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388 Tips, Takeaways, Tweets and Quotes from SearchLove Boston 2012

With two full days of speakers and knowledge, there was much to take away from SearchLove this fall. George (@gzlatin) and I were able to visit Boston and attend the conference, so we’ve summarized the multitude of things that we learned and heard at the event. You’ll note that the “Keep it Real” comments from the speakers are missing most of the important words as these are supposed to remain “attendee secrets” for the next 30 days.

Yes, I know this list is long (it’s supposed to be), so I’ve summarized it into the following categories to make things easier on you. (side note: within each category, the individual items are ordered from when they were provided throughout the event)

Speakers | SEO | Link Building | Local Search | Social Media | Content | Analytics | CRO | Mobile | Business | Tweets

You can download the speaker presentation decks over at Google Drive and even better yet, buy the full conference videos over at Distilled. Note all images are property of Distilled.


Dan Shapiro Dan Shapiro | Google, Inc. | Creating Serendipity | @danshapiro

Categories: Business, SEO


Rob Ousbey Rob Ousbey | Distilled | Characteristics of a Successful Outreach Campaign | @RobOusbey

Categories: Link Building, Content, Business


Ian Lurie Ian Lurie | Portent | Making Your Pitch: Writing Clear, Compelling Proposals | @portentint

Categories: Link Building, SEO, Local Search, Business, Social Media


Jen Lopez Jen Lopez | SEOmoz | Utilizing Social Media for Customer Acquisition & Retention | @jennita

Categories: Social Media


Wil Reynolds Wil Reynolds | SEER Interactive | Chasing Algorithms: Think Deviously, Act Angelic, and Never Get Hit by a Penalty | @wilreynolds

Categories: SEO, Mobile, Content


Mike PantolianoMike Pantoliano | Distilled | CRO & SEO – Better Together | @MikeCP

Categories: CRO, Analytics, Content, Business


Annie Cushing Annie Cushing | SEER Interactive | Establishing a Framework for SEO Audits | @anniecushing

Categories: SEO, Analytics


Stephen PavlovichStephen Pavlovich | | How to get Attention, Links and Sales for a Scrappy Start-Up | @conversionfac

Categories: Business, CRO, Content, Social Media


Eytan Seidman | | Content Strategies that WorkEytan Seidman | @eytanseidman

Categories: Business, Content


David Mihm David Mihm | | The Need to Know of Local SEO | @davidmihm

Categories: Local Search


Lexi MillsLexi Mills | Distilled | Leveraging PR to get Big Links | @leximills

Categories: Content, Link Building, Analytics


Mike King Mike King | iAcquire | Reinclusion Afterlife | @ipullrank

Categories: Content, Social Media, Business, Link Building


Ben Wills

Ben Wills | Ontolo | Concepts and Practices of Efficiency, Scale and Value | @benwills

Categories: SEO, Business


Mat ClaytonMat Clayton | | Marketing Hacks | @matclayton

Categories: Business, Social Media


Cindy Krum Cindy Krum | MobileMoxie | How to Win at Mobile SEO | @suzzicks

Categories: Mobile, Business


Todd Friesen Todd Friesen | | Penguin Penalties: Diagnosis and Recovery | @oilman

Categories: SEO, Link Building, Content, Analytics


Wil Critchlow Will Critchlow | Distilled | Head to Head – Inbound Marketing on a Shoestring Budget | @willcritchlow

Categories: Link Building, SEO, Analytics, Content


Rand Fishkin Rand Fishkin | SEOmoz | Head to Head – Inbound Marketing on a Shoestring Budget | @randfish

Categories: Content, Analytics, SEO, Link Building, Social Media, CRO



  1. Google is making it harder and harder for SEO’s.  Over 500 updates to Google’s algorithm in the past year. – Duncan Morris

  2. The new purpose of SEO is to build trust with your users. If you build an audience that trusts you, you won’t have problems with updates – Duncan Morris

  3. Not one thing has changed in the last ten years if you aren’t chasing the updates – Duncan Morris

  4. Don’t file a reconsideration request until you really have to – Ian Lurie

  5. A site has to do some diligence before disavowing links – but she supports link disavow because old style reconsideration requests didn’t really work.  – Annie Cushing

  6. It’s hard to make a sell to do Real Company Marketing when all the crap stuff works, it’s a lot easier to get real buy in now to do real marketing.  Especially since Penguin.  – Annie Cushing

  7. The initial idea behind Penguin was just  to Scare websites.  The SERPS after penguin weren’t that great but most brands won’t take the risk now of doing grey link building.  – Annie Cushing

  8. Europe wasn’t hit as much by Panda because the nature of their market is different (it’s much smaller) and therefore the content farm model didn’t neccessarily work.  Google’s webspam team is English centric. – Will Critchlow

  9. Google is looking to replace search results for Cars, Credit Cards and other keywords that they feel they can provide a better experience for with their own results. – Dan Shapiro

  10. Marketing has always been about persuading people, but for some reason some people consider SEO to be manipulating spiders…instead of persuading people. – Wil Reynolds

  11. 242 Google changes since April – Wil Reynolds

  12. No one at this conference has PHDs  (except for one guy who raised his hand).  No one is going to outsmart googles 1800 PHDs – Wil Reynolds

  13. 4 Facts about Google patents (and why you shouldn’t worry about figuring out how to game them) – Wil Reynolds

  14. #1 – they may never implement it – Wil Reynolds

  15. #2 – if they do, it could be 8 years from now – Wil Reynolds

  16. #3 – if it doesn’t work they’ll yank it – Wil Reynolds

  17. #4 – surfacing quality content – Wil Reynolds

  18. Every algorithmic change is designed to surface quality content – Wil Reynolds

  19. Quality assets are how you protect yourself – Wil Reynolds

  20. Use UberSuggest – Wil Reynolds

  21. 1 reason to follow ranking algorithms – protect yourself from affiliate/partner risk – Wil Reynolds

