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  • #976932
    websitedesigner
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    Hi guys I’m working on building a little keyword tool at the moment and I’m keen to get some feedback from some other SEO people on a few aspects of it. Mainly

    1. Do you think it’s useful just with it’s base functions that I demo in the videos below
    2. Where do you think I should go with the functionality from here

    It’s early days as you’ll see from the video but rather than build it out fully and set up a beta I’m thinking doing a quick demo to get some early feedback makes more sense.

    Here are the videos

    Video 1 – Demo of Longtail Wizard

    Video 2 – Discussion on where to go with the functionality

    Thanks in advance for checking it out

    Dan

    #1089172
    JohnW
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    Hi Dan,
    I watched your videos.

    As I understand it, you are attempting to calculate ROI based on Analytics keyword reports.

    Example 1: Article publishing
    Let’s assume your target keyword was “web design” and that your SEO activity was writing/publishing articles about it.

    The way Google handles synonyms in SERPS, your article could just as easily increase SE referrals for search phrases that include “website”, “designer”, “designing”, etc. There could be 100s of keywords used to generate referrals to the article in addition to the one you intended to target. It seems to me there could be a lot of SE referrals that would be incorrectly excluded from your ROI calculation.

    Example 2: Link Building
    Take the search phrase “web design Sydney”. According to the link measurement tool I use, the site that ranks #1 has around 3,800 external links and the site that ranks #6 has 173,000 links. I can find sites ranked in the 80s that have three-times the number of links as the one that ranks top.

    When you have this huge variance in the value of individual links, I can’t see how you can draw any ROI conclusions. You would need to measure link quality not quantity.

    The same reservation applies to your link parameter as to your article parameter. You may be targeting a specific keyword with your link building but that could be impacting referrals for many other keywords.

    On top of this you have to deal with the constant Google algo changes.

    Hope this helps and good luck with your project..

    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1089351
    JohnW
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    Hi Dan,
    I watched your videos.

    As I understand it, you are attempting to calculate ROI based on Analytics keyword reports.

    Example 1: Article publishing
    Let’s assume your target keyword was “web design” and that your SEO activity was writing/publishing articles about it.

    The way Google handles synonyms in SERPS, your article could just as easily increase SE referrals for search phrases that include “website”, “designer”, “designing”, etc. There could be 100s of keywords used to generate referrals to the article in addition to the one you intended to target. It seems to me there could be a lot of SE referrals that would be incorrectly excluded from your ROI calculation.

    Example 2: Link Building
    Take the search phrase “web design Sydney”. According to the link measurement tool I use, the site that ranks #1 has around 3,800 external links and the site that ranks #6 has 173,000 links. I can find sites ranked in the 80s that have three-times the number of links as the one that ranks top.

    When you have this huge variance in the value of individual links, I can’t see how you can draw any ROI conclusions. You would need to measure link quality not quantity.

    The same reservation applies to your link parameter as to your article parameter. You may be targeting a specific keyword with your link building but that could be impacting referrals for many other keywords.

    On top of this you have to deal with the constant Google algo changes.

    Hope this helps and good luck with your project..

    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1089352
    websitedesigner
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    Hi John thanks for the reply.

    Re the first one yes that’s a good point I think there are a lot of variables so the ROI thing is not an exact science, as you say it could be understated by quite a bit because you might be getting traffic from more keywords than planned. However it’s unlikely to be overstated which means if it is showing a positive ROI, despite it not being completely accurate it’s still a good indicator that the focus on that keyword was worth the effort no?

    The ROI focus is just one idea I’m not really sure about that just yet because of these inaccuracies.

    Re your second point about links I’m confusing myself somehow here. Did I talk about links in the video? I can’t really remember in what context I talked about numbers of links. If I was to use them as a measure of competition for a keyword I wouldn’t use them in isolation, I’d probably show a few different measures. I find number of links is often still a useful indicator but obviously doesn’t tell the whole story.

    Also just an update to the video I have changed the interface slightly so now instead of a ‘Tasks’ tab it’s become a ‘Working’ tab and we now have an unlimited number of tasks per keyword and you can check them off as you work through them. Once they are all checked off you can move it to the ‘Monitoring’ tab and it will keep the task history for you to refer back to.

