[WAMA] Mike King - Founder of iPullRank - 22nd January at 5pm EST (NYC)

by ipullrank 65 replies

Greetings & Salutations Warriors!

My name is Mike King and very excited to be here!

Here's my short bio:

An artist and a technologist, all rolled into one, Michael King recently founded boutique digital marketing studio, iPullRank. Mike consults with companies all over the world, including brands ranging from SAP, American Express, HSBC, SanDisk, General Mills, and FTD, to a laundry list of promising startups and small businesses.

Mike has held previous roles as Marketing Director, Developer, and tactical SEO at multi-national agencies such as Publicis Modem and Razorfish. Effortlessly leaning on his background as an independent rapper, Mike King is a dynamic speaker who is called upon to contribute to conferences and blogs all over the world.

Some topics I'm incredibly passionate about:
  • Measurement
  • User Acquisition
  • Marketing Automation
  • Product Development
  • Creative Development
  • Helping Businesses Achieve their Goals
I guess you could also refer to those things by their some of their other names like Analytics, Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media Marketing, Coding, etc etc.

I've been fortunate to have a range of experiences and I'm happy to answer any questions you might have.

Feel free to start dropping your questions below!

Speak soon.

-Mike
#warrior ask me anything (wama) #19th #5pm #est #founder #ipullrank #january #king #mike #nyc #wama
  • Profile picture of the author danieljb
    We're super excited to have Mike King, SEO Expert & founder of iPulllRank with us here at Warrior Forum. He has generously offered his time to answer questions that you may have.

    Watch the Mike King WAMA Replay Here


    Transcript of the Mike King WAMA Event:

    Alaister: Welcome to today's Warrior, Ask me Anything event where we bring to you the world's best marketers and online entrepreneurs for you to interact with.

    So today I am really excited to have Mike King with us. Mike King is an SEO expert and founder of Ipullrank.com. He is also a contributor to a lot of SEO and digital marketing blogs such as Moz.com, SearchEngineWatch and distilled blog.

    He has worked for some of the biggest companies, working on their SEO and leading their campaign such as Johnson & Johnson, Ralph Lauren, and General Mills.

    Welcome to the call.

    Mike: Hey thanks for having me, excited to be here.

    Alaister: Excellent. Alright well just before we dive into the questions, we actually sent an email out earlier this week and received over 1,000 preregistered guests, so there is a huge amount of people on this event, and I can see all the questions that have come in which is great, but before we dive into those questions Mike, how about you give us a little bit about how you got started in SEO and digital marketing, and about your story and where it has brought you to today.

    [01:09]

    Mike: Yeah sure. I have kind of an unconventional way that I got into this. You know before I did digital marketing I was an independent rapper for about eight years.

    In fact I even came to Australia a couple times to play a couple shows. And you know about 2006 I got into a bicycle accident and I needed money to pay my medical bills because we don't have free insurance in the States.

    And the first place that hired me was an SEO agency and I stuck with it you know for a while I was doing it until my boss would piss me off and then I would go back on tour as a rapper, but eventually I was like, hey there is probably some money or future in this if I just stay with it.

    So I started working with some of the bigger agencies like razor fish and [01:58 _] and it just kind of snowballed from there.

    And last April I decided I am probably pretty good at doing this myself and I started my own job so here we are.

    [02:11]

    Alaister: Great. That is quite an unconventional start. A lot of guests for our events they have spent a lot of time working at agencies and built up their client list and then sort of gone out on their own.

    Have there been similarities with rapping and I suppose different aspects of rapping that has allowed you to excel in digital marketing?

    [02:31]

    Mike: Yeah absolutely. So it is very similar in music you are trying to convince people to buy records, which is one of the hardest things to do in the world right.

    So you are applying those same methodologies that you do to marketing to specifically marketing yourself as a brand. And the difference is that like in actual marketing there is actual money to use and people will actually pay you for it.

    So if you have done the hardest thing in the world it is a lot easier to do it when you have money to play with.

    So one of the other things is that as a rapper you have to figure out how to sell yourself to people, not just like actually selling them something but convincing them that you are worth listening to in a very short period of time.

    And more or less that is what you are doing with marketing. So I think there are a lot of parallels and I think having to do something that was way more difficult, prepared me to do this.

    [03:32]

    Alaister: Yeah sure. I know that a lot of the community and a lot of the warriors are running SEO agencies on their own. They may be independents or working for different agencies and a lot of their effort and their time is spent in selling.

    So hearing your background in terms of selling records I can see where it has sort of brought you and helped you with what you are doing today.

    [03:58]

    Mike: Sure, absolutely. And let me not discount the fact that before I did any of that I also have a development background, so that was really helpful in getting me into SEO as well.

    [04:12]

    Alaister: Yeah right. Yeah software engineering, I guess can help significantly. So I have got a whole bunch of questions here and I am going to dive straight into them.

    So just starting off from the top as they come in.

    So I've got Saeed R. and he asks, "Do you have a checklist for SEO? So when you are creating a new page or a new website, do you go through a certain checklist to make sure you've completed both, whether it be the on page ranking factors or off page? Do you have a checklist that you go through?"

    [04:42]

    Mike: So I don't have an actual document to review to make sure we hit all those points, at this point it has become so natural, but the things that we would do is make sure that the keyword targeting is great.

    So not just filling the page up with keywords but also using the tangent keywords that make sense with that keyword. So if you go to a website ntopic.org they did this whole study on LDA and how to use the keywords that go with certain keywords to make sure there is enough contextual relevance on the page to rank for your given keyword.

    So we do a lot of that. We make sure that the metadata is done right. So not just the page title and the description or the schema.org stuff but also the social meta data because to us meta data is more about your content making the best first impression possible.

    So we do that. We make sure that there is good internal links within that copy to other pages and from existing pages to those pages as well.
    And you know just all the standard H1's and you know, the basic stuff. So again it is not like I have a list we look at, I just kind of know it from doing it so long.

    [06:05]

    Alaister: Yes I guess it becomes habitual right, after a while after you have built x number of pages you sort of know what to look for and what to make sure is present on the page.

    [06:14]

    Mike: Yeah absolutely, and to that point you know, when we do audits it is the same type of thing, I know what to look for but Annie Cushing actually put out a great checklist of everything you should look for, for an SEO audit. So if you just Google Annie Cushing SEO checklist, you will find that checklist.

