Jordan Kasteler

Internet Marketing, Search & Social

Social Media Expert Quiz

I recently created a quiz for my company which I will be developing a case study for soon to explore what happened with this viral marketing strategy.

I scored 96% on it! How addicted are you?
96%

This quiz was provided by – Search & Social – Media Experts

Building an SEO Friendly Site – SES San Jose 2008 Presentation

I recently took a day off my honeymoon that went from Utah to San Diego then up to San Jose to present at Search Engine Strategies. The panel I spoke on was Building a Search Engine Friendly Website moderated by Todd Malicoat.

The main focus of this presentation was SEO friendly multimedia (audio, video, flash, etc) incorporated on a Website. My undergraduate was in multimedia communication as well as my current graduate emphasis so this was a perfect fit for me.

Here is the presentation slides including embedded resources. Feel free to contact me with any questions regarding it.

Mobile SEO – SMX Local Mobile 2008 Presentation

For those who didn’t catch SMX Local Mobile 2008 this year or missed my mobile SEO presentation entitled Cracking the Code: Inside the Blackbox of Mobile & Local Algorithms I have provided my slides here. Feel free to email me with any particular questions or ambiguity the slides my raise with you.

Advanced Keyword Research for SEO

When conducting keyword research for a client it is common for an SEO (or even a general business owner) to turn to a keyword research tool and start looking up search volumes on keyphrases that come to mind. Some may take it a step further and actually evaluate the keyword effectiveness index (KEI) of each keyphrase to determine the competitiveness and feasibility of a term. All too often those two metrics, search volume and KEI, are all the consideration an SEO might take into accountability before making final judgments.

It’s important to take a step back and look at the big picture when conducting keyword research for a search engine optimization campaign. Optimizing a Website for a keyphrase nobody is looking for is obviously something you want to avoid but optimizing a Website for a keyphrase that is irrelevant to your content and/or business model is something often overlooked.

TYPES OF SEARCH QUERIES

The intent of the searcher is imperative to understand when conducting keyword research. Knowing the intent of the search queries that people are finding your content through will allow you to adjust your content, semantic structure, and call-to-action to fit your users needs.

There are three main types of search queries:

  • Informational – People researching information for a purchase or for general research.
  • Transactional – People searching with intent to take some form of action likely in the form of commerce.
  • Navigational – People searching for a particular site or brand.

If you’ve optimized your page for a certain keyphrase but find that most long-tail keyphrases that contain your main keyphrase have completely different intent when visiting your site you may see a high-bounce rate and low conversion. Traffic and rankings are therefore rendered useless at this point if you can’t serve the needs of your visitors.

Microsoft adCenter Labs has a decent tool on detecting commercial intent of a search query.

SEARCH BUYING CYCLE

search buying cycle

(thanks to Search Engine Guide for this image)

Capturing searchers in the right part of the buying cycle is a crucial element in deciding which keyphrases to optimize your content, site, information architecture, etc. for.

Typically, searchers go through three phases before deciding to make a purchase online.

  1. Interest
  2. Research
  3. Purchase

At the interest phase, people are using very broad terms to start collecting data on a product or service they may be using or purchasing in the future.

For example, a search on “gaming consoles” will bring up results that will likely be weeded out to find the informational related pages about gaming consoles.

At the research phase, people have refined their searches from the interest phase to search for more specific terms such as “Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 reviews” to find out more information they have learned since their initial interest.

At the purchase phase, people are looking to buy a product or service and will be refining their queries to do so. An example may be “cheap xbox 360″ or “buy xbox 360 in [city]“.

As you can see, ranking #1 for “gaming consoles” is great but if it’s strictly an e-commerce page that’s ranking with intent only to sell gaming consoles then you may have high-traffic but a low conversion rate on your site. Ranking for broad terms doesn’t always provide the best value. It’s the long-tail phrases in the purchase cycle that really drive high conversion and ROI as you can see below:

keyword value pyramid
(thanks to Aaron Wall of SEOBook for this image)

Additionally, website optimization is going to be a key element that take the traffic that you are receiving and turned them into qualified conversions.

CONCLUSION

When conducting keyword research think again before immediately being drawn to phrases with the highest search volume. Consider KEI, the commercial intent, and which part of the buying cycle that keyphrase belongs to.

