FirmBee / Pixabay

Local SEO is a necessity for eCommerce businesses that want to thrive, not just survive. eCommerce and local SEO can seem mutually exclusive – the very nature of eCommerce means goods are accessible to people across a large geographic location. Yet, eCommerce site or store owners can and should benefit from local SEO.

To have a chance against the competition and to bring awareness to your local online company, you need to make your brand as visible as possible. The key to online visibility is search engine optimization (SEO). Local SEO is a targeted digital marketing strategy that will help your brand reach a wider audience. Use this guide to get you started with local SEO for eCommerce, and start beating out the competition!

Set Up and Optimize Google My Business

The first step is to establish your brand with Google My Business. It is a free online business listing that will help you become visible during Google searches and on Google maps when users search for keywords or your business. You will need to verify your business in a process that will take about one week. Once your business is verified, create a Google+ profile. Select the drop-down menu in the upper left-hand corner of the page and select “Join Google+.” During verification, select your business from the drop-down menu.

Optimize your Google My Business listing to appear in more local searches, as well as to ultimately show up in the coveted Local Pack. The Local Pack is the three local businesses that appear on the first page of search results. Even eCommerce stores and those without local premises can appear on the Local Pack with the right marketing techniques.

First, fill out your Google My Business profile completely. Provide all the information that Google requests. (If you don’t fill it out, someone else could! Anyone can suggest edits for your business listing.)

Then, start publishing posts via Google My Business. Google Posts will appear when people perform searches, as well as in your My Business listing. Find the option to create a post on the left-hand side of your My Business page. Add images and calls to action to enhance your posts. You can add descriptions and links to blog posts, event announcements, sale posts, and more here. There are many other ways to enhance your Google My Business local listing, such as asking for online customer reviews and adding photographs of your business, products, or services.

Use Geo-Targeted Content and Keywords

Keywords are, well, key to any online marketing strategy. When it comes to boosting local SEO for an online business, there is perhaps nothing more important as the keywords you use in your site and marketing copy. Using geo-specific keywords is one of the most effective ways to invite a local audience to view your content. Use geo-targeted copy on your website, on landing pages, in advertisements, and in social media posts. Local geo-specific keywords include the following:

City
Town
State
Country
Street
Zip code
“Near me”
“Local”

These are just the basic keywords to get you started. Delve deeper into keyword optimization by using terms that people in the local area frequently search. Using Google Trends is an easy way to identify these keywords. Find a keyword or key phrase trending around the globe and use it in your copy, adding local keywords to drive traffic in the region. For example, if “custom jewelry” is a trending keyword, use “Dallas custom jewelry” or “custom jewelry in Dallas” to take advantage of a global trend locally.

Make the Most of Online Reviews

Today’s consumers are strategic in how they spend their money – especially when it comes to eCommerce shopping. Buying online eliminates the ability to visit a brick-and-mortar store, see or handle the product, and talk to someone in person about an item. In lieu of these capabilities, most online shoppers look to customer reviews to judge whether or not the company is the right choice. In fact, 92% of consumers read online reviews when searching for local businesses.

Local search engines love local reviews. Online reviews can help you build trust, establish your brand, and improve local search ranking. Of course, that’s only if you know how to use online reviews to your best advantage for local SEO. Every search engine has different rules when it comes to online reviews. For example, Google lets small businesses solicit digital reviews from customers, but Yelp prohibits it. Make sure to read the rules for your desired search engine before proceeding.

Help your eCommerce site generate reviews using handouts or emails with easy-to-follow directions for how to complete a customer review. Many eCommerce sites offer incentives if customers leave reviews, such as a promotional code for discounts on a future order. Link to sites that have your business’s reviews on your eCommerce site. The more (positive) reviews you cultivate, the more trust future local customers will have in your brand.

Pro tip: Use links to third-party online review sites on your website instead of only including reviews in your content. Even if the reviews actually came from customers, current users might not trust reviews you include in your copy as much as those from an unbiased third-party source.

Keep Your Local SEO Game Strong

Once you’ve established a Google My Business, added as much local information as you can, and utilized helpful tools such as online reviews, you’ve given your eCommerce site its best chance at attracting local searches, customers, and purchases. Improving your local search strategy can ultimately boost local business and help grow your digital store. Stay on top of your local SEO strategy with frequent updates and optimizations for the best results.

Read more: feedproxy.google.com

The trick with ranking is not to force it. When everybody’s trying to rank for the same keywords, there’s not much room for long-term development. This is where you can improve and find keywords semantically related to your niche, but not necessarily used by your competitors.

 

It’s in Google’s best interest to suggest semantic results, as closely related to the search query as possible. This should be in your best interest, too. But what happens when your industry’s a crowded market share where every digital marketing campaign is survival of the fittest at its best?

 

5 Keyword Research Tips that Will Blow Your Mind

 

There are lots of recommendations, tips, and alternatives to paid tools. We thought of 5 fresh and unique tips to find the right keywords for SEO. Anxious to get started? 

 

Get Keyword Suggestions Using Free Stock Image Sites
Generate Keyword Ideas Using Offline Magazines
More Keywords Suggestions from Amazon
Answer the Public
The Wikipedia Database

 

Before we get started on finding lots of keyword opportunities, there’s just one more thing. Take a second to understand how much search engines have evolved. When you type ‘Halloween costume Batman’ on Google, it won’t distinctly show you results of Halloween costumes in general and Batman related content. Now, it looks beyond your words and shows you whatever is most relevant for you, in this case understanding that it’s a Batman costume you’re looking for.

 

Halloween Batman Costume

 

This is why approximately 70% of the search results have derived from the words typed when searching, according to studies made by Google itself – because the search engine is beginning to understand your intention more than the words you’re expressing it with. It’s true that results can vary depending on your previous searches, your location, and other variables, but browsing in Incognito mode can change this, if you’re looking for more ‘objective’ results.

 
1. Get Keyword Suggestions Using Free Stock Image Sites

 

At this point, it’s clear therefore that the key is to look in new places for relevant keywords. Depending on your niche, it may be a great start to look for pictures. Now, Googlebot can understand by itself very accurately the content of a picture using Automatic Object Detection in Images.

 

automatic-object-detection-images-google

 

On top of that, we are encouraged to add ALT description to every image we have on our websites in terms of SEO purposes. Reversing this principle, we’ll notice that looking for keywords on picture descriptions is an easy, effective way to generate new ideas.

For that matter, photo sites are a great source of inspiration, particularly if your niche has enough graphic applications as to find useful photo related keywords. For instance, if you’re looking for dog food, you’ll be shown both branded and non-commercial descriptions of dog food, as they are characterized in the photo captions.

There are various sites where you’ll find access to online pictures that are not protected by copyrights, and you should find the most suitable ones for your industry. You’ll see that the sites are of an impressive versatility, which means that the search patterns differ, along with the suggested keywords and the images you’ll find. Here are some great sources of inspiration:

 
1.1 Pixabay

 

Pixabay has a lot of great value since it has over 1.6 million photos, and you can split your search by category. This way, it’s easier to find out how searches differ from one category to another.

 

Pixabay

 

The nice part of this “keyword research tool” is the multiple choices for language support, which allows you to search for keyword ideas in your own language. You don’t have to translate them by yourself. 

 

Pixabay language support

 

Pixabay is more of a community than a conglomerate of pictures, and it can work as a niched, micro social-media-site with followers, messages and all the perks. I find it important to have a constant source of copyright-free images for current usage, and Pixabay seems to solve two problems at once: free photos and brand new keywords from their descriptions. 

 

Dog silhouette on Pixabay

 

Also, being a community-based website, it is free to use and your contribution should consist of uploading photos on your behalf. This social payment isn’t, however, compulsory, and you can use the site regardless of your personal portfolio. I would suggest uploading images whenever it’s possible, but it is a matter of personal choice.

 

We typed “dog” into the search box and one of the search keywords – “silhouette” – it isn’t your generic keyword when it comes to dog-related content, neither is it one of the most popularly encountered. Despite this, it’s a suitable word to be integrated into your articles, and the search engine will associate it with your topic without any problems.

 
1.2 Shutterstock

 

Shutterstock is a paid service. The pictures here do have copyright, but this is an additional sign of quality. People who pay this service to be given relevant photos are tech-oriented people, who work in online industries and value precision. Therefore, the keywords you’ll find generated from previous searches and from photo descriptions are both specific in nature and refreshing for your niche.

 

Classify searches on Shutterstock

 

The subscribers will target keywords that are most relevant in order to be shown the proper photos. It’s the paid subscription and the reputation for reliability that makes this a viable source for taking a fresh look at the most fitting keywords in your niche.

The autocomplete suggestions will be relevant and refreshing, although not always very niched. But in the context of semantic focus from the search engines, being relevant trumps being specific – if the autofill suggests previous searches on a word, this can be easily integrated semantically on our topic.

 

Shutterstock - autosuggested keywords

 
1.3 Stockvault

 

Stockvault is a free micro search engine for photos and it’s great for searches of highly popular industries, and not very specific niches since it’s used by people from different environments. It has probably one of the most complete category lists which makes it very easy to search and see accurate keyword results. 

 

Stockvault

 

And because they’re so versatile, it’s best to search for a word in a category, and then see the description of the pictures returned as results. Also, you can see how they differ depending on the category you choose (for instance, men vs. women). The returned results, as well as the autofill suggestions, will differ depending on the previous searching behavior on that particular category. 

 

For example, if you search for coffee and click on an image, you’ll see the category and lots of tags that can be used as semantic keywords in your content creation process. Stockvault offers valuable contextual keywords and backgrounds for every search term and every picture you find. It can be an intelligent Adwords Keyword Planner alternative. 

 

Shutterstock - semantic keywords

This is, therefore, the cornucopia of differential approach for distinct targets. If you’re looking for keywords for distinct approaches between several target groups, this site does the job pretty well.

 

1.4 Freedigitalphotos

 

Freedigitalphotos is another reliable source when looking for popular keyword ideas. Despite being free, there’s nothing cheap about it. You’ll always have plenty of search results, each of which has a caption text, which you’ll find more than useful since it doesn’t require manually going through all the results.

 

Freedigitalphotos Main Page

 

You can set up your search by an advanced set of parameters, thus influencing the results. One other very interesting feature is the ability to exclude keywords from your returned searches. If, for instance, you want to search “Coca-Cola“ but not “Pepsi Cola“, you can always use the ‘Exclude Keywords’ filter. In this particular case, “Pepsi Cola” would categorize as a negative keyword. 

 

Coca Cola search on Freedigitalphotos

 
2. Generate Keyword Ideas Using Offline Magazines

 

Start reading magazines. See which keywords are used by those in your industry in content marketing – as the general style is so different from online to print, you’ll get plenty of ideas that you’ve been ignoring because of SEO assumptions.

 

When working online, it’s crucial to keep a fresh mind. And if you want different results in rankings than your competitors, maybe you should look where they don’t, too. As we’ve documented before, magazines are a divergent resource with unique content, that could generate great keywords for your business.

 

Headlines Examples from magazines

 

I’ll only cover the most important reason – magazines are a perfect resource for someone preoccupied of words. After all, they provide what we hope for the web to become one day in terms of content: articles that attract through subject and writing, without being obsessed with keywords and rankings. And perhaps this is what we should all turn towards to keep a fresh mind.

 

There are hyper-targeted niches in the magazine market. If your industry allows it (and chances are, if you’re reading this post, it does!), take a look in the niche magazines. The intent for great content on a magazine is exceedingly higher since the investment is thousands of dollars and the editors don’t afford to make mistakes, while a blog is much easier to manage, promote and reinvent every time an article chops of the numbers of the audience.

 
3. More Keywords Suggestions from Amazon

 

Another alternative to Google Keywords Planner is Amazon. It is the Google of selling. Its power consists of being so huge, that it’s impossible not to find what you’re looking for, from beauty products to books and video games. It’s also where you can find out what people search for, to a very specific extent.

 

Coffee recommendations on amazon

 

Because of all its categories, there are two kinds of insight: one from the different search suggestions you’ll get for the same word in distinct categories and one from the category and its suggestions that you’re offered when searching for a product.

 

Results in All departments Amazon

 

Because Amazon is such a valuable source, you can consult third parties for advanced results for what are people searching for. Merchantwords, for instance, is a highly professional paid service that puts the Amazon search database in perspective.

 

Merchantwords

 

“Apple“ is one of the most popular Amazon searches. Being able to organize the results after highest/lowest montly search volume or by category order allows us to examine the specific parts that we find most relevant for our online business. Depending on how trending your results are, using this tool can help you find keywords more than just once, by identifying the trending topics the exact ways they’re being searched on the site.

 
4. Answer the Public

 

Writing perennial articles isn’t easy, particularly when evergreen content seems to have additional requirements for making a good impression and not looking like junk. It takes vision to maintain relevance over time. Answerthepublic can be used as a keyword research tool very easy. It is a site that suggests questions people would ask on a different topic or keyword that you insert, which you can materialize in new keywords or – why not? – in new content ideas.

 

AnswethePublic HomePage

 

The homepage of this site is a very impatient man, in a sweater, who seems eager to hear you answering a question that is of elevated interest for a larger public. There’s also a number of popular countries from which you can select, and the results differ from each local trending search. 

 

Answer the public

 

The results are formulated as popular questions, comparisons,  popular phrases containing the keyword, and they’re followed by alphabetical suggestions of the desired topics. You can download the whole keyword data into a .csv.

 

Answerthepublic results

 
5. The Wikipedia Database

 

Wikipedia is a source of keyword research in multiple languages, especially since it covers a lot of topics. Because the articles here are information-centric and not keyword-centric, you may find a reinvigorating perspective on the textual approach.

