All The Social Ladies Podcast: Julie DeLoca of LOCA Marketing

All The Social Ladies Podcast: Julie DeLoca of LOCA Marketing

All The Social Ladies Podcast: Julie DeLoca of LOCA Marketing | Social Media Today

Get ready for insights from a brilliant marketer – I recently spoke to Julie DeLoca who is the head of LOCA Marketing. Her career spans the agency world, the fashion world, and the consulting world and she did it all with really smart thinking.

Key Topics

  • The Story of Julie’s Career

  • Effecting Change in ‘Old-School’ Companies

  • Becoming an Entrepreneur​

Key Answers

Can you create an impact in a company that hasn’t moved ahead with the times?

“There’s always a way. If you’re not senior enough to effect change yourself, then you should identify a space where you can be really effective, figure out what you want to do and find a champion. I do believe that if you are truly passionate about something, you can make it happen, but everyone needs a champion in a big company such as that. A person’s entrepreneurial spirit can be thwarted in some companies – especially those with an ‘old-boys network’ – but I think you can try and find a champion in these cases and try to make those important changes happen. You can’t change the world, but you should try and find one thing that you can do.”

Why did you start your own company?

“By this point, I’d seen what the limitations were on both sides of business. On the agency side of the business, you can come up with beautiful branding, marketing and smart identity but then when you hand it over to the client side, everything changes because they want to make it their own and do things a little differently. So I decided to go in from the outside as a consultant and call myself a brand champion and try and create synergies across all touch points.”

Key Soundbites

– “Identify a space where you can be really effective, figure out what you want to do and find a champion.”

– “In order to grow at an agency, you need to completely immerse yourself in your clients and their businesses. Know their brand better than they do and do whatever it takes to make it work”

– “Having my own company and doing something I really love is a balance I’ve been fighting for for 13 years”

Resources

Enjoy, and check back here for more episodes of the All the Social Ladies podcast on Social Media Today. 

This article was originally published on Apple News:

 

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5 Lessons I’ve Learned Building Links for Enterprise Clients by @linkbuildingjon

5 Lessons I’ve Learned Building Links for Enterprise Clients by @linkbuildingjon

Years ago, I founded a link building firm based on the simple concept of only pursuing real links on real websites with a relevant audience, using a customized approach.

Eric Ward was my mentor, and frankly, I felt there were a dearth of agencies taking low-quality approach. I noticed a need in the market, and believed I could help meet market demand.

This was pre-Penguin, so it wasn’t the popular strategy, but I strongly believed in creating value – for humans, the web, and my clients. I never wanted to waste my time chasing junk links.

This was a difficult decision and route. I often worried about the fate of my business. Spam still worked, and it worked well. But at the end of the day, building links for humans won out.

As with any successful business, I have been lucky in a few respects:

  • I was able to hire truly wonderful people who share my ethos.
  • My timing was serendipitous. Within a year, the first version of Penguin affirmed my business strategy.
  • I was able to find great clients who believed in creating real value.
  • I was able to prove the model, earning the results my clients need.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. We’ve made mistakes along the way, too, and were forced to learn and grow.

As my agency continued to grow, we’ve worked with a broad spectrum of clients, incorporating ever-larger businesses into our processes, who by very nature have different needs, goals, and expectations.

Today, I want to share the lessons I’ve learned working with large, enterprise-level clients. Lessons I believe vital to our success in dealing with these enterprise companies, and demonstrative of the developing needs in the online marketing world.

Making the transition from small business to enterprise-level clientage will require changes in your agency. We made mistakes that hopefully you can learn from as you transition to larger, more professional organizations.

The Keys To Our Enterprise Approach

I approach every campaign with research, creativity, and custom strategy. But enterprise clients are on another level entirely, requiring special experience, time, and care.

Multiple factors make enterprise link projects different from link acquisition for mom n’ pop shops or small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs).

The biggest differences I’ve noticed building links for enterprise businesses is the scale, documentation, integration, and buy-in necessary.

The enterprise needs we had to meet as an agency:

  1. Up-the-ladder education (and selling) on the value of SEO, links, and particularly search
  2. Prioritizing quality, documentation, and a professional process
  3. Structuring and preparing for scalability
  4. Recognizing and projecting the long-term nature of SEO campaigns
  5. Adopting brand assimilation and integrating with ongoing marketing

These five factors have been the most important keys to success in our work with enterprise clients.

1. Many Enterprise Companies are Behind in Search as a Marketing Channel.

When I started this business, my specific goal wasn’t necessarily to work with Fortune 500 companies.

In my former professional life, I was a small business owner myself. My ambition in starting an SEO agency was to help other SMBs grow online in a way I found I had a knack for, and enjoyed: SEO and link building.

As my agency grew and I became more successful, we naturally attracted larger clients. And the larger my clients became, the more I realized large businesses are often behind in the SEO realm.

The reasons vary:

  1. Large clients have larger brand presence, which translates well into search presence without specific effort or intent.
  2. Large companies tend to be more invested in traditional marketing.
  3. Corporations move slower than smaller companies, due to their size and bureaucracy.
  4. Enterprise sites are often much larger, making SEO inherently more difficult.
  5. Search offered an emerging channel and platform to smaller companies, who noticed the opportunity and seized it early.

I’m often surprised by enterprise sites’ SEO–or rather their lack of SEO.

At one digital marketing conference I attended–with many well-known, respected brands–few of the attendees had staff dedicated to SEO. I was floored – these were large, well-known brand names that had zero internal resources dedicated to search as a channel.

This presents opportunity–so much opportunity in fact, that it’s a challenge to meet. My agency has to work hard to prepare for any new enterprise client, to deal with their demand. When a large company commits to a service it’s often at scale, especially once you demonstrate and establish value.

Which brings me to my next point two points:

  1. Enterprise clients have the budget and desire to work with the best of the best. To secure such clients, you need a solid reputation, systematic processes, clear communication, and strong project management.
  2. Once you secure an enterprise client, you need to be ready to scale to their demands.

If you don’t present quality in every facet, you’ll never earn enterprise business.

2. Quality Levels Must be High Across the Board.

Enterprise clients can afford to hire the best. If you’re not considered the best within your industry, you’ll have a hard time securing enterprise attention.

Startups are designed to work fast and efficiently. Processes and systems are constantly revised, removed, changed, adapted. With enterprise clients, I’ve found a more tempered approach is best.

blue print with ruler

We needed a more systematic experience, with long projected goals, processes, and expectations. Strong organization and structure are paramount.

This need for quality translated into three different forms:

  1. Documentation
  2. Customer service and consultation
  3. And, of course, product and service

The first differentiator in working with larger clients came through improving our presentation and documentation.

Our ability to win enterprise SEO business increased when we developed strong documentation, customized KPIs, and a better-developed onboarding process–all delivered with consistent communication. Delivering a quality product will always build trust early in a project, but for enterprise clients, we needed to demonstrate quality from first contact.

With enterprise companies, you’ll need a developed and smooth process that can be presented up the line to VPs and CMOs.

A good rule of thumb is to assume any documentation sent will wind up on the desks of VPs. I’ve learned it’s important to keep reports clean, professional, and easy to scan. Having a report that speaks for itself is the difference between securing budget and being cut loose.

Customer service is another area where quality must shine.

Enterprise clients require ongoing consulting. Not only do we deal with our point of contact within the company, but we are occasionally required to give a presentation to their boss/team as well.

This ties in with the fact that enterprise companies can be lagging in SEO, if not search itself. Ongoing consultation is needed to explain link strategies and present SEO-friendly suggestions and recommendations for other aspects of the client’s overarching online marketing plan.

It’s no small matter providing SEO to enterprise companies–they have far-reaching ambitions and large websites.

And these ambitions meant we needed to be able to scale to meet enterprise demand, once we secured the account and proved value.

3. Scalability is a Major Challenge

Startups live for growth.

My own agency is no different. We’ve always prided ourselves on being agile and adaptable, but that’s not enough with enterprise businesses. Enterprise clients need scale with firm consistency.

As my agency has taken on more and more enterprise-level work, I can attest to the fact that scalability is one of the biggest challenges in link acquisition for large businesses.

building being constructed

Large clients operate within ultra-competitive markets and industries where it takes a tremendous amount of work to move the needle. While building a handful of worthwhile links might do wonders for a mom n’ pop site, it’s going to take more to do the same for a massive enterprise website.

