An        APPSUMO + MIXERGY             ProductionSEO forStartups*Building A Brand and GettingFound by Customers with Rand...
Startup SEO TranscriptSTARTUP SEO                                         I should go after. How do I decide?Andrew:     S...
Startup SEO Transcripthow many searches there are per month, the         Google AdWords. Monthly global search-competition...
Startup SEO Transcript                                                      low	difficulty.So the volume is one thing. The...
Startup SEO Transcriptdeep, accurate content, oftentimes have                 use good alt attributes and good text in the...
Startup SEO Transcriptsaying it works even more because the com-            image. Let’s go throw an image in here. Ipetit...
Startup SEO Transcriptthis? Absolutely. Can I do this tomorrow? Can        Oh, look at that. That’s no good. I have usedI ...
Startup SEO Transcript                                                    version, I get a different URL but with theRand:...
Startup SEO Transcriptbarrassing.	I	can	see	here	that	the	first	two	re-       nels, many of which will lead back with a li...
Startup SEO Transcriptand manipulate it and that causes lots of           name. So using those in the bio
Startup SEO Transcripting out the keywords that we want so that          to that SEO Chat page. Why don’t we takepeople st...
Startup SEO Transcriptof anchor text.”                                    Rand: The best luck that I’ve actually had is   ...
Startup SEO Transcriptwords	are	sending	me	traffic.	Which	engines?	      of the search engines are missing out some-How mu...
Startup SEO Transcriptthat it comes through that all of these are re-     getting 50 to 100 search visits a day and 50ally...
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Seo For Startups Transcript

  1. 1. An APPSUMO + MIXERGY ProductionSEO forStartups*Building A Brand and GettingFound by Customers with Rand Fishkin Co-Founder & CEO, SEOmoz * Transcript
  2. 2. Startup SEO TranscriptSTARTUP SEO I should go after. How do I decide?Andrew: So, Rand, do you have an ex-ample of what our listener will be able to do Rand: Yeah. This is a tough call, right? I’mat the end of this program? going to look at my traffic sources over the last few months, and if I go in and look atRand: Yeah, I think I can definitely do that, the keywords that sent me traffic, this is in my Andrew. So why don’t we talk real quick Google Analytics account for the SEOmozabout a promotion that we did. We’re try- website. I can see that there are a lot of dif-ing to hire some engineers and, specifically, ferent keywords sending me traffic, but not get people to refer software engineers to all of them are sending great quality traffic. SEOmoz. I’ll show you something cool that Some of those send conversions, people whowe’ve done recently. Let’s see if you search end up buying a membership or taking afor “refer an engineer,” oh, look at that, what free trial or signing up to get e-mail from us,a convenient coincidence. “Refer an engi- and some of them send traffic that’s of low neer” surprisingly comes up number one and to middling quality at best.there you go; “Refer a software engineer toSEOmoz, make $12,000.” So here we go. We can look down the list, and you can see some branded terms. SEO,This is a promotion that we did and then that’s a pretty good keyword, get a lot ofwe did some SEO around it. We figured it traffic for that. SEO tools, our toolbar, SEO would be very convenient if we could just tell blog, that’s a good one to rank for. But youpeople, we’re out at a conference, we’re get this idea of like, huh, if I just looked atmeeting people at a hack-a-thon, “Google the things that are already sending me traf-‘refer an engineer’ and you’ll not only see fic, I wouldn’t have that idea of opportunity. that we’re good at SEO, which is something Where could I go and find the keywords that we should be good at, but also exactly the might send me great traffic? And to do that, promotion that you need.” You don’t have Google’s actually got some really good toolsto hand them a business card and you don’t for this. So let’s go in here and search forhave to give them the URL. You can tell them “SEO tools,” and I can say I only want ideasto just Google “refer an engineer.” So it’s a close to my website, but I’m going to becool thing. pretty international.Andrew: That’s incredibly powerful. By the Andrew: How do we get to that? We goway, I can’t believe you’re offering $12,000 to, and we look forto anyone who refers an engineer to SEO- keyword tools?moz. That gets my attention on its own. Rand: That’s right, or you can just search forRand: I was going to say and the engineer AdWords tool or keyword tool in Google. Igets $12,000 for signing up. Yeah, so we went believe keyword tool, the first result will come all out with this. up as that AdWords tool. There you go, the first one. Google is also reasonably good at Andrew: Wow. All right. Well, I’d like to their own SEO, which is nice. When I do alearn how to do that. Here’s one of the first is- search in here, it will show me a few thingssues that I have. I don’t know what keywords that are kind of interesting. I get this idea 2
