Mel Carson Interview

Majestic SEO Overview

Mel Carson of Majestic SEO recently spoke at the Dallas/Ft. Worth Search Engine Marketing Association monthly meeting. We caught up with Mel after his talk for an interview. Below you will find a transcript of our talk, including what’s new with Majestic SEO, Mel’s background and experience working with the company, and tips and tricks for small businesses.

Interview With Mel Carson

James: This is James Loomstein, board member of DFWSEM, here with Mel Carson, U.S. Brand Ambassador for Majestic SEO.

Mel: Hello James.

James: How are you doing today?

Mel: I’m all right. We just came off stage. How did we do?

James: You did fantastic.

Mel: Wonderful.

James: For those not able to attend, can you tell everyone about yourself, what you do, and your role at Majestic SEO.

Mel: Amazing to be a part of the Majestic SEO team. I started in 2012. I’ve known Dickson Jones, who is the marketing director, for a long time. Many people know of him through the Pubcon, SES and the SMX conferences of the world. I left Microsoft last summer and Dickson asked me to join his team and help spread the word of Majestic SEO. That is why I am here today talking to you about what is new at Majestic SEO.

James: We greatly appreciate having you here in Dallas and joining us at DFWSEM. There are so many platforms out there – from competitive ranking tools to link tools, etc. Can you give us an idea of your list of go-to tools at Majestic SEO?

Mel: I didn’t come from an SEO background; I come from paid search and social media. It was really interesting for me to get inside of SEO and understand what kind of power Majestic could bring just from being a distributor caller. I say just being a distributor caller, that has got four-and-a-half trillion URLs in its database, which is an insane amount of data. What we found is that people love the data. They love the quality and the quantity, and we’ve got many partners around the world that are doing creative things with the API. But what I also find is, talking to many SEOs that use a lot of those products, they also use Majestic kind of solo on the side, because not all the features that Majestic has are available on the tools are partners have built.

James: Can you speak about some of the new features or things that might be coming out with Majestic that you think people will be interested in, or things that they might not have used in the past? I.E. If we only knew Majestic offered this – our lives would be so much easier.

Mel: Yeah, they really try to look at the workflow. The most exciting thing that happened recently in the last few weeks was they pushed out the verified sites that you can use Majestic SEO for free.

The workflow as far as buckets: looking through your links and sorting them by trust flow and citation flow; taking the good links and some of the bad links; and being able to use those and get to the nub of the data really quickly has been well-received – the fact you can see links very quickly, sort the data, and download it very quickly. But also some of the visualization I especially love, having worked with a lot of marketing directors who are not necessarily into the detail of SEO, and kind of get a bit blind-sided by thinking it’s all smoke and mirrors. It is really cool to put something out there like a link profile, which is a visualization of the amount of links and the trust and citation flow that those links have. On another note, I was supposed to be blogging at least once every couple of weeks for Majestic SEO, but they basically told me there is no room for you because we have got so many new tools and features coming out that we have got enough content for the blog, which I just think is just testament to the team back in Birmingham creating these tools for thousands of SEOs.

James: Working with an SEO agency or being an employee of a company, what would you want audience members to learn as a key takeaway from your presentation?

Mel: Majestic has an enormous amount of data for SEOs and agencies at their fingertips to slice and dice. We talk about action board analytics and sorting a link profile by the flow metrics. I think it’s really the quantity and the quality, but also about giving as much control to our API partners to come up with great ideas and come to us with ideas of how they can use the data, or what bits of our webpage they want us to improve. We try to be incredibly collaborative, open to improving our technology, and working with our partners around the world.

James: Thank you again for your time Mel. How can audience members find and connect with you online?

Mel: Connect with me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MelCarson. But also follow Dickson Jones (www.twitter.com/Dixon_Jones) who is my partner in crime, and of course Follow Majestic at www.twitter.com/MajesticSEO and connect with our Majestic SEO blog.

James: That is Mel Carson, U.S. brand ambassador for Majestic SEO. For more interviews from DFW SEM, follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dfwsem and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dfwsem.

Dennis Hart Interview

Analytics SEO Overview

Dennis Hart of Analytics SEO recently spoke at the Dallas/Ft. Worth Search Engine Marketing Association monthly meeting. We caught up with Dennis after his talk for a quick five question / five minute interview. We talked with Dennis about what’s new with Analytics SEO, how to connect, and where the company is going next. For more interviews and insights from the online marketing world, connect with DFWSEM on Facebook and Twitter.

