Fast Five in Search – Week 11, 2014

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I’ve got a bit of a mixed bag for you today. The following is a handful of recent marketing-related posts that caught my eye or that I found interesting. Let’s get straight into it:

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Twitter is Bringing Promoted Accounts to Search Results by Anthony Ha of TechCrunch. If you’re a Twitter user, you’re probably already familiar with promoted tweets and promoted accounts – Twitter accounts that businesses use to advertise to users. Last week, Twitter announced that as well as seeing promoted tweets from these businesses in your timeline and search results, you may now also see account profiles as a new kind of ad unit. TechCrunch has the low-down on the changes.

2) Skip to the End: 5 Great Ways to Make Your Readers Care by Mike Sowden on ProBlogger. Here Mike tackles the age-old blogging problem of how to keep your audience interested and engaged. There are some clever suggestions in here for ways to hook your readers in to reading your current and future blog posts without resorting to gimmicks or give-aways.

3) 4 Surprising SEM Stats that Every e-Commerce Marketer Should Know by Jordan Elkind on Search Engine Land. With plenty of paid search advertising accounts to keep track of for clients, I like to keep an eye on large brush e-commerce statistics, particularly usage increases. In this post, Jordan shares the latest online shopping trends and e-commerce statistics from the 2013 holiday period.

4) An Introduction to PR Strategy for SEOs by Samuel Scott on the Moz Blog. Following some intense discussions at Moz.com regarding the death of guest blogging, Scott offers this interesting perspective that SEO and inbound marketing are just PR by another name.

and finally…

5) The Mashable Jobs Board by Emily Chow of Mashable. I’m not sure how I missed this, but apparently Mashable has been managing a Jobs Board for some years – a hiring hub for more than 3,000 employers, no less. If you are looking for a social media or marketing job in the digital space, you might want to check it out regularly.

Enjoy!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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Fast Five in Search – Week 10, 2014

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Hi folks. Running late today, so let’s get straight to the good stuff. This week’s Fast Five in Search is all about web analytics. Enjoy…

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) 8 Custom Reports from the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery by Rachelle Maisner in the Google Analytics blog. If you regularly get lost in your Google Analytics, but have a hard time extracting the right data to show the right people, you’ll LOVE this post. The Solutions Gallery is a free and public platform that allows users to share custom reports, segments and dashboards. In this post, Rachelle introduces us to the Gallery and shares 5 of her own custom Google Analytics report templates that you can import into your own Analytics account with one click. Invaluable stuff.

2) Top 10 Social Media Analytics Tools by Devindra Hardawar of Venture Beat. Most people now use tools to analyze the impact of their social media activities. But which ones are the best? In this post, Devindra makes a start on a top 10 list of the best social media analytics tools on the Web and asks for your input to grow the list further.

3) Introduction to Google Tag Manager (video) by Google Analytics. For those of you not using it yet, Google Tag Manager is a free tool that makes it easy for marketers to add and update website tags including conversion tracking, site analytics and remarketing, without needing to edit your website code. This video shows you how to set up an account and manage your tags.

4) Conversion Tracking with Campaign Analytics by Bing Ads. This tutorial explains step-by-step how to set up Bing Ads conversion tracking using their Campaign Analytics tool.

and finally…

5) 10 Web Analytics Trends for 2014 by Mark Ryan of Mashable. Here Mark outlines the major advancements in analytics that were made in 2013 and sets the scene for what we can expect in 2014 in terms of improvements and new features to help us better understand our web audiences.

Happy reading!

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Fast Five in Search – Week 9, 2014

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In recent discussions with my SEO workshop attendees, it seems clear that link audits are a challenge for a lot of people. But they’re not as scary as they sound.

A link audit is simply conducting research into the number of links pointing to and from a web site, as well as the quality and trust-rank of those links. The audit can also include researching competitor sites to determine their link profiles and – as a result – determining the estimated amount of link building required in order to out-perform them.

To help demystify the process, I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s Fast Five to helpful articles and resources for anyone conducting a link audit.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) How to Conduct a Link Audit by Chuck Price. You don’t necessarily need to use any clever tools or software to conduct a link audit. In this article, Chuck shows you how to do a deep dive into the link profile of a web site using your Google Webmaster Tools account.

2) Raven Tools SEO Software by Raven Tools. If you want a little turbo help for your link audit, Raven’s Backlink Explorer gathers all the backlinks for a domain or URL, including source URL, Citation Flow and even no-follow status. Raven’s Site Finder tool reverse engineers the ranking results using Bing data to identify the best linking opportunities that you may not have capitalized on.

3) How to Conduct a Link Audit by Julie Joyce. While this is a slightly older post, the content is still very applicable. Julie runs through her comprehensive link audit process, listing several very useful 3rd party tools in the process. My link audits tend to follow a similar path to this one.

