Findings To Help A Digital Marketer In 2018 #study


Winning the competition for customers in ecommerce is getting more and more complicated. So, having a strategy based on data and current trends becomes very helpful. With this is mind, we studied 93 online stores with a total of 530 million Google Analytics sessions across 15 Central and Eastern European countries.

Some findings look like the old news while the others are somehow new and can influence your digital marketing strategy significantly, especially the choice of instruments. Since it is time to start planning for 2018, let’s learn what data says and how businesses can improve their online marketing.


Returning Customers Are Valuable

They generate 51% of traffic. A conversion rate of returned visitors is 25% higher than a conversion rate of a first-time buyer. And they tend to spend more.


Therefore, using digital marketing instruments such as remarketing, email marketing, social media promotions, etc., to engage and retain customers is usually well-paid off.

Website Page Load Speed Shouldn’t Exceed 8 Seconds

Search engines as well as website visitors like fast sites. It isn’t a secret that Google considers ‘Site Speed’ a ranking factor. Moreover, they intend to apply mobile-first indexing, which means that their ranking system will look at the mobile version of a webpage’s content first.

Mobile converts 2x when page load < 8 secondsClick To Tweet

We analyzed the page load speed in terms how it affects conversion rates. The study shows that the average value is 8 seconds. Meanwhile, mobile users turn into customers two times more often if the page load speed is less than 8 seconds. And mobile traffic brings 67% more conversions compared to 2016.


So, it makes sense to put an effort into minimizing the webpage load time, especially if the target audience prefers visiting a particular website using smartphones and tablets.

Conversion Rate Should Be Analyzed With Caution

Is my conversion rate is too low? This a one of the most frequently asked questions. And the answer is “Well, it depends”. First, we recommend website owners to analyze the trends. When the value is decreasing, apparently, something has gone wrong. Second, compare your situation with the competitors. The research shows that 52% of ecommerce websites have a conversion rate of less than 1%.

This slightly differs by niches and by channels.


One of the surprising findings for us is the fact that referral traffic demonstrates the second highest conversion rate on the market under the study. Meanwhile, many ecommerce websites focus on increasing organic and direct traffic and, thus, invest in SEO and activities designed to increase brand awareness.

It seems that partnering with established companies and influencers in the niche so that they promote your products using both online and offline tools is worthwhile.

Email Marketing Isn’t Dead

Email is the most efficient digital marketing channelClick To Tweet

This is still one of the most efficient digital marketing channels for reaching an audience of online store customers. We have found out that it has 2.25% conversion rate, which is higher than any other digital marketing channel. Another interesting thing is that email marketing demonstrates significantly higher revenue per user.


Another point is that 50% of ecommerce websites that we have examined do not use email marketing at all. So, this is where you or your competitors may lose the opportunity.

Successful Online Store Grows By 30%+ YoY

No surprise that ecommerce market in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe is growing. Over the past 12 months, the number of visits increased by more than 30% and the revenue increased by 38%.

Based on available data, our experts identified a successful ecommerce as a website that increased its profitability by 30%+ over the last year. The share of AdWords in total traffic of the successful projects is more than 50%. They also have used a wide range of referral programs constantly. Check out the following infographics showing data that compares successful to less successful websites:


Takeaways For 2018

The aforementioned data is useful when you assess the condition of your digital marketing strategy and start planning for the next period. To sum up our findings, we identified this short list of hints for ecommerce to succeed in the coming year:

Focus On Returned Visitors And Increase Brand Awareness

In other words, it is recommended to develop long-lasting relationships with your clients. Otherwise, you will hardly be able to enjoy 70% of profits resulted from repeated sales, as the research shows. Based on the knowledge of your target audience, select the tools to retain visitors.

Optimize For Mobile

We can hardly stop repeating again and again: ecommerce websites should provide the best mobile experience for their visitors. People are researching using their portable devices and many of them purchase using mobile. You may invest in re-designing a mobile version of your website, developing an application, or launching a promo campaign specifically for smartphone and tablet users.

Use The Most Effective Marketing Tools

Based on the data obtained, we have identified email marketing as a channel with the highest conversion rate and decent ROI. Not to mention that this is a powerful tool to encourage repeat sales. However, Google AdWords also shows promising results since customer trust Google when choosing an online store.

Develop An Affiliate Program

Referral traffic can amount to 10% of sales with a high conversion rate, so search for marketplaces and individual influencers that can help you sell products and increase brand awareness and loyalty. It is also a good idea to combine online and offline activities for higher engagement.

Hand-Picked Related Articles:

* Adapted lead image: Public Domain Dedication (CC0) Public Domain, via

Source: Search Engine People Blog (Original

Here’s How to Get the SEO Reports You REALLY Want & Deserve by @rankranger

This is a sponsored post written by Rank Ranger. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

Here, have another SEO report that regurgitates the same data in a new way.

Not happy yet? How about another?

And another. And another. And another.

You pay good money for SEO software that aims to provide solutions to your SEO and digital marketing problems. Yet, it seems like every day some other new platform offers the same report just in a new color and you still don’t have the tools you need to manage your SEO campaigns.

So why can’t you seem to get what you need from an SEO software platform?

Simple. It wasn’t built for you.

Let’s be honest: it was built to satisfy the most people as possible within a niche of potential users. It wasn’t built to satisfy you. It was built for you to be satisfied enough.

Does that sound like something that can actually provide you with a solution to your SEO undertakings? If you said no, keep reading. (If you said yes, keep reading anyway to see why you should have said no.)

Your Way or the Highway – Custom Data, Graphs & More

Let’s get straight to the point. You have data from all sorts of sources that you need to track and analyze. But can you manipulate that data in any way you wish?

Can you select from a variety of chart types and color schemes to display your data? Maybe.

Can you compare all sorts of data and metrics from all sorts of data sources? You know, compare your AdWords and Bing Ads performance to organic metrics from your Google Analytics to your Facebook and Twitter insights to the results you’re getting from your call and email campaigns. Didn’t think so.

How about all of the above to your overall revenue last quarter? Definitely didn’t think so!

(Yes, you can integrate your internal data into our software so that you can compare whatever you want whenever you want to. That the whole point of custom data isn’t it?)

To be honest, we don’t just sit around and think about what other third-party integrations we can add to Rank Ranger… we only do that when we’ve finished integrating the data our customers have asked us for (more on this below).

Integrating customer data

Your data, your metrics, your data sources, your way, your style, your metrics, or like the H2 says, it’s the highway.

It’s a custom world, with custom problems that require custom solutions (and a bit of elbow grease). 

OMG! You Mean I Can Actually Get What I Want?! 100% White Label Reports

Can you send your clients a white label PDF of the SEO reports your software shoves down your throat? Maybe.

Can you create a multi-page dashboard where you can manipulate the HTML and CSS as well as insert any report, custom graph, or embed just about anything from surveys to videos? Uh-uh.

Dashboard reports

Wouldn’t you like to have the flexibility to make your dashboard reports not only look but function any way you would like?

Wouldn’t it be nice to insert the charts and graphs you created?

Wouldn’t it be helpful to insert whatever content or media you so desired and not be limited to the checklist on the side of the report generator?

We’ll say it twice, it’s a custom world, with custom problems, that require custom solutions. (Did we mention the elbow grease?)

Enough Already! Stop Paying for What You Don’t Need

Here’s the kicker.

So you don’t get the reports you specifically want. Nor do you have the options you need to create data that highlight the specific metrics that show your success.

On top of all that you’re probably paying for extra keywords and search engines and competitor domains that you don’t even use and that you don’t even want since you’re stuck buying a standard, prefabricated package.

SEO Package

Let’s summarize then. You aren’t getting what you need and you’re paying for what you don’t want or use.

Sound about right?

How about custom pricing? OK, done. Here you go:

Did you click the link? Go back and click the link.

Pay for what you use, pay for what you want. Wasn’t that easy?

Once again, but with more enthusiasm and vim this time, it’s a custom world, with custom problems, that require custom solutions. (Yes, yes, the elbow grease too.)

You’ve Got Problems, We’ve Got Custom Answers

What do you get when you combine a gifted and ambitious development team with a vision to provide a platform that sets the standard for flexibility and customization?

Two words… (the) WeDevelop program.

WeDevelop program

Let us explain how the WeDevelop program works. You sit at your computer (or you hold your phone). You send us an email with what you need and we develop it. Hence, the We Develop program. We’re not even going to write anything else here, because there’s really nothing else to add but a bunch of “markety” sales talk.

We’ll say it one last time, it’s a custom world, with custom problems, that require custom solutions. (We’re not going to discuss elbow grease anymore.)

Sick and Tired of One-Size-Fits-All SEO?

It isn’t complicated.

You have unique clients, with unique websites, with unique needs.

You also have a unique approach and unique methods in dealing with your unique clients with all of their unique sites and needs.

Can one-size-fits-all software really provide you with the unique solutions you’re looking for?

Unique solutions

Despite subliminal market messages telling you that you can’t have a custom tailored SEO suite, you can and it really isn’t that complicated. It rests on being able to:

  • Create custom data.
  • Provide your clients with custom reports.
  • Build a package that fits your needs without having to pay for excess.

Give yourself the freedom to go about SEO the way you want, be the boss of your own SEO monitoring and reporting, and get what you actually need out of an SEO software platform (finally).

Rank Ranger, helping you unstuck yourself since 2009.

Image Credits

Featured Image: Image by Rank Ranger. Used with permission. 
In-post Images: Image by Rank Ranger. Used with permission. 

Source: Search Engine Journal (Original

Making The Sale — Three Essential Ingredients That Get Customers To Buy Now (FS242)

If you’ve ever had high hopes about how good your sales were going to be… and then had those hopes destroyed by little to no results?

So often we see business owners who get super excited about launching a new product or service, and they have high hopes about making those sales.

