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Reach and Influence: Your First Marketing Priority

Posted by EricEnge

When you first start out with content marketing, you often have a very basic challenge: you have to build an audience for your content. Even if you're a large brand with lots of people who are passionate about you, they're not yet conditioned to see you as a publisher of valuable content. In other words, either way, you've got work to do.

In today's post, I'm going to outline why you should focus on reach and influence, and how to do it so that your content marketing efforts can deliver the maximum ROI.

Map your marketplace

The first thing to realize is that number of potential customers in a marketplace is finite, and so are the number of major media sites and blogs that have any real audience. A typical audience reach for the bloggers and media in a marketplace might look something like this:


Traditionally, SEOs have focused on trying to publish content on as many different domains as possible. In the early days of SEO, the theory was that getting links from as many different domains as you could was how you maximize overall rankings impact.

This still has an element of truth to it today if you view the Google algorithm from a narrow perspective, but I believe it's best to take a more holistic view of the market. Frankly, I don't want the hard task of fighting for every link I get; I want people to give them to me because I've shown I deserve them.

I don't want to fight for every link I get; I want to earn them because I've shown I deserve them.

For that reason, we urge our clients to focus on building authority, reach, and influence. If you do this well, you establish a solid base for earning links organically. Consider the value of publishing content and having it get links with minimal effort on your part.

While you all shudder at the concept of “build it and they will link to you,” if you implement a fully integrated campaign with an audience that is anxious to see what you have to say, the task of attracting links becomes significantly easier.

To make that work for you, you'll need relationships with key influencers, bloggers, and media people, and you'll need to prioritize who are the people who can help you most.

The catch is, the most influential players in a marketplace have assets to protect (their relationship with their audience), and they're not going to help you unless you find ways to help them bring even more value to their audience.

That means you'll need to establish your business as a top source of content and ideas. You'll also need to be seen by them as a partner, and that you support their goals, not just your own. So now, let's get to work!

Identify your real audience

First, let's look at another map, this time looking at the makeup of the people in a given market:

Who in this chart do you think might reshare your content or link to it? It's certainly not the laggards, or even the early or late majority. Generally speaking, these are not the people with large social media followings, or highly popular blogs or columns on your market. The people who do have these things are highlighted here:

Innovators and Early Adopters are the ones that might share or link your content in a way that has a large impact. If your content is not good enough to interest them, then you've failed. Not only can they get more eyeballs on your content, but when they reshare it, it acts as an endorsement of its value.

Cater to this audience. Even for a large brand, it's essential that you get good engagement here, as it helps give your content credibility.

Go to where your target audience resides on the Interwebs

Your target customer spends a lot of time in various places across the Internet. Consider engaging with them where they are.

The reason for doing this is to accelerate the growth of your audience and their engagement with your content. I often refer to this as getting in front of OPA ("Other People's Audiences"). It's one of the most powerful ways to increase your own audience and loyalty. It also creates opportunities to build your own direct audience.

That said, you need to do this with great care. If you dive willy-nilly into public forums with commercial messages you'll be seen as self-serving and overly aggressive. Better approaches include:

Establish columns on high-authority media sites Share valuable info via your social media presences Interact with influencers online Participate in online and offline events (webinars, conferences)

These are just a few ideas. Remember, you're there to add value, and adding value doesn't mean showing people all the great things they can do with your products. Create useful, non-commercial, content, or address questions without your products or services being the explicit answer.

Adding value doesn't mean showing people all the great things they can do with your products.
The role of columns

As we've established, the top media sites have the most influence in a marketplace. Here's another way of looking at it:

If you're looking for OPA, the top media sites that cover your market have plenty of it, and if you're allowed to publish on their sites without having to pay for it, they also provide an implied endorsement. Old-school SEO would tell us that columns are not that valuable because Google used to value visibility on a larger number of domains more than they valued repeat presence on the higher-authority sites, but digital marketing life is no longer that simple.

You can argue about how far that pendulum at Google has swung, but you can't deny that it makes sense that an ongoing relationship with an authoritative site is a stronger indication of your authority than ten meaningless one-time relationships with sites no one, or almost no one, ever visits. If you don't think that Google gets this, you're definitely stuck far in the past.

Other publishing efforts

It's great to get high-value columns, but not every major media site will grant you that opportunity. Let's say you manage to get a column on three of the top sites. This may expose you to this type of reach:

There will also be major media sites where getting a column or publishing content is not an option. But, can you build relationships with their editors and writers? Will they reach out to you for fact checking or quotes when they write a related story? Are they interested in interviewing you?

A deliberate program to build these relationships is a must in any reach and influence building strategy. Some of the key steps are:

Build a list of the top relationships you should target Try to obtain info on their social accounts and email addresses Study what they're about, and what's most important to them Actively reshare their relevant stories via your social media Engage with them in ways that will add value, and that shows them why a relationship with you would be valuable for them Consider implementing targeted paid social campaigns that will expose them to your best content See if you can structure opportunities to meet them face-to-face.

Use all of these tactics to map out your strategy and show yourself as a leader in your market, and to show your willingness help them with their needs.

The role of influencers

Media people are influencers in their own right, but there are types of influencers as well. Their presence may be in other places, such as social media or streaming media, and there are usually many of these out there in any given market. With these types of influencers you can potentially leverage a few additional tactics, such as:

Interview them and publish the result on your site Pay them to reshare your content on social Pay them to write for you (and ask them to share the article via their social) Engage them to help you more broadly as a spokesperson Find ways to collaborate on projects with them and then co-promote the resultsOr, try a more limited project-based engagement

The value here is very similar to that of major bloggers and media. Their engagement with you reinforces the quality and value of what you're doing online. As with the media, there are probably a small number of influencers with significant reach. The cool thing here is that the people they influence only overlap partially with the people reached by media. Let's look at how they overlap:


If you are able to establish relationships with a few of the top ten (non-media) influencers, your reach and influence will go up yet one more notch.

Organic social media

Social media is a great way to build relationships directly with bloggers, media, influencers, and to access your target customer base. Too many businesses view social media in a very tactical way. Either they focus on pushing commercial messages through their accounts, or they work towards shallow goals, such as increasing likes or followers.

If you're looking to expand your true reach and influence, you should leverage the strengths that social media has to help you accomplish that. Even in a world where major social platforms such as Facebook are limiting organic reach, there is still much to be gained by posting high-value content on these platforms. First of all, not all of the social media platforms limit your organic visibility, and there are also many community opportunities on them as well. And second, you can use that content as a sort of “credibility calling card” as you try to build relationships on social with influencers. If they look at your profile, your content serves as a resume that says you're worth engaging with.

But nothing free lasts forever, so make a point of finding ways to migrate the relationships you create on social media sites onto other platforms.

Make a point of finding ways to migrate your relationships on social media sites onto other platforms.

One way to do that is to share great content published on your site, and then find ways to lure people into signing up for a newsletter, your app, or find some other way to get them connected with you going forward. By all means, don't abandon your connection with them on the social media platform where it started, but don't be wholly dependent on that platform either.

Paid social

There are tons of opportunities in the world of paid social, and they are worth exploring. Some of the platforms, such as Facebook, offer tremendous targeting options that allow you to get extremely granular with your campaigns. Have a mailing list of 10,000 people? Imagine targeting a Facebook ad campaign that runs solely in front of that audience. Sounds awesome, doesn't it?

You can actually do this, but the only catch is that the email address you have for them has to be the one that's used for the user's Facebook account. In our experience, that may cut the actual list reached by half or so, but this type of campaign is still an enormous value add.

There are other effective ways to target on paid social media platforms, but the big key is to invest the time to get your targeting right. So many companies dabble in social media advertising, try a few things, look for an instant return, and then give up. You need to have patience to figure out your best targeting options, and work to get it right.

To do that, you'll need to invest some money with a not-so-great ROI for a while, in order to get enough data to get your targeting where it needs to be. If you're willing to do this, you can gain a nice market edge for yourself, especially since it's very possible your competition isn't willing to put in that effort.

One approach to help with extending your reach and influence is to build a list of bloggers, media, and influencers, and do the hard work of building targeted ad campaigns just to that list. This is a great way to get your content in front of those that matter most.

We've seen results in campaigns like this that deliver engagement (likes, clicks, reshares) for as little as $0.30 per action. Other campaigns we've run have shown action rates in the $1 range, but this is still a phenomenal value.

Summary

Keep your focus on the goal of extending your reach and influence. No matter how large your brand is today, you're living in an uncertain world. If you're heavily dependent on organic search results in Google, know that the concept of the search box is likely to disappear in the next five years. Or, if you're heavily dependent on people walking in to your stores, you've already seen the massive shift of activity online. More change is guaranteed, and the exact shape it will take is not clear to anyone.

Your best defense in a rapidly changing world is a passionate and engaged audience that feels loyalty directly to you, and that you have ways of connecting with directly. Build this. Cultivate this.

Then, no matter what direction things go in the future, you'll be in a position to continue to grow and prosper.


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10 Things I've Learned Recently About Hiring and Applying for SEO Roles

Posted by bridget.randolph

Here at Distilled NY we've been running a hiring cycle, and it's really brought front and center for me the key elements that make a digital marketing (and specifically SEO) candidate stand out from the crowd. So I wanted to share a few things I've learned in the process.

For the purpose of this post, I'm going to tackle this topic from two angles (with 5 points on each, in true "10 Things I've Learned…" style):

Part I: 5 attributes I now look for in any new analyst or consultant hire (and what you as an employer might want to think about before making someone an offer), and

Part II: 5 things to consider as a job seeker if you're applying for a role at a company like Distilled.

I should also note that this post is based on my own personal approach and viewpoint, rather than representing any kind of official Distilled documentation.

What I look for in a new SEO hire

At Distilled, we hire for SEO consultants at two levels - analyst (entry-level) and consultant (3+ years experience). The core elements we look for are the same for each, but for consultants there's obviously also an expected baseline of technical knowledge.

There are four key skillsets we look for when we evaluate a candidate throughout this process (based on our Distilled manifesto), in addition to their level of technical knowledge.

These are some questions that I've found useful to ask myself (not necessarily the candidate!) when identifying whether someone is a good fit in each of these areas. Note that no single one of these questions will necessarily make or break the outcome, but taken all together they can provide a relatively strong indicator of the level of the candidate in each area:

1. Communication skills How well do you express yourself? How professional do you seem (both on the phone and/or in person)? Are you engaging and enthusiastic? How clearly can you tell a story? How clearly can you explain a technical concept? How clearly can you explain a subject I don't know anything about? Could I trust you to lead a client meeting with confidence? At the C-Suite level? 2. Getting things done Can you give me clear examples of being a self-motivated person? Do you have any side projects (I don't really care what they are, but this indicates a self-motivated learner)? Can you give me examples of achieving goals or targets? Can you give me examples of when you took action that had an impact? 3. Raw smarts and curiosity

Note that what I call "smartness" is not necessarily academic achievement, book learning, etc.

Teach me about a topic you geek out about. Why? Are you a curious person? Do you ask questions about 'why'? Did you teach yourself at least part of your marketing skillset? (I have no issue with people learning marketing from a course or degree, but I want to know that you will keep teaching yourself new skills without a teacher grading you or giving you assignments. This question is really about assessing self-starter indicators).

For me, this “smartness” piece really comes down to the curiosity part. I want to work with people who are always asking why, and who get excited about discovering new ideas or learning new skills. These people make great consultants.

4. Culture fit Would I be excited to have this person on my team? For me, this usually means that they show enthusiasm for the topic of SEO/digital, and that they're a self-motivated learner. Basically, I want to feel that this person is going to push me to up my game, push themselves to constantly get better, and in the process will bring the whole consulting team up with them. What sort of work environment are you looking for? We have a relaxed environment at Distilled, but this only works because our employees are self-motivated. If you tell me you're looking for a flexible work environment, I'll want to understand why. Is it because you know how you work best, and you want a job that supports your best work? Or is it because you're lazy? Because I can tell the difference. 5. Technical knowledge

If you're applying at the consultant level, I will also test your technical knowledge and experience.

