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24 ways SEO and social media work like peanut butter and jelly 0

Posted on May 19, 2014 by Rob Petersen




  • 59% of marketers agree SEO has the biggest effect on lead generation
  • 22% say social media
  • 20% say pay per click (source: SiteProNews)

The numbers imply these channels aren’t working together. That’s a mistake.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is is the process of getting website traffic from “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” listings on search engines. Social Media Marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention on social media sites in the same way. They both work from traffic that comes from earned media.

If you were to hire a resource to help with SEO or social media, most people think to choose either an SEO specialist or a Social Media agency because the two are different marketing disciplines. That’s an even bigger mistake.

Recent Google algorithm changes underscore how SEO and social media are inextricably linked. Panda is a Google algorithm filter aimed at fighting low quality content; Penguin is one aimed at fighting web spam. Google has concluded the best match for a keyword is the one that is focused and other people follow.

If you don’t think SEO and social media work together, like peanut butter and jelly, here are 25 reasons they do.

  1. 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine (source: Search Engine Journal)
  2. 82% of internet users use search (source: Search Engine Joural)
  3. 81% of businesses consider their blogs to be an important asset to their businesses (source: Search Engine Journal)
  4. 74% of consumers use a Facebook brand page as the desired format for following a brand for future engagement (source: GroupM and comScore)
  5. 73% of online adults use a social networking site; 42% use multiple social networking sites (source: Pew Research)
  6. 70-80% of web users ignore the paid advertising and look down the page for the first organic search result (source: PPC.org)
  7. 64% of consumers are likely to follow a brand (source GroupM and comScore)
  8. 50% of consumers use a combination of search and social media to make purchase decisions (source: Inc)
  9. 46% of consumers who use social media in the purchase pathway are driven to use search to expand their knowledge about their likely purchase (source: GroupM and comScore)
  10. 41% of customers are winning customers using social media (source: Search Engine Journal)
  11. 41% more likely to recommend a brand to a friend if you “Like” the brand on Facebook (source: WOMMA)
  12. 40 percent of consumers who use search in their path to purchase are motivated to use social media to further their decision making process (source: GroupM and comScore)
  13. 31% use social media during the purchase process to get other people’s opinions (GroupM and comScore)
  14. 30% say they use social media to eliminate brands from contention (source: Octagon)
  15. 28% of consumers say social media plays a valuable role in helping them become aware of new brands and products; 30% say it helps them eliminate brands from consideration (source: GroupM and comScore)
  16. 28% say social media sites e.g. YouTube, and Facebook help them learn more about brands and product (source: Octagon)
  17. 28% more likely someone will continue to use a brand if they “Like” the brand on Facebook (source: WOMMA)
  18.  25% of Google searches come from YouTube in 2013; up from 17% in 2007 (source: comScore)
  19. #1, #2 and #3 largest web destinations are Google, Facebook and YouTube, respectively (source: Alexa)
  20. At a ratio of 2-to-1, consumers cite quality and depth of information as reason they use search and social media together (source: Octagon)
  21. 2nd largest search engine is YouTube (source: comScore)
  22. If you  provide the Google+ id while guest posting on a blog, you establish author rank and Google gives you credit for writing the article
  23. Google+ has the highest correlated social factor for SEO ranking (source: HubSpot)
  24. In 2010, Google and Bing admitted to also rank website by how sociable they are (source: PPC.org)

Do these reasons convince you SEO and social media work together like peanut butter and jelly? Do you believe agencies now have to be experts in both?


25 social media listening aids to increase your hearing 4

Posted on April 21, 2014 by Rob Petersen



Social Media Listening

  • 78% of consumers say that companies’ social media posts impact their purchases (source: Forbes)
  • 74% rely on social networks to guide purchase decisions (source: Social Sprout)
  • 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals (source: HubSpot)

The numbers say loud and clear consumers make buying decisions based on what they hear from social networks. Does your business listen?

