As an SEO director at a large privately owned marketing…
SEO Tools, Strategies and Upcoming SEO Research
SEOmoz president Gillian Muessig, affectionately known as SEOmom, presented at the Online Marketing Summit July 19th, 2011. The event was held in Alpharetta, GA at a venue called Roam Atlanta, in the metro Atlanta area, about 20 minutes north of midtown Atlanta, where Blend SEO consultancy is located. Gillian Muessig revealed a glance at impressive and practical capabilities of SEOmoz software. Gillian’s prepared presentation hit all the SEO strategy essentials. She also gave insight on research performed by SEOmoz, keyword optimization strategies and answered questions about Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines. After her presentation, Gillian Muessig caught me up on some of the current social marketing and SEO research her son Rand Fishkin is up to.
Here’s the question most failed internet businesses never asked.
Gillian Muessig, president of SEOmoz (an SEO software tools company), began her 2011 Online Marketing Summit presentation talking about this question. Before investing in a website, a logo, website hosting, or even a business plan, you must research this question. How hard will it be to rank on Google page 1 for my product/service? A sure way to failure is to jump into the game without researching your online competition…your would be competitors in search results. Your competitors for search engine traffic may not be the same direct competitors with which your are familiar. Whether considering a new website or just a new product line or service, competitive keyword research will help predict your level of success given your level of resources. For a glimpse of keyword competitors, SEOmoz offers the Keyword Difficulty Tool.
The Keyword Difficulty Tool is an SEO research tool that displays in depth results about your keyword phrases. For each keyword phrase, it displays:
- A Keyword Difficulty score
- Google AdWords search volume
- broad match
- exact match
- Top 10 ranking pages with data for each
- page authority
- domain authority
- number of linking root domains
- number of root domains linking to the root domain
These results are a brief overview of the more in depth information collected via the original SEOmoz Linkscape tool, which is currently provided within the more in depth Open Site Explorer SEO tool.
SEO Research for Keyword Strategies
Next, Gillian Muessig discussed keyword strategies. For every single keyword, there are variations of phrases that contain that keyword. To help narrow the focus on what keyword phrases to target, Gillian provided statistics on the length of keyword phrases. She pulled out the Search Demand Curve chart, which may be old news to some, but a good basic strategy to keep in mind. Realistically speaking, Gillian explains it is impossible to optimize your content specifically for each of the various the long tail terms. Therefore, target on the “Chunky Middle”. These are the medium length phrases that may include a core keyword with a few popular modifiers.
To further support targeting the “chunky middle” keyword phrases, Gillian pulled out this chart. It supports targeting the 3 and 4 word phrases, because those are the ones that convert. 4 word keyword phrases are the most converting.
Before talking about blogging, SEOmoz president Gillian Muessig answered various questions, such as why Bing and Yahoo search results mirror each other so closely. Her answer was that Bing purchased Yahoo’s search technology.
Blogging Fresh Content for SEO
As Gillian put it, freshness is the frequency at which content changes. Gillian also through out this factoid many people don’t know. PageRank is named after Google c0-founder Larry Page. It determines how frequently a webpage is crawled. Part of the factor for Google to decide how frequently to crawl your webpage depends on how frequently the content changes. Ways to provide rich new content include blogging on your website, allowing commenting and user reviews.
Hot topics for your business blogging that get picked up and shared by other online resources include:
She also suggests to comment on other articles using intelligent conversation invoking comments that link back to your pertinent content. She warns to avoid making comment spam, comments of little value, or engaging in personal attacks.
Upcoming SEO Research from Rand Fishkin & SEOmoz
After the presentation, I had a chance to chat with Gillian Muessig and find out what Rand and the ‘Moz team will be working on next. Gillian noted that as social media signals continue to increase in importance, SEOmoz is focusing more on integrating information about social media metrics into SEOmoz toolset.
For example, SEOmoz recently tested whether a page with lots of tweets and just one link was likely to rank better than that same page with plenty of good links from a variety of sources (in other words, following best practices) and just a couple of tweets. the page with lots of tweets outranked the page with plenty of links. (A link to these results coming soon)
SEOmoz is also working on helping marketers understand the various kinds of social media metrics and their relative value, including…
- the value of different twitterers
- the value of tweets
- keywords in tweets
- blog mentions
and other citations across social media platforms. You can expect to see a variety of new work in the social arena from the mozPlex in the coming months.