Author Archives: Aaron Wheeler

The SEOmoz Help Team: How We Do Customer Service

Posted by Aaron Wheeler

If you're reading this blog, congratulations! You are a customer of SEOmoz. I've probably personally spoken to at least a few of you, and provided help and support to many more of you. Have you ever wondered how SEOmoz supports 15,000 PRO members and over 250,000 free members and blog readers? After all, Roger can't personally answer every email we receive here. He's not Santa Claus! Instead, the six mozzers that make up the Help Team answer all of the emails, phone calls, and chat requests we get every day. I want to tell you a little bit more about them and give you a look at the way we've built the SEOmoz support channels to meet our overall goal: to provide the best customer service on the planet. It's a hard goal to reach, but I can't think of any more worthwhile endeavor.

The Help Teamsters

Crissy Hall

Crissy is old school! She came to SEOmoz in the spring of 2010. Back then, the Help Team was just Sarah Bird (our COO) and Crissy, and I joined soon after. She loves the fact that she’s been able to watch our team and SEOmoz grow since she started. Things are always changing with our site and tools, and as she says, it keeps us on our toes! Her favorite part of working at SEOmoz is the balance between fun and productivity that makes our team and company such an amazing place to work. Crissy spends her time helping users with their tool and billing questions, planning kick-ass Help Team outings (we made terrariums together last month), and helping the Marketing & Ops teams keep track of our weekly membership reporting.

When she’s not in the office, Crissy likes to take her son Sam on adventures around Seattle. She likes to sew up a storm, particularly to make clothes for her toddler (instant gratification, according to her). In the "warmer" Seattle months she rides her bicycle, named "Tom Selleck," to work and back.

Megan Singley

Megan's been a help teamster for a little over a year now and loves connecting with our users. With several years of experience in customer service, she really strives to make every interaction with SEOmoz users a positive one. Besides responding to emails, calls, and chats, Megan plans and organizes our weekly software demos and investigates billing issues to keep any possible fraudsters at bay. She's also been known to do some writing, whether it be on the SEOmoz blog or in product messages throughout the site.

When not at the MozPlex, Megan likes to watch The Daily Show and Battlestar Galactica with her cat, Lily, and her awesomely-cool-fun-amazing neighbor across the hall, me! (Those are her words of course.) She also enjoys reading anything she can get her hands on (lately, it's been The Hunger Games series) and even started a library for the office. On weekends, she hangs out with friends (including lots of fellow Mozzers), goes dancing to anything from funk & soul to 90's hip hop, and cooks as much as possible.

Kenny Martin

Kenny joined up last year and is one of our few Washington natives! He grew up in a small, sleepy Northwestern town, thus is afraid of the sun. He compensates for a lack of natural energy sources by drinking copious amounts of black coffee. Kenny spends most of his time pursuing the TAGFEE dream by diagnosing tough technical issues, getting his hands dirty with a little web design, and filming each week's Whiteboard Friday.

He never wanders off too far away from his MacBook and for this reason alone his girlfriend mistakenly thinks he loves it more than her. It's probably because most of his spare time is spent designing websites or leaning about some fantastic new technology on the internet. He also loves the Daily Show, puppies, pizza, and tacos.

Nick Sayers

Nick joined our team in September last year and got up to speed lickety-split! Like the rest of our team mates, he answers customer emails, phone calls, and live chat questions. Nick has also spear-headed our new help documentation project that gives customers the resources learn anything about SEOmoz's tool set. This effort makes our company more scalable by answering customers' questions before they call, write, or chat with us, which gives them more instant gratification, as well. Needless to say, he spends a lot of his time creating screencasts and typing up FAQs. Nick has a passion for educating and helping others, so is constantly looking for new resources to show SEOmoz's customers.

Nick enjoys film, video games, reading, and cooking. He is an avid reader of anything from Eastern Philosophy to some of the nerdiest sci-fi/fantasy novels ever written. When not at work, Nick is usually spending time with his wife and partner in crime, Becky. On most nights, they cook new recipes together, play an unhealthy amount of Left 4 Dead 2 or Skyrim, and watch movies. On the weekends, Nick and Becky explore Washington and go to retro theaters. Nick is also involved in independent film-making and has produced, written, and directed a feature film and many shorts. On the sci-fi geek front, Nick has a huge collection of memorabilia from the Alien(s) films. He also has a cat named Ash after Bruce Campbell's character in the Evil Dead series. Of course, this means Nick calls her Evil Ash when she is bad.

Chiaryn Miranda

Chiaryn is the newest addition to the team, having been here for about two months. Don't let that fool you though: she's caught up real quick-like! She's been doing customer service for a long time and is working on learning new things about SEO every day. What better place to learn, eh?

When she's not in the office, she likes to make art and take photographs. She's been working on a sketchbook that will be going on a national tour. She also likes to take trips around the beautiful Seattle waterfront with her camera. When she can, she tries to take candid portraits. Check out some of her artwork on her Art House Co-Op page. She's also an avid movie fan, with a particular love of horror movies, and reads as much as possible. In her words, she'll gobble up pretty much any nonfiction book you put in front of her. That's why we call her Turkey Miranda! Just kidding – that's not why we call her that.

Aaron Wheeler

If you've made it this far, you've probably figured out that this is me! I started at SEOmoz in the summer of 2010 and am loving every minute of being here. A couple months ago I became the manager of the Help Team, which means I do what I can to support the lovely members of our team, and provide our customers with the best service on the planet. It's a tough goal – we have very discerning customers – but a goal I think we can eventually fulfill. Some background: I studied sociology and cognitive science at UC San Diego, but starting doing SEO after graduating. Turns out that ranking for attorneys in San Diego is tough work! I left San Diego early 2010 for Seattle, and eventually found my way at SEOmoz.

Besides working at a place I love, I enjoy reading (currently Steve Jobs), watching great shows (currently my third run of Deadwood), and seeing my favorite bands in Seattle's historical music venues (this month: Junip, Nada Surf, and The Asteroids Galaxy Tour). I also enjoy trying out vegan recipes with my girlfriend, Holly Haymaker, who has the coolest name in the world and a whimsical interactive e-cards site, to boot!

What Do We Do?

You know how, sometimes, you have a question about our site and tools? Or about your account or payment? We're the people you call, email, live chat, and post to our help forums for. Unlike huge companies with call centers and many tiers of support and different people doing phones and chats, though, everyone on our team does everything. It's a great way to keep everyone fully informed about site issues and keep our support fresh and agile. That's not all we do, though! Let me show you all of the ways we keep our customers happy:

Email: Using a Robust Ticketing System

When you send an email to help@seomoz.org, it gets forwarded to our ticketing system. We use ZenDesk, the same help desk software used by companies like Groupon and Box.com. ZenDesk allows us to manage customer emails, assign them to specific people, and easily share them with engineering and product so we can get answers to questions quickly! This is important because we receive over 2,000 emails a month: way too many to respond to from a single email address effectively.

How Does It Work?

When we receive an email, the sender gets an email back with a ticket number. As you see, it gets added to our queue of tickets to reply to. We try to answer 80% of tickets within 8 hours, but if it's a situation where someone has a billing problem or can't access their account (lost password, etc.), we try to answer even faster than that. Our goal is for each member of the Help Team to answer 20 tickets per day. If we don't have the knowledge to answer a question, we'll send the ticket to our engineers and product managers to get an answer. If it's a bug, we let the customer know and open a bug fix with our Triage team. They assign the bug to an engineer, who fixes it and lets them know. Triage sends it back to us when it's fixed, and we email the customer and close the ticket.

When we close a ticket, we send a one-question survey through SurveyMonkey asking how happy we made a customer with our customer service. We try to make 90% of our customers happy, and 30% of our customers delighted. Sometimes, though, we fail to satisfy a customer. When this happens, we ask for the customer's email address and ticket number so we can get in touch and make it right. I've found that when a customer has had a bad experience, reaching out to them to make it right almost always turns the situation around.

Phones: Not a Phone Bank

We get a relatively small amount of calls at SEOmoz: about 100 to 150 a week. Makes sense, as most SEOs do their research online. =) We don't have a sales team and don't do phone marketing, so the only employees that really have phones here are in Operations or the Help Team. We get a lot of calls from potential customers asking about what we do, though we do get a few from PRO members, too. Here's a chart with our phone stats for last week:

How Does it Work?

When a person calls in to SEOmoz, they usually start out talking to Hillari, our fantastic office manager. She makes sure they're not a spambot and, when they're a lovely customer, transfers them to the Help Team pool. The first available person picks it up and starts helping! Pretty straightforward process, as you telephone users know. After the call is over, we try to create a ticket and follow up with the customer to make sure they had all their questions answered. If it's an SEO question, we refer them to the Q&A or to our list of recommended SEO consultants.

Live Chat: What You Need, When You Need It

When potential customers are browsing our software sales pages, they often have questions they want answered now. Same thing goes for existing customers with questions about a payment or their account status: these are the kinds of questions people want to know the answers to quickly. Live Chat comes to the rescue! Instead of requiring a customer to call or send in an email, we usually keep someone logged into Live Chat throughout the day so customers can get help immediately. This leads to happier customers and cuts down on our ticket and phone levels. We use the awesome chat widget SnapEngage, and installed it to a few choice pages.

How Does it Work?

Kenny coordinated with SnapEngage to create a custom view of the widget. When you click "Chat Now," it pops up a dialog box that displays three FAQs, and has a field for the email address of the customer and the question they have. When they've typed those in, all they have to do is click "Message" to open a ticket, or "Live Chat" to start talking! Interesting point: we didn't always have those three FAQs. Adding them reduced chats about these topics about 90%. Yay for preemptive answers!

After we finish chatting with a customer, the chat transcript is automatically added to ZenDesk as a ticket, where we can save it for future review and for long-term tracking. We can also follow up with a customer there. If we're offline, or if a customer chooses the "Message" option instead of the "Live Chat" option, it creates a ticket from the get-go instead.

We can also track the types of computers and browsers people are using when they chat with us, which helps us diagnose the issue faster and get an idea of what our average customer needing immediate support looks like. The chart to the left is a look at last month's chatters.

 

Forums & Documentation: Help More People More Quickly

We maintain both our customer service and API forums through the SEOmoz help desk. We've also started adding all of our tool documentation, videos, and walkthroughs here to make them all available in the same place. This makes our Help Desk a one-stop shop for looking at frequently asked questions, checking out known issues with the site or tools, and just generally getting more knowledgeable about how to use a PRO subscription to its fullest. It's also where we ask customers to submit feature requests.

How Does it Work?

When a customer has a question, they can go to our Help Desk and do a search for the answer, or browse existing questions and documentation. Many of the forums are straight-up questions and answers, but a lot of them are longer-form pages that are part of our documentation project. We want to document the bejewels out of our tools! Yes, there will always be questions from customers, but the more information you can put in their hands early on, the more happy they'll be, and the more scalable our service becomes.

One cool feature: the Feature Request Forum has a voting system so customers can vote on the features they want to see most. Our product team reviews this feedback to get an idea of what to prioritize and what to put further down the roadmap. It's a great way to get customers more involved in SEOmoz's future!

This, That & The Other: Events, Office Tours, Webinars, Demos, Cookies…

We do a bunch of other stuff to help our customers, and it's hard to get it all down in words! We give weekly software demos to help new customers get the most out of PRO,

represent at MozCations,

give tours of the MozPlex and help out at MozCon,

and bake plenty of cookies (you gotta help your fellow mozzers out, too!):

All in all, it's a wonderful life. SEOmoz has the best customers around, and there's no other place I'd rather be. I'd love to share more with you and hear your stories about great customer service, as well as get feedback on what you'd love to see more of in the customer service biznez. Please feel free to write me in the comments, shoot me an email, or tweet me at @aaron_wheeler. See you around the site!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

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The SEOmoz Help Team: How We Do Customer Service

Posted by Aaron Wheeler

If you're reading this blog, congratulations! You are a customer of SEOmoz. I've probably personally spoken to at least a few of you, and provided help and support to many more of you. Have you ever wondered how SEOmoz supports 15,000 PRO members and over 250,000 free members and blog readers? After all, Roger can't personally answer every email we receive here. He's not Santa Claus! Instead, the six mozzers that make up the Help Team answer all of the emails, phone calls, and chat requests we get every day. I want to tell you a little bit more about them and give you a look at the way we've built the SEOmoz support channels to meet our overall goal: to provide the best customer service on the planet. It's a hard goal to reach, but I can't think of any more worthwhile endeavor.