  3. 3. Startup SEO Transcripthow many searches there are per month, the Google AdWords. Monthly global search-competition. Now remember, that’s AdWords es gives you an indication of how manycompetition, not SEO competition. searches are being done, and local monthly searches, I guess, means in your neighbor-I get this list and then I can say, “Well, why hood, in your part of the country. Is thatdon’t we sort by the global monthly search- right?es, free SEO tools, SEO tools for keywords,Google SEO tools, best SEO tools.” These all Rand: Right. So in the advanced optionsmight be kinds of things that I would consider. up here at the top, if I had selected just theAnd if I want to, the next step that I might United States, for example, I can redo thattake is actually buying some of these in paid search, and then the local monthly searchessearch. So if I do a quick search here. should show me just the queries that are tak- ing place in the U.S.Andrew: I just wanted to make sure thatI understood what was on that page be- Andrew: I see.fore we move on past it. Is it still up on yourscreen? Rand: And that’s what I’m seeing now. So 6,600 in the U.S., 33,000 worldwide.Rand: Sure. It’s right here. Andrew: What’s our goal here, Rand? AreAndrew: There it is. we looking for a phrase that has not much competition but a lot of global searches?Rand: Essentially, we’ve got these keywordcolumns, and then we’re showing global Rand: It depends on what you’re trying toand local searches. The biggest thing to be do. The three things that I really look for in aaware of over here on the left-hand side is keyword – and only a few of these can bethis match type. See that broad, exact, and gotten from this tool – you want as high aphrase? volume as possible while being relevant to the things that you’re trying to achieve. SoAndrew: Right. SEO tools might be very relevant for us. It’s probably not super relevant for lots of otherRand: If I show only exact, it’ll make sure that only shows phrases that contain that exactword, and that can actually be a much bet- Andrew: Right.ter idea. So let’s do that. Rand: If you have specific e-commerce prod-Andrew: And at the top, you typed in a ucts, the more specific those products, those key phrase that was already sending you queries tend to be, the more products you’retraffic and you’re looking for phrases around likely to sell versus the broad searches. Let’sit that might send you even more traffic. say I’m selling Batman comic books. Some-What you’re seeing is keywords on the left. one who searches for Batman is probably go-The competition, I guess the bigger the bar, ing to be a terrible customer. Someone whothe more competition there is for people searches for Batman the Dark Knight graphicwho are trying to buy those keywords from novels is probably an excellent 3
  4. 4. Startup SEO Transcript low difficulty.So the volume is one thing. The value orpotential value of the conversions is another. Rand: Yeah. One of the things that we likeAnd then the third one is difficulty. Unfortu- to do is kind of store this data just in a keynately, competition only shows you the dif- table here. So you can see, I guess I recentlyficulty or the price of ranking in the AdWords searched for “what is the best chat tool forresults. So let’s take a quick look at a Google customer support,” which is actually kindsearch result over here. Here’s SEO tools, of surprisingly hard. But here are some easyand you can see SEOmoz up there at the ones: “Dreams La Romana,” not too hard;top being a high amount. So right there’s an “Maritime Hotel New York,” less challeng-ad, and then here are the normal results. So ing; and then tougher things like “pony andwe’re ranking fourth for that, below the new peanut butter,” which are harder to searchsearch, unfortunately. This is called the or- for. And there’s the volume, so I can get kindganic results, and Google doesn’t really give of a sense and then maybe build out a da-you a great idea of what it takes to rank in tabase or build out an Excel spreadsheet,those results, but luckily, there are some tools rather, that can help me identify which termsto help with this. and phrases I should be targeting.I’m going to show off a tool that SEOmoz Andrew: So we come up with a fewmakes that does this. But there are several hunches and we test those hunches by buy-other ones, too. If I search for a keyword dif- ing keywords that match those phrases. Andficulty tool and I type in “SEO tools,” it’ll give if those phrases covert for us, then we knowme a sense of how powerful and important we’re on to something, we’ve got keywordsthose sites are that are ranking. Wow, that that we need to try to rank for in the organicis extremely [inaudible 07:42] results. That’s search results. What do we do next?going to be very hard to try and rank for orto try and move up in. And there I’ve got the Rand: This process is not entirely unchalleng-Google AdWords volume number that I saw ing, but the biggest thing that we need to[inaudible 07:51] from the tool, as well, sort of do next is what I call keyword targeting. Soshowing that. why don’t we just do a quick on-page opti- mization. It’s kind of nice that we rank for allSo I can see, based on the importance, this this stuff because it makes it easy to find. This is from SEOmoz data, but page authority, process of on-page optimization is essentiallydomain authority, how tough is it going to be we want to do some things on the page toto outrank the pages that are in there. And indicate, not just to search engines, but alsoyou can see those top four results. Oh, man, to visitors that this page is about the topicthose are beasts, those are monsters. That’s that they are searching for and it containsgoing to be hard. So what you want to find great information on that topic, maybe aare words that have high volume, high value, great tool, a great resource, something theylow difficulty. can download.Andrew: I guess using both these tools, we The search results, particularly in the organiccan figure out which are the right keywords, side, bias towards things that people want towhich are the ones that have high volume, link to, want to share, have good, relevant, 4