In manual link building, the only way to scale is to grow teams. Teams that are designed to foster creativity, collaboration, and transparency.

Scaling real people takes time. You need to be prepared before you bring on enterprise clients–if you’re scaling to meet demand as it happens, you’re likely already too late.

That’s been a tough lesson to learn.

I’ve found the best way to scale human effort is to start with a small team of dedicated link builders to build the foundation for the campaign. This smaller team’s goal is to establish momentum, implement an effective strategy, and prove campaign success. Only then can you scale the campaign effectively, by bringing on other experienced SEOs.

By developing a solid foundation you ensure your campaign continues to operate efficiently, even as you scale up to a larger team.

It can take a village to move the SEO needle for large companies, but by slowly scaling human ingenuity and manual effort it’s possible to be both effective and successful.

And best of all? It’s sustainable.

4. Enterprise Clients Need Long-term Solutions

SEO should always use sustainable practices.

Search isn’t a short-term marketing channel. As Google closes loopholes and the web matures, sustainable strategies and tactics become the only sensible option.

Nowhere is longevity more important than in working with large businesses.

Chapel from Milan, Italy

These businesses aren’t looking for cheap spikes in revenue that fade overnight. They need long-term, sustainable business practices that will grow revenue quarter over quarter.

I love working with larger clients because:

  1. Larger clients understand SEO isn’t an overnight project. They appreciate the time, energy, and effort that goes into a campaign.
  2. They are more strategic. They understand the nature of marketing, and have the brand name, recognition, budget, and experience to take the long view, rather than chase fads.
  3. Large companies are more stable, planning budget quarters in advance. This necessitates a forecasting of results mixed with current results, but ensures better overall planning.
  4. They’re actively marketing, which lends support to SEO initiatives.

This all reinforces the campaign nature of link building. It’s important to snowball link acquisition with relationships and ongoing promotion.

These clients are concerned about revenue growth plain and simple–they need links that stand the test of time and provide ongoing, long-term value.

This is the work I enjoy most–building real value for brands, sites, and humans on the web.

And that necessitates brand assimilation and marketing integration.

5. Enterprise Link Campaigns Require Brand Assimilation and Marketing Integration.

To build real links that drive growth we can only secure the links a website deserves–not manipulate links into being.

This means finding and seizing link opportunities, often created by brand reputation, online mentions, other online marketing, and audience exposure.

Links don’t just happen on the web. They represent a citation, reference, vote of confidence, or endorsement of some sort. Those have to be earned, even if you’re actively seeking to build links.

Large companies are great because they’re often already link-worthy. They’re known within their vertical and have amassed reputation and visibility. We can then use that visibility to secure meaningful links.

Better yet, they’ll often work with us and listen to our advice in improving pages and link opportunities. Link building isn’t a magic bullet–it’s intelligent promotion to site owners who have a meaningful platform relevant to our client’s industry, with an overlapping audience.

We can’t force others to link; we can only persuade. And with a brand name and large client willing to work with us, that persuasion is often easier.

But representing a large company is no small matter. Brand assimilation is key, as in any marketing. It’s our responsibility to represent the company well, build worthwhile relationships, and protect the brand above all else.

We take time to familiarize ourselves with the clients’:

  • Core messaging
  • Unique selling point (USP)
  • Brand voice and tone
  • Market positioning
  • Target audience

The easiest way to accomplish this brand assimilation is to work with their ongoing marketing efforts.

Integrating into our client’s ongoing marketing has a variety of benefits:

  1. Integration allows us to better adopt their brand, as we work closely with and observe those more experienced.
  2. Integration ensures we’re working effectively, as we’re aware of opportunities created through other marketing activities.
  3. Integration allows us to bolster other marketing efforts, with search visibility further improving the success of other marketing campaigns.
  4. Close communication with the client allows us to express the value of our campaigns, and build goodwill with increased collaboration.

Integration improves both the efficacy and efficiency of our link building, as well as our relationship with the client.

Some common marketing practices that work well with link acquisition:

  • PR
  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Pay-per-click (PPC)
  • Social media marketing
  • Event organization
  • Brand partnerships
  • Charitable contributions

Our goal is simple: Find what the company is doing that is worth promoting and discussing. Anything that’s worth referencing could result in a link, or a link opportunity.

Accurate brand representation is essential to the success of an enterprise link campaign and is best achieved through integrating with their marketing efforts.

Image Credits

Featured Image: Created by A.J. Ogden of Page One Power

In-post Photos: Unsplash.com

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Paid Search Advertising: Happy Ending or Horror Story? by @jakebaadsgaard

Paid Search Advertising: Happy Ending or Horror Story? by @jakebaadsgaard

Do you ever get a sinking feeling as you open your paid search account? You don’t know exactly what you’re going to see, but you have a feeling that something has gone horribly, horribly wrong?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

If you’ve managed a paid search account for long enough, you know that sometimes, things just inexplicably go awry. Clicks stop converting…keywords stop performing…campaigns suck your budget dry.

And you don’t know why.

Well, guess what? If you’ve ever felt like your paid search account is being attacked by forces beyond your control, you just might be right…

Is Your Paid Search Account Haunted?

Although it might seem like the monsters you see portrayed in the media are simply works of fiction, the creatures you see on TV have very real counterparts in the digital realm.

Even though you might not be able to see them, they are there in the shadows, waiting for the ideal moment to strike. So, if your paid search account feels like a horror story, you just might be facing one of the following monsters:

Vampiric Keywords

The wrong keywords can quickly suck your marketing budget dry. Unfortunately, most account managers invite vampiric keywords into their campaigns without even realizing it.

Like most vampires, these keywords often look appealing on the surface (they might seem to be a great match for the search intent of your audience), but behind the scenes they are sucking budget from your productive keywords.

PPC Vampire

The biggest problem with these keywords is the fact that they can be hard to separate from your good keywords and search terms. Although holding up a cross to your computer screen might do the trick, it would take quite a while to do that to every keyword.

Instead, the easiest way to identify your vampiric keywords is to track down your wasted ad spend. A good monster hunter might not know where a vampire is hiding, but if he knows a bunch of blood-drained bodies are showing up in a particular area, that’s a pretty good clue that a vampire is nearby.

Same goes for your paid search accounts. If you open your keywords or search terms report and create a filter for “Conversions < 1,” you can quickly see which keywords or search terms are sucking your account dry—those are your vampires.

Then, once you’ve tracked down the blood-suckers, it’s time to pull a Van Helsing and put a stake in them…

Zombified Account Management

Perhaps one of the reasons why so many paid search accounts are filled with budget-sucking keywords is because those accounts are run by zombies.

Of course, those zombies don’t look like your classic brain-hungry undead, but a zombie account manager does a lot of mindless lurching about and seems to be fixated on consuming marketing budgets.

PPC Zombie

Unfortunately, paid search management zombies seem to be very common.

You know how in the movies it always seems like the zombies outnumber the good guys by a considerable margin? Well, you see the same scenario playing out in paid search management. According to Larry Kim, 9 out of every 10 AdWords accounts does not get regular attention on a quarterly basis.

Similarly, at Disruptive, we’ve found that 72% of the accounts we audit haven’t been touched in a month. So, between these two statistics, that means anywhere from 72-90% of paid search account managers are zombies!

Scary, right?

Now, if you happen to work with (or, heaven forbid, happen to be) one of these account management zombies, you might be tempted to handle the problem in classic zombie-slayer style. Luckily, you don’t have to be quite that violent to solve your zombie problem—there is a better way!

Instead of resorting to violence, the key to eliminating zombified account management is fairly simple: regular account maintenance.

In general, if you have a paid search budget of $10,000+ a month, your campaigns need to be reviewed at least once week (although ideally you should be checking on them at least 3x/week). If you’ve just launched a new campaign, you should be checking up on it 3x/day.

For budgets smaller than $10,000/month, you don’t have to be quite as vigilant, but you’ll still want to look at your account at least once or twice a month.

Now, checking on your account on a regular basis isn’t the same thing as making big changes on a regular basis. If your account has been managed by a zombie for a while, it will probably need a lot of TLC to recover, but if it’s running fairly well, you probably only need to make minor adjustments most of the time.

However, just because your account is running smoothly, that doesn’t mean that you can slack on maintenance. That’s a slippery slope into becoming a zombie account manager.