 

Search on Wikipedia

 

Of course, the encyclopedia is unbiased (or it should be), and most of the articles aren’t necessarily written in a very creative way. But by not abiding to the general rules of online writings, the result will be similar to the one produced by reading niche magazines – only in a different writing style.

 

Wikipedia Article Screenshot

 

Conclusion

 

Whenever the competition is too high, you risk tilting at windmills. This happens because you, as well as your competitors, are trying hard to rank for the same keywords, suggested by (roughly) the same sources. I always search incognito whenever there’s something I want to take a fresh look at. Because, smart as they are, search engines memorize my history and suggest answers related to my previous queries. The same kind of story happens here – you’ll get to run in circles pretty soon.

 

Using the same keywords as your competitors when writing in your niche often turns the common words into the ground zero in SERPS. On the other hand, there are plenty of creative ways of keeping a fresh perspective on your work. Looking for answers (or questions?) where nobody else does makes the difference between a trendsetter and the next in line. Plus, finding unique keywords research tools can help you give a boost to your SEO strategy.

 

Note: This blog post is an improved version of an older one we had. We considered this article to be valuable for those interested in outranking their competitors and the information needed a refresh because the online market is evolving very quickly.

The post 5 Keyword Research Tips That Will Blow Your Mind appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

Read more: cognitiveseo.com

If you’re active on social media groups or forums, you’ve probably seen plenty of free SEO audit offers. Ask an opinion about your site and the comment sections will quickly fill up with offers.

 

Hey, but it’s FREE, right? I mean, isn’t that great?

However… if we’ve learned something over the past years of digital marketing and SEO is that nothing good comes for free. Even if you do end up spending less money, you spend time instead and always risk doing a bad job.

 

Why_Free_SEO_Audits_Are_Damaging

 

What Exactly Is an SEO Audit?
What Should an SEO Audit Contain

Competitor research
Keyword Research
Indexation
Technical SEO & OnPage SEO Audit
Links Audit
Content Audit
General Overview
Prioritization

The Difference Between Paid & Free SEO Audits
Why You Should NOT Settle For a Free SEO Audit

 

In this article, I’ll tell you why it’s a good idea to rely on a high-quality tool or hire an expert when it comes to SEO audits, even if it costs you some money.

 
What Exactly Is an SEO Audit?

 

Like in finances, an audit is an inspection. In this case, it’s an inspection of your website. And no, in today’s terms we’re not only talking about SEO. The truth is that when you say SEO you say everything, because almost everything impacts SEO these days, from traditional technical SEO implementations and keywords to conversion rates, design and UX.

 

So what’s the purpose of this inspection? Well, you can view the audit as a doctor. The term comes from latin ‘auditus’ and it means ‘hearing’. So the ‘doctor’ ‘listens’ to your website to determine what’s wrong with it.

 

We will take a more detailed look at what a good audit needs but first, let’s define what a good SEO audit should contain.

 
What Should an SEO Audit Contain

 

Before we detail why free website audits won’t serve you any good, we first have to take a look at what a good SEO audit should contain. This isn’t necessarily a guide on how to do an SEO audit, but rather an outline of what it should contain and why it’s important that it contains those things.

 

what is an seo audit

 

A well defined SEO audit will contain the following:

 

Competitor research: You can’t really analyze something if you don’t compare it to anything. In SEO, everything is relative. Sure, you have a set of objective standards such as loading speed, user friendly URLs and not having malware on your site, but in the end, rankings are what matter.

 

You want to know where your site is positioned compared to other websites in your industry that are your direct competitors. You can’t compare your site to all websites, so you must choose wisely based on some criteria, such as which keywords they are targeting and how you are ranking on those keywords compared to how they are ranking.

 

Which takes us to our next point…

 

Keyword Research: You need to know your main keywords and which keywords you currently rank for. While the latter can be easily identified with a rank tracking tool, the former is usually up to a person to decide. How’s a tool going to decide what your business is selling? Of course, the tools can help you out with this a lot if they are good ones. If not, they can sink you more into the problem.

 

The audit should also contain a detailed keyword research, split into multiple, important categories of the website. Ideally, this should include future keyword opportunities and highlight the top performing keywords, which have a high search volume and are also highly relevant for the website/business.

 

While good keyword research tools are available, the prioritization process is very subjective and will always differ from situation to situation and website to website.

 

Indexation: An audit should analyze how well search engines index the website. Useful information can be extracted from the Google Search Console, but often it’s not enough to get an entire picture. If the search console doesn’t pick it up, the Google itself doesn’t pick it up.

 

Is the site using noindex tags where it shouldn’t? Is there an underlying issue that prevents the site from indexing? This is interconnected mostly with the next part I’m going to talk about, which is the technical and onpage SEO audit.

 

Technical SEO & OnPage SEO Audit: This is the most time consuming part of the website analysis. Free SEO Tools will only show you some basic aspects, such as wrong http to https redirect. Also, most SEO tools are actually analyzing only one page a time, so actually analyzing the whole site would take an eternity, not to mention that you would somehow have to centralize the data.

 

A technical audit should analyze a bunch of things, from title tags and meta descriptions to the presence of duplicate content, broken links and other important ranking factors search engines take into consideration.

 

OnPage / Technical Audit Issues

A list of SEO issues that the CognitiveSEO Tool Analyses

 

More importantly, it should also analyze the structure of a website, looking at the internal linking and how that outlines which pages are the most important in the website. Depending on the type of website, the audit should contain different sections. For example, if a website is multilingual/international, the audit should analyze if the hreflang is implemented correctly.

 

It’s interesting how free audit tools work, because they analyze single pages instead of the entire site (which requires plenty of resources and time) but on the other hand they look at the entire site link profile instead of focusing just on that page.

 

Links Audit: Although people have been focusing less on link building and while it’s true that backlinks have become less important and harder to obtain over time, the truth is that they are still very important.

 

list of factors important for link audits

A list of factors the CognitiveSEO Tool uses when analyzing the link profile

 

At most, free tools can tell you an estimate of how many links a website has. However, they will never tell the complete story! You’ll need a lot of resources to gather all the information. It’s not just a number’s game.

 

Where are those links coming from? Quality sites? Relevant sites? Are they natural? Do they look spammy?

 

Content Audit: Now that you have determined the targeted keywords you should rank for and have ideally prioritized the most important technical issues that must be fixed, it’s time to take a look at the content.

 

There are some technical aspects such as duplicated content, which tools such as ours can help you figure out:

 

SEO Audit duplicate content

 

However, someone should also map the keywords to existing pieces of content for proper update within the title tags, headings and content and also think of new content ideas that could interest the audience, depending on which keywords people search more for in each market, which is something no technical SEO tool can do.

 

However, it doesn’t stop here. How should the content be written? Who will read it? These are questions that an SEO Audit should analyse.

 

General Overview: A tool can’t find everything. How does everything interconnect with social media marketing and offline marketing? Are there any mistakes the business does that might affect the overall performance of the website and business, even though they’re not directly connected to SEO? What about other things that tools can’t really analyse, like web design, or how to improve conversions?

 

Here’s an example: if your competitors have hundreds of positive reviews on local SEO listings such as Google MyBusiness (Maps) then you should encourage the owner to also get reviews. It could be as simple as asking the customers in the store to leave a review if they’ve had a good experience.

 

Prioritization: This is probably the most essential part. A complete audit (even the free ones) contain a lot of data. If it doesn’t tell you what to do first, you risk spending a lot of time on things that don’t really matter. There are SEO issues that are very hard to fix and take a long time, but they might not be critical. Wasting time there can cost you greatly.

 

For example, many will be quick to recommend blogging and link building. It’s true, content and links are very important. However, if the site has implemented hreflang or canonical tags wrongly, then fixing that should be a priority since it could end up in a bigger mess if more content is added.

 

Most importantly, a good SEO audit should contain SPECIFIC EXAMPLES and ACTIONABLE SOLUTIONS. Without them, it’s just theory.

 

Again, think of the doctor analogy. What if your doctor said “I think you might have a broken arm” or “You might want to try this medicine”? Seems kind of sketchy, doesn’t it? You’d probably not trust them much.

 

I’m sure you’d prefer they showed you an X-ray of your broken leg, showing exactly where the bone is broken and then tell you to put plaster right away, assisting you and showing you exactly how to deal with it in the future, as well as giving you some tips on how to prevent this whole situation from happening again.

 

As I’ve previously said, everything is subjective and will differ from site to site. Sure, you can have a general pattern or checklist you can follow, but you can’t analyze all sites the same way. Some target international languages, some don’t, they all run on different platforms, some are eCommerce others are informational, there are just too many factors to take into account for a general one button tool to figure out.

 

Now I’m going to ask you: Do you think anyone is willing to do all of the things mentioned above FOR FREE?

 

While for small sites that have just been created and have very small budget this might work, for bigger sites it has 0 use. If you have the flu, anyone can say drink some tea and stay in bed. If you’re ill (no traffic) but you don’t know what the problem is… you might need House M.D. to fix you.

 
The Difference Between Paid & Free SEO Audits

 

A good SEO won’t do website audits for free. They might take a look at your site to make a general impression, but they won’t spend time digging in too deep. Instead, they will make an offer for a detailed audit.

 

Why?

 

Audits are at the core of any search engine optimization strategy. They contour where you’re at right now and they dictate where you’re going to.

 

Let’s go back to the doctor analogy. A doctor has to find out what’s wrong with you right now but also tells you what you have to do to fix your problems. Getting mistreated will usually end up in lost time, more pain and empty wallets.

 

The problem with free SEO audits is that many people offer them in hope of hooking a client. They ‘discover’ basic issues that most websites have and then use them to enhance the fear factor in order to sell their services.

 

In the end, the truth is that fixing minor issues doesn’t pay off the bills. Rankings & sales do.

 

Most free SEO audits out there lack essential things such as direction, goals and target audience. Without understanding that, the chances of your website increasing in rankings are dim.

 

Even with paid SEO Tools, you’ll still need someone who knows how to analyze the data and recommend specific actions.

 

But since so many people have started using these free tools and searching for them, it was inevitable that the market would satisfy the demand. A high number of free SEO tools started to wonder around the internet.

 

The truth is that 99.9% of the free audit offers you will get for your site are probably done using free, one click SEO audit tools. You put in the URL of a website, you click a button and it analyzes your website.

 

I have nothing against these tools. But if someone gives you for free something that you can get for free anyway… then I have a little problem.

 

These tools might be useful for a small, freshly created website with very small budget. It’s good for example to know that you need a good server or that you shouldn’t upload big image files. But the owner will usually be more than happy to do the research himself in order to save money. However, I highly believe we should all do what we’re best at, so if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re better off hiring an expert!

 

Free SEO audit tools can come in handy. However, on the long run, if you want to do something serious with your business and website, they are often misleading.

 

Here’s why, specifically:

 

Let’s say you want to do an SEO audit and you search for ‘free audit tools’. You decide to test multiple ones, because they’re free. Most of them, if not all, will eventually give a result similar to this one:

 

Free SEO Audit results

How Most Free Website Analysis Tools Work

 

The score usually analyses one page instead of taking a look at the entire site. If you get 30% score, you’ll see 100% as your goal. However, remember that 100% scores don’t pay the bills (at least not for you, but they can pay it for the ones offering you that free audit).

 

It’s usually the same with all free tools. You might know for example that PageSpeed Insights is often used to determine the technical status of your site. However, the tool often focuses on things that aren’t the most effective for SEO.

 

For example, caching external sources is not possible, yet the tool still drops your score if you have external resources that are uncached, even from Google itself (such as Analytics Tags). Another popular thing is to use modern file types for images, although many browsers and platforms don’t fully support them yet. 

 

So an SEO might hook you in with a free audit, then tell you your score is 30% and that you need SEO services. It fixes most of the things (which by the way, your niece or nephew can do) by installing some plugins on your site and then shows you a new 90% score, green lights everywhere. That’s one hour of work and it should be paid accordingly!

 

Having scores to determine a website’s ‘health status’ isn’t all that bad. In fact, we have one of our own:

 

Technical SEO Audit Tool

 

However, in the left side you can see how the tool has separate sections for things such as Indexability, Content, Architecture and Performance. There you’ll find detailed explanations on what exactly you should prioritize and how you can fix the issues.

 

Most free tools out there do the big mistake of simply counting the number of backlinks and rate your link profile after that.

 

For example, if your site has 0 backlinks, your offsite score might be 0. But if it has 1000 links, it will say that you have good activity and that your link profile is awesome.

 

That’s very misleading!

 

What’s actually important is how qualitative those links are. Are they coming from relevant domains? Are they spammy? That’s when a tool like the Unnatural Link Detection tool comes in handy!

 

unnatural links tool

 

But analyzing links takes time and resources. You have to crawl the web and use servers and tons of processing power to come up with the results and not have to wait for months to get them. That’s why, unfortunately, you won’t get it for free (only a trial, which you can try).

 

And even with this tool, you’ll still have to analyze the results and figure out what the issue actually is. What led to this situation? How can it be avoided? Should you disavow the links or focus instead on building more quality ones?. These are all answers no tool can give you directly and accurately.

 

If someone’s going to give you a free recipe for your site to grow #1, I’d bet they won’t do it for free.

 

In the future, it’s possible that AI tools and very advanced software will be able to give you the perfect solution to getting to #1. It’s possible that it will choose the right competitors, analyze and compare the rankings, come up with the best keywords and content ideas, fix all technical issues in a blink of an eye and then even give you a massage.

 

However, I highly doubt you’ll find that for free and, by then, Google will probably be even more advanced and complex.