Examples of the type of technical questions I'll ask on the initial phone screen are:

What's the biggest site you've ever done a technical audit of, in terms of number of pages? Many of our clients have sites with millions of pages, so I want to know that you can handle this scale. If you haven't worked with a site this size before, it's not necessarily a dealbreaker, but in that case I want to see that you're aware that you haven't worked with a truly massive site, and get a sense that you'd at least have a thought on how to approach this type of site. I once had a candidate respond to this question with an answer along the lines of "Oh yes, I've worked with some really big sites, they had, like, thousands of pages." That makes me think that you don't truly understand the scale that some of our enterprise clients operate at. Talk me through your process for a technical SEO audit. What tools do you use? What questions will you ask? What are the issues that you would prioritize? I don't necessarily expect you to answer the way I would, but I want to see that you understand basic technical SEO principles and that you have a process that is logical and thorough. What was your biggest technical win for a client? This gives me insight into how you think about technical priorities and value. What is the most common problem that you come across with client websites? This gives me a sense of the kind of experience that you have. What do you think the biggest difference will be in SEO in five years' time? The main things I look for with this question are whether you… Get excited at the opportunity to talk about the future of search Have thoughts on this topic already because you think about/talk about this stuff for fun (curiosity and self-learning, remember?!) Rapid-fire round: I say a task, you tell me your preferred tool: Information architecture audit? Keyword research? Site crawl? Content gap analysis? Backlink audit?

There aren't necessarily any right answers for most of these tasks, but if you don't mention any of the common tools that we use frequently in the SEO space, even just to tell me why they're not your tool of choice, that's a red flag for me that you're not particularly experienced. Bonus points if you can also tell me why you do or don't use certain tools.

If a candidate moves forward to an in-person interview, we'll dig a little deeper on technical expertise. As part of this, we will provide some common client-based scenarios and ask for your process for how you might approach the scenario. There is usually no one right answer, but if it's a diagnostic problem, there are certain steps or sense-checks I would expect every competent SEO consultant to take before making a recommendation.

For instance, if I give you a scenario around how to handle duplicate content from faceted navigation, where the client has asked for separate pages for 10 color variants of the product across thousands of products, I would expect you to at least mention the following:

Keyword research Handling parameters and crawl budget Ideas for how to differentiate identical product description content And also being willing and able to challenge, or at least sense-check, client assumptions about what the correct approach might be! In this scenario, for instance, maybe they don't actually need to have every color variant of the product indexed if the search volume isn't there.

We will also ask technical questions which do have clear right and wrong answers, to ensure that you have the baseline of knowledge that we would expect an analyst to achieve before we would be able to promote him or her to consultant. These are not always particularly challenging questions, but surprisingly, a lot of candidates get them wrong. An example of this type of question would be something like "Can you explain how Google search works to someone with limited technical knowledge?," "Can you draw an example of a SERP layout on the whiteboard?," or "How would you set up a robots.txt file to block these pages and folders?"

How to be a great SEO candidate (agency-specific)

Of course, all of the above applies equally as an applicant in terms of things to think about in preparation for an SEO interview. In fact, if you're preparing for an interview like this, you may want to think about how you would respond to each of the questions I've outlined above, and how you could tell stories that would demonstrate these 5 key attributes that we're looking for. The four main criteria are pretty universally valuable attributes in any workplace - and they're also key indicators in my experience of whether a candidate will succeed in this specific type of role, and especially in an agency environment.

But! I promised you 10 things in the title of this post, so here are 5 applicant-specific things I've learned recently from seeing the process from the other side:

1. Don't bullshit.

Be honest if you don't know something. Especially at the analyst level, we're looking for people we can train, and honesty about where you're at is essential to that process.

2. Stay on point.

I need to see that you can communicate clearly with a client and outline the 5 Ws of a recommendation or strategy, without getting lost in unnecessary detail or losing your train of thought.

3. Don't try to guess what answer I'm looking for.

I want to understand your thought process. It's obvious when you're just trying to tell me what I want to hear - because you're not speaking with authenticity or conviction.

This one ties into the first two, because when you try to guess what I'm looking for, it also makes it harder to stay on point. You end up waffling and um-ing and ah-ing because you're trying to feel your way to my point of view instead of presenting your own opinion. It's an easy mistake to make when you get nervous, so a tip for dealing with the nerves is to just take a quick second to breathe before you answer, and check in with yourself about how you really feel about the topic. And if the answer is "I don't know the answer" - that's ok. Feel free in that case to talk about how you might approach figuring out the answer, though - if we're going to be working together I want to know that you'll be proactive enough to find out the answer, or at least have an idea of where to start when you get stuck!

4. Don't try to “win” the interview.

Don't go in with the end game of getting the offer. Go in with a sense of what you're looking for in your next position and approach this time we're spending together as an opportunity for us to explore together whether the role and the company is a good fit for you. I've made this mistake in both directions, as an interviewee prior to my current role and more recently sometimes as an interviewer (because I want you to like me, too!).

Remember: I really want you to be the perfect fit for what I need! So I'm not out to trip you up - in fact, if I can help you perform well, I will. For instance, if you don't quite seem to understand the question, or if I don't quite hear what I was hoping for, I'll rephrase the question differently to help you see what I'm getting at and see if we can get there together. If you still don't manage to get there when we give you that support, though, at that point it's pretty clear that we aren't a good fit.

5. Do the research.

We once interviewed someone for a sales role, and we asked them if they knew what services Distilled offered. She clearly didn't know but tried to answer anyway, and went on to guess a couple correctly but then threw in a third service which is not a specialty of ours and is not advertised publicly as a service we provide. To me this showed a basic lack of preparation which I would view as necessary in any sort of consulting or sales-based role, and it was one of the reasons I didn't recommend moving her forward in the process (although not the only reason).

So there you have it - 10 things I've learned recently about hiring and applying for SEO jobs!

I hope that you've found this post helpful, regardless of which side of the table you're currently finding yourself on. I'd love to hear your best tips and worst experiences in the comments ;) and if you're looking for a new opportunity, and this process sounds like something you'd like to explore further, check out our Jobs page for current openings!


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Here's How to Keep 301 Redirects from Ruining Your SEO

Posted by LoganRay

This post was originally in YouMoz, and was promoted to the main blog because it provides great value and interest to our community. The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of Moz, Inc.

[Estimated read time: 7 minutes]

Every SEO knows 301 redirects are necessary from time to time. But are they affecting your other optimization efforts by slowing down page load time? Or are they sending bots on a wild goose chase? How many 301s are out there that you don't need anymore?

Before I jump into this list, let me take you back to where this started: I was in a development meeting for one of our clients. This meeting had nothing to do with SEO. But, as usual, the discussion quickly sparked a few SEO considerations.

This client, a manufacturer of home goods, is particularly sensitive about the load time of their site, and rightfully so. They've got a lot of hi-resolution imagery on their site; therefore, every possible measure to minimize load time must be taken.

One of the proposed initiatives to cut load time was removing all 301 redirects. That got my attention.

There was no way I was going to let that happen. I knew some of their redirects were necessary for - well, scratch that. I wasn't sure how valuable they were or how many people were hitting them. I had no quantitative data to support my position.

I convinced them to leave all redirects in place until a viable solution was put in place. I obviously needed to collect some data to demonstrate how important 301 redirects can be. But how was I going to identify which ones needed to stay?

I wanted a solution that would provide the data in a format that we (as the marketers/analysts) could easily access without stepping on the toes of development or IT.

Google Analytics was the obvious choice. As I was hashing out the solution for the redirect removal conundrum (details on this in No. 3 below), I noticed several other items that were affecting the load time of this site: internal links pointing to outdated URLs (which had then been 301'ed) and rel=canonicals with 301'ed URLs.

Basically, every redirect-related issue that could exist did.

After fixing these issues, we were able to effectively decrease the redirection time of the site.

The development team was stoked, the SEO team was excited that our (necessary] 301s got to stay, and the client was thrilled with load time.

These changes were put into place between July and August of 2015. I think the results speak for themselves:

Here are the four ways redirects could be hurting your SEO efforts:

1. You have redirect chains
2. Your internal linking steps through redirects
3. You have unnecessary 301s
4. You have canonical tags that 301

1. You have redirect chains

Let's start out with a simple definition: A redirect chain is a series of redirects that go from one URL after another, forcing people and search engines to wait until there are no more redirects to step through. Here's an example: www.mysite.com/responsive redirects to www.mysite.com/responsive-web-design, which then redirects to www.mysite.com/rwd.

Of course, we all know the implication this has on passing authority. For every step in a redirect chain, about 10% of authority is lost. But it's also important to acknowledge how this would drastically increase page load time and decrease the overall quality of your site. A standard single-step redirect is already having an impact on your load time, then add to that the fact that some redirects may be going through multiple iterations just to call one URL.

It's no surprise that 301s stack up over time and create these chains: You put in this redirect, your coworker adds another, and a few months later you stack another one on top. These things happen.

So how do you identify these chains? Luckily, our friends at Screaming Frog have built ridiculously simple feature into their tool that tracks down redirect chains and outputs them in a report. Here's how to use it:

Run a full site crawl with Screaming Frog Go to > Reports > Redirect Chains

That's it. Seriously.

Analyzing which ones you need to fix is slightly more involved than pulling the report. The only thing that makes this more difficult is the fact that ALL of the links on your site are factored in. This means that if you link out to another site and they've got a chain in place, it finds that as well (see red highlighting in the screenshot below). One of the common themes of URL types I've seen here is social sharing URLs; they change frequently, so they'll need to be filtered out of the report. In column B, identify your own domain (see green highlighting) and remove all the other rows.

Once this is done, it's pretty smooth sailing and you can update your 301 redirects to remove those unnecessary steps. Don't send them to your dev or IT team yet, though. Keep reading for more useful nuggets.

2. Your internal linking steps through redirects

The second way redirects could be hurting your SEO efforts is via internal links pointing to URLs that are redirected elsewhere.

To get a handle on what's going on with your site, follow these simple tips:

Visit the Google Search Console and download the full list of your internal links. Go to Search Traffic > Internal Links and click the "Download this Table" button. Once you've done that, open the doc and use the concatenate function in Excel to append your domain to the beginning of those URL strings.

Once you have that column of your full URLs, copy the whole list. Here's how to use that clipboard info to populate a crawl in Screaming Frog:

In the menu bar, go to "Mode" and change it to "List." Then, click "Upload List" and "Paste." This will run a crawl of only the URLs from the Internal Link report. Once complete, check the status code column for any 301s. If you see any, select that URL and go to the Inlinks tab in the lower left of Screaming Frog. This will show you all the pages that contain a link to that redirecting URL.

Once you've identified all redirecting internal links, get your list together for updates to send over to your development team.

3. You have unnecessary 301 redirects

Websites tend to collect 301 redirects over the years, and no one really thinks to clean them up. When your .htaccess file starts to run deep with redirects, your load time suffers. Each time a URL is called by a browser, every single one of those redirects is checked to see if the requested URL needs to be sent elsewhere. The absolutely kills your load time.

But how do you identify which of those redirects are actually needed? UTM tags, that's how.

By appending UTMs to the resolving URLs of redirects, you can easily identify which 301 redirects are actually used on a regular basis.

Here's an example of the tagging methodology I use:

/old-page >>> /new-page?utm_medium=301&utm_source=direct&utm_campaign=/old-page

This will send data to Google Analytics every time someone hits one of your redirects and give it the attribution information you've included in your UTMs.

Download a Google Sheet with my tag generator. To save it locally, go to File > Download As > Microsoft Excel (.xlsx).

Twice a year, I'll go into Google Analytics and view the Source/Medium Report and apply an in-line filter for 301s.

From here, simply pull a list of redirects that were triggered and compare that to the list of 301s in the .htaccess file. Any that weren't hit should get removed.

Side note: If you run an e-commerce site, you can demonstrate the importance of 301 redirects by showing how much revenue was saved by having redirects in place.

4. You have canonical tags that 301

The logic behind this one requires little explanation, as it's basically the same as having redirect chains. You don't want to have canonical tags that point to redirected URLs. To identify these canonical tags, run your Screaming Frog crawl and go to the Directives tab. Scroll to the right to find the "Canonical Link Element 1" column and copy the list.

Re-crawl using List Mode and find any that have a Status of 301.

Bonus: Regaining links via 301s

If you have a large site, or your site has had a few URL structural changes over the years, chances are pretty good you've got some decent links pointing to a dead URL.

Run an Open Site Explorer report and grab the list of target URLs.

Drop that list into Screaming Frog using the same "Upload List" method described above. If you see any errors in the Status Code column, 301 redirect the URLs. (Make certain to check the stats and quality of those links first.)

Join in the conversation below if you have other redirect-related issues to add to this list, or other methods for identifying and troubleshooting these problems.


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Face to Face Counseling: The Victory is Coming

About 10% of the cases I have involve an FHA mortgage.  I like these cases, because I believe the express terms of these mortgages require the lender provide face-to-face counseling before accelerating and foreclosing.  The operative regulation is contained in 24 C.F.R. 203.604, and this is an issue I've briefed and argued countless times and discussed on this blog.