Jekyll and Hyde Messaging

Another common monster lurking in paid search accounts is Jekyll and Hyde. Here’s what happens:

Let’s say you’re running paid search campaigns for a company that certifies pilots (amongst other certifications). You’ve created a great ad (ad #2) and when someone types in “airplane pilot certification near me” they see the following results:

Jekyll and Hyde Messaging in Practice

So far, so good.

Your prospective customer eagerly clicks on your ad and—wait a second—ends up on this page?

Jekyll and Hyde Messaging in Practice Part 2

Screaming in horror, they hit the back button and completely reconsider their pilot certification plans…

Okay, so their response probably isn’t quite that dramatic, but still, this landing page is hardly a good fit for your potential customer.

Even though your headline says “Learn to fly today” (dynamic keyword insertion, perhaps?), nothing about the page confirms to your visitor that they are actually in the right place. The overall messaging is all wrong.

Guess what? You’ve just pulled a Jekyll and Hyde on your audience.

PPC Jekyll and Hyde

This example might be a bit more extreme than what you see in your own campaigns, but if you’re sending traffic to your home page or a one-size-fits-all landing page (or even a poorly designed landing page), you’ve just created an advertising horror story for your potential customers.

To avoid this outcome, you need to create specific landing pages that match the search intent of your audience and messaging of your ads. In other words, if you don’t want to unleash Hyde on your unsuspecting potential customers, you need to take the time to create specific landing pages that match the search intent of your audience.

Ideally, you should have a landing page for each group of closely-related keywords, but if that isn’t feasible, you should at least have a landing page for every marketing campaign. Otherwise, your marketing efforts may end the same way as Jekyll and Hyde’s tragic tale…

Conclusion

So, will your paid search advertising adventure be a happy ending or a horror story? It all depends on whether or not you are willing to track down and eliminate the monsters hiding in your paid search account.

Whether physical or digital, monster hunting certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. But, now that you have the right tools, you should able to put an end to your paid search nightmare.

Have you run into these paid search monsters in your own account? How did you get rid of them? Are there other monsters you’d add to this list? Let me know in the comments!

 

Image Credits

Featured Image: Rangizzz/DepositPhotos.com
Monster images and mock landing page by Aden Andrus of Disruptive Advertising. Used with permission.
Screen capture taken October 2016.

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Moz Keyword Explorer vs. Google Keyword Planner: The Definitive Comparison

Moz Keyword Explorer vs. Google Keyword Planner: The Definitive Comparison

Keyword research, the blueprint to any successful SEO strategy

If you’ve been doing keyword research for a while, you’ve probably fallen into a routine. And that routine has likely been recently disrupted… thanks, Google.

If you’re new to keyword research, getting comfortable with new keyword research tools will come more easily to you. Lucky pups. But us change-averse old dogs can still learn new tricks when we need to. Are you ready to see which tool is right for you? –Woof.

My hesitations about writing this article:

  • I’m new to Moz and don’t want to be crucified for criticizing our own keyword research tool. This concern has only been met with acceptance and encouragement, so…*fingers crossed* they don’t change their minds. Love you guys!
  • My methods of keyword research revolve around finding qualified traffic for increasing conversions, not just any large search volume numbers (to make traffic look good).
  • I fear that this will come across as a Moz Keyword Explorer soft sell. It’s not. It’s a very honest comparison of Moz Keyword Explorer versus Google’s Keyword Planner. It’s a post that I’ve been wanting to read for a while.

Here are some great guides if you need a Moz Keyword Explorer refresher, or a Google Keyword Planner refresher.

< << TL;DR Skip to the conclusion here >> >

Google Keyword Planner’s recent change

Any habits we’ve held onto with Google Keyword Planner were disrupted early September when they decided to stop providing average monthly search volume data (unless you’re in that special group of higher-paying ad buyers who can still access the more precise search volume data). Instead, we now see huge swings of min-max search volume, which really starts to muddy the keyword research waters. Google recently came forward to explain that this change was done to deter scrapers from pulling their search volume data.

For a more comprehensive write-up on this change, read Google Keyword Unplanner by Russ Jones. He explains a little more about how this change affects various data sources and what Moz has been doing to mitigate the impact.

But, showing is better than telling. So let’s take a look for ourselves:

Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 9.07.27 AM.png

A 900,000 average monthly search volume swing is crazy! In fact, Google now only provides one of seven volume sizes: 0–10, 10–100, 100–1000, 1000–10000, 10000–100k, 100k–1MM and 1MM+.

Moz’s Keyword Explorer also gives ranges, but they’re not nearly as vast (or as arbitrary). The machine-learning model behind Keyword Explorer is designed to predict monthly fluctuations in search volume. It’s mathematically tied to the most accurate keyword data available, and you can see exactly how, and how accurate Moz gets in this Clickstream Data to the Rescue article.

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 10.04.36 AM.png

Which is why I wanted to know:

What are quality keywords?

Quality keywords successfully target your demographic during their acquisition phase (education – purchase), have a specific searcher intent, low-medium organic competition, and medium-high search volume (this will vary based on what part of the acquisition funnel you’re targeting).

However, it’s important to keep in mind that some longer-tail queries (with little to no search volume) can be highly profitable as well.


Tier 1 keyword research setup

Google Keyword Planner:

This is my familiar ol, kooky friend that has been acting very strange lately (anyone else noticing all of the delays and glitches?). I’m a little worried.

Anywho, here’s how I begin keyword research within Keyword Planner:

keyword-planner.gif

  1. Enter in your keyword under “Search for more keywords using a phrase, website or category.”
  2. Make sure the region is set to United States (if wanting to research nationally).
  3. Set keyword options to “broad.” –Settle down, we’ll go back and change this to “closely related” after our first swoop.
  4. Sort keyword volume by highest to lowest and change the “show rows” to 100.
  5. IMPORTANT: Always scroll top to bottom! Otherwise, new keywords will populate from the bottom that you’ll miss.
  6. Select keywords with unique intents as you scroll down the first 100 rows, click "next," and start again from the top until through all keyword results.

Moz Keyword Explorer:

My hip new friend that I’m not sure I can trust just yet. However, multiple trusted friends vouch for her integrity and… I really dig her style.

Here’s how I begin keyword research within Keyword Explorer:

keyword-explorer.gif

  1. Enter your keyword into the Keyword Explorer search bar.
  2. Navigate to “Keyword Suggestions” on the left-hand menu.
  3. Set “Display keyword suggestions that” to “include a mix of sources.”
  4. Set “Group Keywords” to “no.”
  5. Sort keyword list by highest search volume to lowest.
  6. Scroll down and select keywords with unique searcher intent.

Either way, this will give you one giant list of 1,000 keywords, which can be tough to pace through (compared to the 100 keyword chunks in GKP). A progress bar of sorts would be nice.

The thing that’s taken the most getting used to is not seeing a competition/difficulty metric adjacent to the search volume. The whole goal of keyword research is to discover opportunity gaps that offer mid-to-high search volume with low competition. If you’re anything like me, you’ve ran hundreds if not thousands of strange SEO tests and are very aware of what you can achieve “competition”-wise (domain-dependent) and what you can’t. (Or when a higher-competition keyword should take the form of a longer SEO plan.)

*It’s important to note that the KWP “Competition” metric is an advertising metric.

Despite this metric occasionally leading to an SEO correlation, it’s often misleading and not an accurate representation of how competitive the organic results are.

The KWE “Difficulty” metric, on the other hand, is an organic search metric. It also leverages a smarter CTR curve model to show when weaker pages are ranking higher (in addition to other ranking signals).

That being said, having to wait to find out the competition metric of a keyword until after I add it to a list is frustrating. I can’t help but feel that I’m not selecting keywords as strategically as I could be. Hopefully, Moz will add a historical competition metric up front (adjacent to search volume) sometime in the near future to help us better select ripe keyword opportunities.

The relevancy metric doesn’t do much to help my research because I’m already relying on the keywords themselves to tell me whether or not they’re relevant/have a unique user intent.

(I told you guys I would be honest!)

Label by keyword type:

Navigational: Searchers seeking a destination on the web.

Example: "University of Minnesota tuition"

Informational: Searchers researching, getting quick answers, often times using what, who, where, how, etc. modifiers.