They then proceed to put it out there, push it to social media, email their list, and give something away for free thinking that this is going to be “the thing” that lands them a ton of sales.

But instead, they are met with disappointment and little to no sales at all. So why does that happen?

It happens all the time — we think our sales efforts are going to have bigger results than they actually get.

Why? Because we haven’t yet learned how to make the sale happen NOW.

It’s simple stuff, but many fresh entrepreneurs still haven’t learned how to do it.

Today on the show we talk about:

  • making the sale,
  • how to avoid the post-launch disappointment,
  • and the three essential elements for getting someone to take action and purchase what you have to offer, today!

Inside this episode, we dive into the common scenarios that business owners face when launching a new product or service and why things go so terribly wrong despite having the greatest of intentions for their success.

We also discuss the three ingredients that are necessary for getting someone to buy right now — the essential things that you might be missing your sales efforts. There are things you have to do to get someone to actually make the sale. It is not enough to simply put in the effort and commit to the hustle. It is absolutely key to nurture your audience, warm up your leads, and give them a reason to buy and a reason to buy right now.


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“People want to feel understood. That’s what makes people buy.”

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Most common examples of failed launches that most business owners face. [0:03:32.0]
  • The deflating mental state that is experienced after an unsuccessful launch . [0:07:38.0]
  • Common misconceptions of having a big email list; will they buy? [0:11:10.0]
  • Understanding if your email list subscribers are qualified to buy your offer. [0:16:06.0]
  • Allowing your email list to get to know you better before asking them to buy. [0:18:42.0]
  • Why you should not “catfish” your customers; avoiding the bait and switch. [0:21:16.0]
  • The process of qualifying a lead and identifying those who are interested. [0:23:31.0]
  • Identifying your buyers who are either warm or cold. [0:26:59.0]
  • Channels to use got warming up a lead and nurturing a lead. [0:32:31.0]
  • Understand the concept of selling vitamins versus painkillers. [0:37:00.0]
  • Creating an urgency to purchase by using a launch model instead of an ever-green model. [0:39:01.0]
  • Why their reason to buy is based on how well you have nurtured your audience. [0:49:11.0]
  • Provide enough details about your offer to debunk the myths and objections. [0:54:50.0]

“Don’t be so limited in your head by what you think other people will think of you.”

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

“Making The Sale — Three Essential Ingredients That Get Customers To Buy Now”

Source: Think Traffic (Original

A Complete Guide to the Google Panda Update by @DholakiyaPratik

Editor’s note: This post is part of an ongoing series looking back at the history of Google algorithm updates. Enjoy!

Panda is the official name of an algorithm update developed by Google to reduce the prevalence of low-quality, thin content in the search results, and to reward unique, compelling content.

At the time Panda launched, user complaints about the increasing influence of “content farms” were growing rampant.

Google’s Panda algorithm assigns pages a quality classification, used internally and modeled after human quality ratings, that is incorporated as a ranking factor.

Websites that recover from the impact of Panda do so by revamping pages with low-quality content, adding new high-quality content, eliminating filler words and above the fold ads, and in general improving the user experience as it relates to content.

Why Google Created Panda

In 2010, the falling quality of Google’s search results and the rise of the “content farm” business model became a subject that was repeatedly making the rounds.

As Google’s Amit Singhal later told Wired at TED, the “Caffeine” update of late 2009, which dramatically sped up Google’s ability to index content rapidly, also introduced “some not so good” content into their index. Google’s Matt Cutts told Wired this new content issue wasn’t really a spam issue, but one of “What’s the bare minimum that I can do that’s not spam?”

ReadWriteWeb pointed out:

“By the end of [2009], two of these content farms – Demand Media [of eHow infamy] and – were firmly established inside the top 20 Web properties in the U.S. as measured by comScore. Demand Media is the epitome of a content farm and by far the largest example of one, pumping out 7,000 pieces of content per day…The company operates based on a simple formula: create a ton of niche, mostly uninspired content targeted to search engines, then make it viral through social software and make lots of money through ads.”

In January 2011, Business Insider published a headline that says it all: “Google’s Search Algorithm Has Been Ruined, Time To Move Back To Curation.”

In another article, they pointed out:

“Demand [Media] is turning the cleverest trick by running a giant arbitrage of the Google ecosystem. Demand contracts with thousands of freelancers to produce hundreds of thousands of pieces of low-quality content, the topics for which are chosen according to their search value, most of which are driven by Google. Because Google’s algorithm weights prolific and constant content over quality content, Google’s algorithm places Demand content high on their search engine result pages.”

Undoubtedly, headlines like these were a major influence on Google, which responded by developing the Panda algorithm.

Google Panda Update Launches

Panda was first introduced on February 23, 2011.

On February 24, Google published a blog post about the update, and indicated that they “launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking—a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries.” The expressed purpose of the update was as follows:

“This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”

Search Engine Land founder Danny Sullivan originally referred to it as the “Farmer” update, although Google later revealed that internally it had been referred to as “Panda,” the name of the engineer who came up with the primary algorithm breakthrough.

Analyses by SearchMetrics and SISTRIX (among others) of the “winners and losers” found that sites that were hit the hardest were pretty familiar to anybody who was in the SEO industry at the time. These sites included,,,,,, and so on.

Notably, “content farms” eHow and wikiHow did better after the update. Later updates would hurt these more “acceptable” content forms as well, with Demand Media losing $6.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The most readily apparent change in the SEO industry was how heavily it hit “article marketing,” in which SEO practitioners used to publish low-quality articles on sites like as a form of link building.

It was also clear that the most heavily hit sites had less attractive designs, more intrusive ads, inflated word counts, low editorial standards, repetitive phrasing, poor research, and in general didn’t come across as helpful or trustworthy.

What We Know About the Panda Algorithm

When Google discussed the development of the algorithm with Wired, Singhal said that they started by sending test documents to human quality raters who were asked questions like “Would you be comfortable giving this site your credit card? Would you be comfortable giving medicine prescribed by this site to your kids?”

Cutts said the engineer had developed “a rigorous set of questions, everything from. ‘Do you consider this site to be authoritative? Would it be okay if this was in a magazine? Does this site have excessive ads?’”

According to the interview, they then developed the algorithm by comparing various ranking signals against the human quality rankings. Singhal described it as finding a plane in hyperspace that separates the good sites from the bad.

Singhal later released the following 23 questions as guiding questions the algorithm was based on:

  1. Would you trust the information presented in this article?
  2. Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
  3. Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  4. Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
  5. Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
  6. Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
  7. Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
  8. Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  9. How much quality control is done on content?
  10. Does the article describe both sides of a story?
  11. Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
  12. Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
  13. Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  14. For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
  15. Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
  16. Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  17. Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  18. Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  19. Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  20. Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
  21. Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
  22. Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
  23. Would users complain when they see pages from this site?

It’s also a good idea to consider what Google’s human quality raters were asked to consider. This quote about low-quality content is especially important:

Consider this example: Most students have to write papers for high school or college. Many students take shortcuts to save time and effort by doing one or more of the following:

  • Buying papers online or getting someone else to write for them
  • Making things up
  • Writing quickly, with no drafts or editing
  • Filling the report with large pictures or other distracting content
  • Copying the entire report from an encyclopedia or paraphrasing content by changing words or sentence structure here and there
  • Using commonly known facts, for example, “Argentina is a country. People live in Argentina. Argentina has borders.”
  • Using a lot of words to communicate only basic ideas or facts, for example, “Pandas eat bamboo. Pandas eat a lot of bamboo. Bamboo is the best food for a Panda bear.”

In March of 2011, SEO By The Sea identified Biswanath Panda as the likely engineer behind the algorithm’s namesake. One paper Biswanath helped author detailed how machine learning algorithms could be used to make accurate classifications about user behavior on landing pages.

While the paper is not about the Panda algorithm, the author with its namesake’s involvement, and the subject matter, suggest that Panda is also a machine-learning algorithm.

Most in the SEO industry have by now concluded that Panda works by using machine learning to make accurate predictions about how humans would rate the quality of content. What is less clear is what signals would have been incorporated into the machine learning algorithm in order to determine which sites were low in quality, and which weren’t.

Google Panda Recovery

The path to recovery from Panda is both straightforward and difficult.

Since Panda boosts the performance of sites with content that it categorizes as having high-quality, the solution is to increase the quality and uniqueness of your content.

While that’s easier said than done, it’s been proven time and time again that this is exactly what is needed to recover.

Felix Tarcomnicu recovered a site by removing low-quality, thin content that had never performed well (based on bounce rates, exit rates, time on site), cleaning up the grammar, and adding high-quality content.

Alan Bleiweiss helped a site recover by helping them rewrite content across 100 pages.

WiredSEO helped a site recover from Panda by changing their user-generated content guidelines to encourage more specific, unique bios, rather than ones copied from other sites. Users of the site had previously used bios from their other sites, but WiredSEO encouraged them to change the bio to ask specific questions, resulting in unique bios that weren’t duplicates.

SEOMaverick helped a site recover by deindexing cookie-cutter pages, combining multiple pages on the same topic into single pages, and updating all of the remaining pages with better copy and structure.

Google Panda Myths

Panda Isn’t About Duplicate Content

The most pervasive myth about Panda is that it is about duplicate content. John Mueller has clarified that duplicate content is independent of Panda. Google employees have stressed many times that Panda encourages unique content, but this goes deeper than avoiding duplication. What Panda is looking for is genuinely unique information that provides unique value to users.

Mueller likewise told one blogger that removing technical duplicates was actually a very low priority, and that they should instead “think about what makes your website different compared to the absolute top site of your niche.”

The source of this confusion is likely from Singhal’s questionnaire, with the question “Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?”

This isn’t referring to technical duplication, but to the redundancy of content, where novel content is rewarded more than derivative content.

Should You Delete Content to Resolve Panda Issues?

