SEO, duplicate content, directories, article marketing, etc.. I like to get your opinion on how best to start over. I believe one has a panda penalty, the other a penguin penalty. I was thinking of combining the two sites into one big site, new name, new url. Of course, doing everything right this time, no keyword stuffing, rewriting manufactures descriptions, etc. What do you think of this approach?” Byron Tabor Camping, Hunting and Emergency Preparedness
  62. 62. Answer: “I think we are almost done with the era of multiple niche sites each targeting a separate long-tail phrase. We are more about consolidating effort around one AWESOME website. The other question is what to do with all those half-penalized niche sites. Do you just forget about them? Do you try to somehow leverage that past effort? It may depend on how crappy those niche sites are but in many cases, I'd just drop them and start over.”
  63. 63. Question “What was your first reaction when Google banned your website MyBlogGuest?” Hyderali Shaikh Passionate about SEO-SEM-SMO-Analytics. Movie & Food Addict. Struggling Copywriter. Part-Time Book Reader. Love Good Music. Keep Calm & Keep Smiling :)
  64. 64. Answer: “My first reaction was quite passive. I was at the conference and didn't have time to think too much about that. I was wondering what the consequences to the members might be - this was my biggest worry…”
  65. 65. Question “What's the most powerful link building technique you suggest to ensure that I get sureshot search engine rankings?” Dr.Spencer Jones Journeying towards my goal to help people build an online business that produces sustainable monthly income, working from home...
  66. 66. Answer: “It's building your authority building. Many people in my industry know who I am. Some of them link to my articles, some cite what I had to say. Others are happy to publish my article or interview. Because I am a public figure, bloggers often invite me to expert roundups or podcast interview. There's so much opportunity when you are known in certain circles. That's why I always recommend investing in yourself!”
  67. 67. Question “My question is regarding duplicate content. When repurposing content, one might, for example, turn a blog post into a slideshare presentation. Considering that both post and presentation have the same title (and perhaps the same description), can Google view them as duplicate content? Would you recommend, in this case, changing a bit the title and description of the repurposed piece?” Carlos Jader Filho Digital Marketer with a background in Sociology, book author, music addict, tambourine player-to-be. @Deliartbr's Editor.
  68. 68. Answer: “Carlos, definitely use a different title and description. One of the beautiful things about re-packaging is the ability to rank for different variations of search queries. I use to find different ways to phrase a similar concept.”
  69. 69. Question “Was the creation of MyBlogU directly caused by Google's actions toward MyBlogGuest? Was this your way of re-wording MyBlogGuest's main idea and thus "rubbing it in" to Google's reasoning?” Karol K The guy running blogger and writer for hire at professional yerba mate drinker
  70. 70. Answer: “I knew guest blogging was getting old and what happened was going to happen. So we were planning a re- brand and add new functionality. My team member @DonSturgill found this domain and registered it for me while I was working with my dev team on the functionality. We were planning to phase out "Articles Gallery" and push new functionality (Interviews, Brainstorms, etc) within the same community. It was taking us longer than projected because of the war in Ukraine (and all my developers are there), so we didn't manage to re-brand by the New Year of 2014 as we had projected. It's hard to say whether it's for better or for worse... Google may have penalized the re-branded site as easily... So hard to tell… The penalty only influenced us in one way: We were not able to redirect the old site and we decided to keep it. So now we have two sites instead of one :) But MyBlogU was coming by all means... That's why we were able to launch it so fast after the penalty: It had been planned for 6 months earlier :) MyBlogU has absolutely different functionality, so the two actually work well together... So probably everything was for the better!”
  71. 71. Question “What's your most favourite SEO tool and why?” Dr.Spencer Jones Journeying towards my goal to help people build an online business that produces sustainable monthly income, working from home...
  72. 72. Answer: “I don't have ONE because there are lots of SEO-related tasks and I have a favorite one for each of them... Just a few of them: ● Crawler to quickly diagnose the most obvious on-page issues: www. ● Majestic to quickly check backlinks: ● SpyFu to quickly check rankings:”
  73. 73. Question “After MyBlogGuest penalty, how's your approach with Does it make any difference in your marketing strategies or technique?” Hardik Oza SEO Guy, Author at @SEMrush, Mentioned in @Moz, Dancer, Chatty, Moody & Foodie.
  74. 74. Answer: “MyBlogU is being built as if Google doesn't exist... I don't even know which keywords could match the project. I officially don't target any Google's rankings. I am happy it ranks for its own name at least for now :)”
  75. 75. Dan Shure Owner / Consultant at Evolving SEO Words of Wisdom “You can't separate business health and personal health.” tweet this!