The Help Teamsters

Crissy Hall

Crissy is old school! She came to SEOmoz in the spring of 2010. Back then, the Help Team was just Sarah Bird (our COO) and Crissy, and I joined soon after. She loves the fact that she’s been able to watch our team and SEOmoz grow since she started. Things are always changing with our site and tools, and as she says, it keeps us on our toes! Her favorite part of working at SEOmoz is the balance between fun and productivity that makes our team and company such an amazing place to work. Crissy spends her time helping users with their tool and billing questions, planning kick-ass Help Team outings (we made terrariums together last month), and helping the Marketing & Ops teams keep track of our weekly membership reporting.

When she’s not in the office, Crissy likes to take her son Sam on adventures around Seattle. She likes to sew up a storm, particularly to make clothes for her toddler (instant gratification, according to her). In the "warmer" Seattle months she rides her bicycle, named "Tom Selleck," to work and back.

Megan Singley

Megan's been a help teamster for a little over a year now and loves connecting with our users. With several years of experience in customer service, she really strives to make every interaction with SEOmoz users a positive one. Besides responding to emails, calls, and chats, Megan plans and organizes our weekly software demos and investigates billing issues to keep any possible fraudsters at bay. She's also been known to do some writing, whether it be on the SEOmoz blog or in product messages throughout the site.

When not at the MozPlex, Megan likes to watch The Daily Show and Battlestar Galactica with her cat, Lily, and her awesomely-cool-fun-amazing neighbor across the hall, me! (Those are her words of course.) She also enjoys reading anything she can get her hands on (lately, it's been The Hunger Games series) and even started a library for the office. On weekends, she hangs out with friends (including lots of fellow Mozzers), goes dancing to anything from funk & soul to 90's hip hop, and cooks as much as possible.

Kenny Martin

Kenny joined up last year and is one of our few Washington natives! He grew up in a small, sleepy Northwestern town, thus is afraid of the sun. He compensates for a lack of natural energy sources by drinking copious amounts of black coffee. Kenny spends most of his time pursuing the TAGFEE dream by diagnosing tough technical issues, getting his hands dirty with a little web design, and filming each week's Whiteboard Friday.

He never wanders off too far away from his MacBook and for this reason alone his girlfriend mistakenly thinks he loves it more than her. It's probably because most of his spare time is spent designing websites or leaning about some fantastic new technology on the internet. He also loves the Daily Show, puppies, pizza, and tacos.

Nick Sayers

Nick joined our team in September last year and got up to speed lickety-split! Like the rest of our team mates, he answers customer emails, phone calls, and live chat questions. Nick has also spear-headed our new help documentation project that gives customers the resources learn anything about SEOmoz's tool set. This effort makes our company more scalable by answering customers' questions before they call, write, or chat with us, which gives them more instant gratification, as well. Needless to say, he spends a lot of his time creating screencasts and typing up FAQs. Nick has a passion for educating and helping others, so is constantly looking for new resources to show SEOmoz's customers.

Nick enjoys film, video games, reading, and cooking. He is an avid reader of anything from Eastern Philosophy to some of the nerdiest sci-fi/fantasy novels ever written. When not at work, Nick is usually spending time with his wife and partner in crime, Becky. On most nights, they cook new recipes together, play an unhealthy amount of Left 4 Dead 2 or Skyrim, and watch movies. On the weekends, Nick and Becky explore Washington and go to retro theaters. Nick is also involved in independent film-making and has produced, written, and directed a feature film and many shorts. On the sci-fi geek front, Nick has a huge collection of memorabilia from the Alien(s) films. He also has a cat named Ash after Bruce Campbell's character in the Evil Dead series. Of course, this means Nick calls her Evil Ash when she is bad.

Chiaryn Miranda

Chiaryn is the newest edition to the team, having been here for about two months. Don't let that fool you though: she's caught up real quick-like! She's been doing customer service for a long time and is working on learning new things about SEO every day. What better place to learn, eh?

When she's not in the office, she likes to make art and take photographs. She's been working on a sketchbook that will be going on a national tour. She also likes to take trips around the beautiful Seattle waterfront with her camera. When she can, she tries to take candid portraits. Check out some of her artwork on her Art House Co-Op page. She's also an avid movie fan, with a particular love of horror movies, and reads as much as possible. In her words, she'll gobble up pretty much any nonfiction book you put in front of her. That's why we call her Turkey Miranda! Just kidding – that's not why we call her that.

Aaron Wheeler

If you've made it this far, you've probably figured out that this is me! I started at SEOmoz in the summer of 2010 and am loving every minute of being here. A couple months ago I became the manager of the Help Team, which means I do what I can to support the lovely members of our team, and provide our customers with the best service on the planet. It's a tough goal – we have very discerning customers – but a goal I think we can eventually fulfill. Some background: I studied sociology and cognitive science at UC San Diego, but starting doing SEO after graduating. Turns out that ranking for attorneys in San Diego is tough work! I left San Diego early 2010 for Seattle, and eventually found my way at SEOmoz.

Besides working at a place I love, I enjoy reading (currently Steve Jobs), watching great shows (currently my third run of Deadwood), and seeing my favorite bands in Seattle's historical music venues (this month: Junip, Nada Surf, and The Asteroids Galaxy Tour). I also enjoy trying out vegan recipes with my girlfriend, Holly Haymaker, who has the coolest name in the world and a whimsical interactive e-cards site, to boot!

What Do We Do?

You know how, sometimes, you have a question about our site and tools? Or about your account or payment? We're the people you call, email, live chat, and post to our help forums for. Unlike huge companies with call centers and many tiers of support and different people doing phones and chats, though, everyone on our team does everything. It's a great way to keep everyone fully informed about site issues and keep our support fresh and agile. That's not all we do, though! Let me show you all of the ways we keep our customers happy:

Email: Using a Robust Ticketing System

When you send an email to help@seomoz.org, it gets forwarded to our ticketing system. We use ZenDesk, the same help desk software used by companies like Groupon and Box.com. ZenDesk allows us to manage customer emails, assign them to specific people, and easily share them with engineering and product so we can get answers to questions quickly! This is important because we receive over 2,000 emails a month: way too many to respond to from a single email address effectively.

How Does It Work?

When we receive an email, the sender gets an email back with a ticket number. As you see, it gets added to our queue of tickets to reply to. We try to answer 80% of tickets within 8 hours, but if it's a situation where someone has a billing problem or can't access their account (lost password, etc.), we try to answer even faster than that. Our goal is for each member of the Help Team to answer 20 tickets per day. If we don't have the knowledge to answer a question, we'll send the ticket to our engineers and product managers to get an answer. If it's a bug, we let the customer know and open a bug fix with our Triage team. They assign the bug to an engineer, who fixes it and lets them know. Triage sends it back to us when it's fixed, and we email the customer and close the ticket.

When we close a ticket, we send a one-question survey through SurveyMonkey asking how happy we made a customer with our customer service. We try to make 90% of our customers happy, and 30% of our customers delighted. Sometimes, though, we fail to satisfy a customer. When this happens, we ask for the customer's email address and ticket number so we can get in touch and make it right. I've found that when a customer has had a bad experience, reaching out to them to make it right almost always turns the situation around.

Phones: Not a Phone Bank

We get a relatively small amount of calls at SEOmoz: about 100 to 150 a week. Makes sense, as most SEOs do their research online. =) We don't have a sales team and don't do phone marketing, so the only employees that really have phones here are in Operations or the Help Team. We get a lot of calls from potential customers asking about what we do, though we do get a few from PRO members, too. Here's a chart with our phone stats for last week:

How Does it Work?

When a person calls in to SEOmoz, they usually start out talking to Hillari, our fantastic office manager. She makes sure they're not a spambot and, when they're a lovely customer, transfers them to the Help Team pool. The first available person picks it up and starts helping! Pretty straightforward process, as you telephone users know. After the call is over, we try to create a ticket and follow up with the customer to make sure they had all their questions answered. If it's an SEO question, we refer them to the Q&A or to our list of recommended SEO consultants.

Live Chat: What You Need, When You Need It

When potential customers are browsing our software sales pages, they often have questions they want answered now. Same thing goes for existing customers with questions about a payment or their account status: these are the kinds of questions people want to know the answers to quickly. Live Chat comes to the rescue! Instead of requiring a customer to call or send in an email, we usually keep someone logged into Live Chat throughout the day so customers can get help immediately. This leads to happier customers and cuts down on our ticket and phone levels. We use the awesome chat widget SnapEngage, and installed it to a few choice pages.

How Does it Work?

Kenny coordinated with SnapEngage to create a custom view of the widget. When you click "Chat Now," it pops up a dialog box that displays three FAQs, and has a field for the email address of the customer and the question they have. When they've typed those in, all they have to do is click "Message" to open a ticket, or "Live Chat" to start talking! Interesting point: we didn't always have those three FAQs. Adding them reduced chats about these topics about 90%. Yay for preemptive answers!

After we finish chatting with a customer, the chat transcript is automatically added to ZenDesk as a ticket, where we can save it for future review and for long-term tracking. We can also follow up with a customer there. If we're offline, or if a customer chooses the "Message" option instead of the "Live Chat" option, it creates a ticket from the get-go instead.

We can also track the types of computers and browsers people are using when they chat with us, which helps us diagnose the issue faster and get an idea of what our average customer needing immediate support looks like. The chart to the left is a look at last month's chatters.

 

Forums & Documentation: Help More People More Quickly

We maintain both our customer service and API forums through the SEOmoz help desk. We've also started adding all of our tool documentation, videos, and walkthroughs here to make them all available in the same place. This makes our Help Desk a one-stop shop for looking at frequently asked questions, checking out known issues with the site or tools, and just generally getting more knowledgeable about how to use a PRO subscription to its fullest. It's also where we ask customers to submit feature requests.

How Does it Work?

When a customer has a question, they can go to our Help Desk and do a search for the answer, or browse existing questions and documentation. Many of the forums are straight-up questions and answers, but a lot of them are longer-form pages that are part of our documentation project. We want to document the bejewels out of our tools! Yes, there will always be questions from customers, but the more information you can put in their hands early on, the more happy they'll be, and the more scalable our service becomes.

One cool feature: the Feature Request Forum has a voting system so customers can vote on the features they want to see most. Our product team reviews this feedback to get an idea of what to prioritize and what to put further down the roadmap. It's a great way to get customers more involved in SEOmoz's future!

This, That & The Other: Events, Office Tours, Webinars, Demos, Cookies…

We do a bunch of other stuff to help our customers, and it's hard to get it all down in words! We give weekly software demos to help new customers get the most out of PRO,

represent at MozCations,

give tours of the MozPlex and help out at MozCon,

and bake plenty of cookies (you gotta help your fellow mozzers out, too!):

All in all, it's a wonderful life. SEOmoz has the best customers around, and there's no other place I'd rather be. I'd love to share more with you and hear your stories about great customer service, as well as get feedback on what you'd love to see more of in the customer service biznez. Please feel free to write me in the comments, shoot me an email, or tweet me at @aaron_wheeler. See you around the site!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

The SEOmoz Help Team: How We Do Customer Service

Posted by Aaron Wheeler

If you're reading this blog, congratulations! You are a customer of SEOmoz. I've probably personally spoken to at least a few of you, and provided help and support to many more of you. Have you ever wondered how SEOmoz supports 15,000 PRO members and over 250,000 free members and blog readers? After all, Roger can't personally answer every email we receive here. He's not Santa Claus! Instead, the six mozzers that make up the Help Team answer all of the emails, phone calls, and chat requests we get every day. I want to tell you a little bit more about them and give you a look at the way we've built the SEOmoz support channels to meet our overall goal: to provide the best customer service on the planet. It's a hard goal to reach, but I can't think of any more worthwhile endeavor.

The Help Teamsters

Crissy Hall

Crissy is old school! She came to SEOmoz in the spring of 2010. Back then, the Help Team was just Sarah Bird (our COO) and Crissy, and I joined soon after. She loves the fact that she’s been able to watch our team and SEOmoz grow since she started. Things are always changing with our site and tools, and as she says, it keeps us on our toes! Her favorite part of working at SEOmoz is the balance between fun and productivity that makes our team and company such an amazing place to work. Crissy spends her time helping users with their tool and billing questions, planning kick-ass Help Team outings (we made terrariums together last month), and helping the Marketing & Ops teams keep track of our weekly membership reporting.

