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May 2, 2007

Lee Odden’s Reader Poll RoundUp

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Lee Odden posted a Reader Poll Roundup yesterday, giving readers a, well, roundup of the results to the search polls he’s been running weekly. I very much enjoyed this since while I often participate in his reader polls, I don’t always check back later to see what everyone else had to say. It’s not because I don’t love you; it’s because Susan beats me when I visit the same site too frequently. I must deserve it. I’m bad.

Some of the answers were pretty obvious – Search Marketing Standard is the best print search magazine, Search Engine Strategies is the best search conference (for now), usability is the most popular non-SEO service – but others were somewhat thought provoking.

For example, when asked what type of SEO skill is most important, copywriting came in first with 28 percent of the 101 votes, followed by keyword analysis (14 percent), marketing strategy (11 percent) and Web analytics (11 percent). Traditional link building received only 8 percent of the votes. I would have thought link building would have been higher but maybe non-traditional types of link building (i.e. social networks) weren’t included in the actual link category, or at least not in the minds of the responders.

Despite link building’s low showing, I think the top four answers were sound. Content is still king (don’t hurt me), you must optimize for the right keywords, have a clear marketing strategy and be running some type of analytics program to benchmark results. Looks good to me.

Also interesting, 51 percent of the readers Lee polled (90 in all) said when they can’t think of something to blog about or they’re just not feeling the blog juice they simply won’t blog at all. I’ve never been a fan of that approach; in fact, I’m really not a fan of that approach. In most circumstances, I think you have to blog through the wall. You’re not going to re-find your voice by staying silent. Say something. Otherwise readers may go away.

That being said, don’t post crap. I don’t care how annoyed/angry/bored you feel, you can feign passion for something, even if it’s about how bored you are or about how badly you don’t want to blog today. There’s nothing wrong with going a little off-topic on your off days. We like to call those days "Fridays". We have them weekly.

When asked to name their top non-standard search marketing channel social news and social networks got a combined 19 percent of the votes to first place finisher email’s 21 percent. That’s an impressive social climb.

Obviously, Lee’s survey polled a smaller, more optimization-inclined audience, but I do think they’re reflective of what we’re currently seeing in the industry. What say you?

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