    [06:37]

    Alaister: Yeah oh great. Everyone on the call we will add all these resources to the forum so that you will have access to them all. There are a few other checklists as well that I have kind of come across. I think Search Engine Land they have got the SEO periodic table of SEO ranking factors and I think Moz every couple of years they do a survey and they release the ranking factors for that year as well.

    [07:00]

    Mike: Yeah and I’ve definitely contributed to the Moz survey I think that is one of the better ones. Search Metrics also puts one out, they put it out every year whereas Moz’s is biannually so those are all great resources to check out to see what you should be thinking about.

    [07:22]

    Alaister: Great, we will put all the resources in the forum for everyone to access.

    Mike: Cool.

    Alaister: So I have got another question here from PoverlessR and he asks, “What tools do you use? So when you look at search engine rankings and where you are ranking in the search, what tools do you use to look at that?”

    [07:39]

    Mike: Yeah for rankings the tool that I prefer is called Stat and the website is getstat.com and what I love about them is that they have a native feeling ap, it is a SAS tool of course but it is very, it is built on extjs so it looks like a native ap. And they allow you to segment your keywords. They have a lot of great charts for showing what your visibility looks like over time and you can do you know, an unlimited number of keywords. It is my favorite tool for rankings. But I mean a lot of people would say I am more of a marketing technologist than an SEO and

    I love tools, we can rattle off tools all day.

    Some of the things I use a lot. I really love screaming frog for crawling. Deep crawl is also awesome for crawling for like million page websites. I love Moz, I love Search Metrics, especially Search Metrics Essentials for competitive analysis. You know for things like identifying content that is performing well on social media, so Buzz sumo I love that tool. AHRefs for the link index, also majestic in open site explorer: great. There are just so many tools that we can talk about all day here.

    I did a presentation a few years back with a list of all the tools I like to use. I also did another one last year for a content marketing tool. So I would say just check out my slide share, slideshare.net/ipullrank and there is tons of tools that I use regularly that you might want to check out.

    [09:18]

    Alaister: Great. What tools do you use for keyword research and how do you go about doing your keyword research whether it is for blog topics or actually SEO or maybe pay per click?

    [09:30]

    Mike: Sure so our approach to keyword research is a little different than the standard SEO approach for keyword research. We do what we call persona driven keyword research. So a lot of what I do is understanding the audience behind the search before we even think about the keywords. And we will use a variety of tools. Of course we start out with your analytics and go back to before and not provided and pull out some keywords. We will also use the adwords, keywords tool. We will use keywordtool.io for grabbing keywords from Google Suggest.

    We will also use tools from social media to do some social listening. So there is a tool called bottlenosesonar. And what it does is you can put in a keyword, it will show you the other keywords that are happening on Twitter right now or in the recent past with that keyword. So you can figure out some content ideas based on two ideas that people are talking about in their keywords.

    So as far as our process for keyword research, you know we have our personas and then we will have our user journey and then we map those keywords very specifically to that use journey so we understand what people are looking to do with their search.

    I wrote a long post about this as well. But the end result is a keyword research that informs content strategy rather than just a list of keywords and search volumes.

    [11:04]

    Alaister: Yeah that is really interesting, a lot of people I talk to they talk about keyword research in terms of like search volume, competition and all this sort of thing. It is interesting you haven’t mentioned that at all and you have a totally different approach, and I love it, I would love to kind of delve into that a little bit more.

    Mike: Sure.

    Alaister: In terms of building out personas for whether it be your clients or your own sites how do you get the data? Do you create like qualitative surveys and things like that?

    [11:32]

    Mike: Yeah it depends, so it depends on the data that the client has available, it depends on their business goals. There is a variety of approaches we can take to do it. But let’s say for example they have a mailing list, we would probably start there and we would run the mailing list through a tool like Full contact or Tower Data and append more data to them and then use that data to start building out segments.

    But in some cases they don’t have that data and we will go in and do what we call an infinity mapping session where we sit with their team, various people on their team whether it be sales people or call center people or the actual marketing staff and then pull data out of them through a series of rounds of writing things on post it notes and grouping them and things. But ultimately what we want to do is marry that to data because if we are just doing the qualitative approach, that is all people’s opinions really. So we will back fill it with a lot of data sources whether it is from Nielsen or Experian or even Facebook has a portal called audience insights where you can pull a lot of data from users based on the psychographics and demographics and things.

    So we also will run some of those surveys as well. There is a tool called Survey Monkey Audience, and there is a number of survey platforms out there but survey monkey audience is the one I prefer because you can specifically ask questions to a given demographic and get some insights that way.

    So in answer to your question there is a variety of approaches but we take whatever available data sources, use those sometimes in context of qualitative approaches as well and we build them based on that. And then marrying it back to the idea of keyword research we do absolutely pull the search volumes as well but that is not where we stop. Like I said most keyword research is just that list of keywords and search volumes.

    We want to segment keywords by persona, by need-state, by word count by difficulty as well. If they are pointing to the wrong target page or home page we want to identify that. We want to categorize them based on whatever category works and then we will also sometimes pull in the standard SEO classifications of informational, transactional and navigational searches.

    But really we want to have the layer of data on there where we can make actual constant strategy decisions and you know make sure we are making the right stuff that is usable to the users, not just you know filling in a keyword 40 times on a page.

    [14:15]

    Alaister: I think it is an excellent strategy sort of much higher level and much more strategic, setting up the campaign for success and longevity.

    Mike: Thank you.

    Alaister: With the actual questions, what are some examples of specific questions or your favorite questions that you like to ask client’s customers to try and segment them?

    [14:35]

    Mike: So there is never, we have never repeated any questions I don’t think. Ultimately what we are trying to get towards is their motivations, what are their hang ups, like what phases do they go through? So when we are building up the user journey typically we will go from social listening first and we will look at message boards based on the keywords we are looking at. We will also look at discussions on Twitter and whatever other available sources we have because sometimes clients will have a community that is a hotbed for this type of community, and we will even go ahead and post questions in there. And then sometimes we will use KORA or Reddit for testing out ideas to see if a piece of content or content idea will resonate with people.

    So when it comes to doing those qualitative surveys all of the questions that we ask are informed by that research that we do through social listening. So there are never any questions that we use again and again.