When she’s not in the office, Crissy likes to take her son Sam on adventures around Seattle. She likes to sew up a storm, particularly to make clothes for her toddler (instant gratification, according to her). In the "warmer" Seattle months she rides her bicycle, named "Tom Selleck," to work and back.

Megan Singley

Megan's been a help teamster for a little over a year now and loves connecting with our users. With several years of experience in customer service, she really strives to make every interaction with SEOmoz users a positive one. Besides responding to emails, calls, and chats, Megan plans and organizes our weekly software demos and investigates billing issues to keep any possible fraudsters at bay. She's also been known to do some writing, whether it be on the SEOmoz blog or in product messages throughout the site.

When not at the MozPlex, Megan likes to watch The Daily Show and Battlestar Galactica with her cat, Lily, and her awesomely-cool-fun-amazing neighbor across the hall, me! (Those are her words of course.) She also enjoys reading anything she can get her hands on (lately, it's been The Hunger Games series) and even started a library for the office. On weekends, she hangs out with friends (including lots of fellow Mozzers), goes dancing to anything from funk & soul to 90's hip hop, and cooks as much as possible.

Kenny Martin

Kenny joined up last year and is one of our few Washington natives! He grew up in a small, sleepy Northwestern town, thus is afraid of the sun. He compensates for a lack of natural energy sources by drinking copious amounts of black coffee. Kenny spends most of his time pursuing the TAGFEE dream by diagnosing tough technical issues, getting his hands dirty with a little web design, and filming each week's Whiteboard Friday.

He never wanders off too far away from his MacBook and for this reason alone his girlfriend mistakenly thinks he loves it more than her. It's probably because most of his spare time is spent designing websites or leaning about some fantastic new technology on the internet. He also loves the Daily Show, puppies, pizza, and tacos.

Nick Sayers

Nick joined our team in September last year and got up to speed lickety-split! Like the rest of our team mates, he answers customer emails, phone calls, and live chat questions. Nick has also spear-headed our new help documentation project that gives customers the resources learn anything about SEOmoz's tool set. This effort makes our company more scalable by answering customers' questions before they call, write, or chat with us, which gives them more instant gratification, as well. Needless to say, he spends a lot of his time creating screencasts and typing up FAQs. Nick has a passion for educating and helping others, so is constantly looking for new resources to show SEOmoz's customers.

Nick enjoys film, video games, reading, and cooking. He is an avid reader of anything from Eastern Philosophy to some of the nerdiest sci-fi/fantasy novels ever written. When not at work, Nick is usually spending time with his wife and partner in crime, Becky. On most nights, they cook new recipes together, play an unhealthy amount of Left 4 Dead 2 or Skyrim, and watch movies. On the weekends, Nick and Becky explore Washington and go to retro theaters. Nick is also involved in independent film-making and has produced, written, and directed a feature film and many shorts. On the sci-fi geek front, Nick has a huge collection of memorabilia from the Alien(s) films. He also has a cat named Ash after Bruce Campbell's character in the Evil Dead series. Of course, this means Nick calls her Evil Ash when she is bad.

Chiaryn Miranda

Chiaryn is the newest addition to the team, having been here for about two months. Don't let that fool you though: she's caught up real quick-like! She's been doing customer service for a long time and is working on learning new things about SEO every day. What better place to learn, eh?

When she's not in the office, she likes to make art and take photographs. She's been working on a sketchbook that will be going on a national tour. She also likes to take trips around the beautiful Seattle waterfront with her camera. When she can, she tries to take candid portraits. Check out some of her artwork on her Art House Co-Op page. She's also an avid movie fan, with a particular love of horror movies, and reads as much as possible. In her words, she'll gobble up pretty much any nonfiction book you put in front of her. That's why we call her Turkey Miranda! Just kidding – that's not why we call her that.

Aaron Wheeler

If you've made it this far, you've probably figured out that this is me! I started at SEOmoz in the summer of 2010 and am loving every minute of being here. A couple months ago I became the manager of the Help Team, which means I do what I can to support the lovely members of our team, and provide our customers with the best service on the planet. It's a tough goal – we have very discerning customers – but a goal I think we can eventually fulfill. Some background: I studied sociology and cognitive science at UC San Diego, but starting doing SEO after graduating. Turns out that ranking for attorneys in San Diego is tough work! I left San Diego early 2010 for Seattle, and eventually found my way at SEOmoz.

Besides working at a place I love, I enjoy reading (currently Steve Jobs), watching great shows (currently my third run of Deadwood), and seeing my favorite bands in Seattle's historical music venues (this month: Junip, Nada Surf, and The Asteroids Galaxy Tour). I also enjoy trying out vegan recipes with my girlfriend, Holly Haymaker, who has the coolest name in the world and a whimsical interactive e-cards site, to boot!

What Do We Do?

You know how, sometimes, you have a question about our site and tools? Or about your account or payment? We're the people you call, email, live chat, and post to our help forums for. Unlike huge companies with call centers and many tiers of support and different people doing phones and chats, though, everyone on our team does everything. It's a great way to keep everyone fully informed about site issues and keep our support fresh and agile. That's not all we do, though! Let me show you all of the ways we keep our customers happy:

Email: Using a Robust Ticketing System

When you send an email to help@seomoz.org, it gets forwarded to our ticketing system. We use ZenDesk, the same help desk software used by companies like Groupon and Box.com. ZenDesk allows us to manage customer emails, assign them to specific people, and easily share them with engineering and product so we can get answers to questions quickly! This is important because we receive over 2,000 emails a month: way too many to respond to from a single email address effectively.

How Does It Work?

When we receive an email, the sender gets an email back with a ticket number. As you see, it gets added to our queue of tickets to reply to. We try to answer 80% of tickets within 8 hours, but if it's a situation where someone has a billing problem or can't access their account (lost password, etc.), we try to answer even faster than that. Our goal is for each member of the Help Team to answer 20 tickets per day. If we don't have the knowledge to answer a question, we'll send the ticket to our engineers and product managers to get an answer. If it's a bug, we let the customer know and open a bug fix with our Triage team. They assign the bug to an engineer, who fixes it and lets them know. Triage sends it back to us when it's fixed, and we email the customer and close the ticket.

When we close a ticket, we send a one-question survey through SurveyMonkey asking how happy we made a customer with our customer service. We try to make 90% of our customers happy, and 30% of our customers delighted. Sometimes, though, we fail to satisfy a customer. When this happens, we ask for the customer's email address and ticket number so we can get in touch and make it right. I've found that when a customer has had a bad experience, reaching out to them to make it right almost always turns the situation around.

Phones: Not a Phone Bank

We get a relatively small amount of calls at SEOmoz: about 100 to 150 a week. Makes sense, as most SEOs do their research online. =) We don't have a sales team and don't do phone marketing, so the only employees that really have phones here are in Operations or the Help Team. We get a lot of calls from potential customers asking about what we do, though we do get a few from PRO members, too. Here's a chart with our phone stats for last week:

How Does it Work?

When a person calls in to SEOmoz, they usually start out talking to Hillari, our fantastic office manager. She makes sure they're not a spambot and, when they're a lovely customer, transfers them to the Help Team pool. The first available person picks it up and starts helping! Pretty straightforward process, as you telephone users know. After the call is over, we try to create a ticket and follow up with the customer to make sure they had all their questions answered. If it's an SEO question, we refer them to the Q&A or to our list of recommended SEO consultants.

Live Chat: What You Need, When You Need It

When potential customers are browsing our software sales pages, they often have questions they want answered now. Same thing goes for existing customers with questions about a payment or their account status: these are the kinds of questions people want to know the answers to quickly. Live Chat comes to the rescue! Instead of requiring a customer to call or send in an email, we usually keep someone logged into Live Chat throughout the day so customers can get help immediately. This leads to happier customers and cuts down on our ticket and phone levels. We use the awesome chat widget SnapEngage, and installed it to a few choice pages.

How Does it Work?

Kenny coordinated with SnapEngage to create a custom view of the widget. When you click "Chat Now," it pops up a dialog box that displays three FAQs, and has a field for the email address of the customer and the question they have. When they've typed those in, all they have to do is click "Message" to open a ticket, or "Live Chat" to start talking! Interesting point: we didn't always have those three FAQs. Adding them reduced chats about these topics about 90%. Yay for preemptive answers!

After we finish chatting with a customer, the chat transcript is automatically added to ZenDesk as a ticket, where we can save it for future review and for long-term tracking. We can also follow up with a customer there. If we're offline, or if a customer chooses the "Message" option instead of the "Live Chat" option, it creates a ticket from the get-go instead.

We can also track the types of computers and browsers people are using when they chat with us, which helps us diagnose the issue faster and get an idea of what our average customer needing immediate support looks like. The chart to the left is a look at last month's chatters.

 

Forums & Documentation: Help More People More Quickly

We maintain both our customer service and API forums through the SEOmoz help desk. We've also started adding all of our tool documentation, videos, and walkthroughs here to make them all available in the same place. This makes our Help Desk a one-stop shop for looking at frequently asked questions, checking out known issues with the site or tools, and just generally getting more knowledgeable about how to use a PRO subscription to its fullest. It's also where we ask customers to submit feature requests.

How Does it Work?

When a customer has a question, they can go to our Help Desk and do a search for the answer, or browse existing questions and documentation. Many of the forums are straight-up questions and answers, but a lot of them are longer-form pages that are part of our documentation project. We want to document the bejewels out of our tools! Yes, there will always be questions from customers, but the more information you can put in their hands early on, the more happy they'll be, and the more scalable our service becomes.

One cool feature: the Feature Request Forum has a voting system so customers can vote on the features they want to see most. Our product team reviews this feedback to get an idea of what to prioritize and what to put further down the roadmap. It's a great way to get customers more involved in SEOmoz's future!

This, That & The Other: Events, Office Tours, Webinars, Demos, Cookies…

We do a bunch of other stuff to help our customers, and it's hard to get it all down in words! We give weekly software demos to help new customers get the most out of PRO,

represent at MozCations,

give tours of the MozPlex and help out at MozCon,

and bake plenty of cookies (you gotta help your fellow mozzers out, too!):

All in all, it's a wonderful life. SEOmoz has the best customers around, and there's no other place I'd rather be. I'd love to share more with you and hear your stories about great customer service, as well as get feedback on what you'd love to see more of in the customer service biznez. Please feel free to write me in the comments, shoot me an email, or tweet me at @aaron_wheeler. See you around the site!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

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How Big is Your Long Tail? – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by Aaron Wheeler

 Choosing keywords to optimize for is a tricky business, made all the more tricky as keyphrases grow longer than a couple of words. As Google has said, up to 20% of search queries in any given day are completely unique. Should you try to optimize your tauntaun sleeping bags product page for "tauntaun sleeping bag," for "childrens’ tauntaun sleeping bag," or for "childrens’ star wars tauntaun sleeping bag from hoth"? How can you research whether or not to optimize for such a long tail query?

In this week’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand is back to explain just how long of a tail you should be optimizing for. Have any suggestions on how you do this research? Give us your thoughts in the comments!

 

Video Transcription

Howdy, SEOmoz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re asking the question: How big is your long tail? No innuendo intended. This is a totally serious question for the search world, wink wink, nod nod, say no more.

Many of you are familiar with the fact that the world of search is really dominated by this concept of the long tail. Google talks about this incredible metric that 20% of any search that’s performed every day is completely unique. Google has never seen that search before performed on their engine at all. No one in history has ever made that search. That happens on one out of every five queries every single day.

We are amazingly unique creatures, especially when we get in front of a search box. That’s a great thing, but of course it means that doing keyword research can be tremendously tough. There are a lot of folks who ask the question: "I’ve heard of this tail concept, but I only do keyword targeting and keyword research really on the fat head, maybe the chunky middle." I’ll talk about those in a sec. "I don’t even know how to do keyword research on the long tail. I don’t know how much of an opportunity it is."

This Whiteboard Friday is here to answer that last question: How big of an opportunity it is. Can we measure it? Can we look at the size? Can we understand? Because some industries are going to be very narrowly focused on a few head terms. That’s what people search for. Those are the money terms. That’s where people convert, that’s where the value comes from. In other industries, the long tail is a huge, huge win, and you need to be able to understand that in order to do the right kinds of keyword targeting.

So let’s begin. This is our classic long tail graph. We’ve got the quantity of visits that any particular keyword sends you on this axis, and then down here on this axis, the keywords themselves. This keyword sent a ton of visits. This keyword sends a ton of visits. This keyword sends a bunch of visits. Then there’s this huge tail that comprises usually 70% of all of the quantity. If we were to take this area under the graph, do some calculus, figure out how big the whole opportunity is, oftentimes the tail is 60%, 70% of the full opportunity. It’s because it extends for miles and miles and miles in that direction.

