Hyper-Regional Lead Generation for SEO Companies

Okay so for this post instead of talking about using SEO for online lead generation, I’m going to talk about online lead generation for SEO services.

When I started my SEO firm back in 2003, I immediately identified Baltimore, MD as my primary geographic market.  At the time, I was living in the Towson area – which is a suburb about 15-20 minutes north of Baltimore.  In 2003, few people had heard of SEO so I was worried about getting enough demand in Baltimore, much less a smaller suburb.  I targeted keywords like “baltimore seo” rather than “towson seo“, as I thought the latter was simply too niche a keyword and didn’t have enough demand to support my lead generation needs…

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Zi.ma – SEO-Friendly URL Shortener with 301 Redirects and Tracking

This is just a beautiful thing.

I’ve somehow started using Twitter again after our recent SEO Meetup about social media.  At the event, @george_murphy and @timstaines convinced me (@jonpayne) there was a business benefit – a way to leverage it for traffic and leads.

Anyhow, today I was looking for a good URL shortener that also does 301 redirects.  Why?  Well let’s suppose I post a URL of a page on one of my sites – like this blog post for example.  In Twitter, since I’m limited to 140 characters I need to use some sort of URL shortener or I might not have enough room for the long URLs typically associated with blogs.  Until recently, I had been using is.gd, mainly b/c I just liked the “is good” reference.

zima

So what if – by rare occurance – someone who visits my page actually likes it and wants to link to it?  If they copy the URL in their browser post-rediret than I’m fine, they’ll link straight to my site.  But what if they copy the URL shortener version and then they post that in their blog or elsewhere?  I’ll get the traffic, but no link juice… and those are the perfect, real, natural “editorial” type links Google is really looking for.  I should get that credit…

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Twitter Reacts to Facebook’s TOS Revisions

Twitter – the popular microblogging and social media site – recently decided to be proactive and modify their own TOS since all the other cool social media kids are doing it.

Some people are saying they went almost as far in over-reaching their claims as did Facebook, who updated their TOS just the other day.   I’m not sure.  Here are the stipulations they added in.  You be the judge.

17a) All your tweets are belong to us.
17b) Forever. And ever.

18a) If you link to a website from one of your tweets, all associated ad revenue generated on that website becomes Twitter’s property (aka “Twoperty”).
18b) The website itself also becomes Twoperty.
18c) Any websites it links to become Twoperty as well.
18d) Even if its not your website.
18e) Seriously, try it. We dare you.

19a) All images or photos you post to TwitPics also become Twitter’s Twoperty.
19b) As does any revenue attributable to the photos.
19c) As do any all people who appear in the photos. They’re ours.
19d) As do all wages and salaries made by any of the people in the photo.
19e) Forever.
19f) If the people in the photos are deceased, their estate and legacy become Twoperty.

20a) If you tweet while working, your gross wages become Twoperty.
20b) You remain responsible for paying the associated taxes.

21a) If you use a third-party software product such as Twirhl, Twitterific or Twitterfeed to view tweets, then the software, computer that runs the software (or phone), and all intellectual property on the computer becomes Twoperty.

22a) If you fail to replace the stock avatar with a custom one, Twitter will assume ownership of your likeness and your identity.
22b) Unless of course you have Lifelock, in which case we’ll assume Todd Davis’ identity instead.
22c) All Todd’s stuff becomes Twoperty too.
22d) Is that really his social security number?
22e) Todd’s house, salary and bonus structure? Twoperty.
22f) His cars, stock portfolio and other assets? Twoperty.
22g) His wife? Depends… Hot or Not?
22h) Whoa, too far there.
22i) Remember if you do post an avatar its subject to stipulation @19a

23) RT @17a All your tweets are belong to us.

I’m not sure why that have so many B and C sub-items, but I think it has something to do with the 140 character limit or something.  Apparently #21 is a loophole.  Oh well, which TOS do you think reaches too far? Who “should” own the content on Facebook and Twitter?

Segmenting Keyword Rankings in Google Analytics Reports – via Yoast

So the other day I found this post on Yoast that describes how to set up some Advanced Segments in Google Analytics such that you can isolate out the traffic you received from keywords where your site ranks on the second page (or any page) in the Google SERPs.  Its pretty slick.  It basically uses the start=10 value in the URL of the Google search results pages to identify whether they came from page 1, 2, etc…

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Excluding Keywords in Google Analytics – “This” or “That”

A major metric I use when evaluating progress on a campaign for a client is total traffic to the client’s site from organic search, typically viewed monthly.  Ranking is great, but if you’ve done SEO for even a short time  you soon learn that ranking doesn’t matter unless it produces traffic.  And traffic does matter unless it produces conversions.

Anyhow, in cases where the client has a very strong brand name its common for them to have a ton of organic search referrals for their brand, common mispellings of the brand, various product lines, etc.  As an internet marketer who was likely hired after they created their main offering, you can’t typically take full credit for that traffic…

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Google Making Cutbacks in the Tough Economy

I don’t have but a couple of minutes today as its a busier-than-usual week plus I’ve got only a couple of hours to finish the final project of my grad school career (due tonight!)… but I found this late last night and found it a terribly interesting read as to how Google is altering their tactics and even strategy a bit with respect to the current financial issues and recession.

Google Gears Down for Tougher Times – from the WSJ

The article sheds light on what we now might refer to as a bunch of waste and frivolous spending, which a couple of years ago was referred to as genius out-of-the-box management and superior corporate culture.  The truth is probably somewhere in the middle there.

Thoughts?

Update: Literally 5 minutes after posting this I now have an email in my inbox from a Business Development person at Google offering to help provide me with additional data to help my clients as well as to help me when responding to RFP’s for my firm’s services.  I appears as though this article is right on the money, and they seem to be re-focusing on search.  Glad to see it!