Elisa Gabbert's blog

Special Offer: SEO PowerSuite from Link-Assistant.com

We're happy to extend a special offer to our readers via Link-Assistant.com. Link-Assistant.com is offering a fully functional trial for all its tools for 1 week and a $50 discount on SEO PowerSuite Professional and $100 on SEO PowerSuite Enterprise for 9 days. SEO PowerSuite is a toolkit of four SEO tools: Rank Tracker – A rankings checker with a keyword research module.

Lets you check your rankings in over 570 local and regional search engines with no keyword or domain limits. SEO SpyGlass – A backlink checker and competitive research tool. Gets you a list of links to any website with a number of important SEO factors, such as Google PageRank, anchor text, the number of outbound links on the page, dofollow/nofollow, and more. The unique feature of SEO SpyGlass is that it's able to b... > Read more

February 17, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 1

Google Buzz: Is Google's Would-Be Twitter Killer Buzz-Worthy?

Google this week took another stab at social with the release of the unoriginally named Google Buzz, which was rolled out to Gmail users soon after Tuesday's announcement. As Matt McGee points out in a post on Search Engine Land, Google Buzz – basically a stream of status updates and shared items – is intended to compete with Twitter, Facebook, and even Foursquare, given its mobile features.

There's been a lot less hype surrounding Buzz (ironically?) than there was for Google Wave, which may mean that Google was wary of more buzz backlash. Hype or no hype, among non-tech-geeks I know, the initial "buzz" was very similar to the reaction to Google Wave: What is this? What is it for? So is Buzz really a threat? According to Marshall Kirkpatrick, yes – it's disrupti... > Read more

February 12, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 7

Interview with Megan Leap, Online Marketing Manager at Ion Interactive

As ion interactive's online marketing manager, Megan Leap manages webinar, social media, search and email campaigns. She has extensive experience in conversion rate optimization and social media marketing, and when not championing high-ROI online marketing strategies, can be found running marathons across the U.

S. She is also a frequent contributor to the Post-Click Marketing Blog. Follow Megan on Twitter: @MeganLeap. What’s it like for an online marketer who’s marketing LiveBall, an online marketing software product, to other online marketers? Marketing to marketers is a lot of fun. If I worked somewhere else, I would be our target audience. Plus, I use our software product every day in my job, so I know it inside and out. That gives me a unique perspective. Our audience kno... > Read more

February 08, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Conversion Rates   |   Comments: 2

Is There Value in Blog Comments, or Are They All Spam and Trolls?

My friend Jessica, who has been blogging since at least 2006, warned me the other day that as my blog gets more popular, the comments will get progressively more annoying, truculent and even abusive. Though she is young and lovely, she said this with the tone of a knobby old seer. I chuckled nervously and tried to dismiss her prediction—I love my blog commenters—but I wasn't sure how to respond.

So my ears pricked up, or my eyes, or something, when shortly after this, Danny Sullivan tweeted that Engadget is turning off comments for a bit. In the announcement post, Joshua Topolsky wrote: Hey guys, we know you like to have your fun, voice your opinions, and argue over your favorite gear, but over the past few days the tone in comments has really gotten out of hand. What is norma... > Read more

February 05, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 9

Social Media Interview Series: Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan is President of New Marketing Labs, a new media marketing agency, and home of the Inbound Marketing Summit conferences and Inbound Marketing Bootcamp educational events. He works with large and mid-sized companies to improve online business communications like marketing and PR through the use of social software, community platforms, and other emerging web and mobile technologies.

Chris is also co-author of the book Trust Agents, with Julien Smith. For more information, read his blog or follow him on Twitter. What are the first three things someone should do if they have little to no social presence and want to change that? Start by listening. Use social media listening tools (google "Grow Bigger Ears" for starter advice), and start seeing what people are saying. Where are they... > Read more

February 01, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Interview Series   |   Comments: 5

On the Failures of the iPad & the Pleasures of Being Bored

I didn't want to write about the iPad this week, but now I want to write about the iPad this week. Though I am not a gadget person, it was difficult to ignore the onslaught of buzz and anti-buzz that swarmed Twitter on Wednesday before, during and after the unveiling of the iPad. Maybe I gravitate toward snarky (wise) people, but the sentiment from my view was overwhelmingly negative, especially if you count "wings" jokes as negative.

