I was just chatting with my good buddy Dave Minchala about a recent change I saw in Google Maps (tl;DR HotelFinder is now integrated into it for me). A big long tweet chain started that brought in the heavy hitters of Local Search. Dave said:


That got me thinking – why not build it and share it? And while I’m at it, why not do it for the blogs that I know and trust and always go to for more information?

So here are two custom search engines for you to do just that. Continue Reading…

Recently I read an article called Content Marketing – Johnson & Johnson style. This article does an amazing job of dissecting some companies that are engaging in non-branded content marketing that supports their core business (mostly through internal advertising), namely Johnson & Johnson, American Express, AOL, the USPS, and GE.

This article flies in the face of people who say “My industry/niche is boring; how can I create linkworthy content?” To this I often think:

Boring content is only created by boring people. No industry is boring – only people are boring.

To combat this, I use a practice that I like to call B2C Linkbuilding for B2B Verticals. Continue Reading…

Note from John: This is a guest post from my friend Mack Fogelson over at Mack Web Solutions, located in beautiful Colorado. I first met Mack at Linklove Boston in April 2012 and then had the pleasure to have more conversations with her at Mozcon. She’s a bright mind with a bright attitude and it’s a pleasure to have her guest posting!

We work in a pretty amazing industry. It is full of remarkably brilliant people, cutting edge knowledge, and never ending challenges. It’s also really competitive. You definitely have to do your fair share of the hustle in order to make a name for yourself as an SEO. This is where social media comes into play.

There are three reasons that you should care about building a social presence as an SEO:

  1. You know that social signals may be contributing to better rankings, so there’s no point in avoiding it any longer.
  2. There’s no way you can feel confident about recommending content and social media marketing to your clients if you don’t even use it yourself (ouch).
  3. And most importantly, social media allows you to connect with other humans. It’s a great way to meet people, maintain friendships, and foster business relationships.

Like anything in SEO, building and maintaining a social presence is hard work. And also like SEO, it can be incredibly rewarding. Continue Reading…

Agile Project Management

John Doherty —  September 7, 2012

There has been a lot of buzz around agile marketing/the agile methodology in the SEO/online marketing space in the past month or so.

I blame Jonathan Colman. First he did an interview here on this site, then he spoke at Mozcon, then he did a Whiteboard Friday, and all along the way for the past couple of years he has done presentations that have shaken things up.

He’s gotten SEOs started talking and thinking about agile marketing and project management. As SEOs/marketers, we’re not able to make developers get things done faster, but we are able to optimize how quickly we get things done for our clients (and then the work is onto them), unless we are doing the work directly on their sites for them in which case we are able to affect that timing.

So where and how do agile practices intersect with marketing? What if you’re a consultant – how do you do it? I’ve worked with a good number of clients up to this point, so I’d like to share with you my methodology for it. Now remember, I’m not one of those consultants who talks to their client, then goes away and prepares a 100 page document and presents it to them, then follows up with a phone call to discuss it. Continue Reading…

Reddit can be a marketer’s dream, or their worst nightmare – depending solely on their company’s intent and approach. But most businesses cannot resist the urge to post on the popular social media platform, which is currently receiving 20mm unique visitors per month. Fortunately for those debating whether or not to leverage Reddit for their advantage, here is your source! Lets dive right into it – Continue Reading…

I’ve seen an alarming trend recently in startup websites. Most want to follow this model:

It’s not uncommon to see this sort of page on a startup’s website:

It’s super simple, just a few points, and a form (and this even asks for your phone number. Talk about asking for too much on the first date). And the reality is that it’s not going to rank for anything substantial because there is simply nothing useful on the page for the search engines to index and rank.

Today let’s talk about the difference between squeeze pages (directed towards conversion) and ranking pages (that can also convert, but will do so at a lower conversion rate). Continue Reading…

I’m Not Leaving SEO

John Doherty —  August 28, 2012

A bit of a personal post today folks.

Let’s be honest. The last few months have been ROUGH on SEO. We’ve had Penguin to deal with, the iAcquire deal seemed to polarize the industry in unforeseen ways, and there’s been some seeming ill-will around the industry blogs. There’s been a shift towards content marketing and of course we’ve had the “SEO is dead” posts that won’t seem to…die. Pardon me, I couldn’t resist.

Through all of this, I’ve had some good friends who have declared that they are leaving SEO. First it was my (now old) boss Tom Critchlow, who left Distilled in favor of greener pastures at the Google Creative Lab. I’m happy for him, but his departure leaves a void in the SEO thought leadership space. Continue Reading…

The SEO community often writes about using keyword research, related searches, or analytics mining (though less often in the past few months because of rising [not provided] numbers) to inform content creation initiatives and ideas. These initiatives, of course, are meant to increase traffic to the site and validate our existence and the existence of our budgets.

But what if we took a different view on keyword research and used it to inform our business and product decisions, or at the very least our decisions to target other keywords within those areas? That’s what I want to talk about today. Continue Reading…

Online marketers, and SEOs especially, like to talk/write/read about linkbuilding. SEOmoz has a category of linkbuilding articles that has the most, and most well linked-to, blog posts on the site. Heck, Distilled even has our Linklove conferences in the spring, which are one day conferences all about linkbuilding.

But many SEOs, especially those who do not linkbuild full time and are hopefully decent at it, miss one main consideration when doing outreach for links.

What’s in it for them?

Continue Reading…

Every now and then I come across a strategy that is absolutely brilliant and need to share it with the world. I recently came across a strategy like this from Expedia, while doing competitor research for a client. At Distilled, we talk about page types a lot, which basically means your site’s taxonomy. These are all examples of page types:

  • Categories
  • Product pages
  • Guides
  • Homepage

Expedia is combining a few of these in a really smart way that is helping them rank these pages well.

They are putting their guide content on their city hub pages, and getting links for travel guide related keywords that are partial match anchors for their main keywords!

Let’s take a look. Continue Reading…