Posted by: Kathy Dragon | November 15, 2008

30+ Very Useful Twitter Tools You Must Be Aware Of

Great Article in SEO Optimize!! thanks Alexia

With Twitter the phase of “do we really need it?” is over. The “how do we use it?” phase is right now. There are numerous ways of using Twitter for everything from business to bull**** and even clients come up to me and ask me about Twitter after reading one of those Twitter articles in the main stream media.

So what are the Twitter tools that really make a difference for SEO and overall business users?

We see at least a dozen new Twiter tools every other day. So I selected just 30+ Twitter tools that are most useful right now. Some of these tools have been around for a few months some have sprung up just recently. They have one thing in common: You must be aware of these tools in case you’re serious about Twitter participation.

Twitter Clients

TweetDeck

Sleek Adobe Air desktop client for Twitter offering a good overview with several panes.

twhirl | the social software client

One of the more popular Twitter clients.

Spaz: An Open-Source Twitter Client for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux

Cross platform open source Twitter client.

Hahlo

Web based iPhone (and iPod Touch) optimized Twitter app.

Twinkle – New iPhone Twitter Client Uses Locate Me Features! | Just Another iPhone Blog

Twitter client for the iPhone that allows you to socialize with people near you. Great for conferences it seems.

Twobile: A Twitter client for Windows Mobile – Download Squad

Twitter client for Windows mobile powered mobile phones. Most smartphones other than iPhone, Blackberry and Google Phone use Widows Mobile.

Misc. Twitter Tools

Twellow :: Twitter Search Directory, Twitter Search Engine

Twellow is the “Yellow Pages” of Twitter.

iTweet 2 : Web

This is an alternative web based interface for Twitter and indeed it’s a little more usable than the default one, for instance it offers one click retweets and makes bio links clickable etc.

TwitterCounter: How popular is @photojojo

This is a Twitter followers counter similar to the Feedburner count for blog subscribers.

Magpie: Make Money on Twitter

Magpie is an ad-network for Twitter. It boast that users can make something like 50 to 200$ a month just by tweeting.

About crowdstatus :: Crowdstatus.com

This tool allows you to create address groups of people at Twitter and notify all of them at once.

Twitter WordPress Plugins

Twitter for WordPress – Rick’s HideOut

Very basic but unobtrusive way of including your Tweets in your WordPress blog.

WordPress Twitter Widget

Clean and simple Twitter widget for the WordPress sidebar.

WP to Twitter | Joe Dolson Accessible Web Design

Twitter updater plugin using the Cli.gs short URL service for tweeting your posts.

Adnan`s Crazy Blogging World » Blog Archive » My blog gets twitterized

Basic and quite ugly but very popular Twitter plugin many bloggers use, even TechCrunch.

AJAX Twitter plugin for WordPress

Advanced AJAX powered widget for your blog not only displaying tweets but letting you send updates from your blog.

Twitter Updater » Fireside Media Development Blog

This tool lets you tweet your blog posts automatically.

Firefox Extensions for Twitter

TwitterFox – naan studio

Simple but effective and popular Twitter Firefox add on.

TwitBin – twitter your browser – twitbin.com

Even simpler Twitter add on for Firefox.

TwitKit

Another Twitter Firefox client with more features though.

TwitterBar :: Firefox Add-ons

Let’s you post from the address bar of your browser.

Twitter Social News

Twitturly – Real-time Link Tracking on Twitter

Digg-like interface for the currently hot tweets.

MicroBlogBuzzes of the last 24 hours

Shows you what’s most popular today, this week etc. on Twitter and across the other common microblogging platforms.

Twitturls – Popular Twitter Links Tweeted err Twittered err Twhatever

Shows the latest and most popular links on Twitter.

ReadBurner: What’s Shared on the Web

Lets you monitor the buzz around Twitter elsewhere among many other memes.

POPrl.com / Shrinking popular URLs since 1973 / What’s POPular

Short URL service like TinyURL but better. Offers not only stats but also a Digg-like interface for the most popular URLs shared.

Twitter Analytics

TweetStats :: Graphin’ Your Stats

This statistic tool measures everything from when you tweet (weekdays, time of day) to who your real friends are by counting how often you address people.

Twitstat.com – Twitter Analytics

Both a Twitter search engine and popularity stats at the same time (e.g: showing most active users).

Twitterverse

A Twitter keyword tag cloud for quick overview on what’s going on.

Twist – see trends in twitter

Twist allows you to quickly view and compare popularity trends on Twitter. It’s similar to Google Trends.

FriendOrFollow.com – Who’s not following you back? Who aren’t you following?

This tool compares your list of friends with your followers and shows you who does not follow you back.

Twitter Twerp Scan

Gives you a quick overview about your followers so that you don’t have to click each one.

These 30+ Twitter tools will allow you a seamless integration of Twitter in your daily routine but make sure you know what you doing on Twitter and have some business objectives. There is a new blog by problogger Darren Rowse called Twitip to help you out with that.