Unfortunately, no Florida court has ruled whether the face-to-face counseling requirement of 24 CFR 2.03.604 is a condition precedent, such that the lender bears the burden of proof at trial, or an affirmative defense, such that the borrower bears the burden of proof.

On Friday, Florida's Fifth District decided Diaz v. Wells Fargo Bank.  The decision doesn't decide the issue, as the mortgage in that case wasn't an FHA mortgage.  On that fact pattern, unsurprisingly, the Fifth District ruled HUD Regulations did not act as a condition precedent.  In so ruling, however, the Fifth District strongly hinted that it considers HUD Regulations a condition precedent in an FHA Mortgage.  Check out this language, quoted from the opinion:

Unlike scenarios where conditions precedent are ascertainable on the face of a written contract, such as compliance with paragraph twenty-two of the mortgage or where a promissory note specifically incorporates the HUD Regulations into its terms, it is by no means clear that the HUD Regulations applicable to federally insured loans apply to the instant loan and litigation.

For years now, I've been arguing HUD Regulations are a condition precedent in an FHA Mortgage, just like paragraph 22 is in the standard, Fannie Mae mortgage, because the mortgage terms expressly say so.  Given this sentence, it seems clear to me that the Fifth District agrees.  So don't give up on those FHA cases, folks.  I'm confident some good law is going to emerge here, and soon.

Mark Stopa
www.stayinmyhome.com

The post Face to Face Counseling: The Victory is Coming appeared first on Stopa Law Firm.

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Judge as Impartial Arbiter

This case was over.  Deutsche failed to meet its burden of proof, and an involuntary dismissal was required.  The presiding judge knew it and admitted as much yet refused to rule accordingly.  Instead, the court took a recess, went to its Chambers, sua sponte conducted a Google search to procure the missing evidence for Deutsche, resumed court, handed the internet printout to Deutsche, suggested Deutsche re-open its case, admitted the printout into evidence over objection, and used that internet printout as the basis for its ruling. 

Those facts sound impossible to believe, right?  That couldn’t happen in a Florida courtroom, could it?  Unfortunately, that’s an excerpt from the appellate brief I’m filing today.

Some will question my paraphrasing of the facts, so take a look at the brief for yourself:  it includes a verbatim cut and paste of the trial transcript reflecting these events.

I’ll refrain from commenting about the propriety of these events here.  You can read the brief and see what I think of this case.

Mark Stopa
www.stayinmyhome.com

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Is Any Press Good Press? Measuring the SEO Impact of PR Wins and Fails

Posted by KelseyLibert

[Estimated read time: 15 minutes]

Is the saying “any press is good press” really true? Whether it happens as part of a carefully orchestrated PR stunt or accidentally, the potential payoffs and drawbacks when a brand dominates the news can be huge.

In our latest collaboration, Fractl and Moz explored how a surge of media coverage impacted seven companies.

By looking at brands that dominated headlines within the last year, we set out to answer the following questions:

Does positive press coverage always bring more benefits than negative press coverage? Beyond the initial spikes in traffic and backlinks, what kind of long-term SEO value can be gained from massive media coverage? Do large brands or unknown brands stand to gain more from a frenzy of media attention? Are negative PR stunts worth the risk? Can the potential long-term benefits outweigh the short-term damage to the brand’s reputation? Methodology

Our goal was to analyze the impact of major media coverage on press mentions, organic traffic, and backlinks, based on seven companies that appeared in the news between February 2015 and February 2016. Here’s how we gathered the data:

Press mentions were measured by comparing how often the brand appeared in Google News search results the month before and the month after the PR event occurred. A combination of Moz’s Open Site Explorer, SEMrush, and Ahrefs was used to measure traffic and backlinks. Increases and decreases in traffic and backlinks were determined by calculating the percentage change from the month before the story broke compared to the month after. BuzzSumo was used to measure how often brand names appeared in headlines around the time of the PR event and how many social shares those stories received.

Note: We left out a few metrics for some brands, due to incomplete or unavailable data. For example, backlink percentage growth was not measured for Airbnb or Miss Universe, since these events happened too recently before this study was published for us to provide an accurate count of new backlinks. Additionally, organic traffic and backlink percentage growth were not measured for Peeple, since it launched its site around the same time as its news appearance.

I. How media coverage affects press mentions, organic traffic, and backlinks

We looked at seven brands, both well-known and unknown, which received a mix of positive and negative media attention. Before we dive into our overall findings, let’s examine why these companies made headlines and how press coverage impacted each one. Be sure to check out our more detailed graphics around these PR events, too.

Impact of positive media coverage

During the last year, Roman Originals, Airbnb, and REI were part of feel-good stories in the press.

Roman Originals cashes in on #TheDress What happened

Were you Team Black and Blue or Team Gold and White? It was the stuff PR teams dream of when this UK-based retail brand inadvertently received a ton of press when a photo of one of its dresses ignited a heated debate over its color.

The story was picked up by major publishers including BuzzFeed, Time, Gawker, and Wired. Some A-list celebrities chimed in with their dress-color opinions on social media as well.

I don't understand this odd dress debate and I feel like it's a trick somehow.
I'm confused and scared.
PS it's OBVIOUSLY BLUE AND BLACK
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) February 27, 2015
The results

Roman Originals was by far the biggest winner out of the brands we analyzed, seeing a 17.5K% increase in press mentions, nearly a 420% increase in US organic traffic, and 2.3K% increase in new backlinks. By far the greatest benefit was the impact on sales — Roman Originals’ global sales increased by 560% within a day of the story hitting the news.

Beyond the short-term increases, it appears Roman Originals gained significant long-term benefits from the media frenzy. Its site has seen a lift in both UK and US organic traffic since the story broke in February 2015.

In addition to the initial spikes directly after the story broke, RomanOriginals.co.uk saw a solid lift in backlinks over time, too.

Man lists igloo on Airbnb for $200 What happened

After Blizzard Jonas had hit the Northeast, a man built an igloo in Brooklyn and listed it for $200 per night on Airbnb as a joke. Airbnb deleted the listing shortly after it was posted. Media pickups included ABC News, USA Today, Washington Post, Mashable, and The Daily Mail.

Got shut down by @Airbnb for not meeting occupancy standards. Though they were nice enough to tell us that it looked very well constructed.
— Patrick M. Horton (@patrickmhorton) January 25, 2016
The results

Of all the PR events we analyzed, the igloo story was the most recent, having occurred at the end of January. Although we can’t yet gauge the long-term impact this media hit will have on Airbnb, the initial impact appears to be minimal. Since Airbnb is frequently in the news, it’s not very surprising that one PR event doesn’t have a significant effect.

Airbnb’s site only saw a 2% increase in organic traffic, despite an 83% increase in press mentions.

It’s also too soon to measure the story’s impact on new backlinks. However, the chart below shows the backlinks around the time of the story breaking relative to the new backlinks acquired during the rest of the year.

REI opts out of Black Friday What happened

The retail chain announced it would be closed on Black Friday and created the #OptOutside campaign urging Americans to spend Black Friday outdoors instead of shopping. Major media outlets picked up the story, including CNN, USA Today, CBS News, and Time.

The results

While REI received great publicity by saying “no” to Black Friday, the media coverage appeared to have little impact on organic traffic to REI.com. In fact, traffic decreased by 5% the month after the story broke compared to the previous month.

REI.com did see a 51% increase in new backlinks after the story broke. Additionally, the subdomain created as part of the #OptOutside campaign has received nearly 8,000 backlinks since its launch.

When good press turns bad (and vice versa)

In addition to both positive and negative spins being put on a story, the sentiment around the story can change as more details emerge. Sometimes a positive story turns negative or a bad story turns positive. Such is the case with Gravity Payments and Miss Universe, respectively.

CEO of Gravity Payments announces $70K minimum wage What happened

The CEO of this credit card-processing company announced he was cutting his salary to provide a minimum staff salary of $70K. It was hard to miss this story, which was covered by nearly every major US media outlet (and some global), and included a handful of TV appearances by the CEO. The brand later received backlash when it was discovered that the CEO, Dan Price, may have increased employee wages in response to a lawsuit from his brother.

The results

Initial spikes after the story broke included a 90% increase in press mentions, 139% increase in organic traffic, and 146% increase in new backlinks. But it didn’t end there for Gravity Payments.

What’s been most incredible about this story is its longevity in the press. Six months after the story broke, publishers were doing follow-up stories about the CEO signing a book deal and how business was booming. In December 2015, Bloomberg wrote a piece revealing that there was more to the story and suggested the wage increase was motivated by a lawsuit.

So far it looks like the benefits from the good press have outweighed any negative stories. In addition to the initial spike, to date GravityPayments.com has seen a 1,888% increase in organic traffic from the month before the story broke (March 2015).

The site has also received a substantial lift in new backlinks since the story broke.

Steve Harvey crowns the wrong Miss Universe winner What happened

Host Steve Harvey accidentally announced the wrong winner during the 2015 Miss Universe pageant. Some speculated the slip up was an elaborate PR stunt organized to combat the pageant’s falling ratings.

While there was initial backlash over the mistake, after several public apologies from Harvey, the incident may end up being best remembered for the memes it inspired.

The results

It appears the negative sentiment around this story has not hurt the brand. With a 199% increase in press mentions compared to the previous year’s pageant, this year’s Miss Universe stayed top of mind long after the pageant was over.

After the incident, there was nearly a 123% increase in monthly organic traffic to MissUniverse.com compared to the month following the 2014 Miss Universe pageant. However, organic traffic had steadily increased throughout 2015. For this reason, it’s difficult to give Steve Harvey's flub all the credit for any increases in organic traffic. It’s also too early to measure the long-term impact on traffic.

It’s also difficult to gauge how much of an effect it had on backlinks to MissUniverse.com. Judging from the chart below, so far there has been a minimal impact on new backlinks, but this may change as more articles related to this story are indexed.

For a brand that relies on TV viewership, perhaps the greatest payoff from this incident has yet to come. You can bet the world will tune in when Steve Harvey hosts next year’s Miss Universe pageant (he signed a multi-year hosting contract).

Is there any value to bad publicity?

Crafting controversial stories around a brand can have a huge payoff. After all, the press loves conflict. But too much negative press coverage can lead to a company’s downfall, as is the case with Turing Pharmaceuticals and Peeple.

Turing Pharmaceuticals raises drug price by 5,000% What happened

You may not recognize the company name, but you’ve most likely heard of its former CEO Martin Shkreli. This pharmaceutical company bought a prescription drug and raised the price by 5,000%. The story made global headlines, including coverage by the New York Times, BBC, NBC News, and NPR, and the CEO had multiple TV interviews.

Shkreli defended the price hike, saying the profits would be funneled back into new treatment research, but his assertions that the pricing was a sound business decision wasn’t enough to save face. He later stepped down as Turing’s CEO after being arrested by the FBI on fraud charges.

The results

Like Gravity Payments, the Turing Pharma story has had a long lifespan in the news cycle. After the story broke on September 20, press mentions of Turing Pharmaceuticals increased by 821% over the previous month.

During the month after the story first broke, turingpharma.com saw a 318% increase in organic traffic. Traffic also spiked in December and February, which is when Shkreli’s arrest, resignation as Turing CEO, and congressional hearing were making headlines.

Turingpharma.com also saw a significant increase in backlinks after the story broke. Within a month after the story broke, the site had a 382% increase in new backlinks.

While Turing Pharmaceuticals gained SEO value and brand recognition from the media frenzy, the benefits don’t make up for the negative sentiment toward the brand; the company posted a $14.6 million loss during the third quarter of 2015.

Peeple promotes new app as “Yelp for people” What happened

A new site announcing a soon-to-be-launched "Yelp for people” app caused a huge social media and press backlash. The creepy nature of the app, which allowed people to review one another like businesses, sparked criticism as well as concerns that it would devolve into a virtual “burn book.”

The Washington Post broke the story, and from there it was picked up by the New York Times, BBC, Wired, and Mashable.

The results

Peeple is an exceptional case since the app’s site launched right before the brand received the flurry of media coverage. Because of that, it’s possible that forthepeeple.com had not been indexed by Google yet at the time of the press coverage. Unlike the other brands we looked at in this study, we don’t have traffic and backlink benchmarks to compare from before press attention. But still, the Peeple story serves as a cautionary tale for brands hoping to attract attention to a new product with negative press.

Peeple received a 343% increase in press mentions during the month after the story broke. But since it was a new site, it’s difficult to accurately gauge how much of an impact media attention had on organic traffic and backlinks. Despite all of the attention, to date, the site only receives an estimated 1,000 visitors per month.

