Tag Archive | "Best"

The 55 Best Free SEO Tools For Every Task

Posted by Cyrus-Shepard

At Moz, we know the value of premium SEO tools — we’ve built new tools for 10+ years. Paid tools are hugely valuable in SEO when you need advanced features, increased limits, stored data, or online support.

But for 70 percent of other tasks, a free tool often does the trick.

There are literally hundreds of free SEO tools out there, so we want to focus on only the best and most useful to add to your toolbox. Tons of people in the SEO community helped vet the SEO software in this post (see the note at the end). To be included, a tool had to meet three requirements. It must be:

  1. Widely used by the SEO community
  2. Offers above-board value + actionable data
  3. Actually, truly free

The tools are categorized by SEO function. Click on a button below to jump to that specific section.

Categories:

Analytics   Crawling/Indexing   Keyword Research   Link Tools   Local SEO   Mobile SEO   Multi-tool   On-page SEO   Research   Site Speed   WordPress


Analytics

The best tools to analyze search performance, monitor SERPs, keywords, and competitor analysis:

1. Bing Webmaster Tools

While Google Webmaster Tools gets all the glory, folks forget that Bing Webmaster offers a full suite of website and search analytics. Especially useful are keyword reports, keyword research, and crawling data.

Get it: Bing Webmaster
Also useful: Yandex.Webmaster

2. Data Studio

If you need to merge data from different sources (say Search Console and Google Analytics), visualize, and share it – this is Google Data Studio’s comfort zone. For an idea of all the SEO tasks and dashboards that you can build for free, check out these Google Data Studio Resources from Lee Hurst.

Get it: Data Studio

3. Enhanced Google Analytics Annotations

How do you know if your dip in traffic (or rise) is associated with a Google Algorithm update, or perhaps a major holiday? This is a highly-recommended Google Chrome plugin that overlays additional data on top of your analytics, so you can easily send screenshots to clients showing exactly how outside forces impacted traffic.

Get it: Enhanced Google Analytics Annotations
Alternatives: Panguin Tool, Zeo Tools

4. Google Analytics

The big kahuna, and the most widely-used web analytics package on earth. For being free, Google Analytics is surprisingly robust and plays well with other Google products, including Optimize, Search Console, and Data Studio. Some folks have privacy concerns with GA — though Google swears they don’t use this data for search rankings.

Get it: Google Analytics
Alternatives: Clicky, Open Web Analytics

5. Search Console

Probably the most useful free SEO tool on this entire list, it’s hard to imagine doing modern SEO without access to the data inside Google’s Search Console. This is the most reliable location for information on how Google crawls and ranks your site, and is one of the only places where you can get reliable keyword data.

Get it: Search Console

6. Keyword Hero

Did somebody say (not provided)? Keyword Hero works to solve the problem of missing keyword data with lots of advanced math and machine learning. It’s not a perfect system, but for those struggling to match keywords with conversion and other on-site metrics, the data can be a valuable step in the right direction. Pricing is free up to 2000 sessions/month.

Get it: Keyword Hero

7. MozCast

The brainchild of Dr. Pete and the original Google SERP tracker, MozCast is the go-to algorithm tracker whenever there’s a big update, or not. Also useful are the SERP tracking features showing the prominence of such features as ads and knowledge panels.

Get it: MozCast
Also useful: Algoroo, Rank Risk Index, Ayima Pulse


Crawling/Indexing

Specific tools to make sure your site is crawlable and optimized.

8. Beam Us Up

If you need a free, desktop crawler, you can’t do better than Beam Us Up. While it doesn’t have as many features as Screaming Frog, it does offer 100 percent free crawling with no limits. Windows only.

Get it: Beam Us Up

9. Link Redirect Trace

A free Chrome extension, lots of SEOs recommend Link Redirect Trace as the “all-in-one redirect path analyzer.” The extension reveals information about HTTP headers, rel-canonicals, robots.txt, and basic link metrics from LinkResearchTools. The “Save Screenshot” feature is super useful too.

Get it: Link Redirect Trace

10. Redirect Path

Similar to Link Redirect Trace, Redirect Path is a nifty tool from the good folks at Ayima that shows redirect paths and header information for every URL you visit. Gotta admit, I’ve used this extension for years and it’s almost “always on” in my browser.

Get it: Redirect Path

11. Screaming Frog

Aside from having one of the best Twitter accounts of any SEO tool maker, Screaming Frog is the most popular desktop-based crawler available today. Many people don’t realize that there’s a free version that allows for up to 500 URLs per crawl. While not as fully functional as the paid version, it’s great for small projects and smaller site audits.

Get it: Screaming Frog

12. Screaming Frog Log File Analyzer

Most folks in the SEO space are familiar with Screaming Frog, but many don’t realize that the Frog also offers a standalone free/paid Log File Analyzer tool. The free version is very robust, though limited to 1000 lines.

Get it: Screaming Frog Log File Analyser

13. SEOlyzer

SEOlyzer is a log analysis tool recommended by Aleyda Solis in her very excellent SEO podcast Crawling Mondays. SEOlyzer is a terrific log analysis tool with some cool features like real-time analysis and page categorization.

Get it: SEOlyzer

14. Xenu

Gotta be honest, although Xenu has been on every “free SEO tool” list since the dawn of, no way did I think it would make this one. This Windows-based desktop crawler has been virtually unchanged over the past 10 years. That said, a lot of folks still love and use it for basic site auditing, looking for broken links, etc. Heck, I’m leaving here for sentimental reasons. Check it out.

Get it: Xenu


Keyword Research

15. Answer The Public

It’s hard not to love Answer The Public. The interface has an almost “Cards Against Humanity” rebel vibe to it. Regardless, if you want to generate a massive list of questions from any keyword set, this is your go-to tool.

Get it: Answer The Public

16. Keyword Explorer

OMG. 500 million keyword suggestions, all the most accurate volume ranges in the industry. You also get Moz’s famous Keyword Difficulty Score along with CTR data. Moz’s free community account gives you access to 10 queries a month, with each query literally giving you up to 1000 keyword suggestions along with SERP analysis.

Get it: Keyword Explorer

17. Keyword Planner

Google’s own Keyword Planner was built for folks who buy Google ads, but it still delivers a ton of information useful for SEO keyword planning. It uses Google’s own data and has useful functions like country filtering. Be careful with metrics like competition (this is meant for paid placements) and volume — which is known to be confusing.

Get it: Keyword Planner

18. Keyword Shitter

Yes, it’s called Keyword Shitter. It pains me to write this. That said, it says what it does and does what it says. Type in a keyword and it, um, poops out a poop-ton of keywords.