 
Why You Should NOT Settle For a Free SEO Audit

 

Free SEO audits are like Romanian mechanics. They all say something about your car for free, but none of what they say is actually the problem and they end up replacing unnecessary things over and over again. Paid SEO audits are like German mechanics. They won’t say anything until you pay them fairly, but once you’ve paid they tell you the exact problem and fix it.

 

Here’s why you shouldn’t choose to waste your time with free SEO audits:

 

You can probably do it yourself in less than 1 hour
It distracts you from what’s actually important (better rankings)
It wastes you time (you’ll probably end up with 10 free SEO audits)
You risk actually harming your site (i.e. removing important * useful JS for 100% score on the tool)
It can cost you more on the long run

 

If you’re settling for the wrong goals, you will waste time hoping for rankings. Meanwhile, you’ll lose all the traffic and sales you could get if properly auditing your site. You will focus on things that are not actually important. You will obsess over getting 100% which means nothing for your site. I could show you plenty of sites that rank high and get traffic and sales but have low scores on free SEO tools.

 

Most of the time, loading times is what’s important. You can have big images and plenty of JS, as long as your site loads in under 1-3 seconds, you’re probably good go. For example, what would a photographer say if you ask him to compress the images on his site?

 

Paid SEO Audits & Tools might cost you less on the long run!

 

There’s something you can do to protect yourself from these free offers. You will easily differentiate people that actually know what they’re doing from people that just want to make a quick buck.

 

Here’s what you have to do:

 

Before asking any SEO consultant for an opinion, fix the basic stuff yourself. Even if you do it yourself, is not free. You’ll spend the time, so it’s not actually free.

 

However, this way you can fix some of the most basic things. For example, image compression. If you get a very low score on tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, GT Metrix or high loading times on tools like PingDom Site Speed Test, chances are high that you’re using big images on your site.

 

gt metrix performance tool

 

The fix is as simple as installing an image compression plugin or downloading all your images from your server, compressing them using tools like Tiny PNG and then uploading them back (keep the same file names and also backup your site before you make any changes).

 

All other problems there are usually fixable with some plugins. Cache issues? Add a cache plugin. Minify issues? Add a code minification plugin. You’ll never get 100% score and you shouldn’t focus on that. For example, sometimes you really need to use external resources, such as JS codes for e-mail marketing or advertising. If they aren’t cached, you’ll still get a lower score, when in fact, your site doesn’t have that issue.

 

This way you can protect yourself from SEOs that are just trying to lure you in with the Free Audit bone and actually pick a good SEO.

 

If those SEO tools mentioned above hit scores of 90% plus, chances are you will demoralize them. If your score is 26%, they will be able to say “You need to fix this and that and that and this is how much it hurts your website and blahblah”.

 

However, if someone offers you a detailed, 40 pages manually written PDF file on which they’ve spent tens of hours of research, then you should probably take the offer. Although I highly doubt that it’s going to be for free.

 

If you’re an SEO consultant, stop doing free audits! Learn to do a serious SEO audit that will actually help your clients.

 

Small business owners which don’t have resources will usually take the deal if the audit is professionally made. They need search engine optimization services anyway and you need to audit the site anyway before you know what you should do. As for bigger companies, they usually have their own team for execution so the audit will actually be the only thing they really need.

 

If you want something to assist you in auditing a website, you can try the CognitiveSEO Package. It contains all the required tools for a good audit, from Keyword Research to Technical Audit, Link Audit and Rank Tracking tools. Not only that, but you’ll also be able to schedule reports directly to your clients’ e-mail to notify them about the progress.

 

One of our team members will assist you in analyzing your website to determine exactly which steps will actually help you improve your rankings.

 

Conclusion

 

SEO Audits are an essential part of your SEO & Marketing Strategy. You should always audit your website from time to time to make sure things are good and going to the right direction.

 

Free website analysis & SEO audit tools can help you make a quick overview on the website, but they won’t actually help you define your strategy.

 

What’s your experience with free SEO tools? Do you use them? How much do they help to positively impact the rankings of your clients’ websites in the Google search results? What do you include in your SEO audits? Do you give them for free? Let us know in the comments section!

 

 

The post Why Free SEO Audits & Tools Can Actually Cost You More On The Long Run appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

Read more: cognitiveseo.com

The thought of combining two very successful websites into one would make most marketers quake in their boots. How did David Meerman Scott do it without interruption to his business AND see improvements in traffic and search engine rankings?

David Meerman Scott

David Meerman Scott

This week onThe Inbound Success Podcast I’m joined by famed marketing expert, best-selling author, entrepreneur and internationally-renowned keynote speaker David Meerman Scott, along with IMPACT’s own principal strategist Stacy Willis. 

The two recently worked together on a project to merge two of David’s websites into one. Both sites attracted a significant volume of traffic and were important drivers of business for David – something that made the notion of combining them very scary.

In our conversation, David and Stacy talk about why they combined the sites, how they did it, and the results they saw.

This week’s episode of The Inbound Success Podcast is brought to you by our sponsor, IMPACT Live,  the most immersive and high energy learning experience for marketers and business leaders. IMPACT Live takes place August 6-7, 2019 in Hartford Connecticut and is headlined by Marcus Sheridan along with keynote speakers including world-renowned Facebook marketing expert Mari Smith and Drift CEO and Co-Founder David Cancel.

Inbound Success Podcast listeners can save 10% off the price of tickets with the code “SUCCESS”. 

Click here to learn more or purchase tickets for IMPACT Live

Some highlights from my conversation with David and Stacy include:

David’s primary website is DavidMeermanScott.com. He had several other sites including webinknow, which had over 1,500 blog posts and a considerable number of valuable backlinks.
When David and Stacy worked together to design his main website, they made the decision to merge all of the content from webinknow into the main site. 
One of the main reasons they decided to combine the two sites was they were cannibalizing each other when it came to keyword rankings and traffic.
Stacy used tools like Screaming Frog and SEMRush to analyze how David’s sites ranked and for which keywords, and that is how she was able to determine that these two particular sites should be merged (while some of David’s other sites should not be folded into the main site).
Having a plan for putting 301 redirects in place for all of the pages that were going to be merged was essential to the success of the project.
Stacy also evaluated David’s website traffic to determine which blogs were getting the most traffic and used this as an opportunity to improve the way they were optimized.
Central to this process was the development of a topic cluster strategy for David’s news site.
Within weeks of launching the new site, Stacy was able to determine that all of David’s traffic and keyword rankings from the two separate sites were preserved with the move to the new site.
In the weeks that followed, they also saw that many of his keyword rankings actually improved further, and he has begun to see an increase in lead flow to the site.
David’s advice to anyone considering combining multiple websites is to take the project in stages.

Resources from this episode:

Save 10% off the price of tickets to IMPACT Live with promo code “SUCCESS”
David Meerman Scott’s website
David’s books
Newsjacking.com
Stacy’s article on The SEO Implications of Changing Domains During a Website Redesign (& a Successful Example)
“Is SEO Dead in 2019?” (pillar content collaboration between Liz Murphy and Franco Valentino)

Listen to the podcast to get details of the exact process David and Stacy went through to merge David’s two websites and increase his search engine rankings.

Transcript

Kathleen Booth (Host):Welcome back to the Inbound Success Podcast. I’m Kathleen Booth, and I’m your host. Today we have a special episode of the Inbound Success podcast.

I have two guests. The first is my colleague, Stacy Willis, who is a strategist here at IMPACT. The second is David Meerman Scott, who is the famed author, keynote speaker, entrepreneur, 10 books…

I’m sure I’m missing so much in how I’m describing you, David. For those people who’ve been living a rock for the last decade, can you tell my audience a little bit about you, who you are, and the kind of work you do?

David Meerman Scott (Guest): Sure, and thanks for having me on. This is so much fun. I really appreciate it.

David Meerman Scott Kathleen Booth and Stacy WillisDavid, Kathleen and Stacy recording this episode

 

About David Meerman Scott

David: I was a corporate marketing guy for many years. I worked in Asia for 10 years. I was the vice president of marketing of two different publicly traded technology companies.

I got fired in 2002, had to figure out what the heck I was going to do, so started to work with a few clients. Then I started to write, and had a book called The New Rules of Marketing and PR. It hit the international bestseller list. It went crazy, and just has sold to date over 400,000 copies. It’s in 29 different languages.

I’ve written nine other books besides that, and I also serve on advisory boards of companies, including HubSpot. I was the first Advisor to HubSpot when they had less than 10 people and no revenue.

Kathleen: Wow.

David: I’ve been with them ever since. I wrote a book with HubSpot CEO, Brian Halligan, called Marketing Lessons From the Grateful Dead.

I invented the concept of newsjacking that I know IMPACTers talked about a lot. It was my invention and it is now in the Oxford English Dictionary, which is an awesome thing.

I’ve been working with IMPACT now for a couple of years. As you well know, you’ve done my marketing work. You’ve built out four different websites for me, so I really appreciate the effort and work that you’ve done on my behalf. I can work with anyone on the planet – bestselling marketing author – but I choose to work with you, so I really appreciate that, and I’m really happy that we can have this discussion.

Kathleen: That is really very kind of you to say. We are very fortunate that we get to work with you.

I think this is such a fascinating conversation to me because you are clearly a man who has a lot going on. I don’t think the moss grows under you very often.

David: Yeah, when I start to get a little bored I book a speaking gig in a crazy country. I’ve actually spoken in 46 different countries, most recently last month in Romania.

Yeah, the moss doesn’t grow because I jump on an airplane so it doesn’t.

Kathleen: I love it. One of the things that’s so fascinating to me about your situation as you describe is you’ve published many books. You have all these very diverse initiatives you undertake as an entrepreneur, and that could become, as some marketers I know like to say, a “Frankenmonster” of a marketing undertaking. If you have a ton of websites, a lot of different marketing channels, that can quickly become very unmanageable.

I know one of the things that we’ve been working on recently with you – and I shouldn’t say “we” because I’ve had nothing to do with it, it’s really Stacy and her team – is looking at how do we maybe combine some of those disparate marketing efforts into a more unified web presence.

You obviously have a unique situation, but there are a lot of companies out there that have different brands or different divisions that might have multiple web presences. One thing I do have a lot of experience with is talking to those companies and hearing the anxiety in their voice when they think about, “Oh my god, I’m afraid to touch it because I might break the internet,” right?

David: Hey, I have that fear too, right, Stacy? That was freaking me out. It was breaking my website. I think I probably said to Stacy and the team 30 or 40 times, “This is not going to break this, right? I’m going to be okay. I don’t have to sweat it.”

We’ll get into the details shortly, but I had a blog I started in 2004. There were over 1,500 blog posts. It’s so important to my business, and I’m like, “We’re not going to break it. We can’t break it.”

But you’re right, I do have a bit of that Frankenmonster that you described for a couple of reasons. I’ve tried to build out a basic website for some of the books that I’ve written because I try to choose a unique title for books. For example, World Wide Rave, there’s a website around World Wide Rave. There’s a website for a book I wrote called Marketing the Moon.

I’ve got some other websites out there. I have DMScott.tv. I got some junk out there too, but there’s some that are important.

Part of that is like I’m like a venture capitalist where I say, “Gee, I’ve got a new project coming up, and I think that it’s got some potential to perhaps be something that’s worth a standalone presence, so let’s create one.” That might be a new book for me or it might be a new concept.

In the case of a couple of my books, it wasn’t really that beneficial, and in fact now those sites are basically orphans. In some cases, I take the site down and redirect it somewhere else, typically to the book page on my main website, which is David Meerman Scott, but in other cases, it’s been incredibly powerful, for example, in the case of newsjacking.

Newsjacking is a concept that I pioneered. It must be about six or eight years ago now. When I first started to talk about newsjacking, nobody else was talking about it. It’s basically the idea that if you understand the news cycle, you can inject your ideas into that news cycle and generate tons of media attention and grow your business, get sales leads.

It’s a fabulous concept, and I bought the URL newsjacking as soon as I knew that I was going to be talking about this concept. Man, was that a smart move because every single day there are people who are writing about newsjacking. Every single day there are people who are using social networks with the hashtag newsjacking. All of that points back to me now because I have Newsjacking.com. I have that URL.

I am the pioneer of newsjacking, but it’s made official because I have that URL. Then when the Oxford English Dictionary listed newsjacking in the dictionary, they wrote about me as the person who founded it, and that drove even more traffic to the site.

On one hand, I’ve got sites that are orphans and maybe they end up just being redirects. In other cases, they become standalone properties in their own right.

The Frankenmonster thing is like a VC. Sometimes it’s going to take off and do great; sometimes it’s not, and I never know which one is going to be which.

Combining Multiple Websites

 

Stacy Willis (Guest): It really made for an interesting challenge for your website.

Kathleen: Yeah.

David: Especially with one of the sites that we combined, I’ve had, gosh, 12 years, something like that, the other one since 2004. What’s that? 15 years. It’s a combined almost 30 years of those two websites with thousands and thousands of keywords, so you’re right. It was a challenge.

Kathleen: I think that’s what’s really interesting about this, because you have this very disparate set of sites – things like newsjacking, that have taken on a life of their own. Yeah, you wouldn’t want to touch that because, gosh, there’s no bigger holy grail for a search engine marketer than a back link from the Oxford English Dictionary. Talk about authority, right?

But then you have these little sites that were trial balloons you sent out that maybe didn’t go anywhere. It’s an easy thing to say, “Well, let’s take the trial balloon and merge it into the mothership,” but you were talking in this case about taking a site that had a substantial amount of content that was delivering results for you and merging it into another big one. There’s the potential to break both essentially.

So coming into this, David, can you talk a little bit about what your goals were for this whole undertaking?

David: Yeah, sure, of course. So I had two sites that your team – actually, Stacy and the team – recommended that we merge. It wasn’t my initial plan because frankly it scared the hell out of me to do it.