Interview with Dennis Hart

James: This is James Loomstein with DFWSEM. I’m here with Dennis Hart, President of Analytics SEO. During your talk you spoke mostly about competitive intelligence and competitive SEO strategy. Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself and what you do in your role at Analytics SEO?

Dennis: Sure, and thank you again for having me to Dallas to talk with DFWSEM.  I’m actually helping to build the strategy for the US marketplace. I’m also a bit of a brand evangelist, and I’m helping build out the product development.

James: There are a lot of different tools to use in the space when it comes to SEO. Can you give us a list of your top go-to tools – not only within Analytics SEO, but what other tools outside of Analytics SEO that you feel do a very good job in the space? And how does Analytics SEO identify and evaluate tools as an organization?

Dennis: As I’ve mentioned in the presentation, we are attempting to be a very robust collection of tools in one singular platform. We use our own application for our own site. That said, there’s still going to be those outlier instances where we might actually also want to log in separately to SEM Rush or to Majestic SEO and of course even Google Analytics. We are also developing some new features based on the use of things like custom crawlers. So we’re actually enhancing the platform along those lines.

We also are not – purposely – a social sentiment engine; so for some of our social media work, we also will use other types of social tools as well. Moving forward, we’re continuing to incorporate some social metrics into our platform. So even though were not a social sentiment engine, we are actually incorporating social metrics as it relates to SEO.

James: Switching gears, what are your suggestions for small businesses or small agencies/consultants when it comes to selecting the right set of tools to use?

Dennis: Value.  Evaluating the value proposition to make sure that you’re picking the right set of tools. I would say that many folks these days have fallen into the trap of signing up with a long list of tools. And don’t maybe don’t even realize how many times their credit card is getting charged for that long list of tools. If people see value in being able to consolidate those tools into one platform we’re a really good fit. I also think time value is a great indicator for evaluating SEO tools. If someone can save time by not having to log into and out of 10 to 15 to 20 different tools they would also save in that respect as well.

James: Last two questions: As Company President of Analytics SEO what do you see as the growing trends in the industry over the next 12 months?

Dennis: I think that SEOmoz’s recent play of switching to Moz is a pretty good indication that they’re very committed to inbound marketing. And we certainly understand that as well. We certainly agree that it is about content marketing. And as far as trends moving forward  – Google tends to set the agenda for lots of people.

I would definitely say there’s more happening in local and we’ll continue to see more and more improvements to local search results. We’re going to see increased rates of “not provided” by Google, so fewer key words being reported to us on an ongoing basis. Then, of course, more social metrics, but social as it relates to SEO.

James: So for young people just starting off in this SEO space, what would you want audience members to learn as a key take-away from your presentation?

Dennis: To focus on the practical aspects of doing work. It’s very common to end up getting tied up into the data, trying to dig into reports and not really understanding what to do with the data. I would hope that if someone is evaluating our platform, they could quickly understand that we are really about providing actionable data. Its not what the data says, its what you do with the data next. Sort of a triage approach of what we found, what’s nice to have, and what’s actionable. We can help somebody put the dots a bit closer together so they can understand what they should be doing next to improve their cycles.

James: Dennis, thank you again for your time today. How can audience members find and connect with you?

Dennis: Our website is www.analyticsseo.com. Right on our home page we offer a free account. We also invite people to schedule a live demo with the platform as well. You can also read our blog at www.analyticsseo.com/blog.

James: That’s Dennis Hart, President of Analytics SEO.

Ruth Burr Interview

Moz Overview

Ruth Burr of Moz recently spoke at the Dallas/Ft. Worth Search Engine Marketing Association monthly meeting. We caught up with Ruth after her talk for a quick five question / five minute interview. Our talk included what’s new with Moz, how to connect, and where the company is going next.

Interview with Ruth Burr

James: This is James Loomstein with DFWSEM. I’m here with Ruth Burr of Moz. At DFWSEM, Ruth, you talked a lot about SEO tools and new opportunities with Moz, including tips, tricks and trends. Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself, and what you do at Moz?

Ruth: Of course. I’m the head of inbound marketing. My day-to-day consists of working with our inbound marketing strategy: coordinating with our content teams, community teams, social team, and our development team to spearhead our inbound marketing efforts. I also do all of our in-house SEO for Moz.