  5. 5. Startup SEO Transcriptdeep, accurate content, oftentimes have use good alt attributes and good text in theirgood visuals or video or images. Those are all alt attributes, but we also see that people linkthe kinds of things that we need to be think- more to those pages and they share thoseing about when we’re building these per- pages more on Twitter and Facebook and allfectly optimized pages for Google. these kinds of things.It’s much less about things like, “Oh, I need to I’m just going to quickly show you insideworry about putting my keyword seven times WordPress. This is my personal blog, and I’llon the page or using the meta keywords show you in here it couldn’t be easier totag,” which isn’t even used anymore by the target a keyword inside WordPress. It’s really,search engines, and much more about say- really quite simple. You can see at the top,ing, “Hey, here’s the keyword. Let’s make “enter title here”, and then there’s the post.sure that the first word is in the title and it’s in Let’s say I wanted to target something likethe first few paragraphs and that the subject “Andrew Warner rocks the house,” which isof the page is actually about that, because probably a highly competitive search result,search engines do pretty sophisticated text lots of people are trying to rank for that. Itanalyses to try to figure these things out. And gets so many searches every day, it’s justthen let’s make sure that it’s super relevant unbelievable.and valuable for visitors so that they’re veryhappy when they see that result.” And then I might want to say, “Why does An- drew Warner rock so hard?” It’s easy, right?Andrew: Okay. So if I were to use Word- I’ve got these things in here. Maybe I wantPress, Drupal, Joomla – I’m looking here to make a graphic showing the amount ofat a list of all the publishing platforms that rocking that you’ve done over the years, thatare out there – they all make it easy for me graphic showing a nice chart going up, may-to put in my keywords in the sections that be a picture of your face, the kinds of thingsyou’ve got up on your screen right now, on where people would think, “It’s relevant, it’syour blog post. And what you’re saying is if sharing worthy, it’s got good content, it an-you’re targeting a phrase like “SEO tools,” swers the question. I’m very satisfied by this.” in that header, use the word SEO tools. If You can see Google doing so many thingsyou’re using SEO tools as one of the phrases over the last few years to make sure that thethat you’re targeting, make sure to include relevancy and the quality of the results thatit in the blog post itself. Even in the picture, it they have is going up dramatically, especial-looks like we should include it? ly the last few months.Rand: Yeah. Well, what I would say is in the I don’t know if you’ve heard about thingspicture, what I really like having is, for exam- like the Google Farmer update or the stackple, a relevant image that someone might overflow update that they made, but both of say, “Wow, that’s a great image. If I was go- those had a big impact on a lot of, let’s say,ing to make a presentation and I was going low quality sites going talk about this topic, that’s the image Iwould want to use.” That means lots of good Andrew: And with all those changes,things for your page. Not only have we seen what we’re talking about here today stillbetter ranking correlations with pages that works, still applies, and it sounds like you’ 5
  6. 6. Startup SEO Transcriptsaying it works even more because the com- image. Let’s go throw an image in here. Ipetition that was creating shoddy text and can select a file. I’m going to pretend that I shoddy content before is getting downgrad- don’t have ten pictures of you on my harded. drive already. It’s being a little slow here. There we go. Let’s take this back link screenRand: Yeah, that’s exactly right. It’s kind of shot and we’ll put that in there.a beautiful symbiotic relationship. If you’redoing great inbound marketing, great con- So when I upload this file, I might want to do tent creation, and doing these things with a things like call the file “Andrew Warner rocks sharing-likely audience in mind, you just have the house” and I might want to make theso much more opportunity to rank because alternate text, which is the text not just thatGoogle is doing such a good job. search engines see, but remember, anyone using a screen reader, anyone who’s on aAndrew: Now that I understand the ba- mobile device that’s not rendering images,sics, I understand that I’d want to have a that’s the text that they’re going to see togood picture, I’d want to have a good describe the image. So you really want toheadline, I’d want to have content that re- make sure that you’re not spamming orlated to my keywords, what about the other misleading with that because you’re not justelements of the page here, like categories, fooling the engines, you’re essentially screw-the tags are somewhere on there, maybe ing over blind or disabled users and mobileeven the