We kind of classify these into three chunks. So we have our fat head, our chunky middle, and our long tail. The fat head, in my view, tends to refer to the things that are very popular in your niche. I say in your niche, because depending on your niche, these may be very different in terms of quantity. I’ve given a rough estimate for SEOmoz. Usually the categories we like to bring them into are something that sends more than 100 visitors each month. If there’s a keyword that’s sending us more than 100 visits a month, we put that in the fat head. That’s sort of a big term for us. If there’s something sending between 10 and 99 visits a month, that’s our chunky middle. If it’s sending fewer than 10, it’s our long tail.

Some SEOs like to have very, very different orders of magnitude on these. Some people might say, "This is only things that send over 1000. This is stuff between 20 and 500. This is stuff that’s only less than 5." Whatever you want to do is fine. You can classify your traffic that way. That’s a good way to go. You should just be aware that this classification system exists. I think this is a very healthy way to be able to look at things.

You tend to look at the chunky middle and the fat head and say, "I am going to manage these." Whatever I’m using, if I’m using the SEOmoz Pro Suite, I’m going to manage these in my rankings. If I’m using Raven or Authority Labs or any of these other services, these are the keywords that I want to care about tracking their rankings, tracking their visits, keeping good tabs on how they’re doing.

It’s harder in the long tail. I might have a subset of these that I’m monitoring as well just to get a sample, but I’m generally not paying attention one-on-one to them. The problem can be when as SEOs we naturally, since we’re paying attention to these keywords we manage and rank track, we get obsessed with them. We stop thinking and worrying about the long tail and the opportunity we’re missing here. Meanwhile, one of our competitors is going, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Go ahead and let him win the number two, number one rankings for those keywords. I’m winning over here where there’s no competition, and where there’s generally higher conversions, and where there’s tons more volume." We’re kicking ourselves when we find that out.

Instead of losing out, let’s figure out how much opportunity exists there. Before we answer that, we should know: Well, how much am I currently capturing of these? This is pretty easy. What you can do is you can create advanced segments inside Google Analytics, or you can create segmentation inside Google Analytics for each of these buckets. You decide how big these buckets are. You can say, "I only want keywords that sent me fewer than 10 visits." That works great. Those segments can then be classified and you can say, "All right. This sent me 13,510 visits last month. That is up from the month before, so I’m sort of doing better in my long tail." Or long tail demand’s getting better, whichever. From that, measure the quantity of keywords and visits in each bucket.

You can also measure the quality. Measure quality with one of two things. If you have goals set up, hopefully you have goals and conversion rates set up in your Analytics, that’s a great way to look.

The other way, if you don’t, if you’re just trying to say, "How much is this traffic worth to me from a branding perspective, from a usefulness perspective, from a reaching new audience perspective?" The metric I really like for that is browse rate. The reason I like it so much is because browse rate says on average how many pages did a visitor visit in a single session when they came via this keyword.

Browse rate is great way to say usually, when you have a higher browse rate, that means more engagement. It means someone’s surfing around your site more. They’re spending more time on the site. They are more likely to convert or come back and convert. Browse rate is a good sort of substitute metric. It’s not great, not perfect, not nearly as good as goals and conversions, but if you don’t have that, browse rate is a great way to judge qualitatively: How’s this traffic performing?

You take that and you sort of go, "All right. This is how well I’m doing. This is my trend over time. Am I improving? Am I not improving?" For some people they want to know, "Yeah, but what’s the opportunity? Am I really missing out here, or am I doing a good job?" Just measuring your own progress won’t tell you that. You need broader industry statistics. There’s a number of ways to do that.

The most obvious one, of course, is to go to Google AdWords and try and figure out what the fat head and chunky middle distribution looks like. But because there’s no real keyword research available for the long tail, Google through their AdWords tool or their AdWords API, or Bing through AdCenter, are not generally showing you keywords that send fewer than 10 searches, that have a very small search quantity, but there are tons of those keywords. That’s a really challenging thing to search. Of course, no search engine’s going to be able to tell you what those 20% of queries that they’ve never seen before every day are. So that’s frustrating too. Solution to this . . . it’s not that ingenious, you probably know how to do it, you can probably guess, but let me walk you through it anyway. I think it’s super exciting.

This is asking how much opportunity do you have. Oftentimes it’s a lot. One of the best ways to figure this out – this won’t answer it perfectly, but it does a nice decent job – is to say, "I’m going to go to AdWords or AdCenter and I’m going to create a paid search campaign." This is one of the times when paid search and organic search overlap very, very well. It’s just because the research is so handy.

For my major fat head terms, I’m going to create campaigns around those and target groups in both the exact and broad matches for those keywords: Exact match, of course, the example would be like "chess tournaments." "Chess tournaments" is an exact match. I only want that precise phrase. Google do not show my ad and don’t tell me about that. I want to know only the clicks that I get for "chess tournaments" exactly.

Then I’m going to create another group that contains phrase based matching. Show me phrases that contain "chess tournaments" but not this exact phrase. Meaning things like, if somebody searched for "playing chess in a tournament in Miami." That would show up in . . . well, yeah, it contains the phrase, but it’s not that exact phrase. Or I’m sorry, "Miami chess tournaments" would be in there. "Minneapolis chess tournaments" would be in there. "Pro chess tournaments" would be in there. It’s not the exact phrase "chess tournaments", but it contains that phrase.

Then you have that final bucket of contains the words but is not matching a high-volume phrase and does not necessarily need to be the exact phrase. This could be "tournament style chess games" or "tournament video game chess". All this type of stuff can add up to a bunch, and what will happen when you buy these keywords in AdWords is that they will show you something called impression count.

The impression count can actually be drilled into and you can see all of the terms that send those. From that impression count, you can then take them and segment them into these buckets. You can say, "Oh, okay. We had 500 keywords that had 10 or fewer impressions, so we’re going to put those 500 keywords in here. Then we had another 110 keywords that fit into our chunky middle stats. We had another 42 that fit into the head."

This kind of distribution is incredibly valuable because it gives you a sense for a phrase or a bunch of phrases, if you’re doing this work consistently, how big is the opportunity in the tail? It really does vary. Some things are hyper-geographic, so geographic modifiers get in there. Some things are very tuned to customization and specialization and weird sorts of searches. This happens a lot in the programming world. You’ll see "mySQL calls" have a bunch of volume and then you might say "PHP mySQL calls", and then there’s a ton of long tail weird stuff. Being able to see that versus something that’s much more narrow is really, really handy and where the volume is constrained or confined to the fat head, chunky middle.

Now that you’ve got this process, if you’ve got some budget for AdWords, you can start testing, grouping these things into buckets. You can measure your buckets over time and how you’re performing and you can see: Am I capturing the long tail? Or am I losing out on an opportunity to capture the long tail and maybe I need to be spending a little less time and attention with the fat head and chunky middle?

All right gang, thank you very much for joining me. I hope we’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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How Big is Your Long Tail? – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by Aaron Wheeler

 Choosing keywords to optimize for is a tricky business, made all the more tricky as keyphrases grow longer than a couple of words. As Google has said, up to 20% of search queries in any given day are completely unique. Should you try to optimize your tauntaun sleeping bags product page for "tauntaun sleeping bag," for "childrens’ tauntaun sleeping bag," or for "childrens’ star wars tauntaun sleeping bag from hoth"? How can you research whether or not to optimize for such a long tail query?

In this week’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand is back to explain just how long of a tail you should be optimizing for. Have any suggestions on how you do this research? Give us your thoughts in the comments!

 

Video Transcription

Howdy, SEOmoz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re asking the question: How big is your long tail? No innuendo intended. This is a totally serious question for the search world, wink wink, nod nod, say no more.

Many of you are familiar with the fact that the world of search is really dominated by this concept of the long tail. Google talks about this incredible metric that 20% of any search that’s performed every day is completely unique. Google has never seen that search before performed on their engine at all. No one in history has ever made that search. That happens on one out of every five queries every single day.

We are amazingly unique creatures, especially when we get in front of a search box. That’s a great thing, but of course it means that doing keyword research can be tremendously tough. There are a lot of folks who ask the question: "I’ve heard of this tail concept, but I only do keyword targeting and keyword research really on the fat head, maybe the chunky middle." I’ll talk about those in a sec. "I don’t even know how to do keyword research on the long tail. I don’t know how much of an opportunity it is."

This Whiteboard Friday is here to answer that last question: How big of an opportunity it is. Can we measure it? Can we look at the size? Can we understand? Because some industries are going to be very narrowly focused on a few head terms. That’s what people search for. Those are the money terms. That’s where people convert, that’s where the value comes from. In other industries, the long tail is a huge, huge win, and you need to be able to understand that in order to do the right kinds of keyword targeting.

So let’s begin. This is our classic long tail graph. We’ve got the quantity of visits that any particular keyword sends you on this axis, and then down here on this axis, the keywords themselves. This keyword sent a ton of visits. This keyword sends a ton of visits. This keyword sends a bunch of visits. Then there’s this huge tail that comprises usually 70% of all of the quantity. If we were to take this area under the graph, do some calculus, figure out how big the whole opportunity is, oftentimes the tail is 60%, 70% of the full opportunity. It’s because it extends for miles and miles and miles in that direction.

We kind of classify these into three chunks. So we have our fat head, our chunky middle, and our long tail. The fat head, in my view, tends to refer to the things that are very popular in your niche. I say in your niche, because depending on your niche, these may be very different in terms of quantity. I’ve given a rough estimate for SEOmoz. Usually the categories we like to bring them into are something that sends more than 100 visitors each month. If there’s a keyword that’s sending us more than 100 visits a month, we put that in the fat head. That’s sort of a big term for us. If there’s something sending between 10 and 99 visits a month, that’s our chunky middle. If it’s sending fewer than 10, it’s our long tail.

Some SEOs like to have very, very different orders of magnitude on these. Some people might say, "This is only things that send over 1000. This is stuff between 20 and 500. This is stuff that’s only less than 5." Whatever you want to do is fine. You can classify your traffic that way. That’s a good way to go. You should just be aware that this classification system exists. I think this is a very healthy way to be able to look at things.

You tend to look at the chunky middle and the fat head and say, "I am going to manage these." Whatever I’m using, if I’m using the SEOmoz Pro Suite, I’m going to manage these in my rankings. If I’m using Raven or Authority Labs or any of these other services, these are the keywords that I want to care about tracking their rankings, tracking their visits, keeping good tabs on how they’re doing.

It’s harder in the long tail. I might have a subset of these that I’m monitoring as well just to get a sample, but I’m generally not paying attention one-on-one to them. The problem can be when as SEOs we naturally, since we’re paying attention to these keywords we manage and rank track, we get obsessed with them. We stop thinking and worrying about the long tail and the opportunity we’re missing here. Meanwhile, one of our competitors is going, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Go ahead and let him win the number two, number one rankings for those keywords. I’m winning over here where there’s no competition, and where there’s generally higher conversions, and where there’s tons more volume." We’re kicking ourselves when we find that out.

Instead of losing out, let’s figure out how much opportunity exists there. Before we answer that, we should know: Well, how much am I currently capturing of these? This is pretty easy. What you can do is you can create advanced segments inside Google Analytics, or you can create segmentation inside Google Analytics for each of these buckets. You decide how big these buckets are. You can say, "I only want keywords that sent me fewer than 10 visits." That works great. Those segments can then be classified and you can say, "All right. This sent me 13,510 visits last month. That is up from the month before, so I’m sort of doing better in my long tail." Or long tail demand’s getting better, whichever. From that, measure the quantity of keywords and visits in each bucket.

You can also measure the quality. Measure quality with one of two things. If you have goals set up, hopefully you have goals and conversion rates set up in your Analytics, that’s a great way to look.

The other way, if you don’t, if you’re just trying to say, "How much is this traffic worth to me from a branding perspective, from a usefulness perspective, from a reaching new audience perspective?" The metric I really like for that is browse rate. The reason I like it so much is because browse rate says on average how many pages did a visitor visit in a single session when they came via this keyword.

Browse rate is great way to say usually, when you have a higher browse rate, that means more engagement. It means someone’s surfing around your site more. They’re spending more time on the site. They are more likely to convert or come back and convert. Browse rate is a good sort of substitute metric. It’s not great, not perfect, not nearly as good as goals and conversions, but if you don’t have that, browse rate is a great way to judge qualitatively: How’s this traffic performing?