    [15:37]

    Alaister: Yeah no great point. I think that itself creates a lot of actionable points in terms of going to these communities, trying to find out where they hang out and identifying their major pain points. I think that is great.

    Mike: Absolutely.

    Alaister: So just jumping back to some of the questions here, we have got Joe S and he asks, “Link building is a huge part of SEO and ranking. How do you see SEO changing gin 2015? Do you see certain link building strategies that have worked in the past that are not as effective now and do you see other strategies that haven’t been effective in the past that are more effective now and maybe into the future?”

    [16:13]

    Mike: So here is the thing about link building and you know a lot of people want to always say, Oh there is a trend that this thing never works for a while, or what have you. The thing is everything works. You can do your spamming blog comments, you can do your forum posts you can do whatever you want, those things will work but will they work for a long period of time? That is what you need to weigh.

    So if you are just in a situation where you are like, oh I just want to build up a domain overnight and you know see if we can get it to rank and if doesn’t whatever, fine do that. But if you are building a brand and you are building a business, don’t use those tactics, use tactics that
    align with actual marketing activities.

    So as far as the tactics that we are using, the ones that are tried and true for us are identifying an audience, reaching out to that audience, putting a piece of content in front of that audience and then getting them to link back.

    So people hate to hear that you need to create content to get links that scale but you do.

    I mean there are certain tactics that you can use with no links but the ones that are going to be maintainable, the ones that Google isn’t going to do an algorithm update to go after are the ones that are driven by contact.

    So I would say one of the tactics that we use pretty heavily is pulling a client’s Twitter followers, seeing which ones have their own websites, then comparing that list of websites to the list of domains in their link profiles. And then anyone who is following but is not linking, reach out to those people first.

    Another thing you can do is put the client’s website or domain into builtwith.com and then it will tell you which tools they are using. So are they using Omniture, are they using Optimizely, are they using all these different platforms? And then reach out to those companies and do case studies for those companies because those companies love case studies and those are typically high DA websites that you can get links from.

    And you know just standard outreach. So one of the tools that we really love to use for link building is called pitchbox and it does prospecting, it allows you to do, you know if you are someone using form letters it allows you to make great tailored form letters to the people you are reaching out to. It integrates with Twitter so you can see the person’s suites so you can have a contextual conversation. And then you are also getting analytics on what is being effective, who is being effective on your team.

    So it allows us to do things where you can have junior staffers on certain components of link building and then a senior staffer that is overseeing it and making sure that things are up to spec before emails go out. So I would say a lot of people should think about checking that tool out just to improve your link building workflow.

    There is also buzzstream which I also love and you know it is not as process driven as pitchbox but for your higher end targets it gets you out of the frame of mind of just being a numbers game. So think about using that as well.

    So I don’t know there is any number of tactics for link building. A lot of people ask me, what is your new tactic? And I don’t think you need newer tactics. There is a gentleman named John Cooper who made like the ultimate list of link building tactics. I would say go there and check that out first but one of the things I love to use and we see a very high hit rate for is video outreach.

    So there is a tool called Vsnap which allows you to record a one minute video and send it as an email to any given person and you can also see whether they viewed it or not. And why this is so impactful is because it is more personal. They realize you are an actual person this isn’t some generated email that I am getting. And you can do things like wear a crazy hat on your head and it elicits a quicker response than like a standard email.

    So yeah video outreach is also a good one that you can do.

    [20:35]

    Alaister: I know that a lot of the strategies you employ are heavily content driven. I know for your clients and for your own brand you pump out a lot of great content and I consume a lot of that and get a lot of value out of it. I just want to go through some of the tools and just make sure everybody got it.

    So pitchbox is that right? Is that the tool that was used for prospecting?

    [20:54]

    Mike: Yeah it’s for prospecting and managing the outreach as well. It is pitch box.com. It is like a complete workflow management tool. It is like a CRM for link building. So it will automatically do the prospecting based on queries you put in or you can bring in your own prospects or there is a number of ways it does prospecting. Let’s say for example you only want websites that rank for the word Freelancer and they are like a DA 70 to 90, page rank 4 to 10 or what have you, it is going to do all of that for you and then bring you back the prospects so you can review them. It will extract the contact information and then you determine how you want to reach out to them. You can set up automatic follow up emails, so on and so forth and then get analytics on every stage of the process.

    [21:45]

    Alaister: Yeah it is great. We do a lot of reach out here. We reached out to you for example for this video event and we pump out a lot of content. But I really like your idea in regards to video reach out. I think that is really unique and I think that is what sticks out in people’s inboxes, when they see it is a video they watch it and they do feel a personal connection with the person sending it.

    What was that tool that you use for those video outreaches?

    [22:12]

    Mike: It’s called Vsnap.com

    [22:18]

    Alaister: Vsnap? Excellent. I think we will definitely be looking into using that in the future as well and I think a lot of warriors could benefit using that whether it be even for sales calls. It doesn’t just have to be for link building right?

    [22:28]

    Mike: Yeah that’s all link building really is, is sales.

    Alaister: Yeah right.

    Mike: You know when I worked at an agency in the past where we had a giant link building team it was run like a sales team. They had quarterly goals, they got bonus, everything it was just like a sales team.

    [22:48]

    Alaister: Great. Moving on with some of these questions there is a whole bunch coming in; I don’t think we will have time for all of them so I am just going to try to pick the best ones.

    Mike: Sure.

    Alaister: I have got a question here from Michael S. and it is quite a broad question. He says language is a huge challenge for him in terms of SEO. He doesn’t speak a lot of language, so for example he doesn’t speak Spanish. How does he go about optimizing a site in the Spanish language?

    [23:15]

    Mike: Sure. So in that case what you really need is a partner to help you with that because even if you were able to pick up the language and optimize, add internal links, update meta data and create content or what have you, you need a native speaker specifically from that locale that can both translate and localize that content. So Spanish is very different in Spain than it is in Puerto Rico or Mexico. So localizing that content is very important. Just like English is very different in Australia than the States and the U.K. For example we call it a stroller, they call it a pram.

    So if I was to create content for the UK they would clearly spot an imposter. And there are a lot of people when they see that they don’t trust the site any more. So it is really important when doing localization and internationalization that you have a partner that speaks their language.

    [24:18]

    Alaister: Yeah I guess it is not just about the language is it? There are all the cultural differences and nuances that need to be taken into consideration.

