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SEO News Roundup for October 15, 2010

October 15th, 2010 | | SEO News Roundup

Organization is not my strong point and when I do keyword generation for SEO clients I end up with a list hundreds of words long and no idea of how to sort them.  That’s why I was excited when I came across an article by Ann Smarty on SEO Journal about using mind mapping to organize keywords. Mind mapping is essentially creating an outline of the structure of some word or concept. Smarty offers a quick overview at free web apps which are a little different than typical mind mapping tools and most importantly are free and fun to use.

According to Lindsay of SEOmoz.org, Robots.txt is less effective than you may think.  In fact, your page can still show up in SERPs, even despite your best efforts.  The only difference is that your supposedly blocked page may show up, just without a meta description below it.  Also, she goes on to caution anyone considering using Robot.txt as it creates a dead end for link juice, as any inbound links to the page simply wither away due to the blocked nature of the page itself.  So be careful with robots.

It may seem counterintuitive, but the ubiquitous Google is beginning to favor local SEOs in a noticeable way.   It’s a move that’s been welcomed by users, but it means that SEO marketers now need to change their keyword + cityname combination strategies if they want to compete.  Luckily, Rand of Seomoz sees rhythm in this trend, and offers lists of both his observations and of ways to incorporate new technique into SEO geographic/keyword practice.   From optimizing map listing to building the right content, Rand makes the case that finding an audience across multiple cities requires the ability appeal to local needs in ways that move beyond simple geo-targeted keywords.

A great sales pitch is a combination of matching a service’s features with benefits, and clearly answering any questions that your clients have.  Jesse Leffen from Slingshot SEO has a new post on Search Engine Journal about learning sales techniques to make you a better SEO consultant.  Even if you’re doing a great job reporting statistics and accomplishments to your clients, your relationship with them will improve by making sure they fully understand your suggestions for their website.  I’d also recommend avoiding Chris Farley’s Tommy Boy sales approach.

I’m sure you’ve felt the anxiety I sometimes have when setting client expectations. Sometimes people think we can accomplish much more with SEO than is humanly possible. But the best strategy is to be honest about what you think you can do with the allotted budget and what they can expect to happen with the account. Stoney deGeyter with Search Engine Guide tells an insightful story about one of his clients and how they handled his SEO expectations for their account.

Robert is an Account Executive at Hanapin Marketing, a search engine marketing firm focused on generating results through PPC and SEO.

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