HitTail Scheduled Maintenance – 18th November, 2016 (Friday)

Dear HitTail customers,

To ensure that HitTail continues to run smoothly, we are going to have some scheduled maintenance on Friday, the 18th of November, 2016.

This maintenance is going to be held between 09:00am – 09:30am GMT+00.

Please note that HitTail services will be unavailable during this period. We are expecting that downtime will be no more than 30 minutes.

We tried to schedule the downtime during this period to minimize disruption to our customers as much as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the downtime.

Kind regards,
The HitTail Team

Keyword Ideas – a Brand New and Ultimately Useful Tool in HitTail

Keyword Ideas HitTail

Today we’re pleased to announce the release of a brand new tool, called Keyword Ideas. It allows you to get keyword ideas based on your entered term or phrase.

Unlike existing HitTail keyword suggestions feature, this new tool is not dependent on your website’s traffic, meaning you can use it even if you’ve just launched a new website or blog.

All you have to do is to enter a phrase (which could be a topic, service or product) and click Search. HitTail will generate keyword ideas highly relevant to the entered phrase, which people use in real life when searching Google. Each keyword idea comes with an estimated number of monthly searches and the number of web-pages you will have to compete with when targeting a given keyword. You can try the new tool for free by signing up on this page.

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Meet the New HitTail Team

Greetings to all HitTail users and followers!

Today we have exciting news – HitTail has been acquired by a new team of experienced search engine marketers, developers and designers. Stas Tatarin – HitTail’s new manager – has over 8 years of experience in search engine marketing and is happy to become a part of the HitTail team.

stas-comment

“I feel truly grateful to Rob, who has been building HitTail during the last several years, for the opportunity to take HitTail over and continue its success. I believe that search engine marketing will remain one of the most efficient ways to promote businesses and brands online for the coming several years. Whether you have an e-commerce website or blog as a hobby, being found easier on search engines is the key to success.

At the same time, I realize that not everyone needs to be a SEO expert to be able to drive targeted search visitors to their websites. And not everyone has the resources needed to hire expensive search engine marketers or agencies. If this is the case, HitTail is a great and efficient solution.

What’s more, most keyword tools require the website owner to come up with keyword ideas, but HitTail analyzes existing traffic and provides suggestions for new keywords each month, based on existing traffic. HitTail works in the background and provides you with new keyword suggestions daily or weekly, while you can focus on other tasks. It is easy to set up too, as it doesn’t require any code snippets to be deployed across the website.

It is kind of “hands off” tool that I’ve been asked for many times. I was excited when I first found HitTail and now I’m really happy to know that we just acquired it.”

– Stas Tatarin

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New HitTail Live Widget being Tested

Hey baby, wanna see my HitTail?

Would you share the first page of your HitTail Search Hits data with the world?

Well, it used to be that you had to log into your own site (or as Connors) to see how cool and addicting our real-time Search Hit tab in HitTail is. But we wanted to start giving everyone a feel for the “black river of keywords” that exists in any site without logging in.

So, we’re testing this new “HitTail Live” widget on our own site for now—but based on whether people like this feature, we might make it available to the public. First, I’m interested in what you think. So, comment!

This widget it somewhat in the spirit of the “search voyeur” features that used to be built into sites like Excite and AOL Search in years past, where you can have insight to the “search stream”. Lately, this has been supplanted by Google Zeitgeist. But somehow, we still think that viewing the real-time flow in a voyeuristic fashion is still hugely appealing. It’s the same issue as day-after Google Analytics, vs. the viewing the real-time click-stream that makes folks like this blogger continue to use HitTail over other choices. Both have their uses, but as this writer states, there’s just something about watching those hits come in.

So, if you’re interested in using this widget on your website, let us know with comments. It’s not a sure thing. For example, would you actually be OK with SHOWING OTHERS the flow of traffic leading into your site? Is it giving too much away?

Personally, I feel it will help reveal the trends on the Internet that the online marketing community doesn’t want to acknowledge: natural search is king. Paid search (which is indistinguishable from natural search from a referrer perspective), which you can identify by the “lack” of a natural listing, is just way less common than people think. Sure, it can drive traffic, but can it even begin to compete with natural search niche domination?

By showing you this widget, we’re now also showing you a slice of the traffic coming to the HitTail site itself. It’s also a wonderful example of how awesome our filters are. Doing this should by all reason pollute our data with people surfing or referrer links. But it won’t. Think about that. If you click one of those links in the Widget, and surf BACK INTO the HitTail site using a reproduced Google search, shouldn’t you see that you just did that in our widget? Shouldn’t that sort of self-referential referrer loop ruin the data?

In any other tracking system, it would.

And THAT sort of subtlety is why folks like Tatraplan detect something special about HitTail’s particular brand of showing referrers.

And with this new public-facing widget, we think there’s a much easier way to check out HitTail’s coolness, without “logging in as Connors”.

If you agree, and might like one of these for yourself, let us know.

A Meetup Invitation, a Connors Client Slot, and a Link-Back

Anyone who is in the New York area tonight is welcome to stop by they Prey bar for the SEO Superpowers Meetup, and say hello to the HitTail and Connors Communications crew.

A few other items I want to get out there in this post: Connors Communications, the company that created HitTail, and played a fundamental role in kick-starting the commercial Internet, has a few slots opening up in its SEO and PR schedule. Usually, engagements start at no less than $25K/mo. I thought I’d mention it on the HitTail blog, since this is where much of our audience currently resides. So if you know of someone with a large AdWords budget, looking to diversify and free themselves from the Google Tax Man, then drop us a line or corner me at Prey.