Example: "what is a conker"

Commercial Investigation: Searchers investigating beyond an informational query. Comparing brands, searching for "best," researching potential clients, etc.

Example: "ppc experts in london"

Transactional: Searchers looking to purchase something, comparing rates, seeking prices for things, etc.

Example: "affordable yoda action figure"

Transactional and Commercial Investigation types tend to be most profitable (depending on business model). For example, a blog could do very well from Informational-type keywords.

If you want a more in-depth understanding of keyword types; read Rand’s Segmenting Search Intent. <– An oldie, but a goodie!!

Compare results & answer:

  • Which tool provided better long-tail results?
  • Which tool provided better top-of-funnel queries?
  • What percentage of "keyword types" did each tool provide?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of each tool?

For whatever reason, “student loans” painted an accurate picture (of what I’ve found to be true across other competitive keywords) for each prospective tools’ wheelhouse. So, “student loans” will serve as our point of reference throughout this comparative analysis.


Tier 1 keyword research overview:

Moz Keyword Explorer Google Keyword Planner
Term: "student loans" "student loans"
Region: United States United States
Spectrum: Include a mix of sources Broad
Group Keywords: No
Total Results: 1000 700
#Keywords With Intents: 43 40


+ Moz Keyword Explorer results:

Keyword Modifier Type Min Volume Max Volume Difficulty Opportunity Importance Potential
student loan consolidation consolidation Commercial Investigation 11501 30300 60 83 3 79
student loan calculator calculator Informational 11501 30300 75 100 3 76
student loan Informational 118001 300000 82 84 3 82
federal student loan federal Navigational 30301 70800 63 48 3 76
student loan refinance refinance Commercial Investigation 11501 30300 55 83 3 77
student loan repayment calculator repayment calculator Informational 11501 30300 67 100 3 74
student loan interest rates interest rates Commercial Investigation 6501 9300 53 54 3 69
student loan hero hero Navigational 1701 2900 49 19 3 53
student loan forgiveness forgiveness Commercial Investigation 70801 118000 62 86 3 86
student loans information information Informational 501 850 90 55 3 39
applying for student loans applying for Informational 4301 6500 72 55 3 60
fafsa student loans fafsa Navigational 2901 4300 98 56 3 28
bad credit student loan bad credit Commercial Investigation 1701 2900 44 83 3 70
student loan websites websites Commercial Investigation 851 1700 79 53 3 48
where to get student loan where to get Informational 501 850 76 55 3 47
citibank student loans pay citibank pay Navigational 201 500 29 94 3 64
how to get a school loan how to get a Informational 201 500 68 55 3 45
how to find my student loans how to find my Navigational 101 200 54 58 3 48
how to check student loans how to check Navigational 101 200 63 55 3 45
discover private student loan discover private Navigational 101 200 53 21 3 36
check my student loan balance check my balance Navigational 101 200 55 100 3 52
apply for student loan online apply for online Transactional 101 200 68 53 3 41
look up student loans look up Commercial Investigation 101 200 53 90 3 51
student loan now now Transactional 51 100 72 86 3 42
stafford student loans login stafford login Navigational 51 100 76 60 3 36
federal student loan lookup federal lookup Navigational 11 50 55 100 3 46
how to view my student loans how to view my Informational 11 50 57 64 3 39
how do i find out who has my student loan how do i find out who has my Informational 11 50 59 86 3 42
apply for additional student loans apply for additional Commercial Investigation 11 50 73 64 3 34
what student loans do i owe what do i owe Informational 11 50 50 41 3 34
student loan application status application status Navigational 0 10 72 100 3 33
what is federal student loans what is federal Informational 0 10 78 58 3 25
who services federal student loans who services federal Informational 0 10 68 100 3 22
apply for student loan by phone apply for by phone Transactional 0 10 86 86 3 11
national student loan locator phone number national locator phone number Informational 0 0 58 29 3 11
i owe student loans who do i call i owe who do i call Informational 0 0 50 94 3 26
where do i find my student loan interest where do i find my interest Informational 0 0 78 58 3 11
how to find my student loan account number how to find my account number Informational 0 0 55 100 3 25
how much federal student loans do i have how much federal do i have Navigational 0 0 80 46 3 8
where do i pay my government student loans where do i pay my government Navigational 0 0 77 55 3 11
student loans lookup lookup Navigational 0 0 55 100 3 26
student loans payment history payment history Navigational 0 0 66 46 3 14
how many school loans do i have how many do i have Navigational 0 0 68 90 3 21

Additional tool features:

The Importance metric: …is powerful! However, I’ve left all my results at a neutral Importance (3) so you can see downloaded results without any customization (and to keep things fair, because I’m not prioritizing GKP keywords).

If you choose to use this metric, you set a priority level for each keyword (1=not important, 10=most important) that will then influence the keyword’s Potential score. This allows you to more easily prioritize a keyword plan, which is very helpful.

keyword-importance.gif

Group keywords with low lexical similarity: While this can save you time, it can also lead to missing keyword opportunities. In my example below, if I select "student loans" (and not "Select 821 keywords in group"), I would miss all of the nested keywords.

Use this feature carefully:

group-keywords.gif


+ Google Keyword Planner results:

Keyword Modifier Type Avg. Monthly Searches (exact match only) Competition Suggested Bid
student loan forgiveness forgiveness Commercial Investigation 100K – 1M 0.58 3.38
student loan refinance refinance Commercial Investigation 10K – 100K 0.96 34.57
student loan consolidation consolidation Commercial Investigation 10K – 100K 0.98 22.52
private student loans private Commercial Investigation 10K – 100K 0.99 28.51
student loans without a cosigner without a cosigner Commercial Investigation 1K – 10K 0.98 23.85
parent student loans parent Commercial Investigation 1K – 10K 0.96 10.27
best private student loans best private Commercial Investigation 1K – 10K 0.93 21.33
bad credit student loans bad credit Commercial Investigation 1K – 10K 0.97 4.02
best student loans best Commercial Investigation 1K – 10K 0.93 18.61
compare student loans compare Commercial Investigation 100 – 1K 0.98 23.8
medical student loans medical Commercial Investigation 100 – 1K 0.91 10.16
student loans from banks from banks Commercial Investigation 100 – 1K 0.97 13.09
student loans for international students for international students Commercial Investigation 100 – 1K 0.88 14.01
no credit check student loans no credit check Commercial Investigation 100 – 1K 0.98 5.74
nursing student loans nursing Commercial Investigation 100 – 1K 0.94 15.53
alternative student loan options alternative options Commercial Investigation 10 – 100 1 30.32
best student loan consolidation program best consolidation program Commercial Investigation 10 – 100 0.91 36.91
student loan bankruptcy bankruptcy Commercial Investigation 1K – 10K 0.42 9.48
student loan deferment deferment Commercial Investigation 1K – 10K 0.35 10.31
student loans Informational 100K – 1M 0.98 25.97
student loan calculator calculator Informational 10K – 100K 0.42 5.41
types of student loans types of Informational 1K – 10K 0.82 13.61
student loan options options Informational 1K – 10K 0.99 23.63
how to consolidate student loans how to consolidate Informational 1K – 10K 0.84 13.79
student loan default default Informational 1K – 10K 0.28 8.18
student loan help help Informational 1K – 10K 0.96 15.48
where to get student loans where to get Informational 100 – 1K 0.97 17.19
average student loan average Informational 100 – 1K 0.33 18.59
private education loans private Informational 100 – 1K 0.98 16.76
what is a student loan what is Informational 100 – 1K 0.6 8.75
how do you get a student loan how do you get Informational 100 – 1K 0.94 5.22
no credit student loans no credit Informational 100 – 1K 0.98 7.85
about student loans about Informational 10 – 100 0.92 14.9
information on student loans information Informational 10 – 100 0.94 14.08
iowa student loan iowa Navigational 10K – 100K 0.23 9.08
great lakes student loans great lakes Navigational 10K – 100K 0.18 7.05
fafsa student loans fafsa Navigational 1K – 10K 0.61 7.41
student loan interest rates interest rates Transactional 1K – 10K 0.7 10.11
low interest student loans low interest Transactional 100 – 1K 0.98 21.07
need student loan today need today Transactional 10 – 100 1 9.8
i need a student loan now i need now Transactional 10 – 100 0.99 13.7

Tier 1 conclusion:

Google Keyword Planner largely uncovered Commercial Investigation and Informational queries. GKP also better identified a broader set of top-of-funnel keyword opportunities: student loan help, parent student loans, types of student loans, etc.