November 13, 2008

Google SEO Starter Guide is Great News for Small Businesses

Filed under: google, seoKevin Gibbons @ 8:11 am

submit_url = “http://www.seoptimise.com/blog/2008/11/google-seo-starter-guide-is-great-news-for-small-businesses.html”;

The Google Webmaster Central blog yesterday posted about it’s new SEO Starter Guide, available for free PDF download.

This is excellent news for small business owners, especially during a recession, as many companies will be looking to push their search rankings/traffic forward but without the budget for SEO consulting.

“Our Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide covers around a dozen common areas that webmasters might consider optimizing. We felt that these areas (like improving title and description meta tags, URL structure, site navigation, content creation, anchor text, and more) would apply to webmasters of all experience levels and sites of all sizes and types. Throughout the guide, we also worked in many illustrations, pitfalls to avoid, and links to other resources that help expand our explanation of the topics. We plan on updating the guide at regular intervals with new optimization suggestions and to keep the technical advice current.”

There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there if you’re looking to learn SEO yourself from forums so the guide is great to provide a common-sense approach to understanding on-site search engine optimisation. It’s also good news for the search industry that Google are providing information like this. By educating webmasters about SEO best practices this will hopefully clear-up any false impressions or concerns some may have about the industry as a whole.

For more information there’s a write-up over on Search Engine Land.

November 10, 2008

Google Analytics Tip – How to Find All AdWords Search Queries Triggered from Phrase/Broad Matches

Filed under: google adwords, google analytics, ppc — Tags: Richard Fergie @ 5:41 pm

submit_url = “http://www.seoptimise.com/blog/2008/11/a-google-analytics-trick-everyone-should-know.html”;

It can be very difficult at times to find the actual search terms your PPC traffic arrives from, so this is a Google Analytics trick all advertisers should know. Google’s search query report can be useful but for high-traffic phrase or broad match keywords being told that 8 of your clicks arrived on “85 unique queries” doesn’t really give you the complete picture!

Since the introduction of expanded broad match Google can (and does) match your broad match keywords to just about anything vaguely relevant; knowing these queries is important, either to negative match them or to reduce CPCs by using an exact match. The image below really does highlight this point, notice the extremely irrelevant term “shooting holidays USA” was triggered by a broad match of travel PPC!

This report was setup last week and shows the AdWords keywords (either exact, phrase or broad match) followed by the actual search term which triggered the clickthrough in brackets:

Google AdWords search query report

(Click for full-size image)

Step by step guide on how to setup a Search Query report in Google Analytics

This information can easily be found in Google Analytics but, although the method is simple, it is not obvious; to be able to access this PPC goldmine you have to use filters. Until last week I didn’t even know the filters feature existed and even if I had I wouldn’t have been able to do the regular expressions stuff that our filters will need. For this reason I’d like to thank the Google Analytics Experts and the linklove blog for giving me some simple step by step instructions.

  • In the above case we’ve set up a new profile before messing around, just to ensure that if a mistake was made none of the data is affected. There’s an “Add a Website Profile” option on the Analytics settings page; you want to add a profile for an existing site and then name it.
  • Then you want to write the two filters; click the “Filter Manager” button and then add a filter.
  • This first filter will get the search query and place it in a user defined field. I call it “Get Search Query” but you can name it whatever you want to. Select “Custom Filter” from the filter type drop down menu and select the “Advanced” radio button. You should see some input fields named “Field A -> Extract A” and similar.
  • In the “Field A -> Extract A” drop down menu select “Referral”; this will pull out the SERP’s URL on which the ad was shown. In the box to the left on the drop down menu write “(\?|&)(q|p)=([^&]*)” without the quotation marks. This is a regular expression which extracts the search query from the SERP’s URL.
  • In the “Field B -> Extract B” drop down menu select “Campaign Medium” and write “ppc|cpc” in the box. This filters out all the organic clicks.
  • In the “Output To -> Constructor” drop down choose “Customized Field 1” and enter “$A3” in the box. This just tells Google Analytics where to store the data. Finally you need to click the button to make field B required and the one to turn off case sensitivity. Then apply the filter to your new profile.
  • The 2nd filter includes this new data in the keyword report. Again, you want to set up an advanced custom filter but this time choose “Customized Field 1” from the “Field A -> Extract A” drop down. In the box write “(.*)”
  • For “Field B -> Extract B” select “Campaign Term” to find out which of your keywords the search query matched and enter “(.*)” again in the box.
  • Finally in the “Output To -> Constructor” menu choose “Campaign Term” or wherever you want your data to go and then enter “$B1, $A1” The space after the comma means that you can export your data to a .csv and have a separate field for the actual search term.
  • If you’ve followed the steps as I’ve laid them out then the filters should be applied in the right order; if you want to check the information is there when you click to edit the new profile from the “Analytics Settings” page.

