Posts Tagged ‘Laurie Sullivan’

27 More Remarkable SEO Guides, Tips and Tactics

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

As noted in part one of the best SEO posts roundup for last year, with all the significant changes announced by Google in the past 12 months (at least six, detailed in a pair of posts below), “These are indeed “interesting times” for SEO professionals, with rapid and wide-ranging changes to the search landscape being announced at an accelerating pace.”

Top SEO Guides 2013The general consensus is that the practice of SEO is becoming more strategic, less tactical; more content-driven, less technical. The winners should be organizations that focus on providing targeted, relevant, high-quality content, as well as their prospective customers; with the (little lamented) losers being the spammers, manipulators and black-hat SEO types.

What techniques still work in the new world of SEO? Which need to be discarded? What new tactics and ranking factors are most vital to understand? How should SEO professionals strategically align frameworks for maximizing online visibility and business results?

Find the answers to those questions and many others here in more than two dozen of the best SEO guides from the past year.

Expert SEO Guides and Tips

9 SEO Myths That Won‘t Go Away Demystified By Google’s Matt Cutts by JoopRijk.com

Joop RijkNoting that in any field, “once a myth has been established it hard to get rid off,” Joop Rijk debunks nine SEO-related myths including duplicate content penalties (“Duplicate content is not considered spam and sites do not get penalized for duplicate content. Google ignores duplicate content and has a way to determine which page they should rank”—though it doesn’t always get this right) and the 100 links-per-page limit (“Googlebot can crawl more than 100 links on a page and there is no specific [known] limit”).

SEO Strategies for People that Hate SEO by Search Engine Guide

Brian DeanBrian Dean offers a handful of simple yet effective rank-improving tips from people not naturally inclined to SEO work, from a clever tactic for getting mentioned in link roundups (one of the few remaining manual link-building strategies that still work) to how to get featured on resource pages.

SEO Makeover for 2014: A Practical Guide for Businesses by Portent
***** 5 STARS

David PortneyDavid Portney presents an outstanding checklist of three dozen questions to ask and answer about the state of your site’s SEO, from content-related factors (Does each page have a page-relevant unique title tag? A page-relevant unique meta description? A clear and concise headline?) through links, navigation, and technical SEO considerations.

Top 19 SEO Experts Share Their Best Advice on SEO by Effective Inbound Marketing

Ayodeji OnibalusiAyodeji Onibalusi curates a big list of helpful SEO tips and tricks from SEO experts including Kristi Hines (“don’t get tempted to buy into cheap SEO services. If someone’s offering 100 backlinks for $5, then they’re more than likely going to get you spammy links that you will pay dearly for in the long run”), Neil Patel (see the next entry), Ann Smarty (“If you love each article you are publishing online, you’ll see genuine interest to your content”), Tadeusz Szewczyk (a.k.a. Tad Chef), and Jayson DeMers (see the “Big Picture SEO Strategy” section below).

11 SEO Changes That Will Give You Big Results by QuickSprout

Neil PatelNeil Patel shares 11 effective but lesser know techniques for optimizing search results, such as capitalizing on the internal-link building power of 404 error pages; creating dynamic infographics; using what he calls the “skyscraper technique” (this blog is an example); and incorporating “most clicked-through words” (such as “how to,” “tips” and “best”) in headlines.

Rethink Link Building for Best B2B Marketing by MLT Creative Ideas@Work Blog

Jeremiah SmithGuest author Jeremiah Smith notes that the old ways of link building are dead (at best, pointless), social sharing is critical, and conversion rate optimization (CRO) supports SEO efforts. He concludes the post with a five-step process for optimizing not just rankings, but also bottom-line business results.

In Search of SEO? Have Content, Be Social by BroadSuite

Daniel NewmanDan Newman details several ways in which the practice of SEO has changed over the past 18-24 months, particularly in terms of the role of content (and more importantly, the importance of business blogging: “Even the most optimized B2B site if just a static products and services website will have a hard time growing and sustaining traffic”) and the role of social sharing (“7 of the top 8 factors driving SEO are Social Sharing related and not traditional SEO drivers whatsoever”).

Search Engine Click Through Rate Optimization (+Infographic) by Marketing from the Front
***** 5 STARS

Brent CarnduffBrent Carnduff reports on some eye-opening research findings in this post which reminds one of a Geico commercial: Did you know that the top four organic search results get 83% of all clicks? Of course, everyone knows that. Okay, but did you know that “As searcher intent becomes more detailed or specific (long tail term), the click distribution across the first page organic listings begins to even out”? That makes, as Brent explains, CTR optimization as important as SEO.

New SEO Best Practices with Schema Markup #SESCHI by TopRank Online Marketing Blog

Brian LarsonConfused by what a “schema” is or why you’d bother with one? Brian Larson helpfully walks through the history of this (no longer new) tactic, how it works in action, what the classifications are, and how to get started with schema markup tools, all based on a presentation by Anne F. Kennedy at SES Chicago.

Technical SEO for Nontechnical People by Search Engine Watch

Erin EverhartFor those confuzzled by technical SEO terms and techniques, Erin Everhart patiently explains “the basics behind what you need to look out for with technical SEO,” including redirects and status codes, canonicals, duplicate uppercase and lowercase URLs (though search engines should really be able to figure this out), and URL parameters.

150 Blog Posts in 50 Days: Why Were Marketers Mad? by Search Engine Journal

McKay AllenMcKay Allen details the results of a test to determine how a substantial ramp-up in content creation would affect search traffic, and the surprising response of (some) marketers. The bottom line is that while not all elements of “old school” SEO are dead, content development definitely needs to play a key role in go-forward search strategy.

Infographic: Companies with a blog get 55% more traffic by leaderswest

Jim DoughertyJim Dougherty showcases a very helpful SEO infographic, which visually steps through techniques and best practices for on-page and keyword optimization, technical SEO factors, social signals, Google+ authorship, and generating links from inbound marketing.

Best Guides to Big-Picture SEO Strategy

6 Major Google Changes Reveal the Future of SEO by Search Engine Watch

Eric EngeInviting readers to “take a few steps back and understand the big picture,” Eric Enge looks at half a dozen major changes from Google in 2013–from keyword (not provided) to in-depth articles, and ties them all together concluding “the six major Google changes listed above are all moves that” take tactical data out of the SEO picture and “encourage more strategic behavior.”

How recent Google changes affect your SEO by iMedia Connection

Nathan JoyntSimilar to the post above, Nathan Joynt here reviews the major algorithmic and reporting changes made by Google over the past year, describes the impact of each on SEO efforts, and ties it all together in the end by stating, “one thing is clear: The value of an SEO strategy set on tactics involving direct manipulation of search results is becoming less effective…This is exactly what Google wants. They want inbound marketers and business owners to shift their primary focus away from Google and manipulative link and content schemes and concentrate this energy on each business’ target market and to create the best products, services, and content possible.”

5 Reasons You’ll Need to Increase Your SEO Budget in 2014 by Search Engine Journal

Jayson DeMersJayson DeMers makes the case that SEO will require more dollars in resources in 2014, for among other reasons, that “cheap” tactics like keyword stuffing and low-quality backlink building no longer work (and may even backfire); the increasing importance of social media; and the need to produce a steady stream of fresh content.

Best Guides to Search Engine Ranking Factors

The Future of Search: 2013 Search Engine Ranking Factors Released by Moz

Cyrus ShepardCyrus Shepard unveils results from the the Moz semiannual (see also the wrapup of this from Rand Fishkin, below) survey of SEO professionals on ranking factors, and predicts which factors are likely to become more important (e.g., authorship metrics) and less important (e.g., exact keyword match domains0 over the next few years.

Weighting the Clusters of Ranking Factors in Google’s Algorithm by Moz
***** 5 STARS

Rand FishkinRand Fishkin explains some of the key takeaways from the Moz semiannual survey on ranking factors. The top three factors remain the quality and quantity of backlinks to a domain; quality/quantity of backlinks to specific pages; and page-level keyword and content features.

Infographic: Every ingredient that contributes to search engine ranking by leaderswest
***** 5 STARS

For those who prefer their ranking factors in a colorful, illustrated format, Jim Dougherty (again) shares a bookmark-worthy SEO infographic detailing 200 Google ranking factors, from domain factors like domain age and history through page-level factors, site-level factors, backlink factors, social signals and more.