  76. 76. Question “What are some of your favorite technical SEO projects that you've worked on?” Nichole Elizabeth “SaaS Consultant & Customer Success Evangelist. Moderator at @ProductHunt & @GrowthHackers. INFJ. I love foxes!”
  77. 77. Answer: “Although pretty complicated at times, I have enjoyed eCommerce audits - especially large or complicated sites. I usually tear my hair out in the process, but it has always felt good to finish one of those.”
  78. 78. Question “Are you able to share some successful examples of your "Prop Words" in action?” Lee Driggers “Passionate & Inquisitive Internet Marketer particularly in Web Analytics and SEO. Trivia Nerd & lover of all things Food!”
  79. 79. Answer: “This is going to get a bit "meta" so hold onto your hat. But "propword" ... is actually a "propword" (a term I made up and "branded").”
  80. 80. Question “What is that one metric you would like give your 100% than other not-so-important stuff? In SEO, CRO etc.” Hyderali Shaikh “Passionate about SEO-SEM-SMO-Analytics. Movie & Food Addict. Struggling Copywriter. Part-Time Book Reader. Love Good Music. Keep Calm & Keep Smiling :)”
  81. 81. Answer: “I don't think there is quite an "ultimate metric" but one I've talked about a little before is branded search volume. You can learn SO much by knowing that people are going to Google and typing in your brand name.”
  82. 82. Question “An SEO asks you to play a song (on the piano, unless you're also adept at the ukulele) at a bar where a bunch of other SEO's are hanging out. What do you play?” Victor Pan “Mysterious search marketer quoted on Reuters, Mashable, and ITWorld. Outlier TCK, ABC and Millennial. I know just enough to be dangerous. Father.”
  83. 83. Answer: “This would be some sort of hip-hop cover/improvisation like these and I'd hope @ipullrank might be there to do some rapping over it :)”
  84. 84. Question “You're an entrepreneur and you know a little something about leadership. You're also a New Englander. Super bowl 2015. Last play by the Seahawks. How would you go about tackling a decision like that with implications that large?” Sam Mallikarjunan “Weirdo at @HubSpot Labs. Author: How To Sell Better Than Amazon. I'm here to smoke cigars, drink scotch & kick ass. Pray I don't run out of cigars & scotch.”
  85. 85. Answer: “I think it's incredibly important how you prepare yourself for those moments way before they ever happen. In other words - that coach needed years of experience leading up to that in order to make that call. Same with business and SEO. It's kind of like Gladwell's Blink. You spend SO much time on your skill - those snap decision have to become second nature.... and you have to trust yourself and your instincts that when those times come, you've prepared yourself and know you'll make the best call you can.”
  86. 86. Mackenzie Fogelson Founder & CEO of Mack Web. Blogger for Moz Words of Wisdom “If you're just getting started in the industry, make sure that you learn everything you can about, well, everything.” tweet this!
  87. 87. Question “Inbound marketing" and "SEO" cover such a wide range of skills today. What would you say are the most effective skills to focus on when you're just getting started in the industry?” Emily Grossman Francophile, foodie, salsa dancer, occasional writer for Goutaste. Mobile Marketing Specialist @MobileMoxie. Formerly @doubleencore (now @possiblemobile).
  88. 88. Answer: “If you're just getting started in the industry, make sure that you learn everything you can about, well, everything. Understand why SEO is important (I'd recommend reading the Moz Beginner's Guide to SEO:, reading Paddy Moogan's Link Building Book:, and enrolling in DistilledU: http://www.distilled. net/u/). Then read everything you can about social and content and email marketing and PR get the point. I'd also recommend reading Marty Weintraub's book: com/Complete-Social-Media-Community-Managers/dp/1118466853.”
  89. 89. Question “What is the best way to communicate SEO reporting to clients? Is the devil in the details or should talk strictly traffic and sales? I've had big wig clients roll their eyes when i get into the nitty gritty and SME's wanting to know every detail, should you alternate depending on client or would you suggest a more structured approach?” Martin Harris Marketing Executive at Tank
  90. 90. Answer: “That's a question I'd recommend asking each of your clients. We very much customize our reporting to what the client needs in order to understand the value we're providing and how we've been making a difference in their business. We operate on the unless I hear differently concept so I'd recommend that you iterate with a report that you feel is valuable and then ask for feedback. Ask them if the metrics that you are providing are helping them to better understand their business and the efforts that you're making to change it for the better. Be careful with reporting being something that you're just checking off the list. Anything you spend your time on has to provide value. If it's not, do something different.”