excerpt? What else should I be device users. So that’s a really bad thing topaying attention to, to help me with the . . . do.Rand: There are a few things that can make But we can go in here and say, “Andrewsome sense. For example, I might want to Warner rocks” into my alt text there, and Ihave something like, let’s take this up here can save my changes and have that niceand we’ll make it the headline, heading one. relevant image. Well, we’ll assume this is aThat might actually be a good idea because relevant image. It’s not in this case, but youit will make it stand out for users, and the H1 get the idea. We can put that into the bloghas some SEO value, as well. I might want to post. So these are quite good things to beadd a new category. So not necessarily, but doing for SEO.if I decide that Andrew Warner is a topic thatI’m going to be writing about a lot or maybe But this on-page optimization is really kind ofI’m going to be writing about people who the tip of the iceberg. It’s the things that yourock the house quite a bit, I can create that don’t see, the things behind the scenes thatcategory, and now it lives inside that catego- really matter.ry. It helps tell the search engines, “Hey, this isrelevant,” and it helps tell visitors when they Andrew: First of all, I’ve got to tell you,get to my site, “I want to know more people I’ve read some of this stuff before and it justwho rock the house,” and they can click that didn’t click with me until I saw here up on thelink and see those types of things. screen. The other thing that I like about what you’re doing is I don’t feel overwhelmed. IWe also talked about the images, so I might feel like I could do all this stuff. Can I set upwant to do something like put in an actual WordPress? Absolutely. Is Joomla similar 6
  7. 7. Startup SEO Transcriptthis? Absolutely. Can I do this tomorrow? Can Oh, look at that. That’s no good. I have usedI do this as soon as you and I are done? A the words “title tag” 21 times on this page.hundred percent. It’s possible I’ve gone a little bit overboard. I might want to look into that. Maybe I’veRand: Yeah. gone too far. But I’ve done a lot of other things right. I can see this is pretty good.Andrew: I don’t feel overwhelmed and Here’s a nice little explanation.that feels good, because a lot of times SEO,it feels like there are all these experts that are So this type of stuff, it tends to be pretty sim-really good at it and I’m never going to learn ple. If you want to go deep down the rabbitany of it and I’d better just stay away and hole, there are always options. That’s whyleave it to the experts and just mind my own there are experts in this field and consultants business. who charge $1,000 an hour is because there are deep ways to do it. It’s so wonderfulRand: One of the things that’s pretty nice because, like you said, you can pop openabout this is let’s say that, for example, I WordPress, do a little bit of keyword research,don’t have WordPress or Drupal or Joomla say I want to target this keyword, build aor some of these easier systems, and I’m page around it, and then start working onwondering did I do a good job, did I not do marketing that page, which will really bringa good job. There is a free tool on SEOmoz more links and references to it and help itto help do on-page analysis. There are other move up in the search engines.good ones out there. I just want to expressthat this is simple, basic stuff. You don’t need Andrew: All right. I’ve got a couple ofto know very much about SEO at all to be other questions about on-page optimization,able to do this. actually three questions. The first is: What is on-page optimization and as opposed toSo let’s take, for example, a page. Why don’t what?we take our SEO tools page on SEOmoz andplug it in there. So here’s this Rand: On-page optimization is all the stufftools, and I can plug that in and do some on- we’ve been doing. It’s essentially anythingpage optimization. Oh, look, here we go. So that I do on my actual website or web pageshere’s title tag, something that SEOmoz might to help make them rank higher. It compareswant to rank for because lots of people are itself, I guess, to off-page optimization, whichsearching for title tags. How do I optimize for is really about the links and citations andthat? And here’s a nice little report grade. references to the page; things like, “Can II’ve got a B. Maybe I want to get an A. What get the news to link to me? Can I have otherwould I have to do to get an A? Well, I can bloggers link to me? Can I have forums linkedscroll right down here and see, “Oh, I haven’t to me?” Those kinds of things.used rel=canonical. That might a good idea,because if people are producing my URL, Andrew: The other question was: We talk-linking to it with weird things like the Feed- ed about categories and how we can cat-Burner or Twitter parameters at the end, it egorize our posts to make them more usefulmight not be getting all the credit it could.” for users and for search engines. What about tags? I know that that’s another 7