Also, for anyone who hasn’t noticed yet, almost any reference you make to HitTail in your blog post will usually score you a mention and a link-back in our TypePad collection of quotes and testmonials. So, if you’ve been waiting to say a few nice words about us, now seems like a good time.

And finally, I’m really pushing to get people to sign up for at least the Plus service, just as a way of supporting us. It’s only $99.95 per year, and think how much time we’re saving you struggling with those other analytics packages that ask you to jump through hoops before you figure out what to do with your data. As our quote page shows, we’re rapidly becoming an integral part of many peoples’ day-to-day marketing activities, and the surest way to a long-term relationship is throwing a little support our way!

Please Support HitTail

Hi Everyone,

Here’s the price of free – a major guilt trip!

If you find HitTail useful, then I’m officially asking for the sale. Please consider supporting us by upgrading your account to Plus.

What I’m doing is proving to my co-workers that in this Web 2.0 world we live in, where it seems so much is free, that paying is a way of deliberately supporting those you like. For a moment, forget about the enhanced features you get with the upgrade. Think about us like musicians who have decided to put all our music on MP3, since it’s going to be there anyway, and ask you to support us through attending concerts, and buying the occasional CD to throw some support our way, and keep us doing what we do.

This post may end up a bit controversial, since we seen to be endorsing the business model for the music industry that the RIAA is avoiding like the plague. But supporting artists, businesses, and software you like is going to be a lot more like voting with your credit card than it is actually buying tangible products.

We appreciate every bit of support we get, and I’m making this post as a way of seeing what “just asking” can do for us. The alternatives are things like an NPR fund-raiser, where I make more intrusive and repeated requests. We’re avoiding cutting back any of the goodness of our fully-featured free service. But you can feel good by doing your part, and simply upgrading one of your accounts to Plus.

I can’t offer much by way of promotion, but how about this: anyone who signs up and puts “friend of mike” in the promotion code field, I will send you an invite to join my FaceBook network. You’ll see my status updates on the FaceBook news feed, and will have a special line to me.

I’m also thinking about buying a bunch of those $1 graphics, if I can create an “I Support HitTail” badge. If I can figure out how that works, I’ll officially gift everyone who comes in with that promotion code and the Plus service with a cool badge to demonstrate to everyone that you support us.

Biggest HitTail Criticism Fixed!

Well, we just fixed the biggest criticism of HitTail. Those of you who follow this blog can check it out by simply visiting your “My Account” page.

No, we haven’t made any change to our unique filtering system that often confuses people. We stick by it.

Nor is our biggest criticism the controversy we’ve triggered off in the SEO community. They’ll eventually understand long tail data mining.

And no, the biggest criticism isn’t even the original point made by John Battelle about how taking HitTail writing suggestions in pursuit of better natural search listings may be somewhat… inorganic.

No, the biggest criticism leveled against HitTail is how people want multiple websites per login.

You all want more HitTail! You want it to be easier to sign up the first account, then add site after site after site. Well, we heard you. And now you have “My Sites” on your “My Account” page. All free HitTail users can rapidly add up to 4 more sites (5 total) to each account. So now for all you HitTailers managing multiple accounts, it’s a breeze.

What about the 6th site, you ask?

You always can create a new account, and do 5 more free sites. Free use of HitTail is still effectively unlimited.

But, if you’re such an avid HitTailer and fan of our service, why not upgrade one of your sites to the Plus service, and support us? Not only do we greatly appreciate it, but then there’s no limit to the number of sites you can add under a single account.

So help us out, and check out this feature.

And help us out by upgrading one of your accounts to Plus!

More HitTail Coverage

We’ve been getting a bit of press lately that I’ve been remiss in blogging about here. We got coverage in Inc. Magazine a website for entrepreneurs, as well as in The Ventura County Star, one of the tech counties of Southern California. Instead of going on about it here, you can visit the respective sites, or check out our updated Squidoo HitTail Lens.

Promoting Your Site on HitTail Blog

I’m going to make a habit of promoting interesting HitTailers on this blog who have publicly disclosed their use of HitTail through either the TypePad Widget or announcing it on their site. No worries. If you’re using HitTail as a competitive advantage, and don’t want your competitors knowing, we don’t spill the beans. But for those who announce it on their own, I’d love to promote you, assuming it’s an interesting site.

Anyway, it turns out there’s an entire market for businesses being put up for sale by retiring baby boomers. Think about that. Baby boomers are getting up in years, and many of the entrepreneurial companies they’ve started are going up for sale, making a viable alternative to starting your own business or buying a franchise. So, check out The Baby Boom Business Exit Phenomenon.

Who would like to be mentioned on the HitTail blog next? Be sure you’re using HitTail first, before you respond with comment links here.

SEO Super Powers Meetup #1

We had a successful SEO Super Powers meetup yesterday, considering the rain kept all but 4 non-Connors people away. With myself, my Connors posse, and Marshall Sponder (Webmetricsguru), Pauli Price of Sindex Systems and Rupali Shah of 24/7 Real Media, we discussed a broad array of issues, veering far off the Ajax + SEO subject for the night, but always returning to the theme of how to make business more successful. The life-span of SEO as we know it was estimated from anywhere from 2 to 5 years, with much talk of social media. Time was spent discussing whether or not blogging is SEO, and what the process might look like from someone initially discovering you, to building trust, to some sort of relationship (customer).

I feel that this meeting laid the foundation for future SEO Super Power meetups in NYC, where we will fully embrace, and perhaps even lead, what the field is becoming. Stay tuned for the information regarding the next meetup. And on a related note, I think I’ll start getting out to some more of the meetups around New York. There’s Technology, Entrepreneurship, Networking, Marketing, Programming, Graphic Design and the like. It’s going to be a challenge pairing it down to a reasonable number to attend each month!