You take that and you sort of go, "All right. This is how well I’m doing. This is my trend over time. Am I improving? Am I not improving?" For some people they want to know, "Yeah, but what’s the opportunity? Am I really missing out here, or am I doing a good job?" Just measuring your own progress won’t tell you that. You need broader industry statistics. There’s a number of ways to do that.

The most obvious one, of course, is to go to Google AdWords and try and figure out what the fat head and chunky middle distribution looks like. But because there’s no real keyword research available for the long tail, Google through their AdWords tool or their AdWords API, or Bing through AdCenter, are not generally showing you keywords that send fewer than 10 searches, that have a very small search quantity, but there are tons of those keywords. That’s a really challenging thing to search. Of course, no search engine’s going to be able to tell you what those 20% of queries that they’ve never seen before every day are. So that’s frustrating too. Solution to this . . . it’s not that ingenious, you probably know how to do it, you can probably guess, but let me walk you through it anyway. I think it’s super exciting.

This is asking how much opportunity do you have. Oftentimes it’s a lot. One of the best ways to figure this out – this won’t answer it perfectly, but it does a nice decent job – is to say, "I’m going to go to AdWords or AdCenter and I’m going to create a paid search campaign." This is one of the times when paid search and organic search overlap very, very well. It’s just because the research is so handy.

For my major fat head terms, I’m going to create campaigns around those and target groups in both the exact and broad matches for those keywords: Exact match, of course, the example would be like "chess tournaments." "Chess tournaments" is an exact match. I only want that precise phrase. Google do not show my ad and don’t tell me about that. I want to know only the clicks that I get for "chess tournaments" exactly.

Then I’m going to create another group that contains phrase based matching. Show me phrases that contain "chess tournaments" but not this exact phrase. Meaning things like, if somebody searched for "playing chess in a tournament in Miami." That would show up in . . . well, yeah, it contains the phrase, but it’s not that exact phrase. Or I’m sorry, "Miami chess tournaments" would be in there. "Minneapolis chess tournaments" would be in there. "Pro chess tournaments" would be in there. It’s not the exact phrase "chess tournaments", but it contains that phrase.

Then you have that final bucket of contains the words but is not matching a high-volume phrase and does not necessarily need to be the exact phrase. This could be "tournament style chess games" or "tournament video game chess". All this type of stuff can add up to a bunch, and what will happen when you buy these keywords in AdWords is that they will show you something called impression count.

The impression count can actually be drilled into and you can see all of the terms that send those. From that impression count, you can then take them and segment them into these buckets. You can say, "Oh, okay. We had 500 keywords that had 10 or fewer impressions, so we’re going to put those 500 keywords in here. Then we had another 110 keywords that fit into our chunky middle stats. We had another 42 that fit into the head."

This kind of distribution is incredibly valuable because it gives you a sense for a phrase or a bunch of phrases, if you’re doing this work consistently, how big is the opportunity in the tail? It really does vary. Some things are hyper-geographic, so geographic modifiers get in there. Some things are very tuned to customization and specialization and weird sorts of searches. This happens a lot in the programming world. You’ll see "mySQL calls" have a bunch of volume and then you might say "PHP mySQL calls", and then there’s a ton of long tail weird stuff. Being able to see that versus something that’s much more narrow is really, really handy and where the volume is constrained or confined to the fat head, chunky middle.

Now that you’ve got this process, if you’ve got some budget for AdWords, you can start testing, grouping these things into buckets. You can measure your buckets over time and how you’re performing and you can see: Am I capturing the long tail? Or am I losing out on an opportunity to capture the long tail and maybe I need to be spending a little less time and attention with the fat head and chunky middle?

All right gang, thank you very much for joining me. I hope we’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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Google Hides Search Referral Data with New SSL Implementation – Emergency Whiteboard Friday

Posted by Aaron Wheeler

On Tuesday, Google announced that signed-in users will, by default, be routed to the SSL version of Google (https://www.google.com). Before Tuesday, most users used non-SSL Google for their searches. Now, according to Google, "…a web site accessed through organic search results on http://www.google.com (non-SSL) can see both that the user came from google.com and their search query… However, for organic search results on SSL search, a web site will only know that the user came from google.com." The effects were obvious immediately. Here’s a screenshot of our GA account showing the quantity of "(not provided)" keywords going up from Sunday to today:

Google Analytics (not provided) visitors

Clearly, the inbound marketing community isn’t thrilled. Take Ian Lurie of Portent, for example: he declared war with Google outright. Having a bunch of "(not provided)" referral keywords in Google Analytics is definitely not pretty. Fortunately, as Avinash Kaushik explains in this Google+ post, there’s something you can do to at least gauge the effects on your analytics, and as Rand will explain, the effects aren’t as devastating for most users as they could be. Yet.

In this emergency Whiteboard Friday, Rand will go over the changes Google has made, why it happened (and why it really might have happened), and what you can do to stay calm and fight back. Let us know how this change has affected your sites in the comments below!

 

Video Transcription

Howdy SEOmoz fans. Welcome to a special emergency edition of Whiteboard Day Agnostic We’ll Interrupt Any Day to Do This. Unfortunately, Google has made a big change to the way that they are serving keyword referral data from their search results, and this is going to have an unfortunate impact on all of us who do white hat SEO, who do web analytics, and who try to learn from this practice.

I want to try in this Whiteboard video to explain why this has happened, what Google is doing, why they claim they’re doing it, and then also explore some of the reasons that they might actually be doing it, and try to provide some actual information about what folks in the web analytics and SEO spheres can do since this data may become less available.

So let’s start by explaining what happens when you do a Google search today. For example, I have done a Google search here for "learn SEO." I click the Search button and some results pop up, and here’s this nice learn SEO, SEOmoz, www.seomoz.org, learn SEO, and then there’s an ad over here, "Learn SEO from PayMeBucks.com." Click on my ad. Dude, I need your visits bad. That probably would not get approved by the AdWords people, but you can get the idea.

Now previously, if I were to click this result or this result, the web analytics tool, whatever it is – your Webtrends, your Omniture, your Google Analytics – at the other end would get some referral data, so with your log file, get some referral data about what sent that visit, which keyword sent that visit. So in this case, it would be "learn SEO" sent a visit from Google.com search over to my website. It would track whether it’s a paid or an organic ad.

This is changing. It is changing only for folks who are logged in. If you are searching from Google and you are logged in, this will be changing so that the logged in behavior, the keyword that referred the visit will be shown as (Not provided). This will show in your web analytics. That’s what Google will say. They will use these parenthesis. That’s how you can see it in the Google Analytics dashboard currently. However, if you click this paid search ad, they will still be providing the keyword "learn SEO." So logged out behavior in purple here. Logged out behavior always gets keyword "learn SEO" as the referrer. Logged in behavior gets keyword (Not Provided) if you click on organic results. But if you’re paying Google, you will still be able to see the referral information.

Now Google claims they’re doing this to protect user privacy so that users who are logged in will by default not be showing their searches to the websites that they visit. Unfortunately, I think that there are a lot of people in the search world and folks who observe this who have rightfully stated, well, if Google were trying to protect privacy, they’ve already to some extent done that by providing a secure search – https search, which is what’s doing this as well, the SSL search – for those people who would not like to provide that information. Some very small portion of people do use that form of Google search, the sort of protected search.

So it’s already available. The reason they’re doing this by default I think that many people suspect . . . I’ll link to a great article by Ian Lurie of Portent Interactive, who I think prognosticates or posits the actual reason for this is that ad networks today are being very successful using search referral data from visitors, and they’re able to leverage that data across multiple websites. So Google is hoping to remove that ability and be the only ad network that can be aware of your search behavior, thus sort of blocking out other providers using their near monopoly in search to exclude other people from being able to use this data,

That’s frustrating. It’s sad. It’s upsetting. It certainly doesn’t fit with what we know about Google. But I think the unfortunate thing here is that those of us in the web analytics/SEO sphere are going to have a tough battle to fight from a PR angle because Google can play the "no this is to protect your privacy" card and use that as their excuse. Of course, if that were the case, it seems very odd that you can pay them and still get the data. But I’m going to reserve judgment on that, and I’ll let folks make their own decisions. I do think it’s very important that we not just get upset about this, but we also think about what we can do actionably. Anytime a major player in the search world or social world or inbound world makes a big change, we need to figure out what is it, how is that we can best respond, how can we use data, how can we continue to be great marketers.

There are a couple of things that I would recommend. First off, you should be measuring the quantity and percent of the lost keyword data. That is a very important metric that you’re going to want to track over time. To do this, you simply go to your web analytics tool, you grab the number of (Not Provided) keywords or referrals, visits that came to, divide that by your total visits from Google organic, and you will get the percent of search referrals affected by this. You want to track this over time because you want to know if that’s going up, if more people who are logged into Google are searching and finding your site, what percent of data you’re losing, whether this is going to be a big problem as Google rolls it out more broadly, and you can see some data from SEOmoz.

So let’s take a look at our own data. This is from Sunday to Thursday of this week, so ending yesterday. We’re filming this on Friday for release tomorrow, Saturday. You can see (Not Provided) was 1,062 or 1.2% of the visits over these 5 days. However, the number is going up. So as of Sunday, we had zero visits that did not contain any keyword data. Monday had 90. Tuesday had 111. Wednesday had 381. Thursday had 421. That is 2.2%. So you can see that we’ve lost keyword information on a little over 2% of our visits and climbing. So this is frustrating. Google has said that they expect this will be less than 10% for most websites. So we hope to continue to get 90% of the data.

That leads me to number two. You can continue to leverage data from sources like the existing Google data, which should be hopefully around 90% of what you have today, Bing and Yahoo data, of course, which are responsible for around anywhere between 10% and 20% of your search referrals depending on your industry and niche, and of course, your internal search query data. This data is invaluable not only for doing keyword research and targeting, but also figuring out conversion rates, trying to optimize for those visitors, make their user experience better. It’s really only for white hat types of activities. So it’s frustrating that Google pulled this, rather than maybe tackling something more black hat focused. But we have what we have.

Number three, if you do feel strongly about this issue, there are lots of opportunities – I don’t want to say complain – but lots of opportunities to let Google know how you feel. This is a change that they are making, and they are currently planning on making and rolling on and have been rolling out. But that doesn’t mean that they might not backtrack if user feedback is overwhelmingly negative, and certainly that would be nice for those of us in the analytics sphere who like to use this data.

So you can obviously blog about it, write about it. You could even write to your congressional rep. There are several forums. The Google blog post announcing this accepts comments. The Google Webmaster Tools forum certainly accepts comments. You can also contact your AdWords representatives and let them know that you’re not totally thrilled by this move either. Remember AdWords data is still passing the refer. It’s organic search that is affected.

So hopefully this won’t affect too big a percentage of search queries and thus will still continue to have some good data, but given Google’s efforts to try and make more people be logged into Google Plus, to Gmail, to Google hosted apps, I don’t know. There is a lot of, I think, fear and uncertainty right now in the analytics world.

But with that said, you have some actionable things you can do. You should definitely start tracking this data, and hopefully we will see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday, rather than an emergency, interrupting version. We hope we don’t have too many of these. Take care everyone.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

p.s. from Rand: I highly recommend checking out Danny Sullivan’s more thorough writeup on this event at SELand: Google Puts a Price on Privacy.

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Google Hides Search Referral Data with New SSL Implementation – Emergency Whiteboard Friday

Posted by Aaron Wheeler

On Tuesday, Google announced that signed-in users will, by default, be routed to the SSL version of Google (https://www.google.com). Before Tuesday, most users used non-SSL Google for their searches. Now, according to Google, "…a web site accessed through organic search results on http://www.google.com (non-SSL) can see both that the user came from google.com and their search query… However, for organic search results on SSL search, a web site will only know that the user came from google.com." The effects were obvious immediately. Here’s a screenshot of our GA account showing the quantity of "(not provided)" keywords going up from Sunday to today:

Google Analytics (not provided) visitors

Clearly, the inbound marketing community isn’t thrilled. Take Ian Lurie of Portent, for example: he declared war with Google outright. Having a bunch of "(not provided)" referral keywords in Google Analytics is definitely not pretty. Fortunately, as Avinash Kaushik explains in this Google+ post, there’s something you can do to at least gauge the effects on your analytics, and as Rand will explain, the effects aren’t as devastating for most users as they could be. Yet.

In this emergency Whiteboard Friday, Rand will go over the changes Google has made, why it happened (and why it really might have happened), and what you can do to stay calm and fight back. Let us know how this change has affected your sites in the comments below!

