SEO ROI

SEO Services For Serious ROI. Blog Posts For Serious SEOs.

State of Search in 2012

Curious to get a summary of where we stand and what’s changed in the past year or two? Farky from Liquid Siler Marketing put together a detailed report that goes over this. Much of it you will know already, but it’s tied together in a way that you get a better holistic view of where things stand.

Check it out: State of Search 2012.


Why You Need This Poker Concept To Succeed At Online Marketing: The BankRoll

In poker, your bankroll refers to how much budget you’ve allotted to play, a concept that isn’t thought of in online marketing even though it’s value to online marketers is huge. (more…)


Announcing The Advanced SEO Contest & Its First Prize Sponsors

I’m organizing a contest for SEOs to share their most creative and powerful tactics, which I first announced to my advanced SEO newsletter / the people who get a free chapter from my book. Entrants can win a variety of prizes, discussed below, and the best entries will be included in the next edition of The Advanced SEO Book.

In my last email, I said that I was looking for feedback on how to run a contest seeking new SEO tactics and case studies. Many of you generously chimed in with prize and voting suggestions, in particular that you would prefer for the prizes to be memberships to tool sites and the like.

Well, you asked and I’m delivering. (more…)


Ryan Kent of Vitopian Teaches SEO Consulting

Ryan Kent of VitopianRyan Kent runs an SEO shop (find him also on LinkedIn and G+) growing exclusively based on word of mouth, and has also dominated SEOmoz Q&A to become SEOmoz’s top member in what seems a rather short time. I interviewed this rising star of the SEO scene and he shared his knowledge of the business very generously… (more…)


“When Google Torches Whitehats” – 9 Tactics To Survive & Rise Like A Phoenix From The Flames

Right after the Penguin update, I sent the following email to people who downloaded a <a href=”http://book.seoroi.com”>free chapter</a> from my book.

It shares 9 concrete tactics to protect your business and grow beyond Google so that a Google ban would be the loss of A marketing channel, not The marketing channel.

There are tactics for ecommerce, ad publishers (CPM, CPC, CPA), lead generators and non profits who want to fire-proof themselves like the mythical phoenix.

Phoenix

“It’s spring and Google’s whacked another group of link buyers, and we in the SEO world again buzz about the winners, losers and what to do next.

But even whitehats who don’t buy their links MUST ask how to protect themselves from Google’s whims, as must every open-eyed SEO.

Q: Why worry if you’re whitehat? (more…)


Why I Ignore 99% of Guest Post Solicitations

Why I ignore them? They’re plain crap, as defined by my friend Ann Smarty’s infographic: (more…)


5 Digital Trends Shaping the Consumer Experience

This is a guest post by Lior Levin, a marketing consultant for pre shipment inspection companies around the globe, and who also consults for a business sign and custom neon sign store.

Digital marketing is a constantly evolving art and keeping current is key, so here are five trends shaping how consumers interact with brands. (more…)


These Marketers Answered 3 Questions That Are Holding Back Your Conversion Rate

Answering prospects’ questions is key to selling them, and sometimes it’s frustrating to try and guess people’s questions/objections from scratch. I noticed the following great examples of marketers answering questions at exactly the right time – the point of action – and thought others would benefit from learning these objections and answers.

This post isn’t only for CRO professionals though – Google’s Panda update looks at whether consumers would trust your site with their credit card.

(more…)


“Is Your Site Defensible?”- The 10 Point Quiz Updated For 2012

Andy Hagans used to run TropicalSEO.com, and I’ve reposted his popular quiz as to whether your site was defensible and updated it for 2012.

My updates and comments are in square brackets [ ].
Jerusalem old city walls

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How To Mashup Your Data And Mutate Joe Blow Campaigns Into X-Men Campaigns: New SEO/Email/CRO Tactic

SEOs building email lists (and email retargeting subscribers) just got huge help in the form of data mashup artists Rapleaf and Rapportive, two tools for gaining data on your email contacts. The impact will mutate weak little campaigns into car-throwing raging hulks.