Get it: Keyword Shitter

19. Keywords Everywhere

An SEO favorite! Install this browser extension for Firefox or Chrome, and see keyword suggestions with volume as you cruise the internet. Works in Google Search Console as well. This one is a must-have for keyword inspiration.

Get it: Keywords Everywhere

20. Ubersuggest

Sometimes I make fun of Neil Patel because he does SEO in his pajamas. I’m probably jealous because I don’t even own pajamas. Regardless, Neil took over Ubersuggest not long ago and gave it a major overall. If you haven’t tried it in a while, it now goes way beyond keyword suggestions and offers a lot of extended SEO capabilities such as basic link metrics and top competitor pages.

Get it: Ubersuggest


Link Tools

Tools to find, evaluate, and process backlink opportunities.

21. Disavow Tool

Google makes the Disavow Tool hard to find because most site owners usually don’t need to use it. But when you do, it can be useful for getting penalties removed and some SEOs swear by it for fighting off negative SEO. If you choose to use this tool, be careful and check with this guide on disavowing the right links.

Get it: Disavow Tool

22. Link Explorer

Link Explorer is arguably the biggest, most accurate link index in the SEO world today, boasting 35 trillion links. The free account access gives you 10 queries and 50 rows of data per query every month, plus adds basic link metrics to the MozBar as you browse the web.

Get it: Link Explorer

23. Link Miner

Link Miner is a free Chrome extension developed by Jon Cooper, one of the masters of link building. Use it to quickly find broken links on each page, as well as see basic link metrics as you search Google. Simple, easy, and useful.

Get it: Link Miner


Local SEO

Free tools to optimize your on Google Maps and beyond.

24. Google My Business

Basically, this is the #1, must-have tool for Local SEO — especially if you live in a market served by Google. It allows you to claim your business, manage listing information, and respond to reviews — among other things. Claiming your business profile forms the foundation of most other local SEO activities, so it’s an essential step.

Get it: Google My Business

25. Google Review Link Generator

The Google Review Link Generator by Whitespark solves a simple problem – how do you give your customers a URL to leave a Google review for your business? Reviews drive rankings, but Google doesn’t easily provide this. This generator makes it easy.

Get it: Google Review Link Generator

26. Local Search Results Checker

One of the hardest parts of Local SEO is figuring out rankings from any location — especially when Google stubbornly wants to serve results from the location you’re in. BrightLocal solves this with a quick local ranking tool that can virtually drop you into any location on earth to check actual local rankings.

Get it: Local Search Results Checker

27. Moz Local Check Business Listing

How consistent is your business information across the local search ecosystem? Moz Local lets you quickly check how your business shows up across the web in the major data aggregators that Google and others use to rank local search results. Very handy to understand your strengths and weaknesses. 

Get it: Moz Local Check Business Listing


Mobile SEO

Tools to optimize your website in Google’s mobile-first world.

28. Mobile First Index Checker

Mobile versions of websites often differ significantly from their desktop versions. Because Google has switched to mobile-first indexing, it’s important that major elements (links, structured data, etc.) match on both versions. A number of tools will check this for you, but Zeo’s is probably the most complete.

Get it: Mobile First Index Checker

29. Mobile SERP Test

It’s amazing how mobile search results can vary by both location AND device. MobileMoxie’s mobile SERP test lets you compare devices side-by-side for any location, down to specific addresses.

Get it: Mobile SERP Test

30. Mobile-Friendly Test

The gold standard for determining if your page meets Google’s mobile-friendly requirements. If your page passes the test, then Google counts it as mobile friendly, which is a bonafide (albeit small) ranking factor. If your page isn’t mobile-friendly, it will give you specific areas to address.

Get it: Mobile-Friendly Test


Multi-tool

Free SEO tools that have so many functions, they have their own special category.

31. Chrome DevTools

The sheer number of SEO tasks you can perform—for free—with Chrome DevTools is simply staggering. From JavaScript auditing to speed to On-Page SEO, some of the best features are hidden away but totally awesome. Need some specific ways to use it for SEO? Check out these resources here, here, and here.

Get it: Chrome DevTools

32. Marketing Miner

Marketing Miner has a low profile in the United States, but it’s one of the best-kept secrets of Eastern Europe. If you need to pull a lot of SERP data, rankings, tool reports, or competitive analysis, Marketing Miner does the heavy lifting for you and loads it all into convenient reports. Check out this list of miners for possible ideas. It’s a paid tool, but the free version allows to perform a number of tasks.

Get it: Marketing Miner

33. MozBar

One of the original SEO toolbars, the MozBar has seen significant upgrades over the years. Log in with a free Moz account and get link metrics as you browse the web, perform on-page analysis, and SERP analysis. The free version is super-useful by itself, while Pro users get additional functionality like advanced keyword suggestions.

Get it: MozBar

34. SEMrush

Like Moz, SEMrush offers a full suite of all-in-one SEO tools, and they have a free account option that works well if you only work with a single website, or only need a quick peek at top level data. The free account level gives you access to one “project” which includes basic site auditing, as well as limited keyword and domain reporting.

Get it: SEMrush

35. SEO Minion

SEO Minion is a very popular Chrome extension that goes beyond most SEO toolbars. Some of the quick functions it performs include analyzing on-page SEO, check broken links, Hreflang checks, a SERP preview tool, and a nifty Google search location simulator. Definitely worth trying out.

Get it: SEO Minion

36. SEOquake

Out of all the SEO toolbars available on the market, SEOquake is probably the most powerful, and comes with a plethora of configuration options — so you can configure it to adjust to your SEO needs. Aside from offering a boatload of data for every URL you visit, you can also perform basic on-page audits, compare domains, and export your data.

Get it: SEOquake

37. Sheets for Marketers

Sheets for Marketers isn’t a tool per se, but a website that contains over 100+ free templates to perform a huge number of tasks using Google Sheets. Find powerful free sheets for everything including competitive analysis, site audits, scraping, keyword research, and more. This is a website for your bookmarks. 

Get it: Sheets for Marketers


On-page SEO

Tools to help you maximize your content potential at the page level.

38. Natural Language API Demo

While there is some debate over how actionable Google’s Natural Language API is for SEO, there is no denying it’s a cool tool with lots of advanced analysis. The free demo allows you to analyze the text of a single page at a time and lets you see how a search engine would view entities, sentiment analysis, syntax, and categorization.

Get it: Natural Language API
See also: Advanced SEO Strategies using Natural Language Processing

39. Rich Results Test

Did you implement review rating stars in your JSON-LD, and want to see if your markup is valid for Google’s Rich Results? Getting a passing grade doesn’t mean your page will automatically display rich results in the SERPs, but think of it as the cost of admission (the cost being free, of course.)