  22. Don’t pay attention to algorithm changes, pay attention to SERP display changes and how they affect your business – Wil Reynolds

  23. Your best protection against algo updates is Real Company Stuff – Wil Reynolds

  24. The algo changes of today are more like a swinging pendulum – it’s like a pengulum that comes back again and again. – Wil Reynolds

  25. Most common issues that lead to index bloat are “borked internal linking” & “internal search result pages” – Annie Cushing

  26. Main causes of indexed page bloat: borked internal linking, search results pages, ecommerce parameters (sorting options) and faceted navigation – Annie Cushing

  27. Bing only tolerates 1% dirt in a sitemap, after 1% dirt they don’t trust it – Annie Cushing

  28. Annie wrote a very easy to use post on how to use regex – Annie Cushing

  29. Screaming Frog is the #1 site audit tool – screaming frog is a create resource to look at sitemaps and find dirt – Annie Cushing

  30. Make sure that your sitemap files are submitted in Webmaster Tools (both Google and Bing) – Annie Cushing

  31. Bing has a much harder time getting pages and full sites indexed – Annie Cushing

  32. Loss of valuable links can come from homepage that 302s, pages with links that 404, pages that 500 – Annie Cushing

  33. Use screenshots in your audits since your words may not make sense to everyone that reads it, especially one that gives URLs for the screenshots for a list of 300 tips, tools and checklists for performing audits – Annie released this post during the conference. – Annie Cushing

  34. Bing is not as good at indexing URLs, Google got much better since caffiene – Annie Cushing

  35. Take ______ of your _______ sites on a _____ basis to see what new features have rolled out and if you can see spikes in _____ etc. and then _______ to see what they did that day on a _______ basis – Ben Wills from Keep it Real

  36. Give embed code for ________, don’t just give the _______ – use the _________ as your __________ instead of putting _____ below that – Todd Friesen from Keep it Real

  37. ______ that aren’t ______ for ________ and are just at the ______ perform better – Mike Pantoliano from Keep it Real

  38. Use a _________ from a _______ test to show clients how they match up to competitors – Annie Cushing from Keep it Real

    Use __________ to import a __________ and clean it up and export the good one – Annie Cushing from Keep it Real

  39. Do not submit a reconsideration request if you have been hit by Penguin – Todd Friesen

  40. Cannibalizing your own stuff sucks – Make sure that the right landing page is the one that ranks – Rand Fishkin

  41. Link Building

  42. If you’ve been hit by Penguin and you can’t get rid of those links, then use the disavow tool – Ian Lurie

  43. The disavow tool is the last resort – Ian Lurie

  44. Links disavow tool is a good thing because it helps business remove shady links that prior SEO agencies have built. For example, if you by a domain and it has crappy links that you can’t get rid of.  – Ian Lurie

  45. Disavow is a very “Matt Cutts-ian” name – Will Critchlow

  46. Penguin and Panda has not affected black hat link building at all since the game has always been churn and burn tactics – Will Critchlow

  47. Penguin has dramatically changed the grey area especially for brands, etc. the blackhats are still doing their thing but the clients in the middle ground are affected more. – Will Critchlow

  48. Germany is still big on low quality directories, spun article marketing and blog comment spam. – Will Critchlow

  49. Outreach = Prospecting > Contacting > Communicating > Conversion – Rob Ousbey

  50. Priorities for Outreach – Build Relationships, Get Coverage, Acquire Links – Rob Ousbey

  51. If you aren’t doing outreach as yourself, then you are losing out on the networking opportunity – Rob Ousbey

  52. Help your outreach team learn more about the brand and consumers. If they have a good understanding of the brand they can do a much better job. – Rob Ousbey

  53. Avoid PageRank Magpies – don’t judge opportunities just on DA – look at the relevancy as well – Rob Ousbey

  54. When doing PR and outreach, make sure to understand your real audience – Rob Ousbey

  55. Outreach is very similar to online PR.  There’s a huge amount that SEO’s can look from PR people. – Rob Ousbey

  56. Pre-outreach is a great way to get buy-in from relevant sites and individuals, but it can also help guide the design of the content – Rob Ousbey

  57. People doing outreach have a great sense of what’s going to work for a site as far as getting approved – content planners should communicate with outreach team – Rob Ousbey

  58. Treat bloggers/webmaster like people instead of only link building opportunities – “bloggers are people too” – Rob Ousbey

  59. Use Facebook and/or Reddit to find the target audience to line up outreach opportunities and build relationships – Rob Ousbey

  60. Don’t use the term link building or SEO while doing outreach.  Use something like “PR” or “digital marketing” instead. – Rob Ousbey

  61. If you aren’t doing outreach as yourself, then you are losing out on the networking opportunity – Rob Ousbey

  62. Target guest blog opportunities using Facebook ads (or LinkedIn ads – Will Reynolds tweeted this tip during the conference).  For example, you can target fashion bloggers over the age of 18. – Rob Ousbey

  63. Distilled spent $70 and got two good leads through Facebook from bloggers who are willing to accept guest posts. – Rob Ousbey

  64. Conversion straight to links – look at this awesome thing I found. If bloggers feel like they discovered something themselves, they are more likely to want to share it – Rob Ousbey

  65. Sometimes people _______ the link when they link to you and link to the _____domain name – find those sites and get the ______. Use your ________ to see what people have searched for and develop the list of _______. Then use ________ and then do the _______to contact those sites and get them ______. – Wil Reynolds from Keep it Real

  66. You should strive for your first 4 or 5 top anchor text variations to be branded terms before non-branded terms are coming up. – Wil Reynolds

  67. Making a story real, really helps it sell – Lexi Mills

    find an idea that worked before and redo it – you don’t always need a brand new idea – Lexi gave an example of an alien in a jar that was copied from a previous story about a dragon in a jar (or vice versa). – Lexi Mills