    [24:24]

    Mike: Exactly and when we do that audience research it is the same thing. We have to understand those cultural differences when we are working on international projects.

    [24:34]


    Alaister: I have got another question here from JamesC and it kind of carries on from that point. He runs a large website and has got a lot of international traffic. How would you recommend going and approaching internationalisation for SEO? Would you recommend different country level domains or one main domain with maybe sub directories? For example would you go with website.com/uk or would you for a wesbite.co.uk domain?

    [25:04]

    Mike: So it depends, it depends on your structure, it depends on the links that you already have. It depends on whether or not you have the resources to build up those other domains. So you know Google has been making a lot of strides in the last year or so with Hreflang to really connect those sites and have the alternate versions of the language no matter where they live, but there have been a lot of issues with that. In fact I have a client right now that is seeing some indexation issues because of just that. So back to the question, the strongest signal is having the top level domain, but you are still going to need to build links to those top level domains to get them to rank in their countries.

    And so, I think you said subdirectories as an option. That is great for sharing link equity but you can no longer target a sub directory in Google webmaster tools; you can’t geo target that any more. So you can still do the Hreflang alternates but like I said, that can go wrong in a lot of ways.

    So the best option that is kind of the best of both worlds is that sub domain option. But if you had the resources to build up all those other domains, I would say go with the TLD’s but since you don’t, I would say go with the sub domains.

    [26:38]

    Alaister: Yeah I think it is one of those things, it comes down to there is no right answer is there? It really is dependent on the situation and what the goals are and what the outcomes are looking to achieve.

    [26:47]

    Mike: Absolutely, absolutely. And there is so much of that in SEO which makes it difficult to make blanket statements. But I think given the situation if this person doesn’t have a lot of resources they should go with the sub domains.

    [27:05]

    Alaister: Another topic that has been, I definitely noticed it in the forum and I know it has been outside of the forum widely spoken and discussed is mobile SEO. So how do you go about optimizing your site to be mobile friendly and how do you go about ranking, in terms of the search engines when people are doing searches on their mobiles, would you recommend making your site mobile friendly, an ap or how would you recommend going about doing it?

    [27:30]

    Mike: Yeah Google says that they want responsive websites but there is obviously a huge trade off there for page speed if you go responsive. So there is definitely work arounds for it. They have meta tags for connecting the mobile version to the desktop version. But the simplest way to go about it is a responsively designed website.

    [27:55]

    Alaister: Right, okay. I have got another question here from Tony. And it is interesting I know we have spoken about content marketing and the impacts of pumping out amazing content as a link building strategy as well as a branding strategy.

    TonyO says, “I work in a rather dull industry” he is a tax accountant. “How can I go about regularly releasing high value content that people want to consume?”

    [28:26]

    Mike: You know any time I’m interviewed or I speak somewhere, someone always says that. They say, “I’m in a dull industry. I don’t know how to make content.” There is no such thing as a dull industry. Let’s just let that hang and linger in the air for a minute. There is no such thing as a dull industry. You have to be a creative enough person or a passionate enough person to make what it is you do, interesting. So, you go to a cocktail party, you are talking to some girl or whatever, you are not going to be like, “Oh I’m just a boring tax accountant.” No, you are going to talk about the awesome things of your job. So how do you communicate that in cool content? That is the way you should be able to think about that.

    And I am not really the person that should answer that question because I don’t know enough about tax accounting to tell you that. But what I can say is you need to figure out the thing that you are passionate about that is cool about your job; that you want to talk about. And then you have to figure out which content formats are fun for you.

    So it is not just about writing a ton of blog posts, it is not just about making info graphics or videos or whatever. Maybe you want to make a comic strip, maybe you want to make a cartoon about the zany things that happen to you at work or the crazy situations that you get into with your clients, there is so many ways to make something interesting.

    There used to be a show on TV in the States, I don’t know if you guys got it, but it was called Dirty Jobs and it was all about trash collectors and people that do jobs that suck, but every episode of that show was so interesting. No matter how mundane you think that job is, it was just them highlighting people that were passionate about their jobs and giving you insight into it that gave you really interesting things.

    So I just want to say this one last time, there is no such thing as a dull industry it is just you are not being creative enough about how to present that industry.

    [30:23]

    Alaister: Yeah I think that is an excellent point in terms of being creative. I love dirty jobs it is a great show. Another thing I’ve seen in terms of comics, I’ve seen SEO’s pump out content and comics around clients from hell and things like that and I find them hilarious. So that’s an example of coming up with content that’s maybe unconventional, it is not a blog post, it is not a video but people love it and people link to it. So I think that is a really good one.

    [30:49]

    Mike: Exactly. I think the thing people forget so much because these are marketing activities is that the content that you create needs to stand out, it needs to be something that people want to read, consume, and share and link to. And we get so caught up in these repeatable formulas or copying what other people do, that we don’t think about how do we do something that is interesting and reflects us as people as passionate people that do these jobs?

    And you know I think that is one of the key things that help the work that we do stand out so much is because we care about it in that way.

    [31:32]

    Alaister: Yeah definitely. I think that is what has contributed to a lot of your success.is that it is not just about, what is the formula, what is the checklist, what is the right way to do this, it is more about strategically how do I approach this problem and how do I solve this in a creative way?

    [31:49]

    Mike: Thank you. Yes thank you.

    [31:54]

    Alaister: So I have got another question here and it kind of carries on from the inbound marketing and the content creation. What are your top three tips for inbound marketing?

    [32:03]

    Mike: Top three tips for inbound…I mean it kind of goes back to what we said. How do we create something that is interesting and stands out because again it Is not about just filling up your editorial calendar, it is about making something useful, useable and in some cases making something no one has seen before, no one else has done. Or if it is not, there is just so much content out there so it is so much to compete with.

    So how can you approach something differently? I would say that is the first thing. How can you approach the content you are creating differently and make sure it hits a target audience?

    Also you have to remember that inbound content marketing, whatever you are calling it these days, these are both long games. You can’t just make one info graphic or one eBook and expect to have the hockey stick curve. You need to think about how can we do this effectively over time so that we can start to build up that equity in our brand and have all these content touch points that are going to ultimately drive that traffic that hockey stick growth that you are expecting.

    Then my third tip, it is not strategic it is a tactical tip. So one of the ways that I have accelerated the growth of a blog or a website or whatever we are working on is we will create a guide and then partner with another website and guest post either that guide in its entirety or a tangential piece to that guide on another website that our audience is heavily on and then link back to the PDF or the full guide that we talked about.