  8. 8. Startup SEO Transcript version, I get a different URL but with theRand: Yeah. Actually, there’s a great blog same content. So the engines have this reallypost about this if you ever want to learn a tough time saying, “Wait a minute. Whichton about the history of meta tags. Danny one is the original? Which is the one that ISullivan from Search Engine Land did a great should rank, because there are these fourarticle called “The Meta Keywords Tag 101: different versions? They all look really similar.How to Legally Hide Words on your Page.” Some of them earn links. Should we be as-He talks about how, back in the old days of signing that link juice separately, or does it allSEO, this was really important and search go to one page?” And this is a great way ofengines really stopped using it around 2002 telling the engines, “Hey guys, this page overto 2003, and now they’re all publicly saying, here, that’s the original. Any other copies“No, we don’t use the meta keywords tag at that you might see of this, refer them back toall. We ignore it. It doesn’t help with ranking. here.”It doesn’t even help with discovery.” So we can essentially take something like I’veYou can see Danny doing a test in there of got category systems that create multiplehis meta keywords tag and showing how it versions of the same page, or I’ve got print-doesn’t impact anything. At SEOmoz, we only URLs, or I have something like sessionhave some correlation data showing it’s use- IDs, the guy down here in Orange who’s gotless. So, the only thing I would say about the these session IDs at the end of his URLs. All ofmeta keywords tags is if you want to show those can be solved with the rel=canonicalyour competition all the keywords that you’re text. It’s a [inaudible 23:33], I think the en-trying to rank for, I recommend using it. If you gines came out with it, I guess, whatever daydon’t, then I wouldn’t recommend doing it. this blog post was published, 2009, and it’s been super helpful.Andrew: Okay. Then you used a phraseearlier that I wanted to come back and ask Andrew: Okay. And I see the blog post upabout. Rel=canonical, what is that? there on your screen, too, and people can go directly to it. So we talked about on-pageRand: The canonical URL tag is something optimization. What’s next?that the search engines came out with be-cause they realized that there’s a big prob- Rand: From here, the next part is where thelem in the SEO space in general. Basically, tough part really begins. In SEO, the buildthe canonical URL tag, I’ve got some nice it and they will come mentality, generallycartoons here that help illustrate this. The ca- speaking, does not work. Unless you cannonical URL tag was meant to solve a prob- find an area or a niche where nobody else lem that exists across the Web and has for a is competing, you’re going to really havelong time. to get your feet on the street, start beat- ing down people’s doors, and make themCheck out this URL. I’ve got aware that you have this great content.and then I’ve got you see this all the time. If I follow a link When I look down the search results . . . let’sfrom Twitter, from FeedBurner, if I’m on a site do a quick search for your name, the New York Times and I click the print Hopefully this won’t bring up anything 8
  9. 9. Startup SEO Transcriptbarrassing. I can see here that the first two re- nels, many of which will lead back with a link.sults are from Mixergy. In fact, they’re ranked Even the ones that don’t can lead to a sec-even higher than your personal website, An- ond order impact of more people seeing it, One of the reasons for that finding it, and linking to that there are more links pointing to Mixer-gy, and higher quality links potentially, point- Andrew: Okay. So we go to all the sitesing to Mixergy saying, “Here’s where Andrew that you talked about and we point thereWarner talks about these things.” So even and we create links back to our site andthough look it’s not in the title tag, [inaudible we get content that’s so exciting that oth-24:55], and it is clearly in the title tag here, it’s ers link back. What about using the phrasesin the title tag of your Twitter account. that we picked out in the first segment of this program? How do we use them when we’reTwitter is a really powerful website. It’s sur- getting traffic and when we’re getting all prising that they don’t rank. But, wow, that’s these links?strong, and it’s [inaudible 25:06] based onthe fact that lots of people are referencing Rand: Sure. Let’s go back to our “refer anit. Google invented page ranks, just a classic engineer” example. Google came out lastlink citation method, and now there’s all this year and said, “We’re now using Twitter data,focus on links. So you need to be out there the links that are tweeted in Twitter, to helpmarketing, trying to earn those links and ref- us rank results, kind of like the way we usederences back to your site. links for the last decade.” So we said, ‘Hmm, really? All right, let’s make a custom bitlyAndrew: I see. Okay. So that’s the off-site URL that uses our URL shortener and then theoptimization that we need, the right content text of that URL is ‘refer-an-engineer.’” This isthat will get people to link over to us. probably one of the things that helped this page rank so well because everyone startedRand: Yeah. And once we write it, we can’t tweeting it and linking to it with “refer an en-just stop there. We need to then go and gineer.” That definitely is going to help it rank proactively promote it. Just like we wouldn’t higher than it ordinarily a great piece of software and then siton our hands and hope that people are go- I like to think really hard when I build my to come and use our software, or make The biography that I’m putting togethera great startup and not tell anyone about, goes onto a lot of different websites. I makewe’ve got to go tell people. sure that, okay, [inaudible 27:44] to SEOmoz. I make sure that the name is in there, andThat’s where social media and inbound when I link to my wife’s site, I’m going to putmarketing have been so great. I can go to her name in there and then I’m going to linkTwitter and I can tell my friends about it. I can to these sites in a relevant way. I’ll link to thego to Facebook and I can update about it. I book that I wrote, “The Art of SEO,” in a rel-can write a blog on that site and tell people evant way. So thinking about how you’re link-about it. I can make presentations and up- ing is important.load them to SlideShare and DocStoc andScribd. I can make videos and put them on I wouldn’t go overboard with this. Just likeYouTube. There are all these marketing chan- everything else on the planet, you can 9