This one’s a bit tricky because Google has often be a source a lot of contradictory information.

You see, back in 2011, Google’s Michael Wyszomierski actually told webmasters to remove thin content if they were hit by Panda:

“Our recent update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites, so the key thing for webmasters to do is make sure their sites are the highest quality possible. We looked at a variety of signals to detect low quality sites. Bear in mind that people searching on Google typically don’t want to see shallow or poorly written content, content that’s copied from other websites, or information that are just not that useful. In addition, it’s important for webmasters to know that low quality content on part of a site can impact a site’s ranking as a whole. For this reason, if you believe you’ve been impacted by this change you should evaluate all the content on your site and do your best to improve the overall quality of the pages on your domain. Removing low quality pages or moving them to a different domain could help your rankings for the higher quality content.

Now, in 2017, we’re hearing something a bit different.

Google’s Gary Illyes said on Twitter: “We don’t recommend removing content in general for Panda, rather add more highQ stuff”.

John Mueller said likewise on YouTube:

“Overall the quality of the site should be significantly improved so we can trust the content. Sometimes what we see with a site like that will have a lot of thin content, maybe there’s content you are aggregating from other sources, maybe there’s user-generated content where people are submitting articles that are kind of low quality, and those are all the things you might want to look at and say what can I do; on the one hand, hand if I want to keep these articles, maybe prevent these from appearing in search. Maybe use a noindex tag for these things.”

Google’s response has always been to either noindex or improve content, never to cut it completely, unless doing so is a move for branding as well.

A Google spokesperson directly told TheSEMPost:”Instead of deleting those pages, your goal should be to create pages that don’t fall in that category: pages that provide unique value for your users who would trust your site in the future when they see it in the results.”

So, in general, deleting content should be a consideration in terms of the overall branding of your site, rather than a move that will remove a Panda penalty.

Panda & User-Generated Content

Panda doesn’t target user-generated content specifically. Although Panda can target user-generated content, it tends to impact sites that produce low-quality content – such as spammy guest posts or forums filled with spam.

Do not remove your user-generated content, whether it is forums, blog comments, or article contributions, simply because you heard it is “bad” or marketed as a “Panda proof” solution. Look at it from a quality perspective instead.

Many high ranking sites rely on user-generated content – so many sites would lose significant traffic and rankings simply because they removed that type of content. Even comments made on a blog post can cause it to rank and even get a featured snippet.

Word Count Isn’t A Factor

Word count is another aspect of Panda that is often misunderstood by SEO professionals. Many sites make the mistake that they refuse to publish any content unless it is above a certain word count, with 250 words and 350 words often cited. Instead, Google recommends you think about how many words the content needs to be successful for the user.

For example, there are many pages out there with very little main content, yet Google thinks the page is quality enough that it has earned the featured snippet for the query. In one case, the main content was a mere 63 words, and many would have been hard pressed to write about the topic in a non-spammy way that was 350+ words in length. So you only need enough words to answer the query.

While word count can be a convenient way to identify pages that might be thin for some sites, it isn’t a factor that is specifically used by Panda, according to Mueller.

Affiliate Links & Ads Aren’t Directly Targeted

Affiliate sites and “made for AdSense” sites are often hit by Panda more often than other sites, but this isn’t because it specifically targets them. A Google spokesperson told TheSEMPost that

“An extreme example is when a site’s primary function is to funnel users to other sites via ads or affiliate links, the content is widely available on the internet or it’s hastily produced, and is explicitly constructed to attract visitors from search engines.”

Mueller said, similarly:

“But at the same time we see a lot of affiliates who are basically just lazy people who copy and paste the feeds that they get and publish them on their websites. And this kind of lower quality content, thin content, is something that’s really hard for us to show in search.”

In other words, these sites are being hit for the same reasons: they fail to provide compelling, unique, engaging content.

Technical SEO Doesn’t Play Any Role in Panda

Panda looks just at the content, not things like whether you’re using H1 tags or how quickly your page loads for users.

That said, technical SEO can be an important part of SEO and ranking in general, so it shouldn’t be ignored.

But technical SEO doesn’t have any direct impact on Panda specifically.


Panda almost certainly has the most extensive public record of public dates for its associated updates. Part of the reason for this is that Panda was run externally from Google’s core algorithm, and content scores were, as a result, only affected on or near the date of new Panda updates.

This continued until June 11, 2013, when Cutts said at SMX Advanced that, while Panda was not incorporated directly into Google’s core algorithm, its data was updated monthly and rolled out slowly over the course of the month, ending the abrupt industry-wide impacts associated with Panda updates.

The numbering convention is somewhat confusing.

One would expect core updates to Panda’s algorithm to correspond to 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0, but no update is referred to as 3.0, and 3.1 was not, in retrospect, a core update to Panda.

Data refreshes, which updated the search results but not the Panda algorithm itself, were typically numbered as you would expect for software updates (3.2, 3.4, 3.5 and so on). However, there were so many data refreshes for version 3 of the algorithm that, for a time, this naming convention was abandoned and the industry referred to them simply by the total count of Panda updates (both refreshes and core updates).

Even after getting a handle on this naming convention, it still isn’t entirely clear whether all of the minor Panda updates were just data refreshes, or if some of them incorporated new signals as well.

Regardless, the timeline of Panda updates is, at least, well known and is as follows:

  • 1.0: February 23, 2011. The first iteration of a then unnamed algorithm update was introduced (12 percent of queries were impacted), shocking the search engine optimization industry and many big players, as well as effectively ending the “content farm” business model as it existed at the time.
  • 2.0 (#2): April 11, 2011. The first update to the core Panda algorithm. This update incorporated additional signals, such as sites that Google users had blocked.
  • 2.1 (#3): May 9, 2011. The industry first called this Panda 3.0, but Google clarified that it was just a data refresh, as would be true of the 2.x updates to come.
  • 2.2 (#4): June 21, 2011
  • 2.3 (#5): July 23, 2011
  • 2.4 (#6) International: August 12, 2011. Panda was rolled out internationally for all English-speaking countries, and for non-English speaking countries except for Japan, China, and Korea.
  • 2.5 (#7): September 28, 2011
  • (#8) “Panda-Related Flux”: October 5, 2011. Cutts announced to “expect some Panda-related flux in the next few weeks.” Dates for these minor updates were October 3, October 13, and November 18. Retroactively, it may make sense to refer to this announcement as the beginning of 3.0, since it marked the beginning of a period of more frequent, smaller data refreshes, many of which remain untracked.
  • 3.1 (#9): November 18, 2011. In retrospect, it is clear that Cutts’ announcement on October 5 was the beginning of a period where data refreshes became more frequent and were not always announced or tracked by the industry. A more prominent update occurred on November 18 and many in the industry referred to it as 3.1, the first to be designated by the industry as part of the line of 3.0 updates.
  • 3.2 (#10): January 18, 2011. Google confirmed an update occurred on this day but suggested that the algorithm hadn’t changed. Evidently, this was merely the date of a more heavy-hitting data refresh.
  • 3.3 (#11): February 27, 2012
  • 3.4 (#12): March 23, 2012
  • 3.5 (#13): April 19, 2012
  • 3.6 (#14): April 27, 2012
  • 3.7 (#15): June 8, 2012. A data refresh that ranking tools suggest was more heavy-hitting than other recent updates.
  • 3.8 (#16): June 25, 2012
  • 3.9 (#17): July 24, 2012
  • 3.9.1 (#18): August 20, 2012. A relatively minor update that marked the beginning of a new naming convention assigned by the industry.
  • 3.9.2 (#19): September 18, 2012
  • #20: September 27, 2012. A relatively large Panda update that also marked the beginning of yet another naming convention, after the industry recognized the awkwardness of the 9.x.x naming convention, and recognized that updates to what they called Panda 3.0 could continue to occur for a very long time.
  • #21: November 5, 2012
  • #22: November 21: 2012
  • #23: December 21, 2012. A slightly more impactful data refresh.
  • #24: January 22, 2013
  • #25: March 14, 2013. This update was pre-announced, and tools suggest it occurred on roughly this day. Cutts seemed to suggest that this would be the final update before Panda would be incorporated directly into the Google algorithm, although it later became clear that this wasn’t quite what was happening.
  • “Dance”: June 11, 2013. This is not the date of an update, but the day Cutts clarified Panda wasn’t going to be incorporated directly into the algorithm, but rather that it would update monthly with much slower rollouts, rather than the abrupt data refreshes of the past.
  • “Recovery”: July 18, 2013. This update appears to have been a tweak to correct some overly harsh Panda activity.
  • 4.0 (#26): May 19, 2014. A major Panda update (impacting 7.5 percent of queries) occurred on this date, and most in the industry believe that this was an update to the Panda algorithm, not just a data refresh, especially in light of Cutts’ statements about slow rollouts.
  • 4.1 (#27): September 23, 2014. Another major update (impacting 3 to 5 percent of queries) that included some changes to the Panda algorithm. Due to the slow rollouts, the exact date is unclear, but the announcement was made on September 25.
  • 4.2 (#28): July 17, 2015. Google announced a Panda refresh that would take months to roll out. Due to the slow nature of the rollout, it’s unclear how substantial the impact was or precisely when it occurred. It was the final confirmed Panda update.
  • Core Algorithm Incorporation: January 11, 2016. Google confirmed that Panda had been incorporated into the core Google algorithm, evidently as part of the slow July 17, 2015 rollout. In other words, Panda is no longer a filter applied to the Google algorithm after it does its work, but is incorporated as another of its core ranking signals. It has been clarified, however, that this doesn’t mean the Panda classifier acts in real time.