But the two sites are DavidMeermanScott.com, which is my basic front page to the world. That’s the site where I typically will have people who are interested in having me speak will go to that website and learn about my speaking. There’s a bunch of videos on that site. That’s also where people will go to learn about my coaching services and my advisory work. When people want to quote me in a news article or story, that’s the place they’ll go. It’s basically the home base of David Meerman Scott.

Oh, and by the way, I just might add, my middle name is Meerman. I chose to use that 20 years ago when I built my first website because I’m the only David Meerman Scott on the entire planet. There’s a whole boatload of David Scotts, but there’s only one David Meerman Scott.

There’s a David Scott that walked on the moon as the commander of Apollo 15. There’s a David Scott who’s a multiple time Iron Man world triathlon champion. There’s a David Scott who’s a member of Congress from Georgia. That’s just a few of us. 

Kathleen: Very good company.

David: It’s good company, but when I first started my first website 20 years ago, I wasn’t going to be able to get any traction against those more famous David Scotts, but putting my middle name in, I was the only one. That was actually a very clever search engine marketing tactic I did a long time ago that I figured out myself.

But anyway, getting back to DavidMeermanScott.com, that’s my home base on the web. That’s where people go to learn about me, maybe to book me to speak, to ask for a quote in an article, to pitch me something, to learn about my coaching services and to learn about my online learning programs and whatnot.

My other main web property is the horrifically named webinknow. Don’t ask me about that, but when I started it back in 2004, I was trying to come up with a name for my blog.

Why I didn’t just call it David Meerman Scott’s blog I have no idea, but I didn’t. I called it webinknow, W-E-B I-N-K N-O-W, which a lot of people didn’t know what it meant, so they said, “web in know,” which is actually spelled the same way, which makes no sense either.

I was trying to imply with webinknow, it’s web ink. It’s like you’re writing. It was a long time ago granted in the beginning of the internet, so it made sense at the time I suppose, but it was a very important property for me because that’s where I blogged at least once a week for 15 years. It was a lot of content there.

David: There are some blog posts that had millions of views, so there are some blog posts that had hundreds of inbound links. It is a very important property to me.

I’d love to have Stacy jump in, but as we were looking at these two properties that were so important to me, we realized that there might be benefit in combining them, which totally freaked me out, but I was talked down from the cliff, and we decided that, yes, this does make sense.

I don’t know, Stacy, do you want to jump in or do you have another question, Kathleen?

Kathleen: I’m going to frame the question for you, Stacy, because this is really interesting to me. As somebody who is a strategist who works with clients, I know you’ve had multiple situations where there have been companies that have said, “Should we or should we not combine these two web properties?”

From your standpoint as the outside strategist looking at this, when would you say, “Yes, you should combine these two,” versus when would you say, “These should stay separate”?

Stacy: This is actually a really interesting case because we said both to David, right? We said, “Don’t combine your newsjacking but do combine webinknow,” right?

Essentially what we looked at first and foremost was how much cannibalization was happening. Were we ranking for some of the same keywords? Was one site taking traffic away from the other site when it might make more sense to combine forces essentially and get even better rankings and drive all of the traffic to the same place?

Most importantly, David, for your site is, were we cannibalizing traffic that might ultimately want to hire us to speak? To look to us for coaching and sending it to the wrong website that doesn’t convert people down the right path for that?

Stacy: When we looked at the data, we found that it made sense for webinknow to come on to the David Meerman Scott domain, and it didn’t necessarily make sense for a newsjacking.

Newsjacking had its own really specific topic area. That even made for another layer of interesting keyword strategy because we wanted to be really careful about talking about the newsjacking book.

We definitely want that on your website, right? It’s really great credibility. It’s important to show the world what you’ve done, but if we talk about it too much, do we start cannibalizing traffic from the newsjacking site and bringing it over to yours? That put a lot of interesting thought process into this strategy that we put together for the book pages.

But really the big reason for combining webinknow was that big cannibalization factor, and the fact that we really wanted to drive up the domain credibility for the David Meerman Scott domain.

Kathleen: I want to make sure I understand. Let’s just focus for a second on webinknow and the David Meerman Scott main site. You were looking specifically at the various keyword sets that each was ranking for. Were you looking at where there was overlap or were you looking simply at like with webinknow, here are the keywords that rank really well, but we would very much like these to be what the David Meerman Scott site ranks for?

Stacy: It was a bit of both. The biggest thing that we really looked at was where there was overlap. If we have two websites that are ranking well for the same term, that means one of them is getting the traffic at the expense of the other, right? We wanted to find ways to stop that if we saw too many overlaps, and that was the case with this.

We saw enough overlap, and there wasn’t a strong enough reason from our perspective when we talked through it with David to keep webinknow separate, aside from that, because there’s always things that you can’t necessarily just look at data and have an answer to.

From a branding perspective, it may have still made sense to keep a website separate even if data tells you to do it. We looked up both sides, and it, just from both ends of the spectrum, made sense to move them together.

Kathleen: Stacy made this recommendation. You immediately, David, thought what?

David: The biggest thing was I was really worried about doing it because it’s such a big part of not just my business but my life because I actually go to my own blog and search on stories to remember things. I’ll say to myself, “When was I in Russia?” I’ll go to my blog and search “Russia” to see if I wrote a blog post about being in Russia because I can’t remember when I was there, that kind of thing, or I’ll remember that I did a post about a particular topic. As I’m doing work on, say, another book or whatever it is, I want to get information, so it’s not just even the business aspect. It’s the personal aspect of how important that blog was for me.

I was really, really worried that number one, something disastrous would happen, and it would disappear.

I guess that’s human nature. I was assured many times that there’s multiple backups of this and we can download it locally and we could do all this other stuff, so, okay, fine. Then I was worried because I’m not an expert in this stuff. I’m a marketing strategist, yes, but I’m not an under-the-covers SEO person.

I was worried that all of those fantastic inbound links – and I don’t know, Stacy, if you know how many we have, but it’s certainly thousands of inbounds link – would somehow break.

I was worried about that and my credibility would go down, so those things I needed to be reassured or under control, but I was really happy about losing the horrible name, webinknow, because even from the first year, it just didn’t make a whole lot of sense.

It would have been a very different discussion however if my blog name was really interesting. For example, if I had called it “The Marketing Blog,” or something like that, that had SEO in its own right, I’m not sure that combining them would have made as much sense. But when you have a URL for a blog and a name for a blog that’s so confusing, people don’t even know what it is, then that’s a good reason to combine.

The Process of Combining Two Websites

Kathleen: That’s a good point. You all took the decision to do this. Can you walk me through what the next steps were? Did you have to start by cataloging the content? How did you prepare for this undertaking?

Stacy: Yeah, so the biggest thing that we went through is the webinknow domain, since that was going to be the one that was going away and moving over the David Meerman Scott domain.

Internally, we used a tool called Screaming Frog for this. We went and did an audit of literally every single URL that existed over there to make sure that we weren’t going to miss anything when we moved everything over.

We migrated all of the blogs in draft form first, so nothing actually changed on the live site. Everything still looked the same to the outside world. We got everything set up and ready, and then we had to create this massive 301 redirect file essentially where we start pulling what were all of the old URLs that we need to make sure, redirect and move to new URLs on the new website.

David: There were over 1500 of them.

Stacy: Yeah.

Kathleen: I imagine that most of our listeners know what a 301 redirect is, but just for anyone who doesn’t, fair to say it’s like a change of address form for Google basically?

Stacy: Yes. It’s when you go to the post office and you give them your new address and do mail forwarding essentially.

Kathleen: Yeah.

Stacy: It moves everything over from your old URL to your new URL.

301 redirects tend to be less scary when they’re within a domain. They tend to get a lot scarier, and this is when you get people who get very nervous about moving from a completely different domain to another one. That’s when there’s a little bit more at stake and it’s a little bit easier for Google to get confused, and for traffic to get lost in that forwarding process.

We wanted to make sure that we were being really very careful about it. We made sure all those redirects were set up. In addition to that, we took the opportunity to say, “Do we have ways that we could adjust some of the URLs that used to exist and keyword optimize them as we move them to the new website?”

We’re going to be changing the URL anyway. Can we find ways to actually improve the keyword optimization of any of our existing content?

We looked at that, and then we also keyword optimized all of the new pages that we were creating as part of the redesign, so that they fit with the content and the structure and all of the topics that were coming across from webinknow. We took the opportunity to say, “We have all this old stuff that, oh my god, if we lose it, the world will end, but how can we take that and make it fresh and new and still combine it with an updated strategy for today?”

Kathleen: Now, for somebody outside of this, that sounds like a massive undertaking. How do you do this in a way that isn’t going to take months? This is 15 years’ worth of content.

David: Let me add a little bit of clarification that might help first, and then I’ll let Stacy talk about some of the details. When I first started working with IMPACT, I’m going to guess it was about two years ago or maybe even three years ago. I can’t remember. We did two projects together that were essentially setting this up to make this process easier.

The first thing that we did was we moved my DavidMeermanScott.come website from a WordPress site to a HubSpot site. That happened, again, I don’t remember the exact date, call it three years ago.

The second thing that we did was we created webinknow, which was in Typepad, and moved that over also to HubSpot. Again, I don’t know, let’s call it two or threes years ago that was done.

Those two projects were pretty significant undertakings in their own right that happened several years ago, so that now we’re sitting with both DavidMeermanScott.com and webinknow.com under the same HubSpot account, which in my mind makes things easier.

I’m putting words in Stacy’s mouth, but in my mind makes things easier. I personally wasn’t as worried as if we had been moving from WordPress to HubSpot with DavidMeermanScott.com and moving from Typepad to HubSpot with my blog, and then combining them all at the same time, which would have given me more sleepless nights.

Kathleen: Yeah, I can imagine.

Stacy: Yeah, and I’m definitely okay with people putting words in my mouth if they’re the right words, so I totally agree with that.

I would say the best way to help make this process more manageable, there’s going to be parts of the process that you can say, “Let’s focus on the best performing content,” and there’s going to be parts of this process that you would say, “Well, this is going to be tedious. I’m just going to have to put my big girl pants on and do it.”

The 301 redirects, there’s no shortcuts; there’s no turnarounds; there’s nothing. You have to make sure that you are moving things over appropriately. When you’re doing a blog migration this tends to be pretty easy because you can really move things over if you’re keeping the same URLs. Everything that’s after the slash, so it’s moving from domain.com to domain.com/blog/whatever.

Everything after the slash tends to stay the same if you’re a straight blog migration, so you can do those more simplified where you create a rule for your redirect where everything of this type of the structure, so everything that’s got the “/blog” in front of it all redirects to the same thing on the other website. They can be made easier in that way, but anything where you’re changing the URL completely-

Kathleen: Which you did.

Stacy: We did on a few cases, so we didn’t do it on all of them. This is where we focus on our highest performing content or the content that needs it the most.

What you would do is if you’re looking to improve your optimization, you might select the top 5% of converting blog posts, for example. Hey, these top 10% of our posts convert the most visitors. I want to make sure that we’re super extra keyword optimizing them to get the most out of them.

You might really say if you’re going to put in extra effort in any place, just focus on the ones that are going to drive you the most results, right? For the most part, we moved everything over with that same URL structure to keep it simple and safe and less scary.

But – we also at the same time that we did this – we put together a topic cluster keyword strategy, and made sure that anything that we could pull into that cluster that was fitting in terms of topic area or already talking about a similar keyword, and we pulled those pieces in and did things like update URLs or update the keywords on the page that we’re moving over in order to fit that new strategy.

We took the opportunity to do a hybrid, keep what was old and find a way to utilize and make new what we could improve.

Kathleen: I like that strategy of prioritization.

I want to make sure I understand what you said. You cherry picked, as you call them, the top performing posts. Was it based on conversion rate or based on traffic or was it a mix of the two?

Stacy: In this case, we really focused on the pieces that would fit within our topic cluster strategy. If you were doing this and you weren’t doing it at the same time as the topic cluster strategy, you may pick the top converting posts as an example, but we really focused on those that fit with the topic cluster.

The Results

Kathleen: Okay, great. I’d love to jump forward and talk about what happened. You undertook this process. You merged the two sites, and then what? Did everything break? Did David’s worst fears come true?

Stacy: It was very, very smooth. There’s always an expectation when you do something like this, when you move from one domain to another, that Google’s going to take a few weeks to catch up. What we do when we launch is we always make sure as soon as everything’s up running and looks good, we resubmit our site map to Google to make sure that they are starting to index it immediately, so shorten that process and have them understand those new redirects as fast as we can.

Kathleen: You’re doing that through Google Search Console?

Stacy: Correct, yes, my favorite tool. It’s basically like, “Let me talk to you, Google, directly about what you know about me instead of guessing.”

After that, we kept a really close eye on what was happening. Was traffic moving over?

Within the first two weeks after the site was launched, we were at the place where, if you looked at the traffic numbers for each individual domain before and you added them together, they now equaled on your traffic. We were getting almost all of the traffic across. The only difference would be that the traffic that we were cannibalizing now is all coming to one site, which is great. We weren’t splitting between the two.

Then the keywords that we were ranking for immediately rebounded as well. Each site, if you look individually at the number of keywords, that it had ranking in the top 20, the top 30, the top 50, whatever number or range you’re looking at and added those two numbers together. Within two weeks, we were summing up to that total on the new domain. We had everything move over and continue to keep the same ranking level through that move.

The exciting part was we actually even saw our rankings improve or new rankings appear for some of the pieces that we deemed appropriate and put as part of our cluster strategy.