  10. 10. Startup SEO Transcriptand manipulate it and that causes lots of name. So using those in the bio intelligently.nasty problems. Be smart about what you I would love it if, maybe sometime soon, “40say. Don’t just put click here and here, check Under 40” list or “30 Under 30” comes up inthis out, and oh, here’s another thing you there.should look at. Call them what they are. Callthem what you want to rank for. Use the text Andrew: So if anyone says, “We need tothat people are searching for. It’s not just find a hot new entrepreneur. Let’s look at the good for search engines, it’s good for people ‘30 Under 30’ or ‘40 Under 40’ list,” you wantwho are browsing that page, too, because them to be able to come up on your pagethey know what they’re going to find on the and say, “Let’s find out more about Rand.”link that they click. Rand: Yeah, you got it.Andrew: I remember after I interviewedyou, one of the first things I did was, in order Andrew: That’s the way it would work ifto give you your biography on my page, I just that was your plan.copied and pasted the bio exactly as youwrote it with all the links and everything that Rand: Exactly. When I come up, I want Mix-you had and put it in the bio on my page ergy, for example, to rank number one forwith the links. So what I was doing there was interviews with entrepreneurs or learn entre-saying, “40 Under 40” list and linking to, since preneurship. So I might say, “Andrew Warnerthat’s one of the phrases there that’s hyper- runs Mixergy, the number one startup sitelinked, I was linking the way you wanted me for learning entrepreneurship,” and you canto, to the page you wanted me to point out. have that whole phrase, “Mixergy learningWhy did you pick “40 Under 40” as one of the entrepreneurship” link back to the Mixergyphrases that you were going to hyperlink? website. That’s probably a great way to go because your bio gets put all over the WebRand: In this case, what I’m actually trying to in these is to get these things to generally rank foror to appear next to when you search for my And it’s not just about bios, it’s about all sortsname. So what I want to see is the words and of things. When you have a signature linkphrases that are associated with Rand Fish- that you might leave in a forum, or in yourkin. Actually, let’s do a quick Google search. Quora profile when you’re answering ques-You can see a bunch of these rankings. So tions in there, you might want to have thosethere’s my LinkedIn profile, my Twitter profile links point back. Google now has profiles. that I link to, there’s my personal blog that There’s Google Profiles. I was just testing that I’ve been linking to. This stuff works kind of out a couple of days ago. They let you cus-well. tomize the text that you want to have over here. There’s my SEOmoz company profile, I’ll show you some others. So Mixergy, there’s my personal blog, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter. Ithe interview I did with you, which is some- can actually edit the text of what those linksthing I regularly link to, the book, “The Art are. I should probably do that.of SEO” book, SEO, the blog, the interview.These are all kinds of things that I want to Andrew: I see. So we find the keywords, come up and want to be associated with my we use them on our page, we start 10
  11. 11. Startup SEO Transcripting out the keywords that we want so that to that SEO Chat page. Why don’t we takepeople start re-tweeting using the phrases a look through the linking domains and seethat we’re coming up with. We link to them which domains, which websites, are actuallyfrom our profile and all over the place. Even linking to them. Wow, they’ve got a link fromfrom, you go to and you create a Wikipedia, from StatCounter, from Reference.shortcut and you customize that shortcut by com, Squidoo, Submit Express, from Word-adding the key phrases that you want. What Press, from Mashable. That’s a pretty goodelse? Those seem pretty easy. What’s the set of links. I can export to CSV and sort ofnext level of difficulty beyond that? see the specific pages, or I can click on the linking pages tab and see where those linksRand: The difficulty, in a lot of these cases . are coming from.. . so this is our account and you cansee that I can create a keyword. I’ll just go For example, I might want to say, “Just showahead and make a quick link here to show me the followed and 301 links from externalyou. I might say, “Oh, let’s customize that link to just this page and filter those results.” Then so that it’s keyword-difficulty as opposed to I can get a real sense for like, huh, Web De-just fm6qvs.” That might actually be a smart signer Wall, okay. They got a link from