The Incredible Hulk (more…)


Experiencing PPC: “Placement URLs’ Valid URL format” & Anonymous.Google.com

Via illuminea, I’ve been handling the PPC for some clients, and recently came across two interesting problems I thought I’d document because they’re likely common to others: a) the error, “Placement URLs need to be provided in valid URL format” and b) what the heck anonymous.google.com is.
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The Multi-Armed Bandit Of CRO Doesn’t Grab Higher Conversion Rates – It Grabs Lower Conversion Rates

Multi armed bandit
Steve Hanov recently suggested a thought-provoking idea: applying multi-armed bandit algorithms to A/B testing, and Visual Website Optimizer (VWO) did an interesting and accessible-to-non-statisticians statistical analysis and explanation of Steve’s method, to evaluate the accuracy of his claims. While I loved their analysis, VWO’s conclusion is a howler! (more…)


You Already CAN Automate Personalized Link Outreach

Yesterday I suggested that perhaps SEOs should automate their personalized link outreach. It turns out you already can thanks to Liam Delahunty’s Online Sales tool suite. He doesn’t discuss it visibly there, I think to avoid copycats killing the technique.

Very, very interesting. Love to hear from anyone using that specifically how it’s gone for them, what kind of results they’ve seen. CC @ Garrett French, Eric Ward, Jon Cooper, Debra Mastaler, all link building pros….


Advanced Link Building Idea: Should SEOs Automate Personalized Intro Emails To Check Webmaster Addresses?

How do you avoid wasting time contacting webmaters whose email addresses are dead?

If you’re contacting dozens or hundreds of webmasters, depending on your team’s size, this could mean hours of wasted time.

How about registering a throwaway email address and sending an innocuous ‘heya’ to all your prospects (in BCC). Then filter out the bounces and ‘recipient domain rejected’ addresses?

You can do that, but it’s annoying to people when people send you email spam. Especially to webmasters.

A more classy approach is to
-use Buzzstream or the like to auto grab their contact details,
-use a script to individually email each webmaster, auto-populating their firstname (or lastname or site address and name) in the subject line and greeting
-that email asks if they’re still updating the site and would like you to tell them about broken links you found. Don’t mention you want a link yet.

Love if someone can develop this tool…

Hat tip to SEOmoz’s dead link building guide for the idea on the ‘still updating’ time saver.


Aleyda Solis On Spanish SEO, Networking Tools & International SEO Project Management

Aleyda Solis, Spanish SEO ConsultantGab: Aleyda Solis is one of the savviest SEO experts in Spain and even in international SEO, which fact is obvious from her role managing an SEO team in the highly competitive field of Forex, or Foreign Exchange trading. We recently chatted over email about her

In addition, she runs a SEO consultancy called Orainti, and is prominent in the search space, writing at State of Search and her SEO blog; co-organizing the SEO+You meetup in Madrid; speaking at SEO conferences and tweeting SEO news and resources SEO blog.

I’m from Montreal Quebec, where a large percentage of people only speak French, and this slows the transfer of technology there. To what extent is that an international problem? Do Spaniards also lag behind the English-speaking world in technology?

Yes, in general that is an international problem and that happens for the Spanish speaking world too.

I think it’s always like that in technology: new products and services are usually launched first for the US market in English and later for the rest of the world.

You can also see that with online marketing and SEO related news, for example, Google updates are almost always launched first in English for the US and the latest information is usually in English.

At the end of the day this makes that for SEO it is fundamental to speak English in order to be updated in our field.

Who are the top Spanish-language bloggers you read?

Most of the blogs I read are in English –because of what we talked before-, nonetheless in Spanish I highly enjoy blogs like:

And of course the posts shared by Spanish SEO colleagues and friends, such as Lakil (http://www.seo-20.com/), SEOcom (http://www.seocom.es/blog/), Lino (http://www.mecagoenlos.com/), Jose Llinares (http://www.josellinares.com/), Iñaki (http://blog.ikhuerta.com/), Fernando Muñoz (http://www.senormunoz.es/archives), Jose Moreno (http://www.jbmoreno.es/comunicacion/blog/), MJ Cachon (http://www.mjcachon.es/) and Christian (http://www.christianoliveira.com/blog/).