    I’m also working on showing a visual which charts the Google position over time and also plots the date at which tasks were completed so you can get an understanding of how your SEO tasks have contributed to your ranking going up or down for each keyword.

    #1089174
    websitedesigner
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    Hi John thanks for the reply.

    Re the first one yes that’s a good point I think there are a lot of variables so the ROI thing is not an exact science, as you say it could be understated by quite a bit because you might be getting traffic from more keywords than planned. However it’s unlikely to be overstated which means if it is showing a positive ROI, despite it not being completely accurate it’s still a good indicator that the focus on that keyword was worth the effort no?

    The ROI focus is just one idea I’m not really sure about that just yet because of these inaccuracies.

    Re your second point about links I’m confusing myself somehow here. Did I talk about links in the video? I can’t really remember in what context I talked about numbers of links. If I was to use them as a measure of competition for a keyword I wouldn’t use them in isolation, I’d probably show a few different measures. I find number of links is often still a useful indicator but obviously doesn’t tell the whole story.

    Also just an update to the video I have changed the interface slightly so now instead of a ‘Tasks’ tab it’s become a ‘Working’ tab and we now have an unlimited number of tasks per keyword and you can check them off as you work through them. Once they are all checked off you can move it to the ‘Monitoring’ tab and it will keep the task history for you to refer back to.

    I’m also working on showing a visual which charts the Google position over time and also plots the date at which tasks were completed so you can get an understanding of how your SEO tasks have contributed to your ranking going up or down for each keyword.

    #1089353
    JohnW
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    websitedesigner, post: 106895 wrote:
    Re your second point about links I’m confusing myself somehow here. Did I talk about links in the video?
    Hi Dan,
    In both videos you focus on and give examples of, evaluating/tracking two SEO “tasks” – a. writing articles; b. link building. The impression I gathered was that these were major applications for your tool.

    I don’t see how tracking an exact search phrase can get you anything other than an ROI calculation that is so understated as to be meaningless.

    To use one of your video examples, the keyword; “web design online”.

    Google Keyword Tool reports:
    Exact match = 46 local searches per month
    Broad match = 4,400 local searches per month

    We don’t know how many of the 4,400 broad searches will be relevant but if you are developing a tool for “long tail” SEO, you want to attract traffic to the site from as many of them as possible and your tool should address relevant metrics. The root of the problem as I see it is that Analytics only reports exact referring keywords. That makes “long tail” tracking a pain.

    If you are developing a “long tail” SEO tool, it may need to track thousands of exact keywords before you can get close to any sort of ROI assessment.

    I can cite a website of only a couple of hundred pages with 78% of its traffic generated by natural SE rankings. Last month Analytics reported there were 3,000+ exact keywords that generated traffic. In the 18 months of its existance there have been 21,000+ exact keywords that generated referrals. Even a 5 page website can generate SE referrals from 5,000+ exact keywords in 10 months.

    Another important issues is the “time” metric in your tool. The ROI for any specific SEO task will vary over time.

    You can’t assess and measure ROI on link building costs one month after the expense was incurred. This ignores issues such as:

    Has Google indexed all the pages that contain the links?
    How many of your competition are chasing links for the same or similar keywords?
    How successful are your competitors in their link building task?
    How permanent are your link?
    How many of the 20 different parameters Google uses to assess individual link values are utilised in your link building program?.

    If the SEO task being assessed is content publishing, then there should be a continuously improving ROI for any single new site page. The problem with content addition is that there is no Analytics report that will enable you to assess individual page publishing ROIs.

    Maybe I’m missing something?

    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1089176
    JohnW
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    websitedesigner, post: 106895 wrote:
    Re your second point about links I’m confusing myself somehow here. Did I talk about links in the video?
    Hi Dan,
    In both videos you focus on and give examples of, evaluating/tracking two SEO “tasks” – a. writing articles; b. link building. The impression I gathered was that these were major applications for your tool.

    I don’t see how tracking an exact search phrase can get you anything other than an ROI calculation that is so understated as to be meaningless.

    To use one of your video examples, the keyword; “web design online”.

    Google Keyword Tool reports:
    Exact match = 46 local searches per month
    Broad match = 4,400 local searches per month

    We don’t know how many of the 4,400 broad searches will be relevant but if you are developing a tool for “long tail” SEO, you want to attract traffic to the site from as many of them as possible and your tool should address relevant metrics. The root of the problem as I see it is that Analytics only reports exact referring keywords. That makes “long tail” tracking a pain.