Best Guides to SEO in the Keyword (Not Provided) World

Overcoming Google’s Keyword ‘Not Provided’ Data by Web Marketing Today

Kevin WebsterKevin Webster outlines several strategies for dealing with keyword (not provided) in search analytics, such as benchmarking and optimizing search landing page traffic and performance: “The company should let go of the notion of ranking for a search term, and focus more on the idea of ranking for a search concept.”

Google ‘(Not Provided)’ Keywords: 10 Ways to Get Organic Search Data by Search Engine Watch

Jennifer SleggJennifer Slegg reviews the motivations behind Google’s move to secure search, how the change affected the practice of SEO, and 10 methods for “replacing the (missing keyword) data now that Google isn’t providing it,” such as looking at non-Google search data, Google Webmaster Tools reports, and analyzing on-site searches.

Best Guides to SEO for Panda and Penguin

Life of an SEO Before, After and Beyond Penguin 2.1 an Infographic by WordPress SEO Cloud Hosting

Berrie PelserBerrie Pelser presents a fantastically helpful graphical guide to SEO in the post-Penguin environment, which illustrates for example from spending time and money to obtain directory links (before Penguin) to spending time and money getting low-value links removed, and moving from article spinning to quality guest blogging.

How to Recover from Panda Dance by Kaiser the Sage

Jason AcidreIf your search rankings were mauled by Panda, Jason Acidre details seven techniques for recovering that lost traffic, including rich-snippet optimization (which “seems to be one of the best methods to use in responding to these recent algorithmic changes”), upgrading “evergreen” landing pages, and optimizing for local search.

Google Panda And SEO: Updated Tips For Online Marketers by MediaPost

Brian RauschenbachBrian Rauschenbach offers half a dozen practical tips for SEO in the post-Panda world, among them: “Ensure that links to your site are natural.  Panda likes links from quality sources but will come down hard on you (and may even exclude you from Google’s search results) if your site is inundated with overly targeted links, especially if they are sponsored…it’s clear that Google is looking to essentially reward companies and marketers who make a concerted effort to populate their sites with authoritative, useful, and shareable content.”

Best Guides to SEO for Hummingbird

5 Ways To Unlock The Benefits Of Semantic Search by Search Engine Land

Barbara StarrExplaining that semantic search is intended to make search results “more personal, more engaging, more interactive and more predictive,” Barbara Starr offers guidance on how to unlock its benefits, from optimizing content based on user intent rather than keywords (based on Google patents in this area) to fully leveraging Google+ and implementing appropriate semantic markup.

Hummingbird Unleashed by Moz

Gianluca FiorelliGianluca Fiorelli recommends taking using a philological (based on the original documents and observation of effects) method to adapt to Google’s algorithmic changes, and details the results of his “study of those documents and field observations” pertaining to Hummingbird, how Hummingbird works, how large the impact is, and most importantly–how to do “Hummingbird-friendly” SEO (e.g., follow technical SEO best practices, build the right kinds of links, and use analytics to optimize social media marketing efforts).

Hummingbird’s Impact On B2B Sites by Search Engine Land

Harrison JonesContending that “The new Hummingbird algorithm will revolutionize the way B2B companies market their sites in search,” Harrison Jones explains how Hummingbird works, how that is likely to affect search rankings and traffic for b2b websites, and how those sites can capitalize on the algorithm change to draw more–and more relevant–traffic from search engines.

Google Hummingbird Requires Brands To Step Up Content Development by MediaPost

Laurie SullivanSomewhat echoing the points made in the post above, Laurie Sullivan writes that “Search engine marketers need to put aside attempts to raise their brand’s Web site to the top of first-page query rankings through old-fashioned optimization techniques and focus on content,” and more specifically, that they should “Use objects, images, and videos, and with the correct semantic structure the content will get grabbed” by the search engines.

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18 of the Best Content Marketing Strategy Guides of 2013

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Content marketing is a hot topic, primarily in the B2B world but increasingly in consumer marketing as well. The number of Google searches for the phrase have increased 400% since January 2011. And as noted here yesterday, 93% of B2B marketers are now using content marketing, with more than half calling it their biggest priority this year.

The first step toward content marketing success begins with (or at least should begin with) creation of a content marketing strategy. But where does one begin? What are the best practices and frameworks for creating such a strategy? What are the critical elements to include, and pitfalls to avoid, in developing a strategy?

Discover the answers to those questions are more here in 18 of the best guides to crafting a content marketing strategy of the past year.

Content Marketing Strategy Guides

Why you need repetition in your content strategy by iMedia Connection

Rebecca LiebAccording to the brilliant Rebecca Lieb, “One of content marketing’s biggest challenges is coming up with new material. One of content marketing’s other biggest challenges is overcoming something you’ve been told not to do since you were small: repeating yourself.” She then explains how to “repeat yourself” creatively in order to drive home a message, without seeming repetitive or redundant.

How to Build Your First Content Marketing Strategy by Search Engine Watch

Jayson DeMersAs the title implies, Jayson DeMers here outlines a solid content strategy-building process based on five questions (starting with “Who Are You Writing For?”) and five guidelines (among them, “Review Your Data to Develop Great Content”).

Content marketing: What is more important than strategy? by GO Marketing

John Gregory OlsonWriting that “A sound strategic planning process is based on consistently applied business objectives that flow through functional areas and support each other,” John Gregory Olson presents a helpful model for planning, and makes a case for the one element that’s more important than strategy.

Let’s Move Beyond The Content Marketing Hype by WCG CommonSense

Michael BritoMichael Brito contends marketers “must move beyond the content marketing buzzword and commit to building a content strategy that will allow you to execute your tactical content marketing initiatives flawlessly and at scale,” and promotes a four-pillars framework for content strategy development.

8 Steps To Become A Brand Publisher by B2B Marketing Insider

Michael BrennerStating that “Brands need to become better storytellers and think and act like publishers,” Michael Brenner showcases his presentation detailing the impact the Web and email have had on traditional print media, and why this means brands need to tell their own stories by creating “content hubs” to earn traffic instead of buying it through advertising.

Experts outline key content marketing trends for 2014 by The Guardian

A half dozen “content marketing gurus” offer their predictions for impactful trends in 2014, among them the importance of taking an “integrated omni-channel approach” not just in terms of devices and formats but also measurable multi-channel online marketing; an increased focus on user experience; and putting the story first (“Brands need to tell a story and it has to be a story that people can care about. The format, channels, platforms, devices and timing of how that story is told will be dictated by what you want your audience to feel”).

The Top 10 Content Marketing Strategy Lessons from the Last 15 Years by Content Marketing Institute
***** 5 STARS

Joe PulizziJoe Pulizzi, the godfather of content marketing, shares 10 key lessons including “Content marketing is the great equalizer…Large budgets don’t always win; actually, the smaller players usually come out on top because they are equipped to move more agilely and quickly than their larger competition”; it’s more productive to focus on using a few channels well than being on all platforms; and being distinctive is a must.

Failing Distribution Strategies Smother Great Content by MediaPost

Laurie SullivanNoting that “The old adage — build it and they will come — doesn’t work for content marketing,” Laurie Sullivan reports on Forrester Research guidance on building a content distribution strategy to overcome the glut on content online.

How to Create a Content Strategy (In Only 652 Steps) by Portent, Inc.
***** 5 STARS

Ian LurieFew writers can match Ian Lurie’s blend of sardonic humor and useful marketing wisdom. While there are not actually 652 steps here, there is a remarkable guide to auditing your current content marketing, setting goals, and then crafting a strategy to meet and exceed those objectives.

How To Develop A Content Marketing Strategy Framework by BloggerBeat

Matthew AntonMatthew Anton presents three dozen questions to ask when creating a content marketing strategy, from questions about the company’s business model (e.g., “Which products make up most of the revenue?”) to analyzing competitors, to determining the driving factors behind customer purchase and loyalty.

4 Reasons Why Content Marketing Should Care About Audience Development by Tony Zambito
***** 5 STARS

Tony ZambitoReporting that “60 to 70 percent of content churned out by b-to-b marketing departments today sits unused,” Tony Zambito explains why the biggest problem for b2b marketers isn’t a lack of content, but rather a lack of the right content—and how to fix it by strategically using buyer personas.