Moz Keyword Explorer largely uncovered Informational and Navigational queries. MKE better identified longer-tail keyword opportunities: how to get a school loan, apply for student loan online, apply for student loan by phone, etc.


Tier 2 keyword research setup

"closely related search terms" vs. "only include keywords with all of the query terms"

keyword-planner-closely.gif

Google Keyword Planner: Perform same setup, but select "Only show ideas closely related to my search terms."

keyword-explorer-include.gif

Moz Keyword Explorer: Perform same setup, but select "only include keywords with all of the query terms."

Note: Your .csv download will still say “Broad” for Google Keyword Planner, even though you’ve selected “Closely related”… Told you she was acting funny.


Tier 2 keyword research overview:

Moz Keyword Explorer Google Keyword Planner
Term: "student loans" "student loans"
Region: United States United States
Spectrum: Only include keywords with all of the query terms Closely related
Group Keywords: No
Total Results: 1000 700
#Keywords With Intents: 66 30


+ Moz Keyword Explorer results:

Keyword Modifier Type Min Volume Max Volume Difficulty Opportunity Importance Potential
student loan Informational 118001 300000 82 84 3 82
student loan forgiveness forgiveness Commercial Investigation 70801 118000 62 86 3 86
student loan calculator calculator Commercial Investigation 11501 30300 75 100 3 76
citi student loan citi Navigational 11501 30300 34 94 3 86
student loan consolidation consolidation Commercial Investigation 11501 30300 60 83 3 79
private student loan loan Commercial Investigation 11501 30300 62 80 3 77
student loan refinance refinance Commercial Investigation 11501 30300 55 83 3 77
student loan repayment calculator repayment calculator Commercial Investigation 11501 30300 67 100 3 74
student loan interest rates interest rates Transactional 6501 9300 53 54 3 69
application for student loan application for Commercial Investigation 4301 6500 64 54 3 63
apply for student loan apply for Commercial Investigation 4301 6500 60 53 3 64
student loan forgiveness for teachers forgiveness for teachers Commercial Investigation 4301 6500 58 100 3 71
bad credit student loan bad credit Commercial Investigation 1701 2900 44 83 3 70
student loan hero hero Navigational 1701 2900 49 19 3 53
student loan servicing servicing Commercial Investigation 1701 2900 70 90 3 62
discovery student loan discovery Navigational 851 1700 47 28 3 51
fsa student loan fsa Navigational 851 1700 90 58 3 41
student loan providers providers Commercial Investigation 501 850 66 53 3 51
where to get student loan where to get Informational 501 850 76 55 3 47
check student loan balance check balance Navigational 201 500 54 46 3 49
department of education student loan servicing center department of education servicing center Navigational 201 500 78 58 3 42
student loan status status Navigational 201 500 61 86 3 54
us student loan debt us debt Informational 201 500 66 56 3 49
all student loan all Informational 101 200 58 56 3 45
discover private student loan discover private Navigational 101 200 53 21 3 36
how do i find my student loan how do i find my interest Informational 101 200 59 86 3 51
student loan management management Commercial Investigation 101 200 57 53 3 45
student loan resources resources Commercial Investigation 101 200 49 83 3 52
where is my student loan where is Informational 51 100 61 55 3 42
student loan corporation citibank corporation citibank Navigational 11 50 36 94 3 45
student loan enquiries enquiries Commercial Investigation 11 50 61 100 3 43
fafsa student loan consolidation fafsa consolidation Navigational 11 50 99 53 3 1
federal student loan options federal options Commercial Investigation 11 50 75 54 3 34
federal student loan terms federal terms Commercial Investigation 11 50 81 90 3 31
get a student loan today get a today Transactional 11 50 66 83 3 41
need student loan now need now Transactional 11 50 71 83 3 37
student loan overview overview Informational 11 50 79 94 3 35
student loan payment history payment history Navigational 11 50 55 100 3 46
student loan website down website down Informational 11 50 42 90 3 44
apply for student loan by phone apply for by phone Commercial Investigation 0 10 86 86 3 11
apply online for student loan apply online for Commercial Investigation 0 10 68 53 3 28
citibank student loan promotional code citibank promotional code Navigational 0 10 38 94 3 28
student loan corporation sallie mae corporation sallie mae Commercial Investigation 0 10 63 100 3 23
dsl student loan dsl Navigational 0 10 51 90 3 38
how do i take out a federal student loan how do i take out a federal Informational 0 10 80 55 3 22
how to pay student loan online how to pay online Informational 0 10 52 55 3 32
student loan management app management app Commercial Investigation 0 10 43 83 3 26
my student loan account number my account number Informational 0 10 65 64 3 18
student loan servicing center pennsylvania servicing center pennsylvania Navigational 0 10 52 88 3 38
where to pay my student loan where to pay my Informational 0 10 68 100 3 22
student loan counseling center counseling center Commercial Investigation 0 0 58 83 3 23
deadline for student loan application deadline for application Informational 0 0 68 60 3 16
educated borrower student loan educated borrower Commercial Investigation 0 0 54 83 3 24
get subsidized student loan get subsidized Commercial Investigation 0 0 64 90 3 22
how do i find my student loan account number how do i find my account number Informational 0 0 55 100 3 26
how much student loan can i have how much can i have Informational 0 0 71 55 3 14
how to check the status of a student loan from direct loans how to check the status of a Informational 0 0 86 90 3 11
how to find out who is my student loan lender how to find out who is my lender Informational 0 0 60 60 3 19
how to get your student loan money how to get your money Informational 0 0 39 56 3 22
student loan information eligibility information eligibility Commercial Investigation 0 0 85 86 3 11
is financial aid a student loan is financial aid a Informational 0 0 72 60 3 15
national student loan data system for parents national data system for parents Commercial Investigation 0 0 53 22 3 10
national student loan database contact number national database contact number Navigational 0 0 57 64 3 20
nslds student loan login nslds login Navigational 0 0 73 46 3 11
subsidized loan and unsubsidized student loan subsidized and unsubsidized Commercial Investigation 0 0 57 94 3 24
what is a national direct student loan what is a national direct Informational 0 0 66 64 3 17

+ Google Keyword Planner results:

Keyword Modifier Type Avg. Monthly Searches (exact match only) Competition Suggested bid
student loan application application Commercial Investigation 1K – 10K 0.98 22.37
student loan bankruptcy bankruptcy Commercial Investigation 1K – 10K 0.42 9.48
how to get a student loan how to get Informational 1K – 10K 0.92 10.59
student loan help help Informational 1K – 10K 0.96 15.48
student loan deferment deferment Commercial Investigation 1K – 10K 0.35 10.31
alaska student loan alsaska Navigational 1K – 10K 0.54 2.21
south carolina student loan south carolina Navigational 1K – 10K 0.45 23.59
texas guaranteed student loan texas guranteed Navigational 1K – 10K 0.5 17.34
student loan interest rates interest rates Transactional 1K – 10K 0.7 10.11
student loan consolidation rates consolidation rates Transactional 1K – 10K 0.94 17.44
student loan refinance refinance Commercial Investigation 10K – 100K 0.96 34.57
student loan consolidation consolidation Commercial Investigation 10K – 100K 0.98 22.52
student loan calculator calculator Informational 10K – 100K 0.42 5.41
student loan gov gov Navigational 10K – 100K 0.28 16.42
iowa student loan iowa Navigational 10K – 100K 0.23 9.08
student loan forgiveness forgiveness Commercial Investigation 100K – 1M 0.58 3.38
what is a student loan what is Informational 100 – 1K 0.6 8.75
how can i get a student loan how can I get Informational 100 – 1K 0.97 7.71
how to get a private student loan how to get a private Informational 100 – 1K 0.96 14.82
student loan app application Navigational 100 – 1K 0.83 11.89
student loan cancellation cancellation Transactional 100 – 1K 0.41 4.5
student loan tax tax Transactional 100 – 1K 0.25 47.05
medical student loan consolidation medical consolidation Commercial Investigation 10 – 100 0.93 0
federal student loan options federal options Commercial Investigation 10 – 100 0.75 7.45
student loan consolidation faq consolidation faq Commercial Investigation 10 – 100 0.76 15.94
how to figure out student loan interest how to figure out interest Informational 10 – 100 0.38 10.52
how to apply for a student loan online how to apply Informational 10 – 100 1 20.61
how much is my student loan payment how much is my Informational 10 – 100 0.22 20.96
need a student loan now need now Transactional 10 – 100 0.99 12.02
need student loan today need today Transactional 10 – 100 1 9.8

Tier 2 conclusion:

Google Keyword Planner largely uncovered a pretty even percentage of all 4 keyword types (30% Informational, 20% Navigational, 30% Commercial Investigation, and 20% Transactional). GKP also continued to provide a broader set of top-of-funnel keyword opportunities: student loan bankruptcy, student loan gov, student loan help, how to get a student loan, etc.