Get it: Rich Results Test

40. Structured Data Testing Tool

Bookmark, bookmark, bookmark this page. Google’s Structured Data Testing tool is essential for not only troubleshooting your own structured data but performing competitive analysis on your competitor’s structured data as well. Pro Tip: You can edit the code within the tool to troubleshoot and arrive at valid code.

Get it: Structured Data Testing Tool

41. Tag Manager

On the surface, Google Tag Manager serves a simple purpose of allowing you to inject “tags” (such as Google Analytics) into your HTML. Beyond that, advanced users can leverage Tag Manager for a host of SEO functions. While Google recommends against using Tag Manager to insert important elements like structured data, it remains useful for a ton of SEO-related activities.

Get it: Tag Manager

42. View Rendered Source

This simple JavaScript auditing tool does one thing, and it does it very well. View Rendered Source is a free Chrome plugin that allows you to easily see the fully rendered DOM of any URL, and compare it to the original HTML. Great for JavaScript auditing and troubleshooting.

Get it: View Rendered Source


Research

Cools free tools for competitive, historical, and technological analysis.

43. BuzzSumo

As an SEO research tool, BuzzSumo is awesome. Its Chrome extension is one of the few tools available that deliver reliable social share count estimates for any piece of content. You don’t get as much data with a free account, but you still get access to top content and trending data. One of our favorite tools.

Get it: BuzzSumo

44. Hunter

Hunter is a popular email search tool, and definitely the most popular free email finder. Use it to find the email address associated with any company or individual, and verify any email address you already have. 50 free queries/month before paid plans kick in. 

Get it: Hunter
Also popular: Viola Nobert

45. SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb is like competitor analysis on steroids. You can research your competitor’s traffic, top pages, engagement, marketing channels, and more. The free offering is limited to five results per metric, but it’s often enough to grab a quick data point.

Get it: SimilarWeb

46. Wappalyzer

There are lots of tools that help you analyze what technology stacks a website runs on, but Wappalyzer is an SEO favorite. It’s 100 percent free (unless you want advanced reporting) and will instantly tell you what technology a site is using. For example, are they using Yoast or All In One SEO Pack?

Get it: Wappalyzer

47. Wayback Machine

Gotta be honest, I personally use the Wayback Machine 2–3 times a week. It’s perfect for uncovering historical data. You can even find a trove of historical robots.txt files archived. There are a ton of other SEO uses for Wayback Machine you may find useful. 100 percent free.

Get it: Wayback Machine


Site Speed

Tools to speed up your site in order to improve engagement, increase conversions, and rank higher.

48. Cloudflare

There are so many good things to say about Cloudflare, it’s difficult to know what to include here. Aside from a free CDN to speed up your site, it also allows for easy DNS management, and 100 percent free DDoS protection. You can run on a paid plan forever, but if you’re ready to upgrade, the pro features are super cool and amazingly affordable.

Get it: Cloudflare

49. GTmetrix

GTmetrix is one of many webpage speed performance tests that SEOs love to use. It provides familiar reports such as PageSpeed, YSlow, and Waterfalls, as well as automatically visualizing historic data for each page it analyses.

Get it: GTmetrix

50. Lighthouse

Lighthouse is Google’s open-source speed performance tool. It’s also the most up-to-date, especially in terms of analyzing the performance of mobile pages and PWAs. Google not only recommends using Lighthouse to evaluate your page performance, but there is also speculation they use very similar evaluations in their ranking algorithms. 

Get it: Lighthouse

51. Page Speed Insights

Page Speed Insights is another Google tool built on top of Lighthouse, with one key added metric: Field Data. Field Data uses metrics collected by the Chrome User Experience Report so you can see how your page performs with real users across the globe. Not every page has data, but it’s super useful when it does.

Get it: Page Speed Insights

52. SpeedMonitor.io

If manually logging into a speed tool to check your performance each day isn’t your thing, consider SpeedMonitor.io. It uses Lighthouse data to gauge performance, then tracks it over time and stores the results — all for free. You can even add competitor tracking and on-demand audits. 

Get it: SpeedMonitor.io

53. WebpageTest

Webpage test is another performance tool similar to GTMetrix. It breaks down performance into easy-to-understand grades, along with some of the most detailed performance reports found anywhere. 

Get it: WebpageTest


WordPress

To be honest, there are literally hundreds of WordPress plugins that can be helpful for SEO. You almost always want a “general” SEO plugin, and we’ve listed two below. For others, you have a lot of options, but this list from Kinsta is a good place to start.

54. Rank Math

The “new” kid on the WordPress SEO plugin block, RankMath is quickly earning a cult following among certain SEO pros. It’s fully functional and comes with some cool features like built-in redirection, which means needing to install fewer plugins or pay for upgrades. Worth checking out.

Get it: Rank Math

55. Yoast SEO

Yoast is the “name” in WordPress SEO. The most trusted name, the most installed (30 million sites) and often, the most innovative. With the help of our friend Jono Alderson, they’ve created some amazing advances in the delivery of structured data. I personally use Yoast on most of my WordPress sites, and they are obviously highly recommended.

Get it: Yoast SEO


Bonus: Free Google Sheet of All 55 Tools

We’ve included a Google Sheet containing all 55 tools listed above. You can make a copy of the sheet and file away for your personal use, or share with your team.

Get the Free SEO Tool Sheet

Special Thanks

A lot of smart SEOs deserve credit for helping out with the recommendations in this post. A number of folks contributed suggestions from Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit.

A comprehensive list of SEO tools and resources is maintained by Saijo George. It’s continually updated and well maintained. You can find it here.

p.s. While these are 55 of the best free SEO tools, it’s by no means a complete list! What are some of your favorite free SEO tools? Let us know in the comments.

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7 SEO Title Tag Hacks for Increased Rankings + Traffic – Best of Whiteboard Friday

Posted by Cyrus-Shepard

We’re bringing back an oldie but a goodie this Friday! In today’s highly popular throwback, Cyrus Shepard calls out seven super-easy and timeless hacks to keep your title tags clickable in the SERPs. Check them out and share your own with us in the comments below!

Title tag hacks for increased rankings and traffics

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. I’m very excited to be here today. My name is Cyrus. I’m a Moz associate. Today I want to talk you about title tags, specifically title tag hacks to increase your traffic and rankings.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “Are title tags even still important today in SEO?” You bet they are. We’ve done a lot of correlation studies in the past. Those correlation studies have shown different things sort of decreasing in the past years. But we’ve also seen a lot of experiments recently where people have changed their title tag and seen a significant, measurable increase in their rankings.

Now, the other aspect of title tags that people sometimes forget about is the click-through rate that you get, which can measurably increase your traffic if you get the title tag right. Now, what’s neat about increasing your traffic through click-through rate is we’ve seen a lot of experiments, Rand has experimented a lot, that if you can increase this, you can measurably increase this.

