I just got an email from an old associate. He is a PPC guy and is doing an SEO project. He asked for basic insight to “double check” on the keywords that his client provided to him, wanting to make sure that he wasn’t going to spend his time optimizing for keywords that were seldom searched.
Good call. In fact, when Ephricon takes on a new client we ask for lots of input from the client, but we reserve the right to have final say on the keyword priority list. I feel as though that’s part of what clients pay us for. We hold ourselves responsible not for rankings, but for traffic and leads. As such, we need to have significant say as to which keywords we target. This goes for both SEO and PPC.
My reply to him is below. I intentionally tried to keep it fairly high-level. The guy wants recommendations, not thorough discussion of every tool ever made.
Good hearing from you. There are a number of options, of course, but the fastest/easiest one is the good ole Google Keyword Tool.
Search volume is pretty much the same for PPC as with SEO – b/c at the end of the day its still just counting the number of people who are searching. Your approach to target them (PPC ads vs. organic listings) is different, but there is still the same “supply” of people searching.
That’s all volume. For relevance, I apply a more subjective measure. If you have conversion data than you can use that, but if you are starting from scratch you have to go with your gut, and when in doubt lean more towards longer tail keywords and keywords with “buying” intent.
For competition, we again use the Google Keyword Tool and also SEOmoz’s Keyword Difficulty Tool. Neither is perfect, so we also do a lot of “custom” analysis to determine difficulty levels. The SEOChat tool is actually pretty good too… it doesn’t look as cool as the others but I tend to agree with its scoring a bit more.
February 19, 2010
As the owner of a growing internet marketing company, I’m terribly curious about how other agency leaders spend their time. On this note, I tweeted out a question yesterday on Twitter and was looking for a few responses. There’s nothing like an open-ended opinion question sent to a targeted market to get a good reply rate. Specifically, I asked:
I got back some great responses:
CoreyCreed: Regularly drop your worst clients and keep getting better ones.
pepperjamceo: position our clients ahead of the competition.
portentint: Restrain myself when people say “I don’t think that’s how SEO works”
ericfransen: Manage people & expectations
wilreynolds: SEO, I still do SEO about 40%-50% of my work week.
I asked the question b/c for the last several months I’ve been really focusing on running our agency – looking at things like processes, systems, efficiency, scalability (while still staying high-touch and high-end in approach), etc. Anyhow, I’m not sure I can even answer my own question. I guess I’d say putting resources in place to be successful. That’s pretty darn generic though. Maybe more specifically I’d pick two things. For the “agency” part its communicating with our clients. For the “SEO” part its monitoring keywords that convert and using that data in combination with current rankings, traffic potential, etc. to continually revise which keywords we are most directly targeting.
January 28, 2010
A couple of months back I was asked to speak at Search Exchange, an SEO conference taking place in Charlotte, NC from May 17 through May 19, 2010. Since I’m local (live + work just south of Charlotte), and since the guys running the event are top-notch SEO folk, I was honored by their offer and accepted.
Since then, they’ve added a number of SEO Rockstars to the speaker list. Names such as Jim Boykin, Wil Reynolds, Rae Hoffman, Lee Odden and Chris Brogan – all of whom have about a zillion times the “name brand draw” of yours truly. That’s okay. I’m totally taller than them. Well, some of them. Maybe I’ll give out free blogroll links to attendees or something so that people like me too. :)
Anyhow, the organizers have put together a pretty solid list of keynote speakers and panelists, and have secured a fantastic venue as well (the Belk Theatre in uptown). It should be a blast. I know the local search community here in Charlotte is pretty strong, and I expect to see good support both locally and nationally. Its also going to be just the right-sized conference too… small enough where people actually share ideas and its not watered down by too many corporate-types who are looking for SEO 101, and still large enough to where it covers a number of topics and there will be plenty of fresh perspectives.
So I’m going to make the case for you to attend Search Exchange…
Why Attend Search Exchange Over SES, SMX and Other SEO Conferences:
- Charlotte in May is about 1,000 times nicer weather and more enjoyable than New York in March (SES).
- It will be smaller in size and less corporate than the bigger conferences, enabling better conversations and a higher percentage of “real SEO people” not just entry-level programmers from Fortune 500 companies.
- The speaker and panelist lineup is amazing.
- Its much more affordable. You can get a 3-day ticket for the cost of a 1-day pass to most of the other conferences.
- I’m offering a $100 discount if you sign up through this link.
Its currently $595 if you buy your ticket by January 31st, but with the $100 discount I’m offering its only $495. If you read this or buy after January 31st, the $100 discount is still valid – it will just come off of whatever the “post early bird” price is. So go sign up. Now.
Update: Okay, you have to click the “Enter Discount Code” link and enter in “speak100” and you’ll get the $100 discount. Sorry about this not being clarified the first go-round… needless to say there was a little confusion.
See you there!
November 20, 2009
I was just asked by a colleague about an acquaintence of his who wants to move her blog from a something.blogspot.com URL (Blogger/Blogspot subdomain) to her own domain, and in the process move over to WordPress… without losing traffic. Currently she gets a good deal of traffic, all to her pages which are indexed under the Blogspot subdomain URL.
If you have experience with this please weigh in!!!
I don’t really know for sure here as I’ve never done this, but I would probably go about it like this:
1) First, switch from the blogspot subdomain to the “custom domain” feature. Its in the settings > publishing tab. There may be a small fee for this, my guess is its like $10 or something very small.
2) Confirm that this is working, and that its sending 301 redirects for the old blogspot pages to the same URLs (minus the change in domains) on the new domain.
3) Wait for Google to reindex everything… probably a few weeks.
4) Export everything and import into a new WordPress install (on a testing domain or temp URL). When doing this, ensure the test domain is blocking search engines. There is probably a handy plugin or too to import from Blogger to WordPress.
5) Configure the URLs in WordPress to match the same formatting as the old Blogger blog, and make sure it works right.
6) Launch the new WordPress blog by repointing the domain from Blogger to the new server hosting the WordPress blog.
7) Go back into Blogger and add a little post saying the blog moved… everyone for each individual post should be redirected anyways but I’d still do this anyhow. Link to the new full domain URL. Make sure to keep paying Blogger to keep that custom domain feature intact b/c that is what is keeping the 301 redirects from the old pages with the Blogspot URLs to the new URLs on the new WordPress blog hosted on a new domain and server.
When complete, I don’t think you’ll keep 100% of the “juice” or traffic here, but I think you’ll keep 90% of it, plus you’ll gain by having your own domain name and more features and capabilities with WordPress. If you don’t mind a little effort to make the switch, I think its worthwhile.