A Bigger Megaphone Doesn’t Mean Better Marketing by MediaPost

Laura PattersonLaura Patterson addresses the same topic as Tony does above, explaining how mapping content to the buying journey and customer lifecycle enables marketers to more strategically build out their content marketing editorial calendars.

The Content Marketing Pyramid: Are You Hungry for Content? by Business2Community
***** 5 STARS

Pawen-DeshpandePawan Deshpande presents a remarkably useful model for content planning, the “Content Marketing Pyramid.” At the base of the pyramid is curated content, “which is relatively low effort and lends itself to high frequencies,” with each higher level representing formats which require greater effort and should be used with correspondingly lower frequency.

4 secrets of a successful digital content strategy by iMediaConnection

Miranda AndersonMiranda Anderson suggests four principles to underpin a content strategy, including the idea that all content should have an objective: “We create content because we want our audience to do something — to buy, learn more, or love our brand. Your content should always point back to that core objective.”

5 Core Beliefs of Extraordinary Content Marketers by SteamFeed

Ross SimmondsRoss Simmonds helpfully exposes a handful of beliefs held by the best content marketers, among them knowing “when you have an ugly baby” (“This is one of the reason you see so many TV ads about people who work in marketing – Tunnel vision”) and my favorite, “Accepting Best Practice is Accepting Status Quo.” Don’t copy your competitors—be the source they try to copy.

The Top 6 Reasons You’re Failing at Content Marketing by BuzzStream Blog

Daniel TynskiDan Tynski expertly provides “a guide to common errors and pitfalls that beginner content marketers should make themselves aware of,” starting with “problems of scope”—is your goal in content marketing to find new customers, improve search rankings, or up-sell/cross-sell existing customers? “If your goal is to create content that can drive leads or sales, it doesn’t make sense to create content that is too broad or targets large audiences with only cursory interest in what you are selling. Whereas if your goal is brand awareness, or perhaps link-building for SEO, going broad with your content can be an excellent strategy.”

How to avoid creating worthless content by iMedia Connection

Stacy ThompsonStacy Thompson highlights three key elements to take into account in order to avoid wasting your (and your prospective audience’s) time, including relevance: “content that neglects to factor in the preferences of the reader is nothing more than what CMI (the Content Marketing Institute) defines as ‘informational garbage.’”

Building Content Marketing Strategy – 10 Steps by B2B Marketing Insider

Michael Brenner (again) lists and expands upon 10 key steps for developing a content marketing strategy, such as stepping into your customer’s shoes to understand their point of view on what constitutes valuable content, and going mulit-format—maximizing the value of your content by repurposing a white paper as a series of blog posts, a YouTube video, and a SlideShare presentation.

This was post #3 of Content Marketing Week on Webbiquity.

#1: Content Marketing Week Starts Tomorrow!

#2: 30 Remarkable Content Marketing Facts and Statistics for 2013 (and 2014)

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103 Compelling Social Media and Marketing Statistics for 2013 (and 2014)

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

As the use of social media in marketing has become ubiquitous, marketers have turned their attention to making the use of business social media more sophisticated and strategic. They are refining tactics, integrating social with other marketing channels, taking a hard look at new networks, and continuing to refine their measurements of success.

Most Effective Content Marketing Tactics per MarketingSherpaHow can marketers help their organizations move from “social media marketing” to “social business”? Which emerging platforms are essential (or even worth investigating)? What role does social play in a brand’s overall online visibility?  How does social media use differ in B2B vs. B2C companies? Between large and small businesses? Which content marketing tactics and formats are gaining or losing favor? How do marketers separate hype from reality in mobile?

Find the answers to these questions and many, many more in this compilation of more than 100 compelling social media,  content marketing and SEO stats, facts and observations.

General Social Media Marketing Facts and Statistics

1. 97% of all consumers search for local businesses online. (An amazing statistic, given that nearly 20% of the adult U.S. population still lacks internet access). (Relevanza)

2. 20- to 30-year-olds (Gen Y), act like no other previous generations. 20-something business buyers are roughly twice as likely to seek information or advice from social media as the generation before them (31- to 40-year-olds) and almost four times more likely to than the baby boomers (51- to 60-year-olds). (MediaPost)

3. 68% of Google+ users are male, while 80% of Pinterest users are women. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

4. Looking at the importance of social media by business function, 80% of business executives said social is “important” or “somewhat important” in marketing and branding; 74% said the same for customer service; 70% for innovation and new product/service development; and 63% for employee recruiting. Less than half view social media as important for supplier/partner engagement. (e-Strategy Trends)

5. Social media isn’t quite as ubiquitous as it sometimes seems. 7% of the American population has never heard of Facebook, and 41% say they haven’t heard of LinkedIn. And these people can vote. Which explains a lot. (iMedia Connection)

6. 72% of adult internet users in the U.S. are now active on at least one social network, up from 67% in 2012 and just 8% in 2005. (MediaPost)

7. As many companies have learned the hard way, unanswered complaints on social networks can go viral, causing real damage to a company’s brand. But the opposite is also true: 71% of consumers receiving a quick brand response on social media say they would likely recommend that brand to others. (Forbes)

8. 65% of respondents of global business executives say their organizations use social business tools to understand market shifts; 45% to improve visibility into operations; and 45% to identify internal talent. (Deloitte University Press)

9. There are, on average, 700 YouTube video links shared on Twitter every minute, and 500 years worth of YouTube videos watched on Facebook every day. (Social Media Today)

10. 60% of LinkedIn users have clicked on an ad on the site, and 43% of U.S. marketers have obtained at least one new customer through LinkedIn. (Social Media Today)

11. 70% of brands now have a presence on Google+, up from just 4% in the last quarter of 2012. (Social Media Today)

12. 69% of brands now have a presence on Pinterest, up from 10% in the fourth quarter of 2012. (Social Media Today)

General Marketing Facts and Statistics

13. Webinars, virtual events and other digital communications channels are driving trade shows and other live events to extinction, right? Wrong. Nearly three-quarters of brand marketers still view live trade shows and conferences as either “very valuable” or “essential to doing business.” Just 9% say their importance is diminishing. (e-Strategy Trends)

14. 93% of online research starts with a search engine, and 68% of consumers check out companies on social networking sites before buying. Visibility is vital, so every brand needs a comprehensive strategy for optimizing their overall web presence. (Brandpoint)

15. To optimize not just online visibility but also trust with buyers, vendors need to focus on their industry presence. Just 9% of B2B decision makers consider vendor content trustworthy vs. 67% who trust research from professional associations, 50% from industry organizations, 44% from analyst reports, and 40% from independent product reviews. (B2B Marketing Insider)

16. The average CTR for banners is 0.01 percent. According to Get Elastic, 31 percent of consumers are worried that they will be tracked if they click them, and 55 percent fear a virus. And yet—there were 5.3 trillion display ads served up last year. (iMedia Connection)

17. Big contradictions on big data: 71% of marketers say they plan to have Big Data solutions in place in the next two years. But 75% of marketers can’t calculate their ROI of their marketing spending and and 50% of them say that IT is not a strategic partner. (ZDNet)

18. Another contradiction: while 86% of companies are comfortable marketing with social tools, only 41% use social tools for communicating with customers. (Forbes)

B2B Social Media Marketing Stats and Facts

19. Nearly half of B2B marketers planned to increase their overall marketing budgets this year despite continuing economic challenges. Two-thirds planned to increase digital marketing spending. (Social Media Today)

20. Another source found that almost half of B2B marketers (the same “almost half”?) anticipate an increased budget for 2014, while just 3% foresee spending reductions. (eMarketer)

21. Just 38% of b2b marketers say they have a defined social media strategy. (Marketing Pilgrim)

22. Twitter is the most popular platform in b2b, with 85% of marketers saying they use this. LinkedIn is a close second at 82%. (Marketing Pilgrim)

23. Nearly three-quarters of b2b marketers say they can’t measure the ROI of social media at, or can measure it only some of the time. The primary measurement of social media success is increased website traffic. (Marketing Pilgrim)

24. Is social media displacing PR? In a recent survey of B2B PR professionals, 94% said they use social media to promote announcements vs. 71% who use press releases. 45% said they would use social media if they could use just one promotional vehicle vs. 24% who said they would issue a press release. (B2B PR Sense Blog)