  68. If it’s feasible, use the domain when referencing a client so that it’s easy to ask for the link afterwards – Lexi Mills

  69. Ask to be credited with a link – Lexi Mills

  70. When pitching a locally or regionally relevant outreach story, make sure to include the location in the email subject – Lexi Mills

  71. Use the word byline instead of the term guest post – Lexi Mills

  72. Sites that use a paywall get a lot of readership, so don’t skip the idea just because of the loss of SEO value – Lexi Mills

  73. B2B coverage and proof can lead to better success with B2C once you have the credibility built – Lexi Mills

  74. When using surveys, get a minimum of 2,000 results or you may run into troubles pitching the story for lack of respondents – Lexi Mills

  75. Getting on the phone increases results by about 70% over just email, plus you get more direct feedback. – Lexi Mills

  76. Try to include your clients domain name in the article.  If they’ve already written you clients domain name in the article, you’re more likely to get a link – Lexi Mills

  77. Byline vs guest post – When going after high level stories, tell them you want to pitch a byline (this is PR terminology) – A byline is exactly the same as an opinion based guest post – Lexi Mills

  78. Newsdesks are helpful – if in doubt send your request to the newsdesk and they will send it to the right person – Lexi Mills

  79. Stop creating patterns with your link building – Low level guest posting that uses duplicate bio descriptions will be axed by Google soon. – Mike King

  80. Linkdex categorizes the types of links a domain has pointing to it – Todd Friesen

  81. Organize your links so that you can scrub out what you need to: dump networks; reach out via email, phone, whois; duplicative content; and track all of your efforts/results – Todd Friesen

  82. Once you have done all of the work to get things cleaned up and removed, only then can you submit a reconsideration request – Todd Friesen

  83. Reconsideration request rules: Full Disclosure and Full Documentation: list of links, methods of contact, dates of outreach, etc. – Todd Friesen

  84. And only at the last, last, last resort should you disavow links – Todd Friesen

  85. Penguin means that you have a higher percentage of bad stuff than good stuff. So if you do more good stuff you can bring your rankings back. – Todd Friesen

  86. Go make yourself an alien baby and get 10,000 links! – Todd Friesen

  87. If you have been hit by penguin, don’t forget that you need to continue with your day to day and continue to do good things and don’t just focus on fixing the bad – Todd Friesen

  88. Google is using the public as their personal Mechanical Turk with the disavow tool. – Todd Friesen

  89. Sitewide links are not a good strategy anymore (obviously some exceptions apply with sister companies) – Todd Friesen

  90. In reference to anyone doing negative SEO – you’re only doing that because you’re not good enough to do the rest of it. – Todd Friesen

  91. Sometimes it’s better to do SEO on someone else’s site – pay attention to great news pieces on your brand and promote them – Rand Fishkin

  92. Co-citation may be the next anchor text – when you search for “backlink analysis” SEOmoz ranks because others mentioned the kw on the page when they linked to SEOmoz. – Rand Fishkin

  93. Local Search

  94. Siri and Apple are Google’s biggest threat in search simply because they have the platform and devices, not because they are necessarily good at search – Ian Lurie

  95. For local businesses, you can __________ as a business, so attach those __________ consistently on ___________ like _________ to improve your business’ visibility – David Mihm from Keep it Real

  96. Leave a _____ as a ________ and you can promote that easily as ___________. This will keep your ________ at the top (and a link to your business) – David Mihm from Keep it Real

  97. #1 need to know – 30% of all searches have local intent – number is directly from Google and Bing

  98. 50% of mobile searches are local in intent

  99. 10 packs started showing up in 2008

  100. In 2009, generic search terms deemed to have local intent started showing 10 packs

  101. Mike Ramsey wrote a great blog post on SEOmoz about the Venice local search algorithm update

  102. With blended search, you need to make sure that your organic and local strategies are in sync

  103. Google MUST be able to associate your website with your location in order to blend your +Local page.

  104. Name, Address and Phone number should be in HTML format on your website

  105. in order to create a KML file to upload to Webmaster Tools

  106. Schema and microformats not important for ranking, but are important for standing out in the search results

  107. Multi location businesses need a crawlable store locator with unique pages for each location.

  108. Multi location businesses should submit each location to Google+

  109. Embedding a MyPlaces map is the ideal way to include your location within a map on your website

  110. The over/under on decent, non-spam, non-directory links a typical SMB is likely to have is 3.6.

  111. Branded anchor text is also very important for local search, not just with SEO

  112. Location prominence = “A highest score associated with the documents referring to a business”

  113. Do a search for Boston sponsors or Boston sponsors to find locally relevant and valuable links and citations

  114. Larger companies with many listings should get a local scent by leveraging internal linking, leveraging the corporate blog, leveraging social channels, hosting events and sponsorships at a local level (using individual location pages)

  115. In a multi location business, links from local resources and sponsorships should be to the location page, not the homepage

  116. NAP +W = Name, Address, Phone Number and Website

  117. Big 3 data providers are Localeze, infogroup and Acxiom

  118. Apple Maps get their data provided primarily from Localeze, Yelp, Acxiom, Tomtom and OpenStreetMap

  119. Finding niche citations CAN be the differentiating factor for SMBs

  120. Mine your existing links to see if you can get citations

  121. Bonus tip for getting citations for large companies: job listings

  122. Hospitals are great for getting niche citations as they will list local businesses as a resource to their guests

  123. is a great paid tool to find niche citations

  124. Use Google Mapmaker in order to clean up old or incorrect listings

  125. Claim over an old listing instead of submitting a new listing when changing addresses

  126. Make sure to update the 3 major data providers before going to individual listings

  127. Reviews on +Local are slightly more important than they used to be

  128. it is important to diversify the places that you are getting reviews, don’t just focus on one