Since the story broke, the site has received around 3,800 backlinks.

An abundance of negative media coverage buried Peeple before its product even launched. By the time the founders backtracked and repositioned Peeple in a more positive light, it was too late to turn the brand’s image around. The app still hasn’t launched.

II. What marketers can learn from these 7 PR wins and fails A substantial increase in press mentions, rather than volume, can yield significant benefits.

Overall, the stories about large brands (Airbnb, REI, Miss Universe) received more exposure than the unknown brands (Turing Pharmaceuticals, Roman Originals, Peeple, Gravity Payments). The well-known brands were mentioned in 148% more headlines than the unknown brands, and those stories received on average 190% more social shares than stories about the lesser-known brands.

Although stories about smaller brands received less press coverage than large brands, the relatively unknown companies saw a greater impact from being in the news than large brands. Roman Originals, Gravity Payments, and Turing Pharmaceuticals saw the greatest increases in organic traffic and backlinks. Comparatively, a surge of press coverage did not have as dramatic of an impact on the large companies. Of the well-known brands, Miss Universe saw the greatest impact, with a 199% increase in press mentions and 123% increase in site traffic compared to the previous year’s pageant.

Negative stories attracted more coverage and social shares than positive stories.

On average, the brands with negative stories (Miss Universe, Turing Pharma, and Peeple) appeared in 172% more headlines which received 176% more social shares than positive stories.

Have you noticed that the news feels predominantly negative? This is for good reason, since conflict is a pillar of good storytelling. Just as a novel or movie needs conflict, so do news stories.

That being said, there is such a thing as too much conflict. As we saw with Turing Pharmaceuticals and Peeple, company reputations can be irreversibly damaged when the brand itself is the source of conflict.

An element of unexpectedness is a key ingredient for massive press coverage.

There’s an old saying in journalism: "When a dog bites a man, that is not news because it happens so often. But if a man bites a dog, that is news.”

From a CEO paying all employees $70,000 salaries to a major retailer closing on the busiest shopping day of the year to a seasoned TV host announcing the wrong beauty pageant winner, all of the stories we analyzed were surprising in some way.

Surprising stories attract initial attention and then ignite others to share it. This crucial element of newsworthiness also plays a role in making content go viral.

A quick, positive reaction when the brand isn’t controlling the story may help boost the beneficial impact of media coverage.

A carefully orchestrated PR stunt allows a company to plan for the potential press reaction, but what’s a brand to do when it unexpectedly ends up in the news?

While this may sound like a bureaucratic company’s worst nightmare, nimble brands can cash in on the attention with a quick, good-spirited reaction. Roman Originals masterfully news-jacked a story about itself by doing just that.

First, it put out a tweet that settled the debate over the dress’ color and updated its homepage to showcase #TheDress.

Soon after, a white and gold version of the dress was put up for auction, with the proceeds donated to charity. Had Roman Originals spent too much time planning a response, it may have missed out while the story was still relevant in the news cycle.

Key takeaways

While most brands will never achieve this level of media coverage, the instances above teach pertinent lessons about what makes a story catch fire in the media:

A PR win for a little-known brand doesn’t necessarily require thousands of press mentions. For this reason, unknown companies stand to benefit more from riskier tactics like PR stunts. On the flipside, it may be more difficult for a large brand to initiate a PR stunt that makes a significant impact. An element of unexpectedness may be a primary driver for what makes a news story go viral. When possible, include an unexpected angle into your PR pitches by focusing on what’s unique, bizarre, or novel about your brand. Plan for the unexpected by having processes in place that empower marketing and PR teams to act fast with a public response to sudden media attention. As we saw in our study, controversial stories are a big hit with journalists, but make sure your brand is the hero, not the villain. Look for opportunities to weave the “bad guys” your company is fighting into your pitches. Your company’s villain could be as obvious as a competitor or more subtle adversaries like the establishment (Uber vs. taxi industry).

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MozCast's Year in Review (Infographic)

Posted by Dr-Pete

It's been 3 1/2 years since we launched the MozCast project, and one request I hear a lot is if we can make more than 30 days worth of data available. So, working with Dave Snyder and the team at CopyPress, we've put together the highlights of 2014 and 2015 — the confirmed algorithm updates you already know, and the ones you might have missed. The data is mine, but credit for everything else goes to CopyPress (Thanks, Dave!). If you have any questions about specific events or dates, feel free to comment, and I'll do my best to follow up with any available data.

If there's anything that I've learned from the MozCast project, it's that the updates that get named aren't always as big as we think, and many nameless changes have major impacts on rankings. Google probably makes over 600 changes per year at this point, and if we only focus on the ones they name, we're letting them control the conversation. Collect your own data, draw your own conclusions, and remember that not every dangerous animal is a Panda or a Penguin.


Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don't have time to hunt down but want to read!

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How to Use Hosted Blog Platforms for SEO & Content Distribution

Posted by randfish

Where do you host your content? Is it on your own site, or on third-party platforms like Medium and LinkedIn? If you're not yet thinking about the ramifications of using hosted blog platforms for your content versus your own site, now's your chance to start. In this week's Whiteboard Friday, Rand explores the boons and pitfalls of using outside websites to distribute and share your content.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we're going to chat a little bit about blog platforms, places like Medium, Svbtle — that's Svbtle with a V instead of a U — Tumblr, LinkedIn, places where essentially you've got a hosted blog platform, a hosted content platform. It's someone else's network. You don't have to set up your own website, but at the same time you are contributing content to their site.

This has become really popular, I think. Look, Medium and LinkedIn are really the two big ones where a lot of folks are contributing these days. LinkedIn very B2B focused, Medium very startup, and new media as well as new creative-focused.

So I think, because of the rise of these things, we're seeing a lot of people ask themselves, "Should I create my own content platform? Do I need to build a WordPress hosted subfolder on my website? Or can I just use Medium because it has all these advantages, right?" Well, let me try and answer those questions for you today.

So, what do hosted platforms enable?

Well, it's really simple to sign up and start creating on them. You plug in your name, email, a password. You don't have to set up DNS. You don't have to set up hosting. You can start publishing right away. That's really easy and convenient.

It also means that, for a lot of marketers, they don't have to involve their engineering or their web development teams. That's pretty awesome, too.

There are also built in networks on a lot of these places, Medium in particular, but Svbtle as well. Tumblr quite obviously has a very, very big network. So as a result, you've got this ability to gain followers or subscribers to your content, someone that can say like, "Oh, I want to follow @randfish on Medium." I haven't published on Medium, but for some reason I seem to have thousands of followers there.

So I think this creates this idea like, "Hey, I could reach a lot more people that I wouldn't necessarily be able to reach on my own platform, because it's not like these people are all subscribed to my blog already, but they are signed up for Medium or LinkedIn, which has hundreds of millions of worldwide users."

There's also an SEO benefit here. You inherit domain authority. On Medium and on LinkedIn in particular, these can be really powerful. Medium is a domain authority 80. LinkedIn is a domain authority of 99, which is no surprise. Pretty much every website on the planet links to their LinkedIn page. So you can imagine that these pages have the potential to do really well in Google's rankings, and you don't necessarily have to point a lot of links at them in order for them to rank very well. We've seen this. Medium has been doing quite well in the rankings. LinkedIn articles are doing quite well in their niches.

This is a little different, a subtle but important difference for Svbtle itself, for Tumblr, and for WordPress. These are on subdomains. So it would be, yes, there are lots of people who are using WordPress, although that's very customizable. But you could imagine that if I got randstshirts.wordpress.com or randstshirts.tumblr.com or randstshirt.svbtle.com, that doesn't have the same ranking ability. That subdomain means that Google considers it separately from the main domain. So you're not going to inherit the ranking benefit on those. It's really Medium and LinkedIn where that happens. To be honest, Google+ as well, we've seen them ranking like a Medium or a LinkedIn too.

You also have this benefit of email digests and subscriptions, which can help grow your content's reach. For those of you who aren't subscribed to Medium, they send out a daily digest to all of the folks who are signed up. So if you are someone who is contributing Medium content, you can often expect that your subscribers through Medium may be getting your stuff through an email digest. It may even get broadcast to a much broader group, to people who aren't following you but are following them. If they've "hearted" your content on Medium, they'll see it. So you get all these network effects through email digests and email subscriptions too.

So what's the downside?

This is pretty awesome. To me, these are compelling reasons to potentially consider using these. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let's talk about the downside as well. To my mind, these downsides prevent me from wanting to encourage certain types of views. I'll talk about my best advice and my tactical advice for using these in a sec.

Links authority and ranking signals that are accrued. We recognize that you put a post on Medium, a lot of times posts there do very well. They get a lot of traction, a lot of attention. They make it into news feeds. Other sites link to them. Other pages around the web link to them. It's great. Lots of social shares, lots of engagement. That is terrific.

Guess what? Those benefits accrue only to Medium.com. So every time you publish something there and it gets lots of links and ranking signals and engagement and social and all these wonderful things, that helps Medium.com rank better in the future. It doesn't help yoursite.com rank better in the future.

You might say, "But Rand, I've got a link here, and that link points right back to my site." Yes, wonderful. You now have the equivalent of one link from Medium. Good for you. It's not a bad thing. But this is nowhere near the kind of help that you would get if this piece of content had been hosted on your site to begin with. If this is hosted over here, all these links point in there, and all those ranking benefits accrue to your site and page.

In some ways, from an SEO perspective, especially if you're trying to build up that SEO flywheel of growing domain authority and growing links and being able to rank for more competitive stuff, if you're trying to build that flywheel, you'd almost say, "Hey, you know what, I'd take half the links and ranking signals if it were on my own site. That would still be worth more to me than more on Medium."

Okay. But that being said, there are all the distribution advantages, so maybe we're still at a wash here.

Also on these blogging platforms, these hosted platforms, there's no ownership of or ability to influence the UI and UX. That is a tough one too. So one of the wonderful things about blogging is — and we've seen this over the years many times at Moz. People come to Moz to read the content, they remember Moz, and they have a positive association and they say, "Yeah, you know, Moz made me feel like they were authorities, like they knew what they were talking about. So now I want to go check out Moz Local, their product, or Moz Analytics, or Open Site Explorer, or whatever it is."

That's great. But if you are on Medium or if you are on Svbtle or if you are on WordPress — well, WordPress is more customizable — but if you're on Google+, the experience is, "Oh, I had a really good experience with Medium." That's very, very different. They will not remember who you are and how you made them feel, at least certainly not to the extent that they would if you owned and controlled that UI and UX.

So you're really reducing brandability and any messaging opportunities that you might have had there. That's dramatically, dramatically reduced. I think that's very, very tough for a lot of folks.

Next up — and this speaks to the UI and UX elements — but it's impossible to add or to customize calls to action, which really inhibits using your blog as part of your funnel. Essentially, I can't say, "Hey, you know what I'd like to do? I'd like to add a button right below here, below all my blog posts that says, 'Hey, sign up to try our product for free,' or, 'Get on our new mailing list,' or, 'Subscribe to this particular piece of content.' Or I want to put something in the sidebar, or I'd like to have it in the header. Or I want to have it as a drop over when someone scrolls halfway down the page." You can't do any of those things. That sort of messaging is controlled by the platform. You're not allowed to add custom code here, and thus your ability to impact your funnel with your blog or with your content platform on these sites is severely limited. You can add a link, and yes, people can still follow you on these networks, but that is definitely not the same.

There's also, frustratingly, for a lot of paid marketers and a lot of marketers who know that they can do this, you can't put a retargeting pixel on Svbtle or on Medium. Actually, you may be able to on Svbtle now. I'm not sure if you can. But Medium for sure, LinkedIn for sure, Google+, you can't say, "Hey, all the people who come to my posts on Medium, I'd like to retarget them and remarket to them as they go around the web later, and I'll follow them around the Internet like a lost puppy dog." Well, too bad, not possible. You can't place that pixel. No custom code, that's out.

The last thing, and I think one of the most salient points, is there have been many, many platforms like this over the years. Many people use the example of GeoCities where a lot of people hosted their content and then it went away. In the early days of the web, it was very big, and a few years ago it fell apart.

It's not just that, though. The uncertain future could mean that in some time frame, in the months or years to come, Medium, or Svbtle, or LinkedIn, or Google+ could become more like Facebook, where instead of 100% of the people seeing the content that they subscribe to, maybe they only see 10% or the Facebook averages today, which are under 1%. So this means that you don't really know what might happen to your content in the future in terms of its potential visibility to the audience there. If that's the sole place you're building up your audience, that is a high amount of risk depending on what happens as the platform evolves.