25. 60% of B2B marketers identify lead generation as their top online marketing challenge. And more than a third (36%) say they can’t accurately attribute online conversions to the correct marketing channels. (eMarketer)

26. Which lead gen tactics work best? B2B marketers put email marketing at the top (with 51% saying this is a highly effective tactic) followed by SEO and content marketing (38% each), offline events like trade shows (31%) and paid search/online ads (29%). Just 11% say social media is highly effective for lead gen, and 1% identify mobile marketing. (eMarketer)

27. In terms of difficulty of execution, nearly half (49%) of B2B marketers put social media marketing at the top, followed by content marketing (39%), SEO (26%) and mobile (25%). (eMarketer)

28. Opportunity being squandered: B2B buyers under 35 years old (a growing group) are 131% more likely to make corporate purchases online than their older counterparts. 90% of B2B buyers age 18-35 now make company purchases online, compared with 45% of those age 45-60 and 29% of those age 60+. Yet nearly half have purchased from Amazon Supply in the past year because their current suppliers aren’t offering an online purchase channel. (BizReport)

29. Another opportunity being squandered: More than 90% of B2B marketers consider webinars/webcasts, e-books, white papers, and published articles to be either “very” or “somewhat” effective in achieving SEO and marketing objectives. Yet less half utilize webcasts and just 20% create e-books. (MarketingSherpa)

30. While B2B B2B buyers age 60+ conduct online research before purchasing less than 10% of the time, younger buyers (age 26-45) do research before purchasing 50% of the time or more. Another reason it’s vital to have a framework for maximizing a brand’s online visibility. (BizReport)

31. More than 80% of B2B decision makers say they visit vendor-independent communities or forums, vendor-sponsored communities or forums, and LinkedIn at least monthly for business purposes. (Marketing Charts)

32. 32% of B2B decision makers use Pinterest at least monthly, but only 2% do so primarily for business reasons. (Marketing Charts)

33. 87% of B2B companies view social media (other than blogs) as a highly successful element of their marketing mix. 83% say the same for articles on websites, 78% eNewsletters, and 77% blogs. (MyCustomer.com)

34. The top four metrics used to measure B2B social media success are web traffic (60%), sales lead quality (51%), social sharing (45%) and sales lead quantity (43%). (MyCustomer.com)

35. Almost 60% of all social media-referred traffic to B2B websites comes from just three networks: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. (It’s All About Revenue)

36. In 2012, less than a third of B2B marketers said their social media activities were either “fully integrated” or “very involved” with company-wide operations. Today that figure is close to half. (eMarketer)

37. The top marketing tactics used by B2B marketers this year were social networks (84%), email marketing (72%), SEO (56%) and press releases (51%). The least popular tactics, each used by less a quarter of marketers, were online ads, seminars and ebooks. (eMarketer)

Statistics About Social Media Use in the Enterprise

38. 77 of the Fortune Global 100 companies have at least one official corporate Twitter account. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

39. 48% of the Fortune Global 100 are on Google+. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

40. More than one-third of Fortune 500 companies have active Google+ accounts. However, 19% of the companies with Google+ corporate accounts have not yet activated them. Google+ remains the only major social platform with a significant number of open—but inactive—accounts. (MediaPost)

41. 70% of the Fortune 500 companies have Facebook pages, including nine of the top 10 companies. (MediaPost)

42. The top five social networks used by B2B marketers to distribute content are LinkedIn (83%), Twitter (80%), Facebook (80%), YouTube (61%) and Google+ (39%). (Social Media Today)

43. Another study pegs the top three social networks in use buy Fortune 500 companies are Twitter (77%), Facebook (70%) and YouTube (69%). (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

44. The leaders of these companies lag in their own social media use, however. Of the 500 leaders of the biggest companies in the US, only 28 have a Twitter account, and only 19 of them actually use it. (Quartz)

45. 68% of Fortune 500 CEOs have no social media presence whatsoever. Among the rest, 26% are on LinkedIn, but less than 10% are on Facebook and just 1% – five CEOs – are on Google+. (Quartz)

46. And yet, 90% of global business executives say that social media is important today or will be within a year. (Deloitte University Press)

47. Maybe they just aren’t doing it right? When asked to rank their company’s social business maturity on a scale of 1 to 10, more than half of global business executives gave their company a score of 3 or below. Only 31% gave a rating of 4 to 6. Just 17% ranked their company at 7 or above. (Deloitte University Press)

48. By department, the largest users of social media in enterprises are marketing (with 78% using social media to a moderate to great extent), IT (64%), sales (63%), and customer service (62%). The functions using social media least are operations (46%), supply chain operations (36%), risk management (35%) and finance (28%). (Deloitte University Press)

49. More than 40% of enterprises measure the success of their externally facing social media initiatives based on social reach (e.g., number of fans/followers) or brand reputation enhancement. Just 14% measure it based on sales. 19% don’t measure it at all. (Deloitte University Press)

50. Among the Interbrands Top 100 brands (B2C), nearly all have a presence on Facebook and Twitter. 76% are also on Google+, 74% are on Pinterest, almost a third (31) are on Tumblr. (MediaPost)

51. Why Tumblr? Because “posts tend to have a longer shelf life on Tumblr than Facebook and Twitter through ‘reblogs,’ or reposts of updates. Almost a third of reblogs (29%) took place more than 30 days after the initial post.” (MediaPost)

52. Does that mean B2B marketers should jump on Tumblr to promote their thought leadership content as well? Not necessarily; MTV claimed the second-highest number of reblogs in a recent period. Sprite claimed the most reblogs over that timeframe, with more than 85,000 for a single post with an animated GIF of a game of spin the bottle. (MediaPost)

Small Business Social Media Statistics and Facts

53. 78% of small businesses attract new customers through social media. (Relevanza)

54. This despite the fact that 80% of SMB websites don’t display links to the company’s social networks. (iMedia Connection)

55. The top three challenges faced by SMB B2B marketers are lead quantity (69%), lead quality (60%), increasing brand awareness (56%) and reaching decision makers (52%). It seems like those figures haven’t budged much in 20 years. (MarketingProfs)

56. The three tactics viewed as most effective for generating SMB B2B sales leads are company websites, email newsletters, and tradeshows. LinkedIn and Facebook were also cited as effective by more than half of marketers, coming in just ahead of direct mail. (MarketingProfs)

57. At the other end of the scale, Pinterest, outdoor media and virtual events were cited as the lead effective tactics for SMB B2B lead generation. (MarketingProfs)

58. SMB marketers identify the top three benefits of social media marketing as increased exposure (89%), increased website traffic (75%), and access to marketplace insights (69%). However, less than half said that it either reduced marketing expenses or increased sales. (eMarketer)

59. Small business marketers are most likely to outsource TV/radio advertising (40%) and SEO (35%); they are least likely to outsource email newsletter and social media marketing management (less than 5% each). (Constant Contact)

60. However, those decisions are often budget-driven. Half or more of SMB marketers would prefer to outsource both TV/radio ads and SEO, and nearly 20% would outsource social media marketing if they could. (Constant Contact)

Content Marketing Facts and Stats

61. The content marketing challenges faced by enterprises and small businesses must be very different, right? Well…yes and no. Marketers in companies large and small rank are challenged by producing engaging content, producing enough content, producing a variety of content, and measuring content marketing effectiveness in broadly similar proportions. But surprisingly, they part ways on the challenge of lack of executive buy-in (38% of enterprise marketers vs. 25% of SMB marketers say they are challenged by this), lack of budget (48% enterprise, 38% SMB) and most dramatically, lack of integration across marketing channels (58% enterprise, 23% SMB). (Content Marketing Institute)

62. 92% of marketers believe that content creation is either “very” or “somewhat” effective for SEO. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

63. More than half of B2B and business-to-government (B2G) marketers focus on white papers and case studies as key components of their content marketing, compared to less than 10% of B2C marketers. However, those on the consumer side focus much more on customer reviews (44% vs. 27% for B2B). (MarketingSherpa)

64. Different types of content address different levels of the purchase funnel. At the top of the funnel, blog posts, news articles, press releases and social media content drive awareness. In the consideration stage, “category level” web page content, “long tail” blogs and news articles, newsletters, FAQs and white papers are most effective. (Brandpoint)

65. On average, 25% of marketing budgets are now spent on content development, delivery and promotion. (B2B Marketing Insider)