The reactions were largely along these lines: "So it's just a big iPhone that doesn't work as a phone? Really?" This got me thinking about the path that personal devices seem to be taking—that is, getting larger, not smaller. The iPhone is already significantly larger than the Razor, which all the cool kids were carrying before ... > Read more

January 29, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 2

Monthly Blog Roundup: WordStream's January Highlights

The end of January. The Thursday of winter. Spring, she is so close, and yet so far—especially in Boston, where spring's subtitle is Winter Part 2: The Bitch Never Left. Whether or not you live in a northern clime, please allow our best loved blog posts from the past month to warm your hearts and extremities: New Social Media Polling Data Suggests Republican Scott Brown Will Trounce Democrat Martha Coakley in US Senate Race: This timely post (whose prediction turned out to be correct) trounced our other blog posts in traffic this month.

In fact, it's one of our most popular posts ever. Check out how Larry looked at social media metrics to determine who—despite what the polls said—was the more popular candidate. Social Media Poll: Conan vs. Leno: In this copycat post... > Read more

January 28, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0

Temporarily Outsourcing Client Work: It's Not As Scary As You Might Think

This is a guest post by Jenny Anderson, a search marketing consultant at Hanapin Marketing. She works with a variety of clients and writes for Hanapin’s blogs, PPC Hero and SEO Boy. Outsourcing your clients’ work can get a little sticky, and there are plenty of reasons why some agencies may never turn to external help – even when they’re on overload with other client work.

They might not want to lose the control of knowing every detail in the account, they might think they know the product better than someone on the outside, or they might be afraid of what their client will think if they find out. In our experience with managing outsourced accounts at Hanapin, I can tell you that it’s really not that scary. Below are some tips and hints on how to successfully outsource, along wit... > Read more

January 26, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 0

Social Media Interview Series: Tamar Weinberg

Tamar Weinberg is a freelance writer, blogger, and social media strategist. Her specialties are blogger outreach, content promotion, community management, and viral strategy. In July 2009, Tamar published “The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web,” which covers the gamut of social media marketing topics in an easy-to-understand format.

Tamar is also the community and marketing manager for Mashable, the top ranked blog on all things social media. She maintains her own blog on social media marketing strategy at Techipedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tamar/. You're active on "many social communities," according to your website. Which one do you find to be the most valuable for business? What about for personal stuff? It really depends on the content.&... > Read more

January 25, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Interview Series   |   Comments: 0

Actually, Google, That's Not What I Meant

If you're interested in the semantics of search, Google's announcement this week that it is now bolding synonyms in search results probably turned your head. (In fact, you might have noticed this happening before the official announcement.) In a post titled "Helping Computers Understand Language" on the Official Google Blog, Google engineer Steven Baker writes: An irony of computer science is that tasks humans struggle with can be performed easily by computer programs, but tasks humans can perform effortlessly remain difficult for computers.

I don't know if I'd call this an irony. Humans are better at some things, computers are better at others. You can say the same thing about bees, buzz saws, and evolution. But identifying misuses of the word "irony" is so 1996, so le... > Read more

January 22, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 12

Social Media Poll: Conan vs. Leno

After the popularity of last week's social media poll on Scott Brown vs. Martha Coakley (Larry's prediction actually turned out to be right!), we thought it would be fun to see who's winning in the "race" between erstwhile Tonight Show host Jay Leno and his successor Conan O'Brien, who, it's all but certain, will leave NBC after the network proposed giving his show back to Leno and pushing him back to a later, less coveted slot.

A lot of very vocal Conan fans aren't too happy about the change, but ratings are what really matter to NBC, presumably, so there must be a lot of Leno fans out there too, right? We looked at some social media metrics to see who has the most supporters in the online sphere. The results? Well, it's complicated. We couldn't use the exact same methodology that we used... > Read more

January 20, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Social Media   |   Comments: 5

Social Media Interview Series: Alexander Howard

Alexander B. Howard is the Government 2.0 Washington, D.C. Correspondent for O'Reilly Media. Previously, he was the associate editor of SearchCompliance.com at TechTarget. His work there focused on how regulations affect IT operations, including issues of data protection, privacy, security and enterprise IT strategy.