Share some social media networking secrets. What do you do for successful outreach?

1. Identify and connect

Who do I share interests with? Who can I learn from? Who and where are the leaders of my sector? Connect with them!

A great tool for this is http://www.socialbro.com/.

2. Observe and Listen

Learn from what is shared. Take a look of what is successful within your audience. Analyze and understand its behavior. A useful tool to do it is http://favstar.com/.

3. Interact nicely and create value

Be honest, provide relevant feedback in a nice way. Share useful information to your audience according to what you have identified.

You’re speaking soon at SEOmoz’s MozCon. What’s the topic of your presentation and what will people take away from it?

My presentation at MozCon will be about Successful SEO Project Management, where I will be sharing best practices and tools to effectively managing SEO projects.

I have had the chance to wear many hats in very different scenarios as SEO that have given me the chance to learn the importance of good project management.

First as an SEO specialist, then as Head of the SEO department in an Online Marketing agency, later as an In-House SEO and now I’m a mix, of an Independent SEO consultant with my own company and also a Global SEO manager working remotely for an online company.

At the moment I work with people who are in Moscow, Madrid, Berlin, Podgorica and New York parallely so an effective management and workflow for the SEO process is fundamental to make things happen as initially defined.

Unfortunately I’ve seen SEO processes fail not due to he lack of SEO capacity or understanding but because of aspects that are more related to the coordination of a multidisciplinary, multidepartment project.

My goal is that after the presentation even highly experienced SEOs that will be attending to MozCon can have a much more specific criteria and roadmaps to follow when facing diverse SEO project scenarios that can be sometimes complex to manage.

What advice would you give to beginning, Spanish-focused SEOs?

Keep updated
Twitter is a great platform not only to interact with more experienced SEO specialists you can learn from but also an excellent way to keep updated with the latest SEO news and identify new SEO resources to use.

Develop your own tests
If you don’t apply what you read or think might work you will never develop a real advantage over your competitors. Besides validating what is shared you also need to create your own hypotheses and check if they work. Like this you will also gain experience, which is very important if someone is starting.

Connect with others

Attend to local SEO events. For example you can attend for free in Madrid to SEO+You)  -an event that I organize with other SEO colleagues-, there’s also another great event called Evento SEO and in Barcelona there’s Clinic SEO. ??You also have local SEO conferences, like Congreso SEO Profesional , where you will have the opportunity to learn from and network with experienced SEO specialists.

Identify your USP

There are already a lot of SEOs out there, so what can you offer that they don’t? What is your USP (unique selling proposition)? Usually you can find this when you have already developed a bit of experience, see what are you the best at and what you love the most in SEO. Maybe it’s link-building or technical SEO, the important thing is to identify it and make the most out of it to provide a unique value to your clients and have an advantage over your competitors.

Have fun

If you’ve started doing SEO because you’ve been told is great but you’re not enjoying it really… you should ask yourself if this is really what you want. Remember: you should always love what you do and have fun!

 


My Blog Guest Growth Has Exploded in 3 Years

You know you’ve got a good product when it grows so massively in just 3 years. My friend Ann Smarty has done a massive job developing the site, and big congrats to her on the success, explained in the following infographic: (more…)


Chris Dyson On The Business of SEO Consulting: Learning, Prospecting, Partnering, Client Expectations and more!

Chris DysonI recently sat down with Chris Dyson over email and we got to chat about a topic many SEOs regularly ask about: how do you run an SEO consulting business?? Of course, our interview ranged wider and addressed topics such as Inbound.org, but even those essentially are tangents of our main discussion.
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Jason Acidre Reveals 10 Unique SEO Tips From CounterStrike & Offline Networking

Jason Acidre@ Jason Acidre is the Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, a Philippine-based Inbound Marketing Consulting Agency. He’s also the author of Kaiserthesage, an SEO blog, and has been the marketing strategist for Affilorama affiliate training for the past 2 years. [I gave him nicer anchor text; he didn't ask for it, for you haters out there.]