66. 87%  of buyers say online content has a major or moderate impact on vendor preference and selection; but 43% say “blatantly self-promotional” content is a major turn off. (B2B Marketing Insider)

67. 54% of B2B marketers plan to increase spending on content marketing in 2014. (MyCustomer.com)

68. 77% of B2B marketers use a blog as part of their content marketing mix, and 70% use online video. (Social Media Today)

Business Blogging Statistics and Facts

69. Blogs convert readers into buyers. 42% of consumers look to blogs for information about potential purchases; 52% say blogs have impacted their purchase decisions; and 57% of marketers have acquired new customers with their blogs. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

70. Despite that, just 34% of Fortune 500 enterprises maintain corporate blogs – up from 28% in 2012. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

71. Within the Fortune 500, telecommunications (53%) and specialty retailers (48%) are most likely to have blogs. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

72. 77% of B2B firms maintain blogs. (MyCustomer.com)

73. Or do they? Another source puts the share of B2B marketers using blogs at 39% in 2013, down from 48% in 2012. Hmm, confusing. (eMarketer)

SEO and Search Marketing Stats and Facts

74. 50% of searchers on Bing click the first organic result. Only about 6% click the third result, 3% on the fourth result, and 1% on results near the bottom of page one. (Search Engine Land)

75. However—a lower position isn’t always bad. If the searcher clicks the “back” button because the top result didn’t meet expectations, then he or she is 5-8 times more likely to click on a lower result than on the initial search. That is, the CTR for a result near the bottom of page one can be as high as 8% after a “back” button click. (Search Engine Land)

76. 50% of marketers cite web pages as “very effective” for SEO. Really, only 50%? (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

77. Another study puts the figure above at 95%; that sounds more like it. (MarketingSherpa)

78. 50% of consumers say they are more like to click on a search result if the brand appears multiple times on the results page. This is why web presence optimization is vital! (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

79. Marketers produce a wide variety of content to support SEO, with web pages (79%), social media (74%) and blogs (68%) topping the list. The least-used tactics? Mobile apps (14%), digital magazines (11%) and podcasts (8%). (MarketingSherpa)

80. Search AND social rule. Among marketers who rate their companies’ SEO strategies as “highly effective” in achieving marketing objectives, 38% have extensive integration between their social media and SEO tactics, and only5% have no such integration. Among those who call their SEO “not successful,” just 2% have extensive search and social integration,  while 50% have no connection between these activities. (Marketing Charts)

81. Again comparing “superior” to “inferior” SEO strategists, those in the superior group are 67% more likely to say that creating original content is their most effective SEO tactic, and three-and-a-half times more likely to cite changing search engine algorithms as a critical obstacle to achieving their objectives, while being far less likely (6% vs. 58%) to point to the lack of a clear and concise strategy as a main challenge. (Marketing Charts)

82. Organic or paid? No, both! Paid search supports organic SEO efforts: paid-search ads alongside organic listings in position two through five receive two out of every three clicks from the search engine results page (SERP). When organic results are well below the fold in positions six through 10, paid search is responsible for nine out of 10 clicks to the Web site. (MediaPost)

83. Even when organic results fall in the first position, consumers still click on the paid-search ad. When a paid listing appears on a SERP with the top organic listing for the same keyword, the organic result gets 60% of the clicks on average and the paid link 40% of clicks. (MediaPost)

84. Just 23% of marketers generate more than half of all leads through organic search. 22% of companies generate between a quarter and half of all leads via search, and 24% obtain less than one out of every 10 leads via SEO. (MarketingSherpa)

Mobile Marketing Statistics

85. 50% of clicks on mobile banner ads are accidental. (iMedia Connection)

86. Still, mobile video is the fastest growth area in marketing. (iMedia Connection)

87. And 35% of B2B marketers plan to increase their spending on mobile marketing this year. (Social Media Today)

88. Facebook will account for 13% of worldwide mobile ad revenue in 2013. (Social Media Today)

Facebook Statistics and Facts

89. 77% of B2C companies and 43% of B2B vendors have acquired customers from Facebook. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

90. 81% of B2B decision makers say they visit Facebook at least monthly–but only 2% do so primarily for business purposes, as opposed to 42% who do so primarily for personal purposes. (Marketing Charts)

91. 20% of all internet page views come from Facebook.  (iMedia Connection)

92. 95% of all social media-referred traffic to B2C websites is generated from just five social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, StumbleUpon, and YouTube. 74% comes from Facebook alone. (It’s All About Revenue)

93. On Facebook, brevity matters. Keeping your posts below 250 characters can get you 60% more engagement than you might otherwise see. You can get up to 66% more engagement if you cut it down to less than 80 characters. (Buffer)

Twitter Statistics and Facts

94. 34% of marketers say they have generated leads from Twitter. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

95. To maximize click-throughs from your tweets, keep them to 100 characters or less and tweet in the afternoon (between 1:00 and 4:00 EST). (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

96. Twitter accounts for 32% of social media-generated traffic to B2B websites, but 82% of social media leads. Hmm, that doesn’t jive with other research on B2B social media. (MyCustomer.com)

97. 18% of U.S. adult internet users are now on Twitter, double the percentage from 2010. (MediaPost)

98. Using Twitter for social media? Great idea, but you’d better be listening. 81% of Twitter users expect a same-day response to questions and complaints aimed at brands. (Forbes)

99. There are 400 million tweets sent each day. (Social Media Today)

(And incidentally, the only organizations that have indexed all tweets back to the beginning of the service are Twitter itself, the Library of Congress, and Topsy. And presumably the NSA.)

100. 50% of technology companies have acquired a customer through Twitter. (Social Media Today)

101. While posting the same headline and link, over and over, is obnoxious, strategically repeating a tweet several hours apart–when different groups of your followers are likely online–can substantially increase click-throughs, without being annoying. (Buffer)

102. For tweets with links, 120-130 characters is the ideal range to maximize retweets. (Buffer)

103. Use hashtags—but sparingly. Tweets with one or two hashtags get 21% higher engagement on average, but those with three or more actually get 17% less engagement. (Buffer)

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37 Fantastic SEO Guides, Tips and Tactics

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Considering that the average b2b website gets about 40% of traffic from organic search, with some sites getting as much as two-thirds of all visits via search engines, effective search engine optimization (SEO) remains a vital strategy.

But precisely what constitutes “best practices” in SEO is a continually (and lately, rapidly) moving target. Yesterday’s on-page optimization and link building tactics—even those used with the best, non-manipulative intentions—may get a site penalized in search rankings today for being “over-optimized.” (You can’t be too rich or too thin, but apparently you can be too optimized.)

So what’s a marketing manager, PR professional or SEO specialist to do? Keep up with SEO trends and changes. Optimize off-site content (for example, on YouTube and other social platforms). Use effective SEO tools and marketing metrics. Create link-worthy content. Use social signals to boost rankings. Learn how to do all of that and then some here in more than three dozen of the best SEO guides and tips from the past year.

General SEO Tips and Guides

When Search Becomes Invisible by MediaPost Search Blog

Laurie SullivanLaurie Sullivan explores how online advertisers and search engine optimizers will adjust to a not-too-distant future “when the act of typing keywords into a search box to create a query becomes invisible? The act of searching for information will blend into voice-assisted programs, with geolocation targeting supported by data.” She reports on how Google, Ask, online ad platform vendors and others are simultaneously creating and adjusting to these changes in technology.

4 questions to ask when hiring an SEO consultant by iMedia Connection

Louis RixLouis Rix recommends four questions that marketers ask before hiring an outside SEO consultant or firm, such as what kinds of reports they provide and how they build links (great question). His fourth suggested question is a bit tricky however, as even the author notes that “Nobody can promise you a No. 1 ranking.”

10 Elements of a Perfectly Optimized Page by Search Engine Watch

Gareth OwenGareth Owen presents 10 important elements for on-page SEO, though he acknowledges that “perfect” may be stretching things a bit (“It’s worth noting that the ‘perfectly optimized page’ above won’t be perfect for all verticals, or for all brands – not everyone has the ability to add customer reviews to their product pages”).