Moz Keyword Explorer largely uncovered Commercial Investigation and Informational queries. MKE also continued to provide a broader set of long-tail keyword opportunities: student loan forgiveness for teachers, student loan providers, student loan status, how do i find my student loan, etc.


Where this is the end of the road for Google results, Moz has some other filters up its sleeve:

keyword-research-filters.gif

Let’s explore the other available Moz keyword filters and examine the discovered keyword results (keywords with unique intent).

Exclude your query terms to get broader ideas: 25 keywords

Most results are longer-tail queries around college tuition, educational expenses, private school tuition, etc. This evenly resulted in Informational, Navigational, and Transactional keyword results:

Based on closely related topics: 35 keywords

One of the more evenly distributed (search volume) results in this example. Most keyword results are around other types of loans or grants: payday loan, pell grants, auto loan, private loans, etc.

Based on broadly related topics and synonyms: 74 keywords

Results are mostly three words or longer and revolve around more specific types of loans; great lakes student loans, wells fargo student loans, student loan chase, etc.

Related to keywords with similar results pages: 187 keywords

Results are mostly long-tail Commercial Investigation queries around loan payments, student loan consolidation, student loan forgiveness for teachers, student loan payment help, etc.

Are questions: 111 keywords

Last, but certainly not least. The crème de la crème of an FAQ page.

Results reveal long-tail student loan questions (mostly Informational), like: can you file bankruptcy on student loans, do student loans affect credit score, are student loans tax deductible, where can i get a student loan, etc.


TL;DR

Conclusion:

Google Keyword Planner has limited search volume data, but continues to provide a broader set of top-of-funnel keywords (high volume, low competition <– ad metric). Despite the "closely related" filter resulting in a more even percentage of all 4 keyword types, it provided fairly similar results (35.4% duplicate) to "broad." Commercial and Informational keyword types were most commonly found.

Moz Keyword Explorer provides more accurate search volume data, while providing a broader set of long-tail keywords (mid-to-low volume, low competition). The many keyword filters provide a wide range of keyword results (17% duplicate in first two filters) and keyword types depending on which keyword filter you use. However, Informational, Commercial Investigation, and Navigational keyword types were most commonly found.

Pros:

Moz Keyword Explorer: Google Keyword Planner:
The keyword search volume accuracy (IMO) is the most impressive part of this tool. The ability to view monthly trends, mobile versus desktop searches, and geo-popular areas is wonderful.
Better UX. Can add negative keywords/keywords to not include in results.
Keyword suggestion filters reveal far more keyword results. Sorting by 100 keywords is a nice cadence.
The “are questions” filter is incredibly useful for things like FAQ pages and content marketing ideas. Google Sheet download integration.
Saved keyword lists (that can be refreshed!? Say whaa!?) Average keyword bid (for further competition insight).
Detailed SERP data for SERP feature opportunities. Monthly keyword trend data (on hover).
Organic competition metric. Ability to target specific hyper-local areas.
Ability to prioritize keywords which influences the Potential metric (for smarter keyword prioritization).

Cons:

Moz Keyword Explorer: Google Keyword Planner:
The Min Volume | Max Volume | Difficulty | Opportunity | Importance | Potential can be overwhelming. Search volume ranges are widely skewed and bucketed.
No Google Sheet download integration. Individuals who start adding keywords from the bottom up of a list (scrolling up) will miss newly populated results.
No “select all” option. Broad & Closely Related filters tend to provide very similar results.
The list of 1,000 keyword results can be daunting when doing lots of keyword research. No SERP feature data.
Inability to target specific local regions. Can’t save lists.
Clunky, slow UX.

Which is right for you?

I’d consider where you want to target people in your sales funnel, and where you need to improve your current website traffic. If you have wide top-of-funnel traffic for your product/service and need to better provide long-tail transactions, check out Moz Keyword Explorer. If you need a brief overview of top-level searches, take a look at Google Keyword Planner results.

Which do I use?

I’m a little ashamed to say that I still use both. Checking Google Keyword Planner gives me the peace of mind that I’m not missing anything. But, Moz Keyword Explorer continues to impress me with its search volume accuracy and ease of list creation. As it gets better with top-of-funnel keywords (and hopefully integrates competition up front) I would love to transition completely over to Moz.

Other keyword research tips:

I’ve also been a big fan of ubersuggest.io to give your initial keyword list a boost. You can add your selected keywords directly to Google Keyword Planner or Moz Keyword Explorer for instant keyword data. This can help identify where you should take your keyword research in terms of intent, sub-topic intents, geographic, etc.

Answer the Public is also a great resource for FAQ pages. Just make sure to change the location if you are not based in the UK.

Would love your feedback!

  • Please let me know if you can think of other ways to determine the quality of keywords from each tool.
  • Any other pros/cons that you would add?
  • What other tools have you been using for keyword research?

via SEOmoz Daily SEO Blog Read More…

Saving Magic Cat Academy from catastrophe!

Saving Magic Cat Academy from catastrophe!

Hi, I’m Momo, a student at the illustrious Magic Cat Academy. Heading to class this morning, I thought it would be just like any other day: learn a few new spells, drink some milk, and hang out with my awesome animal and vegetable pals. To my Halloween horror, hundreds of angry ghosts have invaded the halls of my beloved school — fur real! And now, I ask you to join me to try your hand (or paw!) at fending off these ghastly ghosts with today’s Halloween Google Doodle.

halloweengif

With a swipe of your paw (or should I say wave of your wand), you can help turn these Halloween tricks into a real treat. But be warned, your spell casting must be quick and precise. To send these ghouls into a tailspin, you must draw the symbols that appear above the ghosts’ heads on your screen. Wow! Meow!

game demo

That’s not all: show your friends who’s the real expurrrrrt at casting spells by sharing your score after your sorcery is complete. After all, Halloween festivities are always more fun with your full litter!

goodwork

via Search Read More…

14 Growth Hacks I Used To Drive 20 Million Views

14 Growth Hacks I Used To Drive 20 Million Views

Growing your business can be tough.

In the past you cold called, built business networks and advertised in print. If you were into guerilla marketing then creating a PR stunt could work well. But I don’t like dressing up as a rabbit to sell Easter eggs.

For most the opportunity of massive media reach like television was out of the question. Too expensive.

So……the choices were few but the opportunity was also smaller. It was also local. Most media did not go beyond national borders. When I stumbled into social for the first time there was sudden clarity.

The world could be reached with one tweet.

But there is a challenge

For many of us the new digital world is strange and forbidding. We read about technology with its terms and acronyms that are overwhelming and unfamiliar.

This stops many from even starting.

But ignoring the strange and sticking with the known is not an option if you want to press forward into the future. Staying with comfortable is a mindset that needs to be fought with tooth and nail.

Learn to live at the edge of constant discomfort.

You need the right mindset

What is that?

It is often  tossed around like confetti. But a new century mindset is a prerequisite to making progress in the world of digital transformation.

Here are some to ponder.

Open to continuous learning, dedicated to mastery and flexibility are in the mix. But the big one is an open mind. If you are closed to new ideas and fixed in your ways then it won’t be evolution but extinction.

Reinventing yourself and your business is becoming mandatory to success as a digital entrepreneur.

More reading: 14 Inspiring habits of successful Digital Entrepreneurs

The world beckons

Many people are location stuck. It even comes up in their questions. Like…..when should I tweet? The correct answer is 24 hours a day.

These hacks are not just about traffic growth , conversion optimization but revenue growth.