You’ve built an impressive amount of comments on your posts [ed: 20+ average] in just under 2 years of blogging. What 3 things have you done that have most encouraged this community of commenters to build around your blog? (more…)


Online Marketing Copy: Answer Questions Before They’re Asked (PICs)

In my Friday Pics posts, I share examples of online marketing done well or poorly. This post is dedicated to pre-empting questions with your benefits copy.

Answer questions before they’re asked: (more…)


SEO Mythbusters: It’s Google vs Bing. SEO Truth: It’s Apple vs eBay vs Fiverr vs Google vs Bing vs …

As I shared recently in my post disspelling the myth of 3 query types, Mahalo recently pivoted to sell its content in the form of iPhone/iPad apps. They’ve gone from SEO spammers to App Store quality producers. (more…)


Your B2B Live Chat Lander Sounds Scratchy. Make Her Sing Like A Canary!

Passive or intrusive B2B Live Chat is sub-optimal – B2B Live Chat needs to actively and politely engage the prospect to understand their needs.

In B2B, your sales cycle is commonly longer and more education is required than with B2C products. For low-ticket B2C, the passive implementation of live chat described below is probably preferable (split test it) from both a costs-perspective and a “get out of their way and let ‘em shop” perspective. (more…)


How To Create AdWords Email Alerts For Emergencies Like Big Traffic Drops

When Traffix Systems launched their new site, their AdWords ads got disapproved en masse, and so traffic tanked. Why should that happen, considering we (the team at illuminea and I) set up redirects properly? (more…)


Interview With Jon Rognerud On Advanced SEO

Did a little interview you might find interesting with Jon Rognerud. We talk about advanced SEO, trends and so forth. If you want a condensed class in advanced SEO, go listen in. (The transscription is so-so.)

 


Why Does This SEO-Promoting Email Spam Beat Gmail’s Filters?

I spend an inordinate amount of time deleting spam emails from my Gmail inbox.

Update: Someone said I shouldn’t try to get these guys penalized. Here’s my response:
They’re wasting my time daily and I should stand back quietly? It’s called protecting what’s yours. You don’t think house alarms are bad, even though they might embarass thieves or get them caught, do you? I’m protecting my time from thieves.

If my email is public and scraped, Gmail should still block the spam people send me. Since they’ve been horrible at stopping this for at least a year, and probably more like three years, I’m going to start posting these emails here and hopefully Google will improve its spam filters as a result. As I get more spam emails, I’m going to keep posting them here. And maybe these people will see their own emails scraped and rendered useless by their fellow spammers… (more…)


BookCrossing – Marketing Insights From A Unique Online/Offline Community

bookcrossing.com logoBookCrossing.com is a unique book giving community where people label their books, give them to other members to read and then those members pass them on further to others. In 11 years it’s grown to over 1M members, with 9M books in circulation.

 

How BookCrossing Works
How BookCrossing Works: Label your books, share them with others, and follow its travel worldwide!

Heather Mehra PedersenIn this unique interview, Co-Founder & Director of Finance Heather Mehra-Pedersen shares what has helped grow their community, motivate their members and ultimately build the business. (more…)


Jim Bought The DevShed (SEOChat etc)! Holy Cow!

Since I started in SEO 6+ years ago, one forum always ranked for SEO – SEO Chat, a part of the Developer Shed network. Jim Boykin, he of the Internet Marketing Ninjas, just acquired the forum and the rest of the network.

I’m pleased by the news because to me, SEO Chat has long been a site with no personality, when personality is really a distinguishing feature in this industry.  (more…)


SEO MythBusters: There Are 2 Types Of Query Intent, Not 3

I want to put down the long-standing myth that there are three types of queries, namely navigational, informational, and commercial queries. 