Lessons Learned

Kathleen: Wow, that’s great. Any particular lessons learned or things that you would do differently or things that you would advise somebody listening who’s considering doing this to really watch out for if they want to undertake this for themselves?

Stacy: The most important thing I can say is make sure you understand if you are considering either changing a domain or combining multiple domains together.

Make sure you understand everything about how each of those domains is working today before you start making the decision about whether you should even undertake something like this because if you don’t actually know how things are working or if you don’t know if you’re cannibalizing traffic, you may make the wrong decision and go through this process needlessly or make it a little bit harder on yourself.

Just making sure that you know what your domain is doing, what keywords you’re ranking for, what kind of traffic you’re driving from search, and then use that to inform your decision, as opposed to waiting until you’ve already made the decision.

Must-Have Tools

Kathleen: You mentioned Screaming Frog, but you used that to catalog the URLs on the one site. Any other particular tools that you think are must-haves for this kind of a process?

Stacy: Absolutely, so in order to find out if we’re cannibalizing traffic, the tool that we use internally to do that is called SEMrush or S-E-Mrush. I think I’ve heard it pronounced both ways. But that one, it’s great.

It actually gives you a really easy visual of how big your overlap is, so it actually visualizes it as a Venn diagram. If you put like, “Here’s the keyword universe of site A and here’s the keyword universe of site B, and here’s how much they overlap,” you can really start to understand how that cannibalization is happening or if it’s even happening. If there’s no overlap, then you’re fine. The sites are probably not really causing problems for each other, but if you’re within the same topic area, there’s usually going to be a decent amount of overlap.

That’s what we used to decide if it made sense to combine the URLs or not.

The Owner’s Perspective

Kathleen: Great, and David, from your standpoint, obviously there was a lot of trepidation going into this process. Stacy has explained what happened from the technical side, the ranking side, but as the business owner, can you speak to your experience through the launch and post-launch? Was there an interruption to the business? How did that all play out?

David: For me, I think what was absolutely critical and made it happen really smoothly was that it was done in stages.

As I mentioned a couple of moments ago, the first stage, which happened several years ago, was to move the website from WordPress over to HubSpot and then we moved the blog from Typepad over to HubSpot. Those happened several years ago at two different times.

Then we did a redesign of the website, followed by a redesign of the blog, and finally the last step was combining them. For me, it wasn’t a massive “tear down the house and rebuild it.” It was more like what we did was we were still living in the old house, but we built a new foundation and then we built the new house, and then we painted the new house. Then we built a wall between homes and we tried out the new house for size and it seemed to fit. Then we moved in and we knocked down the old house.

It was a really, really staged process. For me, I found that to be a really thoughtful way to go through it that I was able to manage given all the other things that I’m doing. There’s many times that we’d be communicating and I’d be in some other country about to jump onto a stage to give a speech, for example. I really appreciated that it was done in those stages. For that reason, it wasn’t like, “Oh my god, we just did a redesign and combined everything, and I’ve got to learn a new tool and how to use it,” all at the same time, which would have been a problem.

From my perspective, it went really smoothly. I was really excited to see that for certain search terms, instead of being position five and position eight, we’d jump up to position two for the same keyword, things like that.

That was a real major part of the strategy, so it ended up working, although, I don’t have enough data yet to be able to say.

Ultimately the main goal is that I want to generate more leads particularly for my speaking business. I think it was just within the time that this project was finished I had quite a few more leads than I had been getting. It looks like tomorrow I’m going to close a nice speaking gig for an organization in Canada, which I’m excited about, who found me through search.

That was the ultimate goal, and it looks like that’s playing out.

This is not easy. Stacy and the team did the work, but even as the business owner who is involved in the process start to finish, it’s not an easy process. But once it’s done, it’s like moving into that new house. It’s all worth it because you live better and happier and healthier and with more prosperity, so it’s all worth it.

Kathleen: I think that’s really fascinating what you said about the stages. A lot of times I talk to companies who are sitting in that situation of, “Oh my god, I have these three websites, or these two websites that I need to combine or I’m thinking I might want to combine.” It can seem overwhelming.

What I’m hearing is that maybe the first thing isn’t to try to, as they say, eat the elephant all in one bite. It’s to say, “How can I get myself on a surer footing and maybe put these two websites on the same platform?”

It was funny. You used the analogy of the house renovation. In my head, what I was thinking is there’s some types of surgery, I feel like ACL replacement, where they tell you you have to get in shape in order to have the surgery. I feel like this is like that. We’re going to get in shape before we go into surgery.

David: No, and I think that’s right. I use the house metaphor because we actually did a massive renovation project on our house that finished up about two years ago. That’s exactly how we did it.

We not only renovated the original house, but we also created an addition to the house. It was a long three year process to do that, and we decided we wanted to live in the house during the process.

That’s the same as this project. The website cannot go away. The blog cannot go away, yet we’re trying to renovate it and combine it all while it’s still running.

I think that’s the best metaphor is that renovation and addition project that we did it while still living in the house. That’s what we did with this project, and I think it worked great.

It is hard, but I think so far it’s only been a couple of months since we’ve been completed, but so far it’s been totally worth it.

We haven’t talked about the design at all, but the design of the new combined website / blog is fabulous. It does a way better job at showcasing who I am than what we had originally, which was old and dusty. It was built quite a few years ago. A different company, not IMPACT, worked on it. It was adequate at the time. I wasn’t embarrassed by it, but what I’ve got now, I’m really proud of, so it’s really big, great change.

Kathleen: Stacy, do we have any before and after pictures of the site?

Stacy: We could definitely get some.

Kathleen: Yeah, I would love to put those in the show notes, so we could see the transformation. That’s always so much fun.

Stacy: Yeah.

DavidMeermanScott.com Before and After

This is David’s current website homepage (designed by Stacy and the team at IMPACT):

davidmeermanscottdotcom

This was David’s homepage prior to the redesign (courtesy of the Wayback Machine):

DavidMeermanScottdotcombefore

Kathleen: Really interesting to hear about this process.

I know, Stacy, you’re writing an article on this that, by the time this interview goes live. It’s going to be up on our site, so I will link to that.

Click here to read Stacy’s article

Kathleen: David, I think you’re going to be posting some things on this from your perspective, so I’ll link to that as well.

If you’re listening and you want to learn more or dig in, get more details, head to the show notes on the IMPACT website, and you’ll find a link to David’s article, Stacy’s article, and some cool before and after pictures as well as some screen shots of the results that David got (check out his organic keyword rankings below!).

davidmeermanscott com   Organic Search Positions (1)-1

Kathleen’s Two Questions

Kathleen: Changing subjects for a minute, there are two questions I always like to ask my guests. I’m going to ask both of you. I’m going to start with David.

David, I’m really interested in this one because you were an advisor to HubSpot from way back in the beginning. I always like to ask every guest I have, company or individual, who do you think is doing inbound marketing really well right now?

David: That’s a very, very interesting question.

One of my favorite companies to talk about is a little tiny company in York, Maine, called Grain Surfboards. They make sustainable wooden surfboards. They’re a little company. I think there’s four or five people there. They run out of a barn in York, Maine.

They just do a fabulous job at their inbound marketing. They’re not marketers. They’re people who make surfboards for a living. I ran across them because I did a search on Google for wooden surfboards. I found them. Wow, they have a really cool website. This is really interesting. Then I found that not only can you buy a wooden surfboard, but you can actually go through a wooden surfboard course where you can make your own wooden surfboard, so I signed up. I did that, then I went back and I did it a second time.

Kathleen: That’s so cool.

David: Through one Google search, I think I’ve spent $4,000 to go through two wooden surfboard building courses at Grain Surfboards. I’m a really big fan of organizations like that that have either zero marketing dollars in their marketing budget or maybe there’s $150 and somebody’s brother-in-law, but they can still do a fabulous job.

Kathleen: I love that example, and I know a lot of my listeners are companies just like that. It’s great to hear an example of somebody successful doing this with a shortage of resources.

Stacy, how about you? Who do you think is doing inbound marketing really well right now?

Stacy: This answer’s going to sound totally self-serving, but especially for the topic area as we’ve talked about, there’s two resources that I’ve relied on super heavily to learn about all of the pieces that built the way that we do keyword strategies, and then all of the technical SEO knowledge to make sure that we could pull something off like this without breaking David’s site.

That’s Liz Murphy internally at IMPACT is an incredible resource for understanding how to build topic clusters and pillar strategies.

Then Franco Valentino from Narrative SEO, which is a partner of IMPACT’s – those are my two go-to sources of information.

They have put out such great content. We just released a pillar page that was a collaboration between the two of them. If you really want the best of the best information on SEO. Exactly, but those the places that I’ve been going for, especially in this topic area.

Kathleen: Great. Yeah, I have to say I couldn’t do my job without the two of them, so I would agree with that.

Alright, for the second question, I’m going to start with Stacy and end with David. We’ll change up the order.

Second question I always ask is with the world of digital marketing changing at, it would sometimes can seem like, a lightning fast pace, how do you stay educated and up to date? Stacy, let’s start with you.

Stacy: I try and find a balance because you could really easily get just swept up in the tons and tons and tons of information that is out there and being produced day in and day out. It’s almost impossible to keep up and say you know everything about everything.

I’ve picked some topic areas that I try to make sure that I am constantly up to date on. I’ll tend to return back to really specific sources for those areas. For example, the SEMrush blog for SEO stuff specifically is topnotch. It’s where I learn a lot of what I do.

Then I try to, on occasion, google terms that fit with the topic area as well and find new sources that are maybe outside of what I know already because it’s really easy to get stuck in that little bubble of people who think and talk and act just like you, instead of looking out at people who are looking at things a different way.

Kathleen: Great. David, how do you stay current?

David: I do have some blog and other sources that I read on a regular basis.

I get the IMPACT content, which I love, of course.

I read Seth Godin.

I read a guy called Bob Lefsetz, who’s absolutely not a marketer. He writes about music, but he has a fascinating take on the music business, which I think, because I’m such a huge music fan, that I apply those ideas to marketing in general.

But the vast majority of the way I keep current is when I speak at conferences all over the world on a regular basis. I don’t just go do my speech and leave. I go, I listen to the other sessions. I meet people at lunch. I go out to the dinners or the cocktail receptions and find out what people are up to.

I serve on about a dozen advisory boards. I don’t do traditional consulting. I’m not a consultant. I’m not a marketing agency or anything like that, but I do serve as an advisor to about a dozen different companies, including HubSpot, who I’ve been with since 2007.

I try in every case, when I’m working with those advisory clients, to learn how they do their marketing. What’s working? What’s not working? How can we make this better? That’s really great because it’s almost like I’m not an employee of those companies, but I am essentially an insider, so I’m able to see what’s going on in their real world situation.

That combination keeps me to the point where I’m feeling like I’m current for what works for me, although there’s plenty of people who are way more on the cutting edge than I am.

Kathleen: I think it sounds like the common theme between both of you is knowing what you want your area of focus to be, and not trying to be an expert in all things. That’s a good take away.

David: Yeah, and in my case, working with IMPACT and working with Stacy and the team, it’s been great because I consider myself a marketing strategist. I love the strategy aspect. I am decidedly not an SEO expert, not a designer. I don’t know what’s going on. I know what a 301 redirect is, but that was about the extent of my knowledge of most of what Stacy just said over the last 45 minutes.

I’m fortunate to be able to be partnered with you guys on the project because I had a vision for what I wanted to accomplish, but I had no clue whatsoever how to get there.

Kathleen: It’s been really interesting for me to hear you guys talk about this experience because in my many years of first being an agency owner and then I was on the sales team at IMPACT, I’ve talked to so many different companies, and this kind of thing comes up a lot. The stress and worry and tension that always bubbles under the surface is really palpable. It’s interesting to hear a real example of this process having been carried through to its end and having gone well. Thank you for sharing that.

David: Oh yeah, and thank you for having me on, and thank you, Stacy, for all the hard work.

Stacy: Awesome. Thanks for letting us tinker with your site even though it was scary.

How to Reach David and Stacy

Kathleen: I know that you can find Stacy at IMPACTbnd.com. David, if somebody wants to get in touch with you, learn more about what you do, maybe talk with you about coming to speak, can you tell them the best way to find you online?

David: The fabulously redesigned DavidMeermanScott is a great place. If you google my name as we spoke about earlier, David Meerman Scott, it will only pop me up, which is neat. On most social networks, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, I am DMScott, D-M-S-C-O-T-T.

You Know What To Do Next…

Kathleen: Great. Thank you both for being here today.

If you’re listening and you enjoyed what you heard or you learned something new, of course, as always, I would love it if you would give the podcast a review on Apple Podcast or the platform of your choice.

If you know someone who is doing kick ass inbound marketing work, please tweet me at Workmommywork because I would love to interview them. That’s it for this week. Thanks.

Want to stay updated when the podcast is released?

Drop us your name and email address below and we’ll send you the show notes every Monday!  

Read more: impactbnd.com

January is the coldest month of the year throughout the majority of the United States, however that hasn’’ t stopped B2B online marketers from cranking up the warm up on their 2019 need marketing techniques. Today’’ s intricate digital marketing arena has actually caused a frustrating shift in the cross-channel techniques B2B online marketers need to utilize to engage with targeted accounts.

There’’ s not a surprise that show has actually ended up being a necessary layer of any need gen online marketer’’ s account-based marketing (ABM) playbook. Programmatic display screen marketing invest is forecasted to surpass $45 billion this year . As competitors for advertisement area increases, it’’ s important B2B online marketers examine their existing programmatic financial investment, determine any spaces and remodel their existing technique to optimize full-funnel ROI.

.Carrying out an Always-On, Full-Funnel Approach to Programmatic Display.