there. Ithing to do when I tweet it out. That’s pretty wonder if I should contact the guys who runcool. Web Designer Wall, which are a couple of pretty cool bloggers in the design space andWhat I was going to say is that the tough part see if next time they write about SEO, couldcomes in when you’re trying to outrank peo- I could contribute an article for you. I’ll writeple who have quite a bit more years of doing a good piece about SEO, and then in my bioSEO work, of trying to rank for these things or the snippet about who I am, who wroteahead of them. For example, let’s say boy, if the article, I can link back to my stuff. MaybeI want to overtake SEO Chat, which started I can even get listed on that SEO guide forrunning about three or four years before designers page if they like my stuff better.SEOmoz did, has had a tools page for a longtime, has had a lot of people linking to them, Andrew: I see. And if I see Mashable onthey’ve got embedded tools, I might actu- there, I can reach out to Mashable. I knowally want to figure out something like, “Hey, that they take a lot of outsourced writers orwhere did they get their links? Can I get the contributed writers and ask to write a blogsame links or some of the same links that they post, some of the same links that all theseother people got?” Rand: Guest posting is a great way to go. It’s not just these sort of more manual systemsAndrew: So how do you do that? of link building. You also want to be thinking bigger and broader, like, “Hey, how could IRand: Well, it turns out there are actually build something that everyone would alwayssome good tools. This is a tool called Open be linking to? Maybe I could build an em-Site Explorer, and most of it is free to use, beddable widget. I’ll make an SEO tool or I’llmuch of it is free to use. So I can dive in make a tool or a graphic that someone canhere, click “get link data,” and now I can go put on their website and then it will auto-see here’s all these people who are linking matically link back to me with the right 11
  12. 12. Startup SEO Transcriptof anchor text.” Rand: The best luck that I’ve actually had is finding people who do great design work Infographics are really popular for this. I’ll and contracting them to do it specifically. show you a great one. This comes from Oli I think a lot of what I’d call the infographicGardner, who’s the Director of Inbound Mar- farms out there create kind of low qual-keting at Unbounce, Unbounce being some ity stuff that people don’t share as much. Ifpretty phenomenal software for creating you have an in-house designer or someonelanding page testing. Here is their new guide you love that you contract with, or you doto online marketing. It’s a phenomenally cool a search like “CSS gallery”, look, here’s CSSinfographic. It actually illustrates a lot of the Elite. Why don’t we see who’s listed in there?things you and I have been talking about, Wow, this guy looks like he has an awesomeabout inbound marketing and all these dif- looking site. Let’s see who the guy who de-ferent kinds of things. signed that is and I’ll contact him.So you can see here – content marketing, Andrew:, conversion rate optimization, thereare things in SEO. I can actually take this Rand: So those kinds of things, particularly ifgraphic, and if I want to, I can embed it right I’m going through and I’m like, “Oh, I loveon my site. So you see I grabbed that piece these. That artist, that art style meshes withof code there and I can paste it right into my my design aesthetic. I want to do this.”blog or my website if I want to show it off. Andrew: All right. Now that we know whatAnd then what’s great is, they were pretty to do on our site, what to do off-site, howsmart about this, so they have the anchor do we measure success and know whethertext say “Unbounce, the DIY landing page we’re on the right track or need to adjust?platform.” That’s who made this infographic,Unbounce, the DIY landing page platform. I Rand: That’s a great question. There are abet if I go “DIY landing page platform,” what couple of things that I recommend. I don’tdo you know, Unbounce, fantastic. They’ve totally want to push our own stuff, but I woulddone some smart marketing. They didn’t say that SEOmoz Pro is actually quite goodspam anyone. They didn’t manipulate any- for this. A couple of things that is does nicelything. They just made a great infographic are crawl diagnostics, so crawling your web-showing off all this stuff, sharing it with the site every week, finding errors and warnings, right people, getting some good people to keeping track of keyword rankings so youguest post about it. And now, boom, they’ve can see when you’re going up and down,got the top three positions for DIY landing keeping track of your link and traffic data. page. You can also do all of this stuff more manu-Andrew: This is a little outside the scope ally and for free, so I don’t want to suggestof our conversation, but is there a place that this is the only way. For example, Googlethat you know of that you can recommend Analytics is totally free and I can go in hereour audience go if they want infographics and I can see my search traffic and I can see made? which keywords are sending me traffic. I can measure over time how many different 12