    If you are developing a “long tail” SEO tool, it may need to track thousands of exact keywords before you can get close to any sort of ROI assessment.

    I can cite a website of only a couple of hundred pages with 78% of its traffic generated by natural SE rankings. Last month Analytics reported there were 3,000+ exact keywords that generated traffic. In the 18 months of its existance there have been 21,000+ exact keywords that generated referrals. Even a 5 page website can generate SE referrals from 5,000+ exact keywords in 10 months.

    Another important issues is the “time” metric in your tool. The ROI for any specific SEO task will vary over time.

    You can’t assess and measure ROI on link building costs one month after the expense was incurred. This ignores issues such as:

    Has Google indexed all the pages that contain the links?
    How many of your competition are chasing links for the same or similar keywords?
    How successful are your competitors in their link building task?
    How permanent are your link?
    How many of the 20 different parameters Google uses to assess individual link values are utilised in your link building program?.

    If the SEO task being assessed is content publishing, then there should be a continuously improving ROI for any single new site page. The problem with content addition is that there is no Analytics report that will enable you to assess individual page publishing ROIs.

    Maybe I’m missing something?

    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1089178
    websitedesigner
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    Hi John, thanks again for the detailed reply.

    No the tasks are free text, the point is SEO people could decide for themselves what tasks they want to perform to rank for a certain keyword and they could use the tool to track those tasks – sort of like a project system or a task feature in Outlook or similar. Those tasks I came up with are just examples of what someone might do to rank for a keyword.

    Like my process for some keywords at the moment are finding longtail keywords in Google, getting my article guy to write an article, doing a guest post, doing some article marketeting etc. I’d put all of these tasks underneath that keyword and check them off as they are done, when they are all done we’d move it into the monitoring tab to track where it is ranking and move it back into tasks if we dont’ get the results we are after.

    At the moment I use a spreadsheet and it’s messy, I’m hoping this tool simplifies it and gives the process some structure.

    The more I think about the tool the more I think the name isn’t appropriate because I really just see it as a tool for managing the process around ranking for multiple keywords. Some people may use it for hundreds of keywords (this is what I would use it for) or thousands but some may use it for only a handful (I will probably use it for my main keywords as well). The point is to have a tool where you can manage it all and have a team access as opposed to working off a spreadsheet so it’s really a keyword task management tool not so much a longtail keyword too.

    With the ROI this was really only one option of where I could take the tool to be broader than just a task system for managing keyword SEO tasks. You’ve raised some good points it obviously requires more thought if I’m going to go down this path.

    Still regarding your examples, I suspect a good chunk of those keywords have such low search volume that the owner of the site is not deliberaly ranking for them. So they wouldn’t be ‘managed’ as such by a tool like this. I take your point about the ROI calculation not including such keywords. At least in my case they are an offshoot of a lot of blogging and building site authority over time, not really specific targetted tasks to rank.

    Still even if calculating ROI is a stretch, I think if the tool can prove that there is a patern to keywords that bring more traffic than others (relative to the work involved) then the information is useful – perhaps I shouldnt’ refer to it as ROI, perhaps more ‘low hanging fruit’ keywords or something if that makes sense.

    I understand the time thing I had thought about giving the user a setting to decide how quickly they wanted to see a return. But regardless of all of that if you can show that a keyword task brings you more traffic than it costs even after 1 month then there is an ROI no? Even if you drop off the front page, even if your competitors catch you. I’ll be able to return the exact number of visitors for that keyword before and after the tasks so I’ll pretty much know whether there is a return.

    Still again, the ROI thing is just one idea, it’s a pretty messy thing to get into and maybe it’s not clear enough to be useful for people – it needs more thought no doubt.

    Re individual page publishing ROIs, I can track whether a page that targets a certain is ranking (with SERP tracking code) and I can track how many visits that keyword is brining (analytics). I’m not sure if I can track how many visits the keyword is brining to that exact page however between those 2 measures and the results before you completed the tasks I think you can make some assumptions.

    #1089354
    websitedesigner
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    Hi John, thanks again for the detailed reply.

    No the tasks are free text, the point is SEO people could decide for themselves what tasks they want to perform to rank for a certain keyword and they could use the tool to track those tasks – sort of like a project system or a task feature in Outlook or similar. Those tasks I came up with are just examples of what someone might do to rank for a keyword.