  129. Keywords in reviews for both long tail and head terms

  130. Power of the reviewers is increasing as a factor

  131. Google is not using Yelp reviews in part of it’s algorithm

  132. Sentiment in reviews is most prominent for restaurants, especially after their purchase of Zagat

  133. “At a glance” terms can be pulled from both reviews and non-traditional blog posts on completely non-local related websites

  134. In terms of getting reviews, segment customers with Gmail addresses and invite them to review you on Google

  135. Consider the ease of leaving a review for someone without an account by suggesting Yahoo and CitySearch

  136. Incorporate feedback into the everyday process

  137. Reviews from the Yelp elite definitely skew the rankings and ratings on Yelp

  138. Topsy is a good tool to find Yelp elite reviewers

  139. “title=”Elite 2012″” Portland – use this search term to find Yelp elite reviewers in Portland

  140. Create a Twitter dashboard using Hootsuite or something along those lines and develop a relationship with the Yelp elite

  141. Don’t just offer a discount or free meal to the Yelp elite – can get your listing banned

  142. Use Followerwonk to isolate people that are following both the Yelp and Google Local Community managers in a specific city

  143. Get the categories squared away on Google Places first and then Google +Local next since they don’t display them all like before

  144. Keyword research is best done with Google suggest and related searches at the bottom of search results

  145. Can use Google trends to drill down to regional and city level data to compare trends for various terms

  146. Do NOT use local tracking phone numbers

  147. Rankings not ideal to track for local simply because the display results change so frequently

  148. has a ranking tool for local results – best used to show magnitude visually and not the exact ranking number changes

  149. Overcoming centroid bias – pay attention to the outliers to find out what those companies are doing that aren’t right at the city center

  150. In order to compete in a tough market try to get at least one citation from a .edu or .gov

  151. Foursquare definitely counts as a citation, but it’s unclear if number of checkins or velocity of checkins is any factor. Tips or reviews for a business do carry sentiment and are a better focal point than checkins.

  152. Social Media

  153. First things first: you have to optimize social sharing so you can further the opportunity – Jen Lopez

  154. Basics – optimize social sharing widgets on your site – Jen Lopez

  155. Use Followerwonk – Jen Lopez

  156. Use Simply Measured – A lot of info about your social data – Jen Lopez

  157. Show some data (and then make it really easy to share) – Jen Lopez

  158. Read the Noob Guide to Internet Marketing – get it for a tweet – pay with a tweet/share – Jen Lopez

  159. Make people tweet your link to download a report – generate your report by tweeting. – Jen Lopez

  160. Use social proof – Jen Lopez

  161. You can connect your Google+ and Google AdWords to increase CTR – Jen Lopez

  162. Images do really well on Facebook – Jen Lopez

  163. You can pay to promote your posts on Facebook – SEOmoz does this and it works well for important posts. – Jen Lopez

  164. Try something new and measure the difference in the results. – Jen Lopez

  165. Use social sign in to make it easier for people to use – Jen Lopez

  166. Make sure your social contact information is available on your contact page – Jen Lopez

  167. Sometimes you have to take it off social.  Take stuff offline when you need to – sprout social sent @jennita cupcakes and made a lasting impression. – Jen Lopez

  168. Empower your social media manager to make decisions and take actions before the opportunity is lost. Don’t make them have to get approval for everything. – Jen Lopez

  169. There’s no one single best time to send/publish across all industries.  Don’t follow the data other people provide, test what works best for YOUR site. – Jen Lopez

  170. If you are tweeting something multiple times, make each post unique instead of saying  the same thing 3 times. – Jen Lopez

  171. Use LinkedIn to post blog posts as well – not just Twitter/Facebook/Google Plus – Jen Lopez

  172. If you are posting a news mention or blog post on multiple social sites, use a different message best suited for each one (i.e. Facebook vs. Twitter) – Jen Lopez

  173. You should be where YOUR people are, not just where people are – Jen Lopez

  174. Talk to people like people and try to help them when dealing with negativity – Jen Lopez

  175. Don’t use sponsored tweets or sponsored Facebook posts in a “douchey” way. You know when you’re being “douchey”. – Jen Lopez

  176. Tag people on Google + that might like your post.  G+ makes this easier than Facebook or Twitter. – Jen Lopez

  177. LinkedIn groups are awesome – a lot of people like to ask questions on LinkedIn – Jen Lopez

  178. Get your social mechanisms in place so that you can leverage the sharing opportunities – Stephen Pavlovich

  179. Figure out who is the ideal person to seed your “product”. It should be someone that is naturally a good fit for promoting the product based on their interests (and followers). – Stephen Pavlovich

  180. As soon as you get seed credibility, repitch to other celebs – Stephen Pavlovich

  181. Push on social media (advertise) and scale with services like buzz stream. – Stephen Pavlovich

  182. If you can’t sell to someone due to geographic constraints, find another way to convert them (i.e. social connection and promotion) – Stephen Pavlovich

  183. Don’t post to _______ from _______ – lowers your ______ – Jen Lopez from Keep it Real

  184. Use _________ to find out what people are talking about and ________ – Jen Lopez from Keep it Real

  185. _____________ created a tool for ________ to find the best folks to ______ for a specific search term. – Ian Lurie from Keep it Real

  186. Use to build all of your social profiles – Mike King

  187. New Facebook notifications have a 17% minimum CTR because they’re considered too spammy otherwise – Mat Clayton

  188. What, when and how frequently we share matters a ton. – Rand Fishkin

  189. A picture is worth 50%+ engagement – Rand Fishkin

  190. Content

  191. Flywheel of brand credibility – start out by publishing quality content on your own site and then leverage that content to get better guest post opportunities on other sites. – Rob Ousbey

  192. The CEO of sales force guest posts on techcrunch and Forbes – get company heads to write content – Rob Ousbey

  193. Understanding the purpose and the reason that someone is writing in a particular niche will help increase your opportunities – Rob Ousbey

