Posts By Sean

#14 – SEO – 20/03/2013


So apparently there has been another Google update…

There will have been a few SEO’s going into last weekend worrying about whether they will be getting a bollocking about their clients come Monday. A few of the more dedicated of this bunch probably completed a few ‘keyword’ searches to see whether their sites had bombed or not. These poor fuckers are going to be up against it. I mean after all the quality work they’ve been doing recently how will they be able to explain this to their clients?

Lets be honest (for once) and say that the majority of SEO agencies have probably got used to explaining indifferent results to their clients over the last couple of years. So one more panda update won’t really make a massive difference. Will it?

This thought process led me down a foggy road, one where I thought “Would an SEO agency rather ‘strive’ to get #1 results for their clients than actually rank for them?” Yes, an SEO campaign is more about traffic and conversions these days but the fundamentals of organic traffic comes from rankings (I feel I have to add this because some idiots usually comes out and say that rankings don’t matter when they quite obviously do.)

So lets think about this for a second. SEO agency A are currently ranking #1 for their clients priority terms. What sort of things will they probably consider?


Being #1

  • Forever checking ranking results to see whether they are still ranking 1st for their “priority” term(s).
  • Shitting themselves every ranking update regardless of how white hat their campaign has been because of the unpredictability of Google.
  • Running out of sources to get organic traffic.
  • Frustrated clients who will soon get bored of the same results (however good they are).

Now you work for SEO agency B and you’re striving to be #1 for your clients priority terms.


Striving to be #1:

  • The results above us are spam… We could easily replicate them but it’s not a good idea for you in the long term.
  • We create quality content that gets plenty of social shares and links, we’re just waiting for the links to pass authority.
  • We get quality links from websites with high authority, we’re just waiting for the links to pass authority.
  • “We are looking to offer a risk free organic search campaign that has your long term business success in mind. We wouldn’t want to ruin this by building links too quickly or poorly, like your competitors”.

I can imagine a large number of SEO suppliers who are currently striving for the #1 spot because they are either:

  • Too afraid to do anything to drastic (especially around anchor text)
  • Don’t actually know what it takes to rank a site in 2013
  • Have been penalised by Google and are trying to get back or have taken a client on in a similar situation.
  • Are miles behind the competition but will lie about the clients chances of ranking to keep the money coming in.

But business wise there are benefits to this, we may pretend that there isn’t but we know it to be true.


Selling the idea to a client that they will rank once Google changes their algorithm to reward ‘quality’ is currently a utopian one. Let’s ignore the fact that we can’t seem to define quality content. Have you ever really believed that Google will be able to do this, let alone choose too?

I aim to create the best content to get more shares, more links, more visibility and my client out there. Not because it might one day help me rank better. If this ‘tactic’ helps me in the future then so be it.

One things for sure though, you can bet your bollocks this ‘quality algorithm’ anticipation has been and will be coming out of the mouths of agencies around the world in both selling to prospective clients and keeping clients happy. I know that at the end of the day any supplier that tries to do something like this and doesn’t back it up by traffic or conversions will be caught out in the end and likely binned but it won’t stop some agencies from providing a sub par service in the name of risk management, being clueless and/or being afraid to try.

Sorry I’ve got kind of lost here. Time to stop typing I think. Any thoughts are as always appreciated.

Oh yeah that’s it. We’re looking to accept guest posts here at The Saloon. Ideally some of you guys that don’t normally post on your own blogs let alone anyone else’s. We are after fresh ideas and voices within the industry (even if this post proved otherwise). If your down to write get in touch with one of us.

#9 – Improving Sales & Brand Visibility With Followerwonk

Since the beginning of the English Premier League (1992, no football didn’t exist before…) the battle for fans & their disposable income has mainly been an international one with ‘brands’ like Manchester Utd, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal & even Liverpool looking to gain fans by playing high profile friendly matches abroad during the pre season.

Over the last 20 years advertising a teams style or brand has become vitally important as sport has combined with technology to become more accessible, professional and financially motivated. For examples of this check out ‘mes que un club‘, Arsenal’s brand values or Bayern Munich’s facebookfacepalm.

That’s all well and good Sean but what does this have to do with Followerwonk and or selling stuff?

Good point. Lets get too it.

For today’s example I will be looking at Manchester City Football Club and how they can increase shirt sales, brand visibility and/or match tickets when they play abroad during pre season. As you may have gathered from the title I will be using Followerwonk to find regional twitter followers for Manchester City.