(more…)


Phillip Klien of BT Buckets & Site Apps Gives Me Segmentation & CRO Tips!

I recently had a great chat with Phillip Klien, a conversion expert using software to first segment (or “bucket”) traffic and then personalize visitors’ experience. In fact, he co-founded BTBuckets.com, a behavioral targeting (BT) tool that enables exactly this kind of personalization, and SiteApps.com, a marketplace for related CRO and BT tools.

1) How did you come up with the idea for BT Buckets as a platform? (more…)


How To Chill A Client Out When Traffic Drops Over Memorial Day

I got an email today from a client freaking out because their traffic was down about 40% yesterday and Google simultaneously sent them warnings in GWt / their email. How do you chill such a client out? (more…)


Four New Web & Productivity Social Networks For SMBs

Here’s a look at 4 new platforms and why you should consider getting social on these networks.


Triberr

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Arnie Kuenn on CRO With Video, & Conversion Conference

Arnie Kuenn
Arnie Kuenn, Conversion Conference Speaker

Click here for a $100 discount
on Conversion Conference. You’ll see the discount code listed in the upper right after the click.

Arnie Kuenn is President of Vertical Measures, who offer services in link building, content creation and notably their content marketing guide. We met at Pubcon, and he’ll be speaking at Conversion Conference on video. He was kind enough to give us this sweeeeet interview :). (I previously interviewed another Conversion Con speaker, Keith Hagen

Can you give me a little background about you?

You bet. Well first I am the founder and president of Vertical Measures, a search, social & content marketing company. Our focus is helping our clients get more traffic, more leads, and more business from their websites. I am an entrepreneur who had had two previous businesses in the world of new technologies and marketing. I am also a frequent speaker and author of Accelerate! Moving Your Business Forward Through the Convergence of Search, Social & Content Marketing (available on Amazon).

What knowledge level are you addressing in your preso at ConvConf?

This particular session is on video marketing and using video to increase conversions. Therefore I would say the people attending this session will be a little more marketing oriented as opposed to technically oriented.

(more…)


My Next Facebook Ad Lander, Hat Tip To Ryan Deiss

I recently saw a video on FBEvolution.com about using a squeeze page (aka email lead generation landing page) on your Facebook fan page, which I’ll be adapting for the Advanced SEO book fanpage.

In it, Ryan Deiss shares a case study on his landing page getting the name and email of 50% of the people who clicked like.

He incentivized the like with part 1 of his free report, and incentivized the email optin by upselling folks to get part 1 AND part 2.

I’m planning to test that, as well, with the following adaptation of Ryan’s landing page:  (more…)


Skip Display Retargeting / Remarketing: Start With Email ReMarketing

You can segment your email list by what page(s) they visited.

That means you can use your email marketing for “retargeting” aka “remarketing.”

Retargeting is an increasingly popular marketing tactic that targets prospects based on their having already visited your site (or a specific page, depending what pages include your retargeting-cookie-dropping code).

You know from the person’s previous visit that they’re interested in your product, so you use retargeting  to get a second chance at converting them. (more…)


Pause Low CTR Ads In AdWords Automatically With Rules / Alerts

While looking around for AdWords alerts, I discovered a very handy time-saving feature in AdWords called Rules. You can use AdWords Rules to automatically pause low-CTR ads, high-CPA keywords and likewise auto-manage other aspects of your account that don’t require human judgment. (more…)


Keith Hagen of ConversionIQ Previews Conversion Conference

Keith Hagen of ConversionIQ is set to speak at the next Conversion Conference in Chicago. He graciously agreed to an interview ahead of the show.

Click here for a $100 discount on Conversion Conference. You’ll see the discount code listed in the upper right after the click.

1) What’s the topic of your presentation? How did you come up with that?
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Ecommerce SEO Is A NOT For Profit Activity

Google is cutting the ROI on ecommerce SEO and has been for 8+ years. If ecommerce merchants don’t understand the changes below, they’re going to lose market share to savvier competitors.