  194. Use the relationships you have built within a niche during outreach for networking purposes – Rob Ousbey

  195. Product – have product available to use in one way or another – it’s remarkable how much it can affect success of an outreach campaign. – Rob Ousbey

  196. Add their own egg – if you can create “just enough work” you will get more buy in – if I give you a necklace and require a picture and at least 500 words.  Have enough of an egg for them to feel useful. – Rob Ousbey

  197. Advertorial content usually fails – Rob Ousbey

  198. Anything with a competitive aspect helps drive further success. For example, Mac users donated more money than PC users. – Rob Ousbey

  199. If you’re looking for good content ideas, look in your own analytics – for example, Adam and Eve put out a post on which state buys the most sex toys – Rob Ousbey

  200. Alignment of Outreach with Content Planners and Creators will drive higher levels of success – Rob Ousbey

  201. Be prepared to reformat the creative – Rob Ousbey

  202. Having a plan and a calendar is vital to a successful campaign. Why now? Special event, seasonal creates urgency – Rob Ousbey

  203. Most of your ideas suck – worry about what other people want and what they are looking for – Wil Reynolds

  204. The better you get at policing your ideas the better your content is going to be – Wil Reynolds

  205. If you are going to do an awesome infographic, do it in HTML5 instead of graphics so that you can rank for the search terms you are writing about – Wil Reynolds

  206. Get inspiration, don’t just copy – Mike Pantoliano

  207. There are four types of content that get attention:  topical, sexual, celebrity and controversy. – Stephen Pavlovich

  208. Gather quotes, media and “proof” – Stephen Pavlovich

  209. Create a new interesting product, create a fake product, spin an existing product – Stephen Pavlovich

  210. Follow up with a press release (include images and quotes, write the article for them) – Stephen Pavlovich

  211. If you have great images, use Google Images to find out instances of them being copied/stolen – Eytan Seidman

  212. Question to ask yourself: will someone take time out of their day to share this? – Eytan Seidman

  213. Photo fakeouts are extremely successful for – They compare doctored pictures that hotels provide on their sites to “real life” photos of the same hotels.  – Eytan Seidman

  214. The Forbes 400 List (The richest people in America) – This is one of the most successful forms of content marketing – Eytan Seidman

  215. Your content marketing should produce things that only you are uniquely capable of doing – this is why photo fakeouts worked so well for oyster – Eytan Seidman

  216. Your content marketing should reinforce what is unique about you – Eytan Seidman

  217. Another successful content marketing strategy for Bundle Breakdowns – Bundle breakdowns shows the real cost of travel bundles – this connects back to the oyster brand really well – Eytan Seidman

  218. Start out by focusing your content marketing on vertical niches (these are easier to get at first), then go broad once you have some examples and credibility to show. – Eytan Seidman

  219. Your content marketing has to be effectively branded – Oyster on huffington post has the watermark on all photos. If a site doesn’t want to add your logo, don’t let them use your content. – Eytan Seidman

  220. How do you find people that produce content for you? Answer: Contracted employees who are in the field write the content – They have 75 people at different locations and all the content marketing efforts are produced in house. – Eytan Seidman

  221. One of the keys is starting with the smaller guys and then moving to the bigger guys – this Is how you get the bigger links – the rich get richer – Eytan Seidman

  222. Screencast your ________ and then make a _______ of it so that you can __________ to someone – Lexi Mills from Keep it Real

  223. Use _________to strengthen the quality of your ______ and get more ______- Mike King from Keep it Real

  224. Don’t hit enter on Google and instead see what people are looking for in order to get content ideas. – Wil Reynolds

  225. You can get experts to comment on your stories and get coverage – just email universities and ask. Most experts are willing to comment on your story if you ask. – Lexi Mills

  226. If trying to portray a celebrity for a video, find a lookalike on the cheap! – Lexi Mills

  227. Use pics of hot ladies – Your story will get more coverage with hot ladies. – Lexi Mills

  228. Minimizing risk – think of multiple angles for content in case someone else comes out with something similar or if the media doesn’t bite you can come out with your back up story. – Lexi Mills

  229. Use comparisons of size to relate-able objects like people or cars since people can more easily understand the magnitude of the data – Lexi Mills

  230. Don’t piggyback or news jack stories that aren’t happy, fun or cool – Lexi Mills

  231. Find trend data in your analytics and create a story relating the data to your industry – Lexi Mills

  232. Piggybacking – When you put together content that relates to something going on in the news. Some examples given were prince Will and Kate’s royal wedding pizza and Lego’s recreation of the Red Bull space jump – Lexi Mills

  233. Don’t jump on the back of a negative news story like Hurricane Sandy – these can lead to negative press. – Lexi Mills

  234. If you want to try and get a link inserted into a story ask a night editor.  Night editors will do things that regular editors won’t do – don’t ask the journalist, they usually don’t know how to do it. – Lexi Mills

  235. Invest in content strategy, not just content marketing – Mike King

  236. Always have a crisis content strategy – Mike King

  237. File DMCA complaints on the duplicate content that other sites have stolen (you’d be amazed at how well they work) – Todd Friesen

  238. There are 2 kinds of “bootstrapped” marketing – #1 pay using something other than money or #2 spend someone else’s money – Will Critchlow

  239. ROI is a terrible metric for bootstrapped marketing since the amount you put in is not an appropriate divisor – Will Critchlow

  240. If you have traffic and no content, find someone who has content but no traffic and work out a deal – Will Critchlow

  241. Rapportive makes it easy to find email addresses – Will Critchlow

  242. Macy’s first Thanksgiving parade was just it’s workers – Will Critchlow

  243. The Tour de France was originally a promo for a newspaper (and it put their rival out of business) – Will Critchlow

  244. Get in other people’s emails – don’t be afraid to send cold emails – Will Critchlow

  245. True Love – It lasts and it can’t be bought – If you can get people to really love your content or service then they will stick with you through good and bad times – Rand Fishkin