  13. 13. Startup SEO Transcriptwords are sending me traffic. Which engines? of the search engines are missing out some-How much? Which pages is that going to? how, and that probably means you’re miss-Are there pages that used to earn traffic that ing out on longer are? You have to do some modifi-cations to the service to see all these things, So I might want to go in here and say, “Hmm,but it’s quite good. what is going on, because this page, footer link optimization for search engine users,Two services, Google and Bing both make there are 100 pages that link to it.” I can clickwebmaster tools. They are completely free. those, see them all, and then say, “Oh, man,Site owners can register with them. I’m going I wonder what I did wrong. Something mustto try and dive in here, depending on if I can be broken about that page. I should go in-remember my password. They even give nice vestigate. Maybe someone on my engineer-warnings like, “Hey, we found a lot of URLs ing staff broke the page. Maybe the pageon Open Site Explorer. You might want to be was just timing out for a little while. Maybeaware of that.” That was back last year, so I I made a dumb error in my CMS and I toldthink we’re probably okay at this point. But WordPress to block Google bot from visitingwe can dive in and they’ll show me some this page.” Whatever it is that I did, I want todata that’s pretty accurate. The search find those things, know where they are be-query data, unfortunately, inside webmas- fore they start really hurting my search traffic.ter tools, for some reason, is really bad. UseGoogle Analytics, it’s much more accurate. Andrew: I see. Anything else that weI know, they’re both Google, you’d think should be measuring or other tools that wethey’d get it right. should use to measure?The crawl errors are phenomenal. I can click Rand: I do like Bing webmaster tools, as well,on this. I can see, “Oh, look. Here are all which I would recommend. But betweenthese 403 errors. Here are the ones that were these, you’re going to get a pretty goodin my site maps. Here are the soft 404s. Here sense of how things are going for your site. Iare URLs that timed out.” might actually suggest doing some custom reporting. On a regular basis, the marketingAndrew: What does all that mean? What team here at SEOmoz has sort of key metrics,are all these errors, and why should we be KPIs, that they’re trying to achieve in terms ofpaying attention to them? social media traffic and search traffic and re- ferring link traffic, direct traffic, e-mail market-Rand: I’ll start with the reason to pay atten- ing traffic, all of those things. So they’ve got tion. Any time Google or SEOmoz Pro or kind of a leader board up on a whiteboardsomething finds an error, you should probably and they write all those down, they keeppay at least a little bit of attention, because track of them in an Excel spreadsheet, andwhat it means is that there’s an automated every board meeting we can report that crawling through your site looking forpages, looking for keywords, and it’s having That’s actually a really smart idea, no matterproblems. This means that you are not poten- what size you are, having those data backedtially capturing all of the opportunity that you marketing efforts. Marketing has become socould be capturing. It means that the spiders technical and there are so many 13
  14. 14. Startup SEO Transcriptthat it comes through that all of these are re- getting 50 to 100 search visits a day and 50ally smart. to 100 social visits a day. I haven’t been blog- ging regularly, so that’s actually been goingTwo more things that I’ll just point out. They’re down now. But you can see results reason-not for everyone, but if you produce a blog ably quickly. It depends on a few things,and you do a lot of social sharing, I think Post- though. It depends on the niche you’reRank offers some really phenomenal intel- targeting. It depends on what kinds of traffic ligence essentially about the blog posts that those keywords are sending. It depends onare produced, whether they get tweeted, or how much content you’re producing andFacebook liked and shared, or mentioned on the effort that you’re putting into this.Hacker News or Reddit or Digg, these kinds ofthings. But what’s beautiful about all this stuff, SEO, social, inbound marketing, etc., is that it re-The second one is if you are producing a ally relies on your creativity and your and you are doing RSS feeds of any If you’ve got great hustle and you can justkind, FeedBurner is a really excellent thing go out after this stuff and you’ve got greatto have running on your site. FeedBurner will creativity and can come up with great ideasshow you your feeds. They’ll show you data and execute on them, you are going to winabout them. That’s another good solution. in this space. That’s what I love. It’s not about spending the most money, being the biggestAndrew: Yeah, I use FeedBurner all the brand. It’s about being the best, the mosttime and have for years, but I didn’t know creative, the most interesting, the most for-about PostRank. I’ve got to check that out. ward thinking, and doing the best work.Rand: You’ll like it a bunch. Andrew: That’s motivating to know that it’s all within our control. Now we know theAndrew: I’ve never seen them before. I levers that we need to manipulate, that welove tools like that. How long will it take for need to adjust, and we know what to dome to start seeing measurable results from all and we know how to measure them. This hasthe work that we talked about in this inter- been very helpful. Thanks, Rand.view? Rand: My pleasure, Andrew.Rand: I started a personal blog probably inNovember, and by January I was 14