Source: Search Engine Journal (Original

Geomodified Searches, Localized Results, and How to Track the Right Keywords and Locations for Your Business – Next Level

Posted by jocameron

Welcome to the newest installment of our educational Next Level series! In our last episode, our fearless writer Jo Cameron shared how to uncover low-value content that could hurt your rankings and turn it into something valuable. Today, she’s returned to share how to do effective keyword research and targeting for local queries. Read on and level up!

All around the world, people are searching: X sits at a computer high above the city and searches dreamily for the best beaches in Ko Samui. Y strides down a puddle-drenched street and hastily types good Japanese noodles into an expensive handheld computer. K takes up way too much space and bandwidth on the free wireless network in a chain coffee house, which could be located just about anywhere in the world, and hunts for the best price on a gadgety thing.

As we search, the engines are working hard to churn out relevant results based on what we’re searching, our location, personalized results, and just about anything else that can be jammed into an algorithm about our complex human lives. As a business owner or SEO, you’ll want to be able to identify the best opportunities for your online presence. Even if your business doesn’t have a physical location and you don’t have the pleasure of sweeping leaves off your welcome mat, understanding the local landscape can help you hone in on keywords with more opportunity for your business.

In this Next Level post, we’ll go through the different types of geo-targeted searches, how to track the right keywords and locations for your business in Moz Pro, and how to distribute your physical local business details with Moz Local. If you’d like to follow along with this tutorial, get started with a free 30-day trial of Moz Pro:

Follow along with a free trial

Whether your customer is two streets away or gliding peacefully above us on the International Space Station, you must consider how the intertwining worlds of local and national search impact your online presence.

Geomodified searches vs. geolocated searches

First, so you can confidently stride into your next marketing meeting and effortlessly contribute to a related conversation on Slack, let’s take a quick look at the lingo.

Geomodified searches include the city/neighborhood in the search term itself to target the searcher’s area of interest.

You may have searched some of these examples yourself in a moment of escapism: “beaches in Ko Samui,” “ramen noodles in Seattle,” “solid state drive London,” or “life drawing classes London.”

Geomodified searches state explicit local intent for results related to a particular location. As a marketer or business owner, tracking geomodified keywords gives you insight into how you’re ranking for those searches specifically.

Geolocated searches are searches made while the searcher is physically located in a specific area — generally a city. You may hear the term “location targeting” thrown about, often in the high-roller realm of paid marketing. Rather than looking at keywords that contain certain areas, this type of geotargeting focuses on searches made within an area.

Examples might include: “Japanese noodles,” “Ramen,” “solid state drive,” or “coffee,” searched from the city of Seattle, or the city of London, or the city of Tokyo.

Of course, the above ways of searching and tracking are often intertwined with each other. Our speedy fingers type demands, algorithms buzz, and content providers hit publish and bite their collective nails as analytics charts populate displaying our progress. Smart SEOs will likely have a keyword strategy that accounts for both geomodified and geolocated searches.

Researching local keywords

The more specific your keywords and the location you’re targeting, generally, the less data you’ll find. Check your favorite keyword research tool, like Keyword Explorer, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. In this example, I’m looking at search volume data for “japanese noodles” vs. “japanese noodles london.”

"Japanese noodles"

"Japanese noodles London"

So, do I toss this geomodified keyword? Hold on, buddy — while the Monthly Volume decreases, take a look at that Difficulty score — it increases. It’s an easy search term to dismiss, since the search volume is so low, but what this tells me is that there’s more to the story.

A search for “japanese noodles” is too broad to divine much of the searcher’s intent — do they want to make Japanese noodles? Learn what Japanese noodles are? Find an appetizing image?… and so on and so forth. The term itself doesn’t give us much context to work with.

So, while the search volume may be lower, a search for “japanese noodles london” means so much more — now we have some idea of the searcher’s intent. If your site’s content matches up with the searcher’s intent, and you can beat your competition in the SERPs, you could find that the lower search volume equates to a higher conversion rate, and you could be setting yourself up for a great return on investment.

Digging into hyperlocal niches is a challenge. We’ve got some handy tips for investigating hyperlocal keywords, including using similar but slightly larger regions, digging into auto-suggest to gather keyword ideas, and using the grouping function in Keyword Explorer.

Testing will be your friend here. Build a lovely list, create some content, and then test, analyze, and as the shampoo bottle recommends, rinse and repeat.

Localized ranking signals and results

When search engines impress us all by displaying a gazillion results per point whatever of a second, they aren’t just looking inwards at their index. They’re looking outwards at the searcher, figuring out the ideal pairing of humans and results.

Local rankings factors take into consideration things like proximity between the searcher and the business, consistency of citations, and reviews, to name just a few. These are jumbled together with all the other signals we’re used to, like authority and relevancy. The full and glorious report is available here:

I often find myself returning to the local search ranking factors report because there’s just so much to digest. So go ahead bookmark it in a folder called “Local SEO” for easy reference, and delight in how organized you are.

While you may expect a search for “life drawing” to turn up mostly organic results, you can see the Local Pack is elbowing its way in there to serve up classes near me:

And likewise, you may expect a search for “life drawing london” to show only local results, but lookie here: we’ve also got some top organic results that have targeted “life drawing london” and the local results creep ever closer to the top:

From these examples you can see that localized results can have a big impact on your SEO strategy, particularly if you’re competing with Local Pack-heavy results. So let’s go ahead and assemble a good strategy into a format that you can follow for your business.

Tracking what’s right for your business

With your mind brimming with local lingo, let’s take a look at how you can track the right types of keywords and locations for your business using Moz Pro. I’ll also touch on Moz Local for the brick-and-mortar types.

1. Your business is rocking the online world

Quest: Track your target keywords nationally and keep your eye on keywords dominated by SERP features you can’t win, like Local Packs.

Hey there, w-w-w dot Your Great Site dot com! You’re the owner of a sweet, shiny website. You’re a member of the digital revolution, a content creator, a message deliverer, a gadgety thingy provider. Your customers are primarily online. I mean, they exist in real life too, but they are also totally and completely immersed in the online world. (Aren’t we all?)

Start by setting up a brand-new Moz Pro Campaign for your target location.

Select one of each search engine to track for your location. This is what I like to call the full deck:

Another personal favorite is what I call the "Google Special." Select Google desktop and Google Mobile for two locations. This is especially handy if you want to track two national locations in a single Campaign. Here I’ve gone with the US and Canada:

I like to track Google Mobile along with Google desktop results. Ideally you want to be performing consistently in both. If the results are hugely disparate, you may need to check that your site is mobile friendly.

Pour all your lovely keywords into the Campaign creation wizard. Turn that keyword bucket upside-down and give the bottom a satisfying tap like a drum:

Where have we found all these lovely keywords? Don’t tell me you don’t know!

Head over to Keyword Explorer and enter your website. Yes, friend, that’s right. We can show you the keywords your site is already ranking for:

I’m going to leave you to have some fun with that, but when you’re done frolicking in keywords you’re ranking for, keywords your competitors are ranking for, and keywords your Mum’s blog is ranking for, pop back and we’ll continue on our quest.

Next: Onward to the SERP features!

SERP features are both a blessing and a curse. Yes, you could zip to the top of page 1 if you’re lucky enough to be present in those SERP features, but they’re also a minefield, as they squeeze out the organic results you’ve worked so hard to secure.

Luckily for you, we’ve got the map to this dastardly minefield. Keep your eye out for Local Packs and Local Teasers; these are your main threats.

If you have an online business and you’re seeing too many local-type SERP features, this may be an indication that you’re tracking the wrong keywords. You can also start to identify features that do apply to your business, like Image Packs and Featured Snippets.

When you’re done with your local quest, you can come back and try to own some of these features, just like we explored in a previous Next Level blog post: Hunting Down SERP Features to Understand Intent & Drive Traffic

2. Your business rocks customers in the real world

Quest: Track keywords locally and nationally and hone in on local SERP features + the wonderful world of NAP.

What if you run a cozy little cupcake shop in your cozy little city?

Use the same search engine setup from above, and sprinkle locally tracked keywords into the mix.

If you’re setting up a new Campaign, you can add both national and local keywords like a boss.

You can see I’ve added a mouthwatering selection of keywords in both the National Keywords section and in the Local Keywords field. This is because I want to see if one of my cupcake shop’s landing pages is ranking in Google Desktop, Google Mobile, and Yahoo and Bing, both nationally and locally, in my immediate vicinity of Seattle. Along with gathering comparative national and local ranking data, the other reason to track keywords nationally is so you can see how you’re doing in terms of on-page optimization.

Your path to cupcake domination doesn’t stop there! You’re also going to want to be the big player rocking the Local Pack.

Filter by Local Pack or Local Teaser to see if your site is featured. Keep your eye out for any results marked with a red circle, as these are being dominated by your competitors.

The wonderful world of NAP

As a local business owner, you’ll probably have hours of operation, and maybe even one of those signs that you turn around to indicate whether you’re open or closed. You also have something that blogs and e-commerce sites don’t have: NAP, baby!

As a lingo learner, your lingo learning days are never over, especially in the world of digital marketing (actually, just make that digital anything). NAP is the acronym for business name, address, and phone number. In local SEO you’ll see this term float by more often than a crunchy brown leaf on a cold November morning.

NAP details are your lifeblood: You want people to know them, you want them to be correct, and you want them to be correct everywhere — for the very simple reason that humans and Google will trust you if your data is consistent.

If you manage a single location and decide to go down the manual listing management route, kudos to you, my friend. I’m going to offer some resources to guide you:

3. You manage multiple local businesses with multiple locations

Quest: Bulk-distribute business NAP, fix consistency issues, and stamp out duplicates.

If you are juggling a bunch of locations for your own business, or a client’s, you’ll know that in the world of citation building things can get out of hand pretty gosh-darn quick. Any number of acts can result in your business listing details splitting into multiple fragments, whether you moved locations, inherited a phone number that has an online past, or someone in-house set up your listings incorrectly.