    And what happens there is when you have CTA that says, “Hey get more of his from us” then you drive a ton more traffic back to yourself. And what we do is we give the user two options to get that guide or PDF or whatever it is. They either have to pay with a Tweet or they give us their email address. So either way we are creating two effective brand assets out of that one piece of content. So we have people Tweeting about the content in order to get the content which makes the content spread even further, and then we have people that are giving us their email address which is another opportunity to get them to come back to our website for subsequent content.

    So I would say those are my three things.

    [34:36]

    Alaister: Yeah those are great tips so we have got pump out useful content, be persistent and patient with your content creation and pump out these amazing guides where you are able to leverage other people’s sites and as you said Mike, you can offer them to pay with a Tweet or submit their email address, so you are also list building.

    Mike: Absolutely.

    Alaister: Great. Okay I’m just having a look at all these questions here, they are really coming in.

    So I have got a question here in regards to SEO in China and trying to rank for search engines like Baidu. Have you had much experience with trying to crack into the China market?

    [35:20]

    Mike: Admittedly no. So I had one client that we worked on some Chinese SEO for and I didn’t stay on that project for too long, so I am not an expert on Baidu. Like I know there are some key differences. I could look them up but I am not an expert at all on Baidu SEO.

    [35:39]

    Alaister: Sure. Okay. So you have spent a lot of time obviously working in agencies as well on client’s side and running your own agency. I have got someone here who is looking to get into SEO. They have been working on their own website.

    What would you say are the main differences between working as an SEO in an agency and client side?

    [36:06]

    Mike: I would say the main difference between client side and agency side is that in house you get more opportunity to see a project through to the end. So a lot of times on the agency side you are just working on one component of a project. Or you might work on something and then the in house team might decide, okay well we are going to take a phase approach to this, and then they kind of kill the project because they didn’t get enough of what they expected in the first phase. So it is really a great opportunity to see things from beginning to end by being in house, and you know when you are outside of, when you are on the agency side, you don’t know the internal politics, so you don’t know why a project died, it can just go away. And you are like, but we were doing great. But what happened was the VP and the CMO didn’t get along and they just killed the project. So yeah that is the biggest difference that you have more opportunity to see things, in house.

    [37:13]

    Alaister: Okay. I am just going to switch gears a little bit and I can see some questions coming in, in regards to conversion rate optimization and AB testing so this is sort of a two part question.

    Mark A is asking, “How do you come up with your hypotheses for your split testing and AB test?” And the second part of the question is, “Do you run AB tests for search engine traffic or is it just paid, pay per click traffic or Facebook traffic?”

    [37:41]

    Mike: So yes, we will do AB testing for all channels; it doesn’t really matter to us. Wherever we are trying to improve things we will do AB test. But as far as the framework we will follow for hypotheses, there is a gentleman from Optimizely called Carl Rush he gave a great presentation at Moz con about how to build great experiments and that is the framework that we file. Well obviously a lot of our approach is on top of what he did, but we develop our hypotheses based on our audience research so based on things that came up in the personas that we built we will say, okay we will ask those questions with that user in mind.

    So let’s say for example they are trying to hire a lawyer and one of their key questions is how do I know this is a good lawyer? What are some things that we can identify on the website that should be there to make it very clear that this is a good lawyer? So is it reviews, is it star ratings in the search things like that? So whatever it is we will start our hypotheses based on that.

    Like okay, this person has this question. We are not answering this question, maybe if we answer this question it will improve conversion rate.

    And then from there we try to determine what would be a statistically significant sample to run this test on? We go to the test and we will build obviously the version with whatever that hypothesis is and then the control and then we will run the test.

    And you know we will test those several different ways before we conclude whether or not a test was successful or a failure.

    So it is not just we are testing button colors, red versus green and then running one test on 1000 visits and saying, “Oh yes it must be green”, we are trying to make more intelligent decisions based on what our audience is looking for.

    [39:58]

    Alaister: Yeah I think it comes down to coming up with higher level hypotheses rather than just sort of semantic or technical changes whether it be positioning of content or bolding something as opposed to not bolding. It is much more higher level and maybe story and user driven hypotheses?

    [40:17]

    Mike: Yeah absolutely. That is a good way to put it. Story and user driven. And we are very intent on focusing on copy with these you know because you can always optimize your copy. I am kind of from the Ogilvy school of thought, it is not really ever done, we are just kind of settling on it. So we can always continue to make it better and we will do things like run surveys against the copy before we do an AB test as well just to get a sense of what is resonating with people and then go from there and then build the test.

    [40:55]

    Alaister: Yeah it is always a work in progress.

    Mike: Absolutely.

    Alaister: I have just got a really interesting question that came in now from Matthew D. and he says, he gets a lot of good rankings in the SERPS for his keywords, what defensive strategies would you recommend employing so he is able to prevent other people and competitors from creeping up in his rankings and taking away some of his traffic that he is receiving now?

    [41:19]

    Mike: Sure, I mean never stop building links that is the thing, SEO is an ongoing game and people will always be coming after you. Every day someone is hiring us and we are coming after you. So I would say keep building links and keep expanding the key word universe that you are going after. And when I say keep building links I don’t mean just specifically to the pages that you have ranking number one but building them to the entire site and then building up your internal linking structure as well, so that link equity flows throughout the site.

    And if you are a the point where you are untouchable, you are Amazon.com or something then at that point you can think about creating micro sites and things like that and building those up as well and making sure they are irrespective of your main site. And then you can just creep back into the SERP for those other positions as well. And that is a lot harder to do these days because Google is a lot smarter but you know four or five years ago you could own the entire SERP for a given keyword.

    So you can still do that it just takes a lot of effort.

    [42:27]

    Alaister: Yeah that is a really good point, always be link building right?

    Mike: Yeah.

    Alaister: I have got another question here that has come in from Daniel K. and he runs an ecommerce site and he is asking, “How would you recommend and suggest dealing with product page that are dynamic?” So maybe products that change in terms of seasonality, availability, maybe a product is no longer being offered but you have built a lot of links to that site and you get a lot of traffic, how would you go about dealing with these dynamic pages on a site? Whether it be a product page or maybe a service offering page that you no longer offer of something like that.

