On Thursday, March 12, we held our first Twitter chat.
We decided to do it two weeks ago at most. Recently, our staff writers have been participating in chats like the #semrushchat and the #mentionchat. We've learned some interesting tricks from other people in SEO while doing these chats. So they're educational - they're also pretty fun too.
Before I get much further into this, I want to thank everyone who joined in on our chat. Truthfully, we weren’t anticipating a ton of engagement. It was our first chat, and even though our site is devoted to digital marketing, no one would really associate us with social media.
Ultimately, the engagement exceeded even our highest expectations. We were ecstatic that several Twitter users that we didn’t even specifically invite found their way to our little chat and answered our questions.
I know what you want to ask next:
@Linkarati Wish I'd known about #linkaratichat. Reading through now...great discussion. Is this going to be a weekly chat?
— Paul May (@paulmay) March 12, 2015
A: No. Not for now anyway. This first chat was something of a test balloon. If we had only attracted a handful of users, there’s a good chance we would have decided to put it to bed. However, in our eyes, this test balloon kept flying and flying and flying. So as of right now, we’re portioning out time to do this every other week. If #linkaratichat continues to grow, over the next month, we may very well make it a weekly chat. Follow us here for future updates. But now, we want to take this time to recap our first #linkaratichat! If you weren’t there, our topic was:
How can link building/SEO aid content marketing goals, processes, and strategies?
Content marketing is the buzzword within digital marketing. Everyone wants a piece of the action, including us. So we wrote six questions, all having to do with the growing intersection between content marketing and SEO (specifically, link building). Here was our first question:
Alright here we go! time for question one #linkaratichat pic.twitter.com/aRDqSO0Qdb — Linkarati (@Linkarati) March 12, 2015
Here’s what Amy Merrill had to say:
If a piece of content is put on the web but no one sees it, is it really a good piece of content? Link building is essential #linkaratichat
— Amy merrill (@MissAmyMerrill) March 12, 2015
There’s a lot of content online, and that number is never going to decrease. Just publishing a post and crossing your fingers that people will find it is ridiculous. All content needs promotion. Link building can be that promotion. Samantha Stauf echoed this sentiment:
A1: good content shared by influencers in the field, can skyrocket a marketing campaign. Linkbuilding increases that chance #linkaratichat — Samantha Stauf (@SamStauf) March 12, 2015
Anyone that could legitimately be called an influencer is likely a busy person. They aren’t going to find your content if you don’t open the roads that will allow them to find it.
How can content marketing aid SEO goals, processes, and strategies?
So that was question one. For question two, we asked the vice-versa:
Alright Twitter friends, who's ready for Q2? Here we go. #linkaratichat Q2 pic.twitter.com/JFoOXW1Q6W
— Linkarati (@Linkarati) March 12, 2015
We really liked what Kerstin Stokes had to say:
A2: Good content marketing can help your SEO by making your brand/name trusted. You answer people's questions, they trust you #linkaratichat
— Kerstin Stokes (@ironicsunpunch) March 12, 2015
The reason Google dominates the search engine market the way they do is because they have cultivated a reputation for returning the best search results. It’s in Google’s best financial interest to reward sites that consistently provide content that betters the online experience and gives a certain niche audience what they desire. ThinkSEM answered:
@Linkarati A2: Evergreen content stays alive after publication. With the right promo strategy, it can continually help SEO. #linkaratichat — ThinkSEM (@ThinkSEM) March 12, 2015
The production of evergreen content--content that is always relevant--should be a part of every content marketing strategy. Due to its nature, evergreen content is going to provide the same value to readers who see it today and to readers who see it a year from now. The more staying power your content has, the more links it will accumulate over time.
How do you build collaboration across marketing? How do you ensure SEOs and content marketers work together?
Here was our third question:
Onward friends, to question three! #linkaratichat Q3 pic.twitter.com/Ej9mRHn6yE
— Linkarati (@Linkarati) March 12, 2015
No matter the industry, collaborating effectively is important. Gilbert & Sullivan famously loathed each other on a personal level, yet they were still capable of creating some of the best theatrical works of the millennium. So what are some tricks for helping content marketers and link builders? I loved this answer from SEOcial:
A3 Host an inter-departmental "show-and-tell" Friday, where they can cross-educate one another #linkaratichat — SEOcial (@SEOcial) March 12, 2015
Collaboration can’t occur if team A doesn’t even understand what team B does. A wide receiver isn’t go to be effective if he doesn’t understand the purpose of a quarterback’s snap count, right? Setting aside time in the company calendar to let team A explain what it is they do and will help team B serve them better. It’s great morale boosting too: everyone loves a little time to show off in front of the rest of the company.
A3: put together the right cross functional teams. If SEO & Mrktg are NOT working well together, #youredoingitwrong #linkaratichat
— LUCYrk (@LUCYrk78) March 12, 2015
There’s nothing wrong with doing a little cross-training. Your content marketing team doesn’t need to be trained on EVERYTHING a link builder does, but developing some of the skills will only prove to be beneficial.