Guest Post By SEO Superstar: Gab Goldenberg

Gab GoldenbergCakester recently raised an important question Should Affiliate Managers Run Their Networks’ Campaigns? He goes on to suggest that it’s an “[...] extremely unlikely event that they will lose you as an affiliate if by some miracle you were to find out about it [them stealing your keywords/sharing with other affiliates].

Lucky for you guys, you don’t need to put up with getting your keywords ripped off by a punk affiliate manager – I’m going to show you how to figure out if your AM has a loud mouth that leaks secrets like my uncle Jimbob’s rusty old tugboat.

So maybe I have no uncle named Jimbob, and no uncles with rusty old tugboats. This technique is still pretty fun and the bigshots at Google definitely use it to mess with spammers, so you know it’s effective. Hat tip to 5ubliminal of Tellin Ya Blackhat SEO blog for teaching me that one (can’t find the post, unfortunately). So once you know they’re copying you, it’s up to you what you do with that info.

In short, you provide a dirty keyword dataset to your AM. By dirty, I mean including junk keywords that don’t convert (tested beforehand of course; you don’t want to accidentally give them something good). Ideally, give them something with only 1-2 other competitors.

When you see other people’s ads on these ridiculous keywords, you know that the affiliate manager’s got a big mouth. Then you can go to the network and complain, change networks or whatever.
Some additional, related tips to keeping your campaign keywords private from prying competitors:

For those of you whose attention can only be grabbed by ridiculous headlines, split up your PPC campaigns amongst multiple domains. For the rest of you, you’ll already know this tip from one of my Scratchpad columns.

Use fake whois information and/or private registrations (from the second the domain is registered), so that people can’t figure out your domains easily.

Split up the hosting amongst different servers, and perhaps different hosting companies (not reseller hosts, but original). That way, reverse IP lookups a la ‘my IP neighbors” won’t find all your sites in one fell swoop. Find out competitors’ keywords for free.

Gab Goldenberg offers SEO services for clients including this template based business card program and is actively involved in affiliate marketing.

Interview with SEO: Brian Carter and Search Engine Journal Post

For those who didn’t catch Brian Carter’s interview with me you can check it out here: Utah SEO Pro, Jordan Kasteler, gets Interviewed by Brian Carter

Also, you can catch my latest post on Search Engine Journal regarding using social media question and answer sites to build links, traffic, and reputation.

The Unwritten Laws of Social Media

With social media it is imperative to be very meticulous about how you tread and interact in social communities. There are unwritten laws of the land in terms of participation, voting, noise, comments, shouting, sharing, and more. I want to talk about a few of the fundamental unwritten laws to educate any Internet marketers out there who are unfamiliar with social media but have a curious interest. If not cautious, you can really shoot yourself in the foot from the beginning of your social endeavors.

Social News Algorithms

There are many sites that are very keen to behavioral activity patterns as well as geo-location. Keep that in mind when having anyone vote or comment on your content. If having someone at your workplace Digg an article for you and they sign up, vote on your article, and don’t use their account for awhile then that’s HIGHLY suspicious activity. The reason why is because Digg will see that the IP address is the same IP address as you use or submitted your content with at work and the brand new account likely was only created to Digg that article.

You may have people ask “What’s wrong with that? I wanted to vote on that story so why should Digg (or anyone) care where I’m located or what my activity is?” Truth of the matter is that social media sites are always getting gamed or manipulated so they try to detect any similar patterns. A same IP address vote probably won’t hurt an article with 90+ various Diggs but if you had a handful of them when your submission is new and fresh then you can bet your threshold for your submission going popular was increased significantly to the point of it being almost impossible to go popular. This is especially true if you’re submitting a domain without a history of being popular in a social news site like Digg.

Community Observation

Aside from the algorithmic portion of social media, you want to observe the scene before you dive in anyway. Every site has it’s own audience with their own interests. Sure there are overlaps between Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, etc. users but there are a lot of loyal users who primarily stick to their favorite social media or social news site. If I wanted to read content on Apple’s new iPhone release I’d head to Digg over Reddit. Why? Because Digg users are Apple fanatics and while plenty of Reddit users are as well that’s typically not the topic of conversation over there.