While a single business operating out of a single location may have the choice to manually manage their listing distribution, with every location you add to your list your task becomes exponentially more complex.

Remember earlier, when we talked about those all-important local search ranking factors? The factors that determine local results, like proximity, citation signals, reviews, and so on? Well, now you’ll be really glad you bookmarked that link.

You can do all sorts of things to send appealing local signals to Google. While there isn’t a great deal we can do about proximity right now — people have a tendency to travel where they want to — the foundational act of consistently distributing your NAP details is within your power.

That’s where Moz Local steps in. The main purpose of Moz Local is to help you publish and maintain NAP consistency in bulk.

First, enter your business name and postcode in the free Check Listing tool. Bounce, bounce…

After a few bounces, you’ll get the results:

Moz Local will only manage listings that have been “verified” to prevent spam submissions.

If you’re not seeing what you’d expect in the Check Listing tool, you’ll want to dig up your Google Maps and Facebook Places pages and check them against these requirements on our Help Hub.

When you’re ready to start distributing your business details to our partners, you can select and purchase your listing. You can find out more about purchasing your listing, again on our Help Hub.

Pro Tip: If you have lots of local clients, you’ll probably want to purchase via CSV upload. Follow our documentation to get your CSV all spruced up and formatted correctly.

If tracking your visibility and reputation is high on your to-do list, then you’ll want to look at purchasing your listings at the Professional or Premium level.

We’ll track your local and organic rankings for your Google My Business categories by default, but you can enter your own group of target keywords here. We account for the geographic location of your listings, so be sure to add keywords without any geomodifiers!

If you want to track more keywords, we’ve got you covered. Hop on over to Moz Pro and set up a Campaign like we did in the section above.

4. You’re a dog trainer who services your local area without a storefront

Quest: Help owners of aspiring good dogs find your awesome training skills, even though you don’t have a brick-and-mortar storefront.

At Moz HQ, we love our pooches: they are the sunshine of our lives (as our Instagram feed delightfully confirms). While they’re all good doggos, well-trained pooches have a special place in our hearts.

But back to business. If you train dogs, or run another location-specific business without a shop front, this is called a service-area business (or SAB, another term to add to the new lingo pile).

Start by tracking searches for “dog trainer seattle,” and all the other keywords you discovered in your research, both nationally and locally.

I’ve got my Campaign pulled up, so I’m going to add some keywords and track them nationally and locally.

You may find that some keywords on a national level are just too competitive for your local business. That’s okay! You can refine your list as you go. If you’re happy with your local tracking, then you can remove the nationally tracked keywords from your Campaign and just track your keywords at the local level.

Pro Tip: Remember that if you want to improve your Page Optimization with Moz Pro, you’ll have to have the keyword tracked nationally in your Campaign.

In terms of Moz Local, since accuracy, completeness, and consistency are key factors, the tool pushes your complete address to our partners in order to improve your search ranking. It’s possible to use Moz Local with a service-area business (SAB), but it’s worth noting that some partners do not support hidden addresses. Miriam Ellis describes how Moz Local works with service-area businesses (SABs) in her recent blog post.

Basically, if your business is okay with your address being visible in multiple places, then we can work with your Facebook page, provided it’s showing your address. You won’t achieve a 100% visibility score, but chances are your direct local competitors are in the same boat.

Wrapping up

Whether you’re reaching every corner of the globe with your online presence, or putting cupcakes into the hands of Seattleites, the local SEO landscape has an impact on how your site is represented in search results.

The key is identifying the right opportunities for your business and delivering the most accurate and consistent information to search engines, directories, and your human visitors, too.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Source: SEOmoz Daily SEO Blog (Original

Livecoding 52: First impressions of Vue

This is a Livecoding Recap – an almost-weekly post about interesting things discovered while livecoding. Usually shorter than 500 words. Often with pictures. Livecoding happens almost every Sunday at 2pm PDT on multiple channels. You should subscribe to My Youtube channel to catch me live.

This weekend I set out to build an idea @TheKitze had on Twitter. An app that gives perspective to your life. Oh, you don’t have time to read a book? Well, you spent 5 hours on Twitter yesterday. Are you sure?

For the MVP, I envisioned a form where you fill out what you don’t have time or money for, ask for some perspective, and the webapp delivers. It doesn’t deliver yet because I decided to build it in Vue.

You can see some of my initial struggles with Vue in the video above. In a few bullet points 👇

  1. Vue’s onboarding experience feels like a warm hug. You’re immediately showered in community support, example projects, and helpful resources.
  2. vue-cli is more accommodating to different preferences than create-react-app. It asks questions and tries to configure itself for a good experience.
  3. The default ESLint config that comes with vue-cli is woefully incompatible with my Prettier config. That was painful. I wish it came with a .prettierrc file so it would configure my autoformatter to the settings it expects.
  4. Throwing linting errors instead of warnings by default feels a little forceful. I had to re-make my project from scratch without ESLint.
  5. Choosing the right VSCode extension to get Vue support… well, there are a lot of them. I ended up going with the Vue Extension Pack. I don’t know everything that it did for me, but I’m sure I’ll need it eventually.
  6. Out-of-the-box support for end-to-end testing with Nightwatch is 👌
  7. The Vue coding experience itself… I think I need to give it more time.

Vue feels like a bastard child between React 13 and Angular 1. I love that it uses and promotes components. That’s how it should be. I like that it tries to conform to the web-components standard. It’s a good standard, and this will help it come about quicker.

I hate the Angular 1 style v-if and v-for stuff where you shove a bunch of complex logic into your templates. I know this is hypocritical coming from the React world where we shove our templates into JavaScript, but somehow that feels more elegant.

Yes, the React approach does lead to some horrendous code when people put too much logic into their JSX.

Yes, it’s all about programmer discipline to avoid mixing presentation with logic too much.

And yet, I still feel like it’s more elegant to treat HTML as a first-class citizen in your JavaScript than to treat JavaScript as a 2nd class citizen in your HTML.

With React, it feels like my JavaScript directly manipulates what’s on the screen. I’m building a UI and have direct control of what’s being shown to the user. I can assign pieces of the UI to different variables, treat them as Just Data™, and generally have fun and feel in control.

Vue, on the other hand, enforces an artificial separation of concerns that I don’t think is useful. I’m still building a UI and manipulating what’s on the screen, but it feels removed. Like trying to tie a knot with 10 foot tweezers instead of your fingers.

With React, I can reach in and get dirty. With Vue, my dandy little hands never touch anything real.

That’s what it feels like anyway. shrug

And the syntax for building components feels strange too. Very React 13 where we didn’t have proper JavaScript class or function support yet.

export default {
    name: "MyComponent"
    data() {
        return {
            data1: "",
            data2: ""
    methods: {
        doThing() {
        onClick() {
    components: {


That, to me, looks weird. Where are all the advances we’ve made in JavaScript over the past few years?

Why am I defining child components with an object, internal state, called data, with a function, and a list of methods as what looks almost like a class but isn’t quite? Feels weird.

I like the React approach where you have a JavaScript class. Its methods are its methods, its props can be state, there’s a .state variable which is the proper connected state, and children are automagically defined by being nested in the component. You know, just like in normal HTML.

Wouldn’t it be weird if in HTML you had to declare all the children you’re going to use in a certain element?

So far I am more weirded out than impressed. Perhaps with time Vue will grow on me.


The post Livecoding 52: First impressions of Vue appeared first on A geek with a hat.

Source: A geek with a hat (Original

25 Facebook Marketing Tips to Increase Sales

Facebook marketing whether it is a for a blogger, business, author or a musician must achieve the goals you have set out in your marketing strategy and plan.25 Facebook Marketing Tips to Increase Sales

The marketing strategy that you have created will keep you focused and on track otherwise you can be heading off  and engaged with all sorts of marketing tactics and activities that don’t achieve much but just keep you busy, distracted and scattered.

The Facebook page and the marketing activities you carry out on Facebook’s eco-system should be viewed as an extension of your blog. So tactics you maybe already doing on your blog can be enhanced and synergised by replicating some of those blogging platform activities on Facebook  that are relevant ad appropriate to the Facebook culture.

There are many goals you could set for yourself for your Facebook marketing.  Goals could include improving customer service, reducing traditional marketing costs, improving customer acquisition and optimizing your brand.

To keep it simple here are 3 core goals and 25 marketing tactics that you can action on your Facebook page that wil keep your blog growing and your business booming .

3 Key Goals for Facebook Marketing

  1. Increasing Facebook Likes – think of this as an additional asset that is similar to building your email subscriber database for your blog or business.
  2. Improve Engagement – This is where your subscribers, fans, followers can be nourished as part of your community from initial low level interest to a highly engaged raving fan.
  3. Increase Sales –  At the end of the day ‘likes’ are nice and engagement is good but you do need calls to action to ensure that something happens. This pays the bills and takes you on holidays.

25 Facebook Marketing Tips & Tactics

This section includes the multiple and various tactics for achieving 3 key goals of increasing Facebook likes (10 tips), improving engagement (10 tips) and increasing sales (5 tips). What needs to be kept in mind is that the first two goals are stepping stones in the process of achieving the ultimate goal which selling that ebook, consultancy or what ever service or product that you as a blogger provide

10 Tips to Increase Facebook ‘Likes’ and Subscribers

Facebook ‘likes’ are only a recent phenomenon in the history of marketing and acquiring Facebook ‘likes’ is a new and exciting additional tactic to distribute your content, news and ideas that build your client list in addition to your email marketing. Facebook likes do not replace your email marketing plans but add and enhance your marketing mix.

Mari Smith’s Facebook page provides a more than obvious example for capturing those important Facebook Likes.

25 Facebook Marketing Tips

So how do I start gaining those Facebook ‘likes”?