Traffic through increased clicks can seem to increase your rankings under certain circumstances. So you get the dual benefit. So that’s what I want to talk to you about today — increasing those rankings, increasing that traffic by changing the first thing that your visitor is going to see in the SERPs.

So the important thing to remember is that these are things to experiment with. Not all of these hacks are going to work for you. SEO is founded in best practices, but true success is founded when you experiment and try different things. So try some of these out and these will give you an idea of where to get started in some of your title tag experiments.

1. Numbers

Numbers kind of pop out at you. These are examples: “5 Signs of a Zombie Apocalypse” or “How Mutants Can Save 22% on Car Insurance.”

  • Cognitive Bias – Standout specific – When you see these in SERPs, they tend to get a slightly higher click-through rate sometimes. This works because of a cognitive bias. Our brains are trained to find things that stand out and are specific. When you’re scanning search results, that’s a lot of information. So your brain is going to try to find some things that it can grasp on to, and numbers are the ultimate things that are both specific and they stand out. So sometimes, in certain circumstances, you can get a higher click-through rate by using numbers in your title tags.

2. Dates

Rand did an excellent Whiteboard Friday a few weeks ago, we’ll link to it below. These are things like “Best Actress Oscar Nominee 2017″ or even more specific, you can get the month in there, “Top NFL Fantasy Draft Picks September 2017.”

Now, Rand talks about this a lot. He talks about ways of finding dates in your keyword research. The key in that research is when you’re using tools like Keyword Explorer or Google AdWords or SEMrush, you have to look for previous years. So if I was searching for this year’s, we don’t have enough data yet for 2017, so I would look for “Best Actress Oscar Nominee 2016.”

  • Leverage your CMS – If you use WordPress, if you use Yoast plugin, you can actually have your title tags update automatically year-to-year or even month-to-month leveraging that. It’s not right for all circumstances, but for certain keyword queries it works pretty well.

3. Length

This is one of the most controversial, something that causes the most angst in SEO is when we’re doing audits or looking at title tags. Inevitably, when you’re doing an SEO audit, you find two things. You find title tags that are way too short, “Pantsuit,” or title tags that are way, way, way too long because they just want to stuff every keyword in there, “Tahiti ASL Red Pantsuit with Line Color, Midrise Belt, Hook-eye Zipper, Herringbone Knit at Macy’s.”

Now, these two, they’re great title tags, but there are two problems with this. This is way too broad. “Pantsuit” could be anything. This title tag is way too diluted. It’s hard to really know what that is about. You’re trying to scan it. You’re trying to read it. Search engines are going to look at it the same way. Is this about a pantsuit? Is it about herringbone knit? It’s kind of hard.

  • Etsy study – So Etsy recently did a study where Etsy measured hundreds of thousands of URLs and they shortened their title tags, because, more often than not, the longer title tag is a problem. Shorter title tags, not so much. You see longer title tags in the wild more often. When they shortened the title tags, they saw a measurable increase in rankings.
  • 50–60 Characters – This is one of those things where best practices usually is the best way to go because the optimal length is usually 50 to 60 characters.
  • Use top keywords – When you’re deciding what keywords to put it when you’re shortening this, that’s where you want to use your keyword research and find the keywords that your visitors are actually using.

So if I go into my Analytics or Google Search Console, I can see that people are actually searching for “pantsuit,” “Macy’s,” and maybe something like that. I can come up with a title tag that fits within those parameters, “Tahiti ASL Red Pantsuit,” “pantsuits” the category, “Macy’s.” That’s going to be your winning title tag and you’ll probably see an increase in rankings.

4. Synonyms and variants

Now, you’ll notice in this last title tag, the category was a plural of pantsuit. That can actually help in some circumstances. But it’s important to realize that how you think your searchers are searching may not be how they’re actually searching.

Let’s say you do your keyword research and your top keywords are “cheap taxis.” You want to optimize for cheap taxis. Well, people may be looking for that in different ways. They may be looking for “affordable cabs” or “low cost” or “cheap Ubers,” things like that.

So you want to use those variants, find out what the synonyms and variants are and incorporate those into your title tag. So my title tag might be “Fast Affordable Cabs, Quick Taxi, Your Cheap Ride.” That’s optimized for like three different things within that 50 to 60 word limit, and it’s going to hit all those variants and you can actually rank a little higher for using that.

  • Use SERPs/keyword tools – The way you find these synonyms and variants, you can certainly look in the SERPs. Type your keyword into the SERPs, into Google and see what they highlight bold in the search results. That will often give you the variants that people are looking for, that people also ask at the bottom of the page. Your favorite keyword tool, such as Keyword Explorer or SEMrush or whatever you choose and also your Analytics. Google Search Console is a great source of information for these synonyms and variants.

5. Call to action

Now, you won’t often find the call-to-action words in your keyword research, but they really help people click. These are action verbs.

  • Action wordsbuy, find download, search, listen, watch, learn, and access. When you use these, they give a little bit more excitement because they indicate that the user will be able to do something beyond the keyword. So they’re not necessarily typing it in the search box. When they see it in results, it can create, “Oh wow, I get to download something.” It provides a little something extra, and you can increase your click-through rates that way.

6. Top referring keywords

This is a little overlooked, and it’s sort of an advanced concept. Oftentimes we optimize our page for one set of keywords, but the traffic that comes to it is another set of keywords. But what’s very powerful is when people type their words into the search box and they see those exact same words in the title tags, that’s going to increase your click-through rate.

For an example, I went into the analytics here at Moz and I looked at Followerwonk. I found the top referring keywords in Google Search Console are “Twitter search,” “search Twitter bios,” and “Twitter analytics.” Those are how people or what people are looking for right before they click on the Followerwonk listing in Google.

So using that information, I might write a title tag like “Search Twitter Bios with Followerwonk, the Twitter Analytics Tool.” That’s a pretty good title tag. I’m kind of proud of that. But you can see it hits all my major keywords that people are using. So when I type in “Twitter analytics” into the search box and I see “The Twitter Analytics Tool,” I’m more likely to click on that.

So I’ve written about this before, but it’s very important to optimize your page, not only for the traffic you’re trying to get, but the traffic you’re actually receiving. When you can marry those two, you can be stronger in all aspects.

7. Questions

Questions are great tools to use in your title tags. These are things like, “Where Do Butterflies Migrate?” Maybe your keyword is just “butterflies migrate.” But by asking a question, you create a curiosity gap, and you give people an incentive to click. Or “What is PageRank?” That’s something we do here at Moz. So you get the curiosity gap.

But oftentimes, by asking a question, you get the bonus of winning a featured snippet. Britney Muller wrote an awesome, awesome post about this a while back about questions people also ask, how to find those in your keyword research and claim those featured snippets and claim “people also ask” boxes. It’s a great, great way to increase your traffic.