Display advertisements sustain other need generation efforts and develop full-funnel conversion. Research studies reveal that display screen marketing associates to a boost in natural reach. Buying display screen marketing enables you to present your brand name, warm potential purchasers, and tactically target designated accounts and take full advantage of financial investment in cross-channel efforts—– while all at once advancing down-funnel leads.

When mapping your 2019 marketing objectives, start considering your programmatic display screen efforts like your SEO technique; develop an always-on technique to impact all phases of your conversion funnel simultaneously.

Here’’ s a couple of suggestions to create full-funnel worth from your programmatic screen financial investment:

1. Light a fire: Guide potential customers to your business and keep them warm

The initial step in producing brand name awareness is notifying your possible clients that you exist. In today’’ s significantly competitive online search engine landscape, it’’ s extremely not likely that a possibility who has actually never ever become aware of your brand name will go into a search question and ultimately arrive on your site –– you should go to them. Account-targeted screen marketing enables you to head out and fulfill target-account decision-makers where they’’ re at, warming them to your brand name and informing them on your competitive benefit prior to speaking to a sales agent.

Throughout the awareness phase, show marketing produces brand name recall for possible prospects motivating early certification and continued acknowledgment as they move through the pipeline towards the factor to consider phase.

Tips to drive top-of-funnel brand name awareness through tactical display screen marketing:

.Target particular business that fall within your perfect client profile (ICP).Usage IP-address targeting to get engage with purchasers that line up with your ICP.Get imaginative to cut through the sound: Design vibrant [DC1] advertisements that are most likely to capture the attention of possible clients.Develop engaging CTAs.Drive traffic to your digital properties (site, blog site, eBooks, webinars, and so on) to notify your target market of the discomfort points you resolve.

2. Avoid your pipelines from freezing

The expectations of many B2B purchasers have actually altered in the last few years. B2B purchasers are yearning a B2C marketing experience with extra customization and touchpoints throughout the purchaser’s journey. The decision-makers at your target accounts wish to be dealt with like a human, and not simply another a record in your marketing automation platform –– exhibited by a current Salesforce report :

72% of company choice makers anticipate marketing to be individualized to fit their requirements

After presenting your brand name to a possible purchaser throughout the awareness phase, utilize a sequenced technique to advance messaging towards a sales conference. Furthermore, throughout the factor to consider phase, provide customized messages to targeted accounts to humanize your brand name and motivate raised engagement numbers. 70% of purchasers state ““ linked procedures” ” such as contextualized engagement developed in previous engagements are exceptionally crucial to amassing their organisation.

Tips for driving mid-funnel pipeline discussion through screen advertisements:

.Support existing potential customers by retargeting and reframing messaging based upon previous engagement on display screen and material syndication channels.Humanize your messaging.Target contextually by utilize of keyword analysis.

3. Keep your existing clients in front of the fire

For existing clients programmatic screen helps with upsell and cross-sell chances and renewals. All of us understand that it’’ s far more economical to keep a present client than it is to win a brand-new one. If a consumer is uninformed of the advantages of a brand-new item or service launch, they’’ re really not likely to buy.

Tips for upselling and cross-selling present consumers through display screen advertisements:

.Customized targeting to enhance clients purchasing choice and keep them engaged after onboarding.Usage consumers site habits to craft messaging based upon intent.Inform audience by sharing owned media around item launches and cross-sell items.Don’’ t Let Your Outdated Programmatic Display Strategy Leave Your Company Out in the Cold.

Set a New Year’’ s resolution to review your display screen marketing financial investment, discover and fix the theoretical drafts and spark your automation to method programmatic as you do SEO.

Much like your heat in the dead of winter season, your screen marketing need to constantly be on for ideal impact. When done properly, show advertisements will be integrated with other need channels (e.g., content syndication, occasions, social, webinars, and so on), highly supporting all phases of your marketing funnel and allowing optimum pipeline scale.

Read more: feedproxy.google.com

The digital platforms readily available in 2019 have actually made it possible for digital marketing to end up being more ingenious than ever previously. From Instagram Stories to sponsored Facebook ads and even company-sponsored Snapchat filters, social networks is now a fundamental tool for services all over.

Not all social networks are dealt with similarly. Different platforms are tailored towards various demographics. Think of what a common Snapchat user appears like versus the typical Facebook user –– Snapchat users tend to be much more youthful and, while Facebook users vary in age, the platform is more popular amongst older grownups.

By comprehending each platform’’ s group,

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We can tailor our marketing projects appropriately –– selecting brilliant colors and popular influencer recommendations for Snapchat, preserving an expert image for Facebook, utilizing interactive graphics on Instagram. One social platform stays mostly neglected due to the assumed absence of ““ social ” activity on the platform– the expert neighborhood on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is utilized by career-oriented people to network, look for brand-new chances, and to offer a digital, interactive resume to possible companies. LinkedIn is for experts, and not a ““ standard ” social media– so how can LinkedIn be utilized for digital marketing?

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LinkedIn uses a range of helpful tools for digital online marketers and business seeking to improve their brand name. When utilized efficiently, you can turn this huge expert database into a hotbed for leads, brand-new connections, and increased traffic on your business’’ s social profiles and site.

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Ready to’find out more? Let ’ s get going.

.Comprehend the LinkedIn Demographic.

Since individuals utilize LinkedIn as an expert network, it’’ s essential to keep in mind that it’’ s tough to utilize the very same marketing methods on this platform as you would for Instagram or Twitter. Your sponsored posts need to be tailored towards career-oriented people and market experts.

Think about the kinds of experts who would have an interest in your service or product. Are you in the wedding event cake market? Your optimum LinkedIn audience will likely be wedding event coordinators, wedding event locations, and catering business. Does your business develop sites? Everybody requires a site designer –– so release content promoting your services.

On LinkedIn,

you aren’’ t marketing to the general public. While you can tailor your material towards possible consumers, the most reliable usage of this platform is to market to prospective partners and customers. You have a lot of other websites to publish conventional ads –– LinkedIn needs something various.

.Tool # 1: LinkedIn Business Profile.

The primary step to efficient LinkedIn marketing is to establish a LinkedIn company profile for your business if you sanctuary’’ t currently. While you can participate in networking and other marketing strategies on your individual account, having a business profile assists you develop an expert image.

If you have an individual LinkedIn account, you can develop a service profile. This procedure resembles how Facebook pages are established.

.Go to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions .Select ““ Create Your Page.””. Enter your business name and market, publish your logo design, and submit a cover picture as the website triggers you to.Fill out your business information and description.Click ““ Publish ” and your pageis live! Include relied on page administrators from business management.

With your LinkedIn for Business account, you can:

.Motivate your workers to engage and link with your business page.Usage LinkedIn Groups to get in touch with other market leaders.Purchase LinkedIn ads.Release interesting material on your LinkedIn feed.Gain insight into the operations of rivals.

.Tool # 2: Keywords, Keywords, Keywords.

You understand how you utilize keywords to increase your seo so that your rankings on significant online search engine are greater? Great news: you can do the exact same thing on your LinkedIn profile and business page.

When you fill out details on your LinkedIn profile,

Include high-ranking keywords connected to your market and digital marketing. These keywords will assist other market specialists find you. In addition, consist of keywords when composing your business description. That method, when experts and other prospective partners look for these keywords, your profiles will be near the top of the search engine result.

.Tool # 3: Your LinkedIn Feed.

Similar to Facebook, you can release posts on your LinkedIn profile and business page. Lots of business share links to brand-new services and products through these posts. Others publish blog sites and other business updates.

Whatever you pick to publish on LinkedIn,

The material should be helpful and interesting. Keep in mind: you’’ re attempting to attract prospective customers and network with experts. Sharing article from your business website on LinkedIn is an easy, simple, and efficient method to increase clicks and web traffic. By releasing blog site material, you’’ ll understand that the material shared in your LinkedIn feed will pertain to market experts and possible customers.

You can likewise develop natural posts and updates particularly for LinkedIn. A LinkedIn post need to not be dealt with the very same method as a Facebook post. Producing interesting material that would be of interest to career-oriented people is crucial.

For example,

Say that your business reconditions stores and shops. Due to the fact that it develops on your portfolio, sharing photos of your newest task is one method to display your work to your LinkedIn following. You might likewise share text posts about style patterns for stores, shop innovation, or the kinds of components shops can choose.

However,

Sharing a post unassociated to your business’’ s operations or business culture, such as a post about an individual scenario, need to be prevented. This would offer an air of unprofessionalism to your career-oriented network.

On the other hand,

Sharing an individual post about your business, such as images of a business occasion or a gratitude post for your group, is extremely motivated. This signals to your network that not just does your business carry out great, you cultivate a friendly and inviting business culture. Play it safe and stay with company-related posts on your LinkedIn feed.

.Tool # 4: Sponsored Posts.

One interesting function is the capability to buy a sponsored post. These native ads enable users to engage with the wider LinkedIn neighborhood in a natural way. With LinkedIn sponsored posts, you can run native advertisements in news feeds, create leads throughout the platform, and get in touch with other market leaders.

To buy a sponsored LinkedIn post,

You will require a LinkedIn for Business business page. From your business page, you can produce a Feeds Advertisement Campaign to handle your sponsored material and introduce brand-new posts. LinkedIn’’ s Campaign Manager tool assists you track your ads and take a look at analytics.

To release your very first sponsored post:

.Sign into Campaign Manager.Pick your ad format: sponsored material, sponsored LinkedIn mail, or text advertisements.Establish your ad text, images, and other specifications.Select characteristics that you wish to target, such as market, task title, and business name.Establish your spending plan and quote.Enter your business payment information.

After your ad has actually been released,

You can see analytics such as impressions and clicks in your Campaign Manager control panel. You can release all kinds of material to be sponsored, however follow the very same standards as your unsponsored posts.

.LinkedIn: More than a Digital Resume.

LinkedIn take advantage of an entirely distinct market and has the prospective to promote ingenious marketing methods. Through using LinkedIn for Business pages, engaging material, keywords, and sponsored posts, a smart business ought to plainly think about buying this platform for increased social existence and networking chances.

The post 4 Ways to Utilize LinkedIn to Your Advantage appeared initially on PPC – About PPC – Pay Per Click Management|ppc.org .

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Read more: ppc.org

You know how important online presence is to any business and how valuable it is to deliver performance. But how well do you understand your users’ path and what makes them engaged? How often has it happened to you to find out specific things about your traffic and make correlations but didn’t know the steps for filtering your data?

 

Understanding your Google Analytics results can be hard and tricky, but Google Analytics Insights is the everyday solution. It’s like training for the race and come home with the medals.

 

Google-Analytics-Insights---The-Hidden-Gems

 

The great side of GA insights is the personalized list of marketing tips and tricks you get based on the activity of your business. It uses a machine learning algorithm, named Analytics Intelligence, which makes it easier for the business owner to discover what’s important in the pile of data and then take meaningful action. And the best thing of all is that you can ask questions and get directions.

 

Understand Year over Year Growth of Average Order Value
Know What Users Are Interested in Purchasing Right Now
Keep Your Loyal Users Engaged
Find Any Anomalies for Your Website
Find the Landing Pages with the Worst Ecommerce Conversion Rate
Track the Revenue Trend for Your Products/Services

 

Google Analytics Insights offers great guidelines for your website. For starters, you can select some questions from a standard list to get some directions. Straight form the Insights go to list of questions regarding users, traffic trends, content analysis, users behavior, product performance and technical performance.

 

Questions Google analytics insights

 

Creating great campaigns and improving your digital marketing results is mandatory for success, that’s why you should keep an eye on Google reports for insights.

 

 
1. Year over Year Growth of Average Order Value

 

For e-commerce websites, Average Order Value (AOV) is one of the most important metrics that should be tracked. It a metric that measures the total average of all the transactions made by a customer each time they place an order on the website, within a specific period of time.

 

AOV is determined by measuring sales per order, not sales per customer. Although one customer may come back multiple times to make a purchase, each order would be counted separately in the AOV.

 

Keeping track of Average Order Value would help business owners to be aware of key business decisions such as advertising spend, store layout, and product pricing.

Google logo
Google

 

 

To find out the year over year growth of AOV you need to go to insights. You can access it from all the google analytics dashboards; it doesn’t matter where you are.

 

GA Insights

 

Then, you can search for “year over year growth of Average Order Value” or go to Conversions » Ecommerce » Overview. There you can see something similar to the next graphic.

 

Year over year growth

 

You can see if your AOV has increased or suffered a drop. In the first case, a higher AOV will increase your ecommerce store’s profitability. In the last case, it means that this year’s orders (according to the graphic, it is 2018) are fewer than the ones from the previous year (2017).

 

You can increase the AOV by a few improvements/tricks in your selling process, such as:

Offer free shipping. There are lots of websites that offer free shipping with regard to the period of shipment.
Offer limited free shipping for a specific order value. For example, chose a free shipping value of $25 or $30 depending on what type of products you sell. If you’re selling luxury products, unfortunately that doesn’t apply.
Offer additional products right in the card after the customer placed a product. If you give recommendations based on what the customer ordered, you might encourage additional spending
Give coupons to loyal customers to inspire them to make purchases.
Start a loyalty program. You can create fidelity cards with points and for each purchase, the customer can collect points.

 

The beautiful side of this Overview panel form Analytics is the Marketing section, where you can see what campaigns are performing in terms of transactions, revenue, and AOV. You can see here what online marketing strategy (promotion, coupon codes, affiliation) works best:

 

Marketing AOV

 
2. Know What Users Are Interested in Purchasing Right Now

 

If you want to know who is interested in buying right now from the whole list of leads, then In-Market Segments is the choice you should make. In-Market Segments reflect the users who are interested in a product and close to converting. They can help you decide what to promote or how to remarket.

