The Unfair Advantage of Inbound MarketingHow marketers can use sweat equity instead of $$ to earn outsized returns on their online traffic efforts. Download at http://bit.ly/mozinbound Rand Fishkin, CEO & Co-founder, SEOmoz| June 2011
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Mentioned in news publications Forum discussions link to its pages People email links to each other Links are Tweeted Liked/Shared on Facebook Cited at conferences + events Sometimes, a single piece of content or just a few, can yield these results but, more often, it takes dozens to hundreds of attempts to become a resource hub. http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html
# of Searches/Day in Google Currently, there are more than 3 billion searches/day on Google Data via Google’s occasional public statements and some inference (for 2006 + 2009)
Robust, Accessible, HTML Text is Key Users see a wealth of potential content Google sees a small number of words that don’t tell much of a content story. You can see what Google sees by using the “cached snapshot” functionality from their search results, or by using the Mozbar (http://www.seomoz.org/seo-toolbar) and browsing as Googlebot.
“Good” Content vs. “GREAT” Content Satisfies the searcher’s basic information requirements Surprises and delights the searcher by being remarkable Written by a human and not duplicated elsewhere Produced by extraordinary writers/designers/producers Long enough to fulfill basic needs of engines for depth/uniqueness May leverage video, audio, graphics & photos to convey a unique, shareable experience Grammatically correct; free of spelling/punctuation errors Produced by extraordinary writers/designers/producers
Keyword Research Make sure to use “exact” match! Visit https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal and start experimenting. You’ll learn amazing things. http://www.seomoz.org/article/keyword-research-guide is a good guide.
How to Know What People Want: This post - http://www.seomoz.org/blog/great-content-for-seo-simpler-than-you-ever-imagined goes into detail about how to leverage this tactic to build great resources people will love.
Pages/Sites Need Links to Rank, But Not All Links Are Created Equal Post is here – http://www.seomoz.org/blog/10-illustrations-on-search-engines-valuation-of-linksand check out http://www.seomoz.org/blog/category/4 - for tons of ways to earn awesome links.
Social Signals Influence Rankings Bing + Google have said publicly they use Twitter + Facebook for rankings: http://searchengineland.com/what-social-signals-do-google-bing-really-count-55389 and Moz’s correlation data suggests they’re telling the truth: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/facebook-twitters-influence-google-search-rankings
Social Data’s Directly in the SERPs, Too! Geraldine’s blog is awesome, but it would never rank on page #1 for this query without the power of the social connection. Check out http://www.slideshare.net/randfish/merging-of-search-social-wappow for more on how search engines and social media are mixing together.
Facebook More fans = more people potentially exposed to your content. But… You also need to create posts that will show up in “top news” on your fans’ walls. That’s more challenging. For some great Facebook-focused marketing tactics, check out http://www.seomoz.org/blog/4-facebook-marketing-tactics-you-might-not-know-about
Twitter It’s not just about the follower count. Your tweets have to count for something and drive actions/awareness. I highly recommend http://www.slideshare.net/danzarrella/the-science-of-re-tweets which helps show the correlation between activities on Twitter and your ability to have the message spread.
LinkedIn LinkedIn’s “Groups” are a powerful way to grow your network and spread a message. Like Facebook, LinkedIn now has a wall that drives “likes” and comments (as well as traffic). Good advice on LinkedIn profiles here - http://www.seomoz.org/ugc/optimize-your-linkedin-profile-for-best-results-howto (also, don’t miss the comments which discuss how the links work).
Reddit Reddit’s grown to be in the top 100 most visited sites on the web, and even smaller subreddits can send remarkable traffic (and result in tweets/FB shares/etc.) The travel subreddit has nearly 19K registered subscribers - http://www.reddit.com/r/travel - and thousands more browsing. Full list of subreddits, sorted by # of subs here: http://metareddit.com/
StumbleUpon StumbleUpon reaches more than 15 million active monthly users, and drives massive amounts of outbound traffic. Two great activities on http://www.stumbleupon.com for beginners: #1) Discover content that people share in your niche. #2) Find great stuff to share/tweet that will earn you more followers.
Participating in the Blogosphere Using http://www.google.com/reader, you can see how many GG Reader users subscribe + average # of posts/week. Those with fewer than 50 subscribers and 1 post/week often are too tiny to be worthwhile.
The “Long Tail” of Social http://tumblr.com + http://hunch.com + http://del.icio.us + http://etsy.com + http://wikipedia.org + http://www.newsvine.com + http://care2.com and 100s of other social sites can potentially provide value for sites/marketers who participate; there’s no shortage of opportunities to explore.