James: There are a lot of different tools to use within Moz, especially when it comes to different business aspects; the SEO side, competitive side, etc. Can you give a list of your top go-to tools inside of Moz?

Ruth: The tool that I used the most when I worked at an agency is definitely the campaign report. Just having a quick summary of errors and warnings to look at, as well as being able to see how much progress you’ve made, can be really useful. I’m also a huge fan of Followerwonk. I was really excited when Moz acquired them last year and I’ve been using Followerwonk along with our community team to try to help build our community in ways that will also help us from an inbound marketing standpoint.

Thinking more about link earning rather than link building, I think that building relationships that can result in not only links, but also friends, is a great use of Followerwonk. And then I’m in Open Site Explorer probably multiple times a week, and used it a ton with the migration (from seomoz.com to moz.com). I’ve always been a big Open Site Explorer fan and I probably always will be.

James: What are some of the new features and creative ways to use Moz to increase SEO rankings?

Ruth: We launched a couple of new things recently that I’m really excited about. One is within Open Site Explorer its called “just discovered links”, and they’re the freshest links that we can find. We also have the big index that we released, and we’re working on releasing that more and more frequently.

Just Discovered Links is a really great way to keep tabs on things that are happening in real time – for example, if you have a big product launch or a big press release. Another tool that we just launch is called Fresh Web Explorer. It tracks mentions – not just of your brand terms, but also of any key word. In addition to just setting up and alerting for the keyword, you can also do things like use pipes to track multiple key words, you can target key words and then add a minus sign in front, to say “except for these instances”, so you can really refine that search and then get a list of new mentions of your site – great way to find new places that are mentioning you but not linking to you, or new places that have linked to you that you might not even know about, and could turn into a partnership.

James: What are your suggestions for small businesses, small agencies, and consultants when it comes to selecting and evaluating the right set of tools to use?

Ruth: I think what it comes down to is you really have to look at your work flow. One thing that I really noticed when I worked in an agency is that buying a tool is easy, but getting adoption is difficult. So if you’re running an agency, a small marketing team, or a small business, really think about how the tool you’re going to select is going to work in your existing workflow. Is it going to be really hard? Can you see ways that you can build it into the task that you’re already doing? Does it make sense to you? I think that any tool provider will tell you the same thing. You know a ton of people sign up for the tool and then they just never come back and use it. We don’t want that, you don’t want that, so really look at how you’re going to use the tool and visualize the task that you’re going to use it for before you buy.

James: When working with an SEO agency or internal company, what would you want the audience members to learn as a key takeaway from your presentation?

Ruth: That we have a bunch of free tools that they’re welcome to use. Also that Moz Pro has a bunch of functionality that they may not have considered and that Moz Analytics, which is coming soon, is going to be awesome.

James: Thank you again for you time. How can audience members find and connect with you, Ruth?

Ruth: Welcome to tweet at me http://www.twitter.com/ruthburr or email me, I’m just ruth@moz.com. Also follow Moz on Twitter (@Moz) and connect on Facebook.

James: Excellent. That’s Ruth Burr from moz.com. Thank you.

For more interviews and insights from the online marketing world, connect with DFWSEM on Facebook and Twitter.

The Secrets of Google Local SEO in 2013

Google Local SEO in 2013 was the topic at the first DFW Search Engine Marketing Association (DFWSEM) meeting of the year, and it started off with a bang. The room was packed and featured keynote presentations by our own Greg Gifford and Chris Silver Smith, who shared their secrets for successfully ranking local pages on Google.

(Seeing the tweets in this post is dependent on the Twitter API, and we know how reliable that is. If all you see is links try refreshing the page.)

Location

We were at our usual location, but due to another large conference going on in the hotel we were relegated to the Spurs Room, which is right off the bar.

DFWSEM Secrets of Google Local SEO in 2013 Meeting

DFWSEM Secrets of Google Local SEO in 2013 Meeting

Which inspired the following tweet.

And retweet.

A few people took Grant up on his suggestion

Attendance

The downside of meeting in this room is the size, and the first meeting of 2013 set a record for the number of attendees who registered online in advance. 117. (Thanks to each of you who did, it helps a lot.) Not to worry, that should not be a problem going forward.

Got to see some faces we hadn’t seen in a while. (Hope it’s not like the gym and we don’t see them again till next year.)