4 Enterprise SEO Trends to Watch in 2012 by ClickZ

Adam AudetteAdam Audette outlines four trends he sees in SEO, among them “Further Corporatization of SEO in the Enterprise: The trend over the last several years has increasingly shown SEO teams ‘go within’ at large companies. This is a trend I’ve long supported and recommended, for example in my piece on in-house SEO teams. In fact, for enterprise companies to realize exceptional results in SEO, they almost always require a dedicated internal SEO team. That’s the case today primarily because incremental gains are harder to achieve.” True perhaps, but this is not necessarily a trend in small to midsized firms yet.

5 big SEO changes you might have missed by iMedia Connection

Lisa WehrGoing beyond the usual SEO guidance, Lisa Wehr explains how to capitalize on mobile and local search, Google encrypted search results, and even Google+ and Facebook: “Where on a social site can you insert keywords? From Google+ profiles to Facebook info sections, you can display keywords and all of your business web properties (website, Twitter, YouTube, corporate blog, etc).”

SEO Strategy for New Domains by Search Engine Journal

Sujan PatelWriting that “When you first launch a new website, it’s a blank slate in the eyes of Google and the other search engines,” Sujan Patel serves up a five-step plan for gaining search ranking, from “make sure that your site is set up as effectively as possible from an internal SEO standpoint” to planning for ongoing optimization.

5 Best Practices for Global SEO by ClickZ

Crispin SheridanFor websites that are truly global in terms of their market targeting, Crispin Sheridan offers a handful of helpful tips for optimization, among them engaging in local link building: “Link building, whether through traditional efforts such as outreach programs or guest blogging, social media, and leveraging partnerships, will always be one of the strongest ways to obtain more favorable rankings. In addition to helping with rankings, the search engines will look at the origin of the links to help determine local relevance. For example, a Chinese site that has a large number of links coming from other China-based sites will have a stronger authority within the local China search engines.”

7 Signs That You’re Overvaluing Search Engine Optimization by MarketingSherpa

Daniel BursteinReporting that nearly a third of b2b marketers “consider search engine optimization to be very effective — more than email marketing, content marketing, and most noticeably, paid search,” Daniel Burstein outlines warning signs that a company may be overvaluing SEO, to the detriment of considerations like providing valuable content and optimizing for conversions.

Create A YouTube Traffic Jam With These 4 Simple Optimization Tips by KISSmetrics
***** 5 STARS

Brian HonigmanWhile it’s not SEO strictly speaking, optimizing your YouTube videos for search is a great way to increase brand exposure, and to (indirectly) drive website traffic. Brian Honigman provides an outstanding, comprehensive guide to optimizing videos from tags and titles to playlists, annotations and channel branding.

Confirmed: Google+ Is Critical To Your Search Rankings by Sean Clark

Sean ClarkSean Clark contends that “Keywords (are) a thing of the past,” and that social media signals (particularly from Google+) are the future of search engine ranking signals. True? Perhaps. Carefully consider Sean’s arguments and those of his commenters.

DuckDuckGo Search Engine Crowdsources Plugins by Wired

Scott Gilbertson reports on DuckDuckHack, “a developer platform that allows anyone to add new features to the search engine.” The platform enables anyone to write plugins (to go along with current “goodies” like time-based queries and unit conversions) for the search engine and share them. Is this article really one of the best SEO guides of the past year? Maybe not, but it’s hard not to love DuckDuckGo.

9 Lessons from 1,000 SEO Questions by SEOmoz

Dr. Peter J. MeyersDr. Peter J. Meyers distills the answers to 1,000 private questions asked of SEOmoz into this compact summary of SEO  wisdom, such as “One-trick Ponies Make Good Glue…People naturally get comfortable with one aspect of search marketing (link-building, on-page, social, etc.) and then want to ‘perfect’ it, but at best they hit diminishing returns fast.”

Google Webmaster Tools: An Overview by Search Engine Watch

Simon HeseltineSimon Heseltine offers a helpful guide to the features in Google Webmaster Tools, from getting started through navigating the dashboard, messages, configuration, assessing a website’s health (e.g. through crawl errors), search queries,  internal links, sitemaps and more.

10 Myths That Scare SEOs But Shouldn’t – Whiteboard Friday by SEOmoz

Rand FishkinRand Fishkin dispels myths that shouldn’t be keeping SEO practitioners awake at night, such as having a large number of backlinks from a single domain (unless the linking site is really spammy or the links were built manipulatively) or keyword density that’s “too high.”

10 SEO measurements every marketer should know by Biznology

Rob PetersenNoting that “80% of people who visit a website get there from typing a keyword in the query box of a search engine” (seems a bit high, your mileage will vary) and “90% click on websites on the first page” (of search results), Rob Petersen defines 10 imperative SEO metrics for marketers, from the number of keywords driving traffic to the number of pages indexed by search engines.

7 Small Business SEO Tips by Search Engine Watch

Adam StetzerAdam Stetzer suggests “seven small business SEO tips to help earn more business through traditional organic search rankings,” among them understanding that onsite SEO is necessary but not sufficient; that creating engaging content is critical; and that content marketing should be used to earn backlinks (“Quality content containing humor, information, controversy, politics or training usually brings backlinks – and is definitely considered acceptable SEO”).

SEO Tips for Panda and Penguin

Interview of Jonah Stein by SEO Book

Aaron WallAaron Wall has a long, detailed conversion with SEO expert Jonah Stein about the impact of Google’s series of Panda algorithm updates, and how to respond to penalties. One key line from Jonah: “It is short sighted to believe that any of the SEO niche strategies are going to survive if they are not supported with PR, social, PPC and display.” Which is pretty much what the web presence optimization (WPO) framework is designed to address.

What is your SEO Social Signals Strategy? by iMedia Connection

Krista LaRiviereKrista LaRiviere reveals, in her words, “how Google’s algorithm changes impact both backlinking and social signaling; how to build an SEO social signals strategy; how your SEO backlinking and social signals strategies come together in your content strategy; (and) how to measure it all.”

Google Plans SEO Over-Optimization Penalty by Practical eCommerce

Jill KocherJill Kocher provides some details about Google’s throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater approach to penalizing “over-optimization.” For example, one sign of over-optimization to Google is reportedly “Linking repeatedly from body copy to a handful of key pages with optimized anchor text. If 33 of my 100 pages link to www.jillsfakesite.com from the body copy with the anchor text “Jills Fake Site,” that should count as over-optimization.” Never mind that there may be perfectly legitimate reasons for doing this, and it may improve the user experience.

6 Changes Every SEO Should Make BEFORE the Over-Optimization Penalty Hits – Whiteboard Friday by SEOmoz

Speaking of over-optimization, Rand Fishkin (again) here reviews half a dozen ways to avoid Google’s “over-optimization” penalties, including this on in-content text links: “go with logical, useful, change it up when you’re linking to pages, maybe a couple of times, in some spaces. You have a blog post and it mentions a page on your site that you want people to actually go to and that you think is useful in context. Great, link over there. Fine, use the anchor text. Maybe use a modified version of the anchor text, a little longer, a little shorter, a little more natural sounding, and you’re going to get these same results, but you’re going to do it in a much more effective way. You’re not going to be at risk of whatever is happening with this over-optimization penalty.”

The Rise of Content Strategy–What to do about Google killing SEO by Biznology

James MathewsonJames Mathewson outlines four ways Google is killing SEO, including semantic search: “How do SEOs traditionally optimize pages? By advising their clients to put keywords in strategic places on a page. When Google goes to semantic search, it won’t be as much about keywords at all, but on the meaning of the words you use. This might be the biggest SEO killer of all. If tuning our content for keywords our users care about is no longer an effective strategy, what is left for SEOs?” He believes content strategy is the new SEO.

SEO & Content Marketing: Getting The Most Visibility For Your Valuable Content by MediaPost Search Insider

Janet Driscoll MillerObserving that “with recent algorithm updates, Google has noticeably placed renewed emphasis on unique, relevant, and timely content. Clearly there’s a marriage between SEO and content marketing,” frequent best-of honoree Janet Driscoll Miller explains how to capitalize in search on difficult-to-optimize content such as information that’s behind a registration wall, infographics and PDFs.

How to Identify Search Engine Penalties by Search Engine Journal

Reassuring that “Not all search engine penalties are permanent, and with a little detective work and remedial action, you should be able to restore your previous rankings and rebuild the flow of organic traffic to your site,” Sujan Patel (again) outlines a five-step process to determine if your site has been penalized, and it so, recover from it.