    Like my process for some keywords at the moment are finding longtail keywords in Google, getting my article guy to write an article, doing a guest post, doing some article marketeting etc. I’d put all of these tasks underneath that keyword and check them off as they are done, when they are all done we’d move it into the monitoring tab to track where it is ranking and move it back into tasks if we dont’ get the results we are after.

    At the moment I use a spreadsheet and it’s messy, I’m hoping this tool simplifies it and gives the process some structure.

    The more I think about the tool the more I think the name isn’t appropriate because I really just see it as a tool for managing the process around ranking for multiple keywords. Some people may use it for hundreds of keywords (this is what I would use it for) or thousands but some may use it for only a handful (I will probably use it for my main keywords as well). The point is to have a tool where you can manage it all and have a team access as opposed to working off a spreadsheet so it’s really a keyword task management tool not so much a longtail keyword too.

    With the ROI this was really only one option of where I could take the tool to be broader than just a task system for managing keyword SEO tasks. You’ve raised some good points it obviously requires more thought if I’m going to go down this path.

    Still regarding your examples, I suspect a good chunk of those keywords have such low search volume that the owner of the site is not deliberaly ranking for them. So they wouldn’t be ‘managed’ as such by a tool like this. I take your point about the ROI calculation not including such keywords. At least in my case they are an offshoot of a lot of blogging and building site authority over time, not really specific targetted tasks to rank.

    Still even if calculating ROI is a stretch, I think if the tool can prove that there is a patern to keywords that bring more traffic than others (relative to the work involved) then the information is useful – perhaps I shouldnt’ refer to it as ROI, perhaps more ‘low hanging fruit’ keywords or something if that makes sense.

    I understand the time thing I had thought about giving the user a setting to decide how quickly they wanted to see a return. But regardless of all of that if you can show that a keyword task brings you more traffic than it costs even after 1 month then there is an ROI no? Even if you drop off the front page, even if your competitors catch you. I’ll be able to return the exact number of visitors for that keyword before and after the tasks so I’ll pretty much know whether there is a return.

    Still again, the ROI thing is just one idea, it’s a pretty messy thing to get into and maybe it’s not clear enough to be useful for people – it needs more thought no doubt.

    Re individual page publishing ROIs, I can track whether a page that targets a certain is ranking (with SERP tracking code) and I can track how many visits that keyword is brining (analytics). I’m not sure if I can track how many visits the keyword is brining to that exact page however between those 2 measures and the results before you completed the tasks I think you can make some assumptions.

    #1089355
    JohnW
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    websitedesigner, post: 106909 wrote:
    Still regarding your examples, I suspect a good chunk of those keywords have such low search volume that the owner of the site is not deliberaly ranking for them. So they wouldn’t be ‘managed’ as such by a tool like this.
    On the contrary, they are deliberately trying to rank for them.

    I find most cost-effective SEO results are achieved by targeting individual words not exact keywords. After all, that is how SEs work.

    If you only target a handful of frequently used, exact keywords your SEO will be much more expensive and you will miss out on the 70% of the site visitors who use keywords whose volume is so low that they generate less than 10 visitors per month.

    I can cite a little 5 page website that ranks #1 for its root keyword. It targets around 40 individual search words. Last month that root keyword generated less than 10% of the site’s traffic. There were 1,000+ other exact keywords that generated 90% of the SE referrals with an average of just over 2 referrals per keyword. And, those 1,000 keywords were much more relevant than the root keyword.

    If I’m looking to increase relevant SE referrals to a client’s site I may identify words like , “buy”, “order”, “professional”, “quality”, “best”, “discount”, “quote”, “prices”, “free”, or various location words that need to be combined with scores of existing referring keywords.

    I’ve watched your videos 3 times but I don’t understand how it is going to help my SEO.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1089180
    JohnW
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    websitedesigner, post: 106909 wrote:
    Still regarding your examples, I suspect a good chunk of those keywords have such low search volume that the owner of the site is not deliberaly ranking for them. So they wouldn’t be ‘managed’ as such by a tool like this.
    On the contrary, they are deliberately trying to rank for them.

    I find most cost-effective SEO results are achieved by targeting individual words not exact keywords. After all, that is how SEs work.

