Targeting Options Across Different Online Channels

So maybe you have an online budget and it’s time to build a strategy. Or maybe you have to build a strategy so that you can lobby the purse-holder for a budget to work with. How do you determine what channels are best suited for your goals?

Well, each online channel offers a distinct form of user targeting, and how you target someone is going to affect how they react, respond, and/or convert. So it’s helpful to first understand each of these major targeting methods, and from there decide which online marketing channels are most compatible with your goals.

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SEO Supercharging Your Inbound Marketing Campaigns

Magnetic Marketing

We spend a lot more time on this blog talking about “outbound marketing” rather than “inbound marketing”. Sure, we sometimes touch on how to sync the two, such as using PPC to find SEO opportunities and support SEO efforts, but even then we’re focusing on using “outbound marketing” to support or enhance “inbound marketing”. The focus is still on the outbound side of things.

Well, what about planning a comprehensive and self-contained “inbound marketing” campaign from the get-go? In this post, we’re going to look at how to do just that, as well as how to infuse it with SEO every step of the way.

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How PPC Can Support Organic SEO Rankings

One of the most obvious way that PPC can support SEO is with helping your brand show up in the SERPs for the most competitive searches. Now, I’m saying “show up” rather than “rank” because there is nothing PPC can do to directly increase your organic rankings.

What PPC can do, however, is offer you an opportunity to at least have your (branded) listing appear alongside the organic SERPs for keywords that you don’t yet rank on.

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Branded SEO for Better Rankings

Making your mark in SEO…

Last week, Greg made a strong case for maintaining brand continuity between offline and paid search marketing efforts. But what about maintaining that brand continuity between offline and organic search? Now, if you’re not ranking for your own brandname(s), then you have problems that are bigger than this blog post (i.e. you’ve probably been penalized for black hat tactics). But there are other ways that brand continuity can inform your SEO strategy and help you achieve better rankings overall.

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Using PPC to Find New SEO Opportunities

In many ways, it makes sense to treat paid and organic search as two completely separate beasts. For example:

  • Both PPC and SEO require their own set of expertise and have their own KPIs
  • PPC yields more short-term/immediate results, while SEO is a long-term strategy (it takes time to rank organically)
  • SEO allows you to build long-term equity because your rankings do not depend on whether you’re bidding on keywords and impressions
  • User who click on paid listings are not necessarily the same users who click on organic ones

The list can go on, but the point is that it’s easy/tempting to want to treat the two channels as distinct. However, because both PPC and SEO target users through the same medium (i.e. search engines), the two can be coordinated to support each other and maximize results. Specifically, PPC efforts can be used to enrich and inform your SEO strategy.

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Free SEO Advice

While I was working for NVI, and SEO and social media agency, I did some guest blogging to help get the word out about our expertise and build links back to the site. Many of those guest posts focused on SEO and social media, and had some pretty advanced and detailed advice on how to address some very specific SEO situation.

Well, they say that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but there’s an exception to every rule, so today I’m posting links to (and synopses of) each of those article. They range in topic from SEO copywriting and web design tips, to leveraging social content to rank and how to rank in different countries.

I hope you enjoy…

SEO Copywriting

One of the reasons that they say that content is king is because content is one of the primary factors that will help you rank. Oftentimes, however, it can be tricky walking that balance between writing for search engines and writing for actual human beings.

Well, in this article called 5 Tips for SEO & User Friendly Copy, I explore 5 tips for writing content that appeals to both search engines and users. These include:

  • Length of Page Content
  • Writing Scanable Paragraphs
  • Using Header for SEO and Usability
  • Keyword Density
  • and How to Use Bullet Lists Properly

Social Content & SEO

There’s a lot of hype around how social media can help you “connect” with consumers, etc. But did you know that the right social content strategy can also help you boost your search engine rankings?

In an article titled  Leveraging Social Content for SEO, I explore how you can leverage social content to build links and gain the trust of search engines by demonstrating that your site is relevant to actual human users. Specifically, I take a look at:

  • How Social Signals Boost SEO
  • The Basics of Shareable Content (i.e. has viral potential)
  • and How to Build a Social Content Strategy that will support your SEO

SEO & Web Design

It’s hard not to judge a book by its cover, and oftentimes, packaging is what sells us on a product or service. So it’s important that your website looks good. But there’s also no reason why it can’t be SEO friendly, as well.

In this post called  5 Simple SEO Web Design Hacks, I take a look at 5 SEO elements that web designers should keep in mind when building a site. These include:

  • Page Load Times
  • Using HTML5
  • Optimizing Images
  • Using Proper Page Copy Elements
  • and some Flash Hacks for those projects that just can’d do without Flash

International SEO

Many companies sell their products in more than one country. When it comes to search engine optimization, though, it can be challenging to rank high in the search index of more than one country at a time.

Well, in International SEO: The ABCs of Ranking Abroad, we take a look at how Google gages the geographic relevant of a site, and what brands can do to help increase their search ranking profiles in multiple counties. Specifically, we explore how the following factors impact your rankings in different countries:

  • Top Level Domains (TLDs)
  • IP Address Location
  • Onsite Content
  • Contact Info
  • Backlink Profile

SEO for Content Publishers

If your business model depends on publishing, then you’ve already bought into the axiom that “content is king.” But the more content you publish, the more challenging it can be to get each piece of content to rank. Indeed, you can get so swamped in producing content, that you don’t always have enough resources to effectively market it.