  246. Empathy and creativity = great content – Rand Fishkin

  247. Innovation does’t always trump imrovement – Seomoz’s well known “Ranking Factors” post was not an original idea – It was an improvement on someone elses idea. – Rand Fishkin

  248. Even amateur graphics perform shocking well – you don’t need high end graphics – Rand Fishkin

  249. Being transparent with success works, but being transparent with failure works even better – Rand Fishkin

  250. Only sharing your own content is a recipe for disaster – Share other people’s stuff – Use the law of reciprocity – Rand Fishkin

  251. Real world interaction is greater than virtual world – Rand talked about his personal connection to Guinness beer after visiting the factory in Ireland once – now he drinks more Guinness – Rand Fishkin

  252. Make sure Deliverability isn’t holding you back – if more than 1% of your list reports you as spam, Mail Chimp will block you – Rand Fishkin

  253. Include only the good stuff, not the kitchen sink – the little things devalue the greater stuff – For example, putting spanish on your resume as an added benefit doesn’t really help if you’re applying for something not related to Spanish. It actually hurts your chances of getting hired. – Rand Fishkin

  254. Analytics

  255. Some sites have over 55% of their traffic showing as (not provided) – Duncan Morris

  256. Spend more time on the Landing Pages, Funnel Visualization and Goal Flow reports – Mike Pantoliano

  257. Avoid geek speak in your filter titles in analytics – Annie Cushing

  258. Always add an annotation to your analytics when making filter changes – Annie Cushing

  259. First of the month is a good day to do add a filter just to have easier MOM reporting – Annie Cushing

  260. Make sure PPC traffic is coming across properly so that it isn’t inflating organic traffic – Annie Cushing

  261. Use kwcid in a table filter to filter out ppc landing traffic in landing pages report – Annie Cushing

  262. ___________ can be used for ______ retargeting – Wil Critchlow from Keep it Real

  263. You can put your ________ pixel on your _______ websites – Wil Critchlow from Keep it Real

  264. Good Google Analytics functions for finding stories: Browser, Time of Day, Referring Traffic and Device – Lexi Mills

  265. Traffic for the sake of traffic isn’t a relevant metric, need to focus on the business return and conversions – Todd Friesen

  266. CRO

  267. CRO is helping your site become Panda friendly since you are improving usage – Mike Pantoliano

  268. The ROI on SEO goes down over time.  CRO is a great way to improve that ROI and add value to clients.  – Mike Pantoliano

  269. Successful headline tests can be applied across all marketing mediums. You can apply “headlines that win” to different marketing initiatives – email, banner ads, etc. – Mike Pantoliano

  270. CRO is 80% experience (doing) and 20% tactical (reading) – The only way you get better at it is by doing. – Mike Pantoliano

  271. The not-secret secret of CRO is testing – Mike Pantoliano

  272. Build, measure and learn from your tests – a lot of people don’t do the learning step. Important to always ask – what did we learn from that test? – Mike Pantoliano

  273. Emphasize “You”, not “We” – Mike Pantoliano

  274. For every 1 second of load time, conversion drops 7% for REI – Mike Pantoliano

  275. If you aren’t running any promotions at the time, don’t show the coupon code box – Mike Pantoliano

  276. Be Human – stop it with the stock photography – Mike Pantoliano

  277. The first rule of CRO is to become the customer – Stephen Pavlovich

  278. If you are offering a promotion like free shipping over $50 purchase, pre-fill that code in the checkout for increased conversions – Stephen Pavlovich

  279. _________ after the ________ to see what people are thinking. For example, what almost _____________ your purchase? – Stephen Pavlovich from Keep it Real

  280. Use a headline to draw people in when you want them to fill out a form. – Stephen Pavlovich

  281. Use real people looking either at you or at what you want them to look at on the page – don’t use stock photos – Stephen Pavlovich

  282. Ranking #1 isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – video, authorship and other rich snippets really help you stand out and increase CTR – Rand Fishkin

  283. One of the great myth of CRO is that testing all the variants will produce greatest returns – survey and ask why do people buy and answer those comments – Rand Fishkin

  284. Mobile

  285. Mobile devices accounted for 41% of the Olympic coverage data consumption – Duncan Morris

  286. Responsive design is very important since mobile traffic accounts for a ton of the social traffic – Wil Reynolds

  287. Google now has a preference for responsive design as opposed to separate mobile pages – Cindy Krum

  288. Primary mobile site design options: responsive design, mixed solution (RESS), separate mobile pages – Cindy Krum

  289. Responsive design is far less taxing on Google’s resources – Cindy Krum

  290. Responsive design is harder to target mobile specific keywords with one set of content since it’s all on the same URL – Cindy Krum

  291. By using rel=alternate and rel=canonical to reference desktop and mobile versions of pages, you can retain the desktop ranking value in mobile searches – Cindy Krum

  292. DUST = Duplicate URL Same Text – make sure the URLs on both versions of sites are the same, including trailing slashes – Cindy Krum

  293. to show site code as it downloads – Cindy Krum

  294. Business

  295. 50% of consumers watch TV whilst browsing the web on a different screen – Duncan Morris

  296. Don’t do anything important (like launch a big update or new website) at midnight.  You’ll be up all night fixing it.  – Dan Shapiro

  297. Believe in luck – Dan Shapiro

    Fish in deep water – the kind of connections that move your biz forward are impossible to predict but you can control when and where they happen. – Dan Shapiro

  298. Triage quickly – know when to move on to the next set of conversations at conferences and events – make the best use of your time. – Dan Shapiro

  299. Learn the one, magic phrase – How can I Help?  If you think from this angle, it will come back around to you. – Dan Shapiro