Blog Readership is Up, But to Fewer Blogs Data via http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Social-Media-and-Young-Adults.aspx and http://www.slideshare.net/DianeRayfield/social-medias-shocking-statistics. See also Hubspot’s awesome slide deck: http://www.slideshare.net/HubSpot/how-to-be-the-awesomest-marketer-ever
Great Blogs Rock. Mediocre Blogs are Useless. Research for this statement via PEW Internet & Captain Obvious
Evergreen Content Every two years, we put out http://www.seomoz.org/article/search-ranking-factors but leave the URL the same, so it continues to accrue great link/social/sharing signals.
Research + White Papers Stats for launch day of Startup Genome project’s research Research like http://startupgenome.cc/ gets tweeted, shared and cited, meaning you earn links, traffic + all sorts of good inbound marketing metrics.
Infographics After producing what is, admittedly, an awesome graphic - http://www.paralegal.net/judge-judy/ - Paralegal.net rose to page one in Google (and got bjillions of drive-by visits, too).
Multimedia + Interactive The Nissan Leaf http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car/index site uses HTML5 to its full capability, and it’s pretty as heck, too.
User Profiles Progress Bar Highly customizable profile details Custom Photo Links to other web profiles These (http://www.seomoz.org/users/profile/) emulate the success of places like LinkedIn, Quora, Stackoverflow and others. They’ve increased participation and traffic to the profiles dramatically.
User-Generated Content When users contribute content (as with http://artistmarketplace.moleskine.com/en) they’re invested in the promotion and success of their work, and thus, your site!
An Incentive to Share These “spoonback” were key to Urbanspoon’s growth (now ahead of Citysearch in traffic!) Because Yelp + Citysearch had taken the “badges” angle for local businesses, http://urbanspoon.com incented foodie bloggers to link to the site by featuring those bloggers’ posts + content on the site.
Gamification The genius game-like badges, points and progress at http://stackoverflow.com has helped make it one of the most successful sites in the Q+A world.
Content Subscriptions I use email to subscribe to http://www.avc.com/ and am 1 of 100K+ who read Fred’s posts on a daily basis. That’s a powerful inbound channel!
Newsletters The Moz Top 10 http://www.seomoz.org/moztop10 attracts lots of readers, who then consume and share content. One big key to success – don’t just promote your own material.
Promotions BTW: Write down that email address; it’s a good one to have. Deal sites like http://groupon.com have had huge success. Private models like http://gilt.com and http://appsumo.com run interesting variants that also work well.
Blog Content Feeds On average, this many people actually read a post via feed Feeds aren’t just useful for subscribers. They “ping” search engines, enable easy syndication and can be used by lots of content aggregators that send traffic, too.
Anything with Regular Updates Etsy makes it possible to subscribe to a feed of anyone’s shop on the site! I was actually tempted to subscribe. http://www.etsy.com/shop/ThisYearsGirl has some awesome stuff!
Live Events I did a brief, 4-minute presentation at the Seattle 2.0 Awards - http://www.geekwire.com/2011/seomoz-ceo-rand-fishkin-googles-panda-update that promoted our hiring + growth (focused on that audience’s values rather than trying to sell to them)
Webinars Our webinars http://www.seomoz.org/webinars attract 500-1,000 attendees and earn lots of tweets, blog posts and links. Hubspot’s get 10K+ attendees http://www.hubspot.com/marketing-webinars/
Online Presentations I put many of my presentation on http://slideshare.net where they earn thousands of additional views.
YouTube Don’t be a honey badger. Care about YouTube’s potential! YouTube actually ranks as the second largest “search property” in the US, behind only Google: http://thenextweb.com/google/2011/05/25/youtube-hits-3-billion-views-per-day-2-days-worth-of-video-uploaded-every-minute/
The “Long Tail” of Video Sites Long tail of video sites get 50% of all online video traffic/views! http://techcrunch.com/2010/02/08/long-tail-video-half-viewing-minutes/
Self-Hosted Video Content At SEOmoz, we use http://www.wistia.com who submits our video XML sitemaps to Google for us - http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=80472
Google Local / Maps / Places Fox Sports Grill? I’m sorry Google, but that is not barbecue. To register, go to http://www.google.com/placesforbusiness. Also check out http://www.davidmihm.com/local-search-ranking-factors.shtml for great local ranking tips.
Yelp Yelp’s results quality is much higher than Google’s and their interface is better, too. Impressive stats as well -http://officialblog.yelp.com/2011/02/via-yelp-mobile-yelpers-call-a-local-business-every-other-second.html
FourSquare http://foursquare.com has pretty awesome stats for local businesses participating with them.
Mobile Subscriptions + Tatango http://www.tatango.com/ makes it possible for locally-focused sites to have cellphone “text lists” the same way web companies have email lists. It’s powerful stuff for local businesses.
Yahoo! Answers Granted, not all the questions (or answers) on http://answers.yahoo.com are of exceptional quality, but due to very high traffic, participation can yield solid results.