  91. 91. Question "Where do you think SEO is heading? What is the future of SEO?” Hyderali Shaikh Digital Marketing Specialist at Concept Digital
  92. 92. Answer: “Seems like it's an integrated world of experiences. Google has been heading there for some time, and I really do feel that digital and inbound marketing is getting there as well. That's more of a Will Critchlow question :).”
  93. 93. Paul May Co-founder of BuzzStream Words of Wisdom “If I had it to do over again, I'd focus almost all of my early efforts on social engagement and incorporating early customers into the development of the product...provide amazing customer service.” tweet this!
  94. 94. Question “What is one SEO or marketing tool that you just cannot live without at BuzzStream?” Scott Wyden Kivowitz Photographer at , blogger, author & educator. Community & Blog Wrangler at &
  95. 95. Answer: “Liam's bookmarklets for scraping lists. http://www.onlinesales. Specifically the pageLinks bookmarklet that scrapes the inbound links on a page...great for "best <topic> blog pages and other list resource pages. I use this to pull the URLs, then I import into BuzzStream and then qualify based on the metrics, contact info and an in-context inspection of the site.”
  96. 96. Question “What would you say is the best way to promote content? If you could share your top 3 methods, that'd be great!” Spook SEO Niche Blog Networks on Fiverr
  97. 97. Answer: “Too often, people spend a ton of time thinking through their content strategy and then just haphazardly throw together an outreach list and start emailing. This is a wasted opportunity and pretty much guarantees that you won't get as much out of your work as you could have. You'll get a lot more out of your efforts if your system is rooted in five principals: 1. Spend at least as much time on planning as you do on the actual promotion 2. Broaden the list of people you reach out to by segmenting your "content market" 3. Leverage easier to acquire links to help get the more difficult ones 4. Engage in your community prior to outreach 5. Automate low value tasks (finding contact info, collecting metrics, etc)”
  98. 98. Question “You've worked with a lot of SEO agencies and in house teams, both big and small. What are some of the problems that you see that are pervasive in the industry, regardless of company's size or budget? From an outsider's perspective, what is plaguing the industry?” John-Henry Scherck The ARR is not my son, but I will raise it. Search, SaaS and growth marketing.
  99. 99. Answer: “I'd boil it down to what I'd describe as "transactional thinking." This leads to bad messaging, low retainers, misaligned KPIs, ineffective organization structure, etc. As google has gotten smarter, it's pushing things in favor of people who are thinking in terms of real customers and real marketing. One example...people still think about link building as a one-off transaction. This still works in many cases, but it's not a long-term position and it under-values the agency's work. I think that a huge percentage of the things that SEOs are great. There's a chunk though that I think they should just forget (the transactional thinking). ”
  100. 100. Peep Laja Founder of ConversionXL Words of Wisdom “Attention is a very scarce resource and a key principle for a high-converting UI is to conserve attention at all costs!” tweet this!
  101. 101. Question “What books do you recommend for a beginner to start reading to do SEO?” Rob Kutch Reboot your perspective on life, nutrition, health and medication.
  102. 102. Answer: “I haven't been doing SEO myself for a few years and hence I'm unsure what's the latest and best SEO book out there. You'd be probably better off reading stuff online as books might have outdated content. There's a free course by SEOMoz people here. https: //”
  103. 103. Question “How did you get into CRO (we love story-tellers)?” Victor Pan Search Manager by Day, Samurai Dad
  104. 104. Answer: “In 2005 (8 years ago, jeez!) I was the marketing manager of a real estate portal in Dubai. In order to drive more business, I started to learn SEO and PPC. In 2007 I founded my own SEO company. It was then where I learned that my customers were interested in money more than traffic. So I started to tweak their sites here and there, learning stuff as I went along. I read a bunch, took courses, built stuff for clients - and got results! And I've been on a learn-build-measure-learn cycle since.”
  105. 105. Paul Shapiro Organic Search Director at Catalyst Words of Wisdom “In SEO in particular, the use of machine learning algorithms is going to influence how we make optimization decisions.” tweet this!
  106. 106. Anuj Adhiya Co-founder (& also tweet as) @PlanitWide. Also Director of Engagement & Analytics @GrowthHackers Question “When it comes to travel - the prized first page of Google search results appear to be heavily SEOd. For most queries, you're going to see the usual suspects like TripAdvisor, Expedia, LonelyPlanet etc show up in the organic results. Is there any way that someone without the kind of resources these guys have to even have a shot of showing up on the first page? What's the best case scenario here?”