This is true for all social platforms. It's not just true for these hosted blog content platforms. Many folks have talked about how Twitter in the future may not show 100% of the content there. I don't know how real that is or whether it's just a rumor, but it's one of those things to consider and keep in mind.

My best advice:

So my best advice here is, use platforms like these for reaching their audiences. I think it can be great to say, "Hey, 1 out of every 10 or 20 posts I want to put something up on Medium, or I want to test it on Google+, or I want to test it on LinkedIn because I think that those audiences have a lot of affinity with what I'm doing. I want to be able to reach out to them. I want to see how those perform. Maybe I want to contribute there once a month or once a quarter." Great. Wonderful. That can be a fine way to draw distribution there.

I think it's great for building connections. If you know that there are people on those networks who have big, powerful followings and they're very engaged there, I think using those networks like you would use a Twitter or a Facebook or like you already use LinkedIn to try and build up those connections makes total sense.

Amplifying the reach of existing content or messages. If you have a great piece of content or a really exciting message, something exciting you want to share and you've already put some content around that on your own site and now you're trying to find other channels to amplify, well, you might want to think about treating Medium just like you would treat a post on Twitter or a post on Facebook or a post on LinkedIn. You could instead create a whole piece of content around that, sort of like you would with a guest post, and use it to amplify that reach.

I think guest post-style contribution, in general, is a great way to think about these networks. So you might imagine saying, "Hey, I'd love to contribute to YouMoz," which is Moz's own guest blogging platform. That could be wonderful, but you would never make that your home. You wouldn't host all your content there. Likewise you might contribute to Forbes or Business Insider or to The Next Web or any of these sites. But you wouldn't say that's where all my content is going to be placed. It's one chance to get in front of that audience.

Last one, I think it's great to try and use these for SERP domination. So if you say, "Hey, I own one or two of the top listings of the first page of results in Google for this particular keyword, term, or phrase. I want to use Medium and LinkedIn, and I'm going to write two separate pieces targeting similar keywords or those same keywords and see if I can't own 4 slots or 5 slots out of the top 10." That's a great use of these types of platforms, just like it is with guest posting.

Don't try to use these for...

Don't try to use these as your content's primary or, God forbid, only home on the web. Like I said, uncertain future, inability to target, inability of using the funnel, just too many limitations for what I think modern marketers need to do.

I don't think it is wise, either, to put content on there that's what I'd call your money keywords, essentially stuff that is very close to the conversion funnel, where you know people are going to search for these things, and then when they find this content, they're very likely to make their next step a sign-up, a conversion. I would urge you to keep that on your site, because you can't own the experience. I think it's much wiser if you say, "Hey, let's look way up in the funnel when people are just getting associated with us, or when we're trying to bring in press and PR, or we're trying to bring in broad awareness." I think those are better uses.

I think it's also very unwise to make these types of platforms the home of your big content pieces, big content pieces meaning like unique research or giant visuals or interactive content. You probably won't even be able to host interactive content at most of these.

If you have content that you know is very likely to drive known, high-quality links, you've already got your outreach list, you're pretty sure that those people are going to link to you, please put that content on your own site because you'll get the maximum ranking benefits in that fashion. Then you could potentially put another piece of content, repurpose a little bit of the information or whatever it is that you've put together that's wonderful in terms of big content as another piece that you separately broadcast and amplify to these audiences.

What I'm really saying is treat these guys — Medium, Svbtle, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Google+ — treat them like these guys, like you use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and guest hosts in general. It's a place to put a little bit of content to reach a new audience. It's a way to amplify a message you already have. It's not the home of content. I think that's really what I urge for modern marketers today.

All right, everyone. Look forward to the comments, and we'll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com


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Oral Argument: HUD Regulations as Condition Precedent

Here’s the video of my 11-17-15 Oral Argument before the Second District.

We discussed two novel, cutting edge issues:

(1) a foreclosing lender’s obligation to comply with HUD Regulations before acceleration and foreclosure in an FHA mortgage, and whether such compliance is a condition precedent or the absence of such is an affirmative defense at trial; and

(2) whether a foreclosing lender can avoid proving it had standing when it filed suit by proving such standing upon the filing of the amended complaint.

Mark Stopa
www.stayinmyhome.com

The post Oral Argument: HUD Regulations as Condition Precedent appeared first on Stopa Law Firm.

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Remarketing to People That Have Already Visited Your Website - Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

Someone visits your website once, doesn't convert, and goes on with their day. How in the world do you win them back? Well, the answer may lie in a topic we haven't discussed for a while: remarketing.

In today's Whiteboard Friday, Rand discusses how to get back in front of folks who have visited your site or engaged with your industry, new options in retargeted ads, and offers some best practices to follow.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we're chatting about remarketing to people who've already visited your website and then left, or already interacted with your niche, your service, your community, and then gone off somewhere else.

This is actually pretty interesting. A lot of times when we talk about the organic marketing funnel—someone performs a search, they follow you on a social network or they see a tweet from you, a Facebook update and they come to your website—well, we focus a lot on trying to convert that person either to a customer or convert them to signing up for an email newsletter, subscribing to something, following you on a social network, or becoming a part of your community.

But there's actually a lot of data suggesting that the overwhelming majority of people who visit your website... I'll use Fitbit as an example here. Brad, one of Moz's investors and also Fitbit's investor, sent me a Fitbit recently, which is very nice. What am I at today? Let's see, 5696 steps.

A lot of people who visit Fitbit's website, I don't actually know this for sure, but probably about a tenth of a percent of them are converting to a sale or actually buying one of these things. Then, 99.9% are going somewhere else. The idea here is: What can we do to capture this audience again, to get in front of them? We know that at some point they were interested in our product or our service. We want to get in front of them again.

Retargeting

This is something we've covered a little bit, but there's actually a bunch of new options that have surfaced from the advertising and web marketing world that we should probably be aware of. A few of these include things like classic retargeting, aka we follow them around the web like a lost puppy dog. The ads that you see on the side of everything after you looked at that one pair of Zappos shoes that one time, and now you just can't seem to get them out of your head or your browser. Maybe someone's visiting The Next Web and if page X over here on Fitbit's website was visited in the last 1, 2, 30, or 60 days, we want to show this particular ad with a bid price of XYZ.

This is kind of cool. I think where retargeting has really become more sophisticated is in some of the options. We can filter and configure and modify this and model it in such a way that we can say if you visited this page but not these other pages, or if you visited these three pages in a row, we want to show you this. If you interacted on our site in this particular way, we can now do things with apps. If we know that someone has interacted with an app, we can start to do retargeting and remarketing personalized to them.

Moz has used a service called AdRoll in the past. There are a number of them out there. Obviously, Google has a pretty powerful display network around this, too.

RLSA (Remarketed Lists for Search Ads)

Another thing that has been around for a couple of years but we haven't talked about too much on Whiteboard Friday here is RLSA. That's remarketed lists for search ads.

This means if we know that Sonja visited—I think it's Tory Burch who's a fashion designer who designs a special kind of Fitbit—the Tory Burch page on Fitbit and then we know that she searched for bracelets or watches, even though bracelets and watches are something we would never ever want to bid on as Fitbit because we're not in the fashion category, but if we know that Sonya has previously visited a page on Fitbit or any page on Fitbit's website potentially, well, now that she's doing these fashion related searches, we might say, "You know what? Let's show our Tory Burch ad specifically for that product, which is a fashion product, in the search results in the ads there." That's pretty cool.

We can customize this in a ton of ways. You can imagine a bunch of different uses based on what people visited and then what they searched for. Of course, you can bid a lot higher for those types of ads because you know the prior behavior. You can also expect a much higher click-through rate and probably a much higher conversion rate from those ads because that person has already visited your website and is familiar with your product or your brand.

If you have their email address...

If you have an email address, or a social ID, or an app ID, or even a phone number actually, you can use Facebook and Twitter's custom audiences, which are pretty cool to do targeting specifically to people on Facebook or on Twitter whose email address you've uploaded. If a lot of people have signed up for your email newsletter or have started your product purchase process, maybe they went to Fitbit. They entered their email address to sign up, and then they never completed a purchase. We can get back in front of them using Facebook or Twitter custom audiences or using AdWords.

Actually, as of two days prior to us filming this, but probably a few days before, maybe a week or two before this Whiteboard Friday comes out, Google just introduced something called customer match in AdWords. You can upload an email list and then get it in front of those emails specifically when they're performing searches or across their display ad network.

You can do those via places like Retargeter and AdRoll and Google. Those are the CRM retargeting models and services. That's pretty cool.

Or their social ID...

If we have social IDs, for example, if you Facebook connect to Fitbit or if you connected via Twitter, I think you can also use Facebook's connection on Instagram for Instagram ads now if you're part of Instagram's ad program. A bunch of options there as well.

A few best practices before we finish here. First off, whenever you're doing any type of remarketing or retargeting through any of these types of services, make sure that you have smart burn pixels and burn pages, meaning if someone finishes the checkout at Fitbit, don't show them the ad any more. You don't want to keep marketing to someone who's already completed that conversion process. Likewise, you probably want to have a burn after a certain number of days. If you can see that after 8 days or 12 days or 15 days you just are getting very low click-through, very low conversion, you know what, maybe it's time to give up on the ad. You also want to be smart about limiting the exposure and/or changing the message. If someone has seen your ad four, five, or six times as they're browsing across the web, maybe you want to say, "Hey, let's either give them a new message or wait for them to visit again before we keep trying to advertise. Otherwise, we could be burning dollars and bids that could be better spent on other customers or other marketing channels." We want to customize based on behavior. I think one of the big advancements here is that remarketing, when it initially came out, used to be pretty dumb and pretty basic. It was, "Did they visit your site? Then you can show them this one ad." Now people have gotten way more sophisticated, and ad networks have gotten way more sophisticated. We can say, "Hey, they performed this action. We only want to be in this network. We only want to do this if they've done this specific group of things in a row or completed these processes." That can really improve your click-through rates, improve your conversion rates, and improve your targeting. Don't ever assign 100% credit to any one of these. Remember that whatever initially brought them to the website should receive at least as much, if not more, credit and investment than whatever brought them back to purchase. This is a way of recapturing folks, not an initial way. If you're assigning 100% credit, what happens is that you'll stop investing at the top of the funnel and soon you'll just be remarketing to the same smaller, shrinking group of visitors over time. That can get really dangerous. Don't limit ads to sales focus only. If you know that you can convert from other sources, from content, from multiple visits, from someone signing up for an email newsletter, from someone attending an event, from participation on your platform or in your community in a certain way, you don't need to only market the product that you are selling. I think this is something where folks have gotten very narrow. You can see some innovative companies doing some really smart stuff in retargeting and remarketing, looking earlier in their funnel and saying, "Hey, we know that 30% of people who do this activity will eventually become a customer of ours. So let's also remarket this activity, and we can bid a third of the price of whatever we know the conversion leads to directly." You can also try remarketing for really creative stuff. I've seen it for job ads, which I think is brilliant. If someone visits your Jobs page and you're having trouble hiring, hey, follow them around the web like a lost puppy dog. Get in front of them on their social networks. If they have been to an event of yours and you have their email address, you can now market through here.

Campaigns to influencers, I've seen some really creative content marketers who said, "Hey, you know what, we know that here's a list of journalists and bloggers that we've reached out to. We can take that email list and upload it." You need a minimum of a thousand email addresses for all three—Facebook, Twitter, and Google—for the CRM style stuff. Make sure that you have that many emails before you try and upload. If you do, you can get in front of those influencers with content. If that's leading to links and press coverage and stories and the bid prices are low, which they often will be, you may have some big advantages there.

Hopefully, I will see some very creative ads from all of you following me around the web. I look forward to discussion in the comments. We'll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com


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Judge #49 on Fla. Stat. 559.715

I’m now up to 49 different circuit court judges who have dismissed a foreclosure lawsuit based on the lender’s failure to give the notice required by Fla. Stat. 559.715.  49!!

Here’s the Order written by the latest judge to so rule.

Trust me, it’s worth the read. 

Judge McClellan, Bay County:  Order on 559.715

Mark Stopa
www.stayinmyhome.com

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559.715 Oral Argument, with Extra Time

Here’s a video of my Oral Argument on Sept. 1, 2015 before the Second District.

The topic was Fla. Stat. 559.715 (what else?).  The coolest part of the argument was the panel’s interest in the issue – so much so that they let us go on for twice as long as usual.  Twice as much time to argue?  Sign me up. 

A written decision on this issue is coming.  Cross your fingers! 