 

Simply click on Insights and search for “Know what users are interested in purchasing right now” and you’ll see a similar report for your website:

 

In-Market Segments

 

In the screenshot above, you can see the In-Market Segments for Aug 1, 2018-Aug 31, 2018. And if you look at the number, you can see that they have grown significantly over the past month. By clicking on Go to Reports from your Google Analytics Account, you will be redirected to Audience » Interests » In-Market Segments.

 

Here you can create segments and keep track of what you’re interested in. This way you have an easy management and a clear sight of who is more active and who needs a little help. You can see Google Analytics data regarding behavior, e-commerce conversions or goals completition.

 

Audience in-segments

 

Based on the results above you can use remarketing, and focus your lower-funnel marketing (e.g., promotions, discounts, product bundles) on these users. For example, create audiences with conditions like “In-Market Segment exactly matches Financial Services/Investment Services”. You can then use these audiences in AdWords, DoubleClick Bid Manager, or DoubleClick Search remarketing campaigns.

 

If you want to create audiences, you have to go to your Admin panel » Property » » Audience Definitions » Audiences.

 

Admin panel - creating audiences

 

After you select Audiences, you can set up the steps for Remarketing and create your first audience.

 

Creating Audiences in Google Analytics

 
3. Keep Your Loyal Users Engaged

 

Loyal customers are hard to achieve and once you gained their hearts you must keep their engagement rate high. If you want to see the percentage of loyal users, you can search for “How loyal were your users from September?” in the GA insights section.

 

On the site we analyzed we could see that the loyality rate was 5.87% in September compared to August.

 

Loyal users in GA

 

To follow up on these numbers, you can see the exact number or users if you go to Audience » Behaviour » New vs. Returning and select the last 28 days or check the monthly trend of users over the last 12 months.

 

You can always compare these results with the previous year and for that you have to look at the year over year growth of users. For the analyzed site, we have an increase of 4.11%.

 

Year over year growth of users

 

In case there was a decrease there are some things to consider, such as adding new site features, product strategies, or marketing activities.

 
4. Find Any Anomalies for Your Website

 

If you think something strange happened to your users or your website, you can search to see if there were any anomalies in users, sessions, impressions, transactions and more. Google uses a specific model –  Bayesian state space-time series model – to forecast values that stand out beyond the normal trend in the time series data:

 

Analytics Intelligence Anomaly Detection is a statistical technique to identify “outliers” in time-series data for a given dimension value or metric.

Google logo
Google

 

 

Go to Google Analytics Insights and search for “Any anomalies in the number of users last week?” and your question will be answered. For the website we analyzed we can see there is nothing abnormal regarding users.

 

Anomalies in users

 

There are two types of anomalies presented in Google Analytics:

for sites that experience a spike;
for sites that had a drop in sales or some metrics perform poorly.

 

In case you find anomalies in your account that signal some negative performance, then you should look at the results and the period of time. As you can see in the screenshot below, Google detected 1 anomaly in the time series analyzed marked with a red dot. It identified it as an anomaly because it wasn’t accurate regarding historical data.

 

Anomalies in google analytics

Source: medium.com

 

You probably know about Google Analytics alerts. You could find them at Customization » Custom Alerts » Manage Custom Alerts » New Alert. And you could add alerts to keep an eye on the problems that appear. For example, you can have an alert in case your transactions dropped to a specific value.

 

Analytics alerts

 

 
5. Find the Landing Pages with the Worst Ecommerce Conversion Rate

 

Finding pages that don’t bring any commercial benefits can be hard to spot and Analytics insights has the information on that. For the site we used on this analysis we received some recommendation of what needs to be improved and one of them was the poor landing pages in terms of ecommerce conversion rate.

 

We saw that some of your top landing pages performed >25% worse on ecommerce conversion rate this month.

 

Worst top landing pages on ecommerce conversation rate

 

Over the time period analyzed, the overall ecommerce conversion rate of the site was 0.57%, according to the Google Analytics results. Tracking this type of data helps you see the conversion rate and the directions for improving it. For keeping the numbers high you have to keep the content relevant for the type of traffic you have for those pages. You need to answer the following questions:

 

If there have been changes in the traffic sources to these pages, have you made sure the content is relevant to that traffic?
If you changed the content on these pages, did you notice a change in user behavior?

 

To see the type of traffic you have for your pages, go to Behaviour » Site Content » Landing Pages. Here chose the secondary dimension: Traffic Type.

 

Landing Pages - Traffic type 1

 
6. Track the Revenue Trend for Your Products/Services

 

Once you understand the popularity of certain products and discover what’s accounting for your highest ROI, your business will grow.

 

Tracking the revenue trend for your products can be really helpful in understanding what’s working and what products didn’t bring so much revenue. If you search for “Trend of Product Revenue by Product” you’ll see a chart similar to the one below:

 

Product revenue for last month

 

As you can see in the picture above there is a spike in revenue. This chart is very efficient in discovering which products are most effective. So in our case, we should look at the product that had a drastic increase and go further in discovering what we did that day or during the previous days.

 

I performed the search once more to see if this spike appeared again in the last 3 months by going to Conversions » Ecommerce » Product Performance. And it seems it happened again in October so it wasn’t just a one-time thing, but still the spike is pretty high comparing to the normal growth of the website.

 

Product performance

 

Conclusion

 

Google Analytics Insights is the online guide that helps you see the missing opportunities, the lacking performance, the anomalies and get recommendations and straight answers to your questions with direct reference to the reports and graphs. Following the above actionable insights we talked about, and looking through the customized reports will give you the chance to improve your Google analytics data, increase sales and perform conversion rate optimization

 

It is very easy to use. You can ask questions or look for specific metrics and dimensions and Google Intelligence will give you directions to the analytics reports. You’ll get recommendations and see what you should do to improve the metrics and the parts of your website that aren’t performing so well in the sales funnel.

 

 

The post Google Analytics Insights – The Best Tips for Your Business Success appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

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google

You’ve already experienced it… SEO is becoming harder and harder.

As time goes on, it takes longer to rank and you have to spend more money to get the results you want.

But the reality is, you can’t wait forever to get results. And you have no choice but to leverage SEO as a tactic because everyone else is doing it.

So, what should you do?

Well, the first thing you need to do is adjust how you think about SEO. SEO isn’t only about rankings. To be honest, I don’t even track them for my own site. It’s about getting the right kind of traffic.

You know, the visitors who are ready to buy.

So, instead of teaching you how to rank for competitive head terms, which is going to be even more difficult in 2019, I’m going to break down a formula that will give you much faster results and sales in this ultra-competitive environment.

And best of all, I am going to break it down into 4 steps as I know you don’t have the time to do everything.

Here’s the 4-step SEO strategy you should follow in 2019:

Step #1: Attract customers before they are ready to buy

The most expensive keywords to go after are buyer intent keywords. You know, the ones where someone types in a keyword and is ready to spend money right then and there.

And that will always be the case. Not just from an SEO standpoint, but even a pay per click standpoint.

So, what should you do… not go after these lucrative keywords?

Of course not. More so, you have to go after them no matter how long it takes to rank. You just have to be patient.

But in the short run, there are other keywords you can go after that aren’t as competitive and don’t cause a sale right away. But they do cause a sale to happen… it just takes a few weeks from when that person first lands on your site to when they buy.

So how do you find the keywords that aren’t as competitive and cause people to buy (as long as you are willing to be patient)?

You use Google Correlate.

Here’s how it works…

Let’s say you are selling beard oil but you know the term is competitive and will take you a lot longer to rank for than you have.

So what do you do?

With Google Correlate, it will show you all of the terms people search for in Google before they search for the term “beard oil.”

In other words, these are the same people who buy beard oil products… but now you are going to attract them to your site before they are even ready to buy.

Type in “beard oil” or the term you want to rank for in Google Correlate. Then, shift series to -2 weeks, which means you will be given a list of terms people search for 2 weeks before they are likely to type in “beard oil.”

And then you will get a list of terms:

google correlate

As you can see from the image above, people type in terms like beard products, best beard oil, beard balm, what is beard oil, and how to make beard oil.

If you write blog content that is super in depth about those phrases, you’ll appeal to people who also search for beard oil.

The cool part about Google Correlate is it works differently than Google Suggest or any other keyword tool because they are showing you what people search for before they are ready to buy.

And similar to how you put in -2 weeks as the shift series, you can turn it into a positive number and see what people search for weeks after looking up beard oil:

positive

You’ll notice a lot of people who search for beard oil search for oils related to coughs.

Most people who sell beard oil probably don’t think about offering oils for coughing, but it is a similar audience and it’s a great way for you to generate extra revenue from the customer base you already have.

Step #2: Land and expand

Everyone focuses on ranking for new terms. But there is an issue, it’s hard to rank for new terms.

Even though SEO has a huge ROI, it’s a strategy that requires patience.

But here is the thing, you can get results faster if you use the land and expand strategy.

Here’s how it works. Log into Google Search Console. Next, click on “performance” and you will see a list of terms that you currently rank for:

search console keywords

Then I want you to click on one of the most popular terms you already rank for and then click on pages. You should see a report that shows you the URL that ranks for the term on Google. You need this URL because you will be modifying this page.

search console pages

Now I want you to take that term and put it into Ubersuggest. Once the report loads, click on “Keyword Ideas” in the navigation. You’ll see a report that will look something like this:

ubersuggest keywords

You’ll see a laundry list of long tail phrases… I want you to take the ones that are buyer intent related and add them to the page that already ranks for the head term.

When adding the long tail phrases, make sure you adjust your content to be relevant to those keywords. And pick the ones that are highly related to your product or service. Just stuffing them into your page without adjusting the content is spammy and won’t provide a good user experience to searchers.

What you will find is that because you are already ranking for the head term, typically you will shoot to page one within 30 to 60 days for the long-tail variation by adjusting your content. It’s a quick win!

But the key to this strategy is to pick the right longtail keywords. Don’t just look at traffic numbers, focus on terms that you know will cause a sale or a lead.

Step #3: Build a brand

Google has been placing more emphasis on brands. In other words, if you have a strong brand, you’ll rank faster.

When I really started focusing on brand building, my traffic went from 240,839 in June 2016:

june traffic

To 454,382 in August 2016:

aug traffic

As the Ex-CEO of Google said:

Brands are the solution, not the problem. Brands are how you sort out the cesspool.

In other words, if you want to succeed on Google in the long run, you have to build a brand. As your brand grows, your search traffic will as well.

The way to monitor your brand growth is Google Trends. Type in your brand name into Google Trends as well as a few of your competitors to see how you are stacking up.

google trends

Sadly, there isn’t a quick hack to skyrocket your brand. There is, however, a formula that works for both personal and corporate brands.

So, what is the formula?

You do something that is bold!

Sure people can tell you to blog, speak at conferences, run ads… but none of that helps you build a brand that has a loyal following because everyone else is already doing the same things (or trying at least).

But what your competition isn’t doing is being bold. If you want a brand like Tony Robbins or Apple, bold is the way to go.

So how do you do something that is bold?

Well, lets first start with a personal brand (although I recommend that you build a corporate one instead).

Do the opposite

When it comes to building a personal brand, you’ll have to take the opposite approach of most people in your space. Whatever is working for them won’t work for you.

No one cares for the copycat, especially when they are satisfied with the original solution.

In other words, if you do exactly what your competitor is doing no one will care to follow you.

Let me give you examples of how to do the opposite of your competition:

Genuinely help people – a lot of people blog and participate on the social web, but how many people take the time to respond to their community? As far as I can tell, less than 1%. Just look at me. For years, I’ve responded to comments on my blog, Facebook, and even YouTube. I am so engaged with my community on LinkedIn that they honored me as one of their Top Voices of 2018! Most people are too lazy to do this… doing the opposite has helped me build a connection with you. And if you are wondering why I do this it’s because when I started out I had no money and people helped me. I’m just trying to do the same.
Writing 10x content – when I got into blogging, everyone was doing it. So I had to find a way to separate myself. I did this by writing in-depth guides… not those 5,000-word blog posts, I am talking about 30,000-word guides. On top of that, I spent money on the design so they would look beautiful.
Creating video content – when I got into the digital marketing community, there were already large conferences that had thousands of attendees. I thought speaking at all of them would help my brand… and they did to some extent, but I was just another speaker. But very few people in my space were creating video content… so now instead of giving speeches at conferences, I give them on YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I’m able to reach more people without having to travel and the content lives on forever (and is available for free to everyone!).

That’s how I stood out from my competition and built a personal brand. And then I did it for years as brands aren’t built overnight.

If you aren’t sure on how to do the opposite of your competition when it comes to your personal brand leave a comment and I’ll try and give you some ideas.

Now let’s go into building a brand for your company… It all comes down to one thing…

Be bold

No matter what you are selling online you have competition. It doesn’t matter if you are a B2B or a B2C business… you have competition, which means it is going to be hard for your brand to stand out.

So, how do you differentiate yourself?

You do so by being bold.

Let me give you an example. In the United States, there are tons of options when it comes to cell phone carriers. So how do you stand out when everyone offers the same phone and competitive pricing?

Well, T-Mobile separated themselves by offering free Netflix, unlimited data, and free roaming.

tmobile

And you don’t have to be a big company to do something bold. When Zappos started selling shoes they decided to do a few things different. First, they offered a refund policy that lasted 1 year. Just think about that… if you return a shoe to them 12 months later, the chances are it’s out of style and they won’t be able to resell it.

zappos

Then they decided to randomly upgrade their shipping. So instead of ground shipping, they would randomly upgrade you to 2-day or next-day air.

And Amazon crushed their competition the moment they rolled out their Prime program. When it first came out, you would get free 2-day shipping on all Prime products for just $99 a year. What a ridiculously amazing offer.