Even though this blog started as a passion project it is now a serious business. Today the blog has reached over 20 million visitors since we started with a simple 106 word post in 2009 and here are the top growth hacks that helped me get there.

More Reading: “101+ Tips & Tactics To Grow your Web Traffic

Growth hacks for traffic, conversion and sales

Traffic

Traffic is the place where is starts. It is the lifeblood for digital entrepreneurs. A website is no longer just an online billboard. It should be your marketing machine. Driven by the art of engaging content and the technology of marketing automation platforms, pop ups and landing pages and data collection.

This should lead to ongoing optimization of tactics and business tweaks that use the data insights to drive change. Here are some of the tactics that have made a difference.

1. Publish long form content

Banging out short fluffy post maybe worked a few years ago. Then Google decided that it would give more authority to long form posts that added real value to readers.

So try writing posts that are 1000 to 2000 plus words. Make them a resource type post that people will want to link to when they are writing their posts.

This organic link building will push your posts up the rankings. Hence more free traffic from search engines. Here is some data to show the average length of the top 10 results of search queries.

average-content-length-of-the-top-10-search-resultsn-serp-iq

2. Publish your best content on Medium

With over 12.5 million unique visitors a month (according to Compete.com), Medium is a blogging style platform that gets your content in front of another audience. Building an audience there is also an important part of growing awareness and traffic.

Since creating my profile on Medium and publishing there have been able to build a following of over 55,000 readers.

medium-jeff-bullas

So take some of your best content and re-post it on Medium.

Sometimes the traffic will surprise you. In September the 10 top social media marketing trends post received over 5,000 views.

jeffs-medium-data

Make sure you link back to your blog or website to get more attention and traffic with a simple call to action or even link from your bio at the bottom of the post.

jeffs-bio-on-medium

3. Publish on Flipboard

Flipboard with over 90 million hist per month is a site that allows you to grow followers. Create your own magazine(s). This can drive more visitors than Facebook on some posts.

Marketing your brand is about being everywhere in a wide range of media formats to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your web properties.  So create your own Flipboard magazine for your blog. Load up your articles and you have your blog in a magazine format. Flipboard just happens to make it look sensational!

As Flipboard is not just an app now but also on the web. This adds another distribution point to amplify your content in another format. Here is the traffic being driven to the Jeffbullas.com blog by Flipboard a couple of days ago.

5 Ways Brands can market with Flipboard

Example: Here is the Jeff Bullas.com Blog Magazine

5 Ways Brands can market with Flipboard

4. Automate Twitter sharing

Twitter is great for sharing thought bubbles and even breaking news. But if you use it for marketing or sharing your content and do it manually it is very time consuming

There are a range of tools available including SocialOomph that allow you to automate a range of different types of tweet. Loading up a bank of tweets with evergreen content that can be set up as recurring is what SocialOOmph is great for.

socialoomph-scheduled-posts

This tactic has generated nearly 15% of my traffic on automatic pilot.

5. Share Influencers content on autopilot

Social media is sometimes seen as a narcissists heaven as it provides global online attention. If you want to succeed then enlisting others to help starts with helping them first. I share over 20 other bloggers content on Twitter every day. Sometimes it is manual and other times I automate it.

The original app I used for that was Twitterfeed but is now closed. One of the best ways to do this now is to use a combination of Feedly, Buffer and IFTTT to trigger tweets that when bloggers post content you love and trust it is shared on Twitter.

This is how it works!

You will need to link Feedly to IFTTT and then to Buffer to setup automated Tweets that are scheduled to go out at times you set, 24/7/365 just like this;

IFTT and Feedly Twitter apps example

This will enable you to share top content on autopilot. This will grow your Twitter following and so more traffic! If you want to see how Larry McGuire explains how to do this check out this post, “7 Powerful Twitter Apps You Need to Work On Autopilot

More reading:

10 Smart Tips for Creating, Marketing and Sharing Content on Twitter

7 Tools Every Digital Entrepreneur Must Use

6. Tweet often

Many people are not sure how often they should tweet.

Most people bring their email goggles to Twitter tweeting. They think it is an inbox. It’s not. It’s a stream of online consciousness. It needs to be fed with constant updates.

Posting frequency on Twitter and Facebook is sometimes treated by companies in the same way. It shouldn’t. Twitter will tolerate much more frequent posting than Facebook. In fact studies show that a tweet every 15 minutes receives higher engagement than every 30 minutes.

The study results from Simply Measured shows that tweeting every fifteen minutes instead of thirty led to the following:

  • Increased traffic by 31%
  • Engagement was up by 89%

That just confirmed what I have been doing for years.

What is also interesting is to see brands tweeting more frequently.

Twitter frequency

Even though nearly 50% are only tweeting 1-5 times a day, the number that are posting 25+ times has increased.

Load tweets once and then tweet many times. So tweet often and use apps to do this for you without having to do it manually all the time.

7. Write evergreen articles

Evergreen content are posts that don’t date easily like the latest news.

But why is evergreen content important?

One big reason is because of search engines.  It’s called SEO. According to Appnovation, new content with 2-3% keyword density will get the highest rating in Google’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

But what about authoritative posts? If an article isn’t authoritative, if it doesn’t have relevant information, the advice is for sites to take it down during redesign.

The old stuff is called ‘legacy content’. When a third party is linking to an article with “outdated information”, it’s a shoddy legacy for a host site. The host has incentive to take it down and make room for currently relevant content.

That’s why you should write evergreen posts. So your work stays up, so it stays useful to an audience and therefore, a website. Evergreen content maintains authority over time because it continues to be relevant.

This piece, on the other hand, deals with the underlying concept of SEO as we know it:

maximize your content marketing strategy with search engines for evergreen content

More reading: How to Increase your Authority with Evergreen Content

8. Publish and re-purpose content on Slideshare

Almost everyone is looking for quick easy big wins but you just need to grind it out. Slideshare is one of the tactics that is incremental but keeps giving.

Slideshare is also often underrated as it isn’t a sexy social network but just a visual media platform that is more for the buttoned up set. But turning the appropriate posts into Powerpoints and uploading them to Slideshare can generate traffic and leads.

Since I started on Slideshare I have reached nearly 2 million views and from that comes some traffic back to the blog from presentations like this one below which has received over 155, 000 views.

slideshare-marketing

One of the best posts on this with some very cool tips and tactics comes from Eugene Cheng. (See her post below).

More reading: How to Get Insane Amounts of Traffic and Subscribers from SlideShare – Eugene Cheng 

9. Use GIFs in Tweets

As human attention drops to levels below that of a goldfish the fight for clicks and shares becomes a bun fight. So use GIF’s that scream (in a nice way) at the viewer.

Here is an example of one we have used for AgoraPulse’s very cool social media marketing automation app that is one of our favourite tools.

agorapulse-banner-twitter

10. Use hashtag jacking

When the latest series for the Game of Thrones was launched there is a lot of buzz. People Tweet, Snapchat and Instagram. Hashtags are a big part if this online.

So we decided to  write a post titled “3 Powerful Social Media Marketing Lessons From Game of Thrones” and tweeted it with the top trending hashtags.

The result was 2,300 shares.

hash-tag-jacking-game-of-thrones

Calls to action and conversion tips

Traffic is one thing but that is just the start of turning that into engagement and then leads and sales is where the real money is. Once you have traffic then it is important to start focusing on calls to action and then optimizing your conversions.

10. Co-create free ebooks with other businesses

Collaboration is one of the most powerful ways to reach new audience grow brand awareness and traffic and conversions. You can double your reach alone with this tactic.

Here is a free ebook I created with GetResponse on marketing automation which is a topic that is relevant for both our readers

get-response-marketing-automation-ebook

11. Convert Instagram visits to email subscribers

On Instagram you have one link in your profile so use it wisely.

Most send it to a website or a blog. Instead of that tactic create a call to action offering something of value for free. Then capture emails and build your email list.

instagram-call-to-action

12. Test your tweets

When Twitter started it was just text. That has changed.

Since they introduced the new function of allowing full images in the stream, I noticed a significant increase in engagement. This means more retweets, favourites, mentions and sharing.

Buffer performed some tests and analytics on the impact of this change and has discovered the following:

  • Tweets with images received 89% more favourites
  • Tweets with images received 18% more clicks than those without
  • Tweets with images received 150% more retweets

Now this doesn’t mean that every tweet should include an  image. But it certainly means that wise use of images should be woven into your content amplification strategy. An increase in engagement on Twitter can be a very effective tactic to increase sales and traffic.