    [43:06]

    Mike: Sure. In the case of the product pages that you no longer offer, if you can’t 301 those I would say just add a mobile window to those pages and direct the user to the other page. So you know someone comes to a [43:20 _] that you no longer sell, when that page loads they get a mobile window that says, “This product has been discontinued, why don’t you check out our newer version of this product?”

    So it is really more an issue of user experience than it is for SEO because you are going to want to continue to maintain that link equity. But in a lot of other cases you may want those products to be up because you have guidebooks or instruction manuals or drivers or whatever that you want your users to continue to get. So it doesn’t always make sense to 301 that page, but if it does in your case make sense to 301 it, then go ahead and 301 it.

    The other part of the question was how do you improve rankings for ecommerce sites?

    Alaister: Yep.

    Mike: Yeah so typically the approach you want to take since products change so often and there are so many product pages that it is difficult to accumulate link equity for all of those product pages, is focus more on your category pages. And what happens is the link equity that you build up to those category pages kind of act as hubs and that link equity flows downward to those product pages. And of course it would be better to build links to all of your product pages but that would be very difficult. So I would say start from category pages and then over time you can put a little effort into your product pages as well.

    [44:53]

    Alaister: Yeah great points. I think a big mistake that I often see on a lot of ecommerce sites is a lot of the time webmasters and ecommerce operators or online retailers they take the manufacturer product description and just slap that onto their product page without any changes or anything like that.

    Mike: Sure. Absolutely. To that point situations where you can bring in user generated content on top of whatever content that you have for a given product is always best, it makes it a page that Google will continue to crawl because of the updates. And one of the things we have been really successful with in the case of ecommerce sites that sell clothing, is bringing in pictures of people that have bought the clothes, wearing the clothes. So for example there is a startup called olapic.com and what they do is they allow users to take a picture of themselves on Instagram or post it on Twitter and hash tag it. And then that picture of them let’s say for example wearing a jacket will be pulled onto that jacket page.

    You can of course moderate it, but what happens with that is people want to link to that because they see themselves on the page. They also share it because they see themselves on the page. So doing things like that makes it just way more effective to have more original unique content on those pages.

    And then back to the idea of the manufacturer’s description; if at all possible do not use those. There are plenty of services that will rewrite your descriptions for you. Go ahead and do that.

    [48:28]

    Alaister: I think that is a great point. That is a really good tip in terms of getting people to submit content where they are using the product. It is great social proof, you are getting the word out there, the exposure on social media and things like that. I think another great user generated content people can use is user reviews, it is constantly fresh so Google will come back and re-index it. It is a really good point.

    [46:53]

    Mike: Yeah and to the point of user reviews, there is actually a client of ours a company called Trust Pilot they have a product for that and one of the cool things about it is they will high light the reviews in the search like your paid search ads. So you will get five stars in the SERP if you have a five star review from test pilot. So it is a really cool product.

    [47:22]

    Alaister: Trust building.

    Mike: Yeah.

    Alaister: Great. Okay just for anyone who is on the call that just jumped on or missed the beginning, this entire event will be held in the war room so the recording will be uploaded to the war room so make sure you check it there if you have missed out on any of this event.

    Moving on for a bunch of questions. We are actually running a little bit out of time and there is a huge amount of questions coming in so I am just going to try to get through a whole bunch before we wrap up.

    I have got a question here Mike from Philip. He finds he has been hit by a lot of algorithm updates, Penguin, Panda and so forth. However he has always been building high quality links or high quality in his opinion, and pumping out really high value content. Where do you think he is going wrong, or what do you think he should debug to turn the rankings around and the slip?

    [48:18]

    Mike: Yeah I mean I see this question a lot especially if you look in Google’s forums. A lot of people will be like, “I have only been focusing on great content. I have only been building great links.” I mean I know Google gives a ton of false positives, but it is more likely than not you haven’t been building good content and good links.

    But let’s assume you have right. Let’s look at Panda first. Let’s look at your bounce rates. If your bounce rates are incredibly high on the website that is one of the things Google will look at when they are talking about your search traffic. So if they are having a very low dwell time, meaning they come to your site from Google and they go back to Google within a few seconds, Google is weighing that in the panda algorithm.

    So think about how you can make your content more sticky. And Brian Dean talks about this a lot, he has what he calls the content upgrade where you add a CTA on the page that says, “Give me your email address so you can download this article and take it with you.” Or something like that.

    So just doing something like that will slow down users going back to the SERP and increase that dwell time. And then that can be a signal to Google that you aren’t just bouncing right away.

    You can also use exit pop ups to slow down people leaving. And I know everyone hates pop ups but they work so well it is so crazy.

    And then in general just think about how you can make your content stickier. How can you make it something that is easier for people to skim and then they find the part in the content that they want to read? Or maybe the formats you are using aren’t that great. Like maybe you think you are doing great content because you have your 500 word blog post every day. That is not inherently great content. You have got to see are we getting a lot of social shares for this content, because that generally means okay it is a good piece of content.

    So first start there. And then when you are talking about penguins, we are talking about links. There is a variety of tools you can use to check out whether or not these links are seen as spamming. One of the ones I would suggest checking out is cognitiveseo.com. And then link research tools also has one I think it is called link risk and that can give you a good assessment of what portion of your links are considered to be spamming.

    So do a back link audit, go through your links, pull them all down from AHrefs and open site forums, majestic also from Google webmaster tools and then go through them with a fine tooth comb to see if they are all spamming websites or not. And make sure that you don’t have any of that stuff.

    And then if you do have some disavow it. Also reach out to some of these websites and get them to remove them. And then continue to build new links as well that are actually high quality links.

    And if none of that works and you have proof that you have done all these things, then file a reconsideration request. And I would only say do a reconsideration request as your last ditch effort.

    [51:42]

    Alaister: Yeah they are really good points. I think a lot of people focus on generating more traffic and trying to get higher in the SERPS and a lot of time a metric that is often overlooked is bounce rate when it has a lot of impact on how the search engines and Google looks at your site.

    And I think those are really good points in terms of trying to manage your link profile. It is not just about constantly building more likes it is also about the quality of the link and going through and maybe removing some of the spamming links that have been built up in the past.

    [52:15]

    Mike: Yeah and to that point real quick, if you need a good solution for removing links I would suggest using pitchbox with link detox which is link research’s tools for identifying those links. And that is a good way to really scale the approach by building the right form letter, finding the contacts to the people who have bad links to you, and then getting outreach to them as fast as possible.