[Read more...]

What Everybody Ought to Know About Google Local SEO

Secrets of Google Local SEO was the topic of the first 2013 meeting of the DFW Search Engine Marketing Association (DFWSEM), and one of the keynote speakers was Chris Silver Smith, who spoke on the subject of Semantic Markup for Local SEO.

Chris is the President of Dallas based Argent Media, based in Dallas, Texas. He works with clients across the country as a consultant in the areas of SEO, social media, and reputation management. He writes frequently for Search Engine Land, and is the Vice President of Programming for DFWSEM.

Semantic Markup for Local SEO

What Is Semantic Markup?

In the context of web pages, Semantic Markup uses the HTML and page coding to not only instruct the web browser on how to display the page, but also on how to convey meaning so that machines can better interpret the content.

The traditional use of the HTML code is to define how content is presented by the browser to the reader. For example the <h1> code is used for primary titles of articles, such as the one at the top of this page, and makes the text appear larger and bolder. The <i> tag would make text appear in italics. Semantic HTML is the use of code to tell search engines exactly what a piece of information is, not just how it appears.

Why Use Semantic Markup?

  1. Helps search engines to interpret your site correctly, increasing their confidence in assessing the meaning of your information.

    If you have a business with a storefront, you would want to include the address of where it is physically located. If all addresses were as simple as 123 Main Street this would not be an issue, but what if your address is 456 Memphis Avenue? Memphis in this case is a street name, but it can also be a city name, or a type of barbecue. This creates confusion for search engines. What Memphis is this site referring to? Using a snippet of semantic HTML you can tell Google that Memphis is a street name, eliminating the confusion.

  2. Increases the chances of getting Rich Snippets to appear with your web page results.

    Rich snippets, according to Google, “provide webmasters with the ability to add useful information to their web search results. The purpose is to present users with more information about the content that exists on a page so they can better decide which result is most relevant for their query.”

    Key takeaway: This may result in additional traffic to your site.

Rich Snippets for Local SEO

What Type of Rich Snippets Are Available?

There are several forms of rich snippets available for use, depending on what your site is about. Google Authorship is the most popular, and is applicable across all types of sites, followed by Breadcrumbs. You can also markup reviews, videos, events, coupons, among other unique identifiers. In depth detail can be found at Schema.org.

Google Authorship

The Holy Grail of rich snippets today is Google Authorship. When Google Authorship is enabled it has the potential to increase your rankings with Google. Not only does your site come up in the search engine results page (SERP), but your name and picture are shown as well — increasing your click through rate potential.

When Google Authorship is enabled it has the potential to increase your rankings with Google, and your picture and name will show up in search results increasing your click through rate.

When Google Authorship is enabled it has the potential to increase your rankings with Google, and your picture and name will show up in search results increasing your click through rate.

 

Have you set up your Google Authorship yet?

There still seems to be a great deal of confusion on how to do it.

We will explore that further in a future post, but the first thing you must do is setup a Google +, if you’ve not already done so.

Click here for a how-to set up the reciprocal link if you’re running a site on the WordPress/Genesis framework, or here for information, from our friends at Atomic Design & Consulting, on how to do it on other sites.

Breadcrumbs

In the children’s fairy tale, Hansel & Gretel, Hansel leaves a trail of bread crumbs on their trip into the forest so they can find their way back home. In the fairy tale world of Google, breadcrumbs help a user know where they are going on your site or where they are at on your site. In addition they provide additional navigation opportunities, which will in turn increase your click through rate.

Google Rich Snippet Breadcrumbs Help Users Know Where In Your Site They Are Going.

Google Rich Snippet Breadcrumbs Help Users Know Where In Your Site They Are Going.

 

Breadcrumbs appear on a site, as well as in the search results, making it easier to navigate.

Breadcrumbs appear on a site, as well as in the search results, making it easier to navigate.

Google explains them this way.

Reviews

Favorable product reviews appearing in search results increase your click through rate as well.

Google Rich Snippet Reviews Help Users Know How Others Have Rated a Product.

Google Rich Snippet Reviews Help Users Know How Others Have Rated a Product.

Other

There are several other semantic markups that you could potentially take advantage of. Chris wrote on article on Search Engine Land, 13 Semantic Markup Tips for 2013: A Local SEO Checklist, that is an additional great resource.

One Final Thought