So these are seven tips. Let us know your tips for title tags in the comments below. If you like this video, I’d appreciate a thumbs up. Share it with your friends on social media. I’ll see you next time. Thanks, everybody.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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7 Proven SEO Reporting Best Practices That Boost Client Retention

Posted by KameronJenkins

“Let’s hop on a call to go over this report.”

Did you hear that?

That was the collective sigh of SEOs everywhere.

If we’re being honest, most of us probably view reporting the same way we view taking out the trash or folding the laundry. It’s a chore that robs us of time we could have spent on more important or enjoyable things.

Adding to the frustration is the reality that many clients don’t even read their reports. That’s right. All that time you put into pulling together your data and the report might be forever resigned to the dusty corner of your client’s inbox.

In the words of Mama Boucher, reporting is the devil.

Hear me out though… have you ever thought of reporting as a client retention tool? While reporting is something that takes your time away from SEO work that moves the needle, reporting is also critical if you want to have a campaign to work on at all.

In other words, no reporting = no value communicated = no more client.

The good news is that the reverse is also true. When we do SEO reporting well, we communicate our value and keep more clients, which is something that every agency and consultant can agree is important.

That all sounds nice, but how can we do that? Throughout my six years at an SEO agency, I picked up some reporting tips that I hope you’ll be able to benefit from as well.

P.S. If you haven’t seen it already, Moz’s own Meghan Pahinui wrote an amazing post for the Moz blog on creating relevant and engaging SEO reports using Moz Pro Campaigns. Definitely check it out!

1. Report on what they care about

I’ve seen my share of reports that highlighted metrics that just didn’t reflect any of the client’s main objectives. Your clients are busy — the first sight of something irrelevant and they’ll lose interest, so make your reports count!

My process for determining what I should report on is fairly simple:

  1. Identify the business objective
  2. Create an SEO plan that will help achieve that goal
  3. Execute the plan
  4. Report on the metrics that best measure the work I did

In other words, choose appropriate KPIs to match their business objectives and your strategy, and stick to those for your reporting.

2. Set specific goals

You: “Good news! We got 4,000 organic visits last month.”

Client: “Why wasn’t it 5,000?”

If that’s ever happened to you before, you’re not alone.

This simple step is so easy to forget, but make sure your goals are specific and mutually agreed upon before you start! At the beginning of the month, tell your client what your goal is (ex: “We hope to be able to get 4,000 organic visits”). That way, when you review your report, you’ll be able to objectively say whether you missed/hit/exceeded your targets.

3. Eliminate jargon

Your clients are professionals in their own fields, not yours, so make sure to leave the shop-talking to Twitter. Before sending out a report, ask yourself:

  • Have I defined all potentially confusing metrics? I’ve seen some SEOs include a mini-glossary or analogies to explain some of their charts — I love this! It really helps disambiguate metrics that are easy to misunderstand.
  • Am I using words that aren’t used outside my own echo chamber? Some phrases become so ubiquitous in our immediate circles that we assume everyone uses them. In many cases, we’re using jargon without even realizing it!

Simply put, use clear language and layman’s terms in your client’s SEO reports. You won’t serve anyone by confusing them.

4. Visualize your data in meaningful ways

I once heard a client describe a report as “pretty, but useless.”

Ouch.

They had a point though. Their report was full of pie charts and line graphs that, while important-looking, conveyed no meaning to them.

Part of that “meaning” comes down to reporting on the metrics your client cares about (see #1), but the other half of that is choosing how you’ll display that information.

There are some great resources on Moz about data visualization such as Demystifying Data Visualization for Marketers, a video of Annie Cushing’s talk at MozCon 2014, and A Visualization Prescription for Impactful Data Storytelling, a Whiteboard Friday video by Lea Pica.

Resources like that will help you transform your data from metrics into a story that conveys meaning to your clients, so don’t skimp on this step!

5. Provide insights, not just metrics

I remember the first time someone explained to me the difference between metrics and insights. I was blown away.

It seems so simple now, but in my earliest days in digital marketing, I basically viewed “reporting” as synonymous with “data.” Raw, numeric, mind-numbing data.

The key to making your reports more meaningful to your clients is understanding that pure metrics don’t have intrinsic data. You have to unify the data in meaningful ways and pull out insights that help your client understand not just what the numbers are but why they matter.

I find it helpful to ask “so what?” when going through a report. Client’s ranking on page 1 for this list of keywords? That’s cool, but why should my client care about this? How is it contributing to their goals? Work on answering that question before you communicate your reports.

6. Connect SEO results to revenue

I’m going to be honest, this one is tricky.

First of all, SEO is a few layers removed from conversions. When it comes to “the big three” (as I like to refer to rankings, traffic, and conversions), SEOs can:

  • Most directly influence rankings
  • Influence organic traffic, but a little less directly than rankings. For example, organic traffic can go down despite sustained rankings due to things like seasonality.
  • Influence organic conversions, but even less directly than traffic. Everything from the website design to the product/service itself can affect that.

Second, it can be difficult to connect SEO to revenue especially on websites where the ultimate conversion happens offline (ex: lead gen). In order to tie organic traffic to revenue, you’ll want to set up goal conversions and add a value to those conversions in your analytics, but here’s where that gets difficult:

  • Clients often don’t know their average LCV (lifetime customer value)
  • Clients often don’t know their average close rate (the rough percentage of leads that they close)
  • Clients know, but they don’t want to share this information with you

Everyone has a different reporting methodology, but I personally tend to advocate for at least trying to connect SEO to revenue. I’ve been in enough situations where our client dropped us because they saw us as a cost-center rather than a profit-center to know that communicating your value in monetary terms can mean the difference between keeping your client or not.

Even though you can’t directly influence conversions and even if your client can only give you a rough ballpark figure for LCV and close rate, it’s better than nothing.

7. Be available to fill in the gaps

Not everything can be explained in a report. Even if you’re able to add text commentary to elaborate on your data, there’s still the risk that a key point will be lost on your client completely. Expect this!

I’ve seen plenty of client reporting calls go well over an hour. While no two situations are alike, I think starting with a report that contains clear insights on the KPIs your client cares about will do wonders for shortening that conversation.

Your clients will be able to understand those insights on their own, which frees you up to add context and answer any questions without getting bogged down with back-and-forth over “red herring” metrics that distract from the main point.


I want to hear from you!

What about you? Every SEO has their own reporting best practices, wins, and horror stories — I want to hear yours!

  • What reporting trick do you have up your sleeve that could help your fellow SEOs save time (& their sanity)?
  • What’s your biggest reporting struggle and how are you trying to solve it?
  • What’s an example of a time when reporting played a role in salvaging a client relationship?

We’re in this together — so let’s learn from each other!