    [52:48]

    Alaister: Yep excellent point. Yeah we will definitely be adding all of those tools in the forum for everyone to access as well. So thanks for that.

    So just before we wrap up I know Mike you have been working on a few different projects and one of them specifically you have been working really hard on. I would love for you to take this opportunity to give us a little bit of a preview as to what this is and kind of what you are working on.

    [53:12]

    Mike: Sure. I mean I’ve built this platform called Quantum Lead and it is kind of a marketing automatic platform and what it does is de-anonomonizes users and gives you that data in real time so you can make decisions on your website, based on a user before they give you any data.

    So for example let’s say you come to my website. I know you work at Freelancer.com and I want to highlight a piece of content specifically f for you, my platform gives you the data to do that.

    It is also an analytics platform so you can see overtime who came to your website, what they did. It is more specific to people than like a Google analytics.

    And another cool feature that it has is let’s say for example I want to know when somebody from Microsoft comes to my website. It will send me an alert and say, Hey why don’t you hop on your onsite chat, like Olark or something like that and speak to them directly.

    So ultimately it is something I built and we are trying to roll out on a bigger scale for free. And then the road map for it is we want to do drag and drop personal [54:34 relations.] So everybody can do the types of things that people are spending thousands of dollars on for a pretty reasonable price.

    So basically I am just trying to bring personalization and marketing automation to the masses for all the people out there that have Word Press sites and things and they can’t afford big enterprise tools like [55:00 Marketo or _] things.

    [55:01]

    Alaister: That sounds really exciting being able to create dynamic content based on your visitors. I can see how it is extremely relevant and you will be able to increase conversion rates, so that sounds really exciting.

    I am sure we will definitely keep in touch Mike and when you do release it we will look to see if we can do a deal for the warriors.

    Mike: Yeah. Absolutely.

    [55:23]

    Alaister: Excellent. Okay so I really appreciate your time Mike. You shared with us a huge amount of content and a lot of gems in regard to SEO.

    There is a whole bunch of questions that unfortunately we haven’t been able to get through but I am sure Mike later on the questions will probably flood through on the forums, if you could just spend some time going through them that would be great, I’m sure. A lot of the community would love to see your presence there.

    [55:45]

    Mike: No I’m happy to jump in. People can reach out to me on Twitter or on email; whatever you need I am happy to answer your questions.

    Alaister: Excellent. We really appreciate your time Mike and thanks very much.

    Mike: Thanks for having me.

    Alaister: Excellent. So in two weeks time actually we have Corey Rabazinski, he is a Google AdWords master, author of Google Adwords for Beginners and marketing director at codeschool. So he runs a Google adwords course with over 10,000 students so we are pretty excited about that. He is going to be holding his WAMA event on Thursday 5th February at 5pm EST time so definitely jump onto that.

    So again thanks very much Mike, thanks for giving up your time and we will see you all later.

    [End Recording 57:10]
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    • Profile picture of the author BeingGreat
      It would be nice if you told people how to get on. These should be tech savvy people but everyone seems to be confused
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  • Profile picture of the author fjackets
    thanks for sharing
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  • Profile picture of the author shimul0011
    I am registering. But it will 4 in the morning in my area. Not sure how I will be able to look at computer screen then!
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  • Profile picture of the author lowriskinc
    I'll be there!
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  • Profile picture of the author toboe
    Ill be there
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew Rezk
    Looks Good, not sure about that timing but i will try to attend
    Signature
    To get rich, you have to be making money while you're asleep, learn how at: AndrewRezk.com
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  • Profile picture of the author Victor E
    I have a question about SEO. How can I get ranked on Google Search by publishing a press release, if that press release is already published by dozens of other top news providers? Is it a matter of timing (I need to be first), of being a brand name news provider, social media activity, links, or something else?
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    • Profile picture of the author ipullrank
      Originally Posted by Victor E View Post

      I have a question about SEO. How can I get ranked on Google Search by publishing a press release, if that press release is already published by dozens of other top news providers? Is it a matter of timing (I need to be first), of being a brand name news provider, social media activity, links, or something else?
      Hey Victor,

      Ranking in Google News takes a variety of factors. Two of which are being first and having social activity, as you mentioned. However, when there are more authoritative news sources publishing the same content, you will indeed be outranked because authority is a key factor.

      -Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author kimstuart
    Excellent! Signed up.
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  • Profile picture of the author ashee1
    its good opportunity (y)
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  • Profile picture of the author ifediri
    We appreciate your Presence and time it will take you to give us answers to our questions.
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnc1
    Hey Mike

    Thinking two very specific directions for first quarter 15. Build some lead gen directory sites and use input printerest style sites. Q. Do you have exp with them re SEO, WP and if so are there any themes you like.

    Thanks

    Serious Domainer John Copen
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnc1
    BTW. any member. Where do we go to participate in the webinars????
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  • Profile picture of the author wrcato2
    I'll be there. Set my calender already
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  • I just registered and thanks for you invite.
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    • Profile picture of the author andrewm
      Just registered. Looking forward to the event.

      Thanks
      Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author kutenhat
    Including different brands, from SAP, American Express, HSBC, SanDisk, General Mills, and FTD, with an Waiting in a long list of promising startups and small businesses. Thanks I enjoyed
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  • Profile picture of the author Tender Publish
    Please Help Me Dear I Am New User.
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  • Profile picture of the author kafiemon
    Hello Mike ,

    Thanks for your nice initiative !!
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  • Profile picture of the author Luqmankk
    Hello Mike,

    Thank you for Invitations.
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  • Profile picture of the author MagicBrad
    I'll be on an airplane, in flight to LAs Vegas, but maybe I can watch on the plane.
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  • Profile picture of the author powerofschool
    Thank you for your invitation.
    Signature
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  • Profile picture of the author ReggieB
    Have registered, but checked the time for my time zone after registering and don't know if I'll have a PC to work on at that time.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheFBGuy
    Sure, why not, I will attend.
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    • Profile picture of the author vinuss hair
      I'm waiting for you, and looking forward to your reply
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  • Profile picture of the author Danarchism
    10pm where i am so this will have to replace my bedtime book

    looking fwd to it, have asked a question !

    cheers
    Dan
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  • Profile picture of the author Immu
    registered
    I hope I my question will be answered,
    Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Kebod
    Registered.