17 Ways SMBs Can Survive the Google Penguin Update Effect by ClickZ

Lisa BuyerFor those concerned about Google’s Panda update (which is to say, anyone involved in SEO), Lisa Buyer highlights a number of resources for help including guidance on optimizing beyond Google, including advertising, socializing, pinning, profiling, twittering, and more.

Backlinks Strongest Factor For Positive Search Rankings by MediaPost

Laurie Sullivan (again) reports that “Content shared from Facebook and the amount of backlinks appear to influence organic search engine results most, but Google +1s have the strongest impact on rankings,” and that recent analysis of Google ranking factors in the post-Panda-and-Penguin era suggests that social signals will play an increasing role in site ranking.

6 Months with Panda: A Story of Complacency, Hard Decisions, and Recovery by Search Engine Journal
***** 5 STARS

Glenn GabeIn this must-read case study for any site hit by Panda, Glenn Gabe explains how even a large, mature, well-respected website with a stellar link profile can get hit with Panda penalties, what caused this to happen, and the single most important thing that needed to be done to regain ranking and traffic.

7 Achievable Steps For Great SEO After The Penguin Update by SEOmoz
***** 5 STARS

Chris WarrenThis post from Chris Warren would be a must-read for anyone struggling with search traffic issues in the post-Penguin era even if it only contained steps one (“Understand your link profile…The biggest risk factors are a combination of lots of low quality links with targeted anchor text”), two (“Learn what makes a good link…there is a lot of evidence that these high value links are really the main drivers of a domain’s link authority”) and five (“almost never change your URLs”).

Understanding Penguin 1.1: Be Safe from Updates in 3 Easy Steps by Search Engine Journal

Muzzammil BambotMuzzammil Bambot steps through some of the biggest negative factors in post-Penguin search ranking and how to correct those, from getting rid of paid links and excessive links from a single domain to having too many exact-match text links (solved by increasing the diversity of text link variations).

3 Ways to Use Social Media to Improve Your Search Rankings by Social Media Examiner

AJ KumarAJ Kumar suggests strategies for using social media to improve search rank, but just as importantly to “future-proof” your site from still more Google algorithm changes by using social media to reduce your reliance on organic search traffic, for example by including “prominent social sharing buttons at both the top and bottom of each blog post on your website (or use a scrolling option that moves down the page alongside your readers).”

10 Ways Coding Can Help Your SEO by Search Engine Journal

Sujan Patel (once again) provides an excellent collection of SEO tips, here focused on technical factors that can affect rankings. Among his recommendations: use a search engine spider simulator to validate your code for spider-friendliness; create search-optimized page URLs; and combine script files to speed up page load times.

How Google’s Panda and Penguin are affecting your site’s rankings by iMedia Connection

Kent LewisKent Lewis does a commendable job of explaining how Google’s Panda and Penguin updates affected search rankings, and practical steps for avoiding penalties and regaining rankings (e.g., “Cancel or remove unnecessary footer links. Take it easy on the internal ‘SEO’ linking”), though his contention that “A minority of those sites (negatively affected by these algorithm changes) may be legitimate, but a majority of those impacted were consciously in violation” is questionable, particularly given the experiences of other experts noted above.

10 Old SEO Methods You Need to Stop by Search Engine Watch

Greg HabermannGreg Habermann warns against 10 SEO “techniques” that no longer work (or never really did), including Ezine Articles submissions, “news” release without any real news (produced just for links), link exchanges, thin content, and spider-unfriendly web design.

Top 1 SEO Tips for 2013 by SEOmoz

Pete Myers (again) shares his single most valuable SEO tip for 2013, writing that: “While I can’t tell you Google’s next move, I can tell you one thing with absolute certainty – there’s more to come. So, how can you protect what you’ve built in 2013? I was going to write a long list of suggestions, but I realized that they almost all boiled down to just one idea. I’m not going to toy with you – my top tip for 2013 SEO is…”

Best SEO Infographics

On page content SEO Puzzle #infographic by WordPress Hosting SEO
***** 5 STARS

Berrie PelserWriting that “SEO is a large and dynamic puzzle…to have a successful SEO strategy, you will need to all of the pieces of the puzzle together,” Berrie Pelser presents an easy-to-grasp infographic covering the basics of on-page optimization, coding, site architecture, social factors, reputation, links and more.

The History of Search Engine Marketing by Erik Holladay

Erik HolladayErik Holladay shares an infographic from Markus Allen that details the major ranking factors used by the leading search engines and the significant changes and upgrades made to ranking algorithms from Lycos and WebCrawler in 1994 through Google’s Panda algorithm update.

A Simple SEO Audit For Your Website by Soulati Media
***** 5 STARS

Jayme SoulatiJayme Soulati share a helpful infographic outlining the process for a basic website SEO audit, from content (fresh? Keyword-stuffed? Easy to read?) through technical considerations (navigation, crawl issues, broken links) to backlinks (spammy or paid vs. relevant and high-quality).

Infographic: The New Face of Search Engine Optimization by Marketing Technology Blog

Douglas KarrDouglas Karr presents an excellent SEO infographic contrasting what used to work in terms of keyword targeting, user experience, on-site content (e.g., “stuff title tags with keywords”), anchor text, directory submissions, news releases, and more, to what works today (e.g., “social traction correlates with links…Google+, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest are the most important SM platforms to SEO”).

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24 More of the Best Facebook Guides, Stats and Rants of 2012

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

As noted in 21 (of the) Best Facebook Guides, Tools and Rants of 2012 So Far a few months back, Facebook remains the 800-pound gorilla of the social networking world. It’s now exceeded one billion users, and as noted below, 80% of all businesses maintain an active Facebook presence.

But its incessant changes, moves to charge brands and celebrities for exposure they’ve become accustomed to getting for free, and possibly even (gasp!) aging demographic may be cause for concern.

Best Facebook Marketing Guides of 2012Will Facebook lose ground to Google+? Is it becoming uncool? Or if not—how have recent changes in Facebook’s layout changed best practices for marketers? what are the secrets to Facebook advertising success?

Find the answers to these questions and more here in two dozen of the best Facebook guides, tips, stats, facts, raves and rants of 2012.

Facebook Tips and Guides

The Simple Science of Facebook Engagement by MyBeak Social Media

Laura-Lee WalkerLaura-Lee Walker shares an infographic that reveals the “formula to follow” for greater engagement on Facebook. Among the key findings: “Include images with posts. This increases the likelihood that fans will engage with your fan page (39 percent higher than average).” The infographic also shows the best (and worst) times to post, contest ideas,  “winning words” to include in updates and more.

SEO for Facebook – New Video Revealed by Search Engine Journal

Adria SaracinoAdria Saracino points readers to a video produced by Facebook that provides business owners and marketers with tips on how to optimize their Facebook pages for search engines. She writes that “The video takes users step-by-step through a number of processes for building an optimized Facebook page with a good name and quality, relevant content.”

How to Add A Twitter Tab to Your Facebook Page [Quicktip] by Hongkiat

Mustaza MustafaMustaza Mustafa presents a richly illustrated, step-by-step process for using the CertifiedSeller app to add a Twitter profile link to your tab on Facebook timeline. Commenters note that Facebook could certainly do something to make this process easier, but the method here does work.

Nine  Ways To Improve Your Facebook Engagement and ROI by MENGonline

David Lund - GrowthSpring GroupDavid Lund details nine tactics for improving marketing effectiveness on Facebook, such as “Use Facebook to communicate your new news and introduce new products. Your followers are more interested than most consumers in news about your products and brand. They will likely be early adopters and advocates that can help build word of mouth BUZZ about your new products.” Though targeted at consumer marketers, many of the tips apply to b2b marketing as well.

Understanding the 6 Facebook Post Types by Practical eCommerce
***** 5 STARS

Paul ChaneyPaul Chaney explains in detail the six types of posts that can be added to a Facebook page along with “reasons why you would use them and best practices for each post type” and tips for the best use of each post type, for example on video posts, “Don’t put logos in the video. Harvard researchers found that the more prominent or intrusive the logo, the more likely viewers are to stop watching, even if they know and like the brand.”