And if you want more where this came from, please consider downloading our free whitepaper: High-Impact SEO Reporting for Agencies! It’s full of advice and helpful tips for using reports to communicate value to your clients.

Read the whitepaper

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Advanced Linkbuilding: How to Find the Absolute Best Publishers and Writers to Pitch

Posted by KristinTynski

In my last post, I explained how using network visualization tools can help you massively improve your content marketing PR/Outreach strategy —understanding which news outlets have the largest syndication networks empowers your outreach team to prioritize high-syndication publications over lower syndication publications. The result? The content you are pitching enjoys significantly more widespread link pickups.

Today, I’m going to take you a little deeper — we’ll be looking at a few techniques for forming an even better understanding of the publisher syndication networks in your particular niche. I’ve broken this technique into two parts:

  • Technique One — Leveraging Buzzsumo influencer data and twitter scraping to find the most influential journalists writing about any topic
  • Technique Two — Leveraging the Gdelt Dataset to reveal deep story syndication networks between publishers using in-context links.

Why do this at all?

If you are interested in generating high-value links at scale, these techniques provide an undeniable competitive advantage — they help you to deeply understand how writers and news publications connect and syndicate to each other.

In our opinion at Fractl, data-driven content stories that have strong news hooks, finding writers and publications who would find the content compelling, and pitching them effectively is the single highest ROI SEO activity possible. Done correctly, it is entirely possible to generate dozens, sometimes even hundreds or thousands, of high-authority links with one or a handful of content campaigns.

Let’s dive in.

Using Buzzsumo to understand journalist influencer networks on any topic

First, you want to figure out who your topc influencers are your a topic. A very handy feature of Buzzsumo is its “influencers” tool. You can locate it on the influences tab, then follow these steps:

  • Select only “Journalists.” This will limit the result to only the Twitter accounts of those known to be reporters and journalists of major publications. Bloggers and lower authority publishers will be excluded.
  • Search using a topical keyword. If it is straightforward, one or two searches should be fine. If it is more complex, create a few related queries, and collate the twitter accounts that appear in all of them. Alternatively, use the Boolean “and/or” in your search to narrow your result. It is critical to be sure your search results are returning journalists that as closely match your target criteria as possible.
  • Ideally, you want at least 100 results. More is generally better, so long as you are sure the results represent your target criteria well.
  • Once you are happy with your search result, click export to grab a CSV.

The next step is to grab all of the people each of these known journalist influencers follows — the goal is to understand which of these 100 or so influencers impacts the other 100 the most. Additionally, we want to find people outside of this group that many of these 100 follow in common.

To do so, we leveraged Twint, a handy Twitter scraper available on Github to pull all of the people each of these journalist influencers follow. Using our scraped data, we built an edge list, which allowed us to visualize the result in  Gephi.

Here is an interactive version for you to explore, and here is a screenshot of what it looks like:

This graph shows us which nodes (influencers) have the most In-Degree links. In other words: it tells us who, of our media influencers, is most followed. 

    These are the top 10 nodes:

    • Maia Szalavitz (@maiasz) Neuroscience Journalist, VICE and TIME
    • Radley Balko (@radleybalko) Opinion journalist, Washington Post
    • Johann Hari (@johannhari101) New York Times best-selling author
    • David Kroll (@davidkroll) Freelance healthcare writer, Forbes Heath
    • Max Daly (@Narcomania) Global Drugs Editor, VICE
    • Dana Milbank (@milbank)Columnist, Washington Post
    • Sam Quinones (@samquinones7), Author
    • Felice Freyer (@felicejfreyer), Boston Globe Reporter, Mental health and Addiction
    • Jeanne Whalen (@jeannewhalen) Business Reporter, Washington Post
    • Eric Bolling (@ericbolling) New York Times best-selling author

    Who is the most influential?

      Using the “Betweenness Centrality” score given by Gephi, we get a rough understanding of which nodes (influencers) in the network act as hubs of information transfer. Those with the highest “Betweenness Centrality” can be thought of as the “connectors” of the network. These are the top 10 influencers:\

      • Maia Szalavitz (@maiasz) Neuroscience Journalist, VICE and TIME
      • David Kroll (@davidkroll) Freelance healthcare writer, Forbes Heath
      • Jeanne Whalen (@jeannewhalen) Business Reporter, Washington Post
      • Travis Lupick (@tlupick), Journalist, Author
      • Johann Hari (@johannhari101) New York Times best-selling author
      • Radley Balko (@radleybalko) Opinion journalist, Washington Post
      • Sam Quinones (@samquinones7), Author
      • Eric Bolling (@ericbolling) New York Times best-selling author
      • Dana Milbank (@milbank)Columnist, Washington Post
      • Mike Riggs (@mikeriggs) Writer & Editor, Reason Mag 

          @maiasz, @davidkroll, and @johannhari101 are standouts. There’s considerable overlap between the winners in “In-Degree” and “Betweenness Centrality” but they are still quite different. 

            What else can we learn?

              The middle of the visualization holds many of the largest sized nodes. The nodes in this view are sized by “In-Degree.” The large, centrally located nodes are disproportionately followed by other members of the graph and enjoy popularity across the board (from many of the other influential nodes). These are journalists commonly followed by everyone else. Sifting through these centrally located nodes will surface many journalists who behave as influencers of the group initially pulled from BuzzSumo.

              So, if you had a campaign about a niche topic, you could consider pitching to an influencer surfaced from this data —according to our the visualization, an article shared in their network would have the most reach and potential ROI

              Using Gdelt to find the most influential websites on a topic with in-context link analysis

              The first example was a great way to find the best journalists in a niche to pitch to, but top journalists are often the most pitched to overall. Often times, it can be easier to get a pickup from less known writers at major publications. For this reason, understanding which major publishers are most influential, and enjoy the widest syndication on a specific theme, topic, or beat, can be majorly helpful.

              By using Gdelt’s massive and fully comprehensive database of digital news stories, along with Google BigQuery and Gephi, it is possible to dig even deeper to yield important strategic information that will help you prioritize your content pitching.

              We pulled all of the articles in Gdelt’s database that are known to be about a specific theme within a given timeframe. In this case (as with the previous example) we looked at “behaviour health.” For each article we found in Gdelt’s database that matches our criteria, we also grabbed links found only within the context of the article.

              Here is how it is done:

              • Connect to Gdelt on Google BigQuery — you can find a tutorial here.
              • Pull data from Gdelt. You can use this command: SELECT DocumentIdentifier,V2Themes,Extras,SourceCommonName,DATE FROM [gdelt-bq:gdeltv2.gkg] where (V2Themes like ‘%Your Theme%’).
              • Select any theme you find, here — just replace the part between the percentages.
              • To extract the links found in each article and build an edge file. This can be done with a relatively simple python script to pull out all of the <PAGE_LINKS> from the results of the query, clean the links to only show their root domain (not the full URL) and put them into an edge file format.