Karma

Reciprocation is the key to success in social media. Nobody’s going to help you out if you don’t help others out. See who is Digging your submissions here http://sandbox.sourcelabs.com/tinc/ and reciprocate those who are helping you out. Submit the content of others to build credibility in the community. The point isn’t to just market your own sites but to be a valuable asset to the community. Once you have established that you have a LITTLE bit of leeway to submit your own content but most of the time that’s looked down upon and you could get your content buried for that.

Pushing

Pushing is the art of spamming the hell out of all your friends to get them to vote up the content of your site. This also may be known as “shouting”. You should use proper etiquette when doing so. Don’t just send someone on your IM list a link to your submission. Ask them kindly to review the content and they’ll know what to do if they like it. Address your email, shout, or IM to friends personally. They’ll take you much more seriously if they don’t feel it’s a mass contact template message for one of their submissions.

Going back to the algorithmic portion of this, be careful! Use common sense to determine whether you’re having people NATURALLY vote on your submissions or not. Social media sites have great algorithms that can detect mischievous behavior. It’s a bit suspicious if 100 friends vote on your submission within the first 10 minutes and then nobody else does thereafter. With that said, don’t just send people to the actual submission page to vote. Have them go to the category page, vote up some crappy content, and then vote on yours while they’re at it. There’s various ways you can do this so get creative.

Commenting

Read the comments on posts that hit the front page and see which comments got buried or down voted and which succeeded. Get a solid grasp on what kind of language, tone, vernacular, slang, and subject matter is appropriate for each site and each category of content. Give your comments meaning and put some thought to them. They don’t have to be lengthy to have a lot of thought. A catchy and humorous one-liner can raise a ton of up votes.

Monitoring

Don’t just submit and forget. Monitor your Digg comments with a site like Comments7 which will show you the kind of feedback you’re getting on your comments. Also, monitor if your submissions are getting buried on Digg with a bury recorder. Also, monitor your Digg submissions in real-time with Digg Alerter. With Digg Alerter you can see who is voting for your submissions and if any comments are being made without having to go back and check on your posts. In addition there is also StumbleUpon Alerter.

Final Thoughts

With social media marketing there is just a whole lot of trial and error. Read a lot about communities then observe them carefully before trying to use them for any monetization efforts. For further info a good read is: The Social Media Manual: Read Before You Play by Muhammad Saleem.

Utah Media News

Top 3 Unsung SEO Heroes of 2008

Last year I wrote a post dedicated to the top 3 unsung heroes of SEO in 2007. They were: Marios Alexandrou, Bill Slawski, and Sebastian X. While Bill and Sebastian weren’t necessarily “unsung” I felt they still didn’t get the credit they deserved so I wanted to give them props.

This year there’s been some people really making it shake that I’d love to give my allegiance to and thank them for their efforts and contributions in the search engine marketing arena. While it was hard to choose just three top SEOs and Internet marketers, and there’s many many more, here’s the people who deserve a tip of the hat:

Ruud Hein

Ruud Hein

Ruud’s Sphinn Profile

Ruud works at Search Engine People and has written some great blog posts over there. Starting back in January, he started a series of posts entitled How Search Really Works. These posts are unbelievable written well and ended up scratching the surface on the world of informational retrieval and phrase-based indexing. He really won my respect with this series because he demonstrated his in-depth knowledge in a manner that anyone could understand.

In addition to being a great SEO and Internet marketer, Ruud also is very fluent in Web development including server-side scripting.

David Harry

David Harry

David Harry’s Sphinn Profile

David Harry runs his own Internet marketing and Web development business with his wife as well as blogs on HuoMah.com. This year he has released a new edition of his SEO handbook that teaches people search engine optimization best practices.

David’s been offering Internet marketing and Web design services since about 2002. He his a huge contributor on Sphinn.com and almost always has featured content on the homepage. He is very talented in all SEM areas but has the keenest interest in:

  • Personalized Search implications
  • Phrase based and semantic search approaches
  • Temporal ranking factors (content creation and link building programs)
  • Social Media Marketing and Qualitative research

I asked David about his primary job role. His response was “I have a few really as I do still handle the managerial/financial aspects of Verve, our web design company. As such I get involved in tasks from technology plans to marketing ones, pricing and budgeting forecasts and analysis to SEO site audits and more. While I do still work in the implementation of the programs, more and more these days I work more in a consulting/planning/analysis capacity. I enjoy working on the larger planning/analysis areas which does tend to cut down on the amount of hands-on time I have available. I do still enjoy that aspect though and will always be down in the trenches to some extent as that’s where things are really happening…

David author’s some great posts on his blog. Throughout the year he’s had some big hits but here’s his favorite three:

Social Search Engines – Another chat with Bill Slawski; Bill being one of David’s favorite people to talk to in the industry (besides myself) and social search being an area of acute interest.