This is what I set out to address in SEO for Massive Content Sites & Enterprise Level Publishers. In this post, I explore some of the most common SEO pitfalls of having a large content publishing portal. I start with basic onsite page structure, and then move onto to address some tips to avoid duplication content issues/penalties, including:

  • Using Article Excerpts on the Index and Category Pages
  • Crafting Unique Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
  • Implementing Unique Static Content on Dynamic Pages
  • Noindexing Duplicate Content
  • and Using Canonical Tags on Syndicated Content

SEO for Restricted Content

Last, but not least, there are the content sites that rely on some kind of subscription model for users to access their content. Maybe those subscriptions are paid, or maybe the content is behind a free registration wall, but either way, such sites face a challenge to making sure that Google can get in behind that registration wall, index that content, and then send the site new users.

Well, in How to Rank & Monetize Restricted Content, I address these issues specifically. I examine:

  • the business incentives to restrict content,
  • when it’s appropriate to do so,
  • and  how to get restricted content into the search index so that it has a chance of ranking.

Optimizing Your Site for Mobile Search

Last friday I delivered a presentation at MobileCamp Montreal on how to optimized your site for mobile search. In this presentation, I explored:

  • how mobile search is growing (500% in 2 years!)
  • what verticals of mobile search have seen the most growth
  • how, where, and when mobile users search
  • how smartphone searches often result in high conversion rates
  • the basics of SEO
  • how local SEO affects mobile search
  • and how to optimize your site for mobile SEO

Several folks have asked that I share the slide, so here they are. If you have a questions, please feel free to leave a comment below or contact me.

Technical SEO for Dynamic Websites – MWNW 2011

Last weekend (May 7th), I had the privilege of attending Make Web Not War (MWNW) in Vancouver. MWNW is an annual event sponsored by Microsoft that explores the power and flexibility of new web paradigms, from Microsoft web platforms and Open Source applications to cloud computing and mobile technologies. The goal of the event is basically to help developers build the ultimate web experience for their clients.

In any case, I was invited as a speaker, where I co-presented a session on “Technical SEO for Dynamic Websites.” Here’s a description of the session and the slideshow. If you have any questions regarding this topic or presentation, please feel free to leave a comment:

SEO is an essential part of making sure that your websites are found and fully indexed by Google. In this session, we will examine the technical factors that influence how search engines index a website, and audience members will learn how to optimize both websites and CMS for search engine visibility.

Specifically, this session will address issues such as:

  • Proper implementation of various HTML elements,
  • Effective use of AJAX and Flash,
  • Use of redirections (301 vs 302),
  • Proper URL structuring and rewriting,
  • Duplicate content and the canonical tag

Wordcamp Montreal

Today, I’m delivering a presentation at Wordcamp Montreal called Optimizing WordPress for Search and Social. The goal of this presentation is to explore how you can optimize WordPress blogs for both Search and Social Media.

After this session, audience members should (1) have a firm grasp on the fundamentals of onsite SEO, (2) understand the advantages of Facebook Connect, and (3) know what themes and plugins can help them implement these SEO and social features. Below is the slideshow, as well as all the link to the various WordPress themes and plugins that I will discuss.

View more presentations from CT Moore.

SEO Themes & Plugins for WordPress

Thesis Theme — I personally use this theme to power my personal blog. Although it is not free, it offers many user-friendly SEO and web design options, and might be the best $87 I’ve ever spent online.

Genesis Theme — I haven’t yet tried out this theme, but it’s used by Chris Brogan. Not only do I trust Chris, but he used to use Thesis, too, so if Genesis is good enough for Chris, it’s probably good enough for me, too. It also goes for only $60.

All in One SEO Pack — If you don’t want to spend a few bucks on a comprehensive SEO theme for WordPress, this plugin will get you 3/4 of the way there. I haven’t used it in a while, so I can’t remember everything that it does and doesn’t do, but it will help you craft optimized page title and meta descriptions.

MembersWing Plugin — This plugin will help you implement First-Click-Free so that Google can index your restricted content. I haven’t tested it, but there’s a free and a paid version, so you should be able to test it out before forking over any dough.

Facebook Connect Plugins for WordPress

And here are some plugins that you might want to try to integrate Facebook Connect with WordPress.

  • Simple Facebook Connect — I’ve actually tested this one. It offers pretty much everything you could want out of Facebook Connect, but doesn’t always play well with every theme.
  • Faux Facebook Connect — allows Facebook users to comment on a WordPress blog.
  • Gigya Socializer — helps increase your site registration and engagement by using a number of social ID APIs, including Facebook Connect, MySpaceID, Twitter and OpenID.

There are a bunch more, but they haven’t been tested with WordPress above 2.9. However, you might also want to check out this list of 12 Facebook Plugins for Bloggers.

Update

I also “live blogged” two of the other great sessions from Wordcamp Montreal. Of course, I couldn’t type quite fast enough to catch everything that was said, but you can still get a pretty good sense of the main take-aways.