10 Tips to Increase your Facebook ‘Likes’

  1. Email existing prospects to let them know you have a Facebook page  and ask for them to drop in and like your page and provide a link to reduce the friction of making that effort. In other words don’t make them ‘think”. Make it easy.
  2. Invite friends to seed you page if you don’t have any likes yet.
  3. Embed a “Facebook social plugin” on your blog in the right side banner preferably up near the top that provides the functionality for readers to ‘like’ your page even when they are not on Facebook
  4. Create a landing page as your welcome page encouraging ‘likes’ that is highly visible and obvious
  5. Create a Facebook reveal page to provide that provides access to exclusive content but only when you ‘like’ the page. This exclusivity can make them feel like they are part of the ‘club’ at a very simple level.
  6. Offer them a free gift or PDF in the email to” like” your page
  7. Link to your Facebook page in your email newsletter banner. This could be at the top of the page the right hand side banner as well as at the bottom of the newsletter. Digtal design dictates that providing several options is much more effective than just one.
  8. Join Facebook groups in your categories of interest – and post a blog post that will drive traffic to your Fan page and connect with you on Facebook
  9. Capture emails for your email marketing database on your Facebook page. You need to keep in mind that email maybe old fashioned but it works and it works big time and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. So make it easy for people to subscribe by email to receiving news, updates and your blog posts when they are on Facebook via email.
  10. Provide a link in Facebook to prospects to subscribe to your Blog via RSS

There is one thing to keep in mind with Facebook ‘likes’ and that is that Facebook does not update everyone’s news feeds that ‘like’ your page. Facebook uses a algorithm called “EdgeRank” that determines which fans will receive your page update. It is determined according to how closely engaged you are with the fan. Read more here “EdgeRank: The Secret Sauce that Makes Facebook’s News Feed Tick.
The power of Facebook marketing is that it amplifies your content to not only your fans but the friends of your fans and this where the power and marketing leverage of social media starts to kick in that email cannot do at the same scale. Facebook provides a multiplier effect that is sharing at an “industrial scale”. Read more about that here: “Do People Share more on Facebook or Twitter?

10 Tips to Increase Engagement on your Facebook Page

There are many ways to improve engagement. Content is one of the most effective methods to start engaging your new ‘fans’ who have liked your page. Engagement can start with the low risk and entry level ‘like’  action on Facebook which is the dating equivalent of  “let’s catch up for a coffee” tactic. There are other higher levels of engagement with the end goal to take visitors to your blog from followers to “raving fans” and become an emotional member of your “tribe”.

I post my daily blog posts to my facebook page this allows me to engage with my target audience that are hanging out on “Facebook”. I don’t wait for them to come to me, I go where they are. Valuable content that adds value to your viewers and readers creates deep engagement

Apple Makes Huge Announcement about Twitter Blog Post Update on Facebook page

What are some other ways to increase engagement?

10 Tips to Increase Engagement

  1. Run polls using the standard Facebook ‘Question’ feature (above the ‘Write something’ box) to engage your audience with something that makes them actually do something.
  2. Implement ‘third  party” survey tools. One great service is Survey Monkey that provides much more functionality than the basic entry level Facebook “Questions” feature
  3. Include Twitter in your menu.  This is available as a standard setting on your Facebook fan page and provides another channel for engagement.
  4. As Facebook is a real time media you can publish the latest events, news on topics of interest that are happening in your industry or niche. In essence it is a real time sharing tool that will notify people that have liked your page about the latest ‘hottest’ news
  5. Update your Facebook ‘Page’ with your blog posts straight after publishing
  6. Respond to all comments on your Facebook page in a timely fashion
  7. Run a competition on Facebook
  8. Post your YouTube videos to your Facebook page. This provides another distribution point for your YouTube videos.
  9. Embed your Slideshare presentations on your Facebook page (Slideshare is a social media website that takes your Powerpoint presentations and converts them into a slideshow on the web). Just paste the link and your Slideshare presentation will embed within Facebook
  10. Photos at events can be uploaded to Facebook which humanize and personalize your brand. People just ‘love’ photos on Facebook and this will drive a deeper engagement with your prospects and customers. So mix up your media and this can be a challenge for a ‘text’ blogger. So think like a publisher and publish your content in as many places with as much rich multimedia as time and resources allow.

5 Tips to Make Sales on Facebook

At the  end of the day the final objective is to increase sales. You have  provided the incentives and tactics to let them like your page and become a fan. You have then engaged them with low level engagement from reading your blog post updates on your Facebook page or responding to a survey or a poll. It is now time to provide some calls to action and links and even an online store that can be created within Facebook to start making some sales from your Facebook Marketing.

Guy Kawasaki makes it easy for you to order and buy his book “Enchantment” on Facebook.

Guy Kawasaki's Enchantment Facebook site where you can order and buy his book

5 Tips to Make Sales

  1. Use a reveal tab that is set up as your landing page that provides access to a voucher that can be printed off or even emailed to the prospect that they need to bring into your store or claim online to get a discount on a product or service
  2. Consider an F-Commerce function – convert and sell within the Facebook ‘Page” without the customer ever having to leave Facebook. This will increase conversions. Every click or extra page in the process reduces your conversion rates by 15%.
  3. Provide a link on your Facebook page to your online store
  4. Link to the Apple store that may contains your PDF or if your a musician or band your music
  5. Link to the Amazon store where customers can buy your book or your Kindle ebook online.

So which one of these 25 Facebook marketing tips could you action today?

Image by mag3737

The post 25 Facebook Marketing Tips to Increase Sales appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog.

Source: Jeffbullas’s Blog (Original

How To Promote An eBook When You Have No Money For Advertising

How To Promote An eBook When You Have No Money For Advertising

Technology has forever changed the way we see our world, as well as how we communicate with one another. Even the way we consume and access information has been transformed with the arrival of ebooks.

An eBook, or electronic book, is the digital form of the traditional book and can be accessed on any digital platform (desktop, mobile, tablet, etc).

There are typically two types of eBooks – paid and free. Businesses and bloggers often offer them for free as a clever tactic for effective lead generation.

Regardless of whether they’re paid or free, eBooks take a long time to write and edit. Authors often spend days, months or even years researching, writing, editing and then finally publishing their eBooks.

That’s why it’s heartbreaking to have to break this news to you: producing a good ebook is NOT enough to generate the sales results you desire.

No matter how many deep insights, incisive research and unique content you provide, all your efforts may go in vain unless your eBook is promoted on the right channels, at the right time, to the right people.

The digital world is an extremely noisy one, and this noise is only going to increase in future years. The eBook market, as it constantly evolves, is becoming oversaturated with products.

According to Statista, of the total book sales worldwide, the eBook market share is expected to reach 26% in 2018, up from just 12% in 2013.

Furthermore, in a 2017 research report by CMI, it was found that 65% of B2B marketers use eBooks as a content promotion tactic.

Image Source: Content Marketing Institute

In a nutshell, everyone is jumping on the eBook bandwagon, which means it’s more important than ever to have a comprehensive marketing strategy.

Now, social advertising and PPC campaigns are great (if expensive) ways to promote an eBook. But they are NOT the only ways!

That’s right, you don’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars on advertising to get results. In this post, I’ll share how to take advantage of the enormous scope offered by the digital world and use a variety of platforms and techniques to popularize your eBook.

Let’s get started!

1. Create a killer landing page

This is not a part of your actual promotional campaign. But if you don’t have a high-converting landing page and a catchy eBook title, people may not click the link you shared and instead bounce right off the page, rendering your promotional efforts useless.

Remember, the goal of your promotional campaign is to drive people to the eBook landing page, then download it.

Take time, research your prospects’ pain points, brainstorm and write compelling copy about it.

If your eBook is a paid one, link the landing page to a payment gateway.

Also, don’t forget to add the all-important social sharing buttons to your landing page.

2. Promote it within your website

Before going all out on promoting the eBook on different platforms, first you need to optimize the platform you already have to encourage visitors to download the eBook. You can do this by:

Image Source: Social Media Examiner

  • Placing ‘Download the eBook’ calls-to-action (CTAs) in your top-performing posts wherever relevant (take a quick peek at your Google Analytics to find these posts).

  • Creating an eBook slide for your homepage slider, if you have one, or a sidebar callout.

3. Use supporting content formats

As I said earlier, the digital arena has various platforms. Each platform is popular for different visual representations – text, images, videos, etc. You can’t share a simple text link all the time that just says, ‘Hey! Here is my new eBook. Download it now!’

I’m going to run through a list of things you can do instead. Here’s the first one: write supporting blog posts.

As soon as you finish writing your eBook, write a couple of blog posts which relate to or complement your eBook. You can repurpose some of your eBook content for this.

Don’t have much time to write? Here’s a quick guide on how you can punch out a blog post in less than 4 hours!

If your eBook is on, say, ‘A social media marketer’s guide to generating leads’, your supporting post can be on ’10 easy social media hacks for increasing engagement’ or ‘Why social media is the greatest channel for lead generation’.

These posts will help establish you as a thought leader on the subject of your eBook, earn your reader’s trust and thereby further compel them to download the book.

You can also try keyword-optimizing the post’s content to convert more website traffic. Everyone may not be willing to go directly to the landing page and download the main asset, so by promoting other posts alongside your eBook, you will give visitors a different reason for them to check out your site.

Once you’ve written your blog posts, be sure to place the eBook CTAs at the end of each article. Here is a great example from HubSpot:

Ready for the next tip on how to use supporting content formats? Great: make quick infographics.

Infographics are a huge part of today’s content marketing. There are many ways and platforms where you can share them and attract your prospects to your landing page. You can use free default templates from Canva to quickly create a bunch of infographics. Just make sure you add the eBook CTA in your infographic’s footer.

Here’s another tip: make a slideshow presentation

Convert your supporting blog posts and even the first few pages of your eBook into a slide deck, MS Powerpoint or Google Slides presentation.

