Tag Archives: Twitter

2011 Search Engine Ranking Factors

Every two years SEOmoz polls a bunch of SEOs on what we believe influences Google’s search rankings. They assembled new data today and have released their 2011 Search Ranking Factors report to the masses. We’re always very excited by this chance to see a community overview of what makes Google tick.

The ranking factors are fairly complicated, a lot of you aren’t SEO junkies like we are, so I wanted to break down a few of the really important details from the report.

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SEOmoz PRO Seminar Day 2

It would probably take me four years to execute on all the information I’ve absorbed (or at the very least tried to absorb) at the SEOmoz PRO Seminar here in Seattle.  I can’t express the value of that, typically we go to seminars to learn from folks who are repeating the same old crap we’re used to hearing, and we walk away with maybe a few nuggets of information, but I have been just blown away by the wealth of knowledge at this Seminar.

Ryan Kelly @PearAnalytics, Rand Fishkin @randfish & Matthew Egan @ImageFreedom

Ryan Kelly, Rand Fishkin & Matthew Egan

Yesterday, Day 1, featured a fantastic line up of speakers.  Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz, broke down the changes to what we see in typical Search Engine Results (SERPS), David Mihm got into the range of options available to those targeting Local Search or Google Places results and my very favorite session came from Lindsay Wassell from Keyphraseology who broke down the magic and presentation of a superior SEO Site Audit.

On the Social Media side of things, Dan Zarrella broke down analytics and observations from Social Media resources.  Did you know that the volume and frequency of the links you post on Twitter impacts how likely they are to get clicked?  Did you know that men tweet less than women, and women follow more people than men do?  Dan’s research and insight was invaluable as we construct strategies for SEO that greatly involve Social Media integration.

Meet and Greet with Will Critchlow @willcritchlow

Meet and Greet with Will Critchlow @willcritchlow

The best part of any seminar like this is the chance to meet others who share the same passions that you do, and those who may create content that you follow.  One such chance was with Distilled’s Will Critchlow, who has been one of the inspirational bloggers I’ve followed as the owner of an SEO Consulting group.  During a powerpoint battle with Rand, Will shared that overnight successes take years, an idea I’ve always subscribed to and loved seeing up in the talk.  I have a lot of respect for these guys and what they’ve been through to get to where they are, it gives me a lot of inspiration and drive seeing how far we’ve come in our short time, and also where we’d like to see ourselves in a year, in five, etc.

We’re halfway through Day 2 of the Seminar series and I’m really looking forward to Will’s final session, “How to Make SEO Data Reporting Sexy”.  It’s one thing to be factual, it’s one thing to be easy to follow, it’s another thing to make data reporting inclusive and I’m excited to see his thoughts.

Just a fantastic workshop so far, and we’ll be sure to bring more tidbits and wisdom as the event wraps up and everyone returns to their little corners to spread the SEO love.