Find the handle – First things first lets find the brand twitter account. For this example the Manchester City Twitter account is @MCFC

Grab some data – Next login to Followerwonk and copy and paste the twitter handle into ‘Analyze Followers’ before choosing to ‘analyze their followers’. Run the report, this should take around half an hour. Due to the large number of followers Followerwonk use a random sample of 100,000 out of the 630,047 current followers. This isn’t perfect but we should still get some decent data (I think this requires a twitter account and SEOmoz pro account, not 100% sure.)

Review your report – Once it’s ready check out your report. Followerwonk aims to approximate the geographic location of up to 5,000 followers (as you can see below.) Unfortunately we don’t have the fixtures for Manchester City’s next pre season so we will base it on where they played last year. After a bit of research I’ve found out that they played Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur. Lets check out the followers for that region of the world (the red 262…)

Drill down – And again… (yellow 53…)

Choose your location – So now we have regional twitter followers that we know will be interested in Manchester City games and merchandise. As the majority of the fans are in the capital city (Kuala Lumpur) and that is the most likely location for any future games we will drill down there (yellow 25…)

Keep drilling – So below we drill down again (yellow 10) and we get a couple of options. Lets check out @yandiimaulana


Potential customer? – I think it’s safe to say he’s a brand advocate… It might be difficult getting him to buy the first kit though. Might try and see if he likes the 2nd kit. 🙂

Even if the rest of the local followers don’t show the same enthusiasm & zeal as Yandi you still have a great opportunity to get in contact with fans and offer memberships, discounted merchandise and/or show some thanks for their support. Imagine how many local social shares/word of mouth your brand could get within a certain region if you offered specific discounts to specific followers?

For example I’ve just seen the Manchester City Twitter feed tweet the following.

But wouldn’t it be a great opportunity to do the following?

O.k. so the tweet is a little formal but I think you get the picture. I think this idea has legs particularly for smaller businesses looking to undercut large businesses within competitive sectors (review competitor followers, offer their customers a better deal…)

TL;DR = Use Followerwonk, find fans, offer unique deals, increase brand visibility & sales.

You can thank me below.

Actually don’t. Go and get your daily muse on. Anthony is once again talking sense about tweet curation and bubbly content.

Go on now…

#6 – Social Media Usage Within The Online Marketing Sector – The Results!






Yo Saloonatics! 🙂 I’ve finally got around to writing something!

Another snappy title eh?! A few of you may have read a previous post of mine over at 0110 covering social media usage within the online marketing sector. Well the survey got 70,000 / 1,000 replies and I’ve been receiving a lot of angry DM’s and emails asking about when the results will be published. Fear not data fiends, today is that day!

1 – What is your social media website of choice (if you had to pick…)

O.k so the results for this chart are pretty fucking boring. Considering that the majority of 0110’s traffic comes via Twitter and that no-one really uses Google+ this isn’t a great surprise. It does however confirm that Twitter is where all the cool kids hang out during the day to discuss, well you know, stuff. Linkedin was also available but no-one thought it worthy (quelle surprise) 2 people also mentioned Tumblr (fair enough) & Foursquare (hmmm…) Lets move on. This one was lame.

2 – How much of your working day do you generally spend discussing and reading on social media websites?

So it seems that 98% of you guys spend at least some time on social media every day. That’s not necessarily surprising but when you think about it a little scary. 68% use social media for over an hour but the number that sticks out to me is that 34% or 1 in 3 of online marketers spend between 2 hours and the whole of the day on social media. Surely that’s got to have a detrimental effect on work flow / work completed? Or at least you’d think so…

3 – How much of your non working day do you generally spend on social media websites?

These numbers above are very similar to the amount of time spent on social media during of working hours. Blah, blah, blah… (not sure why I asked this question)

4 – How do you feel your employer would feel if they found out how much time you spent on social media websites during working hours?

14% of you think that your employer would be pissed off/shocked if they found out how much time they spent on a social media platform. Interestingly 73% of you guys think that you have an ‘average’ addiction to your social media accounts and looks like you are going to eat the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ people above.

5 – Why do you spend so much time talking/reading social media websites during working hours?

The top scorer for this question was ‘I might miss out on an important post’. Isn’t that kind of sad 🙁 I’ve created a feed with the very best SEO content so that I don’t have to worry about missing out on decent posts (yes there are a lot of other resources out there but these are my favourites). I forgot to add the ‘It’s part of my job’ section but fortunately all the 18 who went to ‘other’ wrote about it being part of their role. 