 

Video Transcription

Howdy SEOmoz fans. Welcome to a special emergency edition of Whiteboard Day Agnostic We’ll Interrupt Any Day to Do This. Unfortunately, Google has made a big change to the way that they are serving keyword referral data from their search results, and this is going to have an unfortunate impact on all of us who do white hat SEO, who do web analytics, and who try to learn from this practice.

I want to try in this Whiteboard video to explain why this has happened, what Google is doing, why they claim they’re doing it, and then also explore some of the reasons that they might actually be doing it, and try to provide some actual information about what folks in the web analytics and SEO spheres can do since this data may become less available.

So let’s start by explaining what happens when you do a Google search today. For example, I have done a Google search here for "learn SEO." I click the Search button and some results pop up, and here’s this nice learn SEO, SEOmoz, www.seomoz.org, learn SEO, and then there’s an ad over here, "Learn SEO from PayMeBucks.com." Click on my ad. Dude, I need your visits bad. That probably would not get approved by the AdWords people, but you can get the idea.

Now previously, if I were to click this result or this result, the web analytics tool, whatever it is – your Webtrends, your Omniture, your Google Analytics – at the other end would get some referral data, so with your log file, get some referral data about what sent that visit, which keyword sent that visit. So in this case, it would be "learn SEO" sent a visit from Google.com search over to my website. It would track whether it’s a paid or an organic ad.

This is changing. It is changing only for folks who are logged in. If you are searching from Google and you are logged in, this will be changing so that the logged in behavior, the keyword that referred the visit will be shown as (Not provided). This will show in your web analytics. That’s what Google will say. They will use these parenthesis. That’s how you can see it in the Google Analytics dashboard currently. However, if you click this paid search ad, they will still be providing the keyword "learn SEO." So logged out behavior in purple here. Logged out behavior always gets keyword "learn SEO" as the referrer. Logged in behavior gets keyword (Not Provided) if you click on organic results. But if you’re paying Google, you will still be able to see the referral information.

Now Google claims they’re doing this to protect user privacy so that users who are logged in will by default not be showing their searches to the websites that they visit. Unfortunately, I think that there are a lot of people in the search world and folks who observe this who have rightfully stated, well, if Google were trying to protect privacy, they’ve already to some extent done that by providing a secure search – https search, which is what’s doing this as well, the SSL search – for those people who would not like to provide that information. Some very small portion of people do use that form of Google search, the sort of protected search.

So it’s already available. The reason they’re doing this by default I think that many people suspect . . . I’ll link to a great article by Ian Lurie of Portent Interactive, who I think prognosticates or posits the actual reason for this is that ad networks today are being very successful using search referral data from visitors, and they’re able to leverage that data across multiple websites. So Google is hoping to remove that ability and be the only ad network that can be aware of your search behavior, thus sort of blocking out other providers using their near monopoly in search to exclude other people from being able to use this data,

That’s frustrating. It’s sad. It’s upsetting. It certainly doesn’t fit with what we know about Google. But I think the unfortunate thing here is that those of us in the web analytics/SEO sphere are going to have a tough battle to fight from a PR angle because Google can play the "no this is to protect your privacy" card and use that as their excuse. Of course, if that were the case, it seems very odd that you can pay them and still get the data. But I’m going to reserve judgment on that, and I’ll let folks make their own decisions. I do think it’s very important that we not just get upset about this, but we also think about what we can do actionably. Anytime a major player in the search world or social world or inbound world makes a big change, we need to figure out what is it, how is that we can best respond, how can we use data, how can we continue to be great marketers.

There are a couple of things that I would recommend. First off, you should be measuring the quantity and percent of the lost keyword data. That is a very important metric that you’re going to want to track over time. To do this, you simply go to your web analytics tool, you grab the number of (Not Provided) keywords or referrals, visits that came to, divide that by your total visits from Google organic, and you will get the percent of search referrals affected by this. You want to track this over time because you want to know if that’s going up, if more people who are logged into Google are searching and finding your site, what percent of data you’re losing, whether this is going to be a big problem as Google rolls it out more broadly, and you can see some data from SEOmoz.

So let’s take a look at our own data. This is from Sunday to Thursday of this week, so ending yesterday. We’re filming this on Friday for release tomorrow, Saturday. You can see (Not Provided) was 1,062 or 1.2% of the visits over these 5 days. However, the number is going up. So as of Sunday, we had zero visits that did not contain any keyword data. Monday had 90. Tuesday had 111. Wednesday had 381. Thursday had 421. That is 2.2%. So you can see that we’ve lost keyword information on a little over 2% of our visits and climbing. So this is frustrating. Google has said that they expect this will be less than 10% for most websites. So we hope to continue to get 90% of the data.

That leads me to number two. You can continue to leverage data from sources like the existing Google data, which should be hopefully around 90% of what you have today, Bing and Yahoo data, of course, which are responsible for around anywhere between 10% and 20% of your search referrals depending on your industry and niche, and of course, your internal search query data. This data is invaluable not only for doing keyword research and targeting, but also figuring out conversion rates, trying to optimize for those visitors, make their user experience better. It’s really only for white hat types of activities. So it’s frustrating that Google pulled this, rather than maybe tackling something more black hat focused. But we have what we have.

Number three, if you do feel strongly about this issue, there are lots of opportunities – I don’t want to say complain – but lots of opportunities to let Google know how you feel. This is a change that they are making, and they are currently planning on making and rolling on and have been rolling out. But that doesn’t mean that they might not backtrack if user feedback is overwhelmingly negative, and certainly that would be nice for those of us in the analytics sphere who like to use this data.

So you can obviously blog about it, write about it. You could even write to your congressional rep. There are several forums. The Google blog post announcing this accepts comments. The Google Webmaster Tools forum certainly accepts comments. You can also contact your AdWords representatives and let them know that you’re not totally thrilled by this move either. Remember AdWords data is still passing the refer. It’s organic search that is affected.

So hopefully this won’t affect too big a percentage of search queries and thus will still continue to have some good data, but given Google’s efforts to try and make more people be logged into Google Plus, to Gmail, to Google hosted apps, I don’t know. There is a lot of, I think, fear and uncertainty right now in the analytics world.

But with that said, you have some actionable things you can do. You should definitely start tracking this data, and hopefully we will see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday, rather than an emergency, interrupting version. We hope we don’t have too many of these. Take care everyone.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

p.s. from Rand: I highly recommend checking out Danny Sullivan’s more thorough writeup on this event at SELand: Google Puts a Price on Privacy.

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5 Tips for Running a Successful Retargeting Campaign – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by Aaron Wheeler

 You’ve already got a lot of visitors coming to your site through your SEO efforts, but how many of those visitors convert on their first visit? If your site is like most sites, less than 5%. Those visitors that don’t convert the first time around might come back to your site, but why not make the decision easier for them? Use retargeting! There are a lot of great reasons to implement a retargeting campaign and, in that vein, there are a lot of steps involved in doing so. On this week’s Whiteboard Friday, our very own Justin Vanning explains some of the tips and strategies he’s used to create successful retargeting campaigns. Are you a retargeting wizard yourself? Tell us about your own tricks in the comments below!

 

Video Transcription

Hey Mozzers, my name is Justin and I am pretty new here on the SEOmoz team. I work on the marketing team, and I’m responsible for all of our pay channels, so paid search, retargeting, pretty much anything that has a budget where we’re trying to go and acquire new customers, that’s what I work on.

So I’m going to take a little bit of a breather from SEO. I know most of our Whiteboard Fridays have to do with SEO. I have a paid search background, a paid marketing background, so I’m going to stick to retargeting since that’s what I know and hopefully can show all of you who are doing SEO why it’s valuable to use retargeting and give you some tips.

So for those of you who don’t know what retargeting is, it’s basically you serve a cookie, you serve a pixel on your site that’s going to capture users who have visited it so that in the future when they’re visiting different web properties, other websites, you can show your ads to those users because you know that they’ve actually been to a specific page on your site. So I’m not going to go too deep into what retargeting is or give some specifics on that because I think most people probably are aware of it. We’ve done a bunch of blog posts on it. I know Joanna wrote a bunch that if you’re interested you can check out and you can kind of see the basics of retargeting. But what I want to focus on are just some five quick tips for running a successful retargeting campaign.

The first one is to create highly relevant audiences. In retargeting, your audience is basically the group of people that you are capturing through the use of serving them a cookie. You’re capturing those users, and you’re putting them in a segment or an audience. So here at SEOmoz we use AdRoll as our retargeting platform, and they’re great if any of you guys want to check them out. But the first thing that AdRoll offers, and I know some other retargeting platforms offer, is segmenting and filtering. So what this means is that you have the retargeting pixel on your entire site. So if a user visits your product page or your features page, they’re going to be served that cookie, but what segmenting and filtering does is it lets you take a group of people and say, "I want to only create an audience from people who have been to our features page. I only want to create an audience of people who have checked out . . ." Let’s say you’re a snowboard retailer, and you only want to grab people who have looked at winter coats. Well, you can use segmenting to grab those users and put them in a highly relevant bucket so that when you’re serving them retargeting ads when they’re out on different websites, you know exactly who that audience is and what the best ad is going to be that they’re going to respond to.

So utilizing the segments and also utilizing filters to filter out people, like here at SEOmoz, we have Pro subscribers, so if I wanted to create an audience, I probably don’t want to include our Pro subscribers in our retargeting campaign since they’re already signed up. So I can use filtering to make sure that I’m filtering out anybody who’s basically come to their login page or has gone to their Pro dashboard.

The second point is utilizing all of your web properties. So what this is talking about is if you have a company blog, you have multiple sites that basically maybe you have two sites that are offering two different product sets, make sure that you’re using your retargeting pixel and you’re creating audiences in segments on all of your web properties. So if you have a blog that gets 20,000 visitors a month, even though they might not all necessarily be prospective customers, it’s a great idea to use that blog, throw the retargeting pixel up there, and start capturing that audience that in future if you decide that you want to give that audience a particular message through banner ads, you can serve that to them.

Then the third point under this is just to know your goals. Make sure that you know exactly what you’re trying to do with your retargeting campaign. If you’re trying to drive conversions, you want to make sure that your – what I’m going to speak about next in the conversion funnel – and make sure that you’re keeping in mind what your conversion funnel is. If you’re trying just to drive lead gen, to drive people signing up a form with information, make sure you know what that goal is of what you’re doing. Maybe it’s just brand awareness and staying in front of potential customers. So you can use retargeting to really do any of these different goals. It’s just making sure you know what the goal is and structuring your campaign to meet that goal.

The second tip is to utilize your conversion funnel. Every site’s going to have probably a slightly different conversion funnel, but the basic one is you have these different steps that the prospective customer’s going to go though as they are going from first being exposed to your brand or to your site to finally making a purchase, whether that’s signing up for software that they’re going to pay a monthly fee for, or if it’s purchasing a T- shirt. There are going to be different levels in that funnel, but for this scenario, we’re just going to say the first one is the awareness stage. That’s when a customer is just kind of being exposed to your brand. The way that you can utilize this in retargeting is to, say that somebody just landed on our homepage and they never went anywhere else on our site, well if I have a segment or an audience that’s set up just for the homepage and it’s filtering out everything else, I can say, "Let’s serve these people ads with just our logo and our company name because that’s going to reinforce that brand." It’s going to reinforce the fact that they know they’ve been to your site. They might not yet know exactly what you do. They might not know your full product set, so you can keep these ads more simple and just focus them on brand awareness.

The second part of the conversion funnel is interest. This is somebody who’s maybe looked around a little bit on your site. They’ve started looking at your product offerings. They’ve gotten a little bit more in depth into the conversion funnel. This is where if you’re retargeting this specific audience, you would want to have ads with a specific product. So if somebody went to your – I keep bringing up snowboarding, but that’s because I like to snowboarding – but if they were looking at actual snowboards, well then you could say, "In retargeting I want to serve them maybe ads that are going to talk about other snowboards that we offer." Or maybe we got a new line of snowboards in and you want to try to get that person to come back to your site, so you use that interest that you know that person has based on their behavior.

The next step would be evaluation. These are potential customers that are in the evaluation phase and they’re looking. They’ve been to your site. They’ve done a lot of looking around at different products or your different services, and they are currently evaluating whether or not they’re going to become a customer. So at this point you want to have retargeting ads that answer any of their lingering questions. So, good things here would be maybe to reinforce if you had won an award for your product and to reinforce that in your retargeting ads that are going after this audience. Maybe it’s to talk about if you have a lifetime warrantee and none of your competitors do, at this point you would maybe want to bring that up in your retargeting ads.