Read on for what you need to do to survive and thrive. (more…)


Complete List Of Panda Updates

Manish Pandey, an SEO expert I’m familiar with, recently published a large article listing and describing all the phases of Google Panda. Check it out!.


What’s A Soft 404 (404-Like Content)? + How To Fix Soft 404 Errors

Steve recently got a warning from Google that a number of pages were returning soft 404s, and the next week, his traffic dropped 10%.

The following week, another 30% was gone. What are these dramatically harsh “soft” 404 errors? How do you fix them?

What is a soft 404? (more…)


Why I Love The New Modified Phrase Match And Exact Match

In writing a report for an illuminea client, Traffix Diameter Systems , I wrote the following about the new Modified Phrase Match and Exact Match: (more…)


Weekday vs Weekend Bidding In Google AdWords: The 30 Second Analysis

Should you focus on weekend or weekday traffic in your PPC ad campaigns? If you’re already getting organic search traffic, you have data that can answer that question in 30 seconds. (more…)


Quick Tip To Reduce Email Unsubscribes In Aweber

If you’re using both an autoresponder series of emails as well as “broadcast” messages that go out with no regard to sequence, you run the risk of annoying people with too-frequent emails. (more…)


How Even Established Sites Use Keyword Difficulty aka Efficiency Data

[Edit: I try to post original stuff but I realize here that I'm adapting "second page poaching." It only occurred to me after writing my post, but when you're done reading this, check out Virante's posts on second page poaching, relevant data collection and an API. ]

While working on a huge site with 1000s of pages and keywords, I realized that I needed to prioritize what keywords to build links for.

The situation was different from a brand new site, because for a new site, all keywords are equally hard to rank for (except perhaps those in the domain), in that you’re not in the top 100 for anything. In such a case, you typically prioritize keywords by absolute search volume, then keyword difficulty.

Unlike a brand new site, this site already has pages in the top 100 – and especially the top 20 – for dozens of terms. I sawthis when setting up the rank tracking (for reporting purposes) in Raven Tools. (Normally I prefer Authority Labs for rank tracking for their great historical graphs. These let you see what links boosted you, assuming the links are published on sites crawled regularly.)

 Check page 2 rankings with equivalent keyword search volume for their relative keyword difficulty, using SEOmoz’s keyword difficulty tool.

Accessible to SEOmoz Pro members only as of this writing.  

Anyways, Stephan Spencer and the boys at Virante shared a tip that you should look for pages ranking in positions 11-20, e.g. on the second page, since they’re easiest to rank.

The site already has loads of authority links from across the web, having been around since the 90s. So what’s needed at this point is deep links with a mix of anchor text. You’re only a few links away from page 1 and traffic in that case.

And as the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. A site doing 1 million visits/month didn’t get there from trying to rank for “insurance” straight away, but from getting 50 visits a month here and 230 visits a month there. It adds up and snowballs, because as more people get to know you and find you in search results, more people link to you.

(Mike Grehan described this phenomenon years ago as the [SEO] Rich Get Richer, in a piece called Filthy Linking Rich.)

What do you do when you have a few dozen pages on page 2? With similar keyword search volumes? Look at the keyword difficulty. 

So unless there’s a tool that gives me keyword difficulty scores in bulk, I’m going to go through the terms 5 at a time with SEOmoz’s keyword difficulty tool and see what ranks in positions 2-20 and is worth building links for to top up traffic.

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Fun Fact: Facebook Ad Review Teams Skew GA Stats & How To Fix It

I launched some Facebook ad campaigns in the past few days and saw traffic skyrocket in Google Analytics.

Problem is, the traffic was garbage – not the traffic I was paying for, which converted decently. It was Facebook’s ad reviewers, tasked with checking the 1000+ ads I uploaded, visiting my site once/ad.  (more…)


The Infographic of Infographics

David McBee, one of the web’s savvier link builders, shared with me this parody, tongue-in-cheek infographic about infographics, via ComicalConcept.com:

Infographic on Infographics

I like it :).