I ran my own tests and found it was even higher using these 3 types of images.

Mini infographics

Twitter images

Images containing quotes

Twitter images

Generic images

Twitter images

These were the results from my data.

  • The percentage increase in impressions of a tweet with image over a tweet without is a substantial 197%.
  • Increase for “engagement” of a tweet with image over a tweet without is a staggering 581%
  • Percentage increase of a tweet with an image over a tweet without is a significant 111%.

So the increase in metrics when you include a great visual with your tweet can be between 100 and 600%. That is significant and leads to a big boost in traffic, so start adding visual tweets to your tactics.

Try 3 different images but with the same 140 text characters and headline in tweets for your next post. Check the metrics with Twitter analytics and then use the top performing image as your recurring tweet.

13. Implement marketing automation

Social and other digital marketing in its infancy was all manual but with automation now affordable the best way to scale and test your marketing is to implement a marketing automation software.

One of our top performing projects in the last 2 years was moving from just traffic and content engagement to focusing on email list building, conversion and optimization.

This light bulb moment happened during a Mastermind weekend event in Chicago in 2015. The insight was captured in this blog post. “Do You Have a Traffic Problem or a Conversion Problem

conversion-problem

Since then I have used a variety of tools starting with a marketing automation platform, set up auto-responders to send email sequences after the initial optin. We also implemented Leadpages to capture and test landing pages and tested conversion rates.

14. Soft gate your website

Over the last 10 months I have been using one simple tactic to grow my email list. It’s the “welcome mat” landing page from SumoMe. It is now used by many sites and even though some pundits say they are annoying. They work.

This “soft gating” doesn’t block access with a payment gateway but is just a simple request offering something for free before clicking to access the site.

The stats show that the welcome mat is one of the highest converting list building tactics you can use. Sumome data shows that it can triple your conversion rate with its full-screen call to action.

It encourages your visitors to join your email list and check out your latest and popular blog post!

welcome-mat-1

Since launching the pop up 10 months ago it has collected over 51,000 email addresses. Just putting a call to action in a side banner even at the top right will not perform that well.

But the reality is that these CTA’s should be woven into every corner of your blog and website marketing strategy.

welcome-mat-stats-sumome

Wrapping it up

None of these tactics are silver bullets.

But together they become a synergy of traffic, engagement and conversion that can turn a passion project into a real online business. It will allow you grow traffic from search and social, build your email list.

This then gives you the distribution and reach to sell both your own and other people’s products with affiliate marketing campaigns and joint ventures.

It is a journey that needs to move on from just getting traffic and building engaging content. That final step to convert attention into leads and sales is the difference between success and failure as a blogger and online business.

The post 14 Growth Hacks I Used To Drive 20 Million Views appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog.

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The Value (And Power) Of Attention

The Value (And Power) Of Attention

This will be something important to watch. Your life is a casino. Sadly?

Do you seek attention? Is your job to extract attention from consumers? What battles are you fighting to get more sales and build your brand? There are countless gurus with millions of followers. They are snapping away and have successful YouTube channels. It has been tiring for me to watch, personally. For me, the most modern and adaptive thinking on media, marketing and advertising is not coming from the influencers online. They’re just trying to extract more of your attention. It is coming from the media theorists. Two of the best are Douglas Rushkoff (you can listen to Douglas and I discuss his latest book, Throwing Rocks At The Google Bus, right here: SPOS #504 – The Modern Economy With Douglas Rushkoff) and Tim Wu

The attention merchants.

Tim Wu has a new book out, it’s called, The Attention Merchants – The Epic Scramble To Get Inside Our Heads. It is a critical read for everyone in business today. Wu is also a professor at Columbia Law School, director of the Poliak Center at Columbia Journalism School and a contributing writer at The New Yorker. He may be best known for his work on net neutrality. He is also the author of The Master Switch and has authored many other thoughtful pieces. In launching The Attention Merchants, he sat down with Douglas Rushkoff to to discuss his book at The New York Public Library on October 17th, 2016.

Watch this teaser: Our lives are like a casino – Tim Wu & Douglas Rushkoff – Live from the New York Public Library.

Now, watch the full 90 minute conversation: Tim Wu and Douglas Rushkoff Live from the New York Public Library

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How To Craft A Beautiful Business With Alan Moore – This Week’s Six Pixels Of Separation Podcast

How To Craft A Beautiful Business With Alan Moore - This Week's Six Pixels Of Separation Podcast

Episode #538 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Mirum Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

Alan Moore is a designer, author, thinker and believer. Some may think our work should be our art. Moore believes that we should approach it more like a craft, and think about how design is weaved through everything that we do. I first came across Alan’s work when he did a Do Lecture. It was followed up with a book called, Do Design (which is an excellent read). He calls himself a maker and a business innovator. He is someone who is deeply passionate about the current and future state of business. His other two excellent books are Communites Dominate Brands and No Straight Lines. His favorite question is: "what would your business look like if you committed to making it beautiful?" Enjoy the conversation…

You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation – The Mirum Podcast #538.

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Why Social Media Management is Much More Than Just Posting

Why Social Media Management is Much More Than Just Posting

Why Social Media Management is Much More Than Just Posting | Social Media TodayMany people think that social media simply involves posting content on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. However, as social media continues to grow and develop, it involves much more than that – especially if you want to see results.

If you’re a Social Media Manager, or have been tasked with managing social media within your business, then there is a lot more you could be doing, aside from just posting.

Here are 11 things to consider adding to your “to do” list (if they’re not already on it):

1. Develop a social media strategy

Before sending your first post, it’s important to have a detailed social media strategy in place. This should outline what you want to achieve, such as more brand awareness, additional traffic to your website, or increased sales. This strategy should then document what you need to do in order to achieve these set objectives and be used as a guide throughout the rest of your process.

2. Update your branding

Review your branding to ensure it’s clear and consistent across all of your social media channels (and other marketing platforms).

Use your logo for your profile pictures and ensure your cover images clearly display your business’ USP (unique selling point).

3. Create a monthly calendar

Instead of posting on an ad-hoc basis, add some structure to your activities by creating a monthly posting plan list. This can help to ensure posts are consistent, while it’s also a great way to double check for any spelling or grammar mistakes before posts go live.
Why Social Media Management is Much More Than Just Posting | Social Media Today

4. Schedule posts in advance

It’s not always feasible to sit around and manually post at set times, especially if you’re out of the office or stuck in a meeting. Instead, consider scheduling posts in advance. This can help save you time in the long-term and ensure posts go live when they’re supposed to.

5. Respond to comments

Make sure you’re responding to any messages or comments from followers within a reasonable time frame. You could even create a spreadsheet which includes sample responses, to help speed up the process. However, it’s important to always ensure that every response is personalized in some way.

6. Listen to conversations

In addition to responding to comments/messages that people have intentionally directed at your business, you should also be listening for relevant conversations that are happening without you. Search for keywords related to your business, industry and even your competitors. To help, try using tools such as TweetDeck, Hootsuite and Sprout Social.

Why Social Media Management is Much More Than Just Posting | Social Media Today

(Screenshot from Hootsuite)

7. Manage your followers

It can be hard work keeping track of all your followers, however, with Twitter lists you can easily categorize them.

For example, you could create a list of customers, thought leaders, industry news, influential bloggers and accounts from the local area. You can then add these lists to tools such as Hootsuite, so you can quickly and easily monitor what is being said and see any opportunities to engage.

8. Run advertising

Although you can let people come to your social media channels naturally, you can also consider running advertising to help get noticed. You’ll need to set a budget, decide on your target audience and monitor the adverts regularly. However, the more you put in, the more you get out.

9. Run competitions

Although it may not be right for every business, competitions and prize draws are very popular on social media. They can help to increase your engagement levels, get more followers and also develop your email database. Don’t forget to check promotional guidelines before you get started though.

10. Create a monthly report

Check your strategy is on track with the help of monthly reporting. This is an opportunity to look back at what’s happened over the last month and see whether there are any opportunities to improve moving forward.

11. Stay up-to-date with social media developments

Social media is fast moving, so it’s important that you actively keep up-to-date with all of the latest developments, such as new tools, feature changes, best practices and even updates to social search algorithms.

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