Posts tagged “SEO

Google Alerts: The Easiest Linkbuilding You’re Neglecting


As many of us in the SEO world can attest these days, linkbuilding isn’t about getting you listed in directories; it’s about getting people to talk about your brand. In many cases, this means moving from a linkbuilding strategy to more of a content marketing strategy. (A lot of people throw around that phrase and continue doing the same BS. Don’t be fooled.) Thinking more in terms of a content strategy though doesn’t mean that you can’t grab some great low-hanging fruit on a weekly basis. Cue Google Alerts.

Why Google Alerts are Awesome

Google Alerts are awesome because they are easy and send you relevant links on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. One of the hardest things about getting people to add a link to your website is that you don’t ask people while the listing is fresh in their mind. The longer you wait, the less it seems like your brand actually read the article and the more it feels like you are simply linkbuilding. Google Alerts keep your linkbuilding outreach fresh and relevant. Also, it makes it incredibly easy. Your efforts are served up on a silver platter.

How to Set Up Your Alerts

There are a few ways to set up your Google Alerts. You can set them up to look for outside terms that might be relative but that isn’t going to give you the most likely opportunities. I like to set up my alerts to only notify me when it comes to branded terms. This makes it seem most likely that your brand found the article when Googling themselves and loved it so much that they had to reach out.

All that you need to do is go to Google Alerts and set things up. For your search, I recommend putting in your brand name in quotes to make sure that all of the mentions that you look for are incredibly relevant e.g. “Lido Beach Resort”. If you are dealing with a brand that has multiple locations, simply use your SEO brain to add a location tag onto your brand name e.g. “Hyatt Regency” + Tulsa. This will make sure that your results are not flooded by a national mention when you really only care about what is happening locally or regionally.

As far as frequency goes, you’ll end up very annoyed if you go with a daily update. Moreover, you won’t want to do outreach on a daily basis. What I suggest is setting up for weekly notifications. I also like to cast my net as large as possible for each of my clients when it comes to search. Therefore, these are the options that I go with in order:

  • Search Query: “Branded Name” + Location(optional)
  • Result Type: Everything
  • Language: English
  • Region: Any Region OR United States
  • How Often: Once a Week
  • How Many: All Results

Do Your Outreach

Set up a time period every week that you look through your Google Alerts. From there, email authors of articles directly. As the content is fresh in their minds, it’ll be refreshing to hear that you read it and cared enough to reach out. As always, don’t use a completely templated email. Mention a key element that proves that you at least skimmed the article.

Next, simply ask for your link, providing a valid justification for it. Side note, these links are a great time to look for internal links as they might be mentioning something specific that you do or service that you’re providing.

The end game here is relevant links on sites that mentioned you recently. It’s hard to argue against that. While search engines have gotten better at figuring out when you’re mentioned without a link, it will continue to be in your best interest to get the link. In my experience, this method has about a 20% close rate when done properly, far better than blind outreach.

As always, there are a lot of little tricks that you can use to make this method even better. I just wanted to give you the basics and wish all of my readers happy hunting.

Tim Welsh on Google+

What You Need to Know About Pinterest

Mark “Zuck-Dawg” Zuckerberg preached about the proliferation of sharing on the internet in his F8 address in 2011. According to Zuckerberg’s Law, the amount of stuff that people share doubles every year. That seems pretty crazy and it has led to more and more companies flocking to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. What if there was a site though that existed totally on sharing. If you’re thinking that Reddit and StumbleUpon have been around forever, you’re right. But, what if there was a site that existed strictly in the sharing realm that had a continuous stream of new and popular multimedia shares? Well, as I mentioned months ago in my Sites to Watch: Pinterest article, there is such a site.

The new rush for companies and advertisers has been to find a way to use Pinterest. It provides a unique opportunity for marketers and companies to connect with women in order to drive traffic and purchases. Here is everything that you need to know about Pinterest. Pinterest Pinning Sigh | Pinterest Humor

Pin It

Pinterest is for Women

No matter what opportunities exist for expansion, the fact is that Pinterest is STILL site that is dominated by women. According to statistics, Pinterest’s user base is 80% women. That could be because the most prevalent areas to share are weddings, interior decorating, fashion and fitness; areas that women tend to be very interested in. Another interesting note is that boring states seem to be more involved in Pinterest. (It’s about time the Midwest led the charge for something.) States like Oklahoma and Utah have the most Pinners. If you want the full demographic breakdown for Pinterest, check out the article from Ignite Social Media.

There is opportunity for men to join and Pinterest seems to be working on cultivating a men’s area of the site. However, the numbers are not there yet to justify a company with a male-dominated customer base to make a heavy spend. Still, keeping this format in mind will be greatly beneficial when designing plans going forward.

Pinterest Drives Traffic

Despite being a straight picture feed on the boards, Pinterest drives traffic to the source site. According to our friends at Mashable and a Shareaholic study, Pinterest drives more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined. That’s right. Furthermore, the study showed that Twitter barely edged out Pinterest; by 0.01% of referral traffic to be exact.

