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Today I was taking part in an online webinar, which in the SEO world means that a hashtag trail will be set up to follow the discussion, as well as to ask questions usually. Every Thursday there’s #seochat, for SEOmoz webinars it is usually #mozinar.

Today I decided to use my iPad, and Tweetdeck as I have taken to using it more and more over Hootsuite, to follow the discussion. I set out to create a column (which is a great feature) that would only show me tweets with “#mozinar” included. I clicked the Add Column button to add a column and tried to type in “#mozinar”. Because of the sometimes-clumsy iPad typing, I actually typed in “#mozinae”.

Oops. *head slap*

The next problem I had was deleting the column! I could not figure it out for the life of me, so I had this stupid “#mozinae” column next to my “#mozinar” column the whole time, just laughing at me for being an idiot.

I want to help you out by giving you the simple instructions of how to delete a column in the Tweetdeck iPad app.

Steps to deleting Columns in Tweetdeck iPad App

  • Step 1: Hold your finger on the header of the column. It should be named according to your custom label. In my case, it was labeled “#mozinae”.
  • The columns will become smaller and show separately, much like pages opened in the iPad Safari app, if you are familiar with that. A little red box with an “X” will appear in the top right corner of the column.
  • Click that little red “X”. The column will disappear.
  • All you have to do to return to your regular viewing schedule is double-tap with your finger anywhere on the screen. Your columns will realign and the world will make sense once again.

Happy tweeting!

Twitter for New SEOs

John Doherty —  February 13, 2011

The SEO industry is active on Twitter. Most CEOs, CTOs, and independent SEOs are on Twitter, talking and sharing interesting articles that they or their friends have written. For the beginner SEO, Twitter is an essential lifeline, yet it is one to be used cautiously and wisely, at least for a while.

How To Use Twitter

If you have not used Twitter before, start lowly. Use this tool as an opportunity to see into the minds of the well-known faces of the industry. Using some tools available (many good ones are available through @oneforty, a Social Media resource site), you can find the leaders of the industry and follow them (tip: CEO of begins with SEO, ends with -moz, and a type of water…) to find out what they are talking about, what they are reading, and what they are writing.

How Not To Use Twitter

This advice is often given in SEO circles: don’t spam people. Don’t set up an automatic Direct Message to be sent to your followers. It’s not genuine. Don’t time tweets to recycle all of your old posts with a million hashtags, hoping to be followed by a lot of bots that aren’t even human and can’t ready what you are saying.

How To Use Twitter, Part Two

Engage in the conversation. Early on, ask a few questions. Later, feel free to challenge some of the speakers on what they say, especially if you do not understand. Many are quite nice and will answer your questions, especially Wil Reynolds (@wilreynolds). Use this carefully, but use the opportunities you are given as a tool. Once you have gained a following and have the respect of some of the greats in the industry (which is something I am still working on), you will probably find yourself in a good position to move forward as an SEO.

Have you found yourself in the position of not knowing how to use Twitter? What tools where useful for you? Do you have any more advice for Twitter beginners?

Attention: This post is Part 2 of a two-part blog. If you have not read Part 1, please read it here: Top SEO Tips For Beginners – Part 1.

Tip 6: Use tools that are available to you.

Some SEO firms have launched useful tools to help you succeed in your all-around SEO duties, from linkbuilding to optimizing your website so that you get your maximum ROI (return on investment) for your efforts.

First, get your company or client to pay for an SEOmoz (@seomoz) subscription. Their tools are invaluable to a serious linkbuilder. Open Site Explorer (OSE) is quite useful when learn a new niche and to find your competitors’ backlinks.

Ontolo has also launched a series of tools to help the everyday SEO, and I have found them especially useful as a beginner. Ontolo’s Google search generator, called Link Query Builder V2 (come on Garrett and Ben, a better name please!), is based on keywords. This tool provides you with many high-level Google searches to help you find quality prospective link opportunities. Also, Ontolo’s lead SEO, Garrett French (@garrettfrench) is always willing to help with Ontolo questions.

Finally, the almighty Google (GOOG) provides a number of easy-to-use tools. They include:
– Reader – Subscribe to the RSS feeds of useful sites (insert article here). Set the feed to pull into your Google Reader so that the new information published on these sites is pulled into one place. I begin every workday by reading articles published overnight so that I can use the information during my workday.
– Analytics – Use Google Analytics to track your visitors and locations, keywords, and content. It is also possible to track eCommerce once you have learned the basics. I recommend taking a course if you do not have any prior experience using Analytics.
– Docs – The SEO team that I work on would not be able to function well without Docs. We use Docs for tracking links and link prospects, editing collaboratively, and identifying new ways to build links and improve our site. I personally use Docs to scrape websites for potential links and to write new blog posts.

Tip 7: Learn to use Microsoft Excel

SEOs use Microsoft Excel multiple times every day for linkbuilding and website tracking purposes. I use it to keep track of keywords for specific pages on our website, as well as scrubbing exports of backlinks in order to make them actionable for SEO purposes.

If you are unfamiliar with Excel when you start as an SEO, I would recommend either taking a class or finding someone in your company who is an Excel afficionado who is also willing to teach you and answer your questions.

Tip 8: Learn to write a well-crafted, focused email.

SEO is marketing. In order to succeed, you must know how to tell people what they want to hear, when they want to hear it. Whether dealing with a skeptical client, a stubborn boss, or the webmaster of that PR6 site yoy’re trying to finagle a link from, you need to know how to write for people. Be direct, flatter (but not too much), and be honest. Don’t give away all your tricks, but be willing to be a likable human when dealing with your contact.

Tip 9: Be careful of “paralysis by analysis”

This goes back to Tip 3 (DOUBLE CHECK #). Be careful that you do not spend too much time reading and learning instead of practicing what you are learning. A fine balance exists between keeping up with the latest news and trends (which is all too easy with Social Media) and implementing what you have learned. Plus, if you implement what you have learned and make new discoveries, you will benefit the whole world of SEO when/if you decide to publish your findings.

Tip 10: Build a website from the beginning.

If you are a new SEO, I would recommend developing a website of your own from scratch, if you have never done so before. Building a website from the beginning will allow you to implement your new SEO knowledge into your design. You will also have a better understanding and appreciation for how websites are built, and therefore you will be able to better optimize the sites you are working on for search engines. Also, if you have your own sites that you are able to easily implement changes to, you will have hands-on learning experiences at your fingertips. You will have a website that you can change and experiment with, which will increase your SEO knowledge and skill.

Leave A Comment!

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of my suggestions, what I missed, and what you’ve learned as an SEO.

An Introduction

John Doherty —  February 2, 2011

As this is my first post on Wordpress, I guess I should introduce myself. My name is John. This is my website.

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