  300. Getting “buy in” from your client/boss makes the job so much easier – Rob Ousbey

  301. One of the first things you get when you get “buy in” from clients/boss is more budget – Rob Ousbey

  302. Flywheel of success = Good results > they like you > more buy in > you get more access – Rob Ousbey

  303. Kids are nature’s way of teaching us to write great proposals – they always ask “why?” – Ian Lurie

  304. You have to talk about Why you do what you do, then you have to parallel the why with everything you do.  why=value. If you can get How and Why in sync, then that’s where you can really win – Ian Lurie

  305. Read “start with why” by Simon Sinek or at the very least watch his TED Talk.

  306. Active voice should be used whenever possible. – Ian Lurie

  307. Use you, we and our instead of talking about “the client” or “your website”.  “If YOU blank, then we’re you’re agency.  if YOU blank the we’ve got a blank for you.” – Ian Lurie

  308. Illustrate the process well instead of using ordered or numbered lists – Ian Lurie

  309. All things you do in a proposal can enhance or contradict the why – Ian Lurie

  310. User PowerPoint (or a similar software) to do all proposals. Microsoft Word makes you put a lot of words on a page. PowerPoint makes you consolidate and use only the important info. – Ian Lurie

  311. Be careful of overusing stock photos. Use services like iStockPhoto or original pictures instead. – Ian Lurie

  312. The person reading your proposal will find a way to screw it up, so use PDF to retain how you want it to look – Ian Lurie

  313. Use eye contact in your writing style. i.e. “If YOU think what YOU do matters, etc” – Ian Lurie

  314. Build imputed value – Ian Lurie

  315. Use your autoresponders to pitch your “Why?” and reinforce your message – Ian Lurie

  316. Silence does not mean all is well – stay in touch – Ian Lurie

  317. RFP’s kill the “why?” – Ian Lurie

  318. Use data sparingly and well – don’t send giant keyword lists or stuff that is overwhelming – Ian Lurie

  319. Do talk about ROI but just don’t lead with that. Start with explaining the WHY first. – Ian Lurie

  320. Distilled uses toggle as their internal time tracking tool – Mike Pantoliano

  321. Having a good domain makes your site much more linkable – Stephen Pavlovich

  322. punch above your weight – focus on your domain name – they spent 10K on and it was by far the best decision they made.  The domain name commands respect right away. – Stephen Pavlovich

  323. Eighty percent of success is showing up – Stephen Pavlovich

  324. Prepare your server for craziness – Stephen Pavlovich

  325. Start with the goal in mind, work backwards – Stephen Pavlovich

  326. Hotel research has $50 billion of market capitalization, but lacks innovation – Eytan Seidman

  327. is equivalent to the CNET of hotels – They offer high quality reviews of hotels – Eytan Seidman

  328. Insist that the ______________ are included in company meetings and dinners. Send an additional _______ to that group to get your work done _____ and ______. – Todd Friesen from Keep it Real

  329. By default, ________ is checked when setting up _________ – uncheck the box to save money – Cindy Krum from Keep it Real

  330. ______ your ads to show your address when your ________ and your _______ when someone is ____________ – Cindy Krum from Keep it Real

  331. Ask “________________?” when talking to clients – Ian Lurie from Keep it Real

  332. Always monitor your reputation and know your opponent – Mike King

  333. Respond promptly when negativity does arise – Mike King

  334. Don’t lean on other brands – Mike King

  335. Focus on what made you great – Mike King

  336. Fix whatever the problem is from the inside out – Mike King

  337. Omit needless work and needless time spent – Ben Wills

  338. Identify resources that are distractions – Ben Wills

  339. Identify efforts that aren’t yielding results and aren’t investments – Ben Wills

  340. Identify where time is unnecessarily spent – Ben Wills

  341. Know thyself – spend a lot of time figuring out what you and your business are really good at – Ben Wills

  342. Know they customer – Help them with their threats, obligations and opportunities – If you can help them in one of those 3 areas then they will work with you for a long time. – Ben Wills

  343. Search for “Jason Freid Curate” – Jason has a great TED talk about curation – The key to the process is figuring out what to keep out, not what to put in – Ben Wills

  344. The purpose of marketing is to increase the sales conversion rate. – Ben Wills

  345. Design your culture to make your companies value obsolete every 12 months – keep innovating – Ben Wills

  346. Users have 3 known states: active, inactive and dead – Mat Clayton

  347. Users go inactive when they get stale and active when they are resurrected – Mat Clayton

  348. User accounting = actives + new + resurrect – stale – die – Mat Clayton

  349. Find a way for your users to do your marketing for you – Mat Clayton

  350. Tweets

  351. Little known - @distilled had a negative SEO attack launched against it. Lots of bad links, no effect. We won’t disavow. #searchlove – @dohertyjf

  352. How often do you use “disavow” in daily conversations #stuffgooglesays #searchlove – @JLBraaten

  353. It will be interesting to see what Google does with the disavow data in the coming months @willcritchlow #searchlove – @mackfogelson

  354. @jennita Wait, so we’re NOT supposed to drink every time they say “disavow?” Oops #SearchLove – @JoelD_SEO

  355. Google created an ecomony that caused the issues we are experiencing with links @willcritchlow #searchlove – @mackfogelson

  356. My very own Duck of Awesomeness.  #searchlove – @amykelinda

  357. Building serendipity is really about making friends and seeking to help others. Great mantra for life as well. #searchlove – @dohertyjf

  358. Now @distilled prefers to do outreach on behalf of themselves (as the agency), not the client. Helps to scale. #searchlove @RobOusbey – @mackfogelson

  359. @juliantrueflynn tweets are good for engagement #searchlove – @iamdchuk

  360. Answer this: we are in business because we believe that…..#searchlove @portentint – @mackfogelson

  361. #Searchlove ”Great marketing can save the world…” -@portentint (especially if you have a TARDIS) – @RyanGPhx

  362. Imputed value – sum total of details around an experience – will reinforce value. Does how = why? That’s when you win. #searchlove – @jessweiss