Conversations on the Internet produce massive amounts of unstructured data. To make sense of the noise, social media listening requires a process. The steps are: Define goals, use tools and resources that meet the objective and create a measurement plan to make the listening actionable. Here’s how some brands have put social media listening to use.

There are very effective social media listening and monitoring tools available so there is no reason not to start now. Here are 25 social media listening aids to increase your hearing.

  1. Addictomatic: Focuses on a variety of platforms such as: Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, WordPress, Bing News, Delicious, Google, Ask.com, etc. It’s really useful for keeping an eye on recent industry developments and brand reputation.
  2. BackTweets: Tracks how many people are talking about you, who’s talking, and what they’re saying. You can search through a tweet archive for URLs sent via Twitter, including results for full URL links, shortened URLs, and URLs without the “www” prefix.
  3. Bit.ly: The dominant URL shortener also has analytics and tracking to show what where traffic is coming from and how many click and save messages.
  4. BlitzMetrics: Helps you benchmark against your competitors, learn which demographics are the most active, and track content performance so you can improve your reach and engagement.
  5. Booshaka: Focuses on Top Fans and the Top 10% of participants that are contributing to a community. It is oriented to Facebook and is a great way for a company to identify people by name that are most active is commenting, liking and sharing their content and in finding others like them.
  6. Flowtown: Allows you to take email addresses (like the people subscribed to my newsletter) and determine in which social networks they are active. This is especially handy when you need to segment your audience.
  7. Google Analytics: The analytics tool for your website is, in my opinion, the #1 social media monitoring tool because it tells where visitors come from, how they behave on your site and what actions they take. Google Analytics is the most effective tool for measure if social activity translates to conversion and business success.
  8. Google Trends: Allows you to see how Google search volumes for a specific keyword(s) have changed over time. The data is represented as a line graph but can be broken down by region, language and closely associated terms. One of is best features is that it can compare multiple keywords.
  9. HootSuite: A social media management system that enables teams to collaboratively execute campaigns across multiple social networks from one dashboard. Includes audience identification tools, the ability to streamline workflow, and custom reports. Weekly analytics reports and the excellent team management facility (delegating tasks, sending private messages) can be very useful when there’s more than one person handling the social media accounts.
  10. Ice Rocket: Can be used for keeping an eye on your blogger activity, as they have around 200 million blogs in their database and they also provide the possibility of finding the latest trend terms related to your search.
  11. Klout: Is probably one of the most controversial social media analytics tools. There are those who hate it and claim that its scoring system is completely inaccurate. Some people find it useful, as it measures influence through engagement on Twitter and it is a good means of keeping an eye on what people think about your brand, and to see what influences them the most.
  12. How Sociable: Measures yours and your competitors’ social media presence. A free account allows you to track 12 social sites, including Tumblr and WordPress. However, if you’re interested in 24 more, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. a pro account is required. HowSociable breaks down scores for different social media platforms, allowing you to see which social media platforms work best for you and which ones need further development.
  13. Lithium: An enterprise solution with excellent workflow that enables you to identify your key influencers early on in your social media campaign, which will lead to greater social media optimization and more control over what is being said, retweeted and reposted on social media networks, thus effecting the overall sentiment surrounding your brand. Buzz Tracking is a great monitoring tool that allows you to see the buzz volume in real time.
  14. Radian6: One of the more widely used enterprise platform uses keyword phrases you choose, which makes it easier to pull and quantify results later. From this data set, you have several widgets that allow you to see an overview of all the information or you can drill down to the nitty-gritty. :
  15. Social Mention: is probably one of the best free listening tools on the market, as it analyses data in more depth and measures influence with 4 categories: Strength, Sentiment, Passion and Reach.
  16. Social Searcher: tracks activity with advance analytics that sentiment, users, traffic sources, keywords and most popular posts. It’s has some of the best analytics of any of the open source monitoring tools.
  17. Social Rest: tracks and analyses social activity and also has a return on investment (ROI) feature. If you set specific conversion goals like advertisement clicks or new sign-ups. Your business can now attribute new sign-ups or revenue to content your users shared on social media.
  18. Sprout Social: is a complete social platform that eases your work by a ton as it automatically creates a beautiful and colorful report with your company logo.  So even if you don’t have an eye for design, you’ll still be able to generate a report with a click of a button.
  19. Sysomos: provides social media monitoring and share for voice for company accounts. It’s also equipped to import Goggle Analytics. Data visualization and text analytics are some of the key feature to get to the root of relevant conversations or branch out from existing discussion and topics
  20. Technorati: is a blog search engine that tracks blogs and blog post for any query. One feature is their Authority Score which is the number of links to a blog within the last six month. Technorati is an important for any business that blogs and is looking to find and build relationships with influencers and advocates in their industry.
  21. Topsy: allows users to conduct interactive analysis on keywords and authors by activity, influence, exposure, sentiment, language or geography. Topsy is a certified Twitter partner.
  22. Tweet Deck: covers basic needs of any Twitter user, so is a good option for beginners. It’s a great tool for scheduling tweets and monitoring your interactions and messages, as well as tracking hashtags and managing multiple accounts. However, it lacks in regular updates and can be prone to bugs.
  23. Tweet Reach:  Is the right tool for your business if you’re interested in monitoring how far your tweets travel. It is a good way of finding out who are your most influential followers guiding you towards the right people you should be targeting when aiming to share and promote online content.
  24. Twitter Search: Provides real time identification of keywords on twitter, twitter handles, addresses and hash tags. It is especially valuable for those looking for people at locations, and events at the moment.
  25. Viral Heat: monitors share of voice and allows users to compare search profiles or relevant terms across the web and social media so businesses can track individual products and compare social buzz among their own products or compare brand mention to competitors.

