Posted by richardbaxterseo
Howdy Moz fans! It’s been a while since I’ve been up on the Moz Blog (and boy have I missed it), but as a huge thanks to the Moz team for such a fantastic MozCon, I thought I’d get a write-up of my session submitted just as soon as I arrived home.
MozCon 2013 was the biggest, best, and most exciting yet. It’s really nice to meet so many good people, and I’m always left with heaps of ideas to implement when I get back to the office.
Outreach is getting harder
Over the years, it’s become harder and harder to find websites and link prospects using classic outreach and guest post queries in Google. I think maybe webmasters as a whole are pretty blind to unsolicited “we’d love to write for you” style outreach, and I also think that the sites that tend to rank in Google for those queries may be of a lower quality (certainly not always, but there are plenty of bad sites out there inviting guest posts. You’ve seen them, I’ve seen them, and I don’t really want a link from them!).
My session at MozCon was called “Really Targeted Outreach,” and I looked at an alternative method to find sites that our target audiences may be sharing on Twitter. With that data, you can build content strategy, understand your market a little better, and construct an alternative outreach plan based on what real people are sharing and engaging with, rather than starting with sites that just rank for guest post queries.
Should we stop using Google for guest post outreach?
Something I found really interesting during my study was that sites that influential people share on Twitter tend to be really good websites! Compared to sites that simply rank for outreach queries, I felt a lot like the social data was a better source of inspiration.
Not to mention the obvious; my target market is engaged with the sites it’s sharing on Twitter. That’s huge! Let me rephrase: People in your target market are telling you what content they love and where they’re finding it. Using that data is really targeted — we know where to be if we want to speak to our audience.
To an extent, starting with Google leaves us in the dark.
TAGS – Twitter Archiving Google Spreadsheet
About eight weeks ago, Geoff introduced me to TAGS – a really clever Google Spreadsheet that archives Twitter data. It’s really brilliant at collecting Twitter advanced search data and storing it in a spreadsheet. The best bit: It can update hourly. It’s created by Martin Hawksey — a bit of a star in my opinion (thanks for the spreadsheet, Martin!). Here it is:
Targeted search queries with TAGS and Twitter advanced search
Did you know that you can search Twitter for only Tweets that contain a shared URL? The query looks like this:
You can add more usernames with a simple OR operator, like this:
Filter:links from:@richardbaxter OR from:@wilreynolds OR from:@randfish (result)
So, with TAGS, you can archive Tweets from people you’re interested in.
Imagine you’re interested in Tweets containing URLs from Pro Snowboarders. Where would you go to find influential Pro Snowboarders on Twitter? Followerwonk, of course! Take a look:
If you’re looking at the right results, collecting the usernames of the people you’re interested in is a simple matter of copying and pasting. You can construct your search query pretty easily, and from there set TAGS to automatically run every hour.
Making the data actionable
I tend to prefer working in Excel (though most of this can be done in Goole Docs, too), so in my session, I showed the audience how we can fetch data from our Google Docs archive straight into Excel using Data > From Web.
In this screencast, you’ll see how I start with “publish to web” in Google Docs and end with a data import in Excel. Google docs automatically updates what’s shared at the URL, and the refresh button in Excel will make the data update automatically.
Think about that: By the end of this process you’ll have a continuously updating source of data from people you’re interested in on Twitter:
The Excel file in this video is actually a template I made available at MozCon. If you want a copy, just go to: http://bit.ly/mozcontemplate and download it. I know there’s no audio in the screencast, but it should be pretty self-explanatory.
Tools you’ll need
Every good SEO needs tools! For this method, you’ll need SEO Tools for Excel, so if you’re a MAC user I’m afraid you’ll have to stick with Google Docs, or use a developer. We also use SEOgadget’s Links API Extension for Excel to get Moz / Majestic Data for each of the URLs and Domains we extract from the Twitter Data.
The end result
I think the end result is pretty exciting! Here’s a list of the top domains shared by Chief Marketing Officers (one of the target audiences we track at SEOgadget for our own B2B marketing):
I love the idea that our own target audience can tell us where they are, what they’re sharing and what they love; all we inbound marketers need to do is be there. We’re talking better content strategy, better content planning and outreach — and it’s really targeted!
Here’s the presentation:
Via: Richard Baxter on SlideShare
I hope you enjoy learning this process and find some great sites to contact. Happy hunting, and see you next year!
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