How to Do a Facebook Personal Profile Security Audit by Seriously Social

Ian Anderson GrayIan Anderson Gray shows how to do an in-depth personal security audit on Facebook, covering everything from password updates and recognized devices to adding a “do not track” plugin and navigating Facebook’s privacy settings. While this process is for personal profiles, Ian notes “if you do manage a Facebook page, make sure all your admins run a security audit on their personal profiles each month. There are serious issues here, because your page could be compromised by the security settings of one of your page’s administrators.”

Social Media Marketing: How I found the Facebook topic that was 371% more effective by MarketingSherpa

Jonathan GreeneJonathan Greene provides a detailed, illustrated five-step process for using Facebook Insights to identify patterns and trends that can make your social media marketing much more effective, or as he puts it, “Filtering your posts by certain KPIs might reveal very rewarding patterns in engagement and syndication, which could be the push you need to take your social campaigns to the next level.”

13 ways to boost your Facebook Page reach by Socialbrite

John HaydonArguing that “Marketers who are whining about (Facebook forcing people to pay to have their page updates reach their Facebook fans) need to put down the tissues and realize that promoted posts are simply one option among many to amplify reach,” John Haydon delves into the inner workings of Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm and offers 13 recommendations for reaching fans without writing a check, including posting awesome content (based on thorough analysis of past performance) and using your blog, events and webinars to increase visibility.

5 Successful Facebook Marketing Campaigns – Case Studies by jeffbullas.com

Jeff BullasIt’s easy to generate tremendous traffic and buzz on Facebook if you’re a major brand advertiser with buckets of money to spend, but what about small businesses with much more limited means? Jeff Bullas very helpfully here offers small to midsized business marketers some proven tactics for Facebook marketing success and then shares five case studies from small firms that have made a splash on the giant social network with cleverness and creativity, on a budget.

Stop Looking at Facebook’s Insights by Inkling Media

Ken MuellerKen Mueller makes a compelling case for, well, not quite ignoring Facebook’s Insights, but at least putting those numbers in proper perspective. Noting that “I honestly put very little weight in Facebook insights. They change how things are measured on a regular basis, and if you spend any time poring over the numbers, you know they clearly don’t add up. I wish they did, but they don’t,” he outlines five reasons not to obsess over these metrics—and what to focus on instead.

Facebook Changes

Facebook Promoted Posts and Other Recent Updates of 2012 by Vertical Measures

Sarah SchagerSarah Schager shares updates on nine post-Timeline Facebook changes, including promoted posts (only for brands with at least 400 fans), changes to how to links are handled within status updates, events, and the inclusion of mobile views in the reach metric (finally).

Facebook Simplifies Ad Creation With Redesigned Self-Serve Tool by Sprout Social

Jennifer BeeseJennifer Beese explains Facebook’s recent changes to its self-service ad creation tool and notes “Once you’ve chosen what you’d like to advertise and listed your main objective, Facebook will recommend a combination of traditional sidebar ads and Sponsored Stories. Additionally, you’ll receive a preview of how our Sponsored Stories will appear in people’s’ News Feeds.”

12 Latest Facebook Page Features You Might Have Missed by Social @ Blogging Tracker

China YaThe delightful Wong Ching Ya details a dozen of Facebook’s relatively new features, including onsite notification (which provides page administrators with “instant page notifications in your profile’s homepage for new posts, fan messages, comments or whenever someone liked your page posts”), target page posts, and Facebook custom audiences (“Brand pages can now target their offline audiences on Facebook through relevant ads by uploading info such as email addresses, phone numbers or Facebook user IDs”).

Facebook Advertising

10 Examples of Facebook Ads That Actually Work (And Why) by HubSpot

Dan SlagenYou’ve probably read about the dismal click-through rates for Facebook ads, but Dan Slagen here offers guidance on beating the averages through high relevance and a compelling call to action, then presents examples of brands generating strong performance with Facebook advertising.

Facebook Upgrades Small Business Site by MediaPost

Noting that small business advertisers are vital to Facebook (and Facebook is an important marketing platform for many small businesses), Mark Walsh reports on efforts by Facebook to help small businesses create more effective ads and generally use the social network more effectively, including tips like: “Ensure you know people are coming to your business because they found you on Facebook: whisper codes, unique Facebook links to your site, friend referrals, exclusive Facebook discounts. Also, put your Facebook URL on more of your in-store materials—receipts, napkins, brochures, etc., to increase fanning of your Page.”

15 Tips For A Successful Facebook Ads Program by MediaWhiz

Adam RiffAdam Riff shares 15 “secrets” to optimize Facebook advertising, such as rotating ads frequently to combat banner blindness, tracking metrics beyond basic “likes,” testing occupational targeting, and leveraging Facebook data to make smarter media buys through other channels (“The great thing about Facebook data is that it can give you insights about your consumer base that you might not have otherwise known”).

A Simple Breakdown of All Your Facebook Advertising Options by HubSpot

Amanda SibleyNoting that “Facebook seems to be launching a new form of advertising—or some new feature within the advertising—every day,” Amanda Sibley details the features and usage of Facebook’s five forms of on-page advertising in this thorough and helpfully illustrated post.

Facebook Stats

Facebook 2012 Facts and Figures for Small Business Success by MyBeak Social Media

Laura-Lee Walker (again) shares a huge collection of Facebook facts in this infographic, such as that 58% of Facebook’s one billion+ users visit the site daily; the average Facebook visits lasts 20 minutes; 80% of businesses are active on Facebook; the two most popular apps are the Blackberry Smartphones App and Texas Holdem Poker; and much, much more.

Facebook Focused On Upping Services For Small Businesses by MediaPost

Laurie SullivanFrequent best-of writer Laurie Sullivan reports on Facebook’s efforts to make it simple for small businesses to connect with their customers on Facebook, noting “About one-third of the 100,000 small businesses that have published Offers are new Facebook advertisers, and  about 30% are claimed on mobile devices,” and that “Facebook (now) supports more than 13 million small and local business pages.”

Facebook Rants and Raves

Is Google Unstoppable? by MediaPost

John CaponeJohn Capone details advertising statistics and projections that suggest, over the next couple of years, in terms of advertising revenue, “Google will begin to leave Facebook and the rest (of the major ad sellers) in the dust.” He describes Google as The Predator of the online advertising world, while Facebook is more like Barney the purple dinosaur.

5 reasons your brand doesn’t need Facebook by iMedia Connection

Peter PlattPeter Platt sets out to dispel five “myths” of Facebook marketing, among them that Facebook is an engagement platform for brands: “A couple of years back, we wanted to ‘like’ brands so we could see what their offers were. But all too often, brands became that annoying friend who posted too much, and we quickly learned to hide or unfriend those brands. Brands also started building out complex Facebook platforms with lots of functionality and engagement tools, but the reality is that the news feed is the core of Facebook activity. Complex portals garner some interest, but at the end of the day, the news feed is where most of the users are.”

Before You Buy Into The ‘Zuckerberg Put’: 5 Things Facebook’s CEO Won’t Tell You by Seeking Alpha

Kyle SpencerKyle Spencer advises investors that although Mark Zuckerberg may have discovered he really does need to listen to the market, there are five things to keep in mind before diving into this stock, such as that the kids are somewhere else: “There was a time when Facebook was cool. Not anymore. 65% of Facebook users are 35 and older, and adults are the fastest growing demographic…Why is it important where teens hang out? Because parents follow their kids around on the Internet. Teens are the first adopters, the fastest social innovators and have more free time to surf the net. Jumping ship keeps teenagers one step ahead of mom and dad. Remember AOL? It’s an old folks home, now.”

Facebook is for Likes Not Leads by Brent Price Carnduff

Brent CarnduffWriting that “The truth is, most of those 900 million people (actually over a billion now) aren’t there to be marketed to. And frankly, Facebook doesn’t make it that easy for businesses to connect with them,” Brent Carnduff outlines what he believes Facebook can, and can’t, do for marketers and business owners.

Facebook: Are the Good Times Really Over for Good? by WindMill Networking

Chris TreadawayChris Treadaway laments recent changes by Facebook that make it more expensive—much more expensive—for brands to reach fans with their content. He cites recent criticism of the social media network by Mark Cuban, George Takei, and a range of Facebook community managers, yet in the end concludes “It’s going to cost us more to do the things that we’ve gotten for low cost so far…but we won’t go anywhere.” Maybe.

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