    If you only target a handful of frequently used, exact keywords your SEO will be much more expensive and you will miss out on the 70% of the site visitors who use keywords whose volume is so low that they generate less than 10 visitors per month.

    I can cite a little 5 page website that ranks #1 for its root keyword. It targets around 40 individual search words. Last month that root keyword generated less than 10% of the site’s traffic. There were 1,000+ other exact keywords that generated 90% of the SE referrals with an average of just over 2 referrals per keyword. And, those 1,000 keywords were much more relevant than the root keyword.

    If I’m looking to increase relevant SE referrals to a client’s site I may identify words like , “buy”, “order”, “professional”, “quality”, “best”, “discount”, “quote”, “prices”, “free”, or various location words that need to be combined with scores of existing referring keywords.

    I’ve watched your videos 3 times but I don’t understand how it is going to help my SEO.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1089356
    websitedesigner
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    Cool thanks for the feedback.

    Has anyone else had a look? It would be good to get some more opinions. I’ve had some great feedback from another forum I’m in.

    Some of the suggestions from there have been:

    • The idea of building multiple tasks per keyword came from some feedback and setting it to save the task history for each keyword so you’ve always got the background of what work you have done. This has been implemented already.
    • Incorporate a chart that plots the Google search position and tasks over time so you can learn what tasks are working (I’m working on this at the moment)
    • Incorporate competition metrics into the opportunities area – I’m looking at SEO Moz for this at the moment but still not really sure how I want to go with this
    • I’m also looking at external link building services that have an API that I could tap into automate some link building tasks for the keywords so if anyone has any ideas there that would be great.

      And I’m looking at 3 ways of bringing keywords into the tool, 1 bulk adding them yourself, 2 using the Google keyword tool API (which I was pretty bummed to learn costs money so I’m not sure how that is going to work from a billing point of view) and 3 pull in keywords you are already ranking for using Analytics then find out where you are ranking (on the assumption that improving your ranking will bring you even more traffic).

      I think I’ll finalise the minimum feature set soon and try to build out a simple version and make it available to people to see how people find it.

      Thanks

      Dan

    #1089182
    websitedesigner
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    Cool thanks for the feedback.

    Has anyone else had a look? It would be good to get some more opinions. I’ve had some great feedback from another forum I’m in.

    Some of the suggestions from there have been:

    • The idea of building multiple tasks per keyword came from some feedback and setting it to save the task history for each keyword so you’ve always got the background of what work you have done. This has been implemented already.
    • Incorporate a chart that plots the Google search position and tasks over time so you can learn what tasks are working (I’m working on this at the moment)
    • Incorporate competition metrics into the opportunities area – I’m looking at SEO Moz for this at the moment but still not really sure how I want to go with this
    • I’m also looking at external link building services that have an API that I could tap into automate some link building tasks for the keywords so if anyone has any ideas there that would be great.

      And I’m looking at 3 ways of bringing keywords into the tool, 1 bulk adding them yourself, 2 using the Google keyword tool API (which I was pretty bummed to learn costs money so I’m not sure how that is going to work from a billing point of view) and 3 pull in keywords you are already ranking for using Analytics then find out where you are ranking (on the assumption that improving your ranking will bring you even more traffic).

      I think I’ll finalise the minimum feature set soon and try to build out a simple version and make it available to people to see how people find it.

      Thanks

      Dan

    #1089357
    JohnW
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    websitedesigner, post: 106977 wrote:
    I’m also looking at external link building services that have an API that I could tap into automate some link building tasks for the keywords so if anyone has any ideas there that would be great.
    Hi Dan,
    A shame this has become a two-way conversation. I’d be interested in other SEO’s input.

    Can you throw in a link to the other forum that gave you feedback?

    I’d be very wary of any automated link building functions, this smells like an activity G would jump on with very large boots from way up high.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1089184
    JohnW
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    websitedesigner, post: 106977 wrote:
    I’m also looking at external link building services that have an API that I could tap into automate some link building tasks for the keywords so if anyone has any ideas there that would be great.
    Hi Dan,
    A shame this has become a two-way conversation. I’d be interested in other SEO’s input.

    Can you throw in a link to the other forum that gave you feedback?

    I’d be very wary of any automated link building functions, this smells like an activity G would jump on with very large boots from way up high.
    Regs,
    JohnW

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