Mark Stopa
www.stayinmyhome.com

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Best boxing training in Orlando Fl

Learn The Truth About Myths in Health Seeing Through The Smoke and Mirrors with Health and Fitness Putting Health and Fitness Myths to RestTelling the Truth About Health, Fitness and Wellness Myths The Quest for Truths in Popular Topics About Fitness and Health
Health topics are everywhere on the net, and not all are accurate as you know. If you read mags online or offline, then you know all about all the latest information being dumped on the market. And you never know who is behind all this, and all the while they are looking as credible as possible. Knowing not only what you can trust and who has become a  full time  job. Here are three health and fitness myths and the real truth you should know.Paying attention to the worlds of health, fitness, and related matters, you can find new information all the time. Sometimes it catches on and people believe it through and through. Very many people want to believe they can get healthy and fit just by taking a pill or something else that requires no work. As you read these particular myths and distortions on three points about fitness and health, think about all the other things you have read. It's probably safe to say all people want to look good and be healthy. It is precisely these desperate people who feed the coffers of health companies who peddle all kinds of products promising hope.
 
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Generate 100+ Blog Topic Ideas in Seconds

Posted by BrianChilds

Coming up with blog titles and topics can be a struggle. Most small businesses aim to publish blogs 3-10 times a month and then use these blog articles to populate everything from newsletters to conversion funnels. When you publish content on a regular basis it's easy to burn through your initial list of blog titles in a few months. Coming up with good titles also takes a lot of time, and when you work on a team defining what's "good" becomes subjective.

Because regular blogging has such a positive impact on inbound traffic, the process of coming up with ideas shouldn't be a burden. Never worry about blog topics again: I'll show you how to generate 100+ long-tail blog title ideas that include estimates of search volume and competitiveness.

What makes a good blog title?

Before jumping into how to generate 100+ blog topics quickly, let's discuss the importance of having good titles.

I think of blog content development as having two parts: blog articles that form the core of my SEO or inbound marketing strategy, and a backup list of blog ideas I can pull from in a pinch. Both types benefit from having great titles.

Good topics generally follow some basic rules, including:

Your posts should answer common/valuable questions. They should focus on your target buyer's search intent. They should tap into sufficient organic traffic to make them worth blogging about.

When it comes to generating a great backup list of blog topics quickly, it can be hard to identify titles that meet those criteria without succumbing to clickbait. There are several blog title generator tools available, but I find that they tend toward clickbait or "catchy" titles that are more useful for paid channels rather than the long-term value expected from organic search.

Some of the more popular blog title generators are:

HubSpot's Blog Topic Generator

Impact's BlogAbout Title Generator

Portent's Content Idea Generator

Linkbait Generator

It should come as no surprise that there's been a backlash against clickbait titles recently.

I recommend against using traditionally clickbait titles since they often result in only one type of beneficial metric: page views. To positively impact both search rank position and on-site conversions you need to focus on valuable content that delivers high engagement measured by things like better-than-average time on page, good page depth, and low bounce rates. Clickbait titles and content generally do not provide this.

A better way to generate

Okay, so let's take a look at a quick way to generate blog titles. Read it, try it, and time it.

In Moz Pro, navigate to Keyword Explorer and enter in your target keyword. (Even if you don't have a subscription, you can try it free or get Moz Pro free for 30 days.)
On the Overview page, click on Keyword Suggestions.
Use the "Display keyword suggestions that" dropdown to select "are questions."
Here's your list of potential blog titles for your topic. Note: The "Relevancy" column shows how closely the search term matches the initial query you used, and the "Volume" column displays estimates of monthly organic search traffic.
Access Difficulty and Opportunity scores for your search queries by selecting all the relevant check boxes and clicking the "Add selected to" drop-down to create or add them to a Keyword List in Moz Pro. (Rand put together a great presentation on how to do this.) In the Keyword List, you're able to view, segment, and sort your blog titles by all the factors available in the Keyword Explorer Overview.

Boom! There you have it. Never hunt for blog titles again. You've created a list you can choose from in a pinch, knowing you have quality titles based on search volume, difficulty, and opportunity.

See how fast you can create a great list of blog titles!

More tips for professional marketers

As you analyze results from the Keyword Suggestions feature in Keyword Explorer, here are some additional things you can do to learn about your target customers:

Look for trends in the questions people ask. Do most questions center on a specific pain point, such as cost, quality, or ease of use? Consider segmenting your users based on these different pain points and their associated value drivers.

Find the "best question." In your list of blog titles, look for the one question that best aligns with your target customer. Then run a Keyword Explorer query on that question by selecting the magnifying glass icon on the right side of the webpage. Often, these results will display an even longer, more targeted list of questions to choose from.

Hope this helps your blogging efforts! Tell us about your experience using Keyword Explorer to generate targeted blog titles. If you want to keep mastering keywords and blog titles after your Moz Pro free trial ends, check out Moz Pro Medium or Keyword Explorer standalone subscriptions.


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Should You Be Outsourcing SEO Training for Your Team?

Posted by rachelgooodmanmoore

When first looking to offer something new, most businesses fall in line with one of two schools of thought:

Build it internally Purchase or outsource it

There are pros and cons to both sides of the coin.

Here's an example: Say you're looking to expand the selection of products your company sells. Building a new offering in-house would allow you complete control over the size and shape of the new product. The drawback? Building it yourself usually takes significant internal resources and time. If, instead, you chose to purchase a product from another organization (let's call them Acme Corp) and whitelabel it - or maybe even purchase Acme Corp itself - you'll be able to go to market sooner, but you'll almost certainly have less control over the product you're offering.

The idea of “build internally” or “purchase externally” doesn't just apply to products - it also includes internal programs like market research, sales strategy development, and even professional training. In fact, it includes almost everything that makes up an organization, from its processes to its people.

Think back to the last product (internal or external) your company released. In which camp is your organization? Whether you go the outsourcing or building in-house route depends on your business and the situation at hand. There are arguments for the merits of both, and some organizations employ a mix of multiple strategies.

Let's look at some of the considerations and use cases for why you may want to choose one over the other when it comes to training - in particular, SEO training.

Is SEO training unique?

It's worth examining if (and how) SEO education differs from other flavors of professional training. While SEO training is a different beast than, say, learning to code or how to do business accounting, from my perspective as an online trainer, teaching SEO isn't remarkably different than teaching any kind of digital marketing.

SEO training: a different type of beast.

At basic and intermediate levels, neither SEO nor digital marketing in general are extremely technical (compared to something like learning JavaScript, MySQL, or setting up a Salesforce CRM), nor do they require an MBA or PhD to master. Both are easier with a fundamental understanding of how websites and the Internet work, and both are at their best when backed by real data and at least a dash of creativity.

SEO versus digital marketing training

Do these two actually differ from each other at all? Search engine optimization is a subset of what digital marketing is all about, so they're related. But there are differences, nonetheless. Let's take a closer look:

The training face-off Digital Marketing Education SEO Education Focuses on all aspects of how to attract traffic, convert those visitors into leads, and help transform those leads into customers Mainly focuses on how to best attract visitors Covers ways to attract visitors from all sources Deals almost exclusively with increasing or refining traffic from search engines Deals with topics like email marketing, marketing automation, social media, content creation, and beyond Hones in on topics like keyword research, site architecture, on- and off-page optimization, and analytics (though may also include topics like content creation as they pertain to generating search traffic) Typically measures ROI in terms of marketing or sales-qualified leads generated Most direct ROI numbers are around traffic generated by source (namely search engines or search-influenced sources)

The right column, for our purposes in this article, is how we'll be defining "SEO training."

Now that we're on the same page with what we mean when discussing SEO training, let's dive into the ten-thousand-dollar question*: should you build and run this type of training in-house, or outsource it?

*Yes, some SEO training programs really do cost that much.

Outsourcing: the benefits

Let's start our tour of outsourcing versus building training in-house by examining the pros of hiring an outside trainer or signing up for an SEO training course:

1. Outsourcing saves time.

Whether it's hours devoted to developing an SEO curriculum, putting together lessons, actually teaching, or following up with trainees after your session, building and delivering from-scratch training can take an enormous amount of time and effort.

Outsourcing means you get hours in your day back, and because the training is built by professionals, the end product may be higher quality than something built internally.

2. Outsourcing can save you money.

Note "can" (and not "will") save you money. If you only need training one (or a few) time(s), or if you have a relatively small group of people enrolled, it can be significantly more cost-effective to outsource training.

On the other hand, if you have a large number of people to train or plan on offering a course on a regular basis (for example, as part of new hire onboarding), it may be worth the upfront cost to develop in-house training.

3. Outsourcing lets you put more budget towards day-to-day operations.

It may sound counterintuitive, but companies that “run lean” or dedicate the lion's share of budget to day-to-day operations may not be able to sacrifice the man hours necessary to develop, deliver, and maintain a training program. Outsourcing one is often significantly less expensive for the scale these organizations need.

4. Don't have an internal expert, but need new internal expertise? No problem.

If you're looking to strengthen existing SEO skills or build your company's SEO expertise from the ground up, but aren't ready to hire a search marketing manager just yet, finding a good SEO training course or bringing in an outside trainer can provide the skills you're looking for.

It's also useful for agencies hoping to offer full SEO services or building an SEO pilot program. Bringing in outside help to train up a few team members on key skills means you don't need to invest in a net new hire for a program with an uncertain future.

5. Outsourced training makes it easier to reach a remote or multi-lingual team.

It's as common to hear about companies expanding to open their first satellite office in Beijing as it is to hear that office is in Boston. Thanks to the Internet, today's world is smaller than ever.

If yours is one of the many companies with international workers or a largely remote workforce, it can be hard to deliver training that's equally accessible and applicable to everyone. In situations like this - and especially if you have a multilingual workforce - outsourcing training that's available in various languages can be a great option.

6. Outsourcing may give you access to accreditations or certifications.

Many online and in-person SEO training programs include some sort of certification of completion or proficiency. If that's a priority, you'll want to purchase an in-person or online program from an organization with industry name recognition that offers a certification.

7. Outsourcing gives you access to the best quality educators.

Whether you're a full-fledged Google algorithm guru or just know your way around a site crawl, no one can argue that you've got some SEO chops. You already know the material, so it should be no trouble to whip up some training based on your expertise... right?

Maybe, but maybe not. “Doing” skills are different than teaching skills; being skilled at SEO doesn't automatically correlate to being skilled at teaching SEO. And, perhaps more importantly, teaching doesn't automatically lead to learning. Just because you have knowledge to share doesn't necessarily mean that you'll be as successful as possible when helping your colleagues actually learn.

One of the biggest benefits of outsourced training is that it gives you access to professional educators, not just folks with practical experience who educate in their free time.

Outsourcing: the drawbacks

Now that we've covered some of the benefits of outsourcing training, let's give in-house training the same treatment. What are cons of relying on a 3rd-party provider for your SEO training needs?

1. Only relying on outsourced education doesn't give you any equity.

No, I'm not talking about link equity. The equity I'm referring to here is, metaphorically, the same kind of equity you get from buying a house versus renting an apartment.

As a renter, you're only paying for access to the property - not an actual stake in it. Buying, on the other hand, may take more effort and investment upfront, but it gives you control (and ownership!) over the actual property itself.

What does this metaphor have to do with in-house versus outsourced training? Only relying on outsourced efforts means you're continually paying someone else for access to their educational property. If you have training needs that span over many employees or many years, this can get very expensive. In those cases, while it may initially be more costly to develop training in-house, it's a better long-term investment because of the 'equity' it provides.

2. Outsourcing training doesn't always scale with growing businesses.

Plan ahead for the long-term: If you're growing your organization and plan on having multiple people involved in creating optimized content for your website, it may be a better long-term investment to build in-house training that grows with your team.

3. Outsourced training generally focuses on best practices and one-size-fits-most processes.

Most training programs center on teaching “best practices” or general strategies. If you have a specific process or way of doing SEO, it may be difficult (if not impossible) for an outside trainer to communicate your optimization process - in your terms, using your tools - to your team. For some organizations, that alone may be enough to tilt the scales towards creating all training in-house.

4. Have specific content needs? Building your own curriculum may be your best bet.

Related to having unique processes, having specific content needs also may mean that outsourcing training isn't the best bet for you. Only want to learn about optimizing content for mobile search engines and advanced link building strategies, but don't want to have to pay for access to 30 other courses to get the two you do? While some training providers can build a fully custom program designed around exactly what you want to learn, many may come as standard “packages” with little flexibility around what you can learn as a whole or within each session.