    Hope can be invited
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  • Profile picture of the author madzstar
    Look interesting will register
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  • Profile picture of the author faisalmaximus
    I am in, I am the owner of SEO Software Services, and interested to talk to you more regarding this.
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  • Profile picture of the author chaksmiths
    I've just registered
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  • Profile picture of the author advent
    am waiting bro. Clock ticking
    Signature
    Advent Designs a Web Design and Web Development Company, Can Help Your Business Development effective by Web Development Service. As a SEO Company in Chennai, offer you a Complete SEO Services in Chennai
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnc1
    need to know link where the webinar will be attended. anyone know?
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  • Profile picture of the author flyingrover
    I'll be there!
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  • Profile picture of the author consultant1027
    Isn't this where you are suppose to ask questions? Where are all the questions?

    Q: What is your opinion of whether or not Google uses the "bounce rate" in it's algo? In most cases when people stop searching it is because they found what they were looking for. This is a human-based signal which in many cases is superior to machine evaluation of website content. It's an especially strong ranking signal if the site with the lowest bounce rate is also in the top 5 since bounce rates on say, page 2 results, probably are more likely indicating the user just giving up.

    Q: What do you think are the two most underrated ranking factors?

    Q: What do you think are currently the two biggest myths that many SEO's currently believe?
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  • Profile picture of the author dogkojo
    Am I in the right place for the Q & A
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  • Profile picture of the author BeingGreat
    How do you get on?
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    • Profile picture of the author BeingGreat
      Well at least I'm not the only one.
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    • Profile picture of the author StoryHawker
      Ok,
      I am happy you guys will put the SEO Checklist sites.
      Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author consultant1027
    I can't find the link to the actual event and I registered. Just got an email to a site that converts the date and time to different timezones and a link to this forum. I got the correct link before on previous events.

    Appears I'm not the only one. The moderator and guest are probably wondering where everyone is?
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    • Profile picture of the author flyingrover
      I was there on time but it says the event is over - whoa!
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  • Profile picture of the author TolyZ
    Any special strategies you implement in your off-page SEO?
    Signature
    Professional SEO Company marketing1on1.com that gets results.
    BuyBacklinksCheap.com
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  • Profile picture of the author consultant1027
    Think it was because I registered late. I just used the link I got for the previous Larry Kim event and it worked.

    http://www.warriorforum.com/
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  • Profile picture of the author Victor E
    How do I get a high ranking on Google Search for publishing a press release, if that same press release -- even though important content and a headline news announcement -- has already been published on dozens of other news and press release websites?

    Do I need to be first? Do I need to have a brand name for press release announcements? Do I need to have user interaction? Do I need to provide other content with the press release?
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  • Profile picture of the author ecualumnus
    What do you think about emailing webmasters for links re: old content / broken links / things they might be interested in linking to?
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  • Profile picture of the author inboundgod
    Hey Mike, Do you think Angular and other emerging web technologies that are harder for traditional crawl bots to navigate are going to lead to an overhaul in the ways search engines crawl sites? ie. snapshots of pages and what's visible.
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  • Profile picture of the author jaime01
    Banned
    Do you think that solo ads are a good way to advertise?
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  • Profile picture of the author Ishana
    I ran a SEO audit on my site and it came up with a list of things...do you have any suggestions for referrals on someone we can hire to fix all these issues in the SEO Audit Report, specifically tailored to WordPress sites?

    Being a small ISV, major SEO houses are beyond our reach.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ishana
    How do we validate "pay with a tweet"?
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  • Profile picture of the author maday2014
    If anyone knows what happened on why we could not get to the event, please let me know! Thanks.
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    • Profile picture of the author michaeloslier
      Originally Posted by BeingGreat View Post

      How do you get on?
      Originally Posted by consultant1027 View Post

      I can't find the link to the actual event and I registered. Just got an email to a site that converts the date and time to different timezones and a link to this forum. I got the correct link before on previous events.

      Appears I'm not the only one. The moderator and guest are probably wondering where everyone is?
      Originally Posted by flyingrover View Post

      I was there on time but it says the event is over - whoa!
      Originally Posted by maday2014 View Post

      If anyone knows what happened on why we could not get to the event, please let me know! Thanks.
      The event is streaming live from the homepage - http://www.warriorforum.com
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  • Profile picture of the author Ishana
    I cant figure out where to ask questions!!! I posted and they are sitting on the first page
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  • Profile picture of the author StoryHawker
    Please how will be locate the Seminar details after the seminar on the WF? I can't wait to have the materials/links.

    And thanks for the seminar.
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  • Profile picture of the author ifediri
    I really do Appreciate the Seminar, very powerful things he spoke about. Thanks Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author Alaister
      This was a really great event! Thank you Mike King for giving up your time and to everyone who pre-registered and watched the live stream.

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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Hoang
    is there a replay of the stream? I totally missed it, had to go out
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  • Profile picture of the author advent
    Am Also Missed it man, So sad
    Signature
    Advent Designs a Web Design and Web Development Company, Can Help Your Business Development effective by Web Development Service. As a SEO Company in Chennai, offer you a Complete SEO Services in Chennai
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  • Profile picture of the author melscoop
    Did anyone figure out how to get on or is this a war room only thing? I still haven't found the actual link to the WAMA..
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  • Profile picture of the author lowriskinc
    I'm so embarrassed. An hour before it started, I fell asleep. Didn't wake up until 6:30 :-(
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  • Profile picture of the author cnchampion
    Will there be another event soon?

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  • Profile picture of the author JordanManchev
    Lolz, I just got the invitation mail, a day after the event. Looks like your mail server got too busy
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  • Profile picture of the author winbookies123
    thanks for sharing, i just register
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    • Profile picture of the author Alaister
      Hi everyone,

      You can access the recording of this WAMA with Mike King in the War Room:

      http://www.warriorforum.com/war-room...lrank-com.html

      If you don't have access to the War Room, you can sign up here:

      http://try.warriorforum.com/war-room/
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      • Profile picture of the author michaeloslier
        Hi Mike,

        Thank you for a great event. You mentioned using qualitative data to do your keyword research and using surveys, quora etc. What's the best place to start with this? What information should I be trying to gather and how should I be choosing keywords based on this qualitative information?

        Thank you in advance
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