How can a link builder leverage already successful content for even more link opportunities?
Let’s move “4ward,” shall we?
Well friends, question three was fun, but let's move 4ward to question 4! #LinkaratiChat Q4 pic.twitter.com/gfb30HBDpJ — Linkarati (@Linkarati) March 12, 2015
If you’re lucky enough, sometimes your great content will earn links without you having to do a large amount of promotional legwork. But for every link you earn, there are several more worth building.
Martin Lieberman had this great advice:
A4 Cross-link within your own content to related content elsewhere. Savvy sites will know source, and hopefully reciprocate. #linkaratichat
— Martin Lieberman (@martinlieberman) March 12, 2015
The overwhelming majority of savvy webmasters will have Google alerts or Mentions setup for site name, webmaster names, article titles etc. You don’t even necessarily have to link to them - a mention is enough to send them a notification. However, it’s better to link (if appropriate). It’s a way to cite sources for your audience, and it will provide more incentive for the other webmaster to link to you in the future. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. If you don’t want to rely upon fresh mention products, and you want to ensure these webmasters see your content, Nicholas Chimonas had this great tip:
A4: Outreach to the people that naturally linked to you and start building relationships with them, discover opportunities. #LinkaratiChat — Nicholas Chimonas (@NChimonas) March 12, 2015
You can create an outreach list of the people you mentioned and/or the people who would have a vested interested in amplifying your content. Email these people to thank them. It’s great egobait. You can do more than thank them even, as Sean Malseed noted:
A4: Find influencers, ask their opinion on the topic, and quote them in an update. Get shared all over again. ???, Profit. #LinkaratiChat
— Sean Malseed (@seanmalseed) March 12, 2015
Outreach isn’t just about link building - it’s also about relationship building. If applicable, give these webmasters a chance to add to your content. The more of a voice they get, the more likely they will link to the page.
How do you determine content success? Should SEO signals be a factor?
Enough about the process though. What about the results? That’s why we asked question five:
We're having so much fun, but we need 2 get this intersection cleared soon. time for question 5! #LinkaratiChat Q5 pic.twitter.com/NIW9JXQxrx — Linkarati (@Linkarati) March 12, 2015
This question presented a consistent theme in the answers. I’ll let Paul Shapiro start us off:
A5: I care about 1) conversions 2) traffic --- SEO should be a consideration but isn't a "factor" #Semantics #linkaratichat
— Paul Shapiro (@fighto) March 12, 2015
The majority of the answers cited “conversions.” The reason: conversions are undoubtedly one of the most important success metrics. Shapiro is right when he says SEO (presumably rankings) should be a consideration, but it’s not the endall. You might rank at or near the top for your “money” queries, but if no one is, say, filling out your contact form for further information, that ranking is a largely a waste. This was the common sentiment. Jacob McEwen had a similar response:
a5: Generated traffic and conversions. As SEO becomes more local, ROI in the form of conversions will grow in importance #LinkaratiChat — Jacob McEwen (@jvmcewen) March 12, 2015
Traffic is very important to consider as well. You can’t meet your conversion goals if no one is on your site. The more traffic that comes, the more opportunities you create. Even if you’re not meeting your conversion goals, you can look at where the traffic is coming from, and use that data to make the necessary onpage adjustments.
What are your favorite tools for both SEO & content marketing?
Speaking of traffic, by question five, our intersection was almost ready to close. This was our last question:
Well friends, it's our last question. Let's make it a great one! #LinkaratiChat Q6 pic.twitter.com/OokKOmo7vE
— Linkarati (@Linkarati) March 12, 2015
In one tweet, our managing editor Cory Collins listed off all the tools that got the most love during this question.
A6: Too many to list. Backlink explorers, @SEMrush, @BuzzSumo, @BuzzStream, @Moz's entire suite, even good ol' Google Docs #LinkaratiChat — Cory Collins (@Coryrcollins) March 12, 2015
Every tool Collins mentions here is highly valuable to ANYONE in ANY field of digital marketing. But before you use any of these tools, there’s one that’s far more important. I’ll let Anthony Randall explain:
A6: my brain and intuition. tools are great but should only be an aid and not a guide or a crutch. #LinkaratiChat
— Anthony Randall (@tonyxrandall) March 12, 2015
There is no tool available anywhere that is going to compensate fully for a lack of creativity and industry knowledge. As wonderful as they are, tools like SEMrush and BuzzStream can only be so useful. In the hands of a poorly trained, unimaginative SEO, the value of those tools can quickly be rendered worthless.
And that was our last question. It was a lively chat, and I learned a few things myself. I can only hope that everyone else did.
Our next chat will be on March 26. We have not settled on a topic yet, but we will let anyone who follows the Linkarati Twitter handle know soon. So one more time, to everyone that participated in #linkaratichat