Some of these social media listening and monitoring tools are free and some are subscription.

Avinash Kaushik has the 10/90 Rule when it comes to budgeting for analytics. The 10/90 Rule says that your budget should be divided as 10% for the analytics tools and software, and 90% for the people doing the analyzing. The point being people and brain power trump data and software every time..

Do you think these social media listening aids can increase your hearing?





11 reasons SEO is a science; 15 reasons it’s an art 2

Posted on January 27, 2014 by Rob Petersen



Web visits from search engines

If your brand has a website, more people are likely to come to it from search engines than anyplace else according to Forrester.

That means Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to secure a high-ranking placement in the search results pages, is as essential means of marketing for anybody doing business on the internet.

Is SEO a science? Or an art? Science is facts or truths systematically arranged showing the operation of general laws. Art is the conscious use of skill and creative imagination.

Here are 11 reasons SEO is a science; 15 reasons it’s an art.

SEO is a science because it operates according to mathematical laws that are statistically reliable and predictive of human behavior.

  1. #1 reason people come to a website is: It showed up on a search engine page when they were looking for something (source: Forrester)
  2. 80% of people click on a website that is on the natural or organic side of the search engine page (source: Search Engine Watch)
  3. 35% click through to the website that is in the #1 position (source: SEO Book)
  4. 90% click through on a website that is on the 1st page (source: Search Engine Watch)
  5. Algorithms that comprise hundreds of criteria determine how websites rise or fall in rank for specific keywords
  6. Volume of search for any keyword and key phrase can be easily known with tools the the Google Keyword Planner and Wordtracker.
  7. Demand for those keywords, if is increasing or decreasing over time, is measurable through Google Trends. So, you can even predict the value both now and in the future.
  8. Search rank of your domain or your competitors’  can be tracked for any keyword or key phrase to help understand the rise or fall in rank by Ispionage or Rank Checker.
  9. Number of  links that increase or decrease your authority in a particular area and also influences search rank can be found through Majestic SEO or Alexa.
  10. Value of the links, whether they are high or low value authority, can be determined by SEO Majestic and Marketing Grader.
  11. Machines, or  search bots, that do the searches on Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines are programmed to even identify the underlying meanings behind by keywords to returns the most meaningful results. The is called Semantic Search; it is predicted to play a more important role with the Google “Hummingbird” algorithm.

SEO is an art because mathematical models don’t establish business goals, know why your audience buys your product or how to convince them. You do.