The next step is the decision phase. That’s when the customer is literally about to buy whatever the product or the service is that you’re offering. Maybe they’ve made it to your cart page and they haven’t actually converted into a purchase or a paying subscriber. So at this point you would want to serve these types of customers ads that show particular promos and discounts. Let’s say your product normally is $99 a month, but you’re going to run it for $79 a month. So it’s a great way to go after that audience of people who have made it really far in the conversion funnel, but haven’t converted, by creating ads that are speaking specifically to kind of that last step to get them over the hurdle of, "Should I become a customer or not?"

Then the final step is after somebody has purchased the product you want to . . . you can use targeting in some creative ways after the purchase to basically say, "Okay, this person purchased a snowboard. They didn’t buy bindings or boots from our company. Let’s serve them retargeting ads that have products that we know are similar to what they already bought and that we think they’re going to have interest in, and try to use that purchase behavior to create the ads and create the retargeting campaign that’s going to go after that specific segment.

The third tip is to avoid banner fatigue. In retargeting, if you set up a retargeting campaign and you’re not careful, it’s definitely easy to have it where your ads are literally just following people who have been to your site and they’re following them from site to site to site. It can get a little creepy. People get weirded out by that. I know experts usually say that 7 to 12 ads per month is the ideal range that you want your banner ads to be showing up to people who are in your retargeting audiences. So whether you have to turn down the frequency of how often your ads are showing, if you want to cap your impressions to one per user per day, you can use some different things in most retargeting tools to make sure that you’re not just bombarding people with banners ads. You don’t want to create just the negative feeling that you’re constantly following them or that you’re desperate for a sale.

The other tip under here is to just rotate your creative constantly. I think having a portfolio of creative that is kind of a living, breathing portfolio of multiple creatives, between static, between animating. Like I said earlier is that people are going to be seeing these ads frequently, and you don’t want them to keep seeing the exact same ad, or the exact same call to action, or the exact same offer. So I think rotating these ads constantly, whether you’re doing different campaigns to hit customers at different points in the conversion funnel, making sure that you have multiple ads that can speak to exactly where that customer’s at and where you want them to be in the conversion funnel.

The fourth tip would be optimizing your landing pages. As most of you know, from whether you’re doing paid search, you’re doing other channels that landing page optimization is crucial to making sure that if you show your ad to a potential customer and they click on it, that’s the first step. You want to make sure that you have compelling creative to get them to click, but once they actually perform that click and they get to your site, you want to make sure that you’re not losing them for a second time. Keeping in mind, all of these people who are in your retargeting audiences are usually going to be people who haven’t made a purchase, unless you’ve going after this segment of people who did make a purchase and you’re trying to get them to come back. For the most part you’re going to be going after people who probably haven’t purchased on their first visit to the site. So you want to make sure that your landing page is optimized to speak to them. If somebody’s in the decision phase of the process, you know they’ve already been to your product or your features page. They have a lot of information. You don’t want to drop them on your homepage. You don’t want to drop them back on your "About Us" page when they’re at that phase in the process. You want to make sure you’re getting them to as few clicks as possible to the actual conversion point.

The other thing that I like to do is just to constantly test and make sure that you’re using creative copy. There are things you can do where you can create your custom landing pages for your retargeting campaigns that thank the user for coming back. You know that they’ve already been to your site. So having the first thing they see, copy that says, "Thank you for taking for taking another look at our site. Thank you for taking a look at our products." Those types of things can be effective to give you that extra bump in conversions.

Then the fifth and final tip is to have patience and continually test. Retargeting is definitely more of a marathon than a race. If you set it up, you’re really excited, you get your campaign up and running, you’re probably going to be a little bit disheartened as soon as it gets up and running because it’s slow to really build. Retargeting, it needs time. As your campaign is running, you’re serving more impressions to the same users over and over. So you’re reinforcing your brand, you’re reinforcing your promotion, your offers, your products. The longer that your retargeting campaigns run, the more successful they’re going to be. It doesn’t mean you can set it up and just forget about it. You definitely have to test. Testing creative, testing offers, testing landing pages, all of those things are really important, and they’re really simple to do if you’re using a good retargeting platform where you can just do A/B testing. You can have a creative with your mascot versus a creative without your mascot. You can have creative that is strongly pushing a call to action to sign up for a free trial or to buy a product, or you can try to tone that language back and see which one performs better.

So I think at the end of the day if you’re testing your ad copy, you’re testing your creative, you’re testing your landing pages and constantly building that data set of metrics to create what decisions you’re going to make in the future, and you are constantly learning from the retargeting campaign, I think that’s the most effective way to run retargeting.

So these are some of the tips that I’ve learned in previous jobs and here at SEOmoz, and will continue to learn moving forward. Retargeting is something that I think the more you do it, the more you can learn from it. So I don’t think you’ll ever get to a point where you feel like you’re 100%, you know everything there is to know about retargeting, but it’s a great channel to use. It really is the best way, I feel like, to get the customers that have been to your site, whether they’ve come there organically through SEO. You’re spending all your time in SEO and you’re driving traffic to your site. Why not use retargeting to try and go after that 95%, 97%, 98% of the people who get to your site and never actually convert on that first visit. Retargeting is a great way to let you go and stay in front of those people. When they’re out surfing on the Web, doing things on the Web, you can stay in front of them and remind them of your brand, remind them of your products, and hopefully get them to come back.

That’s all I have for you. I hope that was helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me through email. My email is listed on the SEOmoz site. Thanks a lot, guys.

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5 Tips for Running a Successful Retargeting Campaign – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by Aaron Wheeler

 You’ve already got a lot of visitors coming to your site through your SEO efforts, but how many of those visitors convert on their first visit? If your site is like most sites, less than 5%. Those visitors that don’t convert the first time around might come back to your site, but why not make the decision easier for them? Use retargeting! There are a lot of great reasons to implement a retargeting campaign and, in that vein, there are a lot of steps involved in doing so. On this week’s Whiteboard Friday, our very own Justin Vanning explains some of the tips and strategies he’s used to create successful retargeting campaigns. Are you a retargeting wizard yourself? Tell us about your own tricks in the comments below!

 

Video Transcription

Hey Mozzers, my name is Justin and I am pretty new here on the SEOmoz team. I work on the marketing team, and I’m responsible for all of our pay channels, so paid search, retargeting, pretty much anything that has a budget where we’re trying to go and acquire new customers, that’s what I work on.

So I’m going to take a little bit of a breather from SEO. I know most of our Whiteboard Fridays have to do with SEO. I have a paid search background, a paid marketing background, so I’m going to stick to retargeting since that’s what I know and hopefully can show all of you who are doing SEO why it’s valuable to use retargeting and give you some tips.

So for those of you who don’t know what retargeting is, it’s basically you serve a cookie, you serve a pixel on your site that’s going to capture users who have visited it so that in the future when they’re visiting different web properties, other websites, you can show your ads to those users because you know that they’ve actually been to a specific page on your site. So I’m not going to go too deep into what retargeting is or give some specifics on that because I think most people probably are aware of it. We’ve done a bunch of blog posts on it. I know Joanna wrote a bunch that if you’re interested you can check out and you can kind of see the basics of retargeting. But what I want to focus on are just some five quick tips for running a successful retargeting campaign.

The first one is to create highly relevant audiences. In retargeting, your audience is basically the group of people that you are capturing through the use of serving them a cookie. You’re capturing those users, and you’re putting them in a segment or an audience. So here at SEOmoz we use AdRoll as our retargeting platform, and they’re great if any of you guys want to check them out. But the first thing that AdRoll offers, and I know some other retargeting platforms offer, is segmenting and filtering. So what this means is that you have the retargeting pixel on your entire site. So if a user visits your product page or your features page, they’re going to be served that cookie, but what segmenting and filtering does is it lets you take a group of people and say, "I want to only create an audience from people who have been to our features page. I only want to create an audience of people who have checked out . . ." Let’s say you’re a snowboard retailer, and you only want to grab people who have looked at winter coats. Well, you can use segmenting to grab those users and put them in a highly relevant bucket so that when you’re serving them retargeting ads when they’re out on different websites, you know exactly who that audience is and what the best ad is going to be that they’re going to respond to.

So utilizing the segments and also utilizing filters to filter out people, like here at SEOmoz, we have Pro subscribers, so if I wanted to create an audience, I probably don’t want to include our Pro subscribers in our retargeting campaign since they’re already signed up. So I can use filtering to make sure that I’m filtering out anybody who’s basically come to their login page or has gone to their Pro dashboard.

The second point is utilizing all of your web properties. So what this is talking about is if you have a company blog, you have multiple sites that basically maybe you have two sites that are offering two different product sets, make sure that you’re using your retargeting pixel and you’re creating audiences in segments on all of your web properties. So if you have a blog that gets 20,000 visitors a month, even though they might not all necessarily be prospective customers, it’s a great idea to use that blog, throw the retargeting pixel up there, and start capturing that audience that in future if you decide that you want to give that audience a particular message through banner ads, you can serve that to them.

Then the third point under this is just to know your goals. Make sure that you know exactly what you’re trying to do with your retargeting campaign. If you’re trying to drive conversions, you want to make sure that your – what I’m going to speak about next in the conversion funnel – and make sure that you’re keeping in mind what your conversion funnel is. If you’re trying just to drive lead gen, to drive people signing up a form with information, make sure you know what that goal is of what you’re doing. Maybe it’s just brand awareness and staying in front of potential customers. So you can use retargeting to really do any of these different goals. It’s just making sure you know what the goal is and structuring your campaign to meet that goal.

The second tip is to utilize your conversion funnel. Every site’s going to have probably a slightly different conversion funnel, but the basic one is you have these different steps that the prospective customer’s going to go though as they are going from first being exposed to your brand or to your site to finally making a purchase, whether that’s signing up for software that they’re going to pay a monthly fee for, or if it’s purchasing a T- shirt. There are going to be different levels in that funnel, but for this scenario, we’re just going to say the first one is the awareness stage. That’s when a customer is just kind of being exposed to your brand. The way that you can utilize this in retargeting is to, say that somebody just landed on our homepage and they never went anywhere else on our site, well if I have a segment or an audience that’s set up just for the homepage and it’s filtering out everything else, I can say, "Let’s serve these people ads with just our logo and our company name because that’s going to reinforce that brand." It’s going to reinforce the fact that they know they’ve been to your site. They might not yet know exactly what you do. They might not know your full product set, so you can keep these ads more simple and just focus them on brand awareness.

The second part of the conversion funnel is interest. This is somebody who’s maybe looked around a little bit on your site. They’ve started looking at your product offerings. They’ve gotten a little bit more in depth into the conversion funnel. This is where if you’re retargeting this specific audience, you would want to have ads with a specific product. So if somebody went to your – I keep bringing up snowboarding, but that’s because I like to snowboarding – but if they were looking at actual snowboards, well then you could say, "In retargeting I want to serve them maybe ads that are going to talk about other snowboards that we offer." Or maybe we got a new line of snowboards in and you want to try to get that person to come back to your site, so you use that interest that you know that person has based on their behavior.

The next step would be evaluation. These are potential customers that are in the evaluation phase and they’re looking. They’ve been to your site. They’ve done a lot of looking around at different products or your different services, and they are currently evaluating whether or not they’re going to become a customer. So at this point you want to have retargeting ads that answer any of their lingering questions. So, good things here would be maybe to reinforce if you had won an award for your product and to reinforce that in your retargeting ads that are going after this audience. Maybe it’s to talk about if you have a lifetime warrantee and none of your competitors do, at this point you would maybe want to bring that up in your retargeting ads.

The next step is the decision phase. That’s when the customer is literally about to buy whatever the product or the service is that you’re offering. Maybe they’ve made it to your cart page and they haven’t actually converted into a purchase or a paying subscriber. So at this point you would want to serve these types of customers ads that show particular promos and discounts. Let’s say your product normally is $99 a month, but you’re going to run it for $79 a month. So it’s a great way to go after that audience of people who have made it really far in the conversion funnel, but haven’t converted, by creating ads that are speaking specifically to kind of that last step to get them over the hurdle of, "Should I become a customer or not?"

Then the final step is after somebody has purchased the product you want to . . . you can use targeting in some creative ways after the purchase to basically say, "Okay, this person purchased a snowboard. They didn’t buy bindings or boots from our company. Let’s serve them retargeting ads that have products that we know are similar to what they already bought and that we think they’re going to have interest in, and try to use that purchase behavior to create the ads and create the retargeting campaign that’s going to go after that specific segment.