The Power of Daily Deal Sites

If I’ve learned anything in my time as a business owner, it is that experience is everything.  Every chance you get to interact with a customer, you also get a chance to give them a truly remarkable experience.  How do you create an experience though, for potential customers who have never heard of you?
While of course, an amazing web site is a great start, reaching those who haven’t even heard about you isn’t easy.  For many of our clients we’ve started advertising through Groupon and related sites.  Let’s talk about the experience of a Daily Deal site, and how it can help power your Social Media campaign.
The average deal on a site such as this might offer 40-75% off a product or service.  You’re essentially buying a gift card at a discount, and that gift card can be used at any time within six months of the original purchase.
Let’s take a look at the three big daily deal players in San Antonio.
Groupon – http://www.groupon.com/
Groupon is the first major Daily Deal distributor and uses a model where a certain number of deals must be purchased before “the deal is on”.  According to our sources, Groupon has over 70,000 e-mail subscribers in the San Antonio market.
The current leader in the market, many contracts with Groupon require that you not deal with any other daily deal sites for a period of three to six months.  To our knowledge, Groupon has never actually enforced this exclusivity clause.
Living Social – http://www.livingsocial.com/
Living Social is a newcomer to the daily deal market, formerly a mainstay in the social space with “Pick your 5” and social media polling.  Living Social offers a daily deal, with Friday’s deal running through the weekend.
What separates Living Social from Groupon is the social media influence.  Their “Me Plus Three” offer gives you the daily deal for free if you can get three of your friends to also purchase the deal.  This kind of affiliate marketing encourages the buyer to share their chosen offer with their friends on Twitter and Facebook, thus creating a market of what Seth Godin calls “sneezers” who spread your idea wherever their social networks allow.
Deal of the Day SA – http://www.dealofthedaysa.com/
Powered by local ABC Station (and our client) KSAT 12, Deal of the Day SA advertises your brand during Television broadcasts and delivers not just internet users, but television viewers as well.
Comparing the Daily Deal Sites
Like with all tools, it will depend on your needs which service you choose to advertise with.  Your product may be best served by the built in Television exposure of Deal of the Day SA, or the affiliate marketing aspect of Living Social may inspire your customers to spread your deal for you.
Groupon has the limitation of being the first to market, so Living Social and Deal of the Day SA were both able to improve on the concept with unique directions; however, Groupon still has the largest subscriber base by an impressive margin.
The Experience of the Daily Deal
What makes the daily deal such a remarkable experience is in its very design, it is a coupon you purchase for services, typically slightly above the normal ticket price of a meal, a service, or a product.  This encourages the customer to buy more than they would on a normal visit, because really that meal, for example, is already paid for.
If you have a fifty-dollar certificate for a meal at a restaurant, you’re more likely to try that appetizer; you’re more likely to help yourself to desert.  You’re getting an amazing price, so you’re much more likely to go all out on the menu.
Imagine that same customer on the return visit.  Now that they’ve had that great experience with your menu, they’re much more likely to order that appetizer again.  You’ve offered a discount sure, but now your customers have built up a habit they’re likely to continue on their next visit.
How would buying habits like that help your business?  How might people talking about your deal on Social Sites like Facebook and Twitter boost awareness of your brand?  How would you like hundreds of new customers who didn’t know you even existed a week prior?
Daily Deals are a great way to reach new customers, spread your message and improve your profits.  What will you offer?

If I’ve learned anything in my time as a business owner, it is that experience is everything.  Every chance you get to interact with a customer, you also get a chance to give them a truly remarkable experience.  How do you create an experience for potential customers who have never heard of you?

While of course, an amazing web site is a great start, reaching those who haven’t even heard about you isn’t easy.  For many of our clients we’ve started advertising through Groupon and related sites.  Let’s talk about the experience of a Daily Deal site, and how it can help power your Social Media campaign.

The average deal on a site such as this might offer 40-75% off a product or service.  You’re essentially buying a gift card at a discount, and that gift card can be used at any time within six months of the original purchase.

Let’s take a look at the three big daily deal players in San Antonio.

Grouponhttp://www.groupon.com/

Groupon is the first major Daily Deal distributor and uses a model where a certain number of deals must be purchased before “the deal is on”.  According to our sources, Groupon has over 70,000 e-mail subscribers in the San Antonio market.

Many contracts with Groupon require that you not deal with any other daily deal sites for a period of three to six months.  To our knowledge, Groupon has never actually enforced this exclusivity clause.

Living Socialhttp://www.livingsocial.com/

Living Social is a newcomer to the daily deal market, formerly a mainstay in the social space with “Pick your 5” and social media polling.  Living Social offers a daily deal, with Friday’s deal running through the weekend.

What separates Living Social from Groupon is the social media influence.  Their “Me Plus Three” offer gives you the daily deal for free if you can get three of your friends to also purchase the deal.  This kind of affiliate marketing encourages the buyer to share their chosen offer with their friends on Twitter and Facebook, thus creating a market of what Seth Godin calls “sneezers” who spread your idea wherever their social networks allow.

Deal of the Day SAhttp://www.dealofthedaysa.com/

Powered by local ABC Station (and our client) KSAT 12, Deal of the Day SA advertises your brand during Television broadcasts and delivers not just internet users as new customers, but television viewers as well.

Comparing the Daily Deal Sites

Like with all tools, it will depend on your needs which service you choose to advertise with.  Your product may be best served by the built in Television exposure of Deal of the Day SA, or the affiliate marketing aspect of Living Social may inspire your customers to spread your deal for you.