Conversely, create a short piece of video content for your eBook. Video is fast becoming the king of content marketing and according to a recent study published on HubSpot’s blog, online video currently accounts for 74% of all web traffic, and 59% of senior executives prefer video to text when both are available.

Don’t have that much time? Simply convert your slides into a video or use Lumen5 which allows you to quickly convert your blog posts to high-quality videos for free:

4. Go all-out on social media

You can still promote your offering and reach your prospects on social media without spending a lot of money. It’s true!

Social teasers are a critical aspect of your overall eBook social promotional campaign.

These teasers can be actionable tips, quick how-tos, interesting facts or key quotes from your eBook, presented in interesting and relevant content formats (videos, images, etc.)

Your followers won’t be too happy if you spam them with a salesy ‘check out my eBook’ post every single day, but with social teasers, you can keep them engaged and encourage them to download/buy it.

Here’s how you promote your eBook on various social platforms:

  • Facebook

Create a custom tab and integrate the eBook landing page (this requires a little bit of HTML coding, but it’s easy).

Build some pre-launch hype among your followers by promoting the supporting content (blog posts, images and videos). Put the eBook banner as the cover photo. Share the supporting content and eBook in all relevant groups… but don’t overdo it! Group admins hate spammers.

Pin the eBook post to your page. Use a lot of video teasers. Facebook videos have 10x higher reach as compared to Youtube links.

  • Twitter

Use the search box to find out who is tweeting using the related keywords of your eBook and reach out to them directly via email to see if they’re interested in reading it. Tease your followers with mini infographics and images; tweets with these visual representations also get higher engagement when compared to text-based ones.

Change your cover photo to the eBook banner and pin the eBook tweet to your feed. Tweet at least 10 times a day. Neil Patel claims that by increasing his number of tweets from 1 to 10, his monthly visits skyrocketed from 1,100 to 4,700.

  • LinkedIn

Add the landing page link to the publication section of your profile and include a testimonial or a positive review of the eBook in the description box, as below.

Post social teasers 1-2 times a day. Join groups where you think you can promote your asset and start engaging with other group members. Just remember, LinkedIn is a professional network. Group admins will not tolerate spam – craft your messages carefully so they are still relevant to the group and add value.

Linkedin even allows you to direct message 15 group members per month for free. Pick 15 target prospects, engage with them by commenting on their posts and finally message them to check out your eBook. Re-publish supporting articles on LinkedIn’s publishing platform and add a CTA to your landing page at the end of each post.

  • Pinterest

Create a separate group board dedicated to your eBook social teasers (in this case, infographics and images). If you don’t have a strong following, contribute to boards which do. You can use Pingroupie to find boards relevant to your category. Reach out to the board owners and ask them to accept your contribution. A single post on these boards can drive a ton of traffic to your landing page!

  • Instagram

 Place the eBook CTA in the bio section of your profile.

Post social teasers (images and videos) continuously (2-3 times a day) and ask people to check out the eBook by clicking on the link in your bio. Search for users who have used your related hashtags and DM them to take a quick look at your offering.

Gary Vaynerchuk clearly explains how to use the Instagram DM for networking in this article.

  • Youtube

Create a channel and post video teasers with attractive titles. Be sure to add the eBook CTA in the video description box!

  • Slideshare

SlideShare has more than 5x the traffic from business owners than any other social media. According to the social media giant, infographics are liked 4x more than presentations. Upload all of the supporting presentations I mentioned earlier. Slideshare allows you to add links after the 3rd slide so put the eBook CTA at the end of each presentation. Convert your infographics into PDFs (I usually use Zamzar for this) and re-upload.

  • Quora

Quora is a great platform to reach a targeted audience and promote your eBook. Follow all the topics related to your niche, and answer all questions which receive a good following.

Repurpose your blog post’s content but don’t just copy and paste it. At the end of each answer, add a CTA to your landing page. Make sure your CTA looks as natural as possible. Quora is a place where people come to find answers so be helpful, not shallow.

  • Reddit

With more than 1 million communities (aka ‘subreddits’), Reddit is easily one of the most powerful places to perform targeted promotions. You can simply share the link to your landing page or write some description with the text post option and post the link.

Since new accounts with low karma scores aren’t generally trusted by Redditors, it is always good practice to engage with fellow subredditors before beginning to promote your eBook. Start by being active on 4-5 relevant subreddits, commenting where relevant, sharing your supporting blog posts and finally announcing the launch of your eBook.

  • Google Plus

 Even though marketers often overlook the importance of Google Plus, its communities feature allows you to promote your resource to a targeted audience.

Even better, Google Plus has the Collections feature. Just like group boards, Collections allow you to organize your posts, like on Pinterest. Create a collection around your eBook theme and start posting!

5. Explore other content sharing platforms

Social media is not the only place you can capture the attention of your audience. There are several platforms in the digital space where you can share/submit your content and subsequently drive a large amount of traffic back to your eBook landing page. The best thing about these sites is they are absolutely free.

Here are a few I always use:

  • Medium

Medium is one of every marketer’s go-to sites for republishing content to get more eyeballs on it. Just copy and paste your supporting blog posts and the first few chapters of your eBook, place CTAs to your landing pages, add the right tags, and hit publish. It’s that simple.

  • StumbleUpon

Used actively and consistently, StumbleUpon is a great way for your eBook to go viral. But for that to happen, you need to have a good following. Follow people in your niche, like and comment on their posts and share your supporting content once you are able to gather an audience.


Just like StumbleUpon, is a dedicated content discovery platform and an amazing place to build exposure for your eBook. Give it a try!

6. Use free tools to make your eBook go viral

Viral Content Bee is my favorite free social media promotion tool and requires a special mention in this post. The whole concept of this tool is based on the mantra, ‘You share my posts and I’ll share yours’.

Basically, you earn credits when you share other’s posts, and they do too when they promote your offering.

A truly remarkable thing about this tool is it allows you to elect on which social platforms you want your resource to be shared. Currently, it allows users to promote on four platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and StumbleUpon.

The best approach to Viral Content Bee is to accumulate as many credits as possible, elect the platforms where you think your potential buyers are most active, and sit back and relax while others make your eBook popular.

Pay With a Tweet is another effective tool to make your eBook go viral on social media. This tool allows people to access the content of your eBook for free in exchange for a social post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Xing or VK.

It allows you to set the number of free downloads you want to make available as well as an expiration date for the campaign. Don’t worry, a small amount of freebies in exchange for viral reach won’t hurt your sales!

7. Try guest blogging on authority sites

Guest blogging is one the most popular methods used by authors from all walks of life to promote their eBooks. Not only does it enhance your authority and reach, it also promotes your resource to those who are passionate about and interested in your subject.

Do a simple Google search with a keyword + ‘write for us’ + ‘submission guidelines’ and see what you find. Make a list of all the sites with good online authority, then pitch a guest post.

Carefully read the posting guidelines and eliminate the sites which won’t provide a direct backlink to your landing page or book. Remember, the idea here is to bring readers back to your page.

8. Invest time in traditional email outreach

 No, email marketing is NOT dead!

If your goal is lead generation, promoting your eBook instead of your main product makes you look less salesy and more helpful in your cold emailing campaigns.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Update your email signature and add the page URL to it
  • If you already have email subscribers, give them a heads-up about your eBook.
  • Create a Flipboard magazine themed around the eBook
  • Give away the first few chapters of the eBook in an email sequence
  • Do a free webinar with a thought leader in your industry to generate publicity for the eBook.
  • Enrol in Amazon’s KDP Select program and promote for free for up to five days.

Wrapping up

It is perfectly fine if you can’t afford to advertise your eBook. The internet is an enormous place and there are literally hundreds of free ways to grab people’s attention.

Take some time out, prepare a spreadsheet and outline all your promotional activities. You may not be able to undertake all the ideas I mentioned – but try to ensure that your reach isn’t limited to one single platform. Think carefully about your ideal reader so that you don’t miss any opportunities.

While cashing out to Facebook and Google does get the job done, you have probably spent weeks or months creating your eBooks so cut costs to create the same result – maximum publicity. Happy promoting!

Guest Author: Tirumala Vedurumudi is an inbound marketing specialist at The SMarketers, a B2B inbound marketing agency in India that helps companies achieve sales and marketing goals. Feel free to connect with The SMarketers for a free marketing review and evaluate your current marketing efforts.

The post How To Promote An eBook When You Have No Money For Advertising appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog.

Source: Jeffbullas’s Blog (Original

How to Evaluate Content Promotion Performance on Social Media by @alextachalova

To promote or not to promote?

That shouldn’t be a question for you.

Of course, the answer is yes.

But then another question arises: how can you tell if your efforts are paying off?

There is a way, but it involves a thorough analysis, both of your past content promotion efficiency and your current efforts.

Content promotion can’t be done overnight. It requires a lot of time.

Monitoring this activity is the key to your success.

I believe that the main goal of content promotion is to attract and convert relevant audiences.

Read on and you’ll discover how you can evaluate the effectiveness of your content promotion on social media channels, make sure you’re not wasting your time, and whether you’re getting new users.

No matter if your marketing campaigns are big or small, this simple strategy will help you.

Here’s how to properly evaluate the results of your content promotion on social media, and what kind of promotional strategies (approaches) you need to adopt or change.

Prepare a List of Content Pages You Want to Analyze

If you don’t know how to convene all content pages in one place at once, you’re looking at several hours spent on doing just that.

Here are some of the painless ways to put together a list of pages in just a few clicks (and I’m not talking about copying and pasting links until your vision blurs).

To put this data together you can:

Use BuzzSumo to export a list of your website’s content pages that have ever been shared on SMM channels.

Look for your most important content pages. Also, narrow down your search to a specific subdirectory and not your entire website. For instance, the majority of articles on blogs have a word “blog” in their URLs.