The Value of Social Media Marketing (Part II) – This post had a variety of social media marketing people (including myself) helping out to answer some of the many questions that clients and cohorts had .

Link builders Guide to Historical Ranking Factors – While it may not be a sexy topic, understanding historical ranking factors is important and not discussed very often. David is hoping to do more in this area this year.

If you get a chance, shoot David an IM. He’s a great guy to talk to, very friendly, and is willing to talk SEO all day long.

David Snyder

David Snyder

David Snyder’s Sphinn Profile

David Snyder has worked professionally in SEO about two years now. While fairly new to the game, he’s accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. He is the search engine strategist and Internet marketer for JRDunn.com, a blogger on Snydey Sense, and a contributing author at MarketingPilgrim.com. You can catch David speak at Search Engine Strategies Toronto very shortly.

David sees his strengths in four main areas and this is what he had to say about each area:

  1. SEO – Realizing how to build a site with search in mind. Creating a
    well structured architecture around solid, ongoing keyword research.
    And creating a lasting link building strategy to move the site into a
    competitive placement.
  2. Social Media – I think I see social in a multi-platform view, which
    is what it takes to be successful. A good social media campaign can’t
    be simply blogs or video or social networks, it needs to be an
    integrated and layered concept that builds upon itself.
  3. Search Egine Marketing – I have strong background with running pay per click
    strategies with high ROI. I am a Google Adwords Qualified
    Proffesional, and led my last agency to Google Qualified Company
    Status
  4. Content and Press Strategies – I know this kind of works in with
    “SEO”, but I find that a lot of SEOs have a hard time building content
    distribution networks whether it be for press or other content. This
    goes beyond link building as it also translates into a strong traffic
    generation strategy.

Three great blog posts from David this year are:

David is also a great guy to converse with. Keep an eye on him because he’s going to really make things in happen in these upcoming years.

Social Media Taught at School

So my mom and sister are driving me to the airport because I was on my way to SMX Social Media in Long Beach, CA. On the way they were asking me what the conference was about that I was going to. I was explaining social media to them when my sister pulled out a piece of paper out of her backpack and handed it to me. It was a study guide for an exam in a communications class she was taking that was all about social networks.

I was dumbfounded they were teaching about social networking in college when most all schools aren’t even teaching search engine optimization and the ones that do teach it aren’t teaching the best practices. My undergraduate degree was in Digital Media where we learned a lot about web design, animation, and accessibility so SEO did come up during our discussions. One teacher took 45 minutes to go over search engine optimization on Websites. Some of his recommendations included hiding keywords with the same color text as background, stuffing meta tags, and the typical spam stuff you’ve heard before. According to him, meta tags were one of the biggest things search engines looked at. I kept my mouth shut with a big shit eating grin on my face the whole time.

Social Media on TV

It’s amazing to see social networking going so mainstream. The other night on The Office they were talking about how they were making their Website “2.0” and having a community on there to interact with each other. Unfortunately they faced the conundrum of pedophiles on the site…haha.

Social Networking Exam

Back to the exam…I am very impressed in the content of the exam. In addition to the exam, the teacher had assigned them to join, explore, and recap on 3 social networks over the weekend. My sister let me have a copy of the study guide so here it is:

COMM 1500

  1. A ______ is a social structure made of nodes (which are generally individuals or organizations that are tied by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as values, visions, idea, financial exchange, friends, kinship, dislike, conflict, trade, web links, sexual relations, disease transmission, (epidemiology), or airline routes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_network
  2. What is social networking trying to do? Most of the applications so far offer one or more of eight features or functionalities. http://blog.fastcompany.com/archives/2006/08/15/social_networking_a_status_report.html
  3. Lots of people have opinion about Twitter, ranging from a complete waste of time to the indispensable connector with your community. What is Twitter? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter or http://twitter.com/
  4. What is an RSS feed? http://www.fastcompany.com/about/rss.html and http://www.whatisrss.com/
  5. They use video and paper to make complex ideas easy to understand. They present subjects “in plain English” using short, unique and understandable videos in a format called Paperworks. http://www.commoncraft.com/
  6. Be familiar with the following Social Networks:

Final Thought:

As you can see the exam looks pretty rudimentary and brief but a great step in the right direction to open up the world to social networking and social media Websites.