Groupon has the limitation of being the first to market, so Living Social and Deal of the Day SA were both able to improve on the concept with unique directions; however, Groupon still has the largest subscriber base by an impressive margin.

The Experience of the Daily Deal

What makes the daily deal such a remarkable experience is in its very design, it is a coupon you purchase for services, typically slightly above the normal ticket price of a meal, a service, or a product.  This encourages the customer to buy more than they would on a normal visit, because really that meal, for example, is already paid for.

If you have a fifty-dollar certificate for a meal at a restaurant, you’re more likely to try that appetizer; you’re more likely to help yourself to desert.  You’re getting an amazing price, so you’re much more likely to go all out on the menu.

Imagine that same customer on the return visit.  Now that they’ve had that great experience with your menu, they’re much more likely to order that appetizer again.  You’ve offered a discount sure, but now your customers have built up a habit they’re likely to continue on their next visit.

How would buying habits like that help your business?  How might people talking about your deal on Social Sites like Facebook and Twitter boost awareness of your brand?  How would you like hundreds of new customers who didn’t know you even existed a week prior?

Daily Deals are a great way to reach new customers, spread your message and improve your profits.  What will you offer?

What is RSS? Syndication made Simple

Published in Geek Health by

Mike Flores (or @pplusd on Twitter) asked “What is RSS?”

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” and has become one of the easiest ways to subscribe to content on the web.  If you’re like me you travel to hundreds of web pages a day and you can’t organize your bookmarks to save your life, and you really want to keep track of what certain people share.

Enter RSS, or better yet, enter a Subscription Service for Bloggers.

RSS is a way of subscribing to a site through a reader like Outlook or Mac's Mail.

RSS is a way of subscribing to a site through a reader like Outlook or Mac's Mail.

There are a lot of ways to subscribe to an RSS feed.  Most RSS feed’s pop up your default RSS viewer, which I have set to Mac’s Mail program and you PC users can also setup for Outlook as well.  Once you’ve subscribed to the RSS feed you’ll get a new message in that inbox every time that web site posts an update.  I use RSS to follow blogs, and stay on top of the SEO news across sites like Search Engine Land and SEOmoz.

To subscribe to an RSS feed, just find the little orange square that looks like a wifi symbol.  Click on that and it will add the URL for that sites’ RSS feed to your reader of choice.  There are a lot of RSS readers out there so experiment some and find the one that works for you.

Most blogging software packages include an RSS service.  I use and recommend WordPress because RSS is really easy to use.  You can even subscribe to the Image Freedom Blog via RSS by clicking on the little man who looks like he’s sitting on the toilet under my photo.  Yea, I really ought to replace that. =)

For more info than you’d ever want to know about RSS check out the Wikipedia Entry.

Do or Don’t? Clients on Facebook

Published in Geek Health by

It has been a very active week!  Last night we recorded TechInTwenty with fellow SEO pro Ryan Kelly from Pear Analytics.  Launched the first mySA Voices Blog and have been very busy getting ready to launch several small business sites here in San Antonio.  About a week ago I promised @AnaFlores that I’d blog about drawing that line between clients and friends on Social Networks.

I’ll sum up this entire article, don’t draw any lines!

You should never publish anything on any social network of any kind that you wouldn’t want a potential employer or client to see.  That isn’t to say you should not be yourself, but if you’re the best there is at keg stands in your circle of friends it may be best not to let that get photographed.

Social Networks are a part of your personal marketing, and @lettergirl covered this very recently in her video.  You have to BE CAREFUL what you put out there, and that means posting honestly but also tactfully.  It can be nice not to feel alone when we post our personal struggles online but some of those are better just shared with friends in person and not left online forever.  Immediate affirmation vs. long term value.

I have clients on my Facebook and I have friends on my Facebook and because of that I follow the same guidelines I follow on this blog.  If I sit down with a client, do I want them to know this about me?  Do I want this to come back to haunt me?  Could this be taken the wrong way?

At the end of the day, our personal brands are becoming more and more important.  How do you want to be represented?