  1. Search bot don’t buy your product; people do.
  2. It is impossible to model an algorithm on the needs of human being.
  3. Machines can’t study your niche, know your audience’s Internet surfing habit or their shopping behavior.
  4. Keyword research takes creativity to know what is best for your audience and where there is an opportunity.
  5. People read good content before the read good keywords.
  6. A top rank doesn’t mean people take the action you want unless you’re clear with them on your website.
  7. Good, relevant, quality content is what readers (and algorithms) want. If you focus on this, search visibility follows.
  8. SEO is thinking about how marketing can encompass social, graphic design, link building, content generation, and PR to drive toward a common goal.
  9. SEO and marketing is creating social buzz (especially with Google+).
  10. High value links have to be placed where they are going to be most relevant and cause the most desirable actions
  11. Keywords that flow them seamlessly into your copy are more convincing.
  12. Machines are incapable of storytelling
  13. Titles that convince people have clarity, creativity and imagination. The right keywords and key phrases just happen to be in them.
  14. If you view SEO as a byproduct of good content, high search rank generally follows.
  15. SEO can’t make your business a success, only you can.

This post comes out of a dialogue from Hollis Thomases, Augustine Fou, Mike Moran and Mark Schaefer which was inspiring and worth building upon.

What do you think SEO is more of: science or art?


37 stats that show the size of Digital Talent Gap (with infographics) 2

Posted on January 12, 2014 by Rob Petersen



Ad spending trendsThe only media channel predicted to grow in the next 3 years in the internet (desktop and mobile) according to Zenith Optimedia. It is now #2 behind TV. By the end of the decade, many expect is to be ahead of TV. A decade ago, it was just beginning to make an appearance.

Because it has grown so quickly at the expense of “traditional” channels, many believe companies, agencies and marketing service firms have not kept up creating a Digital Talent Gap.

Do you believe there is a digital talent gap? Do companies need to fill it? Or do we have a Digital Talent Gap but companies are not willing to pay for it?

Decide for yourself. Here are 37 stats that show the size of the Digital Talent Gap.

  1. 91% of marketing leaders believe successful brands use customer data to drive business decisions (source: BRITE/NYAMA)
  2. 90% of all jobs will require information and communication technology (ICT) skills by 2015 (Capgemini Consulting)
  3. 90% of the world’s total data has been created just within the past two years (source: IBM)
  4. 87% agree capturing and sharing the right data is important to effectively measuring ROI in their own company (BRITE/NYAMA)
  5. 86% of people are willing to pay more for a great customer experience with a brand (souce: Lunch Pail)
  6. Over 80% of companies face significant challenges in consistently locating, hiring and retaining top talent (Online Marketing Institute)
  7. Over 80% would value an on-demand library of digital marketing classes (Online Marketing Institute)
  8. 77% of companies consider “missing digital skills” as the key hurdle to their digital transformation (Capgemini Consulting)
  9. 76% believe analytics is a very important/important skill to have (Online Marketing Institute)
  10. 75 per cent of CEOs fret about the talent gap, studies estimate that there are currently 110,000 unfulfilled tech jobs in the UK alone (Real Business)
  11. 75% of companies say they will increase investments in Big Data within the next year (source: Avanade)
  12. 74% say mobile is a very important or important skill to have (Online Marketing Institute)
  13. 70% of data is created by individuals – but enterprises are responsible for storing and managing 80% of it (source: CSC)
  14. 70% of enterprises say their marketing efforts are under greater scrutiny (BRITE/NYAMA)
  15. 70% being interested in customized eLearning of digital marketing skills or in-person workshops or training (Capgemini Consulting)
  16. More than 63% of companies use traditional method to source digital talent (Online Marketing Institute)
  17. 40%-60% annual growth increase is occurring in the volume of data available every year; in media intensive sectors and financial services, the increase is 120% (source: Fathom)
  18. 40% of executives say they have more projects and positions open than they can fill with qualified talent (Online Marketing Institute)
  19. Only 39% believe their analytic talent is stronger or much stronger than that of the competition (Online Marketing Institute)
  20. Only 31% believe their talent is stronger or much stronger than that of the competition (Online Marketing Institute)
  21. 30% of large companies  are unable to adequately distinguish between individuals with the right skills, and those without
  22. Only 29% believe their talent in mobile is stronger/much stronger than other teams
  23. 24% of agencies are unable to adequately distinguish between individuals with the right skills, and those without
  24. Only 20% of companies benefit from training on digital
  25. Less than 20% of company training budgets are spent on digital
  26. Only 13% of companies use innovative methods
  27. Only 8% of agency and marketing executives surveyed believe their employees are strong in all areas of digital marketing (Ad Age)
  28. Only 4% of companies align their training efforts with their overall digital strategy
  29. 30 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook each month (source: McKinsey)
  30. 16 million people in the UK lack the basic skill to fully benefit from the internet
  31. 4.4 million jobs will be created about Big Data; only 33% will be filled       (Gartner)
  32. $300 billion could be saved if big data was used effectively the US healthcare sector; thereby reducing expenditure by 8% (source: McKinsey)
  33. $3.2 billion was spent by companies on big data in 2010; it is predicted companies will spend $16.9 billion on big data by 2015 (source: CIO)
  34. $500,000,000 in venture capital funds have gone into big data technologies, startups, and vendors in recent years (CIO)
  35. $200,000,000 has been invested in Big Data projects by the Obama administration (source: Wiki Group 7)
  36. 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytic skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts will be needed by 2018 to fill jobs in Big Data (source: McKinsey)
  37. In 15 of the US economy’s 17 sectors, companies with upward of 1,000 employees store, on average, more information than the Library of Congress (source: McKinsey)