5. Training for large teams often comes with a large price tag.

Almost any type of purchasable training program - be it pre-recorded videos, live sessions, in-person classroom experiences, or otherwise - are priced on a “per seat” basis. If your team either needs access to multiple sessions, you have many team members who'll all need access to the same courses, or both, outsourced training can quickly get pricey.

6. Your access to training materials may be limited.

Some SEO training providers place legal restrictions on re-using the their training materials. This means you may not be able to record sessions, download slides, or distribute useful materials to your team. If sharing the educational love with your coworkers is a deal breaker for you, consider creating and running your SEO training in-house. If you're still leaning towards using an outside provider, be sure to read their FAQs or legal materials before pulling the trigger.

Key questions to ask

While there are many benefits of outsourcing your SEO training needs, depending on your specific needs there may be an equal number of drawbacks. When considering the right training route for your team it's worth taking the time to consider questions like:

How many people need to take this training right now? And over the next one to two years? Do I have the internal expertise (or access to it) to create high quality training myself? Will it cost me more to build training than it's currently worth? Will it take me longer to build training than value it will provide? When do I need my employees trained by? Do I have time to wait, or is there an immediate need? Do I need a general SEO training program, one that focuses on specific topics, or one that details my unique process? Are the outsourced training options available to me worth the price? What do they include? Is it important to get some sort of certification, badge, or other certificate of proficiency upon completion of the training?

The answers to these questions may not give you a black-and-white answer as to whether building training in-house or finding an outside provider is the best choice for you, but they can help make the decision a bit less murky.

Thinking of going the outsourced route for some (or all) of your team's SEO training? Check out Moz Academy's online workshops.


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Oral Argument: Summary Judgment Requirements

I've never seen an Oral Argument where the panel informed the parties that they were going to reverse the order on review.

This one – a recent argument before the Second District discussing the lender's obligations when seeking summary judgment in a foreclosure case – might be as close as they'll ever come. 

Mark Stopa
www.stayinmyhome.com

The post Oral Argument: Summary Judgment Requirements appeared first on Stopa Law Firm.

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Jurisdictional Brief on 559.715 in Florida Supreme Court

As I recently explained, the Second District issued a published decision certifying the question of whether Fla. Stat. 559.715 is a condition precedent in a mortgage foreclosure case to the Florida Supreme Court as an issue of great public importance.

When that happens, the Florida Supreme Court doesn’t automatically take the case.  Instead, the judges meet and decide whether to do so.  In this situation, i.e. when the DCA certifies a question to the Court for review, parties aren’t required to file a brief on jurisdiction (and, depending on who you ask, aren’t supposed to file such a brief), as the Court can simply review the published opinion and decide whether to take the case.

But you know me. 

The Florida Supreme Court is currently deciding whether to take this case … on 559.715, the issue I’ve worked so hard on for so many years.  As the Court makes this decision, there are some things I just have to make sure the judges know.  So I am filing this Jurisdictional Brief, my final effort to get them to take the case.

I doubt the Florida Supreme Court has seen many briefs like this, setting forth my own experiences without case or record citations.  I can see the banksters trying to argue it’s not an appropriate filing.  But it’s an honest filing, and at least now, no matter how the Court rules, I’ll know I emptied all the bullets in the chamber on this issue. 

Mark Stopa
www.stayinmyhome.com

The post Jurisdictional Brief on 559.715 in Florida Supreme Court appeared first on Stopa Law Firm.

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Overcoming Objections on Your Landing Pages - Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

[Estimated read time: 9 minutes]

How do you take your potential customers' problems and turn them into a conversion success? If you're having trouble with low conversion rates on high-traffic landing pages, don't worry — there's help. In today's Whiteboard Friday, Rand shares a process to turn your landing page objections into improved conversion rates.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we're going to chat about overcoming objections on your landing pages in order to improve conversion rates. So this a process that I have stolen part and parcel from Conversion Rate Experts, a British consulting company that Moz has used a couple of times to help with our campaigns. Karl Blanks and Ben Jesson have just been phenomenal for this stuff.

Look, they're not the only ones who do it. A lot of people in conversion rate optimization use a process similar to this, but it's something I talk about and share so often that I thought, hey, let's bring it to Whiteboard Friday.

Enter a problem...

So a lot of the time marketers have this problem where a lot of people are visiting a page, a landing page where you're trying to sell someone or get someone to take a conversion action, maybe sign up for an email list or join a community or download an app, take a free trial of something, test out a free tool or buy an actual product, like in this case my minimalist noise-canceling headphones.

They are very minimalist indeed thanks to my subpar drawing skills. But when lots of people are visiting this page and very few are converting, you've got a conversion rate optimization problem and challenge, and this process can really help you through it.

So first off, let's start with the question around what's a low conversion rate?

The answer to that is it really depends. It depends on who you are and what you're trying to accomplish. If you're in business to consumer ecommerce, like selling headphones, then you're getting what I'd say is relatively qualified traffic. You're not just blasting traffic to this page that's coming from sources that maybe don't even know what they're getting, but in fact people who clicked here knew that they were looking for headphones. 1.5% to 2%, that's reasonably solid. Below that you probably have an issue. It's likely that you can improve it.

With email signups, if you're trying to get people to convert to an email list, 3% to 5% with B2B. Software as a service, it's a little bit lower, 0.5% to 1%. Those tend to be tougher to get people through. This number might be higher if the B2B product that you're serving and the SaaS product is a free trial or something like that. In fact, a software free trial usually is in the 1.5% to 2% range. A free app install, like if people are getting to an app download page or to an app's homepage or download page, and you're seeing below 4% or 5%, that's probably a problem. Free account signup, if you're talking about people joining a community or maybe connecting a Facebook or a Google account to start a free account on a website, that's maybe in the 2% to 3% range.

But these are variable. Your mileage may vary. But I want to say that if you start from these assumptions and you're looking and you're going, "Wow, we're way under these for our target," yeah, let's try this process.

Collect contact information

So what we do to start, and what Conversion Rate Experts did to start, is they collect contact information for three different groups of people. The first group is people who've heard of your product, your service, your company, but they've never actually tried it. Maybe they haven't even made their way to a landing page to convert yet, but they're in your target demographic. They're the audience you're trying to reach.

The second group is people who have tried out your product or service but decided against it. That could be people who went through the shopping cart but abandoned it, and so you have their email address. It could be people who've signed up for an email newsletter but canceled it, or signed up for an account but never kept using it, or signed up for a free trial but canceled before the period was over. It could be people who have signed up for a mailing list to get a product but then never actually converted.

Then the third one is people who have converted, people who actually use your stuff, like it, have tried it, bought it, etc.

You want to interview them.

You can use three methods, and I recommend some combination of all of these. You can do it over email, over the phone, or in person. When we've done this specifically in-house for Moz, or when Conversion Rate Experts did it for Moz, they did all three. They interviewed some folks over email, some folks they talked to over the phone, some folks they went to, literally, conferences and events and met with them in person and had those interviews, those sit-down interviews.

Then they grouped them into these three groups, and then they asked slightly different questions, variations of questions to each group. So for people who had heard of the product but never actually tried it, they asked questions like: "What have you heard about us or about this product? What would make you want to try it, and what objections do you currently have that's stopping you from doing that?"

For people who sort of walked away, they maybe tried or they didn't get all the way through trying, but they walked away, they didn't end up converting or they didn't stick with it, we could say: "What made you initially interested? What objections did you have, and how did you overcome those? What made you change your mind or decide against this product?" Oftentimes that's a mismatch of expectations versus what was delivered.

Then for the people who loved it, who are loyal customers, who are big fans, you can say: "Well, what got you interested? What objections did you have and how did you overcome them? What has made you stick with us? What makes you love us or this product or this service, this newsletter, this account, this community, and if you did love it, can we share your story?" This is powerful because we can use these later on for testimonials.

Create a landing page

Then C, in this process, we're going to actually create a landing page that takes the answers to these questions, which are essentially objections, reasons people didn't buy, didn't convert or weren't happy when they did, and we're going to turn them into a landing page that offers compelling explanations, compelling reasons, examples, data and testimonials to get people through that process.

So if you hear, for example, "Hey, I didn't buy this because I wasn't sure if the right adapters would be included for my devices," or, "I travel on planes a lot and I didn't know whether the headphones would support the plane use that I want to have," great, terrific. We're going to include what the adapters are right on there, which airlines they're compatible with, all that kind of information. That's going on the page.

If they say, "Hey, I actually couldn't tell how big the headphones were. I know you have dimensions on there, but I couldn't tell how big they were from the photos," okay, let's add some photos of representative sample sizes of things that people are very familiar with, maybe a CD, maybe an iPhone that people are like, "Oh yeah, I know the size of a CD. I know the size of an iPhone. I can compare that against the headphones." So now that's one of the images in there. Great, we've answered the objection.

"I wasn't sure if they had volume control." Great. Let's put that in a photo.

"Is tax and shipping included in the cost? I didn't want to get into a shopping cart situation where I wasn't sure." Perfect. We're going to put in there, "Tax included. Free shipping."

"Is the audio quality good enough for audiophiles and pros because I'm really . . ." well, terrific. Let's find a known audiophile, let's add their testimonial to the page.

We're essentially going one by one through the objections that we hear most frequently here, and then we're turning those into content on the page. That content can be data, it can be reasons, it can be examples, it can be testimonials. It's whatever we needed to be to help get people through that purchase process.

Split test

Then, of course, with every type of conversion rate optimization test and landing page optimization, we want to actually try some variations. So we're going to do a split test of the new page against the old one, and if we see there's stronger conversion rate, we know we've had success.

If we don't, we can go back to the drawing board and potentially broaden our audience here, try and understand how have we not overcome these objections, maybe show this new page to some of these people and see what additional objections they've got, all that kind of stuff.

This process is really powerful. It helps you uncover the problems and issues that you may not even know exist. In my experience, it's the case that when companies try this, whether it's for products or for services, for landing pages, for new accounts, for apps, whatever it is, they tend to uncover the same small set of answers from these groups over and over again. It's just a matter of getting those four or five questions right and answering them on the landing page in order to significantly improve conversion.

All right, everyone. Look forward to your suggestions, your ideas, your feedback, and we'll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com


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"Equity" in Foreclosure Cases

On February 5, 2016, Florida's Second District issued a written decision in Corrigan v. Bank of America. The decision can safely be described as one of the highlights of my legal career. So why on Earth am I moving for rehearing? Well, read on ...

First off, what is most notable about the Corrigan decision is how the Second District ruled en banc. You see, most appeals are adjudicated by a three-judge panel. Here, by contrast, all 16 judges on the Second District joined in the decision, and all 16 judges agreed with my argument that the trial court erred by entering a foreclosure judgment where the lender failed to prove standing at the inception of its lawsuit. Where all 16 judges agreed, Corrigan is a wonderful illustration of the law on this issue, at least in Florida, and I'll be using it to my advantage in many future cases.

So ... With a win like this in hand, why have I been spending much of the past two weeks drafting a Motion for Rehearing? Well, I'm a bit troubled by the content of the second concurring opinion. In it, 3 of the 16 judges explain, in essence, how they ruled in my favor because the law required that they do so, but if it were up to them, they would not have done so because they did not believe this result to be "equitable." In assessing the "equities" of the case, these judges note how Corrigans hadn't paid their mortgage, but don't set forth any "equities" favoring Corrigans. The concurring opinion goes on to assert that the law should be changed, based on these judges' perception of what is "equitable," such that foreclosing lenders need not prove standing at the inception of a lawsuit.

After much thought and deliberation, I saw this as a unique opportunity to file this Motion for Rehearing. This one is a doozy, folks. It's much of what I have always wanted to say in foreclosure-world but hadn't had the forum to do so. With this decision being made en banc, I now have that chance.

My motion for rehearing squarely addresses the concept of "equity" in foreclosure cases. I talk about clients who are elderly or handicapped. I discuss securitization, dual-tracking, and bank-induced default. I explore the extent to which fairness should be part of the decision-making process in foreclosure cases (it shouldn't be) and question the extent to which subjective notions of equity have become justification to change the law in favor of lenders in a variety of contexts.

The next time a bankster lawyer or a judge asserts foreclosure is an action in "equity," as if that allows the judge to decide the case partly based on some nebulous, subjective notion of fairness, remember my Motion for Rehearing in Corrigan. Remember how the Florida Supreme Court has explained that foreclosure cases cannot based on a judge's subjective perception of equity. Remind the court that foreclosure may be an action in "equity," but that means only that the plaintiff did not sue for money relief so there is no attendant right to trial by jury - not that the judge can subjectively decide what he/she thinks is fair. The judge wouldn't inject fairness into the proceeding where the homeowner is sick, elderly, or handicapped, so it should not be a basis to rule for lenders merely because the homeowner hadn't paid his/her mortgage.