              Note: The edge file is made up of Source–>Target pairs. The Source is the article and the Target are the links found within the article. The edge list will look like this:

              • Article 1, First link found in the article.
              • Article 1, Second link found in the article.
              • Article 2, First link found in the article.
              • Article 2, Second link found in the article.
              • Article 2, Third link found in the article.

              From here, the edge file can be used to build a network visualization where the nodes publishers and the edges between them represent the in-context links found from our Gdelt data pull around whatever topic we desired.

              This final visualization is a network representation of the publishers who have written stories about addiction, and where those stories link to.

                What can we learn from this graph?

                This tells us which nodes (Publisher websites) have the most In-Degree links. In other words: who is the most linked. We can see that the most linked-to for this topic are:

                • tmz.com
                • people.com
                • cdc.gov
                • cnn.com
                • go.com
                • nih.gov
                • ap.org
                • latimes.com
                • jamanetwork.com
                • nytimes.com

                Which publisher is most influential? 

                Using the “Betweenness Centrality” score given by Gephi, we get a rough understanding of which nodes (publishers) in the network act as hubs of information transfer. The nodes with the highest “Betweenness Centrality” can be thought of as the “connectors” of the network. Getting pickups from these high-betweenness centrality nodes gives a much greater likelihood of syndication for that specific topic/theme. 

                • Dailymail.co.uk
                • Nytimes.com
                • People.com
                • CNN.com
                • Latimes.com
                • washingtonpost.com
                • usatoday.com
                • cvslocal.com
                • huffingtonpost.com
                • sfgate.com

                What else can we learn?

                  Similar to the first example, the higher the betweenness centrality numbers, number of In-degree links, and the more centrally located in the graph, the more “important” that node can generally be said to be. Using this as a guide, the most important pitching targets can be easily identified. 

                  Understanding some of the edge clusters gives additional insights into other potential opportunities. Including a few clusters specific to different regional or state local news, and a few foreign language publication clusters.

                  Wrapping up

                  I’ve outlined two different techniques we use at Fractl to understand the influence networks around specific topical areas, both in terms of publications and the writers at those publications. The visualization techniques described are not obvious guides, but instead, are tools for combing through large amounts of data and finding hidden information. Use these techniques to unearth new opportunities and prioritize as you get ready to find the best places to pitch the content you’ve worked so hard to create.

                  Do you have any similar ideas or tactics to ensure you’re pitching the best writers and publishers with your content? Comment below!

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                    Introducing the Copyblogger Guide to the Best Social Media Tools

                    Why do you use social media? It’s not a rhetorical question. I really want you to answer. In the comments…

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                    Best of Copyblogger: 2018 Edition

                    Once you know what you’d like more of in your life, you have to make decisions that will allow more…

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                    My Best Free Training Resources To Help You Start An Online Business

                    On this page you will find direct download links for every significant free training resource I’ve created in the past decade to help you start and grow an online business. I recommend you bookmark this page as there is more here than you can get through in just one sitting. Blog Profits Blueprint Here are […]

                    The post My Best Free Training Resources To Help You Start An Online Business appeared first on Yaro.Blog.

                    Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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                    Here Are All The Best Free Training Resources I Released To Help You Start An Online Business

                    As you may know if you’re on my email newsletter, my flagship course Blog Mastermind 2.0, is closing on October 1st, 2018. This is the final year I am running group coaching sessions, so I wanted to make sure if you joined Blog Mastermind before the closing deadline, you still have the chance to talk to me […]

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                    Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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                    Follow the Local SEO Leaders: A Guide to Our Industry’s Best Publications

                    Posted by MiriamEllis

                    Change is the only constant in local SEO. As your local brand or local search marketing agency grows, you’ll be onboarding new hires. Whether they’re novices or adepts, they’ll need to keep up with continuous industry developments in order to make agile contributions to team strategy. Particularly if local SEO is new to someone, it saves training time if you can fast-track them on who to follow for the best news and analysis. This guide serves as a blueprint for that very purpose.

                    And even if you’re an old hand in the local SEM industry, you may find some sources here you’ve been overlooking that could add richness and depth to your ongoing education.

                    Two quick notes on what and how I’ve chosen:

                    1. As the author of both of Moz’s newsletters (the Moz Top 10 and the Moz Local Top 7), I read an inordinate amount of SEO and local SEO content, but I could have missed your work. The list that follows represents my own, personal slate of the resources that have taught me the most. If you publish great local SEO information but you’re not on this list, my apologies, and if you write something truly awesome in future, you’re welcome to tweet at me. I’m always on the lookout for fresh and enlightening voices. My personal criteria for the publications I trust is that they are typically groundbreaking, thoughtful, investigative, and respectful of readers and subjects.
                    2. Following the leaders is a useful practice, but not a stopping point. Even experts aren’t infallible. Rather than take industry advice at face value, do your own testing. Some of the most interesting local SEO discussions I’ve ever participated in have stemmed from people questioning standard best practices. So, while it’s smart to absorb the wisdom of experts, it’s even smarter to do your own experiments.

                    The best of local SEO news

                    Who reports fastest on Google updates, Knowledge Panel tweaks, and industry business?

                    Sterling Sky’s Timeline of Local SEO Changes is the industry’s premiere log of developments that impact local businesses and is continuously updated by Joy Hawkins + team.

                    Search Engine Roundtable has a proven track record of being among the first to report news that affects both local and digital businesses, thanks to the ongoing dedication of Barry Schwartz.

                    Street Fight is the best place on the web to read about mergers, acquisitions, the release of new technology, and other major happenings on the business side of local. I’m categorizing Street Fight under news, but they also offer good commentary, particularly the joint contributions of David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal.

                    LocalU’s Last Week in Local video and podcast series highlights Mike Blumenthal and Mary Bowling’s top picks of industry coverage most worthy of your attention. Comes with the bonus of expert commentary as they share their list.

                    TechCrunch also keeps a finger on the pulse of technology and business dealings that point to the future of local.

                    Search Engine Land’s local category is consistently swift in getting the word out about breaking industry news, with the help of multiple authors.

                    Adweek is a good source for reportage on retail and brand news, but there’s a limit to the number of articles you can read without a subscription. I often find them covering quirky stories that are absent from other publications I read.

                    The SEMPost’s local tab is another good place to check for local developments, chiefly covered by Jennifer Slegg.

                    Search Engine Journal’s local column also gets my vote for speedy delivery of breaking local stories.

                    Google’s main blog and the ThinkWithGoogle blog are musts to keep tabs on the search engine’s own developments, bearing in mind, of course, that these publications can be highly promotional of their products and worldview.