To display some of these stats visually, below are two infographics.

Do you think we have a Digital Talent Gap?

Digital Talent Gap

Digital Marketing Talent Gap

The best way to predict the future is to create it. 12 reasons why 0

Posted on December 22, 2013 by Rob Petersen



Blank Canvas

“The best way to predict the future is to to create it.” This quote is credited to both Abraham Lincoln and Peter Drucker, two people known for their word of wisdom and lessons to live by.

Will 2014 be the year you predict your future by creating it?

Here are 12 reasons why this is such timeless wisdom. 12 perspectives on the meaning and benefits behind advice that has been given to us for over 200 years.

  1. “Life is a largely uncharted waters.  The best way to know what is coming is to be an active participant.” – Philosoblog
  2. “The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.” – Dalai Lama
  3. “We are still the masters of our fate. Rational thinking, even assisted by any conceivable electronic computers, cannot predict the future.” – Dennis Gabor, Inventing the Future
  4. “In the face of the unknown, entrepreneurs act. Specifically they: 1) Figure out what they want, 2) take a small step toward making it reality, 3) think about what they learned from taking that step, 3) build that learning into their next step, In other words: Act. Learn. Build. Repeat.” – Forbes
  5. “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves.” – William Shakespeare
  6. “Don’t worry about what anybody else is going to do.” – Alan Kay, Apple
  7. “Today’s leaders create the future, versus simply trying to predict it. They: 1)  Unlock potential through empowerment, 2)  Move away from linear thinking, 3) Experiment, Experiment, Experiment and 4) Find your authentic voice.” – Miroslay Tibernaus, Vice-president of Barroso Comission and European Commissioner for Enterprise
  8. “When faced with a challenge, make one. The day before something is a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea.” – Peter Diamandus, Chairman and Co-Founder, Singularity University
  9.  “In order to build a future you must know the past”, Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father
  10. “Change is inevitable and one can either effect a desired change yourself, or be subject to the results of someone else’s change. In other words, be a leader, rather than a follower; proactive rather than reactive.” – Active Rain
  11.   “What is the use of running when we are not on the right road?” – German Proverb
  12. “The only real way to have any kind of insight into what will happen is to create your future.” – Jennine Jacobs

Did these perspective teach you something new? Will 2014 be the year you predict your future by creating it?

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