StackExchange The StackOverflow Q+A platform is one of the most engaging, attracts high quality folks and offers lots of connection/marketin opportunity. See list of sites here - http://stackexchange.com/sites
Quora Quora’s audience tends to be startup-y, techy and very well-connected. If you haven’t yet started contributing on http://www.quora.com, the Google social integration is a great excuse
NameSake Truer works were never typed. The platform at http://namesake.com is quite impressive and some of the contributors equally so. Whether it achieves critical mass remains to be seen.
The “Long Tail” of Discussion Sites Whoa! Cool.
Public Relations, Guest Authoring and Comment Marketing
Guest Blogging + Writing Guest blogging (or contributing content to any type of publisher) is a great way to build your brand and earn links. Tools like http://myblogguest.com/ can help make the process easier.
Direct Connections to Journalists HARO (http://www.helpareporter.com/) is a popular service that lets you get contacted when relevant reporters/journalists need sources.
Classic Public Relations If you’re seeking a PR firm, http://prfirms.org/ can help, but it pays to get references. PR is a field where a few firms have the right connections and the rest can’t help nearly as much.
Comment Marketing This post has a list of recommendations for blog commenting as a marketing tactic: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/recommendations-blog-commenting-marketing-strategy
Google Analytics Check out some interesting and useful ways to customize Google Analytics via http://www.seomoz.org/blog/seomoz-google-analytics-setup-whiteboard-friday
PostRank Via https://analytics.postrank.com/ - PostRank will measure the social sharing activity on any URL in a feed, so you can see what content works (and doesn’t) on the social web
Survey Monkey Survey Monkey is inexpensive, scalable and accurate. It’s less beautiful than other platforms, but far more flexible – http://www.surveymonkey.com
SEOmoz PRO I know I’m biased, but it’s really useful for tracking and improving SEO stuff http://pro.seomoz.org
MailChimp http://www.mailchimp.com is perfect for most small-medium businesses, but once you get over 100K susbcribers, it doesn’t work quite as well. Great analytics, deliverability + reporting, though!
Trunk.ly http://trunk.ly keeps track of all the links I share on Facebook/Twitter/my Blog/etc. without any effort on my part. It then builds a searchable index so I never forget/lose a link.
FacebookInsights Place Facebook’s Insights widget on your website + see demographic data about your site’s visitors, just like you can w/ your Facebook fans. http://www.facebook.com/insights. Learn more about Insights here - http://www.seomoz.org/blog/4-facebook-marketing-tactics-you-might-not-know-about
Facebook Comments Comments left here appear on Facebook + replies to those are posted here! You can find developer info for how to add FB comments here: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/comments/
WistiaVideo Analytics Problem w/ video is it’s hard to measure engagement w/ traditional analytics that show only pageviews. http://www.wistia.com fixes that in an elegant way.
Bit.ly PRO for Short URL Tracking If you use shortened URLs on Facebook + Twitter, http://bit.ly can help track and segment out the portion of the traffic that’s direct vs. referral (but hidden due to desktop/mobile apps)
FollowerWonk These folks have tons of followers; we should connect with them! A terrific tool to research high-value targets on Twitter: http://followerwonk.com/
Open Site Explorer See who links to who on the web, and how important those links are via http://www.opensiteexplorer.org
GetListed Using http://getlisted.org, I can see which local data sources may not have my business included (or may have inaccurate information). Fixing/including can help w/ local rankings + traffic.
Feedburner Via http://feedburner.com – though it hasn’t been updated in a long time, it’s still the best free software for monitoring feed activity and growth.
Google Alerts / Blogscape Using http://www.google.com/alerts, I can set up daily email notifications of word mentions. http://www.seomoz.org/labs offers several options to track fresh web notifications as well.
Summify http://www.summify.com sends me a daily digest of the most tweeted/shared things from the people I follow. Oftentimes, it’s really useful stuff that I’m glad not to miss.
MozBar for Firefox Firefox 4 compatible, the Mozbar - http://www.seomoz.org/seo-toolbar - combines nearly every feature I’ve ever wanted in a toolbar into one (and it has a pretty aesthetic, which I appreciate)
Wistia http://www.wistia.com not only has great analytics on videos, but also automatically creates video XML sitemaps so Google can show our rich snippets for video directly in the SERPs.
KnowEm http://knowem.com checks the availability of a username across dozens of social sites automatically and provides direct links to register them.
Unbounce’sLanding Page Platform Using http://unbounce.com/ allows us to create hosted versions of landing pages to test without needing to bug our dev/engineering team.
Step #1: Discover Find inbound marketing paths that look promising and make a list. Step #2:Test Invest a few days/hours building authentic value in that niche/sector. Step #3: Measure Use your web analytics to track primary + second-order impact Step #4: Repeat Throw out low ROI projects; repeat high ROI ones.
Q+A Download at http://bit.ly/mozinbound You can now try SEOmoz PRO Free! http://www.seomoz.org/freetrial Rand on the Web