  363. If you can get the how to parallel the why, that’s when you’re gonna win. The stuff in your proposal’s gotta match #searchlove @portentint – @mackfogelson

  364. If you’re going to use the word “suckage,” why not put it in the proposal and get it out of the way? #SearchLove – @JLBraaten

  365. Use data sparingly and well. Don’t get in between the reader and what you’re trying to help them understand #searchlove @portentint – @mackfogelson

  366. The best TED talk I’ve ever seen. “Start With Why.” If you’re in marketing, take the time to watch this - … #searchlove – @dohertyjf

  367. Dont use a proposal to get in the door, use a proposal to start a relationship. @portentint #searchlove #sales #Searchlove – @modelrania

  368. Tip: with social media, you don’t have to tell people all the things all the time #searchlove @jennita – @mackfogelson

  369. “I don’t really like that Facebook makes me pay 4 people who already like my page to see my sh*t.” #truth #edgerank @jennita #searchlove – @modelrania

  370. “This is link earning, not link building” #Searchlove Conference Live Blog – Day 2  #SEO #linkbuilding @distilled – @RightHatSEO

  371. We’re so plugged in we forget to take things offline and do something amazing for them. Little things add up. @jennita #searchlove – @shinheeson

  372. From @jennita - people send super angry tweets at OSE or@SEOmoz & when she gives them a personal response they’re calmed #searchlove – @adammelson

  373. Directories and articles cannot kill a quality site #rcs #searchlove @wilreynolds – @mackfogelson

  374. @wilreynolds: Best protection against algo updates? Quality content.#searchlove – @rpboots

  375. Display changes in SERPs – that’s where you can find golden opps, or find KWs Google already dominates @wilreynolds #searchlove – @JHTScherck

  376. 19/20 top website results for Wil Reynolds are for @wilreynolds. 7/7 image results are for the model Wil Reynolds #searchlove – @adammelson

  377. Sweat the small stuff, test the big stuff. Make things easy, you know, for the customer. #searchlove @MikeCP – @mackfogelson

  378. #SearchLove is happening across the hall from “Recent Advances in Humanized Mice: Advancing the Development of an HIV Vaccine.”#perspective – @kellereno

  379. Use lots of scrennshots in your audits. It will help to walk the customer through the data. #searchlove @AnnieCushing – @mackfogelson

  380. The Best SEO Audit checklist -  by@AnnieCushing #searchlove – @wilreynolds

  381. Don’t ask devs to 301 redirect all the 404′s – you’ll make enemies, only look at the pages that get GOOD traffic#searchlove – @wilreynolds

  382.  was purchased for only $10,000. That bought a lot of trust #Searchlove – @fairminder

  383. Try a benefit bar immediately below the nav that includes 3-4 key reasons why someone would choose your company over competitors #searchlove – @mackfogelson

  384. Venice rocked results harder than Penguin. Since Venice, the whole screen is being dominated by local @davidmihm #searchlove – @mackfogelson

  385. Rich snippets, not going to impact rankings. Will help CTR (10-20% increase personally) #searchlove #nodownside – @adammelson

  386. Keywords in reviews are really, really important. Really. #searchlove @davidmihm – @mackfogelson

  387. Proximity to searcher is important. See what you can Sherlock from the business that is furthest away & make changes #searchlove @davidmihm- @mackfogelson

  388. Tracking phone numbers: If you have 3, Google thinks u have 3 biz. Bad-Like splitting linkjuice #searchlove – @adammelson

  389. Sites behind pay walls can have more trust to them; help you build links from other sources easily. @leximills #SearchLove – @Sonray

  390. Find stories in your analytics! Create a trend stories based on what different groups of people are doing when. @leximills #searchlove – @agalluch

  391. I’ve not played around with  until now. Two searches, two opportunities #searchlove @ipullrank – @adammelson

  392. @37Signals is getting a lot of attention at #searchlove - subscribe to their awesome blog  you wont regret it – @JHTScherck

  393. @willcritchlow: This is the royal wedding spoof video @leximills just mentioned:  #searchlove” This was genius!! – @HudsonHorizons

  394. Just because you didn’t get hit by penguin….yet….doesn’t meant you won’t. You need to prepare @oilman #searchlove – @mackfogelson

  395. Panda was inevitable because eHow had 10 articles on How to Pour a Glass of Water @oilman #searchlove – @digsart

  396. Use Wavelength for MailChimp to find newsletters similar to your own  #searchlove – @iPullRank

  397. Local events work. Even for a web company. #searchlove@willcritchlow – @mackfogelson

Taylor Cimala is the co-founder and Strategic Director here at Digital Third Coast based in Chicago. You can find Taylor on Twitter and Google+.

Taylor Cimala is the Strategic Director at Digital Third Coast Internet Marketing, a Search Engine Marketing company based in Chicago. You can find Taylor on Twitter and Google+. Connect with Digital Third Coast on Google+.


@tacimala your review is epic! Most of these points didn't really hit home 'til just now. Your post is definitely going in my favorites. Can't wait for #SearchLove 2013!

Ryan Glass
Ryan Glass

Taylor, great post here, man.  I enjoy how you incorporated the interesting tweets as well.  I'm still digging through my notes between catching up on emails and meetings, but now I can just forward your blog to the rest of my team and keep the "Let's Get Real" tips to myself. 


This is a great post Taylor! I'm impressed how quickly you guys were able to post this. The Slide deck is EXTREMELY helpful for everyone who was unable to furiously type all the notes like me! To all novice and advanced SEO's, this list of tips really summarizes a well rounded perspective of today's best internet marketing and SEO practices. 


 @digitalthird I tried hopping on an earlier flight out of Boston to avoid the noreaster. All earlier flights were overbooked and had multiple people on standby. I ended up leaving on my regularly scheduled flight with no delays. 

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