6 – What would you do with your time if your social media accounts were all deleted?

So this question allows the participants to explain what they would do if their accounts were removed or deleted. You’ll not be surprised to hear that there were some interesting opinions… Personal favourites are 5, 10, 24, 29, 37, 47 and 56 (you daft bastards!)

  1. read books
  2. I would probably use email.
  3. ..
  4. Recreate my social media accounts
  5. Doctor who cosplay?
  6. Nothing different, really.
  7. Learn Japanese
  8. Find an alternative means to connect with personal/professional peers. Social network accounts/sites, in and of themselves, are pretty irrelevant; it’s the relationships that exist on these sites that are truly important. The medium can be replaced but the interaction and communication with people I’d otherwise have no access to is critical.
  9. Read a lot more articles. Also, probably get the sack (Apart from personal social media usage, I am the community manager for our clients).
  10. I’d probably go work at an insurance office with Jonathan Silverman. Our dick but rich boss, Bernie, will mysteriously ask us to his beach house one weekend, only for us to find he is dead. Obviously, antics and 80’s humor will ensue. Wait..
  11. Eat a pie, go for the walk. Build more shit.
  12. set up new ones,
  13. Put up a bunch of sockpuppets
  14. other stuff, like reading a book or listen to more music, or watching amazing TV series.
  15. Read and write emails, youtube
  16. find something to code, a new tool.
  17. Spend more time reading and managing my RSS feed.
  18. Find substitute sites – i.e. those that aren’t social media sites per se, but still allow discussion, etc.
  19. Drink a lot
  20. Work more, read the web more
  21. Go for a walk
  22. Hit up the forums again
  23. at work? Probably look @ client ones more, do more client work, surf more irrelevant web pages (when taking a break)
  24. wank all day
  25. Get a real social life
  26. Work more…
  27. drink coffee, lots of coffee
  28. Read the news/a book
  29. Cry like I’d been smacked by a really cold cod, in front of people.
  30. Make some music 🙂
  31. Make fake ones to scare people
  32. Read blogs
  33. twiddle my thumbs
  34. read
  35. First, I would try to re-do all my accounts. Second, I guess I would read a book or something.
  36. Rely a ton more on Google Reader and Blogs to keep me aware of what’s happening in the world.
  37. die slowly inside fucking excel
  38. Since I use my social media to get information going on in the industry, I’d likely spend more time on
  39. Look for other ways to exchange ideas with my peers
  40. Going more often to the gym. Reading more books. Watching more movies.
  41. I’d still read articles – but shittier ones if I couldn’t tell if they were recommended/shared.
  42. I’d like to say I’d do something more productive, but would probably find a different way to take a break from work. I use social media to follow the marketing industry so I don’t view it as a complete time waster. There is learning in there too.
  43. play games 🙂
  44. Spend it making new social media accounts and then using them to complain that all my original social media accounts were deleted by some utter, utter ballbag.
  45. work 🙁
  46. When I have important work, I block my accounts anyway. Probably read curated content on news/interest sites.
  47. cut myself
  48. Weep uncontrollably
  49. Read other sites instead of reading on social media.
  50. Go into PR
  51. Something productive – work on a novel, perhaps.
  52. writing something valuable…i am sure!
  53. read other news
  54. Sleep
  55. build links
  56. Porn. Definitely porn.
  57. Look at pictures of cats somewhere else
  58. Cry forever and drown in my endless tears.
  59. Cry with happiness
  60. Write more blog posts and chat on IM services
  61. Manually search for blogs / Good info
  62. Work
  63. Read the Daily Mash, play more games, find other ways of hiding from the wife.
  64. Good question, probably i would work all time with no break.
  65. Setup new social media accounts
  66. Start a new social network.
  67. Set up new ones.
  68. Bookmark a lot more blogs
  69. Create new social media accounts.
  70. Talk with co-workers / industry peers by email, IM, or face to face.

7 – Do you feel that your social media usage has an adverse effect on the quality of work you produce?

This one surprised me. Honestly 50% of you (if you took the survey (if not why didn’t you take the survey?!)) believe that spending 1 hour+ per day on social media doesn’t have an adverse effect on client work. Personally I find that surprising but what do I know. 7% of you state that your social media usage definitely effects the quality of your work yet 14% of you said that your employers would be irritated with your usage in question 4. Maybe they felt a little bit more relaxed by question 7?

So yeah, amazingly interesting results! What do you think? Anything surprise you? What questions would you have asked?