SEO Tools You Can Use Today

August 10, 2009
By Lisa Barone in Internet Marketing Conferences

My teeth are shattering. That’s how absolutely freezing it is in these session rooms. Teeth. Chattering. So cold.

It’s time to talk SEO tools and Wil Reynolds is just the guy to help us do that. Ready for it? Tough. You don’t really have a choice. I was just pretending to be polite. I’m really only typing right now to prevent my fingers from freezing to the keys. Have I mentioned it’s really, really cold in here? Just checking.

Let’s go. Wil says we’re going to be jumping around a lot. Oh, goodie.

Google Insight: Wil searches for the term “hangover” and looks at the data you can extract. He zooms in on a 30 day level to see if there’s a trend for when people searched for the word “hangover”.  SHOCKINGLY, there’s a trend that people search for the term on Friday and Saturday. I know. Surprising. Though, Affiliate Summit has probably helped skew that this week. Today’s only Monday, right?

Google Insights will tell you whether or not searches are on the rise. This is really important because affiliates need to be taking advantage of hot keywords. This is a major competitive advantage because the big companies move slow. Their inability to act for mid/long /hot keywords = major opportunity for you. If you know something is getting hot, move it up in the hierarchy of the site so that Google sees it just a little bit earlier. That can help rankings. Pricegrabber does it. Can help you compete with large brands.

MSN AdCenter plugin for Excel: Allows you to research your keywords on the spot in Excel to help you jump start campaigns.

Bounce Rates: How do you know when your rankings stop driving increases in leads/sales for your business?  Your bounce rate affects your SEO.

Wil’s company evaluates bounce rates daily for each keyword. They caught a page one keyword with a sometimes 80 percent bounce rate for a client. Turns out the home page ranked for product search instead of the product page. So what do you do?

  1. Target a new page (risk = losing rankings)
  2. Dynamically change products on the home page based on high bouncing keywords. (risk = over aggressiveness)

They decided to show the first 3 products to match this high bouncing word group. The result was the ranking maintained. The bounce rate for the product was cut by 20 percent and sales increased 2x. And they didn’t improve their ranking.

  1. If you’re analyzing your SEO by where you rank, you would have never caught the issue. Analyze SEO by more than just where you rank.
  2. Trend out your bounce rates for top keyword buckets and trend conversion metrics, too.
  3. Take action.
  4. Scale this with GA API or your analytics providers API

MSN Commercial Intent: Why is this important? Affiliates need to know research vs. commercial queries. Marketers need to know what kind of message to put in front of someone. You put in a keyword and it tells you how commercial it is.   Try different variations of terms – plurals, using “buy” vs “review”. The plural is much more likely to be commercial. This is true for some e-commerce clients.

  1. Look for queries that are highly skewed to one or the other.
  2. Test against your own data set on keywords that are currently ranking well before taking this tool at face value.
  3. If accurate, place more value in the tool.

Yahoo Search Suggest: Far better than Google Suggest.  Goolge doesn’t take into account anything other than each character as you enter it. For example, with Yahoo Suggest, if you type “football”, Yahoo will populate “fantasy football”. Google will only look for terms that start with “football”. Yahoo > Google.

Link building: Link building is about exposure to stimuli. You can’t have all the ideas. You need a spark. Put yourself in a position to have great ideas. They ask their clients if they’re pet friendly. Why? Cause there are tons of pets, dogs and cats on Twitter [Fun Fact: Rhea’s cat is on Twitter – @catcornelius. I know. It’s sad.]. That’s a link building opportunity. Asking the right questions gives you the opportunity to get links. Puts Twitter search results in Google.  Good for finding link building opportunities. You search and you see people having relevant conversations.

Google Trends: Put it on your iGoogle to get “sparks” for your link building.

SEOmoz Labs: You can drop in two Web sites and compare them to see where you measure up. It provides a graphical representation of where you are weak. They give you a synopsis of how you’re doing.

Enhanced Google Analytics: Lets you find keywords/sites that are significantly creeping up in traffic over the last seven days. Can help you find good long tail opportunities, find words dropping in rankings, etc. Greasemonkey plugin.

Hubfinder: Will tell you where your competitors are getting linked to and you’re not. It’s important to know where your competition is.

Seed Keywords: Allows you to create scenarios. “What you would you type to find X?”. Great way to poll customers and have keyword battles.

SEO Blogger for Wordtracker: FF plugin. Easy access to keywords while you’re writing.


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