Ultimate Social Media Resource List

This resource for social media is a compilation of other great resources, tools, and Websites from around the Web to assist you in your social media efforts, efficiency, and comprehension. Whether your interest is in social media marketing or general social media participation this resource list is invaluable in assisting you in your journey.

I realize there may be quite a bit of overlap in these lists so please consider that. Do you have a resource that I missed? Email me and I’ll add it to the list.

General | Digg | StumbleUpon | Del.icio.us | Flickr | Twitter | YouTube

General Social Media

Social Bookmark Tools

List of Social Bookmark sites

40+ Social News Websites

50 Top Niche Social Media Sites, and Their Power Accounts

Analysis What Type of Content Is Most Popular On Digg, Reddit, Propeller, Del.icio.us and StumbleUpon

Social Network and Bookmark MegaList V18

Joe Whyte’s list of social media sites by category

OnlyWire, SocialPoster, SocialMarker, PostToaster – Mass Social Bookmark Submission

50+ Social Bookmarking and Social News Sites

120 Social Bookmarking site by PageRank

40+ Social Search Engines

Ultimate Social Media Optimization List

Social Bookmarks Creator

Digg

Digg

Your Ultimate Digg Resource

Digg Toolbox

Amazing Digg Tools Collection

12 Must-Have Tools for Active Digg Users

Digg Tools – About.com

The Digg Toolbox: 70+ Digg-related Scripts, Tools, and Tutorials

380+ Digg-style Applications

Digg tools by Category

62 posts on how to squeeze the juice from Digg

Digg Demographics

Bury Recorder

Comment Spy

Digg Marketing Guide

Which Categories Make The Digg Home Page

Digg Stalker

Digg’s Top 1000 Users

Digg Friend Finder

Digg Suggest

Link Attraction Factor Title Check

Link Attraction Factor Keyword Tool

5 must-see Digg Tools

29 Super Awesome Tools Built on the Digg API

Top 10 Digg Tools to Enhance your Digg Experience

List of Digg Tools

Digg Noise Filter

Who’s Digging You?

Digg Alerter

WordWeb – A Digg Visualization

The Essential Digg Tools

SocialBlade – Digg Front Page Data

Digg Entourage

StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon Buttons & Tools

StumbleUpon Tools from around the Web

The StumbleUpon Toolbox: 40+ Scripts, Tools, and Tutorials

10 Tools to StumbleUpon websites with ease

StumbleUpon Alerter

StumbleRank

Del.icio.us

Del.icio.us

Absolutely Del.icio.us Tools Collection

Comprehensive Listing of Del.icio.us Tools, Plugins and Add-ons for Social Bookmarking

Del.icio.us Toolbox: 180+ Tools and Resources

Del.icio.us A-to-Z by Functions : All 150+ hacks

Essential Del.icio.us Tools

Flickr

Flickr

100+ Flickr Resources

80+ Useful Tools for Flickr

Tools for Flickr

Flickr Bits and Pieces

The Great Flickr Tools Collection

Compfight – Flickr Search Tool

Flickr Tools

Flickr Photo Comment Tool

The Ultimate Flickr Tools, Scripts, and Hacks Database

Twitter

Twitter

Follow Twitter Conversations

TerraMinds Twitter Search

Tweeter Board

Twitter Meter

Twitter Buzz

Visualizing Twitter

Tweet Volume

Tweet Stats

Tweet Scan

Twitter Toolbox: 60+ Twitter Tools

5 Twitter Tools We Love

5 Ways to Find More Friends on Twitter

10 Best Twitter Tools for WordPress Blogs

All Twitter Tools and Mashups in One Place

Twitter Tools

Twitter Tools Collection

Twitter Tools, Tweaks, and Theories

My Essential Twitter Tools

8 Cool Twitter Tools

More Twitter Tools

Twitter Tips – Tools for your Tweets

Twitter Groups

Twitter Tools by SEOWife

YouTube

YouTube

The Amazing YouTube Tools Collection

4 YouTube Tools you probably didn’t know about

TubeSpy