Now that’s being bold!

Being bold doesn’t have to break your bank account. You don’t have to do something like Amazon and T-Mobile… it can be as simple as providing amazing customer service when you are in an industry that’s known for terrible support.

If you are unsure of how you can be bold with your business, leave a comment and I will try and give you some ideas. Make sure you provide an overview of your business so I can give you halfway decent ideas. 😉

And of course, being bold won’t build your brand overnight (it takes years) but you should see growth each quarter. If you aren’t, that means you aren’t being bold enough.

Step #4: Build a better mousetrap

A mousetrap? Why would you want to build a mousetrap?

Link building is still important. Sure, Google is looking at many other factors now, but link building still helps with rankings.

But it is harder to build links than it used to be back in the day. Everyone is blogging… heck, there are over 440 million blogs and over a billion if you count Tumblr, Medium, and WordPress.com.

Yes, that means there are more sites to hit up and ask for a link but everyone is doing that.

So how do you build links when everyone is getting those spammy emails asking for a link, such as the one below?

spammy links

You have to build a better mousetrap. Something so amazing that everyone wants to link to it without you asking for a link.

It used to be detailed guides but seeing 10,000-word guides that have fancy designs are more common these days than when I started creating them.

They still work, especially when it comes to brand building, but they just aren’t as effective when it comes to link building.

Same with infographics, they used to get tons of social shares and links (they still do to some extent), but they aren’t as effective as they used to be.

So what kind of mousetrap do you need to build? You could start off with something that people are used to paying for.

For example, the consulting firm Price Intelligently released a free analytics software called ProfitWell.

With very little marketing, they were able to generate 943 backlinks from 187 domains.

profitwell

I also did this with Ubersuggest.

ubersuggest tool

I put in more effort into marketing, so I was able to generate 10,667 unique backlinks.

ubersuggest links

A great example in the consumer space (this would do wonders for e-commerce sites as well) is animated infographics. Everyone has seen infographics, so Aminagraffs decided to make their infographics animated, which caused them to go viral.

Here’s part of their infographic that breaks down how a car motor works.

car motor

Best of all, the Amimagraphs founder didn’t do any marketing… the graphic just spread. Even with no marketing, it generated 751 backlinks from 136 domains and over 200,000 visitors.

car backlinks

If you want to use old-school link building tactics, you can, they just won’t help you as much in 2019. So, get creative and build a better mousetrap.

When you build a good mousetrap, you may be worried about cost. But there is a different way to think about it…

How much would you be spending on marketing to get the same results?

People make fun of me for what I am doing with Ubersuggest and think it is silly that I can “lose” $150,000 or so a month. But if I had to buy the traffic that I get because of Ubersuggest it would cost me much more than $150,000. Even though my mousetrap is expensive, it is still cheaper than paid ads.

And you don’t have to go as far as me. Doing what Animagraffs is affordable. I paid them $750 to create an animated infographic for me. I’m not sure what they charge these days, but I bet you can find someone on the web who will do it for a few hundred bucks.

Conclusion

Instead of thinking of SEO in the traditional sense, I want you to shift your strategy.

SEO is only going to get harder, Google is going to continually change their algorithm in ways you may not like, but the one thing that is certain is the old way of doing SEO will get you results, just not in the timeframe you want.

So, follow the 4 steps above. They are unconventional, but the industry is so competitive and saturated that you have no choice but to think outside of the box.

So what other unique strategies are you going to leverage in 2019?

The post How to Dominate Google in 2019 appeared first on Neil Patel.


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If you’re a content writer, you have a blog or work for a company, you might have struggled with this question before: How do I find good blog topic ideas? There might have been situations when you didn’t have any ideas and you had to write something just to keep your users engaged.

 

For everyone that has stumbled on this, I understand you. I know what you’re feeling. And you’re not alone. For somebody who writes on a daily basis, you need to be like a factory of fantastic ideas and give valuable information to the audience, because they need it. They are looking for guidance in every possible way.

 

Free Ways to Find Blog Content Ideas That Convert

 

Most of you have to become factory ideas overnight, but there are solutions for you during the day. That’s why we thought about the following effortless ways and platforms to find topic ideas:

 

Look for Q&As on Quora
Use BrandMentions to Spy Your Competitors for Content Ideas
Get Inspired Using Pinterest
Uncover Trends and Identify Influencers on BuzzSumo
Check Google News for Current Events
Follow Influencers’ Articles on LinkedIn
Get Ideas from Discussions in Facebook Groups and Reddit Communities
See What Other People Are Sharing on Zest

 

Finding the right content topic is essential, but the way you write it is also important. Good content writers will always be in demand, just like Joel Klettke points out.

 

“We don’t need to hire a writer. We’ve got formulas and a template!” pic.twitter.com/HREhKHCimw

— Joel K (@JoelKlettke) September 18, 2018

 
1. Look for Q&As on Quora

 

Quora is an abundance of information and continuous resource for content writers, users, noobies and people wanting to find specific answers to their problems. The information is organized and edited by users, which makes it easy to understand the user behavior.

 

Besides all the ideas, you get the advantage of seeing what language and vocabulary people use, the way of writing and asking questions. And after you got some inspiration, you can write the article. Then you can answer questions by pointing people to your article.

 

Quora

 

Quora is a great space for keyword research and headings/titles inspiration. For example, if we use the screenshot below and we want to write about keyword cannibalization, we can see if most people use a focus keyword such as – avoid keyword cannibalization or the question type such as – what is keyword cannibalization.  

 

The site is divided into topics, which makes it easy to search for ideas and get insights on what people are looking for. There is an entire community on Quora where a lot of people and experts on every subject you can imagine are actively contributing with knowledge.

 

If you are focused on a specific topic, use the newly launched Spaces and follow the community that interests you.

 

Quora spaces

 

Besides all the ideas we’ve talked about, there are other things Quora is good at. Only by using a few clicks you can:

find what people are looking for. Search for general keywords on Quora and see questions regarding your topic.
get updates on trending topics right on the homepage.

 

Get updates on trending topics

 

read sourced research from experts and get their permission to quote them in your new article.
find every influencer that you can contact for outreach.

 

Find influencers on Quora

 
2. Use BrandMentions to Spy Your Competitors for Content Ideas

 

Wouldn’t it be a shame to miss an opportunity to talk about something that has great traction and create a massive, evergreen blog post that will get a good social media score and links 3 years after you’ve written it?

 

We’ve previously talked about the advantages of using a social monitoring tool, such as BrandMentions, that gives insights based on what finds online. You can spy on your competitors to see what are they writing, what type of content gets more engagement. And based on the response they get from the audience, you can see the topics of interest and try to create a better piece of content than theirs.

 

You can monitor fresh topical content related to your business and create better content in your niche. You just have to search for a topic and the tool will show you the results.

 

Track an industry by monitoring fresh topical content

 

Whenever your brand is being brought up on the web, a marketing opportunity is rising and that applies to your competitors as well. If you know what people are talking about them and find their strengths and weaknesses, you’ll know what to offer to the audience and steal them from your competition.

 

Using a social monitoring tool such as BrandMentions helps you manage the mentions and go right on the spot by offering live support. You can find what people are saying about a specific brand and not necessarily to it, because there might be lots of untracked brand mentions, without any direct link to the brand.

 

For example, people might talk on social media but not place the @ before the name of the brand. And we must remember that it’s not only influencers in your industry who mention brands on the web, but there are also lots of other people that are consumers.

 

Track web mentions

 
3. Get Inspired Using Pinterest

 

Another free way to find content marketing ideas is using Pinterest. The motto of the platform describes it very well: Discover recipes, style home ideas, inspiration and other ideas to try. So inspiration is at its place on Pinterest.

 

If you’ve never used Pinterest until now, then you did miss on lots of great opportunities. The social media content you get here, might not be found on the other social channels. You can use Pinterest to:

get free ideas for blog posts.
create content that your audience actually wants.
find keywords you should use in your blog post to help with SEO on Pinterest.

 

The process is very simple and very intuitive for beginners. You just have to search for a keyword, such as blog:

 

Searching for blog on Pinterest

 

Then look in the search suggestions box for other keywords that are used for searches and get topic ideas and headings that intrigue the user. Look at the most popular keyword suggestions, such as marketing (blog marketing), for beginners (blog for beginners), ideas (blog ideas), tips (blog tips) and so on.

 

That means there are a lot of new bloggers looking to learn about blogging or bloggers that are in the marketing field and search for ideas and so on.

 

Searching for Blog content Ideas on Pinterest

 

Getting those recommended keywords means that those are what your audience is searching for. Use those keywords into your titles tags and description.

 

If you decide to use Pinterest, then those keywords should be into your pin description and heading to boost your Pinterest “SEO rankings”. So that when people are searching for those keywords, your post gets a higher chance of being on the top. That’s how easy it is to get creative content marketing ideas using Pinterest.

 
4. Uncover Trends and Identify Influencers on BuzzSumo

 

BuzzSumo can help you generate new content ideas and see what the audience craves. You can search for popular topics and see results based on total engagement, evergreen score, number of links and other more. You have lots of filters available to go into a deeper analysis and get more accurate results based on your needs.

 

Filters Buzzsumo

 

For example, we searched for video marketing and we wanted to see the pages with the highest engagement.

 

Searching video marketing on Buzzsumo

 

Another great thing about this tool is that you can get some ideas of keywords based on the results you get. If we look at the search we’ve made for video marketing, we can see that video and SEO, or video marketing tips, or video marketing statistics are valid recommendations we could use in our content.

 
5. Check Google News for Current Events

 

Google News can fit very well in your content strategy to see what is trending in digital marketing and other industries. It is the easiest way to look for current events and news in your industry. An interesting news piece relevant to your query can be used to write a quick, creative and even controversial content.

 

You can search for anything regarding digital marketing or business, technology, entertainment, science, sports and many more. Or search for things you might be interested in, based on what you find in other categories and get directions from there.

 

Google news

 

If you want awareness and have a relevant audience then finding a news hook for your pieces could be the solution. You have the possibility to select the language and the country and get more personalized results, which afterward can be saved in your account.  

 

Select language and country in Google news

 
6. Follow Influencers’ Articles on LinkedIn

 

LinkedIn is a professional social media platform that you could use to connect with experts and people that write valuable information. You can comment and create connections and, most important of all, you can get inspired by what they are writing and talking about on LinkedIn.

 

You can find the posts they make and the questions they ask by scrolling on the homepage:

 

LinkedIn post

 

You can go deeper and look at their published articles. LinkedIn Pulse is the platform owned by LinkedIn where influencers write their articles. 

 

 

If you get an idea and write about it, then you can contact the influencer and let them now that you quoted them in one of your articles and they can check the blog post once its published. After that, you can ask them for a share or you can share their post by tagging them.

 

It will create a snowball effect and you can get more people to share your content afterward and get new contacts that you can ask for their ideas in your next piece of contact. For example, you can create a blog post asking a single question to industry influencers where you could quote their answer. And then repeat the sharing process to build a strong online presence. It works very well as a growth hacking technique, too.

 

LinkedIn is a great source of inspiration. And it makes it easy to get exposure for yourself and your business if you decide to share your articles there.

 
7. Get Ideas from Discussions in Facebook Groups and Reddit Communities

 

Social media marketing is a powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach prospects and customers and get new content ideas. Facebook Groups is an underrated asset. It a strong base for an active community. You can see new trending topic discussion, recommendations, tips, new insights from business owners and specialists.

 

cognitiveSEO facebook community

 

You can use communities in case you have any doubts about a specific topic. Let’s say, for example, that you heard lots of times that multiple links coming from one and the same domain are considered to have lower value, so unique linking domains are typically a more reliable metric than link count. And you’d like to know if anybody experienced a situation when this statement isn’t true and get some examples that you could use in your article (of course, after asking for permission).

 

Or you can ask for tips on client retention and see what comments and answer you get and use them in creating a new piece of article. The combinations are endless. You just need to be on the right community, where people comment and are active.

 

There are lots of content types that work differently on every social platform, so make sure you get ideas and adapt the message to the type of audience you target.

 

 
8. See What Other People Are Sharing on Zest

 

I usually use Zest for finding new blog post ideas. Right after you enter the page, you’ll see each article in a box format which includes the title, the cover attached and a short description.

 

Zest - content distribution platform

 

The friendly design works very well to skim through the content and makes it very easy to share and save it in your account for future inspiration.  

 

Save posts on Zest

 

There are other ways than scrolling to search for content on Zest. You can apply specific tags and get the articles that are related.

 

Zest tags

 

Other options for filtering results are by the type of content (audio, video), shares, clicks or latest posts.

 

Sort by shares

 

There are lots of experts that share their articles here. You can follow people and get instant notifications. It is very easy to use and easy to share content, as well. This comes in hand if you want to amplify your content and give it a boost after publishing.

 

Follow people you find on Zest

 

If you haven’t used it before, you should definitely start now because it is a gold mine.

 

Don’t miss all the Zest from the content marketing juice. Your content needs all the zest and personality you can get.

 

Conclusion

 

As a farewell message and recommendation after all these tips, I shall leave you with one that can complement the other ideas and it could help you be a better content creator. Grow the skill of becoming content savvy, which means developing the ability to see valuable content everywhere. The content creation process can be hard, but there are lots of ways to make it easier.

 

Whether you’re in the bus/metro/car and see a commercial ad, or somebody reading an interesting book (look at the title), reading posts on social media, listening to the radio or podcasts, watching a video/movie, reading something online or skimming through the news, you must see content inspiration everywhere. This way you’ll never run out of blog post ideas again.

The post 8 Free Ways to Find Blog Content Ideas That Convert appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

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