                    The best of local search marketing analysis

                    Who can you trust most to analyze the present and predict the future?

                    LocalU’s Deep Dive video series features what I consider to be the our industry’s most consistently insightful analysis of a variety of local marketing topics, discussed by learned faculty and guests.

                    The Moz Blog’s local category hosts a slate of gifted bloggers and professional editorial standards that result in truly in-depth treatment of local topics, presented with care and attention. As a veteran contributor to this publication, I can attest to how Moz inspires authors to aim high, and one of the nicest things that happened to our team in 2018 was being voted the #2 local SEO blog by BrightLocal’s survey respondents.

                    The Local Search Association’s Insider blog is one I turn to again and again, particularly for their excellent studies and quotable statistics.

                    Mike Blumenthal’s blog has earned a place of honor over many years as a key destination for breaking local developments and one-of-a-kind analysis. When Blumenthal talks, local people listen. One of the things I’ve prized for well over a decade in Mike’s writing is his ability to see things from a small business perspective, as opposed to simply standing in awe of big business and technology.

                    BrightLocal’s surveys and studies are some of the industry’s most cited and I look eagerly forward to their annual publication.

                    Whitespark’s blog doesn’t publish as frequently as I wish it did, but their posts by Darren Shaw and crew are always on extremely relevant topics and of high quality.

                    Sterling Sky’s blog is a relative newcomer, but the expertise Joy Hawkins and Colan Nielsen bring to their agency’s publication is making it a go-to resource for advice on some of the toughest aspects of local SEO.

                    Local Visibility System’s blog continues to please, with the thoughtful voice of Phil Rozek exploring themes you likely encounter in your day-to-day work as a local SEO.

                    The Local Search Forum is, hands down, the best free forum on the web to take your local mysteries and musings to. Founded by Linda Buquet, the ethos of the platform is approachable, friendly, and often fun, and high-level local SEOs frequently weigh in on hot topics.

                    Pro tip: In addition to the above tried-and-true resources, I frequently scan the online versions of city newspapers across the country for interesting local stories that add perspective to my vision of the challenges and successes of local businesses. Sometimes, too, publications like The Atlantic, Forbes, or Business Insider will publish pieces of a high journalistic quality with relevance to our industry. Check them out!

                    The best for specific local marketing disciplines

                    Here, I’ll break this down by subject or industry for easy scanning:

                    Reviews

                    • GatherUp (formerly GetFiveStars) can’t be beat for insight into online reputation management, with Aaron Weiche and team delivering amazing case studies and memorable statistics. I literally have a document of quotes from their work that I refer to on a regular basis in my own writing.
                    • Grade.us is my other ORM favorite for bright and lively coverage from authors like Garrett Sussman and Andrew McDermott.

                    Email marketing

                    • Tidings’ vault contains a tiny but growing treasure trove of email marketing wisdom from David Mihm, whose former glory days spent in the trenches of local SEO make him especially attuned to our industry.

                    SABs

                    • Tom Waddington’s blog is the must-read publication for service area businesses whose livelihoods are being impacted by Google’s Local Service Ads program in an increasing number of categories and cities.

                    Automotive marketing

                    • DealerOn’s blog is the real deal when it comes to automotive local SEO, with Greg Gifford teaching memorable lessons in an enjoyable way.

                    Legal marketing

                    • JurisDigital brings the the educated voices of Casey Meraz and team to the highly-specialized field of attorney marketing.

                    Hospitality marketing

                    Independent businesses

                    Link building

                    • Nifty Marketing’s blog has earned my trust for its nifty local link building ideas and case studies.
                    • ZipSprout belongs here, too, because of their focus on local sponsorships, which are a favorite local link building methodology. Check them out for blog posts and podcasts.

                    Schema + other markup

                    • Touchpoint Digital Marketing doesn’t publish much on their own website, but look anywhere you can for David Deering’s writings on markup. LocalU and Moz are good places to search for his expertise.

                    Patents

                    • SEO by the Sea has proffered years of matchless analysis of Google patents that frequently impact local businesses or point to future possible developments.

                    Best local search industry newsletters

                    Get the latest news and tips delivered right to your inbox by signing up for these fine free newsletters:

                    Follow the local SEO leaders on Twitter

                    What an easy way to track what industry adepts are thinking and sharing, up-to-the-minute! Following this list of professionals (alphabetized by first name) will fill up your social calendar with juicy local tidbits. Keep in mind that many of these folks either own or work for agencies or publishers you can follow, too.

                    Aaron Weiche
                    Adam Dorfman
                    Andrew Shotland
                    Ben Fisher
                    Bernadette Coleman
                    Bill Slawski
                    Brian Barwig
                    Carrie Hill
                    Casey Meraz
                    Cindy Krum
                    Colan Nielsen
                    DJ Baxter
                    Dan Leibson
                    Dana DiTomaso
                    Dani Owens
                    Darren Shaw
                    Dave DiGreggorio
                    David Mihm
                    Don Campbell
                    Garrett Sussman
                    Glenn Gabe
                    Greg Gifford
                    Greg Sterling
                    Jennifer Slegg
                    Joel Headley
                    Joy Hawkins
                    Mary Bowling
                    Mike Blumenthal
                    Mike Ramsey
                    Miriam Ellis
                    Phil Rozek
                    Sherry Bonelli
                    Thibault Adda
                    Tim Capper
                    Tom Waddington

                    Share what you learn

                    How about your voice? How do you get it heard in the local SEO industry? The answer is simple: share what you learn with others. Each of the people and publications on my list has earned a place there because, at one time or another, they have taught me something they learned from their own work. Some tips:

                    • Our industry has become a sizeable niche, but there is always room for new, interesting voices
                    • Experiment and publish — consistent publication of your findings is the best way I know of to become a trusted source of information
                    • Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, so long as you are willing to own them
                    • Socialize — attend events, amplify the work of colleagues you admire, reach out in real ways to others to share your common work interest while also respecting busy schedules

                    Local SEO is a little bit like jazz, in which we’re all riffing off the same chord progressions created by Google, Facebook, Yelp, other major platforms, and the needs of clients. Mike Blumenthal plays a note about a jeweler whose WOMM is driving the majority of her customers. You take that note and turn it around for someone in the auto industry, yielding an unexpected insight. Someone else takes your insight and creates a print handout to bolster a loyalty program.

                    Everyone ends up learning in this virtuous, democratic cycle, so go ahead — start sharing! A zest for contribution is a step towards leadership and your observations could be music to the industry’s ears.

                    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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                    Why the Best Writers Aren’t Always the Most Successful

                    Have you ever noticed that the really marvelous writers — the ones who think carefully about every word, who can…

                    The post Why the Best Writers Aren’t Always the Most Successful appeared first on Copyblogger.


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