Before moving his focus to security and compliance, he was the associate editor of WhatIs.com, an online IT encyclopedia. In that role, he researched and wrote about nearly every aspect of enterprise IT. Alexander graduated from Colby College in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in biology and sociology. In his spare time, he enjoys running with his greyhound, reading, microblogging, fishing, cycling, gardening, cooking and hiking. Learn more at his blog or follow him on Twitter: ... > Read more

January 18, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Interview Series   |   Comments: 0

Facebook's Privacy Switcheroo

In an interview with Michael Arrington last week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told the world that Facebook is changing to keep up with it—and what the world wants, apparently, is less privacy. Naturally, this caused a big hubbub (at least in the online marketing corner of the world), with many claiming Facebook is acting against its users' best interests, trying to trick them into doing what will increase Facebook revenue—or, rather, into not doing what won't help its revenue.

By not changing the now-default settings, users will (perhaps unintentionally) make their data more public and searchable. Others leapt to Facebook's defense. This is the way society is moving, they said; get over it. Falling in the former camp, Marshall Kirkpatrick wrote a two-part think piece of s... > Read more

January 15, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 0

Google vs. Bing: Bing Hates Blogs

This morning, Chris Brogan wrote on his blog that he's planning to use Bing as his only search engine for 30 days. Day 1 of his little experiment didn't go so well—he found that a search for "Chris Brogan" returned, above his own blog, results for Chris Brown. His response? "Um, no." Chris Brogan is a pretty well-known name, if slightly lesser-known than "Chris Brown.

" If he can't get top billing for his vanity search, how well can the rest of us plebes fare? I "googled" myself on Bing back when it launched and remember thinking the results were inscrutable and disappointing. I decided to try the same search again to see if the Bing results had gotten better (or worse). Well, certainly not better. ZoomInfo? Really? I would only expect to see a crappy, generic result like this at #1... > Read more

January 12, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Blogging   |   Comments: 12

16 Great Online Marketing Twitter Lists

Are you new to Twitter and unsure who to follow? Not so new to Twitter but still don't know who to follow? Or maybe you just want to make more connections, find new resources and learn from the best? Twitter lists are a great way to keep up with the search marketing industry. You can follow a whole swath of thought leaders, hand-picked and pre-approved by those in the know, with one quick click.

These 16 Twitter lists were curated by (and include) some of our favorite voices in search and online marketing. (And while you're at it, follow the WordStream list to keep up with our whole team.) Selective Search Marketing Twitter Lists These picky-choosy lists include fewer than 60 people or brands each. Aaron Bradley of SEOSkeptic.com's Internet Marketing Musts. Christine Churchill's Must Read... > Read more

January 11, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Social Media   |   Comments: 1

Friday Roundup: Online Marketing Predictions 2010

As I flâneured around the blogosphere this week (permit me to verb a French noun derived from a verb), I was overcome by a gadget-induced ennui. Nexus One. The iTablet/iSlate. Blah blah blah. I have nothing to say about these developments. "Will 2010 be the year of the smartphone?" Who cares? Sorry, gadgetheads—not me so much.

I am, however, interested in other directions the industry may take in 2010. (And while we're on the topic, you are on board with saying "twenty-ten," foregoing the cumbersome "two-thousand" prefix, are you not? Excellent. Glad we're on the same page.) And luckily, bloggers are still churning out resolutions and predictions for the year ahead. I especially liked Debra Mastaler's Link Building Trends For 2010. After providing an overview of 2009, Debra, Julie Joyce... > Read more

January 08, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 1

Our Blog's Greatest Hits of 2009

Since we launched the WordStream blog earlier this year, what follows is not merely a list of our top posts of the year. These are our greatest hits of all time. (Cue Kanye joke, for nostalgic value – it's so 2009.) So pour yourself a glass of champagne and revisit our top 10 most popular and best loved blog posts ever: SEO Title Tag Formulas: How to Create High-Performance Title Tags – We all know how important good titles are for SEO.

This post – apparently our most useful post ever! – outlines a systematic strategy for creating strong title tags. Find the Unfindable: 12 Ways to Find Anyone's Personal Email Address – Ken appealed to the stalker in all of you with these tips and tricks for tracking down personal contact info. Top SEO College Websites 2009 &... > Read more

December 30, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 2

Monthly Blog Roundup: WordStream's December Highlights

My childhood memories of the days after Christmas are bleak and dark: the incredible letdown of all that anticipation, the pressure to actually use the new toys and wear the new clothes as opposed to simply gazing upon them in a shining pile of potentiality. The day after Christmas was no less depressing this year; I spent most of it at the airport in El Paso, waiting in an unmoving line to rebook my flight which was delayed by 8+ hours.