In the screenshot below you can see the type of content that is present on Moz blog only:

BuzzSumo most share

Use Google Analytics to export all your content pages that have ever attracted traffic.

Find a report called “All Pages”. It is located under the Site Content section.

Once you get there, select the desired timeframe and export all your content pages in one click.

google analytics screenshot

Use Search Console to export pages that earned impressions in Google over a certain period of time.

Frankly, that’s what I like to do the most if I have access to Google Search Console data. It allows me to get all URLs at once and be sure that I haven’t missed anything.

The reason why the result is so precise is because once you shared those URLs on social media channels, 99.9 percent of these pages will be indexed (gained impressions) by Google. Also, you can filter pages by clicking on the ‘Pages’ section and selecting ‘Filter pages’ option. This way, you will be analyzing relevant pages only.

google search console screenshot

Analyzing the Number of Social Shares & Social Traffic

During this step, you need to measure:

  • How well your content pieces have been promoted on social media channels.
  • How many people they’ve reached.
  • How much traffic they have driven.

If you spend most of your time spreading your content on social media, then you should be getting more than likes, shares, and retweets. You should also be attracting some good traffic.

However, not all social media channels work the same way, and sometimes we need to reconsider and adjust our marketing strategy so that it fits into the framework of a specific platform. But other times, an article that brings you the most impressions and generates myriads of interactions, but attracts the least traffic.

Once you have gathered a list of URLs, it’s time to analyze them for the number of social shares and traffic that those pages have generated.

If you decided to get the list of content pages using BuzzSumo, then you should be able to see the number of social shares right away.

For those of you who prefer to work with Google Analytics or Google Search Console, the task still needs to be completed. To do that, you can upload a list of your URLs in Ahrefs Batch analysis tool or use SharedCount software, which is free.

For as much as it sounds great, there is a little problem.

Unfortunately, both of these marketing solutions are missing data for Twitter. So, if Twitter data is important to you and, your best bet is to log into BuzzSumo that has data about all social networks stored in one place, and match your datasets in Excel using Vlookup formula. This formula will help you match your datasets in a jiffy. If the name of this Excel formula doesn’t ring a bell, read this article to learn more.

When it comes to making sense of my traffic numbers, I typically go to Google Analytics and use ‘Channels’ report that can be found the section called “All Traffic”. In this report, you can click on a drop-down menu and select a default channel group on Social.

google analytics channel report

After that, you will be able to view a report that includes traffic from social media channels only. It’s also important to apply another filter called ‘Destination page’. Make sure you include only those content pages that are important to your research.

That’s it!

Now you can export the data you got into a spreadsheet.

google analytics Destination page

After you match your datasets, you’ll see something that looks like this table below.

Use this table to analyze the total number of social shares, the amount of traffic and performance of content for your social networks individually:

data sets

I pay attention to how much traffic my pages attract, that’s why the most effective and efficient channel in my case is Twitter. It brings about 80 percent of the overall traffic I get.

What I find interesting is that I know that we spend a lot of time promoting our content on Facebook. However, despite the fact that our engagement level on Facebook isn’t going through the roof, we still have a steady flow of traffic. In other words, it works backward with Facebook, and with a low engagement rate, it is still possible to receive traffic.

Believe it or not, the biggest drivers of traffic for us are the roundup posts. They typically get the most views.

Also, content promotion on Facebook requires 2-3x more time than the same activity performed on Twitter. That’s why an average cost per visitor on Facebook is much higher compared to Twitter.

Now, what do you do with all this data that you’ve spent hours digging up?

If you take a quick look at it, it will tell you how many social shares you need to receive to attract the desired number of online visitors.

However, as you’ve probably already discovered, some social media channels take longer to bring results than the others. That’s just how it works.

If you decide to spend a little more time and analyze each of your social channels separately, then you will be able to tell what kind of content attracts more traffic, and what do people like to share while browsing around on Facebook or Twitter. You will then forward this information to your content team so that they keep up with your audience’s interests and demands.


You may not always like the results you see, but it’s always important to know the truth about how effective your current content promotion strategy is.

It will take some time for you to figure out which tactics work best for your brand.

You will have to do some legwork and work on a list of URLs for your analysis. Gathering information about how many people actually read your article is time-consuming, too. But luckily, there are numerous tools to assist you with your research.

Regardless of how big your marketing campaign is, attracting and converting relevant audiences is most likely one of your top marketing goals.

Hopefully, the tips in this post are helpful to you, and take a little stress out of your evaluation of your content promotion on social media channels.

More Content Marketing Resources Here:

Image Credits
Featured Image: Created by Alexandra Tachalova, November 2017.
Screenshots by Alexandra Tachalova. Taken November 2017.

Source: Search Engine Journal (Original

The One Thing You Need to Do to Build a Top Content Marketing Strategy

The volume of content that’s being created and consumed has exploded in recent years. According to IDC, 71 percent of marketers say they have to create 10 times as many assets to support their different channels.

And if you think creating the content is overwhelming for marketers, just imagine the volume of content consumers have to parse through.

Brands are trying to cut through the noise by providing consumers with content that’s engaging and personalized, but also consistent with brand voice and messaging.

It’s no secret that great content creates great experiences. In order to stay ahead of the content curve, brands need to start by doing one thing – break through organizational silos to build holistic, consistent content marketing strategies that provide a positive experience to customers at every step of their journey.

Why Silos Happen

In order to break down silos, it’s important to first understand why they happen. While there are many reasons silos can happen in an organization, I often see two major drivers in content marketing – disparate technology systems and lack of clear ownership.

Silos in an organization are often caused by different parts of the content creation and delivery chain using their own tools to get their jobs done. Creative teams are using creative technology to develop content assets.

Email marketers and social marketers are using different software to deliver the content. Campaign managers are using their own tools to measure the impact of the content that’s delivered and so on. This can ultimately lead to inconsistent information and disconnected workflows.

Silos also happen due to lack of ownership.

Traditionally, content marketing has lived in the marketing department’s universe. But digital has changed the cycle of content creation, approval and distribution, and now there are more teams involved than ever before.

It’s important for everyone to understand all of the players involved, ensure each person understands their own role, and most importantly, ensure each person understands how everyone’s role ties back to the shared goal.

How Silos Impact Your Customers

Now that we’ve established why silos can happen, it’s pivotal to understand why it’s incredibly important to break them down. Simply stated, silos – both with technology and in the organization – negatively impact your customers.

At the organizational level, if different teams are working on different parts of a campaign, but not communicating or sharing information, then the likely outcome is inconsistent brand messaging.

For instance, if a customer received an email offer that gives her 20 percent off winter jackets if she purchases in-store, but the digital screens in the store are promoting what’s new this spring, then the experience could feel disjointed. Also, if different parts of the organization are developing content and experiences in silos, they might also have different protocols for reviewing and ensuring content quality. This could lead to inconsistent messaging, and possibly, incorrect information.

From a technology standpoint, by not connecting workflows and technology systems, brands are creating inefficiencies in the content marketing process. These inefficiencies can inhibit the scale required to deliver the engaging experiences consumers require today.

Another unfortunate result of using disparate technologies is disparate data sets. If the systems used to create and deliver content exist in silos, then the data generated from these systems also exist in silos.

Any marketer will tell you that getting a holistic view of the customer journey is impossible if the data is fragmented and filtered through in different formats. Those same marketers will also tell you that if the data isn’t unified and connected, then the overall customer experience won’t be either.

How to Eliminate the Silos

For a content strategy to positively impact the customer experience, all of the pieces involved need to seamlessly work together.

Reformation, a sustainable fashion brand, for example, works cross-functionally to ensure that every time a customer comes into the store, the digital screens, the point-of-sale technology, even the associates’ app are all in sync and create an incredible experience for the customer.

That kind of experience isn’t possible if the organization is working in silos. Here are a few ways you can break down the silos in your organization:

  • Connect Technology and Workflows: Companies need to make it easy for cross-functional teams to work together. By connecting current marketing technology systems, brands can ensure a more seamless connection across teams and, as a result, a more seamless journey for the customer. Also, brands should repair communication breakdowns and streamline interactions across departments by implementing workflow processes around content. This enables all teams involved to be more efficient and agile, and gives them the ability to deliver spot-on content at a moment’s notice.
  • Think Channel Agnostic: Gartner came up with a concept called the atomic content strategy, which promotes creating and customizing small content elements, like copy and imagery, that can be dynamically assembled to create larger marketing assets. Adopting this kind of approach can help improve end-to-end content workflows, velocity, and scale of content creation and delivery. Think about it, if everyone is focused less on creating content for their specific channel and more focused on creating smaller pieces of content that can be delivered on any channel, the end result is more content that is brand-consistent that can be reused across the organization.
  • Foster Collaboration: Companies need to provide teams with the ability to share information and knowledge. This can range from providing a place where teams can coordinate on project schedules in real-time to creating a dashboard where all teams can view how they’re tracking against metrics and goals.
  • Focus on Onboarding and Training: Ensure employees are set up for success by establishing guidelines and controls on content. Provide teams with tools like brand trainings and guidelines so everyone has an understanding of who can do what. With the right guiderails in place, teams can drive content creation in a brand-safe way. Companies should also offer trainings or knowledge sharing sessions on a consistent basis to help inform the entire team on different aspects of the content creation and delivery cycle.

Consumers expect seamless and personalized experiences across their journeys. As they rely more and more on content to make decisions, it’s up to brands to coordinate an effective content marketing strategy to make these experiences happen.

Consumers don’t care about your organizational and technological silos. If their experiences aren’t engineered in a holistic way, it could lead to decreased loyalty and brand advocacy as well as decreased sales and engagement.

Trust me, if you don’t break down the silos in your organization to create amazing experiences for customers, your competitors will.

More Content Marketing Resources Here:

Source: Search Engine Journal (Original