  107. 107. Answer “You're playing against some serious powerhouses as I'm sure you're aware. I'd go in attack them a scalpel. I'd collect a ton of data on TripAdvisor in the SERPS and try and find as many holes, places they aren't ranking as possible-- then build content off of that as a seed. (I may consider crawling their entire site to look for gaps and doing some data mining with that information). You can start to build pages for more competitive area once you have some pre- existing visibility where these guys don't. I'd also play off of other marketing channels like Social, places where these guys aren't hitting as hard. Maybe create highly specific, targeted BuzzFeed style content that you can get a certain group of people to share. You need your foot in the door!”
  108. 108. Question “Do you have any predictions for how big data is going to be influencing SEO in the future?” Camille Taylor “Customer Success, SaaS, Marketing, Infosec + Bitcoin. INFJ. Currently making sure you love @adespresso.”
  109. 109. Answer: “In SEO in particular, the use of machine learning algorithms is going to influence how we make optimization decisions. I think the ability to "learn" and "predict" how the search engines might react to changes is HUGE. The complexity of the search engines makes this an ideal way to approach the data.”
  110. 110. Question “What are some important SEO truths that you know are true that most SEO people will not agree with you on?” Parag Patel “Co-Founder of @invoicedapp.”
  111. 111. Answer: “I have encountered a lot of disagreement about the importance of keywords... I was studying how Upworthy was doing on the SEO front and I noticed that just from their social distribution they were acquiring links and easily ranking for very thin content--often ranking for keywords that weren't even mentioned on the page or in anchor text. It was a combination quality backlinks and semantic understanding of links and other (albeit very-few) keywords on page.”
  112. 112. Question “I'm creating a new website to replace my old one. What are the things I should do to make sure I don't lose my SEO juice?” Robert De Los Santos “Proud Husband & Entrepreneur at Sky High Party Rentals, Firestartup, & Indiehouston. I love working on community projects. Music, Art, Film @YEC member.”
  113. 113. Answer: “Site migration: Just set-up all of your 301 redirects if the URLs are changing at all. Every page should be mapped to a new one. PageSpeed: I think a B (80+) is perfectly acceptable. I think my site is a 79 and I'm okay with that at the moment (I need to work on it). Of course, you should strive for an A. I think the PageSpeed number generalizes a bit using heuristics and doesn't alway reflect actual page speed.”
  114. 114. A little bonus from Anthony Thomas and Joe Chernov GM and Co-founder of Sticker Mule VP of Marketing for InsightSquared
  115. 115. Question “Do you do organic search/SEO growth projects? If so, what has worked well and how does it compare to retargeting ads and PPC? Are retargeting ads important to you guys?” Joe Robison Proprietor at Green Flag Digital. Director of Marketing at Bucket List Events. Current affair: SEO + Marketing Automation. Chrome tab power opener.
  116. 116. Answer: “SEO / Retargeting, we hired an SEO firm when we launched and they fought with us to add meaningless content to our site. Since then we’ve mostly ignored SEO and focused on UX and customer happiness. I still get critiques from SEO guys about things we could be doing better. We think Google’s ultimate goal is to identify the best companies and rank them well so we focus on becoming great at what we do and trust Google’s algorithms have a way to figure that out. Retargeting ads are high ROI but represent an insignificant amount of revenue. In other words, they’re worth doing but don’t make or break our business.”
  117. 117. Question “If you were starting from scratch on a new SEO agency today, what would be your most important lead gen tactic and why?” Matt Antonino Senior digital marketing manager helping businesses grow through SEO, SEM & omnichannel marketing.
  118. 118. Answer: “Crowded market with a couple of dominant blogs and a couple of dominant personalities. Tough space. This isn't going to sound very top-of-funnel-ish, but I'd create an incredible customer success story and promote the hell out of it. I'd start at the bottom of the funnel in your case.”
  119. 119. Phew! Now that that’s over...
  120. 120. Happy Holidays from our team to yours! Join us on to ask your own questions and get answers from industry leaders and marketing gurus from across the globe. Join today!
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What better way to kick off the holiday season than a massive SlideShare filled with the best SEO questions asked and answered from our popular AMAs. There's no shortage of expert insight with names like Rand Fishkin, Avinash Kaushik, Ann Smarty, Peep Laja and more! SlideShare by HubSpot's @ninarstepanov.


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