As always, it’ll be a little while before Google Analytics starts to register the new data so don’t be too impatient. Unfortunately the filters can’t be applied retrospectively so you can’t start using them on all your old data but as far as I’m concerned this is the only downside. Set up the filters and start refining your AdWords campaigns!

November 7, 2008

Keyword Research: 7 Keyword Modifiers to Optimise New Websites For

submit_url = “http://www.seoptimise.com/blog/2008/11/keyword-research-7-keyword-modifiers-to-optimise-new-websites-for.html”;

This post is about keyword research, it deals with so called keyword modifiers. Let me tell you a story to explain those and why you need them:

When potential SEO clients approach me my first question always is “how old is your domain?”. Then the second question is “how long has it been indexed?” Most people don’t know how important that is and I prepare them for my answer to their first and second question:

How much does SEO of my site cost and how long does it take to see success?

My answer always is: It depends! Whenever I tell them the truth (it might take a year or longer) they never call me again. Well it’s just the dark part of the truth. Once you know you have a new site and all SEO experts know that Google does not like new domains, we can adapt our keyword research and thus aim for goals that can be reached within a shorter time frame.

The solution to overcome the problem of the so called Google sandbox (Google not allowing new sites to rank for competitive terms) is focusing on modifiers. While a new site will rarely be able to compete in a crowded niche it can immediately fight for keyword phrases and keyword combinations that are neither the most competitive terms nor long tail (very specific or unusual) phrases.

Keyword modifiers to optimise new websites for can be (as I refer to keywords I will write everything in lowercase like search users do):

A city or region

  • seo oxford
  • oxford seo
  • seo company uk

Even with Google Local/Maps getting more popular people will still look for local businesses like in the traditional Google results.

A verb that signifies the searcher’s demand

  • buy iphone

It’s incredible how many people really add verbs like “buy” instead of the noun “shop”. Also “rent” is popular.

A noun that signifies the searcher’s demand

  • iphone price (wants to compare prices)
  • iphone shop (wants to buy iPhone)

An adjective that specifies the demand

  • cheap iphone
  • iphone cheap
  • iphone unlocked
  • affordable seo
  • local seo

A noun that specifies the demand

  • small business seo
  • blog seo

A term that specifies the target audience

  • small business seo
  • business blogging

This can apply also to students, women, seniors or whatever demographic group you want to reach.

Brand or product plus alternative

  • iphone alternative
  • iphone competitor
  • iphone rival
  • better than iphone
  • like iphone

I see a lot of searches like that where people know only one brand but don’t want to stick with it.

Entering the market late means you’re a “mom and pop shop” opening in the vicinity of a huge WalMart or Tesco store so you can’t compete by offering exactly what the huge chain offers. You got specialise and be different.

Choose several of these modifiers, the most apt ones for your business and start optimising for them right away. Using modifiers brings SEO results much quicker. Later on you still can rank for the most competitive terms.

November 6, 2008

The Lazy Bloggers Guide to Quality Content & Social Media Success

Filed under: blogging, copywriting, social mediaKevin Gibbons @ 11:30 pm

submit_url = “http://www.seoptimise.com/blog/2008/11/the-lazy-bloggers-guide-to-quality-content-social-media-success.html”;

I’ve been blogging for the last three years now and one of the most important things I’ve learnt is readers don’t have the time (or attention span) to read through long detailed posts. Concise, attractive looking posts grab the attention of readers and performs far more effectively almost every time.

I figured this out the hard way, spending hours writing up long posts which I perceived as quality content. Unfortunately no-one else agreed! Surprisingly the short and very quick posts which I didn’t think were anywhere near as interesting, seemed to grab the attention of readers, commenter’s and social media audiences.

5 reasons why you should forget about writing the perfect piece of quality content

Blogging for Dummies

Image Credit: Flickr

1) Ditch the long paragraphs – no-one reads them!

Is it worth describing point 1 in detail here? Chances are that readers will skim over the title and skip to point 2! So off to point 2…

2) A diagram paints a thousand words

An informative diagram will be quicker to understand and instantly provide an overview of the post. Additional content can be added to back-up the post for users who are looking for more detail, without the need for reading through everything for those who aren’t so interested.

3) A picture doesn’t even need to paint three words!

Images make the page look attractive and can be the difference between a StumbleUpon thumbs up or a user leaving the site before the browser even loads.

4) Spend your time researching a large number of bullet points instead of copywriting

As interesting as the post might be, if it looks long-winded it will probably get ignored. If you have a bullet-pointed list full of useful information or links, for example, users are likely to scan through each item and bookmark to finish later.

5) A boring headline = no-one reads your post

You might have thousands of website visitors or RSS subscribers, but no matter how good the post is, it’s likely to get skipped if the headline is dull. Put more of your copywriting effort into considering the headline and the reward should be far greater.

So there you have it, it’s simple – blogging’s all about headlines, lists & images! Maybe you should try it yourself, drop the hours of copywriting and watch the social media votes roll in! ;)

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