This can most likely be attributed to a few things. Firstly, Pinterest was designed specifically to drive traffic. People share a link that is meant to be followed. When some people look at the Pinterest wall, they see pictures. As an SEOcial Specialist, I see a page full of links. Think of Pinterest as a fun, ever-updating directory that users flock to. On Twitter and LinkedIn, there is either a constant stream that lives strictly chronologically or not enough time on site to drive any marketable traffic. Pinterest users aka ‘Pinners’ spend hours on the site both dedicated and passively surfing.

What can you take from this stat? Format links so that they are interesting in a single picture. If you run a fashion or crafts website, that is simple. If you run a service website, you may have to get a little creative. Try meme-style photos that can engage interest and evoke an emotional response. Pinterest Profile | Pinterest SEO

Pinterest API is Coming; Pinterest Buttons Exist

Not many API’s have been more highly anticipated than the Pinterest API. While there is obviously areas of opportunity, the lack of a public API has made Pinterest hard to integrate into various other mediums.

Still, if you have the infrastructure and product, I would suggest adding Pinterest buttons to your social media arsenal. Get the Pin It and Follow Me on Pinterest buttons straight from the source today. If your site caters to women, fashionistas, the to-be-wed, teachers or parents; you’re already behind by not integrating these buttons. Google+ buttons help search engine rankings. Facebook buttons boost sharing. Pinterest buttons boost traffic!

I have inserted the Pin It button to this post just to see how it works. I predict a high bounce rate but a traffic boost. I’ll let you know how it works.

Pin It

Pinterest is Social

Much in the same way that people misuse Twitter as a soapbox to shout on, there is a bad way to engage Pinners. Like any other social media site, engagement is key. People need to know that there is a soul behind your pins. It will take a little time to set up a foundation for pinning. You need to build your boards, find similar pinners, follow their boards and tag when appropriate. Pinterest is not just a feed site. It is a social media site and should be treated as such.

Stay tuned for more Pinterest updates and an extensive “How To Pin” from me. Ever since Klout decided that I was influential on Pinterest, I have taken up the mantle to help others better understand and use this innovative service.

Epic Fail: Ocean Marketing

If you haven’t been looking around the internet lately, you may have missed one of the most epic fails in Public Relations (and grammatical) history. Ocean marketing and its PR representative, Paul, told off a customer with a legitimate complaint. Furthermore, he underestimated the intelligence and abilities of the gaming market. Did he not read the story that gamers broke the mathematical code for AIDS? Did he not realize that 3% of the world account for 100% of all tweets. (That last statistic may not be relevant.)

In his emails, he tells the customer to “put on his big boy hat” and basically piss off because he’s a nobody. Now, I didn’t pay attention to all of my PR professors but I feel like this was a big no-no. If you want to see the entirety of the emails, you can read them on Penny Arcade. Why are they on Penny Arcade? Well, the savvy customer decided to include a bunch of ‘sombodies’ from the gaming world and Mike from Penny Arcade, who also run PAX, decided to step in. Paul proceeded to lay into Mike as well before finding out who Mike really is.

This story has been picked up by people all over the internet from G4 to Geek-O-System. It has even sparked some great spoof videos like the one I have posted below.

In addition to their PR miscues, Ocean Marketing has now been exposed for a variety of things including shady SEO practices.

Lastly, it is worth noting that Ocean Marketing has since changed their Twitter handle to @OceanStratagy. Happy tweeting.

SEOcial: Social Media and SEO Work Best Together

First of all, if you are hiring any sort of digital media expert these days without rounded experience, proceed with caution. Everyone needs experience but that’s what internships are for. When you decide that you want to optimize your digital presence, you need to seek out TRUE professionals and true professionals understand that no one digital outlet truly lives on its own (See article about Clueless Marketers). If you’re trying to look for an exception, your head is in the wrong place already.

Link Through Social Media

Search Engine Optimization and Social Media are two outlets that have consistently been moving closer and closer to each other.The most basic of these reasons is linking. Ethan Lyon  of SEER Interactive has written multiple articles on how to build links with Twitter. (Twitter Backlink Article 2) Links can also be posted on a variety of other websites and I don’t know if you’ve noticed recently but YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+ and the rest of the gamut all have TREMENDOUS Domain Authority. I have mentioned the idea of social link integration before and it is only becoming more and more essential.

Drive Traffic to Dot Com

Besides the linking capability, social media drives traffic to your site, not only from YOUR page but, from pages that you link to on social media. If you aren’t utilizing other brands in your marketing efforts on Social Media, you should. After that, use the partnerships that you’ve made to direct traffic to your site. It’s free and, if you cultivate the relationship with their SM team, they will lend credence to your link by commenting, liking or retweeting. If you need a lesson in relationship marketing, check out Doug Ridley‘s Relationship Marketing Blog.

Optimize User Experience

The bottom line is that users are driven to social media and your dot com presence you experience you in different ways. Social Media allows you to better tailor what you need to post on your site. If it doesn’t pertain to the keywords that you are working for on SEO but could still be relevant to your target audience, direct them to your social media outlets. Tease social media with technical information then, direct them to your internal pages.

The bottomline is that SEO and Social Media cannot stand apart from each other and be truly optimized. They work perfectly hand-in-hand, as should your social and SEO teams…if they aren’t one in the same. Let’s take SEOcial to the next level