View Goals By UTM Campaign, Keyword, Ad Content In Google Analytics

Suppose you’re using Google’s URL building format to mass tag URLs with UTM_campaign, UTM_Keyword, UTM_content and other UTM settings – where do you see the data afterwards? (more…)


How I’m Bulk Creating 200+ Ads With High CTR In Facebook Campaigns

facebook ad
This is the process I’m following to create ad campaigns on Facebook promoting my advanced SEO book.

If you like this, get a free chapter from my book on advanced SEO! Or get my latest posts by email or RSS!

Toolset:

SEO godfather in black hatImages – Royalty free stock ex SXC, plus my own headshots – faces draw eyes so it’s worth starting with those to get a high CTR and low CPC.
Social Ads Manager (SAM) by Brighter Option – bulk ad creation, upload, powerful tracking built in, save targeted interests for reuse, great support by skype and email, cost is % of spend
Pixlr & MS Paint – Cropping, adjusting image brightness and contrast to shout louder, adding text and certain effects. Free! YAAY.
FBAdsToolbox – To add standard effects like image borders in different colors and certain neat image effects like scroll buttons, video play buttons etc. Very affordable at $58/year (save $60+) or $12/mo. (more…)


Advanced Segments In Google Analytics For SEO, Social & Ecommerce Analysis

Use Advanced Segments in GA to Discover SEO, Social Media and Ecommerce Insights

Google Analytics (GA) is a tool that, while very useful to basic users who just want a quick look at their site’s statistics, is meant for power users that can take advantage of all of GA’s hidden features. Advanced Segments is an example of that hidden power. (more…)


Consulting vs Building An Agency: How I Made My Choice

My friend Andrew Breem of Outshine Online Marketing asked:

“As far as I can tell, you’ve built your business as a sole consultant as opposed to say building out a big team. Was this a conscious decision or did it just evolve? I’m at a cross roads now where I’m trying to decide exactly what route to take and I’m considering both approaches. I’d love to hear your opinion on why you made the choice you did, if you don’t mind sharing. ”

A: It’s not been my conscious decision, it’s just been a product of circumstances, really. I started consulting when I was turning 19 (started SEO 6 months before ;) ) and I couldn’t build an agency while being in university. So that was 2006-2010.

I moved to Israel December 30 2010 and then was back in school studying Hebrew for 5 hours/day for the next 5 months. Then I got engaged and was busy planning the wedding with my then-fiance (now wife). Around the same time I also finally launched my book and obviously that took a fair amount of effort.

The closest I came to running an agency was doing a decent volume of guest posting where I subcontracted with up to 12 bloggers at a time. Problem was that with monthly-renewal contracts you don’t have the stability to hire people full time so you’re limited in what you can build.

That’s for circumstances.

For my personal intentions, I did want to build a shiny big agency when I was new and starting out. SEOmoz’s high rates and cool work really motivated me to imitate them … until, like them, I realized that SEO services have limited scale.

I’m pretty ambitious in terms of the size of the business I want to build. When I see brilliant SEOs like my friends at NVI, Distilled, SEER Interactive, Portent and elsewhere “only” growing organically as opposed to the growth of a Facebook or a Twitter, it just makes it painfully obvious to me that the way to go for mega-success is to be the market owner – the Walmart, eBay, Odesk – instead of the guy owning a stall in the market. I have some ideas on that and hopefully I’ll get around to building a startup eventually.

For the time being, circumstances are such that am going to continue offering consulting services for the foreseeable future. I’m still having fun with SEO, with my book, and I’ve also got a stint in the Israeli army coming up – I just got my first summons as a draft-eligible 24 year old. Consulting and book sales give me the flexibility I need in my work.


How I Build A Link Request List Without Scrapers

I’ve been going back to basics and doing lots – dozens of hours worth – of manual link outreach. It ain’t pretty, but it works. Here’s how I build my link request list, without tools.

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The Biggest Broken Link Building Opportunity In A Decade

Directory.Google.com is dead. All the links going to it and its associated URLs are broken. (more…)

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