Gnome Likes: Audience Targeting, SearchLove Tips & Social Media Heroes

It was another relatively quiet week for Google (it’s been three weeks since their last big announcement), but Matt Cutts did participate in an interesting interview with Danny Sullivan:

You can read the interview for all the details, but the biggest revelation is that the Disavow Links tool is not necessarily a Get Out of Jail Free card. If you don’t make an effort to remove your bad backlinks, Matt says you shouldn’t “count on” disavowals to save you.

In other news, SearchLove London 2012 was held last week, and as a result, it makes a few cameos in this recap. In fact, let’s kick things off with a little SearchLove…

How SEOgadget Builds Links – Searchlove London 2012

This week, Richard Baxter posted the slides for his SearchLove talk:

Richard’s presentation begins with a few embarrassing examples of link building gone wrong (e.g., guest posting abuse, terrible infographics, spammy outreach, etc.). Then, he dives into effective link earning methods (e.g., establishing your brand, building relationships, leveraging your technology, etc.).

Next, a large chunk of Richard’s presentation focuses on “audience targeting” with Twitter. The basic methodology involves identifying influencers on Twitter, analyzing the sites that influence those influencers (i.e., what sites are they consistently viewing and sharing), and then, publishing content on those sites. Richard describes more details in this post: Turning SEO Link Building into SEO Audience Targeting with Twitter Profiling.

Finally, Richard concludes with a few more link earning methods (e.g., geo-targeted mentions, link reclamation, creating remarkable content, etc.).

220 SEO tips and tactics from SearchLove 2012

In this post, Julie McNamee shares 220 SEO tips and tactics from SearchLove, which are conveniently categorized into popular topics (e.g., SEO, local search, link building, PPC, etc.).

I encourage you to scan through all 220 tips, but if you’re short on time, here are a few of the best tips from each category:

  • SEO – Rand Fishkin and Wil Reynolds both preach the virtues of patience, and they make it clear that an effective long-term SEO strategy won’t be easy because easy wins in SEO are typically short-lived.
  • Keyword research – Research new keywords on a regular basis, and search popular niche forums for topics that your audience cares about.
  • Local search – Google+ will become more and more important for local search, and if you want Google to know about your location, you need a rich snippet address. Reviews are also critical for your ranking.
  • Link building – Identify what influencers in your niche like to share, and give them what they want (create something better than what they’ve already shared).
  • PPC – PPC is the ultimate viability test for longer term SEO plans.
  • Content – A good idea is simple and easily shareable.
  • Online PR – Use HARO, #journorequest, and #prrequest to monitor PR opportunities.
  • Social media – Followerwonk and Tweet Archivist are your friends!
  • Finding fame on a bootstrap – Earn your customers; don’t buy them.
  • International SEO – You really want links from sites in the language of the country you’d like to be indexed in.
  • CRO – Always have a clear call to action, and make it very obvious what you want people to do.
  • Video – Include a Closed Caption transcript; optimize your title, description, and tags; include a naked URL in your meta description for the video; get links and views.

11 social media tips to go from zero to hero

If you haven’t already embraced the social Web, now is definitely the time to start. In this post, Monique Pouget helps you kick start your journey to becoming a social media hero with these 11 tips:

  1. Have a game plan – You need to set clear goals and objectives to measure how well you’re executing (and to help you make adjustments to stay on track).
  2. Pick the right people to manage your social presence – An effective social presence requires a lot of hard work and creativity. You need the right people in place to keep the ball rolling.
  3. Create and use personas – Knowledge is power. If you know what your audience wants (and responds to), you’ll be able to cater your message to them.
  4. Write content with your audience in mind – Always give your audience what they want.
  5. Make it easy to share, but don’t overwhelm users with choices – Don’t give your audience options that they’ll never choose. Keep it simple and easy to use.
  6. Find the best profiles and pages to follow and engage – Find influencers, and get your content in front of those influencers (see Richard’s presentation above for more details on this topic).
  7. Participate on the appropriate social networks for your industry and audience – Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Focus on the networks where your audience participates, and start engaging with them.
  8. The Golden Rule – If you add value to the social efforts of others, they will return the favor.
  9. Monitoring and management tools – You can’t effectively improve your social efforts without monitoring them, and you can’t monitor your efforts (efficiently) without tools!
  10. Outline the KPIs that are important for your business or client, and report on them – As mentioned in previous tips, monitoring your efforts is critical for success. And your KPIs are what you use to evaluate your performance as you monitor those efforts.
  11. Have fun, and show off your personality – Have fun out there, and make sure you’re being genuine. People like to interact with other people that have real personalities… not lifeless bots!

These tips are all valuable, but #6 is particularly important. To be successful on the social Web, you need to identify influencers in your niche as well as like-minded individuals with whom you can form relationships. How do you accomplish this task? Let’s find out…

Using Twitter for Link Relationships – Whiteboard Friday

In this week’s Whiteboard Friday, Ruth Burr gives a lot of helpful tips for building relationships on Twitter to ultimately generate social shares and links. Take it away Ruth:

Now, It’s Your Turn…

I hope you enjoyed this week’s SEO recap, and I want to hear from you in the comments. What were some of your favorite posts this week? What did you learn from SearchLove? What’s your favorite social network?


steve
About The Author:  is an SEO audit specialist at Web Gnomes. He received his Ph.D. from Georgia Tech, where he published dozens of articles on Internet-related topics. Professionally, Steve has worked for Google and various other Internet startups, and he's passionate about sharing his knowledge and experiences with others. You can find him on Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.


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4 Responses to “Gnome Likes: Audience Targeting, SearchLove Tips & Social Media Heroes”

  1. Oleg November 5, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    I’m liking this trend of using social media to build brands – the posts you mentioned really hit the nail on the head. Great picks Steve.

    The slideshare portion that covers identifying where your target audience influencers are likely to able to see your content is a brilliant way of discovering opportunities. However, do you think that SEOGadget was able to acquire guest post opportunities on those authority sites because they already have an established brand? If a new startup was looking to post on a major industry blog, do you think they would be given that option?

    The latest interview with MC put a lot of the problems with the disavow tool to rest. It effectively solves the blackhat “build 2mil links, rank high, get penalized, disavow, repeat” loop hole. Anyone start seeing results from the disavow tool yet?

    Cheers,
    Oleg

    • steve November 5, 2012 at 10:05 am #

      Thanks Oleg!

      I definitely think SEOGadget was able to leverage the strength of their brand to get placement. But at the end of the day, the quality of your content will trump your brand’s authority. If you pitch a post with a buzzworthy title and a genuinely compelling summary that is relevant to your target’s audience, you’ll be successful… even if you’re a new startup.

      As for success stories with the Disavow Links tool, the best examples I’ve seen are in Tim Grice’s case study (it’s in last week’s Gnome Likes). Most of our client engagements are SEO audits so we don’t handle disavowals directly (we have strategic partners that have done some, but I haven’t heard about their results yet).

      -Steve

  2. Sean Vandenberg November 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    Steve,

    Great article here. I’m pretty new to the SEO scene and am just getting into social media. But now I’m thinking about backing up for a second and doing some more planning— figure out that brand of mine :).

    Very nice post.

    Sean

    • steve November 20, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

      Thanks for the comment Sean, and welcome to the exciting worlds of SEO and social media!

      Planning is definitely a good thing, but there’s also a lot to be said for trial by fire ;-)

      If you ever want to bounce ideas off someone, hit me up on Twitter (@webbstuff).

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