Years from now, after the foreclosure crisis has long since ended, this Motion for Rehearing is how I'd like to be remembered. This is my legacy. I didn't always win, but I did everything possible to convince judges to leave their biases by the wayside and follow the law.

Mark Stopa
www.stayinmyhome.com

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If you want to succeed in the world of Internet marketing, you should learn SEO through and through. There are all sorts of approaches an internet marketer can take with SEO. {You might take a “Con...

SEO Information that You Must Be Aware Of|Check Out These SEO Strategies For Your Subsequent Projects|What You Should Know About SEO|SEO Strategies You Should Heed If You Want To Succeed|Basic SEO Strategies You Need to Be Aware Of

In your education regarding Internet marketing, you may come across the acronym SEO quite a few times.  
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“SEO” stands for Search Engine Optimization and it is a technique used by internet marketers and website owners to raise their pages as high in the ranks of the search engine’s pages as possible. Although it can seem a bit intimidating, you can practice using different SEO methods until you feel comfortable enough with one method to use it for your web page. So how can you figure out what SEO method will work best for you? 

Now we will share with you a number of secrets to ensure that your SEO endeavors work out well.|Keeping up with SEO can sometimes feel like a full time job. Besides, you can get dizzy figuring out all the different ways that search engines try to gauge your site's quality. Every month or so, you can see different types of page rankings, and you might find yourself several dozen pages further down the line than you were before, which can depend on how often the spiders find you. Like it not, SEO is a huge part of marketing on the internet. In order to experience any degree of online success, you need to gain as much expertise in SEO as you can. Here are some tips and tricks that you can use on your next project.|No doubt you are coming to understand better exactly how critical it is to know how to employ SEO for your benefits, as you understand Internet marketing. Search Engine Optimization is what SEO stands for. It is pretty much a big word for how you can ensure your website will rank in the pages as high as they can when people type in certain keywords and phrases. 

This can seem like an overwhelming thing to learn when you are just starting out with your campaign. No worries, though, because you are taking the right steps right now to figure this out. Here are some SEO tips and tricks you can use to get more traffic to your projects.|Anyone who is dabbling in internet marketing needs to know all they can about search engine optimization. SEO (search engine optimization) is one of the main methods Internet marketers use to bring their search engine rankings up within the search lists. The higher your websites rank in search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, the more traffic will visit your websites. The thing is, SEO is not as easy as it looks. It may prove to be extremely hard if you do not know how to do it, truthfully. These are a few things that you can keep in mind when using SEO.|If you are just starting up with Internet marketing, there is no doubt you've already heard a great deal about SEO. What does SEO mean. What makes it so important? SEO is an acronym that refers to the term, Search Engine Optimization. It is a big deal because it is one of the biggest tools internet marketers have at their disposal to make sure that their websites and content rank high within the major search engine’s ranks. High search engine rankings often mean more customers and sales, and SEO techniques help online marketers achieve this. Don’t worry: learning SEO is not impossible. The only thing you need is a point in the right direction. Read on to learn some of the best information you can get about SEO.
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You have to pick the things that the search engines will permit you to use for your websites. Not only that, the "spider" criteria that search engines use fluctuate often. Therefore, instead of having to revise your site's content and start marketing from scratch whenever you're made aware that Google has changed an algorithm, use these proven SEO techniques as you develop your website or structure your marketing venture. First of all, be sure to adhere to the rules once you know the things you can do and those you can't. The worst thing an internet marketer can do is get on the wrong side of the search engines. They can actually de-index your site, and you will see a fall in your traffic.
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Another OA on HUD Regs as Condition Precedent

Here’s the video of the 11-19-15 Oral Argument before the Fifth District.

The issue was whether HUD Regulations in an FHA mortgage operate as a condition precedent (putting the burden of proving compliance on the lender in a foreclosure trial) or an affirmative defense (putting the burden of proving failure to comply on the homeowner at trial).

This was a similar argument to that from 11-17-15 (below), yet the Court saw/handled the issues very differently.

It’s an interesting watch, and some of you may be amused by the court’s jokes about me needing “decaf” or “medication” and suggestion that I drive home “slowly.”  Regardless of whether you interpret that as criticism or all in good fun (I consider it the latter), I’m pleased with how well the judges knew the arguments and how engaged they were with me … really, that’s all I ever ask for in foreclosure-world.

Mark Stopa
www.stayinmyhome.com

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Invited Error, Arguing Milam

Here’s the video from my most recent oral argument in the Second District.

This one involved a paragraph 22 argument and the relatively unique concept of “invited error.”

My favorite parts:  (i) when the judges flat-out told the bankster lawyer that his first argument was not good; (ii) my exchanges with Judge Salario regarding the Milam decision, where I was put in the exceedingly rare position of arguing the content of my still-pending Motion for Rehearing in Milam with the judge who wrote the opinion (because that argument also pertained to the issues raised in this appeal).

Mark Stopa
www.stayinmyhome.com

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Why I Stopped Selling SEO Services and You Should, Too

Posted by ryanwashere

This post was originally in YouMoz, and was promoted to the main blog because it provides great value and interest to our community. The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of Moz, Inc.

In my 28 years on this planet, I've come to accept two things as fact:

The sun rises every morning. Marketers screw everything up.

Because of fact No. 2, I had to stop selling SEO.

Why? Here's an interaction I used to have five times a day.

*Phone rings*

Me: "This is Ryan Stewart with WEBRIS. How can I help you?"

Caller: "I'm looking for SEO for [domain.com]. I want to rank for [keyword terms x, y, and z]. Can you guys handle that?"

Me:

I'm over it.

I'm tired of explaining to people SEO doesn't work that way anymore. And I need the rest of you to get on board with me, because we're driving ourselves out of business.

I mean, come on people. Look around. We need to stop trying to jam websites where they don't belong. The SERPs have changed.

Google shows search results based on what's best for the user. We can't just rank for whatever keywords we want.

Let's take a look at a few examples:

Example #1: Search "best headphones"

What do you notice?

Not a single result on the first page is a product page.

They're all articles about different headphone types, their benefits, pricing, etc.

We're all Google users. We all know these are much better results to get than getting a single brand's product page. I want to shop around, compare products, and read reviews. Don't you?

Example #2: Search "restaurants in miami"

What do you notice?

Not a single result on the first page is a restaurant's website.

As a matter of fact, the results above the fold are tied to review aggregators and Zagat ratings.

Underneath the fold, the results are filled with listicles, reviews, and articles.

I'd much rather read reviews about dozens of restaurants than be directed to a singular one.

Example #3: Search "buy a cheap tv"

What do you notice?

Ahhhh, yes, I threw this one in for the comment trolls.

The top five results are product pages. However, they're all mega-brands. With the current algorithms, we'll never outrank a brand for keywords like that (without spamming the hell out of it).

What else do you notice?

Articles, not product pages, are ranking at the bottom of the first page.

Example #4: Google "plumbers in san francisco"

What do you notice?

Not a single result on the first page is a website. There are only review aggregators: Yelp and Google+.

OK, so what's happening?

It's a combination of two things:

#1: Google's got a lot of data, and they're utilizing it

It's safe to say Google understands what users want by analyzing the massive amount of data it has. If we take off our SEO goggles, it's hard to disagree.

Personally, I love the power of choice. I'd rather pick from a list of companies with reviews and comparison data than one that only includes websites that make it to the top of organic listings.

In addition (as much as I hate to say it), I trust brands. I'd rather buy a TV from Best Buy than www.shop-cheap-tvs.com. Wouldn't you?

#2: We're moving into the "pay-to-play" era with Google

Not too long ago, Facebook moved into the "pay-to-play" era. Now Google's headed that way.

Google's main source of revenue is advertising, counting for almost 90% of Google's revenue in 2014. And one of their main earners, display, is falling fast.

Google's message is clear: If you want to sell directly through the Google platform, then you'll need to pay for it.

Let's go back to my last example, "plumbers in San Francisco." Look at what's happening above the fold with that query:

That's right, baby! Paid local listings.

If this test sticks, it's going to have massive implications on local search. If I were a betting man (and I am), I'm all in that this is the future of local search.

But is SEO dead?

SEO is absolutely not dead. As long as people use Google search, SEO will be alive.

However, let's recap. Money/buyer (i.e., purchase-intent) keywords are:

Dominated by huge brands that 99% of the world can't outrank (without spamming) Returning less product pages and more articles and other forms of content Triggering the knowledge graph, review aggregators, and more user-focused results

What this means is it's time to seriously reevaluate the landscape. The days of ranking a products or services page first for these purchase-intent keywords are limited.

If we want to capture that traffic moving forward, there are three things we can do:

#1: Pay for it

This is very straight forward. I like to use paid search as a remarketing tactic. We capture traffic from all corners of the web, and then when those people are ready to buy (using those money keywords), we use highly targeted paid ads to snag their business.

#2: Create valuable content

If we go back to my first example, best headphones, the results are dominated by content that compares ratings and pricing for various headphones.

No one shares, engages, or links to products and services pages. The fact is, no one except for us cares.

Instead of trying to jam those pages with links, create a piece of content that delivers what Google (and users) want. By creating value with your content, you open it up to earning social media shares and powerful links from relevant sites.

If you want to compete against the big dogs for organic search real estate, content is your best option.

#3: Optimize your website for the web

It's SEO (Search Engine Optimization), not GO (Google Optimization).

Yelp is a search engine. Facebook is a search engine. Twitter is a search engine. Amazon is a search engine. Quora is a search engine. Pinterest is a search engine. YouTube is a search engine. See where I'm going?

Each of these platforms offers unique benefits to the user. In a lot of cases, people looking for things on these platforms are likely to bypass Google altogether.

For example, l just moved into a loft in downtown Miami. I loathe shopping of any sort, so I allowed my girlfriend to manage the process for me. She ended up purchasing all of the furniture from Etsy (an e-commerce platform I knew very little about).

I asked her how she arrived there. This is what she told me:

Pinterest - She used Pinterest search to find inspiration on how to decorate. Using keywords like "loft decorations," she narrowed it down to the specific pieces of furniture she liked. Amazon - She then went to Amazon and searched with keywords that were based on the furniture she liked on Pinterest. She was looking for rustic furniture. Amazon didn't have a great selection of that type. Ebay - So she moved to Ebay, knowing that she could find cheap, secondhand (i.e., rustic) furniture there. She found that most things were a little "too used," so she moved on. Etsy - Finally, she landed on Etsy, knowing they specialize in unique handmade items. She purchased all the furniture from there (and simultaneously broke my bank account).

Now, I realize she could've used Google to search for all these things. She chose not to, though, because she felt it was an extra step she didn't have to take.

She chose to use those specific websites/platforms/search engines because each one was built to handle exactly what she was looking for.

Applying this to your website

The long-winded point I'm trying to make is this:

It's no longer just about optimizing your website for Google. It's about optimizing your presence across the web.

By understanding who our target audience is and where they spend their time, we can attack those platforms and build an organic presence.

If you're an attorney, you need to be on sites like Avvo, Lawyer.com and Find Law because they dominate the SERPS If you're a local business, Yelp and Thumbtack are crushing it right now If you have an e-commerce store, get your product on as many platforms where your customers are as possible (including Pinterest) If you sell large-ticket B2B services, SlideShare and LinkedIn are gold mines for connecting with C-suite executives looking for information

The list goes on and on...

Bringing it all home

This is why I stopped selling SEO. I'm begging you to follow suit.

We need to educate non-marketers that times have changed. We can't just "rank and bank" for whatever we want anymore.

We don't want to wait around until it's too late. This isn't a phase. This is the way it's going to be going forward, and we all need to get on board with it.

As Google gets more intelligent, we need to get more intelligent about how we approach marketing. That doesn't mean looking for ways to beat the search engine algorithms. Instead, we must learn to use them to our advantage.


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559.715: Oral Argument Against Akerman

Here’s another video of an Oral Argument before the Second District on 559.715.

Do you think I have their attention yet?    I’d say so, given how Judge Khouzam started the argument by noting how many times I’ve been there on this issue.

FWIW, this one was against Akerman.

Mark Stopa
www.stayinmyhome.com

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Oral Argument: 559.715

Here’s a video of my Oral Argument before the Second District on September 2, 2015 before Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal.

I argued the lower court ruled correctly when it dismissed the case where the bank did not give my client the notice required by Fla. Stat. 559.715.

Mark Stopa
www.stayinmyhome.com

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