4) Open Site Explorer by Moz.com. Moz’s Open Site Explorer Tool enables you to research the link profile of your site and your competitor’s sites in the one interface. You can see the backlinks of up to 5 sites at once and compare page authority, domain authority, linking root domains, total links, Facebook shares, Facebook likes, tweets, and Google +1s

and finally…

5) How to Conduct a Link Audit Like Sherlock Holmes by Chris Kilbourn. In this very recent article about conducting a link audit, Chris looks at how to identify and get rid of *bad links* pointing to your site in the wake of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm.
He also lists a range of useful link audit tools.

Happy auditing!

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Fast Five in Search – Week 8, 2014

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Howdy search fans! I’ve been busy researching lots of new juicy links for your viewing pleasure this week. The theme for the week is social, social and yet more social.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Social Media Stats Update 2013 by PewResearch. If you’re like me, you’re always chasing the latest Internet usage stats for an article, post or presentation. While looking for stats on social media last week, I found PewResearch had the most up to date data I could find, plus a free detailed downloadable report. For example, did you know that 73 percent of online adults now use a social networking site of some kind?

2) Free Social Media Analytics Reports by Simply Measured. Speaking of free data, if you like number crunching and deep social data analysis, check out Simply Measured’s free Social Media Analytics reports for Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Their Twitter Follower Report will download data on up to 10,000 followers of any public Twitter account. You can then import the data into Excel and do a deep dive into the current extent of your social reach and engagement – and better still – the untapped potential you have to grow it.

3) Social Media / Digital Stats by Digital Marketing Ramblings. Keeping with our theme of social stats, I stumbled upon this little gem of a blog while yak shaving. Editor Craig Smith pulls together original and curated news, tips and stats in the social media and digital space. If you’re looking for some offbeat stories in social, this is a great starting point.

4) Twitter Search by Topsy. We all died a little inside when Twitter and Google announced the end of their search relationship in 2011, signalling the end of Google’s Real Time search and the ability to search the full historical Twitter archive.  But did you realize that Topsy has always had this privilege? Apart from giving you the ability to search all public tweets since 2006, Topsy indexes and ranks search results from various social networks, based upon the most influential conversations about specific terms, topics, pages or domains queried. If that’s not enough to convince you, think about this: Apple acquired Topsy for over $200 million late last year.

and finally…

5) Beginner’s Guide to Social Media by Moz. Whether you’re a social media newbie or just looking to brush up on your social skills, this Moz Guide will teach you a thing or two. You can download it as a PDF or view it all online.

See you next week!

Happy reading!

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Fast Five in Search – Week 7, 2014

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Hey folks! Fast Five is back for 2014. We’re doing things a bit differently this year. I’ll be taking over the posts from Sarah and I’ll be posting these on Mondays instead of Thursdays from here on.

That means you’ll be able to look busy at your desk while woofing down that breakfast bagel you grabbed on your way to the office and searching for a pen that actually works.

Simply bookmark our Fast Five category or make it your browser start page and you’ll have some tasty posts ready to read and get your marketing juices flowing the minute your PC or tablet starts up.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Matt Cutts Has Declared Guest Blogging For SEO ‘Done’ by WebProNews. Apparently Head of Google’s Spam Team Matt Cutts took to his personal blog on Monday to warn against the practice of guest blogging for SEO purposes, declaring the tactic DONE. So if you are in the habit of guest posting, you might want to rethink that, or at least approach the process a little more carefully.

2) Why Guest Posting and Blogging is a Slippery Slope by Moz. Shortly after Matt’s blog post, Moz came out with a White Board Friday vid dedicated to the same subject. Check it (and Rand’s beard!) out here:

3) Alltop by Various. Not a specific post, but just a reminder about this very useful news aggregator that collates all the top blog posts and news stories in tech, work, health, culture, sport and other subjects on an hourly basis. Very handy to find trending topics for new blog fodder or research a particular niche for link building purposes.

4) Do You Love Your Customers? by Seth Godin. This post by Seth caught my eye on my regular fly-by his blog because of a similar discussion I was having with a client recently. Seth says that there are two distinct reasons why companies claim to love their customers and only one involves money. The kicker is that customers can tell the difference! So next time you claim to love your customers, make sure it’s not just because they pay you.

and finally… not really search news, but definitely tech:

5) Flappy Bird is Gone From the App Store by TechCrunch. Yes, millions of people awoke today to the shocking news that the frustratingly addictive Flappy Bird iOS and Android game has been removed from the App Store by it’s developer Dong Nguyen of Vietnam. Nguyen cited “I just can’t take it anymore” as his reason for removing the game, presumably because he couldn’t navigate those darn birds through pipes any better than the rest of us.

But never fear – some clever clod has developed a clone called Flappy Doge. (screenshot below) The only differences? Scary looking corgies and dodgy spelling. You don’t even need a mobile device to play. Hoorah!

Flappy DogeHappy clicking!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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