(Note to self: Never, ever book a connecting flight through O'Hare in December. Note to United: Damn you, United!) But late December does bring some good things—like a little light through the windows when I wake up in the morning (though, as my boyfriend is fond of reminding/tormenting me, "As the days begin to lengthen, the cold begins to stre... > Read more

December 29, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 2

Using the Free Keyword Niche Finder to Set Up a PPC Campaign

Yesterday I talked about using the Free Keyword Grouper to plot out a structure for a new website. Today I'd like to show you how to use our other new tool, the Free Keyword Niche Finder, to quickly set up a PPC campaign. We believe that a high Quality Score is the key to an effective, cost-efficient pay-per-click campaign, and that a well-organized campaign structure is the key to securing high Quality Scores.

Here's how the new tool can help you get there. First, just enter a keyword. The Free Keyword Niche Finder is a keyword suggestion tool and keyword grouping tool in one. Just enter a keyword, and you'll get back extensive, relevant suggestions, but instead of a scattered list, the results are organized into related groupings. Let's use the perfume store example again: Similar to th... > Read more

December 22, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Keyword Marketing   |   Comments: 0

How to Use the Free Keyword Grouper to Plan a New Site Design

When you're launching a new website (or doing a site redesign) it's vital to take SEO into account. From square one, you should do everything you can to make sure that the people interested in what you offer will be able to find you. And most people will be looking via search engines. There's an endless list of things you can do to optimize a website for search engines, but at a basic level, SEO-friendly site design is user-friendly site design.

It's important to create a site that: Is logically structured Incorporates keyword research to ensure relevance to your audience Is easily navigable from both the home page and deep pages You can actually use our new Free Keyword Grouper to start planning out the structure—or information architecture—of your new website. Here's how: S... > Read more

December 21, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Keyword Marketing   |   Comments: 0

Friday Roundup: WordStream's New Keyword Grouping Tools

Well well well, if it isn't Friday once again. Since next Friday is Christmas, and the following is New Year's Day, this is my last Friday roundup of the year (and decade!). And I'd like to use it to say THANK YOU to everyone who helped us spread the word about our new free tools, the Keyword Niche Finder and the Free Keyword Grouper.

Here's a roundup of all the coverage around the Web: On Search Engine People, Terry Van Horne talks about getting back to the "roots of SEO" with keyword research, calling the Keyword Niche Finder "simply one of the best tools I've seen for quite some time." On PPC-Advice, Garry Przyklenk did a great write-up of these new "smart" tools: "The long tail is highly difficult to optimize, especially in SEO because, as the name suggests, the long tail is extremel... > Read more

December 18, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 0

Personalized Search: Kind of a Big Deal

It was another big week at the Googleplex. (This opener is starting to feel like the Friday roundup equivalent of "Once upon a time.") The "search giant" made about a jillion announcements—I think Google has decided to mimic Bing's ever-changing homepage image by adding a new feature every day. (Ooh, fade-in buttons! But why!) Some of these announcements had real implications for search marketers—particularly integration of real-time search and the launch of "universal personalized search," which means, in effect, there's no "real" ranking, no official SERP; like Google's homepage of late, it's always different.

(Of course, one could argue that with geo and time data incorporated it was always different anyway …) The search community is divided on the significance of personalized sea... > Read more

December 11, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 5

Coming Soon: New Guide to E-Commerce SEO

Ari Ozick, a friend of WordStream and a great contributor to the SEO Book forums, is launching a new SEO guide soon: The Contrarian Guide to E-Commerce SEO. We got a sneak peak at the guide and it's got a ton of advanced information for "e-commerce site owners and marketing managers who want the nitty gritty on SEO, and have the resources to drive their SEO efforts.

" You can sign up now on Ari's site to get on the waiting list for the guide. We'll do a more in-depth review when it becomes publicly available. ... > Read more

December 09, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: SEO Marketing   |   Comments: 0

Top Online Marketers of 2009: Vote for Larry Kim!

Nominations are up for Invesp's top 100 online marketers of the year, and Larry Kim is among the nominees! Larry is WordStream's founder and VP of product development; he's a believer in the power of search as a marketing tool and has always played a big role in our Web marketing efforts. He's in the company of many great marketers and friends of WordStream, including Aaron Wall, David Szetela, Debra Mastaler, Eric Enge, Manoj Jasra, and Michael Gray.

But we hope you'll vote for Larry! Voting is open until midnight on December 13. ... > Read more

December 07, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 1

The Power of Anchor Text. True Story!