The third tip is to avoid banner fatigue. In retargeting, if you set up a retargeting campaign and you’re not careful, it’s definitely easy to have it where your ads are literally just following people who have been to your site and they’re following them from site to site to site. It can get a little creepy. People get weirded out by that. I know experts usually say that 7 to 12 ads per month is the ideal range that you want your banner ads to be showing up to people who are in your retargeting audiences. So whether you have to turn down the frequency of how often your ads are showing, if you want to cap your impressions to one per user per day, you can use some different things in most retargeting tools to make sure that you’re not just bombarding people with banners ads. You don’t want to create just the negative feeling that you’re constantly following them or that you’re desperate for a sale.

The other tip under here is to just rotate your creative constantly. I think having a portfolio of creative that is kind of a living, breathing portfolio of multiple creatives, between static, between animating. Like I said earlier is that people are going to be seeing these ads frequently, and you don’t want them to keep seeing the exact same ad, or the exact same call to action, or the exact same offer. So I think rotating these ads constantly, whether you’re doing different campaigns to hit customers at different points in the conversion funnel, making sure that you have multiple ads that can speak to exactly where that customer’s at and where you want them to be in the conversion funnel.

The fourth tip would be optimizing your landing pages. As most of you know, from whether you’re doing paid search, you’re doing other channels that landing page optimization is crucial to making sure that if you show your ad to a potential customer and they click on it, that’s the first step. You want to make sure that you have compelling creative to get them to click, but once they actually perform that click and they get to your site, you want to make sure that you’re not losing them for a second time. Keeping in mind, all of these people who are in your retargeting audiences are usually going to be people who haven’t made a purchase, unless you’ve going after this segment of people who did make a purchase and you’re trying to get them to come back. For the most part you’re going to be going after people who probably haven’t purchased on their first visit to the site. So you want to make sure that your landing page is optimized to speak to them. If somebody’s in the decision phase of the process, you know they’ve already been to your product or your features page. They have a lot of information. You don’t want to drop them on your homepage. You don’t want to drop them back on your "About Us" page when they’re at that phase in the process. You want to make sure you’re getting them to as few clicks as possible to the actual conversion point.

The other thing that I like to do is just to constantly test and make sure that you’re using creative copy. There are things you can do where you can create your custom landing pages for your retargeting campaigns that thank the user for coming back. You know that they’ve already been to your site. So having the first thing they see, copy that says, "Thank you for taking for taking another look at our site. Thank you for taking a look at our products." Those types of things can be effective to give you that extra bump in conversions.

Then the fifth and final tip is to have patience and continually test. Retargeting is definitely more of a marathon than a race. If you set it up, you’re really excited, you get your campaign up and running, you’re probably going to be a little bit disheartened as soon as it gets up and running because it’s slow to really build. Retargeting, it needs time. As your campaign is running, you’re serving more impressions to the same users over and over. So you’re reinforcing your brand, you’re reinforcing your promotion, your offers, your products. The longer that your retargeting campaigns run, the more successful they’re going to be. It doesn’t mean you can set it up and just forget about it. You definitely have to test. Testing creative, testing offers, testing landing pages, all of those things are really important, and they’re really simple to do if you’re using a good retargeting platform where you can just do A/B testing. You can have a creative with your mascot versus a creative without your mascot. You can have creative that is strongly pushing a call to action to sign up for a free trial or to buy a product, or you can try to tone that language back and see which one performs better.

So I think at the end of the day if you’re testing your ad copy, you’re testing your creative, you’re testing your landing pages and constantly building that data set of metrics to create what decisions you’re going to make in the future, and you are constantly learning from the retargeting campaign, I think that’s the most effective way to run retargeting.

So these are some of the tips that I’ve learned in previous jobs and here at SEOmoz, and will continue to learn moving forward. Retargeting is something that I think the more you do it, the more you can learn from it. So I don’t think you’ll ever get to a point where you feel like you’re 100%, you know everything there is to know about retargeting, but it’s a great channel to use. It really is the best way, I feel like, to get the customers that have been to your site, whether they’ve come there organically through SEO. You’re spending all your time in SEO and you’re driving traffic to your site. Why not use retargeting to try and go after that 95%, 97%, 98% of the people who get to your site and never actually convert on that first visit. Retargeting is a great way to let you go and stay in front of those people. When they’re out surfing on the Web, doing things on the Web, you can stay in front of them and remind them of your brand, remind them of your products, and hopefully get them to come back.

That’s all I have for you. I hope that was helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me through email. My email is listed on the SEOmoz site. Thanks a lot, guys.

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Local SEO Checklist for New Sites – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by Aaron Wheeler

A couple of weeks ago, Rand went over his general SEO checklist for new websites. It’s a great resource to reference and help give your site that initial advantage other new sites don’t have. Keep in mind, though, that there are other factors at play when trying to rank in the local results specifically, and in many countries, like Peru, targeting local results is one of the best ways to start ranking. On this week’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand outlines some of the specific strategies and actions you can take to target local SERPs specifically (though many of these strategies apply to general SEO as well). If you have tips of your own for ranking in local results, let us know in the comments below!

 

Video Transcription

Hola! Bienvenidos mis amigos! Welcome to the first ever Peruvian edition of Whiteboard Friday. It’s Peruvian because as you can see I am attired in a Peruvian football jersey, which I recently picked up on my trip to Lima, Cusco, and Machu Picchu. I had an incredible experience. I had such a great time for Mozcation. I wanted to say hi and a special thank you and shout out to all of our friends in Peru and South and Latin America. Just amazing time with Mozcation.

I am taking some experiences from the Mozcation we had. I know that there were a lot of questions at the Mozcation event about some of the local SEO best practices. I talked with some folks after the event and in the Q&A about some things we can do from a local SEO standpoint. I realize we did a checklist the other week on Whiteboard Friday about some SEO basics, but we really didn’t target local SEO sites specifically. What I want to do today is give you that local SEO checklist that you can follow for local and small businesses in a regional area, what they can do to improve their SEO. So let’s start.

Number one, registration with major engines. Now, in the United States, in Canada, in most of Europe, in parts of Asia, it’s very easy. You either send a postcard to Google or Google sends you a postcard to your address and you fill out the code that they give you or they call you on your phone and verify where you are. But in Peru, and in many other places in the world, Google does not offer this registration. So the key to getting included is actually going to be step number two. This first step is very easy. Everyone can and should do it. I know you’re going to check that off your list really quickly. The major engines typically are just Google and Bing, but in Russia remember it could be Yandex. In China, it might be Baidu. In the Czech Republic it could be Seznam. I think in Norway there is actually a tertiary engine that is doing relatively well there. Some places you might even want to double check with your Yahoo local listing if that sends traffic too.

But for those folks who can’t do it, and for everyone else, you should also be claiming your listing on all the major local portals. These are the international major local portals. In countries like Peru, one of the big powerful ones there is actually Trip Advisor. You want to be doing this for places like Yellow Pages, YP.com, Urban Spoon, CitySearch, Yelp. In many places, Foursquare is actually quite popular. We found that in South American and Latin America Foursquare was actually huge, and weirdly enough Foursquare was a much more accurate map system than Google Maps. I think probably because of this issue, wink, wink, nod, nod, Googlers hello. So, take care of claiming those listings for your business on all of these portals. If they don’t have you listed yet, remember you can add your business to them.

Number three, get listed on key local sites. This means regional portals. A lot of times these are media institutions. Here in Seattle, it might be KING5.com. It might be TheStranger.com, which is a local weekly publication. It could be The Seattle Weekly. It might by KOMO TV. All of these local regional sites that have listings for local businesses and you want to try and get included in those. Many times, remember that these media stations they love to cover whether it is in the newspaper, the weekly, on their website, or with a TV camera crew, they want to cover new local businesses. So, if you are a new local business, you want to reach out to them, and it is a great way to generate some press. You also want to be considering regional portal sites that may not be specifically local focused. So in the Seattle area, I believe it is Northwest, what is that? NWSource.com is sort of our big local portal for aggregation. These are wise ones to consider as well.

For these three, it is absolutely essential that you have consistency. What I mean by consistency is the same name, exactly the same name. I don’t want to see SEOmoz, Inc. versus SEOmoz Incorporated versus SEOmoz, LLC, versus just SEOmoz or SEOmoz.org. Same name. Exactly the same name every time. Same address. Same format of the address every time. Same phone number with the same phone number format every time. All of those things are critical to the consistency of citations that engines look at to determine is this the same exact business that is being referred to here. Even slight variations can generate those differences and can mean that you don’t get all of the sort of link juice or citation juice that the engines are using to rank things.

Number four, do competitive research on listing sources of high-ranking sites for your keyword. So, let’s imagine that one of your keywords is Seattle plumbers. So, you do a search for Seattle plumbers, and you see here are the guys in the top eight spots. Where are they getting listed? Now, it used to be very simple. You just click on them and you could see a big list of all the sources where Google pulled data from. Not so simple anymore. They will still show you some of the sources for the images, so it might say Yelp or Insider Pages or Zagat or something like that, Gayot, but now it is much harder because they will no longer show those. But it is easy. You just have to make a quick tweak. What you want to do is take the name of the business and the address and search for that, possibly minus the site colon of the actually business’ listing, and that with show you all the places where the address is. So, for example let’s say I wanted to find all the local places where SEOmoz was listed, I would do a search like this. I would do a search for "SEOmoz (11919 Pine Street)-site:Seomoz.org". I am going way off on the side here, but that’s okay. The reason that this is going to work is because it is going to show me all the places where there is a listing for SEOmoz not on our site that includes our address. That’s what you want to do when you are doing this competitive research on those high-ranking websites, and it is going to show you a ton of different sources where you should be listed for your local business to help with your local SEO.

Step number five, review your reviews. What I mean by this is you want to go through all the places, all the listings that are popular, your Google Profile, your Yelp Profile, Insider Pages, City Search, wherever you are listed, Trip Advisor. If there are reviews for them, see what they are saying and see if there are ways that you can get more people commenting on the positive stuff and fewer people commenting on the negative stuff. For example, if someone says, "I was very frustrated that I didn’t get a receipt." Great. So make sure that the folks at the front desk know they need to be giving out receipts. If someone says, "Hey, I had a fantastic experience when I ordered this particular thing," great. Tell your wait staff, "Hey, guys, people seem to love this thing. Feel free to recommend it when people ask for a recommendation," and then when they do, great. Maybe there is something special that your restaurant, that your business, that your service offers and does that really gets people excited and you find that when you do it for people, they are much more likely to leave a positive online review. Great. Do that thing. This is your customer research. This is telling you what people think about your business, and it is a great way to learn, grow, and become a better business.

Number six, last one here, for goodness sake, maybe I should put this in number one. It’s so important. Audit your site’s usability, accessibility, and content. Now, a local website does not need to go through all of the steps of inbound marketing and thought leadership that a scalable B2B company or a startup or someone who wants to take over the Web in their category needs to go through. A local business can stay relatively focused on their local niche, and you can earn top rankings with just a lot of the first five things that I have talked about here. However, however, you want to make sure that usability, meaning your site is phenomenally simple to figure out the places. I hate when I go to a local restaurant’s website and I can’t find the place for reservations. It is not on the contact page or the about page. Where is it? I am looking for this. Have those key buttons that drive users to say, oh, right, these are the seven things I can do on the website, those are the seven things I want to do on the website. Have buttons for all of those. Have pages for all of those. Make those easy to access. Make sure there is not a Flash intro that is blocking someone or an experience that can’t be, for example, seen on a mobile phone or by search engines. This happens all the time with a lot of local business websites.

Then finally, make sure that you have the right content. You can do this, very simply, by when people come into your business, if you’d say, "Hey, we will give you a 5% or 10% discount if you can take this little survey for us or send it to ten of your friends, or email ten of your customers that you have got." That survey should simply say, "What are the top five things you would look for from us on our website?" The top five pieces of information. People will tell you the same things all the time. It will be things like I need your hours, I need directions, I wish you had a little Google Map built in where I could just plug in my address. They’ll tell you that they need a list of services. They almost always want prices. If you can provide these things, you’re just going to do a phenomenally better job of converting people faster once they find your website through the great local SEO that you’re going to do.

There you have it, my local SEO checklist. I hope you enjoy it everyone. Thank you very much, and thanks especially to our friends in Peru. Ciao!

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