It's something you hear over and over again from SEOs: Anchor text matters. Chris Brogan relayed this familiar advice this week in a post on decisions we make as bloggers: By the way, HOW you link to something matters. If you link to chrisbrogan.com by calling it Chris’s blog, then you’re telling Google that people searching for “Chris’s blog” might want chrisbrogan.

com. If you link to chrisbrogan.com by calling it social media resources or social media strategy or whatever (frankly, I’ve never known what to bother ranking for in search results), then you are telling Google that people searching for social media whatever might want to find my blog. So in choosing the words for the link text, you’re also making decisions. Aside: It took me FOREVER to find where I'd read this a... > Read more

December 04, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 3

Link Building Experts Interview Series: Julie Joyce

Julie Joyce is the cofounder and director of operations at the link development firm Link Fish Media, Inc. Headquartered in Greensboro, NC, Link Fish Media specializes in building links for the most competitive industries. On the Link Fish site, you talk about the importance of "managing your links." What does link management entail? Oh dear, you looked at that site? Ha! We've ignored it, we're trying to agree on how to redo it, and generally I just can't bear to look at it.

OK, so link management ... Link management is taking an active interest in your links, basically. It's understanding your link profile with the recognition that a one-size-fits-all approach will work about as well as it would with actual human beings being managed. There will be great links that send tons of qualified ... > Read more

November 30, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Interview Series   |   Comments: 2

Monthly Blog Roundup: WordStream's November Highlights

Anticipating tomorrow's onslaught of fowl and starch, most of you are probably in a preemptive food coma. Instead of trying to "digest" something new from the blogosphere (or get any actual work done), why not revisit our top content from the past month? November was link building month at WordStream, and every Monday we posted a new interview with a link building expert (there's one more to come on Monday the 30th!), gathering insight on when it's OK to buy a link (and how to get away with it), how to handle link requests, strategies for creating linkbait and viral content, the best link building tools and more.

These interviews were very popular and we expect they'll continue to serve as a resource for link building newbies and aspiring experts alike. Debra Mastaler: "All ... > Read more

November 25, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 1

Link Building Experts Interview Series: Wiep Knol

Wiep Knol is a link marketer from the Netherlands. He learned about online marketing during his study in 2004, and was hooked instantly. Two years later, he was hired to set up a link marketing service at Tribal Internet Marketing. Now, Wiep works as a partner for LinkBuilding.nl, and he runs a few other online projects as well.

  Want to read more? Check out Wiep's link building blog, or follow him on Twitter. You recently started your own consultancy. What was the impetus for the switch, and what are your plans for the future? Do you want to create your own agency, or remain independent indefinitely? The main reason for me to start on my own was freedom. Being able to make decisions you want, taking on clients you 100% want to take on, and focusing on the stuff you really love to do.... > Read more

November 23, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Interview Series   |   Comments: 0

Twitter's New Retweet Feature: Yay or Fail? (Please RT)

It's finally Friday, folks, and this week's roundup is all about IMAGE SWIRL! Just kidding. Who cares about Image Swirl? This week's roundup is all about the retweet. Twitter has completed the rollout of its new formalized retweet feature. I want to say that I haven't seen so many people tweeting about the same thing since Michael Jackson died, but the trending topics indicate otherwise.

I guess it's just my dweeby search marketing list. As Ruud Hein pointed out, it's kind of funny to watch the search results for "retweet." (As long as we're complaining about Twitter, can I just add that this is irritating: because the link in Ruud's tweet was broken in TweetDeck, I arrived at the search page for people instead, then had to navigate back to my home page, where it took me upwards of five s... > Read more

November 20, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 6

Link Building Experts Interview Series: Dixon Jones

Dixon Jones is the managing director of the respected UK Internet marketing consultancy Receptional, which heads up the marketing of MajesticSEO, the world's largest open anchor text link map of the web. He has spoken at Internet marketing conferences including Pubcon, SMX, SES and International Search Summit.

To learn more about Dixon Jones, check out his website or follow him on Twitter: @Receptional. Tell us a little bit about your roles, both at Receptional and at Majestic SEO. I publicly took over the marketing role at director level at Majestic SEO in the summer, after a long discussion with Alex, who is a brilliant programmer and who – I believe – has built something absolutely world-class. I’m not used to working for someone else, as also I founded Receptional, an Intern... > Read more

November 16, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Interview Series   |   Comments: 0
 
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